Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Phoenix’s Super Bowl Nuns

By Joan Desmond | For the second time in seven years, Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery is hosting devout football fans attending Sunday’s big game.


PHOENIX — For the tens of thousands of fans migrating to southern Arizona f…

Bishop urges youth of India to work for tolerance amid increase in violence

Bellary, India, Jan 31, 2015 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement, Bishop Hendry D’Souza of Bellary, has raised his voice about the necessity of religious tolerance and interreligious dialouge in India.

“Social amity should not be the responsibility of the government alone, rather all citizens of the country have a bounden duty to consciously stand for such fundamental rights and ensure all communities enjoy them without discrimination, especially the minorities and weaker sections,” Bishop D’Souza told CNA Jan. 29.

He was reflecting on US president Barack Obama’s address to the people of India, delivered two days earlier in New Delhi. Obama said the US and India can be “best partners” and encouraged the dreams of youth. He also professed the importance of freedom of religion in both nations, and unity across religious divides.

Bishop D’Souza praised the address, and noted its warm reception by Indian youths. The Indian Catholic Youth Movement, which he chairs, has a membership of more than 50,000.

“Religious leaders have an added duty to form to their fellow believers to treat all religions with due respect and shun all forms of intolerance,” Bishop D’Souza said. “Without considering each other as enemies, religious followers must fight common enemies such as poverty, disease, the dehumanizing caste system, sex-selective abortion, violence against women, and the degradation of the environment.

Tolerance of religions is important in the Hindu-majority India because of a recent rise in attacks by Hindu radicals against members of minority religions.

An estimated 80 percent of the population is Hindu, while 13 percent are Muslim. There are also notable minorities of Christians (two percent), Sikhs (two percent), and Buddhists (one percent).

Since the May election of Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, as prime minister, the already common threat of religious violence has increased. Around 600 cases of physical and structural violence against Muslims and Christians have been reported since the election, as well as forced conversions to Hinduism.

“Promotion of interreligious interactions and interreligious dialogue are the need of the hour,” Bishop D’Souza reflected. “They need to be promoted at various levels, both informally and formally. With a nationwide large network of educational institutions and youth associations, the Catholic Church is in a position to sensitize children and youth to the demands of such a task. Interreligious outlook and values are being inculcated through formal and informal education.”

This education, he said, “should start in the families and continue through formal education in schools and colleges,” saying that “no one disputes the need of social harmony for the progress of a country. It is of paramount importance.”

He said many of India’s youth are “open, democratic and inclusive. However, there is a fringe element which is vocal and vociferous, vulnerable to extremist tendencies. They are victims of religious and social prejudices, gender biases and superstitious beliefs.”

Bishop D’Souz lamented that e”xplicit political will to contain all forms of violence emanating from religious fanaticism is yet to be seen.”

“The Church in India is serving the people of India irrespective of their religious affiliation, in the fields of education, social development, and health care. Its services are substantial and widely lauded, especially for the physically challenged and the aged.”
“Through education, the Church has contributed immensely to break the barriers of prejudices and stereotypes through formal and informal education and women empowerment programmes,” the bishop said.

He added, however, that “more needs to be done in the area of caste discrimination and indignity of women.”

The Indian Catholic Youth Movement and other groups, such as Young Christian Students and Young Students’ Movement, Bishop D’Souza said “are helping the youth to be interreligious in their outlook, to respect all humans in all stages and forms, to be pro-life and to protect the environment. All these activities are profoundly inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, promoting universal brotherhood and sisterhood of all people.”

He said that “though Christians are accused of ‘proselytizing and converting’, the Catholic Church sincerely avoids all forms of unethical and unlawful evangelism. While the Church is contributing its bit, nay it’s very best, to build a more humane and a harmonious society, a fanatical, even sinister section of society is bent upon causing disruption and discord. That’s where the law-enforcing state should intervene firmly and impartially, nipping such tendencies in the bud, before it becomes a communal inferno, disrupting the nation’s progress.”

Being Good Without God

In an essay published last December Peter Hitchens, brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, a renowned atheist, reflected on the importance of religion. In his essay, published December 3 on the Website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, …

Humanity cannot exist without farmers, says Pope

Vatican City, Jan 31, 2015 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told farmers on Saturday that in a world marked by wastefulness and extreme climate change, they have the important vocation of caring for the earth and providing for all of humanity. 

“Care for the earth, making alliance with it, in order that it may continue to be, as God wants, the source of life for the entire human family,” the Pope said.

The Holy Father’s remarks were made in the Clementine Hall of the Papal Palace during a Jan. 31 audience with members of Italy’s National Federation of Farmers, who celebrate their 70th anniversary of their foundation this year.

