Showing posts from August, 2011

Pope: God can be seen through art

During the general audience, Benedict XVI explained that through artwork mankind seeks to find a relationship with God. “Today we reflect on the need to draw near to God through the experience and appreciation of artistic beauty. Art is capable of making visible our need to go beyond what we see and it reveals our thirst for infinite beauty, for God,” said Benedict XVI.

The pope also made note that artwork not only adds to the culture of society but also serves as a means of communication with the heavens.

Benedict XVI
“The cities and countries around the world, preserve works of art that express the faith and reminds us of the relationship with God. Visiting places of art is then not only an occasion for cultural enrichment, but can also become a time of grace, to stimulate and strengthen our relationship and our dialogue with the Lord.”

Benedict XVI spoke about on how art can make us appreciate life and the gift that is given to each one of us.

Benedict XVI
“Stop and contemplate…

Judicial Tyranny: Federal Judge Forces Taxpayers to Subsidize Failing Planned Parenthood Clinics

 Let us persevere in our prayers for the closing of all Planned Parenthood businesses and for the removal of corrupt judges who support them.

Wichita, KS - Yesterday, Federal Court Judge J. Thomas Marten ordered the State of Kansas to immediately resume quarterly Title X payments to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri even though the state has no valid contract with Planned Parenthood that would legitimize such an order.

On August 1, 2011, Marten set aside a new Kansas law that allowed the state to reprioritize how Title X family planning funds were disbursed even though the state had already redirected the money to legitimate health care providers not associated with abortion. Planned Parenthood was back in court yesterday demanding that payments resume immediately. Kansas had offered to pay Planned Parenthood monthly - only for services rendered - while the case was on appeal, but Marten insisted on full quarterly payments regardless of services.

Read more.

St. Raymond Nonnatus, Patron of Expectant Mothers, Newborn Babies

The saint of the day is St. Raymond Nonnatus.

Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain in 1204, the son of wealthy parents. He was delivered by cesarean section when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). In his childhood, he seemed to find pleasure only in his devotions and serious duties. His father, sensing that Raymond was drawn to religious life, ordered him to manage one of the family farms. Raymond readily obeyed but spent his time with the shepherds and workers, studying and praying until his father abandoned the idea of making his son a worldly success.

Raymond later joined the Mercederians, which was founded by St. Peter Nolasco, who devoted to ransoming Christians captured by the Moors. He succeeded Peter as chief ransomer and went to Algeria to ransom slaves. He remained as hostage for several slaves when his money ran out and was sentenced to be impaled when the governor learned that he had converted several Mohammedans. He escaped the …

Pope begins search for new head of Doctrine of the Faith


Planned Parenthood May Close Kansas Center Unless $ Restored

The Planned Parenthood abortion business says it may close an abortion-referral center in Hays, Kansas, located in the central part of the state, unless the taxpayer funding Kansas officials revoked is restored.

The abortion business has been complaining that Kansas is not complying with a judge’s order temporarily enjoining a new state provision prioritizing family planning funds to non-abortion agencies.

Read more.

St. Jeanne Jugan

Saint Jeanne Jugan Sister Mary of the Cross (1792 – 1879)
The saint of the day is St. Jeanne Jugan, founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Jeanne Jugan was born in the small, impoverished village of Cancale, Brittany, France on October 25, 1792. Her father, who was a fisherman, was at sea most of the time and her mother died when she was four years old. Her mother taught the family the truths of the faith during the French Revolution at a time when the Catholic faith was under persecution and its truths were suppressed.

At age 16, Jeanne obtained work as a maid for a Christian woman who was devoted to helping the sick and the poor, and Jeanne accompanied her on these visits. As a result of this experience as well as her deep personal relationship with God, Jeanne chose to dedicate her life to God.

At age 25, she left her hometown and went to a nearby city to minister to the sick and poor by working in a hospital. However, after six years of this type of work, she became exhausted, an…

Novenas for Every Month of the Year

Novenas are very popular and traditional methods of Catholic prayer. Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine. A novena is when a series of private or public prayer to obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special petitions. The prayers are given for nine days straight for the special intention. The novena is offered as a sacrifice to God. God sees a novena as a sign of devotion especially when the person saying the novena asks for a specific reason. There are many novenas to choose from to different saints.

