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Existem cristãos que impedem as pessoas de se aproximarem de Jesus, porque se preocupam apenas com a sua relação com Deus, ou porque estão ali apenas para fazer negócio, são mundanos ou rigoristas. E existem cristãos que verdadeiramente ouvem o clamor daqueles que precisam do Senhor. Foi o que explicou o Santo Padr... 1 hour 10 min
(Vatican Radio) Details of Pope Francis’ forthcoming visit to Sarajevo on Saturday June 6th were released by the Vatican press office on Thursday. The one day visit, focused on the themes of peace and reconciliation, comes 18 years after Pope John Paul II visited the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina that had recently emerged from the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. Philippa Hitchen reports:  ‘Peace be with you’ is the motto for this 8th pastoral visit of Pope Francis, encapsulated in the logo depicting a dove with an olive branch in its beak. It’s a poignant theme for the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, still trying to recover from the devastating three year war which followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The country of just under four million people is divided into the majority Bosnian Muslim community, or Bosniaks, who number about 40 percent. They’re followed by a sizeable Serbian, mainly Orthodox, population and a smaller group of largely Catholic Croats, comprising about 15 percent of the nation’s inhabitants. Around two million people, or half the population, fled from their homes during the war that was brought to an end by a peace deal, signed in Dayton, Ohio. That agreement set up a Bosniak-Croat Federation and a separate Bosnian Serb Republic, under a central government with rotating presidency. Overseeing the fragile peace is an international administration that was backed first by NATO forces and later by a European Union-led peacekeeping force. On June 6th, the Croat member of the three-man presidency will welcome Pope Francis at the airport in Sarajevo at 9am and accompany him to the presidential palace for a private meeting. After that he will give an address to the civil authorities and diplomatic corps before travelling to the city’s Olympic stadium to celebrate Mass. After a private lunch with the six bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Pope will meet with local priests, religious and seminarians in the Catholic cathedral, before travelling to a nearby Franciscan student centre for an ecumenical and interfaith encounter with leaders of the local Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox communities. Pope Francis’ final stop in Sarajevo will be at a youth centre dedicated to Pope St John Paul II, where he’ll hear firsthand about the many challenges facing young people in the country which has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe today. The papal place is scheduled to leave Sarajevo at 8pm and arrive back in Rome at around 9.20 on Saturday evening. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 hours 12 min
(Vatican Radio) “Good communication is always a human rather than a technical achievement.” That was at the heart of an address given by the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Monsignor Paul Tighe, on Wednesday to the World Summit on the Information Society, during their 2015 session for High-Level Policy Statements, which is currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland. Speaking to Vatican Radio following his speech, Monsignor Tighe said he wanted to stress that, it was important to avoid the presumption that “just because the technologies are there we are going to have a better sense of the unity of the human family or that solidarity and development are automatically going to happen.” He said that what he wanted to underline was the view taken by Pope Francis that, “ultimately, at heart is good communications and good communications is always a human rather than a technical achievement.” Listen to Lydia O'Kane's interview with Monsignor Paul Tighe   Asked whether he thought that people should be thinking in terms of “responsible communications”, he said, the term was appropriate because he added , “I would be nervous if people thought that technology alone could achieve the goods that we want to achieve. It’s going to require responsible determination and choices by individuals.” Looking to the future and addressing how the Vatican media and its multimedia platform can be at the forefront of “good communications”, the Council Secretary said, that “we need to make sure that we’re able to present our teachings our ideas, our perspectives in ways that are going to properly be present in a very different kind of environment. So, I think the challenge for us is always about trying to find ways of being able to speak about our core values…” He also said that, “we are lucky in the Vatican to have so many very strong well prepared very highly motivated professional communicators and technicians”, I think it’s to ensure that we can find a way that we can all work together to be ever more powerfully the voice and the presence of the Church in the emerging digital arenas.” World Summit on the Information Society continues through to May 29 th . (from Vatican Radio)... 3 hours 40 min
Germano nasceu no ano de 496 na cidade de Autun na França. A sagrada tradição nos remonta que Germano era filho de família rica. Sua mãe não estava satisfeita com sua gravidez e tentou por vezes abortá-lo, mas não conseguiu e mesmo na infância teria tentado envenenar a criança, porém sem sucesso. Foi criado por ... 4 hours 6 min
Vatican City, 28 May 2015 (VIS) – Fraternity with nearby Haiti, attention to marriage and the family, the battle against drug trafficking and the exploitation of minors, the continuing formation of priests and the laity, and the defence of the environment are the central themes of the written discourse the Pope handed this morning to the bishops of the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate, where the evangelisation of the American continent began. “Today the Church, which continues her progress in these beloved lands with her children in search of a happy and prosperous future, encounters the great challenges of our time which affect social and ecclesial life, and families in particular”, writes the Pontiff. “Therefore, I would like to make an appeal to you to accompany the faithful, to reinforce the faith and identity of all members of the Church”. Francis begins with marriage and the family, that is experiencing a “serious cultural crisis”. However, this does not mean it has lost its importance, but rather that the need for it is felt more than ever. He urged the prelates to pay special attention, in this upcoming Jubilee of Mercy, to matrimonial and family reconciliation, as keys to peaceful coexistence: “A broad-ranging catechetical effort regarding the Christian ideal of conjugal communion and family life, and the spirituality of fatherhood and motherhood, is necessary. Greater pastoral attention needs to be paid to the role of men as husbands and fathers, as well as the responsibility they share with their wives with respect to marriage, the family and the upbringing of children”. The Pope goes on to invite the prelates to dedicate time to and to look after their priests, and remarks that the Dominican clergy is distinguished by its fidelity and coherence to Christian life. “May its commitment to the weakest and neediest help it to overcome the worldly tendency towards mediocrity”, he writes. “The seminaries must not neglect human, intellectual and spiritual formation, ensuring a true encounter with the Lord, while cultivating pastoral commitment and emotional maturity so as to prepare seminarians able to embrace priestly celibacy and to live and work in communion”. “Pastoral and charitable attention to immigrants, especially those from neighbouring Haiti, who seek better conditions of life in the Dominican territory, cannot allow indifference on the part of pastors of the Church”, he underlines. “It is necessary to continue to collaborate with the civil authorities to find fraternal solutions to the problems of those who are without documents or deprived of their basic rights. It is inexcusable to fail to promote initiatives of fraternity and peace between the two nations that form this beautiful Caribbean island. It is important to know how to integrate immigrants into society and to welcome them into the ecclesial community. I thank those who are close to them and to all who suffer as a gesture of loving care towards the brother who feels alone and helpless, with whom Christ identified”. The Pope assures the bishops that he is aware of their efforts and concerns in appropriately facing “the serious problems that affect our people, such as trafficking in drugs and persons, corruption, domestic violence, abuse and exploitation of minors and social insecurity. The intimate connection between evangelisation and human development means that every action of the Mother Church must be directed towards the care of the most disadvantaged. Everything that is achieved in this respect will increase the presence of the Kingdom of God that gave us Jesus Christ, while enhancing the credibility of the Church and the relevance of the voice of her pastors”. With regard to the Dominican laity, which has an important presence in works of evangelisation, Francis emphasised the need for “constant support, so that it is able to bear witness to Christ, penetrating those environments that frequently the bishops, priests and religious cannot reach. … Those engaged in this service and this educational mission must not lack a vigilant and courageous attitude, so as to provide in schools an education that conforms to the moral and religious principals of families”. The final part of the discourse is dedicated to the protection of the environment. The Pope, considering “the beauty and the colourful landscapes of the Dominican Republic” urged the prelates to “renew commitment to the conservation and care of the environment. Man's relationship with nature must not be governed by greed, manipulation or unfettered exploitation, but should instead conserve the divine harmony between creatures and creation to place it at the service of all, and of future generations”. ... 5 hours 9 min
Vatican City, 28 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the president of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States. During the cordial discussions, the good relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia, further reinforced by the recent Agreements stipulated between the Parties, were affirmed. Furthermore, themes of common interest were considered, such as the collaboration between the Church and the State for the common good of Croatian society, especially the support of families and the young. Attention then turned to the social consequences of the global economic crisis, and the main challenges at a regional level, with particular attention to the situation of Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina.... 5 hours 9 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the bishops of the Dominican Republic on Thursday morning in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. The Dominican bishops are here in Rome for their ad limina visits. In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered in writing on Thursday morning, Pope Francis focused on the need for the bishops to promote and defend the family founded on marriage: the lifelong union of one man and one woman open to life and prepared to keep faith with their promises to one another, come what may, for each other and for the good of society. “The family,” said Pope Francis, “is the place where we learn to live together in difference, to forgive and to experience forgiveness, and where parents pass on values to their to their children, and especially the faith.” Click below to hear our report Pope Francis also encouraged the bishops to have particular cconcern for the formation and ongoing spiritual development of their clergy. “I invite you to take time and care for priests, to care for each of them, to defend them from the wolves, which also attack the shepherds,” he said. The Holy Father praised and encouraged the bishops to continue and to expand their care for immigrants, especially those from neighboring Haiti, who come to the Dominican Republic in search of better living conditions. “We must continue to cooperate with civil authorities to achieve solutions to the problems of those who are deprived of documents or denied their basic rights,” in a manner genuinely compatible with solidarity. Pope Francis concluded with a call to the bishops for greater attention to the duty of stewardship, especially as regards the created order. “The relationship between man and nature should not be ruled by greed, by manipulation or by over-exploitation,” he said, “but must keep the divine harmony among creatures and creation, to put them at the service of all and of future generations.” (from Vatican Radio)... 5 hours 29 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ homily this morning focused on the Gospel account of Bartimaeus, the blind man who cried out to Jesus to be healed, and whom the disciples called to be silent. The Gospel led the Holy Father to reflect on three different groups of Christians. Listen to Christopher Wells' report:  Indifferent Christians First, there are Christians who are concerned only with their own relationship with Jesus, a “closed, selfish” relationship, who do not hear the cries of others: “This group of people, even today, do not hear the cry of so many people who need Jesus. A group of people who are indifferent: they do not hear, they think that life is their own little group; they are content; they are deaf to the clamour of so many people who need salvation, who need the help of Jesus, who need the Church. These people are selfish, they live for themselves alone. They are unable to hear the voice of Jesus.” Silencing the cries for Jesus Then, the Pope continued, “there are those who hear this cry for help, but want to silence it,” like the disciples when they sent away the children, “so that they would not disturb the Master”: “He was their Master — He was for them, not for everyone. These people send away from Jesus those who cry out, who need the faith, who need salvation.” In this group one finds the “men of affairs, who are close to Jesus,” who are in the temple. They seem “religious,” but “Jesus chased them away because they were doing business there, in the house of God.” There are those who “do not want to hear the cry for help, but prefer to take care of their business, and use the people of God, use the Church for their own affairs.” In this group there are Christians “who do not bear witness”: “They are Christians in name, parlour room Christians, Christians at receptions, but their interior life is not Christian, it is worldly. Someone who calls himself Christian and lives like a worlding drives away those who cry out for help from Jesus. And then there are the rigorists, those whom Jesus rebukes, those who place such heavy weights on the backs of the people. Jesus devotes the whole of the twenty-third chapter of St Matthew to them: ‘Hypocrites,’ he says to them, ‘you exploit the people!’ And instead of responding to the cries of the people who cry out for salvation, they send them away.” Coherent Christians There is, finally, a third group of Christians, “those who help [people] draw near to Jesus”: “There is the group of Christians who are consistent in what they believe and in how they live, and they help to draw near to Jesus, to the people who are crying out, seeking salvation, seeking grace, seeking spiritual health for their souls.” “It would be good for us to make an examination of conscience,” the Pope concluded, in order to understand whether we are Christians who drive people away from Jesus, or who draw people to Him because we hear the cry of the many people who are seeking help for their own salvation. (from Vatican Radio)... 6 hours 16 min
Vatican City - The Annual General Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies , begins next Monday, June 1, at the Retreat House of the Salesians in Rome. The National Directors of the PMS from all continents, together with the President and the General Secretaries of the four Societies will meet for their annual pastoral Session and Ordinary Session . The Assembly will be opened by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the PMS. The session will be dedicated to the pastoral theme "How to support the universal mission today and tomorrow" and the speaker will be Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato . On Thursday, June 4 the Ordinary Session of the Assembly will begin, during which the general Secretaries of the four Pontifical Mission Societies will present the report of the past year, the budget estimate and requests of subsidies regarding the various projects that were submitted. The Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Fr. Ryszard Szmydki, OMI; Fr. Fernando Domingues, MCCJ, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle; Ms. J. Baptistine Ralamboarison, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood; Fr. Vito Del Prete, PIME, Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union as well as Director of CIAM and Fides will take the floor. The final report will be held by Mgr. Silvano Rossi, Administration Delegate. On Friday, June 5, the Holy Father will receive in audience the participants in the Assembly. The agenda also provides for meetings of the National Directors for each continent, an overview of the decisions taken during the assembly, the approval of budgets and projects. The closing speech of the President of the PMS, Mgr. Rugambwa, will close the proceedings of the Assembly on Saturday, June 6.... 9 hours 11 min
De cada cinco espanhóis, um vive abaixo da linha da pobreza, ou seja, com menos de 7.961 euros por ano. O índice, de 22,2%, aumentou dois pontos em um ano e é mais alarmante no caso dos menores de 16 anos, faixa em que atinge quase um terço (30,1%). O número de menores em situação de pobreza aumentou 3,4 pontos per... 20 hours 52 min
Israel bombardeou na madrugada desta quarta-feira quatro objetivos no sul de Gaza após o lançamento de um míssil, na noite de terça-feira, contra as imediações da cidade israelense de Ashdod, situada 30 quilômetros ao norte da divisa com a Faixa. Ainda não há notícia de vítimas em nenhum dos lados. Fontes oficia... 20 hours 53 min
Pelo menos 43 pessoas foram mortas neste fim de semana durante um ataque do Boko Haram à cidade de Gubio, no estado de Borno, região nordeste da Nigéria. Um grupo de cinquenta combatentes da organização jihadista irrompeu na localidade por volta das 16h30 do horário local, no último sábado, e partiu cinco horas ... 20 hours 53 min
O congresso internacional sobre o novo modelo de desenvolvimento, organizado pela Fundação Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, foi aberto nesta segunda-feira pelo cardeal Domenico Calcagno, presidente da Administração do Patrimônio da Sé Apostólica (APSA), pelo presidente da própria Fundação, Domingo Sugranyes Bickel, ... 20 hours 53 min
O conservador Andrzej Duda ganhou as eleições presidenciais do último domingo com 51,55% dos votos, derrotando o chefe de Estado cessante, o centro-direita Bronislaw Komorowski, que teve 48,45% dos votos dos sufrágios, anunciou nesta segunda-feira a comissão polonesa. No dia depois de sua vitória nas urnas, Duda... 21 hours 14 min
O santo padre Francisco oferece suas orações a Deus pelo eterno descanso dos falecidos e seus familiares, mortos pelo tornado que atingiu a Cidade Acuna, no México. Em uma mensagem dirigida ao arcebispo Alonso G. Garza Trevino, bispo de Piedras Negras, o pontífice também encorajou "as instituições civis e eclesi... 21 hours 18 min
O Dia Mundial de Oração pela Igreja na China proclamado pelo Papa Bento XVI, há oito anos, foi celebrado em muitas comunidades católicas do país oriental. Este ano coincidiu com a festa de Pentecostes, 24 de maio, unindo a devoção a Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora com a invocação ao Espírito Santo para derramar abundante... 21 hours 18 min
Aborto nunca, nem mesmo em casos de estupro de terroristas do Boko Haram. Assim recomenda em uma nota, a Comissão para a Pastoral Sanitária da Conferência Episcopal Nigeriana, em resposta à hipótese de alguns "grupos transversais" de permitir o “aborto em massa". "A nossa atenção foi atraída pelo intenso debate ... 21 hours 20 min
Continuou, nos últimos dias, com a constante presença do Papa Francisco, o trabalho da Secretaria Geral do Sínodo dos Bispos, que está preparando a próxima reunião de outubro sobre a família. Enquanto isso, o Pontifício Conselho para a promoção da Nova Evangelização está trabalhando na publicação de um documento so... 21 hours 23 min
Quase 700 pessoas, entre professores, pais com seus filhos, religiosos das escolas cristãs de Israel, organizaram na manhã de hoje, em Jerusalém, uma manifestação para denunciar as políticas discriminatórias sofridas pelo governo. Um evento sem precedentes, que se realizou na praça em frente ao palácio Lev Ram, sed... 21 hours 29 min
O governo do Paquistão está se movendo para parar o abuso da lei da blasfémia. O Executivo, de fato, desenvolveu um projeto de lei que será apresentado e discutido no Parlamento para a aprovação. O texto – explica a agência Fides – seria orientado a tornar mais difícil a instrumentalização das normas existentes, at... 21 hours 33 min
Uma derrota não só para a Igreja, mas para a humanidade. O Card. Pietro Parolin não mediu palavras ao comentar o resultado do referendo da sexta-feira passada que marcou a legalização do casamento gay na Irlanda. O Secretário de Estado falou sobre o tema, à margem da cerimônia para o Prêmio "Economia e Sociedade”, ... 21 hours 40 min
O Santo Padre Francisco nomeou nesta quarta-feira, 27 de maio, dom Pedro Carlos Cipollini como bispo de Santo André (SP), acolhendo o pedido de renúncia apresentado pelo bispo diocesano, dom Nelson Westrupp, conforme previsto pelo Código de Direito Canônico, por motivos de idade. Francisco também transferiu dom Ric... 1 day 4 min
O Papa chegou na Praça de São Pedro, como toda quarta-feira para dar início a audiência geral, ao som de música ao vivo. Antes de começar a catequese, Francisco fez seu passeio a bordo do papamóvel ​​aberto, acenando para os presentes. Peregrinos de todo o mundo, famílias, jovens, crianças, idosos, doentes, todos a... 1 day 29 min
O noivado foi o tema da catequese do Papa Francisco nesta quarta-feira, 27 de maio, durante a tradicional Audiência Geral na Praça de São Pedro. Eis o texto na íntegra: Queridos irmãos e irmãs, bom dia! Prosseguindo estas catequeses sobre família, hoje gostaria de falar sobre o noivado. O noivado – se ouve na... 1 day 31 min
(Vatican Radio)   During his address at the World Summit on the Information Society currently being held in Geneva, Switzerland, Monsignor Paul Tighe, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication of the Holy See, discussed issues of new technologies, inclusiveness, isolation, as well as the role and responsibilities of emerging digital networks with regards to promoting individual and social well-being of the users. The full text of his address is reproduced below: Statement by Monsignor Paul Tighe,  Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication of the Holy See,  World Summit on the Information Society – 2015,  High-Level Policy Statements,  Geneva, 27 May 2015 Mr. Secretary General, The Holy See is pleased to have this opportunity to address this High Level Segment of the WSIS Forum and continues to be convinced that humanity is ‘entering a new era of enormous potential’ (WSIS, Geneva Declaration of Principles, 67) for human growth through emerging technologies and stresses the importance  of recognizing and celebrating the capacity of these technologies to facilitate human communication, to allow for the sharing of words and images almost simultaneously across enormous distances and with people who might previously have been isolated.  This in turns allows people to use the technologies to promote greater understanding and harmony  among people, creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all (Pope Francis, 2014).   These technologies, however, will not automatically lead to a change for the better: there is a need for a determined commitment from individuals and institutions if this is to happen.  Good communication is always a human rather than a technical achievement. Just because social communications increase the possibilities of interconnection and the dissemination of ideas, it does not follow that they promote freedom or internationalize development and democracy for all. To achieve goals of this kind, they need to focus on promoting the dignity of persons and peoples, they need to be clearly inspired by charity and placed at the service of truth, of the good, and of fraternity. The Holy See renews its commitment to work with all relevant stakeholders to build a people-centred Information Society (WSIS, Geneva Declaration of Principles, 20).   There is a role for Governments and International Organizations to play in regulating this environment, but there is an equally important moral or ethical obligation on all of us as individual agents to ensure that these environments are safe and humanly enriching (WSIS, Geneva Declaration of Principles, 56 – 59).  Commentators frequently speak of user generated content with reference to the social networks, but we must remember also that the very culture of the social networks is user generated.  If the networks are to be spaces where good positive communications can help to promote individual and social well-being then the users, the people who make up the networks, need to be attentive to the type of content they are creating, promoting and sharing.  The Holy See acknowledges the unfortunate reality that discrimination and violence are being promoted on-line and invites all to avoid the sharing of words and images that are degrading of human beings, that promote hatred and intolerance, that debase the goodness and intimacy of human sexuality or that exploit the weak and vulnerable.    The Holy See urges all stakeholders to ensure that the benefits of the Information Society are accessible to all (WSIS, Geneva Declaration of Principles, 51).  The more we grow in appreciation of the mutual understanding and solidarity that is achieved in authentic communication, the more we will desire that it is truly inclusive and that our conversations are accessible to all. This inclusiveness requires that we are attentive to ensure that the developing nations are not excluded from those digital networks which are promoting development and educational opportunities; in the developed world, we must also be careful that the increased digitalization of Governmental services does not serve to deny access to the elderly, the poor and the marginalized. The Holy See wishes to reiterate the importance of dialogue (WSIS, Geneva Declaration of Principles, 52). If the digital networks are to achieve their potential in promoting human solidarity then we must foster the art of dialogue.  If we are willing to listen to others, we will learn to see our world with different eyes and we will grow in appreciation of the richness of the human experience as revealed in other cultures and traditions.  Our engagement with others will alert us to those basic desires to love and be loved, for protection and security, for meaning and purpose that are shared by all humans.  Attentiveness to our human condition, and to the one world which we all share, alerts us to the truth that ultimately these desires can only be satisfied if we construct a society that is committed to a shared concern for the well-being of all rather than to an ethos of unbridled competition where the happiness of some can only be achieved at the expense of others.  Many of the greatest threats to our future from climate change to food insecurity, and from war and terrorism to criminality, can only be addressed by dialogue and agreed forms of action.  With a commitment to mutual understanding and dialogue, we will best realize the potential of the new technologies to promote a better future for all. Thank you, Mr. Secretary General (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 2 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday spoke to couples who are engaged to be married and told them not to be superficial as they prepare to enter into a life-long covenant of love. In yet another catechesis dedicated to the family, the Pope chose to speak of the importance of engagement as  preparation for marriage. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:     Engagement – the Pope said – has to do with trust and reliability. He said it is beautiful that two people who are engaged to be married undertake a path together during which they learn from each other, sharing and participating in this profound commitment. It is love itself – he said – that demands deep reflection and an approach that is fully aware of what it means to enter into marriage. “The alliance of love between a man and a woman is an alliance for life. It cannot be improvised, it is not something you do from one day to the next” he said.       And reflecting on God’s alliance with his People the Pope compares it to an “engagement”, pointing out that in passages of the Bible the Church is identified as the bride betrothed to Christ. Speaking off the cuff to the many fiancés gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly audience, Pope Francis encouraged them to read the Italian literary classic: Alessandro Manzoni’s “The Betrothed”. He described it as a “masterpiece” on engagement as it tells of how the two fiancés who are the protagonists of the novel are called to trust in each other deeply as they overcome difficulties and obstacles in their contrasted journey towards marriage. Mentioning how today’s society and culture are increasingly indifferent to marriage and do not help young people in this delicate moment of their lives, Pope Francis encouraged engaged couples to follow courses of marriage preparation which he described as a precious aid as they help them reflect together on their love, their future and on the importance of faith and prayer in the life they are about to share. The Pope concluded asking for prayers for young people looking forward to marriage, that they may prepare for the wedding day not in a worldly or banal way, but with the wisdom, hope and joy born of their faith in Christ.                 (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 5 hours
A tradição da Igreja nos apresenta poucas informações acerca do nascimento e infância de Agostinho estimando-se que tenha nascido no primeiro terço do século VI em Roma na Itália. No ano de 595, Agostinho era prior de um mosteiro beneditino em Roma e foi convocado pelo Papa Gregório I para conduzir uma missão na... 1 day 5 hours
