Monthly Archives: December 2013

Everything you need to ring out 2013, usher in 2014 with Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY — As 2013 comes to a close, people can follow today’s traditional evening prayer service with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica. The celebration of Vespers, which begins at 5 p.m. Rome time (11 a.m. EST),  will end … Continue reading

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If kids were Magi, they’d bring blankets

The kids in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis.,  are pretty practical. In an essay contest sponsored by the diocesan newspaper, The Compass,  students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade overwhelmingly said they would have taken blankets to baby Jesus if … Continue reading

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Pope’s homily: Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness

VATICAN CITY — Here is the Vatican’s English translation of the prepared text of the homily of Pope Francis for Christmas night Mass Dec. 24: 1. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1). This … Continue reading

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Shy Italian monk from Assisi has become recording sensation

If you haven’t heard of 35-year-old tenor Franciscan Friar Alessandro Brustenghi, from Assisi, Italy, you should check out his story here. He is the only friar in the world to land a major record deal (Decca Records/Universal Music Classics). His … Continue reading

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Hippin to the hoppin: An exclusive CNS ‘interview’ with @hiphopAugustine

VATICAN CITY — The St. Augustine we all know was a fifth century theologian hangin’ in Hippo, famous for his writin, playin’ hard, then makin it right agin. Today there’s a new dogg in the ‘hood, mixin God’s wisdom with … Continue reading

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A sneak peek at the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s Nativity scene will be unveiled tomorrow evening, but Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples and the artists who created the scene gave a sneak preview to journalists today. Well, we were able to see most of … Continue reading

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An engagement the engaged won’t want to miss

VATICAN CITY — Attention engaged couples: if you have already completed or are still attending marriage preparation courses, would you like to spend St. Valentine’s Day at an audience with Pope Francis? The Pontifical Council for the Family is sponsoring … Continue reading

Posted in CNS, Vatican | 3 Comments

Chanting a Christmas countdown

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis gave a plug for the “O Antiphons” in his homily today, urging people to recite these beautiful expressions of longing for the coming of the Messiah. He said these prayers get people in the right … Continue reading

Posted in CNS, music, Vatican | 1 Comment

Banana bark provides raw material for greeting cards crafted in Haiti

In the hands of Haitians, dried pieces of banana bark form the words “Hope,” “Love,” “Joy,” “Peace” and “Noel” for Christmas and all-occasion cards. The card-making is a project of Food for the Poor’s banana bark program. Each year the … Continue reading

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Notes on peace and justice

Witness Against Torture returns to Washington Members of Witness Against Torture will return to Washington Jan 6-13 for a weeklong liquids-only fast in their effort to push President Barack Obama to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where … Continue reading

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