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Buffalo Catholics Pioneer ‘Mass Mobs’ to Help Save City Parishes (2728)

The Buffalo Mass Mob is trying to raise awareness about the city’s beautiful churches in an effort to save them from closing.

02/06/2014 Comments (4)
buffalomassmob.wordpress.com

More than 300 Catholics gathered for the 'Mass mob' at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buffalo, where around 50 worshippers usually gather on Sundays.

– buffalomassmob.wordpress.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo, N.Y.-area Catholics have created a new twist on the “flash mob” social-media phenomenon: a “Mass mob” inspiring hundreds to attend a Mass at older parishes to spread “awareness and appreciation” of the communities.

The Buffalo Mass Mob helps participants “support and experience some of Buffalo’s wonderful churches in need of a boost,” the project said on its website. The churches are selected through an online vote, and the event is then publicized through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Buffalo resident Christopher Byrd, 46, has organized two Mass mobs: a November event at St. Adalbert Basilica and a Jan. 12 event at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

...READ MORE

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Women’s-Rights Advocate Among ‘Top 10’ of Vatican Magazine (1917)

Reggie Littlejohn, known for her work opposing forced abortion and gendercide in China, has been named one of Inside the Vatican’s ‘Top 10 People of 2013.’

02/06/2014 Comments (2)
Courtesy of Reggie Littlejohn

Reggie Littlejohn meets Pope Francis during the 2013 MaterCare International Conference in Rome.

– Courtesy of Reggie Littlejohn

VATICAN CITY — Reggie Littlejohn, known for her work opposing forced abortion and gendercide in China, has been named as one of Inside the Vatican’s “Top 10 People of 2013” for her heroic efforts in helping women.

“This honor came as a complete shock to me. I did not even know that I was being considered for this,” Littlejohn told CNA in a Feb. 5 interview, adding, “It’s a bit overwhelming to have my photo on the front cover with two popes, surrounded by the other ‘Top 10’ people from all over the world, all of whom seem far more heroic than I!”

Littlejohn is the founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition aimed at exposing forced abortion,...READ MORE

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A Clever Ruse Foils U.N. Ideologues (5863)

C-FAM's president, Austin Ruse, discusses his organization’s new U.N. status and denounces the U.N. committee report that has attacked the Vatican’s handling of clergy-abuse cases.

02/06/2014 Comments (14)
EWTN News

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute

– EWTN News

Austin Ruse is the president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), which recently won “special consultative status” from the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO).

C-FAM has participated in every major U.N. social-policy negotiation since it was founded in 1997. From the beginning, its mission has been to “monitor and affect the social-policy debate at the United Nations and other major international institutions,” dedicated towards “re-establishing a proper understanding of international law, protecting national sovereignty and the dignity of the human person.”

This week, news that the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child had strongly...READ MORE

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Four-Year-Old Girl Asks Belgian King to Block Euthanasia of Children (6552)

The parents of Jessica Saba, 4, who was born with a heart defect, fear that parents of children born with disabilities will ‘give up too early’ if child-euthanasia laws are passed.

02/06/2014 Comments (5)
Wikipedia

Great Coat of Arms of Belgium

– Wikipedia

MONTREAL — As Belgium legislators move forward with a proposed law to allow euthanasia for children, a 4-year-old girl from Canada is asking the king of Belgium to refuse to sign the legislation.

“Please do not sign the euthanasia law, for the sake of the children,” Jessica Saba says in a video appeal to King Philippe posted to YouTube. Within four days, the video had received more than 12,000 views.

Saba was born in Montreal in May 2009 with a severe heart deformity consisting of a completely blocked valve and an underdeveloped ventricle. She would likely have died after a few hours had she not undergone a series of heart operations at Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The surgeries...READ MORE

Filed under belgium, catholic faith, euthanasia, human rights, pro-life

Does Jesus Have a Home in Hollywood? (6114)

The shocking display at last month’s Grammy Awards has some Christians answering No to that question, but Catholics in the industry say constructive engagement is needed more than ever.

02/06/2014 Comments (12)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

HOLLYWOOD — From witchcraft to “twerking,” the provocative fare on display at last month’s Grammy Awards has been described as downright evil.

Many Christians have taken the disturbing display as a clear indication that it’s high time to call it quits with Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

But in doing so, some Catholics say these religious believers would be abandoning one of society’s most influential institutions, already suffering from not encountering enough authentic Christian witness.

Hollywood and the entertainment industry’s impact on American culture and values, especially through movies, has been widely discussed. A University of Notre Dame study showed that films...READ MORE

Filed under hollywood, christian movies, modern culture

Bishop: Make Pope Francis’ ‘Pop-Culture Moment’ a Chance to Share the Faith (3608)

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., said Christians must take the curiosity sparked by the Holy Father as an opportunity ‘to speak, from the heart of a disciple, to suffering souls.’

02/05/2014 Comments (1)
CNA

Bishop James Conley

– CNA

LINCOLN, Neb. —  A Rolling Stone magazine piece on Pope Francis was an attempt to “hijack” the papacy for secularist causes, but Catholics should be prepared to use the Pope’s “pop-culture moment” rather than become its “victim,” explained Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb.

“Pop culture is important and powerful. The sign value of Pope Francis’ pontificate is immense. And liable to misinterpretation,” he said in a Feb. 3 essay at the First Things website.

“But our task is to wed sign and substance. To use the newfound fascination of the world for the Holy Father for the quiet, personal conversations which lead to conversion,” he said. “To use piqued curiosity to speak, from the...READ MORE

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Looking at Armenia’s Fascinating Christian Past and Present (3007)

Independent Catholic filmmaker Elisabetta Valgiusti discusses her film 'Armenia’s Christians,' which airs this week on EWTN.

02/05/2014 Comments (1)
Film image

Sevan Monastery, as seen in the documentary airing on EWTN

– Film image

Armenia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, and yet, surprisingly, little is known about the Eurasian state and its fascinating, rich Christian heritage.

To help uncover some of its riches, EWTN USA will be showing a film on Thursday, Feb. 6, that explores this long-Christian country with a history of grisly persecution but also great beauty.

Armenia’s Christians has been produced by Rome-based independent Catholic filmmaker Elisabetta Valgiusti, who has made a series of programs highlighting the need to preserve the Christian heritage in lands where Christians face persecution.

Valgiusti sat down with the Register on Jan. 31 to explain more about the program and...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, ewtn, christian persecution, christian history

Samurai’s Cause for Beatification Forwarded to Rome (6747)

Takayama Ukon suffered greatly for upholding the honor of Christ and his Church in 16th-century Japan.

02/05/2014 Comments (7)
CNA

A 16th- to 17th-century depiction of a Mass offered in Japan.

– CNA

VATICAN CITY — Takayama Ukon, a 16th-century Japanese samurai who faced exile rather than give up his Catholic faith, is being considered for sainthood because of his fidelity to Christ and his Church.

The Japanese bishops’ conference submitted a 400-page application for the samurai’s beatification to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2013.

Takayama’s life is an example of “great fidelity to the Christian vocation, persevering despite all difficulties,” Jesuit Father Anton Witwer, general postulator of the Society of Jesus, told CNA.

Takayama was born in 1552, three years after the Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier introduced Christianity to Japan. When he was 12, his...READ MORE

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