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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.
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Pope accepts the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien
March 20, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of "the rights and prerogatives of the cardinal" from Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.

A Christmas experience for the Catholic geek

2013-12-26

If traditional methods haven't worked to get the full Christmas experience, there is still time thanks to modern technology. There are many apps and website to make the most of the Holiday season.

The Spanish website titled "Rediscover Christmas. An Advent Conspiracy” urges people to "conspire,” but in a good way. The project aims to give the proper attention to the defining event of this time of the year: the birth of Jesus.

The website made its debut two years ago with this video:

NATS (SOTTOTITOLI)
"Set up a Nativity scene, the Christmas tree, an Advent Wreath, and with your family, sing a song to Baby Jesus. That is Christmas!”

The video went viral, and so the so called "conspiracy” continues every year.

The website also includes guides to build a miniature Christmas tree and the ornaments. And in spreading some Christmas cheer, each week they feature a non-profit group. Here for example, is Kekereke, which helps people in the Central African Republic, as well as Caritas and Manos Unidas. Visitors can even follow the Gospel of the day or meditate using select texts.

And since the Holiday spirit is meant to be shared, there are many ways to spread some Christmas cheer.

One of them is Christmas Facts, which explains some interesting facts about Christmas. For example, in 1643 the British Parliament outlawed Christmas, or that Silent Night was written by an Austrian priest, Joseph Mohr, in 1818.


And even for people looking for greater challenges, there's Christmas Carols, a fun app that shows users how to play a few popular Christmas carols by piano.


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