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Showing posts from May, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for June

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Vatican City, 31 May (VIS).- Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for June is: "That believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life".

His missionary intention is: "That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of and participate with more enthusiasm in the Gospel".

This Democrats Defeat Bill to Ban Sex-Selection Abortions

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This is shocking news!  It is incredible that such a travesty could actually occur in the USA!

Democrats in the House of Representatives prevented passage of a bill that would ban sex-selection abortions. The legislation needed a two-thirds vote and Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the legislation after President Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood came out in opposition.

With a 246-168 vote, the bill did not obtain the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. Republicans voted for the bill on a 226-7 margin while Democrats opposed banning sex-selection abortions on 161-20 vote margin.

The bill would make it a federal offense to knowingly do any one of the following four things: (1) perform an abortion, at any time in pregnancy, “knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex or gender of the child”; (2) use “force or threat of force. . . for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion”; (3) solicit or accept funds to perform a sex-selection abortion; or (…

Breaking: Obama opposes ban on sex-selections

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President Barack Obama appears to oppose the ban on sex-selection abortions that the House of Representatives debated yesterday and will be voting on today.

ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper posted a new report indicating President Obama opposes the bill to prohibit performing or coercing abortions to eliminate unborn babies of an undesired sex. Tapper raised the question at Wednesday’s White House press briefing, but did not receive a response to his question about Obama’s position.

“I will have to take that as well. Been focused on other things, but I will get back to you,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said during the White House press briefing.

Now, Tapper reports on the ABC News web site The White House got back to me this evening [May 30] to say the president opposes the bill.”


Read the full story.

For Greater Glory opens this weekend

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This is one movie that I can't wait to see!



Read Leticia's excellent review.

To find a theater near you, visit the official website.

ROUND 2: NYC Planned Parenthood implicated in growing sex-selection scandal

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NEW YORK, May 31 -- Today, Live Action released a new undercover video showing Planned Parenthood's Margaret Sanger clinic in New York City helping a woman determine if her unborn child was female so she could have a sex-selection abortion. The video is second in a new series titled "Gendercide: Sex-Selection in America," exposing the practice of sex-selective abortion in the United States and how Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion industry facilitate the selective elimination of baby girls in the womb.



Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which recalls Mary's visit with her cousin Elizabeth. This event is also the second joyful mystery of the rosary -- the first being the Annunciation.

Elizabeth had been barren all her life, but in the Annunciation, Mary learned that her kinswoman was miraculously expecting a child in her old age. Upon hearing this good news, Mary fervently desired to share in Elizabeth's joy and serve her during the last part of her pregnancy. So she went "with haste" to visit Elizabeth and remained with her for three months. 

Mary's first action after God had come to dwell in her was one of self-denying charity. She undertook a troublesome journey in order to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Thus, she proclaimed charity to be the virtue which above all Christ brought with Him from heaven. God made Mary's visit the occasion of a wonderful miracle. On her entrance into St. Elizabeth's dwelling, St. John the Bapt…

True Beauty: The Inspirational Story of a Young Catholic Woman with a Rare Disease

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Here's the story on Lizzie from CNA:

Austin, Texas, May 30, 2012 / 12:06 pm (CNA).- Due to a rare condition, Lizzie Velasquez is unable to gain weight and her appearance made her the target of mockery from her schoolmates who called her “the ugliest woman in the world” in a YouTube video.

The 23-year-old, however, is confident she has been greatly blessed by God, and has become an author and motivational speaker on true beauty. “God is the number one reason why I am here,” she told CNA. “He blessed me with the greatest blessing of my life, which is my syndrome.” Continue Reading.

Benedict XVI: "Prayer is above all God's gift"

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May 30, 2012. (Romereports.com)During the General Audience, Benedict XVI explained how the trust in God helped Saint Paul to overcome difficulties. He also taught about the meaning of prayer and the origin of words like 'Amen'.


CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:


Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

In our continuing reflection on prayer in the letters of Saint Paul, we now consider the Apostle’s striking affirmation that Jesus Christ is God’s “Yes” to mankind and the fulfilment of all his promises, and that through Jesus we say our “Amen”, to the glory of God (cf. 2 Cor 1:19-20).  For Paul, prayer is above all God’s gift, grounded in his faithful love which was fully revealed in the sending of his Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit, poured forth into our hearts, leads us to the Father, constantly making present God’s “Yes” to us in Christ and in turn enabling us to say our “Yes” – Amen! – to God.  Our use of the word “Amen”, rooted in the ancient liturgical prayer of Israel and then tak…

Saint Joan of Arc

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Today's saint is the valiant warrior Saint Joan of Arc, French national heroine, who was born in Domremy, France, 1412 and died in Rouen, France, 1431.


