Chicago Cardinal Francis George, the 'American Ratzinger,' dies - 4/20/2015

During an era under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, when Catholicism was trying to swim against an increasingly secular tide in the Western world, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was the American prelate trusted by those two popes, almost above all others, to spearhead that project in the United States.

George, who stepped down in November 2014, died at 10:45 a.m. Friday at his residence in Chicago of a cancer that originated in his bladder but spread to other parts of his body, rendering treatment ineffective. He was 78.

He had been on home care since April 3 after being hospitalized for hydration and pain management issues, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Widely acknowledged as the most intellectually gifted senior US prelate of his generation, . . . more

    New San Diego bishop: Don't remove Junipero Serra from US Capitol - 4/20/2015

San Diego, Calif., Apr 20, 2015 / 10:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Robert McElroy, the new head of the San Diego diocese, has criticized a proposal to remove the statue of pioneering California missionary and soon-to-be saint Father Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol.

Bishop McElroy told journalists on Wednesday that Fr. Serra is a “foundational figure” of California history. He noted that Fr. Serra is one of the few Hispanics honored in the U.S. Capitol and represents a state “rapidly becoming majority Hispanic,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The U.S. Capitol building houses two statues from each state, depicting renowned figures from the state’s history. On April 13, the California Senate voted 22-10 to remove Fr. Serra’s statue and replace it with a statue of Sally . . . more

    Pope Francis to honor Jinipero Serra at American seminary in Rome - 4/20/2015

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2015 / 10:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Since Pope Francis won’t make it to California for the canonization of its great evangelizer, he will join a celebration at Rome’s American seminary to honor the soon-to-be saint and encourage devotion to him.

The Pope will be the guest of honor at a May 2 day of prayer and reflection on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra, set to be held at the Pontifical North American College, according to the program sent out with invitations to the event.

Francis will be joined by seminarians attending the college, as well as the American cardinals currently residing in Rome.

Among them are Cardinals Raymond Leo Burke, James Michael Harvey, James Francis Stafford and Edwin Frederick O'Brien.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet will . . . more


A new study offers insight into the potential impact of vocational programs, Catholic schools and encouragement in discerning.

U.S. Catholics are being encouraged to get to know local religious communities, as a new study offers insight into the potential impact of vocational programs, Catholic schools and encouragement in discerning.

“I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to visit local religious communities in their own area during the Day of Religious Open Houses, Sunday, Feb. 8,” Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C., said Jan. 26.

Bishop Burbidge, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, stressed the importance for youth and young adults to have “greater exposure and familiarity with the . . . more


Pontiff urges policy-makers to support larger families

Large families benefit society by offering a “model for solidarity and sharing”, the Pope has said.

Addressing an estimated 7,000 members of the Italian National Association of Large Families at the Paul VI Audience Hall, Francis said: “In a world often marked by selfishness, the large family is a model for solidarity and sharing, and this attitude then becomes a benefit for the whole society.”

He continued: “The presence of large families is a hope for society. And for this reason, the presence of grandparents is very important: a precious presence for both practical help and above all, educational support.

“Grandparents preserve in themselves the values of a people, of a family, and help parents to transmit . . . more

    Pope says he will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra in Washington - 1/19/2015

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Pope Francis said his September trip to the U.S. will take him to Philadelphia, New York and Washington -- where he intends to canonize Blessed Junipero Serra -- but probably no other stops.

Pope Francis made his remarks Jan. 19, in an hourlong news conference with reporters accompanying him back to Rome from a weeklong trip to Asia.

Four days after announcing he would canonize Blessed Junipero in the U.S. in September, the pope said he wished he could do so in California, the 18th-century Franciscan's mission field, but would not have time to travel there.