(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican, has addressed the International Conference of the C entesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation, which is meeting this week at the Vatican.   The conference, on the theme Rethinking Key Features of Economic and Social Life , featured speakers from around the world, covering topics such as: Can Growth Continue without Compulsive Consumption? Merit and Dangers of the ‘Informal’ Economy An Urgent Message for Today’s World: Can Catholic Social Teaching be spread even without the Christian Faith? In his address on Tuesday evening, Cardinal Parolin said the theme of the Conference recalled the challenge of Pope Benedict XVI to “further and deeper reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals, as well as a profound and far-sighted revision of the current model of development, so as to correct its dysfunctions and deviations” (from the Encyclical Caritas in veritate ). He emphasized that the “main point of reference must be the dignity of the human person and the promotion of the common good.” Cardinal Parolin noted that the Conference participants had also reflected on Pope Francis’ concerns about the current crisis, which “is not only economic and financial but is rooted in an ethical and anthropological crisis.” He continued “In these two days you have engaged in a disciplined reflection in response to these observations of Pope Francis.  You have considered issues linked to the world of labour, and also economic and financial problems which can lead such activity away from its calling to the service of integral human development.” The full text of Cardinal Parolin’s remarks can be found below: International Conference of the Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation “Rethinking Key Features of Economic and Social Life” Intervention of Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin Vatican City, 26 May 2015 Your Eminence, Dear Friends, We have now come to the end of this most stimulating International Conference of the Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation. This two-day meeting has confirmed once again how your Foundation – by remaining faithful to the responsibility entrusted to it by Saint John Paul II in 1993 – can render valuable service for a wider and better knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church.  It does so by promoting the application of this doctrine through robust dialogue among specialists, economists, university instructors and others who bring their life experience to the world of economics. The theme chosen by the Conference, Rethinking Key Features of Economic and Social Life , is thus particularly significant. It recalls the challenge of Pope Benedict XVI to “further and deeper reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals, as well as a profound and far-sighted revision of the current model of development, so as to correct its dysfunctions and deviations” ( Caritas in Veritate , 32). It is important that the Foundation is taking up this challenge with dedication and competence, in the light of the Church’s social teaching.  Its main point of reference must be the dignity of the human person and the promotion of the common good.  We live in a time in which, unfortunately, the prevalent economic model reveals numerous shortcomings, dysfunctions and deviations which weigh heavily on the state of the planet’s health.  These affect the ethical and moral principles which guide many forms of behaviour within the human family. Nonetheless, it is important to realize that there are increasing demands from various sectors of society for a careful examination of how best to respond to these distortions.  The ethical principles underlying the Church’s social teaching can serve as a scheme of reference and a key to interpretation in this effort. In this context, the Foundation is awarding its second biennial Economy and Society Prize.  In doing so, it helps to draw attention to the quality of original projects which can aid in developing new areas of application of the principles of Catholic teaching, and increase its influence on concrete decisions. I give warm thanks to Cardinal Marx and to the entire jury, made up of specialists from ten countries, for their careful study and selection of the proposed texts. It is most significant that the prize is being awarded for a book which offers a Christian view on the world of finance.  This calls for an attentive, in-depth historical analysis, for already in the Middle Ages within the Catholic Church original thought and research was being developed on monetary and financial issues.  History is the teacher of life, as Cicero reminds us ( De Oratore , II, 9, 36).  In this field too, our rich history can undoubtedly orient an in-depth investigation into this matter of great contemporary import. We are all aware that such a reflection is today even more necessary in a globalized world where financial activity is carried out with considerably complex means and instruments, and at times risks losing sight of its original aims, which must always be anchored in the dignity of the human person, and the common good. The jury wished also to draw attention to two doctoral theses which show the increasing depth and number of studies on the social doctrine of the Church being pursued in different universities of the Catholic world. Dear friends, His Holiness Pope Francis has addressed you on several occasions, emphasizing that “the current crisis is not only economic and financial but is rooted in an ethical and anthropological crisis” ( Address to the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation , 25 May 2013).  In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium , he has stated that at the heart of this ethical and anthropological crisis is, and I quote, “the denial of the primacy of the human person. We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.  The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption” (No. 55).  Symptomatic of this is the culture of waste which the Holy Father has frequently denounced, a culture which conceals a rejection of ethics, and frequently a rejection of God as well. In these two days you have engaged in a disciplined reflection in response to these observations of Pope Francis.  You have considered issues linked to the world of labour, and also economic and financial problems which can lead such activity away from its calling to the service of integral human development. Retrieving this calling in economic life is one of the principal tasks for a Foundation such as yours, whose goals include “promoting informed knowledge of the social teachings of the Church and of the activity of the Holy See among qualified and socially motivated business and professional leaders” ( By-Laws of the Foundation , Art. 3(a), Section 1, 25 June 2004). Pope Benedict XVI frequently stated that “every economic decision has a moral consequence” ( Caritas in Veritate , 37).  Retrieving this calling necessitates returning to the fundamental meaning of such concepts as economy and development, finding adequate ways of applying them for the integral development of every person and the whole person, as Pope Paul VI encouraged in Populorum Progressio (No. 14), not only for the short term, but for the long term too. Once again, the key to this is the moral formation of individual persons needed at every level, which can lead them to rediscover the meaning of personal and collective work in the service of integral human development. I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you these reflections.  I offer you my best wishes for fruitfulness of the Foundation’s work, which I trust will be oriented ever more fully towards the planning and structuring of the economic and financial sphere within a healthy and robust ethical framework. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 6 hours
O jihadismo ameaça cada vez mais a África central. De acordo com a mensagem da Assembleia Episcopal Provincial de Buvaku, na República Democrática do Congo, os "três maiores perigos" são "um clima de genocídio, um foco de fundamentalismo jihadista e um processo de balcanização". Os bispos denunciaram a presença ... 1 day 20 hours
O povo da Venezuela está passando por um período de grande tribulação e sofrimento por causa da situação política, econômica e social do país. Para saber mais sobre esta situação, ZENIT teve a honra de entrevistar Maria Elena Barrios, presidente da Rádio Maria Venezuela, que, há quatro anos, vem oferecendo o seu ge... 1 day 20 hours
A Universidade Europeia de Roma (UER) anunciou hoje o início de um projeto em parceria com a Universidade Hebraica de Jerusalém (UJJ), que começará em 22 de junho próximo na capital da Terra Santa. O reitor da UER, pe. Luca Gallizia, LC, precisou na sede da Associação da Imprensa Estrangeira da Itália que uma parte... 1 day 20 hours
Na próxima terça-feira, 2 de junho, o Movimento Brasil sem Aborto realiza, em Brasília, a 8ª Marcha Nacional da Cidadania pela Vida contra o Aborto. A concentração será a partir das 14h, próximo à Torre de TV, no Eixo Monumental.  Com o tema Por que legalizar a morte, se queremos vida?, a edição deste ano questi... 1 day 21 hours
Ciclo B Textos: Deut 4, 32-34.39-40; Rm 8, 14-17; Mt 28, 16-20 Ideia principal: Deus é um Deus próximo. Os Padres da Igreja chamavam esta verdade de condescendência divina, um “abaixar-se de Deus”, acomodar-se às capacidades do homem. E tudo por amor. Síntese da mensagem: neste ciclo B se apresenta para nó... 1 day 21 hours
O Conselho Ordinário do Sínodo dos Bispos, reuniu-se nesta segunda e terça-feira, 25 e 26 de maio, para preparar a XIV Assembleia Geral Ordinária sobre o tema A vocação e a missão da família na Igreja e no mundo contemporâneo, que acontecerá no Vaticano do 4 ao 25 de Outubro. O Conselho foi presidido pelo Papa F... 1 day 22 hours
As pessoas que se reconhecem pobres diante de Jesus são salvas. Porém, aquele que acha que não precisa da salvação não a recebe, não porque não lhe seja oferecida, mas porque não a acolhe. Foi assim que o Papa Francisco falou aos participantes do Capítulo Geral da Ordem dos Frades Menores. O Papa estruturou o seu d... 1 day 22 hours
"O homem não é capaz de inventar nada: todas as tecnologias, mesmo as mais modernas, já são codificadas na natureza e com um nível de especialização impressionante. Procedimentos que já existem e que o homem pensa ter descoberto, mas, na realidade, apenas retomou e readaptou”. Esse, depois de anos de estudos, ensin... 1 day 22 hours
No domingo, uma bomba explodiu durante a Primeira Comunhão de um grupo de crianças do arcebispo sírio ortodoxo de Aleppo, na Síria. A missa foi interrompida pela explosão e as crianças foram levadas para dentro do arcebispado, de acordo com o jornal Avvenire, que cita fontes locais. Felizmente, desta vez não hou... 2 days 2 hours
(Vatican Radio) Experts, academics and religious leaders will gather in Geneva at the United Nations Headquarters on May 27 for a day-long debate. Entitled “Religions Together for Humanitarian Action” the Symposium organized by the Sovereign Order of Malta has been conceived within the framework of its participation in the World Humanitarian summit next year in Istanbul. During the Symposium policy-makers, religious leaders and academics aim to tackle sensitive issues related to the 2016 summit, which is an initiative of UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon. As the Order of Malta’s Gran Chancellor, Baron Albrecht von Boeselager explains to Vatican Radio, these issues include the contribution of faith-based organizations in war theatres and the role of religions in promoting reconciliation. Listen to the interview :      Baron von Boeslager says the idea of holding the Symposium arose following discussions regarding what could be the contribution of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. He explains that the Summit will focus mainly on four different themes, the fourth being “Serving the needs of people in conflict” and he says that the Order he belongs to is deeply committed to providing humanitarian aid in armed conflict, so this is the theme they have decided to concentrate on. He says it is also an occasion to “elaborate what the special vocation and possibilities of religious-based organizations is, or could be, to help during armed conflicts” he says. During the Geneva Symposium von Boeslager says participants will also start a discussion with representatives of other religions to find out what could be a common proposal to the World Humanitarian Summit. He says that recent and ongoing conflicts show that civilians continue to pay the highest price and those human rights are increasingly ignored.  “To start with one figure: until the First World War, 90% of all victims were soldiers and 10% were civilians, and now it is exactly the other way around” he says. He points out that not only are 90% of the victims civilians today, but they are mostly women, children and elderly people. “So the situation for the civilian population in areas of armed conflict has dramatically worsened” he says. Von Boeslager calls for action as world conventions that were drawn up after the 2 world wars conflicts to protect human rights in conflict situations are increasingly ignored. He comments on how the values of religion, which are key for reconciliation and peace, are too often manipulated for pursuit of power and profit through violence.         (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 3 hours
Ontem à tarde, segunda-feira (25), o recém-eleito Presidente da República da Polônia, Andrzej Duda foi até o Santuário Nacional da Virgem Negra de Jasna Góra, em Czestochowa. O presidente parou na Capela da Imagem Milagrosa de Maria Rainha da Polônia e rezou pelo país e pela nação polonesa. Duda foi acolhido na ... 2 days 3 hours
CCEE and SECAM hold a Seminar on The Family in Europe and Africa The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) and The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) will hold a joint seminar on the theme: The joy of the Family .   The seminar is scheduled for Maputo in Mozambique from May 28- 31, 2015. This is according to a statement issued by SECAM Tuesday. Below is the full statement:   Following a process of growing pastoral collaboration, the two bodies have been organizing meetings for bishops from both continents to strength communion and collaboration and a reflection on major challenges facing the Church . In the light of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation and in continuity with the reflections which will be tackled in the course of the next Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015 on the Family, the bishops will deliberate on issues relating to the family on the two continents. The aim of the Seminar of European and African bishops will be to study the family in Africa and Europe as protagonist of evangelisation and at the same time in need of being evangelised.  Topics to be treated include the following: Anthropological, social and ecclesial challenges for the Family. The Joy and sufferings of the Family: Pastoral challenges. The Mission of the Bishop in proclaiming the Gospel of the Family. The role of the Church and the Bishop in dialogue with Society and States in family matters. The bishops at the end of the Seminar are expected to issue a Final message on their deliberations. The Seminar is being hosted by Bishop Lucio Muandula, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Mozambique. It will be presided over by Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Angola, Presidents of SECAM and a representative of Cardinal Peter Erdő of Hungary, President of the CCEE.  The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) comprises the 37 National Episcopal Conferences and the eight (8) Regional Episcopal Conferences. The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of  Europe (CCEE) encompasses the current 33 European Bishops’ Conferences, represented by their Presidents, the Archbishops of Luxembourg, of the Principality of Monaco, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus and the Bishop of Chişinău (Moldova Rep.), the Eparchial Bishop of Mukachevo and the Apostolic Administrator of Estonia. The programme of the meeting and the list of participants are available on the website of CCEE ( and SECAM ( e-mail: (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 3 hours
‘A Alegria da Família’ será tema do seminário promovido pelo Conselho das Conferências Episcopais da Europa (CCEE) e o Simpósio das Conferências Episcopais de África e Madagáscar (SECAM), que acontecerá em Maputo, Moçambique, de 28 a 31 de Maio de 2015. Seguindo o processo de uma crescente colaboração pastoral, ... 2 days 3 hours
"Assim como um sino de paróquia, que chama todo mundo para a igreja e permanece no seu lugar, este homem apostólico faz os outros entrarem na vida religiosa e permanece de fora". Assim Santo Inácio definia Filipe Romolo Neri, nascido em 22 de julho de 1515 em Florença na Itália. Vindo de uma família rica, conviveu ... 2 days 4 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday met with Franciscans taking part in the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor. In his address to the friars, the Holy Father focused on two “essential elements” of Franciscan identity: “minority” (It: minorità), a spirit of littleness; and “fraternity.” The spirit of being a “minor,” he said, “calls one to be and to feel that one is little before God, entrusting oneself totally to His infinite mercy.” The recognition of one’s littleness and sinfulness allows a person to receive salvation. Those on the other hand, who do not feel needy cannot receive the mercy and salvation God offers them. “Minority,” the Pope continued, also means going out of oneself, beyond structures, attitudes, and feelings of security, in order to bear concrete witness of God’s mercy to the poor and needy “in an authentic attitude of sharing and service.” Fraternity, or brotherhood, was the other aspect of being a Franciscan highlighted by Pope Francis. The Pope noted the witness of Christians in the early church, whose fraternal communion was “an eloquent and attractive sign of unity and charity.” Franciscans, he said, are called “to express this concrete fraternity, by means of a recovery of reciprocal confidence in interpersonal relationships, so that the world might see and believe” recognizing that Christ’s love can heal our wounds and make us one. Recalling a story of the early days of the Order, Pope Francis noted that the early Franciscans recognized the whole world as their cloister, the space for their evangelical witness. “How important it is to live a Christian and religious existence without losing oneself in disputes and chattering, cultivating a serene dialogue with all, with meekness, mildness, and humility, with poor means, proclaiming peace and living soberly, content with what is offered to you.” Alluding gently to some difficulties the Franciscans have faced in recent years, the Pope said Franciscans must be committed to their vocation of poverty and littleness. Pope Francis reminded the friars that it is the Holy Spirit who animates the religious life. “When consecrated persons live, allowing themselves to be illuminated and guide by the Spirit, they discover in this supernatural vision the secret of their fraternity, the inspiration of their service to the brethren, the strength of their prophetic presence in the Church and in the world.” The “light and strength” of the Holy Spirit, he said, will also help Franciscans confront the challenges posed by a decline in numbers and vocations, and by an aging congregation.   (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 4 hours
(Vatican Radio)  It's sad to see a Christian who wants to "follow Jesus and the things of this world." That’s what Pope Francis said at Tuesday morning’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, stressing that a Christian is called to make a radical choice in life:  you can’t be “half” Christian or have both "heaven and earth." Listen to Tracey McClure's report: In his homily Pope Francis reflects on Peter’s query to Jesus:  what would he and the disciples get in return for following Him?  Peter asks the question after the Lord told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give everything to the poor. A Christian cannot have heaven and earth; do not be attached to things The Pope notes that Jesus responds in an unexpected way:  He does not speak of riches to his disciples,  but promises instead the Kingdom of Heaven "but with persecution, with the cross:" "So when a Christian is attached to [worldly] things, he gives the bad impression of a Christian who wants to have two things: [both] heaven and earth. And the touchstone of comparison precisely, is what Jesus says: the cross, the persecutions. This is to deny oneself, to suffer the cross every day... The disciples had this temptation, to follow Jesus but then:  how will this bargain end up?”   The Pope then refers to the reading from Mathew where James and John’s mother asks Jesus to secure a place at His side for her children: “’Ah, make this one prime minister for me - this one, the minister of the economy ...', and she took the worldly interest in following Jesus," the Pope says with irony. But , Francis notes, "the heart of these disciples was cleansed," through to Pentecost, when "they understood everything." "The gratuitousness  of following Jesus,” the Pope says, is the answer to the gratuitousness of love and salvation that Jesus gives us." And when "one wants to go and be with both Jesus and with the world, with both poverty and with riches,” he warns, “this is half-way Christianity that desires material gain. It is the spirit of worldliness." Riches, vanity and pride take us away from Jesus Echoing the words of the prophet Elijah, Pope Francis alludes to this kind of Christian as one "limping on two legs" because he "does not know what he wants." So, the Pope affirms, in order to understand this,  we must remember that Jesus says "the first shall be last and the last shall be first," meaning "the one who believes or who is the greatest" must be "the servant, the smallest one ": "Following Jesus from the human point of view is not a good deal: it’s serving. He did so, and if the Lord gives you the opportunity to be the first, you have to act like the last one, that is, in service. And if the Lord gives you the ability to have possessions, you have to act in service, that is, to others. There are three things, three steps that take us away from Jesus: wealth, vanity and pride. This is why they are so dangerous, the riches, because they immediately make you vain and you think you are important. And when you think you are important, you lose your head and you lose yourself." A worldly Christian is a counter-witness What the Lord wants from us is to "strip" ourselves of worldy things the Pope stresses.  And it took Jesus a long time to get this message across to His disciples “because they did not understand well."   We too must ask Him to teach us “this science of service” the Pope says, “this science of humility, this science of being the last to serve our brothers and sisters in the Church." "It's sad to see a Christian, whether it’s a lay person, consecrated priest, bishop -  it’s sad when you see he wants two things: to follow Jesus and worldly things, to follow Jesus and worldliness. And this is a counter-witness and furthers people from Jesus. We continue now the celebration of the Eucharist, thinking of Peter's question. 'We left everything: what will you give us in return?' And thinking about Jesus’ response.  The recompense that He will give us is resemblance to Him. This will be our 'recompense'. Big 'recompense', to be like Jesus!” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 4 hours
Não se pode seguir a Jesus e a mundanidade, nem se pode ter o céu e a terra. O cristianismo à metade é feio, é preciso tomar uma decisão radical. Foi o que destacou Francisco na homilia nesta terça-feira (26), na capela da Casa Santa Marta, inspirado na pergunta de Pedro a Jesus sobre o que os discípulos ganhariam ... 2 days 4 hours
Vatican City, 26 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor, dedicated this time to two key aspects of their identity: minority and fraternity. In his address, the Holy Father remarked that minority “calls us to be and to feel small before God, entrusting ourselves entirely to his infinite mercy. The perspective of mercy is incomprehensible to those who do not recognise themselves as 'minor': that is, as small, needy and sinners before God. The more aware we are of this, the closer we are to salvation; the more convinced we are of being sinners, the more disposed we are to be saved. … Minority also means coming out of ourselves, of leaving behind our preconceptions and personal views; it also means going beyond structures – that are of course useful if used wisely – and beyond our habits and certainties, to bear witness to real closeness to the poor, needy and marginalised, with an authentic attitude of sharing and service”. Similarly, the dimension of fraternity is essential for bearing witness to the Gospel. “In the primitive Church, Christians lived in fraternal community to the extent that … the people were surprised to see them so united in love, so willing to give and to forgive each other”, commented the Pope. “Your religious family is called upon to express this concrete fraternity, by recovering this mutual trust in interpersonal relations, so that the world may see and believe, acknowledging that Christ's love heals wounds and renders us as one”. In this respect, Francis invited the Franciscans to be “bringers of mercy, reconciliation and peace”, in obedience to their charism which has made them an “outbound congregation” since their origins. “It is said that when the first friars were asked to show their cloisters, they climbed a hill and, showing the land around, as far as the eye could see, they answered, 'This is our cloister'. Dear brothers, continue to go into this cloister, which is the whole world, driven by Christ's love, as St. Francis invites you to do … when he says … 'I counsel, warn and exhort my friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that when they go about through the world, they are not to quarrel nor contend in words, nor are they to judge others, but they are to be meek, peaceable and modest, meek and humble, speaking uprightly to all, as is fitting. … Into whatever house they may enter, first let them say: 'Peace to this house', and … it is lawful to eat any of the foods which are placed befor them”. The Pope stressed that St. Francis' exhortation remains valid. “It is a prophecy of fraternity and minority for today's world too. How important it is to live a Christian and religious existence without losing oneself in disputes and gossip, cultivating a serene dialogue with all, … with modest means, announcing peace and living in a sober fashion, content with what is offered to you. This also requires decisive commitment to transparency, to the ethical and fraternal use of goods, in a style of sobriety. If, instead, you are attached to worldly goods and wealth, and place your security there, it will be the Lord Himself Who will despoil you of this spirit of worldliness in order to preserve this valuable heritage of minority and poverty to which He has called you through St. Francis. You will either be freely poor and minor, or find yourselves denuded”. “The Holy Spirit is the inspiration for religious life”, continued Pope Francis. “When consecrated persons let themselves be enlightened and guided by the Spirit, they discover in this supernatural vision the secret of their fraternity, the inspiration for their service to their brothers, the strength of their prophetic presence in the Church and in the world. The light and the strength of the Spirit will also help you face the challenges that lie before you, especially the numerical decrease, ageing and diminution of new vocations”. “The people of God love you. Cardinal Quarracino once said: 'In our cities there are groups or people who are against the clergy, and when a priest passes by they say certain things to him – in Argentina they call them “crows”. But I have never, ever heard these remarks in the presence of a Franciscan habit. Why? You have inherited authority with the people of God with your minority, fraternity, meekness, humility, and poverty. Please preserve this! Do not lose it. The people love you”.... 2 days 4 hours
Vatican City, 26 May 2015 (VIS) – The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops today completed its two-day meeting to prepare for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly on the theme “The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world”, to be held from 4 to 25 October in the Vatican. The Council was chaired by the Holy Father, who met with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri and Bishop Fabio Fabene (respectively secretary general and under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops) last week, and whose presence underlined the importance he attributes to the current Synod path. Yesterday, 25 May, and this morning, the Council closely examined the plan for the Instrumentum laboris resulting from the Relatio Synodi of the Extraordinary Assembly, integrated with numerous contributions provided by the answers to the questions included in the Lineamenta sent by the Episcopal Conferences and other competent entities, as well as the many contributions received by the Secretariat General from various ecclesial bodies and individual faithful. An extensive and detailed study of the text has generated proposals and contributions for its integration and improvement. The text, thus revised and shared by the members of the Council, has been entrusted to the Secretariat General for its final redaction, translation in various languages and publication, which will take place in a few weeks' time. Following the examination of the Instrumentum laboris, proposals from the Secretariat General for updating the working method for the upcoming Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops were presented.... 2 days 4 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the Procurator-General of the Congregation of the Oratory, Fr. Mario Alberto Avilés, C.O., to mark the fifth centenary of the birth of the founder of the “Oratorians”, St. Philip Neri.  The Message was sent to coincide with the liturgical memory of St. Philip Neri on May 26 th , though the Saint’s 500 th birthday is later this year: on July 15 th . St. Philip Neri was a priest of Rome, and a renowned pastor and confessor in his own time, who had special care for the poor children of the city, founding for them a school and later a college. H e also instituted the Visit to the Seven Churches – a pilgrimage that took people from all walks of life on long treks to visit the ancient basilicas in the Roman countryside. Click below to hear our report In his Message, Pope Francis writes, “Thanks also to the apostolate of St. Philip, commitment to the salvation of souls returned to be a priority for the Church; once again, the Church recovered its understanding that pastors have to be with their people to guide and support their faith.” The Pope goes on to say, “St. Philip Neri remains a luminous model of the permanent mission of the Church in the world.” The Congregation of the Oratory, which St. Philip Neri founded, is the first example of secular priests living a communal life: The idea of the Oratory soon spread through Italy and Europe, and today, Oratories can be found in many nations throughout the world. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 6 hours

