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Pope Francis Insists on Going by Bus

Image: Pope Francis still likes to take the bus on occasion. Shown here in Philadelphia. (CNS) B is for…Benedict XVI The first person to know of the election of Francis was Benedict XVI. The first telephone call that the new pope made was to the Pope Emeritus. Likewise, the first prayer that Francis requested as he stood on the balcony of St. Peter’s was for Benedict.
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Follower of Saint Francis: Denis Grady, OFS

Image: Dick Vos. "When the Gospel became clear to me, I needed to express my faith with songs,” says Denis Grady, OFS. A Secular Franciscan for the past 10 years, Denis has always felt the pull of both music and Catholic faith in his life, but his response to God’s call to pursue music ministry didn’t happen automatically.
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The Triumph over Emptiness and Evil

Image: Image extracted from page 016 of The Poetical Works of John Milton. Containing Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained. Samson Agonistes, and his Poems on several occasions., by Milton, John. Original held and digitised by the British Library. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:31–32 It all began in the spring of 2000 in the idyllic town of Chiavenna, Italy, a prosperous town of seven thousand inhabitants near Lake Como, on the border between Italy and Switzerland. Bored with small-town life, three teenage girls named Ambra, Veronica, and Milena entered into a satanic pact, seeking to drum up a little excitement.
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Purgatory 101

One thing we see through the history of the Church is that, with certain doctrines, something changes in the way they are understood. Take, for example, purgatory. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you might be surprised to know that there are only three paragraphs devoted to it (1030, 1031, and 1032). The first states that those who die in God’s friendship, but are still imperfectly purified, are assured of eternal salvation. They undergo a purification to achieve the necessary holiness. 
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A Doctor Saves Flint, Michigan

Image: CNS. Everywhere she goes now, from testifying before the US Congress to the coffee shop, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is recognized—and thanked. Hanna-Attisha, the director of Flint, Michigan’s Hurley Hospital Pediatric Residency Program, was named to the 2016 TIME 100, the magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people. PEN America, a group of writers dedicated to human rights, chose Hanna-Attisha and Flint mother/activist LeeAnne Walters to receive the 2016 Freedom of Expression Courage Award. (Last year, PEN honored the surviving staffers of the Paris attack on the weekly Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.) 
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A Meditation on God and Creation

Image: Thad Zajdowicz. On display at the Renwick Gallery, Janet Echelman's 1.8, 2015 is a creation of knotted and braided fiber with programmable lighting and wind movement above printed textile flooring.  Picture a creator in your mind. What are they creating? Maybe it is a work of art or a piece of music? Maybe they are creating a computer game or a new plan for the city? Or something else entirely. What are some characteristics of this creator? What is the process by which they are creating? How long does it take? Is it done from beginning to end, without corrections? Or do they keep revisiting the creation, tweaking it here and there to make it better?
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Pope Francis: My Environmental Teacher

Before you disregard this blog as some environmental guilt trip, let me confess something upfront: until recently, my carbon footprint was roughly the size of Wisconsin. 
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Year of Mercy: 'You Visited Me'

Image; Pope Francis greets prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia Sept. 27. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) When Pope Francis makes a stop at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia in September as part of his U.S. visit, it may seem like part of the pope’s usual routine. His visits to prisons as part of his pastoral journeys to other countries has become part and parcel of the pope’s style, just as it had been for St. John Paul II to visit pockets of the Polish diaspora during his well-traveled pontificate. But visiting fellow countrymen once removed is one thing. Visiting criminals and crime suspects is quite another.
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Pope Francis and the Three P's: Patience, Politics, and Prayer

Image: Pope Francis embraces new Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec after presenting the red biretta to him during a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) In his first years as pope, Francis has challenged just about everyone. In the Consistory of February 2014, he created eighteen new cardinals, and he told them, in no uncertain terms, that this was not a promotion but a calling into deeper and more humble service of the Church. He asked them to work together, bringing their experience of so many different and diverse parts of the Church to their role in advising and assisting the pope.
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Words of Wisdom from Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is known for her radiant smile and the joy of Christ that she brought to all she met, even in the most challenging circumstances. She taught us to live in joy, simplicity, humble surrender to Jesus, thankfulness, and, above all, a heart filled with God’s love. These keys will unlock the gift of joy in every thirsting heart. The following words are from Mother Teresa.
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