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Several of our AmericanCatholic.org editors recently traveled to Middle East. Here we have feature articles on many of the experiences they had while traveling in Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria and Lebanon. The feature will grow in the coming months, in the wake of the Synod for the Middle East.

Special Features
Middle East Special Features
A local Orthodox priest,Fr. Fadi Halasa,who was visiting for the Mass in Smakiah, Jordan (It’s a very ecumenical town!). After giving me a prayer card with an icon of St. Constantine and his mother, he translated the Arabic prayer on the back of the card into my digital recorder. (Click here to listen)

Then he broke into song. After all, prayers are meant to be sung in this part of the world! (Click here to listen)

Constantine Image
(photo by John Feister)

Constantine Image
(photo by John Feister)




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Catharine of Bologna: Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity. 
<p>Catharine, born in Bologna, was related to the nobility in Ferrara and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures. </p><p>At the age of 17, she joined a group of religious women in Ferrara. Four years later the whole group joined the Poor Clares in that city. Jobs as convent baker and portress preceded her selection as novice mistress. </p><p>In 1456, she and 15 other sisters were sent to establish a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. As abbess Catharine worked to preserve the peace of the new community. Her reputation for holiness drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She was canonized in 1712.</p> American Catholic Blog Dear God, when you pour yourself into the little vase of my being, I suffer the agony of not being able to contain you. The inner walls of this heart feel as if they were about to burst, and I am surprised this has not happened already.





 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Palm Sunday
Holy Week services and prayers invite us to follow Jesus into Jerusalem, experiencing the events of his passion and death.

Praying for You
As they grow closer to the Easter sacraments, your parish’s RCIA candidates count on your prayers.

Congratulations
Thanks be to God for uncountable mercies--for every blessing!

Annunciation of the Lord
We honor Mary on this feast, and we rejoice in her ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to motherhood.

Lent
Our Lenten journey is almost complete. Catholic Greetings helps you share how this season has been a blessing for you.



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