Showing posts from October, 2013

Pope's Prayer Intentions for November

Vatican City, 31 October 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis' prayer intention for November is: “That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering, support in their doubts, and confirmation in their fidelity”. His mission intention is: “That as fruit of the continental mission, Latin American Churches may send missionaries to other Churches”.

New Cardinals to be created in February 2014

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See Press Office has confirmed a Consistory to create new Cardinals will be held next February. Pope Francis had informed both the Council of Cardinals and the Council of the Synod of his intention earlier this month, according to statement issued by Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Press Office. The Consistory will be on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 2014. Pope Francis decided to make the date known so that other meetings could be planned which involve Cardinals from around the world. Father Lombardi said a Meeting of the Cardinals could be expected to happen before the Consistory, as has been customary with his predecessors. Prior to this meeting, will be the third meeting of the 8-member Council of Cardinals, while a meeting of the Council of the Synod will start two days after the Consistory. Father Lombardi said a meeting of the 15 Member Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organisational and Economic Problems of th

Video of boy who distracts Pope during Vigil, breaks records

I think this little boy is preparing to be a future pope. He is darling! October 31, 2013. ( VIDEO) A new star is born! Images of a 6 year old boy who felt 'at home' during a Papal vigil are making their way across the globe. As Pope Francis addressed more than 100,000 people during the Day of the Family, the little boy seemed unphased. He hugged the Pope, sat in the papal chair and even decided to become an improvised 'master of ceremonies.' The Pope's butler tried to sway him away from the Pope, by offering him some candy. The boy took the candy, but then pulled away. The Pope didn't seem bothered by the distractions. The 6-year-old boy is from Colombia, but about a year ago he was adopted by an Italian family with the help of AiBi, 'Amici dei Bambini.' It's an institution that helps abandoned children find a family. With the boy's growing popularity, his mother gave the following statement: “We hope that the ble

Pope declares martyr a bishop killed by Communist regime

October 31, 2013. ( On Thursday Pope Francis declared an Austrian-born bishop as a martyr of the faith. Bishop Anton Durcovici died in 1951, inside a Romanian jail. He was tortured and eventually died from his mistreatment by the repressive Communist regime, which was hostile towards all Catholics.   The Pope also recognized the heroic virtues of Onoria “Nano” Nagle. She was an Irish nun that founded the Presentation Sisters. She devoted her life to promoting education, especially for the poor and needy. Italian Olga Gugelmo was known for her simplicity as well as her devotion and service to the Church. She died in 1943 from meningitis. The Pope also recognized the heroic virtues of American nun Celestina Bottego. She was a teacher in Italy who later founded the Missionary Society of Mary, a congregation dedicated to helping out the poor and needy worldwide.

The Eve of All Saints or All Hallow's Eve

Today we celebrate the eve of All Saints. Pope Sixtus IV in 1484 established November 1, the feast of All Saints, as a holy day of obligation and gave it both a vigil (known today as "All Hallows' Eve" or "Hallowe'en") and an eight-day period or octave to celebrate the feast. By 1955, the octave of All Saints was removed. All Hallows' Eve Halloween or All Hallows' Eve is not a liturgical feast on the Catholic calendar, but the celebration has deep ties to the Liturgical Year. These three consecutive days — Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day — illustrate the Communion of Saints. The Church Militant (those on earth, striving to get to heaven) pray for the Church Suffering (those souls in Purgatory) especially on All Souls Day and the month of November. We also rejoice and honor the Church Triumphant (the saints, canonized and uncanonized) in heaven. We also ask the Saints to intercede for us, and for the souls in Purgatory. Since Vat

Did the NSA really spy on the Vatican?

We don't know for sure. There is only one report from an Italian weekly magazine Panorama that is claiming this. They are reporting: “The National Security Agency wiretapped the pope,” accusing the United States of listening in to telephone calls to and from the Vatican, including the accommodation housing cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he was elected Pope Francis. Still, as an American Catholic,  I find this disturbing and I am concerned about this, as we all should be. Of course much of the U.S. press is denying this report, but it would not surprise me in the least if were true. At this point in time, there is very little about this administration that doesn't surprise me. Phil Lawler offers his views at Catholic Culture.

