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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.

Cor Unum finds destruction, resilience three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan

2014-02-16

Crumbled buildings, trash and debris litter the streets three months after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines. Despite emergency aid, many people are still no better off now, than they were in the aftermath of the monster storm. 

In light of this, the Vatican's Pontifical Council Cor Unum visited the hardest hit areas to check up on reconstruction efforts by Catholic charities, including a project on behalf of the Pope.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We promised the archbishop to build an orphanage, because many children were left without families. They need a place to bring them in, and to look out for the future of these children.”

Card. Sarah broke ground on the orphanage, which will stand next to the diocese building. It'll also house an elderly home, and a small clinic.  

CARD. ROBERT SARAH
President, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"Good dwells where the poor are.”

The project is one of many ongoing efforts to rebuild the country. In addition to devastation to homes and businesses, Cor Unum said the storm severely damaged 70 churches

Nothing makes that point clearer than the Mass Card. Sarah celebrated in the open, under a tent.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"We asked people what worried them most, and they said rebuilding churches. These churches in the Philippines, a very devout country, provide social cohesion. People sought refuge there first; it's where they found their first meal, drinkable water.”

Among the many initiatives to help rebuild the island nation, the Philippines' episcopal conference sponsored an Adopt-a-Parish program. It gives people the chance to fund reconstruction projects for specific churches in hard-hit areas.

Since the Cor Unum Council coordinates all Catholic charities in the country, they recognize lots of work lies ahead. But they cannot do it without help.

MSGR. SEGUNDO TEJADO MUÑOZ
Under-secretary, Pontifical Council Cor Unum 
"With Lent, we have a great opportunity to help these people, through our charity and contributions, at a time when the Church calls for solidarity with those who suffer.”

Despite the damage, the delegation visiting the Philippines said they were struck more by the deep devotion the people have in their faith. With help from Cor Unum, and the wider Catholic community, the Council is hopeful that faith will seem them through, on the long road to recovery.


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