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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).

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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.

The Pope's got mail! Tons of it....literally

2014-07-14

The Pope's got mail...

...and plenty of it. Thousands of letters are received every week at the Vatican's Post Office. They're sorted out, one by one...right here. 

FR. STEFANO BORTOLATO
Vatican Post Office
"The letters are for the Pope, Vatican departments, bishops and cardinals who live in the Vatican.”

It's estimated that every week, the Pope alone receives about 6,000 letters, which adds up to roughly 300,000 a year. They're set aside, and then they're handed over to the Pope's collaborators at the Vatican's State Department. 

FR. STEFANO BORTOLATO
Vatican Post Office
"We don't know what the letters say because we don't open them and we're not with the Pope when he sees them. What we do know is that he receives them directly, opens them and reads some of them.” 

As an independent state, the Vatican has its own post office. It sends and receives mail from every corner of the globe. So, if you could write a letter to the Pope, what exactly would you write?

"I would ask him to pray for world peace.” 

Even though nowadays, it's easier to write an e-mail or even send out a tweet, the Pope likes to communicate the old fashion way. Whether it's by making a phone call, or by responding to letters directly himself. 

"I think it's incredible. This Pope is very different from his predecessors and he's the first Pope from the Americas.” 

The Vatican does have its system to verify if the letters are legit. When asked for financial support, for example, it gives more weight to letters that are sent through a local parish or diocese. Most though, simply ask for prayers.

FR. STEFANO BORTOLATO
Vatican Post Office
"By just seeing the addresses on the letters, we've noticed that since Pope Francis was elected, we've been receiving a lot more mail from Latin America.” 

Here... in the smallest state in the world, ironically mail is received from every corner of the world. Even though there are tens of thousands of letters, people still hope that their letter, is just one step... and stamp away from the Pope's desk.  


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