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Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made. 
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Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12. 
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Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”

The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”

Read the full text here.
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New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India

April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).

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New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. 
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New bishop in Mozambique
March 30, 2015. The Pope has appointed Alberto Vera Aréjula, a Spanish missionary, to be Auxiliary Bishop of Xai-Xai in Mozambique.
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New Eparchy and new Exarchate in India
March 26, 2015. The Pope has created the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom in Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He has also appointed its first bishop, Jacob Barnabas Aerath. Additionally, Pope Francis created the new Apostolic Exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He appointed the first Exarch, Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil.
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New bishop in Ecuador
March 24, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Victor Bertram Wick Enzler to be bishop of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). Until now, he served as auxiliary bishop of Guayaquil, also in Ecuador.

An inside look at a Brazilian priest whose 'office' are Rio's slums

2013-12-08

Father Renato Chiera has been a priest for 46 years and for 36 of those, he has lived in Brazil, in the outskirts of Rio.  He says that for nine years, he saw children get murdered in drug wars. But the final straw, came when he found 30 dead people in his parish

In 1986 he decided to build a shelter for homeless teens. Now that home, the 'Casa do Menor' has 25 centers all over Brazil, providing medical care, education and even sports. 

FR. RENATO CHIERA
Founder "Casa do Menor”
"We have many teenagers who have committed murder. That destroys them. It destroys them both physically and psychologically. Because if they already had low self-esteem, now it's even lower. They say, 'I'm miserable, I'm worthless, I've done this, there's no hope for me, no future.' So now they've fallen into powerful drugs like crack, which is made out of cocaine.”

During a recent visit to Rome, he had a chance to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis and afterwards they talked about projects in Brazil. He was looking forward to that talk, since they didn't get a chance to meet during World Youth Day in Rio.

FR. RENATO CHIERA
Founder "Casa do Menor”
"I told him: 'You validate my work of going out on the streets and the outskirts to help the helpless.' The Pope recently said the world seemed like a battle field where the first priority should be caring for the injured. This is what we're doing. He was really happy about it, he said 'good job.'”

Father Chiera says the teenagers he helps have often felt rejected. They usually don't have a family and they try to find one in gangs or drug cartels. Eventually drugs become a way to escape

FR. RENATO CHIERA
Founder "Casa do Menor”
"Our teenagers aren't visited by anyone, they aren't loved by anyone so that's why in the drug business they say: 'Here in this business I'm important, here I am somebody.”

With the World Cup taking place in Rio, Father Chiera hopes part of the spotlight will be on troubled children who are doing what they can to escape a world of drugs and violence. 

He's hoping to organize a set of sporting events, before or after big soccer games or even during half time. With cheers and support, he hopes the teens will overcome their troubles with hope instead of drugs. 


JRB/IZA/KLH 
AA/Casa do Menor/http://www.casadomenor.org/
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