Knights of Columbus Pope John Paul II Council 13808 Greensboro, GA
Knights of ColumbusPope John Paul II Council 13808Greensboro, GA
Graduation, mystagogy and St. John of the Cross  (Fri, 27 May 2022)
Another graduation season is upon us. Across the archdiocese, colleges have already held their commencement ceremonies. Soon the high schoolers will graduate. This being the 21st century, even the elementary school children observe some formal rite of passage. The post Graduation, mystagogy and St. John of the Cross  appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Miami summers provided glimpses of heaven   (Fri, 27 May 2022)
My mother was a teacher, so she had a lengthy summer vacation. She worked hard during the other months and then exulted in being at home. The post Miami summers provided glimpses of heaven   appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Georgia natives ordained to transitional diaconate  (Fri, 27 May 2022)
Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., ordained Evan Glowzinski and Matthew Howard transitional deacons for the Archdiocese of Atlanta at the Cathedral of Christ the King May 21 as they journey toward the priesthood. The post Georgia natives ordained to transitional diaconate  appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Forest Park and Haitian communities say farewell to beloved priest   (Fri, 27 May 2022)
The Haitian Catholic community in Atlanta and parishioners of San Felipe de Jesús Mission in Forest Park said goodbye to their spiritual leader, appointed by Pope Francis to become the next Bishop of Charleston. The post Forest Park and Haitian communities say farewell to beloved priest   appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Saints author speaks at Decatur’s St. Thomas More Church (Fri, 27 May 2022)
St. Thomas More Church hosted author and speaker Meg Hunter-Kilmer to study the risen Christ’s encounters with the people he loved The post Saints author speaks at Decatur’s St. Thomas More Church appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Now is time to build new world without inequality, injustice, pope says (Sun, 19 Apr 2020)
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) — As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk it will be struck by an even worse virus — that of selfish indifference, Pope Francis said. This … Continue reading →
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Puerto Rico: ‘An unprecedented level of need’ (Mon, 06 Nov 2017)
Catholic News Service was the first major Catholic news organization to send a photographer and a reporter to tour the island and document the efforts of the church and other organizations to help many of the people far from the capital of San Juan. Continue reading →
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Historic Tomb of Michelangelo and altarpiece in dire need of repairs (Wed, 11 Oct 2017)
By Matthew Fowler ROME (CNS) — The historic tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti family altarpiece in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence are in dire need of cleaning and restoration due to sustained damage over the past 50 … Continue reading →
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A look back at the Legion of Decency (Thu, 17 Aug 2017)
By Mark Pattison and Julie Asher WASHINGTON (CNS) — It’s summertime and the movies are plentiful. As everyone knows the summer movie season is a big one for Hollywood, and when it comes to a close, it is followed closely … Continue reading →
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Jamboree called ‘life-changing event’ for youths, adults (Fri, 28 Jul 2017)
Here’s a dispatch from Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia sent earlier this week by Msgr. John B. Brady from the national Scout jamboree, which closed today. A retired priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, he became … Continue reading →
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Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 23, 2017 (Fri, 21 Jul 2017)
July 23, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time       Cycle A. Readings:      1) Wisdom 12:13, 16-19      Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16      2) Romans 8:26-27      Gospel: Matthew 13:24-33   By Sharon K. Perkins Catholic News … Continue reading →
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John C. Quinn tended to the ‘least of these’ in U.S. newsrooms (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
WASHINGTON (CNS) – I’m convinced that around the country, and perhaps the world, there are many letters similar to the one I received in the mail some 18 years ago. It was written by hand and it ended with a … Continue reading →
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Some cheese with your ‘whine’: Pope ‘establishes’ complaint-free zone (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis left a not-so-subtle message outside his office in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence: anyone who is thinking of making a fuss, leave your whining at the door. … Continue reading →
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Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 16, 2017 (Thu, 13 Jul 2017)
  July 16, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time       Cycle A. Readings:       1) Isaiah 55:10-11       Psalm 65:10-14       2) Romans 8:18-23       Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23   By Jeff Hedglen Catholic News Service It seems as though every time … Continue reading →
