Skip to Content


NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Rome, Italy, Jan 21, 2017 / 12:50 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Saturday Pope Francis encouraged Dominicans to persevere in their good works of the last 800 years, which have been like the "salt" and "light" of Christ, spreading the Gospel throughout the world. 58 min 16 sec
Vatican City, Jan 21, 2017 / 11:45 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In his annual speech to the Holy See's main court on Saturday, Pope Francis stressed the pressing need for effective education and preparation for the sacrament of marriage – not only to guard against invalid marriages, but also to strengthen the faith of the couple as they prepare for the unique blessings and challenges of married life. 2 hours 3 min
Madrid, Spain, Jan 21, 2017 / 08:08 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The prison ministry founded by a Spanish Jesuit in the 1960s has had such fruits as a group of inmates donating their own money to help the needy at Christmas, according to the head of the foundation. 5 hours 40 min
Vatican City, Jan 20, 2017 / 12:58 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis congratulated Donald Trump on his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, praying that God will grant him wisdom and strength. 1 day 50 min
Rome, Italy, Jan 20, 2017 / 12:33 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- One year after Pope Francis visited the Great Synagogue in Rome, the Hebrew Choir of Rome "Ha-Kol," and the Choir of the Diocese of Rome joined together to give a concert Jan. 19 on the theme: "Sing to the Lord a new song." 1 day 1 hour
Vatican City, Jan 20, 2017 / 10:28 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Friday Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama officially announced the dates of the next World Youth Day, which is set to take place in January, rather than July as is usual, due to the weather. 1 day 3 hours
Jerusalem, Israel, Jan 20, 2017 / 08:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The 50 year-long of occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza by Israel must be at the attention of every Christian and demands resolution, the chair of the Holy Land Coordination said Thursday. 1 day 5 hours
Rome, Italy, Jan 20, 2017 / 05:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Baroque Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi is hailed as a 'feminist icon' based on her portrayal of the female 'hero,' who through violence enacts symbolic revenge against men, and her supposed defiance of Counter-Reformation taboos. 1 day 8 hours
Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2017 / 04:48 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York prayed for God's wisdom as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday.    1 day 9 hours
Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2017 / 02:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A reported drop in the United States abortion rate by the Guttmacher Institute is good news to pro-life leaders, who nevertheless acknowledge that optimism should be tempered. 1 day 11 hours
Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2017 / 01:08 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Catholics must fight the societal ills of contempt, poverty, and unemployment through solidarity, recent speakers at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. insisted. 1 day 12 hours
Rome, Italy, Jan 19, 2017 / 11:56 am (EWTN News/CNA).- After the death of Opus Dei Prelate Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez in December, members of the prelature are gathering in Rome in preparation for the election of their new leader, which will take place in the coming days. 2 days 1 hour
Denver, Colo., Jan 19, 2017 / 08:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A Colorado chapter of a national pro-life collegiate group is suing Colorado State University, after the school denied the organization funding for a campus event. 2 days 5 hours
Chicago, Ill., Jan 19, 2017 / 07:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A former employee of the controversial Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests has filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination for challenging the organization's misbehavior, including alleged kickbacks from attorneys who were suing the Church on behalf of sexual abuse victims.
2 days 6 hours
Vatican City, Jan 19, 2017 / 05:42 am (EWTN News/CNA).- For Pope Francis, personal conversion is pretty much the key to the Church's success in all of her activities, from Church governance to pastoral work, from Curial reform to evangelization and dialogue. 2 days 8 hours
Phoenix, Ariz., Jan 19, 2017 / 05:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- You've probably heard of Bruce Jenner. 2 days 8 hours
Berlin, Germany, Jan 19, 2017 / 04:12 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A German artist was fined after doing 27 pushups on a Catholic altar and posting a video of the stunt online.
2 days 9 hours
Vatican City, Jan 19, 2017 / 02:28 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis spoke Thursday about the struggles inherent to the Christian life, and how temptation, while a normal part of trying to live virtuously, must be fought adamantly.
2 days 11 hours
Shendam, Nigeria, Jan 19, 2017 / 02:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A prominent Nigerian archbishop last week advised his fellow clergy against a sense of complacency and security which ends up damaging the Church. 2 days 11 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted

DPCR (2)For the third year in a row DePaul Cristo Rey High School’s senior class has achieved 100 percent college acceptance. Every member of the Class of 2017 has been accepted to at least one college, most have been accepted to multiple schools, and these seniors have already earned $3.8 million in merit-based academic scholarships. And the acceptance letters and scholarship awards continue to arrive in seniors’ mailboxes.

The announcement of 100 percent acceptance was made in a pep-rally style celebration on January 17 that included confetti cannons, standing ovations and words of wisdom from English teacher Dr. Manuel Iris who told the seniors, “Life will change in ways that you cannot imagine and will not always be good. Your future is full of difficulties and challenges that I believe in my heart you will overcome. You will be challenged and afraid and sometimes will be defeated, but then you will come back on your feet and continue with resilience, intelligence and heart.”

There are 59 seniors in the Class of 2017, DPCR’s largest graduating class so far since its opening in 2011. The seniors will graduate on May 30 in a ceremony at Mount St. Joseph University.

DePaul Cristo Rey, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, offers a nationally recognized, dual-focus education model to students whose families can’t afford other private, college preparatory programs. This education model, not available at any other local high school, partners challenging college preparatory academics with a Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP). It is one of 32 Catholic high schools in the nationwide Cristo Rey Network® which serves 10,900 young people.
DPCR

58 min 31 sec
Jeanne HuntJeanne Hunt

Jeanne Hunt

A situation occurred at the parish that is nagging me into prayer.

When an event occurs that I keep hashing over in my mind, usually there is a lesson there that God wants me to learn: The phone rang and on the other end was a very angry mom who accused me of not informing her that there was a parent meeting. She missed the meeting and now her son was behind in his Confirmation requirements.

This was not her fault; it was my fault for not communicating the meeting time. I told her that the meeting had been published in three electronic sites and two hard copy paper versions well in advance of the meeting.

She yelled at me “I don’t have time to read that stuff!” and she hung up on me.

“Wow, how can this be my fault? ” I thought. After I got over my annoyance with her narcissistic attitude, I was overcome with a deep feeling of compassion for this frantic mom. What could drive a person to react like this? It was obvious that she was emotionally brittle and struggling to keep a grip on her busy life.

If this were an isolated incident, I probably would have left it alone and moved on. But the fact is that I encounter parents, co-workers and friends in the same situation. Another mom came to me in tears last week, because she is being asked to work ten-hour days and will have no time to help her ADHD son with his nightly homework.

We are all experiencing overload from too much to do and not enough time. We are so busy that we cannot focus on the present whether it is reading a meeting notice or listening to our child’s conversation.

What is the lesson for us in this story? What can we do to be mindful of the present, retain what we read, listen with intent? The pressure to measure up to the unrealistic standards of employers and to balance family life that is full of sports, church, school and marriage is more than anyone can bear. Could it be that God is inviting us to step back and reassess our lives and find a way to regain calm.

It was my grandfather’s last words to my father as he lay dying that still resonate in my soul: “Danny, don’t work so hard. It is not worth it.”

Are we all working too hard? Is it worth the loss of time with our precious children, quality time with our spouse and even a few moments each day to talk with God? I firmly believe that when we look back on our lives, we will regret that we choose work over love. We excuse our devotion to our jobs as the way we translate love into money that brings so many good things to those we love.

Greed is deceptive. It promises happiness and delivers a wasteland. I have counseled too many parents who realize all too late that they just were not there when their child needed them, far too many spouses who see that they grew apart because they were never together. But how can we get ourselves out of this mess and return to a simpler peace filled life?

As we are in a new year, how about one simple resolution: I resolve to make less money, spend more time with my family and only work eight hours a day. Could this be the lesson that the Rabbi of my soul has been trying to teach? I wonder if any of us have the courage and resolve to walk away from working too much for the sake of those we love.

5 hours 44 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters

By Mark Pattison

WASHINGTON (CNS) — President Donald J. Trump told the nation in his inaugural address that it need not fear in the days ahead.

“There should not be fear,” Trump said Jan. 20. “We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement, and, most important, we will be protected by God.”

In signaling a new era for the United States, “at the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” Trump said in his 15-minute address. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”

He said Americans of all stripes harbor common hopes and dreams.

“We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms,” Trump said, “and we all salute the same great American flag. And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.”

Much of the rest of Trump’s inaugural address restated the themes he used in his presidential campaign, remarking repeatedly that the nation and its citizens would be his top priority as president.

“Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another,” Trump said from the west front of the Capitol, “but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.”

He added, “This moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day, this is your celebration, and this, the United States of America, is your country.”

Trump distilled the ills he saw in the United States: “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation. An education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge. And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

The 45th president, who is a Presbyterian, said: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

Trump dwelt briefly on the United States’ role in the world. “We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first,” he said. “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”

He vowed to Americans, “You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. Together we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And, yes, together, we will make America great again.”

Before the swearing-in ceremonies, the Trump family attended a private prayer service St. John’s Episcopal Church across Lafayette Square from the White House. Hosting the service has been a tradition for the church for at least a dozen presidential inaugurals.

At the Capitol, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan was among a number of religious leaders taking part in the inauguration ceremonies. The cardinal read a passage from the Book of Wisdom.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath of office to Vice President Mike Pence, then U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Trump. Standing at the new president’s side were his wife, Melania, and children Donald Jr., Barron, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

20 hours 23 min

By

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. bishops’ nationwide “9 Days for Life” campaign is “a great way to put our faith into action,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

He made the comments in a video posted on a website about the Jan. 21-29 campaign, www.9daysforlife.com. The site offers four ways for participants to receive daily prayers, suggested reflections and practical actions for the campaign, along with links to the free “9 Days for Life” smartphone app.

“We’re praying for a lot of things this month, including racial harmony, Christian unity and the protection of all human life,” Cardinal Dolan said in a Jan. 19 statement inviting Catholics and others to take part in “9 Days for Life.” He noted that the beginning of the campaign overlapped with the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, observed this year Jan. 18-25.

“As we pray for that unity, I invite our brothers and sisters in Christ to join in the ‘9 Days for Life’ prayer campaign. Together, our prayers and actions can witness to the dignity of the human person,” he said.

“9 Days for Life” is the U.S. bishops’ annual prayer and action novena taking place around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout nine months of pregnancy. This year’s annual March for Life to mark the Roe anniversary is Jan. 27.

At “the heart” of the campaign is prayer “for an end to abortion,” said Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro Life Activities. “But each day treats a different aspect of respecting human dignity — from the beginning of life to its natural end. The most delicate, defenseless members of society deserve the most legal protection, but under Roe v. Wade, they have the least.

“That has an eroding effect on respect for everyone else, including their mothers and other vulnerable people,” she told Catholic News Service. “During the ‘9 Days for Life,’ we will beg God to make all forms of violence and exploitation a thing of the past.”

“We live in an abortion-wounded nation,” McQuade said, “but we also know that God’s loving mercy is limitless. He offers it so freely to us if we ask. So we’re also praying for the healing of those who’ve been involved in abortion in any way.” She noted that the intention for the campaign’s second day is for post-abortion healing.

During the nine days, “thousands of individuals will make a kind of ‘virtual pilgrimage’ in solidarity as we all pray the same daily intentions together and consider making the suggested acts of reparation,” she explained. Participants can pray daily, gather for fellowship and discussion, and share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #9daysforlife.

“The four ways to receive the daily intentions — mobile apps, text messages, emails and social media — will unite us in prayer and action on the ‘digital continent,'” McQuade added.

Parishes, schools, families, youth groups and others are all encouraged to participate using the available resources and materials “as they see fit,” she said.

The “9 Days campaign” was started in January 2014, and according to McQuade, participation in it “has grown by leaps and bounds every year.

“As a massive spiritual project, we may never know all the fruit it yields in this world,” she told CNS. “But God is certainly at work and we entrust the future to his providence.”

McQuade pointed to “two encouraging signs of hope” that the campaign is having an impact. “We do know that abortion rates are going down each year, and more people are reaching out for confidential post-abortion healing as Project Rachel expands across the country.”

She also remarked on the novena’s overlap with the prayers for Christian unity.

“Cardinal Dolan beautifully invited our brothers and sisters in Christ to join us in the effort,” McQuade said. “Promoting the dignity of the human person throughout the life span isn’t just a Catholic task. Praying and working together, we can make a difference for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

20 hours 35 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters

By

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis sent best wishes and prayers to incoming President Donald J. Trump shortly after he took the oath of office.

“I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office,” the pope’s message said.

Saying that the human family faces “grave humanitarian crises” that demand “far-sighted and united political responses,” the pope said he would pray that Trump’s decisions “will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide.”

The pope also said he hoped that America’s “stature” continued to be measured by “above all its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door.”

The message concluded with the pope saying he would ask God to grant the new president, his family and all Americans “peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.”

 

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

20 hours 54 min

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Telling the bishops of Ireland that he wanted to hear their questions, concerns and even criticisms, Pope Francis spent almost two hours in conversation with them.

In the continuing evolution of the “ad limina” visits bishops are required to make to the Vatican, Pope Francis met Jan. 20 with 26 Irish bishops and set aside a practice that began with Pope Benedict XVI: writing a speech to the group, but handing the text to them instead of reading it.

Pope Francis did, however, maintain his practice of sitting with the bishops and asking them what was on their minds.

The ministry of a bishop, the clerical sexual abuse crisis, the role of women in the church, the need to find new ways to engage with young people, the changing status of the church in Irish society, the importance of Catholic schools and methods for handing on the faith were among the topics discussed, the bishops said. They also spoke about plans for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August 2018 and hopes that Pope Francis would attend.