The pope said he planned instead to perform the canonization ceremony at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, saying Washington . . . more

    Pray for the forgotten, ''Pope exhorts on Feast of All Souls - 11/4/2014

Vatican City, Nov 2, 2014 / 09:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address delivered for the Feast of All Souls, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for forgotten souls, as well as Christians who have died for their faith and in the service of others over the past year.
“We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians,” he said, and the many “who have sacrificed their lives to serve others.”
Addressing the crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square on Nov. 2 beneath an Autumn sun, the Holy Father also stressed the importance of praying for victims of war and violence, and for the “many 'little ones' crushed by hunger and misery.”
Praying for the departed is part of the tradition of the Church, Pope Francis said, especially through the Eucharistic . . . more


VATICAN CITY (CNS) Sept. 24 - As fleeting as soap bubbles, showy as peacocks and shallow as an over-primped star, conceited Christians are building their lives on lies and their faith on shifting sands, Pope Francis said.

Everyone is vulnerable to vanity, even Christians, the pope said in a morning homily Sept. 25.
However, boastfulness ''is a very serious spiritual disease'' for Christians because it distances them from the truth. Christians are called to ''be authentic with the truth of reality and of the Gospel,'' he said in remarks reported by Vatican Radio. Read more at
. . . more


WASHINGTON Sept. 22 - U.S. bishops affirmed that prayer is powerful, peace is possible and that support for a two-state solution is an essential dimension of pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace in a September 22 communique, following a Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land. Eighteen U.S. bishops made the September 11-18 journey to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“There is no military solution to the conflict, but tragically violence on both sides undermines the trust needed to achieve peace. Violence always sows seeds of further violence and fear,” the bishops wrote in their communiqué.

Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, led the delegation. . . . more


September 18, 2014 WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 2-8. This observance, sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.

Pope Francis, in his November 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, underlined the continued need to build a culture of vocations. “The fraternal life and fervor of the community can awaken in the young a desire to consecrate themselves completely to God and to preaching of the Gospel. This is particularly true if such a living community prays insistently for vocations and courageously proposes to its young people the . . . more


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Presiding over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated marriage as the union of a man and woman playing complementary roles during their common journey through life.

''This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man,'' the pope said Sept. 14. ''Here we see the reciprocity of differences.''

. . . more


LUSAKA, Zambia (CNS) -- Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu told Catholic nuns from eastern and central Africa they deserve a commendation for doing a difficult and challenging job for the marginalized.

Archbishop Mpundu, president of the Zambian bishops' conference, celebrated Mass Aug. 19 for delegates to the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa, meeting in the Zambian capital.

''You can imagine a church without women religious, it wouldn't be there. You are found where not even a bishop can be,'' he told them. ''You die on your feet. When a sister goes to bed or is sick, she must be really sick.''

He said bishops were at times called to quell disagreements that arose between parishioners and nuns, but he described such things as issues that happen . . . more

    The Story of Father McGivney, extraordinary priest - 6/30/2014

Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson discusses the new book on Fr. Michael McGivney in Rome, June 26, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Rome, Italy, Jun 28, 2014 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A new Italian edition of a book about the life of Father Michael McGivney tells the story of his extraordinary life as a parish priest, the inspiration that led him to found the Knights of Columbus, and the chronicle of his ongoing canonization process.

“In reading this book, it will be clear that Father McGivney isn't only a model for American priests, but for all priests as well,” Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, stressed at a June 25 presentation in Rome.

The Italian edition of “Parish Priest,” by Douglas Brinkley and Julie M. Fenster, has been . . . more

    Hispanic Catholic priests help build bridges, convention leader says - 6/17/2014

Texas, Jun 17, 2014 / 04:02 pm (CNA).- A national gathering of Hispanic Catholic priests in Houston aims to build community and affirm their role as “bridges” between the Hispanic and non-Hispanic faithful, one leading priest has said.

“We are the bridges between both communities,” Father Andres Mendoza, president of the National Convention of Hispanic Priests, told CNA June 16.

He said the upcoming national convention aims to help priests to understand that they are priests “not only for the Hispanic community, but also for the Anglo community.”

