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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
  • U.S. women religious find Vatican report reaffirming

    U.S. women religious welcomed the conciliatory tone of a Vatican report on religious life and appreciated acknowledgement of the important ministry that they practice day in and day out in the life of the church.

    They also said the report, released Dec. 16, opens a new beginning ...
    FULL STORY

    Sisters Sharon Holland (left) and Agnes Mary Donovan head the LCWR and CMSWR, respectively. (CNS photo Paul Haring)
  • Abandoned monstrance centerpiece of new chapel

    A man fishing at the Loch Raven Reservoir in north Baltimore County some two decades ago was convinced he had snagged a big fish after his line hooked something substantial.

    After reeling in his haul, the angler had no fish. He had, however, caught something even more remarkable: ...
    FULL STORY

    This monstrance is used at an adoration chapl in Baltgimore. (CNS phot/ Olivia Obineme / Catholic Review
  • Pope to create new cardinals in February

    Pope Francis will create new cardinals Feb. 14, following a two-day meeting of the world's cardinals that will discuss reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, among other issues.

    Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, made the announcement Dec. 11. The names of the new cardinals are likely ...
    FULL STORY

    Cardinals concelebrate in 2012. Names of new cardinals will come in January. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Vatican: Preserving ethnological artifacts, helping others do the same

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- One of Rome's best-kept secrets is the collection of 100,000 ethnological artifacts housed in a special section of the Vatican Museums.

    Most of the items were sent to Italy by missionaries over the course of hundreds of years and turned into a collection ...
    FULL STORY

    Expert restorers work in a conservation laboratory for ethnological materials at Vatican Museums.
  • 2014 brought a chance at change for millions of immigrants

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The year 2014 brought potentially significant changes for millions of people who are in the United States illegally and either arrived here as minors or who have U.S. citizen or legal-resident children.

    Likewise, a smaller population of kids in Central America may benefit from ...
    FULL STORY

    A father and son hold an American flag during President Barack Obama's address on extending deferral of deportations.
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AMERICAN CATHOLIC BLOG
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Hildegard of Bingen: 
		<p>Abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, theologian--where to begin describing this remarkable woman?</p>
		<p>Born into a noble family, she was instructed for ten years by the holy woman Blessed Jutta. When Hildegard was 18, she became a Benedictine nun at the Monastery of St. Disibodenberg. Ordered by her confessor to write down the visions that she'd received since the age of three, Hildegard took ten years to write her <em>Scivias</em> (<em>Know the Ways</em>). Pope Eugene III read it and in 1147 encouraged her to continue writing. Her <em>Book of the Merits of Life</em> and <em>Book of Divine Works</em> followed. She wrote over 300 letters to people who sought her advice; she also composed short works on medicine and physiology, and sought advice from contemporaries such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux.</p>
		<p>Hildegard's visions caused her to see humans as "living sparks" of God's love, coming from God as daylight comes from the sun. Sin destroyed the original harmony of creation; Christ's redeeming death and resurrection opened up new possibilities. Virtuous living reduces the estrangement from God and others that sin causes. </p>
		<p>Like all mystics, she saw the harmony of God's creation and the place of women and men in that. This unity was not apparent to many of her contemporaries. </p>
		<p>Hildegard was no stranger to controversy. The monks near her original foundation protested vigorously when she moved her monastery to Bingen, overlooking the Rhine River. She confronted Emperor Frederick Barbarossa for supporting at least three antipopes. Hildegard challenged the Cathars, who rejected the Catholic Church claiming to follow a more pure Christianity.</p>
		<p>Between 1152 and 1162, Hildegard often preached in the Rhineland. Her monastery was placed under interdict because she had permitted the burial of a young man who had been excommunicated. She insisted that he had been reconciled with the Church and had received its sacraments before dying. Hildegard protested bitterly when the local bishop forbade the celebration of or reception of the Eucharist at the Bingen monastery, a sanction that was lifted only a few months before her death. </p>
		<p>In 2012, Hildegard was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.</p>
American Catholic Blog It is for you to find your place in the history of humanity. Nobody can do it for you. It is a work that will be left undone unless you do it yourself.
 
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ENTERTAINMENT
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
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Time was when the biblical extravaganza was a Hollywood staple.

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BIBLE REFLECTIONS
Sharing the Word - Franciscan Media Productions
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
Monday of the Third Week of Advent
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.
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