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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Lent and a Reader’s Inspiration...

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Lent has begun, and both for those becoming Christians and those already baptized, our conversion as Christians prompts us to help shape a just world.

Catholics traditionally pray, fast, and give alms during Lent. Those three “pillars” of the Lenten season can take many forms. But true to the “baptismal focus” of Lent—that is, walking in solidarity with those preparing for Baptism, our Lenten penances must be outer-directed. Our own conversion helps prepare us to serve others.

In the Gospel for the First Sunday in Lent, Jesus rejects the devil’s temptations to make his life and ministry all about himself. Rather, Jesus will make of his life a sacrifice of selfless love. That example should guide our Lenten sacrifices as well.

We received the following inspiring email from a reader named Bryan:
“One day I was on the road and decided to stop at a hotel for the night. Next morning, being already well on my way, I lamented the fact that I had misplaced a rosary and my phone charger. There was another rosary but only one charger. Having looked in vain that night I went to sleep wondering where to get a new one.

Next morning I awoke to find my bag open, which I remember closing, and the phone charger placed neatly inside. At first I was utterly amazed and wondered how this could be or if I’d lost my mind. But, really, I think it demonstrated that we’re not alone in this world though it may appear otherwise sometimes.”

This blog post is taken from Franciscan Media Productions FREE e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Click here to learn more about American Catholic Radio.

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Photo courtesy of ingimage

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Lent and a Reader’s Inspiration...

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Lent has begun, and both for those becoming Christians and those already baptized, our conversion as Christians prompts us to help shape a just world.

Catholics traditionally pray, fast, and give alms during Lent. Those three “pillars” of the Lenten season can take many forms. But true to the “baptismal focus” of Lent—that is, walking in solidarity with those preparing for Baptism, our Lenten penances must be outer-directed. Our own conversion helps prepare us to serve others.

In the Gospel for the First Sunday in Lent, Jesus rejects the devil’s temptations to make his life and ministry all about himself. Rather, Jesus will make of his life a sacrifice of selfless love. That example should guide our Lenten sacrifices as well.

We received the following inspiring email from a reader named Bryan:
“One day I was on the road and decided to stop at a hotel for the night. Next morning, being already well on my way, I lamented the fact that I had misplaced a rosary and my phone charger. There was another rosary but only one charger. Having looked in vain that night I went to sleep wondering where to get a new one.

Next morning I awoke to find my bag open, which I remember closing, and the phone charger placed neatly inside. At first I was utterly amazed and wondered how this could be or if I’d lost my mind. But, really, I think it demonstrated that we’re not alone in this world though it may appear otherwise sometimes.”

This blog post is taken from Franciscan Media Productions FREE e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

Click here to learn more about American Catholic Radio.

*****
Photo courtesy of ingimage

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Franciscan Media: More than Meets the Eye...

Posted on Mar 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

St. Anthony Messenger has been the core of our Franciscan province’s media-evangelization ministry for well over a century. In recent decades, other forms of evangelization have come and gone here—most notably our wildly successful presence in the parish services market through Catholic Update and other products, which we sold to Liguori Publications last year. It was a strategic decision on our part to devote ourselves exclusively to you, the individual reader, who has always been at the heart of our mission.

With you in mind, we continue to grow book lines (Franciscan Media Books and Servant Books) and remain devoted to growing our social media outreach to an even broader group: those seeking online resources to grow their faith. That builds on the foundation of our AmericanCatholic.org, one of the nation’s principal Catholic websites. We also have a team developing apps for smartphones and enriching all our other media.

My point is that we publish St. Anthony Messenger elbow to elbow with colleagues in other media efforts. We all work together helping to identify strong authors, inviting some of them to cross over from writing a book to writing a magazine article and vice versa. Or an author might sit for an interview for this magazine’s digital extras while in our studios recording an audiobook.

Our social media outlets can tell more people about our books or magazine. Whatever the medium, we work for a common cause: to spread the Good News far and wide. Franciscan Media is a powerhouse of talent and commitment to the mission of the Catholic faith, in the Franciscan spirit.

This blog was taken from my column “Backstory.” To subscribe to St. Anthony Messenger, click here.

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‘Doing Penance’...

