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Pope Francis: Quality of Life in Rome ‘Depends on All of Us’ (3018)

The Holy Father noted that Rome is a place where the ‘majestic environment’ of artistic beauty contrasts strongly with the ‘social hardships’ faced by many.

01/02/2014 Comments (2)
Elise Harris/CNA

– Elise Harris/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his homily during evening prayer on New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis focused on the theme of time well spent and urged the citizens of Rome to better their city in the upcoming year.

“It is the last day of the year. What will we do, how will we act, next year to make our city a little better?” he asked the congregation gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31 in anticipation of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

Thinking of “this city of Rome,” he said, “what has happened this year? What is happening, and what will happen? How is the quality of life in this city? It depends on all of us.”

“The face of a city is like a mosaic whose pieces are all the people who...READ MORE

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A Cry for Peace From Central Africa’s Heart of Darkness (3749)

As the Central African Republic descends into Muslim-Christian bloodshed, Catholics join with Pope Francis in calling for peace and humanitarian assistance.

01/02/2014 Comments (3)

Armed rebels in the north of the Central African Republic

– Wikipedia

BANGUI, Central African Republic — “Forgotten and overlooked” — those two Christmas Day words from Pope Francis describe the plight of the Central African Republic (CAR), an African nation where newly enkindled religious hatreds threaten even greater bloodsheds and the specter of the Rwandan genocide.

The ever-worsening spiral of human butchery and barbarism between Muslims and Christians in the CAR was singled out by the Holy Father in his first Christmas address and blessing urbi et orbi (to the city of Rome and the world).

“Grant peace to the Central African Republic, often forgotten and overlooked. Yet you, Lord, forget no one,” Pope Francis said. “And you also want to bring peace...READ MORE

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Your Patron Saint for 2014! Spiritual Resolutions for the New Year? Trusting in God and Much More! (3361)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/01/2014 Comment

Your Patron Saint for 2014! Follow the link by Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary to read more.

Your Patron Saint for 2014! by Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary - BigPulpit.com

Our Favorite Books of 2013 – Daniel McInerny, Aleteia

Spiritual Resolutions for the New Year? - Dan Burke, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Trusting in God with St. Francis de Sales - Christopher J. Lane, Crisis Magazine

A New Year & A New Hope - Donald R. McClarey, Catholic Stand

Making Sense of the Most Shocking Verses in Scripture – Joe Heschmeyer, Shameless Popery

2014, Moment by Moment - Molly M, Ignitum Today

Should Catholic Schools Be Allowed to Discriminate? – Trent Horn, Strange Notions

In His Image, Does Yoda Have a Soul? - Bob Kurland, Catholic Stand

A Podcast Against Bitter...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’ New Year Messages (13239)

During his homily on the Solemnity of the Mother of God, the Holy Father invited Catholics to see her as a messenger of hope.

01/01/2014 Comments (9)


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has invited the faithful to entrust their hearts to Mary, to look on her as a Mother to all and to see her as a messenger of hope during his homily on the Solemnity of the Mother of God.

The Holy Father’s homily marked the end of a series of traditional messages over the past 24 hours invoking gratitude to God for the year just passed and looking with an authentic hope towards the year ahead.

Addressing pilgrims in the Basilica of St. Peter on New Year’s Day, the Holy Father said the “Mother of the Redeemer goes before us and continually strengthens us in faith, in our vocation and in our mission.”

By her “example of humility and openness to God’s will,”...READ MORE

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Justice Sotomayor Temporarily Halts Mandate for Catholic Group in Denver (9687)

The Supreme Court justice also instructed the government to respond by 10am Friday to arguments submitted against the mandate's enforcement.

01/01/2014 Comments (36)
Wikimedia Commons

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

– Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an order late Dec. 31, temporarily halting enforcement of the contraceptive mandate against the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged only hours before the Affordable Care Act began to take effect.

Sotomayor instructed the administration to respond by 10am Friday to her order. Several Catholic organizations, including the Archdiocese of Washington, the Diocese of Nashville, Tenn., The Catholic University of America and the Michigan Catholic Conference, previously submitted a request that the mandate be blocked until their arguments against it were heard, Fox News reported.

On Jan. 1, lawyer Noel Francisco...READ MORE

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Archbishop Kurtz to President Obama: Provide Temporary Mandate Relief for Church Ministries (5375)

The president of the U.S. bishops says such organizations should be exempted while the Supreme Court considers whether the HHS mandate violates religious freedom.

12/31/2013 Comments (17)
Addie Mena/CNA

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

– Addie Mena/CNA

WASHINGTON — In a Dec. 31 letter, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked President Barack Obama to temporarily exempt religious institutions from crippling fines if their insurance plans exclude sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives.

The letter was released one day before the mandate was scheduled to come into effect for many Catholic organizations that do not qualify for a permanent exemption from the mandate, under the terms of the “accommodation” that the administration conferred in June to a limited number of religious organizations.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop Kurtz’s...READ MORE

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Building Strength Through Virtue (4032)

SportsLeader program gains in popularity and importance among coaches and teams, including Michigan State’s Rose Bowl-bound football squad.

12/31/2013 Comments (3)

Lou Judd

– SportsLeader

Ask Lou Judd about the state of athletics, and you might get an earful. The 41-year-old father of six is passionate about stemming the tide that would place sports above everything else. He has maintained this outlook since 2004, the year he joined SportsLeader, a virtue-based mentoring program for coaches.

Judd has seen positive results from SportsLeader, both on the field and off the field. Among the most visible on-field outcomes are found with the Michigan State University football team, which won the Big Ten Championship this year and plays in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Off-the-field stories showing the effectiveness of virtue-mentoring are numerous, but they all have the...READ MORE

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Learning Latin, for Fun and Profit (3690)

Father Joseph Faulkner aims to convince his Nebraska high-school students that as well as being useful, studying Latin can be ‘fun and cool.’

12/31/2013 Comments (6)
Zeny Nguyen

Father Joseph Faulkner's Latin class at St. Cecilia's High School in Hastings, Neb., plays a Latin-speaking game.

– Zeny Nguyen

LINCOLN, Neb. — Father Joseph Faulkner, a priest of the Lincoln Diocese, is teaching Latin to his high-school students by actually speaking to them in Latin and “throwing them in a little bit above their heads.”

“I’m trying to lower the fear level; I use the language of John Paul II, ‘Be not afraid,’ getting people to not be as fearful of the language,” Father Faulkner, who teaches at St. Cecilia High School in Hastings, Neb., told CNA Dec. 10.

“And I don’t generally correct them at this point; we don’t correct 3-year-olds when they use incorrect grammar; we applaud them for using the right words, and we give them the grammar eventually.”

The priest has been giving simple commands...READ MORE

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