Spooky Saints: St. Christina the Astonishing

The saints are our mentors and models who show us ways to live our faith. However, some of their stories can be terrifying and downright...spooky. Fr. Steven Bell, CSP presents one of these spookier saintly stories as he tells the tale of Saint Christina the Astonishing ---- a woman that some called mad, and some called holy.

HHS Secretary Sebelius pretends to be ignorant about Pro-abortion Obamacare

This morning, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before a key House committee on the disastrous implementation of Obamacare. Research shows that it is nearly impossible for consumers to tell which Obamacare plans cover abortion, and which do not.  Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) – asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius if she’d be willing to fix the abortion transparency problems in Obamacare. The first words out of her mouth? “Sir, I, I don’t know.” (Of course she knows what she is doing -- forcing Americans to pay for abortions! That is the main focus and primary goal of this legislation. It is the reason that this late-term abortion promoter was assigned to this position. )  This is a jarring admission from the Obama Administration’s top health care official considering that the passage of Obamacare hinged on the abortion issue. Abortion nearly derailed Obamacare until so-called “pro-life Democrats” betrayed their pro-life constituents and handed Obama, Pelosi, and Sebelius

Pope Francis explains what we can learn from the Communion of Saints

October 30, 2013 ( During Wednesday's General Audience, and ahead of the celebration of All Saints' Day, Pope Francis described the communion of saints as the spiritual fraternity between the saints. But he added this unity extends to Catholics today, which are all united to the Body of Christ. As a result of this communion, the Pope said, Catholics should support each other spiritually. ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, we now reflect on “the communion of saints.” As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, this is a communion “in holy things” and “among holy persons” (No. 948). The communion of saints is the deepest reality of the Church, because in Christ, through Baptism, we are made sharers in the communion of life and love which is the Blessed Trinity. As such, we are united to one another in the Body of Christ. Through this fraternal communion we draw nearer to

Book co-published by Vatican teaches Catholics to pray with Bible

(Vatican Radio) A new book was scheduled to be launched in Rome on Wednesday to encourage Catholics to prayerfully read the Bible. Published jointly by the American Bible Society and the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana), “Pray With the Bible, Meditate With the Word” uses the ancient monastic practice of Lectio Divina to help readers draw spiritual help from Scripture. “In the third century monks developed a prayerful practice called Lectio Divina, the reading of God: That meant to read the Bible in a prayerful form.” explained Mario Paredes, the Presidential Liaison of Catholic Ministries for the American Bible Society. “As the centuries went by, prayer…became very rational and very intellectual, and so the act of praying with the World of God became really obsolete until very modern times. After Vatican II, the Church clearly indicated that a Catholic person should be engaged with the Word of God.” He told Vatican Radio that the American Bible Society has co

St Alphonsus Rodriguez

The saint of the day for October 30 is St Alphonsus Rodriguez, a Jesuit, who was born at Segovia in Spain, on July 12, 1531. From childhood he was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He loved her as his mother. This childlike devotion to her was the main reason for his sanctity. When he was a teenager, Alphonsus and his older brother were sent to study in a Jesuit college. On the death of his father in 1545, he was called home from his studies, by his mother, who was burdened with the care of eleven young children. Though only a boy of fourteen, he was placed in charge of the family business, which involved the buying and selling of wool. At the request of his mother, Alphonsus married the virtuous Maria Suarez. His married life of four years was marked with much suffering. His business suffered, and two of the couple’s three children died in infancy. He was widowed at the age of 32 and his mother died soon aftewards. He sold the business and moved in with his sisters; they help

Pro LIfe Feminism

Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life talks about why women deserve better than abortion on CatholicTV 's The Gist.

Seeking Francis in Assisi

Pope Francis: It's one thing to live out hope and another to live as good Christians

October 29, 2013 ( During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said that the true meaning of hope is more than just a state of mind, or optimism. He described it as an “ardent expectation.”     POPE FRANCIS “It's one thing to live out hope, because through hope we are all saved, and another thing to live as good Christians, nothing more. When a woman becomes pregnant, she is still a woman. But she is much more than that: she's a mother. And hope is like that too. It changes our attitudes: we are ourselves, but more than ourselves. It's us, searching beyond.” Pope Francis also said that hope produces life, and so Christians must go beyond what's comfortable for them and give hope to others. EXCERPT FROM POPE'S HOMILY Source: Vatican Radio “Hope is not just optimism. It's not the capacity to look at things with good spirits and carry on. No, that is optimism, not hope. Hope is not having a positive attitude before things. These