The National Convention of Hispanic Priests of the U.S.A. will hold its 25th national gathering at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Houston Sept. 29-Oct. 2.
. . . more

    Six New Priests are Ordained at the Cathedral of St. Paul on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 5/31/2014

The local Church celebrated six new priests May 31 as Archbishop John Nienstedt ordained the men at the Cathedral of St. Paul on the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“Like the Virgin Mary, you are called not only to be a Christ bearer to others,” the archbishop said, “but you, like her, are to do it with great joy, rooted in your love for Jesus Christ and his love for you.”

Archbishop Nienstedt cited Pope Francis’ homily from Holy Thursday in which he spoke of the joys of priesthood, and encouraged the young priests (all of whom are younger than 30) to make a copy and reflect on the pontiff’s words often.

Father Michael Barsness described his ordination as “surreal, but very beautiful.”

“I was in awe of God’s delight in me, in his people and the . . . more


Pope Francis thanks religious for their presence in Holy Land

May 26 JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Francis dedicated his final hours in Jerusalem to time with local Catholics, reminding them that despite difficulties, God is always by their side.

''He never abandons us. And so, let us not be overwhelmed by fear or disheartened, but with courage and confidence let us press forward in our journey and in our mission,'' he told priests, men and women religious and seminarians in the Church of All Nations at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Supporting their vocations, he told them their presence in the Holy Land was very important, and the church was grateful to them.

In the church, at the site of Jesus' passion in the Garden of Gethsemane, the pope asked the religious to . . . more

    Pope to Newly Ordained: Always Be Merciful - 5/11/2014

Vatican City, May 11, 2014 / 06:38 am (CNA).- In his homily at an ordination Mass this morning, Pope Francis urged those becoming priests to follow Christ’s example of mercy in the sacrament of Confession.

“Never grow tired of being merciful! Please! You have the capacity to forgive as did the Lord, who did not come to condemn, but to forgive! Have mercy, a lot!” he urged the 13 men being ordained to the priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica on May 11.

“If you come to have concerns about being too much of a ‘forgiver,’ think of that saintly priest...who went before the tabernacle and said, ‘Lord, forgive me if I have forgiven too much. But you have given me the worst example!’”

As Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis ordained 13 men to the priesthood, 11 from the diocesan seminary . . . more

    Pope to Secular Institutes: You Are Revolutionary! - 5/10/2014

Pope Francis has told the men and women of Italy’s Secular Institutes that their establishment was a revolutionary and courageous act that revealed how his predecessor Pius XII knew how to read the signs of the times.

Handing his prepared text to the 200 consecrated lay men and women present, the Pope preferred to speak to them from the heart. He began by describing Pius XII’ apostolic constitution Provida Mater Ecclesia as an act of courage that the Church of the time needed. It institutionalized the reality of communities of lay consecrated men and women, and since then – the Pope said – “you have done great good for the Church, with great courage because we need courage to live in this world”.

“Many of you – he noted – life alone or in community, you come and go. You . . . more

    Canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II - 4/27/2014


St. Peter's Square
Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday), 27 April 2014

At the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter and which Saint John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus.

He had already shown those wounds when he first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the day of the resurrection. But, as we have heard, Thomas was not there that evening, and when the others told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied that unless he himself saw and touched those wounds, he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared once more to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. Thomas was also present; Jesus turned to him and told . . . more


By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- On the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal church and Jesus' earthly father, Pope Francis urged all dads in the world to stick by their children's side, teaching them, guiding them and loving them.

''I ask that you have the grace to be very close to your children, letting them grow, but being by their side. They need you, your presence, to be there, your love!'' the pope told fathers present in St. Peter's Square.

Despite a massive citywide transport strike in Rome, more than 80,000 people made their way to the square for the pope's weekly audience March 19.

The pope dedicated his catechesis to the role and example of St. Joseph. March 19 also marks the celebration of Father's Day in Italy, . . . more

    Vatican expects 20,000 couples for Valentine's Day audience - 2/14/2014

The Vatican is expecting 20,000 couples from 28 different countries for a special audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on Valentines Day. According to Zenith news service, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, said the large number of couples attending were unforeseeable only three weeks ago. At the audience, several couples will share their personal stories, and the Holy Father will engage in a dialogue with three selected couples. . . . more

    Put your faith first, Olympian encourages young Catholics - 2/13/2014

Olympic cross-country skier Rebecca Dussault recently spoke to a large crowd of young adults in Denver, exhorting them to put their Catholic faith above everything else in life.

