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What Pope Francis Owes the Salesians (1186)

A priest of the congregation founded by St. John Bosco was the matchmaker for the Pope's parents and baptized the future pope; and Francis owes his priestly vocation to a Salesian priest.

06/23/2015 Comment
L’Osservatore Romano/CNA

Pope Francis at the Basilica of St. Mary Help of Christians at the tomb of St. John Bosco in Turin, Italy, on June 21.

– L’Osservatore Romano/CNA

TURIN, Italy — Pope Francis is a Jesuit, but he has Salesian roots.

A Salesian priest was the matchmaker for Pope Francis’ parents and baptized the future pope, while Francis owes his priestly vocation to a Salesian priest.

Pope Francis recently visited Turin to celebrate the 200th anniversary of St. John Bosco’s birth. Father Elio Cesari, who is responsible for the Salesian Youth in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, said there is a strong connection between the 19th-century saint and the 21st-century pope.

“St. John Bosco was a prophet, and the Pope was imbued with his thought, as he studied in Salesian schools; and he owes his vocation to a Salesian priest,...READ MORE

Filed under argentina, pope francis, salesians, st. john bosco, turin

Pope Francis Reconnects With Relatives in Turin (1175)

On June 21, he made a short visit to St. Teresa parish, where his grandparents were married in 1907 and his father was baptized.

06/23/2015 Comments (1)
L’Osservatore Romano/CNA

Pope Francis says Mass for his relatives in a chapel of the archbishop of Turin’s residence on June 22.

– L’Osservatore Romano/CNA

TURIN, Italy — Pope Francis, during his two-day trip to Turin, visited his relatives and his ancestors’ parish. His father, an Italian emigrant to Argentina, was baptized in Turin.

On June 21, the Pope made a short visit to St. Teresa, where his grandparents were married in 1907 and his father was baptized. He kissed the baptistery, recalling his grandparents and praying for families and the upcoming synod on the family, leaving behind a sheet of paper with brief reflections on the importance of the family.

The following day, he met with six of his cousins and their families, some 30 persons in all. He said Mass for them in a chapel at the residence of the Turin archbishop, after which...READ MORE

Filed under andrea gagliarducci, pope francis, turin

Religious Freedom at Home or Abroad Is Personal (2181)

As the 2015 Fortnight for Freedom commences, Catholic religious-liberty scholar Robert George, the newly elected chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, discusses the issue with the Register.

06/23/2015 Comments (2)

Prof. Robert George was elected June 11 as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.


WASHINGTON — Robert George is a Catholic Princeton professor, human-rights activist and the newly elected chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The commission, an independent bipartisan body established by Congress in 1998, monitors religious-freedom conditions in all of the nations around the world and makes specific recommendations to the president, the secretary of state and Congress regarding how U.S. foreign diplomatic policy should be formed and carried out to advance the cause of religious freedom wherever possible.

Speaking with Peter Jesserer Smith, the Register’s Washington correspondent, George, alternately in his role as the commission’s chairman...READ MORE

Filed under fortnight for freedom 2015, peter jesserer smith, religious freedom, robert george, u.s. commission on international religious freedom

No Catholic Is Free to Dissent From Laudato Si, The Courage to Be on Wrong Side of History and More! (3996)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

06/23/2015 Comments (3)

Filed under archbishop cordileone, christianty, courage, edmund burke, fortnight for freedom 2015, friedrich nietzsche, gender theory, history, laudato si', pope francis

Ragin’ Cajun Surprise: Near Berth in College World Series (2739)

Tony Robichaux, head baseball coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, explains the unlikely season and his deeply held beliefs.

06/22/2015 Comment
University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Louisiana State-Lafayette coach Tony Robichaux (r) greets LSU coach Paul Mainieri

– University of Louisiana-Lafayette

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s baseball team nearly made the College World Series this year — despite losing eight players from 2014’s starting lineup. While head coach Tony Robichaux did not want this season to be a rebuilding one, even he was surprised at how far his team went: the Baton Rouge Super Regional against top-ranked Louisiana State University.

What matters more to Robichaux than winning seasons, however, is the effort his players put into the game and, even more importantly, who they are as young men. The five-time Sun Belt Conference coach of the year emphasizes that outward actions are not enough for a boy to become a man; an inner transformation is needed.


Filed under baseball, catholic athletes, college world series, louisiana, tony robichaux, trent beattie

'We Are a Million' Marchers for Marriage in Rome (6119)

The plaza near the Basilica of St. John Lateran was jam-packed for the June 20 event.

06/22/2015 Comments (8)
Edward Pentin photos

Scenes from "Family Day" at the piazza of St. John Lateran in Rome.

– Edward Pentin photos

ROME — A far greater crowd than expected descended on the piazza outside the “Mother of All Churches” in Rome on Saturday to take part in a protest against same-sex rights legislation currently passing through the Italian Parliament and the indoctrination of gender ideology in schools.

"We are a million," organizers said from the stage, according to the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. The throng, many of them families, came to the piazza of St. John Lateran to take part in "Family Day." Its aim was to support a child’s right to a mother and father and to assert that they should not be taught sex education from infancy nor “gender ideology.” The piazza has a capacity of...READ MORE

Filed under basilica of st. john lateran, edward pentin, family, italy, manif pour tous, marriage, neocatechumenal way, pope francis, same-sex 'marriage'

Vatican Vintage Two-Wheeler: Teen Mechanics Restore Motorcycle for Pope Francis (2741)

The motorcycle is an Itom 50 model that dates back to the 1960s.

06/22/2015 Comments (1)
CNA/Salesian Professional School of Bra

Students and teachers who helped restore the motorbike.

– CNA/Salesian Professional School of Bra

TURIN, Italy — A group of teenagers at a Salesian-run professional school in Italy have restored a motorcycle as a gift for the Pope.

The Itom 50 model that dates back to the 1960s was present in Turin during Pope Francis’ meeting with Salesians at the House of Valdocco, the motherhouse of the Salesian congregation.

The teens plan to give it to the Pope in a private audience at the Vatican in the near future.

About 10,000 young people gathered Sunday in front of the Church of Mary Auxiliatrix in the quarter of Valdocco in the city of Turin. Many came from the Salesian schools and oratories in Italy and other parts of the world.

When Pope Francis came out of the church to address young...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, salesians, shroud of turin, st. john bosco, trade school, turin

‘We Will Not Forget Those Who Helped Us’ (2358)

A U.S. priest gives firsthand account of the plight of Christian refugees in Erbil, Iraq.

06/22/2015 Comments (12)
All photos courtesy of Father Benedict Kiely

An woman and child at a refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq. The woman claims her husband was kidnapped by the Islamic State group. Below, Father Benedict Kiely of the Diocese of Burlington, Vt., with a group of Dominican nuns who minister to Iraqi refugees, and Christian refugees make do at one of the camps.

– All photos courtesy of Father Benedict Kiely

ERBIL, Iraq — Dust covers your clothes and sticks in your throat as you drive into the abandoned sports complex, which now houses some of the 12o,000 Christians, mainly Syriac Catholic, Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox, who fled after being driven from their homes last summer by the Islamic State (ISIS). This refugee camp, the Brazilian Sports Center, as it is known, is on the outskirts of Ankawa, the Christian section of the Kurdish capital, Erbil.

The men sit around idly, as they are not able to find work. But there are glimmers of hope: The children are trying to study, proudly carrying their schoolbooks and practicing their English on me, with beautiful smiles.

From the very...READ MORE

Filed under aid to the church in need, erbil, father benedict kiely, iraq, isis, islamic state group, refugees

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