Singing does good for the soul, pope tells young choristers

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Singing is good for one’s soul and, as St. Augustine says, Christian life is not a sad path but a joyous one that is done “singing and walking,” Pope Francis said. “Remember this: Sing and walk,” the pope said Dec. 31 to 6,000 young choristers, their families, friends and choirmasters from…

Pope prays for natural disaster victims in U.S., U.K., Latin America

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called on Christians to pray for victims of several natural disasters that have hit parts of the United States, Great Britain and Paraguay. “I invite you to pray for the victims of disasters that in recent days have struck the United States, Great Britain and South America, especially in…

National Geographic shutterbug recalls photographing Pope Francis

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A year ago on Christmas Day, National Geographic photographer Dave Yoder got an unexpected Christmas gift that he will never forget. Over a six-month period, he had taken tens of thousands of photos for a planned cover story on Pope Francis for his magazine. But while he had taken many powerful photos,…

Advocates for homeless remember men, women who died on the streets

GREEN BAY, Wis. (CNS) — The first day of winter, Dec. 21, is also known as the winter solstice. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. For people who are homeless, it’s a night that represents the harsh challenges of living on the streets. For the past seven years, St. John…

Homily of Pope Francis: Feast of the Holy Family

The biblical readings which we just heard presented us with the image of two families on pilgrimage to the house of God. Elkanah and Hannah bring their son Samuel to the Temple of Shiloh and consecrate him to the Lord (cf. 1 Sam 1:20-22, 24-28). In the same way, Joseph and Mary, in the company…

Pope delivers Christmas Urbi et Orbi message

Pope Francis this Christmas day delivered his Urbi et Orbi message, (to the city and the world) from the central loggia of St Peter’s Basilica. In it he prayed that recent U.N.-backed peace agreements for Syria and Libya would quickly end the suffering of their people. He also spoke about the “brutal acts of terrorism” that struck…

Pope: Let us gaze upon the Child Jesus, the Son of God

Pope Francis has celebrated Christmas Mass at St Peter’s Basilica. Below, you can find the prepared text of the Holy Father’s homily for the Holy Mass of the Nativity of the Lord “during the Night”: Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis Christmas Midnight Mass 24 December 2015 Tonight “a great light” shines forth (Is 9:1);…

After shooting, Catholics in north Minneapolis hope to pave path to peace

MINNEAPOLIS (CNS) — More than a month has passed since the November shooting death of Jamar Clark, a black man, by a white police officer. While protesters, led by the group Black Lives Matter, have moved on from their encampment at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct, their questions and those of the larger community…