Download this complimentary calendar to help guide you on your Lenten journey.
Legal size: 8.5 x14 (one-sided)
Standard size: 8.5 x 11 (two-sided)
©2020, TrueQuest Communications.
Seeing the Spirit at work in the world
Download this complimentary calendar to help guide you on your Lenten journey.
Legal size: 8.5 x14 (one-sided)
Standard size: 8.5 x 11 (two-sided)
©2020, TrueQuest Communications.
Our banner display at World Youth Day Panama on the Four Steps to Vocation Discernment was a big hit. An article (in English and Spanish) and pdf of "Four steps to vocation discernment" now available. Click here for more.
The VISION crew met thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims at the Vocation Fair in Panama City's Omar Park. We passed out prayer cards and VISION bookmarks and signed up pilgrims to receive daily "Take Five" meditations and stay connected with VISION. One lucky pilgrim won our Fit Bit door prize.
We look forward to the 2022 World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal. Hope to see you there!
Parque Omar, Section A, booths 23, 24, 25.
Walk through our "Steps to Discernment" display and enter to win a fitbit!
Other World World Youth Day events
Sponsored byKnights of Columbus, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Fellowship of Catholic University Students
Wed., Jan. 23, 2019, 2 p.m. - midnight
Centro de Convenciones Amador (Figali Convention Center)
Recognizing the context of the Church this year (including the crisis, the Synod, the Encuentro, the National Dialogue, etc.), the conversation will center on “What is the role of young people at this moment in the life of the Church?”
Featuring music, witness talks, prayer, dialogue. Learn more here.
Carmelite friars conducted a “ministry of presence” at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 29, the day that protests erupted around the country over President Trump’s travel ban targeting seven majority-Muslim countries. The friars’ action segued into a spontaneous interfaith prayer service with a Muslim imam.
Brothers Matthew Gummess, Mikhail Woodruff, and Kevin Keller "wandered through the crowd to hear stories, share hope, and offer a friendly prayerful presence,” reports the Order of Carmelites blog. “Brother Mikhail was a voice of kindness and impartiality in conversation with reporters. Brother Matthew offered moral support and chocolates to travelers, airport staff, security, lawyers, and anybody who might need a little boost.”
After they met Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, who was also at the airport, the four agreed to hold an immediate joint prayer service.
“Together with the Imam, those present were called to prayer by Brother Matthew with some verses of 'Amazing Grace.' Brother Mikhail invoked the presence of God in a warm and hospitable prayer. Then Imam Hendi passionately prayed on behalf of the gathering—roughly 50 people from diverse faiths—offering words of peace, justice, and integrity,” the Carmelites report.
In May, 61 cloistered nuns from six monasteries in Santiago, Chile, spent time with inmates at a local women's prison and attended Mass with them, as part of this Year of Mercy. Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, who celebrated the Mass, shared with Catholic News Agency that the nuns requested the joint visit, “so the sisters who contemplate the face of God every day in prayer could contemplate him in the face of people who are suffering, going through a hard time in their lives.”
The nuns, who lead a traditional enclosed monastic life, sang a Chilean song and four even danced after they all celebrated Mass. "[It was] a grace to share with them, to really feel like a sister with them, to feel their sorrow, their joy and to become one with them,” said Sister Maria Rosa of the Discalced Carmelites from the San José monastery.
Read more here.
The Year of Mercy runs through November 2016.
The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago organized a peace walk in April to grieve the loss of the life of 18-year-old Antonio Robert Johnson, who was recently gunned down in front of their home, St. Scholastica Monastery. The sisters and their neighbors walked in solidarity against violence and injustice in their north side neighborhood of Chicago.
The primary ministry of the Benedictine Sisters (O.S.B.) of Chicago is community: to minister in education, social services, pastoral ministry, spiritual development, and social justice, to name a few.
Sister Benita Coffey, O.S.B., who promotes social justice for the Benedictines, shared with the Chicago Tribune: "We've been on this property since 1906 and we are not getting up and leaving the neighborhood. We're going to support our neighbors in whatever ways we can."
According to The New York Times, Father Robert Palladino, former Trappist monk and world-renowned master calligrapher, died on Feb. 26 at age 83 in Sandy, Oregon. Palladino is credited with influencing the onscreen fonts and overall physical design of the Apple computers that Steve Jobs would create after auditing Palladino's calligraphy class at Reed College in 1972, four years before founding the company.
