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(Vatican Radio) “The Kingdom of God is at hand and is indeed in the middle of us, this is the central message of all Christian mission.” Those were the words of Pope Francis during his Angelus address in St Peter’s Square on the Second Sunday of Advent.Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report He was referring to the Gospel reading of the day in which John the Baptist issues the invitation to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand".The Holy Father explained that with these same words Jesus will start his mission in Galilee and it is an announcement that will “bring the disciples on their first missionary experience.”The kingdom of heaven, said the Pope, is not just a place in the afterlife, but it is the good news that Jesus brings us.God, Pope Francis continued, “comes to establish his dominion in our history, in our everyday life;” and where it is accepted with faith and humility and love.But the “condition to become...
Vatican City, Dec 1, 2016 / 05:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his message for the 2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis focused on the need to be “missionary disciples” who first fall in love with God, and are then propelled into action, zealously spreading the Good News they have heard.“The People of God need to be guided by pastors whose lives are spent in service to the Gospel,” the Pope said in his message, published Nov. 30.He asked parish communities, associations and various prayer groups within the Church not to get discouraged by an apparent lack of vocations, but to continue praying fervently “that the Lord will send workers to his harvest.”“May he give us priests enamored of the Gospel, close to all their brothers and sisters, living signs of God’s merciful love,” he said.Set to be celebrated May 7, 2017, the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations will take place on the fourth Sunday of Easter and will hold ...
Vatican City, Nov 23, 2016 / 09:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday, it was announced that Pope Francis has named two local priests as auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and has chosen a priest from Orange County to become an auxiliary bishop for that diocese.Fr. Gerard W. Battersby and Fr. Robert J. Fisher are the priests who will be stepping up as the newest auxiliary bishops in Detroit, while Fr. Timothy E. Freyer will become an auxiliary bishop of Orange.“All of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit are deeply grateful that Pope Francis has named Father Battersby and Father Fisher, two well-loved and respected priests in our archdiocese, to be auxiliary bishops in our local church,” Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit said in a Nov. 23 press release announcing their appointment. “Both of these new bishops bring a rich set of gifts and talents to the roles they will play in leading our community in our mission to share the Good News of Jesus,&rdq...
Erbil, Iraq, Oct 17, 2016 / 11:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced a ground offensive to retake Mosul from the clutches of Islamic State, a priest working in the thick of the country’s refugee crisis said people are happy with the advances, but unsure what the future will hold.“We are so happy because yesterday the war began between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga with ISIS,” Father Roni Momika told CNA Oct. 17.He relayed how shortly before, they had received the “good news” that the ancient Monastery of the Martyrs Saint Behnam and his Sister Sarah, also known as the Mar Behnam monastery, near Nimrud “is free,” though it has suffered significant damage from Islamic State forces.There are still many Christians living in the villages surrounding Mosul, he noted, but said soldiers from the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga are with them.“We hope that (soon) we will hear good news about Q...
Detroit, Mich., Oct 12, 2016 / 12:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Seeking God’s forgiveness for generations of failures in the Church, the Archdiocese of Detroit held a Mass of Pardon asking God for grace and mercy.“Repent and believe in the Good News, this is an inseparable prayer,” Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said in his homily for the Oct. 7 Mass.He said the Mass is about “transforming those faults in our sins, the wounds we bear that bear death, and transforming those wounds into new sources of life.”“That’s what pardon is in the Kingdom of God. It’s not about forgetting, it’s about transformation. Transforming our lives though Jesus Christ, now and forever,” the archbishop said, according to the Michigan Catholic.Auxiliary Bishops Michael Byrnes, Arturo Cepeda and Donald Hanchon concelebrated the Mass with the archbishop at Detroit’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.At the start of Mass, the archbishop and bishops pro...
Vatican City, Oct 9, 2016 / 04:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday Pope Francis announced that he will hold a consistory of cardinals on the Nov. 19 vigil of the close of the Jubilee of Mercy, during which he will elevate 17 new cardinals – including three Americans.“Dear brothers and sisters I am happy to announce that Saturday, Nov. 19 at the vigil for the closing of the Holy Door of mercy, a consistory will take place for the nomination of 13 cardinals from 5 continents,” the Pope said Oct. 9.“The fact that they come from 11 nations expresses the universality of the Church, which announces and bears witness to the good news of the mercy of God in every corner of the earth.”Opened Dec. 8, 2015 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – the Jubilee is set to close Nov. 20, with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.Among the 17 new cardinal-elects are three Americans: Archbishop Blasé Cupich of Chicago, Archb...
Vatican City, Oct 7, 2016 / 07:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After electing their new General Superior, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate had a meeting with Pope Francis, who told them that in the midst of a rapidly changing world, humanity needs missionaries filled love and zeal for the Gospel.“Today, every land is 'mission territory,' every dimension of the human being is mission territory, awaiting the announcement of the Gospel,” he said Oct. 6.“The field of the mission today seems to expand every day” with men and women in desperate situations, he said. “Therefore there is need of you, of your missionary courage, your willingness to take to all the Good News that liberates and consoles.”Pope Francis met with the Missionary Oblates exactly one week after they held elections for their next Superior General in Rome, as well as in honor of the 200th Jubilee of their founding, which is being celebrated throughout 2016.On Sept. 30th, the ...
Christian and Muslim activists in Pakistan have welcomed a new law that punishes crimes of honour against women. Thursday, after two years stuck in the National Assembly, the bill was approved. It eliminates the so-called loophole that allowed killers to enjoy impunity due to a legal provision under which a relative of the victim could forgive the perpetrator.“It is good news and a step in right direction,” Sister Genevieve Ram Lal, national director of the Catholic Women Organization, told AsiaNews. The old law “was a license to kill and people were using this excuse to settle personal grudges”,The Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 and the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 were both passed by joint sitting of both houses of parliament on Thursday. The legislation imposes Imprisonment for life on “honour” killers even if victim’s family forgives them. Now forgiveness will only spare them the death penalty....
Vatican City, Sep 29, 2016 / 08:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Announced Thursday, this year's World Day of Social Communications will focus on the theme of spreading hope and trust in the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and salvation.“'Fear not, for I am with you' (Is 43:5) Communicating hope and trust in our time,” was announced as the theme for 2017 by the Pontifical Council of Social Communication in a communique from the Vatican Sept. 29.When those in the field of communication are far from the scene of where things are happening, frequently they can “ignore the complexity of the dramas faced by men and women,” and fall into “desperation” over “looming fears,” the communique says.The push to “fear not,” on the other hand, “is an invitation to tell the history of the world and the histories of men and women in accordance with the logic of the 'good news,'” reminding us that “God ne...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was the principal celebrant at Mass on Saturday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, together with a large group of Apostolic Nuncios who are in Rome for a major Jubilee Year of Mercy gathering.In remarks following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father thanked the Papal diplomats for their willingness to renew their commitment to service in new and different countries with joy and enthusiasm, and encouraged the members of the corps to get out of their comfort zones and go beyond the limits of their own strengths and abilities in order to carry the Gospel of Christ to every corner of the globe.Taking the Gospel parable of the sower as his focal point, Pope Francis reflected on how Apostolic Nuncios sow the Good News everywhere in the world. The Pope acknowledged that often the life of the Nuncios is a “gypsy life” spent constantly on the road: “Just when you have learned the language well,” in one post, “a phon...
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