Novenas can be made in public such as in a chapel or church or private in your own home. It takes only a few minutes a day to complete the prayers of the day.

Find a calendar of novenas here.

Novena for the Unemployed

Novena to Saint Cajetan
Patron of the Unemployed, Job Seekers

Cajetan was ordained priest in 1516. He left the papal court and dedicated himself entirely to the service of the Lord. With his own hands he cared for the sick. Such zeal did he show for the salvation of his fellowmen that he was surnamed the "huntsman for souls."

St. Cajetan often prayed eight hours daily. While attending the Christmas celebration at St. Mary of the Crib, he is said to have been given the grace of receiving from Mary the Child Jesus into his arms.

St. Cajetan founded in 1524 a community of priests who were to lead an apostolic life. They were to look with disdain all earthly belongings, to accept no salaries from the faithful; only from that which was freely donated were they allowed to retain the means of livelihood.

He founded a bank to help the poor and offer an alternative to usurers (loan sharks). It later became the Bank of Naples. His concern for the unemployed, giving them the necessary f…

Prayer of an Expecting Mother

Lord Jesus, I lovingly pray for this sweet hope that I keep within my womb. You have granted me the immense gift of a tiny little life, living in my own life, and I humbly thank you for choosing me as an instrument of your love. In this sweet waiting, help me to live in a constant attitude of self-surrender to your will.

Grant me a motherly heart that is pure, steadfast and generous. I hand over to you my own concerns; any anxious fears that may come, my own wishes for the little person that I still have no knowledge of. Grant that it may be born healthy in body, keep far from it every peril to its soul.

Mary, you have known the ineffable joy of a holy motherhood; give me a heart that can transmit an ardent, living faith. Sanctify my waiting, bless this joyful hope that is in me, grant that the fruit of my womb may open out in virtue and in holiness through your working with that of your divine Son. Amen.

What does it mean to be Catholic?


Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

We celebrated the birthday of St. John the Baptist on June 24; today we honor the anniversary of his martyrdom.

Shortly after he had baptized Jesus, John the Baptist began to denounce Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Herod had divorced his own wife and taken Herodias, the wife of his half- brother Philip and also his own niece. John the Baptist declared, "It is not lawful for you to have her," so Herod threw him into prison.

Not only did Herod fear John and his disciples, he also knew him to be a righteous man, so he did not kill him. Herodias was determined to bring about John's death. From prison John followed Jesus's ministry, and sent messengers to question him (Luke 7:19-29). One day Herod gave an eloquent banquet to celebrate his birthday. His entire court was present as well as other powerful and influential Palestinians. Herodias's daughter Salome so pleased Herod when she danced to entertain the company that he promised her whatever she would ask-…

Book Review: Unplanned by Abby Johnson

By Abby Johnson (author) with Cindy Johnson (contributor) release date: January 11, 2011 Salt River Publishing,  pages 288, Amazon: hardcover - $12.01, paperback -$9.87

Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, freelance writer, wife and mother,  prayer warrior and sidewalk counselor, former crisis pregnancy counselor, graduate student in theology, retired educator, psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity of hearing Abby Johnson speak and of meeting her at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference here in Wichita just a few weeks ago. At that conference, she gave me her signed copy of Unplanned for review.

I thought I had a pretty good idea of what happened with Abby Johnson when she resigned as Planned Parenthood director in Texas in 2009 and walked across the road to join the Coalition for Life – after all, it had been in all the national news reports, the blogs – even my own. I knew some of the basic facts, yes, but that was all I knew. Unpl…

St. Monica, Patron of Married Women and Mothers

Today is the memorial of St. Monica - a saint admire so much for her tenacity, patience, and perseverance in prayer for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine. A persistent prayer warrior, Monica never gave up on her son, Augustine, a great sinner, who later became so strongly drawn to the faith that he was eventually canonized, as one of the Church's greatest teachers and philosophers, and was designated a doctor of the Church.

