We get it – Christmas break is for time with family and friends, finding pandas among snowmen and maybe watching a football game with your sisters – habited or otherwise. Keeping up with Catholic news hasn’t been a top priority.

Here’s a roundup of some Catholic news you may have missed while eating cookies and schooling your family in rounds of Mario Kart:

1. Donald Trump and Pope Francis – two of the most opposite people on the planet – tied for second place in a Gallup poll of most admired men in America. It’s not the first time a pope has made the list, but the current president usually wins first place – and this year was no different.


trump and pope francis

2. A video of a singing Filipino priest on a hoverboard went viral. The Diocese has since released a statement saying that Mass is not an appropriate time for hoverboard carols, and that the priest will be taking a break from his duties at the parish for a time to reflect on his actions, for which he has apologized.


3. A Pew Research poll found that Americans are in the middle of the pack when it comes to how important religion is to them. Over half of Americans – 53 percent – said religion is very important in their lives, making the U.S. less religious than less developed countries in Africa and Asia, but considerably more religious than other equally advanced countries, such as Japan and those in western Europe.

4. Did you catch Pope Francis’ Christmas homily? He had some beautiful words about how the joy of Christmas should banish skepticism and indifference from our hearts that are still good for reflection in this Christmas season.


Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Dec. 16, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

5. The Philadelphia Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters – or, more affectionately, the Pink sisters – celebrated their 100th anniversary of continuous prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and are reaching out to increase vocations to their order. They’re hanging banners advertising their Masses, and are speaking more to the media and groups of young women.

“We rarely reached out for vocation promotion before the centennial. But now we want young ladies to see how beautiful the life is and how truer the joy when it is without the trappings of material things,” Sister Maria Clarissa, 55, told the AP.


6. The Vatican looks really pretty at Christmas time: