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Showing posts from February, 2012

Brief Blogging Break

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It's that time again -- time for me to take a brief break from blogging, while I focus on my graduate studies in theology. Please keep me in your prayers, as I deal with some minor health problems and finish up some special projects.

Thank you!

Stay tuned... I shall return soon.

God bless you! :)

Winners of the DVD Drawing

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The winners of the drawing for "The Way" DVDs are:
GardeniaGraceSarah D.Congratulations!

Please send me your full name and mailing address via email at:
jean.heimann@gmail.com

Many thanks to The Maximus Group for the DVDs.

Benedictine nun set to make splash at this years Oscar ceremony

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February 24, 2012. (Romereports.com) Among the Holywood stars walking the red carpet at this year's Oscars, will be this 73 year old Benedictine nun. She now goes by the name Mother Dolores and she belongs to the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. But long before she was known as Dolores Hart, a rising young actress.


She is the subject of a new documentary “God is Bigger than Elvis” that has been nominated for an academy award. It's her life story, from an acting career that placed her in 11 movies alongside Elvis Presley to taking solemn vows to lead the cloistered life of a nun.

She starred in films as diverse as “Where the Boys Are” alongside George Hamilton, to the 1961 film “Francis of Assisi”.

This new documentary will focus not only on her Hollywood career and life as a nun, but also the daily activities of her sisters, that work to keep a farm on their monastery.

The documentary is set to premiere on HBO this April 5th. Those in Hollywood are callin…

Doonby brings a Pro-life theme into pop culture

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February 24, 2012. (Romereports.com) Norma McCorvey, better known as Jane Roe, from the 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade is set to have a cameo in the 2012 film Doonby. The film is a thriller about a woman determined to terminate her pregnancy in the 1960s.

It's set in the small Texas town of Smithville, where a handsome drifter rolls into town on an inter-state bus.

The drifter, played by John Schneider, catches the eye of the local doctor´s daughter. His musical charm and knack for being in the right place at the right time evoke suspicions in the town, which eventually drives him out.

Peter Mackenzie, the writer and director of the film took 15 years to pen the script. He initially did not include McCorvey´s cameo role, but after meeting her lawyer who happened to live in the town in which the film was set, Mackenzie wrote her part in.

The film will be in released in select theaters around the U.S. February 24th.

Related: Praised by Vatican official, 'Doonby' hit…

Fight Obama’s HHS Mandate: NATIONWIDE Rally March 23

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In response to President Obama’s HHS Mandate, the Pro-Life Action League is partnering with Citizens for a Pro-Life Society in calling for a national day of prayer and protest.

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom will take place in cities and towns all across the country on March 23 at Noon.

Thousands of faithful, pro-life Americans will meet at U.S. government sites—Federal Buildings, Congressional offices and historic sites—to stand up for religious freedom and demand that Obama rescind the HHS Mandate.

Over 50 cities and towns have already signs on to be a part of the Nationwide Rally on March 23, with more locations being added to the map every day.

~ Via Eric Schiedler.

St. Matthias, Apostle and Martyr

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Today's saint of the day is St. Matthias, apostle and martyr.

St. Matthias was the one chosen to replace Judas to make up the number of apostles to twelve once more. Matthias was one of the first followers of Jesus -- one of his seventy-two disciples; but not one of the original apostles. And yet, he was to have this great glory, for it was of him that David spoke, when he prophesied that another would fill the vacancy left by Judas the traitor. Two Apostles were nominated for the position and lots were drawn to see which of them should be made one of the Twelve: the choice fell on Matthias.

St. Matthias received the Holy Spirit with the rest of the Apostles soon after his election and he joined them in converting nations to the faith. Greek tradition tells us that tells us that St. Matthias planted the faith about Cappadocia and on the coasts of the Caspian sea. We are also told that he was beheaded. His relics were taken to Jerusalem by the empress Helena when she went to the Ho…

Last Day for The Way DVD Giveaway

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To celebrate the DVD release of the inspiring, award wining movie, The Way, this week, I will be giving away three DVDs. All you need to do to is to comment on Thursday's post to enter.

