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Olympic Figure-Skating Star Hailed as Example for Catholics (28875)

Sharing the Rosary, and praying publicly before she steps onto the ice, are just some of the things that South Korea’s Yuna Kim does to witness to the faith.

02/17/2014 Comments (12)
Sfcphoto.KeunHwa/Wikipedia

Yuna Kim at the 2010 Winter Olympics

– Sfcphoto.KeunHwa/Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Catholic Olympian and international skating superstar Yuna Kim is a role model not only of dedication and athleticism, but also an example of how to live the faith publicly, a fan says.  

A seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit and blog writer Evan Pham told CNA that he was struck by Kim’s simple act of praying on ice during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

He said that he was inspired when he and his family saw “a clip of her doing the Sign of the Cross” and bowing her head immediately before competing in the finals for the ladies’ skating title, which she won.

“There was this young woman out there on the Olympic ice, and all these cameras are constantly on her,”...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Encourages the Faithful to Consider: What Is in My Heart? (2553)

The Holy Father said Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle in Rome on Feb. 16, speaking on the importance of making a good examination of conscience.

02/17/2014 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

ROME -- While making a pastoral visit to Rome's St. Thomas the Apostle parish Feb. 16, Pope Francis emphasized to the community the importance of making a good examination of conscience.

As Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis said the evening Mass at the parish to mark the 50th anniversary of its dedication, which is Feb. 19. St. Thomas the Apostle is located on Rome's southern periphery, near Ostia. Nearly 400 parishioners filled the church, while others lined the sidewalks to welcome their bishop.

Pope Francis took the opportunity to meet with various small groups from St. Thomas the Apostle, including children making their first Communion this year, young people in religious education,...READ MORE

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Archbishop Chaput’s Laity Expertise Is Set to Go Global (6674)

Pope Francis has called the Philadelphia archbishop to bring his best efforts to a key Vatican office that is responsible for encouraging the Pope’s vision of the laity as ‘missionary disciples.’

02/17/2014 Comments (19)
Alejandro Bermudez/Catholic News Agency

Archbishop Charles Chaput receives a basket of Philadelphia treats at the July 2011 press conference announcing his appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia.

– Alejandro Bermudez/Catholic News Agency

PHILADELPHIA — Pope Francis has tapped Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to join his council for the laity, the Vatican office responsible not only for the Church’s World Youth Day celebration, but also for promoting lay movements.

Church observers familiar with the archbishop’s legacy say Pope Francis is calling upon a bishop with a second to none reputation when it comes to putting the laity on the front lines of the Church.

Now, Archbishop Chaput will have the opportunity to bring his expertise to a global level.

Pope Francis named the archbishop to the Pontifical Council for the Laity on Feb. 6, making him part of a team that will advise Pope Francis on how the lay faithful...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Gossip Is Poisonous (6956)

In his Sunday Angelus message, the Holy Father reflects on the need for Christians to refrain from all forms of slander.

02/16/2014 Comments (9)
Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

– Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the importance of avoiding all forms of slander in living a Christian life.

“It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy.  But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us,” Pope Francis said Feb. 16.

“I tell you the truth,” he preached to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. “I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!”

“Do we want to become saints? Yes or no?” he queried, as the crowds replied, “Yes!”

“Yes? Do we want to live attached to gossip as...READ MORE

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Bringing the Church Into the World of Sports (11020)

Ray McKenna, the head of Catholic Athletes for Christ, is enthusiastic about the missionary mandate.

02/14/2014 Comments (5)
Catholic Athletes for Christ

Ray McKenna, the founder of Catholic Athletes for Christ, meets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 21, 2013.

– Catholic Athletes for Christ

Ray McKenna thought he was the only one in professional sports ministry experiencing anti-Catholic bias. In his volunteer work with Baseball Chapel, a Protestant group, he would hear things about the Catholic Church that weren’t true. He initially ignored the slights in the hope of obtaining a greater good: bringing athletes closer to God.

Yet, as time went on, McKenna discovered that his anti-Catholic experiences were shared by many, including five-time Kansas City Royals All-Star Mike Sweeney. “Mike and I met in the mid-1990s, while he was still in the minor leagues. I learned as we spoke over the years that he had experienced many of the same things I had in baseball: a strong...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Engaged Couples: Remember the Lord’s Blessing Upon Your Love (4150)

The Holy Father holds special event with more than 20,000 for St. Valentine's Day.

02/14/2014 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY -- During a special encounter with engaged couples, Pope Francis emphasized that to love someone forever is possible if we are humble and that marriage should be a celebration filled with joy.

“We build a house together, not alone!” he observed in his Feb. 14 address. “You would not wish to build it on the shifting sands of emotions, but on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God.”

More than 20,000 couples flocked to St. Peter’s Square in order to participate in the Valentine’s Day event, which was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family and reflected on the theme “The Joy of 'Yes' Forever.”

Following testimonies given by couples, readings and...READ MORE

Filed under love, marriage, engaged couples, pope francis, valentine's day

Archbishop Warns of Potential for Genocide in Central African Republic (4885)

There are 1.25 million people in need of food and assistance in the country, according to Caritas International.

02/14/2014 Comments (5)
Matthieu Alexandre for Caritas International

A man holds a machete in his village on the outskirts of Bangui, Central African Republic.

– Matthieu Alexandre for Caritas International

BANGUI, Central African Republic — A Central African bishop has reported signs of genocide in the growing conflict there, urging an effective security response and warning against the “evil” desire to kill and destroy.

“If there is no one to hold back the hand of the devil here, he will achieve his goal. Many people will be hunted down and killed,” Archbishop Dieudonnè Nzapalainga of Bangui told Aid to the Church in Need Feb. 12.

He said he had visited a town called Bodango, about 125 miles from the capital of Bangui, where all of the Muslims — who are among those targeted in the conflict — have disappeared.

Members of the Anti-Balaka militia told him the Muslims had been driven...READ MORE

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Valentine Effort Promotes Authentic Love to College Students (1935)

The Love and Fidelity Network’s campaign counters the campus ‘hook-up culture’ that reduces, trivializes and depersonalizes sexuality.

02/14/2014 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

PRINCETON, N.J. — A nationwide campaign leading up to Valentine’s Day has been encouraging college students to seek meaningful relationships and develop a healthy understanding of love and sexuality.

Young men and women today truly “want a love story,” said Caitlin Seery, director of the Love and Fidelity Network.

Surveys consistently show that “college men and women still aspire to get married someday, even if ‘someday’ is still several years in the future,” she told CNA, adding that, even in college, researchers have found “that very few students, when given privacy to speak honestly, are satisfied with the hook-up culture.”

Unfortunately, Seery explained, “between the carnage of...READ MORE

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