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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.

Papal initiative brings education, sports and solidarity...and also soccer stars like Messi

2014-01-28

According to the latest figures from the United Nations, there are 61 million children without access to education, and about 250 million who are not learning even basic knowledge.

With such alarming numbers, Pope Francis took action by supporting a project known as Scholas Occurrentes. It's made up of a worldwide network of schools that share knowledge online, including tools to facilitate teaching.

JOSÉ MARÍA DEL CORRAL
Co-Director, Scholas Occurrentes
"When we talk about politics or governments, it takes too much time to change laws. But children can't wait. That's why this network is a call to immediate action.”

The project leader is José María del Corral, one of three personal guests the Pope invited to his inaugural Mass. The professor worked with the now Pope in Buenos Aires, alongside Enrique Palmeyro, who also serves as co-director. Back in Argentina, then-Cardinal Bergoglio tasked Palmeyro with reaching out to people who made a living out to recycling trash. Part of that goal was to improve a network for schools in the city, which gave way to this international project. 

ENRIQUE PALMEYRO
Director, Scholas Occurrentes
"The Pope is constantly giving us his support, and yes, the truth is that his calls and emails come pretty frequently.”

The worldwide initiative continues to grow. When it was launched at the Vatican back in August, two star soccer players like Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon, gave their support. 

ENRIQUE PALMEYRO
Director, Scholas Occurrentes
"The Pope told us: 'bring together schools, popular sports and solidarity.' Combined with these values, and with these athletes that kids look up to, we can promote good values and education.”

But Scholas Occurrentes isn't just about children. Adults are joining in to do their part. Now the program has prepared a special gift for the Pope's one year anniversary as Pontiff in March.

ENRIQUE PALMEYRO
Director, Scholas Occurrentes
"One of the most beloved Italian athletes, Pupi Zanetti, came to us. He's a Christian player and he  came with Dudu Aoutate, who is Jewish. He presented himself and said: 'I'm the captain of the Israeli team.' They also invited a Muslim player. So, their gift to the Pope will be the first inter-religious match for peace.”

So the gift will be a way to combine sports with real life solidarity and achievement. All under the umbrella of an educational project, followed closely by Pope Francis. 


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