Related Posts on Catholic Fire:

Movie Trailer: Emilio Estevez’s “The Way” starring Martin Sheen

DVD Giveaway of The Way Today

DVD Giveaway Coming This Thursday...

Priest Gives Obama's Mandate "The Finger (?)"

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Take Action! Vote for Catholic Fire Today!

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May I ask for your help?

The About.com Readers’ Choice Awards for Catholic websites has opened voting. This blog is a finalist for Best Catholic Blog. ClickHEREto go to the page to VOTE for Catholic Fire.


Every voter can cast one vote in every category every day of the voting period.

Therefore, I ask you to helpCatholic Fire and vote each day until the voting closes.

In addition, @CatholicFire has been selected by the readers of the About.com Catholicism GuideSite (http://Catholicism.About.com) as one of the five finalists for Best Catholic to Follow on Twitter in the 2012 About.com Catholicism Readers' Choice Awards! I would appreciate your vote in that category as well.

Thank you so much for your votes!

God bless you!

All Voting Categories in the About Catholicism Readers’ Choice Awards:

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DVD Giveaway of The Way Today

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To celebrate the DVD release of the inspiring, award wining movie, The Waythis week, I will be giving away three DVDs. All you need to do to is to comment on this post to enter.

The buzz on The Way reached the Vatican this past weekend when Cardinal Timothy Dolan made a reference to the film in his historic address before Pope Benedict XVI and the entire College of Cardinals at the “Day of Reflection and Prayer.” Cardinal Dolan’s reference of The Way was folded into a highly anticipated address on evangelization.

In his remarks, Cardinal Dolan said, “A movie popular at home now is The Way, starring a popular actor, Martin Sheen,” Dolan said. “Perhaps you have seen it. He plays a grieving father whose estranged son dies while walking the Camino di Santiago di Campostella in Spain. The father decides, in his grief, to complete the pilgrimage in place of his dead son. He is an icon of a secular man: self-satisfied, dismissive of God and religion, calling himself a ‘former Catholic,’ …

Favorite Quotes for Lent 2012

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"Look at His adorable face.
Look at His glazed and sunken eyes.
Look at His wounds.
Look Jesus in the Face.
There, you will see how He loves us."

~ St. Therese of Lisieux

"Yes, I love the cross, the cross alone, because I always see it behind Jesus' shoulders."
~ St. Pio of Pietrelcina

"How can we complain when He Himself was considered 'as one struck by God and afflicted'." (Isa. 53:4)
~ St. Therese of Lisieux

"Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ."
~Pope John Paul II

"We all suffer for each other, and gain by each other's suffering; for man never stands alone here, though he will stand alone hereafter; but here is he is a social being, and goes forward to his long home as one of a large company."
~Cardinal Newman

"Nothing, how little so ever it be, if it is suffered for God's sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God."
~Thomas a Kempis

"As Lent is the time for g…

St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

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Today's saint is St. Polycarp of Smyrna (- 155), a disciple of the Apostles, bishop of Smyrna, and a friend of St Ignatius of Antioch. He is one of the earliest Christians whose writings still survive.

St. Polycarp was one of the immediate disciples of the Apostles, in particular St. John the Evangelist. He embraced Christianity very young and was named bishop of Smyrna, a post which he held for 70 years. He was greatly respected by the faithful, wrote many letters and formed many holy disciples. His epistle to the Philippians - the only one to be preserved - demonstrates his apostolic spirit, his profound humility and meekness, and his great charity.

St. Polycarp fought against heresy. He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and an energetic opponent of heresy, especially Marcionism and Valentinianism (the most influential of the Gnostic sects). He also taught that Christians must walk in truth, do God’s will, keep all of His commandments, and love whatever He loved. Christians mu…

A Blushing Bride at 100

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Pope explains the significance of Lent and Ash Wednesday

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February 22, 2012. (Romereports.com) During the Pope's general audience, Benedict XVI talked about the meaning of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. The Pope explained the significance of having 40 days of Lent. He also described it as a time for “spiritual renovation.”

FULL TEXT OF CATECHESIS:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, the beginning of her Lenten journey towards Easter. The entire Christian community is invited to live this period of forty days as a pilgrimage of repentance, conversion and renewal.

