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St. Thérèse Lecture answers, ‘Who is Pope Francis?’
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 02, 2014 -- 12:00 AM
Alejandro Bermúdez, the speaker at this fall’s St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison, speaks on “Who is Pope Francis? What is his mind?” on September 19. Bermúdez is the director of ACI-Prensa, the world’s largest Catholic news agency in Spanish, as well as the executive director of Catholic News Agency. (Catholic Herald photos/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- On a near-autumn Friday evening in Madison, hundreds of people arrived at the Bishop O’Connor Center’s auditorium to learn more about current successor to St. Peter — Pope Francis.

It was the second of 2014’s St. Thérèse Lectures presented by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Diocese of Madison.

The topic on September 19 was “Who is Pope Francis? What is his mind?” The speaker was Alejandro Bermúdez, director of ACI-Prensa, the world’s largest Catholic news agency in Spanish, as well as the executive director of Catholic News Agency and the Portuguese agency ACI digital.

Bermúdez, who spent part of his life in Argentina, met and interviewed Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) on several occasions. Bermúdez recently compiled a book of interviews regarding Pope Francis shortly after his election titled Pope Francis: Our Brother, Our Friend: Personal Recollections about the Man Who Became Pope, which has since been adapted into a show on EWTN.

As Bermúdez began his talk, he said Pope Francis is the next pope in a streak of “incredibly virtuous human beings at the head of the Catholic Church.”

Bermúdez outlined what he called “three crucial factors” to understanding Pope Francis: his background as an Argentinian, his background as a Jesuit, and understanding his intellectual mentors.

Pope Francis as an Argentinian

Bermúdez said Argentina has a major Catholic culture with a great number of Catholic theologians and writers. He said this creates of culture of “very lively debates” among Catholics.

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La Crosse couple presenters at synod
Written by Denis Downey, La Crosse Catholic Times Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 02, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

MENOMONIE -- Alice and Jeff Heinzen will not only be serving as auditors for the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family that Pope Francis has called for October 5 to 19 at the Vatican but also they will make a presentation before the general assembly at the historic event.

In their main role as one of 14 married couples from around the world selected to serve as auditors for the synod, the Heinzens will observe all of the general assembly sessions and participate in group discussions with the English-speaking delegates.

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40 Days for Life kicks off in Madison
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 02, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- From now until Sunday, Nov. 2, for 24 hours a day, at least two people at a time will be praying for an end to abortion in Madison.

The annual 40 Days for Life campaign kicked off on Wednesday, Sept. 24. The campaign has a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion.

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