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Pope Stresses Strength, Courage, Hope in New Year

Pope Francis started off 2014 with a homily offering positive "words of strength, courage, and hope."

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    AP
    Pope Francis celebrates a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Francis is offering "words of strength, courage and hope" as the world begins a new year.

    That was his emphasis in a homily during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday morning.

    The Catholic church dedicates Jan. 1 to the promotion of word peace. Francis said there was "hunger and thirst for justice, peace and God" in the world.

    In his first year as pope, Francis has charted a path for what he calls a "poor" church attentive to the needy and a "joyous" one reaching out to others.

    The Argentine-born pontiff urged Catholics worldwide to follow an "itinerary of faith" that promotes a joyous Gospel "without borders."