Showing posts from March, 2013

Happy Easter!

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God’s throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation! Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever! Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!
~ from the Exsultet sung at the Easter Vigil

Wishing you all a very happy Easter, dear friends!

Holy Saturday Reflection


Good Friday

"It is accomplished; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit."

Holy Thursday

Today is Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, which solemnly celebrates the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood.

During the Last Supper, Jesus offers himself as the Passover sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb, and teaches that every ordained priest is to follow the same sacrifice in the exact same way. Christ also bids farewell to his followers and prophesies that one of them will betray him and hand him over to the Roman soldiers.

Around the world, Bishops and priests come together at their local Cathedrals on Holy Thursday morning to celebrate the institution of the priesthood. During the Mass, the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism that will be used for Baptism, Confirmation, and Anointing of the sick or dying.

At this Mass, the bishop washes the feet of twelve priests to symbolize Christ’s washing of his twelve Apostles, our first bishops and priests.

Later that night, after sundown – because Pass…

Pope's First General Audience: Holy Week is Time to Bring Christ to Forgotten

March 27, 2013. ( Pope Francis held his first general audience in St. Peter's Square. Before even starting, he made his way through the Square in the Popemobile for about ten minutes.

With flags waving and cheers of 'Viva il Papa' thousands of pilgrims welcomed the first  catechesis of his first general audience.

“Dear brothers and sisters. Good morning. I am pleased to welcome you to my first general audience. It is with great appreciation and respect that I take this responsibility from the hands of my beloved predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.”

The Pope said he would continue to talk about the Year of Faith, just like his predecessor, but given that it's Holy Week, the Pope said he would instead explain the meaning behind Easter, which he described as the core of the liturgical year.

“Living Holy Week, means following Jesus not only with moved hearts, it means learning to come out of ourselves, like I said last Sunday,  to mee…

Spy Wednesday

Wednesday of Holy Week is traditionally known as "Spy Wednesday" because on this day Judas made a bargain with the high priest to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, As My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed…

Saint Rupert

The saint of the day for March 27 is Saint Rupert, a monk and bishop whose missionary labors built up the Church in two of its historic strongholds, Austria and Bavaria.

During his lifetime, the “Apostle of Bavaria and Austria” was an energetic founder of churches and monasteries, and a remarkably successful evangelist of the regions – which include the homeland of the Bavarian native Pope Benedict XVI.

Little is known about Rupert's early life, which is thought to have begun around 660 in the territory of Gaul in modern-day France. There is some indication that he came from the Merovignian royal line, though he embraced a life of prayer, fasting, asceticism and charity toward the poor.

This course of life led to his consecration as the Bishop of Worms in present-day Germany. Although Rupert was known as a wise and devout bishop, he eventually met with rejection from the largely pagan population, who beat him savagely and forced him to leave the city.

After this painful rejection…

BREAKING NEWS: KS Passes Pro-life Bills

The Unborn Civil Rights bill (SB 142) passed the House tonight by a vote of 89-33. This bill bans 'wrongful birth and wrongful life' lawsuits that claim a disabled child should have been aborted.

The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (SB 199) also passed the House, by a vote of 90-32. This unique center will increase treatments of patients in Kansas and the region using non-embryonic (adult and umbilical cord) sources, process and multiply stem cells for wider use in clinical trials, create collaboration between Kansas University and Via Christi Hospitals in these endeavors, and become a global educational clearinghouse for stem cell clinical trials and research.

Also,  a resolution commending pregnancy assistance centers in Kansas and the nation, HCR 1606, passed the House 122-0.

Three pro-life measures may yet see action next week, after the Easter recess: the Pro-Life Protections Act, the sex selection abortion ban, and the grand jury improvement bill.

More to come...

St. Margaret Clitherow

The saint of the day for March 26th is St. Margaret Clitherow, patron of businesswomen, converts, and martyrs.

Margaret was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, of protestant parents. An attractive woman full of wit and cheer, she had a charming personality.

