(RNS) Pope John Paul II participates in a procession in August, 2000. RNS file photo courtesy Universal Press Syndicate.

Pope to canonize John Paul II and John XXIII in April

ROME (RNS) Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be formally declared saints on April 27, 2014 — a bit of ticket-balancing by Pope Francis, who may be hoping to heal splits in the church by pairing the canonization of a pope who is a hero to the left and one who is a hero to the right.

Marty Scrima, (left) and Jim Wedick, members of the Holy Infant Catholic Church evangelization team, work the New Ballwin Estates subdivision in Ellisville on Saturday, April 20, 2013, going door to door, re-welcoming registered members to restart an active membership at the church and taking suggestions on how to make worship better. Photo by Christian Gooden / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Catholics try their hand at old-fashioned evangelism

SHREWSBURY, Mo. (RNS) About 125 Catholics packed a basement conference room — most of them lay people, many of them older. They gathered to learn how to spread the faith, a concept that is both fundamental to Christianity and nearly foreign to modern Roman Catholics.