Blessed Maria Restituta

Today we celebrate Helen Kafka, better known as Blessed Maria Restituta, martyr. Helen Kafka was born in 1894 to a shoemaker and grew up in Vienna, Austria. She initially worked as a salesgirl and then as an assistant caregiver at the Lainz public hospital, which brought her into contact with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. At the age of 20, she decided to join the Order and took the name Restituta, after a 4th century Christian martyr. In 1919, she began working as a surgical nurse at the Moulding hospital in Austria. When the Germans took over the country, she became a local opponent of the Nazi regime. Her conflict with them escalated after they ordered her to remove all the crucifixes she had hung up in each room of a new hospital wing. Sister Maria Restitua refused and she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942. She was sentenced to death for "aiding and abetting the enemy in the betrayal of the fatherland and for plotting high treason.” Martin Bormann d

Alabama joins EWTN in lawsuit against HHS mandate

Michael P. Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Eternal Word Television Network and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. Photos courtesy of EWTN. Now, this is pretty radical (I mean that in a good sense) and I wish more states would follow this example. We all need to bond in Christian unity for religious freedom in our nation. That's what our forefathers fought for and defended. Way to go Alabama! Birmingham, Ala., Oct 28, 2013 / 07:10 am (CNA).- EWTN Global Catholic Network has been joined by the state of Alabama in a new lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraception and sterilization mandate. “EWTN has no other option but to continue our legal challenge to the mandate,” said chairman Michael P. Warsaw in an Oct. 28 statement announcing the suit. The network had originally filed a suit against the federal government Feb. 9, 2012 and was later joined by Alabama through the state's attorney general, Luther Strange. That suit was dismissed, but in

Pope: Pray as a Family! Keep the faith by sharing it

October 28, 2013 ( Over 100,000 people from different parts of the world, came out to St. Peter's Square to take part in the 'Day for the Family.' As Pope Francis got ready to celebrate Mass, he took a quick glance at his watch to make sure he was on schedule.   During his homily, the Pope connected prayer to humility, by explaining that humility comes from recognizing that one needs God. POPE FRANCIS “All families need God. Every single one. We need His help, His strength, His blessing, His mercy and His forgiveness. It takes simplicity. To pray as a family, simplicity is needed.” The Mass falls under the events organized under the 'Year of Faith.' The Pope reflected on St. Paul, by explaining that part of keeping the faith, comes with sharing it. Even when families are pressed for time, he said, prayer should not be ignored. POPE FRANCIS “As a family, you can pray the 'Our Father' around the dinner table. That's not difficu

Fifteen Favorite Films for All Hallow's Eve and All Saints Day

All Halows Eve and All Saints Day are days to celebrate our Catholic faith and the Communion of Saints. Here are some great films to watch on those days (my favorites): Restless Heart: The Confessions of St. Augustine The Song of Bernadette St. John Bosco: Mission to Love Pope John Paul II Saint Anthony Molokai: The Story of Father Damien Francis and Clare Edith Stein: The Seventh Chamber Brother Andre  Pius XII: Under the Roman Sky   A Man for All Seasons Miracle of St. Therese Padre Pio Miracle Man  Peter and Paul St. Patrick: The Irish Legend

Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles and Martyrs

October 28 is the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, apostles and martyrs. The name of St. Simon usually appears eleventh in the list of the apostles. The first cousin of Jesus, he was born at Cana and is surnamed "The Zealot." He preached in Egypt, Spain, and Lybia, leaving behind him the fertile hills of Galilee, where he had been engaged in the healthful cultivation of the vineyards and olive gardens. He later rejoined his brother, Saint Jude, in Persia, where they preached and died as martyrs together. Patronage : curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners St. Jude , also called Thaddeus or "Courageous", is the author of the short epistle in the New Testament. He was the apostle who asked the Lord at the Last Supper why he had manifested himself only to the disciples and not to the whole world (John 14:22). He was the son of Cleophas and the woman named Mary who stood with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross as Our Lord was redeeming the world. He is

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Gospel Reflection for 10/27/13:

