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Vatican City, Feb 2, 2016 / 11:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis presided over Mass on Tuesday for the conclusion of the Year for Consecrated Life, reminding religious men and women of their call to be “custodians of wonder” as they promote a culture of encounter with Christ.“All forms of consecrated life, each according to its own characteristic, are called to be in permanent states of mission,” the Pope said in his Feb. 2 homily at St. Peter's Basilica for the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.The Roman Pontiff explained how the grace of vocation is borne out of a life-changing encounter with Christ, who “is the novelty that makes all things new.”Those who experience this encounter, he said, become witnesses who reach out to others and promote a culture of encounter, rather than remaining closed in on themselves.  The Pope also emphasized the importance of gratitude on the part of consecrated men and women.“This ...
(Vatican Radio)  Eleven people died Sunday night in a gun battle at a girl's fifteenth birthday party in southwestern Mexico, in the Guerrero State.Listen to James Blears' report: Guerrero State Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores said the killings happened at the fifteenth birthday party of a girl in the town of Cundacito.This birthday year is special, as it's considered an introduction to womanhood. Mr. Flores said Municipal, State and Federal Police who were at the party were attacked. Fellow officers who tried to reach the scene in patrol cars, were driven back by heavy gunfire. Police returned in daylight, and a full investigation is underway.  As yet, the identity of the gunmen and whether they're connected to organized crime, has not been revealed.Guerrero is a major cultivation area for marijuana and amapola poppies which are refined into heroin. The Governor is pledging to bring those responsible for the killings to justice.
 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...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The last thing Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian remembers before last May's fatal crash in Philadelphia is pushing the throttle forward to pick up speed and then braking when he felt the train going too fast into a sharp curve, according to a transcript of his interview with federal accident investigators....
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Alphabet now comes before Apple atop the list of the world's most valuable companies....
IMAGE: Nancy WiechecBy Chaz MuthWASHINGTON(CNS) -- Catholic missionaries played a large role in bringing European valuesand religion to North America in the 18th century.Therole of the Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans and other Catholic religiousorders was to set up missions that became economic, political and religiouscenters.Themission church hasn't gone away. It's a vibrant part of the U.S. Catholicfabric. It's just evolved during the course of the past few centuries.Theprimary function of the 21st-century mission church no longer includes proselytizingthe indigenous people, but is aimed at bringing Catholicism to populationsthroughout the land, regardless of the challenges to do so.Catholicsliving in most of the territory of the U.S. are actually shepherded by aCatholic home mission diocese.So,what is a Catholic home mission?TheU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops defines a home mission as a "dioceseor parish that can't provide the basic pastoral services to Catholics withoutout...
Washington D.C., Feb 1, 2016 / 04:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Kalief Browder was 16 years old when he entered the notorious Rikers Island prison in New York, awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a backpack.He stayed in solitary almost two years as his family couldn’t pay his bail, enduring beatings by the guards and fellow prisoners and attempting suicide multiple times. He was later released, but last June he committed suicide at age 22.When President Obama last Monday announced new limits on the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, he began Browder’s story. The Jan. 28 executive action ending solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons, among other actions, has reflected a growing chorus of religious and political voices asking for the reform of America’s prison system, and of solitary confinement in particular.Last July, Obama had asked the Justice Department to review the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. The department released its...
Cebu, Philippines, Feb 1, 2016 / 04:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Massive crowds estimated in the millions took part in the Masses and liturgical processions of the eight-day International Eucharistic Congress which recently concluded in the Philippines.“We are called to understand, love and assimilate the very love of Jesus… Our lives too must be offered in sacrifice,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said in his Jan. 29 homily.An estimated 1.5 million people attended a Mass and liturgical procession for the International Eucharistic Congress in the Philippines on Friday. The Mass was held on the grounds of the Cebu Provincial Capitol.Archbishop Martin said that the Church became present through the Eucharist.“There is no Church without the Eucharist. The Eucharist constructs the Church,” he said, according to CBCP News, adding that a Eucharistic community must always be a caring one.Friday’s Mass was concelebrated by hundreds of priests and bisho...
Vatican City, Feb 1, 2016 / 03:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The “Pope of Surprises” is at it again. Pope Francis is set to be featured in the upcoming film “Beyond the Sun,” the first Pope in history to play himself in a big screen production.The idea for the film came from the Holy Father, who approached the filmmakers at AMBI Pictures, asking them to produce a movie that could effectively portray Gospel passages and parables to children.The movie will be a family adventure story where children from different cultures emulate the apostles while searching for Christ in the world around them, says the film group.All proceeds from “Beyond the Sun” will go to El Almendro and Los Hogares de Cristo, Argentine charities that provide support for at-risk children and young adults in need.AMBI co-founders Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi are fully financing and producing the film through their AMBI Pictures banner. Co-producers are Graciela Rodriguez an...
 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...
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