Showing posts from August, 2013

Labor Day Reflections

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

The saint of the day for August 31 is St. Raymond Nonnatus. Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain in 1204, the son of wealthy parents. He was delivered by cesarean section when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). In his childhood, he seemed to find pleasure only in his devotions and serious duties. His father, sensing that Raymond was drawn to religious life, ordered him to manage one of the family farms. Raymond readily obeyed but spent his time with the shepherds and workers, studying and praying until his father abandoned the idea of making his son a worldly success. Raymond later joined the Mercederians, which was founded by St. Peter Nolasco, who devoted to ransoming Christians captured by the Moors. He succeeded Peter as chief ransomer and went to Algeria to ransom slaves. He remained as hostage for several slaves when his money ran out and was sentenced to be impaled when the governor learned that he had converted several Mohammeda

An Evil Choice -- Abortion: the video game

The Pro-death people are so determined to murder babies that they have developed a video game to encourage the fun for women. This is pure evil and we know who is behind it. This is also an in-your-face reminder for us to pray for their conversion. Here is the scoop from Cassie Fiano from Live Action: Introducing Choice: Texas, a “very serious game.” Choice: Texas, developed and designed by Carly Kocurek and Allyson Whipple, uses careful research into Texas legal regulations and demographics to create fictional characters. These characters encounter realistic situations, financial and geographic limitations, as well as personal choices and goals. By asking players to take on the role of one of these women, the developer invite players to consider the situation Texas woman might encounter, and asks the players for empathy and understanding. “This game is about an important issue effecting women in Texas, and is intended as a means of furthering discussion and empathy,“ says

St. Jeanne Jugan

The saint of the day is St. Jeanne Jugan (1792 – 1879) , also known as Sister Mary of the Cross. During the 19th century, she founded the Little Sisters of the Poor with the goal of imitating Christ's humility through service to elderly people in need. Born on Oct. 25, 1792 in a port city of the French region of Brittany, Jeanne Jugan grew up during the political and religious upheavals of the French Revolution. Four years after she was born, her father was lost at sea. Her mother struggled to provide for Jeanne and her three siblings, while also providing them secretly with religious instruction amid the anti-Catholic persecutions of the day. Jeanne worked as a shepherdess, and later as a domestic servant. At age 18, and again six years later, she declined two marriage proposals from the same man. She told her mother that God had other plans, and was calling her to "a work which is not yet founded." At age 25, the young woman joined the Third Order of St. John

Mary, Guide of the New Evangelization

Here is my latest piece at the New Evangelizers blog. Stop over and let me know what you think.

NEW: MARY of NAZARETH Film Trailer

This looks great! I can't wait to see it! MARY OF NAZARETH is an epic new motion picture on the life of Mary, mother of Christ, from her childhood through the Resurrection of Jesus. This full length feature film about Our Lady, shot in English in High Definition, was filmed in Europe in very authentic locales with outstanding cinematography, a strong cast, and a majestic music score. Actress Alissa Jung gives a very beautiful, compelling and inspired portrayal of Mary. Pope Benedict XVI had the opportunity to screen this film in the Apostolic Palace, and was touched by the portrayal of Mary so vividly captured on film. MARY OF NAZARETH will become available for sponsored screenings in theaters through Ignatius Press and Carmel Communications beginning September 8, 2013. Don't miss your chance to bring the life of the Mother of Christ to a theater in your town during this limited engagement! For more information: or call Carmel Comm

Evangelizers seeking new methods

Catholic evangelizers talk about how the new evangelization requires new technology:

Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

On June 24, we celebrated the birthday of St. John the Baptist; today we honor the anniversary of his martyrdom. Shortly after he had baptized Jesus, John the Baptist began to denounce Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Herod had divorced his own wife and taken Herodias, the wife of his half- brother Philip and also his own niece. John the Baptist declared, "It is not lawful for you to have her," so Herod threw him into prison. Not only did Herod fear John and his disciples, he also knew him to be a righteous man, so he did not kill him. Herodias was determined to bring about John's death. From prison John followed Jesus's ministry, and sent messengers to question him (Luke 7:19-29). One day Herod gave an eloquent banquet to celebrate his birthday. His entire court was present as well as other powerful and influential Palestinians. Herodias's daughter Salome so pleased Herod when she danced to entertain the company that he promised her whatever she wo

