John Paul II Relic Finds Permanent Home in America

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy Welcomes and Enshrines Relic

08/14/2012 Comments (5)
Courtesy of Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Marian Father Kazimierz Chwalek leads a procession to permanently enshrine the relic of John Paul II at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

– Courtesy of Marians of the Immaculate Conception

 What more appropriate place for a first-class relic of Blessed John Paul II than at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy?

On Sunday, Aug. 12, the relic, a white linen cloth that holds the blood of the great "Mercy Pope," was permanently enshrined at the national shrine in Stockbridge, Mass., during the 3 o’clock hour of Divine Mercy.

With more than 300 priests and people filling the chapel and after singing the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Father Kazimierz Chwalek, the provincial superior of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, incensed the relic and told pilgrims to pray for Blessed John Paul II’s intercession.

“By coming to our shrine, he came to his spiritual home,” Father...READ MORE

Filed under divine mercy, divine mercy shrine, john paul ii, relics

Emmy for 'Meghan's Miracle'

Inspiring Show Airs on EWTN

08/01/2012 Comment
Courtesy of Sommers and the Salter Family

Catholic producer Audrey Sommers and the inspiring Meghan Salter with the Emmy, which Sommers won for her show about Meghan's life.

– Courtesy of Sommers and the Salter Family

And in the "Religion Category," the winner of the Emmy is … Audrey Sommers for Stories of Faith: Meghan’s Miracle!

Applause, applause, as the Emmy Awards got something really right a few weeks ago at the 34th National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Michigan Chapter ceremonies. The academy gave the Emmy to Sommers for her moving film of family love, courage, prayer and conversion.

Stories of Faith: Meghan’s Miracle aired on EWTN on Aug. 15, 2011. It was also shown on the Archdiocese of Detroit’s cable station, CTND.

EWTN will again air Stories of Faith: Meghan’s Miracle on Friday, Aug. 3, at 3am and 6:30pm ET.

The truly touching and inspiring story of the Salter Family and...READ MORE

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Goodness Reigns Twice for Video Winner

07/26/2012 Comments (3)

Leah Chen as she appears in one of her videos.

Leah Chen has a real knack for explaining the faith.

She was just named the winner of the Goodness Reigns "mini contest" on the theme “Natural Family Planning: The Better Way.”

Chen not only took top prize in this national contest for young filmmakers: A week later, she captured the "People’s Choice Award" after voters picked her “Natural Family Planning Explained” as their winning video.

This spirited 21-year-old didn’t expect either win. This was the first video contest she has entered.

Fellow filmmaker Gabriel Castillo saw her short films on YouTube and contacted Chen to tell her about the contest. Castillo made an award-winning video for the 2011 Goodness Reigns contest; he...READ MORE

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Run for Our Freedom

Sisters of Life and Franciscan Friars of the Renewal Co-Sponsor First Freedom Run

07/06/2012 Comments (5)
Sisters of Life

Sisters of Life with race participants.

– Sisters of Life

“I Have Run the Race.  I Have Kept the Faith.”

It was easy to see why St. Paul’s well-known words appeared on t-shirts that runners got after finishing the first annual Freedom Run on July 4. The run started the Sisters of Life’s first annual Life Fest in Stamford, Conn.

Sister Mary Karen, the superior at Villa Maria Guadalupe there, described how the inspiration for the race came from Brother Simon Dankoski of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal while a group was planning the Life Fest to coincide with the close of the Fortnight for Freedom.

Questions like "How do I show I’m for religious freedom?" and "How do I tell people where I stand?" prompted the plan for the Freedom Run.


Filed under religious freedom

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Original Icon Goes Live

View the Icon 24/7 in Streaming Video

06/27/2012 Comments (16)
Redemptorists, Denver Province

Our Mother of Perpetual Help

– Redemptorists, Denver Province

Many people know the familiar image of the Blessed Virgin Mary known as Our Mother of Perpetual Help. They might have this image in their home but can’t travel to see the original icon enshrined in Rome.

Then there are many people in the world who still don’t know our Blessed Mother in that miraculous image and title.

But the Redemptorists, who are the custodians of the original icon, have just done something great for both groups. In time for the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, June 27, the order launched a website with a live feed of this original centuries-old icon that is enshrined in their mother church in Rome.

People all over the world can now see one of oldest...READ MORE

Filed under icons, our lady, social media

Stand This Fortnight With 1 Million Rosaries for Freedom

A Sure Way to Bring Heaven’s Blessings Upon Fortnight for Freedom

06/20/2012 Comments (2)

– Shutterstock

There’s a sure way to turn the tide and bring victory in the Fortnight for Freedom. It’s simple: Pick up your rosary and pledge to join the “Rosaries for Freedom” campaign.

“Prayer is by far the most powerful weapon we have in this fight for freedom, and it is necessary if we are to ultimately succeed,” points out Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International.

That’s why Human Life International has started Rosaries for Freedom: It's a way for all Catholics to join the bishops in their call for prayer and action during the Fortnight for Freedom, June 21 to July 4.

HLI is inviting Catholics everywhere to pledge a rosary a day during these two weeks with a simple pledge,...READ MORE

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Video Contest Spotlights Natural Family Planning

06/07/2012 Comments (2)
Goodness Reigns

Suzanne Haugh gives instructions before the Madrid Film Fest at WYD 2011.

– Goodness Reigns

To counteract false ideas about Church teaching, especially in light of the Health and Human Services mandate, Goodness Reigns is looking for entries for its “Natural Family Planning: The Better Way" video contest.

Suzanne Haugh, Goodness Reigns' executive director, shared some thoughts with me about the organization and its first-ever "mini contest."

“Goodness Reigns came into being in 2009 with the purpose of trying to engage particularly the youth and young-adult population on how to explore and learn your faith, and then share what you learned with other people using the video format,” she said.

Because a lot of the youth population watches videos on YouTube, Goodness Reigns...READ MORE

Filed under catholic youth, contests, natural family planning, videos, world youth day

Pro-Lifers March for Life in Lisbon

Third march for a success.

05/25/2012 Comments (1)
Julie Rodrigues

Marchers of all ages made Portugal's third March for Life a success.

– Julie Rodrigues

Portugal’s pro-life march is picking up.

“There were between 2,500 to 3,000 at the march, more than at any march in the past,” reported Julie Rodrigues, an American of Portuguese ancestry now living in Lisbon.

Pictures of the May 19 march, officially named Caminhada pela Vida, show groups of people enthusiastically unified in their support of life. Two previous marches have been held.

Rodrigues noted the march started where the second-most abortions are done in the country — about 1,700 a year at a public hospital, Maternidade Alfredo da Costa —  so they are funded by tax money.

The most abortions in the country occur at a multinational private clinic that receives money from...READ MORE

Filed under march for life, pro-lifers

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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.