TOP STORIES

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    Jun 29, 2015

    Pope to archbishops: Be brave, convincing witnesses for church

    Story by Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
    Photos by Paul Haring Catholic New Service

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The church wants pastors who are unafraid of persecution, are angels of hope and charity, and are convincing witnesses with a life rooted in prayer and the Gospel, Pope Francis told new archbishops.

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    Jun 29, 2015

    Bishop Rozanzki appoints diocesan director for youth ministry

    Story and photos by Sharon Roulier

    SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has announced the appointment of a new director of youth ministry for the diocese.

    Gina Czerwinski, a native of the Diocese of Worcester, has been named to the post, a position that has been vacant in the diocese for several years.

  • 3 of 4


    Jun 28, 2015

    'America's original sin' manifests itself again in Charleston shootings


    (CNS photo/Victoria Wain, The Catholic Miscellany)

    By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service
    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Lisa Sharon Harper, director of organizing for the Sojourners community in Washington, defined "America's original sin" as "racial hierarchy" at a June 15 conference on solidarity and faith issues in the nation's capital.

  • 4 of 4


    Jun 27, 2015

    Eight men ordained permanent deacons in diocese

    (Photos by Fred LeBlanc & Carolee McGrath)

    By Carolee McGrath

    SPRINGFIELD – In the presence of their family and friends, eight men were ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Springfield this morning. More than 600 people filled up St. Michael’s Cathedral on State Street during the 11 a.m. Mass. Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski presided at the Rite of Ordination of Deacons.


Sep 2, 2014

Pope blesses international, interfaith soccer match for peace


 

WORLD


(CNS photo/Allesandro Di Meo, EPA)

By Judith Harris
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Taking up a suggestion from Pope Francis, Argentine Diego Maradona and other soccer stars past and present played an "Interreligious Match for Peace" and tolerance Sept. 1, drawing some 20,000 spectators to Rome's Olympic Stadium.

"The match is an occasion for raising funds for solidarity projects, but above all (for promoting) values that draw people together, no matter what their culture or religious creed," the pope told the participants and organizers earlier in the day, during a private audience at the Vatican.

He thanked those present for having "promptly followed my desire to see champions and coaches of various countries and diverse religions face each other in a sports match, to bear witness to feelings of fraternity and friendship."

                             (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

"Soccer is a human phenomenon, and special," Pope Francis said. "A sports event is a highly symbolic act that helps show it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace, in which believers of diverse religions conserve their own identity while living in mutual respect."

"It's important that you give a good example both on and off the playing field," the pope told the athletes and organizers.

The players included the legendary Maradona, 53, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986, and Roberto Baggio, 47, an Italian footballer inducted into his country's Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and named World Player of the Year by World Soccer magazine in 1993. Another player, Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine, asked the pope to pray for his civil-war-torn country.

Maradona told reporters he was deeply moved when he met the pope.

"I hugged him, and I felt proud to be an Argentine," Maradona said. "After being far from the church, (I am) proud of returning to it after God took my mother. Today I am happy to be once again with the church, with Pope Francis, and to play for peace."

Maradona, who has a history of drug abuse and obesity, played for 90 minutes. "It was a unique experience, and now let's all do something for peace and to combat world hunger," he said at the end of the match.

The pope did not attend the game but appeared in a video shown at the stadium.

(CNS photo/Allesandro Di Meo, EPA)

"When people play as a team, competition, instead of being war, becomes a seed of peace," the pope, speaking in Spanish, told fans in the stadium and those watching live on television in Italy and Argentina.

Players representing the Pupi Onlus Foundation defeated those representing the Catholic agency Scholas Occurrentes, 6-3.

Pope Francis established Scholas Occurrentes as an educational agency within the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to foster "social integration" of the needy and promote a "culture of encounter" through sports, the arts and technology.

The Pupi Onlus Foundation was founded by Javier Zanetti of Argentina, a former soccer player and captain of Inter Milan.

Ticket sale profits from the match were to go to the "Alternative of Life" project aiding disadvantaged children in Buenos Aires.