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Pope Francis’ Christmas Messages (9514)

The Holy Father celebrated his first Christmas midnight Mass at the Vatican and delivered his first urbi et orbi message.

12/25/2013 Comments (26)

Pope Francis delivers his 2013 urbi et orbi message Dec. 25 from the loggia of St. Peter's Basiica.


VATICAN CITY — In his first Christmas urbi et orbi message, Pope Francis has issued impassioned pleas for peace in the Middle East and war-torn countries in Africa, while also remembering children who are victims of war, the elderly, battered women, the sick, trafficked persons and refugees. 

Addressing a crowd of pilgrims from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope said that true peace is not a “balance of opposing forces,” nor a “lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions.” Rather, he said, peace calls for “daily commitment, starting from God’s gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.”

Looking at the Child in the manger, he said “our thoughts turn...READ MORE

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Christmas Joy to the World (3220)


12/24/2013 Comments (5)

Detail of The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Von Honthorst

This being the Christmas season, it is worth recalling that this word in English is a conjoining of the words “Christ” and “Mass.”

Today, many in society wish to take both Christ and the Mass out of Christmas and make it merely a secular holiday of tolerant goodwill for a secular religion based on material prosperity. Joy to the world would not be because the Lord is come, but a joy we cause ourselves precisely by ignoring the Lord and the Mass.

It is true that there is good cheer accompanying this feast, and we give gifts. But the good cheer is caused by the fact that in the darkest time of the year, the light begins again to break forth. Christ is born, and God enters the world as a...READ MORE

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Dominican Carolers Bring Joy of Christmas to the Nation’s Capital City (3157)

This choir of preachers is evangelizing downtown D.C. by spreading faith in song.

12/24/2013 Comments (2)
Addie Mena/CNA

Dominican friars and sisters sing carols in Washington on Dec. 16.

– Addie Mena/CNA

WASHINGTON — Passersby stopped for a moment to pause and listen in the busy streets of Washington, as Dominican brothers, sisters and friars gathered in joyful song to wish people a merry Christmas.

One observer, John Cherry of Washington, described the scene as “very soothing to my spirit.”

He told CNA that religious brothers and sisters represent the “call of the future” of the Christian Church.

“The purpose of Jesus is to come and let the light shine in the darkness,” he continued, saying that the Dominicans’ singing offered a reminder of this in an often busy and sometimes difficult city.  

Student brothers and friars from the Dominican House of Studies, along with Dominican...READ MORE

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Spanish Poor Clares Give Pope Francis a Hen for Christmas Dinner (2144)

The special hen was delivered to the Vatican from the manostery of the cloistered nuns, who raise hens ‘with great love and care’ to support themselves.

12/24/2013 Comments (3)

The Vatican's Christmas 2013 creche was unveiled Dec. 24 in St. Peter's Square.


VATICAN CITY — The Poor Clares of Allariz, in western Spain, have given Pope Francis the finest hen from their farm to be served as the main dish for his Christmas dinner.

“This is not just another hen; it is a poulard, a type of high-quality bird fed a special fodder and bred longer than normal, which gives the meat a more tender and flavorful quality,” Sister Maria Pureza, abbess of St. Clare Monastery, told CNA by phone from her cloister on Dec. 18.

The monastery is located on the Camino de Santiago in Galicia, about 80 miles southeast of Santiago de Compostela,

The Poor Clares at Allariz are devoted to prayer and contemplation, and the sisters raise hens “with great love and...READ MORE

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From Merciless Linebacker to Merciful Messenger (21742)

Eric Mahl of the Cleveland Browns was transformed by God’s forgiving love.

12/24/2013 Comments (23)

Eric Mahl

Eric Mahl has always loved a challenge. In his youth, it was the prospect of being the best football player ever. This desire drove him to bench press 450 pounds, earn an NCAA Division I football scholarship and later a place on the Cleveland Browns’ roster.

The 30-year-old Ohio native’s challenge now, however, is sharing the message of Divine Mercy with the world — particularly the poor and most abandoned. This has meant enduring regular rejection and sometimes sub-freezing temperatures on the streets of Cleveland and other cities, in the hope of convincing souls that God’s love for them has not expired.

Eric Mahl spoke about his radical transformation with Register correspondent...READ MORE

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6 More Reasons Why Everyone Should Have Kids, Is This the Best Crib in the Land and Much More! (3490)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/24/2013 Comment

6 More Reasons Why Everyone Should Have Kids. Follow the link by T. J. Burdick of Ignitum Today to read more.

6 More Reasons Why Everyone Should Have Kids by T. J. Burdick of Ignitum Today - BigPulpit.com

Is This the Best Crib in the Land? – Richard Collins, Linen on the Hedgerow

The First Day of Sledding & Isaiah 40 – Stacy Trasancos PhD

St. Anastasia & the Second Mass of Christmas – Peter Kwasniewski PhD, New Liturgical Movement

Christmas Eve Special: Pope Francis - BigPulpit.com

My Journey as a Catholic So Far, Pt. 10: I Just Want To See – Jason Liske, Ascending Mount Carmel

St. Peter Faber: Model for a New Reformation – William Doino Jr., First Thoughts

Humanae Vitae: Bonding & Babies – Kevin Aldrich, Catholic Stand


Art as Evangelization...READ MORE

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Pope and Pope Emeritus Exchange Christmas Greetings (4932)

Pope Francis visited Benedict’s residence at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where the two men prayed briefly together in the chapel before meeting privately.

12/23/2013 Comments (2)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis praying together in the Mater Ecclesiae Chapel, Dec. 23, 2013.


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis paid a visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Moday evening to exchange Christmas greetings. (See video here.)

In a short statement released Dec. 23, the Vatican said the pope emeritus received the Holy Father at the entrance of his residence, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, at 5pm.

“After a brief moment of prayer together in the chapel, a private meeting took place in the lounge of the residence that lasted around half an hour,” the statement said. “Then Pope Francis, accompanied by his personal secretaries, greeted the other members of the ‘family’ of the pope emeritus,” the Vatican added.

These included Archbishop George Gaenswein, prefect of the...READ MORE

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Archbishop Wenski Cautiously Supportive of U.S. Budget Plan (2006)

The head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Sevelopment calls it ‘an important first step,’ but says ‘more needs to be done’ to help working families.

12/23/2013 Comments (5)
Ana Rodriguez-Soto/Florida Catholic

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.

– Ana Rodriguez-Soto/Florida Catholic

WASHINGTON — A federal budget framework resulting from dialogue and compromise in Washington drew both praise and caution from the head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“Millions of working families across the country and around the world struggle to survive and achieve stability,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, after the House approved the bill. “While this agreement is an important first step to accomplishing that, more needs to be done.”

The Senate approved the plan on Dec. 18, sending the bill to President Barack Obama, who voiced his support. The budget plan had previously passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin,...READ MORE

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