Daily News

Vocations Under the Christmas Tree? (6471)

2 children’s books help plant the seeds that find fruition in the priesthood and religious life.

12/20/2010 Comments (3)

Where do our priests and nuns come from? From our heavenly Father, who blesses us with them and calls us to them, of course.

But religious vocations need support — just as any more secular vocation does. Vocations need to be introduced into the lives of children. Most children are introduced to the possibility of later being firefighters and astronauts — or absolutely stunning at everything she does, that’s Barbie — at an early age. But what about women religious and priests?

Into that breach steps Elizabeth Ficocelli, a New York City-born mother and author (of books like The Imitation of Christ for Children) living in Ohio and convert to Catholicism. This year she has penned the...READ MORE

Filed under books, catholic, catholic church, catholic faith, catholic identity, catholicity, religious life, religious order, religious symbols, vocations

The Nativity Around the World (5372)

Marian Library’s crèche display showcases world traditions.

12/18/2010 Comments (3)
University of Dayton's Marian Library

POLISH CHRISTMAS. This Nativity scene depicts costumes from various regions; the intricate embroidery is characteristic of the Krakow area.

– University of Dayton's Marian Library

Ever see a Nativity scene that includes African Masai herdsman in feathered headdresses? A Czech scene with hundreds of villagers? Moose, giraffes and polar bears around the manger? A crèche from the American Northwest with Mary as an Inuit holding a bundled up Baby Jesus?

You can see all of these and more at the University of Dayton’s Marian Library main Christmas exhibit. More than 200 Nativities are on display though Jan. 31, 2011, in this year’s show called “At the Manger: World Nativity Traditions.”

The Dayton, Ohio, Marian Library’s vast Crèches International collection contains over 3,600 sets and particularly seeks out those Nativities that demonstrate the link between culture...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, marian library, nativity, nativity displays, university of dayton, world traditions

The Catholics Next Door — and Via New Media (3447)

Greg and Jennifer Willits broke away from the corporate world to devote their lives to Catholic new media. They talk about what the Church needs to do to invest in the future.

12/17/2010 Comments (7)
Courtesy of the Willitses

– Courtesy of the Willitses

Greg and Jennifer Willits are pioneers in Catholic new media.

The Willitses were among the first Catholics to begin podcasting. They’ve produced their own video series for YouTube, and they now host a daily radio show, The Catholics Next Door, which airs from 10am-1pm EST Monday through Friday on Sirius/XM’s Catholic Channel (Sirius 159/XM 117).


What were the two of you doing prior to all of your forays into Catholic New Media?

Jennifer: I was a stay-at-home mom.

Greg: I was working as a Web and software developer in the IT industry.


What was your faith background growing up?

Jennifer: I was born in New York and raised in the Atlanta area. I was a non-denominational Christian....READ MORE

Filed under catholic radio, greg and jennifer willits, new media, the catholics next door

'Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace' (3842)

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, Jan. 1, 2011

12/16/2010 Comment

1. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW YEAR I offer good wishes to each and all for serenity and prosperity, but especially for peace. Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance.

My thoughts turn in a special way to the beloved country of Iraq, which continues to be a theater of violence and strife as it makes its way towards a future of stability and reconciliation. I think of the recent sufferings of the Christian community, and in particular the reprehensible attack on the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad, where on Oct. 31 two priests and over 50 faithful were killed as they...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic church, catholic faith, catholic history, catholic identity, catholicism, catholicity, encyclical, papal documents, peace

Shadowing an Exorcist (11377)

A movie starring Anthony Hopkins explores exorcism. The man who wrote the book behind the film talks about what chasing the devil really entails.

12/16/2010 Comments (15)
CNS

The cover of The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio.

– CNS

Matt Baglio’s curiosity was piqued.

An exorcism course at a Vatican-affiliated university in Rome? It was an unusual topic. As an American journalist living in the Eternal City, he thought it might make for an interesting article; as a non-practicing Catholic at the time, he approached it with some skepticism.

Taught by exorcists and experts in theology, satanic cults, criminology and psychology, the course he took challenged many of his assumptions. But what really intrigued him was the openness and honesty of a fellow student, Father Gary Thomas, a priest from the Diocese of San Jose, Calif., whose bishop, Patrick McGrath, had asked him to undergo training as an exorcist.

As the two...READ MORE

Filed under anthony hopkins, exorcism, matt baglio, the rite

Euthanasia on the Silver Screen (3759)

India’s Bollywood softens up mercy killing — with song and dance.

12/15/2010 Comments (1)
REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Euthanasia campaigner Dr. Philip Nitschke's 'suicide kit' is seen during a 2009 Reuters interview. Bollywood, as the prolific Indian movie industry is known, has produced a big-budget romance with the not-so-typical theme of euthanasia.

– REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

MUMBAI, India — The topic of assisted suicide is an old one for Hollywood, with Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby being one of the latest examples.

But not for Bollywood — as the prolific Indian movie industry is dubbed. That has changed with the release of Guzaarish, a big-budget romance that combines the song-and-dance elements typical of Bollywood with the not-so-typical theme of “mercy killing.”

The film sparked controversy even before its release last month, as novelist Dayanand Raajan claimed the plot was lifted from his unpublished novel.

As well, Delhi lawyer Aditya Dewan sought a court order forcing producer Ronnie Screwvalla to add a disclaimer to the film acknowledging...READ MORE

Filed under assisted suicide, bollywood, euthanasia, guzaarish, indian cinema

Sarah Palin vs. the Kennedy Legacy (10034)

Does the former VP candidate deserve to be criticized for taking on an American political icon?

12/14/2010 Comments (34)
CNS PHOTO

– CNS PHOTO

One of the more unhinged criticisms of Sarah Palin flirts with accusing her of anti-Catholicism. “Is Sarah Palin anti-Catholic after attacks on JFK, Nancy Pelosi’s religious beliefs?” a writer for the Irish Voice asked by way of critiquing Palin’s new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag.

Instead of grief, the former vice-presidential nominee and governor of Alaska deserves some credit for legitimately taking on a sacred cow of American civil religious history: John F. Kennedy speaking to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on Sept. 12, 1960.

“In the best American tradition, he nobly defended religious tolerance and condemned official governmental...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, archbishop chaput, catholic, catholic faith, catholicism, education, politics, u.s. politics

A First for Ireland (1730)

Catholic men’s conference comes at a time when the Emerald Isle struggles over revelations of sex-abuse cover-up and an ongoing financial crisis.

12/14/2010 Comments (1)
Shutterstock

REVIVAL. Many people in Ireland, including the organizers of the first Catholic men's conference there, refuse to believe that the Church is in ruins and has no future.

– Shutterstock

DUBLIN — A turnout of 250 or so men of all ages was considered a good start for Ireland’s first Catholic men’s conference, held Nov. 21 in Dublin.

There is a common popular misconception here that prayer is only for women and that attendance patterns at many churches prove it. This conference has turned that idea on its head.

“In the midst of all the situations that have taken place in the past two years in Ireland, one of the key elements in the heart of the Church has been How do we reach men?” Tim Nicholls, one of the organizers, said. “At the moment, men are bleeding out of the Church. So, we’re making a small start to begin to turn the tide.”

Ireland recently saw the faith of many...READ MORE

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