The word cultivate, Pope Francis said in prepared remarks, “calls to mind the care which the farmer has for his land because it gives fruit, and this is shared.” 

The Holy Father said that without farming, there is no humanity, and without good food, there is no life for “the men and women of every continent.”

He went on to describe farming as a true vocation which merits deserves to be recognized and valued, and warned against measures which penalize this “valuable activity” and dissuade new generations from taking an interest in this profession. 

The Pope did note, however, that statistics indicate a growth in the number of students enrolling in agricultural studies. 

Pope Francis went on to speak of two “critical areas” of reflection with regard to the farming profession: first, that of poverty and hunger which is still of interest to “a vast part of humanity.”

Noting how the Second Vatican Council “recalled the universal destination of the goods of the earth” (cfr Cost. past. Gaudium et spes, 69), Pope Francis said, “in reality the dominant economic system excludes much of their correct use.”

“The absolutizing of market rules, a throwaway culture” and food wastefulness of “unacceptable proportions, together with other factors, cause misery and suffering for many families,” he said.

In order to consider the second “critical area” of reflection on the farming profession, the Pope continued, it is important to remember “man’s call, not only to till the earth, but also to care for it.” (Gen. 2:15).

“Every farmer knows well how it becomes more difficult to till the land at a time of accelerated climate change”. 

Pope Francis stressed the importance of acting swiftly to care for creation, calling on nations to collaborate with one another in this goal.

He then then invited those present in the audience to “rediscover love for the earth as ‘mother’ – as Saint Francis would say – from which we have taken and to which we are called to constantly return.”

Before bestowing his blessing on the participants, Pope Francis concluded by asking those present to pray for him.

Archbishops Chaput, Gomez confirmed participants in Synod on the Family

Vatican City, Jan 31, 2015 / 11:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has confirmed the participation of 48 delegates chosen by bishops’ conferences to take part in this year’s Synod on the Family. 

Included on the list are all those elected by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the US’ largest archdiocese, and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, where the upcoming World Meeting of Families will be held, will be among those taking part in October’s gathering, according to the Vatican document.

Other US delegates included are Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president and secretary, respectively.

Released Jan. 31, this is the first of several documents listing the delegates elected by the various bishops’ conferences around the world who have been approved by the Vatican. 

Delegates listed in the announcement included 7 from Africa; 3 from Asia; 3 from Oceana; 17 from Europe; and 10 from Central and South America.

Not every bishops’ conference was represented in Saturday’s list, as some still need to hold their general assemblies where they will select their candidates and substitutes before sending the names to the Vatican for approval. These subsequent ratifications will be announced at a later time.

Around 190 prelates worldwide participated in the 2014 Synod on the Family. 

The names of other participants, such as auditors, experts and papal nominees, will also released at a later date in the lead up to the Synod on the Family.

This year’s Synod on the Family, to be held on Oct. 4-25, will be the second and larger of two such gatherings to take place in the course of a year. Like its 2014 precursor, the focus of the 2015 Synod of Bishops will be the family, this time with the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the church and the modern world.”

The list also confirmed the participation of alternates, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, head of the USCCB’s defense and promotion of marriage subcommittee.

A preparatory document for the Synod on the Family, formally known as the Lineamenta, was sent to bishops’ conference in Dec. 2014.

The full list of all 48 selected delegates can be found at:

Jan 31 – Homily: Faith is Certain

Jan 31 – Homily: Faith is Certain

Let us not entertain any doubts or confuse Faith with Hope, but let us imitate the Faith of the Ancients, like Abraham, and God will not be ashamed to be called our God and will prepare for…

March for LIFE DC 2015: We Must Fight For Life

Ave Maria! The “March for Life” was a peaceful demonstration/rally held in Washington, D.C., on January 22, 2015. Here are mini interviews of some participants and footage from the March…
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Nonprofits & Activism

Why Families Should Promote Classics

By Joseph Pronechen | How good literature benefits children | With modern technology muscling in on reading time, it’s a good time to restore reading to its rightful place.

Catholic academics shared with the Register how families can promote goo…

‘If Today You Hear His Voice …’

By Tom and April Hoopes | User’s Guide to Sunday, Feb. 1 | Sunday, Feb. 1, is the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B).


Mass Readings

Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28


Our Take


Jan 31 – Homily: The Faith of St. John Bosco

Father comments on the reading and asks if we have a strong faith, or whether we are more like the disciples. As an example, Father lifts up for us today’s saint, St. John Bosco, who lived…
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Nonprofits & Activism
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