Blessed Damian of Fulcheri

Today is the feast of Blessed Damian of Fulcheri, a Dominican priest. Damian was born at the end of the fourteenth century to wealthy, Italian nobility. As a baby he was kidnapped by a man who was mentally ill. His parents prayed to Our Lady, and searchers were led to the baby by a miraculous light. He was returned to his family unharmed. Damian entered the Dominican order at Genoa and became a diligent student and later, a dedicated priest. He was well-known for his forceful preaching and hundreds of people were converted during his missions in Italy. Damian died in Modena, Italy in 1484, and immediately became the object of much pious speculation, because of the miracles worked at his tomb. He was beatified in 1848 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmed). Prayer God of truth, for the salvation of the faithful you endowed Blessed Damian with wondrous virtues and powers of speech. Through his prayers may we hear your word with an open heart and hold fast to it with patience. We

Pope Francis: 'Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber'

October 25, 2013. ( During Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained the keys to the Sacrament of Confession. He said it must be face-to-face and concrete. The Pope said children offer a good example of confession because they are not afraid to speak openly.   POPE FRANCIS "Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber. Some say: ‘Ah, I confess directly to God. It’s easy, But it’s like confessing by email, no?' God is far away, I say things and there’s no face-to-face contact. Little children have that wisdom: when a child comes to confess, he never says something general. ‘But Father, I did this and I did that to my aunt, another time I said this word.' And they say the word. But they are concrete, eh? They have that simplicity of the truth."  Pope Francis also spoke about shame. He said it wasn't bad. Rather, it's a God-given grace to help people return to Him. As an example, he recalled St. Peter

Pope Francis to married couples: You must 'waste time' with your children

October 25, 2013. ( Pope Francis proposed approaching “with respect and courage the families facing difficult situations,” as well as “marriages in crisis or those who are separated.” In the last gathering of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pope urged Christians to use their everyday life to show the “beauty of marriage and the Christian family.”   POPE FRANCIS “The family is where one learns to love, the natural center of human life. The family is made of faces, of people that love, that talk, that sacrifice for each other, and protect life, specially the most fragile, the weakest.” The Pope also asked parents to “waste time” with their children, so that they can realize that love is always free. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia, gave Pope Francis this icon where the Holy Family appears along with with two old men. “This icon represents the relationship between generations.” Pope Francis was deli

The Forty Holy Martyrs of England and Wales

Today in England is the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs of England and Wales (in Wales this is a memorial), a group of forty men, women, religious, priests, and lay people who were canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970. These people were executed for their Faith during a period of anti-Catholicism from 1535 to 1679. The Martyrs who were canonized were among more than two hundred martyrs who had been beatified by various earlier popes. Some of the common "crimes" of these people were being priests, harboring priests, or refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. This group of saints includes some well-known saints, such as St. Alban Roe, and St. Edmund Campion. Many of these saints are recognized on the days of their martyrdom, but as a group, they are recognized on the day they were canonized. These forty were canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25th, 1970. They are representative of the English and Welsh martyrs of the Reformation who died at various dates be

The Amazing Power of Beauty in Leading a Soul to the Truth

By Jean M. Heimann We all hunger in our hearts for some form of fulfillment.  Not all hearts are able to identify the Source of that hunger, but every heart longs for something.  We are all hungry.  Each one of us yearns to be satisfied.  Sadly, many souls are starving!  In our current culture of relativism, where nothing is definitive and there are no solid answers to anything, how can individuals be guided to the Truth to discover the One, True Love that their hearts seek? Read the rest of my post at the New Evangelizers blog.

Pope denounces the persecution of Christians and anti-Semitism

October 24, 2013 ( Pope Francis met with a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S.-based Jewish human rights group dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, intolerance and racism. The audience took place Thursday inside the Vatican's Clementine Hall.   The Pope denounced the persecution of any minority group “because of their religious convictions or ethnic identity.” He specifically singled out the suffering of many Christians around the world, living under the threat of persecution. Pope Francis then called for a culture of encounter and respect. He praised the work the Simon Wiesenthal Center carries forward, and urged them to continue. POPE FRANCIS “To combat every form of racism, intolerance and anti-Semitism, to keep alive the memory of the Shoah, and to promote mutual understanding through education and commitment to the good of society.” The Pope also asked the delegation to get young people involved and educated. He said it's important