In 1571, she married John Clitherow, a well-to-do butcher (to whom she bore two children). She was a good housewife, capable in business, dearly loved by her husband, whose only regret was that she would not attend church. A few years later, she entered the Catholic Church. Her zeal led her to harbor fugitive priests, for which she was arrested and imprisoned by hostile authorities. They tried every means to make her deny her Faith, but the holy woman stood firm. Finally, she was condemned to be pressed to death on March 25, 1586. She was stretched out on the ground with a sharp rock on her back and crushed under a door loaded down with unbearable weights. Her bones were broken and she died within fifteen minutes.

The humanity an…

Shroud of Turin to be displayed on Holy Saturday

March 25, 2013. ( In honor of the Year of Faith, the Shroud of Turin will be displayed once again inside the Dome of Turin on Holy Saturday, March 30. The last time it was put on display for the public was more than three years ago.

However, the visit is only open to a group of 300 made up of youths and people who are sick or disabled. It will also be broadcast live.

When Benedict XVI visited the Shroud of Turin in 2010, he called it an “icon of Holy Saturday,” which is why the Archbishop of Turin decided to put it on display for the Year of Faith.

Pope Francis' first saints

March 25, 2013, ( It was during a consistory with cardinals that Benedict XVI announced his resignation in Latin. The news spread like wildfire, eclipsing everything else happening inside.

As a result, few know that in the consistory, Benedict XVI set the date for the canonization of three new saints. It will take place May 12, and will be led instead by Pope Francis.

The new saints are: Antonio Primaldo and 800 fellow martyrs of Otranto, Italy; Mother Laura, of Colombia, founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena; and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, a Mexican nun known as Mother Lupita, co-founder of the Congregation of the Servants of Saint Margaret Mary and the Poor.

Antonio Primaldo and his 800 fellow martyrs were executed in the 15th Century for refusing to convert to Islam. Mother Laura will be Colombia's first saint, who dedicated her life to working with indigenous people. Mother L…

Kansas Becomes Third State This Year to Pass Sweeping Pro-Life Laws

The Kansas House of Representatives joins Arkansas and North Dakota in passing comprehensive pro-life legislation. As with Arkansas and North Dakota, Liberty Counsel will defend this pro-life law pro bono. No rights are more foundational than the right to life. Without life, all other rights are irrelevant.

HR 2253, passed by the Kansas House of Representatives with a vote of 92 to 31, declares that life begins at fertilization. In addition, HR2253 excludes abortionists from receiving tax breaks, prohibits state medical school residents from performing abortions on state time, prohibits organizations that perform abortions from teaching sex education classes in public school, and requires abortionists to notify women of the risks of an abortion.

Please pray for HR 2253 as it makes its way through the Kansas Senate, and continue to pray for Liberty Counsel as we work to defend the sanctity of life.

Read the press release  here.

MSNBC TV Host Calls Babies “Things That Might Turn Into Humans”

Has this woman never taken basic biology? Or is she trying to indoctrinate people into the Planned Parenthood pro-abortion way of thinking? Perhaps she has a lax conscience and believes the lie herself or has convinced herself of it to rationalize her own behavior. It it is scary for someone in a position of influence to push off such a lie onto the public. I hope her viewers write in to the station to complain about this. She has a Ph.D. from Duke and has studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She should know better. But, she is also a political  science professor - a far left liberal-- who admittedly voted for Barack Obama (and even worked for 18 months on his presidential campaign) and strongly promotes the Obama pro-abortion agenda.  This is one reason why I refuse to watch MSNBC -- too many talking heads pushing off Obama/Planned Parenthood lies, often for their own political gain, prestige, and power. The pro-aborts persist in pushing their sick, evil agenda…

St. Lucy Filippini

The saint of the day for March 25th is St. Lucy Filippini, co-founder of the Maestre Pie, now known as the Religious Teachers Filipini, who established free schools for girls. 
Lucy was born on January 13, 1672 in Corneto-Tarquinia - a city that existed centuries before Rome was built. She had not yet reached her first birthday when her mother died. Six years later, her father died. Now orphaned, Lucy went to live with her aunt and uncle. As a child, she would prepare small altars and pray devoutly. She was an intelligent, modest, and spiritual child whose vision was focused on serving God.
At times, Lucy would seek for a serene atmosphere in the nearby Benedictine Nuns' Monastery of Santa Lucia where the daughters of the nobility were educated. Lucy visited frequently, drawn there by her desire to be among those whose lives and goodness she admired. It was here that she received her First Communion. It was here that she received spiritual nourishment.
When Cardinal Mark Anthony …

Question: When is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord in 2013?

