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Pope Francis wishes to travel to Iraq in 2020

Pope Francis said on Monday he "thinks constantly of Iraq", where he wishes to travel in the coming year. He was addressing representatives of ROACO, the ‘Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches.’

As he listed countries that fall within the Reunion’s reach and where the faithful continue to suffer, - including Syria, Ukraine and the Holy Land – the Pope focused on Iraq.

He said he hopes it is able to build a peaceful future based on the “shared pursuit of the common good on the part of all elements of society, including the religious”, without falling back into “hostilities sparked by the simmering conflicts of the regional powers”.

Iraq's small Christian population of several hundred thousand suffered persecution and hardship when so-called Islamic State took control of large swathes of the country, but have recovered freedoms since the jihadists were pushed out. The country is home to many different eastern rite churches, both Catholic and Orthodox. It would be a first ever apostolic visit to the nation.

Thanking the members of the ROACO committee, which unites funding agencies from various countries around the world for the sake of providing assistance in different areas of life to the clergy and to the faithful of the Oriental Churches, ROACO, he said, “attends to the plea of all those, who in these years have been robbed of hope”.

The Pope did not neglect to underscore voices of hope and consolation that he said “are the echoes of that tireless charitable outreach that has been made possible also thanks to each of you and the agencies that you represent”.

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Pope Francis releases Message for World Mission Day 2019

The Vatican on Sunday 9 June, released the message of Pope Francis for this year’s World Mission Sunday, which falls on the penultimate Sunday of October every year.

World Mission Sunday in 2019 falls on 20 October. Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926, the annual day encourages prayers, cooperation and help for missions as well as reminding Christians about the fundamental missionary character of the Church and of every baptized person.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.”

To read Pope’s Message Click Here

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CHARIS: a new service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

CHARIS, a new unified service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, will be inaugurated at Pentecost. Father Alexandre Awi Mello, secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, and Jean-Luc Moens, the first moderator of CHARIS, were asked by Vatican News to tell us about this new service, which was commissioned by Pope Francis.

Vatican News (VN): On 8 December 2018, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life instituted a new unified service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. This service is called CHARIS, an acronym for Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service. What are its objectives?

Fr. Awi: CHARIS is called to serve all who express this “stream of grace”. Its statutes will enter into force on 9 June 2019 on the Solemnity of Pentecost. That same day, the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships (known as Catholic Fraternity) and ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) will terminate their activities.

It is important to note that CHARIS is not a merger between these two organisations, but rather a new service that initiates a new phase for the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I believe that after Pentecost this innovation will gradually become more evident. It should also be noted that CHARIS is not a governing body but a Service of Communion in accordance with the explicit desire of the Holy Father.

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