Nation and World News

Review | ‘Pope Francis: A Man of His Word’

NEW YORK — Veteran filmmaker Wim Wenders respectfully profiles the current successor of St. Peter in the well-crafted, sometimes moving documentary "Pope Francis: A Man of His Word" (Focus). Though Wenders also provides narration, as his title suggests, he largely lets the pontiff speak for himself.

Vatican issues new rules for communities of contemplative nuns

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican released an instruction with new norms for contemplative orders of nuns, encouraging cooperation among their monasteries and outlining procedures for communities left with only a few members.

The document, "Cor Orans" ("Praying Heart") is a follow-up instruction on implementing Pope Francis' 2016 document "Vultum Dei Quaerere" ("Seeking the Face of God"), which issued new rulings and mandates for monasteries of women around the world. According to the Vatican, safeguarding the identity and mission of contemplative women religious is the aim of both.

Jerusalem archbishop calls for prayers for peace as violence increases

A wounded Palestinian was evacuated at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest against the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem May 14.

JERUSALEM — Warning that violence will never bring peace, Pope Francis urged all sides to do all they can to foster dialogue in the Middle East.

"I am very worried about the intensifying tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East and about the spiral of violence that increasingly leads away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations," he said in an appeal May 16 at his general audience in St. Peter's Square.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Gift of baptism is to be cherished

Pope Francis baptized an infant Jan. 7 in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. At his general audience May 21, the pope said that all parents and godparents must teach the faith to children and “feed the flame of baptismal grace in their little ones, helping them persevere in the faith.”

VATICAN CITY — Children have a right to be brought up in the Christian faith, Pope Francis said.

Parents and godparents must make sure they "feed the flame of baptismal grace in their little ones, helping them persevere in the faith," the pope said May 16 at his weekly general audience.

"Christian education is a child's right; it seeks to guide them gradually to know God's plan in Christ," so they will be able to personally take up the faith in which they were baptized, he said.

Called to holiness: Taking the Incarnation seriously

'The Incarnation'

Christ's incarnation troubles some Christians. It almost always did.

Today, as in past centuries, some find it difficult to accept the Incarnation fully. They doubt, perhaps, that God really could or would become man.

Perhaps, too, they wonder why on earth the Lord would enter as fully and warmly as the Gospels say He did into the lives of people of all kinds, including those living in situations that fell far short of perfect.

St. Raphael’s Lenten project becomes an answer to prayers for Puerto Rican parish recovering from hurricane

San José Chapel, one of eight chapels under the pastoral care of Parroquia San Rafael in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, suffered the most extensive damage of all the chapels. Located close to the sea, a hurricane Sept. 20 ripped off material that covered the roof, flooding the inside of the chapel. The chapel’s padded chairs were damaged and several doors also needed repair.

More than four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, Father Jorge Virella was feeling stressed as he worried about how his parish, San Rafael in Quebradillas, was going to come up with the funding to restore several chapels.

At the same time, about 2,000 miles away in St. Louis, Father Bob Reiker had cracked open the Official Catholic Directory, looking for a church in Puerto Rico where his parishioners at St. Raphael the Archangel could send donations from their recent Lenten project.

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