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The Hottest Ticket in Town

Here in DC, everyone is talking about Pope Francis—and he hasn't even arrived yet. Even us journalists are getting excited about this leg of the trip. So excited, that trying to get credentials to the events are hard to come by. Reporters are begging and pleading to whoever they can to grab that golden ticket—myself included. With nearly 8,000 members of the media covering this visit, just like everyone else, we would like even a glimpse of this immensely popular pontiff.
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Pope Francis: Our Spiritual Guide

On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis caught the world’s attention by choosing St. Francis of Assisi as his patron - and he continued his journey towards becoming our spiritual guide. He quickly showed what that means for him: riding the bus with the cardinals back to the Domus Sanctae Marthae (where he has chosen to live) and paying his own bill at the hotel where he stayed before the conclave. A few months later, he carried a small bag onto the plane for his trip to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
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On the World Meeting of Families

Our guest blogger is Gina Loehr, who wrote about meeting Pope Francis in the May 2015 issue of St. Anthony Messenger. It feels a bit like Christmas. I’ve been waiting a whole year to attend the World Meeting of Families and now the event is inching closer. Just a few more days! Finally, all of the planning and prayer is about to come to fruition. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.
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Pope Francis Explains the Call of God

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media's new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alicia von Stamwitz. In our cities and villages there are brave men and others who are timid, there are Christian missionaries and others who are asleep. And there are many who are searching, even if they do not admit it. Everyone is called, everyone is sent out.
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Blessed Are You: Spiritual Poverty

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 5:3 Interesting, isn’t it, that Jesus begins this beautiful sermon by talking about the poor? It was certainly the earthly life he knew: birth in a lowly stable; growing up as a carpenter’s son.
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Blessed Are You: The Peacemakers

Our guest blogger today is Melanie Rigney, author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” —Matthew 5:9 We love peacemakers, in theory anyway. Think of all the poems and songs that have been written about the concept of peace over the millennia. In City of God, St. Augustine waxed poetically about peace in and between the body and soul; peace with God; and among people.
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Knowing Forgiveness

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012. When I found out about Pope Francis' recent announcement that priests would be able to grant absolution to women who had gotten abortions, I was shocked.
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Thanksgiving and Family

Recently my brother Tommy’s illness, death and funeral led me to reflect on my family. We are bonded and stick together like glue in times of crisis and in times of joy. Families are always amazing, albeit imperfect, in forming the future of our society and world. We were a big family, five girls and five boys. So, with Mom and Dad we made a household of 12. Being the youngest of the bunch, I learned a lot from my siblings.
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Christmas Countdown

113 days. That's how long we have until Christmas. And while it may seem far off, as we all know, it will creep up on us faster than we expected. Every year I tell myself that I'm going to be more proactive and start my shopping earlier than I did last year in hopes of avoiding the stress of years past. But I usually fail, and find myself grabbing whatever I think will fit the bill. My hopes of thoughtful gifts with a little more substance and thought to it go out the door.
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Chime Travelers: A Fun Adventure

Maybe it's that it reminds them of school, or maybe it's lack of material that interests them, but my kids aren't real big fans of reading. As an avid reader myself, that makes me sad. So I'm always on the lookout for books that may grab their attention and draw them into the world of the written word.
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