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Pope Benedict celebrates his 90th birthday with Bavarian guests, beer, pretzels

VATICAN CITY—A bit of Bavaria, including German beer and pretzels, came to the Vatican to help celebrate retired Pope Benedict XVI’s 90th birthday. “Thank you for bringing Bavaria here,” he told his guests, commenting on the beauty of gathering together under a blue Roman sky with white clouds — colors that “recall the white and […]

Roman Missal calls Easter Vigil ‘mother of all vigils’ for a reason

WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church pulls out all the stops for the Easter Vigil, the Mass celebrated on Holy Saturday. The Roman Missal, which spells out specifics of how the vigil is to be celebrated, describes it as the “mother of all vigils” and says it is the “greatest and most noble of all solemnities and it […]

Stations of the Cross date back to the fourth century

The Stations of the Cross in the form most American Catholics know best aren’t that old in Church terms, dating back to the year the U.S. Constitution was ratified. However, their history goes back well before that, to the days when pilgrims were first openly able to travel to Jerusalem and walk in the footsteps of […]

Holy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist

Except for the resurrection on Easter, Holy Thursday is considered one of the most important, complex, and profound days of celebration in the Catholic Church. Holy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood. During the Last Supper, […]

Cardinal: Fatima seers are holy because of virtue, not visions

VATICAN CITY—As extraordinary as the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, nearly 100 years ago were, the sanctity of the shepherd children did not hinge on their having seen Mary, a cardinal said. “The apparition of the Virgin Mary was an occasion, but it has nothing to do with or has not influenced the reason” Blesseds Francisco […]

Faith inspires artist to feature homeless in portraits of compassion

SHORELINE, Wash.—Among Mary Larson’s Shoreline living-room pictures is a small photo of a man with furrowed eyebrows and a full white beard. His name is James, but when Larson knew him, he was better known as “The Professor.” The two met in 1995 when Larson was a volunteer nurse at Christ House in Washington, D.C., […]

Terror attacks in Egypt won’t deter pope’s visit for peace

VATICAN CITY—Despite recent and repeated terrorist attacks against Egypt’s minority Christian communities, Pope Francis will not cancel his visit to Egypt. “The pope’s trip to Egypt proceeds as scheduled,” Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Service by email April 10. The pope is scheduled to meet governmental and interfaith leaders during an April 28-29 […]

Pope: Saving lives must be first concern of immigration policy

VATICAN CITY—The defense of the life, dignity and human rights of migrants and refugees must come before any other question when enacting migration policies, Pope Francis said. “The defense of human beings knows no limits,” the pope said in an interview with the journal of the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Italian […]

Pro-life, religious freedom leaders cheer confirmation of Neil Gorsuch

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Pro-life and religious freedom advocates cheered the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch on Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling an almost 14 month-long vacancy. “As Catholics, we welcome the confirmation of a judge whose record adheres to the Constitutional right to free exercise of religion without government bullying and whose scholarship […]

Teen pleads guilty to plotting attack on pope during 2015 visit

PHILADELPHIA—A New Jersey teen pleaded guilty April 3 of plotting an attack on Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015 during the World Meeting of Families. Santos Colon Jr., 17, of Lindenwold in Camden County, pleaded guilty in a New Jersey federal court to one count of attempting to provide material support […]

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