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Tour de France, Catholic Style (2998)

Along the 21 stages of the race, which finishes July 24, the faithful can roam where saints and history were made.

07/20/2016 Comment
Shutterstock images: Mont Saint Michel, SoWhat; Lourdes, Semmick Photo; Ars shrine, BrendanDias; Sacre Coeur, Renata Sedmakova

Above, the apsis of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur; below, Mont Saint Michel, the Lourdes Grotto and the Shrine of St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars.

– Shutterstock images: Mont Saint Michel, SoWhat; Lourdes, Semmick Photo; Ars shrine, BrendanDias; Sacre Coeur, Renata Sedmakova

On July 2, bicyclists from around the world began the Tour de France, an annual race that weaves its way through the plains and mountains of the country. The race has been going strong since 1903 (interrupted only by the two World Wars).

This year, the race lasts 22 days, beginning in the north and ending in Paris. While I can’t imagine that the racers have any time to appreciate the history and architecture of the land as they whiz past, each stage of the race provides abundant opportunities for Catholic tourists to see and pray at some of the many sacred sites of this amazing country.


Stage 1: Mont Saint Michel

This beautiful abbey in Normandy — sitting atop a rocky island, once...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, diana von glahn, faith, france, saints, tour de france

Former Our Sunday Visitor Publisher Named Editor in Chief of Catholic News Service (1022)

Appointment of Greg Erlandson, who began his career at the Register, was announced July 20.

07/20/2016 Comments (1)
Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor

– Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor

WASHINGTON — Catholic News Service has named Greg Erlandson, former president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, as its new director and editor in chief.

The appointment was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) general secretary, Msgr. Brian Bransfield.

"Greg brings a remarkable combination of management expertise, journalism skills and demonstrated service to the Church at the national and international level. I am confident he will prove to be an important resource to the clients of CNS," Msgr. Bransfield said.

Erlandson has been with Indiana-based Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) since 1989 and has spent 16 years as its president and publisher.

He began...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic journalism, catholic news, catholic news service, greg erlandson

Canadian Law Societies Target Christian University’s Faith-Based Beliefs on Marriage (2064)

The legal battle over accreditation of graduates of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school poses a threat to other Christian institutions, say Catholic leaders.

07/20/2016 Comments (10)
2014 AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan

From left,lawyers Amy Sakalauskas, Ronald MacDonald and Elaine Craig make a presentation regarding Trinity Western University's proposed law school to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society executive committee in Halifax. Critics believe that the nature of the school's community covenant agreement is discriminatory.

– 2014 AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan

TORONTO — Catholic leaders warn that a concerted legal attack against a prominent evangelical university is part of a broader initiative to diminish Christian institutions and culture in Canada.

In the eye of the storm is British Columbia-based Trinity Western University, a highly esteemed evangelical Christian school that not for the first time faces serious roadblocks to its future because it insists all students and staff sign a faith-based covenant that demands, in part, refraining from sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

As a result, licensing bodies in three provinces say they will not recognize the graduates from its proposed new law school, based on...READ MORE

Filed under canadian supreme court, charles lewis, christian belief, faith, marriage, religious freedom, trinity western university

Pope Francis Presides at Wedding Held in Chapel of His Residence (2869)

Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska received the rare blessing of being united in marriage by the Holy Father on July 9.

07/20/2016 Comments (5)

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis does not ordinarily celebrate the sacrament of matrimony. But on July 9, he made an exception for a young Italian couple who were married in the chapel at his residence, Casa Santa Marta.

Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska received the rare blessing of being united in marriage by the Holy Father, an unforgettable story that they will one day be able to tell to their children.

Teodoro and Paulina are the president and vice president, respectively, of the Padua chapter of the Deaf Youth Committee of Italy.

Additionally, Paulina is the daughter of a Vatican employee.


#PopeFrancis presides over the sacrament of Matrimony at Casa Santa Marta (9 Jul)...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, pope francis, weddings

McDonald’s and Starbucks Will Block Porn From Free Wi-Fi (2054)

The popular chains implemented pornography filtering at locations in the United Kingdom. Smaller restaurant chains like Panera and Chick-Fil-A already provide pornography filtering in the U.S.

07/19/2016 Comments (2)
Julie Tan via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0).

– Julie Tan via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0).

WASHINGTON — Two of the largest chain restaurants with free Wi-Fi in the United States, McDonald’s and Starbucks, are adding pornography filters to their Internet.

