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Rio de Janeiro and a Hurricane Named Francis (11234)


07/22/2013 Comments (11)
Jeanette De Melo

Sandcastle at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach.

– Jeanette De Melo

After the initial jubilation of having been granted World Youth Day 2013, organizers in the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro quickly found themselves in an uphill battle: a less-than-friendly Brazilian government focused more on the upcoming soccer World Cup of soccer and the 2016 Olympic Games; the city’s reputation for shady tourist attractions, like the Rio Carnival; and the well-known issues of urban violence.

Aside from these challenges, in the face of which Archbishop Orani João Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro was always optimistic, there was another not so small detail: an ailing Pope Benedict.

In the midst of a rocky start, one that involved convincing government officials that World...READ MORE

Filed under #papafrancesco, #popefrancis, #wyd, alejandro bermudez, brazil, rio de janeiro, world youth day, wyd rio 2013

Who Speaks for Catholics in the Military on Religious Freedom? (2962)

NEWS ANALYSIS: As Capitol Hill debates a bill to bolster religious freedom, controversy erupts over who should represent the interests of Catholic soldiers.

07/22/2013 Comments (6)
Wikimedia Commons

– Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops have warned that the religious freedom of Catholics and Church institutions is under threat, so recent headlines asserting similar problems in the military are often accepted without question.

But do Catholics in the armed forces actually face challenges to the free exercise of their faith? And if they do, where does the danger come from, and who should provide an authoritative judgment?

The need for clarity on such matters has gained urgency as Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming’s  proposed amendment that would strengthen religious freedom in the military fuels intense controversy on Capitol Hill.

Last month, the House Armed Services Committee...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’ Style Changes Papal Flight (3197)

Boarding the plane in Rome carrying his own bag, the Holy Father manifested his down-to-earth, personable approach.

07/22/2013 Comments (6)

Pope Francis boards the papal plane July 22 at Rome's Fiumicino Airport.


VATICAN CITY — As he boarded the plane for Rio de Janeiro and the 28th World Youth Day, Pope Francis brought his down-to-earth approach with him, carrying his own bag and opting for individual conversations with journalists instead of the typical press conference.

The first visible sign of Pope Francis’ simplicity appeared as he boarded the papal plane, an Alitalia Airbus 330, at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport on Monday morning, with a black leather bag in hand.  

While the sight would not have been unusual for other passengers, the fact was not missed by Vatican watchers, who observed that no pope in recent memory has carried his own bag.

And while the action was small, it captures the...READ MORE

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Pope Prays for WYD at St. Mary Major in Rome (3716)

Shortly before leaving for Rio, the Holy Father prayed before the famous ‘Protectress of the Roman People’ image.

07/22/2013 Comments (2)

The image of Salus Populi Romani (Protectress of the Roman People).

RIO DE JANEIRO — Two days before his departure to Rio De Janeiro for World Youth Day, Pope Francis made a surprise trip Saturday to Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major in order to ask for Mary’s intercession.

The Pope entered through the side door of the basilica. He spoke a few words to the faithful gathered there. He asked them to accompany him “with prayers, trust and penance” for World Youth Day.

Pope Francis spent more than 30 minutes of his one-hour-and-15 minute visit praying before the image of the Virgin Mary known as Salus Populi Romani (Protectress of the Roman People). The large Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child is traditionally held to be a creation of...READ MORE

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Social-Media Pilgrims at World Youth Day (4040)

Catholics can participate via Facebook, Twitter, apps, as well as broadcasting, livestreaming and blogging by media outlets, including EWTN and the Register.

07/22/2013 Comments (3)

WASHINGTON — For millions of Catholics around the globe, the road to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro isn’t by plane, train or bus, but by new methods: Facebook, Twitter and apps.

Catholics are taking advantage of the opportunity to follow Pope Francis to Rio as “social pilgrims,” using a variety of new and social-media platforms to engage in the World Youth Day experience.

Already, 2.6 million English Twitter users and 2.8 million Spanish Twitter users follow Pope Francis (who tweets under the handle @Pontifex), whose daily “tweets” (140-character messages) have been described as a “lectio divina for Catholics” on which to meditate for the day.

Pope Francis has encouraged the idea...READ MORE

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What Will the Church Be Like in 2978? Chana Is Purely Fictitious, Birds at Midnight and Much More! (2724)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/22/2013 Comment

What Will the Church be like in A. D. 2,978? Follow the link by Taylor Marshall, PhD, to read more.

What Will the Church be Like in A. D. 2,978? by Taylor Marshall, PhD - BigPulpit.com

Chana Is Purely Fictitious - Bob Drury, They Have No Wine

Your Brain and Your Soul Want to Be Besties – Tim Glemkowski, Ignitum Today

Birds at Midnight - Saint Etheldreda’s Place

Fear of the Cross - Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

The Separated Children - Marcus Grodi, From Our Back Porch

God and the Holocaust - Anthony S. Layne, Catholic Stand

Nine Abortions? So What? - Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on my Head

Sometimes “No” Is the Answer – God & Caesar

Meet the Mad-Trads – Patrick Coffin, Catholic Answers

They Will Know Us By Our Latin –er, Our Love – Ryan...READ MORE

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Faith on the Farm (3733)

Our Lady of America Farms Effort Combines Catholicism and Work in Order to Help Those With Disabilities

07/21/2013 Comments (2)
Courtesy of the Lukens family

Young helpers lend a hand on the farm.

– Courtesy of the Lukens family

When Suzanne Connors picks up her 14-year-old son Regan after his day at Our Lady of America Farm, she knows what to expect: a happy teenager.

“He just loves being out on the farm,” says his mother. “He comes home glowing and talking about all the things he did. It’s so nice to see a smile on his face.”

That’s just one of the results Joe and Kim Lukens hope to see happen over and over again at Our Lady of America Farms, which opened late in 2011 with two locations in Morrow, Ohio, and Rome, Ind.

The couple wants to emphasize the dignity of human beings and the dignity of work as they help those with cognitive or developmental disabilities.

Seeking the will of God in their lives,...READ MORE

Filed under our lady of america, nonprofits, catholic life, disabilities

Millennial Teens Long for 'Faith of the Heart' (3222)


07/20/2013 Comments (4)

Engaging a New Generation: A Vision for Reaching Catholic Teens

By Frank Mercadante

176 pages, $13.95

Our Sunday Visitor, 2012

To order amazon.com


Author Frank Mercadante’s teen credentials are impeccable: He is a professional youth minister with 30 years of pastoral experience and the father of six grown or nearly grown children. His ministry to “Generation X” parish youth was so prolific that he adopted a phrase from that iconic 80s movie Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” Eventually, Mercadante started his own business training other youth ministers in his highly successful methods.

Then the Millennial generation started high school, and even Mercadante...READ MORE

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