anniversary

Fatima at 100: Story of apparitions continues to attract attention

Jacinta and Francisco Marto are pictured with their cousin Lucia dos Santos (right) in a file photo taken around the time of the 1917 apparitions of Mary at Fatima, Portugal. Pope Francis has approved the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of two of the shepherd children, thus paving the way for their canonization.

VATICAN CITY — While conversion and prayer are at the heart of Mary's messages at Fatima, Portugal, the miracles and unexplained phenomenon that accompanied the events 100 years ago still intrigue believers and nonbelievers alike.

The apparitions of Mary at Fatima in 1917 weren't the first supernatural events reported there.

Two years before Mary appeared to three shepherd children — Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto — they saw a strange sight while praying the Rosary in the field, according to the memoirs of Sister Lucia, who had become a Carmelite nun.

Fatima visionaries will be canonized May 13 in Portugal

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the three shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.

The date was announced April 20 in an "ordinary public consistory," a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.

Addressing the assembly, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, noted that of the future saints considered at the consistory, five were children or young teenagers.

The Message of Fatima

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Mary Sturm has long appreciated the Rosary, but it wasn't until she witnessed the dedication of a group of people praying it after daily Mass at her parish, Holy Infant in Ballwin, that her love grew deeper.

Through this prayer, Sturm finds guidance from the Blessed Mother to stay connected to Jesus. The Rosary also was a great consolation to her when her husband of 43 years, Jim, passed away last summer.

"She helps me participate fully at Mass and help others," Sturm said of the Blessed Mother. "She gives me company, protection and reassurance."

Catholic Charismatic Renewal marks 50th anniversary of founding this year

Patti Gallagher Mansfield, front left, was a 20-year-old junior at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh when she attended a Holy Spirit retreat Feb. 18, 1967, with about 25 college students. The “Duquesne Weekend” is the acknowledged beginnings of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States, which has spread around the world.

NEW ORLEANS — For the past 50 years, Patti Gallagher Mansfield has kept the Champion Wiremaster stenographer's notebook, 5-by-8 inches, safely tucked away among her most cherished, sacred items in her dresser drawer.

The notebook has 80 ruled pages. It cost 25 cents. One was given to each of the 25 students from Duquesne University and La Roche College who attended a weekend retreat in February 1967 at The Ark and The Dove Retreat House just outside of Pittsburgh.

Deacons meet Christ in the face of those suffering

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The phone call came from out of the blue, a random query from a potential customer similar to other calls into Ken Potzman's construction company: Someone wanted him to bid on a job.

Simple as that, except this turned out to be more than your average, run-of-the-mill request for a job bid. It proved to be the ministry component of The Call, capital 'T' and capital 'C.'

New Orleans Archdiocese: Forever changed by Hurricane Katrina

A father and daughter walked through rubble in September 2005 in Biloxi, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast community. The hurricane and the failure of the New Orleans levees Aug. 29, 2005, caused more than 1,800 deaths across the coast and damaged or destroyed more than a million houses and businesses.

NEW ORLEANS -- They are calling it "Kat 10" -- Hurricane Katrina plus 10 years -- which carries with it the double meaning of an ominous meteorological warning.

How could a Category 5 storm that engulfed the entire Gulf of Mexico but dropped in intensity to a Category 3 just before landfall on Aug. 29, 2005 -- burying one of the world's most iconic cities in a flood of biblical proportions -- become the watershed moment in New Orleans' nearly 300-year history?

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