St. Augustine of Hippo

By Jean M. Heimann Today, August 28th, is the feast of St. Augustine, a Western Father of the Church whose conversion to Christianity is well-known as one of the most important events in the history of the Church. Augustine was born in Tagaste, Africa in 354 to Patrcius, a pagan Roman official, and to Monica, a devout Christian. Monica raised Augustine in the Christian faith, but when he went to study law in Carthage, he turned away from his Christian beliefs and led a life of immorality and hedonism. At age 15, he took a took a mistress who bore him a son, Adoedatus, which means “the gift of God,” and at age 18, he and his friend, Honoratus became members of the Manichaean heretical sect, which accepted the dual principle of good and evil. The late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explained his attraction to the heresy: “The conflict between flesh and spirit in him was resolved by the heresy of Manichæanism because it enabled him to pursue a voluptuous life without ever being he

Called to the religious life: Sr. Maria, Servant of Abba Father

Are the people in your life bringing you closer to Christ? Sr. Maria fell in love at a time when she wasn't close to the Lord. When she started to pray again, she realized God intended something else for her life. This is a powerful witness!

U.S. Bishops press for religious freedom and more economic aid to Egypt

August 27, 2013. ( The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to look after persecuted Christians in Egypt, while echoing Pope Francis' calls for “peace, dialogue and reconciliation.”   In a letter, written by Iowa Bishop Richard Pates, chairman for the USCCB Committee on Justice and Peace, they specifically show concern for Christian minorities in Egypt, as attacks by extremists against churches and Christians continue. But the letter goes a step further. The USCCB urged Kerry to work with the international community to protect Christians. It also asked the US government to maintain or increase humanitarian and economic aid to Egypt, to help “poor and vulnerable Egyptians.” Bishop Pates also praised Muslims who rushed to help and defend fellow Christians from attacks by Islam extremists.

Devout Catholic Couple die within hours of one another after 65 years of Marriage

Image Source The secular press is going crazy about this one , but, as Catholics, we all know what this is about. It's about true faith and self-giving love which come with the vows we make in the sacrament of matrimony. It's about becoming one with your spouse and committing yourself to a lifetime bond, which is something that is rare in our culture today. It is a beautfully inspiring story we all need to hear. Here is the scoop from Fox News: A grandson of an Ohio couple who died at a nursing home on the same day after 65 years of marriage credits their faith in God for the “shocking” timing. Jeff Simon, 20, of Russia, Ohio, told that his grandparents, Ruth, 89, and Harold “Doc” Knapke, 91, met in the third grade and continued a torrid love affair until Aug. 11, when the devoted pair died just days before their 66th wedding anniversary in the room they shared on a nursing home in Versailles in western Ohio. "It was very hard to see them both go a

Ten Things You Should Know About St. Monica

August 27 is the feast of St. Monica , one of my favorite saints. Here are ten facts about her that you should know. Monica was born in 332 to Christian parents in Tagaste, northern Africa and her Christian parents arranged for her to be married at the age 13 or 14 to an older man named Patricius, a pagan, who lived nearby.  Patricius had little to offer Monica. He was neither wealthy nor Christian. He had a bad temper and was both irritable and unfaithful. Monica did not imitate her husband, but she remained faithful to him and never uttered a bad word about him. In fact, she advised her friends: "Guard your tongue when your husband is angry." She was remained at peace, despite her husband's bad temper, due to her amazing self-control. Monica's mother-in-law lived in the house with the couple. She disliked Monica intensely to the point where she would gossip with the servants about her behind her back. She also criticized Monica constantly. Nevertheles

Fr. Barron comments on The Shawshank Redemption

Birthday Special:Blessed Mother Teresa's Life in Pictures Plus Prayers and Pithy Quotes

 Today, August 26th, marks the 103rd birthday of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa! Mother Teresa's life in Pictures A PICTORIAL TRIBUTE TO BLESSED MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA (1910 - 1997) Official Novena to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Best Pithy Quotes: "When you look at the crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the sacred host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now." "Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength." "Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, spirit of prayer, and sacrifice, by an intense inner life." "God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” "If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.&

Fr. Barron comments on The Sacrament of the Eucharist as Real Presence

Pope Francis: You are not excluded!