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Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017 (Fri, 07 Jul 2017)
The Scriptures this weekend contain a familiar, but difficult text. “Take my yoke upon you,” Jesus says. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Continue reading →
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Italian bishops approve child protection audit, 20-year abuse study (Fri, 27 May 2022)
Rome 20220527T1000-ITALIAN-BISHOPS-ABUSE-1715510.JPG Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, president of the Italian bishops' conference, speaks during a news conference in Rome May 27, 2022, after members of the conference approved an audit of their child protection policies and a study of clerical sexual abuse in the country. (CNS photo/Yara Nardi, Reuters) As a "first choice," members of the Italian bishops' conference decided to focus their study of clerical sexual abuse in the country on cases reported to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2000 to 2021. Cardinal Matteo Zuppi of Bologna, the new president of the conference, told reporters May 27 that the bishops decided to focus on only on the past two decades "because it involves us," survivors and alleged abusers who are mostly still alive and bishops who are still in office. A statement from the conference said the archives of the doctrinal congregation will allow the bishops "to know and analyze, quantitatively and qualitatively, the data kept at the congregation while ensuring the appropriate confidentiality." "The analysis will be conducted in collaboration with independent research institutes," the statement said, which should enable the bishops to have "a deeper and more objective knowledge of the phenomenon" so they can improve prevention programs and procedures for handling allegations. The independent research institutes, he said, would be university faculties of criminal sciences and victim services. "They will direct the study, not us," he said. "We are not looking for someone to tell us what we want to hear; that is not even in our own interests." Zuppi said that to prepare a full and accurate assessment of the situation, it makes sense to work with the congregation, since all Italian dioceses, like every diocese in the world, are required by church law to report allegations to the congregation. "There is no desire to hide anything -- just the opposite," he told reporters when asked why the study would not include access to individual diocesan archives. The bishops also announced that they would begin preparing and publishing an annual report and audit of the diocesan child protection offices -- offices present in all 226 Italian dioceses -- and the "listening centers" established so far in about 70% of the dioceses, where people enduring any kind of abuse, whether by priests or family members or strangers, can seek assistance. Zuppi said he was confident the audit, which initially will cover 2020 and 2021, will be published by Nov. 18, the day the bishops' conference marks as a day of prayer for the survivors of abuse. The audit will be done annually thereafter, he said. The two studies are the "first choice" the bishops made in responding to calls for a public, transparent study of the clerical sexual abuse in the country, "but they will not be the last." // Advertisement Advertisement Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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US cardinal urges Italian bishops to track, share information about abuse (Wed, 25 May 2022)
20220525T1115-ITALIAN-BISHOPS-ABUSE-OMALLEY-1715410.JPG Boston Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, addresses the general assembly of the Italian bishops in a video message released May 25, 2022. Cardinal O'Malley encouraged the bishops "to undertake a Boston Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, addresses the general assembly of the Italian bishops in a video message released May 25, 2022. Cardinal O'Malley encouraged the bishops "to undertake a constructive process of review, of reform and of reconciliation" in view of calls for a national study on clerical sexual abuse. (CNS photo/courtesy Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) VATICAN CITY — As Italian bishops debated how to respond to calls for a nationwide investigation into clerical sexual abuse and the way accusations have been handled, U.S. Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, encouraged them to move forward. "You have a unique opportunity to develop an honest and nondefensive dialogue with all those involved, at the national and local levels, who are willing to undertake a constructive process of review, of reform and of reconciliation," the cardinal said in a video message played May 25 at the spring meeting of the Italian bishops' conference. The video and a text of the cardinal's remarks were released by the commission. "As you chart the way forward, the history of abuse in our church will come into the light more and more," the cardinal told the bishops. "This has been a normal process in every country where we have seen this happen." But the cardinal also insisted that looking back and reporting on what happened "is not the same as making a judgment on what happened in the past, especially about who made mistakes or who was also caught in an imperfect situation." "Sexual abuse has always been wrong, for sure," he said. "But how pastors have dealt with these accusations, while inadequate in some cases, should not be seen through the lens of what we know today." Before the bishops' meeting began May 23, groups that monitor abuse cases