Saturday, August 31, 2013

John Thavis | A new Vatican secretary of state

John Thavis | A new Vatican secretary of state

Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State | National Catholic Reporter

Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State | National Catholic Reporter

In a small world such as the Vatican, personnel is always policy. Nothing says more about where a pope wants to go than the people he chooses to help get him there, and pride of place in that mix generally goes to the Secretary of State, by tradition a pope’s “Prime Minister.”
Today Francis filled that key slot, appointing 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin to succeed 78-year-old Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who held the position under Pope Benedict XVI.

A veteran Vatican diplomat, Parolin has served for the past four years as the papal nuncio, or ambassador, to Venezuela, and has been on the front lines of shaping the Vatican’s response to virtually every geopolitical challenge of the past two decades. By naming a consummate insider, Francis appears to want to "reboot" the Vatican's operating system back to a point when it was perceived to operate efficiently, rather than scrapping it entirely.

Friday, August 30, 2013

For the good of the human community

For the good of the human community

Week of Prayer for Peace in Syria

Week of Prayer for Peace in Syria

 "God of mercy, hear the cry of the Syrian people, comfort those who are suffering because of the violence, console those who mourn their dead, convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms, protect those who are committed to peace. God of hope, inspire leaders to choose peace instead of violence and to seek reconciliation with their enemies".

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BLACKFRIAR MUSIC: "Come My Way"

In Syria dialogue is the only option

In Syria dialogue is the only option

Several themes of common interest were addressed during the course of the cordial encounter, most importantly the promotion of peace and stability in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the restarting of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and on Jerusalem. Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.

Pope, Jordanian king discuss Syrian crisis



The official photo shoot...

Jordan's King Abdallah II and Queen Rania discuss need for dialogue in S...




Seemingly caught in the midst of the current Middle East crisis, Jordan's King Abdullah II and his wife, Queen Rania, met with Pope Francis for a brief audience at the Vatican.

I wonder if the Jordanian media criticized him for traveling to Rome to meet the Pope at a time like this, instead of staying at home to monitor the Syrian situation?

Pope Francis on St. Augustine's "Confessions"





Pope Francis discusses the relevance of the life of St. Augustine during his homily at an Aug. 28 Mass celebrating the saint's feast day.

Eastern Catholic Churches join Pope, appeal for end to violence in Syria




The Congregation for Eastern Churches, through the Vatican's l'Osservatore Romano, issued a statement on Syria. In it, they ask for an end to the violence, and for God to light the conscience of world leaders. The Eastern Churches expressed that they have strengthened their prayer for the Middle Eastern country, at the time when the situation continues to deteriorate.

Pope asks Augustinians to keep St. Augustine's restlessness to help others



Augustinians from across the world are in Rome to choose their prior general for the next six years, and set their agendas. The Pope accepted their invitation and celebrated the Mass to start of the Chapter General for the Order. The Pope asked them to live with the same restlessness that led St. Augustine, despite his sins, to find God.

A promise kept

A promise kept

Pope Francis's journey to the existential outskirts also passes through the centre of Rome. At no. 14/a Via degli Astalli, between the Capitoline Hill and the Church of the Gesù a small green door is opened every day to welcome hundreds of people who have fled from countries at war. It is the headquarters of the Centre for refugees and those seeking asylum which the Jesuits opened in 1981 and which is known to all as the “Astalli Centre”. The Pope will visit it next 10Nella sede del centro Astalli a RomaSeptember – a little more than a month since his journey to Lampedusa – keeping a promise he made shortly after his election. On 6 April, in fact, he telephoned Fr Giovanni La Manna, the Centre's President and, especially, animator, who had written to invite him. “He assured me that he would come”, the religious recalls, “but he did not yet know when. The other week he telephoned me once again. In exactly the same way, without needing to have himself announced. And he gave me the date. We are now waiting only to perfect the arrangements”.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

The Holy Great Martyr Marina

Pope Francis tells young people to "make noise"

Pope Francis tells young people to "make noise"

"Do you know why? Why I like being with you? Why I like being with young people? Because you have in your heart a promise of hope. You are bearers of hope. You, in fact, live in the present, but are looking at the future. You are the protagonists of the future, artisans of the future."