(Vatican Radio) (Vatican Radio) In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke about the words of Jesus from the day’s Gospel: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” The Holy Father noted that Jesus was responding to the question of how many people will be saved. But, the Pope said, “it is not important to know how many are saved. Rather, it is important to know what is the path of salvation.” Jesus Himself is the gate, a gate “that allows us to enter into God's family, into the warmth of the house of God, of communion with Him. This gate is Jesus Himself.” Pope Francis emphasised that “ the gate that is Jesus is never closed . . . it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges.” Jesus, he continued, does not exclude anyone. Some people might feel excluded because they are sinners – but Pope Francis definitively rejected this idea. “No,” he said, “you are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are prefer

Our Lady of Czestochowa

Today is the historical feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna). The Black Madonna was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist ; and it was while painting the picture, Mary told him about the life of Jesus, which he later incorporated into his gospel. The next time we hear of the painting is in 326 A.D. when St. Helen found it in Jerusalem and gave it to her son and had a shrine built for it in Constantinople. During a battle, the picture was placed on the walls of the city, and the enemy army fled. Our Lady saved the city from destruction. The picture was owned by many other people until 1382 when invading Tartars attacked a Prince Ladislaus' fortress, where the painting was located. A Tartar's arrow lodged into through the throat of the Madonna. The Prince transferred the painting to a church in Czestochowa, Poland. In 1430, the church was invaded and a looter struck the painting two times with his sword, but before he could strike it another time, he fell to t

St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars

Today is the feast day of St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars (also known as Saint Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars), the Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Poor. Born in 1843 at Catalonia, Spain, she was raised on a farm and later became a teacher at Lérida. She had been preparing to take her final vows as a Poor Clare nun, when the government suppressed all convents and she was sent home. She struggled to understand why God would permit this to happen and for several years asked Him what she was to do with her life. Then, she met a priest/spiritual director who provided the answer. Along with Father Saturnino Lopez Novoa, she opened a shelter for the poor and the elderly. At the age 29, in Barbastro, Spain, Teresa founded the community known today as the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Poor. By the time of her death, at age 54, she had established more than 100 shelters in Spain and 58 congregation houses. Today the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Poor have more than 2

Pope lays out concerns, petitions one tweet at a time, with ever growing following

August 24, 2013. ( A month after the end of WYD Rio 2013, the event's impact on the Pope's Twitter account is very noticeable. In August, the account @Pontifex grew by more than 585,000 followers . In the months before, the account added an average of 240,000 followers per month. In other words, during the month of August, it grew twice as fast. This month, Pope Francis has issued tweets every other day, and several have been re-tweeted more than 13,000 times.  His Latin profile is perhaps the biggest surprise of all. It grows by 200 followers daily, and is now in s ixth place among the nine official @Pontifex accounts. So far, it has gathered 154,000 followers. That's a striking number, considering that the Vatican expected about 5,000 when they launched the account. In August, Pope Francis' public appearances have trickled down, but not his activity on Twitter. In that time he was tuned in on how to reach the 500-million-strong Twitter unive

60th anniversary of iconic 'Roman Holiday' film

August 24, 2013. ( It's been more than 60 years now since the world saw Audrey Hepburn's historic holidays through the streets of Rome. In 1953, the iconic 'Roman Holiday' was filmed in the Eternal City. It inspired people across the world to tour the streets of Rome by Vespa, with Gregory Peck as tour guide. In a way, Rome itself became the film's third star. Using what was considered innovative techniques at the time, the full movie was filmed outside. Director William Wyler refused to recreate sets, to showcase the city. The story chronicles the story of a princess that arrives in Rome for an official state visit. Tired of her mandatory functions, she escapes into the city as a normal, everyday woman. She then meets a journalist who guides her throughout Rome. However, he recognizes her and wants to write an sell the story about their meeting. 'Roman Holiday' shows off some of Rome's most emblematic sites like the Spanish St

St. Bartholomew, apostle and martyr

Today, August 24, is the feast of St. Bartholomew , apostle and martyr. Saint Bartholomew is one of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13). The name (Bartholomaios) means "son of Talmai" which was an ancient Hebrew name. Besides being listed as an Apostle, he is not otherwise mentioned in the New Testament. At least not under the name Bartholomew: many ancient writers, and Catholic tradition have identified Bartholomew as Nathaniel in the Gospel of John (John 1:45-51, and 21:2). The Gospel passage read at Mass on the feast of Saint Bartholomew is precisely this passage from John (1:45-51) where Nathaniel is introduced to Jesus by his friend Phillip, and Jesus says of him "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him (1:47)." We are presented with the Apostle's character in this brief and beautiful dialogue with the Lord Jesus. He is a g

First Latin American saint honored worldwide for piety and devotion to God and poor