and advocate for survivors called for an independent study into the abuse scandal in Italy and insisted it go back decades. Some bishops, however, wanted any study conducted to be done by the conference's office of child protection, working with its  diocesan counterparts, and many thought the study should be limited to cases reported and handled recently. // Advertisement Advertisement "One of the strongest desires of the human heart is to feel safe. Our people want to feel safe in our church, and that means they want to be strengthened in their faith by their pastors," Cardinal O'Malley said. The "work of listening, healing and justice" is part of the "fundamental ministry of a priest and pastor," he said. Priests and bishops are called "to welcome people and to be instruments of God's grace for those who have been hurt by life, even when that hurt comes from within our own ranks." Every plan of child protection, he said, must include: effective pastoral care of victims; clear guidance and training for church staff; accurate screening; "removal of perpetrators of abuse"; cooperation with police; "careful assessment of the risks existing for priests guilty of abuse -- for themselves and the community -- once they have been reduced to the lay state"; and "public verification of the protocols in place so that people know the policies are working." "An audit and report on the implementation of the policies is very useful," the cardinal told the bishops. From his decades of experience listening to abuse survivors and working on child protection measures, Cardinal O'Malley said that "sometimes, and perhaps rightly so, it seems there are no adequate steps we can take to make things right for those who have been abused." "It is perhaps the most difficult part of being a pastor: knowing that our listening and our efforts at healing and justice will likely fall short of what survivors are looking for," he said. "It's a sober reminder that ultimately only God's grace can make whole what sin has broken." Still, the cardinal insisted: "We have nothing to fear by telling the truth. The truth will set us free. Acknowledging people's stories of abuse, listening to survivors and committing to working together is not easy, but I can tell you after 40 years that it is the only way." In closing, Cardinal O'Malley told the bishops they could not overlook the fact that "it is highly likely that there are some among your priests who were abused by members of the clergy as children or perhaps in their seminary years. Remember that there are services available and that you are not alone." "The reality of abuse is always close to all of us, unfortunately, whether in our families, our communities or, yes, even in our church," he said. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Texas bishop says mass shootings 'most pressing life issue' (Wed, 25 May 2022)
20220525T0715-POPE-TEXAS-SHOOTING-1715357.JPG People react outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022. (CNS photo/Marco Bello, Reuters) People react outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center, where students had been transported from Robb Elementary School after a shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022. (CNS photo/Marco Bello, Reuters) WASHINGTON — Some U.S. bishops spoke out against the easy accessibility to guns in the country following a May 24 rampage that left at least 19 children and two of their elementary school teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas. "Don't tell me that guns aren't the problem, people are. I'm sick of hearing it," Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, tweeted May 25. "The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using the guns that are easier to obtain than aspirin. We sacralize death's instruments and then are surprised that death uses them." The comments came hours after Texas authorities said an 18-year-old wearing body armor evaded police after crashing his truck near an elementary school close to the U.S-Mexico border and entered the school building at around noon armed with two assault weapons. "There was several law enforcement that engaged the suspect but he was able to make entry into the school where he did go into several classrooms and, unfortunately, he did fire his firearm," Sgt. Erick Estrada, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told CNN late May 24. In addition to the dead, reports say 15 children were injured as well as two law enforcement officers. Authorities named Salvador Ramos as the shooter and said he was killed by police. He also is said to have shot his grandmother, who remains in the hospital. San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller comforted families who waited outside a local civic center in Uvalde waiting for news of their loved ones. "When will these insane acts of violence end?" the archbishop later said in a statement. "It is too great a burden to bear. The word tragedy doesn't begin to describe what occurred. These massacres cannot be considered 'the new normal.'" // Advertisement Advertisement "The Catholic Church consistently calls for the protection of all life; and these mass shootings are a most pressing life issue on which all in society must act — elected leaders and citizens alike," he said. "We pray that God comfort and offer compassion to the families of these little ones whose pain is unbearable." Chieko Noguchi, director of public affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, said the organization joined Archbishop García-Siller in prayers for the community.  "There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others," she said in a statement. "As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action." In a statement, the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, suggested that a course of action from the Catholic Church could come "in findings ways to more effectively identify people at risk of such behavior and to push for reasonable limits to the proliferation of firearms." From Rome, Pope Francis also weighed in, saying: "It's time to say 'Enough' to the indiscriminate trade of weapons!" and encouraged all to be committed in the effort "so that tragedies like this cannot occur again." Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich in a May 24 tweet said the right to life trumps the right to have weapons and that "the Second Amendment did not come down from Sinai." "The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life," he said. "Our children have rights too. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them." In an address to the nation, President Joe Biden recalled his time as vice president when he could not get enough members of Congress to agree on gun control legislation in 2013, a year after 26 people, including 20 elementary school children, were fatally shot by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. "As a nation, we have to ask: When in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?" the president said. Cardinal Cupich, in his tweets, implored people, not just to lament, but to act. "We must weep and soak in the grief that comes with the knowledge that these children of God were cut down by a man who was just a few years their senior. But then we must steel ourselves to act in the face of what seems like insurmountable despair," he tweeted. "As I reflect on this latest American massacre, I keep returning to the questions: Who are we as a nation if we do not act to protect our children? What do we love more: our instruments of death or our future?" Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Returning from Ukraine, Polish archbishop urges Vatican to revise attitude (Tue, 24 May 2022)
20220524T0915-POLAND-GADECKI-UKRAINE-1715279.JPG Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, prays at the site of a mass grave near the Orthodox Church of St. Andrew in Bucha, Ukraine, May 20, 2022, in this still image taken from video posted by the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, prays at the site of a mass grave near the Orthodox Church of St. Andrew in Bucha, Ukraine, May 20, 2022, in this still image taken from video posted by the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) WARSAW, Poland — The president of the Polish bishops' conference criticized the Vatican's "naive and utopian" attitude to the war in Ukraine and urged Rome to show "greater maturity" in attitudes toward Russia. Returning from a visit to Ukraine, Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki acknowledged that the Vatican knew Christians were fighting on both sides of the war, and the Vatican normally does not point to an aggressor. "Yet today, in a situation of war, it's crucially important the Holy See supports Ukraine at all levels and isn't guided by utopian thoughts," Archbishop Gadecki told the Polish Catholic Information Agency KAI May 23. Archbishop Gadecki told KAI that he had written Pope Francis, urging him to revise his approach to the war, adding that he feared Vatican diplomacy was returning to its "old direction," focusing on ties with Russia at the expense of Eastern and Central Europe. "The Vatican's attitude to Russia should be changed and made more mature, since the old and present approach seems extremely naive and utopian," said the Polish archbishop, whose country has taken in 3.41 million Ukrainian refugees since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion. He told KAI Vatican diplomacy had achieved little in the 1970s to help communist-ruled countries until a "radical change" in policy under St. John Paul II. // Advertisement Advertisement Archbishops Gadecki, Wojciech Polak of Gniezno and Stanislaw Budzik of Lublin visited Ukraine May 17-20. The visit overlapped with one by Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, who was in Ukraine May 18-20. Archbishop Gadecki told KAI the Polish delegation had seen buildings destroyed by Russian tank fire outside the massacre towns of Irpin and Bucha, near Kyiv. He said he had witnessed similar destruction during visits to Iraq and Syria and said the mass graves reminded him of Russia's 1940 massacre of interned Polish army officers at Katyn. "When I prayed at places where dead people on the proscribed lists were buried and later exhumed, I had the sad thought that human civilization isn't really making any progress," Archbishop Gadecki said. "We've heard so many declarations and incantations over recent decades about such crimes no longer being possible given the present level of civilization, but murdering people has turned out to be just as possible as before ... As soon as a political leader appears with strength and determination to destroy his opponents, he'll do so, and no one can stop him." Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Supreme Court sides with Arizona in death penalty cases (Tue, 24 May 2022)
