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(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Commission for Latin America has issued a statement on the celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy on the American continent. The full text is below. THE CELEBRATION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY ON THE AMERICAN CONTINENTBogotá, Colombia -- August 27-30, 2016                The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s strong and timely inspiration to Pope Francis. All Christians, Christian communities and their shepherds have been invited to contemplate more deeply the mystery of Mercy, attribute of God, revealed and realized in its fullness by Jesus Christ and spread by the grace of the Holy Spirit. In this way, the Holy Father is guiding us to live the essential part of the Gospel as good news for individuals, families, peoples and nations. For this reason, from August 27th to the 30th, the continental Celebration of the Extraord...
Washington D.C., Aug 5, 2016 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As activists push “After School Satan” programs for elementary school students, it is likely an underhanded tactic to remove all religious programs from public schools, one lawyer says.  “What they’re trying to do, I think, is scare people into saying ‘let’s shut down the forum’,” Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA. “And they would eliminate all of these Bible clubs, prayer meetings, ‘Good News Clubs’ that are meeting all around the country.”The Satanic Temple – a group dedicated to promoting rationalism, individual liberty, and secularism – has announced its plans to establish “After School Satan” in several U.S. public school districts.In a fundraising pitch on its website, the temple claims that “Fundamentalist Christian organizations are trying to turn public schoo...
Vatican City, Jul 22, 2016 / 06:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid modern challenges emerging from a culture which provides increasingly easier access to outside distractions, Pope Francis has issued new norms for women’s cloistered communities, which place a special emphasis on prayer and the centralization of communities. “Dear contemplative sisters, without you what would the Church be like, or those living on the fringes of humanity and ministering in the outposts of evangelization?” the Pope said in a new Apostolic Constitution, published July 22. The Church, he said, “greatly esteems your life of complete self-giving. The Church counts on your prayers and on your self-sacrifice to bring today’s men and women to the good news of the Gospel. The Church needs you!” However, he also cautioned that the “silent and recollected peace of mind and heart” lived in contemplative live “can meet with subtle temptations.”&...
Ethiopia’s Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, C.M., celebrated his 40th anniversary of priestly ordination Monday 4 July 2016. He used the occasion to recall the harsh reality of time in Ethiopia when citizens professing religious belief were persecuted. As a young priest, the Cardinal was himself arrested and isolated in a dark room for one month. On this 40th anniversary, the Cardinal says he thanks God for the protection bestowed on him.Cardinal Berhaneyesus has urged young priests to take advantage of opportunities available to them today and spread the Good News tirelessly. He says the Church is now thinking about the next generation and is working on preparing people who can follow their call and become good pastoral agents.“Family is the base for everything. In our Church, we are encouraging young Catholics to start families and raise their children according to the teachings of the Church,” he said.The Cardinal also said that currently he is very concerned...
Wichita, Kan., Jul 2, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- There's good news in Kansas: former army chaplain Father Emil J. Kapaun has taken a step closer to possible beatification and sainthood.But for Scott Carter, coordinator for the Father Kapaun Guild, the story of the priest himself is the real news.“If someone who grew up so close to us, in circumstances fairly similar to us, is able to achieve sainthood, it’s inspiring,” he told CNA June 30.“It really makes the faith hit home. It really brings it to life and makes us realize that everything we talk about, the gospel, Jesus' promises, all of this is real and it is possible to achieve.”Carter reflected on the impact that Father Kapaun's life still has on the Catholic faithful and other admirers.“It's a great mixture of God's grace and human effort. I think that's probably what attracts most people,” he said. “You hear amazing stories, you realize he's onl...
Los Angeles, Calif., Jun 30, 2016 / 09:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Los Angeles archdiocese is set to launch a new media platform called Angelus News, and it looks to California’s sainted missionary priest for inspiration.“Following on the footsteps of St. Junípero Serra, a man of heroic virtue and holiness who had only one burning ambition – to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the peoples of the New World – we now need to send missionaries to proclaim the Gospel in this new digital era,” Archbishop José Gomez said June 29.He reflected that the Gospel’s message never changes, but Christians “need to always be looking for the ‘language’ that best communicates our Lord’s saving truths.”The new multimedia platform will include news about the archdiocese’s scores of parishes, schools, and ministries. Its international news coverage will be provided through a partnership with Catholic News Agency.A...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis commented on Britain's decision to leave the European Union saying it must be followed by "guarantees" for the good of both Britain and countries on the continent.Speaking to journalists aboard the Papal plane during his journey to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the Pope said the referendum result must be respected because it was wanted by the people."It was the will expressed by the people and this requires a great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom, as well as the good and co-existence of the European continent" he said.Pope Francis also expressed his satisfaction for the signing of a ceasefire in Columbia between the government and the FARC rebels."I am happy for this news that I received yesterday. Over fifty years of war, of guerrilla warfare, so much spilt blood”. It was good news” he said.And he expressed his hope that the nations that have wo...
AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) -- Harriet Tubman's upcoming debut on the $20 bill is just half the good news in the upstate New York town where the Underground Railroad conductor settled down and grew old....
(Vatican Radio)  Deacons and their families from around the world are convening in Rome this weekend to participate in a Jubilee for Deacons as part of the year-long celebrations for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.The Diaconate is a ministry rooted in mercy, founded originally so that the Church has specialists to engage in certain works while priests can focus on celebrating the sacraments.Listen to Alexander MacDonald's report: Reverend David Howell is a deacon studying in Rome and a seminarian at the Venerable English College. He told us a bit about the origins of this ministry in the Church."It began with an argument in the early Church over two groups, those who had come from the Jews and those who had come from the Greeks, and they were arguing about the distribution between their two groups. So they needed men full of faith in the Holy Spirit who could sort out these domestic problems, while the Apostles were preaching, spreading the Good News. And they or...
(Vatican Radio) This weekend here in Rome, the Church is marking the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in a special way with the Jubilee of Deacons. As their very title suggests – taken as it is from the Greek word for “servant”, diakonos – Deacons are ordained to a ministry of service in the Church: they proclaim the Good News liturgically, they assist priests at the Altar, and they preach to the faithful on matters pertaining to authentic Christian living. Deacons also bring the Blessed Sacrament to the sick in hospital and to the housebound: they visit prisoners, offering them both companionship and counsel; they baptize, receive the marriage vows of couples entering Holy Matrimony, and they pray for the dead.Two Deacons from the United States, the Rev. Messrs. Doug Breckenridge and Greg Kandra, visited Vatican Radio during the course of their pilgrimage to celebrate the Jubilee of Deacons, and spoke with us about the joys and challenges of t...
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