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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Pope Francis celebrated Holy Thursday with patients from a network of centers for the elderly and disabled people.
FABIO DE SANTIS
Don Gnocchi Foundation
"This is a place of suffering. A place where human frailty is present.”
Angelica is 86 years old. She is one of the 12 people Pope Francis washed the feet of, and she's also the oldest. She's recovering from a fall that left her with a broken hip and fractured ribs.
"They care for us day and night, constantly. They work hard because, for the most part, we are all elderly. But they always come with affection and love, with a smile. I call it the city of smiles.”
Angelica knows first hand about work and suffering. Her husband died when she was 39, and since then she had to work to sustain her three children. She worked as a maid and nanny. Then, after finishing some courses, she worked as a secretary. The Pope's visit, she said, was the best gift she could have asked for.
"But as they say here, I'm on the last leg of the journey. He is great, a great, great person. And today I want to sing him a song. But I don't know if they will let me.”
-I'll sing it now.
The medical center houses many different patients. Some, like Angelica, will recover soon, but others have life-long disabilities. These are the people Pope Francis chose for this Holy Thursday ritual.
FABIO DE SANTIS
Don Gnocchi Foundation
"We have patients that come for 20 to 30 days. We also have patients whose fate is unfortunately sealed. The Pope has always been present and attentive to people who suffer, maybe for this reason, he chose our foundation and this center in particular.”
Among the 12 patients, there are three people from outside Italy, and one Muslim. The youngest is 16-year-old Osvaldinho. He became paraplegic after jumping into the ocean during low tide.
The Santa Maria alla Provvidenza Medical Center is located in a quiet, isolated area, 9 miles west of the Vatican. The center is inside the larger Don Gnocchi Foundation compound, which has housed people with disabilities for more than 60 years.