National Catholic Reporter

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Francis

Spend time in silence and service before Christmas, pope suggests

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In the heart of Rome's high-end shopping district, sparkling with Christmas lights and shiny baubles in the windows of famous designers, Pope Francis prayed that people would spend time in silence and in service as they prepare to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, Pope Francis prayed for Mary's intercession so that, "in us, your children, grace also will prevail over pride, and we can become merciful like our heavenly Father is merciful."

Pope Francis calls for solidarity in creating a world without nuclear weapons

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Pope Francis called on world leaders, activists and people of faith to pull together to rid the world of the threat of nuclear weapons.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, read the pope's statement Monday in Vienna at the opening of Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

In his message, Pope Francis restated the Vatican's long-standing advocacy for the global elimination of nuclear weapons and said peace is not just a balance of power, "but true justice."

El Paso project helps farmworkers recover 'dignity of their lives'

Carlos Marentes was warned he would have only seconds, not even a minute, to greet Pope Francis.

"They said, 'Someone will be there to take your photo. And in the time it takes to take that picture, say what you have to say.' I said so much, they took eight pictures!" Marentes chuckled.

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