Normally, Annunciation would fall on Monday, March 25, 2013. However, since that is the Monday of Holy Week 2013, the celebration of Annunciation 2013 is transferred to the day after Divine Mercy Sunday 2013 (the octave of Easter 2013), which is Monday, April 8, 2013.

~ Via Scott P. Richert.

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI: "Thanks for your humility and kindness"

March 2013, 2013. (  On Saturday afternoon, Pope Francis met with Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI for the very first time. The meeting was both moving and historic.

After boarding a helicopter, the first Latin American Pope arrived to the small Italian town of Castel Gandolfo at about 12.15 pm,  Rome time, to have lunch with his German predecessor.

Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said it was “a moment of profound communion”. The video shows how inside the chapel, Benedict offered the place of honor to Pope Francis, who instead responded “we are brothers” and wanted them to share the same kneeler.

Then they went to the library where their private meeting began around 12:30pm. It is the place where popes usually receives important guests at Castel Gandolfo. Their meeting lasted 45 minutes.

Pope Francis gave Benedict an icon known as Our Lady of Humility.

Benedict had already expressed his unconditional reverence and obedience to his successor, now…

Palm Sunday of the Passion of Christ

Mark Shea offers a great reflection for Palm Sunday .

Jimmy Akin shares 9 Things you need to know about Palm Sunday.

American Catholic posts some Gregorian chants for Palm Sunday.

Check out this powerful video reflection:

Music Meditation for Holy Week: Through Mary's Eyes by Elizabeth Schmeidler


St. Turibius of Mogrovejo

The saint of the day for March 23 is Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo also known as St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, the great figure in the history of the Church in Latin America, the second archbishop of Lima. Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius of Mongrovejo is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America, for 26 years.

Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was not sharp enough a lawyer to prevent a surprising sequence of events.

In 1580 the archbishopric of Lima, capital of Spain's colony in Peru, became vacant. He was the one person with the strength of character and holiness of spirit to heal those who had infected that area. He protested the assignment, but was overruled. He was ordained priest and bishop and sent to Peru, where he found colonialism at its …

Pope Francis to diplomats: Moral relativism endangers peace

Moral relativism "endangers the coexistence of peoples," Pope Francis told diplomats March 22, and said a common ethics based on human nature is an indispensable condition for world peace.

The pope made his remarks to the Vatican diplomatic corps in the Apostolic Palace's Sala Regia, the vast "royal hall" where popes traditionally received Catholic monarchs.

Recalling the love of the poor practiced by his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, the pope lamented both material poverty and the "spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the 'dictatorship of relativism,' which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples."

"Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace," Pope Francis said. "But there is no peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criteri…

How do we evangelize in our 30 second sound-byte culture?


Cardinal Bergoglio planned to retire and dedicate himself to prayer and parochial life

March 22, 2013. ( Perhaps the person who was surprised the most by the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, was the Argentinian cardinal himself. The auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, who lived with the Pope for the past ten years, explained how the election changed his original plans.

Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
“His future plans were, once his resignation was accepted and his successor named, to live at a home in Buenos Aires for elderly and sick priests. He had already picked his room. He also would have lead a life of prayer, as an adviser to many, of spirituality, of celebrating Mass at the parishes. A normal life without governance.”

After many years of working together on a daily basis, Msgr. Garcia says the Pope's style is natural, and works well with his need to interact and be close to people.

Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
“No one calls in his name. When he was to give an intervie…

Papal Quote: Pope Francis on Education

In the Bible, God presents himself as a teacher. “I myself taught Ephraim to walk, I myself took them by the arm,” it says. A believer is obliged to raise his children. Every man and every woman has a right to educate their children in their religious values. When a government deprives children of this formation, it can lead to cases like Nazism, when children were indoctrinated with values which were alien to the ones held by their parents. Totalitarianism tends to take over education to feather its own nest…

~ Pope Francis

Via Tim Drake at the Cardinal Newman Society. Read his entire article here.

