If you have never been to a Catholic church, or if you are new to our area of Kansas City, welcome!

If you and your family have been away from the Catholic Church for some time, welcome back! If you are an active member of our family at St. John Francis Regis, welcome! In short, we are glad you are here.

Come and join us for Holy Mass and be transformed by God’s grace. Participate, go out “into the deep”— get involved. We are truly blessed to have such a Christ-centered, faith-filled community. We invite you to join us and experience this great gift of God. Learn ways you can get involved at St. John Francis Regis by browsing our site, our bulletin, or our Facebook page. Take advantage of the various links and videos and contemplate anew the splendor of our faith alive in our age.

I invite you to consider becoming a registered member of our parish so you can grow in abundant love of God and neighbor. We look forward to seeing you, and may God richly bless you!

In Christ,
Fr. McCaffery

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Upcoming Events

Catholic Boots Camp

5 Week Intensive Catechesis
November 21, 2019 - 7:00pm
Mary's Room
Tuesday and Thursday, 7-8pm & Sundays 11:45am-12:45pm November 5-December 12 in Mary’s Room This is an opportunity to fine tune your knowledge of... Read more

Catholic Boots Camp

5 Week Intensive Catechesis
November 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
Mary's Room
Tuesday and Thursday, 7-8pm & Sundays 11:45am-12:45pm November 5-December 12 in Mary’s Room This is an opportunity to fine tune your knowledge of... Read more

St. Regis Advent Parish Mission

December 2, 2019 - 6:00pm
Monday, December 2: Confidence in God and Divine Mercey by Michael McGlinn Eucharish, Mary, and Power of the Holy Spirit by Dr. Gregory Mary Thompson... Read more

