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The Francis Chronicles

Boy hangs with Pope Francis

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"Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Luke 18:16

Thousands of Catholic families from around the world gathered at the Vatican over the weekend to celebrate the Year of Faith with Pope Francis.

A small group of children was invited to sit on the pope's platform to listen to speakers from across the world speak about their faith and families.

Pope Francis was visibly amused when one child stayed on the stage instead of returning to his seat on the steps.

Pope’s Quotes: The smell of sheep

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

“The priest who seldom goes out of himself … misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart. … This is precisely the reason why some priests grow dissatisfied, lose heart and become in a sense collectors of antiquities or novelties — instead of being shepherds living with ‘the smell of the sheep.’ This is what I am asking you — be shepherds with the smell of sheep.”

—Pope Francis’ address to the world’s priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday March 28

Pope Francis greets Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate

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Pope Francis Monday received Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi in the Vatican, offering his support to her commitment towards democracy, according to Vatican radio. (See photo here.)

The Burmese opposition leader, a former political prisoner in her country, is currently on a visit to Europe and on Sunday was made an honorary citizen of Rome.

Pope’s Quotes: People want pastors

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

“The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.”

From “A Big Heart Open to God,” America magazine Sept. 19, 2013.

Pope’s Quotes: Go, make disciples

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

To be the people of God, “first of all means that God doesn’t belong to any particular people, because he is the one who calls us … and this invitation is addressed to all, without distinction, because God’s mercy ‘wills everyone to be saved.’ Jesus doesn’t tell the apostles and us to form an exclusive group of elite members. Jesus says: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations.’”

—Pope Francis continuing a series of meditations on the church June 12

Francis' Twitter followers top 10 million

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Pope Francis (@Pontifex) on Sunday told his Twitter followers they are now more than 10 million in number.

"Dear Followers I understand there are now over 10 million of you! I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me."

He breaks the 10 million mark by adding up all followers on his eight Twitter feeds in different languages: English (3 million), Spanish (4 million), Italian (1.2 million), Polish (139,000) and Arabic (96,000). Oh, and Latin (169,000).

Pope’s Quotes: The field hospital church

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

“The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. ... And you have to start from the ground up.

Pope’s Quotes: All are welcome

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

"May the church be the place of God’s mercy and love, where everyone can feel themselves welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel. And in order to make others feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged, the church must have open doors so that all might enter. And we must go out of those doors and proclaim the Gospel.”

—Pope Francis continuing a series of meditations on the church June 12

Pope’s Quotes: God’s forgiveness

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

“The church is the great family of children of God. Certainly it has human aspects from the members who comprise it, pastors and faithful. They have defects, imperfections, sins. Even the pope has them — and he has many — but what is beautiful is that when we become aware that we are sinners, we find the mercy of God. God always forgives. Don’t forget this. God always forgives.”

—Pope Francis beginning a series of meditations on the church May 29

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In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

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