Following Jesus


Saint Lea of Rome

March 22 is the liturgical memorial of Saint Lea of Rome, a fourth-century widow who left her wealth behind, entered consecrated life, and attained great holiness through asceticism and prayer.

Though not well-known as a figure of devotion in modern times, she was acknowledged as a saint on the testimony of her contemporary Saint Jerome, who wrote a brief description of Lea's life after she had died.

Jerome, a scholarly monk best known for his Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate), is the Church's only source of information on St. Lea, whose biographical details are unknown. St. Jerome eulogized her in a letter written during the year 384 to his student and spiritual directee Marcella, another Roman consecrated woman who had left her aristocratic life behind after being widowed.

It is clear from his letter that Lea was a mutual friend to both Jerome and Marcella. Jerome states that his account is written to “hail with joy the release of a soul which has trampled Satan …

USCCB: HHS mandate remains ‘unprecedented’ violation of religious liberty

In a 24-page response to the Obama administration’s most recent “accommodation” on the HHS mandate, the general counsel and associate general counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that “the mandate continues to represent an unprecedented (and now sustained) violation of religious liberty by the federal government.”

“As applied to individuals and organizations with a religious objection to contraceptive coverage, the mandate violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act,” Anthony Picarello and Michael Moses continued.

They added:

The proposed regulation keeps in place a regulatory definition of “preventive” health care which includes items that do not prevent disease, but rather are intended to render a woman temporarily or permanently infertile, and may be associated with adverse health outcomes. Under the proposed regulation, most stakeholders are offered no exemption or accommodation. The propose…

Pope will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass in a juvenile detention center, instead of Vatican

March 21, 2013. ( In the first month of his Pontificate,  the Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass with prisoners. On the afternoon of March 28th, the Pope will visit Rome´s Casal del Marmo, which is a jail for minors.

It´s actually the same prison, Benedict XVI visited back in March 18th  2007, when he celebrated Mass in the jail´s chapel.

Holy Thursday marks the Last Supper. It´s also the moment where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, to teach them about the importance of service and humbleness. In fact, Pope Francis is planning of washing the feet of some of the inmates.

As the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio would usually celebrate Holy Thursday Mass in a prison, hospital or with marginalized groups. As Pope, he will continue this tradition.

In the first few days of his pontificate, Pope Francis has highlighted the need to serve the poor, adding that true power doesn´t come with money or influence, but rather in s…

March for Marriage Set for Next Week in Washington DC

The National Organization for Marriage is sponsoring a march on Washington, DC on March 26, 2013 in support of  authentic marriage —the union of one man and one woman. They need your help. You can give a contribution to support the March for Marriage by going here.

March 26th will be a historic day and I heartily encourage you to be a part of it. If you can’t be there, please consider helping others attend.

Here is the latest news on the march from Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute:

By Austin Ruse

Much of the world looks to the United States for guidance on issues of social policy. The fact of abortion on demand in the U.S. has been a powerful example that other countries have continued to follow.

Marriage is the latest battleground social issue in the U.S. and in many parts of the world. So, all eyes not just in the U.S. but globally are turned to the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26 when oral arguments are heard in Washington DC.

Read More

Here's a prayer in Defense of Ma…

Gosnell Abortion Clinic Worker Admits Snipping Spines of 10 Babies

This is such a disgusting and horrific story that it is difficult for me to even report on it here, but I am doing so because people need to know the truth. Also, the mainstream media certainly won't report on it. This is an example of why we need to pray for an end to abortion and to become active in the pro-life movement. How could someone do this to an innocent baby?

Via Steven Ertelt at

Not only did abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell snip the spines of babies he killed in his gruesome live-birth abortion process, an abortion clinic worker who worked for him admitted today she did too.

Gosnell is charged with more than 30 criminal counts including the killing of seven newborn infants and a female patient in a botched abortion. Day one of the trial took place yesterday with opening statements and AP has more on an interesting revelation that came to light today.

Read the entire story.

Lenten Reflection: The End of Winter




Two Saints for Two Popes


Saint Benedetta Cambiagio Frasinello

The saint of the day for March 21st is Saint Benedetta Cambiagio Frasinello.