St. Anthony Mary Claret

St. Anthony Marie Claret Today ims the optional memorial of St. Anthony Mary Claret -- a favorite saint that my husband introduced me to several years ago when he gave a teaching on this amazing man of God. I don't think I have ever heard of any saint who was filled with so much zeal for his apostolate. He was a monk and a mystic who exerted an unusual amount of influence over the laity by obeying the call of God. Born on Christmas eve, 1807, in the village of Sallent, in Catalonia, Spain, Anthony was a very pious child. When he was eleven years old, the bishop visited his school and asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Without the least bit of hesitation, he replied: "A priest." As a young adult, Anthony Claret excelled as a maker of cloth as a weaver in his father's textile factory. He then studied for the priesthood, desiring to be a Jesuit. Ill health prevented him from entering the Order, so he served as a diocesan priest. He was ordained at a

Patrons of the Arts: 30 years of celebrating art and the faith

October 23, 2013. ( Inside the Vatican, there are priceless works of art, like this one and....this one. Thanks to the Patrons of the Arts, these masterpieces are being restored for generations to come.     The Blake family chose to restore a map of Lucano, where St. Gerard was born. It's something that's close to their hearts and their faith. GERARD FRANCIS BLAKE Patrons of the Arts “My mother had a miscarriage unfortunately and nuns came to the room to comfort her in the hospital and said, pray to St. Gerard because he's the patron saint of mothers and fortunately a year later I was born.” BERENICE CESEÑA DE BLAKE Patrons of the Arts (USA) “So, my mother in law prayed to St. Gerard so that my husband would be born. That's why his name is Gerard. I followed that tradition and now our boy is named Gerard.” Among the highlights, the Patrons were welcomed by Pope Francis who explained that art is much more than just beauty. Ultimately, art h

A saintly transformation

The Knights of Columbus are in the process of transforming the once struggling Pope John Paul II Cultural Center into world-class shrine and museum for pilgrims to learn about and pray to the soon-to-be saint.

Pope: Mary as model of faith, charity and union with Christ

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said the Church is like Mary who brings Jesus and is not a shop or a humanitarian agency. Speaking at his Wednesday general audience, the Pope said a Church which does not bring Jesus is a dead Church. At his general audience Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the model of the Church and reflected on how "Mary is a model of faith and charity for the Church." He said "Mary’s life was centered on Christ, the incarnation of God’s infinite Love." She teaches us to live a life of faith by her obedience to God’s will and by her unfailing devotion to Jesus and his work. As a model of Charity, the Pope continued, “Mary wishes to bring all of us to the great gift that is Jesus with his love, his peace and his joy.” "The Church," he said, “is not a shop, or a humanitarian agency, or an NGO, the Church’s mandate is to bring Christ and the gospel” to everyone. The Church brings Jesus and his love and "if the Church wer

The Abortion-Breast Cancer Link: The Biology (Part Four of Four)

By Joel Brind, Ph.D. In the three previous installments of this series, I documented the epidemiological evidence for the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link, and the ongoing wall of denial from the official purveyors of public health information, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In this final installment, I’ll go over the basic, underlying biology of how and why abortion interferes with normal breast development and breast health, thus leading to a higher risk of breast cancer later in life for women who have chosen abortion. Everyone knows that a woman’s breasts, as part of the reproductive system, do not develop until puberty. But most people — even doctors — do not know that the breasts really do not develop substantially even at puberty: they essentially just grow in size. What that means is that from the time of puberty, a girl has a lot more breast tissue capable of growing — and capable of becoming cancerous — than she had before puberty. Thus does puberty ope

St. John of Capistrano: Franciscan priest, preacher, and theologian

The saint of the day for October 23 is St. John of Capistrano, a great Franciscan priest, preacher, and theologian. St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a former German knight of that city. He studied law at the University of Perugia and practiced as a lawyer in the courts of Naples. King Ladislas of Naples appointed him governor of Perugia. During a war with a neighboring town he was betrayed and imprisoned. Upon his release he entered the Franciscan community at Perugia in 1416. He and St. James of the March were fellow students under St. Bernadine of Siena, who inspired him to institute the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and His Mother. John began his brilliant preaching apostolate while a deacon in 1420. After his ordination, he traveled throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching penance and establishing numerous communities of Franciscan renewal. When Mohammed II was threatening Vienna and Rome, St. John, at

