Beware of false prophets, Pope Francis warns

The church needs true prophets who not only speak the truth fearlessly, but also empathise with the suffering of their people, Pope Francis said. A prophet must always be a person who not only “is able to cry for his people, but also capable of taking risks to speak the truth,” the Pope said in his homily on April 17 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Church “needs us to be prophets. Not critics, that’s another thing. One thing is to be the critical judge who likes…

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3 priests, 5 religious sisters declared venerable

Pope Francis on Saturday cleared the way for 8 Servants of God, including and Indian, taking them a step closer to sainthood. On April 14, the Holy Father Francis received Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized the promulgation of the decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of 8 Servants of God who will now have the title Venerable Servant of God or simply Venerable. Among them is Father Varghese Payapilly, an Indian diocesan priest, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the…

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Crying little boy asks Pope Francis if his atheist dad could be in heaven

After circling a massive, crumbling public housing complex on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis had an emotional encounter with the neighbourhood’s children. Question-and-answer sessions with youngsters are a standard part of Pope Francis’ parish visits. And, at St Paul of the Cross parish on April 15, there were the usual questions like, “How did you feel when you were elected Pope?” But then it was Emanuele’s turn. The young boy smiled at the pope as he approached the microphone. But then froze. “I can’t do it,” Emanuele said. Mgr…

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Nigerian Bishops to make their Ad Limina Apostolorum Visit to Rome in April

The Members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria are to make a collective pilgrimage to Rome this April 14 to May 5, 2018 called ad limina visit where they will meet Pope Francis and report on the state of their dioceses. Definition of Ad Limina Visit The visit ad limina means, technically, the obligation incumbent on certain members of the hierarchy of visiting, at stated times, the “thresholds of the Apostles”, Sts. Peter and Paul, and of presenting themselves before the popeto give an account of the state of…

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrates his 91st birthday

The day of Joseph Ratzinger’s birth has been seen by some as a sign of Divine Providence. It was certainly a sign of things to come. The future Pope Benedict XVI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16 1927. His birthplace is Marktl-an-Inn, a tiny village less than an hour’s walk away from Altoetting, the most important Marian Shrine in Bavaria. 1927 was the year Charles Lindbergh completed the first ever solo flight across the Atlantic. The Pope in Rome was Pius XI – the successor to Pope Benedict XV.…

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Pope Francis: Don’t delay in having your child baptised

Parents who prefer not to baptise their children in the hopes that they will “understand and ask for baptism” as adults lack faith that the Holy Spirit will act in their child’s life, Pope Francis said. While some believe that there is no need to “baptise a child that does not understand” the meaning of the sacrament, the Pope said doing so would deny the chance for “Christian virtues to grow within that child and blossom.” “Always give this opportunity to all children: to have within themselves the Holy Spirit…

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Veteran Lancaster priest installed as bishop

A priest who has served parishes in the Diocese of Lancaster for decades has been installed as its new bishop. Bishop Paul Swarbrick, 59, was ordained at St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster, on Monday. In his homily, the outgoing Bishop Michael Campbell said Bishop Swarbrick must have been “disturbed” by the news of his appointment and, in the weeks since, had been “trying to come to terms with what Pope Francis was asking”. But he said that, like Mary when faced with the angel Gabriel, Bishop Swarbrick was helped by the…

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Relic of St John Paul II’s blood venerated in Philippines

The Archdiocese of Manila will be the custodian of a relic of St John Paul II: a vial of the late Pope’s blood that was placed in a reliquary for veneration starting April 7. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, St John Paul II’s former secretary and retired archbishop of Krakow, Poland, gave the archdiocese the vial as a gift for the 60th anniversary of Manila Cathedral’s reconstruction after World War II, ucanews reported. “This precious gift … is truly a source of consolation and help especially for those who are suffering physical…

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Nigeria: Gunmen abduct another Catholic Priest

A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ugwu Johnbosco has been kidnapped on Wednesday April 4. Fr. Ugwu, the Parish priest of St Peters Catholic Church, Ibillo in Auchi Diocese, Edo state was kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen while returning from Asaba, Delta state to his parish. He hails from Imilike-enu in Nsukka diocese, Enugu State. May we join our voices to call down divine assistance for his immediate release.  

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Seminarian who carried cross at Pope’s Easter Mass dies in Rome

Friends and fans called him a “gentle giant,” a faithful “prayer warrior” and a Clark Kent whose superman power was helping people grow in holiness and faith. “I believe I truly knew a saint,” one friend wrote. The written comments were among the hundreds of condolence messages, prayers and stories submitted to an “in memoriam” page on the RegnumChristi.org website for Legionary of Christ Brother Anthony Freeman of Houston. The US seminarian, who was a third-year theology student at Rome’s Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, died unexpectedly at the age of…

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