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The 30 Day Challenge

What if, for 30 days, you filled your ears and your heart with nothing but the positive and uplifting message of Christ's love contained in the music and programming of Spirit FM? Take the challenge today!

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Meet the 'Lone Survivor' priest and 'Grunt Padre' author who's now the head chaplain of the Coast Guard

Father Daniel L. Mode, chaplain of the Coast Guard, stands in the large atrium of the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., in front of a massive wall of flags and insignia of the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard. / Credit: Leslie Miller/Arlington Catholic HeraldWashington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 5, 2023 / 04:00 am (CNA).Father Daniel Mode was the chaplain for the "Lone Survivor" SEAL team in Afghanistan and has authored a book about the famed "Grunt Padre," Father Vincent Capodanno.Now there's a new distinction on Mode's impressive service record: leading the chaplaincy efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, the first Catholic priest to hold that important role in 12 years.Yet Mode, 57, says his greatest mission is bringing the peace of Jesus Christ to the service members and civilians to whom he ministers."Peace is kind of my mantra," Mode told CNA.Mode grew up in a Navy family and moved around frequently, attending Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School ...

More than 100 pilgrims cross the Andes in a show of love for the Virgin Mary

More than 100 pilgrims arrived at the Bellavista Shrine in Santiago, Chile, Feb. 2, 2023. / Credit: Instagram Cruzada de MaríaCNA Newsroom, Feb 5, 2023 / 06:00 am (CNA).With the theme "Pilgrim of the Andes, lift up your gaze," more than 110 youths began the trek known as the Crusade for Mary on Jan. 16 starting out from Mendoza, Argentina, and hiking 415 kilometers (260 miles) over the Andes to arrive on Feb. 2 at Bellavista Shrine on the other side of the mountains in metro Santiago, Chile.The initiative is coordinated by the young men in the Schoenstatt Movement, including priests and seminarians. Youths from Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Chile also participated, as well as a seminarian from Mexico and another from Switzerland.Father Emmanuel Tropini, vicar of the St. Rose of Lima Parish in Villaguay, Argentina, joined the more than 100 youths in a great demonstration of love for the Virgin Mary, crossing on foot the Andes Mountains in a pilgrimage.In comments on the Mirad...

Pope at Mass in South Sudan: In the name of Jesus, lay down the weapons of hatred

Pope Francis greets a young boy a Mass in Juba, South Sudan on Feb. 5, 2023. / Vatican MediaRome Newsroom, Feb 5, 2023 / 05:00 am (CNA).At a Mass in South Sudan on Sunday, Pope Francis urged Christians in the war-torn African country to make "a decisive contribution to changing history" by refusing to repay evil with evil. "In the name of Jesus and of his Beatitudes, let us lay down the weapons of hatred and revenge, in order to take up those of prayer and charity," Pope Francis said in his homily in Juba on Feb. 5."I gather here with you in the name of Jesus Christ, the God of love, the God who achieved peace through his cross. … Jesus, crucified in the lives of so many of you, in so many people in this country; Jesus, the risen Lord, the victor over evil and death," he said.Pope Francis presides over a Mass in Juba, South Sudan on Feb. 5, 2023. Vatican MediaMore than 100,000 people attended the papal Mass in Juba held on the grounds of a mausoleum commemorating John Garang, a...

Surprise hit 'Lourdes' documentary, coming to U.S. theaters, captures miracles of a different sort

The documentary "Lourdes," showing in theaters on Feb. 8 and 9, follows the experiences of sick and disabled pilgrims who often seek consolation rather than cures. / Bosco FilmsWashington D.C., Feb 5, 2023 / 05:00 am (CNA).The French documentary film "Lourdes" will be shown in 700 theaters in the U.S., for a special two-day screening, on Feb. 8 (in French with English subtitles) and Feb. 9 (in Spanish with English subtitles).The film presents a unique and affecting view of the Catholic pilgrimage site as seen through the eyes of several of the sick pilgrims and their caregivers. A surprise hit in France among critics and audiences, the award-winning documentary follows several sick and disabled pilgrims who travel to Lourdes in search of consolation, if not miracles, at the Marian shrine in the French Pyrenees. It was there on Feb. 11, 1858, that 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous witnessed the first of 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary. The filmmakers received unpreced...

Pope Francis' in-flight press conference: God accompanies people with same-sex attraction

Pope Francis speaks to the media on Feb. 5, 2023, during his return flight to Rome from his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. / Vatican MediaRome Newsroom, Feb 5, 2023 / 12:00 pm (CNA).On his return flight from South Sudan on Sunday, Pope Francis said that God loves and accompanies people with same-sex attraction. When asked by a journalist what the pope would say to families in Congo and South Sudan who reject their children because they are gay, Pope Francis responded that the catechism teaches that people with same-sex attraction should not be marginalized. "People with homosexual tendencies are children of God. God loves them. God accompanies them," the pope said during an in-flight press conference on his return from Juba on Feb. 5."To condemn someone like this is a sin. Criminalizing people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice," he added.In a first for a papal trip, Pope Francis was joined for the in-flight press conference by two ...

