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Archbishop Robert J. Carlson led evening prayer at St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis before a dinner to kick off the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal. The theme of this year’s appeal is “Build My Church.” To learn more about the appeal and watch a video from Archbishop Carlson, see
April 02, 2014

This is my final Lenten reflection on Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"). I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of this amazingly rich document, so if you have not already done so, I encourage you to read it...

Pope Francis walked with children during a meeting with Malta’s President George Abela, left, during a private audience at the Vatican March 21.
March 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- The world's bishops, priests and deacons need people's prayers and encouragement to continually deepen their relationship with Jesus and serve their community with love, Pope Francis said.

A minister of God who does not nourish his love for Christ...

Pope Francis walked with U.S. President Barack Obama during a private audience at the Vatican March 27.
March 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- In their first encounter, Pope Francis received U.S. President Barack Obama at the Vatican March 27 for a discussion that touched on several areas of tension between the Catholic Church and the White House, including religious freedom and medical ethics....

March 19, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Priests in the Diocese of Rome, led by Pope Francis and organized by a Vatican office, will mark "24 hours for the Lord," offering eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of penance in St. Peter's Basilica and three historic churches in the center of Rome...

Pope Francis addressed parishioners during a visit to the parish of Santa Maria dell’Orazione on the outskirts of Rome March 16.
March 19, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- On the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal Church and Jesus' earthly father, Pope Francis urged all dads in the world to stick by their children's side, teaching them, guiding them and loving them.

"I ask that you have the grace to...

March 19, 2014

WASHINGTON -- While any increase in church attendance prompted by the pope's appeal isn't quite yet measurable, a new survey shows Pope Francis has made an impact on Catholic giving in the year since his papacy began.

Results of the survey, released March 13 by...

March 12, 2014

With the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis March 13, media outlets and reporters are trying to figure out what impact he has had on interest in the Catholic Church and whether it will last.

It's probably too early to get a sound measure as to the...

Pope Francis greeted a girl as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Feb. 19.
March 12, 2014

WASHINGTON -- Pope Francis' popularity began immediately after his March 13, 2013, election when he walked onto the balcony and humbly greeted the crowd in St. Peter's Square.

His appeal has been on a fast track ever since, causing many to speculate the existence...

Pope Francis arrived for a weeklong Lenten retreat with senior members of the Roman Curia in Ariccia, near Rome, March 9. The pope did not hold weekly audience because he was on retreat.
March 12, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- When temptation comes your way, don't try to "dialogue" or argue with the devil, Pope Francis said, but seek refuge and strength in the words of the Bible.

Addressing tens of thousands of people gathered for the Angelus in St. Peter's Square March...

Pope Francis attended a weeklong Lenten retreat with senior members of the Roman Curia in Ariccia, Italy, March 9.
March 12, 2014

The image of Pope Francis taking a bus with other cardinals, archbishops and top Vatican officials earlier this month to go on a Lenten retreat has become a scene very familiar to Catholics.

It's one of the most visible ways by which Pope Francis has marked his...

Rain fell as Pope Francis led the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 2. The pope asked the world’s Christians to pray for Ukraine and urged the parties involved in the conflict to engage in dialogue.
March 06, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives, Pope Francis said.

Lent is time to "change course, to recover the ability to respond to the...

Pope Francis imposed ashes on the head of Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome.
March 06, 2014

ROME -- Lent is meant to wake up Christians and help them see that God can give them the strength to change their lives and their surroundings, Pope Francis said.

Before receiving and distributing ashes at an evening Mass March 5, Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis gave...

February 26, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are...

February 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Never hesitate to call a priest to bless and anoint sick or elderly family members, Pope Francis said.

Some people worry receiving the sacrament of the anointing of the sick "brings bad luck" and "the hearse will come next," the pope said. "This is...

Retired Pope Benedict XVI greeted Pope Francis at the conclusion of a consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. Pope Benedict’s presence at the ceremony marked the first time he had joined Pope Francis for a public liturgy.
February 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- On a feast day commemorating the authority Jesus gave to St. Peter and his successors -- the popes -- Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in the presence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

To the great surprise of most people present, the retired...

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney arrived for Pope Francis' Mass with new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 23. The Vatican announced Feb. 24 that Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Pell to head a new Vatican office overseeing Vatican finances.
February 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- In a move reflecting both his drive to reform the Vatican bureaucracy and his oft-stated desire to include laypeople in the leadership of the church, Pope Francis established a new panel, to include almost as many lay members as clerics, to oversee the...

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