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    Apr 19, 2014

    The light of Christ has come into the darkness of our world


    (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

    By Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, Bishop of Springfield
    SPRINGFIELD – The following is the text of the homily to be given by Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell at this evening’s Easter Vigil

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    Apr 19, 2014

    Traditional blessing of Easter food held at Our Lady of the Cross Parish

    Story and photos by Julie Beaulieu
    HOLYOKE – Continuing a Polish tradition, parishioners of Our Lady of the Cross Parish here participated in an Easter Blessing of the Food April 19.

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    Apr 18, 2014

    Hundreds pray for an end to abortion on Good Friday

    Story and photo by Carolee McGrath
    SPRINGFIELD --  More than 200 people gathered in front of Planned Parenthood in Springfield on Good Friday morning to pray for

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    Apr 18, 2014

    Teens from diocese make Holy Thursday pilgrimage to seven churches


    Story and photos by Carolee McGrath
    CHICOPEE – Fifty teens from across the Diocese of Springfield spent Holy Thursday evening visiting seven churches in the area,


Aug 26, 2013

Pope denounces 'multiplication of massacres,' atrocities in Syria


 

WORLD


(CNS photo/Azad Lashkari, Reuters) 

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called again for an end to the fighting in Syria, denouncing the "multiplication of massacres and atrocious acts," including the suspected chemical weapons attack that left hundreds dead.

As U.N. weapons inspectors received permission from the Syrian government Aug. 25 to visit the site of the alleged attack, Pope Francis said the "terrible images" of the dead, including children, "push me once again to raise a voice so that the roar of the weapons would stop."

"It is not clashes, but an ability to meet and to dialogue that offers prospects for a hope of resolving the problems," the pope said after reciting the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

Once again the pope asked the crowd to join him in praying that Mary, queen of peace, would intercede to stop the fighting that has raged in Syria since March 2011 as rebels try to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

                (CNS photo/Giampiero Sposito, Reuters)

"From the depths of my heart, I want to express my closeness in prayer and solidarity with all the victims of this conflict (and) all those who are suffering, especially the children, and ask them to keep their hopes for peace alive," the pope said.

He asked the international community to pay more attention to the conflict in Syria and help the nation's people "find a solution to this war that is sowing destruction and death."

Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio to Syria, told Vatican Radio Aug. 25 that looking at the images of the alleged chemical attack, "I hear the cry of these children, these innocent victims."

At the same time, he said he prayed that the leaders of both sides in the conflict as well as leaders in the international community "would be gifted with much wisdom and much prudence" as they decide how to move forward.

"We must do so in a way that these crimes, these massacres never happen again," the archbishop said. "We must find the most appropriate and opportune means to react, ways that will not complicate the situation."

Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio Aug. 26 that Pope Francis was calling for a real commitment by the international community to encourage dialogue and negotiations in Syria.

(CNS photo/Reuters)

"If there were a military intervention, I think this would lead to a world war," the bishop said. "There is this risk.

"Let's hope that the pope's appeal will promote a real dialogue between the parties in conflict," he said. The objective must not be more fighting, but acting so that "the people will be free to move around, travel, communicate (and) work."

"This is what we hope for: An international effort that will help dialogue and not make war," he said.