When she was about 13 years old, Joan began to hear the voices of Saints Michael the Archangel, Margaret of Antioch, and Catherine of Alexandria, urging her to free her country from the English. Joan’s visions told her to find the true king of France and help him reclaim his throne. She resisted for more than three years, but finally went to Charles VII in Chinon and told him of her visions. After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, she was given a small army with which she raised the siege of Orleans on May 8, 1429. Carrying a banner that read “Jesus, Mary”, she led the troops into battle.

She followed the famous campaign of the Loire during which the English were decisively beaten, and Charles was crowned at Rheims, on July 17, 1429.

When she was captured by the Burgundians during the defense of Compiegne, she wa…

Summer Blogging

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This summer I will be doing light blogging only as I work on a research project to obtain my M.A. degree in Theology. Please keep me in your prayers. Thank you, dear readers. God bless you!

Five patron saints and 13 intercessors named for World Youth Day 2013 in Rio

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May 29, 2012. (Romereports.com) The next World Youth Day will take place in Rio in 2013. Now, organizers have announced the five patron saints for the big event.The first is Our Lady of Aparecida, which is also the patroness of Brazil. A basilica is named after her and every year roughly 10 million pilgrims visit the site. Back in 2007 Benedict XVI made a visit, during his first trip to Latin America. 

Then, there's also St. Sebastian. He was a soldier who served under the Roman Empire. But he left the army because it persecuted Christians. He died in the year 288, as a martyr.

The third patron is Friar Galvao. In 2007, Benedict XVI made this Franciscan, Brazil's first saint. 

St. Therese of Lisieux, is also on the list. Since 1927, this French nun has been known as the patroness of missions. 

Last but not least, Blessed John Paul II is the fifth. In 1984 he founded World Youth Days. During his pontificate, he was considered 'the Pope of the youth.'

In addition, World Youth…

Why Catholicism Matters

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St. Bona of Pisa

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Today's saint of the day is St. Bona of Pisa (1156 - 1207). She was a mystic and visionary. Bona experienced visions from early childhood, in one of which she was blessed by Saint James the Greater. By the age 10 of ten she dedicated herself as an Augustinian tertiary. She regularly fasted from an early age, taking only bread and water three days a week.

At the age of 14, she made the first of her many journeys, travelling to see her father who was fighting in the Crusades near Jerusalem. On her way home, she was captured and imprisoned by Islamic pirates in the Mediterranean, but was rescued by her countrymen. She made pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela and to Spain nine times, leading groups of pilgrims each time. On her final pilgrimage, she became very ill, but was able to return to Pisa and died in her little room near the church of San Martino at the age of 51.

She is the patron saint of travellers, couriers, guides, pilgrims, flight attendants, and the city of Pisa.

NEW VIDEO: Planned Parenthood will kill girls, just because they are girls

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Planned Parenthood claims to oppose ‘gendercide.’ So, why was Planned Parenthood staff so focused on aborting a baby girl, just because she was a girl? Even going so far as to coach a late term abortion, in order to confirm that the baby was the unwanted sex?

77% of Americans support a ban on sex-selective abortion. How is it that the practice of girl-murder, which many self-titled ‘pro-choice’ feminists oppose, remains legal across our nation? Our precious baby girls need your protection now.

Sign the “Protect Our Girls” petition and join the growing coalition against sex-selection abortion. Send the message to Planned Parenthood and their anti-girl friends that killing a girl because she is a girl is never OK.

Two Saints to be proclaimed Doctor of the Church in October

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May 28, 2012. (Romereports.com) The thousands of pilgrims who went to St. Peter's Square to pray the Regina Coeli with Pope, did not expect that he would announce one of the most important events of his pontificate.

Benedict XVI
“I am pleased to announce that on October 7, the day that begins the assembly of the Synod of Bishops, I will proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen Doctors of the Church.”

The title of Doctor of the Church is given to saints whose theological teaching is valid for all time.

Paul VI named only two doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena. John Paul II named one, St. Therese of Lisieux in 1997. When Benedict XVI names the next two in October, there will be a total of 35 Doctors of the Church.