In the Bible, the number forty is rich in symbolism. It recalls Israel’s journey in the desert, a time of expectation, purification and closeness to the Lord, but also a time of temptation and testing. It also evokes Jesus’ own sojourn in the desert at the beginning of his public ministry, a time of profound closeness to the Father in prayer, but also of confrontation with the mystery of evil.

The Church’s Lenten discipline is me…

Ash Wednesday: A Journey Into the Desert

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Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.

(Joel 2: 12-13)


It's that time of year again -- the time of both internal and external recollection that we are setting out on a journey. On Ash Wednesday, the ashes placed on our forehead invite us to begin a new journey of repentance. They invite us to turn back to God and to receive new life. Once again, we are called to let God penetrate deeper into our lives, for indeed, turning back to Him with our whole hearts is a submission to His holy will.

Lent is a time when we permit God to purify our hearts allow Him to unite our wills with His. Lent is a time of interior spring cleaning and obtaining new strength and great graces from God. This is the time of year to take a good look inside of ourselves and take invent…

2,500 Religious Leaders Sign Letter Protesting Obama Mandate

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Family Research Council President Tony Perkins
What a wonderful way to start the day!

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins led a news conference today during which he is unveiling a new letter signed by more than 2,500 Catholic, evangelical, Protestant, Jewish and other religious leaders opposing the new Obamacare mandate.

The leaders are urging President Obama to reverse his mandate decision and protect the conscience rights of those who have moral and religious opposition to funding or providing contraceptives and abortifacients.

“It took just three weeks, but every single Catholic Bishop in America has officially condemned the President’s mandate. Even though the media has mostly buried this fact, one hundred percent of them oppose the rule that orders faith-based groups to pay for drugs that destroy pregnancies or prevent them. It’s a formidable group, and today, they do not stand alone,” Perkins said. “Every pocket of religious America is linking arms at the front lines …

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Happy National Pancake Week!

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Check out the delicious recipes here for Shrove Tuesday and National Pancake Week.

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Ash Wednesday in the Basilica of Santa Sabina

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February 21, 2012. (Romereports.com) Next Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent when Catholics bare the traditional cross of ashes on their forehead, as a sign of penance.

This year, Benedict XVI will receive ashes from Cardinal Josef Tomko, who will recite “Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.”


For about 1,200 years, tradition marks that Pope usually leave the Vatican on Ash Wednesday, to celebrate the date in one of Rome's basilicas.

For decades now, the ceremony has taken place at the Basilica of San Anselmo in Rome's Avventino Hill. The pope then heads a procession that ends at the Basilica of Santa Sabina. The uphill procession symbolizes the effort Catholics make to be Holy.

A few days later, the Pope will suspend all meetings for seven days to take a spiritual retreat. It will begin on Sunday February 26 and conclude on Saturday March 3.

Preaching will be Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of the Congo. He's one of the important figures…

St. Peter Damian: Monk, Bishop, Cardinal, Reformer, Doctor of the Church

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Today is the optional memorial of St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, who was one of the Church's greatest reformers in the Middle Ages.

Peter was the youngest child born to a large family in Ravenna, Italy in 1007. His parents both died when he was young and he was placed in the care of one of his brothers, who treated him like a slave. His oldest brother, a priest in Ravenna, rescued him and sent him away to study. Peter was brilliant and excelled in his studies (theology and cannon law), later returning to Ravena as a professor. Unable to endure the scandals and distractions of university life, he joined a group of Benedictine monks living in northern Italy. There he became a prior at the young age of 36: a position he held unto his death. While at the hermitage, Peter performed austere penances to the extent that he developed near permanent insomnia and was forced to modify them.

Although living in the cloister, Peter kept close watch on the Church and worked f…

Santorum: Religious Liberty is at Stake

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Lenten Activities 2012

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When is Lent this year?

This coming Wednesday, February 22, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent ends with the start of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Good Thursday, April 5, and Easter Sunday is April 8.

What is Lent?

Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting, prayer and almsgiving in preparation for Easter. It is a time of preparation for the full celebration of the gift of love offered to us our Lord through the Pascal Mystery.

"Lent is a retreat that the Church gives us in order to re-focus on what should be first in our lives. The purpose of Jesus' life was to glorify the Father and save the world. ..Lent is not first a time of giving up but a time to re-choose to be the victim of Christ, the Lamb. It is a time to live the Beatitudes.”

~Fr. Dominique, O.P., founder of the Community of St. John

Lenten Ideas for Adults

Fasting

Fast from watching TV one night a week so that you can spend time on a Lenten practice, such as praying, reading the Bible, and…

DVD Giveaway Coming This Thursday...

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The inspiring, award winning movie,The Way, starring the fabulous father and son duo Martin Sheen and Emilio Estev, will be released on DVD this Tuesday, Feb.21st. This week, I will be giving away three DVDs.

I will ask readers to comment on my post offering the giveaways promoting The Way and then select the names randomly from those posted. The dates for commenting will be Thursday, February 23 (The day after Ash Wednesday) and Friday, February 24.

Remember to stop by and comment on the promotional post on Thursday. Good luck!

Pope names 22 new Cardinals, calls them to sacrifice

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Pope Benedict XVI receives Cardinal Timothy Dolan and gives him his biretta on Feb. 18, 2012
It's official. Saturday morning the Pope named 22 new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica. Benedict XVI constantly smiled as he individually blessed the new cardinals and bestowed the traditional red brimmed hat over their heads.

“The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love,” the Pope said in his homily for the Feb. 18 consistory ceremony, which was held in St. Peter’s Basilica.

He then reflected on the significance of the red birettas that he would later place on the heads of the new cardinals. “Love for God, love for his Church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters, even unto shedding their blood, if necessary, as expressed in the words of placing the biretta and as indicated by the color of their robes.”

In total, 22 new cardinals were created this morning, including two from the United States. They are Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of N…

Blessed Francisco and Jacinto Marto

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Today we commemorate Blessed Francisco and Jacinto Marto, the visionaries at Fatima.

Francisco, 11, and Jacinta, 10, are the youngest non-martyrs to be beatified in the history of the Church. The brother and sister, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lucia Santo in the fields of Fatima, Portugal, witnessed the apparitions of Mary, now commonly known as Our Lady of Fatima.

During the first apparition, which took place May 13, 1917, Our Lady asked the three children to say the Rosary and to make sacrifices, offering them for the conversion of sinners. The children did, praying often, giving their lunch to beggars and going without food themselves. They offered up their daily crosses and even refrained from drinking water on hot days.

In October 1918, Francisco and Jacinta became seriously ill with the Spanish flu. Our Lady appeared to them and said she would to take them to heaven soon.

Bed-ridden, Francisco requested his first Communion. The following day, Francisco…

Blessed Fra Angelico

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Today is a special day for my community. It is the feast of Blessed Fra Angelico.

Bl. John of Fiesole, popularly known as Bl. Fra Angelico, was a Dominican painter in the mid-fifteenth century known for the beauty of his paintings and the holiness of his priestly life. Nicknamed “Angelico” by his brothers, his Dominican consecration and life are worthy of imitation as he preached Jesus Christ by his life, his words, and his paintings.

Given the name Guido at Baptism, this saint was born near Vicchio, in the vicinity of Florence, at the end of the 14th century. From his youth he practiced the art of painting. Having entered the Dominican convent in Fiesole, he was given the name Brother Giovanni (Brother John). After ordination he held various responsibilities, one of which was that of prior of the convent in Fiesole.

Faithful to the promises he made as a Dominican, to preach the Gospel after having contemplated it in prayer, Fra Angelico put his creativity at the disposal of the Lord…

Documentary about actress turned nun nominated for Oscar

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Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., a former actress turned cloistered nun, will attend her first Academy Awards show since 1959 to show support for 'God is the Bigger Elvis,' an Oscar-nominated documentary about her and her abbey.

Mother Dolores, 73, was an award-winning actress who performed in two Elvis Presley movies. In 1963, she was about to sign a seven-figure contract and was engaged to a Los Angeles businessman when she decided to join the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn, where she is now prioress.

