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Pope on Haiti
November 25, 2014. Five years have passed since the deadly earthquake devastated the island of Haiti. In light of this anniversary, Pope Francis has called for a Vatican meeting to take place. The goal is for the Church to look into what can be done to help out victims and the country as it tries to re-build itself. 

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Cardinal Robert Sarah, new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
November 24, 2014. Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah as new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Up until recently, he served as the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Sarah, 69, a native of Conakry, Guinea, also held a prominent role in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

He is taking over the post previously held by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, who was recently named Archbishop of Valencia, Spain.
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Synod on the Family 2015
November 21, 2014. The following Cardinals will be delegate presidents during the second part of the Synod on the Family, from October 4th to the 24th, 2015. The Archbishop of Paris,  Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. From the Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle. From Aparecida Brazil, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis. From Durban, South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier. 

The Relator General will be Cardinal Peter Erdo, who serves as the Archbishop of Budapest. The Secretary General, will be Italian Msgr, Bruno Forte. 

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New Bishop in Broken Bay (Australia)
November 20, 2014. Pope Francis has appointed Peter Andrew Comensoli as the New Bishop of Broken Bay, Australia. Up until now, he served as the auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Sydney. 

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New Bishop for Linares, Mexico
November 19, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Ramon Calderon Batres, Bishop of Linares (Mexico). His successor will be Hilario Gonzalez Garcia, current rector of the Major Seminary of Monterrey. 


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New Bishops in Mexico and Argentina
November 17, 2014. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Miguel Romano Gómez, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara (Mexico). He also accepted the resignation of the bishop of Apatzingán (Mexico), Bishop Miguel Patiño Velázquez, who will be succeeded by Cristóbal Ascencio García.

In Argentina, the Pope has named Bishop Juan Carlos Ares as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires and has also named Bishop Martín Fassi as auxiliary bishop of San Isidro (Argentina)
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Possible visit by Pope Francis to Paraguay announced
November 12, 2014. The bishops of Paraguay have announced a possible visit by Pope Francis to their country at the end of 2015 or during 2016. As of now, the Vatican has not confirmed the visit
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Pope Francis creates group to accelerate the resolution of appeals of those accused of abuse
November 11, 2014. Seven cardinals and bishops will take charge of all appeals lodged by priests condemned in their dioceses for abuses and crimes against the Sacraments and the Faith

The Vatican explained the Pope took this decision "due to the number of appeals and the need to guarantee that they are resolved quickly.”

This "special college” will fall under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This Congregation will continue to supervise any appeal presented by a bishop and all cases forwarded by this new college.

As for now, the name of only one of the seven members was revealed. It is Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, the former Archbishop of Rosario (Argentina).

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Pope prays for victims of Spain's bus crash
November 10, 2014. In light of the deadly bus accident that killed 14 people and left at least 38 injured in the Spanish city of Cieza, Pope Francis sent his condolences to those affected by the tragedy.  Among the victims was a young parish priest from Bullas, Rev. Miguel Conesa Andujar. The passengers, who were on a religious excursion, were heading back to Madrid. 
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Pope Names New Bishop for Digne (France)
November 7th, 2014.  Bishop François-Xavier Loizeau, until now served as the Bishop of Digne (France) presented this morning his resignation to the Pope. The Holy Father has named Fr. Jean-Philippe Nault as his successor. The Holy Father also appointed two new auxiliary bishops for the diocese of Melbourne (Australia): Msgr. Terence Robert Curtin and Fr. Mark S. Edwards. 
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Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
November 5, 2014. 
On Wednesday, Pope Francis met with the president of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Estela de Carlotto. Her grandson, Ignacio Guido Montoya Carlotto, also attended the meeting. He was reunited with his family in August, after a 36 year search. The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo is an Argentinian group of women, who for years have protested the disappearance of family members during Argentina’s dictatorship. 

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Pope Francis on Resignation Rules
November 5, 2014. Pope Francis has confirmed that the age in which Bishops are required to retire, will continue to be 75 years of age. The debate came to light after some Bishops proposed  the age be moved up to 78. The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin released the text with the new rules, on Wednesday morning. It includes seven points.
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New Bishops:
November 4th, 2014. Pope Francis has nominated Msgr. Peter Forsyth Christensen as the new Bishop of Boise City. Christopher Kakooza has been nominated as the Bishop of Lugazi, Uganda. Msgr. Carlos Enrique Trinidad Gomez has been appointed as the new Bishop of San Marcos, Guatemala, while Msgr. Adolfo Armando Uriona has been nominated as the new Bishop of Villa de la Concepcion del Rio Cuatro in Argentina. 
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New Archbishop for Yaoundé, Cameroon
October 31, 2014. Pope Francis appointed Mons. Jean Mbarga as new Archbishop of Yaoundé (Cameroon).
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New Bishop for Cuzco, Peru.
October 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Juan Antonio Ugarte Perez from Cuzco, Peru. He will be succeeded by Bishop Richard Daniel Alarcon Urrutia, who currently serves as the Bishop of Tarma, Peru.

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

2014-01-30

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.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
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.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
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.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
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.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
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.

MSGR. JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA
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. 


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