Pope says God speaks in whispers, so hush a bit

December 20, 2013, edition By Catholic News Service If silence is not one of the sounds associated with Christmas preparations, chances are people will miss an experience of the love and tenderness that is at the heart of the holiday, Pope Francis said. Celebrating Mass Dec. 12 in the chapel of his residence, Pope Francis…

Conveying pope’s character was Time artist’s goal

December 20, 2013, edition By Sam Lucero Catholic News Service Chicago artist Jason Seiler, who created the illustration of Pope Francis for Time magazine’s Person of the Year cover, said his goal was to convey his impression of the pontiff as a genuine, compassionate spiritual leader. “My goal when painting him was to capture this…

Francis talks about Marxism, women cardinals and the joy of Christmas

December 20, 2013, edition By Catholic News Service In another wide-ranging interview with an Italian journalist, Pope Francis: • denied he was a Marxist (as charged by U.S. radio personality Rush Limbaugh) but said he took no offense at the label; • dismissed the notion of women cardinals; • reflected on Christmas as an occasion of joy,…

Mandela statue termed fitting end to mourning period

December 20, 2013, edition By Bronwen Dachs Catholic News Service The unveiling of a statue of Nelson  Mandela in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, was a fitting end to 10 days of mourning for the democracy icon, said Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, a South African priest who served in Mandela’s Cabinet. “There was a feeling of being blessed…

A blessing for the Christ child

Dec. 20, 2013, edition Children in St. Peter’s Square hold up figurines of the baby Jesus as Pope Francis leads the Angelus at the Vatican Dec. 15. Children observed an annual tradition by bringing their Nativity figurines for the pope to bless. CNS Photos

Christians can’t be gloomy . . .

. . . because Jesus always brings joy, Pope Francis says Dec. 20, 2013, edition By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service Sadness is a sign of being far from Christ because Jesus offers everyone the strength to persevere with hope and joy, Pope Francis said. “God is the one who came to save us and…

NCYC — faith on fire

Faith forms bedrock of who Catholic youths say they are Dec. 6, 2013, edition By John Shaughnessy and Natalie Hoefer Catholic News Service At the National Catholic Youth Conference, held Nov. 21-23 in Indianapolis, the St. Cloud Diocese was represented by 169 people — Bishop Donald Kettler, 45 other adults and 123 youth, including a 3-month-old…

In his first apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis lays out his vision

Dec. 6, 2013, edition By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society’s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn. “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy…