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A group of U.S. pastors with Catholic Extension talked across the border fence near El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Dec. 12, with a priest and parishioner from a Juarez parish.
December 16, 2015

CHICAGO -- With the poverty on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, Pope Francis' visit to the region in February will be an important opportunity for the Catholic Church "to emphasize the mercy of God that is at the core of the Christian faith."

That's how...

Pope Francis accepted a birthday cake from television reporter Valentina Alazraki of Televisa at his general audience Dec. 16 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope’s birthday was Dec. 17.
December 16, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Pilgrims must beware of people who seek to use the Jubilee Year to profit off of them since salvation is a gift that cannot be bought, Pope Francis said.

"Be careful! Beware of someone who is sly or sneaky who tells you that you need to pay....

Pope Francis presented a rose at an icon of Mary and the child Jesus as he began his general audience Dec. 9 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
December 09, 2015

VATICAN CITY -- The Catholic Church needs the extraordinary Holy Year to become an effective witness of God's divine mercy, Pope Francis said.

"The jubilee is a favorable time for all of us, so that in contemplating divine mercy, which surpasses every human...

Pope Francis walked through the Holy Door after opening it to begin the Holy Year of Mercy at the start of a Mass with priests, religious, catechists and youths at the cathedral in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 29
December 02, 2015

VATICAN CITY -- Missionary spirit is manifested by preaching love, humanity and faith through one's witness and not through proselytism, Pope Francis said. Faith in Jesus Christ is shared first through "witness then with words," the pope said Dec. 2 at his weekly general...

December 02, 2015

December 8 begins the Jubilee Year of Mercy in the universal Church. It will be our opportunity to deeply reflect on God's mercy and how we can be a merciful witness to others.

The special Holy Year, declared by Pope Francis, begins with the Solemnity of the...

Pope Francis arrived for a meeting with the Muslim community at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 30. "Together, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God Himself," Pope Francis said at the meeting.
December 02, 2015

BANGUI, Central African Republic — Pope Francis ended his visit to the violence-torn Central African Republic with cries for peace and pleas for a mercy that seeks and grants forgiveness.

In a country where political and ethnic rivalries also have split the...

Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at the start of a Mass with priests, religious, catechists and youths Nov. 29 at the cathedral in Bangui, Central African Republic.
November 29, 2015

BANGUI, Central African Republic -- Put down the weapons of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic.

"Even when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be...

Pope Francis knelt in prayer Nov. 28 as he visits the Anglican martyrs' shrine at Namugongo in Kampala, Uganda.
November 29, 2015

KAMPALA, Uganda -- As Pope Francis encouraged Ugandan Christians to draw inspiration from the 19th-century Ugandan Martyrs, he carried with him graphic images of the horrors the 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs endured.

The pope made an early morning visit Nov. 28...

Pope Francis greeted a baby at a Nov. 21 audience for participants in a world congress sponsored by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican.
November 25, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis condemned a Church that worships power, money and "St. Payola," a fictional patron of lucrative kickbacks.

The temptation is always there to yearn for worldly security and forget that only God can bring peace, true happiness and...

Policeman watched as Pope Francis arrived to lead his general audience Nov. 18 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
November 19, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Because God always keeps open the door of His mercy and offer of salvation to everyone, the doors of every Church and every Christian heart must never be closed to others, Pope Francis said.

All over the world, individual Christians and the whole...

Father Joe Weber took photos of Pope Francis from St. Peter's Square in Vatican City Nov. 15. "Such barbarity leaves us dismayed, and we ask ourselves how the human heart can plan and carry out such horrible events," the pope told the faithful, in response to attacks in Paris and Beiruit. Father Weber, Pastor of St. Justin Martyr Parish, was in Rome for a sabatical.
November 18, 2015

ROME -- Like others in the sea of humanity at St. Peter's Square Nov. 15, Father Joe Weber raised his cell phone and recorded video of Pope Francis speaking from a top-floor window at the papal residence.

Father Weber, pastor of St. Justin Martyr Parish in Sunset...

Pope Francis greeted a baby as he arrived to lead his general audience Nov. 11 in St. Peter’s Square. Continuing his catechetical series on family life, the pope reflected on the theme of togetherness, which is manifested at the dinner table.
November 11, 2015

VATICAN CITY -- A family that chooses to watch TV or play with their smartphones rather than talk at the dinner table is "hardly a family," Pope Francis said.

"When children at the dinner table are glued to the computer, or the telephone and do not listen to one...

Pope Francis talked with Sister Marie Mathilde, 102, during his unannounced visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor residence in Washington Sept. 23.
November 05, 2015

On a 15-minute, unannounced stop Sept. 23 at a residence operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis talked with about 45 sisters who work with the elderly. His message stressed how important their mission is in a society that tends to...

Pope Francis greeted the crowd Nov. 4 at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope said that families are like “a great gym where one trains in giving and in mutual forgiveness.”
November 04, 2015

VATICAN CITY — The secret to healing wounds among family members is to "not end the day in war" and to forgive one another, Pope Francis said.

"One cannot live without forgiving, or at least one cannot live well, especially in the family," the pope said Nov. 4 at...

Pope Francis kissed a baby during an audience with Roma, Sinti and Irish Travelers and other itinerant communities in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Oct. 26. The pope called for an end to centuries of prejudice against Gypsy communities.
October 28, 2015

VATICAN CITY -- The world expects all people of religious faith to work with everyone for a better future, Pope Francis told representatives of major religions.

"We can walk together taking care of each other and of creation" in joint projects that fight poverty,...

October 28, 2015

OXFORD, England -- Religious leaders in the Central African Republic have predicted the pope's upcoming visit might reconcile opposing factions, three years after a Muslim-led rebellion plunged the country into civil war.

"This will be a key event for all Central...

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