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(Vatican Radio)  It was announced on Friday Pope Francis has decided to raise the celebration of the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to the dignity of a liturgical Feast.In the modern Church calendar, saints may be commemorated with a memorial (optional or obligatory), feast, or solemnity.The decree was signed on 3 June 2016, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.  In a letter announcing the change, the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Arthur Roche, writes the decision means one “should reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the New Evangelization, and the greatness of the mystery of Divine Mercy.”Archbishop Roche drew attention to the fact Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the Resurrection, and is the one who announced the event to the Apostles.“Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelization; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter,&rdq...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning. In remarks to the faithful following the Readings of the Day, the Holy Father focused on three attitudes that are characteristic of the Christian: “standing” before God in “silence” to hear His voice and readiness to “go out” into the world to proclaim what one has heard to others. The Pope also warned against the danger of paralyzing fear in Christian life, no matter where one is in one’s journey with God and regardless of one’s state of life in the Church:Standing upright and walkingTo explore this issue, and how to escape the tunnel of fear, the Pope focused on the the prophet Elijah, from whose book the First Reading of the Day was taken. The Holy Father recalled how Elijah was victorious, how he “fought so much for the faith,” and defeated hundreds of idolaters on Mount Carmel. Then, he reaches a breaking point:...
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) through Waumini Communications is looking to set up two Catholic Community Radio Stations in the Coastal Region.According to Waumini Communications Managing Director David Omwoyo, the two stations will support the Archdiocese of Mombasa and the Diocese of Malindi to promote peace-building and local development as well as provide a platform to counter the rampant radicalization of youth in the coastal region.Mombasa Archbishop, Martin Kivuva and Bishop of the Diocese of Malindi, Emanuel Barbara have both welcomed the initiative and termed it, “long-overdue.”Bishop Barbara affirmed that radio will be a useful platform to promote peace and unity which are critical elements of economic development in the region. The Bishop said the radio station will give more attention to local development and will serve as a platform for local people’s participation in the life community.The radio projects are envisaged in the Waumini...
(Vatican Radio) Actor Richard Gere attended a screening of his new film Time Out Of Mind at a soup kitchen in Rome affiliated with the Sant'Egidio community.The film is about a man who becomes homeless, and struggles to survive on the streets of New York. During the production, Gere spent hours disguised as a homeless man, and the film captures the actual reactions of passers-by to someone living on the streets.Around 100 homeless people attended the screening at the soup kitchen.“It's overwhelming to see all these beautiful faces of brothers and sisters,” Gere told them.The actor spoke to them about what his experience taught him.“I could feel in a very visceral way what it is like to be untethered, not connected to reality any more, not connected to society anymore, not connected to friends anymore, being invisible on the streets,” Gere said.“The thing that heals people is not money and it is not governments. It is people heal people,”...
We all look for signs from God, especially...
Santiago, Chile, Jun 10, 2016 / 06:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday, June 4, right around lunch time, Chilean priest Father Francisco Rencoret Mujica received an unexpected call.The 35-year-old priest, who is suffering from metastasized lung cancer, received encouragement in the form of a surprise phone call from Pope Francis.Fr. Rencoret, who was studying Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome, returned to Chile this year to treat his illness.At first, his mother said, she thought the phone call was from a Spanish priest, Father Arturo, who called frequently to inquire about the state of her son’s health.“Hello, Father Arturo,” she recalled saying.“It's not Fr. Arturo, it's the Holy Father. Yes, it's His Holiness, it's the pope!”Then his father, Gustavo joined the conversation. Quite moved, he said that they had a photograph of Pope Francis in their home.Fr. Rencoret explained to CNA that the reason for the call was to “...
While Indian officials were working with Afghan authorities to secure the release of an Indian Catholic charity worker kidnapped in Kabul on Thursday, the Christian community in the aid worker’s home city of Kolkata have come around the family.   Judith D'Souza, the 40-year-old Catholic woman from the eastern city, works with the Agha Khan Network in Afghanistan to raise awareness about the role of women.  She was hired by the charity which provides education and health assistance in about 30 countries.  “We pray for her safe release and return. Judith is someone involved in improving the lives of many people in difficulty,” Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of  Calcutta told AsiaNews.   “I assure the family of my prayers and our support. She is from the Fatima Parish, and just last month she visited her parents,” the archbishop said.  He wished that Judith be able to return home to her family soon through ...
The Catholic Church in Bangladesh is planning to start a new ministry to assist Christian domestic migrant workers and fill a gap in providing spiritual and social care, and to save them from abuse and exploitation.  "Migrant Christians often don't get proper sacramental, pastoral or social services because they are busy supporting their families and lose touch with the church," said Theophil Nokrek, secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB). "Most domestic migrant workers who come from rural areas are poorly educated and unaware about the challenges of city life, which makes them vulnerable to various kinds of abuse and exploitation," Nokrek said. He was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar for domestic migrant workers at the Holy Spirit National Major Seminary in Dhaka on June 10.  The Justice and Peace Commission and Caritas Bangladesh organized the seminar, which drew about 200 part...
(Vatican Radio) The Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Arthur Roche, says Pope Francis’ decision to raise the celebration of the memorial of St Mary Magdalen to the dignity of a liturgical Feast reflects the importance of this female disciple and women in general within the life of the Church.  Archbishop Roche was interviewed by Susy Hodges:Listen to the interview with Archbishop Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:   Asked to explain the significance of the Pope’s decision and the message it sends, Archbishop Roche said it reflects the Holy Father’s view about “the importance of women and their role within the life of the Church.”He said it also reflects the valuable role women can play in the new evangelization because they can reach places to spread the gospel where men do not readily go. The archbishop also drew a...
(Vatican Radio) Leaders of the World Communion of Reformed Churches met with Pope Francis on Friday stressing a new urgency for Christians to work together to bring unity and justice to a suffering world.After their first papal audience in ten years, the delegation of Reformed Church leaders said this urgency for a common Christian witness is inspired by the forthcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation and by the continuing economic and environmental crises which oppress and destroy human life.Speaking at  a press conference following their meeting with the Pope, the President of the WCRC, Rev Jerry Pillay and Secretary General, Rev Chris Ferguson, shared perspectives on their priorities ahead of the next General Council to be held in Leipzig, Germany, in the summer of 2017.These include working for greater communion, increased mission and ecumenical engagement, as well as a strong focus on economic, environmental and gender justice within the Church and within wider soci...
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