20220523T1245-SCOTUS-DEATH-PENALTY-COUNSEL-1715263.JPG Death penalty protesters are seen outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington Oct. 13, 2021. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters) Death penalty protesters are seen outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington Oct. 13, 2021. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters) WASHINGTON — In a 6-3 ruling May 23, the Supreme Court said two Arizona death-row inmates could not present new evidence of ineffective counsel they said they received in state trials during their federal appeals. The inmates have argued that their lawyers failed to present evidence that could have exonerated them from death sentences. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing the majority opinion, stressed that "only rarely may a federal habeas court ear a claim or consider evidence that a prisoner did not previously present to the state courts." The dissent, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, called the court's decision both perverse and illogical and also said it showed an indifference to violating the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a fair trial. She said the court's decision in this case "will leave many people who were convicted in violation of the Sixth Amendment to face incarceration or even execution without any meaningful chance to vindicate their right to counsel." The case, Shinn v. Ramirez, examines the postconviction appeals of David Martinez Ramirez and Barry Lee Jones, who both have been sentenced to death for murder convictions in Arizona. Ramirez was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder for the 1989 stabbing deaths of his girlfriend and her 15-year-old daughter. Jones was convicted of murder, sexual assault and child abuse in 1994 for the death of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter. Although inmates can challenge their sentences under the Constitution, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 says they can only use evidence previously produced in state court proceedings. // Advertisement Advertisement In separate rulings in 2020, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered new hearings for both men, citing the Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Martinez v. Ryan, which gave an opening for inmates to show evidence found after the state court proceedings. In the May 23 decision, Thomas emphasized that to allow additional hearings based on new evidence would encourage more federal litigation on defaulted claims. "State prisoners already have a strong incentive to save claims for federal habeas proceedings in order to avoid the highly deferential standard of review that applies to claims properly raised in state court," Thomas wrote. "Permitting federal fact-finding would encourage yet more federal litigation of defaulted claims." The dissent criticized the opinion's focus on the gruesome aspects of the murders, emphasizing that the Constitution points out "that no matter how heinous the crime, any conviction must be secured respecting all constitutional protections." In Ramirez's case, the inmate claims his trial counsel failed to pursue evidence of his intellectual disability and history of being abused as a child. Jones said his counsel failed to review the medical evidence and timeline in the death of the 4-year-old girl and supporters have pointed to evidence of his innocence. After the court heard oral arguments in these combined cases last December, Sister Helen Prejean tweeted: "The case involves some complicated legal questions, but the arguments that Arizona made are both simple and dangerous. If Arizona has its way, innocent people could be executed because they had incompetent lawyers." Sister Prejean, a Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille, who is a longtime opponent of the death penalty, tweeted May 23 that the court's decision means that "Ramirez and Jones will not be permitted to present new evidence in federal court, just the lackluster evidence previously presented by their ineffective lawyers in state court. In Jones's case, this means no new evidence of innocence." Robert Loeb, attorney for the inmates, said the court's ruling "leaves the fundamental constitutional right to trial counsel with no effective mechanism for enforcement in these circumstances." "It means that a federal court can have evidence that someone, like Barry Jones, did not commit the crime supporting the death sentence, but that the court then is helpless to offer any relief," he said in a May 23 statement. "The decision misreads the federal statute, produces untenable results never envisioned by Congress, and amounts to an assault on basic fairness in the criminal justice system." Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address
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Catholic News Agency

Uvalde shooting victim's last video: When we die we will be with Christ (Sat, 28 May 2022)
null / null Lima, Peru, May 28, 2022 / 15:20 pm (CNA). Christ died for us and when we die we will be with him, was the last message left on her TikTok account by the girl Ellie García, one of the 21 victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Garcia’s video was shared on Facebook May 25 by her father, Steven.  "Hey guys. Just wanted to bring you up to date," the nine-year-old begins. "Jesus, He died for us. So when we die, we'll be up there with him. I have three pictures of him in my room." Why why why… She loved church so much Posted by Steven Garcia on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 On May 28, Steven uploaded a photo on his networks in which Ellie is seen lying on her bed, praying with her hands together. “She prayed out loud every night so we could pray with her. I remember that day we had just bought the lamp that is on and she wanted to sleep with it on (…), she gave us a hug and a kiss and went to pray.”
