Franciscans mark a modest 400 years

They were commonly known as Recollects when their first four members landed 400 years ago with New France founder Samuel de Champlain.

The political Pope Francis can’t help but make it personal

PHILADELPHIA - In the 1970s feminist writers had a slogan they wanted to share with the world: “The personal is political.”

Immigrant Canadians give resounding ‘yes’ to Pope

PHILADELPHIA - When Pope Francis pleaded with immigrants to hold on to their traditions and culture, a big “yes” rose in Alicia Ledda’s heart. That’s what she came to Philadelphia to hear.

Family gathering opens eyes to the possibilities

PHILADELPHIA - Most of the 500 or so Toronto pilgrims and more than 1,000 Canadians in Philadelphia showed up for the last two days of the papal visit to see the Pope. A smaller, hard core of dedicated family activists and advocates formed part of the 18,000 who attended the week-long World Meeting of Families.

Francis wows America

PHILIDELPHIA - Pray for the Pope. It’s the one thing he wants. For six days in America, he asked school children, the president, congressmen, senators, UN diplomats, bishops, a million Mass-goers, the homeless and prisoners all to pray for him.

Pope urges U.S. Catholics to keep enthusiasm, welcome newcomers

PHILADELPHIA - Pope Francis ended his trip to the United States with a call for Catholics to keep the enthusiasm of the visit, while continuing to welcome newcomers and care for creation.

Pope says he left U.S. praying for, impressed by its people

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM PHILADELPHIA - As the American Airlines plane taking him to Rome from Philadelphia took off, Pope Francis said he pictured the faces of all the people he met, and he prayed for them.

Pope breaks out of the box on families

PHILADELPHIA - People were surprised, at least the professional talkers on CNN were surprised, that Pope Francis tossed his script at the Festival of the Families Saturday night.

Serve, care for each other, Pope tells families at closing Mass

PHILADELPHIA - Pope Francis urged the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family.

Visiting prison, pope says all people need forgiveness, cleansing

PHILADELPHIA - While pilgrims in Philadelphia put up with a long weekend of lines and security checks at the papal venues, the pope reached out to a group of people whose lives are lines and security checks for years at a time.

A celebration of food, family and faith

SHARON, ONT. - A group gathers under the full moon at Regina Mundi Renewal Centre on a Saturday evening in late August. They light up the night with candles. The flames illuminate faces that include a grandfather and granddaughters, teens and their parents, small families and large ones — people of all ages.

Pope meets with clergy abuse victims, says crimes can't be secret

PHILADELPHIA - Pope Francis met with a group of survivors of sexual abuse Sept. 27 and later told bishops that he was overwhelmed by a sense of embarrassment and was committed to holding accountable those who harmed children.

Villa St. Joseph stresses care for God’s creation

Even before Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ was released to the world in June, Villa St. Joseph Retreat and Ecology Centre in Cobourg, Ont., was teaching others about the importance of caring for all of God’s creation.