11. Luis Badilla and 12. Andrea Tornielli – Two Catholic journalists bring the Vatican to the world

Andrea Tornielli

Luis Badilla, editorial director for Il Sismografo (The Seismograph), a leading blogspot for Vatican-related and worldwide Catholic news, has been covering the Catholic world for a quarter-century from Rome. He is a Chilean ex-patriate and veteran reporter for Vatican Radio who began his website in 2009. Badilla has been described as “not old, but having […]

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2. Dr. Maria-Anca Cernea

Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea of Bucharest

The two Catholic Churches in the country of Romania —the Latin-rite Catholic Church in Romania and the Byzantine-rite Romanian Church United with Rome (Greek-Catholic) — both experienced a particularly vicious brand of persecution during four decades of Communist rule in the 20th century. Almost all the Catholic bishops in the country, of both rites, and […]

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6. Father Dhiya Azziz, OFM

fr-aziz

The story of the Iraqi Franciscan friar Dhiya Azziz, OFM, the parish priest of the Syrian village of Yacoubieh, with whom all contact was lost on December 23 when he was abducted (he was released in early January), is, characteristically for that area of the world, filled with uncertainty. Fr. Azziz, 41, a native of […]

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10. Sr. Elaine Roulet

roulet

Known as the “Prison Angel,” Sister of St. Joseph Elaine Roulet anticipated Pope Francis’ special attention to prisoners by decades when she began as a prison family liaison in 1971. For more than 35 years she rose at 4 a.m., prayed from 4 to 5, went to Mass, swam at a local pool and then, […]

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1. Salvatore Cordileone

Salvatore Cordileone

The U.S. city most identified with the homosexual movement, San Francisco, saw fierce criticism in 2015 of its Catholic archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, by many of its citizens, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. The subject at hand was a teacher contract and handbook proposed for teachers in San Francisco’s four diocesan high schools. […]

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9. Cardinal Robert Sarah

Cardinal Robert Sarah

In the 2015 Synod on the Family, like its predecessor in 2014, the prelates from Africa emerged as a formidable force upholding Church Tradition, in doctrine and in practice. And among those prelates, Guinean, 70, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has been a particularly outspoken crusader for […]

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4. Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire and 5. Kim Davis -Both have suffered for their opposition to government mandates

SUOR SISTER-Maguire

The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who care for the indigent elderly, urged the Supreme Court on January 4, 2016, to protect them from $70 million in government fines for refusing to violate their Catholic faith. This is the second time the Sisters, under the leadership of Mother Provincial Loraine […]

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3. Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov

Father Tikhon Shevkunov

On October 24, 2015, on the feast day, in the Russian Orthodox calendar, of the Synaxis of Optina Elders, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated Father Tikhon Shevkunov, Archimandrite (abbot) of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery, as Bishop of Egorevesk, Vicariate of the Moscow Patriarchate. Gerogiy Shevkunov, now 57, was baptized in 1982 […]

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8. Leah Libresco

LEAH-LIBRESCO

A quote from Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia — “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong” — ended the post in which atheist-turned-Catholic blogger and Yale University student Leah Libresco, then 22, announced her startling conversion to Catholicism in 2012. The quote is emblematic of the […]

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7. Sara “Winter” Giromin

Sara “Winter” Giromin

Sara Fernanda Giromin first made herself known to Brazil and to the world under the alias “Sara Winter” in 2012, when she became the founding member of “Femen Brazil” and led a trio of girls in a number of topless protests that garnered much media attention. However, only three years later, the young activist has […]

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