Highlighting the role cardinals play in assisting the pope to govern the church, Pope Francis has given the newest group of cardinals their assignments as members of Vatican congregations and councils.

The pope created 13 new cardinals in late November; the nine new cardinals who are under 80 received new Vatican assignments, which they are expected to fulfill in addition to their primary ministries and offices.

U.S. Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington was named a member of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, according to the Vatican announcement Dec. 16. He had been a member of the dicastery before being named a cardinal.

Italian Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, was appointed a member of the Dicastery for Communication, a position he held previously, and of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, where he had been a consultor.

Cardinal Paolo Lojudice of Siena, Italy, was appointed a member of the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinals Jose F. Advincula of Capiz, Philippines, and Cornelius Sim, apostolic vicar of Brunei, were appointed to the Congregation for Clergy.

Cardinal Antoine Kambanda of Kigali, Rwanda, was named to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Cardinal Mauro Gambetti -- a Conventual Franciscan and the former custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi in Assisi -- was named to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Maltese Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, was appointed to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Cardinal Celestino Aos Braco of Santiago, Chile, was named to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.