New Poverty USA and PobrezaUSA Websites Help Catholics Encounter, Learn and Act to Address Poverty

WASHINGTON—Catholics can encounter, learn and act to address poverty in the United States through two new websites from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

PovertyUSA.org and its Spanish mirror site, PobrezaUSA.org, were launched Jan. 31, the last day of Poverty Awareness Month (January). The mobile-friendly sites offer tools and resources to help Catholics put faith in action by working to address poverty. Resources include an interactive map with state and county level poverty statistics, learning activities about poverty, prayer materials, and multimedia. The sites also feature stories of hope about how communities are working to address poverty locally, and an interactive map to find community organizations funded by the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

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Annual Catholic Appeal 2018

Working together, the people of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City initiate and strengthen numerous ministries throughout central and western Oklahoma. Whether archdiocesan or parish-based, these efforts are an important part of our shared call to discipleship. The Annual Catholic Appeal is our chance to better understand the work of the Church in our area and to give generously to support this work, so God’s light may shine brightly through us.

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Mardi Gras to Pancake Day: Fat Tuesday has religious roots

By Eliana Tedrow
The Sooner Catholic

Mark Twain once said, “an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” But, while some use Mardi Gras as an opportunity to overindulge, this misrepresentation can overshadow the deep spiritual roots of this Catholic holiday.

Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. Fat Tuesday was a day marked by eating richer, fattier foods.

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Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City names new chancellor

By Diane Clay
The Sooner Catholic

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has announced the hiring of former Saint Gregory’s University president Michael Scaperlanda as the diocese’s new chancellor. Scaperlanda begins Feb. 5.

Scaperlanda fills a position held by Justin Byrne who successfully updated the office before leaving for other career opportunities. Prior to Byrne, Loutitia Denison Eason served as chancellor for more than 13 years.

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Bringing the Church to the spiritually curious

By Charles Albert
The Sooner Catholic

By spreading the word about the Saint Paul Street Evangelization program, Randy Grasso seeks to “listen, befriend, proclaim and invite” people to draw closer to Christ and his Church.

Grasso recently spoke about “10 Great Ways to Be an Evangelist” to parishioners and community members at Blessed Sacrament in Lawton.

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Alert prompts Hawaii bishop to give general absolution to deacon group

By Patrick Downes
Catholic News Service

HONOLULU – Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva gave general absolution to about 45 people in a deacon formation program in response to the alert of an imminent ballistic missile attack that put Hawaii in a state of panic shortly after 8 a.m. Jan. 13.
 
It was the first time he had ever performed the rite. The absolution of sins given to a group of people at one time is allowed only in grave circumstances such as situations of great danger or imminent death or for soldiers going into battle when private confessions are logistically impossible.

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CFO college scholarship applications being accepted

The Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma is accepting applications for college scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year. All forms and required information must be submitted to the foundation office no later than Tuesday, April 3.

Due to Holy Week, pastor recommendation forms are due by Friday, March 16. Obtain an application from a pastor or director of religious education, or download online at www.cfook.org.

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Contagious Faith: How’s your conversion going?

By Carole Brown
Director of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship

On Jan. 25, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. His is the only “personal” conversion that has a place on the liturgical calendar. It is all the more interesting then, that it was on this feast day in 1959 that our now sainted Pope John XXIII decided to announce his plans for the Second Vatican Council. Was this merely incidental, or could it have been by design?

As the council itself recedes further into history, few people remain who remember the years of the council – either the exhilaration of the council itself or the stormy path that lay ahead.

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The greatest communicator and his greatest revelation

God can’t stop communicating with us!

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

True loving communication brings people closer to each other and is life-giving. Especially when what is being communicated is good news. Honest communication of unadulterated truth is an act of goodness that brings lovers of truth closer together, even though the news itself might not be good and might even bring us to tears. 

The first dictionary definition of communication states: “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behavior.”

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Book Review: A glimpse of grace

By J.E. Helm
The Sooner Catholic

For something like 17 years, Saint Monica prayed for the conversion of her son, Augustine. Unfortunately, she kept no diary, and no other type of written record exists for us of her thoughts and prayers for the then unbaptized son who would eventually become Saint Augustine of Hippo, a revered theologian and doctor of the Catholic Church.

What we do have now is the diary of a woman who prayed for her atheist husband and recorded her thoughts in two journals and several other written works that span the years 1899 to her death in 1914.

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