The Visitor Christmas Poster Contest 2015

Time for young people to think about the theme: “In this Year of Mercy, this Christmas I will …” STUDENTS IN GRADES 1-12 ELIGIBLE; DEADLINE IS DEC. 7 Pope Francis has proclaimed a Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8 — a time in which Catholics of all ages are asked to promote healing, forgiveness and helping others….

Christmas in the Amazon

As remote Peruvian town changes, so do Christmas celebrations SANTA RITA DE CASTILLA, Peru (CNS) — It took all morning to build Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. To the right of the altar in the simple but airy wooden chapel in this steamy Amazonian town, two men draped blue plastic over a frame and filled it…

Jesus’ message resonates with Palestinians who seek justice, Abbas says

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Jesus’ message of love and peace resonates among Palestinians seeking justice, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his Christmas message. Abbas also noted that the prayers for the people in the Gaza Strip and for Palestinian efforts to achieve unity between Hamas and his own Fatah party have not yet succeeded. The…

Navy officer serving in Djibouti pays family surprise Christmas visit

ABERDEEN, Md. (CNS) — An unexpected gift from overseas weighing several hundred pounds arrived a week before Christmas for a Maryland family. Minutes into an impromptu Christmas party in the St. Joan of Arc parish hall in Aberdeen Dec. 18, the father of St. Joan of Arc School third-grader Mia Benitez and Maddox, a kindergartner,…

Christmas kiss

 Jan. 3, 2014, edition CNS photo by Paul Haring Pope Francis kisses a figurine of the baby Jesus after celebrating Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

The gift of gratitude

In 2014, I want to be a woman of thanks Dec. 20, 2013, edition By Rita Meyer I’ve read some good books lately. If you’d like to fully embrace where you are in life right now — not when the kids are through with school or when you retire or when you get a different…

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…

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,…

It’s time to start looking into the faces of the poor

Too often I avoid even looking at those who are less fortunate than me. You too? December 20, 2013, edition By Joe Towalski Just about every day on my way to work, I encounter the face of the poor. It’s usually a different face each time at the top of the interstate exit ramp or…