CRS Rice Bowl touches lives near and far

By Father Bill Vos For The Visitor Local goes global Anyone involved in fundraising for global causes has gotten this response: “But what about those who are hungry here? Shouldn’t we take care of our own first?” The best reply from a Christian perspective is simply to say, “How about both?!” Our Catholic view of…

CRS Rice Bowl recipe #1: Colombia — with video

CRS Rice Bowl changes lives around the world Catholic Relief Services This Lent millions of Catholics around the United States will place a colorful cardboard box and calendar in their homes to begin a spiritual journey that changes lives around the world. They will be participating in the 41st year of CRS Rice Bowl, a…

Lent – Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 – A journey toward change

By Daniel S. Mulhall Catholic News Service There are three days within the church’s liturgical year that are guaranteed to bring people to a church service. The first two are Christmas and Easter. They are the two most important feasts in Christianity, marking, as they do, the birth and resurrection of Jesus. The third day…

Snow hampers travel but not spirit for St. Cloud seminarian

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor St. Cloud seminarian Mark Botzet was amid the crowds of people affected by the winter storm following the March for Life Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C. He and 16 seminarians from St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul were snowed in at a hotel in Silver Spring, Maryland,…

Priests find comfort that in studying the universe, they come closer to God

TUCSON, Ariz. (CNS) — For a long time, Father Timothy Martinez felt alone. Not so much in his priesthood and his responsibilities as pastor of Risen Savior Parish in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but because of his passion for astronomy and his concern about the media-driven divide between religion and science. He wondered how the two…

Pope: Patch up family feuds, forgive, let go of painful past

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Let the Year of Mercy be the time to end all family feuds, to forgive each other and let bygones be bygones, Pope Francis said. “I think about so many brothers and sisters who are estranged from their families; they don’t speak to each other,” he said during his weekly general…

Iowa priest goes viral for celebrating Mass for snow-bound group

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) — Father Patrick Behm of Le Mars confessed to being overwhelmed by all the attention. “I’m just happy being a simple priest,” he insisted. That “simple priest” went viral on social media for celebrating Mass Jan. 23 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Father Behm was returning with others from the Diocese of…

Pro-life pilgrims stuck on highway in snow find fellowship, blessings

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — Catholic youths from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were among those stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike overnight on the way home from the annual March for Life in Washington. And they had stories to tell that include attending an impromptu roadside Mass complete with a snow altar. “Each…

Pope tells Iran’s president he has ‘high hopes’ for peace

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Vatican, Pope Francis told him he had high hopes for peace. And while Pope Francis usually asks those he meets for their prayers, the Shiite cleric pre-empted the pope’s request and said, “I ask you to pray for me.” President Rouhani, who was…

Papal envoy opens eucharistic congress by declaring war on poverty

CEBU, Philippines (CNS) — The 51st International Eucharistic Congress kicked off with Pope Francis’ representative, Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, declaring war on poverty. “The Eucharist calls for … a third world war against poverty,” said Cardinal Bo, “a third world war against the cruelty of dogs getting fed with sumptuous, organic food, while…