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Servir e compartilhar a única fé, sentir-se parte de um único rebanho e ter um único pastor: é a exortação recorrente da comunidade católica chinesa aos diáconos e aos novos sacerdotes ordenados neste período. Muitas dioceses celebraram as ordenações durante o mês mariano, para que Maria custodie a vocação dos novo... 2 days 20 hours
"Por que legalizar a morte? Se queremos vida!", debaterá a 8ª Marcha Nacional da Cidadania pela vida contra o aborto, em Brasília (DF). A concentração iniciará, a partir das 14h, no dia 06 de maio, no gramado atrás da Torre de TV, no Eixo Monumental. O evento tem por objetivo lutar pelos direitos do bebê na barriga... 2 days 20 hours
De 18 a 23 de maio, aconteceu o Congresso de Pentecostes, no lugar de origem da Obra, junto ao Santuário Original da Mãe e Rainha, em Schoenstatt/Alemanha. No início do novo século de sua história, o Movimento Apostólico de Schoenstatt reúne 120 líderes de 25 países, representando mais dos 200 nos quais a Família I... 2 days 20 hours
Fala de futebol e dos fanáticos que são principalmente "mercenários", da sua vontade de comer uma boa pizza, do seu sono profundo e do seu “voto” de nunca ver TV; mas também da relação com as pessoas que lhe “faz bem”, das lágrimas derramadas ante certas tragédias humanas e daquele conclave de 2005 que o viu chegar... 2 days 20 hours

