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There are many graces a young Catholic pilgrim might expect to receive from visiting the Holy Land.

In his Jubilee letter, Pope John Paul II stressed that walking in our “travelling companion” Jesus’ footsteps could transform our own spiritual journeys immeasurably. So a pilgrim might hope that Scripture would come alive in the streets or that faith might be affirmed by experiencing the enormous history of the sights.

Published in Youth Speak News

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- At the entrance to St. Saviour Church, Aloysious Leone and women in traditional Indian dress gathered around Trivandrum Archbishop Mari Soosa Pakiam to ask his blessing and kiss his ring.

Leone, 36, a Catholic from southern India, was among about 150 Indian Catholics who braved rain and freezing temperatures to attend a Mass of thanksgiving with church leaders from their country at Jerusalem's St. Saviour Church.

"It is very special to have our cardinals and priests here and be able to attend a Mass with them," he said.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Tension, hostility and even violence are the "daily bread" of many of the Christian communities living in the biblical lands of the Middle East, said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

In a letter to bishops around the world, Cardinal Sandri asked for widespread participation in the annual collection on behalf of Christians in the Holy Land. The Vatican released the cardinal's letter March 1.

Published in International

Life can be like wine. Some years are simply better than others. And 2011 was a wonderful vintage for me.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some bitter tannins at the bottom of the glass at times, but overall the bouquet was exceptional and the taste robust.

It had to be after beginning the year with a remarkable trip to the Holy Land in January, my first time to walk where Jesus walked 2,000 years ago. It began as a business trip and quickly morphed into a spiritual journey.

Published in Robert Brehl