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Earthly Fortitude Prepares Us for the Gift’s Ultimate Expression (5174)

COMMENTARY: A Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

04/20/2013 Comment

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

I once read that there was a person who felt a certain envy for the early martyrs of the Church.

Where most people feel fear, the author felt a sort of romantic stirring at the thought of dying before a firing squad in some filthy, anti-Christian hellhole, singing the Creed.

There are places, even today, where Christians get such opportunities forced upon them on far too regular a basis. Many despotisms still exist where Christians are butchered for their faith by the thousands each year. So it’s easy to think of the gift of fortitude as primarily having to do with screwing up your courage and facing some ghastly martyrdom like St. Lawrence roasting on a red hot griddle and gallantly...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, fortitude, gifts of the holy spirit, martyrdom, st. lawrence, therese of liseux, thomas becket

Nearly 15,000 French Mayors Will Refuse to Perform ‘Gay Marriages’ (4019)

04/20/2013 Comments (1)

PARIS — A group of at least 14,900 French mayors has said it will not perform “gay marriages,” even if the government moves ahead with plans to legalize the practice.

The administration of French President Francois Hollande has put forth a measure that would legalize “gay marriage,” allow same-sex couples to receive medical treatment for artificial procreation and to adopt children.

“It is foolish to think that the mobilization of the elected mayors would stop if the law is passed,” said Franck Meyer, spokesman for the association Mayors for Children.

“As citizens, we elected officials will not give up,” he said in statements to the media.

Meyer, who is mayor of...READ MORE

Filed under france, moral law, natural law, redefinition of marriage, same-sex 'marriage

Happy 90th Birthday, Mother Angelica! (9128)

Trust in Jesus has sustained the foundress of EWTN through the years, according to timely tributes.

04/20/2013 Comments (3)


Mother Angelica celebrates her 90th birthday on April 20.

EWTN and the worldwide EWTN family of well over 225 million television households — plus EWTN radio listeners — are celebrating along with her and paying tribute to the woman who has had an effect on lives too numerous to count.

Many fond memories and insights from the past year, and as recently as EWTN Live’s latest special program (which aired on Wednesday), celebrated the special nun who founded the world’s largest Catholic media network, built a magnificent Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery for the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration and founded the Franciscan Missionaries of the...READ MORE

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Local Church Offers Comfort in Wake of Texas Tragedy (3821)

The parking lot of the Church of the Assumption in West has been transformed into a makeshift food pantry for workers, volunteers and families displaced by the Wednesday explosion.

04/19/2013 Comment
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Residents of West, Texas, attend a candelight vigil and prayer service at Assumption Church for the victims of the West Fertilizer Co. explosion.

– Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

WEST, Texas — For some 24 years now, Father Ed Karasek has ministered in the small, primarily Catholic town of West, Texas. An explosion Wednesday night at the local fertilizer plant decimated whole blocks of his town and took the lives of some of his parishioners.

As a priest, he says, “You feel like a father who has lost children. You love these people like a father loves his children. You’re a spiritual father. … And you hurt.”

Father Karasek is among those spearheading the Church’s response to the tragedy.

The parking lot of the parish Church of the Assumption — about 10 blocks from the explosion site — has become a makeshift food pantry, where workers, volunteers and families...READ MORE

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Without Evangelization Church Becomes Babysitter, Pope Cautions (5250)

Pope Francis said that believers must be ‘faithful to the Spirit, to proclaim Jesus with our lives, through our witness and our words.’

04/19/2013 Comment
L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis preaches April 17 in the chapel of St. Martha's residence.

– L'Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY — If Catholics do not proclaim Jesus with their lives, then the Church becomes “not the mother, but the babysitter,” Pope Francis cautioned in a homily and a separate letter to his brother bishops in Argentina.

When believers share their faith, “the Church becomes a mother church that produces children (and more) children, because we, the children of the Church, carry that. But when we do not, the Church is not the mother, but the babysitter that takes care of the baby — to put the baby to sleep. It is a Church dormant,” Pope Francis stated.

The solution to this is “to proclaim Christ, to carry the Church — this fruitful motherhood of the Church — forward,” he said.


Filed under catholic, evangelization, pope francis

Schoolchildren Support Seminarians Through Letter Campaign (2815)

New Jersey State Council of the Knights of Columbus sponsors a Catholic grade-school project for students to send words of encouragement to men studying to be priests.

04/19/2013 Comment
Courtesy of John Tirado, N.J. State Council, Knights of Columbus.

Part of a student's letter to a seminarian.

– Courtesy of John Tirado, N.J. State Council, Knights of Columbus.

BLACKWOOD, N.J. — Catholic men studying to be priests have expressed their “deepest appreciation” for words and prayers of encouragement from grade-school students participating in a New Jersey letter-writing campaign.

“Please convey my deepest appreciation to the children and tell them to continue their prayers for us here,” one seminarian wrote. “God does indeed hear the prayers of little children.”

In a project sponsored by the New Jersey State Council of the Knights of Columbus, Catholic students are able to send words of encouragement to men studying to be priests in the United States and Rome.

It complements the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations this Sunday. The U.S....READ MORE

Filed under catholic, vocations, world day prayer for vocations

Hopes Are High for Voucher Program Facing Colorado Court Challenge (2541)

If approved by the state Supreme Court, the innovative program would be the least-restrictive and most-inclusive voucher program in the United States.

04/19/2013 Comment

DENVER — In tears, Dianna Oaklie pleaded with Denver district Judge Michael Martinez in August 2011. She asked him to allow a voucher program, slated to begin that fall, because it would help pay for a private school she believed was the best hope for her autistic son.

Martinez, apparently unmoved by Oaklie’s plea and others like it, ruled the program was in violation of the state Constitution’s Blaine Amendment — an old law that critics claim was motivated by anti-Catholicism. The judge imposed a moratorium that continues to stall the Douglas County School District’s program while the case works through the courts.

Good news for supporters came early this year, when the Colorado...READ MORE

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Pope’s Curia Reform Council Reflects Church’s Universality (3529)

Pope Francis has chosen eight cardinals from a variety of backgrounds to reform the Curia.

04/19/2013 Comments (1)
Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA

Cardinals greet each other after the consistory Nov. 24 in St. Peter's Basilica.

– Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA

VATICAN CITY — The eight cardinals Pope Francis has chosen to advise him on Church governance and reform of the Curia come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, bringing with them diverse views and realms of experience.

Paolo Gherri, a professor of theology and canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University, told Catholic News Agency April 16 that he believes it is significant that only one adviser is Italian and all advisors are residential archbishops who do not work in the Roman Curia.

Gherri said the announcement of the advisory council shows that there is “a sort of think tank working on new guidelines of ecclesiastical policy.”

Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, catholic, pope francis, vatican

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