August 23, 2013. ( She lived hundreds of years ago, but her impact is no less profound. Saint Rose of Lima was the first saint from the New World, a place that today houses more than half of Catholics worldwide.   FATHER JOSE TOLA Pontifical Commission for Latin America “She was a woman with an exemplary Christian life, a woman of constant and deep prayer. She is well known for her penitence, because she suffered from the ailments of Christ. And she spent many years of her life doing strong penitence, fasting and other sacrifices. But she also dedicated herself greatly to helping out the poor and the needy.” Saint Rose was born Isabel Flores de Oliva to a large family in Lima, during the early days of the Spanish colony. It was a time of expansion and conversion for the Catholic Church. Early on, Saint Rose displayed an affinity to religion. Her beauty was well known, and her nickname, Rose, came from her rosy cheeks. Although her beauty attracted many suitor

St. Rose of Lima

 August 23 is the optional memorial of St. Rose of Lima, virgin. Isabella Flores de Oliva was born April 20, 1586 to Spanish immigrants in Lima, Peru. At her confirmation, she took the name of Rose, because as an infant, her face had been seen transformed by a mystical rose. She was pious from an early age. At age five, she built a small chapel for herself in the family garden. When she made her first Confession, she obtained permission from her confessor to make a vow of virginity. Rose had a strong devotion for Jesus and His Holy Mother and spent long hours praying before the Blessed Sacrament. With St. Catherine of Siena as her model, Rose fasted three times a week, offered up severe penances, and when her vanity was attacked, she cut off her beautiful hair, and wore coarse clothing. She frequently deprived herself of food, water, and sleep. As a result of her exterior mortification, she had interior mystical experiences as well as long periods of darkness and desolation

Video: 15 and Pregnant: Why I Chose Adoption Instead of Abortion

Give Miranda a minute to tell you why she chose adoption to provide the best life for her and her baby. Just 15, Miranda knew she needed a few more years of being a kid before she could even think about being a parent. So if you're pregnant but you're not ready to be a mom, we're ready to help you choose adoption too. Because you're not giving your baby away, you're giving your baby a chance. The follow video is very inspirational. Visit their web site at ~ Via

Mary Untier of Knots, Pope Francis, and His Prayer to Her

August 22, 2013. ( Pope Francis has displayed a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, over the course of his first six months as Pope. That includes his visit to the Aparecida Shrine during WYD in Rio. But there's another German advocation that he has shows fondness to, Mary Untier of Knots. MSGR. EDUARDO GARCIA Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires “It's a German advocation, and that same face full of surprise, we placed it in Argentina when he first enthroned a depiction at a parish. Mary Untier of the Knots is Our Lady who unties all problems in life, and frees us from the deceptions the Devil bounds us to.” Pope Francis discovered this Marian advocation when he lived in Germany in the 1980's, while he researched the works of theologian Romano Guardini. He was drawn to the significance of Mary Untier of Knots so much that when he returned home he promoted her devotion. Today, the image is worshiped by thousands in Argentina. MSGR. EDUARDO GARCIA

Book Review -- Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

By Ann Margaret Lewis , released 2010, Gasogene Books , Indianapolis Indiana, 151 pages. Paperback. Available from Gasogene Books , Ignatius Press , Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Major book stores and Catholic book stores. Reviewed by Jean M. Heimann, M.A. in Theology, freelance writer, retired psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John. If you are fan of Sherlock Holmes and even if you aren't, you will become instantly and totally immersed in these titillating tales of mystery and suspense. In Murder in the Vatican , Ann Lewis skillfully weaves three exciting tales of murder and intrigue – two from the viewpoint of Dr. Watson and one from the perspective of Pope Leo XIII. Stories include "The Death of Cardinal Tosca," "The Vatican Cameos," and "The Second Coptic Patriarch." What fascinated me about these stories is the fact that they seemed so authentic – in terms of dialogue, setting, and character --that I felt as if I were rea

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, we celebrate a beautiful Marian Feast -- the Queenship of Mary. This special Liturgical Feast was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954 through his Encyclical Letter Ad Caeli Reginam. The Catholic Church made this proclamation based upon the fact that whether in time of peace or in time of war, the faithful have incessantly offered prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. Following the tremendous destruction that occurred during World War II and considering the reality that the threat of a similar catastrophe filled the faithful with a great anguish, the Church turned its eyes towards Mary, the Heavenly Queen, in the hope of her protection. Mary has never failed those who have sought her intercession in prayer, placing their total trust in her. Mary’s queenship has its roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. (Luke 1:32 -33) At the Visita

