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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Pokémon Master — at Catching Souls? (2079)

The new location-based game ‘Pokémon Go’ designates churches as ‘Poké stops’ — and Catholic ministries are taking advantage of a new opportunity to connect with youth and adults.

07/21/2016 Comments (4)
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images; Richard Vernalls/PA Wire

'Pokemon Go' players meet at Sydney Opera House on July 20 in Sydney. The opera house hosted a Pokemon gathering, adding lures to all nearby 'Poke stops.' The augmented-reality game requires players to look for Pokemon in their immediate surroundings, with the use of GPS and Internet services, turning the whole world into a Pokemon region map. Below, church warden David Hallam stands outside the City Road Methodist Church in Birmingham, England. He is expecting a deluge of gamers, after the church was a featured stop in the gaming craze.

– Brendon Thorne/Getty Images; Richard Vernalls/PA Wire

Churches across the United States have seen more packs of youths, young adults and families visiting their properties in the last few weeks, and it means only one thing: The New Pokévangelization is here.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, but few could have guessed that Nintendo’s Pokémon game, smartphones and “Google Maps” would have been one of his choices.

Since July 6, millions of youth, young adults and older adults have embraced “Pokémon Go,” the latest evolution of Nintendo’s highly popular Pokémon game. Players catch mythical cartoon beasts known as Pokémon, train them and then “battle” each other’s Pokémon at special areas on the map for training Pokémon known as gyms — all...READ MORE

Filed under computer games, evangelization, peter jesserer smith, pokemon

Munich Archdiocese Possesses a Wealth of Resources (2408)

NEWS ANALYSIS: The archdiocesan financial statements reveal it has assets of more than $6 billion, the most of any diocese in Germany.

07/21/2016 Comments (9)

VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has assets of more than 5.52 billion euros (approximately $6.1 billion), making it the wealthiest diocese in Germany, according to German-language press reports, fueling criticism that the Church in Germany has become more of a temporal power than a spiritual one.

Various news agencies, reporting on the archdiocese’s June 20 release of its 2015 annual financial statement, said that the actual figure was higher: The Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, under the headline “Blessed are the Rich,” estimated that total assets — including wealth transferred to charitable foundations and “hundreds of contracts and accounts” — amounted to...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of munich and freising, church in germany, edward pentin

Tour de France, Catholic Style (2603)

Along the 21 stages of the race, which finishes July 24, the faithful can roam where saints and history were made.

07/20/2016 Comment
Shutterstock images: Mont Saint Michel, SoWhat; Lourdes, Semmick Photo; Ars shrine, BrendanDias; Sacre Coeur, Renata Sedmakova

Above, the apsis of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur; below, Mont Saint Michel, the Lourdes Grotto and the Shrine of St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Curé of Ars.

– Shutterstock images: Mont Saint Michel, SoWhat; Lourdes, Semmick Photo; Ars shrine, BrendanDias; Sacre Coeur, Renata Sedmakova

On July 2, bicyclists from around the world began the Tour de France, an annual race that weaves its way through the plains and mountains of the country. The race has been going strong since 1903 (interrupted only by the two World Wars).

This year, the race lasts 22 days, beginning in the north and ending in Paris. While I can’t imagine that the racers have any time to appreciate the history and architecture of the land as they whiz past, each stage of the race provides abundant opportunities for Catholic tourists to see and pray at some of the many sacred sites of this amazing country.


Stage 1: Mont Saint Michel

This beautiful abbey in Normandy — sitting atop a rocky island, once...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, diana von glahn, faith, france, saints, tour de france

Former Our Sunday Visitor Publisher Named Editor in Chief of Catholic News Service (864)

Appointment of Greg Erlandson, who began his career at the Register, was announced July 20.

07/20/2016 Comments (1)
Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor

– Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor

WASHINGTON — Catholic News Service has named Greg Erlandson, former president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, as its new director and editor in chief.

The appointment was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) general secretary, Msgr. Brian Bransfield.

"Greg brings a remarkable combination of management expertise, journalism skills and demonstrated service to the Church at the national and international level. I am confident he will prove to be an important resource to the clients of CNS," Msgr. Bransfield said.

Erlandson has been with Indiana-based Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) since 1989 and has spent 16 years as its president and publisher.

He began...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic journalism, catholic news, catholic news service, greg erlandson

Canadian Law Societies Target Christian University’s Faith-Based Beliefs on Marriage (1856)

The legal battle over accreditation of graduates of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school poses a threat to other Christian institutions, say Catholic leaders.