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the bishops’ conference, told reporters that Pope Francis led a serious reflection on “the importance of a ministry of presence, a ministry of the ear where we are listening to the joys and the hopes, the struggles and the fears of our people, that we are walking with them, that we are reaching out to them where they are at.”

“The meeting this morning was quite extraordinary,” said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, one of the few Irish bishops who had made an “ad limina” visit previously; the previous time the Irish bishops made one of the visits to report on the status of their dioceses was in 2006.

“The dominant thing was he was asking us and challenging us: What does it mean to be a bishop?” the Dublin archbishop said. “He described a bishop as like a goalkeeper, and the shots keep coming from everywhere, and you stand there ready to take them from wherever they come.”

The Armagh archbishop said meeting with different heads of Roman Curia offices and with the pope, “we haven’t received any raps on the knuckles,” but rather felt a desire to hear the bishops’ experience and their ideas for dealing with a situation in which the voice and authority of the church in the lives of individuals and society has diminished rapidly.

“We are realistic about the challenges we are facing in Ireland at the moment,” he said. “But we are also hopeful that we are moving into a new place of encounter and of dialogue in Irish society where the church has an important voice — not the dominating voice or domineering voice that perhaps some say we’ve had in the past — but we are contributing to important conversations on life, on marriage, on the family, on poverty, homelessness, education.”

One of the factors pushing such a rapid loss of public status for the church in Ireland was the sexual abuse scandal, he said. And as he told Pope Francis, just as the bishops were meeting with the pope, in Belfast leaders of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland were making public their report on the abuse of children in residential institutions, including some run by Catholic religious orders.

One of the first meetings the bishops had in Rome, he said, was with staff of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, sharing the steps the Catholic Church in Ireland has taken to prevent further abuse, to bring abusers to justice and to assist survivors “affected by the awful trauma of the sins and crimes of people in the church.”

Archbishop Martin told reporters there was a recognition that Ireland had gone “through a bad time — not for us, but particularly for children who were abused, and that anything that we did would inevitably be inadequate in responding to the suffering they experienced.”

He also told reporters the bishops brought up the role and position of women in the church during almost every meeting they had, including at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where they discussed “the areas within the church where a stronger position of laypeople is not only licit, but is desirable.”

“One of the groups that is most alienated in the Catholic Church in Ireland is women, particularly young women, who feel excluded and therefore do not take part in the life of the church,” he said.

The bishops, he said, found “a willingness to listen and an awareness that we were asking a valid question rather than something we should not be talking about.”

After about 90 minutes of conversation with Pope Francis, the Dublin prelate said, the pope asked if the bishops were tired. In the past, he said, that was signal that the pope was tired and the meeting was about to end. Instead, the conversation continued for another 25 minutes.

– – –

Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

22 hours 43 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/J.D. Long-Garcia, The Tidings

By J.D. Long-Garcia

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez renewed the call to recognize the humanity of immigrants at a Vatican-sponsored migration conference at the University of California in Los Angeles.

“People do not cease to be human — they do not cease to be our brothers and sisters — just because they have an irregular immigration status,” the archbishop said in a keynote address closing the “Workshop on Humanitarianism and Mass Migration” Jan. 19. “They are children of God and they are brothers and sisters. Our family.”

The Jan. 18-19 conference — sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Ross Institute of New York, and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA — brought together leading scientists, policymakers and philanthropists.

“The fundamental crisis that forced displacement and mass migration are generating represents the most significant concern of all men and women of good faith,” said Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, a UCLA professor who specializes on migration. “Our work was inspired by so many of our colleagues here today.”

Suarez-Orozco and Msgr. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, a professor at Maria Santissima Assunta Free University in Rome, served as the conference chairs. The city of Los Angeles, home to millions of immigrants, was an appropriate location to host the dialogue, Suarez-Orozco said when introducing Archbishop Gomez.

“Tonight — in this city and in immigrant neighborhoods all across this country — there is a lot of fear, a lot of uncertainty and a lot of anger,” the archbishop said. “Because our new president campaigned with harsh rhetoric about foreigners and sweeping promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.”

Los Angeles is home to an estimated 1 million immigrants in the country without legal permission, he said. The archbishop also said that politics is not the answer.

“We know that both political parties are exploiting the immigration issue for their own purposes,” he said. “That is sad to say, but it is true. And it has been happening for years.”

While expressing concerns about the incoming president, Archbishop Gomez also noted that President Barack Obama had deported more immigrants than any administration in U.S. history — 2.5 million over the past eight years.

“The vast majority of those that we are deporting are not violent criminals,” he said. “In fact, up to one-quarter are mothers and fathers that our government is seizing and removing from ordinary households. Nobody talks about this, but we see it every day here in L.A. When the government comes to deport people, they are taking away some little girl’s dad, some little boy’s mom.”

The estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally arrived over the past 20 years, the archbishop noted. The government at every level failed to enforce immigration laws, he said.

Most of these immigrants have been in the country for at least 10 years, he said, and nearly half live with a spouse and children. The reason, he said, is that government has failed to act. That’s despite a broad public consensus for “compassionate and reasonable” solutions to the broken immigration system.

“When you look into the eyes of a child whose parent has been deported — and I have done that more than I want to — you realize how inadequate our politics are,” said the archbishop, who noted he came to the U.S. as an immigrant from Monterrey, Mexico, and has been a naturalized U.S. citizen for more than 25 years.

Following the theme of the workshop, Archbishop Gomez said immigration is part of a bigger challenge of globalization, de-industrialization and new economic challenges.

“It’s not a matter of building walls. That won’t solve anything,” the archbishop said.

During a question-and-answer period, he underscored that it is still unclear what the Trump administration will do about immigration. In the meantime, dioceses throughout the country are finding ways to protect immigrants while seeking to dialogue with the new administration. In Los Angeles, ongoing efforts have educated immigrants in the U.S. without documents about their rights when facing deportation.

Yet the entire community needs to be educated, the archbishop said, applauding workshop participants for efforts to deepen understanding of the emerging, multicultural reality worldwide.

Maurice Crul, a professor at Free University in Amsterdam who gave a presentation on the education of refugee children during the conference, said the changing demographics in the United States are part of a global phenomenon.

“My own home city, the people of Dutch descent are a minority,” he said. “Only one in three children in Amsterdam is of Dutch descent.”

Europe, which has experience an influx of immigrants and refugees, can provide insights to the U.S., he said. European nations have tried various approaches with various degrees of success.

“The real solution to the populist movement is that we have to adapt the system so that we have good outcomes for everybody,” Crul said. “People (dropping out of school), being unemployed — that is not a good outcome.”

Crul also said the election in the United States demonstrated that academia needs to do a better job explaining social trends. Academic discourse has not convinced the general public, he said.

Those who voted for Trump, Crul said, have many things in common with those who did not.

“Any family has the same concerns,” he said. “They want safety. They want their children to do well in school. So we have to find common ground. That is difficult because we naturally want to draw back into our own bubble when we encounter those with other opinions. But the real change will happen when we find where we align.”

– – –

Long-Garcia is editor-in-chief of Angelus News, the multimedia platform of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

 

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

22 hours 50 min

2017-cma-headerThe Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) is a once-a-year outreach, when all our parishes, more than 200 strong, join together to support these ministries, doing more than one parish could alone.

Whether you’re a long time supporter … or considering a gift for the first time… we ask you to learn about these ministries on this website, and prayerfully consider making a pledge to the 2017 Catholic Ministries Appeal.

The goal for the 2017 CMA is $5 million, the same amount as last year. Your help is needed to reach this important goal!

Ninety cents of every dollar contributed goes directly to fund the ministries – a ratio that gets very high marks from those who set the standards.
Every parish that exceeds its Appeal goal receives 50% of the “overage” for its own ministries, evangelization, and other worthy efforts.

This weekend the Official Kickoff For the 2017 Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA). Here is a link to an informative video Provide a Path of Hope, which you can view here

The Catholic Ministries Appeal

1 day 38 min

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God forgives and forgets the faults of repentant sinners, unless they keep reminding him of their errors by pretending they have no need to change, Pope Francis said.

The new covenant in Jesus Christ, the new relationship God wants to establish with each person, is sealed by being “faithful to this work the Lord does to change our mentality, to change our hearts,” the pope said Jan. 20 during his morning Mass.

Being a Christian, he said, is making a commitment to changing one’s life by “not sinning again or reminding the Lord of that which he has forgotten.”

The pope preached on the day’s reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, which says God will write his laws on the hearts of believers, “will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.”

“Sometimes I like to think — joking with the Lord a bit — ‘You don’t have a very good memory.’ It is God’s weakness that when he forgives, he forgets,” the pope said.

By writing his laws on people’s hearts, he said, God wants to renew creation at its roots. Obedience, then, is not an external matter of following rules, but “there is a change of mentality, a change of heart,” a different way of acting and of seeing things.

“Think about the ‘doctors of the law’ who persecuted Jesus,” he said. “They did everything, everything prescribed by the law, they had the law in their hands, all of it. But their mentality was far from God. It was a selfish mentality, centered on themselves. Their hearts were hearts that condemned.”

In forgiving rather than condemning, the pope said, God’s call to believers is a call to sin no more and to change one’s life.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 48 min
Students sing during the Catholic Schools Mass at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Dayton Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)Students sing during the Catholic Schools Mass at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Dayton Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)

Sunday January 22, 2017

All Saints School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
8939 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati 45236
https://allsaints.cc/school-1
Map

St. James the Greater School
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
6111 Cheviot Rd., Cincinnati 45247
http://stjameswo.org
Map

St. Peter in Chains School
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
451 Ridgelawn Ave., Hamilton 45013
http://www.stpeterinchains.org/our-school
Map

St. Vivian School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
885 Denier Pl., Cincinnati 45224
http://mystvivian.org
Map

Tuesday January 24, 2017

Our Lady of Victory School
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
808 Neeb Rd., Cincinnati 45236
http://school.olv.org
Map

Sunday January 29, 2017

Annunciation School
Noon – 2:30 p.m.
3545 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati 45220
http://www.school.annunciationbvmparish.org/
Map

Corryville Catholic School
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
108 Calhoun St., Cincinnati 45219
http://www.corryvillecatholic.org/about_profile.htm
Map

Guardian Angels School

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
6539 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 45230
http://www.gaschool.org
Map

Good Shepherd Montessori School
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
4460 Berwick Pl., Cincinnati 45227
http://www.gscmontessori.org
Map

Immaculate Conception School
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
200 W. Wayne St., Celina 45822
http://icschool-celina.org
Map

Immaculate Heart of Mary School
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
7800 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 45255
http://www.ihomschool.org
Map

John Paul II School
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
9375 Winton Rd., Cincinnati 45231
http://jpiics.org
Map

Mother Teresa School
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7197 Mother Teresa Ln., Liberty Township 45044
http://www.mtces.org
Map

Nativity School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
5936 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati 45213
http://www.nativity-cincinnati.org
Map

Our Lady of Grace School
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
2940 W. Galbraith Rd., Cincinnati 45239
http://olgcs.org
Map

Our Lady of Lourdes School
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
5835 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati 45238
http://www.lourdes.org/OurSchoolAlumni.aspx
Map

Queen of Peace School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
2550 Millville Ave., Hamilton 45013
http://www.queenofpeacehamilton.org
Map

St. Aloysius on-the-Ohio School
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
6207 Portage St., Cincinnati 45233
http://www.saoto.org/our-school.html
Map

St. Andrew/St. Elizabeth Ann Seton St. Andrew Campus
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
555 Main St., Milford 45150
http://www.saseasschool.org
Map

St. Andrew/St. Elizabeth Ann Seton St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Campus
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
5900 Buckwheat Rd., Milford 45150
http://www.saseasschool.org
Map

St. Ann School
Noon – 3:00 p.m.
3064 Pleasant Ave., Hamilton 45015
http://www.saintanncs.com
Map

St. Antonius School
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
5425 Julmar Dr., Cincinnati 45238
http://saintantoninus.org
Map

St. Cecilia School
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
4115 Taylor Ave., Cincinnati 45209
http://school.stceciliacincinnati.org
Map

St. Charles Borromeo School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
4600 Ackerman Blvd., Kettering 45429
http://stcharles-kettering.org/school
Map

St. Columban School
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
896 Oakland Rd., Loveland 45140
http://www.saintcolumbanschool.org
Map

St. Dominic School
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
371 Pedretti Rd., Cincinnati 45238
http://www.stdominic-k-8.org
Map

St. Francis deSales School
Noon – 3:00 p.m.
20 DeSales Ave., Lebanon 45036
http://www.stfrancisdesales-lebanon.com
Map

St. Gertrude School
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
6543 Miami Ave., Cincinnati 45243
http://stgertrudesch.org
Map

St. Ignatius Loyola School
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
5222 North Bend Rd., Cincinnati 45247
http://www.saintischool.org/pages/Saint_Ignatius
Map

St. John the Baptist School
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
508 Park Ave., Harrison 45030
http://sjbharrison.org
Map

St. John XXIII School
Noon – 3:00 p.m.
3806 Manchester Rd., Middletown 45042
http://stjohn23school.org
Map

St. Joseph School
Noon – 4:00 p.m.
925 S. Second St., Hamilton 45011
http://www.sjcshamilton.org
Map

St. Jude School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
5940 Bridgetown Rd., Cincinnati 45248
http://www.stjudebridgetown.org/OurSchool.aspx
Map

St. Louis School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
250 N. Broadway, Owensville 45160
http://stlparish.org/school
Map

St. Margaret of York School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
9495 Columbia Rd., Loveland 45410
http://smoy.org/school
Map

St. Martin of Tours School
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
3729 Harding Ave., Cheviot 45211
http://saintmartin.org/school
Map

St. Mary Hyde Park School
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
2845 Erie Ave., Cincinnati 45208
http://www.smshp.com
Map

