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Two New Saints
September 17, 2014. Pope Francis will be canonizing two new saints in the coming months: Blessed Joseph Vaz (India, 1651-Sri Lanka 1711) and Blessed Maria Cristina de la Inmaculada Concepcion (Italia 1856-1906). In addition he also approved miracles attributed to both these saints, including one attributed to the intercession of Marie-Elisabeth Turgeon, founder Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Canada 1840-1881). 

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Match for Peace raises €2,500,000
September 10, 2014. The Interreligious Match for  Peace raised €2,500,000. 

The match was organized by Scholas, an educational organization promoted by the Pope. Their goal was to raise funds to continue their initiatives. 

Several current soccer stars, such as Buffon, Mascherano and Del Piero participated, as well as soccer legends Maradona, Zamorano and Zanetti. 
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Pope appoints Secretary for Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors
September 10, 2014. The Pope has assigned Msgr. Robert Oliver, from the Archdiocese of Boston, as the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Before that, Oliver served as a prosecutor in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 
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Burundi police arrest man for murder of three Italian nuns
September 9, 2014. One of the two suspects police detained after the murder of three Italian nuns in Burundi reportedly confessed to the crime

The nuns' religious order announced that the sisters' funeral will take place next September 11 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Pope Francis meets with Maradona
September 4, 2014. Pope Francis met with soccer legend, Diego Armando Maradona, just days after the inter-religious soccer match for peace, took place in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
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Pope to marry 20 couples at the Vatican on September 14th
August 29th, 2014. The Pope will marry 20 couples on September 14th in St. Peter's Basilica. The ceremony will take place at 9am. The couples are from the diocese of Rome. The celebration will take place 3 weeks before the Synod on the Family.
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Pope Names New Archbishop of Madrid
August 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid (Spain). The Pope has named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia as Cardinal Rouco´s successor. Also, Cardenal Antonio Cañizares has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. He will replace Arch. Carlos Osoro Sierra.
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Pope Francis names new bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.)
August 26, 2014. Pope Francis named Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.) Until now, Bishop Thomas served as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and titutlar bishop of Bardstown. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Giuseppe Merisi as bishop of Lodi (Italy) and named Bishop Maurizio Malvestiti as his replacement. 
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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in the Vatican with former students
August 25, 2015. Benedict XVI's former students had the chance of meeting him one more time. He celebrated Mass at the Vatican with them to close their annual gatherings in Castelgandolfo, more known as Schuelerkreis. Still, the Pope emeritus didn't attend their meetings.
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Vatican announces theme of the next World Day of Peace
August 21, 2014. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sister”. This will be the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1st, 2015. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace made the announcement this morning in a press release. The communique also detailed several contemporary forms of slavery
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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.


 

Vatican gives details on the 'Year of Consecrated Life' in 2015

2014-01-31

It's official. The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will dedicate 2015 to the 'Year of Consecrated Life.' During this press conference, some key details were released. 

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"It's a great time to grow and deepen the faith. Part of this is driven by the hope and the certainty that consecrated life will never disappear from the Church.” 

Some details are still being sorted out, but the Congregation for Consecrated Life hopes the Pope will kick things off on November 2014 and conclude one year later. The goals will include reflecting on the unique role religious men and women have in the Church. Everything from their charisms to their challenges. Among them for example, why some decide to leave their vocation. 

According to recent data, out of 1,000 religious, about 2.5 leave their vocation. That breaks down to about 13,000 people between 2008 and 2012. 

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"We need to shatter that misconception. The notion that when one begins their consecrated life, they automatically become perfect. The notion, that for example, a mother, will never be perfect, but a consecrated person will. This is wrong! We should embrace the realities of fraternal life. Another issue we see is that consecrated life has sometimes followed an individualistic pattern.” 

Each religious order has its own charism.  Cardinal Braz de Aviz believes that dedicating a year to Consecrated Life, will give religious the time and resources to reflect on what their personal vocation and charism is really all about. 

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"The mistake is to think that a charism is already defined and done with. Well, that mentality is like taking a right away from God. If He has given an order a certain charism, then He conserves it and only He can end it if He so wishes. But not us...this is one of the errors we see nowadays.” 

What about cases where founders have started orders while leading less than exemplary lives? That issue was also raised during the press conference. Especially in light of Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. 

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"It's important to separate the grace of a specific charism from the founder. Sometimes their life coincides with their charism. But we also see cases where the founder does not lead a life that corresponds with the order's charism.”  

The Year of Consecrated Life will include meetings between young religious and the Pope, international prayer chains carried out by cloistered nuns, and also large scale exhibits in Rome.  


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