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#Synod 2014
LIVE BROADCAST: Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family
October 18, 2014. Presentation of the Final Message of the Synod on the Family.
#Synod 2014
The topic of the second part of the Synod on the Family has been announced
October 13, 2014. The new topic for the second part of the Synod on the Family will be "The vocation and the mission of the family within the Church and in the contemporary world.”

This second part will take place in Rome from October 4-25, 2015. The issues dealt with during the first part of the Synod, which concludes this week, will be further discussed in this second part.

Priest kidnapped in Syria is freed
October 9, 2014. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, 62, has been freed and taken to a convent in Knayeh, Syria. He was kidnapped on the evening of October 5th. Of the 20 other Christians kidnapped that night, 4 women were also freed
Pope Francis names new bishops for Italy, Spain & Brazil
October 8, 2014. Pope Francis has named several new bishops today. The Pope named Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz (Spain). As of now, Archbishop Morga Iruzubieta was secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy

He also named Bishop Fausto Tardelli, from the diocese of San Miniato, as bishop of the Diocese of Pistoia (Italy). Finally, the Pope named a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Goiânia (Brazil). He nominated Fr. Levi Bonatto, a priest from the personal prelature of Opus Dei.
Pastor and 20 Christians kidnapped in Syria
October 7, 2014. A pastor and roughly 20 Christians were kidnapped in Knayeh, Syria on the evening of October 5th. Fr. Hassan Jallouf, a 62 year old Franciscan, belongs to the Custody of the Holy Land. Local sources said that a group of armed members of Islamic militant group, Jahbat Al-Nusra, are responsible for the kidnapping. 
All cardinals to meet at the Vatican on October 20
October 7, 2014. Pope Francis convoked a Consistory at the Vatican on October 20. All the cardinals will discuss the situation of Chistians in Middle East, especially of those suffering continuous attacks of ISIS.
Pope Francis will travel to France in 2015
October 7, 2014.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has announced that Pope Francis will visit France in 2015.
During his visit to the Vatican in January, French President Francois Hollande, formally invited the Pope to France. The mayor of Lourdes also extended an invitation.

It is likely that he will visit Lisieux, home of one of the Pope's favorite saints, St. Therese.

The last Pontiff to visit France was Benedict XVI in 2008.

Pope Francis: "Happy families are essential for society"
October 3, 2014. Pope Francis asked Christians to pray for the upcoming Synod on the Family via Twitter. He also said that "happy families are essential for society." 

World Communications Day 2015
September 29, 2014. The Vatican announced that the theme for the World Communications Day 2015 will be Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place for Encounter with the Gift of Love

Pope's Agenda
September 25, 2014. Pope Francis has several meetings today. He will meet with Miroslava Rosas, Ambassador of Panama to the Holy See, who will present her credentials. 

The Pope will then meet with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan and Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jeung of Seoul, South Korea.

He will also meet with the Archbishop Giacinto Berloco, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium-Luxemburg; Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus, and Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia.

The Pope's final meeting for the day will be with Mr. Marcos Aguinis, the former Minister of Culture of Argentina.  
Society of St.Pius X meets with Cong. Doctrine of Faith
September 23, 2014. On Tuesday morning, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, met with the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay. According to the Vatican, during their two hour meeting, "it was decided to proceed gradually and over a reasonable period of time in order to overcome difficulties and with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation."

Pope Francis visits Basilica of St. Mary Major
Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major this afternoon to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for his visit and safe return from his Apostolic Visit to Albania. The Pope left a bouquet of flowers given to him yesterday evening at the 'Betania' center

Opus Dei Prelate: Alvaro del Portillo put aside personal achievement to help souls


The beatification for the late Alvaro del Portillo will take place on September 27. He was the first person to succeed St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. And to get to know him better, one has to look no further than Rome. The current prelate worked beside him for 40 years.

Prelate of Opus Dei
"His message is that everyone needs to learn to be wherever they are, sanctifying everything there: their work, their family ties, their friendships, their contact with every person they meet”.

The beatification ceremony will take place in Madrid, his native city. But Rome will also host a few events, like a thanksgiving Mass, and an audience with the Pope during his General Audience on October 1.

Prelate of Opus Dei
"It seemed very coherent that as 2014 marks the centennial of Don Alvaro's birth, the beatification ceremony could take place in his native city, Madrid. The city was chosen for that reason, and so, many people will be able to attend.”

In 1935, when Alvaro del Portilo studied engineering in Madrid, he met St. Josemaría, and joined Opus Dei. He was also ordained a priest there in 1944.

Prelate of Opus Dei
"He was such a humble, and likeable man, approachable, but he also had an extraordinary intellectual capacity. When he became a priest, he cast aside any personal achievements to dedicate himself to helping souls. He did so with even more joy, than while doing his personal and professional work, to become a saint.”

Each saint is usually associated with a specific cause. Echevarría pointed out which one Catholics can ask del Portillo for guidance.

Prelate of Opus Dei
"To make us humble, without complications. Throughout his life, he was a man at the service of everyone else, but especially at the service of God's plan for him. That was his main message: that God is close to us, and we need to learn how to respond with generosity and joy, in all of the circumstances he places before us.”

Very few people get see the person they've worked with for over 40 years, raised to the altars of the Church. The prelate of Opus Dei shared what the beatification of his predecessor means for him.

Prelate of Opus Dei
"As his successor, I think of the loyalty with which he did everything, thinking about the necessity to be close to Roman Pontiff, the Church and all the souls. I also want my life to translate into this eagerness to serve the Church, serve the Pope, and all souls.”

Echevarría also shared that Alvaro del Portillo had a fondness for Africa, and he launched many social projects there. It's not surprise then that to celebrate his beatification, Opus Dei is raising funds for three projects, in Nigeria, the Congo and Ivory Coast, respectively. The funds will also help cover the costs for African seminarians in Rome.