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This Sunday, live the Passion in your life…

By Tom Hoopes, April 2, 2020 On Passion Sunday, Year A, we get a miniature version of the whole of Holy Week, hearing about the Last Supper, death and crucifixion of Our Lord. We also get a miniature guide to the Christian life. After all Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” First, the Passion shows the logic of sin. As the Gospel opens, Judas says, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” That is the basic form of each of our sins, as we barter to understand what we can get or do that is better than Christ. Peter’s sin comes from his quick embrace of Jesus followed by his hasty denial. He tells Jesus that his faith will never be shaken, that he would die for him rather than deny him, and e...

Priest carries Blessed Sacrament on rooftop of his Paris church…

This is so incredible! 😱 Pastor Msgr. Bruno Lefèvre-Pontalis of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church blessed Paris with the Blessed Sacrament on his church‘s rooftop in France. This social media user posted the beautiful photos on Twitter. Many priests across the world have given special Eucharistic blessings in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the first post below: @AdhucTecumSum, Twitter The first tweet reads, “Priest blessing the city of Paris with the Blessed Sacrament from the roof of Saint Francis Xavier’s church.” Here’s a larger version of the photo: @AdhucTecumSum, Twitter Here’s the second photo: @AdhucTecumSum, Twitter The photos received many positive reactions. Several users said the images are “beautiful”. Other users even referred to the priest as a “superh...

Do not put the Lord to the test: Lessons for the coronavirus pandemic…

By Allison Tobola Low, MD, MA Imagine being in a desert for forty days by yourself. There is no easy access to the comforts of life. You quickly become hungry and thirsty. With no sign of civilization, the loneliness can weigh you down. And the desert is dangerous. Life is unpredictable, and one does not have full control of every situation. Within a few days, there can be a temptation to despair. But in the desert, although the silence could be daunting, if you remind yourself that you are a creature, dependent on God and under his loving providence, you can find peace. This imagery came to mind because, in many ways, this is what life is like during this pandemic. Each day brings new challenges. At times life is chaotic, and other times it is at a complete standstill. There are ever-incr...

As Pittsburgh’s steel mills have closed, so its people have drifted away from the Church…

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The Catholic Church has a chance to help Africa during its pandemic ‘before’…

ROME – As Italy appears to have flattened the curve of its coronavirus pandemic, talk is already in the air about what comes next. Italian papers are full of speculation about a staggered return to normality, as well as who might gain or lose politically once the “forced armistice” of a national quarantine dissolves. More than once in recent days, Pope Francis has made reference to the “dopo” of the pandemic, using the Italian word for “after.” Friday, the pontiff said the aftermath will face serious issues with poverty, unemployment and hunger. Undoubtedly, his recent private meetings with Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte were, in part, intended to open a dialogue about the challenges of recovery. When the pope talks about the dopo, he appears to be thinking in ...

Pope Francis at Palm Sunday Mass in near-empty St. Peter’s Basilica: ‘Let us stand before the crucifix in our homes’…

Vatican City, Apr 5, 2020 / 05:00 am (CNA).- On Palm Sunday, Pope Francis offered Mass in a nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica and urged Catholics quarantined at home to remember “what really matters” in life: loving God and serving others. “The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less; to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others. For life is measured by love,” Pope Francis said April 5 in his Palm Sunday homily. Holy Week liturgies at the Vatican are taking without the presence of the public this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. During the Palm Sunday broadcast, the pope said that Catholics can look to the suffering Christ as an example of a life lived co...

God has a great purpose for this time in the Church and the world. Be certain that He has been preparing you, and He wants to use you…..

Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s country residence, provides both a glimpse inside Churchill’s private life – and into the great man’s mind.  In his study, you expect to find books, newspapers, tumblers, ashtrays, and sterling silver framed photographs – and you do.  You also see a map of the European theater of war, spanning an entire wall of the room.  Churchill was busy mapping out the location of ships, tanks, troops, and defense lines – before he received the call asking him to assume command of British forces. When that call came in, Churchill didn’t have to put down the receiver and bellow down the hall, “Clemmie – have we got a map handy?”  No.  He simply peered over the rim of his spectacles, surveyed the plan, and started giving orders.  Churchill was ...

How to make a DIY face shield out of a 2-liter bottle of pop…

— Ireland for Delta (@DeltaIrelandfor) April 2, 2020

Beauty and the Beast: The second-funnest coronavirus video you’ll see all week…

[embedded content]Little town, everyone’s in lockdown…

Palm Sunday: See what the end shall be…

The Passion, which we read in the liturgy for Palm Sunday, is too long to comment on in detail, so we will only examine a portion of it here. It may be of some value to examine the problems associated with the more moderate range of personalities involved. The usual villains (the Temple leaders, Judas, and the recruited crowd shouting, “Crucify him!”) are unambiguously wicked and display their sinfulness openly. But there are others involved whose struggles and neglectfulness are more subtle, yet no less real. It is in examining these figures that we can learn a great deal about ourselves, who, though we may not openly shout, “Crucify him,” are often not as unambiguously holy and heroic as Jesus’ persecutors are wicked and bold. As we read the Passion we must understand that this is not me...

Les Miserables: The funnest coronavirus video you’ll see all week…

[embedded content]Ben and Danielle Marsh and their four children changed the lyrics of One Day More to reflect common complaints during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Palm supplier sees Palm Sunday business halved by coronavirus cancellations…

Denver, Colo., Apr 3, 2020 / 11:55 pm (CNA).- Thomas Sowell and his wife own Southeast Palm and Foliage in Astor, Florida, in the middle of the state, about 40 miles west of Daytona Beach. “It’s in the middle of nowhere, actually,” Sowell told CNA in January. Sowell isn’t Catholic, but his business supplies palms to hundreds of Catholic parishes across the country— in every state, as well as in Canada— not to mention the many Episcopal, Eastern Orthodox, and Lutheran communities that also use palms. Last year, the Sowells’ farm shipped over four million palm leaves. “There’s not many of us that do this. There’s not many people, not many companies do what we do,” Sowell told CNA. “I know that there have been, over the past, say, 50 years, quite a few other companies embark...