Mexican bishops announce security protocols for priests, religious

By David Agren
Catholic News Service

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Mexico's bishops have published security protocols, hoping to keep priests and religious safe -- along with church property and shrines -- as crime and violence increasingly impacts churchmen and consumes previously peaceful corners of the country.

"The protocol is in response to what's happened the last two years, the increase in murders, not only of priests, (but) there's also a surge in this pain that is impacting our country," Auxiliary Bishop Alfonso Miranda Guardiola of Monterrey, the Mexican bishops' conference secretary-general, told reporters June 19.


Celebrating 125 years of Catholic faith in the Oklahoma Panhandle

Diane Clay and Sally Linhart
The Sooner Catholic

BOISE CITY – Almost one hundred and twenty-five years after Bishop Theophile Meerschaert traveled 1,600 miles on rail and buggy to bless a small chapel in the windswept Oklahoma Panhandle, Archbishop Paul Coakley made the trip to celebrate the faith, family and dedication of parishioners at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Boise City.

Nearly 200 parishioners and community members gathered on a Sunday morning in the small chapel adorned with blue ribbons and American flags to remember those who came before to build this mission church in Cimarron County.


New priest formed by family in Vietnam, Oklahoma

By Zachary Boazman
The Sooner Catholic

“The first time I thought about being a priest, in 2011,” Deacon Vic Luong remembered, “it made me sacred because I knew that it was hard to follow Jesus Christ.”

Now, almost eight years after first considering priesthood, Vuong “Vic” Son Luong will be ordained a priest on June 30 at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City.


One Church, Many Disciples aims to strengthen parishes

In “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis said “the parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities, the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers.”

Local parishes are where most Catholics encounter Christ on a regular basis, through the Mass or other sacraments. All should be well-equipped to enable members to more fully embrace the call to missionary discipleship.


The good news of Humanae Vitae

By Alexander Schimpf
Director of Marriage and Family Life Ministry

In what feels like some sort of enormous “ecclesiastical book club,” Catholics of wildly different backgrounds have been spending this year reading, pondering and discussing the significance of Blessed Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical letter “Humanae Vitae.”

Often, the discussion has focused on what might be called the “bad news” of the encyclical: the pope’s unnervingly accurate predictions of the ills that would befall society should artificial birth control become widely accepted. As he foresaw, such “grave consequences” would include widespread divorce, a loss of respect for women and a general lowering of morality.


A prayer journey for the modern world

Retreat In Daily Life Q&A

Thousands of Oklahomans have discovered the life-changing prayer and discernment of the Retreat in Daily Life, but many people of faith remain unaware of the opportunity. Below are some of the frequent questions about the prayer journey and information to sign up for the next retreat this fall.


“Listen to what God is saying”

By Steve Gust
The Sooner Catholic

Mary Diane Steltenkamp, the priests’ nurse for the archdiocese, urged members and guests of the Oklahoma City Council of Catholic Women to follow a saintly road similar to one travelled by Blessed Stanley Rother.

Her address, "Becoming Saints," was part of CCW's Spring Fling held June 2 at Saint Eugene in Oklahoma City. The CCW also used the event to honored three middle school winners. They were recognized for essays describing what they admired most about Blessed Stanley.


Convent welcomes visitors to the Holy Land

By Charles Albert
The Sooner Catholic

Many travelers think that visiting the places where Jesus was born, lived and died would take weeks and cost thousands of dollars. The Rosary Sisters Convent offers a convenient and inexpensive housing near the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The convent offers daily Mass and the gates to the complex close at 10 p.m., so it may not fit those tourists looking for Jerusalem nightlife. Room rates range from $130-$150 per night USD and include breakfast each day.


Making Sense of Bioethics: Consenting to sex

By Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Recent news articles exploring the post-#MeToo world of romance have noted the phenomenon of cell phone “consent apps,” allowing millennials to sign digital contracts before they have sex with their peers; sometimes strangers they have just met. Many of these apps are being refined to include a panic button that can be pressed at any time to withdraw any consent given. Lawyers reviewing the practice, as might be anticipated, have urged caution, noting that consent apps are not able to provide definitive proof of consent, because feelings may “change throughout an evening, and even in the moments before an act.”


Living a mission-driven life

The sacraments at the service of communion

By Pedro A. Moreno, O.P.
Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis

Our lives as loving disciples, faithfully following and growing in our intimacy with Christ and willing to share him with others, begins with the Sacraments of Christian Initiation. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist open our hearts and lives to a special closeness with Christ and his passionate love.

This sacramental initiation to a life of discipleship also is the first response we give God to His call to each one of us to lead holy and mission driven lives. Holiness is to passionately live the love of Christ. Mission driven lives share with others this passionate love and life of Christ.