Prayer for the Government

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Prayer for Religious Liberty

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Memorial Day Tribute 2012

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This post is dedicated to all our military heroes -- especially those in my own family -- my dad, my brother, Michael, my sister, Susan, and my brother-in-law, Heinz. Thank you for your service!


A Prayer for Memorial Day
Remember, Lord, the fallen
Who died in fields of war,
In flaming clouds,
in screaming crowds,
On streets that are no more,
That we today might waken
And greet this day in peace
With grateful prayer for those who bear
The storms that never cease.
Remember friends and strangers,
And those forgotten now,
Whose names are known to you alone,
Before whose love we bow
And ask that you surround them
With mercy’s endless light
That they may live,
and we forgive
The foe they went to fight.
Remember, Lord, the living,
Who bear the pain of loss-
A death she died who stood beside
Her Son upon the cross.
Remember all your children
The dead and those who weep,
And make us one beneath the sun
Where love will never sleep.
Text: 7686D; Genevieve Glen, OSB; © 2005, Abbey of St. Walburga, …

Pentecost: The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

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On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ's Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance. (Acts 2:36)

In the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Christ's paschal mystery was brought to completion. The Holy Spirit prepares us with His grace in order to draw us to Christ. He manifests the risen Lord to us, opening our minds. He makes present the mystery of Christ. And, he reconciles us, bringing us into communion with God. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the Holy Spirit interiorly perfects our spirit, communicating to it a new dynamism so that it refrains from evil for love. With the Holy Spirit within us "it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely otherworldly in outlook and for cowards to become people of great courage" (St. Cyril of Alexan…

Pentecost in Two Minutes

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St. Philip Neri, 'The Humorous Saint'

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Today is the feast of one of my favorite saints, St. Philip Neri, who is known for his charm, cheerfulness, and wonderful sense of humor. He was born in Florence, Italy on July 22, 1515, one of four children of the notary Francesco Neri. His mother died when he was very young, but a very capable and competent stepmother filled her place. Although they were related to Italian nobility, the family was quite poor. Philip was a cheerful and friendly boy, and was popular with all who knew him.

At eighteen, Philip was sent to the town of San Germano, where he lived with a childless relative who had a business there to train as an apprentice and heir. Philip had a strong aptitude for business. Soon after his arrival, Philip began speaking of his conversion, which dramatically changed his life. He left his relative’s home and set out for Rome, as he had a vision that he had a mission to fulfill there. He left without money or a specific plan, trusting in God’s providence.

In Rome, he found s…

What is Pentecost?

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May 25, 2012. (Romereports.com) Pentecost Sunday is celebrated 50 days after the Resurrection. It is the last day of Easter and commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the Virgin Mary.

Benedict XVI
(Pentecost, May 15, 2005)

“The reading from the Acts of the Apostles speaks of how, on the day of Pentecost, under the signs of a strong wind and fire, the Holy Spirit sweeps into the community of the disciples of Jesus who are in prayer, thus bringing the Church into being.”


At that time the Apostles began their mission of proclaiming the Word of God whenever and wherever they could.

In many parts of the world, the feast of the Pentecost is celebrated on Saturday evening with a vigil. Benedict XVI will preside at the Mass of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday morning.

St. Bede the Venerable

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Today's saint of the day is St. Bede the Venerable (672 - 735) Benedictine monk and doctor of the church.

Bede entered the local Benedictine monastery when he was seven years old, and was educated and lived there until his death at the age of 63. He was ordained a deacon at 19 and a priest at 30. He was an avid man of letters who spent all his life serving the Lord through learning, teaching and writing. The majority of his work was commentary on Holy Scripture, which he endeavored to accomplish in full conformity with the teachings of the Fathers of the Church. He subordinated all his studies to the service of the interpretation of Scripture, which was for him the apex of all learning. He also completed works on mathematics, poetry, astronomy, philosophy, and music – he was a composer of several important early works of Gregorian plain chant.

Bede’s most enduring accomplishment, however, is in the field of history. He is known as the “Father of English history,” due to his gre…

Praying for Catholics in China

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May 24, 2012. (Romereports.com) This group may be small, but its mission is huge.  It's easy for them to go unnoticed among the thousands of tourists in St. Peter's Square, but even so, for the last five years, this small group has organized a procession to pray in Rome for the Church in China.

FR. EDMUND DE LA VEGA
China Prayer Group

“Our brothers in China may not be here, but they are joining this procession through their suffering, through trials and tribulations. This pilgrimage is a way to unite. It's a small sacrifice to help us rediscover that we are walking together toward Christ. It's a way to entrust to Our Lady, the Evangelization of China.”

