Francis makes impromptu visit to Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 14, 2015 / 02:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday evening following his scheduled events, Pope Francis made a brief, unplanned visit to a Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka in a gesture of interreligious dialogue, the Holy See press officer has said. Fr. Federico Lombardi explained Jan. 14 that after his visit to the Marian shrine at Madhu, Pope Francis met political leaders at the nunciature in Colombo, and then went to archbishop's rectory hoping to meet the Sri … [Read more...]

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Nebraska monsignor appointed new Bishop of Grand Island

Grand Island, Neb., Jan 14, 2015 / 11:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed Monsignor Joseph Hanefeldt, a priest of the Omaha archdiocese and a Nebraska native, as the eighth Bishop of Grand Island, which serves Catholics in central and western Nebraska. “In appointing Monsignor Hanefeldt as Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Island, Pope Francis is sending the diocese an experienced pastor and a respected spiritual guide,” Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha  … [Read more...]

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Which way to church? Supreme Court weighs directions for roadside signs

Washington D.C., Jan 14, 2015 / 07:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court is scrutinizing an Arizona town’s restrictions on church signs that critics say intentionally discriminate against houses of worship. “I never dreamed my small church signs would be a topic for the Supreme Court,” Clyde Reed, the 82-year-old pastor of Good News Community Church in Gilbert, Ariz., said in a press conference outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 12. “All we wanted to do … [Read more...]

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‘Mary forgave her son’s killers’: The Pope on healing in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 14, 2015 / 03:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a Marian shine during his three-day trip to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis touched on the country's brutal decades-long civil war and pointed to the Mother of God as the ultimate witness of forgiveness. “In this difficult effort to forgive and find peace, Mary is always here to encourage us, to guide us, to lead us,” the Pope said Jan. 14 at the Our Lady of Madhu shrine in Sri Lanka's Mannar district. “Just … [Read more...]

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At papal Mass in Sri Lanka, disabled man seeks ‘big blessing’

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 11:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Among the attendees at the papal Mass in Sri Lanka on Wednesday was Romello Dias, a 20-year-old man who has been suffering major health problems for five years.“I want a big blessing for my son, (so) that he will be okay,” Dias’ father told CNA Jan. 14.Dias started having health problems after he finished ninth grade. Doctors do not know what is wrong with him.Dias’ parents brought their son to the … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis’ full homily on Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka’s first saint

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 10:28 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis on Jan. 14 canonized the 17th century priest Joseph Vaz during Mass at the Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. St. Joseph Vaz is the first canonized saint from Sri Lanka.The full text of the Pope's homily follows.Homily of the Holy Father"All the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God" (Is 52:10)This is the magnificent prophecy which we heard in today’s first reading. … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis lauds first Sri Lankan saint’s undivided love for God

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2015 / 09:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Wednesday canonized Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka’s first saint, praising the 17th century priest’s love for the Sri Lankan people, his “missionary zeal” and his example for all Christians.“Leaving behind his home, his family, the comfort of his familiar surroundings, he responded to the call to go forth, to speak of Christ wherever he was led,” the Pope said in his homily. “Saint Joseph … [Read more...]

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