Saint of the day

November 13, 2019 - 11:00pm
John Licci is one of the longest living holy men of the Church. His 111 years on this earth in a small town near Palermo, Sicily, were filled with many miracles. His mother died during childbirth, and his father was a poor peasant who had to work the fields, and so was forced to leave John alone as an infant.  One day, a neighbor took the crying baby to her home to feed him. She laid the infant on the bed next to her paralyzed husband, and he was instantly cured.  After receiving the suggestion of Blessed Peter Geremia to enter religious life, John joined the Dominicans in 1415. He wore the habit for 96 years which is the longest known period for any religious.  He was ordained a priest and founded the convent of Saint Zita in his hometown, Caccamo. The entire construction of the convent is a story of miracles, from the location of the site to the very last wooden beam set in place. For example, one day when the workers ran out of materials, a large ox-drawn wagon filled with what they needed arrived at the building site. When roofbeams were cut too short, John would pray over them and they would stretch. There were also days when John miraculously multiplied bread and wine to feed the workers.  When John and two other Dominicans were attacked by bandits on the road, one of the bandits tried to stab John, but his hand withered and became paralyzed. The gang let the brothers go, then decided to ask for their forgiveness. John made the Sign of the Cross over them and the thief's hand was healed.  His blessings also caused the breadbox of a neighboring widow to stay miraculously full, feeding her and her six children. He prevented disease from coming to the cattle of his parishioners, and cured three people whose heads had been crushed in accidents. Consequently, he is the patron saint of head injuries. John was born in 1400 and died in 1511 of natural causes.
October 30, 2019 - 12:00am
On October 30, the Catholic Church honors a man whose humble occupation gave the world only glimpses of his extraordinary holiness. During his lifetime, Brother Alonso Rodriguez never became a priest, published a book, or advanced professionally. But writings discovered after his death revealed a true mystic, who attended to a rich spiritual life while he worked as a doorkeeper and porter.Born in Spain during 1532, Alonso married at 26 and worked as a cloth merchant, coming to religious life only through a string of crushing tragedies. His wife and two of their children died by the time he was 31, and his turn toward a life of prayer and penance could not prevent the subsequent death of his third and last remaining child -- nor the discouraging failure of his business. Without his wife and children, and having few prospects due to his lack of a higher education, the Spanish layman turned his thoughts to religious life. Even there, however, he faced difficulties. In his early years, Alonso had met one of the first Jesuits, Bl. Peter Faber, and with his old life in ruins, he developed an interest in joining the recently established Society of Jesus. Alonso's lack of education prevented him from pursuing their course of priestly ordination, and he failed to acquire a diploma from the College of Barcelona despite attending for two years. The Jesuit Fathers in Valencia said he was unfit to join. But Alonso's years of prayer had not been in vain: they were answered when a provincial of the society, sensing his dedication, admitted him as a lay-brother.In modern times, Jesuit Brothers work in a wide range of fields, with few limitations apart from their lack of priestly ordination. During the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the lay-brothers of the Society of Jesus were known as “temporal coadjutors,� and assisted the priests of the order by performing its more routine duties such as cooking, construction and farming.The Jesuits sent Rodriguez to the college of Montesión on the island of Majorca, to work as a porter and door-keeper. He assumed the responsibilities of receiving visitors and guests and carrying their luggage, tracking down students or priests when they were needed, delivering messages, and distributing alms to the poor. While other Jesuits traveled the globe evangelizing whole nations, and undertook a vast reform of the Catholic Church throughout Europe, Alonso carried bags and ran errands for 46 years.But students began to seek him out, realizing that their doorkeeper was a man of unusual wisdom and faith. His Jesuit superiors started to take notice as well, and asked him to begin a private record of his life and thoughts.  Rodriguez struck up a notable friendship with one young man, Peter Claver, and advised him to volunteer for the South American missions. Following his advice, St. Peter Claver eventually catechized, baptized and spoke out for the rights of 300,000 slaves in South America.When Brother Alonso died in 1617, his superiors examined the written records he had left behind describing his spiritual life. What they found was the life of a saint and mystic. His approach was simple: Christ was appearing in every person who appeared at the door; the task was to encounter God in any task. From this awareness, he proceeded to a life of contemplation akin to the renowned saints of his era (such as St. Ignatius or St. Teresa of Avila), whose grand achievements are better known.Brother Alonso Rodriguez was declared a saint in 1887. He is buried on the same island of Majorca where he answered the door and carried bags for five decades.
October 16, 2019 - 12:00am
On October 16, we celebrate the feast of St. Gerard Majella. St. Gerard was born the son of a tailor on April 6, 1726. He grew up about fifty miles south of Naples in Muro Lucano, Italy in a large, poor family. When St. Gerard was only 12, his father Dominic Majella entered eternal rest. Upon the death of his father, his mother, beholden to poverty, sent St. Gerard away to live with his uncle. St. Gerard thereafter became an apprentice to a tailor. This tailor treated him well; however, the foreman treated him poorly. After serving as a sewing apprentice for a couple years, he instead became a servant in the household of the bishop of Lacedonia, who was a cantankerous master. Upon the death of the bishop in 1745, he returned home. At the age of 21, he became a journeyman. He split his earnings for his mother and the poor, and made offerings for the holy souls in purgatory. Afterwards, he opened his own tailor shop.At a young age, St. Gerard tried to join the local Capuchins, but he was turned down twice due to his youth and poor health. He also tried to become a hermit, but that too was not God's will for him. He then entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1749 and professed of perpetual vows under the Redemptorist's founder, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, in 1751.He served as tailor and infirmarian and became known for his extraordinary supernatural gifts of bilocation, prophecy, ecstasies, visions, and infused knowledge. Though not ordained to the holy order of priest, his spiritual direction and advice were sought by many among the clergy and communities of nuns, to which he also gave conferences. He was most successful in converting sinners, and was widely known for his sanctity and charity.In 1754, he was calumniated and accused of lechery by a woman named Neria Caggiano. Caggiano later admitted her charge was a lie. Even before she admitted to her falsehood, St. Gerard did not deny her charges. As these charges were still up in the air, his superiors became suspicious, so they put him under surveillance and excluded him from communion for months until the girl admitted that she had lied. When asked by Saint Alphonsus why he had kept silent in such circumstances, St. Gerard replied that he thought such patience was required in the face of unjust accusations. As St. Gerard bore this calumny with such humility and patience, Saint Alphonsus said, "Brother Gerard is a saint." St. Gerard was sent to Naples soon after, but when the house was inundated by visitors wanting to see him, he was sent to Caposele a few months later. He served as the porter there and ministered to the poor of the town. St. Gerard spent the last few months of his life raising funds for new buildings at Caposele. Just prior to his death, St. Gerard visited his friends, the Pirofalo family. One of the daughters ran and called after him as he left the home, as he dropped his handkerchief. Speaking through the gift of prophecy, he replied, "Keep it. It will be useful to you someday." Years down the road, when this young women was in danger of childbirth, she recalled these words of St. Gerard, and requested the handkerchief. The handkerchief was applied to her, thus a miracle: her pain immediately ceased and she gave birth to a healthy child.St. Gerard died of tuberculosis on October 16, 1755 at the age of 29 in Caposele. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on January 29, 1893, and was canonized on December 11, 1904 by Pope Saint Pius X. He is the patron saint of mothers, motherhood, expectant mothers, childbirth, children, pregnant women, unborn children, the pro-life movement, the falsely accused, good confessions, and lay brothers.
October 11, 2019 - 12:00am
St. Firminus was born circa 480 in Narbonne, France on October 11. He was born to the senator and aristocrat Tonnatius Ferreolus, otherwise known as Tonance Ferréol the Second, and his wife Industria.St. Firminus was well-educated by his 80-year-old uncle, Roricius (Ruricius or Rorice), who was a patrician. His uncle served as the third bishop of Uzès from 533 to 538. St. Firminus thereafter succeeded his uncle as bishop of Uzès.In 538, he signed the fourth and fifth Councils of Orléans in 541 and 549, respectively. In 551, he assisted at the second council of Paris. At the time, the bishop of Uzès was under the metropolitan Archdiocese of Arles. St. Firminus was a spiritual student of Saint Cæsarius of Arles. He died 15 years after he became bishop, in 553.Saint Firminus is locally venerated as Saint Firmin and his relics are located in the Uzès Cathedral. 
October 8, 2019 - 12:00am
St. Pelagia was head of a dance troupe in Palestinian Antioch, and lived a life of frivolity and prostitution. One day while she was still a dancer, Pelagia was passing by a church dressed with her very elegant and provocative clothing. Bishop Nonnus of Edessa was preaching at that moment. Even though the parishioners turned their faces away from the sinner, the Bishop noticed her great outer beauty and spiritual greatness. Later that day, he prayed in his cell for the sinner and learned that as she took care of the adornment of her body to appear beautiful, he and his fellow priests should put more work in adorning their wretched souls. The following day Pelagia went to hear St. Nonnos preach. He was talking about the Last Judgement and its consequences. She was so moved and impressed with the sermon, that with tears of repentance in her eyes, she asked the Bishop to baptize her. Seeing the sincerity of her wishes and repentance, he agreed. That same night the devil appeared to Pelagia urging her to return to her former life. She started praying and signed herself with the Sign of the Cross, after which the devil vanished. She gave all her wealth and valuables to St. Nonnos so that he could distribute them and give them to aid the poor. The bishop then ordered their distribution and said: "Let this be wisely dispersed, so that these riches gained by sin may become a wealth of righteousness." She left Antioch dressed in man’s clothes. After that, she journeyed to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where she became a hermitess and lived in a cell disguised as the monk Pelagius. There she lived in great austerity, performing many penances in a ascetic seclusion which helped her attain many spiritual gifts. At her death she was buried in her cell. She was known as “the beardless monk� until her sex was discovered when she died. Even though a young teenager existed and suffered martyrdom at Antioch back in the fourth century, the story described here is a pious fiction that eventually helped arise more similar stories but under different names.
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Where are we?