Palladino's vocation to religious life began in 1950 at age 17 when he joined the Trappist order in Pecos, New Mexico, where he first received his calligraphic training, in silence, and later became the principal scribe in 1955. When the monastery moved to the Willamette Valley in Oregon in 1958, Palladino was ordained a priest. However, the reforms of Vatican II led him to leave the monastery in 1968 and settle in Portland where he joined Reed College a year later and was able to continue his advance study in calligraphy. Ironically Palladino never used an Apple computer.
Learn more about Palladino's career and return to religious life as a diocesan priest in Portland here as well as the life of Trappists here.
The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana are inviting all to make a Year of Mercy pilgrimage to their motherhouse, nestled among 1,200 acres of land filled with gardens and forests, and the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who overcame personal struggles to establish the order and academy now known as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. There are many sacred spaces, indoor and outdoor, at the site, and visitors can take guided and self-guided tours. Learn more here.
The White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, is great place to visit and learn about sustainable living and caring for all creation. You may even see some alpacas!
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is beautiful in all seasons. Schedule a pilgrimage by calling 812-535-2945.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd Maria Droste Contemplative Community is one of six contemplative communities invited by the Archdiocese of St. Louis to open their doors as a pilgrimage site during the Year of Mercy.
Sister Elizabeth Garciano, the local leader for the Maria Droste Contemplative Community in St. Louis recently blogged about the official blessing by Bishop Edward M. Rice and the great opportunity and privilege it is for them to serve the community at large during this Jubilee Year.
Being a pilgrimage site near Ferguson, Missouri, "in the midst of racial tension" allows the sisters to continue to be an affirmation of missionary life as well as a witness to God's mercy and reconciliation, Garciano says. Additionally, she shares, being a pilgrimage site allows people to get closer to God through Mass, morning and evening prayer, Stations of the Cross, praying the Rosary, and eucharistic adoration.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd Year of Mercy pilgrimage site event is listed on the VISION Events Calendar. Join the sisters at the Maria Droste Contemplative Community for prayer and Mass during the following times throughout the Year of Mercy:
Weekly Sunday morning prayer 9 a.m.
Sunday Mass 9:30 a.m.
Daily Monday to Friday Mass 7 a.m.
Daily Monday to Friday morning prayer 7:30 a.m.
Parishes around the world are getting ready to celebrate the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis, to begin Dec. 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In Chicago, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich has designated 32 parishes and shrines in the city as Jubilee pilgrimage sites. By walking through the Holy Doors of these sites, the faithful may gain a plenary indulgence offered by Pope Francis.
One of those pilgrimage sites is Saint Ita Catholic Church, which houses an enshrined relic of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, O.L.M. (1905-1938), a Polish nun, mystic, and visionary, who is venerated as the Apostle of Divine Mercy, a devotion to the merciful love of God for all.
Bishop Francis J. Kane will bless the doors of Saint Ita Catholic Church, located at 5500 N. Broadway, on Dec. 13 at the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Starting in January, on the last Sunday of every month for the duration of the Year of Mercy, the church will offer Confession from 2-3 p.m., followed by recitation/chant of Divine Mercy from 3-3:30 p.m.
The Year of Mercy ends on Nov. 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King.
A list of the Jubilee pilgrimage sites can be found at www.jubileemercy.org. Information about obtaining a plenary indulgence can be found on the website of the Office for Divine Worship at www.odw.org.
|Actor Mark Wahlberg at the recent premiere of the film Entourage.|
Movie actor Mark Wahlberg said he never would have been able to get his life back on track as a troubled teen if he hadn't had a strong relationship with his parish priest, according to an interview in Square Mile magazine.
Wahlberg said he was saved from a life of drugs and violence when Father James Flavin intervened. The priest took him under his wing and taught him the importance of faith.
Wahlberg said, “I pray every day and try to go to church every day. My faith in God is what makes me a better man. It’s the most important part of my life.”
Wahlberg, star of The Departed and many other films, is also an executive producer of the former television series and current movie release Entourage. “I never would have been able to change my life and have the success and love that I have in my world today without my faith,” he said.
Read more here.
| The mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sister Prejean's congregation,
is to work toward the union of God and neighbor without distinction.
The public exposition of the Shroud of Turin officially opened in April at the Italian city's cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
According to Catholic News Service, Pope Francis authorized the public display of the shroud to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Bosco, a 19th-century priest from the Turin region who was a pioneer in vocational education, worked with poor and abandoned children, and founded the Salesian order. The pope is scheduled to visit Turin June 21-22 to venerate the shroud.
