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.
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.
Pope Francis offers condolences for attack in Tunisia
March 19, 2015. Through the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis expressed his condolences over yesterday's attack in Tunisia. In a telegram sent to Bishop Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, the Pope condemned "acts against peace and sacredness of human life." He also expressed his closeness "to all those affected by this tragedy and the Tunisian people subjected to this test." The Pope further asked God "to take the dead into his peace and to comfort the wounded."
The intense heat was no match for the intensity of this gathering with Pope Francis.
More than 300,000 students, their families, and teachers filled St. Peter Square to celebrate the the "Church for Schools” day, organized by the Italian bishops' conference, as a way to support Catholic education.
Attendance exceeded all expectations, and the crowd overflowed into neighboring streets like Via della Conciliazione. The Pope made his way along the popemobile for about 45 minutes, greeting and blessing people. He was especially attentive towards ill children.
Pope Francis told students he loved school. He explained that this affection for education came from one of his school teachers.
"I remember my first teacher, that woman, that teacher I had when I was six years old, in first grade. I have never forgotten her. She is why I loved school. I visited throughout her life, until she passed away, at 98.”
The Pope said that school is a place of encounter, where parents can meet professors and collaborate along with them. That's why, he said, family and school go hand in hand. He also referenced an African proverb, which he had everyone repeat.
"This makes me think of an African proverb, which says: 'It takes a village to raise a child.' Let us all say it together: 'It takes a village to raise a child.' All together: 'It takes a village to raise a child.'”
It's in school he said, where one learns truth, good and beauty. He also emphasized the three and most important languages learned in school.
"A path that leads to the three languages that a mature person needs to know: the language of the mind, the language of the heart, and the language of the hands. All in harmony. In other words, think of what you feel and do; listen to what you think and what you do; and do well what you think and do. The three languages, in harmony and together.”
Before saying goodbye, the Pope made a special request to the students, parents and school teachers.
"Please, please don't let our love for school be taken away.”
The Pope was actually a teacher years ago. In the 1960's and 70's, in Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio taught literature and psychology to young students. He was also a professor at the San Miguel School of Theology.