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Raúl Castro to meet with Pope
May 6, 2015. Cuban President Raúl Castro will meet privately with Pope Francis on Sunday morning, May 10. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi  said, "President Raúl Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in fostering the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America."
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New bishop in Texas
April 23, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. David Eugene Fellhauer, Bishop of Victoria in Texas (United States). In his place, he has appointed the Rev. Brendan Cahill. 
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Appointments
April 22, 2015. The Pope has named Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, S.D.B. as Bishop of Jaboticabal (Brazil). Until now, he was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Campo Grande.

The Vatican also announced that on April 21 the Pope appointed Joseph F. Naumann to be Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante" of the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (United States). Until a new bishop is appointed, Naumann will oversee the diocese. He is currently the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas.
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Kansas Bishop Robert Finn resigns years after conviction
April 21, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of American Bishop, Robert W. Finn. In 2012 the Kansas Bishop was convicting of not reporting a diocesan priest to police. The priest had a series of pornographic material in his computer. 

He is the first American Bishop to resign for not acting swiftly in dealing with cases of sexual abuse. 

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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).

A lesson on how to get the Pope to greet your parish

2014-07-03

A pilgrimage to Rome is always a special occasion for Catholics, but there are certain details that can make it unforgettable.

POPE FRANCIS
"I cordially greet pilgrims from San Fernando and Ubrique, Cadiz; from Elche de la Sierra Albacete, and from Parla, Madrid.”

For these 40 pilgrims from the city Parla, near Madrid, the Pope's greeting during the Sunday Angelus was the greatest gift they took back to their town.

"When he said 'Parla,' I was completely excited.”

"It was an emotional moment because the Pope is someone very important to us, and for him to mention 'Parla,' which is not very well-known, is unusual.”

"It's surprising because there were so many people, and among them all, he named us.”

The parish priest planned for months the pilgrimage to Rome. He asked the Pontifical Household for the chance to celebrate Mass with the Pope for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. It didn't happen, but he received a surprise that day.

MODESTO ALVAREZ
Parish priest, St. Francis de Sales (Spain)
"They told me that it was not possible, but instead they told me we could go to the Angelus, and that we didn't need to make a reservation. With that, our visit was recorded at the Prefecture and that was that. Then the other day, I wasn't expecting it and the Pope mentioned that we were there.”

So right there, at St. Peter's Square, euphoria erupted when Pope Francis unexpectedly mentioned the group.

"We got goosebumps, clearly! When he started talking and naming all these places, you naturally want him to name your town, and since we didn't know he would, we were so excited. The hairs on the back of our neck were sticking out. It was beautiful.”

"My heart skipped a beat, and the people were going wild. 'We're from Parla,' we started screaming.”

Visiting Rome in just four days is a great challenge. And even though they didn't see everything, they returned home very happy. Neither the heat, nor their fatigue wiped away the smile off their faces. Much less, after the Pope's greeting. They're happiness was contagious, and they made sure to show it.


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