The famous relic is believed to have been the cloth to have wrapped the crucified body of Christ. On the shroud is the image of a man that bears "all signs of the wounds corresponding to the Gospel accounts of the torture Jesus endured in his passion and death."
The church invites the faithful to reflect on the shroud's image as a way to grasp the suffering Jesus endured and the love for humanity that sacrifice entailed.
Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin said, "The shroud invites us to never let ourselves be beaten down by evil, but to overcome it with good."
|"Easter at Ephesus" is the followup to chart-topping albums "Advent at Ephesus," "Angels and Saints at Ephesus," and "Lent at Ephesus" by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, are a young, contemplative order who pray, work, and sing at their monastery just north of Kansas City, Mo. Founded in 1995, these singing Benedictines have released their fourth album, "Easter at Ephesus," which reached No. 1 on Billboard's classical traditional chart and Amazon and iTunes' classical charts.
According to Zenit, the new album "features an array of chants and hymns that are sung with a purity of sound that perfectly evokes and celebrates the Easter season."
Check out the trailer for "Easter at Ephesus" here:
|Crowds gather to watch processions during Semana Santa in Seville, Spain.|
In the days leading up to Easter, Christians around the world take part in various cultural and religious traditions to remember the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. PBS has compiled a series of photographs that show different festivities.
In Jerusalem, Christian clergy participate in washing of feet ceremonies, while in Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is marked by processions. In the Philippines, penitents dress up as moriones, wearing soldier outfits from biblical times.
While these many traditions are different, they all aim to honor Jesus and remind onlookers of the importance of Holy Week.
See the photos and more traditions here.
|Catholic Athletes for Christ helps athletes keep their faith strong while competing.|
Ray McKenna, a Washington-based attorney, has been busy recently at baseball spring training camps in Arizona and Florida. As a former minor-league baseball chaplain, McKenna knows the strain that being an athlete can place on religious commitments, so he founded Catholic Athletes for Christ 10 years ago.
“The service is to provide the sacraments to the players so the players are able to practice their faith,” McKenna says.
When he worked as a chaplain, he could give spiritual advice, but could not provide players with the sacraments. "The result of that logically was that players were leaving the Catholic faith and becoming so-called non-denominational, born-again Christians and not understanding and receiving the fullness of our Catholic faith," he says.
The organization now has a network of priests who hear confession and celebrate Mass at stadiums, clubhouses, and practice fields. It also coordinates events with the Vatican’s Church and Sports office within the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Knights of Columbus.
While the organization had only focused on professional athletes in the past, it now has a program for middle-school and high-school athletes as well, helping them to work with their sports schedules to make time for faith.
Tyler Flowers, catcher for the Chicago White Sox, is very grateful for the services that Catholic Athletes for Christ provides, saying, "They do a great job helping us. We can have Mass at the stadium at the majority of places we go."
Read more here.
|Being Catholic: A user's guide
|"We really connected, I think it's safe to say. If you care to watch, there's good chemistry
between us," said Father Richard Rohr, O.F.M., about his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
NCR reports that Franciscan priest, Father Richard Rohr, O.F.M., of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico will be on Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday" on Sunday Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. ET on the OWN network or online here.
The focus of the interview will be one of Rohr's books, which he said Oprah "had highlighted page after page, arrow after arrow. She wasn't threatened by Catholic theology." But the book was so marked up, he said, that "she didn't get to ask one-tenth of what she wanted to say."
He added, "she says she's going to have me back."
Rohr's Franciscan ministry has strived for "45 years to preach the Gospel in a way that makes sense to a spiritual seeker, a person who's more secularly oriented, and to someone who's more theologically oriented," he said.
On the topic of Pope Francis, which Rohr said he is often asked about, he said, "But the brilliance of Pope Francis—and I pinch myself every day that I've lived to see a pope like this—you see that he does bring Jesuit discernment, a kind of clarity of thought. If people want to write him off as bleeding-heart liberal or lightweight intellectual, you see he's really rather strategic. People in management see this. He's strategizing. ... He's strategizing the reform of the church. The discernment of spirits, as the charism is called, is the best of the Jesuit tradition. He's put together the two biggest orders of the church in just one man."
Discover more about the Franciscans and the Jesuits today.
|Father John Murray attributes his healing to prayer after being paralyzed from the neck down.|
Father John Murray, a priest in Brooklyn, N.Y., fell four years ago. The accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, with doctors saying he would never walk again.
