An usher uses a collection basket during Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral in Newark, N.J., March 1, 2017. Together with "the often bitter medicine of the truth," the church, as mother and teacher, offers people "the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting," Pope Francis said in his message for Lent, which begins Feb. 14 for Latin-rite Catholics. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Lent is time to become aware of false prophets, cold hearts, pope says

Posted by - February 11, 2018

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholics should use the season of Lent to look for signs and symptoms of being under the spell of false prophets and of living with cold, selfish and hateful hearts, Pope Francis said. Together with “the often bitter medicine of the truth,” the church — as mother and teacher — offers

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Pope Francis celebrates Mass with consecrated women and men marking the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 2. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Pope to religious: Your hearts must be open 24-7

Posted by - February 11, 2018

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Lift up your eyes from your smartphones and see your brothers and sisters, those who share your journey of faith and those who are longing for the Word of life, Pope Francis told consecrated men and women. “Today’s frantic pace leads us to close many doors to encounter, often for fear

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Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, president of the German bishops' conference, celebrates Mass in 2017 during the opening of the annual meeting of Germany's bishops at the cathedral in Cologne. (CNS photo/Sascha Steinbach, EPA)

German cardinal urges pastoral care, but not ‘blessing’ of gay couples

Posted by - February 11, 2018

ROME (CNS) — The president of the German bishops’ conference urged priests to provide better pastoral care to Catholics who are homosexual, but he said, “I think that would not be right” when asked if he could imagine the Catholic Church blessing gay couples. The German bishops’ conference released an English translation Feb. 7 of

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Park Jong-ah of the Korean unified women's ice hockey team celebrates after scoring a goal during a friendly match against Sweden Feb. 4 in Incheon, South Korea. The presence of a unified delegation and team for North and South Korea at this year's Olympic Games gives people hope for a world dedicated to peace through dialogue and respect, Pope Francis said. (CNS photo/Yonhap, EPA)

Pope says unified Korean team at Olympics offers hope for peace

Posted by - February 11, 2018

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The presence of a unified delegation and team for North and South Korea at this year’s Olympic Games gives people hope for a world dedicated to peace through dialogue and respect, Pope Francis said. At the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican Feb. 7, the pope offered his

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Dr. Catherine Crosland, director of homeless outreach development for Unity Health Care Inc., holds up a flu vaccine container before she gives a homeless woman a flu shot Feb. 1 at Catholic Charities' Adam's Place homeless shelter in Washington. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

Major flu outbreak prompts dioceses to implement prevention protocols

Posted by - February 11, 2018

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The nationwide flu outbreak has prompted dioceses to take steps to suspend traditional rituals to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible. From encouraging a simple nod or a smile during the sign of peace to draining holy water fonts, the actions come as the flu sweeps through virtually

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In this 2016 file photo, staff and volunteers organize food July 14 in the basement of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York's community center in the South Bronx. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Vincentians urge using the voice of the poor in making policy arguments

Posted by - February 11, 2018

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Meeting needs has long been the signature of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Now, the Vincentians are looking to add their signature to eliminating the reasons behind those needs. During a Feb. 3 lunch session for the society prior to the formal opening of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in

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Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square Feb. 4 at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Pope supports pro-life movement, sets day of prayer for peace in Africa

Posted by - February 11, 2018

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With so many direct attacks on human life, from abortion to war, Pope Francis said he is worried that so few people are involved in pro-life activities. Reciting the Angelus prayer at the Vatican Feb. 4, Pope Francis marked Italy’s Pro-Life Sunday and also called for a day of prayer and

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Pope Francis keeps his hands inside his jacket on a cold day as he leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Jan. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Readings at Mass offer God’s ‘real-time’ help, pope says

Posted by - February 4, 2018

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Listening to the Scripture readings at Mass is hearing God speak directly to his people, offering spiritual sustenance and needed guidance for life’s difficult journey, Pope Francis said. For that reason, the prescribed texts should never be skipped or substituted during the Mass, lectors should read clearly and people should always

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The Ignatian Solidarity Network, a coalition of Jesuit schools and universities, is encouraging those in the network and beyond to celebrate Valentine's Day Feb. 14 by sending cards to lawmakers asking them and others to "Love your neighbor" and to send "migrants welcome" Valentine's Day messages Feb. 11-18. (CNS illustration/Ignatian Solidarity Network)

Ignatian network to mark Valentine’s Day with a focus on migrants

Posted by - February 4, 2018

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A coalition of Jesuit schools and universities is encouraging those in their network and beyond to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year by sending cards to lawmakers, asking them and others to “love your neighbor” and send “migrants welcome” Valentine’s Day messages from Feb. 11-18. “On Valentine’s Day, show your love to your

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