Sing Sing inmates participate in gift exchange with Pope Francis

New York City, N.Y., Dec 17, 2014 / 10:07 pm (CNA).- Inside the chapel of Our Lady of Hope at Sing Sing Prison, inmates sitting in the penitentiary’s chapel pews were stunned by what they had received from Pope Francis. Denis Martinez, a convicted felon of eleven years serving time at Sing Sing, sent an original drawing of three crucifixes on Calvary as a gift to Pope Francis. Other inmates sent messages along with the drawing to the Pope, as a symbol of their respect for … [Read more...]

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New app takes Pope Francis’ Philippines visit mobile

Manila, Philippines, Dec 17, 2014 / 03:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The new official app for the Pope’s January visit to the Philippines will help people follow the Pope’s activities and find the latest news, while letting them offer their prayers on a special prayer wall. “It is a good way to bring information on the papal visit closer to the people, particularly the youth,” said Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, chairman of the bishops of the Philippines’ Episcopal … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis strengthens commission for the protection of minors

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 02:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed eight new members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Wednesday, completing the ranks of the commission with a balanced geographical representation in doing so. “The commission was enlarged with the purpose of having an interdisciplinary view, with different perspectives coming from several part of the world,” Msgr. Robert W. Oliver, secretary of the Pontifical Commission, … [Read more...]

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School massacre incites horror in Pakistani community

Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Dec 17, 2014 / 12:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An Australian priest who spent more than 30 years in Pakistan has only one word for the impact of a Pakistani Taliban attack on a military school that left 141 victims, most of whom were children: “horror.” Fr. Robert McCulloch, general procurator of the St. Colomban's Mission Society to the Holy See, said the attack on the school will most likely be closely linked in the minds of Pakistanis “with the event … [Read more...]

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Vatican, Pope played key role in US-Cuba prisoner release

Washington D.C., Dec 17, 2014 / 10:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican played a critical role behind a prisoner exchange and a groundbreaking new policy between U.S. and Cuba announced on Wednesday, senior administration officials said. “Very importantly, the Vatican played a role in this as well,” a senior administration official said in a White House conference call with reporters on the prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Cuba, and the opening of new relations between the … [Read more...]

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Tea and cake for Pope Francis as he celebrates 78th birthday

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 09:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Shouts of “Tanti auguri” – or, “Happy Birthday!” – filled St. Peter's Square Wednesday morning as Pope Francis circled around throngs of pilgrims on his popemobile during the weekly general audience. The Holy Father, who turned 78 on Dec. 17, stopped to blow out the candles on a cake given to him by group of Legionaries of Christ seminarians. He also took a sip of mate tea – a traditional … [Read more...]

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An Advent gift: God’s mercy in the confessional, cardinal says

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Christmas approaches, priests and penitents should remind themselves of the “miracle” of confession and how we should approach the sacrament with “full freedom,” a Vatican cardinal says. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza called the season of Advent is a time of “particularly attentive waiting,” a time both of men awaiting God and of God awaiting men, “whom he loves.” “The Lord sets … [Read more...]

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