Pope urges respect for life on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God

VATICAN – Pope Francis began the New Year praying the world would demonstrate a marked increase in solidarity and welcome for migrants and refugees.

The gift of God can only be met with "heart-wrenching gratitude", Pope says

VATICAN – At Vespers for the close of 2017, Pope Francis said that the only adequate response to God’s gift of His Son Jesus is one of profound gratitude for the many graces we’ve been given, particularly in the last year.

Pope: Festivities become a facade when Christ is left out of Christmas

VATICAN – Only when Christ is the focus of the Christmas season do all the colorful lights, carols, special meals and traditions help create a festive and joyous atmosphere, Pope Francis said.

Jesus' coming is an invitation to conversion, Pope says

VATICAN – On Tuesday Pope Francis said there is a strong link between the death of St. Stephen, the Church's first martyr, and the birth of Christ, who came to offer message that is often uncomfortable and calls us to convert.

Urbi et orbi: We see Jesus in every suffering child, Pope says

VATICAN – Those who recognize the Lord in the baby Jesus in the manger also should recognize his presence in children suffering today because of war, poverty and immigration, Pope Francis said.

Christians must be "messengers of hope", called to share joy, Pope says

VATICAN – Christmas calls believers to see God's presence where he is often perceived as absent, especially in the "unwelcomed visitor, often unrecognizable, who walks through our cities and our neighborhoods, who travels on our buses and knocks on our doors," Pope Francis said.

Mary is a perfect example of how to respond to God's plan, Pope says

VATICAN – With Christmas just a day away, Pope Francis said Mary's humble and modest response at the announcement of Jesus' birth reflects what our own attitude should be regarding God's plan for our lives as we prepare for the incarnation.

Let us wish shalom-peace for all humanity

The following is the Christmas message released by Bishop Lionel Gendron, Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

'Christmas Catholics' an opportunity to grow Church

MONTREAL – Christmas is just around the corner, and so are thousands of Catholics who ritually fill churches every Christmas Eve.

Elements of Vatican nativity scene cause a stir

VATICAN – The Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square is not getting rave reviews: The backdrop does not look like a stable and the characters in need – hungry, naked, dead, imprisoned – don't exactly evoke a silent night when all was cozy, calm and bright. Franciscan Father John Puodziunas said he didn't like it at first.

Sunday has lost its sense as day of rest, renewal in Christ, Pope says

VATICAN – Just like a plant needs sun and nourishment to survive, every Christian needs the light of Sunday and the sustenance of the Eucharist to truly live, Pope Francis said.