The 37-minute documentary talks about Mother Dolores' story and about life at the abbey. It is an Oscar nominee for best documentary short category and will premiere April 5 on HBO.

'I adored Hollywood. I didn't leave because it was a place of sin,' she told USA Today.

"I left Hollywood at the urging of a mysterious thing called vocation. It's a call that comes from another place that we call God because we don't have any other w…

Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan: 7 Ways to Evangelize to a Secular World

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This is an excerpt from Archbishop Dolan's speech to Pope Benedict and the Cardinals today, in which he outlined seven specific ways we can evangelize in this culture of secularization:

Secularization, which presents itself in cultures by imposing a world and humanity without reference to Transcendence, is invading every aspect of daily life and developing a mentality in which God is effectively absent, wholly or partially, from human life and awareness. This secularization is not only an external threat to believers, but has been manifest for some time in the heart of the Church herself. It profoundly distorts the Christian faith from within, and consequently, the lifestyle and daily behavior of believers. They live in the world and are often marked, if not conditioned, by the cultural imagery that impresses contradictory and impelling models regarding the practical denial of God: there is no longer any need for God, to think of him or to return to him. Furthermore, the prevalen…

Cardinal Timothy Dolan brings excitement on New Evangelization to Vatican

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February 17, 2012. (Romereports.com) Benedict XVI met with 133 cardinals to exchange views on his plan for the “New Evangelization” and the upcoming “Year of Faith”. The pope asked the cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York to speak to the group on the New Evangelization. The meeting was closed, but some accounts have called it one of the most energized meetings held in the Vatican.

Dolan spoke about movies such as “Of Gods and Men” and “The Way”. He also joked a bit, and asked to go for a “Church of 'yes' instead of a Church of 'no.'”


Card. Carlos Amigo
Archbishop Emeritus of Seville (Spain)
“Encounters with the Holy Father are always very nice, and afterward we prayed together. There were some very thoughtful presentations on the New Evangelization and the Year of the Faith. As well as the words by different cardinals. This afternoon we will have the answers of the Holy Father.”

Card. Lluis Martinez Sistach
Archbishop of Barcelona (Spain)
“The first was on the…

Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites

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Today's saints are the Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites. These seven men were born at Florence and led lives as hermits on Monte Senario, especially venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary. On Friday, April 13, 1240, the hermits received a vision of Our Lady. She held in her hand the black habit, and a nearby angel bore a scroll reading Servants of Mary Mary told them, You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.

They accepted the wisdom of Our Lady, wrote a Rule based on Saint Augustine and the Dominican Constitutions, adopted the black habit of an Augustinian monk, and lived as mendicant friars. The men founded the Order of Servites which in 1304 received the approval of the Holy See. They are venerated on this day which is said to be the day on which Saint Alexis Falconieri, …

Timothy Dolan: Being a cardinal it's not a promotion, it's a higher calling to serve the Church

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February 16, 2012. (Romereports.com) Wearing a super bowl baseball cap and a windbreaker from New York's Police Department, Archbishop Timothy Dolan talked about the moment he officially found out he would be elevated to Cardinal.

The Archbishop of New York says it shouldn't be described as a promotion or honor, but rather as a higher calling to serve the Church.

Cardinal Designate Timothy Dolan
Archbishop of New York (USA)
“It has given me some humility. I can't let this go to my head. I can't let my head get as puffed up as my tummy. I have to remind myself 'I'm a sinner, I constantly have to improve my life.'”

As the president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dolan has been the voice and face of those who oppose president Obama's new health care mandate. At first, it required all employers to offer contraception to their female employees.

Now, after Dolan voiced his concerns, the president said religious institutions would be exempt. Instead…

Pro-life Quote of the Day: Judie Brown on the HHS Mandate

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"No one else will say it, so I will. The President is evil. He continually lies directly to the faces of people of faith, to our Catholic Bishops, to everyone. Yet they give him a pass. They think he is someone he is not. He is a liar. He thinks we are rubes, "clinging to God." His unconstitutional birth control "mandate," crafted and formed in private meetings with Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood, is intended to force Catholics and Christians to violate their faith, their core beliefs. To say no to God, and yes to Barack. We won't. He has awoken a sleeping giant."

