Pope will wash prisoners' feet again

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March 23, 2015
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Rome – Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a Rome prison and wash the feet of male and female inmates. The Vatican announced March 11 that the pope will visit the Rebibbia detention facility on the outskirts of the capital April 2, then celebrate Mass in Our Father Church on the grounds of the complex. During the Mass, the pope will wash the feet of male inmates from Rebibbia and female inmates from a nearby women's prison.

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Pope blesses women gathered at Vatican to share stories

March 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

The pope's comments March 8 preceded a five-hour celebration in the Vatican of the ways Christian women minister to their sisters who are poor, sick, excluded from education, victims of human trafficking and exploitation. The celebration, Voices of Faith, also included a session in which participants expressed their hopes and dreams for fuller involvement of women in Church decision-making. Chantal Gotz, executive director of the Fidel Gotz Foundation and chief organizer of the celebration, told Catholic News Service, "It's not about arguing doctrine or wanting something; it's highlighting the contributions women already are making.

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Women move ahead with baby steps at Vatican

March 23, 2015
LAURA IERACI
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

VATICAN CITY – The number of women working for Vatican City State has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, while the number of women in leadership positions in the Roman Curia remains low, with only two women serving as undersecretaries. Gudrun Sailer, a journalist at Vatican Radio, conducted a study of the Vatican employment situation and published the results March 5 in preparation for the celebration March 8 of International Women's Day.

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Religious vocation was answer to teenage girl's prayers

March 23, 2015
DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

OTTAWA – When Sister Lorraine Desjardins was growing up in Kapuskasing, Ont., she yearned to enter religious life but faced one major obstacle: her parents. An only child, the superior general of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa recalled a warm, God-filled family life. Desjardins had felt the stirrings of a religious call from the time she was eight or nine years old. The Sisters of Charity taught at the elementary school she attended, and Desjardins early on wanted to be a religion teacher or a teaching religious.

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Holy Year of Mercy begins in December

March 23, 2015
CINDY WOODEN
and CAROL GLATZ
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy." "No one can be excluded from God's mercy," the pope said March 13, marking the second anniversary of his pontificate by leading a Lenten penance service in St. Peter's Basilica. "I frequently have thought about how the Church can make more evident its mission to be a witness of mercy," he said during his homily. So he decided to call a special holy year, which will be celebrated from Dec. 8, 2015, until Nov. 20, 2016.

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Holy Spirit, heal us from the disease of a lugubrious face

March 23, 2015

The disease of indifference to others. This is where each individual thinks only of himself and loses sincerity and warmth of human relationships. When the most knowledgeable person does not put that knowledge at the service of his less knowledgeable colleagues. When we learn something and then keep it to ourselves rather than sharing it in a helpful way with others. When out of jealousy or deceit we take joy in seeing others fall instead of helping them up and encouraging them.

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The cross remains a scandal for us today

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March 23, 2015

Even after 2,000 years of Christianity, the cross is a scandal. Good Friday annually confronts us with the message St. Paul says "is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1.18). In many nations today, violence is a lived reality. War, terrorism, marginalization in poverty or homelessness, or simple abandonment by loved ones are defining characteristics of the lives of tens of millions of people.

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All are on trial when Jesus faces the authorities

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi
March 23, 2015

The biblical accounts of Jesus' passion and death focus very much on his trial, describing it in length and in detail. There is a huge irony in how it is described. Jesus is on trial, but the story is written in such a way that, in effect, everyone is on trial, except Jesus. The Jewish authorities who orchestrated his arrest are on trial for their jealousy and dishonesty. The Roman authorities who wield the final power are on trial for their religious blindness.

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Jesus triumphed through power of the cross

Lydia Cristini
March 23, 2015
Palm Sunday
March 29, 2015

We all know the story. We hear it every year during Holy Week, twice. Jesus eats supper with his disciples, is betrayed, captured, falsely accused, wrongfully sentenced, brutally tortured, cruelly mocked and then is murdered on the cross. As with all stories we hear over and over, we can become too familiar with it. We can forget the scandal it is. The utter and complete failure it demonstrates. Jesus' mission was to help people hear and understand the Good News while he was on earth. But no one "got it." Not the people who followed him to hear him speak, not the lepers he cured, nor the lame people who walked, not even the 12 apostles, who spent day and night with him.

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Federal sentencing bill seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist

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March 23, 2015

Government's most fundamental responsibility is that of protecting the common good. Part of that responsibility – in the Canadian system, it is a federal responsibility – is that of protecting the public order, including punishing the perpetrators of major crimes. Punishment serves three purposes. First and most important, it attempts to redress the disorder caused by the offence. The traditional term for such redress is retribution, widely misinterpreted as meaning revenge.

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