We’ve all heard of the New Evangelism. I think it’s time to recognize something else going on the church. Maybe we should call it the Very New Evangelism. The Very New Evangelism is the kind of evangelism we find being preached by Pope Francis. This evangelism is about serving the needy and offering encouragement. It’s about modeling ways Christians can be, well, be Christians in day-to-day life.
Pope Francis has filled a key office, appointing 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin Vatican Secretary of State, by tradition a pope's "Prime Minister."
As part of the Year of Faith, the Vatican wants to celebrate bonds that last a lifetime.
The international pilgrimage of families Oct. 26-27 is being planned as a celebration and not a protest against any policy or trend, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
"The time has come to set aside conflicts," he said, and "hit the streets" simply with the joy and happiness of being part of a loving family.
St. Augustine famously said people's hearts are restless until they rest in God, but too many people, Pope Francis said, have allowed their hearts to be "anesthetized" and no longer search for God and for love.
Celebrating the saint's feast day Wednesday with members of the Order of St. Augustine, Pope Francis prayed they would always be restless in their search for God, their desire to share the Gospel and their drive to demonstrate their love for everyone they meet.
Archbishop Georg Ganswein, retired Pope Benedict XVI's longtime personal secretary, said a story about the pope resigning after a "mystical experience" was completely invented.
Analysis: A change in administration always triggers a game of musical chairs, and it's well underway in the Vatican right now.
Vatican activities for the Year of Faith begin again in late September with an international meeting of catechists, followed in October by a Marian pilgrimage in the presence of the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima and a celebration of faith and family life.
The International Conference on Catechesis will bring together leaders of national and diocesan offices Sept. 26-28 for religious education to discuss theory and practice before they begin a two-day Year of Faith pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter and celebrate Mass Sept. 29 with Pope Francis.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation in February, he made it very clear he had done so after intense prayer.
"If you don't think like I do ... and you can't convince me to think like you do, that's OK. We can still be friends," he told the students.
Only Pope Francis knows for sure when he will proclaim Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII saints, though he has implied it likely will be in 2014.