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The Francis Chronicles

‘Francesco’ now Italy’s most popular baby name

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Moved by the election of Pope Francis seven months ago, the name “Francesco” has leapfrogged to No. 1 on the list of the most popular baby names in Italy, according to a study.

The study, conducted by Enzo Caffarelli, who researches the origins of names at Rome’s Tor Vergata University, along with telephone directory publisher Seat PG Italia, also showed a trend toward re-naming streets, town squares and parks for St. Francis of Assisi, the pontiff’s namesake.

There are now more than 2,000 public places in Italy named after Francis; 300 of them were named this year.

Pope’s Quotes: Triumphalism

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

“The triumphalism of the church stops the church.” It becomes a church that journeys only halfway to its goal of salvation because people become satisfied with everything being “well organized — all the offices, everything in its place, everything beautiful, efficient.” Too many times, “we are faith-checkers instead of facilitators of the people’s faith.”

—Pope Francis in a homily during Mass with Vatican employees in the chapel at Casa Santa Marta May 29

Pope's Quotes: Faith as a journey

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My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

On June 7, Pope Francis addressed students of Jesuit schools in Italy and Albania. In the general audience hall, looking out at 9,000 students, alumni, parents and teachers, Francis held up his prepared speech and said: I’m supposed to read this to you, but that could be “a tad boring.” Let me give you just the highlights and then take some questions from you, he said.

Francis urges support for elderly sisters, priests

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At his morning Mass Friday, Pope Francis reflected on the later life challenges of three biblical figures: Moses, St. John the Baptist and St. Paul. He said none of the three was spared anguish at the end of their lives, though the Lord never abandoned them. The pope also urged the faithful to remember and visit the many elderly priests and sisters living in their nursing homes because they are true shrines of holiness. 

Sister on meeting pope: 'A man who wants to connect'

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Maryknoll Sr. Teresa Dagdag says she didn't expect to meet Pope Francis on Oct. 3. But as she walked away from a brief encounter with him, she says she saw "a simple man, a man of God, a man who wants to connect."

A native of the Philippines, Dagdag is the executive co-secretary of a group of leaders of international orders of men and women religious who focus on social justice issues. 

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In This Issue

August 29-September 11, 2014

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