Pope Emeritus Benedict says God told him to resign during 'mystical experience'

The former pope Benedict has claimed that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a "mystical experience". Breaking his silence for the first time since he became the first pope to step down in 600 years, the 86-year-old reportedly said: "God told me to" when asked what had pushed him to retire to a secluded residence in the Vatican gardens. Benedict denied he had been visited by an apparition or had heard God's voice, but said he had undergone a "mystical experience" during which God had inspired in him an "absolute desire" to dedicate his life to prayer rather than push on as pope. Read more.

Pope to announce canonization date of late popes on September 30

(Vatican Radio) "On September 30th, the Pope will hold consistory and on this occasion he will announce the date of canonizations." It is with these words that Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints responded to reporters who asked him when was the planned canonizations of John Paul II and John XXIII. The two Popes, who will be canonized at the same ceremony, will be canonized certainly in 2014. "I think it is difficult this year and will probably be next year" added Cardinal Amato on the sidelines of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini. Cardinal Amato only confirms what was already spoken of by the Pope himself. "The Holy Father on the plane that brought him to Brazil had already announced that the canonizations would not be imminent during the last months of 2013, but in 2014," says Cardinal Amato.

Why does the priest drop a piece of host into the chalice?

Bishop Christopher Coyne tells you Everything You Wanted To Know About Catholic Liturgy (but were afraid to ask).

Beer-brewing monks celebrate 1 year of production

Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, celebrate their first year of beer production. It looks like a good way to evangelize!

Pope thanks Argentine painter for self-portraits

August 21, 2013.( Just minutes after his election as Supreme Pontiff, the entire world wanted the image of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis. The historic moment also inspired Argentine painter Mercedes Fariña with the idea to paints the new Pope.   MERCEDES FARIÑA Painter “I thought that it was a good opportunity to show this moment, which is so important, through an Argentine painter, someone from his same nationality. Another thing that drew me to the Holy Father is that I'm from the Flores neighborhood, which is where he was born and grew up. In the first painting, I placed him next to his church, where he found his religious vocation.” The painter found a way to get a letter and a picture of her painting to the Pope. The Vatican responded to the painter with an Apostolic Blessing. But the best surprise was yet to come. MERCEDES FARIÑA Painter “I received a second letter handwritten by him. It was an immense joy for me, and he thanked me for the

The Fourth Cup - Dr Scott Hahn

Pope St. Pius X, "Pope of the Eucharist"

Today is the memorial of St. Pius X, pope. Guiseppe Sarto was born June 2, 1835, the second of ten children born to a poor family in the village of Riese, Province of Treviso, near Venice. His mother, Margherita Sanson, was a seamstress. His father, Giovanni Sarto, who was a cobbler by trade, as well as the caretaker of the city hall and the town's postmaster, passed away when Gisueppe was 16. Gisueppe entered the seminary at the age of 15 and was ordained at the age of 23. For nine years, he served as chaplain at Tombolo, having to assume most of the functions of parish priest, as the pastor was old and in poor health. He sought to prefect his knowledge of theology by studying Saint Thomas of Aquinas and canon law. He established a night school for adults, and devoted himself to pastoral ministry for 17 years. He became the bishop of Mantua, cardinal patriarch of Venice, and Pope in 1903. As Pope, he took as the motto of his reign "to renew all things in Christ."

Papal Quote of the Day: the Greatest Poverty

“The greatest poverty is in fact the lack of Christ, and until we bring Jesus to men we will have done too little for them.” ~ Pope Francis in a letter to Bishop Francesco Lambiasi of Rimini, on the occasion of the opening of the annual gathering  of the Rimini Meeting organized by the lay movement Communion and Liberation

Novena to St. Augustine begins today

Begin this prayer today and recite for nine days. Saint Augustine, great Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church, may your life of conversion to the Catholic Faith be an example to both those who have never been apart of the Church, and to those who have fallen away from Christ's Church. Through your closeness with Our Lord in Heaven, intercede for us and bring to the One True Faith the following people (mention names). May your conversion centuries ago continue to inspire those who are lost today and with the help of your prayers, may God bring them to a full understanding of the Faith. Most importantly, may your struggle to find Truth, through many sins and failings be an example of the Lord Jesus' forgiveness and eternal saving Grace. Amen. Oh God, hear the prayer of your servant, St Augustine, and bring the message of salvation to all who seek you in sincerity. Amen.

