Category: National and International

Immaculate Conception is feast of hope for sinners, pope says

VATICAN CITY | Mary, conceived without sin, is a “masterpiece” who reflects “the beauty of God who is all love, grace and self-giving,” Pope Francis said on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 8, Pope Francis focused on the feast day that celebrates how… Read more »

Catholics pledge to have Masses said in support of Sheen beatification

WASHINGTON | The Dec. 3 announcement by the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, that the Vatican has decided to postpone the beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen has led to a grassroots effort to have Masses said all over the world to pray his beatification will go forward. Organizers of the effort hope to have “a… Read more »

The Immaculate Conception

For He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name. Luke 1:48-49 The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is one of the most difficult doctrines for non-Catholics to accept. It is most often… Read more »

Pope: Set up, be enchanted by a Nativity scene

VATICAN CITY | A Nativity scene is a simple reminder of something astonishing: God became human to reveal the greatness of his love “by smiling and opening his arms to all,” Pope Francis said in a letter on the meaning and importance of setting up Christmas cribs. “Wherever it is, and whatever form it takes,… Read more »

Nicaraguans in U.S. call on world to open eyes to country’s plight

WASHINGTON | Outside the Organization of American States in Washington Nov. 25, Estela Callejas and Romy Rojas pleaded with the man in the suit for help. “We’re tired. We’ve been here in the rain, cold and snow … the business sector has got to step in and put pressure,” Callejas said in Spanish, as she… Read more »

Tucson bishop, other Catholic leaders decry ‘Remain in Mexico’ expansion

TUCSON, Ariz. | Catholic leaders decried an expansion of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which includes relocating migrants currently biding their time in the Tucson area back to border towns in Texas for transport back into Mexico. The current policy “does not provide protection to these most vulnerable people and in fact has… Read more »

Advent: Peace and the call of our baptism as ‘living stones’

Some awfully nice visions of the future are painted in this year’s readings for the Second Sunday of Advent—peace and justice, primarily. But there are also some words of warning that should preclude any of us from being carried away by such visions and focus instead on what it takes to make those visions reality…. Read more »

Second Sunday of Advent: Telling the scriptural story of John the Baptist

The story of John the Baptist really begins when he … But wait! His story is multifaceted in ways history often overlooked. How should it start? Today it typically starts with John preaching to crowds who came to the Judean desert to hear him and receive his baptism. Perhaps, though, its starting point could be… Read more »

Pro-life leaders say amendment would ‘enrich’ abortion providers overseas

WASHINGTON | Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, and 17 other pro-life leaders have called on President Donald Trump to block an amendment they say would “enrich global abortion providers,” which currently is part of a Senate appropriations measure. They were referring to an… Read more »

After El Paso: Offering awareness through pastoral letter, teach-in

ORLANDO | Although the mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart happened three months ago, the shocking aftereffects of the tragedy continue to ripple throughout the border area community. The incident made national news, as the location of the murder scene was chosen for its largely Latino population. For Bishop Mark Seitz, shepherd of the… Read more »