Benedetta Cambiagio Frasinello was born on October 2, 1791 in Langasco (Genoa) Italy; she died on  March 21,1858 in Ronco Scrivia in Liguria. She was a wife, religious and foundress. She let the Holy Spirit guide her through married life to the work of education and religious consecration. She founded a school for the formation of young women and also a religious congregation, and did both with the generous collaboration of her husband. Benedetta was a pioneer in her determination to give a high quality education to young women, for the formation of families for a "new Christian society" and for promoting the right of women to a complete education.

Call to marriage, then to religious life

From her parents Benedetta received a Christian formation that rooted in her the life of faith. Her family settled in Pavia when she was a girl. When she was 20 years old, Benedetta had a mystical experience that ga…

Trip Confirmed: Pope Francis will travel to Brazil to lead World Youth Day 2013

March 20, 2013. (  Pope Francis has confirmed that he will travel to Brazil at the end of July to lead World Youth Day 2013.

For now, it's his first and only confirmed trip. Catholic youths are already looking forward to it. In fact close to 2 million are expected.

After celebrating his Inaugural Mass, the pope met with Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff. The Pope confirmed that he will indeed visit the country.

In light of this trip, other presidents like that of Mexico, Colombia and his native Argentina have invited Pope Francis to visit their countries as well.

Pope Francis sends well wishes to Benedict XVI for his saint's day

Vatican City, 20 March 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, Pope Francis made a phone call to Pope emeritus Benedict XVI to express his well wishes on the Pope emeritus' saint's day—St. Joseph. Again he also declared his, and the Church's, gratitude for the Pope emeritus' service. It was a long and cordial call. The Pope emeritus has attentively followed the events of recent days, in particular the Mass of inauguration of the new pontiff's Petrine ministry, and he assured his successor of his continued closeness in prayer.

St. Maria Josefa of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The saint of the day for March 20th is St. Maria Josefa of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"Do not believe that caring for the sick consists only in giving them medicine and food; there is another kind of care which you should never forget, that of the heart which seeks to adapt to the suffering person, going to meet his needs.” These are the words of one whose mind and heart were fully seized of a mission, Saint Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus. The mission: to be a “neighbor” to the sick and the suffering in the world.

Canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1 in the Jubilee Year 2000, St Maria Josefa was the Foundress of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus of Charity. Conceived in the year 1871 in Bilbao, Spain, this Institute, totally dedicated to nursing the sick with a contemplative approach, has a presence of more than 1000 members in some 43 houses spread across the globe.

Maria Josefa was the oldest daughter of Bernabe Sancho and Petra de Guerra born on September 7,1842…

Pope Francis' first popemobile ride


Heads of States Greet Pope Francis


Pope's Inauguration Mass: Protect and serve the poor, elderly

March 19, 2013. ( Rome was bright and sunny this morning as thousands of people made their way to St. Peter's Square to celebrate the Pope's Inauguration Mass. Doors opened at about 6: 30 am and by then many were ready to get a good spot.

The newly elected Pope passed through St. Peter's Square in the Popemobile, as people waved their flags and congratulated him. It was precisely during this journey that the Pope saw a disabled person among the thousands gathered there. He got out of the car, walked over and personally blessed him.

Along with cardinals and patriarchs, the Pope then prayed a few minutes in silence, before the tomb of St. Peter.

In the background the “Thou art Peter” song was being played as more than 150,000 people waited to celebrate Mass with the new Pope. Cardinal Deacon Jean Louis Tauran gave him the pallium, which is a religious stole with six red crosses.  Then Cardinal Angelo Sodano gave the Pope his Fisherman's ring, which is e…

Pope Francis - "Thrift Shop" Macklemore Parody


St. Joseph

Today is the solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron of the universal Church.  On May 31, we honor St. Joseph as the patron of workers.

Most of the reliable information on St. Joseph is contained in the first two chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Here we discover that Joseph was of royal descent from David, that the family was from Bethlehem in Judea and that Joseph, who was a builder, had moved from Bethlehem to Nazareth in Galilee.