The procession is held every 24th of May, which is actually the day Benedict XVI dedicated to pray for the Church in China. On that day, a very popular image of Our Lady is celebrated in the sanctuary of Sheshan in Shanghai.  In Rome, she is venerated with a procession from St. Peter's Square to the Basilica of St. Mary …

Pope blesses cross to prepare for 2000th anniversary of Jesus' Resurrection

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May 24, 2012. (Romereports.com) This cross will make its way around the world. It was given to the Pope by a group of Ukrainians, as a way to mark 2,000 years since Jesus' death and Resurrection. The cross will travel to all major capitals, as a way to prepare for the anniversary and celebration in the year 2033.

Benedict XVI blessed the cross and thanked the group for promoting it. So far, it has toured several European countries, including Ukraine, Poland, France and Germany. In the city of Rome, it has visited four basilicas. 

In fact, back in the year 2004, John Paul II also blessed this cross.

Pope talks about the need of having strong father figures in society

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(Romereports.com) During Wednesday's general audience, the Pope called on men to improve their role in the family. He talked about the importance of having positive father figures to strengthen the family unit. 


He then highlighted the key role fathers have in people's lives, by reflecting on how Jesus referred to God, as 'Abba' or Father. Following this example, he also called on Catholics to think of God as a Father. 
Benedict XVI
“The word 'Abba' was used by Jesus to express his loving relationship with the Father; our own use of this word is the fruit of the presence of the Spirit of Christ within us.”
With roughly 20,000 people in St. Peter's Square, the Pope reflected on the letters of St. Paul, by explaining that Christian prayer is interconnected with the Holy Spirit. He said, it's a way in which people, as children of God, can communicate with the Father.
Benedict XVI
“Let us open our hearts even more fully to the working of the Spirit within us, so…

Fr. Barron on Evangelization

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Mary, Help of Christians

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Today the Church in Australia celebrates the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians. Mary Help of Christians was adopted as patron of the new Church of Australia in 1844, at a significant time in their history. British settlement was just over fifty years old, the transportation of convicts was coming to an end, and the first elections in Australian history had been held in 1843. Issues of land, immigration and education had begun to surface and the Church was involved in these social problems. The Holy See confirmed the patronage in 1852.






Prayer to Mary, Help of Christians 

 Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, how sweet it is to come to your feet imploring your perpetual help. If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me? Grant then to me, I implore you, your perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations. I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help…

Kansas Catholic Bishops to Host Statewide Rally for Religious Freedom

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What:  Statewide Rally for Religious Freedom When:  2:00 – 3:30 PM, 29 June 2012 Where:  South Steps of the State Capitol Building in Topeka Who:  The Catholic Bishops of Kansas are inviting all people who care about religious liberty to attend. Why:  The federal government has taken the unprecedented step of requiring religious individuals and institutions to pay for products and procedures that violate their religious beliefs.  Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities are not exempt — they will either have to provide their employees with coverage of immoral products, including abortion-inducing drugs, or they may have to shut down.  Our country’s 200 year tradition of religious freedom hangs in the balance.  Join people of faith across the nation who will be rallying for religious freedom How:  Save the Date.  Drive the family.  Carpool with friends.  Bus your parish.  Visit the Kansas Catholic Conference website for more details as they become available.

Kansans: Statewide Novena for Religious Liberty Begins Today

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In Kansas, May 23rd through May 31st (Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) join the statewide 9-Day Novena with Prayer and Fasting for Religious Liberty, to Make Reparation and End to Abortion in Kansas and the USA. Catholics throughout the state are asked to Pray, Fast, Pray the Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Go to Confession, Attend Mass Daily and Receive Holy Communion, Pray One Hour in Prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist, make daily sacrifices and daily pray the USA Novena Prayer. Masses will be offered across the state for this intention during the Novena. Persons from each parish are asked to organize events such as a Holy Hour, daily Rosary, or daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy, etc., at one’s church; but each person is free to participate in their own way.




 Novena Prayer 

O Father, Author of Life, we forever entrust and consecrate our State and the USA to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The government is threatening our Religious Liberty by mandating we violate…

Pope Benedict and the Blessed Virgin Mary

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St. Julia of Corsica

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Today's saint is St. Julia of Corsica, virgin and martyr in the fifth century.

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 439, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria. In the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not give. Whenever she was not employed in household affairs, her time was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety.