St. Nicholas Academy
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. New Families
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. All Families
170 Siebenthaler Ave., Cincinnati 45215
http://www.stnacademy.org
Map

St. Susanna School
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
500 Reading Rd., Mason 45040
http://stsusannaschool.org
Map

St. Teresa of Avila School
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
1194 Rulison Ave., Cincinnati 45238
http://www.stteresa.net
Map

St. Thomas More School
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
788 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati 45245
http://www.sttmschool.org
Map

St. Veronica School
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
4475 Mount Carmel Tobasco Rd., Cincinnati 45244
http://school.stveronica.org
Map

St. Vincent Ferrer School
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
7754 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati 45236
http://svf-school.org
Map

St. William School
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
4108 W 8th St., Cincinnati 45205
https://saintwilliam.com/school
Map

Sts. Peter & Paul Academy
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
231 Clark Rd., Reading 45215
http://www.sppacademy.org
Map

Tuesday January 31, 2017

The Summit Country Day School
8:30 a.m.
Parent Preview Day
2161 Grandin Rd., Hyde Park 45202
http://www3.summitcds.org/lp/preview-day
Map

Wednesday February 1, 2017

Royalmont Academy School
200 Northcrest Dr., Mason 45040
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
http://www.royalmontacademy.org
Map

St. Gabriel Consolidated School
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
18 W. Sharon Rd., Cincinnati 45246
http://www.stgabeschool.org
Map

Thursday February 2, 2017

Our Lady of Visitation School
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
3180 South Rd., Cincinnati 45248
http://olvisitation.org/school
Map

St. Brigid School
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
312 Fairground Rd., Xenia 45385
http://www.stbrigidxenia.org/pages/school/index.html
Map

St. John the Baptist School
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
5375 Dry Ridge Rd., Cincinnati 45252
https://stjohnsdrschool.org
Map

St. Michael the Archangel School
5:30 p.m. New Families
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Current Families
11136 Oak St., Sharonville 45241
http://www.stmichaelsharonville.org
Map

Wednesday February 8, 2017

Lehman High School
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
2400 Saint Marys Ave., Sidney 45365
http://www.lehmancatholic.com
Map

Thursday February 16, 2017

St. Helen School
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
5086 Burkhardt Rd., Riverside 45431
http://www.sthelenschl.org
Map

Thursday February 23, 2017

Sts. Peter & Paul Academy
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
231 Clark Rd., Reading 45215
http://www.sppacademy.org
Map

Thursday February 23, 2017

Incarnation School
Preschool 4’s, Early 5’s, and Full Day Kindergarten Information Night
7:00 p.m. at the Parish Center
45 Williamsburg Ln., Centerville 45459
http://www.incarnation-school.com
Map

Sunday February 29, 2017

Incarnation School
Open House
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
45 Williamsburg Ln., Centerville 45459
http://www.incarnation-school.com
Map

The application period is now open for Catholic school tuition assistance covering the 2017-18 academic year in our archdiocese. For more information, click here

1 day 1 hour

ninedaysSurrounding the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children*, the overarching intention of the centerpiece novena is the end to abortion.

However, the novena also highlights many other facets of respecting each other’s God-given dignity, especially by respecting human life at every stage and in every circumstance.
9 Days for Life is an opportunity to:

 PRAY for the respect and protection of each person’s life

GATHER together in prayer, action, and fellowship with others

SHARE your stories online!

*Typically observed each year on January 22 (also the anniversary of Roe v. Wade), the 2017 observance will be January 23. More information click here

1 day 5 hours

By Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Like many concerned about what Donald Trump has said about women and his various and changing positions on abortion, Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa decided she wanted to take part in the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington, protesting the new president on the day after his inauguration as the country’s 45th leader.

She and about 50 others from the New Wave Feminists, a pro-life group against abortion, war, the death penalty and other issues, had planned to join the crowd to make their voices heard and even wanted to be listed as partners in the march’s official roster.

“We were going to send a message that we were going to be holding Trump accountable,” Herndon-De La Rosa said in a Jan. 19 interview with Catholic News Service.

While officials with the Women’s March, a conglomeration of groups dealing with issues ranging from equal pay for women, against sex discrimination and violence against women, said they would march to defend the marginalized, Herndon-De La Rosa said her group felt marginalized after they were accepted, then kicked off the roster of partner organizations, along with other pro-life groups.

No one contacted them to give them the news, she said, but they found out after a flurry of stories announced pro-life groups like hers were taken off the roster as partners by officials. The groups And Then There Were None and Students for Life of America also were denied or taken off the Women’s March roster.

“We don’t want to be opposing the (Women’s March),” Herndon-De La Rosa said. “We’re not trying to make them look bad.”

In fact, many members of her New Wave Feminists still plan to participate in the event. Pro-life groups like hers still have legitimate concerns, which they share with others who are marching, Herndon-De La Rosa said.

Trump’s past, which includes periods in which he has said he supports abortion, then says he doesn’t, makes the New Wave Feminists, based in Texas, worry. They want to let him know they’ll be watching his position on abortion, on the death penalty, on other issues involving war and violence, she said.

“Information leads us to be he truly doesn’t believe in the value and dignity of all human beings,” Herndon-De La Rosa said.

The Women’s March website lists a “statement of Inclusivity” and says it’s heard about some concerns others have voiced. “We seek to address these divisions and stand together in the face of injustice,” it says. “Together, we will raise our voices in the service of all people.”

In a news release, Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said that while she still plans to attend, organizers have a ways to go when it comes to including all.

“They are excluding the majority of American women who find abortion to be morally wrong and believe in protecting families, defending the marginalized, and achieving social justice,” Hawkins said.

Abby Johnson and her group, And Then There Were None, also said they would still attend.

“To silence our experiences is detrimental to women and our rights,” she said in a statement issued late Jan. 19.

The organization of former abortion clinic workers “who can attest to the corruption of the abortion industry” may be seen as “a direct threat” to several of the other march partners, such Planned Parenthood, Johnson added. “But no matter what — we will be there on Saturday morning, making sure that our voices are heard.”

Herndon-De La Rosa said that she can’t be too angry with what happened. All the publicity has helped her group gain more members. She has recently done interviews with the BBC, Rolling Stone magazine and other major media outlets. It has helped advance the Texas-based group’s agenda about a consistent life ethic, she said.

– – –

Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 17 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Marcin Mazur, Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

By

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Christians have a responsibility to oppose the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, said bishops from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

“This de facto annexation of land not only undermines the rights of Palestinians in areas such as Hebron and East Jerusalem but, as the U.N. recently recognized, also imperils the chance of peace,” said bishops who participated in the Holy Land Coordination Jan. 14-19.

“So many people in the Holy Land have spent their entire lives under occupation, with its polarizing social segregation, yet still profess hope and strive for reconciliation. Now, more than ever, they deserve our solidarity,” said the statement, issued Jan. 19, at the end of the visit.

Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, was among the 12 bishops who signed the statement. Bishop Lionel Gendron of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Quebec, represented Canadian bishops. The statement also was signed by representatives of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community and the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, as well as bishops from the United Kingdom and other European countries.

During their visit, the bishops visited Hebron, West Bank, where the main market area is closed off to accommodate the security needs of some 800 Israeli settlers. Afterward, Bishop Cantu told Catholic News Service, “It becomes clearer that (the settlements) are not just about outlying settlements but something more systematic; more about infiltrating Palestinian land and forcing Palestinians out by making them so uncomfortable with such limited freedom they don’t want to continue living there.”

Three of the bishops also visited the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli blockade has made it difficult to get supplies for reconstruction of buildings destroyed by Israeli shelling. Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, Scotland, one of the bishops who visited Gaza, said he left feeling “sad and helpless” at the poverty and lack of basic commodities.

In 2006, a government led by Hamas was elected in Gaza. Israel, the United States and the European Union have listed Hamas — an Islamic political party with an armed wing — as a terrorist organization and have imposed economic sanctions against Gaza.

In their statement, the bishops said Christians had a responsibility to help “the people of Gaza, who continue to live amid a man-made humanitarian catastrophe. They have now spent a decade under blockade, compounded by a political impasse caused by ill-will on all sides.”

They also said Christians must continue to encourage nonviolent resistance, as encouraged by Pope Francis.

“This is particularly necessary in the face of injustices such as the continued construction of the separation wall on Palestinian land, including the Cremisan Valley,” the statement said.

The barrier is a series of cement slabs, barbed wire fences and security roads snaking across part of the West Bank. If completed as planned, the separation wall would stretch nearly 400 miles and restrict the movements of 38 percent of residents of the West Bank. Israel maintains that the barrier contributed significantly to a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, while Palestinians contend that the barrier is simply another Israeli land grab, imprisons them and imposes travel limitations.

The bishops said that each year since 1998, they have called for justice and peace, “yet the suffering continues.”

“So this call must get louder,” their statement said. “As bishops, we implore Christians in our home countries to recognize our own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action.”

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 22 hours

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Robert Duncan

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a craftsman’s workshop on the edge of Rome’s Campo Verano cemetery, two designers are working to revive what they see as a dying art: burial.

Unlike the masons who make the cemetery’s gravestones and memorials, Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel are fashioning biodegradable burial pods.

Their prototype is an egg-shaped sarcophagus that can hold a corpse in the fetal position. A young tree, chosen ahead of time by the deceased, will be planted over the pod in place of a headstone. Citelli and Bretzel imagine a future where “sacred forests” co-exist with cemeteries.

The burial pods are part of a widespread movement focused on “green burial” practices, which use decomposable materials and avoid the use of embalming chemicals.

A growing number of Catholic cemeteries offer “green burials,” but do so emphasizing how the practices and the motivations behind such a choice must coincide with Catholic faith.

“By burying the bodies of the faithful, the church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity,” said an instruction on burial and cremation issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in October.

The Catholic Church, it said, “cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the ‘prison’ of the body.”

The Italian pod makers, who named their firm Capsula Mundi (Latin for “earth pod”) say the burial process should reflect the natural processes of the world with the dying and recycling of biological materials by other organisms.

“We are earth and to earth we will return,” said Bretzel, echoing the words from the Book of Genesis spoken during the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday. Yet Capsula Mundi was inspired not by Catholicism or New Age spirituality but a critique of modern culture.

Consumerism, with the many creature comforts it affords, has led people to think of themselves as “outside of nature, of the biological cycle of life,” and thus encouraged them to counteract the natural process of decay by embalming, Bretzel said.

“In ancient times, monks were buried in the cloister of their convent; they were wrapped in a sheet, but laid in the ground,” he said.

Opus Dei Father Paul O’Callaghan, an expert on church teaching about end-of-life questions and a professor at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, said burial methods often indicate underlying attitudes about the afterlife.

Christians recognize, “in all humility, that the body has to go back to where it came from, it goes back to the earth,” said Father O’Callaghan, noting that the words “human” and “humility” both come from the Latin word “humus,” meaning earth.

“The authentic Christian practice,” Father O’Callaghan said, is burial “followed by natural decay.” The eventual resurrection of the body promised in the Creed will be the “fruit of divine intervention,” he said.

The priest said he understands why Catholics might be motivated to be ecologically aware when planning for their death and burial.

Burial is more ecological than cremation, Father O’Callaghan argued, because the ground can “just take from the body what it wants, rather than the body being burned and heating up the atmosphere” where “most of the organic material is actually lost and is turned into CO2.”

But Father O’Callaghan also cautions Catholics to understand the philosophy undergirding some green burial initiatives.

“When you are promoting something” that deals with death and burial, “normally you have an anthropology, you have a view of what human beings are, and how they work, and where they’re destined,” he said. “There is a religious element, whether you like it or not.”

For Citelli, “true immortality is to return to nature. That is where the sharing of and continuity of life take place. Because the transformation of the substances, of the organic material, gives life to death.”

In the Catholic view, when a person dies, it is not merely that “a part of life has disappeared and can now sort of get mixed up in the ground and in the trees and in the plants,” Father O’Callaghan said. “This particular person, who lived in this particular body, and who was loved as a person in this particular form, is being remembered.”

Because the bodies of Christians have received the Eucharist during their lives, they have been carriers of God, the priest said. A corpse should be seen not only as something loved by other people, “but also from the religious point of view as something that’s sacred.”

Because proposals for ecological burials vary from country to country, bishops and bishops’ conferences “need to look into the anthropology, the eschatology and the theology behind” these diverse initiatives, he said.

For Father O’Callaghan, the important questions are: “Is there a real affirmation of the human body” as a “carrier of the Holy Spirit?” Is there “a clear element of the name of the person?” Is the commemoration not just of nature, but “of the person and the life they lived?” How is the belief in the resurrection represented?

“Very often that is represented by a headstone with a cross, which represents the power and salvation won by Jesus Christ,” he said. Comparable symbolism, along with the name and dates of the individual’s birth and death, would have to accompany any Christian form of a green burial.

“There’s a very powerful message of concreteness, of that particular person who died in this particular situation, and his name and the date. The place is there; the cross is there. There is something that speaks to people in that,” he said.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 41 min

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although great strides have been made through 50 years of ecumenical dialogue, Catholics and Lutherans must continue to work toward becoming a full and visible sign of unity for the world, Pope Francis said.

A continued “communion of harmony” will allow Catholics and Lutherans to “find further convergence on points of doctrine and the moral teaching of the church,” the pope told members of a pilgrimage from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland Jan. 19.

“I pray to the Lord that he may bestow his blessing on the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Commission in Finland, which is working diligently toward a common sacramental understanding of the church, the Eucharist and ecclesial ministry,” he said.

The pope met the Finnish delegation during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme chosen for the 2017 observance was: “Reconciliation: The love of Christ compels us.”

The week of prayer, Pope Francis said, urges Catholics and Lutherans to reconcile and “draw closer to one another anew through conversion.”

