ECATEPEC, Mexico — Pope Francis began his travels to Mexico's "peripheries" by visiting an overcrowded, sprawling settlement known internationally as a hunting ground for girls to force into prostitution and for boys to enlist in the drug trade.
Ecatepec, on the northern edge of Mexico City, also has tidy gated communities and a new shopping mall with department stores like Sears, a big WalMart, Starbucks and dozens of other shops and restaurants.
Lent is a season of reflection, penance, fasting and service as we await the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ at Easter.
"Lent is a time for reflection and repentance, a time to pray with renewed fervor for ourselves, our families and the Church," Archbishop Robert Carlson wrote in a letter for the Lenten season. "During this holy season let's also pray for the transformation of the world we live in. Through the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, may we all be agents of the Father's mercy!"
Jennifer Brinker | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @jenniferbrinker
The national Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C, and the local one in Jefferson City are just two of the ways pro-lifers can stay involved in supporting the culture of life. This go-to guide gives other ways to support and promote life.
Since 2000, the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate has offered the monthly Helpers of God's Precious Infants Mass and Rosary procession to pray in front of Planned Parenthood.
Major news events worldwide were reflected in local activities involving Catholics in the St. Louis Archdiocese in 2015. Issues surrounding abortion and refugees had an impact. Pope Francis' visit to the United States, the papal effort to stress mercy and the pope's encyclical on the environment energized Catholics in the St. Louis community as well.
Pope Francis and the Catholic bishops have called on the U.S. government and the international community to provide support to both Syrian refugees fleeing violence and to countries that have been at the forefront of this humanitarian effort.
Suggestions on how to help:
• Donate to the collection at your parish
• Pray for migrants and refugees, for their plight and for peace.