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 http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-message-for-world-youth-day-2014

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    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.
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    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.''

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    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 (Zenit.org) - 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

USCCB.org 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 Zenit.org).- 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: vocationmovie@gmail.com. . . . 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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