“True ecumenism is based on a shared conversion to Jesus Christ as our Lord and redeemer. If we draw close to him, we draw close also to one another,” the pope said.

Recalling his visit to Sweden last October to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s efforts to reform the church, the pope said Luther’s intention “was to renew the church, not divide her” and that the joint commemoration “was important on both the human and theological-spiritual levels.”

“The gathering there gave us the courage and strength in our Lord Jesus Christ to look ahead to the ecumenical journey that we are called to walk together,” he said.

Helping those who suffer persecution and violence, he added, can further unite Christians “on the journey toward full communion.”

In doing so, the pope said, Catholics and Lutherans can put their witness of faith into practice “through concrete acts of service, fraternity and sharing.”

Speaking off-the-cuff, Pope Francis thanked Lutheran Archbishop Kari Makinen of Turku for bringing his grandchildren to the meeting.

“We need the simplicity of children; they teach us the way to Jesus Christ,” the pope said.

– – –

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 47 min

binzer 40 days cmykLong-time March for Life participants are looking to this year’s national event with hope and expectation.

While both Republicans and Democrats have occupied the White House in the 44 years since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, no candidate for president has ever promised to do more to restrict abortion than Donald Trump promised to do. Pro-life leaders here say they are cautious but hopeful about the next four years, and that they expect that hope to spread to this year’s March for Life in Washington, DC.

“I am anticipating a March filled with its usual enthusiasm, but a much more hopeful atmosphere,” said Margie Christie, assistant executive director of Dayton Right to Life. “Our attendees for the past few years have participated in the March with enthusiasm, but no real hope for any change. This year’s event should be full of enthusiasm and hope for great change.

“I hope to see an atmosphere of change and true realization of a better future for women and children in the United States. We are hoping to see folks excited to be pro-life and excited to effect real change in their communities – things that judges and legislatures won’t overturn.”

Thousands of people from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati attend the March, which has been held every year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision (this year, because of the presidential inauguration, it will be held the following week). From a simple walk down the Mall from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol, it’s grown to a multi-day event with conventions, Masses, prayer services, visits to legislators, performances, talks, and presentations attended by hundreds of thousands from around the country.

“My hope is that there will be realistic media coverage of the number of persons, especially youth and young adults, who walk for life, advocate for an end to abortion, and welcome women and men who have lost children due to abortion to seek forgiveness and healing,” said Colleen Gerke, Director of the archdiocese’s Respect Life Office.

Underreporting participants, when the March is mentioned at all, has been so egregious that marchers flood social media with satirical memes and tweets every January, joking about half a million people sneaking into and out of the capitol unnoticed. “Social media has been a big help because of media suppression,” said Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “For years I would take students to the March and I’d say, ‘Look at how many people are there, and then watch to see what the news coverage says.’”

Photos on social media and live television broadcasts by ETWN have allowed anyone to see the size of the march, as well as how large, multicultural, and young the pro-life movement is, said Westwood, who hopes that the new president will send a representative to the March this year.

“For the past eight years President Obama did not send any message of support for to those at the March, as had pro-life presidents in the past,” she said. “I anticipate an air of hope this year, based on campaign assurances. But we must wait to see what President Trump will do.”

Volunteers from Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati organized student buses to the March for years, until insurance and logistics made the task too large. Now, while some families and organizations make their own arrangements, the Archdiocese handles most of the plans. Some schools send large contingents and some only a few, but most high schools in the archdiocese, as well as some elementary schools and colleges, send participants.

Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton has sent a delegation for 10 years. In 2015, Students of Life for America chose the school’s Eagles for Life club as its Eastern High School student club of the year because of its year-round pro-life activities.

Club moderator and CJ religion teacher Karen Emmerich says that Eagles for Life members are excited about this year, but will continue to attend for as long as the March is needed, whatever the the political climate.

“No matter who is in political office, our Eagles for Life members are optimistic that they can be on the forefront of making pro-life changes in our city and nation,” she said. “There has been progress recently, and our students hope they can continue making a positive impact by advocating for the value of all human life and by praying for and working toward a world where no one feels that abortion is the only viable option.”

The 2017 March for Life will be held Jan. 27 at noon. ”The excitement this year is palpable, with so many wonderful pro-life opportunities facing us in culture and public policy, said March for Life President Jeanne Mancini, quoting Tolkien: “’Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.’”

2 days 1 hour

votive_candles_in_notre-dame_de_strasbourg

January 20th: Vigil Praise
Once again the Atheneaum is hosting Vigil Praise, an opportunity for people of all ages, including families, to come together for Eucharistic adoration and fellowship. The evening is free and begins at 7:00 pm in the St. Gregory the Great chapel.
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/JwyxrVnGZUx

January 25th: Ministry Evening at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West
On Wednesday, January 25th Mount St. Mary’s of the West is hosting an evening for single Catholic men aged 18-35 who are currently discerning their call to the priesthood. The evening begins at 4:30pm with registration, followed by Mass, dinner, and talks about discernment. If you want to discover who God wants you to be, this is a great opportunity to discern your vocation. To register, contact Fr. Schmitmeyer at 513-421-3131 ext 2890 or use the registration form linked above.
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/JwyxrVnGZUx

February 4th & 5th: World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated in the Church on Thursday, February 2, 2017 and in parishes on the weekend of February 4-5, 2017. Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation.

February 9th: Holy Hour for Vocation
CHOSEN: Monthly Holy Hour for Vocations. Every 2nd Thursday at 8pm at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH. Co-sponsored by the Archdiocese Vocations Office and Children of Mary. For more information please contact: childrenofmary@juno.com
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xqMdHhyiAUJ2

February 11th & 12th: The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are hosting a Vocation Discernment Retreat for young women, ages 16-33, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The retreat features Eucharistic Adoration, conferences and talks, and fun with the Sisters!
Register online at www.sistersofmary.org

February 14th: For Love Alone – Do you feel called to religious life? Do you have questions or want to know more? An evening of inquiry for women ages 16 and older. FEBRUARY 14 at 6:30pm at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH. Hosted by the Sisters of Children of Mary. www.childrenofmary.net
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xqMdHhyiAUJ2

February 17th: The Saint John the Baptist Province of the Order of Friars Minor will be conducting and “Come and See” Weekend Retreat during February 17 – 19, 2017. Contact the Vocation Office at 1-800 827-1082. for information.

February 17th-19th: COME AND SEE: Fathers of Mercy Discernment Retreat
Single Catholic men, ages 18-40, are invited to explore the vocation to the priesthood with the Fathers of Mercy on February 17-19 at the Fathers of Mercy Generalate House in Auburn, KY. For more information or to register contact Fr. Joseph Aytona, CPM at 270-542-4146 x.2 or vocations@fathersofmercy.com.

February 17th: Glenmary Home Missioners
Come & See Retreat – February 17-19, 2017 Men ages 18–46
Visit with Glenmary priests and brothers. Travel to a nearby mission. Share in community prayer and reflection. Meet other men who are discerning their call
513-881- 7411 vocations@glenmary.org

February 18th: Family-Friendly Square Dance for Run for the Call
Young adults from across Cincinnati are preparing a family-friendly square dance that will take place at Annunciation parish in Clifton in the evening of February 18th. The dance will benefit the Run for the Call fund, which provides emergency relief to seminarians to allow them to maintain their focus on the discernment of their vocation. Mark your calendars now and watch runforthecall.wordpress.com for more details.
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/WPuqcpuK57s

February 18th: “Called to Love” 
A Vocation Retreat from 9:00-6:00 (Holy Mass, prayer, food, games, music, small groups with religious sisters, spiritual guidance talks). Young women 6th grade and olderEmail your confirmation to: sjwvocations @gmail.com
Questions-call Sister Patricia Jean at 859-912-4405.
All Saints Church Hall, Walton, KY, Exit 171 on I-75
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/NsX3k7LBHku

March 8th-14th: National Catholic Sisters Week
Throughout these 7 days we celebrate the great gift of Catholic religious sisters in our Church throughout the history of the United States. Please take the time to say a prayer of thanksgiving for all that these women have done for those in need both in and outside of the Church and to thank a religious sister who is currently generously living out her consecrated vocation. For more information visit www.nationalcatholicsistersweek.org.

March 10th – 12th: The Missionaries of the Precious Blood
The Missionaries invite men age 18 or older to the retreat, which begins with dinner on Friday and ends with lunch on Sunday. The retreat is an opportunity to learn about discernment to the consecrated life, spend time in prayer, and get to know the Missionaries
To reserve your place at the retreat or to learn more, contact Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S., director of vocation ministry, at vocation@cpps-preciousblood.org or 937-228-9263.
http://cpps-preciousblood.org
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4roybiCFCUo

March 17th-18th: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West Welcome Weekend
The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s of the West is once again hosting its annual Welcome Weekend for all men college-age and older who are discerning their call to the Catholic priesthood. The weekend begins at 4:30 on Friday evening and ends with dinner at 6:00 pm Saturday. There is no cost to attend. For more details or to register contact Fr. Schmitmeyer at 513-421-3131 x.2890
or for more information go to http://www.cincinnativocations.org/
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/2kUTKbgS1sH2

April 26th: Dinner for Young Women in Discernment
St. Francis de Sales in Lebanon will be hosting a gathering for young women who are discerning a call to the consecrated life. This will be an opportunity to be with Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, to meet young women in one of the varied Consecrated Life options present in the Archdiocese, to meet with other young women considering this call and to meet Vocation Ministers. Further details will be available along with how to register. For now, please save the date.
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/eMwqR3XRyAv

For more information about Vocations, go to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Vocations Website at www.cincinnativocations.org

Vocations Prayer

Almighty Father,
You have created us for some definite purpose.
Grant us the grace to know the path
You have planned for us in this life
and to respond with a generous “Yes.”
Make our archdiocese, parishes, homes and hearts
fruitful ground for Your gift of vocations.
May our young people respond to Your call
with courage and zeal.
Stir among our men a desire and the strength
to be good and holy priests.
Bless us with consecrated religious and those called to a
chaste single life, permanent deacons,
and faithful husbands and wives,
who are a sign of Christ’s love for His Church.
We commend our prayer for vocations to You, Father,
through the intercession of Mary our Mother,
in the Holy Spirit,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

2 days 5 hours

inaugurationfdc2With Friday being Inauguration Day, This prayer, from the U.S. edition of the Book of Blessings (no. 1965), is an adaptation of the prayer for the Church and for civil authorities which was composed by Archbishop John Carroll for use on the occasion of the inauguration of George Washington in 1789. This prayer, or particular sections of it, especially section 2, could be used at gatherings for prayer outside Mass. Within Mass, it could be used at the conclusion of the Universal Prayer.

1. Almighty and eternal God,
you have revealed your glory to all nations.
God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.

2. For the President:
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President of these United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides.
May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion.
May he execute the laws with justice and mercy.
May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality.

3. For the members of Congress:
Let the light of your divine wisdom
direct the deliberations of Congress, (and especially of N.,)
and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed
for our rule and government.
May they seek to preserve peace, promote national happiness,
and continue to bring us the blessings of liberty and equality.

4. For state and local officials:
We pray for N., the governor of this state (commonwealth, dominion),
for the members of the legislature, (especially, N.,)
for judges, elected civil officials, (especially, N.,)
and all others who are entrusted to guard our political welfare.
May they be enabled, by your powerful protection,
to discharge their duties with honesty and ability.

5. We likewise commend to your unbounded mercy
all citizens of the United States,
that we be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your holy law.
May we be preserved in union and that peace which the world cannot give;
and, after enjoying the blessings of this life,
be admitted to those which are eternal.

We pray to you, who are Lord and God,
for ever and ever.

R/. Amen

2 days 8 hours
A young boy, dressed as Saint Juan Diego, runs down the aisle during the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Julie Billiart parish in Hamilton Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. The Day of Prayer was to focus on the plight of refugees and migrants across the United States. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)A young boy, dressed as Saint Juan Diego, runs down the aisle during the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Julie Billiart parish in Hamilton Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. The Day of Prayer was to focus on the plight of refugees and migrants across the United States. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard) Children wear costumes during the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Julie Billiart parish in Hamilton Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. The Day of Prayer was to focus on the plight of refugees and migrants across the United States. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard)Children wear costumes during the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Julie Billiart parish in Hamilton Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. The Day of Prayer was to focus on the plight of refugees and migrants across the United States. (CT Photo/E.L. Hubbard) 2 days 20 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Mike Nelson

By Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Acknowledging the fear some immigrants have expressed as Donald Trump becomes president, Jesuit parishes, schools and other communities plan to pray for those who fear him and his proposals on the eve of his Jan. 20 inauguration as the country’s 45th president.

At least one community said it will declare sanctuary status for itself that evening.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network, a social justice education and advocacy organization based in University Heights, Ohio, said in a news release that it asked its partner universities, high schools and parishes to organize events “recognizing the experiences of marginalization that immigrant members of communities throughout the country are experiencing.”

The result is the event titled “Prayers of Light: A Call to Prayer for Immigrants,” taking place from coast to coast Jan. 19 in venues from San Francisco to New Jersey in places large and small in between, such as De Pere, Wisconsin, and St. Louis. Some planned prayer services with candles, Stations of the Cross with stories by immigrants, vigils and calls to political action.

“We offer these symbols of light as signs of solidarity for those who may be forced into the shadows of our nation,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “Through action and solidarity, we hope to illuminate the dignity of our immigrant brothers and sisters, and the value of each individual’s contribution to this country.”

The Ignatian Solidarity Network said St. Agnes Church in San Francisco and the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center, also in San Francisco, “will declare sanctuary status” on the evening of the inauguration and others may follow.