Monica was born in 332 to Christian parents in Tagaste, northern Africa and married at the age 13 or 14 to an older man named Patricius, who was neither wealthy nor Christian. The marriage was indeed a cross for Monica.  Patricius was irritable and unfaithful and her live-in mother-in-law criticized her constantly. Monica sought refuge in God through an intimate prayer life and in caring for her three children: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua.  In answer to her constant prayers, both her mother-in-law and her husband Patricius converted to Christianit…

Pope meets with his former students to discuss the New Evangelization


What New Wives Need to Know

SIMCHA FISHER from the National Catholic Register writes:

1. You’re just an amateur, and that’s why your marriage isn’t perfect. The first meal I cooked was disgusting, indigestible—but I learned over time, and now I have the hang of it (with the occasional mealtime disaster). It’s the same with marriage, which is a much more complicated recipe to follow. Be patient with yourself and your husband, and be patient with the relationship. You’re in it for the long haul. Things that are worth doing take time to learn.

2. Do not mention divorce. Do not even allow words beginning with the letter “d” to cross your brain. If you’re hurt and angry with your husband, but it was a valid marriage and he isn’t doing any of the things listed in those abuse hotline posters in the YMCA bathroom, then remember that you married a human being, not a god. You can either work it out or learn to live with it, but no, you cannot leave.

Read more

5th Anniversary of the Community of St. John Founder, Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe

Today is not only the birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but it is also the 5th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Community of St. John, Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, who died at the age of 93.

I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting our beloved founder, Fr. Philippe, just months before he returned to his eternal reward.

The following message from Sr Nirmala, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, was sent to the Community on the day of Fr Philippe's death:

"It is wonderful to hear that Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe returned to God on Aug 26, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the link with our beloved Holy Father John Paul II, and which is also the birthday of our Mother, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. With these three in Heaven, we can expect great things for the Church!"

Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe (1912-2006), a Dominican priest from France, taught philosophy and theology at the Saulchoir at Etiolles (the Dominican…

St. Francis' Prayer to Discern God's Will

MOST HIGH, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart, and give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, wisdom and understanding, Lord, that I may carry out your holy and true command.

St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars

Today is the feast day of St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars (also known as Saint Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars), the Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Poor.

Born in 1843 at Catalonia, Spain, she was raised on a farm and later became a teacher at Lérida. She had been preparing to take her final vows as a Poor Clare nun, when the government suppressed all convents and she was sent home. She struggled to understand why God would permit this to happen and for several years asked Him what she was to do with her life. Then, she met a priest/spiritual director who provided the answer. Along with Father Saturnino Lopez Novoa, she opened a shelter for the poor and the elderly. At the age 29, in Barbastro, Spain, Teresa founded the community known today as the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Poor. By the time of her death, at age 54, she had established more than 100 shelters in Spain and 58 congregation houses. Today the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Poor have more than 200 ho…

Our Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna)

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna).

The Black Madonna was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist; and it was while painting the picture, Mary told him about the life of Jesus, which he later incorporated into his gospel. The next time we hear of the painting is in 326 A.D. when St. Helen found it in Jerusalem and gave it to her son and had a shrine built for it in Constantinople. During a battle, the picture was placed on the walls of the city, and the enemy army fled. Our Lady saved the city from destruction. The picture was owned by many other people until 1382 when invading Tartars attacked a Prince Ladislaus' fortress, where the painting was located. A Tartar's arrow lodged into through the throat of the Madonna. The Prince transferred the painting to a church in Czestochowa, Poland.

In 1430, the church was invaded and a looter struck the painting two times with his sword, but before he could strike it another time, he fell to the ground in agony…

Father Barron on World Youth Day


Priests in China arrested for not supporting illicit ordination

A group of priests and lay people were arrested in the city of Tianshui, in northeastern China. They are being held in separate cells and forced to attend political study sessions four hours everyday.

The Chinese Patriotic Church is controlled by the Chinese government. They arrested priests and Catholics that are faithful to the Church of Rome. It was done in an effort to support the new bishop proposed by the Patriotic Church for the city of Tianshui.

China has no official relationship with the Vatican. The Vatican has said those involved in illicit ordinations by the Chinese government would be excommunicated.

~ Via Rome Reports.

Archbishop Chaput: New York Times, CNN, MSNBC can’t be trusted on abortion, faith

When it comes to finding information on vital issues like abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and faith, the mainstream media simply can’t be trusted, the incoming archbishop of Philadelphia told a group of youth in Spain last week.

