Unburdened in the New Year

By Mary Hasson
Catholic News Agency

“Burdened.” Not a word typically linked with the first few days of the new year. More likely we think about a fresh start, firm resolutions or even diets. Why begin the year talking about our burdens?

The Magnificat, my handy prayer companion day in and day out, brought me these words on this first evening of the New Year: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves” (Matt.11:28-29).

Read more...

USCCB at 100: Bishops’ conference arose out of national crisis a century ago

By Russell Shaw
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops arose out of a national crisis a century ago, when the United States entered World War I.

In responding to this historic event, the Catholic Church sought how to best serve both its own people and the larger national community at a time of great need, and today the needs of the church and the common good at large continue to guide the USCCB and those who work for it.

Read more...

Meet the woman who helped revive Catholic art after the Reformation

By Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency

ROME, Italy – Baroque Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi is hailed as a “feminist icon” based on her portrayal of the female “hero,” who through violence enacts symbolic revenge against men, and her supposed defiance of Counter-Reformation taboos.

But, the artist should actually be remembered for the significant role she played in supporting the Catholic revival of art in the wake of the Protestant Reformation as well as for her depiction of the core Christian struggle between virtue and vice, Vatican art historian Elizabeth Lev said.

Read more...

No dispensation for this year's Christmas Mass on Monday

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Although Christmas this year is the day after the fourth Sunday of Advent, Catholics looking to count a Sunday evening Mass Dec. 24 for both that Sunday obligation and Monday's Christmas Mass obligation will have to think again.

The U.S. bishops already saw this coming at the beginning of the year and said Catholics should attend separate Masses for the two days.

Read more...

Pope's New Year priorities: Refugees, youths, trips, more Curia reform

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Foreign trips, a focus on the rights and needs of migrants and refugees and a Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people all are on the 2018 calendar for Pope Francis.

His activities and the passions that drive them are familiar by now. In fact, March 13 will mark the fifth anniversary of his election as pope, succeeding retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Read more...

Nativity scene, Christmas tree are signs of God's compassion

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – A Nativity scene and Christmas tree, like those displayed in Saint Peter's Square, are visible reminders of God's benevolence and closeness to all men and women, Pope Francis said.
 
The traditional Christmas displays are "the signs of the heavenly Father's compassion, of his participation and closeness to humanity who experience not being abandoned in dark times, but instead visited and accompanied in their difficulties," the pope said.

Read more...

Oklahoma priest installed as Bishop of Tucson

“Let the friendship begin”
 
By Michael Brown
Catholic News Service

TUCSON – Using his installation Mass homily to launch his episcopacy as the seventh Bishop of Tucson, Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger laid out as a blueprint for ministry the day's Gospel reading about Jesus' call to the disciples as friends, not slaves.
 
"Let us be in friendship with all, for surely that is the way love grows, the kingdom is built and the great Diocese of Tucson will step into its next age. Brothers and sisters, let the friendship begin," the bishop said.

Read more...

Celebrating the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Feast day Dec. 31

By Ted King
The Sooner Catholic

“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger” (Luke 2:15-16).

While the secular world of merchants and of the media is in “holiday overdrive,” many Catholic parishes are decorated only with an Advent wreath.

Read more...

Homeless women's ministry in Norman changing lives

By Sally Linhart
The Sooner Catholic

One of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy found in Jesus’ teachings includes taking care of the homeless. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City heeded the call and discovered a need for social services in the Norman area.

They began outreach in low-income neighborhoods and discovered that many women who were homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, were not going to shelters because the shelters were co-ed.

Read more...

Center of Family Love Christmas wish list

This Christmas Season, the Center of Family Love needs support.
 
Founded in 1981, by members of the Oklahoma Knights of Columbus, the Center of Family Love is a 24-hour care facility that serves intellectually and physically disabled adults age 18 and older. The center provides specialized residential care with innovative educational approaches along with skilled vocational programs in Okarche, Kingfisher and El Reno.

Read more...