In the case of a person who does not have legal status to be in the country, a sanctuary site could theoretically shield that person from federal authorities. Ever since Trump won the election in November, several cities and organizations around the country have explored offering sanctuary status for those fearing deportation. During his campaign, Trump vowed to carry out mass deportations and said he would form deportation forces if he became president. However, after winning the presidency, he said he wasn’t planning on it.

In places like Texas, Republicans are exploring legally prohibiting the idea of offering sanctuary in a city or a site, and are trying to pass bills against offering sanctuary. Some of the organizations taking part in the “Prayers of Light” event will set up phone banks to call elected representatives and ask them to oppose legislation that would punish or ban sanctuary sites.

In the 1980s, Catholic churches were part of the sanctuary movement that offered protection, shelter and other necessities to immigrants from Central America seeking refuge in the country, sometimes without legal documentation, as they fled civil conflicts in their home countries.

– – –

Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Guidos.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 21 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters

By

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee said Jan. 18 that a repeal of the federal health care law should not take place without immediate passage of a plan that preserves people’s access to adequate health care and also protects human life, conscience rights and the poor.

“Important gains brought about by the Affordable Care Act must be preserved” as millions of people now rely on the law for their health care, said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

At the same time, he said, any replacement measure also must safeguard human life from conception to natural death, protect conscience rights and provide adequate health care for immigrants, the poor and others on society’s margins.

Bishop Dewane made the comments in a letter sent to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. bishops “supported the general goal of the law to expand medical coverage for many poor and vulnerable people,” but they “ultimately opposed the Affordable Care Act because it expanded the role of the federal government in finding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion,” Bishop Dewane wrote.

“It also failed to provide essential conscience protections and access to health care for immigrants,” he added.

“We recognize that the law has brought about important gains in such coverage and those gains should be protected,” he continued. In the days ahead, the U.S. bishops “will examine health care proposals in greater depth and from various perspectives in the days ahead,” he said.

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law March 23, 2010.

“We remain committed to the ideals of universal and affordable health care and to the pursuit of those ideals in a manner that includes protections for human life, conscience and immigrants,” Bishop Dewane told the lawmakers. “We urge you to approach the important debates in the days ahead seeking also to honor these principles for the good of all.”

The bishop’s letter pointed out that U.S. Catholic bishops have “consistently advocated for access to decent health care that safeguards and affirms human life and dignity from conception until natural death.” 

He quoted a 2009 letter to Congress from a previous chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development that said: “All people need and should have access to comprehensive, quality health care that they can afford, and it should not depend on their stage of life, where or whether they or their parents work, how much they earn, where they live or where they were born.”

The 2017 letter also quoted Pope Francis and St. John Paul II’s remarks on health care.

Bishop Dewane said that in a 2016 address to doctors, Pope Francis said health care is “not a consumer good, but a universal right which means that access to health care services cannot be a privilege.” The bishop also noted that St. John XXIII’s encyclical “Pacem in Terris” said people have the right to “food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services.”

In the days ahead, Bishop Dewane said the U.S. Catholic bishops will continue to “examine health care proposals in greater depth and from various perspectives” looking that a replacement health care plan would provide “adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their well-being.”

Of particular concern, he said, are those with limited resources “to meet basic needs such as food and shelter rather than seek medical care.”

For this group, he said, “an introduction of great uncertainty at this time would prove particularly devastating.”

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

2 days 22 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From:
Posted
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Archbasilica of St John Lateran for the conclusion of the Jubilee for the 800th anniversary of the papal confirmation of the Order of Preachers – the Dominicans. In his homily, the Holy Father contrasted two opposed “human scenarios”: a “‘carnival’ of worldly curiosity, on the one hand; and on the other, the “glorification of the Father through good works.” Saint Paul, in the Letter to Timothy, warns against the worldly curiosity that sees men and women, with “itching ears,” always seeking after new teachers, “fables,” strange doctrines, ideologies. The very human tendency to seek novelties, the Pope said, “finds the ideal environment in the society of appearances, of consumption… Even the truth is “made-up”, covered with cosmetics to appear novel and attractive. Against this worldly “carnival” atmosphere stands the opposite scenario, found in the words of the Jesus in the Gospel: “that they may glorify your heavenly Father.” The passage from a pseudo-festive superficiality to glorification comes about “through the good works of those who, having become disciples of Christ, are become “salt” and “light.” This, the Pope said, “is the response of Jesus and of the Church, this is the solid support in the midst of a ‘fluid’ environment: good works, which we are able to accomplish thanks to Christ and His Holy Spirit, and which cause to rise up in the heart thanksgiving to the Father, and praise. Today, Pope Francis said, concluding his homily, “we give thanks to the Father for the work that Saint Dominic, full of the light and the salt of Christ, accomplished 800 years ago; a work at the service of the Gospel, preached with words and with his life; a work that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, has helped so many men and women to not lose themselves in the midst of the ‘carnival’ of worldly curiosity, but rather sense the taste of sound doctrine, the taste of the Gospel; who, in their turn, have become light and salt, doers of good works… and true brothers and sisters who glorify God, and teach others to glorify God, by the good works of their lives.  (from Vatican Radio)... 2 hours 49 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday received members of the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year. Listen to Lydia O’Kane's report: Addressing those gathered for the opening of the judiciary year of the Sacred Roman Rota, Pope Francis focused his attention on the relationship between faith and marriage. Love and Truth Quoting from his predecessors including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, he noted the importance of Love and Truth. "Love needs truth”, Pope Francis said.  “Just as it is based on truth, love can last over time, overcome the ephemeral moment and stand firm to support a common path. If love has no relationship to the truth, the Holy Father explained, “it is subject to changing feelings and does not stand the test of time. True love, he added, “unifies all the elements of the person and becomes a new light towards a great and full life. In his observations, the Pope underlined that, “the experiences of faith of those seeking Christian marriage are very different.” Faced with this situation, he said, “we need to find valid remedies.” Prescribing the first of two remedies, the Holy Father pointed out that young people needed to be trained through an adequate process of preparation aimed at rediscovering marriage and the family according to God's plan. He said, it was therefore necessary that operators and organizations in charge of the pastoral care of the family had the specific skills in order to make preparation more effective for the sacrament of marriage. In this spirit, the Pope reiterated the need for a "new catechumenate" in preparation for marriage. The Holy Father’s second remedy involved  helping newlyweds to continue the journey in faith and in the Church even after the wedding celebration. You need, Pope Francis stressed, to identify with courage and creativity, a training project for young married couples, with initiatives aimed at increasing awareness of the sacrament received. Legal and sacramental view of marriage preparation The Holy Father said, that these two remedies were aimed at encouraging an appropriate context of faith in which to celebrate and live marriage. What was needed, explained the Pope, was to move from a purely legal and formal vision of the preparation of future spouses, to a sacramental foundation. Pope Francis said that this would require, “the generous contribution of Christian men and women, who work with priests in the pastoral care of families, in order to build a loving family according to God’s plan. (from Vatican Radio)... 7 hours 17 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with the President of Paraguay, Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara. The President subsequently met with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. A statement from the Holy See Press Office said the discussions “took place in a cordial atmosphere”, and highlighted the good existing relations between the Holy See and Paraguay.” “The parties focused on themes of common interest, such as the integral development of the human person, the struggle against poverty, and social peace,” – the statement read – “From this perspective, the collaboration of the Catholic Church was noted, along with her contribution in the social and educational fields, and in aid to those most in need. The conversation continued with an exchange of views on the regional political and social situation, with special reference to the development of democratic institutions.” President Cartes gave Pope Francis an artistic representation of the altar at which the Holy Father celebrated Mass during his visit to the South American country in 2015, as well as book with a pictorial of the visit. Pope Francis gave the Paraguayan leader a Jubilee Medal, as well as copies of many of his writings. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 6 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has called on Christians to overcome the self-centered mindset of the doctors of the law who know only how to condemn. His words came at the morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta. Listen to Devin Watkins’ report: Taking inspiration from the Letter to the Hebrews, Pope Francis said the new covenant which God makes with us in Jesus Christ renews our heart. God renews all things “from the roots, not only in appearance”, he said. “This new covenant has its own characteristics.” First, he said, “the law of the Lord is not an external way of acting”; rather, it enters the heart and “changes our mindset”, as well as causing “a change of heart, a change of feeling, of way of acting, and a different way of looking at things.” Overcoming the egotistical mentality of the doctors of the law who know only how to condemn The Holy Father offered the example of a work of art, which an architect can behold either with cold envy or with joy and goodness. “The new covenant changes our heart and allows us to see the law of the Lord with this new heart, with this new mindset. Consider the doctors of the law who persecuted Jesus. These men did everything prescribed by the law. But their mindset was distanced from God. Theirs was an egotistical mindset, focused on themselves: their hearts constantly condemned [others]. The new covenant changes our hearts and minds. There is a change in mindset.” God forgives our sins; the new covenant changes our lives The Lord, he added, “goes ahead” and assures us that God will pardon our iniquity and remember no longer our sins. “At times, I like to think about joking with the Lord: ‘You don’t have a good memory!’ This is the weakness of God: when God forgives, He forgets.” “He forgets, because he forgives. Before a penitent heart, He forgives and forgets: ‘I will forget, I will not remember their sins’. But this too is an invitation not to remind the Lord of our sins, that is, to not sin any more: ‘You have forgiven me, you forgot.’ A change of life, a new covenant renews me and changes my life, not only the mindset and heart, but my life. To live without sin, far from sin: this is to recreate. This is how the Lord recreates us.” The Lord changes our hearts to change our mindset In conclusion, the Pope spoke about the ‘change of appearance’. He said, “We belong to God, other gods do not exist… A change of mindset changes the heart, life, and appearance.” He reiterated that this “is the recreation, which the Lord makes even more glorious than the first Creation.” He then exhorted Christians to follow through with this covenant and to be ever true to it. “The seal of this covenant is faithfulness, to be faithful to this work which the Lord has completed to change our mindset, to change our hearts. The prophets said, ‘But the Lord will change your heart of stone into a heart of flesh’:  To change one’s heart and life and to sin no more, not reminding the Lord that He has forgotten our sins.” (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 7 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met Thursday with organizers of an exhibition on the history of the Jubilees, which was hosted by the Italian Senate from March to June 2016. The President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, let the delegation of organizers and volunteers. The Holy Father expressed his gratitude for the exhibition, which documented “multiple aspects” of the Jubilee Years, beginning with the first, in 1300, called by Pope Boniface VIII. Since that time, the Pope said, “each Jubilee has left its mark on the history of Rome: from architecture to the welcome of pilgrims; from the arts to caregiving and charitable activities.” But, Pope Francis continued, “there is an essential element, the heart of each Holy Year, which should never be lost sight of: in the Jubilee one encounters the goodness of God and the fragility of man, who always stands in need of the love and forgiveness of God.” God reveals His omnipotence, the Pope said, especially by showing mercy, which is a trait proper to God Himself. Offering his gratitude to those who helped with the exhibition, and to the Italian Senate which hosted it, Pope Francis said expressed his hope that everyone might continue “to draw abundant and enduring spiritual fruits from the Jubilee experience.”  (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 6 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday invited the faithful to let themselves be drawn by Jesus pointing out that Christian life is a daily struggle against temptation. Speaking during the homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta , the Pope warned against the temptations that lead us down the wrong path. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni: Referring to the Gospel reading of the day, Pope Francis said Jesus came to destroy the influence of evil on our hearts. Recounting the passage from the Gospel of Mark that tells of  how large numbers of people followed Jesus with enthusiasm, the Pope posed the question: ‘why were the crowds attracted?’ The Gospel, he said, tells us that some were sick and wanted to be healed but there were also people who liked listening to Jesus because he touched their hearts. This was because, he explained, the Father drew people to Jesus. So much so, Francis said, Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. And he said He too was moved because he saw these people as sheep without a shepherd, and thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit the Father was drawing them to the Lord. And, the Pope emphasized,  the reason for which so many people were attracted by Jesus Christ was nothing to do with Apologetics. Commenting upon the end of the Gospel passage which says ‘whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God"’, Francis said that whenever we try to approach God, the unclean spirits try to prevent us from doing so, and “wage a war against us.” Those, he said, who feel they are very Catholic and never have temptations, must pray because they are on the wrong path. “A Christian life without temptations is not Christian, he said: it is ideological, it is Gnostic, but it is not Christian”. When the Father draws people to Jesus, Pope Francis explained, there is an opposite force that causes conflict. “That’s why St Paul speaks of Christian life as a struggle: a daily struggle. A fight!” he said: That’s why Jesus came: “to destroy Satan's empire, the empire of evil”. He came to destroy its influence in our hearts, the Pope said. So while the Father is attracting you to Jesus, the spirit of evil is seeking to destroy that attraction. The Pope concluded with the exhortation to fight on and feel the heart that struggles for the victory of Jesus. "May the Lord give us the grace to know how to discern what is going on in our hearts and to choose the right path upon which the Father draws us to Jesus” he said. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 7 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday said that “the intention of Martin Luther five hundred years ago was to renew the Church, not divide her”. Speaking to members of an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland who are in the Vatican to take part in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Pope recalled his visit to Sweden last October and said that the “gathering there gave us the courage and strength, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to look ahead to the ecumenical journey that we are called to walk together.” The Pope ended his speech with off-the-cuff remarks thanking the bishop leading the delegation for having brought his grandchildren to the audience and pointing out that  "we need the simplicity of children: they will show us the path that leads to Jesus Christ." The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place from 18 to 25 January focussing on a theme selected on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us”. The celebration concludes with Vespers, presided over by Pope Francis, in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls on January 25th. Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ address to the members of the Ecumenical Delegation from Finland: Dear Brothers and Sisters,          I joyfully welcome all of you, members of the Ecumenical Delegation, who have come as pilgrims from Finland to Rome on the occasion of the feast of Saint Henrik.  I thank the Lutheran Bishop of Turku for his kind words.  For more than thirty years, it has been a fine custom for your pilgrimage to take place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which calls us to draw closer to one another anew through conversion.  True ecumenism is based on a shared conversion to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer.  If we draw close to him, we draw close also to one another.  During these days let us pray more fervently to the Holy Spirit so that we may experience this conversion which makes reconciliation possible.     On this path, we Catholics and Lutherans, from several countries, together with various communities sharing our ecumenical journey, reached a significant step when, on 31 October last, we gathered together in Lund, Sweden, to commemorate through common prayer the beginning of the Reformation.  This joint commemoration of the Reformation was important on both the human and theological-spiritual levels.  After fifty years of official ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans, we have succeeded in clearly articulating points of view which today we agree on.  For this we are grateful.  At the same time we keep alive in our hearts sincere contrition for our faults.  In this spirit, we recalled in Lund that the intention of Martin Luther five hundred years ago was to renew the Church, not divide her.  The gathering there gave us the courage and strength, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to look ahead to the ecumenical journey that we are called to walk together.        In preparing the common commemoration of the Reformation, Catholics and Lutherans noted with greater awareness that theological dialogue remains essential for reconciliation and that it is advanced through steadfast commitment.  Thus, in that communion of harmony which permits the Holy Spirit to act, we will be able to find further convergence on points of doctrine and the moral teaching of the Church, and will be able to draw ever closer to  full and visible unity.  I pray to the Lord that he may bestow his blessing on the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Commission in Finland, which is working diligently towards a common sacramental understanding of the Church, the Eucharist and ecclesial ministry.     Therefore 2017, the commemorative year of the Reformation, represents for Catholics and Lutherans a privileged occasion to live the faith more authentically, in order to rediscover the Gospel together, and to seek and witness to Christ with renewed vigour.  At the conclusion of the day of commemoration in Lund, and looking to the future, we drew inspiration from our common witness to faith before the world, when we committed ourselves to jointly assisting those who suffer, who are in need, and who face persecution and violence.  In doing so, as Christians we are no longer divided, but rather united on the journey towards full communion.     I am pleased to recall also that this year the Christians of Finland celebrate the centenary of the Finnish Ecumenical Council, which is an important instrument in promoting communion of faith and life among you.     Finally, in 2017 your homeland, Finland, will celebrate one hundred years as an independent State.  May this anniversary encourage all the Christians of your country to profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – as did Saint Henrik so zealously – offering a witness of faith to the world today and putting that faith into practice through concrete acts of service, fraternity and sharing.      In the hope that your pilgrimage may contribute to further strengthening the good cooperation between Orthodox, Lutherans and Catholics in Finland and in the world, and that the common witness of faith, hope and love may bear abundant fruit through Saint Henrik’s intercession, I willingly invoke God’s grace and blessing upon you all.       (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 9 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The World Seen From Rome
Posted

