Vatican's take on supernatural phenomena subject of new Thavis book

"The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions and Miracles in the Modern Age" by John Thavis. Viking Books (New York, 2015). 288 pp., $27.95.


His duel with Satan one morning in 1982 "felt like 'a biblical scene,'" St. John Paul II later "would tell a top aide."

In "The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions and Miracles in the Modern Age," John Thavis describes what happened that morning when a bishop and parish priest brought a woman named Francesca, "thrashing and cursing loudly," to the Vatican Apostolic Palace where her encounter with the pope occurred.

Book Review | Local priest inspires lead character in ecclesial thriller

At 82, "Father T" is still active, living out his priestly vocation as full-time pastor of a parish and staying involved -- not only in his faith community but in the local community that he loves.

But that part of his life is put on hold when he learns that his former archbishop and now cardinal is being threatened in Rome by a left-wing terrorist group trying to intimidate and frighten the Church into changing its position on several issues.

Children's book teaches concepts of microfinancing

A Sister of the Most Precious Blood of O'Fallon has written a children's book that she hopes will help people understand the complex topic of microfinancing.

Sister Antoinette "Toni" Temporiti has published "One Potato Two," the story of Mumbi, a young African girl whose mother is able to feed the family thanks to a potato-selling business that was begun through a microfinancing loan.

In 2006, Sister Toni founded Microfinancing Partners in Africa, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that provides assistance to strengthen and expand microfinancing programs in Africa.

Book Review | Ending the African 'hunger season'

"The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change" by Roger Thurow.

In western Kenya there are seven seasons, all named for their relation to farming activity. After harvest season in August and September comes second planting, then festival days of December, dry season of January, preparing the land in February, the rains of March and April, when seeds for the first harvest are planted, and then -- each year -- the hunger season.

It seems absurd that farmers who grow more food than they can consume must each year go hungry in May, June and July, as they wait for the first crop to grow, but so it goes in Kenya and much of Africa.

Debate over slavery, abortion has parallels, author says

Roxann Ali toured the old St. Louis Courthouse museum and looked at the petition for reversal of the judgment against Dred Scott of the lower Federal Court introduced before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1854. It would take two years before the U.S. Supreme Court would make their decision in the case.

Author William Federer has one foot in the field of U.S. history and another in the current abortion debate in the United States.

He finds many comparisons between the issues of slavery and abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that allowed them.

Book on miscarriage offers Catholic point of view

"After Miscarriage" (Servant Books/Franciscan Media)

Women who have experienced a miscarriage often feel alone. The grief can be devastating and seeking support can be overwhelming.

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