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Serving Those Who’ve Served Their Time (1826)

Catholic apostolates across the country help ex-offenders make the difficult transition out of prison life and back into society.

02/12/2014 Comments (2)

– Shutterstock

When Eric Schultz found out he was getting out of prison early, the 27-year-old remembers being full of anxiety and fear.

“I didn’t know where I was going to go,” said the St. Louis native, who had received a three-year sentence for crimes related to drug and alcohol abuse.

“I just thought I would go to the release center, which is notorious for just being a stopping place before one heads back to prison.”

However, his one sliver of hope was Gino Martinez, a case manager with Criminal Justice Ministry (CJM).

“Gino was a friend to me from the start,” said Schultz. “He visited me regularly and even ‘followed’ me as I transferred a couple of times.”

As Schultz’s release date...READ MORE

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Pope: Eucharist Helps Us to See the Face of Christ in Others (2570)

The Holy Father’s Feb. 12 general audience remarks reflected on how Catholics should manifest the gift of the Eucharist in their daily lives.

02/12/2014 Comments (2)
Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

– Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — During his general audience Feb. 12, Pope Francis reflected on how we live the Eucharist in our daily lives, explaining that it helps us to truly encounter others as a community and opens us to God’s mercy.

“In the Mass, we encounter many people, but do we really see them as brothers and sisters? Does the Eucharist lead us to reach out to the poor, to the sick, to the marginalized, seeing the face of Jesus in them?” the Pope asked during his general audience.

Speaking to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly address, the Holy Father continued his reflections on the sacraments of initiation, stating that he now wished to explore “how we live the Eucharist...READ MORE

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U.N. Committee’s Effort ‘to Teach Theology to the Holy See Caught Us by Surprise’ (5895)

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s U.N. representative in Geneva, discusses the recent report that attacked Church teachings on sexuality and the sanctity of human life.

02/12/2014 Comments (17)
AP photo

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.

– AP photo

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, told the Register in an email this week that a U.N. committee issued a “rather negative” report on the Catholic Church’s steps in recent years to protect children.

Archbishop Tomasi also told the Register that the committee apparently does not understand the nature of the Catholic Church. He said he was surprised that a U.N. committee tried to teach theology to the Holy See.

 On Feb. 5, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, an 18-member treaty body designated with monitoring the implementation of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, issued its “concluding observations”...READ MORE

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Looking Back at Benedict XVI’s Fateful Decision (3257)

U.S. Catholic leaders say that the pope emeritus’ resignation taught valuable lessons.

02/11/2014 Comments (4)
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

Pope Benedict celebrates Mass on Ash Wednesday 2013, two days after he announced his intention to resign the papacy.

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recalls his “disbelief” when he heard the news from Rome on Feb. 11, 2013.

According to media reports, then-Pope Benedict XVI had announced to a gathering of cardinals that he would resign from the Petrine office. It was the first resignation of a pope in almost 600 years, and Benedict had explained that his “strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”

Initially, the shocking news “mystified” Archbishop Kurtz. But over the past year, he has developed a deep appreciation for the moral and spiritual...READ MORE

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Parish Priest Aids Family in Fight Against Demons (58572)

Father Michael Maginot recounts the 2012 ordeal of an Indiana family's possession.

02/11/2014 Comments (39)

Father Michael Maginot, pastor of St. Stephen Martyr Church in Merrillville, Ind.

In an exclusive Register interview, Father Michael Maginot discusses his role in serving as an exorcist to help an Indiana family who appeared to be afflicted by demonic possession.

It was the most bizarre situation in 30 years of his priesthood, according to Father Michael Maginot of St. Stephen Martyr Church in Merrillville, Ind. He was asked to save a family from demons.

LaToya Ammon's three children, a daughter, 12, and two sons, 9 and 7, often reported feeling sick at their Gary, Ind., school. Sometimes blood mysteriously showed up in their mouths, ears and noses. The school nurse reported the situation to Child Protective Services (CPS). The children, their mother and...READ MORE

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Vatican Secretariat of State to Undergo ‘Pastoral Conversion’ (2096)

Archbishop Pietro Parolin affirms that, under his stewardship, the Vatican office will fulfill Pope Francis’ call for a renewal of the mission of the Roman Curia.

02/11/2014 Comment
Elise Harris/CNA

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, speaking in Paul VI hall on Dec. 2, 2013.

– Elise Harris/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said in a recent interview that, under Pope Francis’ reform, his department will undertake the Pope’s call for pastoral conversion.

“The Secretariat of State … must assume a cordial and complete availability to the pastoral conversion proposed by Pope Francis,” Archbishop Parolin told Stefania Falasca of Avvenire, the daily paper of the Italian bishops’ conference, in an interview published Feb. 8.

“Indeed, it must become, in a certain sense, a model for the whole Church,” he added.

The Vatican’s state department, he said, should “shine in a particularly intense way, in the persons who compose it and the...READ MORE

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Benedict XVI’s Decision to Step Down ‘an Act of Great Courage’ (4504)

One year ago on Feb. 11, the Holy Father cited the rigors of his ministry and his declining health as the main reasons for resigning the papacy.

02/11/2014 Comments (5)
Reuters/L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican Feb. 11, 2013, at which he announced his intention to resign the papacy.

– Reuters/L’Osservatore Romano

 VATICAN CITY — “Let’s just say there was a fair amount of surprise,” said a senior Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, about the shock of Pope Benedict XVI announcing his intent to resign.

Like the rest of the world, the official, who works in the heart of the apostolic palace, never saw the announcement coming last year.

“Just a handful of people knew,” he said. “The person who told me the news didn’t even believe it.”

It was a Vatican holiday that day, and officials required to work expected a light workload, but that’s not how it turned out. “It was crazy — I was taking phone calls nonstop for the next three days,” the official recalled.

Benedict XVI made the...READ MORE

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Pope Names Bishops for New York State (2904)

Albany and Rockville Centre Catholics will have new shepherds.

02/11/2014 Comment

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican announced that Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger will take the helm as the new bishop of Albany, N.Y., with Msgr. Andrzej Jerzy Zglejszewski stepping up as auxiliary in Rockville Centre, N.Y.

“How grateful I am to His Holiness Pope Francis for the awesome privilege to serve as pastor of all the wonderful people in the Diocese of Albany,” Bishop-elect Scharfenberger stated in the Feb. 11 press release announcing his appointment.

“It is humbling when I think that I soon will be counted among the successors of the Lord's apostles,” he said, emphasizing that “I am not worthy of this office, and I hope that our priests, deacons, religious and laypeople will pray for...READ MORE

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