Joseph was engaged to Mary and upon learning that she was pregnant; he had plans to divorce her. Described in Matthew as a righteous man, he intended to dismiss her quietly. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream to tell him, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (MT 1:20-21). "When Joseph w…

The Rites Prior to the Papal Inauguration Mass

Photo Image via The Telegraph
Before the Inauguration Mass begins, there are the rites specific to the beginning of the Bishop of Rome's Petrine Ministry. These include:

The Imposition of the Pallium
Made of lamb’s wool and sheep’s wool, the Pallium is placed on the Pope's shoulders recalling the Good Shepherd who carries the lost sheep on his shoulders. The Pope’s Pallium has five red crosses while the Metropolitans’ Palliums have five black crosses. The one used by Francis is the same one that Benedict XVI used. It is placed on the Pope’s shoulders by Cardinal proto-deacon Tauran and, after the imposition, there is a prayer recited by Cardinal proto-presbyter Daneels.

The Fisherman’s Ring
Peter is the fisherman Apostle, called to be a “fisher of men”. The ring is presented to the Pope by Cardinal Deacon Sodano (first of the Order of Bishops). It bears the image of St. Peter with the keys. It was designed by Enrico Manfrini The ring was in the possession of Archbishop Macchi, P…

Nearly 200 political and religious delegations expected for Inauguration Mass at St. Peter's Square

Preparations are nearly finalized for the Inauguration Mass on Tuesday for Pope Francis. The Vatican says over 200 religious and political delegations confirmed their attendance, the largest of which hail from the Pope's native Argentina, as well as Italy.

The Mass will begin at 9:30AM, but activity starts nearly an hour before,when the Pope takes a ride across St. Peter's Square before getting ready inside the Basilica. For just the second time, he will be joined by other Catholic leaders.

Vatican Spokesperson
“The patriarchs and the major archbishops, the leaders of all the Eastern Catholic Churches will take part. They along with the Pope will head down to the Tomb of St. Peter to pay homage, and pray.”

They will lead a procession with the Fisherman's ring and stole, symbolizing the Pope's role as the Shepherd or the Church.

Once in the Square, Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, as Protodeacon, will place the stole on him. Cardinal Godfried Danneels…

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

The saint of the day for March 18 is St. Cyril of Jerusalem, a fourth-century Bishop and Doctor of the Church whose writings are still regarded as masterful expressions of Christian faith.

St. Cyril is also remembered for his exhaustive Biblical knowledge, and his endurance in the face of misunderstanding and opposition. Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, who likewise celebrate him as a saint on March 18, also remember him on May 7 – the date of a miraculous apparition said to have occurred soon after his consecration as a bishop.

What we know of Cyril's life is gathered from information concerning him from his younger contemporaries, Epiphanius, Jerome, and Rufinus, as well as from the fifth-century historians, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret.

Cyril was most likely born in Jerusalem around the year 315, shortly after the legalization of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire.

Although that legalization put a stop to many of the persecutions that threatened the …

Fr. Robert Barron's Word from Rome: Update #7

Father Barron sends his final greetings from Rome, sharing about the media audience with Pope Francis in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Pope Francis spoke to the press about the good, the true, and the beautiful. In addition, he offered the reasoning behind his choice of the papal name Francis. Father Barron ties this message to the notion of the "preferential option for the poor" and speaks about Pope Francis' angelus talk on God's forgiveness.

Please continue to pray for Pope Francis as we approach the Papal Mass on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2013.

Pope Francis' simplicity and humor seem to be winning over hearts

Pope Francis has certainly won my heart. I could tell he was a humble man, when I first saw him on EWTN. Everything we have been reading about him in Catholic news reports points to his humility and love for God and the poor. Then, just the other day, my husband shared this with me, which opened my heart to him. He reminds me of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in many ways. Mother Teresa opened a home in America for AIDS patients and she urged the destitute and dying to come to her for care, even when they had been rejected by their own families. Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of AIDS patients in Argentina. There is much that I could say about him, but you can learn so much about him just by watching him interact with people and listening to him.

March 17, 2013. ( It seemed like there was no more room in St. Peter's Square or along surrounding streets. Hundreds of thousands of people came to hear the first Angelus of Pope Francis. Early risers or just t…

Pope's first Angelus: God never gets tired of forgiving.

March 17, 2013. ( On Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated his first Angelus. With thousands of cheering pilgrims, he reflected on the Gospel, emphasizing that God never gets tired of forgiving, but rather it's people who get tired of asking for forgiveness. The Pope also talked about a book Cardinal Walter Kapser wrote, which focuses on mercy.

