Join me this weekend on Vatican Insider for Part II of my conversation with my guest of honor, Fr. Ramil Fajardo, rector of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini National Shrine in Chicago. Having talked last week about the life, times, and work of Mother Cabrini, America’s First Citizen Saint, and the migrants whom she helped, and about today’s migrants and refugees, Fr. Ramil, joined by Fr. Ryan Brady, looks at how Chicago will celebrate a Cabrini Jubilee Year! When will it start? What are some of the plans? Tune in this weekend to Vatican Insider!

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini died Dec. 22, 1917, after spending much of her life working with Italian immigrants in the United States.

Canonized on July 7, 1946, by Pope Pius XII, this year marks the 75th anniversary of her sainthood.

Fathers Ramil and Ryan joined me for dinner after our interview in the brief time I spent in Chicago during my recent, very wonderful, U.S. vacation.

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Pope Francis on Friday received in audience Prime Minister Robert Abela of Malta who later met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Paul Richard Gallagher. (Vatican photo)

A communique by the Holy See Press Office said, “During the cordial discussions in the Secretariat of State, the good bilateral relations and fruitful collaboration between the Church and the State were underlined. The parties focused on the contribution of Christianity to the history, culture and life of the Maltese people, and on the Church’s commitment to the human and social development of the country, especially in the fields of education and welfare.

“Issues of common interest were then discussed, such as migration, to which the Church and the Government are strongly committed, and some ethical issues. Attention then turned to the European and international situation, with particular attention to the Mediterranean region, as well as the importance of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in building peace and brotherhood among peoples.”

A Vatican media report noted that the population of the tiny island nation is estimated at 516,000 people, over 90 per cent of whom are Catholics.  They are spread across the country’s two dioceses – the Archdiocese of Malta and the Diocese of Gozo.


The German weekly edition of the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano was started in 1971 with the blessing of Pope Paul VI.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Pope Francis has felicitated the weekly German-language edition of the Holy See’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (Italian for The Roman Observer), for its 5 decades of service in “edifying” its readers with an inside look into the Church of Rome and the world.

“With affection, I have taken note of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the weekly edition of L’Osservatore Romano which is being celebrated in these days. I gladly accompany the collaborators, as well as the German-speaking readers, with my prayers.” the Pope wrote in a brief letter to the newspaper.

Edifying readers
“For half a century,” he noted, “the newspaper has been edifying its customers week by week with a look inside the events of the Church of Rome and that of the world; it reports on the Word of the Successor of Peter and provides a rich variety of cultural contributions.” All this, Pope Francis said, makes it possible for the faithful of local Churches to know the Universal Church better.  He concluded imparting his apostolic blessing on all those contributing to “this service of mediation” and to all its readers.

An initiative of Paul VI
The German edition was started in 1971, under the initiative of Saint Pope Paul VI.  “With joy We welcome the new weekly edition of the LOsservatore Romano in German and accompany its appearance with Our good wishes,” the Pope wrote in a letter dated October 1, 1971. “May it contribute to fostering the spirit of fraternal communion among the People of God.”  He imparted his blessing on “those who meritoriously contributed to the realization of this initiative”, as well as to all the collaborators and readers of the newspaper.

The German edition
The German edition consists of two instalments or segments. The first provides information and news of the Holy See, the Universal Church, and the local Churches, as well as cultural sections and in-depth doctrinal and historical reflections.  The second one is devoted to the activities of the Pontiff, including the translation of his discourses and interventions.  Since 1986 it has been printed in Germany by the publishing house Schwabenverlag that also is responsible for its distribution and subscriptions. It is also available in digital form.

Other language editions
The original edition of L’Osservatore Romano is the Italian daily, which was started 160 years ago in 1861. The daily is published 6 days a week (except for Monday). The weekly editions are available in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and also Italian.  A Polish edition is published monthly.  There is also a weekly edition printed in the Malayalam language in India, and a biweekly edition in Hungarian printed in Hungary.