Joe Biden to Give Talk at Vatican Conference on Friday

04/27/2016 Comments (25)

Vice President Biden welcoming Pope Francis to the Senate, Sept. 2015.

– YouTube

Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Rome on Thursday to attend a conference on breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, part-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Biden will deliver a talk the following day about the Obama administration's "Moonshot" initiative which aims to make therapies available to more patients and accelerate cancer research by improving cancer prevention and detecting it at an early stage.

The Vice President, whose son Beau died of brain cancer last year, is aiming to double the rate of progress toward a cancer cure, for which the Obama administration has asked Congress for $1 billion.

The April 28-30 conference, entitled “The Progress of Regenerative...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, cancer, joe biden, politics, pope francis, stem cell research

The Visionary (St. Ignatius of Loyola) and the Missionary (St. Francis Xavier)

04/27/2016 Comments (2)

(Image Credit: Namban Art of Japan, c. 1600)

One would be hard-pressed—very hard-pressed—to find two more different saints than the founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola, and his friend and first lieutenant (so to speak), Francis Xavier. While not exactly oil and vinegar, these two Spaniards took a fledging idea—a society dedicated not to a saint, nor even to Mary, but to Jesus Himself—and saw it spread worldwide, even in their lifetimes. Indeed, the Jesuits are the largest religious order within the Catholic Church today, with approximately 18,000 members.

While it is never easy to launch a new religious order, let alone see it grow, spread and flourish, the Jesuits have never backed away from facing challenges. Though...READ MORE

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Keep Your Hands Together Just Like Saint Tarcisius Protecting The Eucharist and More!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/27/2016 Comment

Click on Keep Your Hands Together Just Like Saint Tarcisius Protecting The Eucharist by Gabriel Garnica of Catholic Stand link to read.

Keep Your Hands Together Just Like Saint Tarcisius Protecting The Eucharist – Gabriel Garnica, Catholic Stand 

This Is What Haunts Every Catholic Survivor of Abuse - Brooke Gregory, Epic Pew

A Book Review of Bill Kassel’s 'My Brother’s Keeper' – Dave Hartline, The American Catholic

The Only Way To Defeat Terrorism Is The Cross - Francis Philips, Catholic Herald

The Word Alone in Scripture; Multiple Solæ? – Dan Byron, Catholic Stand

Fr. Mike Schmitz, Forfeit Your Justice League Membership Card! – Alex R. Hey, Epic Pew

The Frustratingly Refreshing Pope Francis – Graham Glover, The Jagged Word

“Too Perfect”? . . .Striving for Virtue – Kasia I., Ignitum Today

No Room in the Inn, A Story...READ MORE

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Motherhood is an Expression of a Life Lived Radically for Jesus

04/26/2016 Comments (10)

Mary Cassatt (1844–1926), “Mother Combing Child's Hair”

Several years ago (and prior to my becoming Catholic), I began to notice a general uneasiness among women when it came to the subject of motherhood.

It seemed as if a lot of us saw children as somewhat of a hindrance to a meaningful and (quite ironically!) fruitful relationship with God--because kids held us back from things like ministry and humanitarian work, or evangelism.  When you’re changing millions (yes, millions) of diapers or nursing an infant around the clock, it’s just not practical to be pounding the pavement or spending long hours at a soup kitchen.

Of course I loved my children and I loved being a mother, but I could also understand and, to a degree, relate to the cognitive...READ MORE

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Why You Should Read C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce"

04/26/2016 Comments (3)

The Ladder of Divine Ascent, a medieval icon from the Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

In my capacity as regional bishop of the Santa Barbara pastoral region, which covers two entire counties north of Los Angeles, I am obliged to spend a good deal of time in the car. To make the long trips a bit easier, I have gotten back into the habit of listening to audio books. Just recently, I followed, with rapt attention, a book that I had read many years ago but which I had, I confess, largely forgotten: C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. The inspiration for this theological fantasy is the medieval idea of the refrigerium, the refreshment or vacation from Hell granted to some of the souls abiding there. So Lewis' narrator leaves the dreary streets of the underworld and, with a coterie of...READ MORE

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16 Common Errors That Catholics Should Avoid Like the Plague

04/26/2016 Comments (27)

Pierre Legros the Younger (1695-1699), “Religion Overthrowing Heresy and Hatred” — Church of the Gesù in Rome.

We can be honest: Catholic theology is more complex than the physics you took in school. At least in physics, one can ask for a physical demonstration of some principle to help the learning process. In Catholic theology, we don't have that option.

This is not to say that Christian principles aren't immediately apparent in a real world situation. The Golden Rule makes immediate and obvious sense and forgiveness is axiomatically better than revenge. But what we know about the nature of Christ or Heaven or the Sacraments is a little more difficult to ascertain. We know what we know about them as a result of logic, deductive/abductive/inductive reasoning, reliance upon the authority of...READ MORE

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Flight of a Million Christians, Debating Against a Stacked Deck, and More!

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/26/2016 Comments (1)

Click on Flight of a Million Christians by John Pontifex of Catholic Herald link to read.

Flight of a Million Christians – John Pontifex, Catholic Herald

Debating Against a Stacked Deck – Fr. Matthew Schneider L.C., Catholic Stand

The Canard of Islamophobia – Tom Jay, Crisis Magazine

Book Review: Saintly Youth of Modern Times by Joan Carroll Cruz – Cristina Montes, Ignitum Today

Our Amazing Capacity for Self-Deception – William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine

Economic Personalism: Tool for Morality in Markets – Dawn Carpenter, Catholic Stand

The Danger in “Irony” – David Warren, The Catholic Thing

Yes, the Eucharist Is ‘Powerful Medicine’, Which Means. . . – Edward N. Peters J.C.D. J.D., The Catholic World Report

Confusion Will Only Grow Worse, Stay Steadfast, Stay Strong –...READ MORE

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Confessions of a Preschool Teacher

04/25/2016 Comments (8)

(Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A few years ago, frustrated with my attempts at a writing career, I decided to try and get a job as a preschool teacher.  With my children starting high school and middle school respectively, I knew such a job wouldn’t interfere with my responsibilities as a mom.  I’d been teaching Sunday School for twelve years (at my then-Anglican church) and I loved even that once-a-week experience working with kids.

Happily the Catholic preschool five minutes from my home had an opening for a teacher for its “twos” program and I was hired.  Four mornings a week from 9 till noon, another teacher and I would be looking after two different groups of two-year-olds, one that came Mondays and Wednesdays, the...READ MORE

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