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News (997 search results)


Ethiopia: Catholic agencies build aid corridor

Image UNHCR

A joint operational mission of Caritas Italiana and Sant'Egidio Community is has started in Addis Ababa to open the first humanitarian aid corridor from Africa in accordance with the protocol signed in Rome on January 12, 2017. The Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian State, promoted by the Italian Episcopal Conference - which operates through Caritas Italiana and the Migrantes...

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Australian SVP protests at forced deportations of refugees on Manus Island

Manus Island detention camp

The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia is calling on the Government to end forced deportations and relocate asylum seekers and refugees from Manus Island to safety, in the wake of last week’s shocking shooting incident at its detention centre.

“Both the conditions on Manus Island and the threat of deportation to persecution and harm is placing lives at risk and adding to the fear...

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Birmingham: Archbishop Longley thanks women for their contribution to Church

Archbishop Bernard Longley thanked women for their roles ‘in Christian leadership in schools and parishes, for the irreplaceable witness of Religious Sisters in the life of the Church’ and for women in our families, at the annual Easter Men’s Mass at St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham on Monday.

The Archbishop said that men ‘need women of faith’. He said that women are a source...

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Text: Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi Message

Screen shot

Thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square under a sunny blue sky on Easter Sunday, to hear Pope Francis deliver his Urbi et Orbi Message, from the Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica. The official text follows: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter! Today, throughout the world, the Church echoes once more the astonishing message of the first disciples: ..

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Pope Francis: Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by this new dawn

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During the Easter Vigil Mass last night in St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis said: “Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity.”

“If we cannot let the Spirit lead us on this road,” he said, “then we are not Christians.”

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Pope Francis at Colosseum Way of the Cross

Pope Francis presided over the Via Crucis at the Colosseum in Rome on the evening of Good Friday. In keeping with tradition, he briefly addressed the faithful gathered to participate in the devotion. The official English translation of his reflection follows below:

O Christ! Abandoned and betrayed even by your own and sold for next to nothing. O Christ! Judged by sinners, hand...

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Dunkirk: Letter from Seeking Sanctuary

image Caritas  Europa

As we prepare this Easter update we continue to get disturbing news from Dunkirk where the camp was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Many of the residents who were displaced were put up for a few nights in local sports centres but they have now been told to move on - but to where? Some buses were provided but the majority of those involved preferred to push or carry their few possessions away...

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London: Vigil to save migrant in UAE on death row

Columban Aodh O'Halpin and Sr Margaret Healy are supporting a vigil tomorrow, Tuesday 11 April, organised by Justice 4 Domestic Workers, to save an overseas Filipina worker facing execution in the United Arab Emirates.

It will take place: 11 April 2017, from 6.30pm - 7.30pm outside the UAE Embassy, 30 Princes Gate, London

Jennifer Dalquez, aged 30, a single mother of two children ag...

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Pope Francis meets Prince Charles and Camilla

Pope with Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall

Pope Francis met the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on Tuesday, The meeting came on the fourth day of an Italian tour which has taken the royal couple to the northern city of Vicenza for a First World War commemoration, to the earthquake hit town of Amatrice in central Italy, and to Florence, where he visited a Caritas-run project for immigrants, the elderly and singl...

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Cardinal Parolin celebrates Mass for Populorum Progressio anniversary

Cardinal Parolin

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter's Basilica for the 50th anniversary of the encyclical 'Populorum Progressio' yesterday.

During his homily, Cardinal Parolin thanked the members and consultors of the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, for Health Pastoral...

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Pope urges authorities to do more to combat scourge of human trafficking

Pope Francis sent a message today to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)'s 17th Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference, taking place in Vienna. The message was read by Fr Michael Czerny SJ, Under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The Holy Father called the problem "a form of sla...

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Mexico: Priest receives death threats for human rights work

Fr Solalinde

A threat to kill Mexican priest Father Alejandro Solalinde, has been broadcast on social networks today.

A video was posted in a a tweet reading: THE FATHER HAS BEEN DECLARED GUILTY OF TREASON. SENTENCE: DEATH. The video show two rosaries, seven bullets and the phrase "Padre Solalinde" written on a sheet of paper. A heavily disguised voice orders the priest to keep his mouth shut or it wi...

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Text: Martha Zechmeister CJ - Romero Week Lecture 2017

Sr Martha (centre) with l-r: Phaksi Coca, Fr Joe Ryan, Julian Filochowski, Rev Richard Carter, Rev David Cornick

Sister Martha Zechmeister CJ gave the following address on Saturday, at the National Ecumenical Service for Romero Week 2017 at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, entitled: The Secret of Romero: Passion for God and Compassion for the Poor "Over these ruins of ours the glory of the Lord will shine"

Archbishop Oscar Romero spoke these words that we heard just now in hi...

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Pope addresses EU leaders

Pope Francis addressed Heads of State and Heads of Government of European Union countries on Friday afternoon, the eve of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the treaties creating the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community - the first major structural steps toward creating the European Union.

The official English translation of the Holy Father's ...

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Saints (3 search results)


January 22nd

St Vincent Pallotti

Saint Of The Day

Priest and founder of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate. The son of a Roman grocer, St Vincent was ordained priest in 1817. He taught theology at Sapienza, but was much more interested in pastoral work and resigned from teaching to become chaplain to several Roman colleges including the English, Scottish and Irish.

Although he was not encouraged by the clergy he developed a lay apostolate which anticipated the ideas of Vatican II. In 1835 he founded his Society from a group of clergy and laity who were committed to conversion and social justice. They set up schools and evening classes for workers.

St Vincent had the gift of prophesy and was sought out as a wise and kind confessor. He was also very generous and kept giving away his cloths to the poor. He died of pleurisy in 1850 when he was just 55.

