RAKOVSKI, Bulgaria - In the Catholic heart of Bulgaria, Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass for 245 children receiving their first Communion and thanked them for helping him, their parents and grandparents remember their own first Communion.

Published in International

What is your memory of the time you received your first Holy Communion? 

Published in Faith

MADRID, Spain – Over the past nine years, Spain has been hit particularly hard by the worldwide economic crisis.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - No saint was ever known for having a "funeral face," Pope Francis said; the joy of knowing one is loved by God and saved by Christ must be seen at least in a sense of peace, if not a smile.

Celebrating the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, Dec. 14, Pope Francis paid an evening visit to Rome's St. Joseph parish, meeting with the sick, with a group of Gypsies, with a First Communion class and with dozens of couples whose newborn babies were baptized in the past year.

Published in International

My seven-year-old recently made his First Communion. He is one of two children to take this life-changing spiritual step in our rural Nova Scotia parish. That’s right, one of only two.

I’m sure there are other children in our countryside community who should have joined them, but for many reasons those children did not prepare for the sacrament. Most don’t even attend Mass, even though their parents did so as children.

Published in Guest Columns

VATICAN CITY - Preparing children for their first Communion must be done with both great zeal and moderation, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Around the world, many children receive their first Communion during the Easter season, he told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square April 22 for the recitation of the "Regina Coeli," a Marian prayer used in place of the Angelus from Easter to Pentecost.

The Pope urged "priests, parents and catechists to prepare for this feast of faith well, with great fervor but also with sobriety."

Published in Vatican