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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.
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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."

Priests ordained by Pope: He kissed our hand and we could not believe it

2014-06-02

The moment was truly unforgettable in more ways than once, for Eduardo Andres and Juan Pablo. They were two of 13 priests the Pope ordained at St. Peter's Square, a tradition that dates back to 1993.

JUAN PABLO FERNANDEZ
"I was very excited when the Pope finally kissed our hands. I was really excited. I thought that he would greet the cardinals that were waiting on the side. But he didn't. He went one by one, kissing our hands. I couldn't believe it.”

EDUARDO ANDRES CONTRERAS
"The first person that kisses your hand is either your mother or father. The fact that it was the Pope, the first to kiss your hand. It was too much.”

Upon learning that the Pope would ordain them bishops, the two young priests decided to write to him. At first they didn't hear back, but Eduardo Andres had the chance to speak with him during a General Audience.

EDUARDO ANDRES CONTRERAS
"When he greeted him, he recognized us. 'Oh yes, you are the deacons, the ones I will ordain. You wrote me a letter.' He remembered us.”

A few weeks before the ordination ceremony, they met with the Pope for a private audience. Despite their nervousness, it was unforgettable.

JUAN PABLO FERNANDEZ
"We showed up and he said: 'Well, ask me anything you want.' I imagined that he would arrive and tell us something... I don't know... maybe an admonition on priestly life, something of that sort. But nothing. 'Well, what do you want to ask me?' We were left cold, speechless. Until one of us said: 'Holiness, how are you?'”

By this time, Eduardo Andres and Juan Pablo had already celebrated their first Mass as priests, filled with the excitement of having shared several intimate moments with the Pope.


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