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North American College Seminarians Battle in the ‘Spaghetti Bowl’ (2478)

An American Thanksgiving Day gridiron tradition has been transplanted to Rome, along with a classic turkey dinner and pumpkin pie.

12/02/2013 Comment
Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

Seminarians from the NAC face off in the 2013 Spaghetti Bowl.

– Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

ROME — Thanksgiving weekend at the Pontifical North American College in Rome is full of traditions not normally found in Italy. Besides a classic turkey dinner and pumpkin pie, the seminarians at the college host their traditional “Spaghetti Bowl.”

This year, on Dec. 1, the entire college and its guests gathered to watch the “New Men vs. Old Men” match. First-year seminarians faced off against a team comprised of students from every other class at the seminary.

“New-year guys take on the whole rest of the house, so, obviously, it’s not quite a ‘fair’ thing,” Father Peter Harman, director of pastoral formation and media relations, explained to CNA, “but it is a fraternity-building...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Discusses Middle East’s ‘Complex Problem’ With Netanyahu (3662)

In addition, the Holy Father discussed with the Israeli prime minister plans for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

12/02/2013 Comments (3)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (l) leaves the apostolic palace's Cortile di San Damaso at the end of a private audience with Pope Francis on Dec. 2.

– Franco Origlia/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — The likelihood of a 2014 papal visit to the Holy Land increased today, when Pope Francis met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the apostolic palace.

The Holy See confirmed that “plans for a pilgrimage” were discussed at this morning’s meeting, following unconfirmed reports in Israeli media last week that a visit will take place at the end of May next year.

In a statement, the Vatican said the 25-minute meeting focused on the “complex political and social situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the reinstatement of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The two parties expressed the hope that “a just and lasting solution...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Expresses Hope for Catholic-Orthodox Unity (7582)

In a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy Father says ‘God … has taught us throughout these years to regard one another as members of the same family.’

12/02/2013 Comments (20)

Coat of arms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis sent special greetings to the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church Nov. 30, expressing his desire for continued dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

“Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, this is the first time that I address you on the occasion of the feast of the apostle Andrew, the first called. I take this opportunity to assure you of my intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” he wrote on Nov. 30 in the message delivered by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Cardinal Koch had led a delegation from the Holy...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Use Well-Formed Intelligence to Understand Signs of the Times (5394)

Our conscience is a great gift from God, he said, but not a weak conscience, formed by the world.

12/02/2013 Comments (11)
CNA/Marianne Medlin

– CNA/Marianne Medlin

VATICAN CITY — During a daily Mass last week, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of man’s intellect in understanding the Lord and cautioned those present against “restricted” thought which keeps us focused on ourselves.

“What path does the Lord want? Always with the spirit of intelligence with which to understand the signs of the times, it is beautiful to ask the Lord for this grace,” the Pope said in his Nov. 29 daily homily.

Pope Francis directed his reflections to those present in the St. Martha guest house of the Vatican, where he resides.

He began by recalling how, in the Gospels, the Lord taught his disciples to pay attention to the signs of the times, which the Pharisees...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, faith and reason, formed conscience, jesus christ, pope francis, signs of the times

Christian Life Involves Many Encounters With Jesus, Says Pope (2933)

On a pastoral visit to an outlying Rome parish, Pope Francis celebrated Mass as well as the sacrament of confirmation with some young parishioners.

12/02/2013 Comment
Vatican Radio/CTV/Facebook

Pope Francis confirms a young boy Dec. 1 at the Church of St. Cyril of Alexandria in Rome.

– Vatican Radio/CTV/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis traveled to an outlying parish in his Diocese of Rome today, celebrating Mass for the First Sunday of Advent as well as the sacrament of confirmation with parishioners there.

The Pope’s homily focused on the idea of life as a journey of encounter with Christ.

“We can ask ourselves this question: When will we meet Jesus — only at the end? No, no, no. We meet him every day. But how? In prayer. When you pray, you meet Jesus. When you take Communion, you meet Jesus in the sacrament. When you bring your child to Jesus to be baptized, you bring him to Jesus, and you find Jesus. And you today, who receive confirmation, also you meet Jesus,” his said to those...READ MORE

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Church Marks the 450th Anniversary of Council of Trent (7033)

The Reformation-era council has shaped the life of the Church for nearly half a millennium.

12/02/2013 Comments (4)
tanbooks.com

– tanbooks.com

WASHINGTON — The Council of Trent — which firmly reasserted Catholic doctrine in the face of the Protestant Reformation — concluded its last session exactly 450 years ago on Dec. 4, inspiring a renaissance of Catholic art and spirituality that shaped the life of the Church for nearly half a millennium.

“Trent created the form of Catholicism that evangelized the New World, that gave birth to many saints and that successfully met the challenge of the political madnesses of the 19th and 20th centuries. That’s a noble legacy,” said Catholic author George Weigel.

The Council of Trent was convened on Dec. 13, 1545, in Trento, Italy — 28 years after an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther...READ MORE

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Shy NYC Cabbie Combats Evil with Cell Phone, 10 Advent Songs to Cure Christmas Craziness and More! (3981)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/02/2013 Comment

Shy N. Y. C. Cabbie Combats Evil with Cell Phone. Follow the link by Jamey Brown of Catholic Stand to read more.

Shy N. Y. C. Cabbie Combats Evil with Cell Phone - Jamey Brown, Catholic Stand

10 Advent Songs to Cure the Christmas Craziness – Matthew Becklo, Aleteia

Gabriel’s Message – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Advent: Can Light Conquer the Darkness? – Philip Kosloski

The Importance of Life Media – Chelsea Houghton, Catholic Stand

Advent, Days of Noah & Christ’s Judgement of the World – Brantly Millegan, Aleteia

Pope Francis on Marian Apparitions – BigPulpit.com

How the Most Powerful Catholic Technology Just Got Better – Brandon Vogt

What to Expect When Converting to the Catholic Church – Laura McAlister, Ignitum Today

Talking with Atheists at Balboa Park - Trent...READ MORE

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Pope Francis on Advent: A Journey Towards the Horizon of Hope (4971)

The Holy Father’s Angelus message focused on the importance of hope during the liturgical season dedicated to preparing for Christmas.

12/02/2013 Comment
Vatican Radio/Facebook

– Vatican Radio/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — The Pope’s Sunday Angelus message for the start of Advent focused on the importance of hope during the liturgical season dedicated to preparing for Christmas.

“For the great human family, it is necessary to renew always the common horizon toward which we are journeying. The horizon of hope! This is the horizon that makes a good journey,” Pope Francis said Dec. 1 to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square.

“The time of Advent that we begin again today returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!” the Pope emphasized.

The...READ MORE

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