Pope Francis on Monday spoke of a series of events and situations that shed shadows on our lives and lead us to ask difficult questions.

Published in Reflections

Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year C) March 20 (Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 2:14-23:56)

How do we make sense of catastrophe and disaster? We usually look for explanations and causes, or more often than not, someone to blame. 

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

VATICAN CITY - Christmas is a reminder that through the birth of Christ, hope and peace are possible and that only through his grace can humanity find peaceful solutions to the world's most difficult problems, Pope Francis said.

Published in Christmas

BEIRUT - Catholic patriarchs from the Middle East encouraged their trouble people to find inner peace at Christmas and urged the world to remember them.

Published in International

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Oct. 18 (Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 33; Hebrews 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45)

Suffering is bad; it is to be feared and avoided at all costs. This is the heartfelt attitude of most people. Even though this is understandable, it is incomplete. To be sure, needless suffering should be alleviated or avoided. Masochistic self-indulgence has no place in a healthy spirituality. But there is a sort of suffering that has value, and that is suffering borne freely and willingly for the sake of others.

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

VATICAN CITY - The deep hurts that spouses inflict on each other cause great suffering to their children and, in some cases, lead to a separation that is "morally necessary" to protect spouses and children from more serious forms of violence, Pope Francis said during his general audience in St. Peter's Square June 24.

Published in Faith

LOS ANGELES - After the California Senate voted to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez called it the wrong response to a "public health crisis."

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will open a homeless shelter on the edge of Vatican City, the latest move by the pontiff to help poor people in Rome.

Published in Vatican

WASHINGTON - The sad realities of Syria's civil war permeate the paintings of Essa Neima, a 34-year-old Syrian national.

At a recent exhibit, his oil on acrylic works ranged from depictions of damaged church and mosque mosaics, to a broken icon of Mary and a refugee woman forced into servitude by the need to survive.

Published in Arts News

Third Sunday of Easter (Year B) April 19 (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 2:1-5; Luke 24:35-48)

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

The biblical accounts of Jesus’ passion and death focus very much on His trial, describing it in length and in detail.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

This year on Palm Sunday, we listen attentively to Mark’s Passion story of Jesus’ final days and hours on Earth — a story of striking contrasts. In Mark’s jarring story, we witness the anguish of Jesus who has been totally abandoned by friends and disciples. He is resigned to His fate. He makes no response to Judas when he betrays Him, nor to Pilate during His interrogation. In Mark, Pilate makes no effort to save Him, as the Roman procurator does in the other three Gospels.

Published in Guest Faith Columns

Several years ago, Mel Gibson produced and directed a movie which enjoyed a spectacular popularity. Entitled The Passion of the Christ, the movie depicts Jesus’ paschal journey from the Garden of Gethsemane to His death on Golgotha, but with a very heavy emphasis on his physical suffering. The movie shows in graphic detail what someone who was being crucified might have had to endure in terms of being physically beaten, tortured and humiliated.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year B) March 29 (Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1-15:47)

Receiving instruction directly from God is not a ticket to an easy or conflict-free life. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah is a case in point. This Servant was most likely an unknown prophetic figure in the community of Israelite exiles in mid-sixth century B.C. Babylon. He must have been an exceptional individual, since he was the source of comfort and encouragement for so many.

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

OTTAWA - Margaret Somerville has called on Parliamentarians to "have a backbone" in dealing with euthanasia in Canada.

Published in Canada