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Rome, Italy, Jan 15, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As colder weather settled over Rome last week, two area charities have found ways to reach out to those without food or shelter during the cold winter nights: one by turning a church into a temporary shelter, another by partnering with a newly-opened McDonald’s near the Vatican.Medicina Solidale has plans to hand out around 50 meals to area homeless on Mondays starting Jan. 13 and continuing through June. The first 1,000 meals were donated by the lately controversial, Vatican-area McDonald’s, which has been the subject of mixed reviews.  An association of doctors who volunteer with homeless throughout Rome, Medicina Solidale said they asked if “beyond the controversy,” McDonald’s would donate “some food to give to the homeless of St. Peter’s.”“And the McDonald’s told us yes immediately,” Gianluca Scarnicci, a press officer of the organization, told CNA.Since ...
(Vatican Radio) "We learn from the Magi not to devote only spare time and some thoughts every now and then. Like the Magi, let us set out, clothe ourselves in the light following the star of Jesus, and love the Lord with all our might". Those were Pope Francis’ words to the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus of the Epiphany, to which he donated a book on Mercy distributed by the poor attendance.Like the Magi chose to be guided by the star of Jesus - said the Pope, "even in our life there are several stars. It's up to us to choose which to follow.""There are flashing lights that come and go, like the small pleasures of life: although good, they are not enough… “The Magi invite us to follow the true light that is Lord - said Pope Francis - "a light that does not dazzle, but it accompanies and gives a unique joy. Follow today, among the many shooting stars in the world, the bright star of Jesus! ...
India’s national leaders have wished their countrymen on the occasion of Christmas evoking the spirit of love, compassion, service and sacrifice that Christ inspired.  “May the spirit of Christmas fill our hearts with love and compassion. May the divine teachings of Lord Jesus Christ inspire us to contribute our very best for the welfare of humanity,” wrote President Pranab Mukherjee in a message on the eve of Christmas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished the nation for the occasion calling on all to stress the importance of “service, sacrifice and compassion.”  Speaking in Hindi in his monthly radio broadcast “Mann Ki Baat”, Dec. 25, he said “Jesus not only served the poor but also praised the service done by the poor.”  Recalling the Gospel episode of the Widow’s Mite, he said “Jesus declared that the widow was the greatest of those donors because while the others had donated substantiall...
Vatican City, Dec 23, 2016 / 05:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After taking up a collection earlier this year to aid families affected by the ongoing crisis in Eastern Ukraine, Pope Francis has decided to distribute an initial sum of 6 million euros to different charity projects as a Christmas gift.“In the name of the Holy Father, at Christmas the first installment of the aid for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine will be paid,” a Dec. 23 communique from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum read.The sum of nearly 6 million euro is only part of the 12 million that’s been collected since April, and is destined for more than 2 million people “without distinction of religion, faith or ethnic background.”It will go to projects that assist people currently living in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, Kharkiv and Dnepropetrovsk, which have been hit hardest by the conflict.The funds were raised in large part as the result of Pope Francis’ decision to take up an Apri...
Catholic Women from Mtima Woyera and Maula Deaneries in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe on Saturday and Sunday last week respectively donated assorted items including sugar, soap and salt to inmates at Maula Prison and Patients admitted at Kamuzu Central Hospital as part of their activity to celebrate with the sick and those in prison during this festive season.Speaking after making the donation, Chairlady for Lilongwe Archdiocese’s Catholic Women under the banner, Catholic Women Organisation (CWO), Anita Kaliu said the gesture is their normal practice as they do the same every year during the same period.She said as women who care for their Children and family need to demonstrate some sense of love to those suffering hence the initiative.“As women, we need to demonstrate love and share with others. As we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ, we ought to celebrate along with the needy and those that need our love. God loves them all and need to love them as well and the on...
(Vatican Radio) This year’s Christmas tree and crib were due to be inaugurated and lit up on Friday afternoon in St Peter’s Square. Earlier in the day in the Paul VI hall, Pope Francis met with the donors of the tree and the nativity scene, telling them that these gifts “form a message of hope and love.”Listen to Lydia O’Kane report Welcoming the donors of this year’s Christmas Tree and crib, Pope Francis thanked them for their gifts which he said, would be admired in Saint Peter’s Square “by pilgrims from around the world during Advent and the Christmas holidays.”The 25 metre high spruce tree was donated by the Lagorai Forests Association which is located the Trentino region of Northern Italy and the Pope remarked that, “the beauty of those views is an invitation to contemplate the Creator and to respect nature, the work of his hands.”The Pope also had a special word of thanks to the children who decorated the tree...
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Christmas tree and Nativity sceneare symbols of God's love and hope, reminding us to contemplate the beauty ofcreation and welcome the marginalized, Pope Francis said.Baby Jesus, whose parents could find no decent shelter andhad to flee persecution, is a reminder of the "painful experience" ofso many migrants today, he said Dec. 9, just before the Vatican Christmas treewas to be lit and its Nativity scene was to be unveiled.Nativity scenes all over the world "are an invitationto make room in our life and society for God -- hidden in the gaze of so manypeople" who are living in need, poverty or suffering, he told peopleinvolved in donating the tree and creche for St. Peter's Square.The northern Italian province of Trent donated the 82-foot-tallspruce fir, which was adorned with ceramic ornaments handmade by childrenreceiving medical treatment at several Italian hospitals.The 55-foot-wide Nativity scene was donated by theg...
Vatican City, Dec 9, 2016 / 11:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Christmas approaches, the Nativity scenes found in churches and homes around the world bid us to make room for Jesus both in our lives and in society, Pope Francis said shortly before the lighting of the Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square Friday.On Dec. 9, a massive 82-foot tree from the Dolomites was lit in St. Peter’s Square, next to the nearly life-size Nativity scene, donated to the Vatican by the Archdiocese of Malta and designed by local artists.An artist from the island of Gozo named Manwel Gretch created the sketch chosen for the Nativity, which depicts the Maltese countryside. The 17 characters in the Nativity, animals excluded, are dressed in typical Maltese clothing and holding tools and instruments.The Nativity scenes found “in churches, in homes and in many public places are an invitation to make room in our lives and society for God, hidden in the face of so many people who are in conditions ...
JERUSALEM (AP) -- President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law co-directs a family foundation that has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Jewish settlement organizations in the West Bank, according to tax records....
Vatican City, Nov 29, 2016 / 10:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- While signs of bustling pilgrims who came for the Jubilee of Mercy are mostly gone, new signs of Christmas are springing up around St. Peter’s Basilica, including the construction of the large Nativity scene in the middle of the square, and the placement of a Christmas tree alongside it.On Nov. 24, a massive 82-foot tree from the Dolomites arrived in St. Peter’s Square next to the large Nativity scene currently being built, which was donated to the Vatican by the Archdiocese of Malta and designed by local artists.An artist from the island of Gozo named Manwel Gretch did the sketch chosen for the Nativity, which depicts the Maltese countryside. The 17 characters in the Nativity, animals excluded, will be dressed in typical Maltese clothing and will be holding tools and instruments.The traditional “Cross of Malta” will be included in the scene, as well as a typical Maltese archipelago boat meant to represe...
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