Prayer

Lent is a time for prayer, interior conversion

As Pope Francis described in his 2017 Lenten message, "Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ's victory over death.

"This season urgently calls us to conversion," he wrote. "Christians are asked to return to God 'with all their hearts' (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord."

As we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday, March 1, how do we prepare our hearts for conversion and the path to Easter? Turning toward prayer, through the Scriptures, is one solid suggestion.

Pope’s prayer intentions confront ‘culture of indifference’

VATICAN CITY — Last year, more than 13 million people around the world watched Pope Francis explain one of his specific prayer intentions each month.

The 90-second, personal explanations in "The Pope Video," first launched in January 2016, encouraged people to join an estimated 50 million Catholics who already had a more formal relationship with The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network — better known by its former title, the Apostleship of Prayer.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Prayer brings light of hope in dark times

Pope Francis walks near violinists at his general audience Jan. 18 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Prayer has the power to awaken hope in men and women, even in the face of death and destruction, Pope Francis said in his catechesis talk.

VATICAN CITY — Prayer has the power to awaken hope in men and women, even in the face of death and destruction, Pope Francis said.

People often feel unworthy to turn to God when they are in need "as if it were a self-interested prayer and, thus, imperfect," the pope said Jan. 18 at his weekly general audience.

"But God knows our weakness; He knows that we remember Him to ask for help and, with the indulgent smile of a father, He responds graciously," he said.

SEEK 2017 inspires college students to evangelize on campuses

Young adults prayed at Mass as part of the Jan. 3-7 biennial SEEK conference in San Antonio, Texas. The event was designed to bring evangelization efforts to college campuses.

SAN ANTONIO — In need of reigniting the fire for his Catholic faith, Jeremy Martins found the flame he needed at SEEK 2017.

"SEEK is the log I was waiting for," said Martins, a junior at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. "It has been two years since a real encounter with Christ."

Editorial | Pray for calm and Catholic on

They carry on despite the circumstances.

This issue of the St. Louis Review includes an article about an arson at St. Monica Church in Creve Coeur two days after Christmas that requires cleanup and repairs lasting several weeks.

Yet, they carry on, with Masses and other sacramental matters continuing as scheduled, but in the parish school.

West County XLT latest example of collaborative spirit in youth ministry

Known as West County XLT, the collaboration of parish-based youth ministry programs rotates at different west St. Louis County parishes. Bishop Robert Hermann was the guest speaker for the group at St. Clement of Rome Dec. 14. Dominic Dolan, 16, from St. Alban Roe Parish, prayed at adoration.

The soothing sound of a guitar wafted through the church and into the vestibule at St. Clement of Rome as Breeze Bonderer and Josie Davis quietly talked.

The high school freshmen were taking a break from their end-of-semester studies to attend West County XLT at the church in Des Peres. The monthly gathering of praise and worship, adoration, confessions and a talk began in November, and rotates among seven West County parishes.

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