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Francis

Pope Francis defends Junipero Serra, prays for missionary zeal in Americas

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People seem to enjoy finding the shortcomings of candidates for sainthood like Blessed Junipero Serra, but they should ask themselves if they would have his generosity and courage to leave everything behind to care for the poor and bring them the Gospel, Pope Francis said.

Visiting the Pontifical North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome, Pope Francis said Serra fits into a host of saints who shaped the history and culture of the Americas, particularly by spreading Christianity, caring for the poor and defending the oppressed.

Catholics must be active in politics, no matter how 'dirty,' pope says

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Catholics must get involved in politics even if it may be "dirty," frustrating and fraught with failure, Pope Francis said.

Given today's "throwaway" culture and so many problems unfolding in the world, "Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony? No, you can't watch from the balcony. Get right in there!" he said.

Six things to expect in the pope's address to Congress

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Everyone wants Congress to stop fighting and get working, and that includes Pope Francis, a top adviser said Wednesday in a preview of the pope's upcoming U.S. trip.

The Argentine-born pope has never been to the United States, but he will make history in September as the first pope to address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill.

"The pope will come humbly but will talk clearly," Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a top adviser to Francis, told an audience at Georgetown University.

Pope Francis names new commission to implement reform of Vatican media

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Pope Francis has set up a five-person committee -- which includes Irish Msgr. Paul Tighe -- to find ways to implement recommendations for streamlining and modernizing the Vatican's many communications structures.

When the pope met with his Council of Cardinals in April, the cardinal advisers suggested he name a new commission to implement a reform plan drafted by a previous 11-member papal commission.

Interested in helping at World Meeting of Families? Volunteer

For the past year, the question most often heard by Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families, was, "How can I help?"

Now there is an answer and a way anyone can lend a hand to the four-day conference and events surrounding the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September.

Registration for volunteers is now open at the World Meeting of Families 2015 website.

The meeting runs Sept. 22-25 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

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January 29-February 11, 2016

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