Pope Francis and the Catholic bishops have called on the U.S. government and the international community to provide support to both Syrian refugees fleeing violence and to countries that have been at the forefront of this humanitarian effort.
Suggestions on how to help:
• Donate to the collection at your parish
• Pray for migrants and refugees, for their plight and for peace.
PHILADELPHIA -- The major relics of St. Maria Goretti, known as the "patroness of purity," are on a "pilgrimage of mercy" in the United States this fall.
It the first time that her body has been in the United States. Before the relics are scheduled to be flown back to Italy Nov. 13, they will have been venerated in close to 20 states, including in Belleville, Ill., on October 19. According to the website www.mariagoretti.com, plans for a 2016 tour of the western half of the U.S. "are currently being studied."
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of Charleston asked for prayers for the families of those killed as well as for those whose homes were destroyed in what officials called a 1,000-year storm that brought extreme rains that deluged South Carolina.
Authorities said at least 14 people died and media reported that rescuers have had to pluck hundreds from swamped cars and flooded houses. Some residents remained in danger Oct. 6 from residual effects of saturated grounds that can unearth weakened trees and collapse roads.
VATICAN CITY -- The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to "God who always surprises us."
Opening the first working session of the synod Oct. 5, the pope said the synod's 270 voting members need courage, "pastoral and doctrinal zeal, wisdom, frankness and to keep always before our eyes the good of the Church and of families and the supreme law -- the salvation of souls."
PHILADELPHIA -- Irish pilgrims in Philadelphia shared their excitement after Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, announced the 2018 World Meeting of Families would be held in Dublin.
Irish pilgrim Mary Fitzgibbon's reaction was raw when she spoke with Catholic News Service. She had traveled to Philadelphia with her husband, Michael, and five children, ages 2-14, but had missed Archbishop Paglia's announcement Sept. 27.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis asked the world's young Catholics to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy every month in the run-up to World Youth Day next July.
He asked that they not be afraid to experience God's "boundless mercy, so that in turn you may become apostles of mercy by your actions, words and prayers in our world, wounded by selfishness, hatred and so much despair."