“Be Catholic first and anything that flows from that is a rich bonus,” she said in Feb. 10 talk given at Katie Mullen's Irish Pub in downtown Denver as part of the archdiocese's Theology on Tap program.

Because there are over a billion Catholics in the world, Dussault added, if someone is a “successful Catholic” they will most likely also be a “significant Catholic” which is why it it so important for prominent people in the Church to be good examples.

“We're going to be looking up to you,” she said.

The home-schooling mother of four spoke about her life and experience in the 2006 Winter . . . more

    Pope's Message for World Youth Day - 2/12/2014

In a February 6 message delivered in anticipation of this year's World Youth Day, Pope Francis reminded youth of the missionary power of the Beatitudes and happiness. Read the Holy Father's entire address at

. . . more

    CARA survey finds College Debt Factor delaying men and women entering religious life - 1/30/2014

College Debt factor in men and women entering religious life, CARA survey finds January 23, 2014

Survey finds those taking final vows well-educated, multi-ethnic Median age is 37 Survey released prior to Church’s celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life Feb .1-2

WASHINGTON—Debt from college loans makes some men and women postpone joining a religious community, according to a survey of men and women professing final vows in a religious order.

Ten percent of those who professed final vows in 2013 had an average amount of $31,000 in college debt and the average length of delay was two years, according to “New Sisters and Brothers Professing Perpetual Vows in Religious Life: The Profession Class of 2013.” The annual survey was conducted by the Georgetown University-based . . . more

    Pope Francis on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine - 1/30/2014

The National Catholic Register reported today that Pope Francis' spokesman denounced a recent ''Rolling Stone'' article as an attack on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. “This is not the way to do a good service even to Pope Francis, who knows very well what the Church owes to his predecessor,” the American newspaper reported on Father Federico Lombardi's response to the article. Lombardi was also reported as saying it could not be considered serious journalism. Pope Francis appears on the cover of the most recent issue of the magazine. . . . more

    2013 - 2014 Seminarian Poster - 12/1/2013

2013- 2014 Seminarian Poster

The San Damiano Cross adornes the 2013 – 2014 Seminarian Poster.

The image chosen for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis 2013 -2014 Seminarian Poster is of the San Damiano Cross. The image was inspired by our current Pope’s selection of the name Francis. It was inspired by our Lord’s words to St. Francis as he was praying before this cross.

Jesus said, “Francis, rebuild my Church, which you see is falling into ruins.” This message can be received and viewed as being as applicable today as it was back in the time of St. Francis.

Each of the men on this poster has been called by name to take up the same mission give to St. Francis. Please pray for them that they may be up to the task.
. . . more

    Respond to the Lord's Call! - 8/5/2013

During his Angelus address today, Pope Francis asked the crowds to pray with him that the World Youth Day pilgrims will continue to respond to God’s call in their daily lives.

“I ask you to join me in praying that the youth who have participated in World Youth Day can translate this experience into their daily journey,” the Pope said Aug. 4 at St. Peter's Square.

“Into their daily conduct,” he continued, “and also into their important life choices, responding to the personal call of the Lord.”

The Pope cautioned, “we must not forget that World Youth Day is not just ‘fireworks,’ moments of enthusiasm for their own sake.”

Rather, “they are stages of a long journey” to follow Christ.

“Always remember, youth don’t follow the Pope, they follow Jesus Christ, . . . more

    Closing Mass for Rio's World Youth Day largest since 1995 - 7/31/2013

Over three million Catholic pilgrims from around the world attended the final Mass at World Youth Day, making the 2013 event the largest of its kind since 1995.

Crowds of pilgrims from dozens of countries thronged Copacabana Beach for the final World Youth Day Mass with Pope Francis on July 28.

