The Synod of Bishops on the family must find ways to give Catholic families a leading role in evangelizing and supporting other families, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told the synod.

Accompanying God's word with a real example or story from someone's life helps people know "the facts, that there are so many other people also having problems" and how Christ offers healing, Maria Gomes told Catholic News Service

Families bring needed values and a humanizing spirit to society and, when they mirror God's love for all, they teach the church how it should relate to all people, including the "imperfect."

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The Mexican bishops’ conference and the Vatican have confirmed Pope Francis will visit Mexico in 2016, marking his first trip to this heavily Catholic country in throes of unrest over unresolved issues such as violence, crime and corruption.

Catholic female religious orders have expanded rapidly in China over the past decade, but are now facing restrictions — such as licensing for their medical work — and a decrease in vocations.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a world filled with challenges to marriage and family life, the Catholic Church is called “to carry out her mission in fidelity, truth and love,” Pope Francis said at the Mass opening the world Synod of Bishops on the family.

Marking the day's memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, the pope's homily focused on these angels, saying they were "like an ambassador of God."

There continues to be debates about the conditions and limits to be set for the reception of migrants, not only on the level of national policies, but also in some parish communities, whose traditional tranquility seems to be threatened, Pope Francis said.

NASA scientists confirmed that liquid water flows, at least during the summer months, on the surface of Mars.

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Marita Thomas was among those in the crowd at the Festival of Families Sept. 26 who were moved to tears as they listened to families selected to come onstage to tell Pope Francis how they coped with hardship by clinging to God.


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