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Vatican Invites 150 Homeless People for Dinner and a Sistine Chapel Tour (1549)

The initiative is the latest in a string of charitable initiatives enacted by the almoner on behalf of Pope Francis since his election two years ago.

03/25/2015 Comments (4)
CNA/Bohumil Petrik

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

– CNA/Bohumil Petrik

VATICAN CITY — In addition to handing out food, umbrellas, sleeping bags, showers and haircuts, the Vatican is now offering Rome’s homeless the gift of beauty.

On Thursday afternoon, 150 homeless persons will receive a special ticket for the Vatican Museums, given by the office for papal charities. They will then be divided into three separate groups with a guide, Vatican Insider reports.

Before heading into the museums, the homeless guests will also receive a tour of Vatican city state, where they will pass by the Pope’s residence in the St. Martha guesthouse.

After making a first stop at the Carriage Pavilion, the groups will go on to the Upper Galleries — including the Gallery of the...READ MORE

Filed under charity, elise harris, homeless, lent 2015, pope francis, sistine chapel, vatican

Richard III’s Last Act (3753)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Thursday’s interment of the last Plantagenet monarch has reawakened interest in England’s rich Catholic past.

03/25/2015 Comments (7)

– Wikipedia

LONDON — Crowds thronging the roads and prayers and hymns chanted as a monarch is laid to rest, with British pageantry and traditions on full display.

King Richard III died more than 500 years ago and has been the subject of much controversy among historians.

And, finally, on Thursday, amid great ceremony, the monarch will be reburied, awakening all sorts of discussions connected with Britain’s history, traditions, religious beliefs and sense of common heritage.

Britain has been gripped by a sudden surge of fascination for the last monarch of the Plantagenet line, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

There had long been a dispute over where his remains lay — his body...READ MORE

Filed under british monarchy, cardinal vincent nichols, catholicism in great britain, joanna bogle, richard iii

I Can't Escape the Darkness Please Help, Nuns Hope Quick Visits Turn Into Long Stays and More! (2377)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/25/2015 Comment

Filed under astronomy, bible, canonization, cardinal sarah, catholic church, catholicism, christianity, conspiracies, darkness, education

Father’s Ultimate Sacrifice for Son With Down Syndrome Continues to Save Lives (4418)

A new research fund has been set up to honor Thomas S. Vander Woude and commemorate the heroic sacrifice he made in 2008.

03/24/2015 Comment
Christendom College

Thomas Vander Woude

– Christendom College

PHILADELPHIA — On a September day in 2008, a Catholic father paid the ultimate price to save his son with Down syndrome from drowning in an accident on the family farm.

Now, seven years later, Thomas Vander Woude’s self-sacrifice will continue to save and improve the lives of people with the chromosomal condition through a new research fund established in his honor.

On March 21 — World Down Syndrome Day, in honor of the condition, where people are born with trisomy 21 — Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA established the Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Fund for Down Syndrome Research, a permanent research fund that will eventually provide $250,000 annually in grants for Down syndrome research...READ MORE

Filed under christendom college, down syndrome, jerome lejeune, peter jesserer smith, thomas vander woude

Got Plans for Holy Week? Pope Francis Does (787)

The Holy Father has a full slate of events, including Stations of the Cross, Easter Masses and a universal blessing given on Easter Day.

03/24/2015 Comment
Sabrina Fusco/Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square on March 24, 2013.

– Sabrina Fusco/Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis has a full slate of events for Holy Week, including Stations of the Cross, Easter Masses and a universal blessing given on Easter Day.

The Vatican’s office for liturgical celebrations, headed by Archbishop Guido Marini, issued the complete schedule of papal events for this year’s Holy Week on March 20.

The week preceding Easter begins with Palm Sunday, which recalls how the inhabitants of Jerusalem laid palms along the road where Jesus entered on a donkey, hailing him as king.

Pope Francis will preside over the liturgy, which falls on March 29, by celebrating Mass at 9:30am in St. Peter's Square, after blessing palm and olive branches handed out to attendees.

Palm Sunday...READ MORE

Filed under easter sunday, easter vigil mass, good friday, holy thursday, holy week, pope francis, stations of the cross, world youth day

Cardinal Kasper Braces for Synod ‘Battle’ (4209)


03/24/2015 Comments (51)

Cardinal Walter Kasper

– CNA/Intermirifica.net

In a speech launching a new book, Cardinal Walter Kasper prepared the ground for the second round of the Vatican’s controversial synod on the family. The German Cardinal’s language was full of sweetness and light, but the sub-text was clearly one in which he was rolling up his scarlet sleeves and preparing for a slugfest synod over his controversial proposal that reception of Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics should be permissible under some circumstances.

Calling for the guidance of the Holy Spirit he said, “We should all pray for it because a battle is going on.” He continued, “Hopefully, the synod will be able to find a common answer, with a large majority, which will not be...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal carlo caffarra, cardinal gerhard müller, cardinal robert sarah, cardinal walter kasper, catholic faith, magisterium, pope francis, synod_2o15, synod_2ol4

‘Spiritual Oasis’ in the Desert: Southern Arabian Cathedral Marks 50 Years (1343)

Sheikh Shakhbut, ruler of Abu Dhabi, granted 11 acres of land on the Corniche, a beachside road in the city, to the Catholic Church as a sign of his patronage to the many Catholics who were committed to the development of the emirates.

03/24/2015 Comments (4)
CNA/courtesy of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi

St. Joseph’s Cathedral, mother church of the Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Arabia, decorated for its 50th parish anniversary, March 19.

– CNA/courtesy of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Arabia, which serves the more than 2 million Catholics in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen, last week celebrated the 50th anniversary of its cathedral parish.

On March 19, Bishop Paul Hinder, apostolic vicar of Southern Arabia, said a Mass of thanksgiving to mark the anniversary of the founding of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, located in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. St. Joseph’s is the oldest Catholic church in the emirates.

Bishop Hinder was joined by more than 30 priests and nuns and 5,000-plus lay faithful for the Mass.

“We are extremely happy in celebrating this golden jubilee, [for a church]...READ MORE

Filed under abu dhabi, antonio anup gonsalves, catholic church, southern arabia, united arab emirates

Twenty Years of 'Evangelium Vitae': Vatican Announces Prayer Vigil, Rosary for Life (959)

The vigil, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, will be held in dioceses throughout the world today.

03/24/2015 Comment

VATICAN CITY — An international prayer vigil prepared by the Vatican will recognize the 20th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), the encyclical of St. John Paul II dedicated to the value and inviolable nature of human life.

The vigil, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, will be held in dioceses throughout the world on March 24 with the purpose of giving thanks to God for the fruits produced by the encyclical on life, making known to the world the benefits of prayer and recalling that eternal life is the destiny of all the faithful.

Father Jose Guillermo Gutierrez Fernandez, an official with the Pontifical Council for the Family and one of the main...READ MORE

Filed under catholic news agency, evangelium vitae, pro-life, st. john paul ii

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