American Dominican Sisters move to Scotland | CatholicHerald.co.uk

American Dominican Sisters move to Scotland | CatholicHerald.co.uk

This is what the Bishop of Aberdeen said in his homily at the Mass welcoming the sisters: "What is happening today? I’m old enough to remember Westerns. And here we are, wagons drawn close, feeling our last days have come and our scalps about to be removed, when – lo and behold – the US 7th Cavalry appears over the hill. Here they are, armed not with carbines but rosaries. And we can breathe again."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



Chicon Pregnancy Resource Center
 is the only pregnancy resource center in east Austin Texas. Located five blocks from a Planned Parenthood location, Chicon PRC serves African-American and Hispanic women.

1190 Chicon Street
Austin, TX  78702


Bus Route: 22

Call Today:  512.704.7876

Middle East Expert: “Never seen it this bad” 8/26/13 : Currents

Middle East Expert: “Never seen it this bad” 8/26/13 : Currents


As the Mideast cauldron boils, a top Church leader is cautioning that Christians always pay the highest price – scapegoats whenever trouble occurs in the area. But Maronite Catholic Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Rai also claims that outside countries – especially in the West – are deliberately fomenting conflicts in the region with one goal in mind – destroying the Arab World.
To gain further insight into the Cardinal’s observations, our Bill Delano went to the headquarters of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a direct Papal lifeline to the Churches in the Middle East. Bill spoke with the association’s External Affairs Officer, Father Elias Mallon, who is also the Chairman of Catholic-Muslim Dialogue for the Archdiocese of New York. Bill asked Father Mallon about what the Cardinal said and about conditions on the ground right now.

Miley Cyrus and Her Daddy’s Achy Breaky Heart

Miley Cyrus and Her Daddy’s Achy Breaky Heart

Poignant reflections on a Father's love - both earthly and heavenly...

Augustinian Order Meets For General Chapter

Every six years, the General Chapter of the Order of St. Augustine meets to choose a new prior general, and a general council. They also set the Order's agenda for the upcoming term. For the past twelve years, the man serving as the prior general has been American Robert F. Prevost.

Beer & A Breviary

Beer and a Breviary: Beauty, chant bring life to a monastery American Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, talk about their community's liturgical apostolate.

CARMELITAS DESCALZOS

CARMELITAS DESCALZOS - DISCALCED CARMELITES

All the news media these days give ample coverage to the situation in Egypt. Undoubtedly, the Order is asking, "How are our friars and nuns in Egypt? What is happening?" It is not easy to give an answer to these questions.
Egypt is passing through a difficult moment in its history, the search for a way to find liberty and democracy, which is slow in coming. The Arab Spring, which seemed to have resolved old problems, in fact was just a moment of euphoria, but it did generate dissatisfaction at not being able to overcome situations of domination and extreme poverty.
The military decided to take charge. The reaction was violent and these days many lives have been lost, many churches were burned or destroyed.
We are not in danger, neither the friars nor the nuns.
 
The basilica is closed but life continues on normally. Of course, all this causes us suffering, either individually or for the families of our friars and nuns who are living in difficult situations.
It is a time to unite ourselves in a greater communion and prayer. We appreciate the interest and support of Father General and everyone.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pope Francis: You are not excluded!

Pope Francis: You are not excluded!

 Jesus illuminates our life with a light that never goes out. It is not a firework, not a “flash”! No, it is a soft light that always endures and that gives us peace. That is the light that we meet if we enter through the gate of Jesus.

Pope Francis: You are not excluded!

Pope Francis: You are not excluded!

We ask the Virgin Mary, the Gate of Heaven, to help us to pass through the gate of faith, to allow her Son to transform our existence as He transformed hers, in order to bring everyone the joy of the Gospel.

Pope Francis renews call for peace in Syria

Pope Francis renews call for peace in Syria

(Vatican Radio) After the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis renewed his call for peace in Syria. “It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue.” The Holy Father called on the International Community to do everything in its power to help the “beloved Syrian nation” find a solution to the ongoing conflict. At the end of his remarks, Pope Francis lead all those listening in a prayer to Mary, Queen of Peace.
Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of Pope Francis appeal for Syria:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Despite rise of 'nones,' religious belief still strong in the US :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Despite rise of 'nones,' religious belief still strong in the US :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, explained during a panel discussion held by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., that the data indicates the rise in self-described “nones” is simply the “already unreligious who are just changing the way they label themselves.”