St. Regis is located at 8941 James A Reed Road in Kansas City, MO.

Mass Times

Weekend Mass

Saturday 3:00 p.m.
Sunday 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.

Daily Mass

Monday 7:00 a.m.
Tuesday 8:30 a.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m.
Thursday 8:30 a.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m.

Confession Times

Wednesdays 6 to 7pm

Saturday 2:00 p.m.

Sundays 7:30 to 8:15am; 9:45 to 10:15am

Or by appointment.

Eucharistic Adoration

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament occurs every Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. with confession and benediction.

First Friday Adoration

12-hour exposition of the Blessed Sacrament occurs every first Friday of the month from 9:00 a.m. Friday to 9:00 p.m.

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Catholic News

November 20, 2019 - 3:05pm

Vatican City, Nov 20, 2019 / 02:05 pm (CNA).- A criminal prosecutor in Argentina has requested the arrest of Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who is accused of sexually abusing two seminarians. Zanchetta is suspended from a position at the Vatican’s central bank, where he was appointed an “assessor” by Pope Francis in 2017.

Zanchetta is accused of sexually abusing two seminarians, and was criminally charged in June. He could face three to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

The bishop lives in the Vatican City State, at the Domus Santa Marta, the same hotel at which Pope Francis resides.

A prosecutor of sexual crimes in Orán, María Soledad Filtrín Cuezzo, has requested international assistance in Zanchetta’s arrest, because, according to El Tribuno newspaper, the bishop has not responded to repeated telephone calls or emails to the contact information provided by his defense counsel.

