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(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday sent a video message for young Cubans who organized their own youth gathering to coincide with the official World Youth Day events in Krakow, Poland. In his message the Pope praised the young people for taking this initiative and urged them to unite together in “a social friendship,” regardless of their differences and be “carriers of hope” and “builders of bridges.”Around 1,400 young Cubans are taking part in their own youth gathering in the capital Havana that’s being attended by young people who for economic reasons cannot afford to travel to the WYD in Poland. They have adopted the same themes as the WYD in Krakow and the event includes catechesis sessions, a Way of the Cross procession and passing through the Holy Door. Pope Francis told the young Cubans that he trusted this event will be an opportunity to promote a culture of encounter, respect, understanding and mutual forgiveness. H...
New York City, N.Y., Jul 29, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Mike Piazza, the newest inductee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has given a shout-out to Pope Benedict XVI and his mother Veronica.“She gave me the gift of my Catholic faith, which has had a profound impact on my career and has given me patience, compassion and hope,” Piazza said in his induction speech Sunday.“Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘One who has hope, lives differently.’ Mom, you raised five boys, and you were always there for me.”Piazza, 47, played catcher for the New York Mets and other teams. He hit 427 home runs in his professional career. He began his professional baseball career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 and played with the Mets from 1998-2005. He was a 12-time All Star player and a 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He retired in 2007.He is only the second Hall of Fame player to be inducted as a Met.Piazza had attended 7:30 Mass at Cooperstown’s Our ...
Chair of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and the Bishop of Homabay, Philip Anyolo has said injustices, corruption, violence, acts of terror and destruction of property and the current wave of arson and unrest in some Kenyan schools are problems fuelled by a lack of moral values.Bishop Anyolo was speaking at the closing ceremonies of a workshop for major seminary rectors and other seminary formators. The workshop that took place at the  Resurrection Garden in Nairobi ended this week.The Homabay Ordinary called on formators to teach upcoming priests chastity, self-restraint, charity, diligence, forgiveness, kindness and humility so that they would, in turn, radiate the best of these virtues to the faithful who would be entrusted to them for pastoral care.Speaking at the same occasion, Rome-based Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle, Fr. Fernando Domingues called on the formators gathered to always give of their best to seminarians...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday morning paid an emotional visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum, the site of a Nazi concentration and extermination camp where more than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were put to death during the Second World War.Prior to his visit to the camp, the Pope decided he would not give a speech, saying he preferred to enter alone, in silent prayer. “I would like to go to that place of horror without speeches, without crowds -- only the few people necessary,” he explained. “Alone, enter, pray. And may the Lord give me the grace to cry.”Lydia O’Kane is in Poland with Pope Francis, and sends this report: For the Pope, this visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was to be one of silence and prayer.The only sounds to the heard were the shutters of the ever present cameras as a solemn Pope Francis walked alone through the infamous gate that reads “Arbeit macht frei” &nda...
OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) -- Pope Francis paid a somber visit in silence to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday, with his only public comment a guest book entry begging God's "forgiveness for so much cruelty."...
Krakow, Poland, Jul 29, 2016 / 05:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis paid a solemn visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps on Friday, where over a million people are believed to have lost their lives. At the memorials, he gave no speech and prayed in silence, but instead wrote in the guest book two simple lines begging for God's mercy and forgiveness."Lord have mercy on your people! Lord, forgiveness for so much cruelty!" the Pope wrote in the “Memory Book” shortly after praying in the darkened cell of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic priest martyred in Auschwitz.The July 29 Papal visit was made to two out of the three main Auschwitz camps, where as many as 1.5 million people are believed to have died under the Nazi regime.The pontiff's day began with a stop at the original camp (known as Auschwitz I), where he prayed for several minutes in silence in the courtyard of the complex.He was then taken by car to the camp's infamous Bloc...
Krakow, Poland, Jul 29, 2016 / 11:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis sent a video message to Cuban youth unable to attend World Youth Day on Friday, encouraging them to have hope and to bring the Gospel to life.“Young Cubans: open yourselves to great things! Do not be afraid,” the Pope said July 29 in his message to the some 1,400 youth who are gathered in Havana for a celebration that coincides with World Youth Day.“Dream that with you, the world can be different! Dream that Cuba, with you, can be different, and better every day. Do not give up! In this endeavour it is important that you open your heart and mind to the hope that Jesus gives.”The Church in Cuba has organized a gathering for those who could not travel to Krakow for the encounter with Pope Francis, adopting the same themes and providing catecheses, the Way of the Cross, and opportunities to pass through a Holy Door and gain the plenary indulgence offered for the Jubilee of Mercy.“With g...
New York City, N.Y., Jul 29, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Mike Piazza, the newest inductee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has given a shout-out to Pope Benedict XVI and his mother Veronica.“She gave me the gift of my Catholic faith, which has had a profound impact on my career and has given me patience, compassion and hope,” Piazza said in his induction speech Sunday.“Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘One who has hope, lives differently.’ Mom, you raised five boys, and you were always there for me.”Piazza, 47, played catcher for the New York Mets and other teams. He hit 427 home runs in his professional career. He began his professional baseball career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 and played with the Mets from 1998-2005. He was a 12-time All Star player and a 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He retired in 2007.He is only the second Hall of Fame player to be inducted as a Met.Piazza had attended 7:30 Mass at Cooperstown’s Our ...
Czestochowa, Poland, Jul 28, 2016 / 04:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Those who embrace their own littleness become the “spokespersons” of God, Pope Francis said during Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, celebrating the 1050 anniversary of Poland becoming a Christian nation. It was the first major event of the Pope's trip to the country for the 31st World Youth Day.“To be attracted by power, by grandeur, by appearances, is tragically human,” the pontiff said in his homily. “But to give oneself to others, eliminating distances, dwelling in littleness and living the reality of one’s everyday life: this is exquisitely divine.”“The little ones speak (God's) own language, that of the humble love that brings freedom,” he said. “So he calls the simple and receptive to be his spokespersons; he entrusts to them the revelation of his name and the secrets of his heart.”According to official estimates, some 500,000 p...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday morning made a brief visit to the Convent of the Sisters of the Presentation in Krakow, Poland.During the visit, the Holy Father met with the sisters of the convent, and some students from the school associated with the facility.While there, he signed the guest book with a message for the Sisters: “With gratitude for your generous service, I give you my blessing and encourage you in your educational apostolate.  Cultivate with love the seeds of goodness, beauty and truth that God sows in every new generation.”After his visit, he left for the airport, from where he traveled to Czestochowa by helicopter.
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