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to take her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. When he reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor and went ashore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies, which she openly spurned. The governor of the island, Felix, a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. The merchant i…

Rome's Marian Street Shrines

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Cardinal Scola explains the latest details from the World Meeting of Families

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May 22, 2012. (Romereports.com) From May 30th to June 3rd, the city of Milan will host the World Meeting of Families. Its main organizers are Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, who serves as the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Cardinal Angelo Scola, who serves as the archbishop of Milan. Most recently they talked about all the latest details. 

Cardinal Angelo Scola Archbishop Milan “We've been preparing for this gathering, for quite some time. Now, it's all prepared. We hope to also have good weather during those days.”
The World Meeting of Families includes a theological congress where roughly 6,000 people are expected. The goal is for families to strengthen the way they live out their Catholic faith. It will include 104 guest speakers from 27 countries. Also, about 900 youths have registered for another congress held for younger members of the family. 
On the afternoon of Saturday June 2nd a meeting will take place at the Milan's Bresso airport. That meeting w…

St. Rita of Cascia

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Today is the optional memorial of Saint Rita of Cascia, religious.

St. Rita was born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto in 1386 to Antonio and Amata Lotti, who were quite advanced in years. Rita’s birth was an answer to their prayers. The family was well-known for their charity, which merited them the surname of "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ."

Rita brought much joy to her parents. She was a cheerful, amiable, pious and devout child who spent much of her time in prayer. At the age of twelve, she desired to consecrate herself to God in the religious state. Pious though her parents were, they refused her pleas, but instead gave her away in marriage, at the age of eighteen, to an ill-tempered young man who was the town watchman. The couple had two sons, who inherited their father's temperament. After 18 years of marriage, Rita’s husband was murdered by an old enemy. Her sons swore vengeance on their father’s killers, but through Rita's intercessory prayers, they …

Keys for understanding the Second Vatican Council through the eyes of Benedict XVI

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May 21, 2012. (Romereports.com)The Second Vatican Council will turn 50 in the coming month of October. To mark the occasion, the Vatican released a book that translates to “Benedict XVI: Keys to Interpreting the Second Vatican Council.”

ARCHBISHOP AGOSTINO MARCHETTO
Author, "Benedict XVI: Keys to interpreting Vatican II"

“The keys are important to fully understand the Council's line of interpretation. It's about reform and continuity not about discontinuity or rupture.”
At this point, the book is only in Italian, its three authors include Cardinal Walter Brandmüller,  Agostino Marchetto and Nicola Bux, who together gathered key points, as explained by Benedict XVI. 
They say it's key to understand that in this case, renovation and tradition can go hand in hand, under the so called hermeneutic of continuity. In fact during his pontificate, the Pope has highlighted the importance of this Council and its role within the Catholic Church.

BREAKING: Cardinal Dolan of NY, Cardinal Wuerl of D.C., Notre Dame--And 40 Other Catholic Dioceses and Organizations--Sue Obama Administration

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(CNSNews.com) - The archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., headed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the University of Notre Dame, and 40 other Catholic dioceses and organizations around the country announced on Monday that they are suing the Obama administration for violating their freedom of religion, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

 The dioceses and organizations, in different combinations, are filing 12 different lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country. 

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has established a special website--preservereligiousfreedom.org--to explain it lawsuit and present news and development concerning it. Continue Reading

St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions, martyrs

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Today we honor St. Christopher Magallanes, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs.

Christopher and his twenty-four companion martyrs were members of the Cristero movement, a response to  anti-Catholic government in Mexico in the 1920s.  The government was determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Under the Cristero movement, members pledged their allegiance to Christ and to the church that he established to spread the Good News in society—even if Mexico's leaders had made it a crime to receive baptism or celebrate the Mass.

Christopher's last words were: "I am innocent and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico".

These martyrs were beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.

A major motion picture will be released soon, which depicts the story of…

Cardinal Raymond Burke writes book on the Eucharist: 'Divine Love Made Flesh'

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Pope addresses American immigration and female religious with US bishops

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May 18, 2012. (Romereports.com) This group of American bishops represents the Eastern Catholic Church of the United States. The meeting with the pope marks the conclusion of US Ad Limina visits.

The pope used the encounter as an opportunity to speak on a large extent about the issue of immigration in America.

Benedict XVI
“I would begin by praising your unremitting efforts, in the best traditions of the Church in America, to respond to the ongoing phenomenon of immigration in your country.”

The pope's words come on the heels of a report by the U.S. Census Bureau that showed for the first time there are more minority babies being born that white babies. 

