WASHINGTON - With cellphone cameras held high and cheers of delight, an enthusiastic and disparate crowd of hundreds gathered outside the Vatican Embassy Sept. 22 to welcome Pope Francis to the United States.

Published in Francis in America

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis touched down in Washington on Sept. 22 after a historic visit to Cuba, the first Latin American Pope in history on his first trip to the United States. He comes “as a migrant,” as a top papal aide put it, on a six-day visit filled with great expectations for the popular pontiff but also numerous challenges.

Published in Francis in America

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM CUBA - Pope Francis defended his position on the economy, the environment and other social issues as faithful repetitions of the basic Catholic social doctrine.

Published in Francis in America

SANTIAGO, Cuba - Pope Francis ended his trip to Cuba by blessing the city of Santiago de Cuba and telling Cubans to treat family as an "opportunity" rather than a problem.

Published in Faith

SANTIAGO, Cuba - Pope Francis called Cuban to a "revolution of tenderness" as he celebrated Mass in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the country's patroness.

Published in Faith

SANTIAGO, Cuba - In one of the calmer, more intimate moments of his visit to Cuba, Pope Francis and the country's bishops offered special prayers to the Cuba's patroness, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.

Published in Faith

Pope Francis has been presiding over Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Tuesday in Santiago. In his Homily, the Holy Father returned to the theme of  “serving others” recalling the exemplary model of Our Lady, who the Pope said, “left her house and went out to serve.”

Published in Reflections

SANTIAGO, Cuba - A key task of a traveling pope is to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith. For Pope Francis in Cuba, that ministry took on added importance as Cuba and its people stand on the threshold of potentially epochal change.

Published in Faith

HOLGUIN, Cuba - The scene would have been unimaginable a few years ago: A Catholic Mass in Holguin's Revolution Plaza, where May Day parades and other patriotic events exalting the Cuban Revolution take place.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - While cruising past cheering crowds in Naples, Italy, earlier this year, Pope Francis received an unexpected gift. A local pizzeria owner jogging alongside the papal car jumped over the barrier and handed Francis a pizza, which the smiling pope willingly accepted.

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HAVANA - In a hot and steamy cathedral after listening to a Daughter of Charity talk about her work with people with severe disabilities, Pope Francis set aside his prepared homily and spoke about serving those the world considers "useless."

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis expressed his joy and "prayerful solidarity" to the new head of the Assyrian Church of the East, 73-year-old Catholicos Gewargis III.

Published in Vatican

On the first full day of his Apostolic Journey to Cuba, Pope Francis celebrated the Sunday Mass in Havana's Plaza de la Revolución, focusing on the theme of service.

Published in Reflections

HAVANA - Although it was not part of his formal program, Pope Francis took time after Sunday Mass to visit Cuba's ailing former leader, Fidel Castro.

Published in Vatican

HOLGUIN, Cuba - Popes have come and gone from Cuba, and this city of 300,000 or so always has prepared but never has been picked for a visit by a pope -- until now.

Published in Vatican