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Argentine President express condolences to Pope Francis
August 20, 2014. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called Pope Francis this afternoon. The president offered her condolences on the death of his nephew's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two small children, Jose and Antonio. The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in critical condition
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Pope's Relatives Die in Crash
August 19, 2014. Three relatives of Pope Francis have died in a traffic accident in Argentina.  According to police, the victims include two great nephews of the Pope  (8 month-old and two year old) and the children's mother. The Pope's 35 year old nephew Horacio Bergoglio, survived and is in serious condition.
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Pope's Twitter account now has over 15 million followers on Twitter

 

August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.


 

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Pope Flying Back
August 18, 2014. Pope Francis is now on his way back to Rome. He took off from South Korea on Monday afternoon. During his flight, the Pope sent a telegram to Korea, China and Mongolia as he was flying over those countries. The Pope is expected to arrive in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 17.45 Rome time. 

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Indonesia 2017!
August 17, 2014. The next Asian Youth Day will take place in Indonesia in 2017. The announcement was made after the Pope celebrated the closing Mass in South Korea. 

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Francis asks for prayers for his trip to Korea on Twitter

August 13, 2014. Several hours before boarding his flight to Seoul, Pope Francis sent out a tweet asking for prayers for the fruits of his trip to South Korea.  


 

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New Archbishop of Athens

August 12, 2014. The Pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, the former Archbishop of Athens. He has named Sevastianos Rossolatosto succeed him.  

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Pope Sends Condolences for plane crash in Tehran

August 11, 2014. Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence for the plane crash in Tehran which claimed the lives of almost 40 people. The Pope expressed his sadness for the tragedy and prayed for the eternal repose of the victims as well as consolation for their families. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram in the Pope's name to Archbishop Ignazio Bedini of Ispahan. 


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Pope Calls for Prayers for Iraq on Twitter

August 8, 2014. Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Iraq via his Twitter account. The Pope asked to "pray for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations” as well as for "those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”

 

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Pope to send Papal Envoy to Iraq
August 8, 2014. In light of the rising violence in Iraq, Pope Francis will send Card. Fernando Filoni as a papal envoy to the region. The Pope has commissioned the Cardinal to asses the situation and to express the Church’s spiritual closeness and solidarity with the displaced. 

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New Bishop Named for Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in the United States

August 7th, 2014. Pope Francis has named Fr. Bohdan Danylo as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat (USA).

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New Archbishop for Military Ordinariate of Brazil
August 6, 2014. Pope Francis has named Bishop Ernesto Maguengue as Auxiliary Bishop of Nampula (Mozambique). He also named Bishop Fernando José Monteiro Guimarães as Archbishop of the Military Ordinariate of Brazil, who will replace retiring Archbishop Osvino José Both.
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Pope to meet with victims of Ferry Accident
August 5, 2014. The Pope will meet with victims who survived the ferry accident, that killed more than 300 people off the South Korean coast back in the month of April. Family members of those who died will also be present. The meeting will take place on August 15th, during the Pope's visit to South Korea. 

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Pope appoints new Syro-Malabar bishop in India
July 31, 2014. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr. Vijay Anand Nedumpuram, and appointed Fr. Ephrem Nariculam as the new bishop to the Syro-Malabar dioecese (epharchy) of Chanda (India).
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Pope visits Evangelical pastor in Caserta
July 28, 2014. Pope Francis spent most of Monday in Caserta, for a private visit to an Evangelical church in the city. At 10:15, he took off from the Vatican. When he landed, the Pope headed directly to the Pentecostal Church of the Reconcilation, where he met privately with Pastor Giovanni Traettino. After their meeting, Pope Francis also met with the congregation at the church, and had lunch with them. He flew back to the Vatican in the afternoon. 
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What’s for Lunch?
July 25th, 2014. This afternoon Pope Francis surprised Vatican employees by walking into the cafeteria to have lunch with workers from the Vatican’s pharmacy. He arrived at roughly 12. 10pmHe grabbed his own tray and waited in line for his turn. He ate pasta, fish, vegetables and some french fries.  Once he sat down, he talked with employees about their work, family and soccer. About 40 minutes later, after taking a group picture, the Pope returned to his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The cashier said she didn’t have the heart to charge the Pope for his meal. 
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Pope to visit U.S
July 25, 2014. Although already expected, now it has been officially announced that Pope Francis is indeed planning on visiting the American city of Philadelphia to lead the World Meeting of Families. The city’s Archbishop, Arch. Charles Chaput, said the Pope accepted to invitation to attend the event which will run from September 22nd to the 27th of next year. 


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Pope sends condolences to victims of Mail plane crash
July 25, 2014. Pope Francis expressed his condolences to victims of a plane crash in Mali, which killed 116 people. The Pope said he was close to the families of the victims, and that he prayed so that God would take in the dead, and give hope and comfort to everyone affected. Secretary of State Pietro Parolin issued the telegram, on behalf of the Pope to the archbishop of Algiers, Msgr. Ghaleb Bader.


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New Bishops in the Phillipines and Chile
July 25, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Pacino Aniceto, Archbishop of San Fernando (Phillipines). He has approved the nomination of Msgr. Florentino Galang Lavarias, to take on that role. He also accepted the resignation of Msgr. Jose R. Manguiran, Bishop of the Diocese of Dipolog (Phillipines). He will be replaced by Msgr. Severo Caermare. He has also accepted the nomination of Celestino Aos Braco, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Copiapo in Chile.
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MatchForPeace tickets on sale
July 25, 2014. Big soccer stars will be coming to Rome to play an inter-religious match in honor of Pope Francis. Players include Messi, Buffon, Zidane, Zanetti, Roberto Baggio, Pirlo, Yuto Nagatomo and Eto. Tickets will be on sale starting on  July 25th. The game will be played on September 1st, in Rome’s Olympic Stadium. All proceeds will be donated to Scholas Occurrentes, a  Papal education program for marginalized youths. 
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Pope appoints auxiliary bishop to Syro-Malabar eparchy in Chicago
July 24, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Joy Alappat as the new auxiliary bishop of the St. Thomas Syro-Mabalar Catholic Diocese of Chicago (USA). Up until now, Msgr. Alappat served as the rector for the eparchy's cathedral. 

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Pope offers condolences to victims of Taiwan plane crash
July 24, 2014. Pope Francis expressed his "heartfelt condolences" to the families of victims of a Taiwanese plane crash, which killed at least 47 people. The Pope said he was praying for everyone "affected by this tragedy." Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent the telegram, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the archbishop of Taipei, Msgr. John Hung Shan-chuan.
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Sudanese woman accussed of apostasy lands in Rome
July 24, 2014. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy for marrying a Christian, arrived in Rome on Thursday morning. She and her family are on her way to the United States, but will remain in Rome for several days. After an appeals court overturned her sentence, Meriam took refuge at the American embassy in Sudan, which helped her leave the country. She left on board an Italian government plane. Officials hinted at the possibility that Meriam will meet with the Pope, though the Vatican has not confirmed that information. 
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#Livelife
Pope Francis is calling for the respect of life, especially the life of the most vulnerable. Pope Francis marked the coming ‘Day for Life’ by sending a message to the Church of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

The theme of this year’s Day for Life is: Protect and Cherish Life. It will be celebrated on July 27th. 

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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