God is ready to forgive and forget our sins. So let’s welcome His invitation to renew us….

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on the Letter to the Hebrews.

In his homily, Pope Francis underscored that the new covenant which God makes with us in Jesus Christ, renews our heart.

God renews all things “from the roots, not only in appearance,” he said.

Change in Mindset

This new covenant, Francis explained, has its own characteristics. “The law of the Lord,” he noted, “is not an external way of acting,” but rather, enters hearts and changes our mindset, leading to “a change of heart, a change of feeling, of way of acting, and a different way of looking at things.”

To demonstrate this, the Pope offered the example of a work of art, which an architect can behold either with cold envy or with joy and goodness.

“The new covenant changes our heart,” Francis said.

The Pope invited those present to consider the doctors of the law who persecuted Jesus, who did everything prescribed by the law.

Stressing that their mindset was distanced from God, Francis lamented it was an egotistical mindset, focused on themselves, and condemning others. On the other hand, the Pontiff stressed, the new covenant changes our hearts and minds. “There is a change in mindset.”

“At times, I like to think about joking with the Lord: ‘You don’t have a good memory!’ This is the weakness of God: when God forgives, He forgets,” Francis shared.

Lord Recreates Us

“He forgets, because he forgives. Before a penitent heart, He forgives and forgets: ‘I will forget, I will not remember their sins’. But this too is an invitation not to remind the Lord of our sins, that is, to not sin any more: ‘You have forgiven me, you forgot.’

“A change of life, a new covenant renews me and changes my life, not only the mindset and heart, but my life. To live without sin, far from sin: this is to recreate. This is how the Lord recreates us.”

Speaking about the ‘change of appearance’. He said, “We belong to God, other gods do not exist… A change of mindset changes the heart, life, and appearance.” He reiterated that this “is the re-creation, which the Lord makes even more glorious than the first Creation.”

Change Your Heart, Life

He then exhorted Christians to follow through with this covenant and to be ever true to it.

“The seal of this covenant is faithfulness, to be faithful to this work which the Lord has completed to change our mindset, to change our hearts. The prophets said, ‘But the Lord will change your heart of stone into a heart of flesh’:  To change one’s heart and life and to sin no more.”

Pope Francis concluded, praying: “May the Lord give us the grace to know how to discern what is going on in our hearts and to choose the right path upon which the Father draws us to Jesus.”

1 day 1 hour

Below is the Vatican-provided text of the message Pope Francis sent today, January 20, 2017,  to the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, on the occasion of his inauguration.

***

The Honorable Donald Trump

President of the United States of America

The White House

Washington, DC

Upon your inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America, I offer you my cordial good wishes and the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office. At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide. Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door. With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spiritual prosperity.

FRANCISCUS PP.

[Original Text: English] [Vatican-provided text]
1 day 2 hours

Pope Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Paraguay, Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, this morning.

According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, the discussions were cordial, highlighting the good existing relations between the Holy See and Paraguay.

A number of issues of mutual interest were emphasized, such as the integral development of the human person, the struggle against poverty, and social peace. From this perspective, the collaboration of the Catholic Church was noted, along with her contribution in the social and educational fields, and in aid to those most in need.

The conversation continued with an exchange of views on the regional political and social situation, with special reference to the development of democratic institutions.

After meeting with the Pope, the President of the Republic of Paraguay met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

 

1 day 5 hours

Pope Francis is praying for victims of a deadly avalanche in central Italy, which struck Wednesday evening after several earthquakes in the region.

According to Vatican Radio, Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, General Secretary of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, expressed that Pope Francis not only invites everyone to pray, but is also calling on everyone in the Episcopal Conference to do all they can to make people feel the closeness of the Church.

Francis has asked to be constantly informed about the situation there, particularly that of a mountain hotel hosting some 30 people struck by the avalanche, with four dead confirmed.

But, this morning, there was good news that emergency workers found eight people alive in the ruins, including two children, when all had been feared dead.

From snow and rubble, the first victims have been pulled, and rescue teams are battling the elements as they continue their search for the missing, which include children.

“The Pope is being kept up to date constantly,” Archbishop Galantino said, noting that every once in a while, Francis calls one of the affected bishops.

The Italian Archbishop went on to say that the situation is truly dramatic, with a perfect storm of earthquakes, snow, and terrible meteorological conditions, and lamenting that these factors have caused a deep seated psychological distress in all the area’s inhabitants.

1 day 6 hours
[From Vatican Radio]

Less than half of the bishops meeting with Pope Francis on Friday had been on an ad limina visit before. Yet all of them were clearly impressed by the level of openness and dialogue they discovered in all the offices of the Roman Curia and particularly in their closed door, informal and unscripted conversation with the Pope.

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh is president of the Irish bishops conference:

“He said at the beginning, ‘I’ll throw in the ball and let’s see what happens’, so it turned out to be a conversation about the Church in Ireland, about the struggles and challenges we’re having, but also about the importance of a ministry of presence, a ministry of the ear, where we’re listening to the hopes, struggles and fears of our people….”

Featuring high on the agenda were discussions about the family and about the need to reach out to young people, especially those whose faith has been shattered by the numerous sex abuse scandals. As the bishops were meeting with the Pope in Rome, a new report was being published in Belfast about abuse cases and the bishops pledged their full cooperation in order to support victims and ensure the highest standards of child protection throughout the Church.

During their meetings the bishops said they spoke frankly of problems such as poverty and homelessness, the current political crisis in Northern Ireland, but also concerns about the place of women in the Catholic Church today, as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin explained:

“No subject was off the agenda….Pope Francis again said to talk about our experiences, our challenges, our criticisms….One theme that came up on numerous occasions was the position of women in the Church, we brought it up in almost every congregation we went to and there was a willingness to listen and a recognition that we were asking a valid question, because the Irish episcopal conference is quite concerned about that theme”

The bishops said they also talked about preparations for the World Meeting of Families which will take place in Dublin next year, adding that they discussed with Pope Francis  the possibility of his visit to Ireland for the occasion, a first papal trip there since Pope John Paul travelled to the country, back in 1979.

[From Vatican Radio]
1 day 6 hours

The celebration of Don Bosco’s Salesian Family has begun in Rome. Until January 22, some 370 of its members are in the Eternal City for the Days of Spirituality. “Perfect attunement of affection and contents with Pope Francis” is the spirit with which the Major Rector, Father Angel Fernandez Artime gives the 2017 Gift to the world. The message of the tenth successor of Saint John Bosco is, above all, a “Salesian comment” of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which brings together, with concrete suggestions, the Salesian realities of 132 countries.

Father Eusebio Munoz, delegate of the Major Rector, introduces us to Father Angel to know directly from his words the meaning of this annual special event.

***

ZENIT: Father Angel, you and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, attend this international meeting every year. What meaning does it assume in 2017?

Father Fernandez: There are many meetings during the year but the Days of Spirituality are truly special — an occasion to come together as a Religious Family of the Church. It is a great joy to see again representatives from five Continents and, this year also, we remind ourselves that we are not a family for ourselves, but to go to encounter others. The theme chosen, in fact, is: We Are a Family! Every House <Is a> School of Life and Love.

ZENIT: In your trips you also meet and come close to suffering families. How do you react to the news of marriages in crisis or disintegrated families? 

Father Fernandez: The answer I stimulate in all of us Salesians is empathy to these sufferings. From the reading of the Gift the importance of this word emerges, so that it can really be translated into understanding of all those who live in the pain of the crisis of bonds.

In the face of a great or small problem, encouragement must not be lacking, because, if we get rid of the problem, we are not aware of the more important values that can be recovered. The problem must be accompanied in the light of faith. But be careful: accompaniment must never be lacking, as a true attitude of service to families. This is the way we wish to follow with families, but also with younger ones on the way to marriage.

ZENIT: As Pastor of many boys and girls, you have stressed the importance of understanding, of empathy and of closeness. How is all this possible in a flock that is so extensive as is that of the Salesian Family? 

Father Fernandez: These three elements that you have mentioned are methodological, but first of all we focus on him who keeps us always united: the Founder, Saint John Bosco. Don Bosco is a gift that draws to unity everywhere, even where humanly one could imagine that a break would occur. Because, as a Religious Family, in the diversity among so many persons we reaffirm the importance of Faith, which is the center of all action. In the 162 years of the Congregation’s history, communion has never been lacking, because it is nourished by the Holy Spirit, who has entrusted us all to the Saint of Valdocco.

ZENIT: Assessing the celebrations of the Bicentenary of the Founder’s birth, what fruits are maturing in the Congregation?

Father Fernandez: Among the very numerous meetings, I’m thinking of that of Turin, with 5,000 young people, or of that of Buenos Aires, in the Eucharistic Celebration with 12,000 youngsters. I don’t hide my having yielded to emotion during the trip to Ghana to visit the new Don Bosco House, which houses 38 young people, between boys and girls of the street. The new realities that have emerged in India are also a stupendous, unexpected fruit.

 

1 day 8 hours

 

Have you made a pilgrimage lately?

Maybe you’ve been blessed enough to take what many of us consider a traditional pilgrimage: traveling to a destination like Lourdes, Fatima, or even a special cathedral here in the United States. But a pilgrimage is about more than an inspiring destination; it’s about a journey undertaken as a prayer for a particular intention.

This year, your bishops are asking you to dedicate yourself to a particular pilgrimage, praying for the protection of all life over a 9-day novena. This January 22nd marks the anniversary of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Forty-four years later, over 56 million children’s lives have been ended, and their parents, grandparents, siblings, and many others suffer in the aftermath.

Whether or not you make a physical pilgrimage to a pro-life demonstration this January, you are invited to join a digital pilgrimage for life. For the last several years, “9 Days for Life” has enabled thousands and thousands of Catholics around the country to “walk together” prayerfully through the nine days surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This year it’s Saturday, January 21 through Sunday the 29th.

The Church joyfully proclaims that each person’s life has value—from conception to natural death. So in addition to praying for an end to abortion, we pray for all who are vulnerable. This year’s novena includes specific petitions for those suffering from infertility, as well as victims of domestic violence, among others. Increasingly, as more states consider legalizing doctor-assisted suicide, we also pray that sick and dying persons may receive care that fully respects their dignity.

To stay on the virtual pilgrimage all nine days, you can download the prayers in advance, follow along on social media, or sign up to receive them via email, text messages, or smartphone apps. Along with daily prayer intentions, “9 Days for Life” also suggests acts of reparation, ways to share the campaign, and other creative ideas.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, plans to participate: “Remember how during his visit to the United States, Pope Francis called us to ‘stand up for life’? 9 Days for Life is a great way to put our faith into action!”

One important aspect of pilgrimages is that the participant grows spiritually and perhaps even develops some resolutions by the pilgrimage’s completion. “9 Days for Life” seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the value of life and encourages participants to continue to pray, support, and advocate for life long after the pilgrimage’s end.

Sign up today to make this “virtual pilgrimage” for life with thousands of others at www.9daysforlife.com.