“'You should expect no voluntary movement.' That’s a quote. 'No voluntary movement for the rest of your life,'” he says.
Murray has since proven those doctors wrong after rising from his wheelchair on a Jersey Shore boardwalk a year and a half after his accident. “I think it's a result of prayer," he says. "Other people’s prayers and my prayers, without a doubt.”
NBC reports that prayer can lead to more everyday health benefits as well, quoting a physician who said that “most studies show religious people have better mental health, are less likely to experience depression, and cope better when they do." Research shows that people who pray daily are 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure.
So, perhaps saying a prayer a day can keep the doctor away!
Read more here.
|Pope Francis holds up a prayer book while encouraging listeners to find joy during Advent.|
As thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square to have Pope Francis bless their figures of baby Jesus for their crèche scenes, the pope called for a spirit of joyfulness during Advent, saying, “We’ve never heard of a sad saint.”
He encouraged listeners to strive for happiness, saying, “Every family, every people, aspires to happiness.”
This past Sunday was the “Sunday of Joy” during which many priests around the world wear rose-colored vestments to represent the joy of anticipation.
Pope Francis sought to remind the world that in the rush towards Christmas, many people feel overwhelmed. “Think of all the good things life has given you . . . don't forget joy,” he said.
Read more here.
|Saint Mary's College (Notre Dame, Ind.) President Carol Ann Mooney will hand deliver the #VoicesofYoungCatholicWomen letters when she and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, have a general audience with Pope Francis on November 26.|
|“The Voices of Young Catholic Women project has allowed me to see my academic studies come to life. As a religious studies major and a gender and women’s studies minor, this experience is giving me a tangible experience where I am able to see the intersection of religion and gender,” said Saint Mary’s College student Tori Wilbraham ’15 (seond from the left pictured with the organizing group).|
|Virtual choir of cloistered Carmelite nuns sing: “Nada Te Turbe” (“Let Nothing Disturb You”) in an original composition by Sr. Claire Sokol.|
For you political junkies wondering what to do once the election is over, or for all those preparing to settle into winter, you might consider making your way through the list of 45 “best films” chosen by the Vatican in 1995 in honor of the 100th anniversary of cinema. Although film buffs may argue with certain selections and omissions, overall it is an admirable compilation that shows a real appreciation for the art of movies and moviemaking.
In the months ahead I will offer some mini reviews and commentary as I delve into these film classics. I encourage you to offer your own reviews or comments. We can also begin to compile our own VISION list of Best Films that can include releases in the past decade as well.
As I look over the list, of the ones I’ve already viewed, I’d have to say Babette’s Feast and Stagecoach top my list. I was happily surprised to see It’s a Wonderful Life on the list—it probably is my favorite Frank Capra film although I do love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It Happened One Night. But for all around entertaining Christmas films A Christmas Story is one I can and do watch over and over.
I look forward to your comments. Happy viewing!
The Vatican Best Films List (1885-1995)
Andrei Rublev * Andrei Tarkowsky (1969, USSR)
The Mission * Roland Joffé (1986, UK)
La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) *
Carl T. Dreyer (1928, France)
La vie et la passion de Jésus Christ (Life and Passion of Christ) * Ferdinand Zecca and Lucien Nonguet (1905, France) Identified on the Vatican film list as La Passion Pathé
Francesco, giullare di Dio (The Flowers of St. Francis / Francis, God’s Jester) * Roberto Rossellini (1950, Italy)
Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to Matthew) * Pier Paolo Pasolini (1964, France/Italy)
Thérèse * Alain Cavalier (1986, France)
Ordet (The Word) * Carl T. Dreyer (1955, Denmark)
Offret — Sacrificatio (The Sacrifice) * Andrei Tarkowsky (1986, Sweden/UK/France)
Francesco * Liliana Cavani (1989, Italy/Germany)
Ben-Hur [A Tale of the Christ] * William Wyler (1959, USA)
Babettes gæstebud (Babette’s Feast) * Gabriel Axel (1987, Denmark)
Nazarín * Luis Buñuel (1958, Mexico)
Monsieur Vincent * Maurice Cloche (1947, France)
A Man for All Seasons * Fred Zinnemann (1966, UK)
Gandhi * Richard Attenborough (1982, UK/USA/India)
Intolerance * D. W. Griffith (1916, USA)
Dekalog (The Decalogue) * Krzysztof Kieslowski (1987, Poland)
