Habitat for Humanity to build a Pope Francis House

From The St. Louis Review:  Habitat for Humanity St. Louis will begin building The Pope Francis House next month in the Tiffany Neighborhood in south St. Louis for a family currently living in substandard housing. An anonymous donor sponsored The Pope Francis House with $60,000 gift, seeking to inspire the St. Louis community to raise [Read More...]

Pope Francis declares a new doctor of the Church

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis has declared Armenian poet and monk, Saint Gregory of Narek, a Doctor of the Universal Church.  Meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints on Saturday ahead of his departure for Aricca on Lenten retreat, the Pope confirmed the proposal put forward by the [Read More...]

Pope Francis talks to Rome’s priests about liturgy, preaching

From CNS:  The liturgy should help the faithful enter into God’s mystery and to experience the wonder of encountering Christ, Pope Francis told priests of the diocese of Rome. People should feel the wonder and allure “that the apostles felt when they were called, invited. It attracts — wonder attracts — and it lets you [Read More...]

Did a gay rights group actually get “VIP treatment” at the Vatican?—UPDATED

Here’s the report from Reuters:  A prominent American Catholic gay rights group was given VIP treatment for the first time at an audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday, a move members saw as a sign of change in the Roman Catholic Church. “This is a sign of movement that’s due to the Francis effect,” said [Read More...]

VIDEO: Pope offers Mass for slain Copts

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis offered Mass Tuesday morning for the repose of the souls of the twenty-one Coptic Christians martyred for their faith in Christ. The Mass was attended by the Pope’s personal secretary, Abuna Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who is Coptic Catholic. As he prepared to begin Mass in the Santa Marta Chapel, the [Read More...]

Homeless line up for haircuts, showers at Vatican: “It’s a beautiful thing he has done for us”

From AP:  Homeless people are lining up outside the public restrooms off St Peter’s Square to take advantage of Pope Francis’ new charitable initiative: a free shave and shower for the least fortunate. The Vatican’s barber shop for the homeless opened on Monday and 49-year-old Mauro Casubolo was one of the first clients. His chin [Read More...]

“For anyone who wants to go back to the way things were before Francis, it’s game over.”

  View image | gettyimages.com NPR’s Indira Lakshmanan sat down with Rocco Palmo this weekend to talk about Pope Francis, two years into his papacy. Snip:  LAKSHMANAN: Can he compel priests and cardinals to follow his example, or is this just him expressing a personal opinion and hoping that they fall into line? PALMO: As for [Read More...]

Pope to new cardinals: it’s all about charity

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis presided over an ordinary Public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals on Saturday morning, in St. Peter’s Basilica.20 new members of the Clergy of Rome were created, the Pope’s closest partners in mission. Addressing the membership of the College of Cardinals gathered for the occasion, Pope Francis spoke of the [Read More...]

Ganswein: Benedict “is convinced that the decision he made was the right one”

From CNS:  Retired Pope Benedict XVI has never doubted or regretted his decision to resign, knowing it was the right thing to do for the good of the church, said Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to the retired pope.“The church needs a strong helmsman,” and Pope Benedict was keenly [Read More...]

Benedict today: “His mind is formidable”

From AFP:  Former pope Benedict XVI can still play Mozart from memory on the piano and retains a formidable mind, an aide to the 87-year-old ex-pontiff has revealed.Two years after he shocked the world by announcing he lacked the strength of mind and body to carry on as pope, Benedict is enjoying a largely solitary [Read More...]