On Nov. 29, 2013, Pope Francis revealed to 120 superiors general of men’s religious orders that consecrated life would be the Church’s focus for 2015. During the closed-door meeting, Pope Francis reportedly asked the Church’s religious sisters, brothers and priests to “wake up the world” with their testimony of faith, holiness and hope, according to Catholic News Service.
The recent canonization of Pope St. John Paul II offers the opportunity to reflect on the first major teaching of his pontificate (and perhaps the one that will turn out to be his greatest legacy). The setting for this teaching was his Wednesday General Audiences over a period of five years, during which he put forth what he called the Theology of the Body. Through the Theology of the Body, the saint hoped to call everyone to an authentic understanding and living out of what it means to be created male and female; of what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God.
Today, Christians are the most persecuted religious group on the planet. Two years ago, the National Catholic Reporter pointed to a Pew Forum estimate that Christians face persecution in a staggering total of 133 countries, representing two-thirds of all nations on earth. In the same period, the Reporter stated that the German-based International Society for Human Rights, a secular organization, estimated that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world are directed against Christians.
On Oct. 8, 2013, it was announced that Pope Francis had convened the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held in the Vatican Oct. 5-19, 2014. The theme for the assembly will be “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”
Most Reverend Steven Raica, formerly Chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, was ordained and installed as the fifth Bishop of Gaylord on Aug. 29, 2014 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. FAITH’s Elizabeth Solsburg interviewed Bishop Raica.
The arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and teens in the southwestern United States has generated a humanitarian and political crisis. It is a crisis marked by the images of large numbers of immigrants in overcrowded facilities, protestors blocking buses full of immigrants from entering their towns, pleas for compassion, concerns over the lack of available immigration attorneys, and frustrated calls for more help from the federal government.