Vatican event lauds 'tenacious' women in modern society

Italian journalist Marina Ricci (center) moderates the Vatican event on Oct. 19, 2013. Credit: Kerri Lenartowick/CNA. Vatican City, Oct 22, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just down the road from St. Peter's Basilica, a crowd of almost 200 packed into an audience hall to hear a panel discussion on the witness of modern women in the Church. The occasion for this event was the publication of a book in Italian, “Tenacious Women,” which profiles 12 very different modern women throughout the world who have chosen to live their lives as a daily testimony to their faith. Italian journalist Marina Ricci, who moderated the panel, opened the event by explaining that “we begin with experience for this reason: we live in a world and in a society in which rarely does someone see him or her self beginning from reality.” The stories in the book range from that of a 28-year-old mother who died from a malignant tumor while postponing treatment because she was pregnant with her third ch

Abortionists Jump Ship from Wichita Abortion Clinic as Fines and Scrutiny Mount

Wichita, KS – Operation Rescue has learned that Trust Women PAC, run by Wichita abortion clinic owner Julie Burkhart, has paid $3,000 in fines to the Federal Election Commission for violations of Federal Election Law. This comes at a time when at least three abortionists have quit employment at Burkhart’s South Wind Women’s Center LLC, which now struggles to remain open in the building once owned by George Tiller. In July, Operation Rescue filed a complaint against Trust Women PAC after its investigation of public filings showed shoddy bookkeeping and improper disbursements to South Wind Women’s Center, a for-profit abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. New PAC filings dated October 15, 2013, indicate that Trust Women PAC has paid $3,000 in “fees” to the Federal Election Commission, the same amount it was fined earlier this year for improper filings and failure to file timely reports. New PAC filings dated October 15, 2013, indicate that Trust Women PAC has paid $3,000 in “fees”

How did you know your husband was 'the one'?

 This is short, but oh so sweet! I know you will love it! Rachel Balducci, Danielle Bean, and Carolee McGrath of CatholicTV's 'The Gist' answer this week's viewer question.

Pope Francis: Just like a nurse, God heals our wounds with His hands

October 22, 2013. ( Pope Francis spoke about the mystery of God during his homily at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta. He said that God challenges Christians by “meddling” in their lives. He added that it's something that can only be understood by contemplation in prayer. POPE FRANCIS “The image that comes to my mind is that of a nurse in a hospital who heals our wounds, one at a time. Just like God, who gets involved and meddles in our miseries, He gets close to our wounds and heals them with His hands. And to actually have hands, He became man.” Pope Francis also recalled that God did not save humanity by decree, but rather with his own life. EXCERPT FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY Source: Vatican Radio “One man created sin, Francis explained, and one man saved us. God is close, he is close to our history. From the very first moment when he chose our father, Abraham, he walked with His people. And Jesus himself had a craftsman’s job: a worker who uses hi

Blessed John Paul II

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Blessed John Paul II, who will be canonized on April 27, 2014 -- Divine Mercy Sunday. He was born Karol Josef Wojtyla in Wadowice, a city 50 kilometers from Cracow, on May 18, 1920, to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. He was baptized on June 20, 1920, in the parish church of his town. He attended elementary and high school in Marcin Wadowita in Wadowice, after which, Karol enrolled in Krakow’s Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for drama until 1939 when the university closed. The young Karol had to work in a quarry for four years. In his desire to answer his call to the priestly life, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow in 1942. The seminary then was being run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, the Archbishop of Cracow. While studying for the priesthood, Karol Wojtyla was one of the pioneers of the “Rhapsodic Theatre,” also an underground organization. The major seminary of Cracow re-opened after the Sec

Fr. Barron: The Sacrament of Confirmation

October 22nd: Last celebration of John Paul II, as a Blessed

October 21, 2013. ( Millions of people from all over the world followed this very moment: Benedict XVI declaring John Paul II as a Blessed of the Catholic Church.     BENEDICT XVI May 1st, 2011 “We concede that the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, Pope, from this hour can be called Blessed. And that it is possible to celebrate his feast in places and according to norms established by law, each year on the 22nd of October.” At the end of September, Pope Francis announced that John Paul II will be canonized on April 27th. The miracle that gave way to his canonization took place in Costa Rica, the same day he was beatified. Since his beatification, a celebration is held every October 22nd to mark his life and his deeds. The date coincides with the inaugural Mass at the very start of his pontificate. This October will be the last time John Paul II is celebrated as a Blessed, since by that time next year, he will be a Saint of the Catholic Church.

