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home : news : our church September 20, 2017

Pope expands scope of John Paul II institute on marriage, family

VATICAN CITY –To better prepare priests and pastoral workers to help meet the challenges they face today, Pope Francis is strengthening the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and changing its name to the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family.

The new institution is to expand and deepen the types of courses offered as well as take "an analytical and diversified approach" that allows students to study all aspects and concerns of today's families while remaining "faithful to the teaching of Christ," the Pope wrote.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Salesian priest recounts harrowing tale of his capture, liberation

ROME – Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil was sitting in a room in an unknown location – one of several he had been relocated to during his 18-month imprisonment – when he received some unexpected news.

"Those who kept me came to where I slept (and said), 'I bring you good news. We are sending you home. If you need to go to the bathroom, go. Take a shower, but quickly!'" Father Uzhunnalil told reporters Sept. 16 at the Salesian headquarters in Rome.

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Monday, September 18, 2017
Pope praises Rome's first interreligious half-marathon

VATICAN CITY – After thousands of runners completed the first ever "multireligious" half-marathon in Rome, Pope Francis praised the initiative, which was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

"I greet participants in the 'Via Pacis' athletic race, which passed places of worship of the different religious faiths present in Rome," the Pope said Sept. 17. "I hope that this cultural and athletic initiative fosters dialogue, coexistence and peace," he told gathered for the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square, which was near the end of the 13-mile (21 km) course.

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Monday, September 18, 2017
Freed Indian Salesian meets Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY  -- One day after his release from captivity, Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil met with Pope Francis. More ...
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
At final Mass in Colombia, Pope calls for change of culture
CARTAGENA, Colombia – Pope Francis capped a five-day trip to Colombia with a call for culture change in a country attempting to pursue a path of peace and reconciliation after decades of armed conflict and centuries of social exclusion.

The Pope issued his call in Cartagena, on Colombia's Caribbean Coast, where he remembered St. Peter Claver and urged the country to follow the example set centuries earlier by the priest, who tended to slaves arriving on ships by showing kind gestures and dignity.

"We are required to generate 'from below' a change in culture, so we respond to the culture of death and violence with the culture of life and encounter," Pope Francis said Sept. 10, prior to returning to Rome.

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Monday, September 11, 2017
Look for vocations in imperfect places, pope tells Colombians
CARTAGENA, Colombia -- Pope Francis called on Catholics to find their future priests and religious in rough and imperfect places. More ...
Monday, September 11, 2017
On 'sacred ground' of suffering, Pope prays for reconciliation in Colombia

VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia – In a raw, honest prayer service where victims and perpetrators of violence stood under the gaze of a bomb-damaged crucifix, Pope Francis urged Colombians to summon the courage to make peace.

Symbolically presiding over the event Sept. 8 was what remained of a crucifix from the church in Bojaya, an image of Jesus whose arms and legs were blown off in 2002 when an improvised homemade mortar launched by rebels crashed through the roof of a church and exploded.

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Saturday, September 9, 2017
Be the first to take a step for peace, pope says at Mass with victims
VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia -- If just one victim of Colombia's civil war forgives his or her aggressor, it can set off a chain reaction of hope for reconciliation and peace, Pope Francis said. More ...
Friday, September 8, 2017
Being vulnerable is being human, pope tells young people
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Proudly showing off their costumes for television cameras before Pope Francis arrived, dozens of young people with Down syndrome and other developmental challenges were obviously proud and pleased. More ...
Friday, September 8, 2017
Colombia youths must teach elders to forgive, to move on, pope says
BOGOTA, Colombia -- As Colombia strives to build a lasting peace, the country's elders need the encouragement and insistence of young people, who believe with all their hearts that forgiveness is possible and grudges don't have to last for decades, Pope Francis said. More ...
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Flying to Colombia, pope asks prayers for Venezuela
ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO COLOMBIA  -- Flying to Colombia, with a flight plan changed to avoid Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean Sea, Pope Francis told reporters that Colombia and its neighbor, Venezuela, were in his prayers. More ...
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Pope arrives to help promote healing in Colombia, scarred by war
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Pope Francis arrived in Colombia Sept. 6 for a five-day visit to promote reconciliation in a deeply Catholic country scarred and reticent to offer forgiveness after decades of war. More ...
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
St. Padre Pio's relics make second tour with stops in New York
Relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina – better known as Padre Pio – will be touring several archdioceses and dioceses in the United States for the second time, between Sept.16 and Oct. 8, 2017.

Relics of St. Padre Pio, the Italian-born priest who bore the stigmata for most of his life, that will be available for public veneration include his glove, crusts of the wounds, cotton gauze with blood stains, a lock of hair, his mantle and a handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Be the first to love, to build bridges, pope tells Colombians
VATICAN CITY -- Colombia's transition to a just and lasting peace requires a commitment on behalf of all the nation's people to taking the first step toward reconciliation, Pope Francis said in a video message. More ...
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Bishop O'Connell attends ordination for new Allentown bishop

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was among those in attendance Aug. 31 at a special Mass for the new bishop of Allentown, Pa.

Msgr. Alfred A. Schlert, 56, former administrator of the Diocese of Allentown, was ordained and installed as the diocese’s fifth bishop during a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., was the principal ordaining bishop. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, was also in attendance.

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Friday, September 1, 2017
NEWS BRIEFS - OUR CHURCH - Aug. 31, 2017
Catholic News Service recently published the following news briefs on these topics: Ukrainian Catholic Church’s mission; Sainthood cause of Father Stanley Rother; Catholic Social Teaching’s role; Papal visit to Myanmar, Bangladesh; Church repair, reform. More ...
Friday, September 1, 2017
Vatican confirms pope's visit to Myanmar, Bangladesh in late November
VATICAN CITY -- A day after appealing for an end the violent persecution of the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority in Myanmar, the Vatican announced Pope Francis will visit the country in late November. More ...
Monday, August 28, 2017
Expat Salvadorans in U.S. mark Blessed Oscar Romero's 100th birthday
WASHINGTON -- Washington resident Berta Quintanilla said her toddler had always asked about the bespectacled older man whose photo he often saw at home and sometimes at church events. More ...
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Metuchen Diocese's new ministry will assist those who 'till and tend'
METUCHEN • As coordinator of the newly created Catholic Rural Life Ministry in the Diocese of Metuchen, Father Michael C. Saharic will show that the Catholic Church cares for and wants to meet the needs of those who work in the farming and agricultural industries in the diocese. More ...
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Eclipse a way to appreciate creation, Vatican astronomer tells audience
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. -- A total solar eclipse is a rare event, something to appreciate and enjoy in the mind of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory. More ...
Monday, August 21, 2017

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