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Win ZooTampa Tickets

Win ZooTampa Tickets

Go wild this summer at ZooTampa at Lowry Park! Listen for your chance to win a 4-pack of tickets.

Winning Wednesday

Winning Wednesday

There's a new chance to win awesome prizes every Wednesday! Click to sign up.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School

If you're looking for a VBS for the kiddos this summer or want to submit a VBS for inclusion on our calendar, click the sunglasses.

Iraqi iconographer honors his Syriac roots

IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy of Mothana ButresBy Doreen Abi RaadBEIRUT (CNS) -- When Islamic State fighters overranQaraqosh, Iraq, in the summer of 2014, Mothana Butres was able to grab only asingle volume from his father's collection of thousands of Syriac books andmanuscripts.The handwritten, 600-year-old book of Syriac hymns nowinspires much of Butres' work as an iconographer.From a modest walk-up apartment in Zahle, Lebanon, a citynot far from the Syrian border, the Syriac Catholic iconographer and refugeecreates his sacred art in a sparsely furnished living room. As he works, hesings the hymns he has committed to memory from the sole book he managed tosave. Butres is the creator of the Our Lady of Aradin icon, acenterpiece of the first Catholic shrine dedicated to persecuted Christians.The shrine is housed in St. Michael's Church in New York City and was dedicatedJune 12."The inspiration when I was working on Our Lady ofAradin was that it was the Virgin Mary who was protecting the...

Update: Bishops across U.S. condemn separation, detention of children

IMAGE: CNS photo/Callaghan O'Hare, ReutersBy Rhina GuidosWASHINGTON (CNS) -- From Denverto New York City, the country's Catholic bishops have joined a chorus oforganizations, institutions and high-profile individuals urging the Trumpadministration to stop separating children from their parents as they seekrespite in the U.S. from dire conditions in their home countries, largely inCentral America.None have been more outspoken,however, than the bishops with dioceses on or near the border between the U.S.and Mexico, where many migrants, adults as well as children, are being held indetention centers in geographic areas where many of the prelates come intocontact with families affected."Refugee children belong totheir parents, not to the government or other institution. To steal childrenfrom their parents is a grave sin, immoral (and) evil," said San Antonio'sArchbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller June 14 via Twitter, the social media platformhe has used to daily call attention to the situati...

Bishops 'cannot, in good faith, endorse' new GOP immigration bill

By WASHINGTON(CNS) -- The U.S. bishops "cannot, in good faith, endorse" an immigration billsubmitted by the House's Republican leadership, said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez ofAustin, Texas, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Migration.Bishop Vasquez said the bill wouldbring about "large structural changes to the immigration system thatdetrimentally impact families and the vulnerable." He saidthe new bill, still without a name or number, "contains several provisions thatrun contrary to our Catholic social teaching."He made the comments in a letter dated June 18 and sent to each member of the House. It was postedJune 19 on the U.S. bishops' website justiceforimmigrants.org.BishopVasquez said this unnamed bill would "undermine asylum protections by significantly raisingthe hurdle applicants face during the 'credible fear' review, lead to increasesin child and family detention ' eliminate protection for unaccompanied minorsthrough the proposed changes to the Trafficking Victims ProtectionRe...

Synod working document: Young Catholics need church that listens to them

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Young Catholics are looking for achurch that listens to their concerns, accompanies them in discerning theirvocations and helps them confront the challenges they face, said a workingdocument for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on young people. The synod's "instrumentum laboris" (workingdocument), published by the Vatican June 19, stated that young people"want to see a church that shares their situations of life in the light ofGospel rather than by preaching." Quoting a presynod gathering of young people who met at theVatican March 19-25, the working document said young Catholics "want anauthentic church. With this, we would like to express, particularly to thechurch hierarchy, our request for a transparent, welcoming, honest, attractive,communicative, accessible, joyful and interactive community."The working document is based mainly on comments solicitedin a questionnaire last June from national bishops' confere...

Pope met with brother of Chilean priest found guilty of abuse

IMAGE: CNS photo/ReutersBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The brother of Chilean Father FernandoKaradima called on his brother to ask forgiveness for the hurt inflicted on thosehe sexually abused."I would ask him to be humble. Fernando, ask forforgiveness. Not in silence to God or in your prayers. Do it publicly, thatpeople hear that you ask forgiveness for the harm you have done to victims andto everyone," Oscar Karadima said in an interview with Chilean newspaperLa Tercera, published June 17. "Fernando," he continued, "you are a man whois going to die. How can you die in this way, as a proud person who doesn't askforgiveness? I ask you in the name of God and the most holy virgin who youalways said you loved so much. I ask you in the name of my father, my mother,my two dead sisters."Oscar Karadima also revealed that he was among the group ofpriests and laypeople who met with Pope Francis June 2 and spoke to him aboutthe suffering his family endured following the revelat...

Update: Bishops' pastoral letter on racism on track for November vote

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob RollerBy Dennis SadowskiFORTLAUDERDALE, Fla. (CNS) -- A planned pastoral letter addressing racism is onschedule for a November vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.Bishop Sheldon J. Fabre ofHouma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, chairman of the bishop's Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism,said during the bishops' spring general assembly June 14 that the documentwould reflect recommendations from the various audiences that have revieweddrafts of the document.The bishopsaid the document will focus on contemporary concerns affecting NativeAmericans and African-Americans and the "targeting" of Hispanics withracist language and actions.Among itscomponents, he added, the document will:-- Reflect"grave concerns for the rise in racist expressions" in Americansociety, public discourse and social media.-- Address waysracism affects institutions and public policy.-- Condemnracism and raise awareness of its impact "on all of us."-- Assist pastors,educators, families and indivi...

Dictatorships begin with taking over media to spread lies, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Kith Serey, EPABy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- All dictatorships begin the sameway: media outlets are put in the hands of "unscrupulous" people whospread lies and weaken democracy, Pope Francis said. Typical standards, norms and laws in regard tocommunications are first eliminated, the pope said in his homily June 18 duringmorning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.Then an entire media or communication outlet is handedover "to a firm, a business that slanders, tells lies, weakens democracy,and then the judges come to judge these weakened institutions, these destroyed,condemned people and a dictatorship makes progress this way," he said."All dictatorships, all of them, began like this, byadulterating communication, by putting communications in the hands of peoplewithout scruples, of governments without scruples," he added.The pope's homily focused on the day's first reading inwhich Jezebel succeeds in her a plot to help her husband, King Ahab, takepossession of their...

Bishops across U.S. condemn separation, detention of migrant children

IMAGE: CNS photo/Callaghan O'Hare, ReutersBy Rhina GuidosWASHINGTON (CNS) - From Denver to New York City, thecountry's Catholic bishops have joined a chorus of organizations, institutionsand high-profile individuals urging the Trump administration to stop separatingchildren from their parents as they seek respite in the U.S. from direconditions in their home countries, largely in Central America. None have been more outspoken, however, than the bishopswith dioceses on or near the border between the U.S. and Mexico, where manymigrants, adults as well as children, are being held in detention centers ingeographic areas where many of the prelates come into contact with familiesaffected."Refugee children belong to their parents, not to the governmentor other institution. To steal children from their parents is a grave sin,immoral (and) evil," said San Antonio's Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-SillerJune 14 via Twitter, the social media platform he has used to daily callattention to the situat...

Yo-Yo Ma holds concert for peace at Chicago Catholic Church

IMAGE: CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago CatholicBy Joyce DurigaCHICAGO (CNS) -- When world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Mabrought his Concert for Peace to St. Sabina Church for the second time June 10,there was a special feature -- five original works written with family memberswho lost loved ones to gun violence as a tribute to the people who died.Theyare among 24 original songs created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra'sNegaunee Music Institute and Purpose Over Pain, a St. Sabina organization ofparents who have lost a child to gun violence. All songs are available atnotesforpeace.org.Theidea to create the songs came after Ma saw the memorial board outside theparish that features photos of all the people connected to the parish killed bygun violence.Mafirst visited St. Sabina in spring 2017 on a Sunday in between morning Masses. Thesenior pastor, Father Michael Pfleger, was told a man saying he was Yo-Yo Mawas in the church and wanted to meet him, which he thought was a joke. It wasn't....

Most fundamental human right is hope, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Abedin Taherkenareh, EPABy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The theory that well-being willautomatically flow down to everyone from the riches of the few is "alie," Pope Francis said.The beatitudes show the way, he said, because they showthat holiness doesn't concern just the soul, "but also the feet -- forgoing toward our brothers and sisters, and the hands -- for sharing withthem."May the beatitudes "teach us and our world to not bewary of or leave at the mercy of the ocean waves those who leave their land,hungry for bread and justice; may they lead us to not live in excess, devotingourselves to the advancement of everyone, kneeling with compassion before theweakest," he said June 15.This approach, he said, comes "without the easyillusion that, from the lavish table of the few, well-being automatically 'rainsdown' for everyone," he said.The pope's remarks came in an address to people takingpart in a national congress of an Italian federation of expert artisans an...

Thought of the Day

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:48

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