~ Judie Brown, President of American Life League

Five Ways the Obama Administration is losing the HHS mandate battle

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If Kathleen Sebelius looks a little stressed out in the photo above, she should be. She and Obama are in a cauldron of  hot boiling water over their little plot to get the American public to pay for abortifacient contraceptive drugs, abortion drugs, and sterilization. This is not health care and they know that, even though they continue to spout out their deceptive pro-death rhetoric. They cannot and will not take away our religious liberties, which our forefathers fought on the battlefield to uphold.  This is a war, they are losing,  and they will be defeated.  If they don't realize that by now, they had better pull their heads out of the sand.

First of all, attorney generals from a dozen different states are threatening to sue them for violating the beliefs of many  religious employers.

Second, 100% of the U.S. Bishops have condemned their 'compromised' mandates  and forty religious institutions have publicly opposed the mandate, with several already filing lawsuits.

Th…

Saint Filippa Mareri

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Filippa Mareri (c. 1190-1236) was born to a noble family in their castle in Cicolano, an inland area in the province of Rieti, Italy.

Inspired by St. Clare of Assisi, Filippa was a cultured woman who left a life of luxury and wealth behind  in order to embrace a life of holiness and poverty. When her family (particularly her brother) disapproved, she ran away with like-minded companions, and they lived in a nearby mountain cave for about three years until her brother asked her forgiveness and agreed to donate property to the community. Blessed Roger of Todi, a Franciscan, helped Filippa and her companions set up a monastery on the new site. He was assigned by St. Francis of Assisi to provide spiritual direction to this group of consecrated women. The community subsequently adapted a rule modeled upon that of the Poor Clares, which was confirmed by the Roman Curia. The women spent much of their time in prayer. They also prepared and dispensed medication, which they gave to the poor, …

Archbishop Charles Chaput blasts the Obama Contraception Mandate 'Compromise'

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“The HHS mandate, including its latest variant, are belligerent, unnecessary and deeply offensive to the content of Catholic belief."

“Any such mandate would make it morally compromising for us to provide health care benefits to the staffing of our public service ministries.”

“We cannot afford to be fooled – yet again – by evasive and misleading allusions to the administration’s alleged 'flexibility' on such issues. The HHS mandate needs to be rescinded.”

~ Archbishop Charles Chaput writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer on February 12, 2012

For more information, read this.

Religious Leaders, academics oppose Obama's contraception mandate "accommodation"

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Over 200 college presidents, academics, religious leaders and journalists have signed a letter that denounces President Obama’s “accommodation” to the contraception mandate for failing to “remove the assault on religious liberty.”

“It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept an assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick,” the letter states.

Its signatories include Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Paige Patterson, Catholic University of America president John Garvey, Rabbi David Novak of the University of Toronto, and 207 other professors, scholars, journalists and religious leaders.

Read the full story.

More US Bishops speak out against the HHS Mandate 'Compromise'

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General Audience: Pope Benedict Reflects on the Last Words of Christ

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February 15, 2012. (Romereports.com) During the pope's general audience, he spoke to some 6,000 pilgrims in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall. He focused his catechesis on the last words of Jesus before dying on the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.


FULL TEXT OF CATECHESIS:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, in our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we turn once more to the prayer of Jesus on the Cross. Saint Luke relates three “last words” of the crucified Lord. In his prayer: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34), Jesus intercedes for his executioners and shows the depths of his reconciling love for sinful humanity. In his words to the Good Thief: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43), he offers sure hope to all those who repent and put their trust in him. His final cry: “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46), expresses Jesus’ trust-filled surrender to God’s wi…

Saint Claude de la Columbiere

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Today is the feast of St. Claude de la Columbiere (1641-1682), a Jesuit missionary, who was the brilliant and holy spiritual director of St. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Claude de la Colombiere is best known for his association with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the devotion of the Sacred Heart, but his life has its own drama. He was sent to England after his spiritual direction of St. Margaret Mary was over and became embroiled in the Titus Oates "Popish Plot," was imprisoned, then banished from England. His story is part of the history of the seventeenth century.

