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Saturday, February 6, 2016
  • Mission dioceses welcome the stranger, disenfranchised

    RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- When Aida Sarkisian and her family left their home in Iraq for the U.S., it wasn't because they wanted to. It was because their survival depended on it.

    The refugees received death threats as far back as 2006 in their homeland because of ...

    Parishioners at St. Sharbel Maronite Church, in Raleigh, N.C., attend the ordination of a subdeacon.
  • In Ciudad Juarez, youth express hopes for papal visit

    CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (CNS) -- Esteban Alanis, 23, once ran with a local gang known as "Los Parqueros," which would accost people for their cash and cellphones in a working-class neighborhood of southeast Ciudad Juarez. He called the crimes "easy money," while gang activities offered a ...

    Esteban Gabriel Alanis, 23, chats with teenagers at Corpus Christi Parish in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
  • Relics of St. Padre Pio, St. Leopold arrive in Rome

    ROME (CNS) -- Thousands of people waited hours outside a Rome church to glimpse the mortal remains of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic, two Capuchins popular as miracle workers and known particularly for the long hours they would spend hearing confessions.

    Pope Francis asked the ...

    An altar server touches the crystal coffin containing the exhumed body of St. Padre Pio at a Catholic church in Rome Feb. 3.
  • Vatican joins international appeals for increased aid to Syria

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican joined international appeals for raising money to provide emergency and long-term assistance to the millions of people affected by the crisis in Syria.

    Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican secretary for relations with states, attended the Syria Donors Conference in London Feb. ...

    A crowd gathers outside the Vatican for Mass in August 2015.
  • Pope asks for time alone with Our Lady of Guadalupe

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a video message one week before his apostolic visit, Pope Francis asked the people of Mexico for some time alone during his visit to pray before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    "I would like to ask -- as a favor ...

    New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, left, celebrates Mass in 2013 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
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  The Intimate Merton audiobook
  Geekpriest: Confessions of a New Media Pioneer
  The Last Words of Jesus

Many people feel drawn to what meditation offers: quiet, reflection, stillness, time alone with God. Few, however, have tried it. Some Christians feel that they shouldn’t meditate at all. In Sensing God: Learning to Meditate During Lent, monk, priest, and spiritual teacher Laurence Freeman may change some minds. And so will the Holy Spirit, Freeman says, if they begin to meditate for a few minutes each day.

During this holy season, give up your lifestyle of being too busy to sit still, and begin to discover what meditation can do in your life.

Click here to learn more about Sensing God!

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Paul Miki and Companions: Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, immediately killing over 37,000 people. Three and a half centuries before, 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his Church. 
<p>Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” </p><p>When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.</p> American Catholic Blog By way of analogy, we are taught that we all have the same sun shining on us and we all have the same rain falling on us. It is how we deal with sun and rain, how we deal with the happy and the not-so-happy things of life that causes our interior weather. Basically, we do it to ourselves.

 Franciscan Fr. Jim Van Vurst reflects on  the Year of Mercy

St. Valentine's Day
Schedule one or more e-cards today to be sent next Sunday.
Create a festive atmosphere and invite friends over for one last party before the Lenten fast.
Catholic Schools Week
In the Catholic schools, parents know that their children are being formed as well as informed.
May God grant you good health, good cheer and all good things today and all the days of the coming year.
Presentation of the Lord
Traditionally candles were blessed on this feast, giving it the common designation of Candlemas.

The Choice
Ever since "The Notebook" in 2004, film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' novels have descended into benign, prepackaged comfort food.

So it is with "The Choice" (Lionsgate). In keeping with the Catholic writer's work overall, the movie tells an agreeably picturesque love story, ...

More New Movies
  The Choice  CNS photo/Lionsgate
Teresa Palmer and Ben Walker star in a scene from the movie "The Choice."

Sharing the Word - Franciscan Media Productions
St. Paul Miki and Companions
St. Agatha
Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Bringing Home the Word
The Space Between Faith and Doubt
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Doubt can lead us to question, to reflect, to understand reality at a deeper level.
More Bible Reflections

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