“Being uninformed about the world and its problems and issues is a sin against our vocation as disciple,” Archbishop Charles Chaput told his audience during a special World Youth Day session in Madrid. And yet, he went on to note, the Christian believer is faced with a unique challenge in finding accurate sources of information on key issues.

“In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex marriage, and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only of Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers,” he said.

“And with relatively few exceptions, the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance, laziness, and bias against traditiona…

St. Louis IX, Confessor, King of France

Today is the optional memorial of St. Louis IX, (1215-1270).

Louis IX, King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, was born at Poissy, April 25, 1215. Louis was twelve years old when his father's death made him king. At that time, his mother Queen Blanche of Castile, was declared regent and remained an important influence throughout his life.

Louis had tutors who made him a master of Latin, taught him to speak easily in public and write with dignity and grace. But Blanche's primary concern was to implant in him a deep regard and awe for everything related to religion. She used often to say to him as he was growing up, "I love you my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should commit a mortal sin."

At nineteen, he married Marguerite of Provence and the couple had eleven children. Louis was a model father and his children received careful instruction from him in the Christian life.


Quote of the Day: Rep. Chris Smith

“The one child per couple policy is cruel, inhumane and the most egregious systematic attack on women ever. For the Vice President to publicly state that he fully understands the one child policy is unconscionable. He and all of us should be defending the women of China from this state-sponsored cruelty of forced abortion and forced sterilization, not supporting and enabling it.”

~ Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.)

Read the full story.

Pope announces slogan for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro 2013

Just a few days after announcing that World Youth Day 2013 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we now know the official slogan for the the next WYD.

Benedict XVI made the announcement during Wednesday's general audience.

Benedict XVI
"For World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, the theme will be based on Jesus' calling: 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' I ask for everyone's prayers while this important event is prepared.”

Brazil is the country with the most Catholics. Aside from hosting World Youth Day in 2013, Rio de Janeiro will also host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr

Today is the feast of St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles who is mentioned only a few times in the Synoptic Gospels. In Mark 3:18 he is one of the twelve Jesus calls to be with him. Luke 6:14 lists him as one of the apostles, as does Matthew 10:2b - 3a. John's gospel does not mention Bartholomew, but refers to a Nathaniel, whom ancient writers and Catholic tradition have identified as Bartholomew. Besides being listed as an apostle, he is not otherwise mentioned in the New Testament. The name (Bartholomaios) means "son of Talmai" which was an ancient Hebrew name.

Philip shared the news of Jesus' ascension with  Batholomew/Nathanael: “We have found Him whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, wrote! Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile.” (John 1:45-49) His innocence and simplicity of heart deserved to be celebrated with this high praise in the divine mouth of Our Redeemer. And Na…

St. Rose of Lima

August 23 is the optional memorial of St. Rose of Lima, a Third Order Dominican, and the first canonized saint of the New World.

Isabella Flores de Oliva was born April 20, 1586 to Spanish immigrants in Lima, Peru. At her confirmation, she took the name of Rose, because as an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose.

She was pious from an early age. At age five, she built a small chapel for herself in the family garden. When she made her first confession, she obtained permission from her confessor to make a vow of virginity.

Rose had a strong devotion for Jesus and His Holy Mother and spent long hours praying before the Blessed Sacrament. With St. Catherine of Siena as her model, Rose fasted three times a week, offered up severe penances, and when her vanity was attacked, she cut off her beautiful hair, and wore coarse clothing. She frequently deprived herself of food, water, and sleep. As a result of her exterior mortification, she had interior mystical experienc…

2 Million attend World Youth Day in Madrid


Book Review: Stealing Jenny

By Ellen Gable , release date: September 15, 2011, Full Quiver Publishing, Pakenham, Ontario, pages, Paperback $12.99 (Amazon).

Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, freelance writer, wife and mother, graduate student in theology, retired educator, psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John.

In her third novel, Stealing Jenny, Ellen Gable masterfully creates a tight, compelling, and totally gripping tale of mystery and suspense. It grabs the reader’s interest and attention from the very first page to the last, moving at a quick pace from one action-packed scene to the next.