He was born near Lyons in 1641 to a very devout family and entered the Society of Jesus at Avignon. After his novitiate, he taught grammar and the humanities. Even before his ordination to the priesthood, he gained a reputation as a preacher. After completing his studies in Paris, he became tutor to the sons of Colbert, the financial minister of Louis XIV, but was dismissed from his post and returned to Avignon…

Cardinal Designate Timothy Dolan on HHS Mandate: 'You Can't Compromise on Principle'

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Happy Valentine's Day, Readers!

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Learn how to make this valentine at Catholic Icing.  Find printable valentines here.

Religious Freedom: Civil Disobedience May Become Necessary

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Chuck Colson speaks on the urgency of protecting our religious freedom and freedom of conscience. He addresses the present crisis stemming from the Department of Health and Human Services and Obama administration mandate to the Catholic church to include mandatory services in their health insurance, which go against Catholic teaching and conscience. He refers to the Manhattan Declaration as a platform for firm resistance and urges all to sign it and send links to others.

Sts. Cyril and Methodius

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Saints Cyril and Methodius were brothers who were born in Greece and educated in Constantinople. They were the great apostles of the Faith to the Slavs in southern Russia, in Bohemia and Poland during the ninth century. Though Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius died sixteen years apart, their feasts are celebrated together. They are responsible for the Slav alphabet and for the Slav language. Pope John Paul II made Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius patrons of Europe, along with St. Benedict. They are also patrons of ecumenism and patrons of unity between the Eastern and Western Churches.

Learn more about them here.

Bishops Reject Obama's 'Accommodation' to the HHS Mandate

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Image via Creative Minority Report.

No one is backing down, Obama, so you had better be prepared for all-out war with the Catholic Church and Christians throughout the country, as we stand up for life and our conscience protection rights.

On Friday, Obama revised his HHS mandate to "accommodate" religious institutions and says he is now finished negotiating. Here is the response of the U.S. Bishops to his proposal:

Today, the President has done two things.

First, he has decided to retain HHS's nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients. This is both unsupported in the law and remains a grave moral concern. We cannot fail to reiterate this, even as so many would focus exclusively on the question of religious liberty.

Second, the President has announced some changes in how that mandate will be administered, which is still unclear in its details. As far as we can tell at this point, the change appears to have t…

Looking for ways to celebrate Valentine's Day?

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February 13, 2012. (Romereports.com) Few people know that Valentine's Day is actually linked to an Italian saint who was born in Terni, Italy back in the 3rd century. He's known as the protector of love and his story is fascinating.

According to tradition, there was a time when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage, so that young men could devote themselves entirely to the army. But a priest named Valentine considered this law unfair, so he decided to marry couples, even though it was illegal.

To honor his legacy, the Church also has a few initiatives to celebrate Valentine's Day. On its website, the Episcopal Conference of Australia published a so called 'Kit for Valentine's Day,' with includes tips on how to respect, love and build a happy marriage.

In the U.S a website called “National Marriage Week,” is also listing tips on ways to improve one's marriage and even instructions on how to write a love letter.

There's also a so called “virtual ret…

St. Catherine de' Rici, Mystic and Stigmatist

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Today's saint is the great Dominican mystic and stigmatist, St. Catherine de' Ricci (1522-1590), who was a Dominican nun, of the Third Order, enclosed in a convent at that time.

Alessandrina Lucrezia Romola de' Ricci was born in Florence, Italy on April 23, 1522 to a pious and well-respected family. Her mother died when she was an infant and she was raised by her devoted stepmother, who encouraged her to live a holy life. When she has about 71/2 years old, her father placed her in the Convent of Monticelli, in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. Her aunt and the other sisters watched over her and taught her catechism there.

Alessandrina was fourteen years old when she entered the Dominican Community of Prat, taking the religious name Catherine. Initially and for the first four-fve years after her profession, Catherine experienced many trials and humiliations within the order. She received visions and had ecstasies, which caused some concern among her pe…