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Vatican City, May 28, 2015 / 10:55 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In a move intended to reach out to Arab pilgrims who make their way to the Eternal City, the Vatican has for the first time published a guidebook entirely in the Arabic language. 1 hour 50 min
Lahore, Pakistan, May 28, 2015 / 07:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Tension and fear have gripped the Christian community in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, after a Muslim mob attacked the community on Sunday when a young Christian man was accused of blasphemy. 5 hours 44 min
Bismarck, N.D., May 28, 2015 / 04:50 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On his 40th anniversary as a priest, Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck says he has a deeper understanding of his own vocation than when he was first ordained. 7 hours 55 min
Vatican City, May 28, 2015 / 01:03 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The Vatican Bank's net profits in 2014 jumped to $75.5 million from only $3.2 million the previous year, reflecting a change in its financial management and investments. 11 hours 42 min
Lincoln, Neb., May 27, 2015 / 10:55 am (EWTN News/CNA).- As the Nebraska Legislature considers overriding the state governor's veto of a bill that would repeal the death penalty, the Bishop of Lincoln has requested a prayerful response to the situation. 1 day 1 hour
Rome, Italy, May 27, 2015 / 07:03 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The sacrament of marriage, characterized as it is by indissolubility, is good news for the people of today, according to a Spanish priest who specializes in family and marriage issues. 1 day 5 hours
Lima, Peru, May 27, 2015 / 05:14 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A game that purports to invoke a Mexican demon – known as "Charlie, Charlie" and considered to be a simplified version of the Ouija board – has gone viral on social media among young people, prompting one exorcist to warn of its dangers.    1 day 7 hours
Vatican City, May 27, 2015 / 05:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Massive crowds attended Saturday's beatification of early twentieth-century Italian missionary, Sister Irene Stefani, who was known as "mother of mercy" to the Kenyan people she cared for.
1 day 7 hours
Dublin, Ireland, May 27, 2015 / 04:34 pm (EWTN News).- The Vatican's Secretary of State lamented Ireland's decision to legalize same-sex marriage as harmful to the family and society.
1 day 8 hours
Washington D.C., May 27, 2015 / 03:08 am (EWTN News/CNA).- It is not discrimination for a Catholic to publicly profess his faith, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington insisted Sunday in a pastoral letter on "Being Catholic Today." 1 day 9 hours
Vatican City, May 27, 2015 / 01:04 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis said the process of engagement is essential for any couple on their way to marriage since it not only allows love to mature, but helps future spouses deepen in knowledge of one another. 1 day 11 hours
Vatican City, May 26, 2015 / 09:21 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In his homily Tuesday Pope Francis cautioned against the "counter-witness" of those who seek to follow both Jesus and worldly temptations, saying that to follow Christ means denying oneself and serving others. 2 days 3 hours
Rome, Italy, May 26, 2015 / 04:33 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Gathered in Rome for their general chapter meeting, members of the Order of Friars Minor – better known as Franciscans – said that while vocations in general have been down in recent years, numbers have begun to rise again after Pope Francis' election.
2 days 8 hours
Rome, Italy, May 26, 2015 / 04:01 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- While the Synod of Bishops' ordinary council gathered to discuss the upcoming Synod on the Family this week, a private group of bishops and experts convened separately behind closed doors in Rome to consider the most controversial issues at the synod, particularly support of gay unions and Communion for the divorced and remarried. 2 days 8 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN,

