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By Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- PopeFrancis told Rome's priests that offering God's mercy during the jubilee yearwill mean lots of unpaid overtime. "I think this year therewill be lots of overtime that will not be paid," he said to laughter."But the Lord will give you joy for working overtime, being merciful likethe father," he said, as he met with them at the Basilica of St. JohnLateran Feb. 11.On the eve of his Feb. 12-17 visitto Mexico, which will include a brief stop in Cuba, the pope as usual traveled toRome's Basilica of St. Mary Major. He prayed to Mary for her intercession andplaced flowers on the altar in a side chapel before the basilica's famousMarian icon, "Salus Populi Romani" (health of the Roman people).He then went to St. John Lateranfor his annual Lenten meeting with pastors of Rome parishes and heardconfession from a few priests, according to Vatican Radio.In a short, unscripted address, thepope told the priests to make sure they try to understand their people...
By WASHINGTON (CNS) -- What do anew social media campaign, a new fundraiser and new features for a popular app havein common?Launched by different Catholicorganizations for Lent, the three efforts aim to help Catholics enrich theirLenten prayer experience, sacrifice to help others in need and learn more aboutthe church's penitential season overall.Chicago-based Catholic Extensionannounced development of a social media campaign that will create a video chainof Lenten mercy prayers."The three pillars of Lentare fasting, prayer and charity," it said, and the new campaign "ispromoting the second pillar and asking American Catholics to focus their Lentenprayers on mercy" during the church's Jubilee Year of Mercy.Extension's "National Yearof Mercy Prayer" -- launched Feb. 10, Ash Wednesday, and running all throughLent -- is asking people to share their prayer intentions through short digitalvideos. The website www.mercyprayer.org invites Catholics to use theirsmartphones to record short v...
Princeton, N.J., Feb 11, 2016 / 06:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On a day marked by flowers, chocolate and romantic greeting cards, the Love and Fidelity Network is trying to bring back authentic relationships, especially to college campuses where dating seems to be a thing of the past.“We’ve heard from students so many times over the years that most people on campus – those engaged in the hookup culture and those who have already chosen to forgo it – simply don’t know how to go on a date,” Caitlin La Ruffa, Love and Fidelity Network executive director, told CNA Feb. 9.“Instead,” she explained, “romantic relationships on campus tend to take two forms – anonymous hookups where attachment, communication, or care are against the ‘rules’ or co-dependent serially monogamous pairings where ‘the relationship’ is defined long before suitability of the partnership has been assessed.”“Going on casual dat...
(Vatican Radio)  Our correspondent covering the papal visit to Mexico is Veronica Scarisbrick who looks at the main political, social and economic problems afflicting the Latin America nation. Listen to Veronica Scarisbrick’s report:   Mexico is a land of contrasts, of deep religiosity and helpless violence.Where the people who are 80% mestizo are part of their colonial past but represent both conquerors and conquered.Where in popular spirituality there’s a blend of Spanish Catholicism and native American religious traditions somehow united in the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.Where despite signs of improvement at an economic level, with an emerging middle class tied to its northern neighbour the United States, most people live in what the nation’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has admitted is “backwardness and poverty”  while a happy few prosper.Pope Francis comes as ‘a messenger of peace’ during this Jubilee Y...
(Vatican Radio)  Veronica Scarisbrick, our correspondent covering the papal visit to Mexico looks at the long-standing devotion by the Mexican faithful to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose shrine will be visited by Pope Francis on Saturday. She retraces the bitter persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico during a large part of the 19th century when anti-clericalism was enshrined in the nation’s constitution for many decades.Listen to this report by Veronica Scarisbrick, Vatican Radio’s correspondent covering the papal visit to Mexico:  “Like many of the pilgrims I met at the Shrine of the Basilica of ‘Santa Maria de Guadalupe’ Pablo and Maria were clutching in their arms a rather large and very colourful statue of Our Lady. Surrounded by their children and grandchildren, their weather beaten faces bore the marks of simple people, the expression in their eyes was one of longtime suffering.They told me they’d come here all the way from Pu...
 WASHINGTON-Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on everyone "concerned about the tragedy of abortion" to recommit to a "vision of life and love, a vision that excludes no one" on January 14. His statement marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."Most Americans oppose a policy allowing legal abortion for virtually any reason - though many still do not realize that this is what the Supreme Court gave us," wrote Cardinal Dolan. "Most want to protect unborn children at later stages of pregnancy, to regulate or limit the practice of abortion, and to stop the use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of unborn children. Yet many who support important goals of the pro-life movement do not identify as 'pro-life,' a fact which should lead us to examine how we present our pro-life vision to others.""Even as Americans rema...
PAJU, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea on Thursday vowed to immediately deport all South Korean nationals and freeze all South Korean assets at a jointly run factory park in the North, a swift, aggressive response to the South Korean decision to suspend operations at the former symbol of inter-Korean cooperation....
PAJU, South Korea (AP) -- The Latest on tensions between North and South Korea following Pyongyang's rocket launch (all times local):...
BURNS, Ore. (AP) -- The last four armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning after the FBI and other officers in armored vehicles surrounded them in a tense standoff....
CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) -- For young women, political revolution is currently trumping the idea of a Madame President....
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