National / International News:

Pope to visit Cuba first before heading to United States in September

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters April 22 that the pope has "received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba" and has decided to visit the island before going to the United States.


Pope says Year of Mercy will be time to heal, to help, to forgive

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Mercy is what makes God perfect and all-powerful, Pope Francis said in his document officially proclaiming the 2015-2016 extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.


In Holy Year, pope wants to share experience of mercy he had as teen

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' decision to convoke a special Holy Year of Mercy has its roots in the event that led a teenage Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the priesthood. Pope Francis has recounted the story several times in the past two years. On one occasion early in his pontificate, he told members of Catholic lay movements about his faith journey, particularly the importance of growing up Catholic and the influence of his grandmother.