For Cubans, the Pope’s visit brought hope – but will it last?

After Pope Francis’ visit as a “missionary of mercy,” Cuba is now in a prime moment to move forward in its relationship with the Church and work for the common good, said a representative of an aid group that works in the country. “What he brought them above all was his message of the ‘logic… Continue reading For Cubans, the Pope’s visit brought hope – but will it last?

Pope Francis lauds Archbishop Chaput's 'great love for the family'

Pope Francis reviewed his recent trip to Cuba and the United States during his General Audience on Wednesday, calling the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia the “culmination” of his apostolic visit. “I wish to convey my fraternal and warm thanks to Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, for his commitment, his piety, his enthusiasm, and his… Continue reading Pope Francis lauds Archbishop Chaput's 'great love for the family'

Cuban youth who exchanged zucchettos with the Pope felt the 'tenderness of God'

When he learned that a Pope would visit his city for the first time, Manuel Alejandro Rodríguez Yong dreamed of getting a white zucchetto to exchange with Pope Francis. Yong not only achieved that dream but was also able to experience the “tenderness of God” in the embrace the Pope gave him, he said. Yong,… Continue reading Cuban youth who exchanged zucchettos with the Pope felt the 'tenderness of God'

Full transcript of Pope's in-flight interview from Cuba to US

Speaking to journalists aboard Tuesday’s flight from Cuba to Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington, D.C., Pope Francis discussed his time in Cuba; the Church’s social teaching, and personal freedoms in Cuba, as well as Cuba-United States relations. Below is a full transcript of the discussion between Pope Francis and journalists during the Sept. 22 flight:… Continue reading Full transcript of Pope's in-flight interview from Cuba to US

Pope blesses unborn children around the world while meeting with Cuban families

Pope Francis met with families on Tuesday at Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral in Santiago de Cuba, thanking those gathered for their warm witness and inclusive nature, reflecting that it is at home, in the family, that Christ shows the love of God. Going off script from his prepared remarks Sept. 22, the Pope… Continue reading Pope blesses unborn children around the world while meeting with Cuban families

Pope asks Cubans to imitate Mary's 'revolution of tenderness'

During Mass on Tuesday Pope Francis praised the rich devotion to Our Lady of Charity seeded in the hearts of Cubans, and told them to be like her in making haste to meet the needs of others in tenderness and charity. “Generation after generation, day after day, we are asked to renew our faith. We… Continue reading Pope asks Cubans to imitate Mary's 'revolution of tenderness'

Nine things you missed from Pope Francis' time in Havana

In an intense Sunday, Pope Francis on Sept. 20 said a Mass attended by 200,000 people in Havana’s Revolution Square, visited Fidel Castro, improvised two speeches, and was welcomed with affection by the Cuban people. Here are some details you might have missed while he was in “the Rome of the Caribbean.” First Communion Five… Continue reading Nine things you missed from Pope Francis' time in Havana

Pope Francis: Do you believe that Christ can transform you?

Pope Francis Monday celebrated his second public Mass during his papal visit to Cuba, reflecting that an encounter with Christ has the power to transform even the most rejected sinners into missionaries. “The gaze of Jesus gives rise to missionary activity, service, self-giving,” the Pope said, drawing his inspiration from the conversion of St. Matthew,… Continue reading Pope Francis: Do you believe that Christ can transform you?

Pope Francis gifts Fidel Castro with copy of 'Laudato Si'

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis and former Cuban president Fidel Castro held a brief meeting after Sunday Mass and the Angelus today. Pope Francis, accompanied by a few other Vatican representatives including Apostolic Nuncio to Cuba, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, traveled to Fidel Castro’s home where the two talked about the environment and “the… Continue reading Pope Francis gifts Fidel Castro with copy of 'Laudato Si'

Pope Francis' gift to Castro: a challenging message from Cuban leader's old teacher

