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The cost of witness

There is a “twofold witness” in Christian life: that of the Spirit who “opens the heart”, showing us Jesus, and that of the person who “with the power of the Spirit” proclaims “that the Lord lives”, even at the cost of “paying the price” of persecution. Once again the Holy Spirit and his action in […]

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On the Gift of the Holy Spirit

“We are not alone! And the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is also the peace that Jesus gives to his disciples”   Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! The Gospel of today brings us again to the Upper Room. During the Last Supper, before facing the Passion and death on a cross, […]

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Letter #40: Rumblings in the Underbrush

April 29, 2016, Friday — Rumblings in the Underbrush: An Announcement Soon on the Society of St. Pius X? “The Society of St. Pius X was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in the midst of these confusing times for the Church. It is called to provide a new generation of priests for the Church, to safeguard […]

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Letter #39, 2016: Orthodox Good Friday

April 29, 2016, Friday — Toward the Orthodox Easter In the Orthodox Church, Today Is Good Friday, and Sunday Will Be Easter Sunday In the West, we sometimes forget that the Orthodox world still celebrates Holy Week according to the old calendar. And, according to the old calendar, today is Good Friday, and Easter will […]

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Letter #38, 2016: Reject Double Lives

April 29, 2016, Friday – Reject Double Lives Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church “Don’t walk with one foot in the light and the other in darkness.” —Pope Francis, in his homily this morning at his daily morning Mass in the Domus Santa Marta (link) “If we say that […]

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A double life

St John’s advice to the “adolescent Church” of the first century applies perfectly to us today. Francis thus proposed the content of the Apostle’s First Letter: that we not have a double life and not give in to lies, aware that even as sinners we have a Father who forgives us. This is the reflection […]

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The Spirit Has Been Surprising the Church Since the Beginning

At Casa Santa Marta, considers the Council of Jerusalem described in Acts There is always resistance to the surprises of the Spirit, but it’s the Spirit who continues to lead the Church forward. That was Pope Francis’ message at Mass today at the Santa Marta chapel as he reflected on the reading about division and […]

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Magazine

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Exploring Mother Teresa’s life, from Sister to Saint

Pope Francis has announced that Blessed Mother Teresa, along with three others, will be canonized later in the year, after miracles were recognized for each of them. Mother Teresa was, in her own lifetime, and still remains, one of the most famous people in the world. But who was she, really? And how did she […]

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Andrea Tornielli

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

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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Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea of Bucharest

2. Dr. Maria-Anca Cernea

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

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

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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Salvatore Cordileone

1. 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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Cardinal Robert Sarah

9. 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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Books, Art & People

Massimo Palombella

Sistine Chapel Choir Releases Sublime Sacred Music Album Recorded in its Chapel

As the first album ever to be recorded inside the Sistine Chapel is released, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, personal secretary of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, said the sacred music featured is not something of the past, but continues to play a role in evangelization. “Sacred music has a past. It comes from the past, but it […]

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_Alicia von Stamwitz, THE SPIRIT OF SAINT FRANCIS

Inspiring Words of Pope Francis, and a Unique Album from the Vatican Choir

  Alicia von Stamwitz is an award-winning freelance author and editor. She has interviewed 2015 Templeton Prize winner Jean Vanier, Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, Quaker activist Parker Palmer, art historian Sister Wendy Beckett, and essayist Kathleen Norris. In cooperation with the Vatican, she recently compiled and edited two books of the writings of Pope Francis: THE […]

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Food For Thought

Roman to the core, Aldo Fabrizi (1905-1990) was an Italian actor, director, screenwriter, and comedian, best known for his role as the heroic priest in Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City and as a partner of the Neapolitan actor Totò in a number of successful comedies. Aldo’s exuberant younger sister, Elena, known as “Lella,” also had […]

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ricostruzione Tempio di Neemia,  Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1847

Meditation

“Nostalgia” for God can lead us to the joy of rediscovering Him In his morning homily at Domus Santa Marta on October 1, the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux — so important in the spiritual life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio — Pope Francis spoke of two key issues for the life of each […]

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1.1 Ciseri

Divine Beauty: From Van Gogh to Chagall and Fontana

  At the press preview of the exhibition “Divine Beauty,” on at Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi through January 24, 2016, Giuseppe Cardinal Bettori referred to a benchmark sermon given by Pope Paul VI to a group of artists on May 7, 1964. The Holy Father had said, “We must re-establish the friendship between the Church and […]

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