From: CWN provides reliable world news and commentary from a Catholic perspective, availble exclusively at
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, is under investigation by Italian police for alleged "embezzlement and price fixing during the sale of ... 7 hours 46 sec
Pope Francis received the bishops of the Dominican Republic in audience on May 28 and called upon them to "reinforce the faith and identity of all the members of the Church." The ... 7 hours 13 min
Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that "today the Church must fight against the current, with courage and ... 7 hours 26 min
The Vatican's Secretary of State described the recent Irish referendum approving same-sex marriage as "not only a defeat for Christian principles, but a defeat for mankind." "I was very ... 7 hours 55 min
Approximately half of the 25 priests who left the Diocese of Maiduguri because of attacks from Boko Haram have been able to return, according to a report from the Missionary Service News ... 8 hours 39 min
Two auxiliary bishops of Jerusalem, joined by other Christian leaders and parents, took part in a May 27 protest outside Israel's education ministry to protest policies that they say ... 8 hours 51 min
Traffic snarls are the Achilles' heel of the city of Rome, and the greatest problem for the city in preparing for the Jubilee Year, a research group reports. A study from CENSIS, an ... 19 hours 46 min
Christian leaders in South Sudan have joined in a plea for an end to vicious civil strife in the newly independent country, saying that there is "no moral justification for the killing to ... 19 hours 50 min
A priest of China's "underground" Catholic Church was arrested on May 7 and remains missing, the AsiaNews service reports. Father Liu Honggeng was taken from his post at a Marian ... 19 hours 54 min
The government of Pakistan is considering changes in the country's blasphemy laws, to guard against abuses and mob violence, the Fides news service reports. The proposed changes would ... 19 hours 59 min
Cardinal George Pell has said that he will provide testimony for an Australian commission investigating the Church's handling of sex-abuse complaints. Cardinal Pell, who is now the ... 20 hours 15 min
Just days after the director of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) said that the agency was "working through" questions about an executive who is a partner in a same-sex marriage, that ... 20 hours 25 min
Lord Patten, who chaired a special papal commission to assess the Vatican's media operations, has called for a consolidation of Vatican's publishing, broadcasting, and public-relations ... 21 hours 33 min
A new Gallup poll finds that since 2001, American opinion has shifted markedly toward acceptance of extra-marital sexual behavior. The poll found that between 2001 and 2015 there have ... 22 hours 21 min
Prosecutors in Poland and the Dominican Republic have recognized that it is unlikely they will be able to bring charges against Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized archbishop and former Vatican ... 22 hours 31 min
The Dutch government has proposed a ban on full-face veils, ski masks, and helmets in schools, hospitals, government buildings, and public transportation. The ban, which must be ... 1 day 7 hours
Continuing his catechesis on the family, Pope Francis devoted his May 27 general audience to engagement as a preparation for marriage. "Engagement is a time when couples come to know ... 1 day 7 hours
Speaking at a conference sponsored by the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice foundation, the Vatican's Secretary of State emphasized the importance of the "dignity of the human person and the ... 1 day 7 hours
As an international conference on nuclear nonproliferation concluded, Belgium's bishops issued a statement calling for universal nuclear disarmament. At the earlier time, the bishops ... 1 day 7 hours
The Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram attacked a predominantly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria on May 22 and brutally murdered ten people. The victims were members of ... 1 day 8 hours
In a front-page article that appeared in the May 27 edition of the Vatican newspaper, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve emphasized the importance of a "spirituality ... 1 day 8 hours
Syrian government forces, aided by Assyrian and Kurdish militias, have regained control of 35 predominantly Christian villages in northeastern Syria, according to a report from the ... 1 day 8 hours
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington has issued a pastoral letter, dated Pentecost Sunday, on "why it is so crucial that we reassert and strengthen our Catholic identity, and that our ... 1 day 9 hours
Syrian Catholic Patriarch Igance Youssif III has called upon the faithful to fast and pray for the safe release of two clerics who were kidnapped last week by rebel forces. In a message ... 1 day 20 hours
Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota has called for the quick conclusion of negotiations to end Colombia's long civil war. "Enough! No more deaths! Conflict must end," the cardinal ... 1 day 20 hours
A Dutch Catholic charity has been actively involved in promoting contraception and distributing condoms, the Lepanto Institute has discovered. Cordaid (Catholic Organization for Relief ... 1 day 20 hours
In a message to members of the Franciscan order who were meeting in a general chapter, Pope Francis emphasized two defining characteristics of the order: minority and ... 1 day 20 hours
Bishops from Germany, France, and Switzerland met on May 25 in at the Gregorian University in Rome, to discuss their plans for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops. The ... 1 day 21 hours
French and Vatican officials are still discussing the nomination of Laurent Stefanini as French ambassador to the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has ... 1 day 21 hours
At a two-day meeting this week, the "ordinary council" of the Synod of Bishops discussed and revised a draft of the instrumentum laboris, the working document for the Synod's October 2015 ... 1 day 21 hours
China's ruling Communist Party warned its members that atheism is a non-negotiable aspect of party membership, according to a Radio Free Asia report. The party has 86.7 million members, ... 2 days 7 hours
Three months after Canada's high court overturned legislation against assisted suicide, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the nation's attorney general to ... 2 days 7 hours
Withdrawing from a region in northeastern Syria, forces of the Islamic State destroyed most of the churches in the villages they had occupied, according to a report from a Syrian news ... 2 days 7 hours
Pope Francis has sent a message to the Congregation of the Oratory to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of its founder, St. Philip Neri (1515-95). Through the saint's apostolate ... 2 days 8 hours
As members of Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslim community flee the Southeast Asian nation by boat, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo exhorted the nation's Buddhist majority to have ... 2 days 8 hours
A Pentecostal minister who baptized 16 persons in the east Indian state of Odisha has been jailed on "forced conversion" charges. "The ceremony took place only after obtaining 16 ... 2 days 8 hours
Parvez Henry Gill, a Pakistani Christian businessman, is paying for the construction of a 140-foot-high cross in Karachi, the nation's largest city, to encourage Christians to remain there ... 2 days 8 hours
The apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua has confirmed that President Daniel Ortega has requested a meeting with Pope Francis, according to a Nicaraguan newspaper report. Ortega, a leader of ... 2 days 9 hours
Angry Muslims looted and burned the homes of Christians in Dhup Sarri Lahore, Pakistan, after a troubled young man was accused of blaspheming the Qu'ran. The violence began, the ... 2 days 21 hours
Ireland's justice minister has revealed that the government chose not to address questions about surrogate parenthood until after the nationwide referendum that allowed for legal ... 2 days 21 hours
"The human person-- human capital-- is one of the greatest assets we have for development in Africa," Cardinal Peter Turkson said in a Vatican Radio interview on May 25, as many African ... 2 days 22 hours
In a new interview with an Argentinean newspaper, Pope Francis says that he wants to be remembered "as a person who has done his best to do good. I have no other claim." The Pope ... 2 days 22 hours
The Vatican's representative at UN offices in Geneva has proclaimed that there is "no further room for denial" that "human-induced climate change is a scientific reality." Speaking to a ... 2 days 22 hours
The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), realized a profit of �69.3 million ($76 million) for 2014, a huge jump from the �2.9 million profit in 2013. The profit ... 2 days 23 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN,

