Papal letter for 500th anniversary of St. Teresa of Ávila’s birth
Pope Francis has written a letter to Father Xavier Cannistrà, superior general of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, on the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Ávila. “St. Teresa is primarily a teacher of prayer,” Pope Francis wrote. “She was convinced of the value of continuous prayer, even if it was not always perfect. The saint asks us to be steadfast, faithful, even in times of dryness, personal difficulties or urgent needs that call us.”
Varied paths bring thousands into Catholic Church at Easter Vigil
Who was Jesus? Why do we need a pope? How were we made by God? All of these are good questions that anyone considering becoming Catholic might ask. But the questions are even more poignant when they come from a young man who grew up in a place where the government told him that God cannot mutually exist with science, where one who believes in God is considered weak, and where the only media coverage of the Catholic Church is around abuse scandals.
Pope pays tribute to late head of Assyrian Church of the East
“The Christian world has lost an important spiritual leader, a courageous and wise pastor who faithfully served his community in extremely challenging times,” Pope Francis wrote. “His Holiness Mar Dinkha suffered greatly because of the tragic situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and in Syria, resolutely calling attention to the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters and other religious minorities suffering daily persecution.”
History, truth, and politics: Researcher seeks to clear the record on Junipero Serra
California missionary Father Junipero Serra’s canonization is “long overdue,” says a university professor concerned that the priest’s history has been politicized and misrepresented. “When he died, many native peoples came to the mission for his burial. They openly wept. Others of his colleagues and even colonists, believed that he would be made a saint, because of the way he had lived his life, a self-effacing life of a martyr,” said archaeology professor Reuben Mendoza of California State University, Monterrey Bay.
Bishops visit Texas detention center for migrant families
Three Catholic bishops, joined by two Lutheran counterparts, visited a new detention center in Dilley, Texas, designed to house migrant women and children who have entered the United States illegally. “Why do we feel compelled to place in detention such vulnerable individuals, traumatized young mothers with children fleeing persecution in their home countries?” said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio.
St. Peter’s Basilica goes dark for ‘earth hour’
St. Peter’s Basilica went dark for one hour on March 28 in commemoration of “earth hour,” a World Wildlife Fund initiative intended to raise awareness about climate change. The Great Synagogue of Rome and the Mosque of Rome also joined in the initiative.