Muslim and Christian Pupils Sit Next to Each Other

"They think that Christians are the cause of Morsi’s fall. It is true that Christians participated in demonstrations against Morsi, but there were 30 million Egyptians, most of whom were Muslims, who took to the streets against the deposed President. By attacking Christians they want to throw Egypt into chaos." "More than 80 different churches and several Christian schools have been burned. I want to point out that in Egypt the Catholic Church manages, from Alexandria to Aswan, more than 200 schools where Christians and Muslim pupils sit next to each other." "I make my own Pope Francis’ appeal to pray for peace in Egypt. Only through dialogue and mutual respect can we get out of this dramatic situation." Bishop Youhannes Zakaria, Coptic Catholic Diocese of Luxor

AFRICA/EGYPT - "We are all locked in the house and food stocks are running out", says the Bishop of Luxor

AFRICA/EGYPT - "We are all locked in the house and food stocks are running out", says the Bishop of Luxor

Cairo - "I am crying for all this simple humanity, Muslims and Christians, who reside in the villages of the area that have nothing because food supplies are running out and people are afraid to leave the house. Even those who are well off cannot buy food because all the shops are closed. I would like to reach them to give them help but I cannot because I am also segregated at home", says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Youhannes Zakaria, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Luxor, who on Friday August 16 suffered an attempt of aggression.....

ASIA/IRAN - A Christian sentenced to ten years in prison for spreading copies of the Gospel

ASIA/IRAN - A Christian sentenced to ten years in prison for spreading copies of the Gospel

After having received baptism, Mostafa had set up a "house church", an assembly of home worship, with prayer meetings at home, which are considered "illegal". Mostafa was arrested in Tehran on December 27, 2012, after a police raid at his house. The security officers detained and interrogated all those present at the meeting for hours, about 50 Iranian Christians. In his home the police found material and Christian publications, such as movies, books, CDs and over 6,000 copies of the Gospel. Mostafa had already been arrested in 2009 for conversion to Christianity, found guilty of apostasy, then released on bail.

Cardinal Sandri on Egypt: anti-Christian violence unacceptable

Cardinal Sandri on Egypt: anti-Christian violence unacceptable

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux | The Catholic Diocese of Toledo, Ohio | Relics, Toledo, Display, October, Therese

The Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux | The Catholic Diocese of Toledo, Ohio | Relics, Toledo, Display, October, Therese

The Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux
Share
Saint-Theresa-ChapelOctober 10, 2013
The Pontifical Mission Societies have selected Toledo as one of the ten dioceses in the United States in which to display the relics of the Patron Saint of Missions, St. Therese of Lisieux. The relics will be on display in the evening from 5:00-7:00pm at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral 2535 Collinwood Blvd, Toledo OH 43610. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Leonard P. Blair at 7:00 pm on October 10, 2013, followed by additional time for private prayer and veneration.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fatima statue headed to Rome, as Pope plans to consecrate the world to Our Lady

Fatima statue headed to Rome, as Pope plans to consecrate the world to Our Lady

VIDEO

The statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima will travel all the way from Portugal to the Vatican, wherePope Francis is planning on consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   

The 'Marian Day' ceremony, which is scheduled to take place at the Vatican on Sunday, October 13th, will be attended by hundreds of religious movements and institutions that have a special Marian devotion. This Mass is one of the last main events scheduled for the 'Year of Faith.' 

Pope to consecrate world to Mary's Immaculate Heart :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope to consecrate world to Mary's Immaculate Heart :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Saint Therese of Lisieux - "Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway" Blog - The religious habit and rosary of St. Therese of Lisieux will tour the United States during September and October 2013 to emphasize "spiritual solidarity" with missoners and missioned

Saint Therese of Lisieux - "Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway" Blog - The religious habit and rosary of St. Therese of Lisieux will tour the United States during September and October 2013 to emphasize "spiritual solidarity" with missoners and missioned

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

USCCB Blog: What Can I Do? Three Steps to Reduce Income Dispar...

USCCB Blog: What Can I Do? Three Steps to Reduce Income Dispar...: By Father James Martin, SJ Before I entered the Jesuits in 1988, I worked for six years at General Electric in their finance departme...

Messi and Buffon launch new school network promoted by Pope Francis

Messi and Buffon launch new school network promoted by Pope Francis

Scholas Occurrentes is aninternational network of schools that the Vatican launched, supported by Pope Francis, to promote a culture of coexistence and respect between different cultures, protect the environment and to foster cooperation over competition. Lionel Messi is confident he can promote those values through soccer.   