1 day 11 hours

The diocesan process in view of the beatification of Sister Lucia of Fatima, OCD, will be solemnly concluded on February 13, 2017, at the Carmel of Coimbra, Portugal, less than a month before the anniversary of her “birth in Heaven.”

The sealed documents will then be sent to Rome to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, stated a press release of the Postulation.

In fact, it was at the Carmel of Coimbra that Sister Maria Lucia de Jesus y del Corazon Inmaculado, one of the three visionaries of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima (May-October 1917) died — it will soon be 12 years ago –, on February 13, 2005. And the diocesan processes in view of a beatification and a canonization are first of all the task of dioceses where the baptized persons died, before being sent to Rome.

The “process” brought together all the writings of Sister Lucia (1907-2005) as well as witnesses attesting to her reputation for holiness and the way she lived “heroically” the human and Christian virtues.

After an examination of the documents, it will be up to Rome to decide whether or not the process of beatification continues, according to the norms of the Church established for these procedures.

Father Pedro Miranda, Vicar General of Coimbra, added that on the evening of the conclusion the event will be marked by a concert of Sacred Music.

It is significant that the process reaches Rome on the year of the centenary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Cova da Iria in 1917, and in the wake of the Jubilee of Mercy. Monsignor Albert-Marie de Monleon noted, in an interview on Sunday, January 15, 2017: “When one speaks of mercy, when one makes an effort to put into practice, Mary is not far; she is truly the Mother of Mercy. In this year of the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima, one can in fact understand the message of Mary and the Angels as an appeal to mercy. During the second apparition of the Angel to the little shepherds, he said to them: “Pray much! The hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy upon you.” This message is addressed to each one of us through these children. This prayer is essentially “for the conversion of poor sinners” and for peace in the world. They are among the highest works of mercy of which our time is in urgent need.”

1 day 11 hours

South Sudan, located in the heart of Africa, is the youngest nation in the world; it gained independence from Sudan in July 2011. Two years later, a civil war broke out, pitting the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) against the opposition; the conflict has since become a brutal tribal war. The UN estimates that there are 1.7 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the country, 75 percent of whom are struggling to survive in the three states hardest-hit by conflict, Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), an international Catholic charity, recently spoke with a pastoral worker in South Sudan who asked to remain anonymous.

***

What role does tribal culture play in the conflict?

There is the mentality that holds that the tribe is the most important social unit, and that individual lives have to serve the tribes, as directed by councils of elders, even today. Many tribes coexist in South Sudan, fighting for cows as symbols of power and wealth. Conflict has never been rooted in hate or genocide; the pursuit of wealth was the cause of any fighting. In short, the people of South Sudan lack a sense of national identity. Their allegiance to their tribe comes first—and that often leads to conflict.

What is happening today, however, is that the leaders of different tribes fight, not for cows, but for political power and money (e.g. oil, timber, minerals). These elites care more for their own advantage than for the well-being of the people, many of whom are starving; inflation in the country has hit 800 percent! Perhaps the worst aspect of the conflict is that tribal leaders present their struggle for political and economic power as an ethnic conflict—which it is definitely not.

What is the impact of the conflict on ordinary citizens?

They have to leave their lands when conflict erupts; they lose all their possessions—cattle, homes, land. They become IDPs or they flee the country to become refugees. In either case, they are forced to live in camps where there is lack of food and water; where there are no schools—where, in short, there is no future. Most of the families have lost loved ones in the fighting; some have been recruited by force, even children; women suffer rape and violence, and then are stigmatized because of being violated. There is a grave shortage of medical care, in particular, and there are growing number of deaths among the elderly, women and children. International aid falls far short.

What is the work you are doing in the country?

We work with the local Catholic Church—training teachers, nurses, midwives, and agricultural workers. We are also training pastoral agents, to prepare them for the work of evangelization, as well as peace-building and reconciliation efforts.

We also operate student centers. Students come from different tribes and they live and study together, peacefully—building a mentality of unity among themselves as a bulwark against ethnic hatred. The result is a living witness that unity and fraternity are possible in South Sudan.

Since its independence, ACN has supported projects in South Sudan for more than 4M Euros. The help went to pastoral aid, Mass stipends, the building of Church infrastructure, as well as humanitarian supplies.

***

Aid to the Church in Need is an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy See, providing assistance to the suffering and persecuted Church in more than 140 countries. www.churchinneed.org (USA); www.acnuk.org (UK); www.aidtochurch.org (AUS); www.acnireland.org (IRL); www.acn-aed-ca.org (CAN) www.acnmalta.org (Malta)

 

1 day 11 hours

Christian life is a daily struggle against temptation.

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Mark, which tells of how large numbers of people followed Jesus with enthusiasm and their reasons for doing so, such as to be healed.

Francis encouraged faithful to be ‘drawn’ to Jesus, without succumbing to other subjects to which one can be ‘drawn.’

The Argentine Pontiff reminded faithful how resisting these natural sentiments will help them to not fall down the wrong path.

“A Christian life without temptations,” Francis said, “is not Christian, he said: it is ideological.”

For this very reason, the Pope said, St. Paul speaks of Christian life “as a struggle: a daily struggle. A fight!” he said. “That’s why Jesus came: ‘to destroy Satan’s empire, the empire of evil.’

“He came to destroy its influence in our hearts, the Pope said. “So while the Father is attracting you to Jesus, the spirit of evil is seeking to destroy that attraction.”

Reflecting on the end of the Gospel passage which says ‘whenever unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God,”’ Francis said that whenever we try to approach God, the unclean spirits try to prevent us from doing so, and “wage a war against us.”

Inviting faithful to fight on and feel the heart that struggles for the victory of Jesus, Pope Francis concluded, praying: “May the Lord give us the grace to know how to discern what is going on in our hearts and to choose the right path upon which the Father draws us to Jesus.”

2 days 1 hour

Below is a Vatican-provided translation of Pope Francis’ address to members of an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland who are in the Vatican to take part in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18-25, focusing on the theme“Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us,” selected on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:

***

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I joyfully welcome all of you, members of the Ecumenical Delegation, who have come as pilgrims from Finland to Rome on the occasion of the feast of Saint Henrik. I thank the Lutheran Bishop of Turku for his kind words… in Spanish! For more than thirty years, it has been a fine custom for your pilgrimage to take place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which calls us to draw closer to one another anew through conversion. True ecumenism is based on a shared conversion to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer. If we draw close to him, we draw close also to one another. During these days let us pray more fervently to the Holy Spirit so that we may experience this conversion which makes reconciliation possible.

On this path, we Catholics and Lutherans, from several countries, together with various communities sharing our ecumenical journey, reached a significant step when, on 31 October last, we gathered together in Lund, Sweden, to commemorate through common prayer the beginning of the Reformation. This joint commemoration of the Reformation was important on both the human and theological-spiritual levels. After fifty years of official ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans, we have succeeded in clearly articulating points of view which today we agree on. For this we are grateful. At the same time, we keep alive in our hearts sincere contrition for our faults. In this spirit, we recalled in Lund that the intention of Martin Luther five hundred years ago was to renew the Church, not divide her. The gathering there gave us the courage and strength, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to look ahead to the ecumenical journey that we are called to walk together.

In preparing the common commemoration of the Reformation, Catholics and Lutherans noted with greater awareness that theological dialogue remains essential for reconciliation and that it is advanced through steadfast commitment. Thus, in that communion of harmony which permits the Holy Spirit to act, we will be able to find further convergence on points of doctrine and the moral teaching of the Church, and will be able to draw ever closer to full and visible unity. I pray to the Lord that he may bestow his blessing on the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Commission in Finland, which is working diligently towards a common sacramental understanding of the Church, the Eucharist and ecclesial ministry.

Therefore 2017, the commemorative year of the Reformation, represents for Catholics and Lutherans a privileged occasion to live the faith more authentically, in order to rediscover the Gospel together, and to seek and witness to Christ with renewed vigour. At the conclusion of the day of commemoration in Lund, and looking to the future, we drew inspiration from our common witness to faith before the world, when we committed ourselves to jointly assisting those who suffer, who are in need, and who face persecution and violence. In doing so, as Christians we are no longer divided, but rather united on the journey towards full communion.

I am pleased to recall also that this year the Christians of Finland celebrate the centenary of the Finnish Ecumenical Council, which is an important instrument in promoting communion of faith and life among you.

Finally, in 2017 your homeland, Finland, will celebrate one hundred years as an independent State. May this anniversary encourage all the Christians of your country to profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – as did Saint Henrik so zealously – offering a witness of faith to the world today and putting that faith into practice through concrete acts of service, fraternity and sharing.

In the hope that your pilgrimage may contribute to further strengthening the good cooperation between Orthodox, Lutherans and Catholics in Finland and in the world, and that the common witness of faith, hope and love may bear abundant fruit through Saint Henrik’s intercession, I willingly invoke God’s grace and blessing upon you all.

And, dear brother Bishop, I wish to thank you for the lovely idea of bringing your grandchildren with you: we need the simplicity of children. They will teach us the way to Jesus Christ.

Thank you, thank you so much!

[Original text: English] [Vatican-provided text]

 

2 days 5 hours

At 12:30 pm today, Pope Francis received in audience — in the Hall of the Consistory of the Apostolic Palace –, the organizers of the exhibition regarding the history of Jubilees entitled “Antiquorum Habet,” which took place at the Senate of the Italian Republic from March 13 to July 2, 2016.

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s address, after the greeting of the President of the Senate, The Honorable Piero Grasso.

* * *

THE HOLY FATHER’S ADDRESS

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for coming. I greet you warmly, beginning with Mister President of the Senate, Honorable Pietro Grasso, whom I thank for his courteous words.

This meeting offers me the occasion to express to you my gratitude for the Exhibition regarding the history of Jubilees, which took place at the Senate of the Republic last year. It documented many aspects of the Holy Years, beginning with the first, proclaimed by Pope Boniface VIII with the Bull Antiquorum Habet. From 1300 and thereafter, every Jubilee has marked Rome’s history: from the architecture to the reception of pilgrims, from art to welfare and charitable activities. However, there is an essential element, the heart of every Holy Year, which must never be lost sight of: in a Jubilee, the Goodness of God meets the frailty of man, who is always in need of the Father’s love and forgiveness. In fact, it is proper to God to exercise mercy. His omnipotence is manifested especially in this. You [he turns to President Grasso] spoke of hospitality as the core of every Jubilee, and this is the great welcome: when God receives us without asking many things, forgives us, embraces us, kisses us and says this beautiful word to us: “my son, my daughter.”

In thanking the organizers and volunteers of the Exhibition and the Senate that hosted it, for the endeavor of historical and cultural sensitization offered for the benefit of visitors, I wish that each one of you will continue to draw from the Jubilee experience abundant and lasting spiritual fruits. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, obtain this <for you>.

Thank you, Mister President, for this visit. I pray for your lofty institutional service and for the work of all of you. I bless you together with your dear ones. And you also, please pray for me.

Thank you so much.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

 

2 days 5 hours

A new meeting, in plenary session, of the Permanent Bilateral Commission of Work between the Holy See and the State of Israel was held yesterday, Wednesday, January 18 at Jerusalem, to continue negotiations based on Article 10 comma 2 of the 1993 “Fundamental Agreement” between the Holy See and the State of Israel. It has now been decades that the two States have been negotiating an Agreement regarding fiscal matters and the juridical status of the Catholic Church, among other issues.

A Vatican note explained that the session “accepted the progress made by the Work Commission regarding negotiations based on Article 10 comma 2 and is pleased that they were carried out in a reflective and constructive atmosphere.” Moreover, the plenary acknowledged the work done by the Ministry of Justice regarding the implementation of the 1997 Bilateral Agreement on the Juridical Personality” of the Church.

The parties then “agreed on future steps, in view of the forthcoming plenary planned for March 2017 in Vatican City.” After the meeting of the Bilateral Work Commission, the Holy See and Israel held a session of bilateral consultations at the Foreign Ministry during which both delegations “discussed matters of common interest” and “explored new opportunities for cooperation.”

The meeting was presided over by the Minister of Regional Cooperation of the State of Israel, Tzachi Hanegbi, and by Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Vatican Under-Secretary for Relations with States. Present, among others, in the Vatican delegation were the Nuncio in Israel, Giuseppe Lazzarotto and Nuncio Antonio Franco, together with the Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate for Israel, Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo. The Israeli delegation included the General Director of the Ministry of justice, Emi Palmor, the Head of the Office for Jewish and Religious Affairs in the World, Akiva Tor, and Mrs Tamar Kaplan, First Vice-Procurator of the State and Director of the Law Department.

2 days 7 hours

A “Congress for the Mission of the Order” is the theme of the Congress organized at the Rome’s Pontifical University, the Angelicum, Jan. 17-21, for and by the spiritual family of Saint Dominic, 800 years since its foundation. The Congress will gather some 600 people.

The meeting and the Jubilee will conclude with a Mass presided over by Pope Francis at the Lateran, at 4:00 pm on Saturday, the 21st. The Congress and Mass can be followed through “streaming” here, from Wednesday, January 18 at 2:30 pm.

On the occasion of the Congress, the Master of the Dominican Order, Friar Bruno Cadore met with journalists in the Holy See Press Office on January 17, 2017.

“We decided to open our after-jubilee by involving the Brothers and Sisters of the whole world, to find the answer to two questions: How to make the Gospel today Good News for all, for those who believe and those who do not believe? And secondly, beginning from our experience, how can we offer the Church a specific human and Christian service?” and this to “help the order to open itself to the future,” he explained.

For Friar Franklin Buitrago, the Jubilee’s organizer, it is always about “communicating the Word of God, by an evangelization that is born of the contemplative life, is nourished by a constant dialogue between reason and faith, and is geared to creating an ever greater fraternal communion.”