Cuezzo had opposed allowing Zanchetta to leave the country, according to El Tribuno, but the bishop was permitted to leave after he presented a document showing that he is employed within Vatican City. She has also said that she had frequently found it necessary to request assistance from the apostolic nuncio in Argentina in order to ensure that Zanchetta appeared in court during proceedings in his case.

Zanchetta is alleged to have sent sexually explicit selfies from his cell phone, harassed seminarians, and mismanaged the finances of the Diocese of Oran, which he led from 2014 to 2017. 

Earlier this month, police raided chancery offices in Oran.

The bishop resigned from his diocese in 2017, citing health reasons. Four month later, Pope Francis appointed him to a newly-created position in the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which oversees the Vatican’s assets and real estate holdings.

Reporting from Argentine sources suggests that the bishop was first accused of sexually inappropriate behavior in 2015.

According to a February report from El Tribuno, one of the Zanchetta’s secretaries alerted authorities after accidentally finding sexually explicit images sent and received on Zanchetta’s cell phone in 2015. The complaint says that some of the images depict “young people” having sex in addition to lewd images of Zanchetta himself.

The bishop claimed his phone and computer had been hacked, and that the accusations were motivated anti-Francis voices.

Pope Francis summoned Zanchetta to Rome for five days in October 2015. The pope appeared to have accepted Zanchetta’s excuse that his cell phone had been hacked, and dismissed the allegations.

The Vatican has stated twice that officials did not know about Zanchetta’s misdeeds until 2018, a claim that is disputed by Fr. Juan José Manzano, the former vicar general of the Diocese of Orán. Manzano claims that he reported Zanchetta in 2015, after the pornographic images were found on his phone. Manzano says he also reported him again in 2017.

The report also says three of Zanchetta’s vicars general and two monsignors made a formal internal complaint before the Argentinian nunciature in 2016, alleging inappropriate behavior with seminarians.

That behavior included entering their rooms at night, requesting massages from them, waking up seminarians in the morning, sitting on their beds, drinking alcohol with them, and favoring more the more attractive young men.

The 2017 internal accusation, which The Tribune says alleged more explicit abuse by Zanchetta of seminarians, resulted in Zanchetta’s exit from the diocese, though Zanchetta said he was resigning for health reasons. The Vatican did not open an investigation at that time.

Pope Francis said in January that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is now investigating Zanchetta.

It is not yet clear whether the bishop will be apprehended in the Vatican City State and extradited to Argentina.


ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language news partner, contributed to this report.


November 20, 2019 - 3:00pm

San Francisco, Calif., Nov 20, 2019 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- A third federal judge has struck down the Trump administration’s conscience protection rule for medical professionals who object to abortions because of their religious beliefs. 

U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled on Tuesday, Nov. 19, that the Department of Health and Human Services rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority,” was too broad and would have permitted medical professionals that were not doctors or nurses, such as ambulance drivers and receptionists, to refuse to do their jobs if they involved abortion.

Alsup, ruling for the District Court for Nothern California, is the third judge to block the rule. In early November, federal judges in Washington state and New York also moved to strike the rule. 

"An ambulance driver would be free, on religious or moral grounds, to eject a patient en route to a hospital upon learning that the patient needed an emergency abortion,” said Alsup in his ruling. Alsup sits on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Presently, there are certain legal protections for medical professionals and conscience rights. Conscience rights campaigners say that these laws are not always followed or enforced, and the new rule was designed to clarify rights and entitlements available to those who have had their consciences violated. 

In 2011, HHS issued a rule which “provided inadequate enforcement of conscience rights,” according to the Trump administration. That rule was based on three laws. The 2019 rule was based on more than two dozen statutory provisions that protect conscience rights.

In response to the 2019 rule, a coalition of 19 states, the District of Columbia, local governments, and pro-abortion groups including Planned Parenthood’s national federation and Northern New England affiliate, all sued the administration.

“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” said Office of Civil Rights Director Roger Severino. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in health care, it’s the law.”

“Laws prohibiting government funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law,” he added.

Tuesday’s ruling was in response to three lawsuits that were filed by the city of San Francisco, the state of California, and Santa Clara County, along with doctors and clinic workers. Prior to the ruling, San Francisco had already pledged not to protect conscience rights if the rule were to have gone into effect. 

California filed suit against the Trump administration three weeks after the rule was announced in May. In a statement announcing the suit, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that the conscience rule was dangerous to American lives and that “a war is being waged on access to health care across our country.” 

