Pope at Easter Vigil: Resurrect Hope of Christ in Hearts of Others

The Risen Lord is our greatest joy — He is always at our side and will never let us down, Pope says.

03/26/2016 Comments (1)
Alexey Gotovsky/CNA-EWTN

– Alexey Gotovsky/CNA-EWTN

Resurrect the hope of Christ in the hearts of many in today's world who are burdened by sadness and struggle to find meaning in their lives, Pope Francis exhorted the faithful during his Easter Vigil homily this evening in St. Peter’s basilica.

The Holy Father marked the most holy liturgical celebration in the Church’s calendar by calling on those present to be “joyful servants of hope”, proclaiming the “Risen One by our lives and by our love.” Not doing so and merely proclaiming ourselves, he said, makes the Church simply “an international organization full of followers and good rules, yet incapable of offering the hope for which the world longs.”

The Risen Lord "is our greatest joy,"...READ MORE

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The Old Chocolate Cross?

03/26/2016 Comments (6)

It comes to my attention that a couple of weeks ago Melanie Bettinelli, a homeschooling mother of five who blogs at The Wine-Dark Sea, wrote a winsome essay in defense of chocolate crosses, which she was not quite surprised to learn some Christians consider offensive, even blasphemous.

“The cross should be venerated, not eaten, nor tossed casually in an Easter basket beside the jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps,” according to a diocesan spokesman requoted by Bettinelli from an article opposed to chocolate crosses. “It’s insulting.” Bettinelli then offers the following thoughtful reflections:

I wonder if he’d also find cross-shaped Easter breads insulting, or lamb-shaped cakes? There’s a...READ MORE

Filed under cross, crucifixes, crucifixion of jesus, eastertide, good friday, sacred art

8 things you need to know about Easter Sunday

03/26/2016 Comments (1)

The great day has finally arrived! Here are 8 things you need to know about Easter . . .

The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas.

What happened on this day?

Was Jesus' resurrection a real, historical event?

How does the Church celebrate this day?

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Here are 8 things you need to know.


1. What happened on Easter?

Among other things:

  • The women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body.
  • They saw angels, who told them he wasn't there.
  • They went to tell the apostles, who initially didn't believe them.
  • Peter and the beloved disciple rushed to see the tomb and found it empty.
  • Mary Magdalen, in particular, had an encounter with the risen Christ.
  • So did the...READ MORE

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Welcome Home, Fellow Converts, and May Truth Sustain You Always!

03/26/2016 Comments (3)

I extend a very happy “Wel­come Home” to all those who will be received into full com­mu­nion with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Sat­ur­day evening. As an RCIA team member, I have lis­tened to the emo­tions of new Catholics, after the Vigil, as they recalled mak­ing their first Eucharist. In them there is one feel­ing, unmis­tak­able and com­mon to them all: joy, often to the point of tears that would not be refused. I have not met, in my years working with RCIA and after, the Catholic con­vert who does not expe­ri­ence that same joy. Nor have I met the con­vert who, even after many years, does not get a glim­mer of that same joy in their eyes when recall­ing their own...READ MORE

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“Glorious to be Catholic”: Anglican Ordinariate's First Chrism Mass Makes History

03/26/2016 Comments (6)

(Photo Credit: Jim Holmes)

Many Catholics go their whole lives long without ever once witnessing a Chrism Mass, the yearly Mass at which bishop blesses the holy oils to be used during the year, and the priests of his diocese renew their promises. This is a pity, since the Chrism Mass is a beautiful experience that every Catholic should have. 

I was blown away last week by the Chrism Mass at my parish. Into the bargain, it was a truly historic event—the first Chrism Mass celebrated by a bishop appointed by Rome to lead a group of Christians who were formerly separated by the Protestant Reformation and yet are now happily and fully returned to Holy Mother Church. We are a parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the...READ MORE

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12 things you need to know about Holy Saturday

03/25/2016 Comments (4)

On Holy Saturday the earth waits in stillness for the Resurrection of the Lord. Here are 12 things you need to know about it.

Everytime we say the creed, we note that Jesus "descended into hell."

Holy Saturday is the day that commemorates this event.

What happened on this day, and how do we celebrate it?

Here are 12 things you need to know.


1. What happened on the first Holy Saturday?

Here on earth, Jesus' disciples mourned his death and, since it was a sabbath day, they rested.

Luke notes that the women returned home "and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56).

At the tomb, the guards that had been stationed there kept watch over the place to make sure that the disciples did not steal Jesus' body.

Meanwhile . . .


2. What happened to...READ MORE

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Good Friday: “Praying the Steps” is a Cincinnati Tradition

03/25/2016 Comment


Atop Mount Adams, the highest point in Cincinnati, Ohio, stands Holy Cross Immaculata Church. Overlooking the downtown area and the Ohio River, it is a beacon of faith to local Catholics.

And each year on Good Friday, pilgrims from the local community and around the world flock to the historic church for a 155-year-old tradition called “Praying the Steps.”

From midnight on Holy Thursday until midnight on Good Friday, more than 10,000 pilgrims climb the long winding staircase to the church, praying the rosary or other devotions along the way. Sometimes three generations of a family will come to participate; sometimes travelers come great distances to share in this...READ MORE

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Christmas, Good Friday, Lady Day and How the Early Church Thought

03/25/2016 Comments (2)

A common saw each Christmas is that Christianity is a warmed-over paganism.  The theory goes that Jesus was, variously, a dead rabbi with a girlfriend, or never existed, but that Christians, for some reason, thought it would be a good a idea to stop calling Osiris or some other dying and rising god of fertility myth by his proper name, start calling him by the name of Jesus of Nazareth instead, and begin worshipping him instead of just sticking with the old god.  All of this is proven, we are told, by the fact that December  25 was the Feast of the Unconquered Sun.  So there you are.

Here's the thing though.  The Feast of the Unconquered Sun was not made a feast until 274.  Meanwhile, we...READ MORE

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