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Massachusetts parish packs close to 48,000 meals for families in Haiti (Sat, 28 May 2022)
Volunteers pack meals for families in Haiti at St. Cecilia parish in Wilbraham, Mass., May 2022. / St. Cecilia Parish, Wilbraham Springfield, Mass., May 28, 2022 / 12:00 pm (CNA). More than 150 volunteers at St. Cecilia Parish in Wilbraham, Massachusetts spent May 21 and 22 packing nearly 48,000 meals for needy families in Haiti. The parish’s Hope Ministry assists families in Haiti each year. This is the second year the parish participated in the Feed Haiti Pack-a-thon project, run by Holy Name Haiti Health Promise. The New Jersey nonprofit operates Hospital Sacre Coeur, located in Milot, Haiti. “This is the second year doing the food pack-a-thon because there’s such severe famine,” said parishioner Kathy Fuss, who co-chaired the project with fellow parishioner Katy Reed. “Feed the Hunger provides the team and the food which we bought for 35 cents a meal. All of our food is going to Hospital Sacre Coeur which is now part of Haiti Health Promise, formerly known as the CRUDEM Foundation,” Fuss explained. In March, the parish held a Hope Haiti fundraiser to pay for the meals. A parishioner, Dr. Peter J. Kelly, an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon in Ludlow, is the former president of the CRUDEM Foundation. Dr. Kelly has led many efforts to help those in need in Haiti with parishioners from St. Cecilia’s through the years. In addition, St. Cecilia’s has also helped fund the building of 19 houses in Haiti. “This all started because of Peter Kelly. That’s how people from St. Cecilia’s started going to Haiti,” said Fuss, a registered nurse who has gone on two mission trips to Haiti. All of the food packed at the church this weekend will be distributed by Hospital Sacre Coeur in Haiti. Several other pack-a-thons have been held in recent weeks around the country. “At St. Cecilia Parish, we try to put faith in action through our youth and seniors and everyone in between,” said Father John Connors, the pastor of St. Cecilia Parish. “This weekend is an example. Jesus calls us to feed to hungry. With several thousand meals packed up, parishioners have had an impact to do just that,” he said. This article was first published by the Catholic Communications Corporation, supporting the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts, May 22, and is reprinted at Catholic News Agency with permission.
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Pentecost Novena: Here's how to pray the first novena (Fri, 27 May 2022)
Duccio's Pentecost (1308) / public domain Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 27, 2022 / 16:00 pm (CNA). The first novena ever prayed is the Pentecost Novena, or the Novena to the Holy Spirit. This year, it begins on Friday, May 27, and concludes on Saturday, June 4. Catholics worldwide often recite the novena during the nine days that fall between the feast of the Ascension, when Christ rises body and soul to heaven, and the feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles, Mary, and the first followers of Christ. This year, Pentecost falls on June 5. The prayer recalls and invites Catholics to participate in the nine days that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the apostles spent in prayer after Christ ascended into heaven. Together, they prayed in Jerusalem in anticipation of the Holy Spirit’s coming, which Christ had promised them.  The word “novena” is derived from the Latin word for nine. Catholics will frequently pray a novena — a prayer repeated once a day for nine days — for a particular intention. This novena asks for the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. There are many versions of this novena, including one derived from the "The Sanctifier" by Servant of God Luis Maria Martinez, Archbishop of Mexico from 1937 to 1956, and made available by the Daughters of St. Paul.  The Archdiocese of Denver recommends the one below, adapted from novenas found on Adoremus.org and Angeluspress.org.   End each day with the following prayer for all seven gifts: O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven, promised to send the Holy Spirit to finish your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, be pleased to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul the work of your grace and love.  Grant me the spirit of wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the spirit of understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth; the spirit of counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the spirit of fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome all obstacles that oppose my salvation; the spirit of knowledge that I may know God and know myself in him; the spirit of piety that I may find the service of God sweet and pleasurable; the spirit of fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to offend him.  Animate me in all things with your spirit.  Amen. Day 1: Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit  Holy Spirit, Lord of Light, from the clear celestial height, thy pure beaming radiance give.  Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your divine love.  Send forth your spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.  O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may always be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen. Day 2: Prayer for the Gift of Holy Fear  Come thou father of the poor, come with treasures which endure, come thou light of all that live.  Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever; help me to shun all things that can offend you, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of your Divine Majesty in heaven, where you live and reign in the unity of the Blessed Trinity, God, world without end.  Amen. Day 3: Prayer for the Gift of Piety  Thou of all consolers best, visiting the troubled breast, dost refreshing peace bestow.  Come, O blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart.  Implant in my soul filial love toward God my heavenly Father, and brotherly love for all, so that I may delight in the service of God and my neighbor.  Amen. Day 4: Prayer for the Gift of Fortitude  Thou in toil art comfort sweet, pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.  Come of blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from you, my God and greatest Good.  Amen. Day 5: Prayer for the Gift of Knowledge  Light immortal, light divine, visit thou these hearts of thine, and our inmost being fill.  Come, O blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for your glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to you and your eternal rewards.  Amen. Day 6: Prayer for the Gift of Understanding  If thou take thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay; all his good is turned to ill.  Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in your light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of you, the Father, and the Son.  Amen. Day 7: Prayer for the Gift of Counsel  Heal our wounds, our strength renew; on our dryness pour thy dew; wash the stains of guilt away.  Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do your holy will.  Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil and direct me by the straight path of your commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.  Amen. Day 8: Prayer for the Gift of Wisdom  Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen, warm the chill, guide the steps that go astray.  Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power, and beauty.  Teach me to love them above and beyond the passing joys and satisfactions of earth.  Help me to attain them and possess them forever.  Amen. Day 9: Prayer for the Fruits of the Holy Spirit  Thou on those who evermore, thee confess and thee adore, in thy sevenfold gift descend.  Give them comfort when they die, give them life with thee on high, give them joys which never end.  Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with your heavenly gifts: your charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to your inspiration may merit to be united eternally with you in the love of the Father and the Son.  Amen.
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Eucharist film again in US theaters for one day only (Fri, 27 May 2022)
"ALIVE: Who is there?" is a new documentary about personal encounters with the Eucharist. / Hakuna Films/Bosco Films Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 27, 2022 / 15:23 pm (CNA). A film highlighting the transformative power of the Eucharist will have an encore showing in theaters in the U.S. on June 21, the day on which the bishops’ Eucharistic revival will begin. Founder of Bosco Films — the organization that is marketing the film “ALIVE: Who is there?” — Lucía González-Barandiarán said in a press release that “This is exactly what we prayed for.”  She continued: “We are calling on Catholics everywhere to turn out at the theaters! Bring your family, those who are near and those who are far off, and let them experience the truth of the Eucharist and the powerful testimonies of the unlikely men and women who share their stories. No one will leave the theater the same. We have given you a movie about the Eucharist, now it is up to you to lead people to the theaters!” Directed and produced by Spanish filmmakers, the Bosco Films and Hakuna Films documentary “ALIVE: Who is there?” features the testimonies of five men and women who share how the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist has transformed their lives. The film, which is in Spanish with English subtitles, also includes bonus content, including commentary from Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, the U.S. bishops’ conference chair on evangelization and catechesis, who is leading the three-year national eucharistic revival. Cozzens told CNA in April that he hoped many would go see the movie, while praising the film's mode of using testimony to teach about the Real Presence. Father Jose Pedro Manglano, founder of the Hakuna movement, said in the press release that “ALIVE always creates a movement and the movement we hope to create is one around renewed Eucharistic devotion.” “It's no coincidence with God that the encore showing of ALIVE will take place exactly as the United States Catholic bishops begin their initiative for Eucharistic revival,” he added. Tickets for the 90-minute-long documentary can be bought through Fathom Events. The film is planned to be available in more than 300 locations across the U.S. On its April 25 broadcast in theaters, 30,000 tickets to the film were sold in more than 750 locations across the country.  As of right now, Bosco films is in negotiations with Australian distributors to bring the film there. Streaming and DVD will be available after its showing in theaters. “ALIVE will serve as a tool for Catholic dioceses, parishes, ministries and families to share the message of Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist at a time when the world is in great need of the light, hope and power of Jesus Christ,” the press release says.  “In a very special way, the encore presentation of ALIVE  will become a cinematic platform for parish and ministry groups wanting to participate in the national movement toward Eucharistic revival in the U.S.”
