In a decisive electoral victory over Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton, Republican businessman Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States. Trump used a populist message — exemplified by his famous campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — to appeal to voters disaffected by governmental overreach and inertia, poor economic prospects and grave diplomatic missteps. Trump won more than 300 electoral votes and nearly every swing state in the Midwest, and Catholics were crucial to his triumph as he captured a solid majority of the Catholic vote.
The Easter Sunday death of beloved EWTN foundress Mother Mary Angelica, the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to rescind the HHS mandate to allow the Little Sisters of the Poor to practice their faith without government interference, and the September canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta were among the many high points in a most tumultuous 2016.
The year also brought the extraordinary moments of World Youth Day in Kraków, Poland, when more than a million young people shared several days with Pope Francis and were reminded of the power of Divine Mercy and the spiritual legacy of Pope St. John Paul II.
Pope Francis brought an end to the Jubilee Year of Mercy but continued to preach mercy. He stressed mercy in his world travels, visiting Mexico, Greece, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan and Sweden. He also sparked much controversy with his apostolic exhortation on the family.
Tragically, it was another year of intense suffering for Christians around the world, especially in the Middle East. Martyrdom for Christians continued, with the brutal murders of four of Mother Teresa’s sisters in Yemen and of Father Jacques Hamel while he was saying Mass in France.
Register quotes of the year and the ‘Year in Photos’ can be found here.