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U.S. priest brings more than 1,000 prayer intentions to Ulma family beatification

Father Michael Niemczak at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, right before celebrating Mass at the altar of the famous image in September 2023. / Credit: Courtesy of Father Michael NiemczakCNA Staff, Sep 24, 2023 / 07:00 am (CNA).Before leaving on a pilgrimage to Poland earlier this month, Father Michael Niemczak wanted to solicit prayer intentions to bring with him. The U.S. priest with Polish roots was heading overseas to attend the Sept. 10 beatification of the Ulma family, the first time an entire family has been advanced toward sainthood together. So Niemczak created a simple Google form where anyone, anywhere, could submit a prayer intention to bring with him to Poland. He ended up getting more than he bargained for. Thanks in part to the publicity provided by a CNA story about Niemczak ahead of his trip, the priest found himself with 1,137 intentions to pray, sent in by Catholics from around the world. Niemczak, a priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe,...

'You don't play with life': Pope Francis condemns euthanasia, abortion on papal plane

Pope Francis speaks during a press conference aboard the papal plane from Marseille to Rome on Sept. 23, 2023, at the conclusion of a two-day visit to the southern French port city to take part in the Mediterranean Encounter, a meeting of young people and bishops. / Daniel Ibanez/CNAAboard the papal plane, Sep 23, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).Pope Francis condemned euthanasia and abortion as actions that "play with life" and said there is such a thing as "bad compassion" during a press conference aboard the papal plane from Marseille to Rome on Saturday."You don't play with life, neither at the beginning nor at the end. It is not played with!" he told journalists Sept. 23, as he returned from a two-day trip to Marseille, in southern France, to speak at a meeting of young people and bishops called Mediterranean Encounter."Whether it is the law not to let the child grow in the mother's womb or the law of euthanasia in disease and old age," he said, "I am not saying it is a faith thing, ...

Pope Francis: Migrant crisis requires wisdom, not 'alarmist propaganda'

Pope Francis speaks at the closing session of the Mediterranean Encounter in Marseille, France, on Sept. 23, 2023. / Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNACNA Newsroom, Sep 23, 2023 / 08:41 am (CNA).The deepening migrant crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean is "a reality of our times" that calls for wisdom and a collaborative response from European nations, not "alarmist propaganda," Pope Francis said Saturday at an interreligious youth conference in Marseille, France.Speaking at an event called the Mediterranean Encounter, the pope said the "stifled cry of migrant brothers and sisters" is turning the Mediterranean Sea from "the cradle of civilization" to the "graveyard of dignity." More than 20,000 people have died on Central Mediterranean migration routes since 2014. At least 441 perished in the first three months of this year, the worst quarterly spike since 2017.The large port of Marseille can't be closed, the pope said, but other ports have closed to migrants. "And," he lamented, "the...

Canadian bishops to meet Monday to discuss euthanasia, protection of minors

Priests celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for two new Canadian Saints in St. Peter's Basilica on Oct. 12, 2014. / Lauren Cater/CNA.Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 22, 2023 / 16:45 pm (CNA).Catholic bishops in Canada will gather next week, the final week of September, to discuss a series of issues including the growth of euthanasia, the Church's work in overseas development, and the protection of minors.The 2023 Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), which is held annually, will begin on Monday, Sept. 25, and conclude on Thursday, Sept. 28. The meeting will take place in King City, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, and 79 Latin and Eastern-rite bishops are expected to participate.One of the main topics to be discussed is the growth of euthanasia throughout Canada, which is known legally as Medical Assistance in Dying, or MAiD. Although voluntary euthanasia has been legal in Canada since 2016, a revision of that law going into effect in March 2...

Dominican nun speaks in favor of homosexuals being able to marry in the Church

Dominican Sister Lucía Caram on the television program "Cuentos Chinos" ("Tall Tales") in Spain. / Credit: MediasetACI Prensa Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 18:00 pm (CNA).Dominican Sister Lucía Caram, who lives in Spain but is Argentinian, said during a recent television program that she is in favor of homosexual couples being able to "marry in the Church."In the show called "Cuentos Chinos" ("Tall Tales"), host Jorge Javier Vázquez, who is openly homosexual, asked the religious: "Would you be in favor of gays getting married in the Church?" to which the nun responded: "I would be in favor of gays getting married in the Church because God always blesses love."In a previous comment, Caram also noted: "My best friend is gay. He's Juan Carlos Cruz, who is a global LGTBI leader." Cruz is a Chilean activist and a victim of sexual abuse by the late Fernando Karadima, a priest who was dismissed from the clerical state.In March 2021, Cruz was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the P...

