A parishioner at St. Mary’s in Westphalia, Craig Pohl serves as the director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing. Over the next few months, he is leading the charge to introduce four aspects of discipleship into Catholics’ everyday lives to help them grow in holiness for the work of the New Evangelization.
New North American saints François de Laval and Marie Guyart:
First bishop of Québec and pioneer educator
On April 3, 2014, Pope Francis signed the special decree proclaiming the canonization of two new North American saints: François de Laval de Montmorency and Marie Guyart, also known as Marie of the Incarnation. The two missionaries will be the first saints ever with direct ties to Québec City, which was their home base.
A great debate is currently raging in the United States over the meaning of marriage. Contraception, divorce and cohabitation all have presented formidable challenges to the institution of marriage, which was already under heavy attack by economic and social forces. Now, the relatively new issue of same-sex unions has emerged. In the face of all this, what does the Church have to teach us about the true nature of marriage?
Both a natural institution…
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1601) states this about the marriage covenant:
On July 5, 2013, the day that his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), was released, Pope Francis approved the canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. After signing decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, he immediately called for a consistory of cardinals to set the date and make plans for the ceremonies. Pope Francis announced the final decision on Sept. 30, 2013, explaining that both late popes would be declared saints at a single ceremony on April 27, 2014.
On the Solemnity of Christ the King (November 24, 2013), Pope Francis brought the “Year of Faith to its conclusion with the issuance of his first apostolic exhortation entitled, Evangelii Gaudium (the “Joy of the Gospel”). The Year of Faith had been declared by Pope Benedict XVI in an apostolic letter, Porta Fidei (the “Door of Faith”) on October 11, 2011. It began a year later on October 11, 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
One year ago, on March 13, 2013, Proto Deacon Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauren stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to inform the world that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, had become the first Pope Francis. It was the beginning of a remarkable year of “firsts.”