LIONEL MESSI 
Captain, Argentine National Soccer Team 

“Football lead me to many places, not just with the Argentine squad, also with Barcelona. Soccer is great and I think that it reaches the entire world. It's good that we lead by example in the field, because I think that soccer reaches all parts and that can be good.” 

This project, under the direction of the Pontifical Academy for the Sciences, was inspired by a similar initiative that Pope Francis led as archbishop of Buenos Aires. The two soccer captains signed up the first few schools to the program.

GIAN LUIGI BUFFON 
Captain, Italian National Soccer Team 

“I think it's a special day because we are lucky to have a special Pope. I think that we finally turn words into actions, the things that we many times tell ourselves to do, but then never do them. I think that with a Pope like this: who shows us the way, who warms our heart, who shakes our souls, it can be easier to be better and to do better things.” 

Pope Francis addresses soccer players over their social responsibility

Pope Francis addresses soccer players over their social responsibility

“People follow you, not just inside the field, but outside as well. This is a social responsibility. Let me explain: in the game, when you're in the field, you find beauty, gratitude and camaraderie. If a game is missing this, it loses strength, even if there's a winner.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New app helps better understand and organize the Bible

New app helps better understand and organize the Bible

A new, unique phone app allows users to get better acquainted with the Bible in a modern and comfortable way. It's based on the synthesis Father Hernan Pereda Bullrich created over the course of 30 years. The app features all of the Books of the Bible in their historic context, but adapted to modern day language

Church closest to the Vatican, a Dutch gem

Church closest to the Vatican, a Dutch gem

Just a few feet away from the Vatican is the Baroque church of Saints Michael and Magnus. The structure dates back to the Ninth Century when the Frisians, a Germanic group that converted to Christianity, build a school to help pilgrims who would travel to Rome to visit the Tomb of St. Peter.   

Frisians looked after the site for more than 700 years, and established this church on that same spot. Archangel Saint Michael is one of the leading characters in this intriguing story. 

Vatican Museum launches exhibit on history of the Popemobile

Vatican Museum launches exhibit on history of the Popemobile

Inside the Vatican Museum's, there's yet another smaller museum that deals with the history of popemobiles.The so called 'Carriage Pavilion' was created by Pope Paul VI back in 1973. 

The exhibit covers this unique form of transportation, which have been used by Popes  in the past two centuries. The oldest of the chariots is the Grand Gala Berlin used by Leo XII. In 1931, the Papal chariots gave way to motored cars, which is all marked in the Vehicle Registry. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Abp. Cordileone: “The Church must be a place of welcome for people who experience same-sex attraction” | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Abp. Cordileone: “The Church must be a place of welcome for people who experience same-sex attraction” | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Pope Francis asks Knights of Columbus to defend life and 'authentic' marriage

Pope Francis asks Knights of Columbus to defend life and 'authentic' marriage

Pope Francis issued a message to the Knights of Columbus in light of their 131th Supreme Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The letter is directed to Carl A. Anderson, who serves as the Supreme Knight. In it, the Pope expressed his appreciation for the “ideals of faith and fraternity embodied by the Order, its commitment to the Church’s mission, and the many works of charity and evangelical witness.”  

Pope Francis also highlighted the role the Knights of Columbus play in helping Catholics as “protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” 

He urged each Knight to “bear witness to the authentic nature of marriage and the family, the sanctity and inviolable dignity of human life, and the beauty and truth of human sexuality.”

He also expressed his gratitude for the clear example of Faith the Knights of Columbus show each day.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mensaje del Papa Francisco para San Cayetano 2013

Pope Francis video message: go out and help those who need it most

Pope Francis video message: go out and help those who need it most

Papa Francisco says:

“The theme speaks about the people who are most in need; those who are in greatest need of our help. Those who need us to look at them with affection, who need us to identify with their pain and anxieties, their problems. But the most important thing is not to look at them from afar or help them from afar. No, no. We need to meet them. That is the Christian way!
“Your heart, when you meet with those in greatest need, becomes bigger, and bigger, and bigger! Because these encounters multiply the capacity to love. Go on!” 

Pope's message to missionaries: preaching the Gospels' truth, not an assault on freedom

Pope's message to missionaries: preaching the Gospels' truth, not an assault on freedom

 Pope Francis issued his message for World Mission Day 2013, which will take place on October 20. In it, he reiterates that the Church is not an NGO, “but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ.”   

