Fathers Schwarz, Kolb savor sixty years of priesthood

By Judy Hilovsky

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of four articles profiling the jubilarians of the archdiocese, those priests who are celebrating their 25th, 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of ordination to the priesthood. This article highlights the ministries of Father Elmer Schwarz and Father Joe Kolb, both ordained May 23, 1953. Both celebrate 60 years of priesthood this year.

Read more...

Pope to canonize Blessed John XXIII, John Paul II April 27

By Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Recognizing that Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II have widespread reputations for holiness and that years of studying their lives and actions have proven their exceptional virtue, Pope Francis announced he would declare his two predecessors saints at a single ceremony April 27.

Read more...

Pope and advisory council discuss synod reform on first day

By Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future.

Read more...

Pope calls for less "Vatican-centric," more socially conscious church

By Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In his latest wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis said that he aimed to make the Catholic Church less "Vatican-centric" and closer to the "people of God," as well as more socially conscious and open to modern culture.

He also revealed that he briefly considered turning down the papacy in the moments following his election last March, and identified the "most urgent problem" the church should address today as youth unemployment and the abandonment of elderly people.

Read more...

Respect Life Sunday calls for open hearts to resist the “culture of death”

By Brianna Osborne

On Oct. 6, Catholics around the nation will celebrate Respect Life Sunday as part of Respect Life Month, beginning “a year-long educational and prayer campaign in support of life.” This year’s theme is “Open your hearts to life,” inspired by the words of Pope Francis. In a Sept. 27 press release, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, encouraged the faithful to show care for the unborn and the elderly.

“Only a tender, compassionate love that seeks to serve those most in need, whatever the personal cost, is strong enough to overcome a culture of death and to build a civilization of love,” said Cardinal O’Malley.

Read more...

Catechetical Congress inspires Oklahoma catechists

By Brianna Osborne

Keynote speaker ValLimar Jansen prompted thought and drew laughs from an energy-infused audience at the Sept. 21 Catechetical Congress at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church.

Read more...

Christian initiation rite ushers interested individuals into four stages of formation

By Sarah Cooper

Annually at the beautiful Holy Saturday Mass, churches are lit by candlelight and numerous individuals are welcomed into the Catholic Church.  Before this can happen, potential Catholics are encouraged to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. 

Throughout the year, RCIA programs are forming at local parishes. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith is welcome to attend weekly classes, taught by clergy and guest speakers. Participants are then able to discern if they are willing to commit their life to the Catholic faith.

Read more...

Mary Smith named 2013 Religious Educator of the Year

Over the past 10 years, the Catholic Foundation has recognized outstanding educators in the archdiocese as an extension of its focus on education.  The Foundation has awarded the 2013 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley Religious Educator of the Year Award to Mary Smith, the junior and senior high religious education teacher at Saint Monica Church in Edmond. Smith has been a catechist for the past 20 years at Saint Monica’s and before that at Saint John the Baptist, also in Edmond. She received her advanced catechist certification in 1986. 

Read more...

Frances Savely named 2013 Catholic School Educator of the Year

At the recent Teacher’s Fall Institute held at Epiphany of the Lord Church in Oklahoma City, the Catholic Foundation awarded its 2013 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley Catholic School Educator of the Year Award to Frances Savely. Frances is a second grade teacher at Saint Eugene Catholic School in Oklahoma City. She has spent the past 27 years involved in the parish and school at Saint Eugene and has taught second grade for the last 19 years.

Read more...

Father Stanley Rother Hispanic Cultural Institute launches fall semester

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

The Father Stanley Rother Hispanic Cultural Institute began its sixth year of classes on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Saint Joseph in Norman.  Named for the Okarche native who gave his life in service of the people of Guatemala, the Institute shares Hispanic culture and the Spanish language with attendees. 

Read more...