National / International News:

Cardinal George, 78, dies after long fight with cancer

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Cardinal Francis E. George, the retired archbishop of Chicago who was the first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, died April 17 at his residence after nearly 10 years battling cancer. He was 78.

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.