St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Going All Inn

Atchison, Kansas,      February 27, 2014

Paradoxically, to be “inn” one must go out. I learned that from Pope Francis’ General Audience this week.  The Holy Father, continuing his teachings on the sacraments, spoke about Anointing of the Sick.  He compares this sacrament to the parable of the Good Samaritan, drawing several interesting parallels.

Obviously, the Good Samaritan takes care of the man who had been beaten. He pours wine and oil in his wounds.  “Oil makes us think of that which is blessed every year by the Bishop in the Chrism Mass of Holy Thursday, precisely in view of the Anointing of the Sick. The wine, instead, is the sign of the love and grace of Christ that gushes forth from the gift of his life for us and is expressed in all its richness in the sacramental life of the Church.”

Then he spoke about the innkeeper. I have to admit I have never paid attention to this character in the parable. I did not know I was the innkeeper. …

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Abortion: A History of Coercion and Destruction

Rome,      February 27, 2014

As G. Santayana famously put it, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The new slogan that accuses those who advocate for a Culture of Life, including the Church, as waging a “war on women” shows the complete ignorance of those who are chanting it.

Abortion is essentially a way for men to control women. It is tragic that those who advocate for it seem to not understand their history. If anything, history has proven that those who sanction abortion are truly the ones at war with women.

Consider the ancient Roman attitudes towards women. …

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Pope Francis: Inconsistent Christians Cause Scandal

Vatican City,      February 27, 2014

“Christians that are not consistent are giving scandal.” These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Mass today at Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Father also administered the Sacrament of Confirmation during the Mass.

A person who receives the Sacrament, he said, manifests a desire to be a Christian. In order to be Christian, one must bear witness to Jesus.

“A Christian is a person who thinks like a Christian, feels like a Christian and acts like a Christian. And this is consistency in the life of a Christian,” he said. However, the Holy Father noted if one of those aspects is missing, then “there’s a certain inconsistency.” Those who are inconsistent are the ones that do harm. …

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Pope Francis: Christ Himself Comforts Us in Anointing of the Sick

Vatican City,      February 26, 2014

Pope Francis called on the faithful today to refrain from considering calling a priest for the Anointing of the Sick as a bad omen, and rather to see it as a moment to receive the strength of Christ. The Holy Father said this as he continued his catechetical series on the Sacraments during his Wednesday General Audience. …

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Pope Francis: Reject Worldly Mentality, Be Purified Inwardly by Christ

Vatican City,      February 24, 2014

Pope Francis celebrated his first ordinary public consistory on Saturday, during which he created nineteen new cardinals and cautioned them against adopting a “worldly mentality.”

The celebration was also attended by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Pope Francis embraced upon entering the basilica and who was also greeted by secretary of State Pietro Parolin in his address.

The Pope began his allocution with the phrase from the Gospel of St. Mark, read on this occasion: “And Jesus went before them”.

He stressed that Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology, but rather a ‘way’, a journey to be undertaken with him. “We learn the way as we go, by walking,” he said. “Yes, dear brothers, this is our joy: to walk with Jesus. But this is not easy, or comfortable, because the way that Jesus chooses is the way of the Cross.” …