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.

On a Journey of hope and faith

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When Marie Uwamahoro was 7, her family fled the civil war in the Central African Republic.

She loved her former home, but being so young, the adjustment to life in the United States was easier than it was for her parents. Now a sophomore at Notre Dame High School in Lemay, Marie likes the opportunities St. Louis offers and the diversity of the city. She's planning to attend college, perhaps becoming a nurse.

Christian Unity Week service to stress reconciliation

Reconciliation, especially focusing on the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Reformation, will be stressed during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrated this year from Jan. 18-25.

The week will be highlighted on Sunday, Jan. 22, with an ecumenical prayer service and reception at 7 p.m. at St. Justin Martyr Church, 11910 Eddie and Park Road in Sunset Hills. Rev. Michael Malone, Lutheran ecumenical officer, will preach. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will preside.

Churches serve as link to support for police officers

Tom Niebling of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish joined the procession to support police Nov. 21 in south St. Louis. “There’s been so much hatred against police, we’ve got to show them some support,” Niebling said.

The signs outside two neighboring parish churches in south St. Louis expressed the sentiment amplified by hundreds of people who marched along the streets linking the two.

At St. Gabriel Church, the illuminated sign read "Pray of our First Responders." At St. Joan of Arc Church, "Thank You, Officers" was the message of the day.

Day of prayer aims to begin restoring peace to U.S. communities

Deacon Willard Witherspoon, front, Archbishop William E. Lori, Bishop Denis J. Madden and community activist Ray Kelly, lead the Prayer Walk for Peace along N. Carey St., in West Baltimore Sept. 9.

WASHINGTON — Prayers for peace at Catholic schools and parishes around the country Sept. 9 are meant to "build relationships and plant seeds in people's minds and hearts" said Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana.

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