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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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Antônio de Sant’Anna Galvão: God’s plan in a person’s life often takes unexpected turns which become life-giving through cooperation with God’s grace. 
<p>Born in Guarantingueta near São Paulo (Brazil), Antônio attended the Jesuit seminary in Belem but later decided to become a Franciscan friar. Invested in 1760, he made final profession the following year and was ordained in 1762. </p><p>In São Paulo, he served as preacher, confessor and porter. Within a few years he was appointed confessor to the Recollects of St. Teresa, a group of nuns in that city. He and Sister Helena Maria of the Holy Spirit founded a new community of sisters under the patronage of Our Lady of the Conception of Divine Providence. Sister Helena Maria’s premature death the next year left Father Antônio responsible for the new congregation, especially for building a convent and church adequate for their growing numbers. </p><p>He served as novice master for the friars in Macacu and as guardian of St. Francis Friary in São Paulo. He founded St. Clare Friary in Sorocaba. With the permission of his provincial and the bishop, he spent his last days at the Recolhimento de Nossa Senhora da Luz, the convent of the sisters’ congregation he had helped establish. </p><p>He was beatified in Rome on October 25, 1998, and canonized in 2007.</p> American Catholic Blog Christians must realize that the Christian faith is a love affair between God and man. Not just a simple love affair: It is a passionate love affair. God so loved man that he became man himself, died on a cross, was raised from the dead by the Father, ascended into heaven—and all this in order to bring man back to himself, to that heaven which he had lost through his own fault. —Catherine de Hueck Doherty


 
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