Attachment to Money Destroys People, Families, Relationships

(Vatican Radio) Greed, attachment to money, destroys people, destroys families and relationships with others: That was Pope Francis’ message this morning during Mass in Santa Marta. The invitation is not to choose poverty per se, but to use the wealth that God gives us to help those in need. Commenting on the day’s Gospel, in which a man asks Jesus to intervene to resolve a problem of inheritance with his brother, the Pope spoke about the problem of our relationship with money: “This is a day-to-day problem. How many families have we seen destroyed by the problem of money? Brother against brother, father against son. This is the first result that this attitude of being attached to money does: it destroys! When a person is attached to money, he destroys himself, he destroys the family. Money destroys! It does, doesn’t it? It binds you. Money serves to bring about many good things, so many works for human development, but when your heart is attached in this way, it destroys you.”

Women who fight and pray

Pope Francis expressed his appreciation to those “who fight for their families, who pray and never grow weary”, these women who “by their attitude provide us with a true witness of faith and courage, and a  model of prayer”. The Holy Father said this at the Angelus on Sunday, 21 October, in St Peter's Square, drawing on the Gospel parable of the widow, “who by pleading with a dishonest judge succeeds in obtaining justice from him”. The Pope also spoke about World Mission Day, recalling the testimony of Afra Martinelli, who died recently when her house in Nigeria was attacked. Martinelli had lived in Nigeria for more than 30 years. “The method of the Christian mission”, he said, “is not proselytism but rather to sharing the flame that warms the soul”, and this murdered missionary “spread the flame of faith” and “fought the good fight”. Furthermore the Pontiff  expressed his solidarity with the people of the Philippines who were struck by the expressed. He also greeted the partic

U.S. Ambassador Ken Hackett presents his credentials to Pope Francis

(Vatican Radio) In the Vatican on Monday, Pope Francis received the United States’ new Ambassador to the Holy See, Ken Francis Hackett who presented his letters of credential to the Holy Father. Ambassador Hackett is the former president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) from which he retired in 2011. Ambassador Hackett attended Boston College, graduating in 1968. He then joined the Peace Corps, and served in Ghana. Later, he joined CRS, serving in Africa and Asia. From 1994 to 2012, he served as a member of the Pontifical Council for charitable works, Cor Unum.He was nominated U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See by President Barack Obama in June 2013. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on August 1, 2013. ( Ken Hackett was unable to contain his excitement upon meeting Pope Francis. Three months after his confirmation, the American ambassador presented his credentials.   -“Oh, Holy Father.” -“I'm glad to meet you.” -“Thank you so much. It's a w

Blessed Charles of Austria

The saint of the day for October 21st is Blessed Charles of Austria. Charles was born in 1887 in Lower Austria to Archduke Otto and Princess Maria Josephine of Saxony. He grew up in a Catholic family, received a solid Catholic education, and developed a strong devotion to the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He took on the motto: “I strive always in all things to understand as clearly as possible and follow the will of God, and this in the most perfect way.” In 1911, he married Princess Zita of Bourbon and Parma, and they had eight children. The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 triggered World War I. At this point, Charles became the presumptive heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Two years later, upon the death of his great-uncle, Emperor Francis Joseph, Charles became emperor and king of Hungary. He saw his office as a mandate from God and as a way to implement Christian charity and social reform. He worked to end the war an

Sts. Isaac Jogues and John de Brebeuf and Companions

Today in the dioceses of the United States the Church celebrates the optional memorial of Sts. Issac Jogues and John de Brébeuf (priests and martyrs) and their companions (martyrs). They were Jesuit missionaries who died martyrs in North America, where they preached the Gospel. French Jesuits were the first missionaries to go to Canada and North America after J. Cartier discovered Canada in 1534. Their mission region extended from Nova Scotia to Maryland. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande (the first six Jesuits, the last two laymen) preached the gospel to the Iroquois and Huron Indians, and after being tortured, they were martyred in the area of what is now Auriesville, New York. The martyrdoms took place between 1642 and 1649. Ten years after the martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village in which he died. These martyrs are co-patrons of Canada. The

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