Leaders representing Manila's poor asked the cardinal that church representatives visit their communities to talk about their living conditions.
The traditional pre-Lent celebration has been revived in Argentina in recent years amid turbulent economic conditions.
Today’s letters come from two sisters serving in different parts of South Sudan. As both letters reflect, even in peaceful areas violence is affecting people as they travel, work, go to school and try to live their daily lives.
On Friday, Charity Sr. Patricia Johannsen, who trains teachers in the western state of Yambio wrote:
In just one year, Pope Francis has made a powerful impact on the Catholic Church worldwide, a number of cardinals have said.
Members of the College of Cardinals gathered in Rome for a series of meetings in late February, and several spoke to Catholic News Service about the Argentine pope's budding legacy.
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington: "It's been an extraordinary year. He's been able to help people see the face of Christ visible in his church."
"It's been an extraordinary gift and a challenge for the rest of us."
Members of the international Catholic communicators' organization, Signis, elected Gustavo Andujar of Havana as their new president.
Andujar had served since 2005 as one of the vice presidents of the organization.
Working for the Archdiocese of Havana, Andujar directs the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center, the Catholic quarterly magazine "Espacio Laical," and the Catholic journal "Ecos." He is a member of the archdiocesan pastoral secretariat and of the social communications secretariat of the Cuban bishops' conference.
In addition to prayers, Pope Francis urged the parties involved in the conflict to engage in dialogue.
A lack of reporting and access to reliable statistical information makes determining an accurate figure difficult.
Dominican Fr. Thomas Thien Tran Minh Cam devoted the past 30 years to reconciling the Catholic church and Vietnam's communist government.
Since the military coup in Egypt last July, regime opponents have seen deaths, political charges and a repressive anti-protest law.
Vatican theologians have given their approval to a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Paul VI, moving him a step closer to sainthood.