Posted on Mar 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

There are two versions of Francis’ “Exhortations” to laypeople who wanted to share his Gospel way of life in the single or married state. The older version, tentatively dated between 1209 and 1215, has two sections: one addressed to “Those who do penance” and the other addressed to “Those who do not do penance.”

In the first section, Francis encourages people to receive the Eucharist and to produce “fruits worthy of penance.” The second part encourages those not presently engaged in conversion of life to start doing penance. This text is so important that it now serves as the prologue to the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.

The later, much longer version may have been written about 1220, and is sometimes titled “The Letter to the Faithful.” Francis reflects on Jesus, the Eucharist, confession, conversion, and almsgiving. He encourages his readers not to become angry with another person’s faults but, “with all patience and humility,” to admonish and encourage that person. This text, filled with biblical quotes, ends with encouragement to practice Jesus’ words “with humility and love.”

May we imitate Francis’ deep and honest prayer!

This blog was taken from Pat McCloskey’s “Dear Reader” column in St. Anthony Messenger.

To subscribe to this award-winning publication and to support the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province, click here.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Saying YES to God...

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

When I was a kid, I always gave up candy for Lent. It was really hard for me since I have a pretty big sweet tooth. But because of those times that I actually stuck to my resolution during the whole season, I enjoyed that Easter Sunday candy more than ever!

Now, as an adult, I’ve tried to broaden my understanding of Lent and see it more than just a time to give something up. Giving things up can still be very beneficial, but doing something new is another way of making this Lenten season have special meaning. Like doing something special for a neighbor or friend just because… or finding a charity to give of your time. These are ways of looking outside ourselves and attempting to live out our faith the way Jesus did.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

Jesus taught us to be a missionary people, to go out and do charitable works. But it doesn’t always mean we have to travel to foreign lands to be a missionary. There are lots of examples, especially of religious people going to foreign lands and doing great things for Christianity. But there are also examples of missionaries here in the US if we know where to look.

When it comes to being a missionary, it’s all about saying, “yes” when God asks you to go.

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Image courtesy of Candus Camera/Shutterstock.

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“Filial appeal” to Pope Francis asking him to ...

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

This is pretty interesting…

From Breitbart:

EUROPEAN ROYALTY APPEALS TO POPE FRANCIS ON CHURCH TEACHING

A coalition of royals, prelates, and Catholic activists have sent a “filial appeal” to Pope Francis asking him to hold the line on Church teaching regarding the family.

The letter focuses on the Synod of Bishops to take place this October in the Vatican and expresses the signers’ “fears and hopes regarding the future of the family.

Signers include a raft of dignitaries, many with titles most Americans would not know existed any longer. They include princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, barons and baronesses, descendants of storied European royal families, and one exiled African king.

Kigeli V, exiled King of Rawanda, is a signer, along with the heads of the Imperial House of Portugal and Brazil, Prince Armand de Merode of Belgium, Duke and Duchess Antonello Del Balzo di Presenzano of Italy, Princess Monika of Lowenstein-Werthheim-Rosenberg, Baron Rudolf Pfyffer von Altishofen of France, and many others.

The letter says, “Our fears arise from witnessing a decades-long sexual revolution promoted by an alliance of powerful organizations, political forces and the mass media that consistently work against the very existence of the family as the basic unit of society.”

The signers trace the ongoing sexual revolution to the May 1968 “Sorbonne Revolution” in France and “morality opposed to both Divine and natural law.”

The letter “notes with anguish that, for millions of faithful Catholics, the beacon seems to have dimmed in the face of the onslaught of lifestyles spread by anti-Christian lobbies.”

Specifically, the signers believe “a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery–by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion–and would virtually accept even homosexual unions.”

[…]

Everyone needs to stand up and be counted.

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A Little Quote for Lent...

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

During Lent I find that I can use daily doses of inspiration to keep me focused and motivated. Here’s a wonderful quote from Fr. Gary Caster about keeping one’s prayer life honest and healthy:

“One measure of a healthy life of prayer is that it never seeks a sign. Prayer should never be an effort to control or manipulate how God acts in our lives; it is not a means to an end but an end in itself.”

I prayer that your Lent will be rich with prayer!