After Tuesday’s decision, Becerra referred to the conscience protection rule as President Trump’s “heartless, unlawful attempt to restrict the healthcare rights of women, LGBTQ individuals, and countless others.” 

Becerra was joined in the suit by the attorneys general from several other states. According to a statement released by the city, San Francisico could lose up to $1 billion in federal funding if the rule comes into effect since the city does not intend to comply with the conscience protection laws.

The state of California could have lost nearly $78 billion in federal funding for not complying with the rule. 

The rule was due to go into effect on Nov. 22 and the administration is expected to appeal the decision. 

November 20, 2019 - 2:00pm

Washington D.C., Nov 20, 2019 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- A new report claims that the Syrian refugee crisis is severely burdening Lebanon’s limited resources and threatens its pluralism, requiring immediate international assistance.

“Lebanon is the last safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, and it is at a crossroads,” Toufic Baaklini, president of the group In Defense of Christians, stated on Tuesday upon release of the report “Displaced Syrians in Lebanon,” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“With civil unrest aimed at forming a new government, free from corruption and foreign influence, the Syrian Displaced crisis creates an even more critical burden on an already fractured system,” Baaklini said, adding that “Lebanon needs U.S. and international support” to find a solution moving forward.

The advocacy group In Defense of Christians (IDC) released the report on Tuesday with the Maronite Foundation, and presented it to Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites and All the East. The report was also presented to the White House and State Department, IDC said in a press release.

Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, a continuing exodus of Syrians into neighboring Lebanon has substantially impacted the country’s labor force, contributed to scarcity in resources such as water and electricity, and increased the demand for public benefits such as health and education.

“The crisis has had a significant and direct impact on Lebanon; if no action is taken soon, it will remold its demographic equilibrium, socio-economic status, political and security environment,” the report stated.

Lebanon has recently been roiled by street protests against government corruption and mismanagement of finances, with clashes between nonsectarian protesters and supporters of Hezbollah.

On Oct. 27, Pope Francis exhorted citizens and government officials “to seek the right solutions in the way of dialogue” and prayed to “Virgin Mary, Queen of Lebanon” for continued “peaceful coexistence” and respect for human dignity in the country, in his Sunday Angelus address.

U.S. Catholic leaders have offered their prayerful solidarity as well. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace chair, and Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, said in a Nov. 13 letter to Catholic patriarchs in the region, “Today, in Lebanon and Iraq, we are witnessing critical moments as protests grow against corruption and foreign interference,” and that “We pray that the effect of these protests will be a more just society for all the citizens of these two countries.”

They cited Pope St. John Paul II to say that Lebanon “is more than a country, it is a message of freedom and example of pluralism for East and West.”

Their letter was addressed to Cardinal Rai; Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Primate of the Syriac Catholic Church; Patriarch Youssef Absi of Antioch of the Greek Melkites; Cardinal Louis Sako, Patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans; and Gregory Petros XX Ghabroyan, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholic Church.

Although UN figures estimate the number of displaced Syrians in Lebanon at 1.6 million, with around one million registered refugees, the report counted around half a million Syrian migrant workers in Lebanon before the Syrian civil war added to that figure, bringing the total estimate to more than two million—around half of Lebanon’s population.  

Out of the countries bordering Syria, Lebanon has received the greatest share of Syrian refugees at around 30%.

The U.S. has delivered $6.4 billion in assistance to Lebanon since 2013, the report said, but it’s only been a fraction of what is required. The current gap between received and required funds grew to 58% by 2018.

It has had problems with an average of 25% unemployment—among youth the percentage skyrockets to 37%. Syrians displaced in Lebanon have only exacerbated the high unemployment rate, adding 400,000 to the labor force.

Demand for public health services has increased by 40% due to the influx of Syrians, the report estimated.

Its debt-to-GDP ratio had ballooned to 151%, and could spike to 180% by the year 2023. Furthermore, 30% of Lebanese are living at the national poverty line and 10% are living in extreme poverty.

The influx of Syrians has also affected the country’s demographic balance; Lebanon’s government and social system is comprised of Christian, Shia and Sunni Muslim factions.

Among the report’s recommendations are that displaced Syrians be resettled in a “safe zone” in Syria’s northeast.

November 20, 2019 - 1:09pm

Bangkok, Thailand, Nov 20, 2019 / 12:09 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis’ trip to Thailand is a meaningful moment for the small Catholic community, and marks an important anniversary in the life of the Catholic Church in the southeast Asian country, the secretary general of the Thailand bishops’ conference said.

