Blessed Junipero Serra’s motto was “always forward, never back.” But as the date nears for his canonization by Pope Francis, Serra’s life of faithful evangelization is being fiercely — and many say unfairly — questioned by detractors who insist on looking back into the life and times of the 18th-century missionary priest.

Published in International

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for 44 tumultuous years, has been decreed by the Vatican to be worthy of sainthood, needing only an approved miracle for him to be beatified.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - On the occasion of the beatification of El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero, Pope Francis sent a note that was read to those present for the May 23 ceremony.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will bestow sainthood on two Palestinian nuns May 17, a move that’s being seen as giving hope to the conflict-wracked Middle East and shining the spotlight on the plight of Christians in the region.

Published in International

WASHINGTON - Although the upcoming canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra has stirred mixed reaction, a group of panelists said the ambiguities around the friar should not discount the good work he did or the positive dialogue and reconciliation that could result from his sainthood.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has approved a miracle so that, for the first time, a married couple can be canonized together.

Published in Vatican

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be beatified in San Salvador May 23, said Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator or chief promoter of the archbishop's sainthood cause.

Published in International

FRASCATI, Italy - Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, "lit a new light in the Church's journey toward unity," Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - The sainthood cause of the founder of the Focolare movement, Chiara Lubich, was to open officially Jan. 27 in the cathedral of the Italian Diocese of Frascati, which includes the town where the international lay movement is based.

Published in Vatican

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - Passing through Rome on the way to the Jan. 14 canonization of Fr. Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Sri Lanka, I heard something extraordinary from Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Canonizing Sri Lanka's first saint, who ministered to Catholics under persecution three centuries earlier, Pope Francis proclaimed what he called the "fundamental human right" of religious freedom.
Published in International

ROME - There is excitement here about the papal visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines next week. For those with longer Roman memories, they know that it celebrates the 20th anniversary of an extraordinary pilgrimage by St. John Paul, one that marked the beginning of the heroic last decade of his pontificate.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis recognized the miracles needed for the canonization of two Palestinian nuns and of a French woman who founded a religious order.

Published in Vatican

Ancient Greece expressed much of its psychological and spiritual wisdom inside its myths. The Greeks didn’t intend these to be taken literally or as historical, but as metaphor and as an archetypal illustration of why life is as it is and how people engage life both generatively and destructively. 

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Pope John XXIII’s ascension to saint status, along with Pope John Paul II, sent me on a quest to find some of the new St. John XXIII’s wittiest remarks.

Published in Robert Brehl