Back to School Prayers for College Students

A Student's Prayer (by St. Thomas Aquinas) Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever. Amen. Prayer to Our Lady (by St. Thomas Aquinas) O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, so many persons of common intellect have made through thy intercession admirable progress in their studies. I hereby choose thee as guardian and patron of my studies. I humbly ask thee to obtain for me the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that from now on I could understand more quickly, retain

Benedict XVI 'escapes' to Castel Gandolfo to pray to Our Lady, and listen to classical music

August 20, 2013.( Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI traveled to Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, where he spent the afternoon strolling through the gardens of the villa where he spent the hot summer months in the past eight years.   According to Italian news agency ANSA, Benedict XVI spent Sunday afternoon at Castel Gandolfo, joined by the 'memores domini,' the four consecrated women that have cared for him for several years. He used that time to pray the Rosary at the gardens, and even enjoyed a brief piano concert. The visit lasted approximately three hours, and then he returned to the Vatican. Before the start of the summer, Pope Francis invited Benedict XVI to take refuge from the Roman heat at Castel Gandolfo, but the Pope emeritus declined, and opted instead to remain inside the Vatican.

Duck Dynasty Preaches God, Life, Family

A record number of viewers tuned in to watch the fourth season premier of Duck Dynasty, a politically incorrect hit reality show that preaches faith, good morals, and family values. is reporting that the A&E reality show focuses on the lives of the Robertson family who run a business that makes products for duck hunters. Instead of glamorizing adulterous housewives and the antics of drunken youth at the Jersey Shore, Duck Dynasty features a refreshing line-up of solid characters and healthy American living. Read more.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Today is the memorial of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot and doctor of the Church. Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. Bernard is also known as the second founder of the Cistercians, the Mellifluous Doctor, and the last of the Fathers of the Holy Church. He was born to a noble family at Fontaines, near Dijon, France in 1090, the third of seven children, six of whom were sons. Bernard left his privileged life near Dijon, France, to join the Cistercians at the age of 22. He was well educated and so passionate about his faith that he convinced 30 of his relatives -- including all of his brothers, his uncle, and later his widowed father -- as well as many friends to join him at the abbey. Bernard first entered the abbey at Citeaux, but only three years

Pope Francis: Faith and Violence are Incompatible

August 18, 2013. ( During Sunday's Angelus at St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis renewed his calls for peace in Egypt, where violent clashes between the army and supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi continue to drive up the death toll among its citizens. POPE FRANCIS “We continue to pray for peace in Egypt together, Mary Queen of Peace pray for us.” During his Angelus remarks, Pope Francis spoke on the Gospel reading for the day, which, coincidentally, dealt with peace, and how violence is incompatible with faith. He said the Gospel's message explained that Jesus set the criteria for which to live by peacefully: live for God or live for oneself, to serve or be served. But he added that living in peace, does not mean being neutral. POPE FRANCIS “Jesus does not portray neutrality. This peace is not a compromise at all costs. To follow Jesus, means to renounce all evil and egoism, to do good, and choose truth and justice.” However, the Po

More than 50 churches in Egypt attacked in past few days

August 18, 2013. ( Christians have come under fire from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood since violent clashes between supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi and the army broke out. Islamists largely accuse the Christian population in Egypt of backing the coup that removed Morsi as president.   MARTA PETROSILLO Spokesperson, Help to the Church that Suffers “They believe that Christians and the Christian Churches supported the army in removing President Morse. There are even some who have spoken about a Christian crusade against Morsi. This is not true, because the Church has not taken positions. It allowed its members to act freely.” About 10 percent of the population in Egypt is Christian. They have increasingly become a minority under attack from an on-going struggle. Those attacks have centered on churches, monasteries, schools and even Christian-owned businesses across Egypt. This video shows how flames engulfed a church in Minya, south of Cairo. MA

Back to School Prayer

Father of all mercies We ask that you would bless the youngest and littlest of learners, the most helpless and powerless of persons, with Your infinite and loving mercy, granting them the strength to learn, concentrate, and act appropriately towards their teachers and fellow students. We also ask that You would watch over them, at home and at school and grant them proper direction so that they may learn of Your wonderful virtues. We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen ~ by David Bennett Via Nick at Catholic School Chronicle (News, Resources and Discussion for Catholic Teachers and Catechists)

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