Mary Marrocco: A story of true joy amid the anguish

During a shared reflection on a scriptural text one evening, a young man asked about joy. Was something wrong with him because he rarely experienced joy? Was he being punished for his mental suffering? What is joy, and do we even have any right to feel it when there is so much suffering?

Pope Francis, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken meet at Vatican

VATICAN CITY -- Climate change, migration and geopolitical hot spots were on the agenda as Pope Francis met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken June 28.

Healing Christian divisions can give hope to the world, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- Even as the formal Catholic-Orthodox dialogue continues to deal with divisive theological issues, members of both churches should work together more closely on issues where they share a common point of view, Pope Francis said.

God's Word on Sunday: There are no shortcuts on divine path

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) July 4 (Ezekiel 2:3-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6)

A nation of rebels and transgressors, filled with the impudent and stubborn! That is quite a sweeping indictment and does not leave much room for hope. But that is the message that Ezekiel had been missioned to proclaim to his own nation and people.

No power higher — AA without God?

For many struggling with addiction, 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which traditionally centres on the relationship to a higher power, have been an effective path to recovery.

Cardinal keeps limits on private Masses in St. Peter's, allows exceptions

VATICAN CITY -- Reaffirming the principles that led the Vatican to severely limit private celebrations of Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the early morning, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, the new archpriest of the basilica, said exceptions would be made for "groups with particular and legitimate needs."

God's Word on Sunday: Do not fear God, but believe in Him

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) June 27 (Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43)

Death was not part of God’s plan, and God takes no delight in it. We need to hear that repeatedly, for fearsome and negative images of God have taken their toll over the centuries. God is the God of the living and the giver of life itself.

Secretariat begins discussing new synod process with bishops

VATICAN CITY -- After issuing revised guidelines for preparing for the next world Synod of Bishops, leaders of the synod's general secretariat held online meetings with the presidents and general secretaries of national and regional bishops' conferences.

Selfish, materialistic lifestyles help fuel poverty, Pope Francis says in message

VATICAN CITY -- Poverty is the result of people's selfishness; it is not "fate" or the fault of the poor, Pope Francis said.

God's Word on Sunday: Looking for answers to our suffering

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 20 (Year B) Job 38:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 107; 2 Corinthains 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

So much of our anguish stems from our limited vision and understanding. Facing the challenges of life, we make agonized attempts to figure things out.

God's Word on Sunday: Faith, trust open us to higher power

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 13 (Year B) Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

What do trees, leaves and sprigs have to do with anything? The prophets often spoke in enigmas and symbols, and Ezekiel was no exception. God was often portrayed as a gardener or vineyard keeper in Scripture and the garden or vineyard often symbolized the people of God — Israel. The message of Ezekiel, both for his own time and ours, is that God is in charge.