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April 09, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Word reaches the homefront
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 15 in a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

IN a little over a year, the Spanish realm along the shores of the Pacific had been extended over eight hundred miles, from San Fernando de Velicatá to Monterey, and three missions and two presidios had been established in the area. When news of the event reached Mexico City, everyone was jubilant. The church of the city...

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April 06, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: On to Monterey
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 14 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

NOW that San Diego had been reinforced by the arrival of the San Antonio, soldiers and missionaries began planning for further expansion. The initial step would be a sea and land trek to Monterey. Serra opted for the former. After a long and "somewhat uncomfortable voyage", Serra and the crew members of the San Antonio...

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April 02, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: St. Joseph to the Rescue
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 13 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

NO one can stand on Presidio Hill in San Diego and remain unmoved by the fact that here is the cradle of Christianity and civilization in California. In 1769, the area was still untrodden by Christian feet.

Within a radius of ten leagues of San Diego, there were about twenty Indian villages. Frequent battles had taken place...

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March 30, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Rim of Christendom
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 12 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

THE third expeditionary force, the first to travel overland, departed for Alta California in mid-March of 1769. Fray Junípero Serra was to accompany the fourth and final arm of the expedition which was scheduled to leave from Loreto. Gaspar de Portolá was commander and Serra chaplain and diarist.

In the opening words of his...

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March 26, 2015
The Eucharist is the ‘memory bank’ of the Church
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

When we celebrate the origin of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, we cast our minds back to the Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before he died. However, the sacrament of the Eucharist is related not only to the Last Supper, but to every Mass celebrated through the centuries.

The Eucharist is imprinted with the life of the Church from its beginning and is the “memory bank” of God’s people.

The great Anglican Benedictine Gregory Dix, at the end of his...

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March 26, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Operation Alta California
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 11 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

JOSÉ de Galvez was sent to Mexico by King Charles III for the purpose of making an official visitation of the entire viceroyalty. He arrived in 1765 and remained until 1771, years in which he gained a wide knowledge of the extensive area. Interested in knowing all about the details of missionary operations, Galvez wrote to...

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March 25, 2015
Preach from the Rooftops: 'Evangelium Vitae' at Twenty
By Bishop James D. Conley

We cannot address the unraveling of our culture without addressing the consequences of contraception and abortion. We must rightly understand the relationships between love, truth, freedom, and justice.


Last week, a young friend of mine attempted to defend the truth about marriage among a group of peers at a secular university. She presented a meaningful argument about families, social stability, and gender complementarity. None of her classmates refuted her arguments. Instead, they...

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March 25, 2015
Annunciations of Suffering
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

When Jesus began his ministry, he chose to make us men and women his cherished followers.  Wanting us to be his companions, he expressed it in the words, “I call you friends, for I have made known to you everything I have learned from my Father” (Jn 15:15).  In calling us in to his friendship, Jesus wanted us to share his divine life.  This raising up to a godlike stature is best expressed by the Psalmist:  “You have made them a little lower than gods” (Ps 8:5). 

The Eastern...

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March 23, 2015
New Christian movie asks filmgoers 'Do You Believe?'
By Carl Kozlowski

There’s been an interesting movement going on in Hollywood over the past couple of years, one which could almost be called a revolution. Movies with strong Christian or Biblical messages are coming out at a pretty fast pace, ranging from movies like “Son of God” and “Noah” to “Heaven Is For Real” and “Unbroken.”

But one movie in particular seemed to capture the zeitgeist of that wave of films more than most: a little $2 million movie called “God’s Not Dead,” which...

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March 23, 2015
It is time to end the death penalty
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

It is time for our country to put an end to the death penalty.

There is a case pending right now in the U.S. Supreme Court that is looking at the practical problems with the way capital punishment is administered through lethal injections. The justices will hear arguments on the issue next month.

The Supreme Court’s review comes at a time when many people are rethinking the issue of capital punishment.

Eighteen states have now banned the death penalty and the numbers of executions and...

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