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Monday, February 8, 2016
  • Priest recalls 'kidnapping' Blessed Teresa

    PONTIAC, Mich. (CNS) -- There aren't many people who can get away with kidnapping a soon-to-be-saint, but Father Jim Kean managed it.

    Technically, it wasn't kidnapping -- he was following his passenger's orders -- but when the passenger is Blessed Teresa, alarm bells are sure to ring ...
    FULL STORY

  • European bishops welcome EU classification of ISIS 'genocide'

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A European bishops' commission has welcomed a move by the European Parliament to classify atrocities and religious cleansing by the Islamic State as genocide.

    Father Patrick Daly, general secretary of COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops' Conference of the European Community, said the ...
    FULL STORY

    Iraqi soldiers evacuate families from Ramadi, Iraq, Feb. 3.
  • Mission dioceses welcome the stranger, disenfranchised

    RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- When Aida Sarkisian and her family left their home in Iraq for the U.S., it wasn't because they wanted to. It was because their survival depended on it.

    The refugees received death threats as far back as 2006 in their homeland because of ...
    FULL STORY

    Parishioners at St. Sharbel Maronite Church, in Raleigh, N.C., attend the ordination of a subdeacon.
  • In Ciudad Juarez, youth express hopes for papal visit

    CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (CNS) -- Esteban Alanis, 23, once ran with a local gang known as "Los Parqueros," which would accost people for their cash and cellphones in a working-class neighborhood of southeast Ciudad Juarez. He called the crimes "easy money," while gang activities offered a ...
    FULL STORY

    Esteban Gabriel Alanis, 23, chats with teenagers at Corpus Christi Parish in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
  • Relics of St. Padre Pio, St. Leopold arrive in Rome

    ROME (CNS) -- Thousands of people waited hours outside a Rome church to glimpse the mortal remains of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic, two Capuchins popular as miracle workers and known particularly for the long hours they would spend hearing confessions.

    Pope Francis asked the ...
    FULL STORY

    An altar server touches the crystal coffin containing the exhumed body of St. Padre Pio at a Catholic church in Rome Feb. 3.
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If you are looking for a new Lenten experience, 40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent offers fresh ideas. Some will challenge you to deepen your prayer life; others will open your mind to new ways to serve others. Each of the forty ways includes a reflection to help you understand more about Lent and why it matters.

You'll discover positive, proactive ways to take action instead of the same old routine of giving something up. The result will be spiritual transformation and a closer walk with Christ—not only during Lent but throughout the year.

Click here to learn more about 40 Days, 40 Ways!


 
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Josephine Bakhita: For many years, Josephine Bakhita was a slave but her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed. 
<p>Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means <i>fortunate</i>. She was re-sold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. </p><p>Two years later he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice's Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. </p><p>When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine's behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885. </p><p>Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery and welcoming visitors at the door. She soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters' school and the local citizens. She once said, "Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!" </p><p>The first steps toward her beatification began in 1959. She was beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.</p> American Catholic Blog St. Paul talks about the Christian life as a race, and encourages us to run so as to win. So it’s not just OK, it’s commanded to be competitive, to strive to excel. But true greatness consists in sharing in the sacrificial love of Christ, who comes to serve rather than to be served. That means that this race St. Paul is talking about is a race to the bottom.

 Franciscan Fr. Jim Van Vurst reflects on  the Year of Mercy
 



 
 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
St. Josephine Bakhita
Today we honor the first saint from the Sudan, who was a model of piety and humility.
National Marriage Week
During this week especially tell each other how much your marriage means to you.
St. Valentine's Day
Schedule one or more e-cards today to be sent next Sunday.
Carnival
Create a festive atmosphere and invite friends over for one last party before the Lenten fast.
Catholic Schools Week
In the Catholic schools, parents know that their children are being formed as well as informed.










ENTERTAINMENT
The Choice
Ever since "The Notebook" in 2004, film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' novels have descended into benign, prepackaged comfort food.

So it is with "The Choice" (Lionsgate). In keeping with the Catholic writer's work overall, the movie tells an agreeably picturesque love story, ...

More New Movies
  The Choice  CNS photo/Lionsgate
Teresa Palmer and Ben Walker star in a scene from the movie "The Choice."



BIBLE REFLECTIONS
Sharing the Word - Franciscan Media Productions
Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Paul Miki and Companions
St. Agatha
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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