From: Tristate Catholic news and features, daily
St. Patrick Church and Shrine to Our Lady of Knock in Taylor Mill (KY) will be one of almost 80 shrines around the world participating in a "rosary relay for priests" on June 12, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

St. Patrick Church and Shrine to Our Lady of Knock in Taylor Mill (KY) will be one of almost 80 shrines around the world participating in a “rosary relay for priests” on June 12, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

St. Patrick Church and Shrine in Taylor Mill (KY) will be one of 84 shrines around the world participating in a 24-hour global “rosary relay” on June 12, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Join parishioners at 7:30 pm to pray for priests as part of the sixth annual World Priest Rosary Relay. People at shrines in 46 countries will take turns praying the rosary in half-hour slots, encircling the globe with prayer for 24 hours.

Founded in Donnybrook, Ireland by Marion Mulhall, and given an apostolic blessing by St. Pope John Paul II in 2000, World Priest brings people together to pray “in thanksgiving to God for our priests and to implore the protection and loving care of Our Lady, Mother of all priests, for all her priestly sons” and to bring attention to the “hidden work of priest” by offering them “prayerful support.”

Its initiatives include an online library of resources for and about priests (at and an “international Catholic Identity Card” people can carry in their pockets, requesting emergency personnel to contact a priest if they’re incapacitated.

Final RR_ChildrensRosaryPoster

This year Children’s Rosary, a global prayer movement founded in the United States to bring children together once a  month to pray the rosary, will pray in solidarity with the shrine groups.

“Children have a way of drawing people together,” says Children’s Rosary founder Blythe Kaufman. “For this reason it is very exciting to welcome children from all over the world to participate in the Global Rosary Relay for Priests. We are humbled and excited to be invited and to add our voices to the success of this astonishing and beautiful event. Children are very open to prayer, as we have seen in our prayer groups. They bring with them a natural simplicity and love.”

St. Patrick Church holds an annual novena to Our Lady of Knock at her shrine, and the parish also has a Marian grotto and Perpetual Adoration chapel. “Come pray the rosary with us as we participate with our brothers and sisters all over the world in this 24-hour global rosary relay!” says parish spokesperson Coleen Hamilton.

Children are particularly invited to join the relay at the shrine, or to pray from home.

For information contact Coleen at (859) 356-5151, ext. 10 or

For our story about the St. Patrick Shrine, click here. 

For more Catholic events, see our Events page.

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12 hours 29 min
No, they're not Christmas cookies -- they're Joseph and his many-colored coat cookies!

No, they’re not Christmas cookies — they’re Joseph and his many-colored coat cookies!

Vacation Bible school and camps are popular with kids, especially in primary grades. It’s always fun to make snacks that correlate to the story that is told. Here again, due to many requests, are more favorite snacks for kids to make when learning about the Bible.  Check out this site for Bible snacks shared previously for even more ideas!

Joseph’s coat of many colors cookie

Joseph’s father gave him a coat of many colors, showing favoritism to this son. His brothers were jealous and plotted against him, throwing him into a pit and then selling him to Ishmaelite merchants for 20 pieces of silver.

Plain cookies, undecorated, like gingerbread or store bought cookie dough cut with gingerbread men shapes. Or use this favorite shortbread cookie recipe of mine. It’s a great recipe for kids to free form shapes, as well.

Rita’s no fail shortbread cutouts

Let the kids free form shapes, or use a cookie cutter. Dough freezes well, and so does the baked cookie, sans icing.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Store bought writing icing in 3 or 4 different colors or make your own and use zip lock bags with icing inside and cut a small tip-like hole on the bottom so they can squeeze the icing out into stripes (recipe below).

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.  Cream butter and gradually add sugar.  Add vanilla.  Blend flour mixture in.  Dough will be soft.  Roll out on lightly floured surface or between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4” thick or bit thicker if you like.  If dough is too soft to cut out shapes with, put in frig for about 30 minutes.  Cut out and place on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes just until edges are golden.


Whisk together:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

Drizzle icing over cooled cookies, or make a thicker icing with less water, add food coloring if using, and spread on cookies. Let kids take turns decorating the cookies with the writing icing. Each cookie will wind up with 4 stripes of color. Makes about 2 dozen.

Tips from Rita’s Kitchen:

To test to see if your baking powder is still active enough to leaven, put a teaspoonful in a cup of warm water.  It should fizz right away

While you make this yummy snake snack, you can tell the kids how Eve was tempted by Satan, in the form of a snake, to eat of the forbidden fruit which she also tempted Adam with. You can have apple slices to go along with it!

While you make this yummy snake snack, you can tell the kids how Eve was tempted by Satan, in the form of a snake, to eat of the forbidden fruit which she also tempted Adam with. You can have apple slices to go along with it!

Cinnamon Garden of Eden Snake
  • Wooden skewers
  • 1 can breadstick or crescent roll dough (or you can make freeform snakes from the shortbread cookie recipe above)
  • Raisins, currants or dried cranberries (cut cranberries if necessary)
  • Cinnamon sugar: Mix sugar and cinnamon to taste or just use cinnamon
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet. Spray wooden skewers with cooking spray so the “snakes” will slide off easily. Wrap a strip of dough around a skewer, pinching one end for a tail and leaving a large head on the other end. Next, press two raisins onto the head for eyes. Some may come loose during baking, but they can be placed back on the head or secured with a small drop of honey or frosting after removing them from the oven.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of snakes’ bodies. Bake for 13-18 minutes. Don’t overbake When finished baking, pick up a skewer and carefully slide the snake off.

Jesus walks on water
  • Blue Jello mix
  • Sour Patch Kids candy

Prepare blue Jello in individual plastic cups.

When Jello sets place a Sour Patch Kid (the candy is shaped like people) to stand on top of Jello.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist,  the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. In 2014 she was inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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12 hours 34 min
Irish supporters of what guest blogger William Briggs calls "gmarriage" rejoice after winning Friday's historic vote. Image source unknown; no ownerships implied or claimed.

Irish supporters of what guest blogger William Briggs calls “gmarriage” rejoice after winning Friday’s historic vote. Image source unknown; no ownerships implied or claimed.

This guest post by blogger and scientist William Briggs gets to the heart of Friday’s historic vote, in which Ireland became the first country in the world to vote for “same-sex marriage.”  What is wrong is not the way the vote went, he says, but the idea that people can vote on what marriage means. It was originally published on May 25 with the same title at the eponymous blog”William M. Briggs: Statistician to the Stars!” [The word “gmarriage” is not a typo but an abbreviation of the words ‘”gay marriage,” created by Mr. Briggs because he says the phrase should not be used because it describes something that is not possible — ed.]

What went awry in Ireland was not the result of the vote, a result which was, of course, the wrong decision. The offense was something much deeper, something basic. It was the vote itself.

That a people could think, could even let themselves imagine, voting for something fundamental and unchangeable as marriage was a collossal breach of civil order, an act that must presage greater disorders to come. And this would still be so had the vote gone the other way.

Voting whether to call marriage something other than it is, is like voting whether to expand triangularity to include objects with more than three sides (in the name of equality), or like voting to kill citizens whose lives have fallen below some utilitarian threshold (via, say, abortion). It’s like voting to call black white or up down or for anything which is impossible but which is desired. It’s like voting that everybody gets to go to heaven.

That people cannot see this is the cause of the problem. Of course it is! Folks in democracies have fallen victim to the propaganda that voting is a good, and since voting is a good, it is always good, and since it is always good, anything, anything at all, can and should, eventually, be voted upon. “Truth” can be discovered by voting. The “wisdom” of the crowds!

This must lead to tyranny. It already has. To be forced to call a thing which it is not is tyrannical.

Voting is a good and does have it uses, but under only very limited circumstances, such as in small groups where all share a common goal and where the consequences of a decision are largely uncertain, and when there is no leader to assume responsibility. Leadership removes the burden of voting. Captains do not ask the crew which direction to steer. Voting leads to shipwrecks.

Most people do not have the capacity to understand the uncertainties and complexities of major decisions, though they are easily manipulated into thinking they do. Most do grasp the consequences of simple decisions. A group of (similarly ranked) colleagues deciding where to go to lunch might successfully vote. But a nation of every citizen eighteen and up deciding fundamental questions of life and of death? Guaranteed eventual disaster.

Worse, egalitarianism insists that an ever greater fraction of people get to vote and get to vote on more things.

Now if you were among the minority in Ireland, you are likely already convinced about the dangers of voting. But if you are with the majority celebrating “equality”, that most dreadful condition, you might not be. Voting, after all, got you what you wanted. Consider California. That State voted to ban gmarriage (remember Prop 8?). Was that the right vote? Did voting, forever after, reach the truth?

If you say yes, because you’re determined to hold onto the principle of voting, then you cannot say California came to the wrong conclusion. You must agree that it was the right decision. Which means you must change your own belief and say with the majority, “Same sex marriage is wrong.”

But if you say California came to the wrong conclusion, you must then agree that voting can be dangerous. And if voting is dangerous, its use should be restricted.

And that’s what gmarriage supporters did. They eliminated the vote by appealing to State leaders, who by fiat ushered in gmarriage. Believe it or not, this is a better situation than if the citizens of California originally voted for gmarriage, because leadership in some form has been exercised. But it is still bad because the original vote imbued in (all) citizens the illusion they could decide Truth. (Of course, the situation in California is even worse than I paint it, because the leadership erred and now citizens must recognize four-sided “triangles.”)

Voting saps the energy of losers—I speak here of voting on Truth, on foundations, and not on situations where there is a general understanding of uncertainties—which is good when the vote has reached the correct decision, but awful when the wrong decision is made. The losers say to themselves, “The outcome is sad, but we must abide by the will of the people.” But there is no such thing. Thinking there is, and thinking voting is always good, in time compiles error upon error, until, as the man said, the center cannot hold.

Solution? If you’ve understood the argument above, you already know.

William M. Briggs is a professional statistician as well as a writer and speaker. A former professor at the Cornell Medical School, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and “sort of Cryptologist” with the US Air Force, he is now an independent consultant.  He blogs at William M. Briggs, often about the misuse of statistics, pseudo-science, proponents of climate change, Catholicism, philosophy and philosophical fallacies, and ethics. 

