Catholic News Service

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Catholic News Service, serving since 1920 as a news agency specializing in reporting religion, is the primary source of national and world news that appears in the U.S. Catholic press. It is also a leading source of news for Catholic print and broadcast media throughout the world.

Cardinal Francis E. George, the retired archbishop of Chicago who was the first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, died April 17 at his residence after nearly 10 years battling cancer. He was 78.

Paul Cartier is used to putting in long days balancing roles as an organist for a New York parish and two professional sports teams plus 15 hours weekly as a volunteer commissioner, firefighter and emergency medical technician, but he's still in sports heaven despite a recent 19-inning Yankees game.

From Easter to Pentecost -- and especially during the Marian month of May -- Catholics recite the "Regina Coeli" prayer "with the emotion of children who are happy because their mother is happy" that Jesus has risen from the dead, Pope Francis said.

The Vatican approved new statutes and bylaws for the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious, ending a seven-year process of investigating the group and engaging in dialogue with its officers to ensure greater harmony with church teaching.

A new set of "beatitudes" and priorities for novice directors recognizes the personal, professional and spiritual challenges involved in formation and seeks to offer encouragement in a general climate of decreased vocations to religious life.

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Pope Francis generated controversy while commemorating the centenary of the Armenian massacre by referring to it as "genocide."

The comment came during a weeklong celebration of the legacy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, a 20th-century Catholic evangelist, who led the way in spreading the Gospel through mainstream media.

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Nigerians pray for the safe return of 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram one year ago.

Novice directors and others responsible for formation must have "a great heart for the young, so as to form in them great hearts, able to welcome everyone, rich in mercy, full of tenderness," Pope Francis said.

Mercy is what makes God perfect and all-powerful, Pope Francis said in his document officially proclaiming the 2015-2016 extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.

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