The mayor's office of Rio di JAneiro estimated that 3.2 million people attended the final World Youth Day Mass at Copacabana Beach.

Another 3 million people attended the prayer vigil with the Pope on Saturday, according to the mayor's office and police estimates.

The 1995 World Youth Day Mass with Pope John Paul II, held in Manila in the Philippines, remains the most attended. An estimated 4 to 5 million people attended that event.

At least 9,500 U.S. youth from 650 . . . more

    Pope cries with Brazilian child who wants to be a priest - 7/30/2013

Nathan de Brito brought Pope Francis to tears during one of his motorcades through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Friday, when he broke past barriers to deliver an important message to the Pontiff.

''Your Holiness, I want to be a priest of Christ, a representative of Christ,'' de Brito whispered in the ear of Pope Frances, after jumping hurdles and making his way to the Popemobile in his Brazilian national soccer team jersey.

''I am going to pray for you, but I ask you to pray for me,'' Popse Francis responded, moved to tears and embracing him.

''As of today, your vocation is set.''

. . . more

    Pope Benedict's Final General Audience - 3/8/2013

Large numbers gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, February 27th for Pope Benedict XVI’s (now Pope Emeritus) final General Audience Address. He spoke truly as a father to his children, encouraging the Church during this time and giving thanks to God for everyone that he had met during his pontificate:

I feel that I carry everyone in prayer, in a present that is God’s, where I recall every meeting, every trip, every pastoral visit. I gather everyone in prayer to entrust them to the Lord, so that we may have full knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and so that we may comport ourselves in a manner worthy of Him, of His love, bearing fruit in every good work (cf. Col 1:9-10).

He states that his decision was not to abandon the Church, but rather . . . more

    To Mothers of Priests and Seminarians - 1/2/2013

Cardinal Piacenza's Letter to Mothers of Priests and Seminarians
ROME, January 02, 2013 ( - Here is a translation of the letter sent by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, to the mothers of priests and seminarians.
* * *
Letter to Mothers of Priests and Seminarians and to all those who Exercise the Gift of Spiritual Maternity in their regard on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Mother of God
Causa nostrae Letitiae – Cause of our Joy!
The Christian People have always venerated the Blessed Virgin Mary with profound gratitude, contemplating in her the Cause of our every true Joy.
Indeed, in welcoming the Eternal Word into her immaculate womb, Mary Most Holy gave birth to the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world. . . . more

    Hundreds of Thousands Consider Priesthood and Consecrated Life - 12/6/2012 news release

The Catholic Church in the U.S. will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) January 13-19. The annual event marks a time to promote the role of priests, deacons, and Religious Orders to Catholics who are deciding their own future vocation.

''National Vocation Awareness Week gives dioceses and parishes across the country a chance to promote vocations through prayer and education,'' says Archbishop Robert Carlson, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. ''This is especially important in this Year of Faith and as the Church continues to focus on the New Evangelization. Vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life are essential in the Church's mission of spreading the joy and love of Jesus Christ.”

Father . . . more

    Blessed Miguel Pro adorns the 2012-2013 Seminarian Poster - 10/29/2012

Blessed Miguel Pro, 1891-1927
Feast Day: November 23
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez.

Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was from an early age intensely spiritual and equally intense in his mischievousness, frequently exasperating his family with his humor and practical jokes. As a child, he had a daring precociousness that sometimes went too far, tossing him into near-death accidents and illnesses. On regaining consciousness after one of these episodes, young Miguel opened his eyes and blurted out to his frantic parents, ''I want some cocol'' (a colloquial term for his favorite sweet bread). ''Cocol'' became his nickname, which he would . . . more

    Vatican unveils logo and calendar for Year of Faith - 6/22/2012

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2012 (condensed from Officials of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization unveiled today at the Vatican the logo and a calendar of events for the Year of Faith, which Benedict XVI has called for Oct. 11, 2012, to Nov. 24, 2013.