His congregation has flourished in Italy, Brazil, Australia and America. It specialises in the care of immigrants and promoting ecumenical contacts with the Eastern Orthodox churches. St Vincent was canonised in 1963.


October 22nd

St John Paul II

Saint Of The Day

'Do not be afraid' was most often-used Biblical quote by Pope John Paul II. Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in the Polish town of Wadowice, a small town 50 kilometres from Krakow, on 18 May, 1920. He was the youngest of three children born to Karol Wojtyła and Emilia Kaczorowska. His mother died in 1929. A sister, Olga, had died before he was born. His eldest brother Edmund, a doctor, died in 1932 and his father, a non-commissioned army officer died in 1941. Karol was baptized on 20 June, 1920 in the parish church of Wadowice by Fr Franciszek Zak, made his First Holy Communion at age nine and was confirmed at 18. Upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in Krakow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama.

The Nazi occupation forces closed the university in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry (1940-1944) and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being deported to Germany. In 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Krakow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, archbishop of Krakow. At the same time, Karol Wojtyła was one of the pioneers of the underground 'Rhapsodic Theatre'.

After the war he continued his studies in the major seminary of Krakow, once it had re-opened, and in the faculty of theology of the Jagiellonian University. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Sapieha in Krakow on 1 November, 1946. Shortly afterwards, Cardinal Sapieha sent him to Rome where he worked under the guidance of the French Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange. He finished his doctorate in theology in 1948 with a thesis on the subject of faith in the works of St John of the Cross. At that time, during his vacations, he exercised his pastoral ministry among the Polish immigrants in France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948 he returned to Poland and served in several parishes in Krakow as well as being chaplain to university students. In 1951 when he returned to studying philosophy and theology. Later he became professor of moral theology and social ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the Faculty of Theology of Lublin. On 4 July, 1958, he was appointed titular bishop of Ombi and auxiliary of Krakow by Pope Pius XII, and was consecrated on 28 September 1958, in Wawel Cathedral, Krakow, by Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak. On 13 January, 1964, he was appointed archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI, who made him a cardinal on 26 June, 1967.

Besides taking part in Vatican Council II (1962-1965) where he made an important contribution to drafting the Constitution Gaudium et spes, Cardinal Wojtyła participated in all the assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.

The Cardinals elected him Pope at the Conclave of 16 October 1978, and he took the name of John Paul II. On Sunday 22 October, he solemnly inaugurated his Petrine ministry as the 263rd successor to St Peter. His pontificate, one of the longest in the history of the Church, lasted nearly 27 years.

Pope John Paul II exercised his papacy with a tireless missionary spirit. He made 104 pastoral visits outside Italy and 146 within Italy. As bishop of Rome he visited 317 of the city's 333 parishes. More than 17,600,000 pilgrims participated in the General Audiences. His love for young people brought him to establish World Youth Day. The 19 WYDs celebrated during his pontificate brought together millions of young people from all over the world. At the same time his care for the family was expressed in the World Meetings of Families, which he initiated in 1994. John Paul II successfully encouraged dialogue representatives of all other religions, whom he several times invited to prayer meetings for peace, especially in Assisi.

Under his guidance the Church prepared herself for the third millennium and celebrated the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 in accordance with the instructions given in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio adveniente. The Church then faced the new epoch, receiving his instructions in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, in which he indicated to the faithful their future path. With the Year of the Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist, he promoted the spiritual renewal of the Church.

He gave an extraordinary impetus to Canonizations and Beatifications, focusing on countless examples of holiness as an incentive for the people of our time. He celebrated 147 beatification ceremonies during which he proclaimed 1,338 Blesseds; and 51 canonizations for a total of 482 saints. He made Thérèse of the Child Jesus a Doctor of the Church.

He considerably expanded the College of Cardinals, creating 231 Cardinals (plus one in pectore) in nine consistories. He also called six meetings of the College of Cardinals. He organized 15 Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops - six Ordinary General Assemblies. one Extraordinary General Assembly and eight Special Assemblies. His most important Documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions, 45 Apostolic Letters. He promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the light of Tradition as interpreted by the Second Vatican Council. He also reformed the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law, created new Institutions and reorganized the Roman Curia.

He published five books: "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" , "Gift and Mystery, on the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as priest", "Roman Triptych" poetic meditations , "Arise, Let us Be Going" and "Memory and Identity".

On 2 April 2005, at 9.37 pm, the Octave of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church's beloved Pastor, John Paul II, departed this world for the Father. From that evening until his funeral on 8 April, more than three million pilgrims came to Rome to pay their last respects. Some stood in line up to 24 hours to enter St Peter's Basilica. On 28 April, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, announced that the normal five-year waiting period before beginning the cause of beatification and canonization would be waived for John Paul II. The cause was officially opened by Cardinal Camillo Ruini on June 28 2005.

Blessed John Paul II was canonised by Pope Francis on 27 April 2013 together with Blessed John XXIII.

Watch a film about St John Paul II 'Karol - the man who became Pope' here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4bWX9zaFBI


November 13th

St Frances Xavier Cabrini

Saint Of The Day

Nun. Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first American citizen to be canonized.

Born in 1850, in Lodi in Italy, she was the thirteenth child of her family. As a young woman she worked as a teacher in a parish orphanage at Codogno, In 1874 she founded the Mother House of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart there. She dreamed of sending her sisters to China but instead her bishop advised her to concentrate on supporting the Italian immigrants who were going to the United States in large numbers. She went to New York with her first group of sisters in 1889.

From that time year after year she sent more sisters. She ended up founding 67 institutions, including schools, hospitals and orphanages - both in the USA and in Europe. Frances eventually became an American citizen and died of malaria in one of her own hospitals in 1921 in Chicago. She was canonised in 1946.