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St. Clare's Gamble
Ramona Miller, OSF

Many people thought Clare of Assisi, a noblewoman, was wasting her life by living as a cloistered nun at San Damiano. She proved them wrong.

WEB+ Learn more about St. Clare and the Poor Clares

Visit our St. Clare page.

I'd Like to Say: Religious Freedom Is at Stake
Helen Alvare

An expert on Church and culture explains what's at stake in the dispute between government-funding regulations and the Catholic Church.

WEB+ Information on the U.S. bishops' advocacy on behalf of religious freedom
Faith by Design
James Breig

Interior designers Bob and Cortney Novogratz are known on and off TV for bringing “downtown chic” to drab spaces. But it’s their Catholic faith that brings real color to their lives.

WEB+ The Novogratzes Web site
HGTV's Home by Novogratz
Franciscan Green
Alicia von Stamwitz

Why do Franciscans care about the environment? Father Joe Rozansky lays out the facts.

WEB+ Find maps to local farmers' markets
JPIC documents
Let's Be Civil
Judy Ball

Can voting and holiness go hand in hand? This Duquesne law professor tells us how.

WEB+ Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility





to St. Anthony Messenger Print Edition




Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog When we suffer, we don’t just come to understand the pain of Christ’s cross more, we come to understand the depth of God’s love for us: that he would endure such pain for us—in our place. We have a God who endured death so we would never have to do so.

Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag

 
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