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Pope Francis’ New Year Messages (13529)

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 (9927)

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 (5518)

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 (4190)

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 (3884)

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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Latin Is Fun, Cool at Nebraska Catholic High School; How to Lead Your Family to Holiness and More! (2854)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/31/2013 Comments (1)

Latin Is Fun, Cool at Nebraska Catholic High School. Follow the link by Kelly Conroy to read more.

Latin Is Fun, Cool at Nebraska Catholic High School by Kelly Conroy - BigPulpit.com

How to Lead Your Family to Holiness - Deacon Mike Bickerstaff, Integrated Catholic Life™

Sex In Pagan Rome - God & Caesar

Is Pope Francis Really So Down on Sacred Liturgy? No – David Clayton, New Liturgical Movement

Parables In Parenting – Caitlin Marchand, Ignitum Today

The Peculiar Virtue of Patience - Mary Beth Baker, Aleteia

The Lessons of Bethlehem – Gabriel Garcia, Catholic Stand

A Scientific Note About St. Juan Diego’s Tilma - Br. J. M. Samaha SM, Mystic Post

Obama Keeping Wounded Vets Safe from Christmas Cards – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

The New York Times &...READ MORE

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Religious Believers Face Discrimination for Marriage Views (9522)


12/30/2013 Comments (31)

Wedding cake designed by Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo.

– masterpiececakes.com

The conflict between Duck Dynasty reality TV stars and the A&E television network has received massive media coverage. It is, however, only one skirmish in a larger conflict between the right of believers to express their faith and the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community not to be offended by that expression of faith.

In response to a number of cases in which courts ruled against small businesses run by persons who refused for religious reasons to participate in celebrations of same-sex relations, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, has introduced the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” (H.R. 3133).

According to Rep. Labrador, “Our bill will ensure...READ MORE

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Indian Archbishop: Muslims, Christians United in Fight for Equality (1720)

Archbishop Couto of Delhi and six bishops were arrested for marching on India's parliament to protest the pervasive discrimination against Christian and Muslim Dalits.

12/30/2013 Comments (1)
Hillary Senour/CNA

Children on the streets of Bangalore

– Hillary Senour/CNA

NEW DELHI — Recent efforts from Christians and Muslims in India have united the communities to end the practice of “untouchability,” as members of both faiths participated in a Dec. 11 march in which peaceful protesters were subjected to beatings and sprayed with water cannons.

“We are trying to come together in this ecumenical effort,” Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi said in a Dec. 18 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

The practice of “untouchability,” or ostracization based on one’s caste, was officially outlawed in 1950, and a quota system for education and government positions was created for Dalits, a caste traditionally regarded as “untouchable” in...READ MORE

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