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Catholics Save Lives, Aid Recovery from India's Devastating Cyclone (3340)

Disaster preparedness saved countless lives, but Cyclone Phailin left behind a trail of destruction and lost livelihoods.

10/23/2013 Comments (1)
Rex Features via AP Image

Locals seek shelter Oct. 15 from Cyclone Phailin in Burdwan, West Bengal, India.

– Rex Features via AP Image

NEW DELHI — After successfully helping to evacuate 1 million people from the onslaught of India’s worst cyclone in more than a decade, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and local Church agencies are still coping with supporting thousands of survivors who saved their lives but lost their livelihoods.

Cyclone Phailin ripped through the Bay of Bengal less than two weeks ago and rammed into India’s eastern coastline on Oct. 12, with winds exceeding 190 mph. However, unlike the 1999 cyclone that left 10,000 Indians dead, this time, the death toll is much, much lower, thanks to a massive evacuation effort.

But the scene to welcome survivors is bleak. Those in hilly regions have returned to...READ MORE

Filed under caritas, catholic church, catholic faith, catholic relief services, charity, cyclone, india, natural disaster

Olympic Gold Medalist Credits Nuns for Inspiration (2645)

Champion runner Jason Gardener said the nuns also gave him a solid foundation that also inspired him to work with Special Olympics athletes.

10/23/2013 Comments (1)
Lauren Cater/CNA

Jason Gardener, 2004 Olympic gold medallist in the 4x100 relay

– Lauren Cater/CNA

VATICAN CITY — At a Vatican athletic event promoting the connection between faith and sports, British Olympic gold medalist sprinter Jason Gardener credited Catholic nuns for encouraging him to succeed.

He recounted his first involvement in sports at age 6 at St. John’s Catholic Primary School in Bath. There, he said, “I was given the opportunity to participate in sports days, and I remember crossing the [finish] line — trying my best and doing really well.” 

“That coincided with the Olympic Games in 1984, and I thought, ‘Wow, I want to be like that.’ And my nuns (from my school) came to see me and brought some medals and said, ‘You work really hard, and be a good boy; you may get...READ MORE

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Sinners Are Close to the Heart of God, Pope Reflects (3937)

Where sin abounds, the Holy Father notes, so does God’s grace.

10/22/2013 Comments (7)
Vatican Radio/Facebook

– Vatican Radio/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — In his daily Mass homily today, Pope Francis stressed that Jesus came to save sinners, emphasizing also the importance of knowing God on more than an intellectual level.

“I have come to heal, to save,” said the Pope, quoting the words of Jesus from the Gospel.

The Holy Father directed his Oct. 22 homily to those gathered at the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, where he resides.

Pope Francis began his reflections by echoing the words of St. Paul to the Romans in the day’s first reading, stating that we can only enter into the mystery of God by talking to him on our knees, stressing that intelligence alone is not enough.

“You need contemplation, intelligence, heart,...READ MORE

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Redemptorist Father Pablo Straub (1932-2013) (23496)

The priest of 55 years was frequently heard on EWTN television and radio. He was 81 when he died Oct. 21.

10/22/2013 Comments (62)
EWTN photo

Redemptorist Father Pablo Straub (1932-2013)

– EWTN photo

CANCUN, Mexico — Father Pablo Straub, who regularly appeared on EWTN television and whose voice was heard on EWTN Radio, died Oct. 21 in a hospital in Cancun, Mexico.

A member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, colloquially known as the Redemptorists, and a priest for 55 years, Father Straub was easily recognized and well loved from the numerous series he hosted and the retreats he gave over the years.

“Father Pablo was a longtime host on EWTN and a friend to many of us here at the network,” noted Michael Warsaw, chairman and chief executive officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network. “We feel a profound sense of loss at the news of his passing.”

It was easy to mistake...READ MORE

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The YouTube Heresies by Fr. Robert Barron, The Rise of the E. F. Mass in an O. F. Parish and More! (13596)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

10/22/2013 Comments (2)

The YouTube Heresies. Follow the link by Fr. Robert Barron of the Strange Notions blog to view.

