Words from the Bishop

It is the custom of the Pope to offer Christmas greetings to his official family, the bishops and Cardinals who direct the various departments of the Roman Curia. But his words at this occasion are typically much more than mere pleasantries. They constitute, usually, a kind of review of the previous year from the perspective of the Bishop of Rome. The Christmas statement that Benedict XVI made just this morning to his official entourage was of particular gravity, precisely because it represents one of his most thorough and insightful assessments of the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Bishops and Gay Soldiers

A Great Light

Catholics to withhold their donations

As a member of the Reform CCHD Now coalition, Catholic Citizens of Illinois is urging all Catholics to withhold their donations to the collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development on the weekend of November 21, 2010.

In the past few weeks, I have been posting numerous articles about the CCHD from a wide range of Catholic organizations. It is clear that despite calls for review and renewal, very little has been done to change the course and correct the serious and longstanding problems of the CCHD. (Please read the recent articles accessible at our search line.

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Catholic Citizens

Over 150 years ago, a Belgian immigrant woman saw a vision and built a shrine. Believers have reported healings and answered prayers. A Catholic decree declares the site 'worthy of belief.'

Amid a patchwork of Wisconsin farmland half an hour's drive northeast of Green Bay is a modest shrine with a brick chapel, a school and a flow of pilgrims speaking of profound healing power.

The power is said to come from the Virgin Mary, who appeared to a Belgian immigrant 151 years ago where the shrine now stands. But all believers had to show for it were years of anecdotes - and the canes, wheelchairs and crutches left behind in the chapel's crypt by those who claimed they had been healed.

Catholic Citizens

One of just two or arguably three living seers in the world who have full Church approbation associated with a major site of apparitions has issued sobering warnings to do with the future of mankind.

The visionary is Anathalie Mukamazimpaka of Kibeho in the small, poor, central African nation of Rwanda. On November 29 she told a group visiting from the United States that during her apparitions -- which the local bishop, in conjunction with the Vatican, approved in 2001 -- the Blessed Virgin Mary had warned that the world is headed for an 'abyss' due to sins of impurity and materialism -- words that carry no little weight in that the Blessed Mother of Kibeho had used similar language in correctly, astonishingly foreseeing a genocidal civil war that later engulfed that country.

What is Good

True Wisdom

Malachi the Prophet

The last of the prophets of the Old Law, the minor prophet Malachi reproached the priests and people of Jerusalem for their unworthy sacrifices and foretold a new and perfect sacrifice that would be offered “from the rising, even to the setting, of the sun” (Mal. 1:11). His oracles were given just before the arrival in Jerusalem of Nehemiah, around 445 BC.

N.B. The Martyrologium Romanum (Vatican Press, 2004), the Church’s official list of holy men and women, lists the saints of the Old Law alongside those of the New.

Daily Thought

With those who are perfect and walk with simplicity, there is nothing small and contemptible, if it be a thing that pleases God; for the pleasure of God is the object at which alone they aim, and which is the reason, the measure, and the reward of all their occupations, actions, and plans; and so, in whatever they find this, it is for them a great and important thing. 

-- St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Childlike Hearts


A new premier Catholic study program, CATHOLICISM, for parishes across the country and throughout the world is being introduced tonight at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

Answering the call for New Evangelization, this multi-media educational program reveals the truth, beauty and richness of the Faith in an unprecedented way.

With creator and host Father Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Ministries, participants will learn what Catholics believe and why by exploring the art, architecture, literature, music, and all the riches of the Catholic tradition. Filmed in 50 locations throughout 15 countries, CATHOLICISM is on-location and in the streets, illustrating the splendor of the global Church-- all in original, high-definition cinematography.

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Tomb of St. John of the Cross

DREAM Act Progress In House

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has praised the passage of the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives, and called on the U.S. Senate to also pass the immigration reform measure.

Archbishop Gomez, the chair of the Committee on Migration for the U.S. bishops' conference and co-adjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, commended the House for its 'courageous and historic vote.' He said the legislation would give undocumented young people 'a chance to reach their full, God-given potential.'

St. Juan Diego's Humility

EWTN.com - Mexican Cardinal Highlights St. Juan Diego's Humility: "he Archbishop of Mexico City recalled in a recent homily that St. Juan Diego witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe because of his 'humble heart.'

Cardinal Norberto Rivera addressed Catholics on Dec. 9, the feast of St. Juan Diego, underscoring the simplicity and humility of the Mexican saint, canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

A Strong Hope

The Third Sunday of Advent

"Once again the central figure of the Advent Liturgy is St John the Baptist. After he had preached the Baptism of conversion and penance, he was arrested due to his public denunciation against the immorality of the time. He invites everyone to be patient and await the arrival of the Messiah who will come to establish a new kingdom. In fact, whilst he was in prison, he sent someone to ask Jesus if it is He ‘who is the one to come or shall we look for another?’(Mt 11: 3) Jesus responds by emphasizing the fruits of His mission which were manifested in His preaching and in the signs of healing and recovery: ‘the blind see again, and the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’

Was Joseph Really Suspicious of Mary's Pregnancy?

"“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. 20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; 21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins”

Our Lady of Guadalupe

EWTN Global Catholic Television Network: "Our Lady appeared to a Juan Diego, a poor farmer, in 1528, instructing him to have the Bishop build a “temple” in what would become Mexico City. As a test, the Bishop asked for a sign of “castilian roses,” and received not only roses but a miraculous image of the Lady appearing on the homespun tilma or cloak of Juan Diego.

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology: "Advent is a profound moment in the Church’s year. As we pray the Mass, as we hear the readings, as we ponder the mysteries, we’re really studying the grand panorama of salvation history. In these few short weeks, we relive the longing and expectation of God’s people as they awaited the Messiah.
It’s also a chance to review our personal history, and to appreciate how God continues to work in our lives. For even now “we wait in joyful hope” for the kingdom to come in its fullness, and God is bringing that moment about gradually, through lives like yours and mine.

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology: "John questions Jesus from prison in today’s Gospel - for his disciples’ sake and for ours.

He knows that Jesus is doing “the works of the Messiah,” foretold in today’s First Reading and Psalm. But John wants his disciples - and us - to know that the Judge is at the gate, that in Jesus our God has come to save us.

The Liturgy of Advent takes us out into the desert to see and hear the marvelous works and words of God - the lame leaping like a stag, the dead raised, the good news preached to the poor (see Isaiah 29:18-20; 61:1-2).

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