Quote taken from The Little Way of Lent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Fr. Gary Caster

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A Little Quote for Lent...

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

During Lent I find that I can use daily doses of inspiration to keep me focused and motivated. Here’s a wonderful quote from Fr. Gary Caster about keeping one’s prayer life honest and healthy:

“One measure of a healthy life of prayer is that it never seeks a sign. Prayer should never be an effort to control or manipulate how God acts in our lives; it is not a means to an end but an end in itself.”

I prayer that your Lent will be rich with prayer!

Quote taken from The Little Way of Lent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Fr. Gary Caster

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What does God want?...

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Few weekday homilies make news the way Pope Francis’s daily homilies do. My eye was caught by the Catholic News Service headline that included the words “selfish, soulless, seafood splurge.” Caught! I took this picture on Ash Wednesday as I sat in the drive-thru at Long John Silver’s.

On the Friday after Ash Wednesday, preaching on the first reading from Isaiah 58, the pope reminded us that following the cultural customs of Lent isn’t enough.

There might be someone who thinks, “Today is Friday, I can’t eat meat, but I’m going to have a nice plate of seafood, a real banquet,” which, while appearing to be an abstinence from meat, is the sin of gluttony, the pope said.

I thought of this again over the weekend when I was helping my great-nephew with his religion homework. One of the questions was about ways to help the hungry and he was confused by the option “Pray for people who are hungry.” He said, “That won’t make them less hungry.” An astute observation for a 7-year-old!

The pope’s homilies are so effective because he has a great deal of pastoral insight. He’s spent time with his sheep. For more of his homilies and other writings, check out the new book The Spirit of Saint Francis. It would make good Lent reading. And watch the news for the next startling words from Pope Francis!

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What does God want?...

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Few weekday homilies make news the way Pope Francis’s daily homilies do. My eye was caught by the Catholic News Service headline that included the words “selfish, soulless, seafood splurge.” Caught! I took this picture on Ash Wednesday as I sat in the drive-thru at Long John Silver’s.

On the Friday after Ash Wednesday, preaching on the first reading from Isaiah 58, the pope reminded us that following the cultural customs of Lent isn’t enough.

There might be someone who thinks, “Today is Friday, I can’t eat meat, but I’m going to have a nice plate of seafood, a real banquet,” which, while appearing to be an abstinence from meat, is the sin of gluttony, the pope said.

I thought of this again over the weekend when I was helping my great-nephew with his religion homework. One of the questions was about ways to help the hungry and he was confused by the option “Pray for people who are hungry.” He said, “That won’t make them less hungry.” An astute observation for a 7-year-old!

The pope’s homilies are so effective because he has a great deal of pastoral insight. He’s spent time with his sheep. For more of his homilies and other writings, check out the new book The Spirit of Saint Francis. It would make good Lent reading. And watch the news for the next startling words from Pope Francis!

Read More

The Challenge of the Cross...

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest today is Amy Ekeh, a freelance writer from Milford, Connecticut, where she writes her blog (amyekeh.com) and keeps busy with her four children.

The cross depicts a terrible suffering—but a free sacrifice of love and, ultimately, joy. When we look at the cross this Lent, let’s not stop at the first level and be satisfied with feeling sad. Let us enter into what is happening. Let us intentionally enter into this mystery of God’s love. Hear Jesus’ words as he urges you to believe: “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down by my own choice” (cf. Jn 10:18). This is not passive acceptance. This is not “making the best” of bad circumstances. This is the divine plan, the free choice of a saving God.

Yes, the cross challenges us to be sorry for our sins, to avoid sin, to see the harm it causes—but it challenges us to even more. In the end, it challenges us to believe in Jesus’ love.

This blog is taken from the article “Welcome Lent” by Amy Ekeh in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

*****

Image courtesy of Bruce Rolff/Shutterstock.com

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Is there an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ ...

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Monday Vatican is out.

First paragraph…

Pope Francis: An Agenda Behind his Back?

Is there an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ back? As he carries out his plan of renewal for the Church, one that is based on the purification of hearts, on pastoral efforts and on evangelization through attraction, many individuals are trying to exploit his spontaneity, and also his naivete, in order to advance their personal, political agenda for the Church. How much the Pope has understood the cross-interests at work behind his back is yet to be determined. Certainly, the way his words have so often been taken out of context and misinterpreted may have alerted him to some degree that this is going on.

