New St. Maria Goretti Book Can Show You How to Live the Beatitudes

Father Jeffrey Kirby, longtime Maria Goretti devotee, shows us how she and her family lived the beatitudes and show us to do the same today in this unique approach to biography

11/02/2015 Comments (1)

The pilgrimage of St. Maria Goretti in the United States has drawn huge crowds wherever she stops. It has skyrocketed new interest and devotion to her. Just in time comes a new book called The Life and Witness of Saint Maria Goretti: Our Little Saint of the Beatitudes by Father Jeffrey Kirby.

His title tells us Father Kirby has something more in mind than just a straight biography of this popular saint. He and I had a long chat about his connection to Maria Goretti and his aims in writing this book that in less than 100 pages sheds major light on the young saint and her family and relates them to the Beatitudes to enlighten the path in our own lives.

How did you become familiar with Maria...READ MORE

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Synod Speaker: Reject Cultural Marxism, Embrace Heroic Holiness

10/22/2015 Comments (17)

Bishops and Cardinals coming out of the Paul VI Hall during the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family on October 5, 2015. (Daniel Íbañez/CNA)

One of the all-time, strongest presentations at the Synod came on Friday, Oct. 16. From a layperson. A woman.

In a mere 501 words that were fearless, brilliant, concise, and overflowing with truth, she revealed and called for what is sorely needed. This woman courageously nailed it down with no wishy-washy language to whitewash and weaken the truth just be “nice.”

Her name is Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea. She is a doctor at the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment-Victor Babes, and the president of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Bucharest in Romania.

She began:

My father was a Christian political leader, who was imprisoned by the communists for 17 years. My parents were engaged to...READ MORE

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15 Super Promises of Our Blessed Mother for Faithfully Praying the Rosary

An offer like no other that comes to everyone directly from their Mother.

10/07/2015 Comments (11)

Guillaume Perrier (1600-1656), "La remise du rosaire"

Some people make promises that are too good to be true. But not our Blessed Mother. When she makes a promise, it is absolutely 100% true and worthy of belief.

The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7 — indeed, all of October which is celebrated as the month of the Holy Rosary — is a perfect time to remind ourselves of her 15 in-and-out-of-this-world promises she made to those who pray the Rosary faithfully.

Or to learn about them for the first time. And take our Blessed Mother at her word.

Father Donald Calloway of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception shared some insights about the 15 Promises and their importance as much for today as in centuries past. Marian Father Calloway...READ MORE

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The Vatican Has a Surprise for Pilgrims Venerating St. Maria Goretti in the U.S.

09/30/2015 Comments (3)

More good news for those attending St. Maria Goretti’s Pilgrimage of Mercy that began days ago in the United States.

From the Vatican, the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a Plenary Indulgence under the usual conditions for all those who go to venerate St. Maria Goretti during this September-November tour.

Here it is:

In addition to veneration of St. Maria Goretti, the decree calls for the usual conditions to be met by pilgrims to gain the indulgence for themselves or for the deceased. A person must be in the state of grace.

  1. Make a sacramental Confession
  2. Receive the Holy Eucharist
  3. Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff
  4. Have the interior disposition of being...READ MORE

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Empire State Building Ignores Pope Francis

09/25/2015 Comments (13)

By Anthony Quintano [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

On many New York City evenings the Empire State Building is lit up in different colors to celebrate or honor something or someone.

But Bill Donohue of the Catholic League pointed out: “The Empire State Building will not light its tower…in honor of Pope Francis. Instead, it will acknowledge the opening night gala of the New York Philharmonic.”

Not much new here as Donohue also note the same treatment went to “Mother Teresa on the anniversary of her centenary.”

He said the chairman and CEO said in a statement the privately owned building “has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organizations."

But, countered Donohue,...READ MORE

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Msgr. Pope's Parishioners Greet Pope Francis at Andrews

09/23/2015 Comment

Troy Hill, Shirley Austin and children from Holy Comforter - St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington ready to greet Pope Francis on his first steps onto United States soil. (Photos courtesy of Shirley Austin)

“There was a lot of jubilation!’ Troy Hill told me as we talked about the reactions of people welcoming Francis as he arrived at Andrews Air Force Base for his Washington visit.

Young adult Hill and chaperone Shirley Austin were with the children from Holy Comforter - Saint Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington where Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor and Hill was baptized. They had a ringside seat right near where Pope Francis was greeted by President and First Lady Obama.

“It was a surreal feeling,” Hill said still jubilant the morning after. “Not a lot of people can say they were that close to the leader of the Catholic Church and someone who we look up to in the Catholic faith. I could...READ MORE

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Body of St. Maria Goretti Arriving in the U.S.

09/15/2015 Comments (13)

St. Maria Goretti has arrived in the USA for her “Pilgrimage of Mercy,” a tour that will run through 18 states. (See the tour stops and dates here.)  In Part I we looked at the reasons, hopes and expectations for the pilgrimage of this youngest canonized saint in the Catholic Church. Now it’s time for a few more fascinating details and insights generally not well known.

Father Carlos Martins, the Director of the tour, shared a number of these additional facts and insights. A member of the Companions of the Cross, an order with the charism and mission of evangelization, he is an expert biographer of St. Maria Goretti.

As the Director of the Treasures of the Church, a ministry that...READ MORE

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The 80th Anniversary of the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Eight decades and counting from this heaven-sent prayer with powerful graces and promises

09/12/2015 Comments (6)
Courtesy of National Shrine of Divine Mercy

– Courtesy of National Shrine of Divine Mercy

This September 13-14 on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross marks a major milestone. It is the 80th anniversary of a gift Jesus gave us — the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

By now, many people should have heard of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Hopefully, many pray it. But how many know what promises Jesus attached to praying it? Or realize the circumstances in which St. Faustina received it from Jesus himself?

Even those who heard of these things would do well with a timely reminder because both the reason and the promises seem even more urgent and vital today. Why would we want to ignore trusting the promises Jesus made for saying this prayer he himself gave us?

Here’s just one...READ MORE

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About Joseph Pronechen

Joseph Pronechen
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Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005. His articles have appeared regularly in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in one of Connecticut’s largest news dailies. He holds BS and MS degrees and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside in Connecticut.