Mary Marrocco: We’ll find strength in letting go the ‘littleness’

One of many arresting moments in J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterfully gripping The Lord of the Rings involves Merry, one of Frodo’s three hobbit friends who accompany him on his journey to destroy the ring of power. Merry finds himself at the centre of a great battle, with one of the Nazgul (dread servants of the Enemy) bearing down on the King whom Merry has sworn to serve. When the King is struck down, with horror all around him, Merry starts to crawl away. Something inside calls him to return — but “his will would not answer” and he keeps fleeing in the other direction.

    Pope Francis names six women to Council for Economy

    VATICAN CITY -- Renewing the membership of the Vatican Council for the Economy, Pope Francis named six women to the previously all-male board that oversees the financial operations of all Vatican offices and entities.

      Vatican says baptisms that used a modified formula are not valid

      VATICAN CITY -- Changing the words of the formula for baptism render the sacrament invalid, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

        Benedict XVI 'extremely frail', says author

        VATICAN CITY -- An author with a long and close relationship to retired Pope Benedict XVI told a German newspaper that the 93-year-old retired pope is "extremely frail."

          God's Word on Sunday: True silence is filled with possibilities

          19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 9 (Year A) 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalm 85; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23

          God is certainly capable of great deeds of power. This is most evident in the Exodus account of the Old Testament. But there is another side of God — God’s preferred side — that is quiet, gentle and often disguised to the point of invisibility.

            China hacked computers of Vatican, other church entities

            China has been accused of hacking Vatican computers as well as those in the Diocese of Hong Kong and other Catholic organizations in May.

              Beatification of Father McGivney to take place Oct. 31

              HARTFORD, Conn. -- Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, will be beatified during a special Mass Oct. 31 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.

                Justice, dignity not just 'privilege of the rich,' Vatican official says

                VATICAN CITY -- Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a Vatican representative said the protection of rights and human dignity is not exclusive to the wealthy but also to the most vulnerable, especially victims of human trafficking.

                  New priest says deep prayer helped him sort out life, led to his vocation

                  MEMPHIS, Tenn. -When Father Joseph Hastings, 33, was growing up, he had dreams like most young boys. He wanted to be a basketball player. He thought about being an actor.
                  He came from a devout Catholic family that spent family time together in adoration and distributing food at the Missionaries of Charity shelter in North Memphis.

                    God's Word on Sunday: We do not earn what God gives us

                    18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 2, Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21

                    What is the catch? Whenever we hear that something is “free,” our suspicions kick in. There must be some hidden angle — nothing is free, we will have to pay in some way.

                      Vatican foreign minister: Religious freedom must be protected

                      MANCHESTER, England -- The Catholic Church has failed to defend Christians effectively, partly because it historically accepted persecution as part of its "community story," a Vatican official said.