“It is really meaningful even though we have a short time,” Bishop Vira Arpondratana told CNA Nov. 20, the day Pope Francis landed in Bangkok for a three-day visit to Thailand.

The Catholic Church in Thailand is celebrating 350 years of Holy See recognition of the Church in Thailand. Nearly 200 years after two Portuguese Dominican missionaries first brought the Catholic faith to Thailand, Pope Alexander VII established the Mission of Siam in 1669.

This anniversary is significant, Bishop Arpondratana said, because it gives Thai Catholics an opportunity “to think about the past and thank God for the present and [to think about] what we should do, not only as the Thai Church” but as the Church in all of Asia.

“We have to help others, not only receive [the faith] from Europe, but as a Catholic Thai Church, [to do] the small good that we can. We can do something,” he said.

The Mission of Siam was elevated to an apostolic vicariate four years later, in 1673, and given jurisdiction over Malaysia, southern Burma, and Sumatra. By the end of the 19th century, Catholicism had spread throughout the country of Thailand and parts of the surrounding regions.

With this anniversary, “we try to help the Catholics, who are the minority -- half a percent -- to think about the past: Who were the missionaries? Why did they come here?” the bishop said.

“After thinking of the past, at present, we have to thank God, because of how God blesses us.”

The secretary general of the bishops’ conference of Thailand, Arpondratana told media in Bangkok Wednesday that Pope Francis’ visit is a joyous occasion for Catholics in the country.

He also invited Catholics to unite in prayer for the pope. “The love of God will be among us, Catholics who gather in his name,” he said.

There are around 389,000 Catholics in Thailand, only 0.5% of the population of over 65.5 million. Organizers expect there to be around 50,000 people in attendance at Pope Francis’ Mass in the national stadium Nov. 21 and another 20,000 to be present in and outside St. Peter’s Parish for Francis’ meeting with priests, seminarians, and religious Nov. 22.

There are around 51,000 Catholics in Arpondratana’s diocese, which he has led for 10 years. This means the Chiang Mai diocese’s overall Catholic population of 1.7% is three times above the national average.

Bishop Arpondratana said there are more than 1,350 Catholics traveling overnight from his diocese, which is in northern Thailand, to Bangkok to be present at the papal events. He said in some cases, there were people they had to help obtain IDs to be able to travel to see Pope Francis.

Thousands are also traveling from nearby countries; the largest group represented after Thailand is Vietnam with 4,500 people traveling to Bangkok.

After arriving in Bangkok just before noon Nov. 20, Pope Francis had an afternoon and evening of rest before a busy two days of meetings with Thai authorities, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, religious leaders, and Catholic faithful Nov. 21-22.

At the airport, the pope greeted his second cousin, Salesian Sr. Ana Rosa Sivori, who he asked to be his personal interpreter throughout the trip. Originally from Argentina, Sivori has been a missionary in Thailand for over 50 years.


November 20, 2019 - 11:56am

Madrid, Spain, Nov 20, 2019 / 10:56 am (CNA).- Gádor Joya, a pediatrician and a legislator of the Assembly of Madrid from the Vox party, operates the “Life Ambulance Project” outside abortion clinics in the city, offering ultrasounds to pregnant women.

“I and other doctors have been giving these women ultrasounds… Precisely because I have been doing this, I know what has been hidden from these women. Most of them, when they receive the information and hear the heartbeat, decide to go forward with their pregnancies,” Joya said at a meeting of the regional health committee Nov. 5, according to Madrid daily El País.

The ultrasounds are performed in a van near the clinics. The van has been authorized by the health department.

Joya has long been a pro-life advocate. She spoke at the 2014 French march for life, saying that “we know that at the end the Truth will triumph, and abortion will disappear from our society.

The Life Ambulance Project is opposed by Mónica García of Más Madrid, a progressive regional party.

García said that “what we could not have imagined is that there would be people performing ultrasounds on the street. It’s extremely serious.”

Vox is often described as a far-right party. In this month's Spanish general election, the party took 52 seats. The party opposes both abortion and same-sex marriage.

The November general election was inconclusive. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party took 120 seats, and will try to form a coalition government, which it failed to do following the last general election, held in April.

Vox more than doubled its seats thismonth, having won 24 in April.

Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox, said after the Nov. 10 election that “today a patriotic alternative and a social alternative has been consolidated in Spain that demands national unity and the restoration of constitutional order in Catalonia.”

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