The U.S. community organizers and union leaders hope to sway Pope Francis into addressing a number of lingering national social justice issues.
Pope Francis has poignantly said that Christians have no right to refuse help to those who need it, saying that to partake in the commemoration of Christ's death is to see him in the poor and suffering and to welcome them and offer help.
Speaking during his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter's Square Sunday, the pope reflected on the meaning of the Catholic feast day celebrated this week, that of Corpus Christi or The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
The Eucharist is the seal of God's covenant, uniting Christians and giving them the strength to bring God's love to others, even when faith carries a high price, Pope Francis said.
Celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ with an evening Mass outside Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran on Thursday, Pope Francis said the church and its members will never cease being in awe of the Eucharist.
As the sun began to set, the Mass was followed by a traditional Corpus Christi procession from St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one mile away.
The encyclical reportedly will be called "Laudato Sii," a quotation from a popular prayer of St. Francis of Assisi praising God for the Earth.
Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila was elected president of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of 165 national Catholic charities, during the organization's general assembly in Rome.
A group of Catholic sisters, brothers and priests are spending five days focusing specifically on Francis' call to go to the peripheries and serve those most in need.
Francis Chronicles: "That restless heart gets up and says: 'Yes, I am a sinner, I did wrong, but I go ahead because the Lord is with me.' "
Blessed Junipero Serra is being canonized because he was holy, not because he was perfect, said a team of experts on the life and ministry of the 18th-century Spanish missionary.
Although he is a historian, not a theologian, Robert Senkewicz said: "My sense is that people are not canonized because they are perfect -- otherwise, presumably, St. Peter would never have been canonized. They are canonized because they made a commitment which, on balance, had more good than non-good associated with it."
Two groups expressing doubt about the wide scientific consensus regarding global climate change have strongly criticized an upcoming Vatican summit on the issue, hosting a press conference in Rome where they also forcefully warned Pope Francis against speaking on the subject.
Claiming that globally used models of the effects of carbon emissions on the environment are invalid, speakers at the event said the pope would be making a "great mistake" if he expressed support for Tuesday's Vatican event or tackled climate change in his upcoming encyclical of the environment.
The pope also pleaded that all priests be merciful when hearing confessions. "In the confessional, you will be there to forgive, not to condemn!"