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Be ready with God's weaponry; devil is real, pope says


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christian life is a constant battle against the devil, who is not the stuff of legend, but really exists, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. Battling the devil will not be easy because the evil one's traps and temptations are many, and "the devil is not tossing flowers at us," but "flaming arrows" aimed to kill, the pope said Oct. 30 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

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Bright lights, cool air protect Sistine Chapel from visiting hoards


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican is not promising visitors to the Sistine Chapel more elbow room, but it is guaranteeing a cooler experience. Marking the year of the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo Buonarroti's death, the Vatican Museums hope the brand new air conditioning system and the 7,000 new LED lights will preserve the Renaissance artist's masterpiece for generations to come.

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Cardinal announces school closures, mergers in Chicago Archdiocese


CHICAGO (CNS) -- In a major restructuring, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Oct. 29 that 14 elementary schools would be closed or merged at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. "This restructuring is the result of our ongoing efforts to strengthen and support sustainable Catholic schools over the long term," said Thomas McGrath, chief operating officer for Catholic schools. "Although difficult in the immediate term, we know taking these steps will increase access for families and students to excellent Catholic school education, now and in the future."

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Singing friar says Franciscan message of simplicity appeals to children


BALTIMORE (CNS) -- One would think that a Franciscan friar committed to a vow of poverty would not need a lesson in simplicity. But that was exactly what Brother Alessandro Brustenghi, an international recording artist, said he received when he came to Baltimore to sing with "Francis in the Schools," a California-based, nonsectarian program devoted to sharing the message and ideals of St. Francis of Assisi with city children.

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