March 16, 2013 |
Just after Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, I received a text from my son: "I guess I took the right Confirmation name. " Last year, at age 33, Nick was confirmed in the Catholic faith, and he adopted the name of Francis in honor of Francis of Assisi. I remember asking him why. "The guy was crazy, Dad. " Not an auspicious start, but I listened on. "You know, he was from a pretty well-to-do family. He rejected everything, wouldn't even wear shoes. " "You're not thinking of going shoeless.
January 6, 2015 |
Jackie Smith is offering her Coatesville home for rent for $15,000 during the week of the papal visit in September. She envisions her guests will be a few out-of-state families who opt to share the postwar bungalow an hour's drive from Center City. If Smith, a single mother who works at Wegmans, has her way, she hopes to use the money to go on a cruise with her mother and daughter, all still coping with the death of her 16-year-old son three years ago. "It'd be nice, just us three girls, to get away," she said.
May 19, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis toured St. Peter's Square to greet tens of thousands of people attending a rally of prayer, music and speeches Saturday, and he embraced the brother of a Pakistani politician who was assassinated in his country after calling for greater religious freedom for Christians there. Earlier in the day, the pope met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who made a brief visit to Rome, mindful of the importance of Christian voters back home during the election she faces in September.
June 25, 2015 |
ROME - Finding an opening act for the pope is no easy task. Organizers of Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia announced Tuesday that the renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Colombian pop star Juanes, along with the Philadelphia Orchestra, will headline the Saturday free concert on the eve of Pope Francis' Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in September. The pope - and as many as 1.5 million people - are expected to attend the Festival of Families performance on the last night of the World Meeting of Families, the Catholic Church's huge faith-and-families congress that week.
October 30, 2013
DURING THE WEEK off between games last week, Flyers chairman Ed Snider flew to Rome to meet with Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican. The Flyers are 2-0 since Snider, 80, met the pope. "I'd like to think he had something to do with it, but I think the team is finally turning it around and have learned [coach Craig Berube] 'Chief's' system," Snider joked. "I think that's a coincidence. " Snider, who experienced anti-Semitism growing up in Washington, D.C., made the trip with a 60-member delegation of the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation.
July 28, 2014 |
SPEAKING BEFORE a Mass in Fargo, N.D., Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput yesterday gave the strongest indication yet that Pope Francis will be coming to the City of Brotherly Love next year - not that further confirmation was needed. "Pope Francis has told me that he is coming," Chaput said, according to the Catholic News Service. The Vatican has not confirmed the trip and isn't expected to do so for months. But Francis' attendance at the triennial World Meeting of Families, which comes to Philly in September 2015, was considered by many to be a done deal even before Mayor Nutter, Gov. Corbett and Chaput went to Rome in March and formally invited him. Chaput, according to the Catholic News Service, indicated yesterday that Francis could be in town for three days, which is longer than previous papal visits to the World Meeting of Families.
March 29, 2014 |
ROME - Pope Francis and President Obama met in a private audience at the Vatican Thursday morning, but shared little of their discussion afterwards. The meeting, which followed photographs, began at 10:27 a.m and lasted about 50 minutes. Italian newspapers were reporting that both U.S. and Vatican diplomatic sources said a top item on Obama's agenda was to invite Francis to Philadelphia in September of next year for the World Meeting of Families. About 10:15, the president's motorcade pulled into San Damaso, a courtyard at the Vatican, where an American flag flew below the clock.
January 16, 2015
JESUS H. CHRIST on a crutch, what's Pope Francis saying now ? "If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said, making a fake move toward Gasparri, who organizes papal trips. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. " Sounding a little like an ayatollah, the pope spoke to reporters en route to the Philippines. While his off-hand remark excused a "punch" (what happened to turn the other cheek?
November 18, 2014 |
Confirming what he had whispered and hinted at for months, Pope Francis announced in Rome on Monday that he would come to Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families. The suddenness of the official announcement, not expected until next year, sent archdiocesan officials scrambling over the weekend for a proper venue to make a local announcement. They settled on the Great Hall of Philadelphia Museum of Art, called in 200 Catholic high school students to serve as a cheering backdrop, and invited Mayor Nutter to play master of ceremonies in the absence of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who had left for Rome last week unaware the news was imminent.