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Pope Benedict XVI and the Power of Presence (2873)

Mass with the Holy Father in Bicentennial Park draws well over half a million and moves the faith of the Mexican people.

03/26/2012 Comment
Walter Sánchez Silva/CNA

Pilgrims attend Mass at Bicentenario Park.

– Walter Sánchez Silva/CNA

SILAO, Mexico — The journey from San Cristóbal de las Casas, a city located in Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas, takes more than 20 hours by bus.

For the small group of indigenous Mexicans who accompanied Auxiliary Bishop Enrique Díaz Diáz to the papal Mass in Silao, the bus ride was the easy part; many of them had to walk for hours to get from their distant rural communities to the San Cristóbal de las Casas bus station.

The participation of this flock, moved by a deep desire to see Pope Benedict XVI firsthand, was just one thread in the rich tapestry of people who converged March 25 on Bicentennial Park in the industrial city of Silao, about 20 miles from León.

As the Holy...READ MORE

Filed under mexico, pope benedict xvi

The HHS Mandate: Is the Battle About Religious Freedom or Contraception? (3637)

Are Americans ceding the debate on whether the culture will benefit from the state’s promotion of contraception? Helen Alvare weighs in.

03/26/2012 Comments (26)
CNA photo

Helen Alvare

– CNA photo

WASHINGTON — Since the contraception mandate was approved on Jan. 20 with a narrow religious exemption, opponents have called it an unprecedented threat to the “first freedom.”

Even as Democrats sought to redefine the issue as an attack on women’s access to contraception, Catholic leaders and their allies have mostly stayed on message during congressional hearings and media interviews.

But at a March 23 Georgetown University forum on the contraception mandate, Helen Alvare, a pro-life leader and law professor at George Mason University, took direct aim at the claimed health effects of government sponsored contraception programs, and other arguments the Obama administration has employed...READ MORE

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From the First Hail Mary to Christ's Final Breath (2703)

User's Guide to Sunday, March 25.

03/25/2012 Comments (1)

– Wikipedia

Sunday, March 25, is the Fifth Sunday in Lent.


March 25 is normally the feast of the Annunciation, but this important feast day is on Monday, March 26, this year.

This is the day when Mary heard the first “Hail Mary” — when the angel called her “Full of grace” and said, “The Lord is with you.”

It is interesting to note that the first half of the Hail Mary is all about the unborn Jesus. In addition to the angel’s greeting, it includes Elizabeth’s greeting during the Visitation: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

This is the last solemnity before Passion Sunday, bringing Catholics, in six days, from the first moments of Jesus’ life to the last...READ MORE

Filed under annunciation, holy week, lent, passion week

Pope's Visit to Cuba: Historic Visit at Vital Time (3727)

March 25 issue preview of the Holy Father's trip this week.

03/25/2012 Comments (3)

PRAYERFUL PREPARATION. Cuban Catholics carry candles and pictures of Pope Benedict XVI during a Stations of the Cross procession in Havana March 7 in advance of the Holy Father’s visit.

– Reuters/Stringer

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Cuba March 26-28 has demonstrated the breathtaking power of the universal Church to erase borders.

When the bishop of Santiago de Cuba, the easternmost city in Cuba, realized he needed more priests for the expected surge in confessions around the Holy Father’s visit, he turned to his northern neighbors in the Archdiocese of Miami.

No matter that relations between the United States and Cuba remain tense, as they have been for more than 50 years. “Reconciliation” is the theme emphasized by the Church in both countries.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami recently shared Bishop Dionisio Garcia’s request with a gathering of archdiocesan priests,...READ MORE

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It Takes a Family (2669)

March 25 issue editorial relevant to the Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 26: what the Holy Family can teach modern families.

03/25/2012 Comments (5)

– Shutterstock

As the struggle over “social issues” continues unabated in the United States, the Church universal prayerfully seeks ways to counter a global slide into secularism.

According to a Catholic News Agency report, a meeting of the world’s bishops this October in Rome is likely to identify the family as the key place for beginning the re-evangelization of the Western world.

A Feb. 27 communiqué issued by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops identified the family as “the primary place for the transmission of faith.” It is in the family, the communiqué said, where “the faith is communicated to young people, who, in the family, learn both the contents and practice” of Catholic belief.


Filed under catholic families, domestic church, faith, family life, new evangelization

Pope Benedict and Mexican Children: an Invitation to Protect Those Who Will Inherit World (2771)

'My little friends, you are not alone,' Holy Father tells thousands gathered in Peace Square in Guanajuato.

03/25/2012 Comment
Walter Sánchez Silva/CNA

Crowds listen to Pope Benedict XVI speaking in La Plaze de la Paz in Guanajuato.

– Walter Sánchez Silva/CNA

GUANAJUATO, Mexico — Confetti fell like snow over Guanajuato’s picturesque streets, filled to the brim with cheering crowds estimated at 10,000 people — including a special contingent of children — as Pope Benedict XVI appeared in his popemobile on his way to the Plaza de la Paz (Peace Square). On the agenda was a meeting with President Felipe Calderón and his family, a special address specifically for children, and the reception of the keys to the cities of Guanajuato and León.

Children, from newborn to 14 years, make up just under 30% of the country’s population as a silent constituency that feels the impact of insecurity, poverty and violence perhaps more than anyone else. For the Pope,...READ MORE

Filed under children, drug wars, guanajuato, mexico, pope benedict xvi, sexual abuse

EWTN Radio Network Celebrates 20 Years on Air (4410)

180th Affiliate Launches Catholic Programming

03/24/2012 Comments (4)
EWTN photo

ON THE AIR. Mother Angelica and the late Piet Derksen, a Dutch businessman, devout Catholic and philanthropist who helped Mother Angelica launch EWTN’s worldwide shortwave operation, WEWN, in 1992. EWTN Radio is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

– EWTN photo

EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network marked a huge milestone on March 7 to celebrate its 20th year on the air: It added its 180th affiliate when Bishop Cirilo Flores of San Diego flipped the switch to launch KCEO 1000 AM.

On hand for the festivities were San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, his wife, Tiffany, and attorney Charles LiMandri, the co-chairpersons who helped raise the funds for this new station.

The occasion included another milestone, too. This affiliate also is Immaculate Heart Radio’s 26th station that broadcasts EWTN radio programming throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Immaculate is EWTN’s largest affiliate group.

“This is a great event to...READ MORE

Filed under ewtn, ewtn radio, mother angelica

For These Students, a Very Different Spring Break (4408)

March 25 issue feature on service over vacation.

03/24/2012 Comment
Christendom College

WORKING VACATION. Christendom College students did missionary work in Honduras last year. Student missionaries did door-to-door evangelizing every morning, and in the evenings, they hosted catechetical and recreational programs for children, teenagers and adults.

– Christendom College

For a small but increasing number of faithful Catholic students, spring break is coming to mean much more than time off: It is a time for generosity and self-denial.

Students at such schools as Christendom College, Ave Maria University, Catholic University of America and the University of Dallas are going not to Fort Lauderdale but the Dominican Republic, not to Daytona but the Bronx.

This year, Christendom’s director of missions, Mike Brown, reports that 16% of its students, 58 in all, will spend their break doing mission work in the Dominican Republic, assisting the Missionary Servants of the Poor of the Third World in Peru, and helping the homeless with the Franciscan Friars of the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic colleges, college students, spring break

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