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Actress-Turned-Nun Will Attend Academy Awards (5559)

Mother Dolores Hart will attend the awards show to support God Is the Bigger Elvis, an Oscar-nominated documentary about her and her abbey.

02/26/2012 Comments (5)

– Shutterstock

HOLLYWOOD (CNA)—Mother Dolores Hart, OSB, a former actress-turned-cloistered nun, will attend her first Academy Awards show since 1959 to show support for God Is the Bigger Elvis, an Oscar-nominated documentary about her and her abbey.

Mother Dolores, 73, was an award-winning actress who performed in two Elvis Presley movies. In 1963, she was about to sign a seven-figure contract and was engaged to a Los Angeles businessman when she decided to join the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn., where she is now prioress.

The 37-minute documentary talks about Mother Dolores’ story and about life at the abbey. It is an Oscar nominee for the “Best Documentary Short” category and...READ MORE

Filed under hollywood, movies

Spiritual Strength Training: How to Tone Flabby Self-Discipline (11800)

Dr. Ray's advice for Lent, from our Feb. 26 issue.

02/26/2012 Comments (1)

– Shutterstock

We live in a culture where many don’t deny themselves. Arguably, we are the most comfortable culture in the history of the world, and most expect instant gratification. Dr. Ray Guarendi, clinical physiologist, EWTN radio host of The Doctor Is In and a Register “Family Matters” columnist, says, “In some respects, it is more difficult for us to give up things than it would have been for someone 150 years ago, because they lived in a state of deprivation.”

Consequently, if we truly want to strengthen self-discipline and bring ourselves closer to God this Lent, Dr. Ray challenges us to step outside our spiritual comfort zone and choose an exercise that works a new group of spiritual muscles....READ MORE

Filed under dr. ray guarendi, lent, spiritual growth

Noah, Jesus, Kids ... and Us (1801)

User's Guide to Sunday, Feb. 26.

02/26/2012 Comment

– Shutterstock

Sunday, Feb. 26, (Liturgical Year B, Cycle II) is the First Sunday of Lent.


Genesis 9:8-15, Psalm 25:4-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15

Our Take

Catholic spirituality — starting with Christ himself — has great regard for the child’s perspective. So we asked our youngest children about today’s readings.

To show how important their perspective can be, we have matched their comments with theological categories.

First, on Noah’s Ark:

Said one: “It must have been really hard to get two of each animal that live up in the trees. It would be hard to climb up in the trees trying to catch monkeys.”

Said another: “I bet Noah wished Jesus had built the ark for him, instead of making him build it....READ MORE

Filed under lent, user's guide to sunday

Everyday Holiness for Ordinary Lives (4730)

Lessons from the saints from our Feb. 26 issue.

02/25/2012 Comments (1)
St. Gianna Facebook

St. Gianna Beretta Molla with her children in the 1960s.

– St. Gianna Facebook

Most of the years the saints walked the earth were much like our own: hidden, spent in quiet, ordinary duties of serving others and working. Jesus himself spent most of his earthly life — the first 30 years — working alongside St. Joseph as a carpenter before his three greatest years of ministry and mission of salvation.

The majority of our lives are spent in humble service through our daily duties. Why are these years so important in our spiritual formation? How have some used these mundane experiences to become saints? They looked beyond the everyday toil toward eternity.

Calling her a “model for all mothers,” Pope John Paul II canonized Gianna Beretta Molla in 2004. In 1962, the...READ MORE

Filed under holiness, saints

Action Saints Bring Church Heroes to Life (3868)

Feb. 26 issue feature on safe-to-play-with saint figures.

02/25/2012 Comments (6)
Kolbe Film School

– Kolbe Film School

One day, Stephen Baker let his young son, Ben, play with a hard-plastic statuette of St. Michael the Archangel.

“He was playing with it like crazy, running out in the back yard,” recalled Baker. “Sooner or later, he came back in crying.”

Marthie Baker, a nurse, thought a dog might have bitten her son, judging from the puncture wound in his hand. But it was the spear of the St. Michael statuette that had done the damage; the figure sustained an injury too — a broken wing from the tumble.

The Bakers have other statues around the house, along with four kids, and other accidents have occurred: St. Joseph’s head has been detached a couple of times, and the Baby Jesus is missing an arm.

“We’re...READ MORE

Filed under catholic heroes, church, family business, kids, saints

Introduction to Almsgiving, Why Fast, What Does Jesus Mean by Hypocrisy, Newman on Lent, and more! (4627)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/25/2012 Comment

Introduction to Lent III: Almsgiving. Click on the link by Mike Aquilina to learn more.

Introduction to Lent III: Almsgiving - Mike Aquilina, The Way of the Fathers

Why Fasting? - Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on my Head

What Does Jesus Mean by Hypocrisy? It’s Deeper Than You Think - Msgr. Charles Pope, Archdiocese of Washington

Cardinal Newman on Lent - Donald R. McClarey, The American Catholic

Lumen Christi Missal: An Ordinary Form Book for the Pew - Adam Bartlett, New Liturgical Movement

Lent is Not Over Until It is Over, Here’s Some Humorous Help for Latecomer Resolutions - Dan Burke, Catholic Spiritual Direction

Hysterical Anti-Catholic History - Fr. Brian Van Hove SJ, Catholic World Report

Time Magazine: “Some Time in Jail” for Bishops Defending Religious...READ MORE

Filed under almsgiving, cardinal newman, catholic blogosphere, fasting, lent

Cardinal Dolan on the Record (5095)

Saturday Book Pick: John Allen probes a new cardinal on his 'affirmative orthodoxy.'

02/25/2012 Comments (6)

The archbishopric of New York has been held by some larger-than-life personalities. The latest incumbent, who has also taken New York and America by storm, is the gregarious Timothy Dolan.

John Allen sat down with now soon-to-be Cardinal Dolan for some extensive interviews. This book, verbatim selections from those 30-some hours of formal conversation, is the result.

John Allen is a correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, an “independent Catholic” newspaper. A certain bias flows through the book: Questions about issues like women priests take up a fair chunk of the text. Allen’s context-setting introductions that begin each chapter generally treat Church teaching and dissenters...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, bishops, cardinal timothy dolan, catholic, catholicism, john paul ii, mass, prayer, priests

Beating Strong at UConn (2115)

Feb. 26 issue feature about University of Connecticut Catholic campus ministry.

02/24/2012 Comments (1)

– Wikipedia

There is something symbolic about the campus footprint of the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Almost at its very center — UConn’s heart, one might say — is “Religious Row,” building after building along North Eagleville Road that are spiritual homes for the university’s nearly 20,000 students. There’s a new Islamic center. Hillel is the center for Jewish life. And there are homes for Congregationalists, Episcopalians and others, including Catholics, who are estimated to make up more than half of student enrollment.

“There is a large religious presence here,” said Father John Antonelle, parochial vicar of the university’s St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel, the parish for UConn’s Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under catholic campus ministry, college

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