After the opening Mass, Pope Francis speeds away accompanied by armed police. Hundreds try to take a shot of the departing Pontiff. RNS photo Robson Coelho

Pope to Brazilians: Don’t ignore the periphery

(RNS) Maria da Penha dos Santos was waiting outside with her husband, daughter and granddaughter when the pope stopped in. She introduced him to 20 of her family members who squeezed inside the tiny shanty for about 10 minutes. “I said, welcome Pope Francisco,” Santos said. “The house is yours.”

World Youth Day pilgrims take video and photos at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro July 22. The peak rises more than 1,000 feet, overlooking Rio and the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Tyler Orsburn/courtesy Catholic News Service

Pope Francis rests ahead of busy week in Brazil

(RNS) Francis is in Brazil for World Youth Day, an international gathering of young Catholics initiated by Pope John Paul II. He said aboard his plane that he’s concerned about the plight of young people, especially those growing up jobless and isolated in a poor economy.

Apostle Valdemiro Santiago, founder of the Worldwide Church of God’s Power, bellows in Portuguese to a packed crowd in a rented Astoria, Queens, church. RNS photo by Andre Tartar

Brazilian evangelist has big plans for U.S.

NEW YORK (RNS) Fourteen years after he started out in Brazil, Apostle Valdemiro Santiago sits at the helm of a booming Pentecostal network of 4,000 churches, including 10 in the U.S. Despite Santiago’s personal wealth, his movement’s relative poverty and simplicity may be its greatest asset.