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1 day 12 hours
Every party in Ireland was in favor of "same-sex marriage" before Friday's historic vote. Photo by Aiden Crawle/EPA.

Every party in Ireland was in favor of “same-sex marriage” before Friday’s historic vote. Photo by Aiden Crawle/EPA.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmund Martin told the media that he would vote against the measure, but did not call on Catholics to vote against it because "those days [of bishops telling Catholics how to vote] are gone."  Photo copyright the Irish Examiner.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin told the media that he would vote against the measure, but did not call on Catholics to vote against it because “those days [of bishops telling Catholics how to vote] are gone.” Photo copyright the Irish Examiner.

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

“The Second Coming” by Irish poet William Butler Yeats was published in several versions; this one was published in 1920.

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1 day 12 hours
Members of Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life prayed in front of Planned Parenthood's Cincinnati abortion business on Memorial Day.

Members of Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life prayed in front of Planned Parenthood’s Cincinnati abortion business on Memorial Day.

Despite the rain and holiday plans, 26 members of Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life held one-hour prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood’s Cincinnati abortion facility on Memorial Day. GYCAL holds a weekly evening vigil at the building and didn’t want to miss a Monday, especially on a day dedicated to remembering war dead. To accommodate family gatherings, the group held the vigil in the morning instead.

Young adults interested in joining GCYAL for prayer vigils and other activities (they went to Taste of Cincinnati after the vigil) see the link above.

Photo courtesy Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life.

You can see all our 1000 Words photos at once: Click on “1000 Words” in the menu at the top of the page, or click here. To submit a photo, send it to

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1 day 12 hours
Rachel and the Slaughter of the Innocents, once a subject for artists addressing war and terror, has become a symbol for the pro-life movement.

Rachel and the Slaughter of the Innocents, once a subject for artists addressing war and terror, has become a symbol for the pro-life movement.

Rededication an opportunity to witness for life, marriage and family

On June 13th at Gate of Heaven Cemetery (Montgomery/Cincinnati) Bishop Joe Binzer and local members of the Knights of Columbus will join pro-life organizations from around the city for the rededication of “Rachel Mourns her Children,” a statue commemorating lives lost to abortion.

The 11 am ceremony will be held on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Rachel statue at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Montgomery (OH) will be rededicated June 13th. Photo courtesy Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

The Rachel statue at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Montgomery (OH) will be rededicated June 13th. Photo courtesy Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Originally dedicated in 1998 by Bishop Carl Moeddel and  Knights of Columbus from around the country gathered in Cincinnati for a convention, the statue depicts a contemporary woman kneeling in sorrow over the inscription, “Rachel mourns her Children: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly; it is Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more.'”

Statues with this theme have become a symbol of the pro-life movement and can be found at cemeteries and parishes around the country. Local Knights of Columbus Councils have placed five memorials with that theme at area cemeteries.

“The re-dedication is sponsored by the Cincinnati Chapter Knights of Columbus to honor those children lost to abortion and to remind one and all of the importance of protecting life from conception to natural death,” says a spokesman from the K of C.

Pro-life groups from around the area invite all to support the event. “It has been 42 years since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in our nation,” say Pat and Mary Ashcraft,  organizers of the annual America Needs Fatima Rosary Rally on Fountain Square, who have asked all their supporters to attend.

“If the Supreme Court decision goes as expected in the next several weeks, what will this nation look like 42 years from now if same-sex ‘unions’ are legalized?  The slaughter of the innocents will be accompanied by the slaughter of the American family, marriage, and ultimately the destruction of our country as our society falls into chaos.

“…Lest you think this cannot happen in the United States, 65% of the citizens of the once-predominantly Catholic nation of Ireland just voted to legalize same sex ‘unions.’”

Nancy Kenny of Presentation Ministries says that the statue “represents an undying commitment to the pro-life movement,” and urges all who work for the dignity of human life from conception to natural death to attend.

“The cemetery staff is on board, Greater Cincinnati Right to Life is on board, the K of C Chapter is on board,” she says. “Attending this event will be a great way to emphasize every life is sacred, through the prayers we will offer that day. It will be a great witness for kids, grandkids, friends, everyone! And everyone is invited.”

The program will last about an hour, according to organizers, and will include praying the rosary. A reception in the Cemetery Administration Building will follow.

For information, call Gene Cordier at (859) 581-1031.

For more Catholic events, see our Events page.

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2 days 12 hours
Congratulations to all graduating seniors at Purcell Marian High School and all high schools and home schools.

Congratulations to all graduating seniors at Purcell Marian High School and all high schools and home schools.

The names of seniors are written on ribbons and tied to the fence outside Purcell Marian High School in Walnut Hills/Cincinnati. Congratulations to all graduating seniors from all schools and home schools!

Photo courtesy Purcell Marian High School.

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From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
A representative of the Congregation of Divine Providence speaks with young people at an event hosted at St. Monica-St. George. (Courtesy Photo)
Sister Theresa Falkenstein of the Congregation of Divine Providence speaks with young people at an event hosted at St. Monica-St. George. (Courtesy Photo)

Staff Report

On Sunday April 26, to celebrate the Year for Consecrated Life, St. Monica-St. George parish in Clifton hosted an information fair in the Catholic Center.

The parish was host to Sisters from eight different congregations and the Franciscan Friars.  Each of these nine communities displayed information and vocational materials as members of the parish came through and enjoyed a light lunch and lots of conversation with the religious members present.

A Franciscan Friar speaks with parishioners at an event hosted at St. Monica-St. George April 26. (Courtesy Photo)
Franciscan Father Al Hirt speaks with parishioners at an event hosted at St. Monica-St. George April 26. (Courtesy Photo)

In the fall, a similar event will be hosted at a Thursday night dinner which will draw many University of Cincinnati students to learn more about Religious Life.

St. Monica-St. George parish is the home of the UC Newman Center, which provides a spiritual home for many university students during their academic career.

The eight congregations of women religious who have members in the parish are:  Sisters of Divine Providence, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of the Precious Blood, Ursuline Sisters and Companions, Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, Sisters of St. Joseph and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

The Year of Consecrated Life, proclaimed by Pope Francis, runs from Nov. 30, 2014 until Feb. 2, 2016. The purposes of the year are to increase the visibility of religious life/consecrated life, to express appreciation, to highlight the joy experienced in this vocational choice, and to educate on the importance of on religious life/consecrated life to the church.

Posted May 26, 2015

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Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila (Photo Courtesy of Haney's Photography, Moorhead, Minn. via Catholic News Agency)

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila (Photo Courtesy of Haney’s Photography, Moorhead, Minn. via Catholic News Agency)


In an unprecedented change for an archdiocese, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver announced that the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion – will be restored to their original order.

“In an increasingly secular world, the reality is this: the souls of our children are the battleground. As the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Denver, I must do everything I can to help those who form children win that battle,” he explained in his pastoral letter “Saints Among Us” released May 23.

“The world needs saints. Even as our society becomes more distant from faith and more forgetful of God, it still hungers for joyful witnesses who have been transformed by Christ,” he explained. “At the same time, new generations of Catholics need grace to sustain them in a non-Christian environment.”

In response to those needs, Archbishop Aquila said he’s chosen to restore the sacraments to the original order.

While the majority of dioceses and archdioceses have children baptized in infancy, receive the First Communion in first or second grade and Confirmation sometime in middle or high school, the original order placed Confirmation and First Communion in the same ceremony.

“This will make available every sacramental grace the Church has to offer to children who have reached the age of reason,” he explained.

When he made the change in his then-Diocese of Fargo in 2002, he said he was convinced by the “theological and pastoral reasons” that it was the right decision, but the feedback from parents after it was implemented further confirmed the change.

In his pastoral letter, Archbishop Aquila detailed a five year plan that will help parishes in Northern Colorado implement the changes by 2020.

It is his hope that after the change, Confirmation will no longer be the “sacrament of farewell” and Pope Francis regretfully called it, but rather “a profound encounter with each person of the Holy Trinity.”

As a result of the change, youth groups will need to adapt from sacramental preparation to “building community, fostering deeper relationships with each person of the Holy Trinity, and preparing them to be witnesses to the poor, those in need, and those who do not know Jesus Christ.”

This model, which is based on Jesus’ preparation of the Twelve Apostles, is already present in many parishes of the Archdiocese and is “bearing great fruits.”

Posted May 26, 2015

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People have their wedding pictures taken at the papal cross in Phoenix Park in Dublin May 21.  (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)

People have their wedding pictures taken at the papal cross in Phoenix Park in Dublin May 21. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)

By Ann Schneible
Aid to the Church in Need
(via Catholic News Agency)

The Christian message can’t be shaken by a national vote, but Ireland’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage is forcing Catholic leaders to rethink how they have been keeping the faith alive among the nation’s young people.

“This vote has certainly changed the landscape in which the Church ministers in Ireland and the outcome offers it new and brave challenges,” said Dublin native Monsignor John Kennedy, speaking after Friday’s referendum to allow same-sex couples in Ireland to marry.

Msgr. Kennedy, an official of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told CNA in a May 25 email interview that he believed the pro same-sex marriage – or “Yes” – campaign was successful because of the sizable number of young voters who are in favor of the legislation.

“For Catholics it raises serious questions about the depth of faith and conscience formation, and the link between the practice of the faith and its relevance in and to society as a whole,” he said.

The monsignor’s observations about the influence of young voters are echoed in an interview given by Dublin’s archbishop Diarmuid Martin following the news that the referendum had passed.

“The Church needs a reality check right across the board, to look at the things we are doing well and look at the areas where we need to say, have we drifted away completely from young people?” the archbishop told RTE.

“Most of these young people who voted yes are products of our Catholic school system for 12 years,” Archbishop Martin said. “I’m saying there’s a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the Church.”

The results of Friday’s vote was 62 percent in favor of same-sex marriage, and 38 percent opposed.

While 18 other countries have already legalized same-sex marriage, Ireland is the first to adopt the law through popular vote.

Msgr. Kennedy said that while he did not think the “Yes” campaign was unstoppable, he was not surprised that the referendum passed in the end.

“I believe that many had made up their minds quite a long time ago,” he said.

The popular vote to allow same-sex marriage is significant in Ireland on account of its long history of fidelity to the Catholic Church, shaken only in recent decades by scandals among the clergy and religious.

Nonetheless, Msgr. Kennedy said the new legislation should not be cause for discouragement, but for a stronger commitment to disseminating the Christian message.

“Instead of perhaps feeling downcast by the decision, or wondering about the role of the Church in the world today, I believe that Catholics must now pause, focus, pray and advance with even greater energy,” he said.

He added that Catholics should be “conscious that what they have received in the Lord’s teaching, in its entirety and not just on marriage, is not something that can be altered by a national vote, by a certain percentage of those in favor of a change.”

Around 60 percent of the 3.2 million eligible voters throughout the Republic of Ireland took part in the referendum.

The new law comes 22 years after Ireland decriminalized homosexual acts.

In 2010, the country enacted the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.

“The late Saint John Paul II once said that every generation is a continent to be conquered for Christ,” Msgr. Kennedy said. “I had some difficulty understanding the radical tone of his statement but now I appreciate what he meant.”

One of the main players in the “No” campaign opposing the constitutional amendment was the Iona Institute, a Catholic advocacy group based in Ireland which promotes the role of religion and family in society.

In a press release following Saturday’s announcement that the referendum had gone through, the Iona Institute director David Quinn said the campaign “was always going to be an uphill battle.”

Quinn expressed concern that the hundreds of thousands of voters who opposed the referendum were not represented by Ireland’s political parties, which all supported the “Yes” campaign.

He concludes: “Going forward, we will continue to affirm the importance of the biological ties and of motherhood and fatherhood. We hope the Government will address the concerns voters on the No side have about the implications for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.”

