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Pope: This Lent, Take ‘Journey of Spiritual Renewal in the Footsteps of Christ’ (3242)

The Holy Father marked Ash Wednesday by encouraging the faithful to focus on ‘consciously resisting the pressure of a culture which thinks it can do without God.’ He also said, ‘Lent is a time to recover the capacity to react before the reality of evil.’

03/05/2014 Comments (1)
Isabel Anderson/CNA

Pope Francis leads a papal procession on the Aventine Hill in Rome for Ash Wednesday on March 5.

– Isabel Anderson/CNA

VATICAN CITY — During his general audience on Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis called Lent a moment of renewal, which allows us to look at the needs of others with “new eyes” and to grow in love.

“Brothers and sisters: Today, Ash Wednesday, begins the Lenten itinerary that leads us to the celebration of the Easter Triduum, a memorial of our salvation,” the Pope said March 5.

“Lent,” he affirmed during his weekly address, “is a 'strong' time of conversion” and a time “to live our baptism with greater profundity.”

Speaking to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father noted that the 40 days leading up to Easter is a “journey of penance, prayer and conversion,”...READ MORE

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Full Transcript of Pope Francis’ March 5 Interview With ‘Corriere della Sera’ (16186)

English translation

03/05/2014 Comments (29)

VATICAN CITY ­— Find below an English translation, by CNA’s Estefania Aguirre and Alan Holdren, of the March 5 interview of Pope Francis with Italian daily Corriere della Sera.


Holy Father, every once in a while you call those who ask you for help. Sometimes they don’t believe you.

Yes, it has happened. When one calls, it is because he wants to speak, to pose a question, to ask for counsel. As a priest in Buenos Aires, it was more simple. And it has remained a habit for me, a service. I feel it inside. Certainly, now, it is not that easy to do, due to the quantity of people who write me.


Is there a contact, an encounter, that you remember with particular affection?

A widowed...READ MORE

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Lenten Resolve (2069)

A Register editorial

03/05/2014 Comment

The veiled crucifix at St. Martin's Church, Württemberg, Germany.

– Wikipedia

Last year, Pope Benedict XVI led the Church into the season of Lent, and Pope Francis closed it, marking Holy Thursday with a service for young prisoners whose feet were washed by the Church’s first Latin-American pope.

The change of guard at the chair of St. Peter during Lent 2013 has unleashed an explosion of enthusiasm. Catholics, and many other people of goodwill, have celebrated what they see as a renewed emphasis on the need for the faithful to serve the poor and an attendant simplicity of life for Church leaders.

Indeed, in the weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday, Francis returned to these themes, reminding Church leaders who would receive their birettas at the consistory on Feb. 22...READ MORE

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Going Public for Lent: Catholics Wear Ashes to Work (30048)

From sports-show hosts to business consultants, Catholics across the country display the mark of Ash Wednesday as a sign of repentance and silent evangelization.

03/05/2014 Comments (26)

Tony Reali, host of the ESPN program Around the Horn, is one of many American Catholics who wear their ashes to work.

– Deadspin

WASHINGTON — Tune into ESPN this afternoon at 5pm Eastern, and you’ll catch Around the Horn, a lively and informative sports talk show hosted by Tony Reali. You’ll also see a Catholic symbol on prominent display: a cross of ashes smack-dab on the host’s forehead.

Reali, a cradle Catholic and current parishioner at St. Augustine’s in Washington, D.C., has worn ashes for Ash Wednesday his “whole life,” and he has been doing so for the 13 years he has appeared on TV. The 35-year-old husband and expectant father says his decision to keep the ashes on while on air isn’t anything extraordinary — just the simple product of living the faith.

“I’m a sportscaster and a television host, and I’m...READ MORE

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Report: Syrian Rebel Group Tells Christians to Pay Up or Die (2270)

Islamist rebels have told Christians in Syria that they must pay protection money to live as second-class citizens or face ‘the sword.’

03/05/2014 Comments (5)
U.N. photo/David Manyua

A shell lays in the middle of the street in Homs, Syria, a remnant of the heavy attack directed on the city in June 2012.

– U.N. photo/David Manyua

WASHINGTON — A jihadist group has allegedly given an ultimatum to Syrian Christians, demanding that they live as “dhimmis,” or low-status subjects, who must pay protection money and obey strict restrictions on their religious practice — or face death.

Christians who reject conversion to Islam or the restrictive conditions of dhimmitude “are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS, other than the sword,” said the online statement reputedly from the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), one of the Islamist rebel groups fighting against the government of President Bashar Al-Assad, according to the BBC.

The statement particularly concerns...READ MORE

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Ukrainian Priest Discusses His Homeland and the Perils of the Russian Presence in Crimea (4852)

A Register interview with Father Yuriy Sakvuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

03/05/2014 Comments (5)
Courtesy Franciscan University of Steubenville

Father Yuriy Sakvuk

– Courtesy Franciscan University of Steubenville

Father Yuriy Sakvuk, 38, is a priest in the Ukrainian Greek [Byzantine rite] Catholic Church, an eastern Church in communion with Rome, a professor of ecclesiology and ecumenism and the director of the Department of Spiritual Guidance and Pastoral Care at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine. He arrived in the United States for a prescheduled trip on Feb. 24, days after Ukraine’s former president, the Moscow-allied Viktor Yanukovych, fled the capital amid widening anti-government demonstrations.

On March 4, Father Sakvuk spoke with Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond about the harrowing political developments that led to the killing of an estimated 90 people, the...READ MORE

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Planned Parenthood Election Spending Demands Response, Pro-Lifers Say (2323)

The abortion provider’s political arms intend to spend more than $18 million on 2014 races.

03/05/2014 Comments (2)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, addresses the Democratic National Convention in September 2012.

– Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood’s intention to spend millions of dollars to support political candidates who favor legal abortion shows the need to speak out more on the issue, pro-life groups say.

“There are no winners, except those making money by selling abortions, when 'Big Abortion' leader Planned Parenthood pours millions into America's elections,” Lila Rose, the president of the pro-life group Live Action, told Fox News Feb. 27.

The abortion provider’s political arms, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the political action committee Planned Parenthood Votes, have said they intend to spend more than $18 million on 2014 races, including the $2.4 million spent to help defeat Ken...READ MORE

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40 Things You Should Give Up for Lent, 5 Free Activities for Lent, Last Minute Lent and Much More! (14016)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/05/2014 Comment

Follow the 40 Things You Should Give Up for Lent by John White link to read more.

40 Things You Should Give Up for Lent by John White - BigPulpit.com

This Lent, Go to the Movies with the Daily Examen – Sr. Theresa Noble, Pursued by Truth

5 Free Activities for Lent 2014 – Shaun McAfee, Ignitum Today

Last-Minute Lent – Cari Donaldson, Aleteia

Dissing Matthew McConaughey's Beautiful Oscar Speech by Rebecca Hamilton - BigPulpit.com

6 Ways to Pray Your Way Through Lent – Karee Santos, Catholic Lane

Evangelization: Don’t Argue on the Internet – Dr. Robert Kurland, Catholic Stand

Our Lenten Journey – Kevin M. Tierney, Catholic Lane

The Rule of 3 in the Battle Against Sin – Dan Burke, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Lenten Practices: Inquisitions & Penitentiaries –...READ MORE

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