Identified on the Vatican film list as Il Decalogo
Au Revoir, Les Enfants (Goodbye, Children) * Louis Malle (1987, France)
Dersu Uzala * Akira Kurosawa (1974, Japan)
L’albero degli zoccoli (The Tree of the Wooden Clogs) * Ermanno Olmi (1978, Italy/France)
Roma, città aperta (Open City) * Roberto Rossellini (1946, Italy)
Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) * Ingmar Bergman (1957, Sweden)
Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) * Ingmar Bergman (1957, Sweden)
Chariots of Fire * Hugh Hudson (1981, UK)
Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief) * Vittorio de Sica (1948, Italy)
It’s a Wonderful Life * Frank Capra (1946, USA)
Schindler’s List * Steven Spielberg (1993, USA)
On the Waterfront * Elia Kazan (1954, USA)
Biruma No Tategoto (The Burmese Harp) * Kon Ichikawa (1956, Japan)
2001: A Space Odyssey * Stanley Kubrick (1968, UK/USA)
La Strada * Federico Fellini (1954, Italy)
Citizen Kane * Orson Welles (1941, USA)
Metropolis * Fritz Lang (1927, Germany)
Modern Times * Charlie Chaplin (1936, USA)
Napoléon * Abel Gance (1927, Italy)
8½ * Federico Fellini (1963, Italy)
La grande illusion (Grand Illusion) * Jean Renoir (1937, France)
Nosferatu * F. W. Murnau (1922, Germany)
Stagecoach * John Ford (1939, USA)
Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) * Luchino Visconti (1963, Italy/France)
Fantasia * (1940, USA)
The Wizard of Oz * Victor Fleming (1939, USA)
The Lavender Hill Mob * Charles Crichton (1951, UK)
Little Women * George Cukor (1933, USA)
What would you add?
Films released prior to 1995?
Films released after 1995?
|PARTICIPANTS at the Picnic
with Mary, hosted by the
Sisters of Bon Secours.
Here is an update from Vatican Radio regarding the vigil for peace in Syria:
"Pope Francis renewed his appeal for peace in Syria and throughout the world on Wednesday, once again inviting Christians of every denomination, believers of every religious tradition and all people of good will to take part in the worldwide fast and vigil of prayer and penance for peace, which he has called for September 7th, the vigil of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, whom we venerate as Queen of Peace. First announced at the Sunday Angelus at the start of the week, many local churches have already organized their own initiatives to mark the day. The Holy Father especially urged the faithful of Rome and pilgrims to the city to participate in the prayer vigil to be held in St. Peter's Square starting at 7 p.m. Rome time and continuing until midnight. The Holy Father concluded, 'May a powerful cry for peace go up from every land!' "
From the pope's message: This coming Saturday we will live together a special day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world. I renew the invitation to the whole Church to live this day intensely, and even now I express gratitude to the other Christian brethren, to the brethren of other religions and to the men and women of good will who desire to join in this initiative, in places and ways of their own. I especially urge the Roman faithful and pilgrims to participate in the prayer vigil here in St. Peter's Square at 19.00, in order to ask the Lord for the great gift of peace. May a powerful cry for peace go up from every land!
#peace #popefrancis #queenofpeace
The Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, who staff 40 parishes, colleges, soup kitchens, and food centers along the Eastern seaboard as well as supporting groups in Peru and Tokyo, are among a small but growing number of religious groups accepting text-message prayer requests, reports this week’s Preaching the News via an article by Patricia Reaney for Reuters.
|TEXT the Franciscans: They'll pray for you.|
Their “Text a Prayer Intention to a Franciscan Friar” initiative, described as “faith at your fingertips,” offers a novel way for Catholics to connect with those in religious life. “People are always saying to friars, ‘Can you say a prayer for me?’ or ‘can you remember my mother who has cancer?’ ” said Father David Convertino, the New York-based executive director of development for the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province.
"A lot of people text everything now, even more than email, so why not have people have the ability to ask us to pray for them by texting," Convertino said. The intentions are received on a website and are included collectively in the friars' prayers twice a day and at Mass.
Most of the 325 friars, whose average age is about 60, are comfortable with the technology, said Convertino. "If the pope can tweet, friars can text. We have a friar who is 80 who was texting today.”
A number of communities accept prayer requests on their websites. Are there more out there who accept texted requests?