This Lent, Let St. Teresa of Ávila's Spiritual Guide Teach You How to Meditate

02/01/2016 Comments (1)

As we head towards Lent I have had a number of questions regarding a book I might recommend to those looking to experience a more meaningful Lent.

There is one that comes to mind that I believe will be transformational for anyone who is serious about the growing in prayer and the interior life:

St. Peter of Alcántara’s Finding God Through Meditation: I was deeply blessed to edit and update this translation of this great book. It is far too little  known in the Church and an incredibly powerful work. St. Peter of Alcantara was a mystic and a favorite spiritual director of St. Teresa of Avila. As I was editing this text I received constant consolations and another editor who worked on this...READ MORE

Filed under lent, meditation, prayer

Images of Family Day in Rome

01/30/2016 Comments (13)

"To scrap the family is not allowed"

Hundreds of thousands people from all over Italy descended on Rome's Circus Maximus to take part in ‘Family Day’ on Saturday.

The massive rally, against a proposed law called the Cirinnà bill which would allow same-sex unions and adoption by same-sex couples, was primarily about holding up true marriage as between a man and a woman. 

The event organizer, Massimo Gandolfini, said the numbers of those attending were "many, many more than we thought", and estimated the number to be "at least a million".

CNA has the story here. Some photos of the rally are below:

Massimo Gandolfini, chief organiser of the event, is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way and a married father of seven...READ MORE

Filed under civil unions, family day, italy, marriage, same-sex adoption, same-sex unions

7 Updates on the Jubilee of Mercy

01/29/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Msgr. Graham Bell of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization share with reporters the latest on the Extraordinary Jubilee. Vatican, Jan. 29, 2016.


Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who is charged with running the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, today shared the latest on how the Holy Year is proceeding.

Here below is a summary of the developments the archbishop revealed to reporters this morning:

1) Archbishop Fisichella said an “incredible number” of people have registered for Jubilee events, showing how much the Year “has answered a true need of the people of God.” According to current data, 1,392,000 people have participated in Jubilee events in Rome, 40% of whom come from outside Italy, mostly Spain and France.

2) Pope Francis has carried out two particular concrete signs of witness to God's mercy in Rome: opening the “Door of...READ MORE

Filed under holy see, holy year of mercy, jubilee of mercy, missionaries of mercy, pope francis, vatican

Pope Encourages Bioethicists Amid Relativism, Inability to Reason

01/28/2016 Comments (1)
Edward Pentin/

– Edward Pentin/

Pope Francis has praised the work of bioethicists in a world marked by relativism and which lacks an ability to reason.

Addressing the Italian National Committee for Bioethics at the Vatican today, the Holy Father said that to carry out the “demanding work” of research into ethical truth is “all the more” meritorious in a society “marked by relativism and not very trustworthy in the capacities of human reason.”

In view of these and other challenges, he stressed that such research “always requires humility and realism” and should not fear confronting different positions.

The Pope underlined how the Church supports civil society to promote "the search for truth and goodness on complex...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, bioethics, embryonic stem-cell research, euthanasia, pope francis, relativism

Vatican Official Outlines Communications Reform

Three new major departments, cuts without redundancies, and a communications model similar to Disney's are all part of the restructuring plans.

01/28/2016 Comment
Edward Pentin/

Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications.

– Edward Pentin/

The new structure of Vatican communications is gradually taking shape, but it’s not possible yet to give a timeframe for when the restructuring will be implemented, the official in charge of overseeing the reforms has said.

Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for the Holy See’s Communications, told reporters last week that personnel considerations “require important attention” in the restructuring, but before any date can be given for announcing the changes, the Pope has to appoint the heads of the new communications departments.

The Italian priest explained that three new departments will be created: “technological”, “theological-pastoral”, and “editorial”. The first,...READ MORE

Filed under internet, msgr. dario vigano, pope francis, radio, television, vatican communications

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Sex Ed

01/28/2016 Comments (14)

(Image credit: Oxfordian Kissuth, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Since October, parents in Omaha have been battling with the city’s school board over proposed changes to the sex education curriculum. Impassioned parents and grandparents voiced their objections loudly and clearly to the “comprehensive” sex ed program the school board had proposed. Since 1985 sex ed at Omaha public schools has been taught as part of a course called Human Growth and Development.  Among other changes, the new program will add discussion of two items to the tenth grade curriculum: abortion and emergency contraception.
But it’s not just those two hot-button topics that are upsetting parents. “Comprehensive” sex ed, as opposed to “abstinence-based” sex ed, provides kids...READ MORE

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The Amazing History Behind the Very Christian Plaque at Mount Rushmore

01/28/2016 Comments (13)

The story behind a plaque at Mount Rushmore explaining the history of the United States of America with quite a Christian flavor would probably surprise many people.

President Calvin Coolidge met the artist Gutzon Borglum who prompted him to dedicate the site for a carving of four president's busts in the 1920's. Coolidge helped to raise funds and was even present as the cornerstone was laid and said, “We have come here to dedicate a cornerstone laid by the hand of the Almighty. …The union of these four presidents carved on the face of the everlasting Black Hills of South Dakota … will be distinctly American in its conception, in its magnitude, in its meaning."

Borglum, in turn, asked...READ MORE

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Finnish Catholic Spokesman: Communion for Lutherans at the Vatican Was a Mistake

01/28/2016 Comments (31)

Pope Francis with Pastor Jens Kruse of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Rome, Nov. 15, 2015


The distribution of Holy Communion to a group of Finnish Lutherans in St. Peter’s basilica last week was a mistake and not a sign that the Church is changing its practice on access to the Sacraments, a spokesman for the Finnish Catholic Church has asserted.

In a statement issued Jan. 20, Marko Tervaportti, director of the Catholic Information Centre in Helsinki, stressed that only members of the Catholic Church “in a state of grace” may receive the Eucharist, with some “special exceptions”.

Tervaportti was referring to reports last week that a Lutheran group from Finland, led by their bishop, Samuel Salmi of Oulu, had received Holy Communion in St  Peter’s basilica, despite indicating...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, holy communion, lutherans, pope francis, st peter's basilica

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