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Lent and a Reader’s Inspiration

Posted by 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...

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Franciscan Media: More than Meets the Eye

Posted by 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...

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‘Doing Penance’

Posted by 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...

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Saying YES to God

Posted by 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...

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“Filial appeal” to Pope Francis asking him to hold the line

Posted by 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...

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A Little Quote for Lent

Posted by 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...

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A Little Quote for Lent

Posted by 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...

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What does God want?

Posted by 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...

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What does God want?

Posted by 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...

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The Challenge of the Cross

Posted by 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...

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Is there an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ back?

Posted by 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...

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Is there an agenda at work behind Pope Francis’ back?

Posted by 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...

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Lenten Fish Fries

Posted by 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...

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You Did What?

Posted by 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....

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You Did What?

Posted by 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....

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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."