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(Vatican Radio)   Speaking at Holy Mass Saturday in Gyumri, Armenia, Pope Francis recalled the “terrible devastation” wrought by the massive 1988 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and gave thanks “for all that has been rebuilt.”In his Homily, the Pope offered three “stable foundations upon which we can tirelessly build and rebuild the Christian life.”The first foundation, he said, is “memory:” to “recall what the Lord has done in and for us” and that “He has chosen us, loved us, called us and forgiven us.”  “The memory of a people” like those in Armenia, also needs to be preserved the Pope added.  “Even in the face of tremendous adversity,” he stressed, God has “remembered your faithfulness to the Gospel… and all those who testified, even at the price of their blood, that God’s love is more precious than life itself.”Faith, the Ho...
(Vatican Radio) On the morning of  Saturday 25th of June during his homily at an open air Holy Mass in the north eastern Armenian city of Gyumri badly hit in 1988 by a massive earthquake Pope Francis highlighted the figure of St. Gregory of Narek. These are his exact words: "All the same, we might ask ourselves: how can we become merciful, with all the faults and failings that we see within ourselves and all about us?  I would like to appeal to one concrete example, a great herald of divine mercy, one to whom I wished to draw greater attention by making him a Doctor of the Universal Church: Saint Gregory of Narek, word and voice of Armenia.  It is hard to find his equal in the ability to plumb the depths of misery lodged in the human heart.  Yet he always balanced human weakness with God’s mercy, lifting up a heartfelt and tearful prayer of trust in the Lord who is “giver of gifts, root of goodness… voice of consolation, news of com...
IMAGE: CNS photo/Remo Casilli, ReutersBy Cindy WoodenYEREVAN, Armenia (CNS) -- A solid, sorrow-tested Christianfaith gives believers the strength to overcome even the most horrificadversity, forgive one's enemies and live in peace, Pope Francis said.Arriving in Armenia June 24, Pope Francis went straight tothe twin concerns of his three-day visit: Promoting Christian unity andhonoring the determined survival of Armenian Christianity despite a historicmassacre and decades of Soviet domination.The high profile of the pope's ecumenical concern and the importance of faith in Armenian culture were highlighted by making the trip'sfirst official appointment a visit to the cathedral of the Armenian ApostolicChurch at Etchmiadzin.The arrival ceremony at the airport was defined as informal,but featured a review of the troops and a greeting by a young boy and a younggirl, who offered Pope Francis the traditional gifts of bread and salt. Hisentrance into Holy Etchmiadzin, as it commonly is kno...
The Archbishop of Ibadan, Gabriel ’Leke Abegunrin together with the Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Osogbo, Very Rev. Fr. Michael Okodua and Fr. Martin De Cross have a led a delegation from Ibadan ecclesiastical province on a solidarity visit to the Diocese of Maiduguri. This is according to information given to Vatican Radio’s Africa Service by Maiduguri Diocese’ Social Communications Director, Fr. Gideon Obasogie.Speaking at the start of a Eucharistic celebration in Maiduguri, Archbishop Abegunrin told the people of Maiduguri not relent because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.“The aggression, bloodshed, violence, selfishness and all sorts of greed and disrespect for human life that you have suffered, we say to you: ‘In the world, you will have trouble but be courageous for I have conquered the world’ (John 16:33). In spite of the challenges you have suffered and continue to s...
DALLAS (AP) -- An attorney handling Johnny Manziel's domestic violence case expressed doubts about the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback's ability to stay clean and said he was given a receipt that shows Manziel may have spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia store just 15 hours after he was involved in a hit-and-run crash, according to a lengthy text message accidentally sent to The Associated Press....
South Sudan’s Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) is launching a nine-day campaign of activism to promote the spirit of patriotism among South Sudanese.CEPO Director, Edmond Yakani says the initiative aims at encouraging citizens of South Sudan to share positive things about their country and to build peace, South Sudan’s Catholic Radio Bakhita reports.Yakani says the campaign will give citizens a chance to interact and strengthen their knowledge on patriotism. The campaign starts next month.(Catholic Radio Network)Email: engafrica@vatiradio.va 
The disabled children, abandoned by their parents and the orphans welcomed at the Don Bosco Institute of Da Ming, on June 19 celebrated Father’s Day, celebrating the priests who take care of them and consider them their fathers.  Father's Day is celebrated in China every third Sunday of June.The priests of the diocesan seminary community of the Sacred Heart give spiritual assistance to the nuns who run the Institute and host the children. The children wanted to celebrate the priests on Father's Day and sent flowers made with their hands to other priests who were not present, who in turn take care of them.The Don Bosco Institute in Da Ming was born in 1984 when Sister Wu Yong Bo, of the Congregation of the Mother of God, at the time eighty, welcomed a disabled baby girl who was left in front of the church door. From that moment the elderly nun decided to take care of these children.  In October 1994, the Don Bosco Institute was officially opened in a buildin...
Abuja, Nigeria, Jun 22, 2016 / 12:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After the sorrow of an April massacre in southeastern Nigeria, a Catholic bishop said the killers of dozens of people must still be forgiven.“Although we may find it hard to forgive the violent attack that has brought us so much grief, we know that an unforgiving spirit will never bring us peace,” Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka said at a burial service for nine of the victims.In April, invaders suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked the Nimbo community in the locality of Uzo-Uwani in southeastern Nigeria’s Enugu State. They killed scores of people, slaughtered livestock and destroyed several properties, including a Catholic church.The bishop encouraged mourners to “turn to God in gratitude, with faith, hope and charity,” the Catholic News Agency of Africa reports. He prayed that the region will never witness a similar tragedy.“Our faith assures us that those who die in the Lord ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday held his weekly general audience, greeting the thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in a hot and sunny St Peter’s Square. During his catechesis, the Pope focused his reflections on the Gospel story of the leper who was healed by Jesus as a sign of God’s mercy and forgiveness.As Jesus reached out and touched the unclean man, he said, so we must never be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and those most in need. At the same time, he said, the Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch.Please see below the English summary of the Pope’s words at his Wednesday General AudienceDear Brothers and Sisters:  In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider Jesus’ healing of the leper (Lk 5:12-14).  As we know, lepers were considered unclean and bound by law to avoid contact with others. Saint Luke tells us that one leper, moved by faith, did...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis welcomed a group of refugees to join him on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica as he held his weekly general audience on Wednesday. After greeting the thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in the summer sunshine, the Pope focused his reflections on the Gospel story of the leper who was healed by Jesus as a sign of God’s mercy and forgiveness.Philippa Hitchen reports:  In Jesus’ day, lepers were considered unclean and outcasts, from the temple and from society, yet the man who begs him to be made clean is not afraid to break the law and come into the city. Pope Francis noted that Jesus also breaks the law by touching the leper to heal him, teaching us not to be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and needy in our midst.The man’s simple words, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”, show that we don’t need long speeches, the Pope said, but only a few words and strong faith in the Lord’s good...
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