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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.

Cardinal Sandri asks for generosity in the collection for the Holy Land

2014-04-15

It's the land in where Jesus lived, preached, died... and rose again. But the birthplace of Christianity is running out of Christians, and gradually gets closer to becoming what Pope Paul VI called a "museum of stones.” To avoid that, every year the Catholic Church dedicates the collection on Good Friday to protect the Holy Places, and its population. In particular, it aims to improve the lives of Christians living in the land of Jesus.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
"Among the recipients, I would like to highlight, especially at this time, the institute for deaf people called 'Effetá,' which is in Bethlehem and was created by Paul VI during his visit to the Holy Land in 1964, 50 years ago. FLASH. Also, Bethlehem University, run by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. It's open to everyone, not only Christians, but to all people.”

The main goal of initiatives like these is to promote progress in the area, as well as to encourage Christians to stay in the Holy Land. For Cardinal Sandri, if Christians had the chance to move freely in the area, and to visit the Holy Places regularly, their faith would strengthen.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
"The greatest hardships are sometimes related to the topic of mobility, access to the Holy Places, without problems. FLASH I think reasonable safety measures must go hand in hand with greater freedom of movement for everyone. And I think that would be very important so that the country is not divided.”

Among these hardships, there are signs of hope. The main one is Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the Holy Land in May.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches
"Visits like the Pope's are always a call to reconciliation and peace.” FLASH "They're looking forward to it, as if it were a visit from their father. He is a father, of course, but mostly, a friend; someone who brings the consolation of God and His peace to Jerusalem and the world.”

The Pope will travel to the Holy Land from May 24 to 26. He will visit Amman, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where he'll go to a refugee camp and will have lunch with Palestinian families.


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