Afghanistan: Pope Francis launches appeal for fasting, prayers for God's mercy

VATICAN CITY -- With increased violence unfolding in Afghanistan, Pope Francis appealed to all Christians to fast and intensify their prayers.

God's Word on Sunday: In God there is only light, love and joy

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 5 (Year B) Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalm 146; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

“Be strong, do not fear. Here is your God.” For whom were these words intended? For the contemporaries of Isaiah to be sure, but also for every human being on this planet.

God's Word on Sunday: Community needs a spiritual centre

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 29 (Year B) Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalm 15; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

The teaching of Deuteronomy left no wiggle room at all.

Pope Francis prays for peace in Afghanistan as Taliban takes control

VATICAN CITY -- Hours before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, Pope Francis expressed his hope for the peace and safety of the country's citizens.

God's Word on Sunday: Being faithful requires daily commitment

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 22 (Year B) Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17,18b; Psalm 34; Ephesians 4:32-5:1-2, 21-32; John 6:53, 60-69

Each day, billions of people on this planet make choices. Some of them are quite mundane — what to have for dinner or what to wear. For far too many, these are not choices — it is a matter of having something, anything, to eat or wear.

Police investigating source of letter containing bullets addressed to "the pope"

ROME -- Italian police have launched an investigation after postal workers discovered an envelope containing three bullets and addressed to "the pope."

God's Word on Sunday: Battle continues to overcome darkness

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aug. 15 (Year B) Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a; 10ab; Psalm 45; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26; Luke 1:39-56

Revelation is the most puzzling and enigmatic book in the entire Bible.

Vatican releases rules for online learning for ecclesiastical universities

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education encouraged pontifical universities to expand educational opportunities to those who would normally be unable to attend classes in-person full time, but could manage coursework online, such as prisoners, migrants, the homeless, monks, contemplative nuns and even busy bishops.

God's Word on Sunday: God is source of strength and sustenance

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 8 (Year B) 1Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34; Ephesians 4:30-5:2; John 6:41-51

Elijah could not take another step — he was finished. At that point, all he wanted was a swift and painless death. There are many who reach that point in their lives. They are overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged, and just want an end to their suffering. But this is usually where God steps in — that is, if we are open to God’s intervention.

Mary Marrocco: Dealing with guilt and shame

What makes it so difficult to overcome conflicts? Between a couple or family, groups or nations, often we just can’t sort things out and move on.

A cinematic love letter to the Church's ‘First Lady’

“We’re about to hear the story of a woman — an accompanying witness whose story begins with a prophecy and ends with victory. A woman whose story can be reflected in other people, helping us to see our story in her story.”