Closed doors, hearts cause suffering to innocent migrants, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Like the people of Israel in exile, migrants forced from their homeland due to war and persecution are often left to suffer because of closed hearts and doors, Pope Francis said. “In these cases one may ask, ‘Where is God? How is it that so much suffering can come upon men,…

Open God’s heart with prayer, pope tells Padre Pio Prayer Groups

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying is not like taking an aspirin, something one does just to feel a little better, Pope Francis told thousands of members of Padre Pio Prayer Groups from around the world. Prayer is not a business negotiation with God, either, the pope told more than 60,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s…

San Bernardino bishop urges prayers for unity, healing after shootings

OXNARD, Calif. (CNS) — Arriving in the late morning Dec. 2 at the San Bernardino diocesan pastoral center for his job in the diocese’s Office of Worship, Chris Estrella knew something was very wrong. “I could see a police blockade of Waterman Avenue, which is where the Inland Regional Center is located,” said Estrella, music…

Packed Mass sends message faith can empower community to combat violence

MILWAUKEE (CNS) — Witness to the power of prayer was in evidence as nearly 600 people gathered for a concelebrated Mass for peace at a Milwaukee Catholic church in an area of the city that has been ravaged by violence. Capuchin Father Michael Bertram, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, termed it a “celebration…

Partners in need of prayer

With political unrest and disease taking their toll in Homa Bay and Maracay, central Minnesota Catholics are being asked to pray By Dianne Towalski The Visitor Prayer is a pillar of any global solidarity partnership, and our partners in Maracay, Venezuela and Homa Bay, Kenya need our prayers more than ever. The St. Cloud Mission…

Look to the East for canonical-spiritual balance, synod members say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — By tapping into its Eastern theological and spiritual traditions, the Catholic Church could find an appropriate way to minister to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and others in situations the church considers irregular, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said. “According to the tradition of the Byzantine church, a priest…

Bishop Orowae: family is first seat of evangelization

Vatican Radio – Prayer is a central part of life at the Synod Assembly, and of the work of the Synod Fathers. On Friday morning, at Terce – the Church’s official praise of God at the “third hour” of the morning – Bishop Arnold Orowae of Wabag, Papua New Guinea, delivered the homily. In his…

Can a penny help you pray? Author’s tips ‘make cents’

June 6, 2014, edition By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit How can a penny help someone draw closer to God? For Marion Amberg, the answer is simple. It lies in the four words placed at the top of the front side of the copper coin, directly above President Abe Lincoln’s head: “In God We Trust.”…

About those ‘ruts’ in your life

A Lenten reflection February 28, 2014, edition by Bishop Donald Kettler In the hill country of West Virginia, eventually the blacktop roads run out and they turn into oiled dirt or gravel. Fairly soon even these run out and turn into dirt or mud, deeply rutted and worn by many wheels. At the beginning of…