Category: National and International

Knight brings more than clean water to Guatemalans

The only water available to the people in the mountain region of Santa Maria in Jalapa, Guatemala, was bacteria-infested. Women and girls would spend as much as eight hours per day hauling the water for their families. They would walk an hour one way down a mountain slope, then trek back up carrying the water… Read more »

Length of Catholic sermons a small percentage of Christian counterparts

WASHINGTON | If experience can’t prove it, data scraping will: Catholic sermons are shorter than their Protestant counterparts. According to an analysis of 50,000 sermons — Catholics commonly refer to theirs as homilies — the Pew Research Center determined that the median Catholic sermon is 14 minutes long. The next shortest are mainline Protestant sermons,… Read more »

Pope lifts secrecy obligation for those who report having been abused

VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis has abolished the obligation of secrecy for those who report having been sexually abused by a priest and for those who testify in a church trial or process having to do with clerical sexual abuse. “The person who files the report, the person who alleges to have been harmed and… Read more »

Third Sunday of Advent: Mary, a woman of patience

Picture an image of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now picture her pregnant. Imagine coming across that image on your Facebook or Instagram feed. You see a young woman bathed in the warm glow of a photo filter, eyes downcast, cradling her round baby belly. Underneath the image are the words, “Coming this December …… Read more »

Guards attacked at national shrine in D.C. in apparent domestic incident

WASHINGTON | Washington authorities apprehended a suspect in an incident involving an attack Dec. 10 against two security guards at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Marian shrine in the United States, at the height of its busiest season. Authorities believe the incident involves a domestic dispute but did… Read more »

Supreme Court leaves temporary stop on federal executions in place

WASHINGTON | The U.S. Supreme Court has left in place a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Trump administration from carrying out the first federal executions in 16 years. In an order handed down the evening of Dec. 6, the justices unanimously denied an application by the U.S. Department of Justice to lift a federal court injunction… 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 »

Third Sunday of Advent: Jesus shows us how to prepare

Jesus loves you. He wants you to triumph; he won’t let you fail. He gives you all the tools you need to be with him for eternity in paradise. We are halfway through the Advent season, the preparation for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. But in no way is this preparation passive or short… 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 »