The prelate responsible for shepherding the process said one thing is clear: The coming days will see an "opportunity to deal with existential issues."
Excitement and anticipation for this synod have been high, partly because of a survey the Vatican sent to the world's bishops last year.
The Vatican formally recognized an international association of exorcists, giving the group autonomy as an organization of Catholics not operating in the name of the church.
Sympathizing with all the unknowns facing young people today, Pope Francis -- half joking -- said it is easier for a pope because he knows where his earthly life will end.
Aboard the papal plane: Pope Francis said he will meet with six to eight sex abuse victims and confirmed an investigation of the Vatican's former secretary of state.
Cardinal James Harvey told the future priests gathered at a fundraiser in Rome: "People don't care what you know until they know that you care."
What was it like to be in that crowd during the canonizations, ministering to the people, especially those who were farthest away?
"Arab Christians are up to the challenge of reviving their presence. They should not rely solely on political circumstances, whether they are favorable or not."
The Tablet suspended Mickens on March 25 to conduct an investigation into a comment Mickens made on Facebook.
Some 5.5 million visitors toured the Vatican Museums last year, and the numbers continue to grow. "The popularity of Pope Francis has reverberated onto the museums," Antonio Paolucci, the museums' director, told journalists.
Now, for the first time, digital technology is taking visitors not only through the museums, but also further inside the Vatican than has ever before been possible.