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Mexico's Must-See Marvels (3022)

March 11 issue preview of the Pope's trip highlights.

03/18/2012 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict’s March trip, his first trip to Mexico, will include a stop at El Cubilete.  To those outside Mexico, it seems like an obscure choice. Mexicans, however, are not surprised at all: El Cubilete is considered the second most important religious site in the country.

Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass at the foot of El Cubilete Hill, the site of the colossal statue of Cristo Rey (Christ the King). With its height of 9,000 feet, El Cubilete looks much more like an imposing mountain than a hill. The statue was declared a national monument in 1928. Cristo Rey can be compared to Poland’s ark church of Nowa Huta, the major symbol of Catholic Poland’s resistance to the anti-religious...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, mexico

Endurance in Lent (8564)

Lessons for sacrificial perseverance from high-seas history.

03/17/2012 Comment

Dogs look on as the Endurance is caught in the ice.

– Wikipedia

Right off the frozen ship, I am a minor Ernest Shackleton aficionado — fascinated and inspired by the famous explorer’s harrowing story of survival in 1916.

And the best time to share Shackleton’s story — about the fate of his vessel, the Endurance and her men — is in winter, albeit it has been a mild one this year for most of us. The trip to the south started in 1914, with high hopes of an exploration feat, and ended with the crew — by the grace of God — escaping with their lives.

Last month, with significant curiosity and anticipation, I attended 69° S (The Shackleton Project), a multimedia theater production created by Phantom Limb Company out of New York City. The show employed an...READ MORE

Filed under history, lent, perseverance

Valuable Vacations (2342)

March 11 issue Family Matters column. Said John Paul II, 'Vacations should be … seen as significant moments in the very existence of the person.'

03/17/2012 Comment

– Shutterstock

Every spring my husband and I have the same disagreement: He’s ready to plan a big summer vacation, while I fret about the time off and the cost. In my mind, it’s an extravagance, given that our kids are not far from high school and college. Is it wrong for us to spend money on something so frivolous as a vacation?

Caroline: Funny how something as innocuous as a vacation can lead to tensions in marriage, but it surely can! It stems from how we were raised. Did you camp in state parks or travel to beach destinations? Were you financially even able to take a vacation, or was money tight, and you vacationed by visiting relatives? In my family, vacation meant relaxing on a Gulf Coast beach for a...READ MORE

Filed under family life, john paul ii, vacations

St. Patrick, Pray for Us! (2456)

Catholics remember Ireland's patron saint on March 17.

03/17/2012 Comments (2)

– Wikipedia

On March 17 Catholics celebrate St. Patrick, the fifth-century bishop and patron of Ireland, whose life of holiness set the example for many of the Church’s future saints.

St. Patrick is said to have been born around 389 in Britain. Captured by Irish raiders when he was about 16, St. Patrick was taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years as a shepherd before escaping and returning to his home.

At home, he studied the Christian faith at monastic settlements in Italy and and what is now modern-day France. He was ordained a deacon by the bishop of Auxerre, France, around the year 418 and ordained a bishop in 432.

It was around this time that he was assigned to minister to the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, ireland, saints, st. patrick

Doonby Film, St. Joseph in the Hypostatic Union, Christian Unity Banjo Opus, and much more! (1691)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/17/2012 Comment

Pro-life film Doonby Hits Ground Running with Top-Tier Endorsements. Click on the link by Patrick B. Craine to read more.

Pro-life film Doonby Hits Ground Running with Top-Tier Endorsements - Patrick B. Craine, LifeSiteNews

St. Joseph as Belonging to Order of Hypostatic Union - Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

Christian Unity Banjo Opus - Russ Rentler MD, Crossed the Tiber

Quæritur: Holy Thursday Mandatum & Female Feet - Fr. Z’s Blog

Fun Times Praying the Rosary With My Kids - Carlos Espinosa, Living The Faith On A High Wire

Moral Governments and the Leveling Effect - Mary Walker, Truth & Charity

Hitler, Austria, & Heroic Faith by the Austrian Chancellor’s Son - Carl Olson, Ignatius Insight Scoop

Bishop Vasa’s Affirmation of Faith: Not Old News - Jay Boyd PhD, Philothea on Phire

The Bioethics...READ MORE

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How 1 Life Can Change Everything (2495)

Saturday Book Pick: A trilogy on the loyalty of an unwanted child.

03/17/2012 Comments (2)

In every person’s life, there should be a person who, as C.S. Lewis says, “hears the song in your heart and can sing it back to you.” Through this devoted love, one overcomes fears, hurts and selfishness, and the soul expands.

For the Lovely family in Sherry Boas’ fictional Lily Trilogy, this person is the one they all thought would be a burden because she has Down syndrome. After all, as a child, Lily was stubborn to a fault, slow to speak and prone to overeating. She required extra supervision, lest she wander into traffic or lose her hamster in the hole in the wall. Whatever she ate, she wore all over her body. 

Caring for Lily and her two siblings was a responsibility Auntie Bev...READ MORE

Filed under disabilities, down syndrome, sanctity of life

HHS Issues Statement Confirming Outlines of Contraception Mandate 'Accommodation' (16090)

Catholic universities will also be subject to policy that attempts to shift costs for contraception services to insurance companies, though critics call this an ‘accounting trick.’

03/16/2012 Comments (9)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill March 6.

– Mark Wilson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Today, the Obama administration released an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Preventive-Services Policy,” a statement that appeared to adhere to the outlines of President Obama’s Feb. 10 “accommodation.”

A new “comment” period was also announced, as it was after the Aug. 1 announcement of the interim final rule on the contraception mandate. Last fall, hundreds of thousands registered their opposition to the narrow exemption offered in the mandate to church-affiliated institutions, but the same language was ultimately approved on Jan. 20 by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

UPDATE: The Cardinal Newman Society greeted...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, congress, contraception, healthcare, hhs contraception mandate, obamacare, patient protection and affordable care act

Subsidized Abortions Will Be Offered in State Health Exchanges (5690)

Plans that include this provision will not be able to inform customers of a required abortion surcharge until after they enroll.

03/16/2012 Comments (15)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

THAT WAS THEN…. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., holds up a copy of an executive order from President Obama guaranteeing no federal funding for abortion in health reform during a news conference with other fellow anti-abortion Democrats at the U.S. Capitol March 21, 2010. The president's promise led anti-abortion Democrats to support passage of Obamacare, but now it’s come to light that the new health-care law will involve public funding of abortion.

– Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — In 2010, as pro-life House members sought to bar passage of the new health bill, President Barack Obama issued an executive order stating that the proposed legislation would not be used to subsidize abortion services.

This week, however, the administration spelled out some rules for federally subsidized health-insurance plans offered through state exchanges, and pro-life leaders says the regulations confirm that some plans will offer abortion services, courtesy of the U.S. Treasury.

Strikingly, this latest federal rule also directs plans that include abortion services to avoid any mention of that fact in materials designed for would-be customers. Thus, pro-life Americans...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, bart stupak, chris smith, congress, healthcare, obamacare, patient protection and affordable care act

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