07/20/2016 Comments (9)
2014 AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan

From left,lawyers Amy Sakalauskas, Ronald MacDonald and Elaine Craig make a presentation regarding Trinity Western University's proposed law school to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society executive committee in Halifax. Critics believe that the nature of the school's community covenant agreement is discriminatory.

– 2014 AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Andrew Vaughan

TORONTO — Catholic leaders warn that a concerted legal attack against a prominent evangelical university is part of a broader initiative to diminish Christian institutions and culture in Canada.

In the eye of the storm is British Columbia-based Trinity Western University, a highly esteemed evangelical Christian school that not for the first time faces serious roadblocks to its future because it insists all students and staff sign a faith-based covenant that demands, in part, refraining from sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

As a result, licensing bodies in three provinces say they will not recognize the graduates from its proposed new law school, based on...READ MORE

Filed under canadian supreme court, charles lewis, christian belief, faith, marriage, religious freedom, trinity western university

Pope Francis Presides at Wedding Held in Chapel of His Residence (2771)

Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska received the rare blessing of being united in marriage by the Holy Father on July 9.

07/20/2016 Comments (5)

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis does not ordinarily celebrate the sacrament of matrimony. But on July 9, he made an exception for a young Italian couple who were married in the chapel at his residence, Casa Santa Marta.

Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska received the rare blessing of being united in marriage by the Holy Father, an unforgettable story that they will one day be able to tell to their children.

Teodoro and Paulina are the president and vice president, respectively, of the Padua chapter of the Deaf Youth Committee of Italy.

Additionally, Paulina is the daughter of a Vatican employee.


#PopeFrancis presides over the sacrament of Matrimony at Casa Santa Marta (9 Jul)...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, pope francis, weddings

McDonald’s and Starbucks Will Block Porn From Free Wi-Fi (1951)

The popular chains implemented pornography filtering at locations in the United Kingdom. Smaller restaurant chains like Panera and Chick-Fil-A already provide pornography filtering in the U.S.

07/19/2016 Comments (2)
Julie Tan via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0).

– Julie Tan via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0).

WASHINGTON — Two of the largest chain restaurants with free Wi-Fi in the United States, McDonald’s and Starbucks, are adding pornography filters to their Internet.

Following the campaign of anti-porn group Enough is Enough and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, McDonald’s has added Internet filters to its public Wi-Fi throughout the country, a change that was announced last week.

“McDonald’s is committed to providing a safe environment for our customers, and we are pleased to share that Wi-Fi filtering has been activated in the majority of McDonald’s nearly 14,000 restaurants nationwide,” a spokesperson for the fast-food restaurant said in a statement.

“We had not heard from our...READ MORE

Filed under internet filters, mcdonald's, online safety, protecting children and youth, starbucks

Harrisburg's Msgr. Vincent Topper Is Oldest and Longest-Serving Priest in U.S. (7069)

Just shy of his 104th birthday, Msgr. Vincent Topper says of his 80-year vocation, ‘I tried to be a good priest and to bring others to Christ.’

07/19/2016 Comments (11)
Chris Heisey / The Catholic Witness

Above, Msgr. Vincent Topper, 103, receives congratulations from Father Andrew Stahmer, a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., prior to the Mass of thanksgiving on May 24 at St. Catherine Labouré Church in Harrisburg in celebration of the jubilarian’s 80th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Msgr. Topper, who turns 104 on July 28, is also shown on the occasion of his ordination. In addition, Sister Mary Anne Sweeney and some of the eighth-grade students from St. Catherine Labouré visit and pray the Rosary with Msg. Topper.

– Chris Heisey / The Catholic Witness

“If you had come a year or two sooner, I could’ve given you enough stories to fill the whole newspaper,” said Msgr. Vincent Topper.

The longest-serving priest in the country, Msgr. Topper will be 104 years old on July 28. (For the record, the Archbishop Emeritus Peter Leo Gerety of Newark, N.J., born July 19, 1912, is the oldest bishop in the world. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1939, three years after Msgr. Topper.)

“But I forget all these things,” the monsignor said matter-of-factly.

The elderly priest’s voice is strong and untouched by melancholy. The cares of old age don’t weigh upon him. To Msgr. Topper, there is little difference between the earthly life and life eternal,...READ MORE

Filed under celeste behe, msgr. vincent topper, priesthood, vocations

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