Benedict XVI also recognized the Eastern rites efforts to work toward Catholic unity in the United States.

Benedict XVI
“Throughout our meetings, you and your Brother Bishops have spoken insistently of the importance of preserving, fostering and advancing this gift of Catholic unity as an essential condition for the fulfillment of the Chu…

Pope St. John I

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Today is the optional memorial of St. John I, Pope and martyr.

By birth, Pope John was a Tuscan, the son of Constantius. He was an archdeacon for several years before being elected Pope on the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. He was a friend and confidant of the philosopher Boethius.

In 525 Pope John was sent to Constantinople by King Theodoric of the Ostrogoths to reverse the edict of the Emperor Justin against the Arians two years earlier, which required Arians to give back churches which they had taken from orthodox Catholics. Throdoric was himself an Arian and a strong defender of Arianism (a heresy which arose in the 4th century and denied the divinity of Christ).

Even though Theodoric wanted a reversal of Justin’s policy, Pope John did not comply with his wishes, refusing to support heresy, and only counseled the Emperor Justin to be more gentle in his overzealous dealings with the Arians.

The success that Pope John achieved was contrary to the wishes of Theodoric; rather, h…

Ascension Thursday

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Today is Ascension Thursday, forty days after Easter when we celebrate Our Lord's Ascension. Today is a Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation in some parts of the world. The ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and the State of Nebraska have retained its celebration on the proper Thursday, while all other provinces have transferred this solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 20.


Saint Paschal Baylon: "Saint of the Holy Eucharist"

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The saint of the day for May 17th is St. Pascal Baylon.

Born in a small village in between Castille and Aragon in Spain, on Pentecost in 1540, he was christened Pascua (meaning "the pasch of the Holy Ghost") in honor of the feast. As a young man, until he was twenty-four years old, he worked as a shepherd for his poor, but pious family. During this time, he lived a life of penance and showed great devotion for the Holy Eucharist.

One day Paschal heard the bells of a convent announce the approaching consecration at Mass. Such an ardent longing for God overcame him that, prompted by yearning and love, he involuntarily cried out: "O God, most worthy of all adoration, please let me see You!" Hardly had he uttered the prayer when a glowing star appeared in the sky. As he watched, the heavens opened; the star disappeared and was replaced by a chalice with the Host, flanked by two adoring angels. Christian art has selected this vision to show his chief virtue -- love fo…

Pentecost Novena begins Friday

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The Pentecost Novena begins this Friday and is prayed until the feast of Pentecost. In the words of Pope John Paul II:

 "Let us try to persevere in this rhythm of the Church. In the course of these days she invites us to take part in the novena to the Holy Spirit. It can be said that, among the various novenas, this is the most ancient one; it takes its origin, in a way, from the institution by Christ the Lord."

50th Anniversary of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery

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General audience: Pope explains how prayer can help people overcome their weaknesses

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May 16, 2012. (Romereports.com) During Wednesday's general audience, the Pope began a new chapter on catechesis. With roughly 11,000 people in St. Peter's Square, the Pope talked about St. Paul and his strong connection with prayer and the Holy Spirit. “For Paul, prayer is above all the work of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, the fruit of God's presence within us,” said Benedict XVI.

The Pope went on to say that with prayer, the Holy Spirit helps people overcome their weaknesses. Benedict XVI added that prayer is a way to give thanks, and also a means to request.
Benedict XVI “In our prayer, the Holy Spirit grants us the glorious freedom of the children of God, the hope and strength to remain faithful to the Lord amid our daily trials and tribulations.”
He also called for a personal reflection, by saying that people often want what's best for them, but they don't necessarily act in a way that promotes what's best.  
Benedict XVI “With St. Paul let us open our he…

St. Simon Stock

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Today’s saint of the day, St. Simon Stock, was born in Aylesford in County Kent, England in 1165. Although we know little about Simon Stock's early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning "tree trunk," is based on the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. He drank only water and ate herbs, roots, and wild apples. In 1212, he joined the Carmelites soon after they arrived in England. He finished his studies at Oxford and in 1215, he was appointed Vicar General.

 Simon Stock helped the Order spread throughout Europe; he founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in university towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna. He revised the Rule of the Order to make them mendicant friars instead of hermits. He was elected as the sixth superior general of the Carmelites in 1247 around age 82. Simon governed the order with great sanctity and prudence for twenty years. He had a deep devotion to the Bless…