Following the campaign of anti-porn group Enough is Enough and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, McDonald’s has added Internet filters to its public Wi-Fi throughout the country, a change that was announced last week.

“McDonald’s is committed to providing a safe environment for our customers, and we are pleased to share that Wi-Fi filtering has been activated in the majority of McDonald’s nearly 14,000 restaurants nationwide,” a spokesperson for the fast-food restaurant said in a statement.

“We had not heard from our...READ MORE

Filed under internet filters, mcdonald's, online safety, protecting children and youth, starbucks

Harrisburg's Msgr. Vincent Topper Is Oldest and Longest-Serving Priest in U.S. (7439)

Just shy of his 104th birthday, Msgr. Vincent Topper says of his 80-year vocation, ‘I tried to be a good priest and to bring others to Christ.’

07/19/2016 Comments (13)
Chris Heisey / The Catholic Witness

Above, Msgr. Vincent Topper, 103, receives congratulations from Father Andrew Stahmer, a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., prior to the Mass of thanksgiving on May 24 at St. Catherine Labouré Church in Harrisburg in celebration of the jubilarian’s 80th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Msgr. Topper, who turns 104 on July 28, is also shown on the occasion of his ordination. In addition, Sister Mary Anne Sweeney and some of the eighth-grade students from St. Catherine Labouré visit and pray the Rosary with Msg. Topper.

– Chris Heisey / The Catholic Witness

“If you had come a year or two sooner, I could’ve given you enough stories to fill the whole newspaper,” said Msgr. Vincent Topper.

The longest-serving priest in the country, Msgr. Topper will be 104 years old on July 28. (For the record, the Archbishop Emeritus Peter Leo Gerety of Newark, N.J., born July 19, 1912, is the oldest bishop in the world. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939, three years after Msgr. Topper.)

“But I forget all these things,” the monsignor said matter-of-factly.

The elderly priest’s voice is strong and untouched by melancholy. The cares of old age don’t weigh upon him. To Msgr. Topper, there is little difference between the earthly life and life eternal,...READ MORE

Filed under celeste behe, msgr. vincent topper, priesthood, vocations

Remember the Copts ISIS Beheaded in Libya? This Priest Does (3627)

The Coptic Orthodox Church proclaimed the 21 men to be martyrs.

07/19/2016 Comments (7)
CNA/courtesy of Tony Rezk, via tonyrezk.blogspot.com

Icon of the ‘21 Martyrs of Libya’

– CNA/courtesy of Tony Rezk, via tonyrezk.blogspot.com

MINYA, Egypt — For Christians in Egypt, the possibility of martyrdom is not a remote one.

“It is something they concretely feel, it is part of their Christian life,” Father Paolo Asolan, an Italian priest who recently visited Egypt, told CNA. “And for a mother and a father, the fact that one of their sons can become a martyr is always a great gift.”

The Islamic State’s beheading of 20 Coptic Christians and another man shocked the world in February 2015 when video of the murders on a Mediterranean beach became public. The other man was a non-Christian who reportedly professed belief in the Christian God before his death.

During a recent trip to Egypt, Father Asolan met the family of one...READ MORE

Filed under andrea gagliarducci, coptic orthodox church, isis, islamic state group, martyrdom, sharia

Only Christ Offers Answers in Our Violent World, Baton Rouge Bishop Says (1319)

'In Jesus, hope ultimately triumphs over despair; love ultimately triumphs over hate; and resurrection ultimately triumphs over death,' Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge said Sunday.

07/19/2016 Comments (3)
CNA/Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Memorial for the three police officers who were shot and killed in an ambush on July 18 in Baton Rouge, La.

– CNA/Sean Gardner/Getty Images

BATON ROUGE, La. — Jesus Christ’s triumph over death, despair and hate should move us forward after a deadly attack on law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, the diocese’s bishop said Sunday.

“Words cannot express the emotions we feel for those who have lost loved ones in the tragic events of this day. Their entire lives have been unexpectedly and terribly turned upside down,” Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge said.

On July 17, a gunman identified as Gavin Long of Kansas City, Mo. ambushed and killed two police officers and a deputy, while wounding three more, CNN reported. The officers were responded to reports of shots fired. Long, a former Marine sergeant, was killed in a gun...READ MORE

Filed under baton rouge, bishop robert muench, police

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