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By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) --Refugees, often perceived by society as an added cost or a problem, are a giftand a reflection of the face of God, Pope Francis said.People who escape oppression,war, pollution or "the unjust distribution of the planet's resources are abrother and sister with whom to share bread, home and life," he said in avideo message tothe Centro Astalli, the JesuitRefugee Service center in Rome."Youare witnesses of how our clement and merciful God can transform the evil and injustice you havesuffered into a good for all," he said. Thepope's message torefugees and volunteers April 19 marked the 35th anniversary of the center's founding by FatherPedro Arrupe, superior of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983.PopeFrancis said the center'swork in assisting refugees is a courageous form of following Jesus' words,"For I was a stranger, and you welcomed me."Everyrefugee "who knocks on our doors bears the face of God, the flesh ofChrist," he said. "Your experience o...
Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2016 / 06:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new survey says most Americans think the Obama administration’s federal contraception mandate is unfair to the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups defending themselves before the U.S. Supreme Court.About 53 percent of Americans said the process required by the government is “unfair,” while only 32 percent did not, according to a new Marist Poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus.The federal government has exempted many other organizations’ employee health care plans from a requirement to provide contraception and drugs that can produce abortions. But it has no exemption for the Little Sisters of the Poor, who help run houses to care for the elderly poor.“It is not reasonable for the government to demand that some – and only some – religious employers engage in activity that is totally unnecessary to the government’s stated purpose of providing elective ...
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2016 / 06:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has offered his praise to the Jesuits in Italy for their longstanding work with refugees, but asked the foreigners for their pardon on behalf of all who have been closed-minded and indifferent to their plight.“I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” the Pope said in a video message directed to refugees and workers who help them, calling to mind Chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel.“Too often we have not welcomed you! Forgive the closure and indifference of our societies, who fear the change of life and mentality that your presence requires,” he said.Francis noted that after coming to a new country, refugees are frequently treated as burdens and problems which only bring more cost. However, “you are instead a gift.”“You are the testimony of how our heavenly and merciful God transforms the evil and injustice of those who suffer into a good for all,” the Pope said, explai...
(Vatican Radio) Catholic Relief Services (CRS) says it’s a now desperate race against time to find survivors from the powerful earthquake in Ecuador that hit some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the nation. Tom Hollywood is CRS’s zonal representative for Latin America and is currently in Ecuador. He spoke to Susy Hodges about the massive scope of this tragedy.  Listen to the interview with Tom Hollywood, CRS's zonal representative for Latin America, currently in Ecuador:   “Poorest and most vulnerable”As the death toll from Ecuador’s earthquake continued to climb, Hollywood described the quake as “massive and devastating” in its impact. He pointed out that the areas that had been hit hardest by this disaster were “some of the poorest, some of the most vulnerable” in Ecuador.“These were populations already struggling and suffering from extreme poverty,” he explained.Saying ti...
(Vatican Radio) As Britain’s Queen Elizabeth turns 90 years old, the Royal Household of Windsor Cricket team is arriving in Rome on Thursday for an encounter with the Vatican XI, St. Peter’s Cricket Club, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture. In September 2014 St. Peter’s Cricket Club was invited to play the Royal Household at Windsor Castle during the Vatican team’s first foreign tour. The players were invited to attend Evensong in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, during which prayers were offered for Pope Francis and his ministry.During their visit to Rome, the Royal Household team will visit St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday morning , followed by a tour of the Vatican Museums. Solemn Vespers for both teams will be held at the International Pontifical College ‘Mater Ecclesiae’ at 7pm, with prayers offered for Queen Elizabeth, who will be marking her 90th birthday on Thursday. British Ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Bake...
(Vatican Radio) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has agreed to a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure the release of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko who is serving a 22-year jail sentence in Russia. The presidents of Russia and Ukrainia had a telephone conversation over the fate of jailed high-profile prisoners, raising the possibility of a swap. The call came after Ukraine jailed two alleged Russian special forces soldiers for several crimes including terrorism.Listen to Stefan Bos' report: Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov were accused of involvement in Ukraine's conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the east. That's why a court in Kiev sentenced the two Russian citizens to 14 years in prison each on charges of fighting for allegedly waging "an aggressive war" alongside Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.They were also found quilty of committing a terrorist act and using weapons to provoke an armed...
Acts 14: 21-27; Rev 21: 1-5; Jn 13: 31-33, 34-35In the lovely book, Chicken Soup for the Soul, there's a story about a man who came out of his office one Christmas morning and found a little boy from a nearby project looking with great admiration at the man’s new vehicle. The little boy asked, "Does this car belong to you?" And the man said, "Yes. In fact my brother gave it to me for Christmas. I've just gotten it."  With that, the little boy's eyes widened. He said, "You mean to say that somebody gave it to you? And you didn't have to pay anything for it?"  And the man said, "That's right.  My brother gave it to me as a gift." With that the little boy let out a long sigh and said, "Boy, I would really like..."  And the man fully expected the boy to say, "I would like to have a brother like that, who would give me such a beautiful car," but instead the man was amazed when...
We've all played Operator before. A phrase that starts out like, "Judy loves mom's spaghetti sauce!" becomes...
PORTOVIEJO, Ecuador (AP) -- Despite the grief roiling this earthquake-stricken town, Pablo Cordova has something to be thankful for: He can return the coffin his wife had obtained for his funeral....
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- The man who may become Brazil's next president is almost as unpopular as the leader facing impeachment now, and stained by scandals of his own....
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