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Archive for November, 2013

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here are a few of the main features of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), which was released Nov. 26 at the Vatican:

— With a mix of conversational style and formal papal magisterial language, Pope Francis sets forth a vision for giving the entire church, at every level, a missionary thrust; he anticipates some objections and confusion, but asks everyone to give it a try.

— He calls for renewal and rethinking the way every person and every institution — from the pope and the Roman Curia down to the parish and its parishioners — live their faith and focus their energies.

— The pope recognizes the church must be realistic about the challenges individuals and the world pose to belief today, but — as a Jesuit — he encourages an Ignatian reading of the situation, looking for the people, places and trends where God is present. The practice should lead to greater consolation, joy and courage in sharing the Gospel.

— Pope Francis sees the Christian life as being based on knowing and experiencing God’s love, mercy and salvation offered to all through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Evangelization programs and catechesis must be designed to help people return to that basic knowledge and experience and help them understand church teaching in light of God having revealing himself as loving and merciful.

— He apologetically spends a long section of the document talking about the importance of homilies as the one opportunity each week most priests have to encourage Catholics to live the faith. He provides detailed suggestions on reading the biblical texts for the Mass, writing the homily and delivering it.

— The pope recognizes that some church teachings and positions on modern issues are confusing to many people, especially outside the church. He affirms church teaching that women cannot be priests since Jesus chose only men as his apostles, but he also says women must be involved more in church decision making. He also insists that the defense of the life of the unborn flows from the conviction that every life is sacred, and is a position that will not change.

— Pope Francis says that the heart of the Christian moral message is love for one another, which must motivate Christians to share the Gospel, help the poor and work for social justice.

— He warns of “spiritual worldliness” which leads apparently good Catholics to be concerned almost exclusively with power or appearances or judging others rather than recognizing their own sin and reaching out to others with the same mercy God offers them.

— The pope highlights Mary not only as a model of faith and fidelity, but as a strong woman and mother who shared many of the joys and sorrows facing people today and, therefore, understands the challenges they face.

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300 pounds of giving

300 pounds of giving

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The fifth grade class at St. Anne Catholic School, Beaumont, got into the spirit of giving Nov. 25 as they helped their local community with the sweet potatoes they grew in The Giving Field.

The students harvested more than 300 pounds of sweet potatoes which were loaded into a truck bound for Some Other Place and will go on to feed the needy this Thanksgiving.

Now that the sweet potatoes are harvested the area they were occupying will be used for a new crop.

The Giving Field is still growing with new plots, new organizations pitching in and a new education center which will open Dec. 5 with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m.

For more information on how to volunteer or start your own plot at The Giving Field contact Sharon Begnaud at (409) 201-8702.

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2013 NCYC Day 3

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2013 NCYC Day 2

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193Evening keynote speaker Jackie Francois was met with a standing ovation by the teens from the Diocese of Beaumont.

Francois opened her presentation with the uplifting proclamation that, “we are made for love.” Francois said, “Every single person on this earth was made in the image and likeness of God. We are made in the in the image and likeness of the Trinity. We are made in the image and likeness of love. If anyone asks you why you are here, say love.” (more…)

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2013 NCYC Day 1

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Jeffery, St. Charles, Nederland, said, “When they were pouring the water in the fountain, I saw it as a pouring of self into it all flowing into each other. My sister came last time, and she told me how much fun it was, so it was a hands down yes when I got the chance to go this year. I hope I get to whatever I can spiritually.” (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Nov. 19 to allow Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions.

The justices ruled to leave in place a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. (more…)

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By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating a Year of Faith Mass honoring life in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this June 17 file photo. Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, have used the Year of Faith to explain basic church t eachings and encourage people to practice their faith more seriously. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating a Year of Faith Mass honoring life in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in this June 17 file photo. Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, have used the Year of Faith to explain basic church t eachings and encourage people to practice their faith more seriously. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican will publish Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation Nov. 26, two days after he formally delivers it to the church at a Mass concluding the 2012-13 Year of Faith.

The Vatican announced Nov. 18 that “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) will be presented at a news conference featuring Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization; Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; and Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Apostolic exhortations, one of the most authoritative forms of papal writing, are often based on deliberations of synods of bishops. “Evangelii Gaudium” is expected to take into account the October 2012 synod on the new evangelization, held at the beginning of the Year of Faith. (more…)

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