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Vandalism of pro-life pregnancy centers continues across US with incident near Seattle (Fri, 27 May 2022)
null / Photographee.eu/Shutterstock. Denver Newsroom, May 27, 2022 / 12:39 pm (CNA). Pro-life organizations and Catholic church buildings continue to be targeted with arson and graffiti attacks, incidents which began in earnest earlier this month after a leaked draft opinion suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the question of abortion policy to the states.  In the latest reported incident, a Seattle-area crisis pregnancy center was tagged with graffiti and vandalized in the early morning hours of May 25. In addition to the red paint, at least five of the front windows of Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Washington were smashed.  Security video footage shared online by a local radio host shows a lone person dressed in black, spray painting the slogans “Jane’s revenge” and “If abortions aren’t safe, you aren’t either.” NEW: Next Step Pregnancy Center in Lynnwood, Wash. was vandalized by a criminal dressed in all black. She tagged the property with the threat "If abortion isn't safe, you aren't either" and "Jane's revenge." pic.twitter.com/pjM2TLMZVK — Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) May 26, 2022 The Next Step center provides free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, post-abortive support, pregnancy loss support, and adoption information, according to its website.  "I believe that we were targeted because a lot of people, including maybe that person, are very misinformed and misguided about what really goes on in a pregnancy resource clinic,"  Heather Vasquez, director of the center, told local radio host Jason Rantz. "I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about what’s really happening here. But none of them ever want to come in and, you know, be with us and see what happens day to day." The center has stayed open and continued its work despite the damage, and Lynnwood police have opened a case on the incident, Fox News reported.  The latest spate of attacks on pregnancy centers began with an incident at the headquarters of Wisconsin Family Action, an organization that advocates for the unborn, marriage, and religious liberty, which were set on fire May 8. "A molotov cocktail, which did not ignite, was thrown inside the building. It also appears a separate fire was started in response," a police report said. Graffiti left outside the building, located on the north side of Madison, Wisconsin, said, "If abortions aren't safe than you aren't either" — matching the graffiti left in Washington.  A group called “Jane’s Revenge” reportedly claimed responsibility for the Wisconsin attack.  That same evening, Oregon Right to Life reported that Molotov cocktails were thrown at the organization’s offices in Keizer, igniting a small fire. The fire was quickly put out and no one was hurt. Since then, there have been several other notable attacks. In Denton, Texas, near Dallas, two women's resource centers, Woman to Woman Resource Center and Loreto House, were vandalized over the May 7-8 weekend. The buildings were spray painted with slogans such as “Forced birth is murder” and “Not a clinic.” In Maryland, the ​​Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown, northwest of Baltimore, suffered spray-painted threats May 14 including "If abortions aren't safe, neither are you,” "Not a clinic," and "You're anti-choice and not pro-life." Those messages were also signed as being from "Jane's Revenge.”  Other incidents have been reported at pro-life centers in Frederick, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia.  Catholic church buildings have been targeted too.  St. John XXIII parish in Fort Collins, about an hour north of Denver, was tagged with graffiti in the early morning of May 7, police said. “My Body My Choice” and a symbol that appears to be an “A” signifying “anarchy” were written on the church’s exterior. Some exterior glass panels at the church also were broken. The look and style of the graffiti appears similar to that which appeared on a Catholic church building in nearby Boulder a few days prior. Sacred Heart of Mary Parish was defaced with pro-abortion slogans the evening of May 3, marking the second time in less than a year that the parish has been targeted with graffiti of this sort. 
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