The Year of Faith will also coincide with two anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The logo of the Year of Faith includes the image of a ship, symbolizing the Church. The mast of the vessel is a cross with full-blown sails which form the monogram of Christ (IHS) and in the background is a sun representing the Eucharist. The Web site of the event is available in various languages . . . more

    Great Hope for Religious Vocations - 4/26/2012

“In a world where human frailty is acutely felt, they [religious men and women] remind us of God and bring Christ’s redemptive love to all they meet.” (Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis)

Religious Orders are receiving younger members and those who are more educated than those of previous years. In a recent study surveying Religious Orders for men and women in the U.S., administered in 2011 by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Aposolate and commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the findings brought great hope for Religious vocations:

· In 2011, the average age of women professing perpetual vows was 39—4 years
younger than those surveyed the previous year. This was the first year men were
included in . . . more

    Benedict XVI to Celebrate 60 Years as a Priest June 29 - 5/27/2011

Pope Benedict XVI's ordination to the priesthood took place 60 years ago on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. The Congregation for Clergy has issued an appeal to Catholics worldwide to mark the Pope's anniversary with 60 hours of Eucharistic prayer for vocations and the sanctification of the clergy.

According to a statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, dioceses nationwide are planning to organize prayers before the Blessed Sacrament throughout the month of June. Some celebrations will conclude on July 1, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for Priests.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the bishops' conference, called prayer for vocations ''a worthy intention'' and an appropriate spiritual . . . more

    Do You Appreciate Your Priest Test - 11/10/2010

Bishop Composes Test

The Year for Priests wasn’t just an internal celebration among the clergy, but rather an opportunity for all the faithful to assess their appreciation for the priesthood, says Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Palencia.

''Do we appreciate the priesthood and love our priests?'' the bishop asked in a posting on the Web site of his diocese.

To answer this question, the bishop composed -- ''with a bit of humor'' -- the following test titled ''Priestly Appreciation.'' The test is complete with instructions to evaluate your answers and your level of appreciation for the priesthood.

* * *

1. Have you prayed recently for your parish priest, your bishop or the Pope?

a. I don't even know their names.
b. At Mass there is usually prayer . . . more

    Holy Father Offers Key to Vocational Discernment - 8/11/2010

Pope Benedict XVI gives a guideline to determine ''True Prayer''

''The secret of a vocation,'' the Holy Father told youth in July, ''lies in the capacity and in the joy of distinguishing [God's] voice, of listening to and following his voice. But to do this, it is necessary to accustom our heart to recognize the Lord, to hear Him like a person who is near me and who loves me.''

Moments of ''interior silence in the day-to-day routine'' are essential, he said. But once one has learned to hear this voice and to generously follow it, ''one fears nothing, he or she knows and feels that God is with him or her, and that He is a Friend, Father, and Brother.''

Thus, ''the secret of a vocation lies in the relationship with God, in prayer that grows precisely in interior silence, . . . more

    DVD About a Young Woman Discerner - 2/3/2010

''A Vocation Story,'' a 14-minute film about a young woman coming to understand her vocation despite her fears of missing the romantic parts of life is now available to parish youth ministers and pastors.

It is a compelling story, produced locally, from the eyes of the young woman who is fully aware of the attractions of her culture and the beauty of married and family life. Nevertheless, she senses that the Lord may have another plan for her, and she doesn't want to miss it.

For copies of this film, contact: . . . more

    Discernment CD Released - 2/2/2010

Danielle Rose's passion and dedication to the church radiates through this stirring album that encourages us to follow our vocational calling. Her authenticity is truly unlike any other artist to come before or after her. 100% of the royalties from sales of this CD will be directed to support vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Fr. David Toups of the USCCB Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations
said, ''She represents the best of the ''JP II generation'' who heard him proclaim over and again, ''Be not afraid!'' From Abraham to Mary to the disciple of today, she angelically sings of this call. These songs will inspire all discerning God's call in their lives. May her consoling voice and lyrics encourage listeners to say a deeper ''yes'' to the Lord.''

For . . . more


Office of Vocations - Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis - 2260 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 - (651)962-6890
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