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Archive for October, 2013

father sichkoFather Jim Sichko will be signing advanced copies of his new book Among Friends: Stories from the Journey on Monday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Brown Estate in Orange.

Among Friends is a compilation of short stories and insightful lessons Father Sichko experienced on his various travels as a clergyman and motivational speaker, including getting kicked out of seminary and hosting celebrities, such as Dolly Parton, Harry Connick Jr., Martin Short, Bill Cosby and former First Lady Laura Bush.  (more…)

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All Souls’ Day prays for the departed

Every year the church sets aside a special day to pray for the souls of the faithful departed. All Souls’ Day is also known as the Feast of All Souls’ or the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed.

According to the catechism the holiday is based on the belief that if the souls of the departed have not been cleansed of venial sins or their exposure to mortal sins they will reside in purgatory and cannot attain beatific vision in heaven. They are helped to attain it by prayer and Mass.

The celebration of All Souls’ Day takes place on Nov. 2 following All Saints’ Day which honors the departed who have attained beatific vision. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

cns-logoAUSTIN, Texas (CNS) — A federal judge voided one section of Texas’ new abortion law that was scheduled to take effect Oct. 29.

Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court in Austin ruled Oct. 28 that the admitting-privileges provision of the new law was unconstitutional.

The law required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Yeakel decided otherwise, saying it would unreasonably limit a woman’s access to abortion. The provision, he said in his ruling, “is without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

cns-logoMOBILE, Ala. (CNS) — The Eternal Word Television Network, joined by the state of Alabama, has filed another lawsuit challenging the federal mandate requiring most employers to provide coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge.

The suit was filed Oct. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile. (more…)

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By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

cns-logoVATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Catholic wedding is not simply a beautiful ceremony; through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from God the grace they will need to fulfill their mission in the world, Pope Francis said.

Addressing an estimated 100,000 people who came St. Peter’s Square Oct. 26 for a Year of Faith celebration of family life, Pope Francis said Catholic spouses are not naive; they know difficult moments will come.

But vowing to love one another in sickness and health, joy and sorrow all the days of their lives, Catholic couples put their lives in the hands of God and rely on him for strength.

“They do not run away; they do not hide; they do not shirk the mission of forming a family and bringing children into the world,” the pope said. (more…)

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By Tom Tracy Catholic News Service

Deacon Juan Carlos Pagan, a program coordinator in Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Lafayette, La., leads the music at an Oct. 19 session during an encuentro in St. Augustine, Fla. About 150 Hispanic ministry leaders attended the Oct 17-20 event, re presenting 16 dioceses and 17 nationalities from throughout the Southeast. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)

Deacon Juan Carlos Pagan, a program coordinator in Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Lafayette, La., leads the music at an Oct. 19 session during an encuentro in St. Augustine, Fla. About 150 Hispanic ministry leaders attended the Oct 17-20 event, re presenting 16 dioceses and 17 nationalities from throughout the Southeast. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (CNS) — Pope Francis’ call for mission and the church’s emphasis on the new evangelization always has been in “our inner language,” Father Raphael Capo said about leaders of Hispanic ministry.

“Maybe now as we work together in this context of cultural diversity in the church, it becomes ever more important,” said the Piarist priest, who heads the Miami-based Southeast Pastoral Institute, or SEPI.

Father Capo was among about 150 participants representing 16 dioceses and 17 nationalities from throughout the Southeast who gathered in St. Augustine Oct. 17-20 for a regional encounter.

The leaders in Hispanic ministry came together to share their pastoral and communications strategies — including many social media and Internet-based tools — and to take up the challenge to help step up the pace and effectiveness of Hispanic church leadership across the country.

The regional encounter, or encuentro, marked the 35th anniversary of the institute, known in Spanish as Instituto Pastoral del Sureste. The event also was a precursor to the fifth national encuentro to take place in 2016.

Father Capo told The Florida Catholic, Miami’s archdiocesan newspaper, that the institute is “excited to begin new partnerships and programs for evangelization and faith formation.” During the regional encuentro, the institute launched a new online Spanish-language formation program with the University of Notre Dame.

“The pilot program has proven to be very well accepted by our communities,” he added.

The priest and a number of other leaders shared their comments on the state of Hispanic ministry in the church today in interviews.

Deacon Juan Carlos Pagan, a program coordinator in Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Lafayette, La., echoed some of Father Capo’s remarks.

“The new evangelization may seem new in the American setting, but this is old news for SEPI and the way that SEPI works,” he said. “When I was a kid, it was instilled in us that you get out and look for people — it is not enough only to be welcoming.” (more…)

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By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

A nun runs in a 100-meter relay race on the main road leading to St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 20. The Year of Faith event drew several hundred people, including Olympics champs, disabled people and children. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A nun runs in a 100-meter relay race on the main road leading to St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 20. The Year of Faith event drew several hundred people, including Olympics champs, disabled people and children. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Seminarians, Vatican guards, Olympic champs, regular children and people with disabilities all took part in a morning “Race of Faith” to highlight how the church can help foster a world of sport that better respects human dignity.

Organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture, a 100-meter, three-lane tartan track was temporarily laid down along the main boulevard leading right to the edge of St. Peter’s Square.

A few hundred people showed up early morning Oct. 20 for a three-hour program featuring relay races and testimonies of faith. It was part of the council’s promotion of the Year of Faith.

Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca Alameda, head of the council’s “Culture and Sport” section, said the council wanted to relay race not just because of St. Paul’s frequent analogies of the faith life being like a race, but because passing a baton onto others is also “just like passing on the faith from person to person.”

After reciting the Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis greeted the race participants and asked them to remember that “the believer is an athlete of the spirit.” (more…)

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