Pope Francis: Partisans have used Benedict XVI's death 'to serve their own interests'

Pope Francis speaks to journalists on Feb. 5, 2023, during his flight back to Rome after his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. / Vatican MediaRome, Italy, Feb 5, 2023 / 11:35 am (CNA).Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's death was used by people in a self-serving way, Pope Francis said aboard the papal plane returning from South Sudan on Sunday."I think Benedict's death was instrumentalized by people who want to serve their own interests," he said during an in-flight press conference Feb. 5.People who instrumentalize such a good and holy person, Francis added, are partisans and unethical.There is a widespread tendency to make political parties out of theological positions, he said. "I leave it alone. These things will fall on their own, or if they don't fall they will move on as has happened so many times in the history of the Church."Pope Francis' comments were made aboard the papal plane from Juba, South Sudan, to Rome, at the end of a six-day trip that also ...

Pope Francis holds moment of silence for slain priests and religious in South Sudan

Pope Francis met with bishops, priests, and religious in St. Theresa Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan, on Feb. 4, 2023. / Vatican MediaRome Newsroom, Feb 4, 2023 / 04:00 am (CNA).Pope Francis held a moment of silence Saturday for priests and religious who have been killed in South Sudan."Let us think in silence of these brothers and sisters who have lost their lives in this pastoral ministry," he said in St. Theresa Cathedral in Juba on Feb. 4.The pope met with the bishops, priests, and religious of South Sudan on the second day of his historic trip to the war-torn country.Pope Francis enters St. Theresa Cathedral in Juba, South Sudan for a meeting with bishops, priests, and religious on Feb. 4, 2023. Elias Turk/CNAAround 1,000 people were present in the cathedral for the meeting, and another 5,000 were outside the cathedral, according to local authorities.During the encounter, Francis heard testimony about the lives and ministries of Sr. Mary Daniel Abud and Sr. Regina Roba, who...

Priest, 5 students arrested for chants against president after Pope Francis event in DRC

Pope Francis interacted with an energetic crowd of 65,000 young adults and catechists at Martyrs' Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Feb. 2, 2023. / Vatican MediaRome Newsroom, Feb 4, 2023 / 09:00 am (CNA).A Catholic priest and five students were arrested after an event Thursday morning with Pope Francis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, allegedly for criticizing the country's president.The students and Father Guy Julien Muluku, a Congolese member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, were detained nearly 34 hours before being released shortly before 10 p.m. on Feb. 3.The arrest and subsequent release was confirmed to CNA by the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.The six were arrested around 12 p.m. by the president's intelligence service after Pope Francis' gathering with Congolese youth at Martyrs' Stadium in Kinshasa, DRC, on Feb. 2.When Pope Francis spoke against corruption during the Feb. 2 event, part of the crowd ...

Pope Francis at ecumenical prayer service in Sudan: Those who choose Christ choose peace

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; Pope Francis; and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, lead a prayer service for Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian christians in Juba, Sudan. / Vatican MediaWashington D.C., Feb 4, 2023 / 11:25 am (CNA).During an ecumenical prayer service in South Sudan, Pope Francis called for Christian unity amid the violence in the country and urged the faithful to work and pray for peace to settle ongoing political conflicts.Pope Francis spoke alongside Church of England Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Moderator Iain Greenshields during the event. The three faith leaders prayed for peace together as a sign of unity. About 50,000 people attended the ecumenical prayer service, according to estimates from local authorities. A young woman at the ecumenical prayer service in Juba, Sudan. Vatican Media"Dear friends, those who would call themselves Christians must choose which ...

Pope Francis: Congolese Catholics are 'a lung' for the Universal Church

Pope Francis met the Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo on his final day in Kinshasa on Feb. 3, 2023 / Vatican MediaRome Newsroom, Feb 3, 2023 / 03:20 am (CNA).The enthusiasm, joy, and missionary zeal of Congolese Catholics give oxygen to the whole Church, Pope Francis said during his final meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday."As a Church we need to breathe the pure air of the Gospel, to dispel the tainted air of worldliness, to safeguard the young heart of faith. That is how I imagine the African Church and that is how I see this Congolese Church," he said during an encounter with the country's bishops.Pope Francis met 57 of the 74 current and retired bishops of the DRC at the headquarters of the national bishops' conference of Congo (CENCO) before heading to the country's N'djili International Airport for a more than three-hour flight to South Sudan, which he will visit Feb. 3-5.The pope said during his Jan. 31-Feb. 3 visit he saw the Churc...

Thought of the Day

Mark 6:56

Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as  many as touched it were healed.

 

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