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Church of the Nativity Repairs Under Way (4202)

After decades of squabbling, the Bethlehem church’s leaky roofs and windows are finally being fixed.

12/03/2013 Comments (3)

Christmas services in 2009 at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

– Lewis Larsson/Wikimedia Commons

BETHLEHEM — The Church of the Nativity’s leaky roof and windows are finally being repaired, thanks to a rare act of cooperation between the three major churches that share and maintain the church, built atop the traditional place of Jesus’ birth.

In August, officials of the Palestinian Authority and Latin Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Apostolic Armenian Churches signed an agreement authorizing an Italian restoration company to fix the church, whose basilica was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian about 600 A.D.

The original Church of the Nativity, built in 330 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Constantine, was mostly destroyed 200 years later. The existing church was built on the same...READ MORE

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Argentina Lawmakers Recommend Pope Francis for Nobel Peace Prize (3246)

The resolution, overwhelmingly approved in the House of Representatives, now goes to the Senate for ratification.

12/03/2013 Comments (3)
CNA/Lauren Cater

Pope Francis leads a prayer vigil for peace in Syria in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 7.

– CNA/Lauren Cater

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s House of Representatives has passed a resolution to nominate Pope Francis for the Nobel Peace Prize for his call to end the violence in Syria.

The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority and now goes to the Senate for ratification.

Representative Oscar Martinez, who sponsored the resolution, described Pope Francis as “a man who throughout this year has been decisive in maintaining international peace through his clear position regarding the conflict in Syria.”

Since his election to the papacy, Pope Francis has made repeated calls for peace in Syria.  He sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit in which he called on...READ MORE

Filed under argentina, catholic faith, middle east, nobel peace prize, pope francis

Pope Francis: A Church Without Joy Is Unimaginable (3442)

The Church’s mission is to transmit this message, which brings authentic peace, the Holy Father said in his Dec. 3 homily.

12/03/2013 Comments (6)
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis focused his homily Dec. 3 on the themes of joy and peace, emphasizing that our God “is joyful” and that the Church’s mission of transmitting this joy to others brings authentic peace.

“You can’t imagine a Church without joy,” the Holy Father explained, “and the joy of the Church lies precisely in this: to proclaim the name of Jesus.”

Pope Francis directed his homily to those gathered in the Vatican’s St. Martha guest house, where he has chosen to reside.

He began by reflecting on the day’s first reading taken from the prophet Isaiah, which describes how, in the coming of the Messiah, “the lion and the sheep shall abide together.”

This passage, observed...READ MORE

Filed under advent, christian joy, mass, missionary zeal, pope francis

International Conference to Explore the Catholic ‘Vocation’ of Business (2088)

The conference in Thailand aims to show the link between Catholic social teaching, business practice and the New Evangelization.

12/03/2013 Comment

Official logo of the Asian Conference on the Vocation of the Business Leader in the New Evangelization.

BANGKOK, Thailand — A conference for Catholic business leaders will meet in Thailand in March to discuss Catholic social teaching and the vocation of the business leader in the New Evangelization.

“With the opening of the new Asian Economic Communities in 2014, the Church has to address and prepare for the future pastoral challenges influencing every human sector,” Msgr. Andrew Vissanu Thanya Anan, the deputy secretary general of the Thailand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, told CNA.

The Asian Conference on the Vocation of the Business Leader in the New Evangelization seeks to strengthen Catholics’ faith and to examine the dilemmas facing Catholic business leaders in an uncertain world...READ MORE

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‘Evangelii Gaudium’: Pope Francis’ Blueprint for Evangelization (17685)


12/03/2013 Comments (19)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Pope Francis is moving fast to advance his “dream of … a missionary impulse, capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world.”

That “dream,” expressed in passionate and sometimes admonitory terms, framed his 84-page apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), released Nov. 26 and welcomed by Catholic leaders and thinkers as a blueprint for evangelization in the 21st century.

“The title — ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ — says it all: We need to speak boldly about Christ and the Gospel and do it with...READ MORE

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Woody Allen the Moralist; Veiled Words: Modesty in Speech and Thought and Much More! (4704)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/03/2013 Comments (1)

Woody Allen the Moralist. Follow the link by Fr. Robert Barron of Strange Notions to read more.

Woody Allen the Moralist by Fr. Robert Barron of Strange Notions - BigPulpit.com

To Cardinal Dolan: “Outmarketed” vs.“Outevangelized” - Dr. Gerard M. Nadal

Veiled Words: Modesty in Speech & Thought – Caitlin Marchland, Ignitum Today

Some 100 U. S. Dioceses Adopted Common Core - Fr. Z’s Blog

Letting Your Conscience Be Your Guide – Gary Zimak, Catholic Stand

William Byrd’s Secret Catholic Masterpieces - Beverly Stevens, Regina Magazine

Born that Way(™): The Tired Refrain of the Evil One by the Quartermaster of the Barque - BigPulpit.com

Come Holy Spirit, Give Us Chastity - Colleen, Catholic Sistas

Advent & Anti-Christ, Part I – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic


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North American College Seminarians Battle in the ‘Spaghetti Bowl’ (2509)

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 (3697)

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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