Catholic Men Stand Upon the Solid Rock of Faith

By Steve Gust
For the Sooner Catholic

NORMAN — Lent got off to a good start Feb. 16 for about 700 men attending the 17th annual In the Father’s Footsteps Catholic Men’s Conference.
Held at the Embassy Suites, this year’s event, titled “Upon this Rock,” once again gave men the opportunity to grow in their faith and become better fathers, sons and Catholics.
It was a day of fellowship, learning and having fun as nationally ac-claimed speakers imparted wisdom to men gathered from parishes across the state.
Father Richard Fragomeni, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., gave the keynote address after a blessing by St. Eugene’s pastor, Father Joe Jacobi.
Father Fragomeni said true spiritual growth and enrichment comes when people yielded to God and His will.

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About Faith and Football...

Ikard — Character and Faith are Everything

By Steve Gust
For the Sooner Catholic

NORMAN — It was a young man’s luncheon at the In the Father’s Footsteps Catholic Men’s Conference with two special guest speakers, Gabe Ikard and Blake Bell.
Ikard and Bell are both Catholic and football players for the University of Oklahoma. Ikard, a Bishop McGuinness graduate, is an All American offensive lineman, while Bell has earned fame over the past two seasons as the “Belldozer,” the Sooners very successful short yardage quarterback.

 

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Pope’s Legacy One of Linking Education With Love For God

By Carl Bunderson
Catholic News Agency/EWTN

DENVER — Pope Benedict XVI  has left a lasting mark on Catholic  education by showing how reason and knowledge can lead to an essential love of God, reflected scholars at leading Catholic universities.
“This is the chief idea of Pope Benedict about higher education: It isn’t our job just to provide information about God, but that the Catholic university should be a place where God is in our midst,” John Garvey, president of Catholic University of America, told CNA.

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Pope Saw Jews, Muslims as Allies in Defending Belief in God

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In trying to help people understand how belief in God is a natural part of life and  provides grounding for the values that protect human dignity and peaceful coexistence, Pope Benedict XVI saw Jews and Muslims as natural allies.
But in the almost eight years of his pontificate, his relations with the Jewish and Muslim communities were marked by alternating tensions and new initiatives.

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Pope Says Lent is a ‘Spiritual Battle’

By Estefania Aguirre
Catholic News Agency/EWTN

Vatican City — Pope Benedict XVI used his second to last Angelus to tell thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that Lent is a “spiritual battle.”
Lent, he said, “always involves a  battle, a spiritual battle, because the spirit of evil naturally opposes our sanctification and seeks to divert us from the way of God.”
Pope Benedict has just days left as head of the Catholic Church until his almost unprecedented resignation takes effect Feb. 28.

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Pope — Media Helped Spread Vatican II Misinterpretations

By Estefania Aguirre
Catholic News Agency/EWTN

Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) — Pope Benedict XVI said that many of the misinterpretations of the Second Vatican Council were caused by the media promoting its own version.
“The world interpreted the council through the eyes of the media instead of seeing the true council of the fathers and their key vision of faith,” said Pope Benedict at Paul VI Hall Feb. 14.
“Fifty years later, the strength of the real council has been revealed, and it is our task for the Year of Faith to bring the real Second Vatican Council to life,” he told the priests gathered to meet him.
Pope Benedict spoke with the priests of the Rome Diocese in an unscripted speech on the Second Vatican Council, which he first attended as a special adviser to Cardinal Frings of Cologne and later on as a theological expert.

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Business As Usual — Almost

Some Vatican Offices and Positions Suspended Until New Pontiff Reconfirms Them, But Work Goes On

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Benedict XVI officially leaves office at 8 p.m. Feb. 28, most of the top-level Vatican officials lose their jobs, but that does not mean the majority of Vatican employees get a vacation.

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Conclave May Occur Earlier Than Expected

Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) — The Vatican’s spokesman announced that the coming conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor might be convened in shorter order than previously thought.
“It is possible that church authorities can prepare a  proposal to be taken up by the cardinals on the first day after the papal vacancy,” Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi told the press on Feb. 16.
Church law currently prescribes that from the moment a pope dies or renounces the pontificate, “the Cardinal electors who are present must wait fifteen full days for those who are absent.”
In Blessed John Paul II’s 1996 document, the Apostolic Constitution titled “Universi Dominici Gregis,” cardinals are decreed to commence the voting process behind closed doors no sooner than 15 days, but no later than 20 into the “sede vacante” period.

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Pope Benedict XVI Only Third Pontiff, First in 600 Years, to Resign

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (CNA) — Pope Benedict has used his pontificate to advance the New Evangelization and to speak to the modern world, said the president of a leading Catholic publication.
“During his eight-year pontificate, he used the Chair of Peter as a pulpit from which to address the challenges and the hopes of modern society,” said Greg Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor.
“His three encyclicals ... all spoke  to his concerns and revealed both  a solicitude for modern men and women in the midst of immense cultural transformation and an unshakable faith that our hope remained always and essentially in Christ.”

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The Legacy of Benedict XVI

By George Weigel

At his election in 2005, some thought of him as a papal place-keeper: a man who would keep the Chair of Peter warm for a few years until a younger papal candidate emerged. In many other ways, and most recently by his remarkably self-effacing decision to abdicate, Joseph Ratzinger proved himself a man of surprises. What did he accomplish, and what was left un-done, over a pontificate of almost eight years?
He secured the authoritative interpretation of Vatican II  that had been begun (with his collaboration) by his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II. Vatican II,  the Council in which the Church came to understand herself

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