Stealing Jenny is the tale of Jenny Callahan, a Catholic wife and mother who, after three heart-breaking miscarriages, is now happily anticipating the birth of her sixth child. Jenny is nearing the end of a risky pregnancy and is eager to hold her newborn safely in her arms. Little does she realize that a mentally unbalanced neighbor has been stalking her and is plotting to take her baby from her. At a rural bus…

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, we are commemorating a beautiful Marian Feast, that of the Queenship of Mary. This special Liturgical Feast was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954 through his Encyclical Letter "Ad Caeli Reginam."

The Holy Catholic Church made this proclamation based upon the fact that whether in time of peace or in time of war, the faithful have incessantly offered prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven.

Following the tremendous destruction that occurred during World War II and considering the reality that the threat of a similar catastrophe filled the faithful with a great anguish, the Church turned its eyes towards Mary, the Heavenly Queen, in the hope of her protection. Mary has never failed those who have sought her intercession in prayer, placing their total trust in her.

Mary’s queenship has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. (Luke 1:3…

St. Bernard of Clairvaux: Abbott and Doctor of the Church

Today is the memorial of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot and doctor of the Church.

Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. Bernard is also known as the second founder of the Cistercians, the Mellifluous Doctor, and the last of the Fathers of the Holy Church.

He was born to a noble family at Fontaines, near Dijon, France in 1090, the third of seven children, six of whom were sons.

Bernard left his privileged life near Dijon, France, to join the Cistercians at the age of 22. He was well educated and so passionate about his faith that he convinced 30 of his relatives -- including all of his brothers, his uncle, and later his widowed father -- as well as many friends to join him at the abbey. Bernard first entered the abbey at Citeaux, but only three years later wa…

World Youth Day Madrid: Pope participates in the Stations of the Cross


Saint of the Day: St. John Eudes

Today is the optional memorial of St. John Eudes, a priest and member of a religious community, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

John Eudes was born at Ri, Normandy, France, on November 14, 1601, the son of a farmer. He went to the Jesuit college at Caen when he was 14. Despite his parents' wishes that he marry, he joined the religious order of the Oratorians in France and was ordained a priest at the age of 24. John worked as a volunteer, caring for the victims of the plagues that struck Normandy in 1625 and 1631. In order to avoid infecting his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague.

At age 32, John became a parish missionary, building a reputation as an outstanding preacher and confessor. He was known for his opposition to Jansenism, which taught that human nature was corrupt, original sin rampant, and perfect…

Pope met by horse shows and muscial group on his way to Plaza de Cibeles


Benedict XVI at WYD: "Let no one take away your peace, don't be ashamed of Christ"

Benedict XVI is now in Madrid. The papal plane landed at Barajas airport at noon. He was then greeted by the local Church and civil authorities, including the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, who thanked the pope for his third visit to Spain.

The King of Spain also took time to remember the visits of John Paul II.

Don Juan Carlos
King of Spain
“We dedicate a special remembrance to John Paul II who also made his third trip to Spain in 1989 for the fourth World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela. For the second time, this youth event has returned to Spain and welcomes young people from every corner of the Earth.”

The king spoke about the high unemployment currently facing many Spanish youth.

The pope also noted the concerns expressed by young people in finding work or feeling discrimination for their faith.

Benedict XVI
“I say again to young people, with all the strength of my heart: let no one take away your peace, don't be ashamed of Christ. He had no qualms about becoming one of u…

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Madrid for World Youth Day


Pro-life 'flash mob launches massive balloon rosary above the Chicago skyline

 This is so awesome! Thanks be to God for these wonderful, youthful pro-lifers!

Last Friday, a pro-life “flash mob” launched a massive 75-foot floating LIFE balloon rosary over the streets of Chicago.

The rosary, crafted of helium-filled yellow balloons bearing the word LIFE and a six-foot gold cross, was the work of 20 elementary-school-aged girls and their counselors from a summer camp at St. John Cantius Catholic parish. It was carried by the girls through downtown Chicago traffic following a prayer vigil in front of a local abortion clinic.

The floating rosary was the latest in a series of pro-life “flash mobs” utilizing the yellow balloons across the U.S.

Read the full story

Over a Million gather in Madrid for World Youth Day


Saint of the Day: Saint Helena

It was the pious boast of the city of Colchester, England, for many ages, that St. Helena was born within its walls; and though this honor has been disputed, it is certain that she was a British princess. She embraced Christianity late in life; but her incomparable faith and piety greatly influenced her son Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and served to kindle a holy zeal in the hearts of the Roman people. Forgetful of her high dignity, she delighted to assist at the Divine Office amid the poor; and by her alms-deeds showed herself a mother to the indigent and distressed.

