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GENEVA (AP) -- Was it a blip, or a breakthrough?...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has encouraged Mercedarian Friars to pursue in their mission to accompany the poor, especially the prisoners.Celebrating the eighth centenary of their Order, Pope Francis addressed the General Chapter of Our Lady of Mercy gathered in the Vatican for the occasion, and reminded them to follow in the footsteps of Christ by “joining the prisoner.”The Order, founded in 1218, is an international community of priests and brothers who serve in schools, prisons, hospitals, and foreign missions. They have shown special concern for Christian prisoners, helping them return to their home countries, and today they work with the most marginalized.In his address, the Pope recalls the Order’s accomplishments of work with prison inmates as more than an “exhibition of the past.” Remembering their past, he says, allows them to both asses their achievements and confront the challenges that humanity poses in the new world.“May this chapte...
(Vatican Radio)  The Holy Spirit strengthens us so that we may bear witness to the Lord even through persecution – even to the point of sacrificing our life.  But also through the small persecutions like gossip and criticism.  That’s what Pope Francis said Monday at the daily Mass at the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican.Listen to Tracey McClure's report: As we near Pentacost, the readings increasingly focus on the Holy Spirit.  The Acts of the Apostles tell us that the Lord opened the heart of a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from  the city of Thyatria who came to hear St. Paul.“This woman felt something inside her which made her say ‘this is true! And I agree with what this man says, this man who gives witness to Jesus Christ,’” said the Pope.“But who touched the heart of this woman?  Who told her: ‘Listen because it is the truth?’” asked the Pope.“It was the Holy...
(Vatican Radio) What do millions of refugees – many of them children, adolescents and young adults - who have fled conflict or persecution need to start a new life in host countries? What do they need to be able to go home one day, form a new life and contribute to their communities and to their country? The answer is simple: quality education. Education provides skills, opens the doors to employment, promotes peace and stability.That was the core concept at a panel discussion in the Vatican entitled “Helping Refugees to Start Over” aiming to raise awareness and seek support for increasing numbers of refugees who are on the move, in camps or seeking integration in host countries today.Not providing education to refugees - it was pointed out - risks making a lost generation sentenced to poverty.The discussion, hosted by Rotary International, included speakers from Rotary itself, from the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), from the United Nations High Commissioner ...
(Vatican Radio) The Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni has appealed for prayers following the latest violence in the country.Two car bombs in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah on Sunday killed 31 people and wounded dozens more.The incident was the latest in a series of large attacks claimed by the Islamic State group as the country grapples with a worsening political crisis.Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti, Bishop Warduni described the situation.“Our situation is very bad, it never becomes better and better, always we are going towards worse and worse…this war we want it to finish”.Listen:  The Bishop also spoke of the effect the conflict is having on the Iraqi people, “our people are waiting to go to their houses, homes because they are under tents or caravans and this is very bad.”On Sunday, the United Nations said at least 741 Iraqis were killed in April due to ongoing violence.In its monthly report, the U.N. mi...
LA PORTE, Ind. (AP) -- Facing a make-or-break moment for his slumping campaign, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was blitzing through Indiana on Monday in a desperate bid to overtake Donald Trump in the state's primary and keep his own White House hopes alive....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- No one disputes that U.S. military forces are fighting in combat in Iraq and Syria -- except maybe President Barack Obama and some members of his administration....
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Gaby ManiscalcoROME (CNS) -- The Trevi Fountain, a Rome landmark, was litup in red April 29 in a graphic commemoration of the thousands of modern Christiansmartyred for their faith.The event was sponsored by the Catholic charity Aid to theChurch in Need, which wanted to "draw attention to the dramatic issue ofanti-Christian persecution."The evening event also featured four guest speakers who sharedthe personal stories of Christians killed for their faith. After the speeches,the fountain was lit to represent the blood of the Christian martyrs. Throughoutthe night, images of Christians persecuted for their faith were projected ontothe fountain. The photos included the four Missionaries of Charity murdered inAden, Yemen, in early March.Pope Francis frequently mentions his belief that today, "perhapsmore than in the early days" of Christianity, Christians are "persecuted,killed, chased out, robbed just because they are Christians."In ecumenical gatherings, the p...
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