[…]

Read the rest there!

Sample…

It’s as if the Church of 1968 has broken out again.

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Is there an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ ...

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Monday Vatican is out.

First paragraph…

Pope Francis: An Agenda Behind his Back?

Is there an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ back? As he carries out his plan of renewal for the Church, one that is based on the purification of hearts, on pastoral efforts and on evangelization through attraction, many individuals are trying to exploit his spontaneity, and also his naivete, in order to advance their personal, political agenda for the Church. How much the Pope has understood the cross-interests at work behind his back is yet to be determined. Certainly, the way his words have so often been taken out of context and misinterpreted may have alerted him to some degree that this is going on.

[…]

Read the rest there!

Sample…

It’s as if the Church of 1968 has broken out again.

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Lenten Fish Fries...

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

In the Cincinnati area, many Catholic parishes and schools sponsor “fish fries” as social activities and fundraisers during Lent. They are popular. So popular, in fact, that fast food restaurants offer fish sandwiches for Lent, lest they lose customers to the fish fries. Sometimes there are major discussions on the radio and TV about what parish or school has the best fish fry in town.

Of course, if fish fries also serve beer, shrimp and crab, there goes any penance as far as I am concerned. I mean, those foods are more like a temptation to gluttony—to pig out—as far as I am concerned. Fish fries are nice. I get to one or the other during Lent.

But what is the purpose of fasting and abstaining from meat during Lent?

Basically, the discipline of Lent is intended to heighten our spiritual awareness, to open our hearts and minds to the needs of others, to lead us to pray more and hold our desires under control. As Franciscan Bishop Rembert Kowalski used to say:

“Pray more, eat less. Eat less, live longer.”

Bishop Kowalski was a friar who was imprisoned during the Communist Revolution in China. After release and his return to health, Bishop Kowalski was living in our novitiate house when I joined the order. He was an ascetical man who always prayed and sacrificed for the church in China. He made a great impression on me, though he was quite eccentric.

May Lent be a time of spiritual growth and greater service to our neighbors, especially the poor and those in need. But it is OK to enjoy a Lenten fish fry, too!

Photo:  Shutterstock

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You Did What?...

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

When Mark and I first got married, we went through all the required Pre-Cana classes and even decided to go for the full Engaged Encounter weekend as opposed to the abbreviated one-day class. Come our wedding day, we thought we were set. Finances? Check. Number of children desired? Check. Extended family? Thoroughly discussed.

But then one day after we were married I went to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

“Where’s the peanut butter?” I asked Mark.

“In the refrigerator.”

“Are you serious?” I asked in disbelief. “That’s disgusting. You can’t spread it when it’s cold. It rips the bread.”

“I have to have the peanut butter cold,” he insisted. “Oh, and it has to be Jif.”

And that moment is when our marriage truly began. I didn’t remember anything in our vows about this. Sickness and health I could do. But this was a stretch.

Suddenly I realized that I had a lot to learn as far as my lifelong partner was concerned. And that it’s not always the big things that can trip up a marriage.

I can honestly say, that most of our major battles during the 20 years of our marriage have not been over finances, parenting styles, or any other usual issues couples face. No, they have been over things like how to do laundry, how to properly fold a towel, whether or not you should zip up a jacket when you hang it up so it doesn’t fall off the hanger and whether or not to use flannel sheets. Don’t act like all you married couples don’t know exactly what I’m talking about.

So what’s my point in bringing this up? Well, my point is, that as weird or annoying as we may find our spouses little idiosyncrasies, they are part and parcel of the person we have decided to “love, honor and cherish” for the rest of our lives–even if we didn’t know about it at the time. It’s also a good exercise in learning to compromise and figure out what’s really important to you. Would I chose Mark again today if I knew beforehand that he preferred cold peanut butter? Absolutely. Would he choose me knowing that he would spend the rest of his life picking up the clothes I left on the floor? I hope so. Because all those things combined don’t come close to adding up to the promise we made to each other, before God and our families almost 20 years ago.

And that’s why our peanut butter is currently residing on a shelf in our fridge.

Photo: Shutterstock

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."