“Recently, I read a book authored by Cardinal Kasper, who is a great theologian. It deals with mercy and it has helped me quite a bit. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to publicize the writings of my cardinals. God understands us. He waits for us. He doesn't get tired of forgiving us, if we repent and go to him with a truly open heart.”

This time around the Pope only spoke in Italian. Usually a greeting and summary is given in about eight languages. He gave an improvised farewell at the end, which got much applause.

“Never forget this: The Lord never gets tired of forgiving us. It is we, wh…

St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland

The saint of the day for March 17th is St. Patrick.

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about 385 AD. His given name was Maewyn. Until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. He was kidnapped from the British mainland at that time by a group of Irish raiders who sold him into slavery. He escaped from slavery after six years and returned to his homeland. There he heard the call to return and bring Christianity to Ireland, so he went to Gaul and studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years.

He was ordained a priest, consecrated a bishop and returned to Ireland around 435 AD. Patrick was quite successful at winning converts, which led to clashes with the Celtic Druids. He was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity. In thirty…

The Bible: Week 3 Sneak Preview

Riddled with corruption and greed, Israel and its monarchy are falling. As the warnings of Prophet Jeremiah are ignored, lowly King Zedekiah and his people are powerless to stop Babylonian invasion lead by the mighty King Nebuchadnezzar. Jerusalem is destroyed, and her people are forced into exile. With no city or temple, the Israelites must learn to keep God in their hearts. After years in Babylon, Daniel’s visions and unerring faith help to negotiate a return to Jerusalem under King Cyrus. But soon a new enemy will come and take over – the mighty Romans. Under the authority of greatest empire on Earth, the Jews are powerless in their own land, and the people crave a messiah to free them from brutal occupation.  And soon they shall have one. Mary is shocked to learn she will give birth to a child of God, as King Herod rages about the baby usurper to his throne. John the Baptist prepares the people for a new age, and the greatest leader yet. Jesus recruits his first disciple, Peter t…

Pope Francis jokes with the Cardinals


Fr. Barron: Word from Rome

Father Barron takes a prayerful tour around Rome, visiting the Pantheon, the tombs of St. Catherine of Siena, St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier, and recalling some of the great saints who likely shaped the spirituality of our new pope, Pope Francis.

St. Eusebia, Benedictine Abbess

The saint of the day for March 16 is St. Eusebia (637-680), a Benedictine abbess, the daughter of Sts. Adalbald and Rictrudis and the great-granddaughter of Saint Gertrude the Elder.

Eusebia's father was murdered when she was eight. Following his death, she was sent to the abbey of Hamage, Doudi, France, which her great-grandmother had founded and served as abbess. Gertrude died when Eusebia was twelve years old and she was elected to replace her. Rictrudis, realizing her daughter had no hope of governing the abbey, but wanting to keep it under the protection of a noble house, merged Hamage with her own house of Marchiennes, and ordered all the sisters to move in together under her rule. Many of the uprooted sisters, including Eusebia, were unhappy with this order as it kept them from obeying Saint Gertrude‘s last request. After much time and debate, the dissident sisters were permitted to return to their old house, taking Gertrude‘s relics with them, and taking Eusebia as their …

Human Progress (Video)


Pope greets Cardinals in a relaxed and at ease meeting

What a wonderful gift from God we have in our new Pope Francis! He is such a warm, wise, loving and humble man! Thank you, Lord, for our dear Papa Francis!

March 15, 2013. ( On Friday, Pope Francis had his official greeting with Cardinals. He had a brief speech prepared, but he frequently stopped adding spontaneous and improvised comments. This is the style that's marking the beginning of Pope Francis' pontificate. The Pontiff actually stumbled after greeting Cardinal Angelo Sodano, but he reacted quickly and recovered his balance.

He thanked the Cardinals for the all the conversations they had leading up to the Conclave and especially the day when he was elected Pope in the Sistine Chapel. He said the Holy Spirit has a role that can't be denied.

“It's interesting and it makes me think that it's the Holy Spirit that makes a difference in the Church. The Paraclete seems to be an apostle of Babel, yet it unites all these differences, no…