Pope Francis met with Fidel Castro on Sunday and gave him a special gift: a book and two CDs with the homilies and songs of Father Armando Llorente, a Jesuit priest who was Castro’s school teacher. Before Father Llorente’s death, he publically asked for Castro’s conversion and repentance. Father Llorente was Castro’s teacher and mentor… Continue reading Pope Francis' gift to Castro: a challenging message from Cuban leader's old teacher

Let poverty be your mother, Pope Francis tells religious in Cuba

Pope Francis on Sunday spoke from the heart about the importance of spiritual poverty, the danger of worldly wealth, and the universal need for mercy. He made his impromptu remarks to Cuban priests, consecrated religious and seminarians at Havana’s cathedral. “The spirit of the world does not love the way of the Son of God,… Continue reading Let poverty be your mother, Pope Francis tells religious in Cuba

In Cuba, Pope Francis urges youth to hope and dream for the future

Pope Francis set aside his prepared remarks to respond to the dreams and hopes of young people who spoke to him in Cuba on Sunday evening. “I took notes,” he told a Sept. 20 youth meeting at the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center near Havana’s Cathedral. “The word that hit me hard: dream,” Pope Francis… Continue reading In Cuba, Pope Francis urges youth to hope and dream for the future

Pope deeply moved by plight of Vatican-housed refugee family

As he began his 10-day trip to Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis was seen off by a Syrian refugee family the Vatican is now housing through one of its parishes. The Pope described himself shortly after as “very moved.” “You could see the pain in their faces,” Pope Francis told journalists aboard the… Continue reading Pope deeply moved by plight of Vatican-housed refugee family

Restoration of ties with US a sign of hope, Pope says in Cuba

Pope Francis landed in Havana on Saturday, the first of his 9-day visit to Cuba and the United States, telling officials that the recent normalization of relations between the two countries is a sign of hope and victory. “For some months now, we have witnessed an event which fills us with hope: the process of… Continue reading Restoration of ties with US a sign of hope, Pope says in Cuba

Colombian peace talks must not fail, Pope says during Cuba trip

Pope Francis prayed for the ongoing negotiations between FARC rebels and the Colombian government happening in Cuba right now saying that “another failure” is not an option. “Please, we do not have the right to allow ourselves yet another failure on this path of peace and reconciliation,” he said following the Sept. 20 Sunday Angelus… Continue reading Colombian peace talks must not fail, Pope says during Cuba trip

Pope in Cuba: Christians serve people, not ideology

In his first Mass during apostolic trip to Cuba, Pope Francis centered his homily on the Christian call to service, which he said is never ideological, but involves putting our own interests aside for the sake of others. “Being a Christian entails promoting the dignity of our brothers and sisters, fighting for it, living for… Continue reading Pope in Cuba: Christians serve people, not ideology

Cubans hope papal visit will rekindle faith

The Church in Cuba has undertaken a movement of spiritual and missionary preparation for Pope Francis’ arrival tomorrow, which has led to hope for a rekindling of faith, according to one prominent priest. Pope Francis will be in Cuba Sept. 19-22, visiting the cities of Havana, Holguin, and Santiago de Cuba, saying Mass in each… Continue reading Cubans hope papal visit will rekindle faith

Cuban bishops welcome pardon of 3,500 prisoners before Pope Francis' visit

The Cuban bishops’ conference stated on Friday they “received with profound satisfaction” the decision of the nation’s government to pardon 3,522 prisoners “as a humanitarian gesture on the occasion of the visit of Pope Francis to our country.” Cuba’s state-run daily newspaper Granma reported Sept. 11 that the government, “on the occasion of the visit… Continue reading Cuban bishops welcome pardon of 3,500 prisoners before Pope Francis' visit

Pope Francis will likely meet Fidel Castro during Cuba visit

While Pope Francis is in Cuba next week chances are high that he will meet with former president Fidel Castro, though no specific time has been set, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has announced. Anticipating questions on whether a meeting between the Pope and the former Cuban president would happen, Fr. Lombardi said that “in… Continue reading Pope Francis will likely meet Fidel Castro during Cuba visit