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By Junno Arocho EstevesROME (CNS) -- Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil was sitting ina room in an unknown location -- one of several he had been relocated to duringhis 18-month imprisonment -- when he received some unexpected news."Those who kept me came to where I slept (and said), 'Ibring you good news. We are sending you home. If you need to go to the bathroom,go. Take a shower, but quickly!'" Father Uzhunnalil told reporters Sept.16 at the Salesian headquarters in Rome.The Salesian priest from India was kidnapped March 4, 2016,from a home for the aged and disabled run by the Missionaries of Charity inAden, Yemen. On that day, four Missionaries of Charity and 12 others weremurdered in the attack by uniformed gunmen.Seeing a group of Missionaries of Charity sisters seated atthe news conference in Rome, Father Uzhunnalil expressed his condolences.However, the memory of the four sisters' martyrdom still proved too difficult tobear.Silence filled the room as the Salesian priest covered...
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenBOGOTA, Colombia (CNS) -- As Colombia strives to build alasting peace, the country's elders need the encouragement and insistence ofyoung people, who believe with all their hearts that forgiveness is possible andgrudges don't have to last for decades, Pope Francis said.The pope turned what was originally described as the"blessing of the faithful" Sept. 7 into a rallying cry to anestimated 22,000 young Colombians gathered in Plaza Bolivar outsidethe cathedral and cardinal's residence."Dream big," he told them. "Help us, yourelders, not grow accustomed to pain and death."Pope Francis not only described the youths as the "hopeof Colombia and of the church," but he said that when they walk the pathof empathy, understanding, encounter, forgiveness and hope, people can see inthem the actions of Jesus, "the messenger of peace, the one who brings us good news.""Do not let anyone rob you of your joy," the popetold the youths, who were singing, dancing an...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met in the Vatican on Monday with a cheering crowd of young people and families belonging to the Shalom community. Speaking off the cuff in his native Spanish, the Pope replied to questions from three young members of the community about how to witness to their faith in a world often marked by indifference and hopelessness.The Shalom Catholic community was founded back in the early 1980s in the city of Fortaleza in north-eastern Brazil. Today it counts some 3.800 members spread across the different continents, and is focused on contemplation, unity and evangelization.Go out to share the good newsIn his reply to a young man named Juan from Chile, Pope Francis highlighted the importance of “going out of oneself” to share the good news of God’s mercy with others. God is always with us, he insisted, waiting for us even in the most difficult moments of our lives, just as the father of the prodigal son runs out to embrace his child, despite...
Vatican City, Aug 30, 2017 / 04:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday Pope Francis told pilgrims to ignore gloomy people that drag others down, and stressed the need to maintain a healthy dose of the joy experienced in our first encounter with Christ, which he said must serve as a constant motivation to spread the good news.“Do not listen to deluded and unhappy people; don't listen to those who cynically recommend not to cultivate hope in life,” the Pope said Aug. 30.“Let us not entrust ourselves to those who extinguish every enthusiasm saying that no business is worth the sacrifice of an entire life, don't listen to the ‘elderly’ of heart who suffocate youthful euphoria,” he said.Rather, Francis told pilgrims to instead “cultivate healthy utopias.” God, he said, “wants us to be able to dream like him and with him, while we walk well aware of reality,” and if a dream goes out, “go back and dream it again, drawi...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent greetings to the Knights of Columbus on the occasion of their 135th Supreme Convention, which concludes on Thursday in St Louis.The Pope’s message, conveyed in letter from the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, says the theme of the Convention – “Convinced of God’s Love and Power” – points “to the secret source of all Christian life and mission: our conviction that God’s saving love, revealed in the death and resurrection of his Son and poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, impels us to share the Good News of salvation with every man and woman.” This conviction, it continues, “underlies all our enthusiasm for evangelization.”It is this experience of God’s love and power, Cardinal Parolin says, that led to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, and to their continued growth.Cardinal Parolin calls on the Knights, in the spirit of their founde...
(Vatican Radio) At the Triennial Southern Africa Catholic Leaders’ Joint Witness Meeting 2017 Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town who is also President of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) emphasised the importance of unity in diversity in proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord.He said that diversity and richness of many charisms are the source of success in spreading the Good News.Joint Witness is a meeting of the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life (LCCL) and the Bishops of Southern Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC). The meeting normally takes place once in every three years.  It is a platform whereby the two conferences discuss issues affecting the local Church and the society at large.The problems of Human Trafficking, Migrants and Refugees were some the topics that topped the agenda of the discussions during the Joint Witness Meeting 2017.(Below is the homily)LCCLSA AND SACBC TRIENNIAL MEETING 2017The Gospel of today&r...
At the Triennial Southern Africa Catholic Leaders’ Joint Witness Meeting 2017 Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town who is also President of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) emphasised the importance of unity in diversity in proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord.He said that diversity and richness of many charisms are the source of success in spreading the Good News.Joint Witness is a meeting of the Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life (LCCL) and the Bishops of Southern Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC). The meeting normally takes place once in every three years.  It is a platform whereby the two conferences discuss issues affecting the local Church and the society at large.The problems of Human Trafficking, Migrants and Refugees were some the topics that topped the agenda of the discussions during the Joint Witness Meeting 2017.(Below is the homily)LCCLSA AND SACBC TRIENNIAL MEETING 2017The Gospel of today’s Mass reca...
Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi Most Rev. Julio Murat has challenged the faithful to be today’s missionaries.In his homily during the Holy Mass held for Catholic Bishops of Zambia who are meeting for their third 2017 plenary and Catholic Secretariat staff in Lusaka, Archbishop Julio Murat called on the bishops, priests, religious men and women and the lay faithful to ask themselves what they should do to make Christ present in Zambia today.“We, who are baptised, must ask ourselves what we should do to make Christ present in Zambia,” he said.As the Catholic Church concludes the 125 years celebrations of Catholicism in Zambia on 15th July 2017, Archbishop Murat added that the faithful should emulate the first disciples and early missionaries who left everything to follow Christ.“There is need to leave everything, our preferences and follow Jesus. To preach the good news of Jesus, to preach the beauty of our Catholic faith with courage and firmness and m...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to an International Catechetical Symposium which is taking place this week at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires, and has as its theme “blessed are those who believe”.Listen:  In the message to the symposium, the Holy Father points out that “being a catechist is a vocation of service in the Church, that has been received as a gift from the Lord and must in turn be transmitted.”He goes on to say that the catechist walks with Christ, therefore is not a person who starts from his own ideas and tastes. He or she  looks for the Lord and that searching makes their heart burn.Pope Francis also notes in his message that the role of the catechist is a creative one because this person seeks different ways and means to announce the good news of Christ. The Pope adds that “this quest to make Jesus known as supreme beauty leads us to find new signs and forms for the transmission...
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a telegramme upon the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne, who died on Wednesday at the age of 83.“With profound emotion I learned that, suddenly and unexpectedly, Cardinal Joachim Meisner was called from this earth by the God of mercy,” the Pope wrote.The Pope addressed his telegramme to Cardinal Rainer Woelki, current Archbishop of Cologne.He said Cardinal Meisner was “dedicated to the proclamation of the Good News” with “profound faith and sincere love for the Church”.“May Christ the Lord reward him for his faithful and intrepid efforts in favour of the good of people of East and West.”Pope Francis closed the telegramme by imparting his Apostolic Blessing on all who “commemorate the late Pastor with prayers and sacrifices”.With the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the College of Cardinals stands at 224, 121 of whom are Cardinal electors.
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