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.
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.
It was a unique day to say the least. The canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII will forever be recorded in the history of the Catholic Church.
The setting itself was impressive. From the two giant tapestries of the two new saints, hanging from St. Peter's Basilica, to the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, dignitaries, presidents and leaders who made it a point to attend the ceremony.
The day of four Popes, as its now being described, began with the arrival of Benedict XVI. Cardinals greeted him and then Pope Francis did the same.
Then, on Sunday morning, before the Universal Church, the Pope read the decree, officially declaring John Paul II and John XXIII as saints.
Applause quickly followed in the Square, as thousands payed their respects in Rome and throughout the world.
Relatives of John XXIII and also the woman cured through the intercession of John Paul II carried the relics of the two new saints.
In his homily, the Pope explained why they both exemplified God's love and mercy.
"These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy.”
Even when faced with tragedy and suffering, the Pope explained that the two new saints, were brave.
"They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful.”
The Pope also highlighted how John Paul II and John XXIII conveyed hope and faith, even in dark times. He described John XXIII as a Pope who was open to the Spirit. John Paul II as leader and protector of the family. In fact, Pope Francis called on them both to intercede in the next synod on the family.
"May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.”
At the end of the Mass, the Pope made his way through the square in the Popemobile to greet all the pilgrims. He even stretched out to neighboring streets, going beyond Vatican borders to thank all the people who witnessed this historic day in the Church.
KLH / AFP