The YouTube Heresies by Fr. Robert Barron of the Strange Notions blog - BigPulpit.com

The Rise of the E. F. Mass at an O. F. Parish – Regina Magazine

Are Mission Trips a Waste of Money? – Family Missions Company, Ignitum Today

Criminal Found Guilty of Falsely Accusing Priests of Abuse – David F. Pierre Jr., TheMediaReport.com

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Offers to Merge Churches – Byz Pulpit

The Francis Effect™ and The Silly Season - Fr. Z’s Blog

How to be a Missionary From Your Living Room - Bethanie Ryan, Ignitum Today

Who Advises the Pope? – Marco Tosatti, Vatican Insider

Identity Crisis - Godwin Delali Adadzie, Catholic Stand

Biblical Basis for Practice of Fast and...READ MORE

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Maronite Bishop Urges Unity to Aid Dwindling Christian Presence in the Middle East (3690)

Solidarity among Western nations will ease the persecuted minority’s plight and help stabilize the Middle-Eastern country, says Bishop Elias Sleman.

10/22/2013 Comments (3)
CNA/UNHCR/G. Gubaeva

Syrian refugees cross a bridge over the Tigris River into Iraq on Aug. 15.

– CNA/UNHCR/G. Gubaeva

NEW YORK — While calling for dialogue between Syria’s Assad regime and moderates among the opposition, a Maronite Catholic bishop has stressed the necessity of a continued Christian presence in the Middle East.

“We need the solidarity of people and governments in the West to ensure the ongoing presence of Christians in Syria and throughout the Middle East,” Bishop Elias Sleman of the Maronite Eparchy of Latakia told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need Oct. 17.

Bishop Sleman is visiting the United States to raise support for his people as well as internally displaced Syrians. He hopes to purchase livestock and agricultural equipment and gain funding to establish a residence...READ MORE

Filed under catholic fatih, christian persecution, maronite church, middle east, religious fanaticism

Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (6874)

The politically moderate Muslim country is the traditional site of Mary’s House and the birthplace of St. Paul.

10/22/2013 Comments (11)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

– Wikipedia

SELÇUK, Turkey — Thankfully, there are places where the simple coexistence of faithful Christians and Muslims is a joy to witness.

In a peaceful grove of trees overlooking the ancient city of Ephesus stands a dignified one-story stone abode called Mary’s House, widely considered to be where the Virgin Mary lived her last years.

Pilgrims — including Muslims, for whom Mary is honored as the virgin mother of Jesus, a great prophet — visit, pray and light candles. In fact, Mary is the woman most frequently mentioned in the Quran and the only one referred to by name.

Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in front of the house on his pilgrimage to Turkey in 2006. Pope John Paul II came in 1979,...READ MORE

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Beatifed Religious Sister’s Niece Recounts How Her Aunt Saved Her Life (6570)

Servant of Mary Josefa Martinez was one of 522 martyrs declared ‘blessed’ by the Church Oct. 13.

10/22/2013 Comments (3)
CNA/Conferencia Episcopal Española

Beatification Mass of the 522 martyrs, said in Tarragona, Spain, Oct. 13.

– CNA/Conferencia Episcopal Española

TARRAGONA, Spain — Blessed Josefa Martinez’s niece says she owes her life to her aunt, who was beatified Oct. 13 alongside 521 other martyrs of the Spanish Civil War.

“I pray to her every day, and in Alberique, the town where Sister Josefina was born, many people are devoted to her,” Carmen Cubelle, 76, said following the beatification.

“Many holy cards have been distributed, so people can pray novenas or pray to her individually.”

The beatification was held in Tarragona, a city in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. The 522 martyrs were victims of anti-Catholic persecution, sought out in convents and in their homes, according to Bishop Demetrio Fernández González of...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, communion of saints, jesus christ, martyrdom, spanish civil war

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