Vatican offers further guidance on handling cremains

The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has upheld a rule mandating that the ashes of the deceased be preserved in a consecrated place, but it also said family members could request "a minimal part of the ashes" be kept in a sacred place "of significance for the history of the deceased person."

God's Word on Sunday: On our tough road, God is with us

Second Sunday of Advent  (Year B) Dec. 10 (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8 )

What would “comfort” and “good tidings” sound like in 2023? To whom would they be directed? To be at all meaningful, the message cannot be only for believers and churchgoers. Although originally given to the people of Israel in Babylonian exile, our own times call for a more universal application.

Pope Francis, Council of Cardinals discussed the role of women in the church

With the input of two women and a priest, Pope Francis and members of his international Council of Cardinals discussed the role of women in the Catholic Church.

God's Word on Sunday: The divine will show when we’re ready

1st Sunday of Advent  (Year B) Dec. 3 (Isaiah 63:16b-17; 6:4-1, 3-8; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37 

Many people have shared the feelings of frustration, helplessness and deep longing that Isaiah expressed with such poignancy. He lived in a very precarious and insecure world, one that was wracked with violence and rife with corruption. The glory of his nation was a distant memory that was rapidly fading. The people of Israel had just returned from 50 years of exile in Babylon to a devastated Judea and Jerusalem. The temple was in ruins, and the feeble attempts to rebuild it had fallen flat. It was a shadow of its former self. Many of the people lacked the enthusiasm and commitment necessary to restore the nation.

At Christmas, we prepare for something good

A young woman, Suzette, became used to inventing explanations for being late for school. She was ashamed to tell the real reason: frequently, she had to take a detour, because she thought she’d glimpsed a certain type of vehicle and was afraid to see or be seen by the occupant. Just the idea of seeing a certain person who had harmed her, and who drove such a vehicle, made her so anxious she had to change her daily course. 

Pope Francis planning to withdraw Cardinal Burke's Vatican salary, sources say

Pope Francis told the prefects of Vatican dicasteries that he saw no reason for the Vatican to continue giving U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke a monthly salary and questioned why the Vatican should be providing him with a free apartment in Rome, various sources have confirmed.

For health reasons, Pope Francis cancels COP28 trip

"With great regret," Pope Francis has accepted his doctors' advice to not travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 1-3 and is looking at alternative ways the Vatican can participate in the U.N. Climate Change Conference, the director of the Vatican press office said.

Pope Francis leads Angelus from his residence because of illness

Explaining that he had a "problem with inflammation of my lungs," Pope Francis led the recitation of the Angelus prayer from the chapel of his residence rather than from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square.

God's Word on Sunday: We will be judged by what we have not done

Christ the King  (Year A) Nov. 26 (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46) 

As the old saying goes, “If you want the job to be done properly, do it yourself!” In the reading from Ezekiel, God seems to have reached that conclusion.

Pope Francis sees threat of church in Germany moving away from Rome

Pope Francis expressed his concern about concrete initiatives individual dioceses and the Catholic Church in Germany as a whole are taking, including the establishment of a synodal council, which, he said, threaten to steer it away from the universal church.

Embracing the silence in hospital ministry

When visitors think of hospitals, they think of all the noise, the machines and movement: patients going for tests and those coming back from tests. The visitors also think of the conversations in the hallways and in the patients’ rooms. In fact, I usually provide spiritual care to the sick and their family members through my conversation with them to explore how to serve them. Yet, in the midst of these activities, there are also moments of silence.