VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy."

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - On International Women's Day, Pope Francis thanked women, "who in thousands of ways, witness to the Gospel and work in the church."

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - The best antidote to violence is teaching people to discover and accept differences as being valuable, Pope Francis told the bishops of North Africa.

Published in International

Why are we so fascinated with any historical artifact — relics, as some call them — associated with Jesus?

Published in Faith

TORONTO - Everyone needs spiritual direction at some point in their life, said Sr. Mechtilde O’Mara.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

VATICAN CITY - Christians are united in bloodshed as they suffer from violence and persecution in various parts of the world, Pope Francis told Christian leaders.

Published in International

ARLINGTON, Va. - When Felicia and Ethan Carr began searching for a high school for their eldest son, they wanted a school with a top-notch college preparatory program.

But the Carrs, who are Baptist, sought something else as well.

Published in International

TORONTO - Over the years, the strongest of Pauline Sisters could manage the huge printing presses and handle the massive rolls of paper — work that men usually did. But these women religious were determined to share the Gospel the way their founder thought best a century ago: The Daughters of St. Paul were made for media.

Published in Canada

A few weeks ago, I attended a special prayer service. Led by two bishops (one anglophone, one francophone), it gathered Church dignitaries to celebrate an anniversary. The service was surprisingly moving: a remarkable result at the commemoration of a Church document not so many of us, even within the Church, have ever heard of. The two bishops, and three other Church leaders, reflected on passages from Ephesians and John.

Published in Mary Marrocco

VATICAN CITY - In every age and in every culture, people seek God just as the Three Kings did and, in every age, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they find him in the surprising humility of a baby born in a manger, Pope Francis said.

Published in Vatican
VATICAN CITY - Religious orders and the Vatican congregation that assists them must be bold in assessing whether current structures and practices help or hinder the proclamation of the Gospel, the pursuit of holiness and the service of the poor, Pope Francis said.

Published in Vatican

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Oct. 26 (Exodus 22:21-27; Psalm 18; 1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10; Matthew 22:34-40) 

Remember who you were and what it felt like to be abused and oppressed. Exodus addressed this admonition and guidance to the Israelites but it is also meant for us. The people of Israel were reminded to remember the bitterness and suffering of slavery in Egypt in all of their dealings with other people. It is a variation on the Golden Rule — if you didn’t like the way you were treated, then don’t treat others in the same manner. 

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Sept. 28 (Ezekiel 18:25-28; Psalm 25; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32) 

No one is responsible for anything — we are all victims. If that sounds strange, that’s because it is — and yet it is one of the attitudes present in our culture. If we get in a scrape, the blame lies elsewhere — society, upbringing, personality disorders and genetics — but not with us. Even God is sometimes blamed, or accused of being unfair. God’s job is to give us a smooth, easy, and happy life and to respond to our demands. 

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

Sometimes everything can seem right on the surface while, deep down, nothing is right at all. We see this, for example, in the famous parable in the Gospels about the Prodigal Son and his older brother. By every outward appearance the older brother is doing everything right: He’s perfectly obedient to his father, is at home and is doing everything his father asks of him. And, unlike his younger brother, he’s not wasting his father’s property on prostitutes and partying. He seems a model of generosity and morality. 

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

ROME - In the immaculate conception of Mary, Christians recognize the

Published in Vatican