Posted May 26, 2015

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Canned goods are seen on a shelf in this 2013 photo of a food pantry. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Canned goods are seen on a shelf in this 2013 photo of a food pantry. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Eileen Connelly, OSU
The Catholic Telegraph

Shopping for and preparing meals isn’t easy for people who live on a limited incomes and lack transportation. This includes urban neighborhoods in the Dayton area, ranked fourth in the nation for food hardship.

For one week in Lent (March 22-38) the Catholic Social Action Office and Weavers of Justice, a social justice collaborative of Dayton parishes and organizations, called for Miami Valley residents to stand in solidarity with hungry families by participating in the Hunger Solidarity Challenge. 

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, the president of Caritas Internationalis, echoed this call while visiting the archdiocese in March. Caritas Internationalis coordinates humanitarian, development and international activities on behalf of its members and the Holy See and operates the “One Human Family, Food for All” campaign.

The footprints of the Hunger Solidarity Challenge were simple. The cost of food and beverages during that week was limited to $4.50 per person/per day ($31.50 per person/per week). In 2014, the average Ohio Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) benefit was $4.39 a day. All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge was to be included in the total spending.

Participants were encouraged to purchase their meals at a gas station, pharmacy or dollar-type store, where those who live on limited in incomes in urban neighborhoods often have to shop. They were also asked to walk to buy their food, as people with no access to transportation access must do.

In addition, those who took part in the challenge were to keep track of their spending during the week, share their experiences via social media and donate the money they saved to their parish’s hunger program, food pantry, Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley Food Pantry, the Dayton or Second Harvest Food Bank, or Caritas Internationalis.

MaryEllen Fargey, a member of St. Helen Parish in Dayton and co-chair of the Weavers Legislative Advocacy/Food Sufficiency Task Force, said she chose to participate in the Challenge, “to see if I could do it and to experience what low income people go through.”

The experience taught her to plan ahead for shopping trips and meal preparation, to not be tempted by all the tantalizing, but unnecessary items on grocery store shelves, and to shop and eat more simply. Most of all, said Fargey, the Challenge renewed her sense of gratitude for what she has and commitment to helping those less fortunate.

“It was a reminder that I have choices that many people don’t,” she said, noting that as follow up to the Challenge, she hopes to collaborate with other individuals and agencies to petition dollar stores to carry fresh produce and more nutritious food items.

In a reflection she penned during the Challenge, Carol Adamson, a teacher at St. Peter School in Huber Heights, shared how the experience brought to mind the reality faced by low-income people. “I was having difficulty getting to sleep last night and knew it was because I was still hungry,” she wrote. “I started thinking about a turkey in my freezer and how I would fix it the week I’m off. Then, it struck me that those in poverty aren’t planning a meal two weeks in advance. They are wondering when their next meal will be.”

“What I am impressed with is the faithfulness that each participant showed in living within a budget for food and walking to get food in their neighborhood, said Pam Long, regional director of the Catholic Social Action Office. “I can see how the Holy Spirit blessed them with many insights so that they could stand in true solidarity with people who experience poverty every day of their life.”

This Body & Soul feature originally appeared in the May 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph. 

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Dan Misleh, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant spoke at Xavier University in March about Pope Francis and the environment. (Courtesy Photo)

Dan Misleh, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant spoke at Xavier University in March about Pope Francis and the environment. (Courtesy Photo)

By Walt Schaefer
For The Catholic Telegraph

As Catholics await an encyclical from Pope Francis addressing ecology, the topic continues to be an item of heated discussion around the globe.

As a prelude to the encyclical, Xavier University invited Cincinnati native Daniel J. Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant in Washington, D.C., to speak in March about the pope’s commitment to the environment.

Environmental concern “is part of what it means to be Catholic and part of what it means to take care of God’s creation,” Misleh said in an interview following his address to about 70 attendees at his alma mater. “The difference between us and some environmental organization is that we believe this is about both people and the planet.”

Often environmental organizations focus much of their work on the planet. “We’re saying this is both about creation and people and especially about poor people because they are the ones who are affected and suffer the worst consequences of environmental degradation and climate change,” Misleh said.

Misleh said he does not anticipate Pope Francis’ encyclical to at all deviate from Catholic teaching on the environment as expressed by his predecessors, popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. “This is part of what has already been written…part of what we have always been as Catholic people, but we have forgotten about it. Earth Day is 45 years old. Genesis goes back 1,400 years before Christ. This is something we need to begin to recover and reapply to this new situation we find ourselves in.

“This encyclical is an important moment not only for the Catholic Church but really for the world,” said Misleh. “With Pope Francis’ enormous popularity and with his moral authority, he now has the ability to bring people together around this mission of trying to be more respectful of a finite planet… We are one Catholic community. We are one global community and we need to try to solve these problems together. We can disagree on particular solutions, but I don’t know that we can disagree on whether or not there’s a problem. Scientists are telling us there is.

“Pope Francis has said a number of things about the environment from the very day after he was elected. He talked about why he chose the name Francis,” said Misleh, who grew up in Deer Park where his family still lives. “The reason was because St. Francis had a great concern for creation.”

Catholic Climate Covenant was founded 2006 to try to further implement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement on climate change from 2001. “We work with a number of national Catholic partners including the bishops’ conference and national Catholic groups to figure out ways to implement activities on the environment — specifically climate change — that are consistent with their own mission and audience and organization,” Misleh said.

“For example, Catholic relief services is beginning to see the impact of climate change, or these strange whether patterns, in the relief and development work they do in a variety of countries around the world. Catholic Charities are seeing more and more natural disasters beyond the norm and they are helping with the long-term disaster recovery process for a lot of people in a lot of states…,” Misleh said. “What we’re doing is trying to help folks understand that this is something the bishops thought about and this is part of what it means to be a Catholic Christian and part of what it means to take care of God’s creation.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 11.17.46 AMThis past Lent, I was part of a book discussion on, of all things, The Joy of the Gospel, popularly described as Pope Francis’ “blueprint” for the church.

One of the participants was basking in the glow of her recent conversion to Catholicism. She movingly shared with us one night her and her husband’s search for the truth. As a classic daughter of John Calvin, she never felt the love of Jesus as she now did as a Catholic. Additionally, she had a real sense for and appreciation of the Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ. She knew the lure of sin but also the power of forgiveness through her recent celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. She was, literally, exuding the joy of the Gospel. The other people around her were drawn in by her energy and enthusiasm for the faith. As cradle Catholics,  we all were reminded of truths that we so often take for granted. 

Sensing she had a sense of humor, I risked it though. I said, “Give it a couple of months. It’ll change.” I was quick to add, however, “Now you can enjoy Lenten Fish Fries.” Having recently worked one at our parish, I can tell you first hand, that I saw the joy of the Gospel realized. Though it may have been helped by Mad Tree, I saw many colleagues and neighbors gathered together sharing stories, eating food, and enjoying community and, in a more informal way, expressing the joy of the Gospel.

At the heart of Pope Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel is the invitation for Christians “to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them” (#3).

The Saturday morning following the fish fry, Jasper and I were seated in our chair when he saw a car pull up. I smiled as soon as I saw them. Jasper barked. Jehovah Witnesses. They had been to the door a few weeks before and were following up. For those of you who don’t know Jasper, he’s my shadow. This comes in handy with people at the door. As I have done in the past, with Jasper dutifully creating a safe zone, I thanked them for coming and told them, honestly, that I had a dentist appointment that I had to leave for. In our brief porch talk I said I appreciated their witness but that I was Catholic and planned on staying one. As they left, as they always do, I was handed a copy of their magazine, The Watchtower. En route to the dentist, it struck me, I wish I had had something to give to them…perhaps The Joy of the Gospel.

Why do I say that? In answering let me quote from a recent article on Pope Francis and The Joy of the Gospel. A Jesuit colleague of his writes: “In only two years, Pope Francis has changed the face of Catholicism by radically reimagining how it presents itself to the world. From the moment he stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s, he has presented a different style of being pope and a new set of priorities for the church.

Whether it’s a book or, more importantly, a way of life, Pope Francis reminds us that in the person of Jesus: “We have a treasure of life and love which cannot deceive, and a message which cannot mislead or disappoint. It penetrates to the depths of our hearts, sustaining and ennobling us. It is a truth which is never out of date because it reaches that part of us which nothing else can reach. Our infinite sadness can only be cured by an infinite love.”

What keeps me Catholic? The Joy of the Gospel — a book, a way of life, and, most importantly, a person — Jesus.

Daley is a freelance writer and teacher at St. Xavier High School.

This What Keeps Me Catholic column by Michael Daley originally appeared in the May 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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Jeanne HuntHow are you doing with resurrection? I not talking about the big “R” Easter Resurrection. I am talking about the everyday, personal resurrection. By this I mean those small, personal moments when we choose something more than defeat, failure, death.

Think about people who are facing hopeless situations, defeat, and sure failure. There is Molly, the young mother, whose beautiful, firstborn daughter is still struggling to learn to read in the first grade and so may not move forward with her friends to second grade. Then there is Jim, the guy with the four little boys, who lost his job. He was told they were consolidating the IT department. There are Sarah and Chet who discovered an empty baggie in their son’s desk with remnants of marijuana in it. Finally, I think of Brian, who had a near-fatal heart attack at the age of 37. 

In this Easter season, we believers have cause to connect the big “R” with the little ones. A banner in a church I visited said, “Christ is risen…we are rising.” It seems that resurrection is a chain reaction. Jesus Christ made it possible for us to rise above our hopeless situations and achieve personal victory. The tough part is that we must believe in something finer, something beyond what we know, in order to come to such victory. An elderly, holy priest said to me, “Every morning, getting out of bed is a personal resurrection.” He is nearly blind and is crippled with arthritis. He is no longer the man he used to be — on the outside. Yet, the inner man is filled with divine determination to get up and get going. His reference to his personal resurrection each morning helped me to start to see all the hopeless, human moments when new beginnings arise from the ashes of our ruin. Can we believe that something is stirring within us because of Jesus’ death and resurrection?

The secret is allowing the message of Easter to last beyond a church service on a spring Sunday. What began on that first Easter continues in our lives. We are challenged to believe that through Jesus Christ we have power over death, destruction, bad news, failing grades, addiction, broken hearts … and on and on. That power is rooted in God’s decision to take hold of our pitiful circumstances and do for us what He did for His Son. And that, my fellow believers, takes a mighty leap of faith on our part. Yet, I have seen it happen too many times not to conclude that it is very real. If we are who we say we are, disciples of the risen Jesus, then we must take Him at His word: “Everything is possible to one who has faith” (Mark 9:23). Do we dare to believe that dreams and even miracles can come to us?

What is so odd about personal resurrection is that God wants us to ask for His help and then presume it will happen. Too many times, we limit God by our expectations. We simply get what we expect. If we want a small God who never answers our prayers, God obliges. On the other hand, when we go to Him full of hope, mountains start to move.

One more thing is necessary in our personal resurrection events: God expects us to do what we can. While Jesus saves, we must pick up an oar and row for shore: Molly’s daughter will need her parents’ help catching up. Jim must turn over his situation to God and then go out every day to look for work. Chet and Sarah cannot ignore that empty baggie. It is time for them to confront their teenage son and keep a vigilant eye on his friends and activities. Brian will experience his resurrection through faithful adherence to his doctor’s advice and good cardiac rehab.

All of this breeds grace, an Easter grace. Grace is not a thing as many of us may remember from the milk bottles in the Baltimore Catechism. Grace is a verb. It is the relationship with the risen Lord.

Grace is knowing our Lord and walking with Him through the deep valleys and the mountains of our journey. When we meet Him heart to heart, something mystical heals and redeems us. Easter was not over when we walked out of church a few weeks ago. It is just beginning.

This Catholic Thoughts column by Jeanne Hunt originally appeared in the May 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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