As Carlotta Williams sat relaxing on the porch steps at a neighbor's home, she didn't think much about the white Toyota Camry parking in front of the house next door, on Maple Avenue in north St. Louis.
Then, the car doors popped open and the occupants emerged, catching Williams' attention. The three sisters from The Society of Our Mother of Peace wore blue habits — dark blue veils and lighter blue ground-length dresses.
Touching down at Ben Gurion airport, anyone occupying an aisle seat wanting to catch a glimpse of the surroundings will likely wind up looking through the peo't — un-cut ringlets some Orthodox Jewish men wear on their temples in accordance with a Biblical restriction against cutting the hair there. The men softly recite ancient prayers, which mingle with the sound of seatbelts being unfastened and mobile phones being powered on a by passengers eager to disembark. There's a sense that this is a special place, a place where God is present.
Four years ago when the Archdiocese of St. Louis launched a campaign for religious liberty, Archbishop Robert Carlson called it a great opportunity for Catholics to "build enthusiasm for this important cause."
"Religious liberty is our first, most cherished freedom," he said. "The threat the HHS mandate poses to the Catholic Church is no small matter. It is imperative that we act now to protect the freedoms upon which this country is based."
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!"