Truck circulates in Mexico City with message against indoctrinating schoolchildren

A truck traveled through Mexico City in September 2023 with a message against the indoctrination of children in schools. / Credit: UNPFACI Prensa Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 18:30 pm (CNA).Two civil society organizations have launched a mobile unit traveling the main streets of Mexico City with the message "Classrooms are for learning, not for indoctrination!" in order to make known "society's complaint due to the illegal indoctrination promoted by the federal government."The campaign, led by the National Union of Parents (UNPF) and the CitizenGO platform, demands that educational institutions stop using the controversial school textbooks developed for the 2023-2024 school year by the Mexican government under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.The organizations maintain that distributing the textbooks was illegal because they were changed without either the parents or the educational community having been consulted about the content as stipulated by Article 48 of the General Law o...

Bishop Strickland: 'no communication from Rome' following apostolic visitation

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas. / nullCNA Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 12:25 pm (CNA).Following a report that Pope Francis and Vatican officials held a meeting earlier this month to discuss requesting the resignation of Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland, the prelate said on Wednesday he has not been contacted by the Vatican about such matters.In addition, Strickland said if Pope Francis were to remove him from office he would respect the Holy Father's authority but would not resign if asked. "Last week an article was published on a website called 'The Pillar,' and the article alleged that a meeting was held with Pope Francis where some of the members of the Congregation for Bishops recommended that I be encouraged to resign as bishop of Tyler," Strickland said in a Sept. 20 letter to his diocese."Let me be clear that I have received no communication from Rome regarding this. At this point it is simply an article discussing supposed leaked information from the Vatic...

'We came back stronger': Priest, seminarian abducted in Nigeria recall three-week ordeal

Father Paul Sanogo (left) and seminarian Melchior Maharini, who were kidnapped from their community of Missionaries of Africa in Nigeria's Diocese of Minna on Aug. 3, 2023, said the terrifying experience helped their faith grow stronger. / Credit: Vatican MediaACI Africa, Sep 22, 2023 / 12:30 pm (CNA).Father Paul Sanogo and seminarian Melchior Maharini, who were kidnapped from their Missionaries of Africa community in Nigeria's Catholic Diocese of Minna, came back to the community on Aug. 23 weary, traumatized, and sick.The two had spent three weeks in captivity, where they were flogged almost daily, made to sleep on rocks out in the open, and forced to walk for miles barefoot as their kidnappers moved from spot to spot in the forest they were taken to following their Aug. 3 abduction.When they spoke to ACI Africa on Sept. 1, about a week after their release, the two said the trauma they experienced during their captivity was a blessing, as it had strengthened their faith."When...

Synod on Synodality: Read the final list of delegates

Pope Francis led the opening procession of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region from St. Peter's Basilica to the Synod Hall where he led the opening prayer, Oct. 7, 2019. / Credit: Vatican MediaCNA Newsroom, Sep 22, 2023 / 13:42 pm (CNA).The Vatican on Sept. 21 released the final list of names of those participating in the upcoming Synod on Synodality assembly in October, including laypeople who will be full voting delegates at a Catholic Church synod for the first time.The delegates are made up of representatives selected by bishops' conferences and Eastern Catholic Churches, leaders in the Roman Curia, and 120 delegates personally selected by Pope Francis. In total, 363 people will be able to vote in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, according to statistics released by the Holy See Press Office on July 7. Among them, 54 of the voting delegates are women.In addition to the voting members, 75 other participants have been invited to the s...

Pope Francis entrusts to Mary 'Mediterranean Encounter' with youth and bishops

Pope Francis entrusted a meeting of Mediterranean bishops and youth to the Virgin Mary during the first appointment of a two-day trip to Marseille, France, Sept. 22, 2023. The model ships hanging in Marseille's Basilica de Notre-Dame de la Garde are a testament to the faith of the sailors who have relied on the intercession of Our Lady over the centuries. / Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/EWTN NewsCNA Staff, Sep 22, 2023 / 14:33 pm (CNA).Pope Francis on Friday entrusted a meeting of Mediterranean bishops and youth to the Virgin Mary during the first appointment of a two-day trip to Marseille, France.After landing in the historic port city Sept. 22, the pope made his way to the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, or the Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard, to ask for the intercession of Mary together with local priests, deacons, and religious.The 19th-century basilica sits on the foundations of an ancient fort on a 489-foot limestone outcropping, the highest point of the city in southe...

Thought of the Day

Matthew 8:1-2a

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,


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