Pope: Patch up family feuds, forgive, let go of painful past

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Let the Year of Mercy be the time to end all family feuds, to forgive each other and let bygones be bygones, Pope Francis said. “I think about so many brothers and sisters who are estranged from their families; they don’t speak to each other,” he said during his weekly general…

Shrine profile: The St. Cloud Shrine

Pope Francis declared an Extraordinary Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8, 2015 and ending Nov. 20, 2016. Bishop Donald Kettler has designated several shrines and churches in the Diocese of St. Cloud as pilgrimage sites for this Holy Year. Each of the five shrines will be profiled in upcoming issues. This series begins with The…

Indulgences: God’s love overflowing

By Timothy Johnston For The Visitor Pope Francis has called the church to celebrate an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and to reflect on God’s abundant mercy and love for us. For centuries, when a jubilee year is proclaimed, popes have announced special ways that Catholics can ask for and receive God’s forgiveness and mercy for…

Comedian, cardinal, inmate present Pope Francis book on mercy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Arms flailing, the exuberant and perhaps hyperactive Italian actor and comedian Roberto Benigni described Pope Francis as a masterful minister of God’s mercy, which is always active and always on the move. Benigni brought the house down Jan. 12 during the presentation of the new book-length interview with Pope Francis, “The…

Church’s credibility found in showing mercy, pope says in new book

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Being ministers of God’s mercy, church members overcome “prejudice and rigidity,” taking risks like Jesus did in order to heal and to save, Pope Francis said. In Jesus’ day, lepers were cast out of the community “to avoid contamination: the healthy needed to be protected,” but Jesus, at his own risk,…

Open wide the Holy Door

At the start of the Mass Dec. 13 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud, Bishop Donald Kettler “opened wide” the Holy Door, a special designation to mark the Extraordinary Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. Despite the rain, attendees processed from the Mary Center to the front of the church and up the…

Your pilgrimage passport for the Year of Mercy

The Visitor announces the “Pilgrimage Passport: A Journey of Mercy” project. This project is intended for individuals, families, students, schools, youth groups and anyone who wants to mark the Year of Mercy in a special way. To the right is a “passport” that can be cut out and folded in half. Below are “stamps” that…

Pope Francis’ 2015: Family, ecology, but mostly mercy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At the Vatican and on five continents in 2015, Pope Francis continued to encourage and demonstrate a style of evangelization that emphasizes walking with people, listening to them and showing them God’s mercy. From the heart of the universal church to the heart of Africa, the pope showed how Christians with…