In her eightieth year she made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, with the ardent desire of discovering the cross on which our blessed Redeemer suffered. After many labors, three crosses were found on Mount Calvary, together with the nails and the inscription recorded by the Evangelists. It still remained to identify the true cross of Our Lord. By the advice of the bishop, Macarius, the three were applied successive…

Can you make some book suggestions for this reader?

A reader asks: I am looking for a new book for my parish womens book study group. We have done several of the Kimberly Hahn books and the Courageous Woman of the Bible book. They also did Familia recently. Any book suggestions? Thanks!

Here is one suggestion that I have for you.  I highly recommend "Come My Beloved" edited by Ellen Gable Hrkach and Kathy Cassanto, released June 15, 2011. You can read my review here. 

What suggestions do you have for this reader?

Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Secret


World Youth Day Film Festival

Pilgrims in Madrid will have plenty to do these days during World Youth Day. On Wednesday night, one of the main attractions is a film festival in the city's Fuencarral street.

Many are looking forward to seeing the movie titled “Cristiada.” It's a Hollywood film that follows the religious persecution of Christians in Mexico in the late 1920's. Among the featured actors are Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria.

Another popular thriller movie is “There be Dragons,” which combines the Spanish civil war with the life of Josemaria Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei.

Also on the list is Of Gods and Men,” a French film that has won several international awards. It tells the story of a group of monks who try to survive in Algeria amid threats of fundamental terrorists.

In total, the crowd will be able to see 20 films and documentaries. What's more, they'll also be able to meet with some producers, directors and even actors.

For those registered in World Youth Day the film fe…


Fr. John Hay from the Catholic Diocese of Wichita speaks on Friendship:

ACLU sues Kansas’ insurance law limiting abortion coverage

A new Kansas law that bans insurers from providing elective abortion coverage is the state’s third abortion-related measure to draw a legal challenge this summer.

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union contends the law is unconstitutional and discriminates against women because it doesn’t apply similar insurance limits on men’s health care needs.

Read more

St. Hyacinth: Apostle of Poland

The saint of the day for August 17 is St. Hyacinth, a Dominican missionary, known as “the Apostle of Poland.”

Born in Oppeln, Poland, he studied at Krakow, Prague, and Bologna and received the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. Accompanying his uncle, Bishop Ivo Konski of Krakow, to Rome, he there met Saint Dominic and was among the first to be enrolled in the new Order of Friars Minor. He received the Dominican habit in 1220 from St. Dominic.

Hyacinth founded communities in Sandomir, Kracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Russia, reaching the shores of the Black Sea.

During an attack on a monastery, Hyacinth managed to save a crucifix and statue of Mary, though the statue weighed far more than he could normally have lifted.

He died in Krakow, Poland, on August 15, 1257, and was canonized in 1594. St. Hyacinth is the patron…

What is World Youth Day?

World Youth Day began with John Paul II's invitation to young people in 1984 to come to Rome for Palm Sunday. More than 300,000 turned out for the celebration.The following year - 1985 - coincided with the United Nations International Year of Youth. On Palm Sunday that year, young Catholics came to Rome once again.

St. Stephen of Hungary

Today's saint of the day is Stephen of Hungary, the first Christian king of Hungary. Born a pagan, Stephen was baptized at age 10, along with his father, and was raised as a Christian. In 996, at age 20, he married Gisela, the daughter of Duke Henry II of Bavaria and devoted much of his reign to the promotion of the Christian faith. He gave his patronage to Church leaders, helped build churches, and was a proponent of the rights of the Holy See.

Stephen also crushed the pagan counterreaction to Christianity, and converted the so-called Black Hungarians after their failed rebellion. In recognition of his efforts, Stephen was crowned king of Hungary in 1000, receiving the cross and the crown from Pope Sylvester II. His crown and regalia became beloved symbols of the Hungarian nation, and Stephen was venerated as the ideal Christian king.

The secret of St. Stephen's amazing success in leading his people to the Christian faith was his deep devotion to the…