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March 05, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Across the Sea
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 5 a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

THE ship Villasota, also known as Nuestro Señora de Guadalupe, departed from Cadiz at the end of August, 1749. Aboard was Fray Junípero Serra and nineteen other Franciscans bound for the missions.
After a fairly peaceful journey at sea, the ship arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the feast of Saint Luke. Serra's first hours...

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March 02, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: Departure for the New World
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 4 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

LATE in 1748, after much prayer and deliberation, Fray Junípero Serra wrote to the Commissary General of the Indies, asking permission for himself and Fray Francisco Pa1óu to become apostolic missionaries. On Palm Sunday, a special messenger arrived at the Convento de San Francisco with official authorization for the two friars...

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February 27, 2015
'Focus' gets it right
By Carl Kozlowski

There are few greater pleasures in cinema than enjoying a well-crafted con-man thriller that respects your intelligence, features stars with sizzling charisma and chemistry, and dialogue that's witty at every turn. Very few have pulled it off since the heyday of Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant's team-ups in films like “To Catch A Thief” and “North By Northwest,” but the new Will Smith movie “Focus” - out today – is one of the rare ones to get it right.

Since this is a...

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February 26, 2015
Costner inspires in 'McFarland, USA'
By Carl Kozlowski

There are few present-day actors who are as beloved and as worthy of all-time icon status as Kevin Costner. And there are even fewer great sports movies these days that can inspire greatness and teach life lessons along the lines of “Rocky” and “Breaking Away.”

But thanks to the new movie “MacFarland USA ,” which opened strongly last weekend and stars Costner in the true story of a white coach who overcame culture clashes to inspire a champion team of poor Latino...

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February 26, 2015
Evangelization means the renewal of Catholic Institutions
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

The Catholic Church in the U.S. has been committed since Vatican II to a new and vigorous program of evangelization. However, discussions and writings on what this means have often suffered from inadequate clarity.

The word “evangelization” itself may be part of the problem. While it clearly means proclaiming the Gospel, it is not always evident how this takes place. Perhaps the word “evangelization” is hampered by its association with evangelical Protestantism with its emphasis...

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February 26, 2015
Bl. Junipero Serra: The Professional Years
By Msgr. Francis J. Weber

Editor's note: This is part 3 of a series on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra in anticipation of his canonization. To read other articles in the series, click here.

DURING the eighteen years that Fray Junípero Serra lived, worked and prayed at the Convento de San Francisco, Palma de Mallorca, books and study dominated the major portion of his time. Late in 1731, Serra received tonsure and the minor orders, the first steps to ordination. Then came the copious classes in theology required for...

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February 25, 2015
Praying with the Psalms during Lent
By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The Psalms are a masterpiece of prayer, a treasury for prayer.  King David is considered their chief author, but this lyric poetry of rare beauty was written over a period of 700 years. 

Intended for both personal and communal use, the Psalms are used not only at Mass but also at the Liturgy of the Hours. The 150 Psalms are prayed over the course of one week during the five Hours of the day:  Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Day Time Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer.

The Psalms...

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February 24, 2015
Jesus drinks dark roast
By Jon Leonetti

Here I was in my jeans, a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, and suddenly I saw him.

He stumbled into the coffee shop as if he’d never been there before. His eyes didn’t seem to focus on anything. His coat, if that’s what you’d call it, just barely held itself together. His knit stocking cap looked as though every strand of yarn had come up with an escape plan.

He sat down at a table about twenty-five feet from mine, and then his eyes finally found something to focus on....

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February 24, 2015
Stephen Fry, Job, and the Cross of Jesus
By Father Robert Barron

The British writer, actor, and comedian Stephen Fry is featured in a YouTube video which has gone viral: over 5 million views as of this moment. As you may know, Fry is, like his British counterparts Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, a fairly ferocious atheist, who has made a name for himself in recent years as a very public debunker of all things religious. In the video in question, he articulates precisely what he would say to God if, upon arriving at the pearly gates, he...

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February 23, 2015
God is calling each person and every nation to repent
By Tony Magliano

“The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” 

With these two compelling sentences – as recorded in the Gospel of Mark – Jesus inaugurates his ministry and sums up what his mission is about: to break the shackles of sin that enslave humanity, to put us on the path of liberation from all oppression, and to teach us how to unconditionally love one another.

But what does it mean to repent?

Striving to avoid sin and living virtuously is certainly part of what it...

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