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Friday, July 1, 2016
  • Mercy isn't an abstract word, it's a way of life, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Mercy is not an abstract concept but a lifestyle that invites Christians to make an examination of conscience and ask themselves if they place the spiritual and material needs of others before their own, Pope Francis said.

    A Christian who chooses to ...
    FULL STORY

    Pope Francis greets nuns during a jubilee audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 30.
  • Prayer opens believers to God's surprises, pope says
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Prayer is a key that opens the door to God, unlocks selfish, fearful hearts and leads people from sadness to joy and from division to unity, Pope Francis said on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

    Prayer is "the main way out: ...
    FULL STORY

    Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass with new archbishops from around the world in St. Peter's Basilica.
  • U.S. bishops speak out against attack in Turkey

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Following the June 28 terrorist attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport in Turkey, the president of the U.S. bishops' conference and Chicago's archbishop issued statements emphasizing the need to find comfort in faith and show support the suffering with prayer and generosity.

    The attack ...
    FULL STORY

    A relative of a victim killed at Istanbul's Ataturk airport in Turkey is seen during a funeral in the capital June 29.
  • Cardinal: Catholic Church has right to be heard in public square

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's teachings on morals and social justice not only have a right to be heard in the public square, but add to creating a better society for all, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said during an address at the American Enterprise ...
    FULL STORY

    Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl speaks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington June 23.
  • Faith, tradition highlight First Nation Sunday in Canada

    QUEBEC CITY (CNS) -- Faith and tradition were the highlights of this year's First Nations Sunday at the Basilica of Sainte Anne-de-Beaupre.

    In a year marked by political and ethical debates regarding Canada's First Nations, organizers decided to focus on the Christian message and the native ...
    FULL STORY

    Members of the Huron-Wendat Nation perform a purification ritual at the Basilica of Sainte Anne-de-Beaupre in Quebec June 26.
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Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage celebrates the lives of 18 Christian men, women, and children who chose to do what they knew to be right, even if the rest of the world hated them for it.

These behind-the-scenes stories of Christians who made courageous decisions in a moment of crisis, reveal the courage and inner strength of these individuals who chose life in Christ, even when it meant public ridicule, rejection, or death.

Click here to learn more!


 
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Junipero Serra: In 1776, when the American Revolution was beginning in the east, another part of the future United States was being born in California. That year a gray-robed Franciscan founded Mission San Juan Capistrano, now famous for its annually returning swallows. San Juan was the seventh of nine missions established under the direction of this indomitable Spaniard. 
<p>Born on Spain’s island of Mallorca, Serra entered the Franciscan Order, taking the name of St. Francis’ childlike companion, Brother Juniper. Until he was 35, he spent most of his time in the classroom—first as a student of theology and then as a professor. He also became famous for his preaching. Suddenly he gave it all up and followed the yearning that had begun years before when he heard about the missionary work of St. Francis Solanus in South America. Junipero’s desire was to convert native peoples in the New World. </p><p>Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, Mexico, he and a companion walked the 250 miles to Mexico City. On the way Junipero’s left leg became infected by an insect bite and would remain a cross—sometimes life-threatening—for the rest of his life. For 18 years he worked in central Mexico and in the Baja Peninsula. He became president of the missions there. </p><p>Enter politics: the threat of a Russian invasion south from Alaska. Charles III of Spain ordered an expedition to beat Russia to the territory. So the last two <i>conquistadors</i>—one military, one spiritual—began their quest. José de Galvez persuaded Junipero to set out with him for present-day Monterey, California. The first mission founded after the 900-mile journey north was San Diego (1769). That year a shortage of food almost canceled the expedition. Vowing to stay with the local people, Junipero and another friar began a novena in preparation for St. Joseph’s day, March 19, the scheduled day of departure. On that day, the relief ship arrived. </p><p>Other missions followed: Monterey/Carmel (1770); San Antonio and San Gabriel (1771); San Luís Obispo (1772); San Francisco and San Juan Capistrano (1776); Santa Clara (1777); San Buenaventura (1782). Twelve more were founded after Serra’s death. </p><p>Junipero made the long trip to Mexico City to settle great differences with the military commander. He arrived at the point of death. The outcome was substantially what Junipero sought: the famous “Regulation” protecting the Indians and the missions. It was the basis for the first significant legislation in California, a “Bill of Rights” for Native Americans. </p><p>Because the Native Americans were living a nonhuman life from the Spanish point of view, the friars were made their legal guardians. The Native Americans were kept at the mission after Baptism lest they be corrupted in their former haunts—a move that has brought cries of “injustice” from some moderns. </p><p>Junipero’s missionary life was a long battle with cold and hunger, with unsympathetic military commanders and even with danger of death from non-Christian native peoples. Through it all his unquenchable zeal was fed by prayer each night, often from midnight till dawn. He baptized over 6,000 people and confirmed 5,000. His travels would have circled the globe. He brought the Native Americans not only the gift of faith but also a decent standard of living. He won their love, as witnessed especially by their grief at his death. He is buried at Mission San Carlo Borromeo, Carmel, and was beatified in 1988. Pope Francis canonized him in Washington, D.C., on September 23, 2015.</p> American Catholic Blog Hope and faith can outshine the darkness of evil. However dense the darkness may appear, our hope for the triumph of the light is stronger still. Though violence continues to stain us with blood, the shadows of death can be dissipated with one act of light.

 Should priests serve in the military?



 
 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
St. Junipero Serra
This Franciscan friar was instrumental in founding many of California’s mission churches.
Vacation
Enter the holiday spirit by sending an e-card to schedule a summer cookout!
Sts. Peter and Paul
Honored both separately and together, these apostles were probably martyred during the reign of the emperor Nero.
Wedding
Help the bride and groom see their love as a mirror of God’s love.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
God gave Mary to us as a help in our quest for holiness.










ENTERTAINMENT
Free State of Jones
The ambitious historical drama "Free State of Jones" (STX) considers a little-known aspect of the Civil War: armed dissent within the South born of opposition to how the war was being conducted and to the principal reason it began.

Earnest and frequently ...

More New Movies
  Free State of Jones  CNS photo/STX Entertainment
Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland star in "Free State of Jones."



BIBLE REFLECTIONS
Sharing the Word - Franciscan Media Productions
Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles
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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