Pope Francis once again states the need to go out to the peripheries, and mentions the need for a new evangelization in the traditionally Christian areas, where baptized individuals are moving away from the Catholic Faith. 

The Pope also touches on the crises leading to a lack of meaning in life, and adds that, “it is necessary to proclaim courageously and in very situation, the Gospel of Christ, a message of hope.” 

Within his remarks, he also says that proclaiming the truth from the Gospels is not an assault on freedoms, but a tribute to freedom. 

His message also reaches out to those missionaries who have left their homes to preach the Gospels. He also addresses Christians under threat of persecution, which number more now than in the time of the early Christian martyrs. 

FULL TEXT INCLUDED

Rose Petals shower Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major

Rose Petals shower Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major

Next U.S Ambassador to the Holy See: Ken Hackett

Next U.S Ambassador to the Holy See: Ken Hackett

Monday, August 5, 2013

Putting the smarts back in Catholicism

Pope denounces 'poison' of consumerism

In Kentucky, Gethsemani Abbey And The Sisters Of Loretto Tell A Pipeline Company, “You Shall Not Pass.”

In Kentucky, Gethsemani Abbey And The Sisters Of Loretto Tell A Pipeline Company, “You Shall Not Pass.”

Two Kentucky Catholic religious orders that collectively own more than 3,000 acres of historic farmland are refusing to give up portions of their lands for a proposed natural-gas pipeline that would channel millions of gallons of pressurized, highly flammable natural-gas liquids through the area. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the nuns of the Sisters of Loretto and the monks of the Abbey of Gethsemani have denied surveyors permission to survey the land ahead of the pipeline project and say that they have no interest in helping it along.

A revolution underway with Pope Francis | National Catholic Reporter

A revolution underway with Pope Francis | National Catholic Reporter

Revolutions are funny things. Some are launched by one group but hijacked by others, as in Egypt, where liberal democrats have become bystanders to the real contest between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood. Some are born amid great idealism that quickly becomes a smokescreen for hypocrisy, as in the various communist uprisings.
Still others fizzle out, while a handful eventually produce new systems that, despite their flaws, really do change the world -- the French and American revolutions, for instance.

It's too early to know which trajectory will apply to the upheaval launched by Pope Francis, in part because at the level of structures and personnel he still hasn't made many sweeping changes, and in part because the parallels are inexact anyway -- Catholicism, after all, is a family of faith, not a political society........

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Study lists Pope Francis as the most influential leader in social media

Study lists Pope Francis as the most influential leader in social media

Pope Francis has become quite popular on Twitter. A study reveals that he is among the list of world leaders with most digital influence. That's according to Reputation Metrics,' which measures public impact.
He is considered the most influential leader in social media, because his messages are re-tweeted the most.

As far as content, the key words that have popped out the most in these 100 tweets areGod, life and love. 

The most common themes are Jesus, love, God's mercy and charity. Pope Francis continues to draw crowds even in the virtual world. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pope Francis' Encyclical Lumen Fidei for summer reading lists

Pope Francis' Encyclical Lumen Fidei for summer reading lists

There are four chapters, each drawn from a passage in sacred Scripture:
1. We have believed in love. (1 Jn 4:16)2. Unless you believe, you will not understand. (Is 7:9)
3. I delivered to you what I also received. (1 Cor 15:3)4. God prepares a city for them. (Heb 11:16)
So there are four key words: believing, understanding, handing on and Christian hope.

Federal Judge: Catholic Church Has A Constitutional Right Not To Compensate Victims Of Sex Abuse

Federal Judge: Catholic Church Has A Constitutional Right Not To Compensate Victims Of Sex Abuse: A federal judge in Wisconsin handed down an opinion yesterday granting the Catholic Church such sweeping legal immunity that it is not clear that it would permit any plaintiff to successfully sue any church in any court.

Moving Song played during WYD's Eucharistic Adoration

Moving Song played during WYD's Eucharistic Adoration

 Musically speaking, one of the most moving moments of World Youth Day was marked by a Vigil in Rio's Copacabana beach. Grammy-nominated singer Matt Maher, sang on his knees during a Eucharistic Adoration ceremony, as millions of youth and the Pope prayed before the Blessed Sacrament.

Wide Range of Music played during WYD in Brazil

Wide Range of Music played during WYD in Brazil

Brazil is famously known for its music. During World Youth Day, there was plenty of it....