Friar Vivian Boland, the Master’s Vicar, remarked that the Dominicans’ Jubilee had as its leitmotiv being “preachers of mercy”: he sees there a “Providential correspondence” with the Extraordinary Holy Year desired by Pope Francis: “We have understood better the concrete character of mercy and we have re- appropriated apostolates that we conduct, for instance, teaching in hospitals or in the pastoral.”

The Jubilee opened in Rome’s Basilica of Saint Sabina on the Aventine Hill, headquarters of the Dominicans’ General House, on Saturday, November 7, 2015, with a Mass presided over by Friar Bruno Cadore, in the presence of representatives of different branches of the Dominican spiritual family.

Historical conferences, religious celebrations, and art exhibitions then marked this Jubilee Year.

After the Angelus, on Sunday, November 8, 2015, the Pope greeted the Order of Friar Preachers and thanked them for their service to the Church. ”On this occasion, may the Lord fill you with His blessing,” said Pope Francis. “And thank you, infinitely, for all that you do in and for the Church!”

On August 4, 2016, the Pope received in audience at the Vatican, the participants in the General Chapter of the Dominicans who, from July 16 to August 4, 2016, gathered around Brother Bruno Cadore at Bologna, Italy, where Saint Dominic rests.

“The more we go out to slake others’ thirst, the more we will be preachers of the truth,” Pope Francis reminded them. Genuine preaching calls for “a strong personal union” with God,” he added. Without it, “the preaching might be perfect, motivated, admirable, but it will not touch the heart which is what must change.”

Pope Francis encouraged the Dominicans “to follow with joy the charism that inspired Saint Dominic: “May his example push you to face the future with hope, knowing that God renews everything always and does not disappoint.

 

2 days 7 hours

“I don’t understand how people can harm each other so much,” sighs security guard Louis Petrus. Petrus recently returned to his hometown for the first time: the Christian city of Qaraqosh, near Mosul, which he had to flee in August 2014, when ISIS captured the town, the largest Christian city on the Nineveh plain.

He told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need: “Look at my house: it is damaged, most of my furniture has been stolen and my household effects are broken. Other inhabitants of Qaraqosh had prepared me for what I would find in the city. I had heard stories and seen pictures of the destruction caused by the jihadists. Now that I am seeing the city with my own eyes, I do not know what to feel. The terrorists have destroyed a lot of my possessions.”

Father Sharbil Eeso, a 72-year-old Syrian-Catholic priest also returned to the town. He found the seminary in shambles. In search of hidden treasures, the occupiers brought down ceilings and destroyed statues. “We are not allowed to clear up the mess yet,” the priest said, adding that “first the damage needs to be assessed carefully and documented thoroughly, and that can only start when the city is safe. Last week, a jihadist emerged from the tunnel system which ISIS has built underneath the city. The army immediately shot and killed him: it was a 13-year-old boy.”

The jihadists made full use of the churches in Qaraqosh, even writing battle instructions on church walls. Syrian-Catholic St. George’s Church was turned into a bomb factory; hundreds of bombs and grenades, in all shapes and sizes, are still lying there. There are also supplies of deadly chemicals, ingredients to make powerful explosives.

Like Father Eeso, Louis Petrus firmly intends to return to Qaraqosh. He said: “I don’t want to leave Iraq, unless all the inhabitants stay away and leave. But if two or three families return to Qaraqosh, I will too. This is my country. As soon as it is safe in the city and we receive permission to live here again, I want to rebuild my life in Qaraqosh. This is my place, I shall remain here until I die.”

“We really want to return to Qaraqosh, with our children,” said the mayor of Qaraqosh, Nisan Karromi, but he added that “it will be a long time before all damages will be repaired.” He added: “We not only have to reconstruct and rebuild this city, but we also have to compensate the people for the damages they have suffered. Now that the Iraqi government is in crisis, the international community will have to help make Iraq habitable again.” Another concern Christians have is that both the Iraqi government and the Kurds—whose forces chased out ISIS—have designs on their land.

Manal Matti recently visited the blackened church of the Immaculate Conception. She is surprised by the mannequins that are spread out across the church grounds, shot through with bullets. “The jihadists used the church as a shooting range and the mannequins as targets,” she tells us, horrified. The woman used to run a beauty salon, just steps away from the church. She pondered: “I do not know when I will ever be able to see the inhabitants of Qaraqosh coming again to my beauty salon.”

***

Aid to the Church in Need is an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy See, providing assistance to the suffering and persecuted Church in more than 140 countries. www.churchinneed.org (USA); www.acnuk.org (UK); www.aidtochurch.org (AUS); www.acnireland.org (IRL); www.acn-aed-ca.org (CAN) www.acnmalta.org (Malta)

 

2 days 8 hours

Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley , O.F.M. Cap. as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Cardinal, Archbishop of Boston, is already President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, in addition to being one of the nine members of the College of Cardinals.

Last weekend, the Pontiff also appointed new members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. They are Cardinals Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, Archbishop of Merida, Venezuela, Sergio da Rocha, Archbishop of Brasilia, Brazil and Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Tlalnepantla, Mexico.

2 days 9 hours

This morning, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin as his legate for the celebration of the 25th World Day of the Sick, to take place in Lourdes on February 11th.

2 days 10 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted

Bishop Giorgio Bertin, the apostolic administrator of Somalia, sees hope for the future of the troubled African county, but argues that the country desperately needs to re-establish its own institutions after more than two decades without a functioning national government.

1 day 2 hours

A Vatican archbishop who has been acting as mediator in talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition leaders has declined to join in the latest sessions, in a gesture that appears to show the Vatican’s dismay over the government’s approach to the negotiations.

1 day 2 hours

The Archbishop of Canterbury, worldwide leader of the Anglican Communion, has encouraged a recognition that the Protestant Reformation did grave damage it wrought to the cause of Christian unity.

1 day 2 hours

A bishop of Malta has denied rumors that he had threatened to suspend any priest who refused to administer Communion to Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

1 day 3 hours

Pope Francis sent US President Donald Trump his greetings, and an assurance of his prayers, on his Inauguration day.

1 day 3 hours

Nigeria’s leading prelate, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, celebrated Mass on January 19 for the release of Father Gabriel Oyaka, who was kidnapped a year ago.

1 day 13 hours

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan has written a letter to Pope Francis lauding his recent Message for the World Day of Peace.

1 day 13 hours

Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore, the chairman of the Irish bishops’ Council for Justice & Peace, called upon fellow Irishmen to be welcoming to migrants and refugees, who are coming to Ireland “unlike any time in our history.”

1 day 14 hours

The Catholic-Orthodox Forum, which allows for discussion between Catholic and Orthodox prelates on life, marriage, family, and other social issues, recently held its fifth meeting since 2008.

1 day 14 hours

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who chairs the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has invited Christians to take part in the annual “9 Days for Life” novena around the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.

1 day 15 hours

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has awarded over $2.3 million to fund 75 projects.

1 day 15 hours

Pope Francis met on January 19 with the organizers of a public exhibit that focused on the history of Jubilee years.

2 days 4 hours

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has written a private letter to Pope Francis, speaking of his “profound respect” for the Holy See.

2 days 4 hours

A former fundraiser for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has filed a lawsuit against the group, charging that it “callously disregards the real interests of victims” in order to raise money from plaintiffs’ lawyers.

2 days 7 hours

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Vatican’s Secretary of State told the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations that “we have to learn the lesson of history” in approaching the question of migration.

2 days 8 hours

A Nigerian archbishop said in a recent homily that a lack of a sense of missionary urgency among priests and religious is the greatest challenge facing the Church in Africa’s most populous nation.

2 days 13 hours

Reflecting on Pope Francis’s message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the bishops’ conferences of France and Germany recently issued a joint statement on the plight of child migrants in Europe.

2 days 13 hours

In a recent meeting with journalists, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa said that populism is not the answer to the problems facing Europe.

2 days 14 hours

Pope Francis received an ecumenical delegation from Finland on January 19 and said that 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, is “for Catholics and Lutherans a privileged occasion to live the faith more authentically, in order to rediscover the Gospel together, and to seek and witness to Christ with renewed vigor.”

2 days 14 hours

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia have issued a joint statement welcoming the release of the preparatory document of the 2018 Synod of Bishops, whose theme is “young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.”

2 days 14 hours

During the typical week in India, there are ten incidents of anti-Christian violence, such as church burnings or attacks on clerics, The Guardian reported.

2 days 15 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Insightful and in depth analysis of issues important to Catholics.
Posted

There has been much talk of “gradualism” over the past generation or two, and most of it has been rather foolish. Whenever the term is used to describe the normal process by which a person grows in spiritual understanding, in the love of God, and in virtue, gradualism is a descriptive term which essentially states the obvious. Good spiritual counselors will take careful note of a person’s spiritual maturity, and tailor their advice so it is suitable to that person’s understanding and commitment, seeking to prompt growth without breaking the bruised reed or quenching the smoldering wick (Is 42:3).

2 days 2 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Latest News Releases from USCCB
Posted

WASHINGTON—At their General Assembly in Baltimore last fall, the full body of bishops voted to confer permanent status on the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. The Subcommittee is part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on National Collections.

"It is an important step for the Church in the United States to continue walking in faith with our brothers and sisters in Africa," said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and chairman of the Subcommittee. "The Church in Africa is faith-filled, vibrant, and rapidly growing. I am grateful to all of those who have supported our work thus far, and am looking forward to continuing to support programs of evangelization and pastoral support in the Church in Africa."

In its meeting on November 13, 2016, the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved 45 grant requests totaling over $1.2 million. The grants approved support projects across Africa including leadership training, seminarian and religious formation, and evangelization. Since the Solidarity Fund began in 2004, it has given over $20 million from Catholics in the United States to support the growing Church in Africa.

Examples of recent projects funded include:

″  In Uganda, the local Episcopal Conference received a grant to train and strengthen the formation of lay catechists and members of parish pastoral councils. Funding will support training for 830 lay catechists and 1,080 members of parish pastoral councils.

″  The Episcopal Conference of Burkina-Niger, in Burkina-Faso, received a grant to support Catholic education for children and youth from preschool to high school. Fifty-six percent of children enrolled in Catholic schools in Burkina Faso are children of peasants, farmers, artisans and small traders, and after 56 years of independence access to education is still a major challenge. This grant provides support for a construction project that will provide space for all administrative, accounting, and teaching staff of the Catholic Education Commission.  

In 2004, an Ad Hoc Committee on the Church in Africa was established and it began a voluntary Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. In 2008, this Ad Hoc Committee became a subcommittee of the Committee on National Collections with temporary status, and remained as such until the vote on November 15, 2016. This Subcommittee is charged with strengthening the pastoral capacity of the Church in Africa, which is both one of the fastest growing populations of the Catholic Church and one of the poorest.

The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa allocates the revenue received from the voluntary Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as pastoral grants to episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa. To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.

---
Keywords: Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, national collection, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Burkina-Niger, education, pastoral, youth ministry, Uganda Episcopal Conference, grants
# # #

MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200

2 days 7 hours

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, invited Catholics and others to join the nationwide "9 Days for Life" campaign.

"We're praying for a lot of things this month, including racial harmony, Christian unity, and the protection of all human life," Cardinal Dolan said. "As we pray for that unity, I invite our brothers and sisters in Christ to join in the '9 Days for Life' prayer campaign. Together, our prayers and actions can witness to the dignity of the human person."

9 Days for Life is the U.S. bishops' annual prayer and action campaign around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It occurs this year from Saturday, January 21 to Sunday, January 29.

Each day treats a different aspect of respecting the dignity of the human person—from the beginning of life to its natural end. At a time when many are attending demonstrations and marches in person, novena participants are encouraged make a kind of "virtual pilgrimage." In solidarity with tens of thousands, they can pray daily, gather for fellowship and discussion, and share their experiences on social media with the hashtag, #9daysforlife.

The website, www.9daysforlife.com, features a video with Cardinal Dolan calling the campaign "a great way to put our faith into action." The site offers four ways to receive the daily prayers, suggested reflections, and practical actions, including links to the free "9 Days for Life" smartphone app. The campaign will be featured on the People of Life Facebook page, on Twitter @USCCBprolife, and in the bishops' Instagram feed.

---
Keywords: Roe v. Wade, anniversary, Pro-Life, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, 9 Days for Life, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, People of Life; #9daysforlife; @USCCBprolife
# # #

MEDIA CONTACT
Judy Keane
O: 202-541-3200

2 days 7 hours

WASHINGTON—Representatives of bishops' conferences from several countries, including the United States, gathered in the Holy Land to call for peace and action to end the occupation that violates "the human dignity" of Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

"As Bishops we implore Christians in our home countries to recognize our own responsibility for prayer, awareness and action," the bishops wrote on a statement signed by the 14 gathered representatives. "So many people in the Holy Land have spent their entire lives under occupation, with its polarizing social segregation, yet still profess hope and strive for reconciliation. Now, more than ever, they deserve our solidarity."

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the gathering, which included bishops and representatives from Europe, North America and South Africa. The group visited communities in conflict in East Jerusalem and Bethlehem among others.

"The occupation has allowed both Israelis and Palestinians to see and treat each other as enemies. After fifty years, this has worn down their spirits and dampened their hopes," said Bishop Cantú said. "Walking through the city of Hebron for fifty minutes, the tension was palpable. I can't imagine living with these tensions for fifty years. Both Palestinians and Israelis are impacted."

The Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land has met every January since 1998 to pray and act in solidarity with the Christian community in the Holy Land.

The full statement is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/holy-land-coordination-communique-january-2017.cfm.
---
Keywords: Holy Land, communiqué, bishops, Europe, North America, South Africa, USCCB, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Pope Francis, Bishop Oscar Cantú, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
# # #

MEDIA CONTACT:
Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3200

 

2 days 8 hours