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Entries related to: inspiration

Your (Imperfect) Holy Family

The following activities can enrich your family life. Adapt the activities to meet the needs of your family or create your own activities. Neighborhood Picnic. Gather together with several families and friends from your neighborhood or parish community for a picnic. Ask the participants to bring food and music that represent their ethnic backgrounds. At some point during the picnic, ask everyone to share a story that characterizes one’s family heritage.
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The Beatitude Attitude

The Beatitudes. Doesn’t it just make you smile to say that out loud, to think of Jesus going up that mountain, sitting down, and then speaking those beautiful words? The challenge is that to Jesus and therefore to us, the Beatitudes are more than words. They are a way to follow him. They lay out an exceedingly difficult road map to live. Be meek? Me? Be a peacemaker? Me? Find something positive in mourning? Me? Yes, you. And all of us.
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The Tale of a Classic Christmas Song

Although the names of Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne may not be familiar, they composed many popular songs together, including “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” recorded by Bobby Vinton. Their masterpiece, however, is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Many people mistakenly assume this Christmas classic has been around for years and that it is of European origin. But it was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war. The song’s message of peace is as desperately needed today as it was then.
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“O Emmanuel,” We Want to See Your Face!

  A Word from Pope Francis This week the Church is like Mary: she is awaiting a birth. The Virgin sensed within herself, in body and in soul, that the birth of her child was near. Surely in her heart she said to the baby she was carrying in her womb: “Come, I want to see your face, for they have told me you will be great!”
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An Advent Reflection with Kelly Wahlquist

                        Enjoy this Advent reflection from author Kelly Wahlquist! I love the season of Advent. I like the colors, the smells, the rituals, all the good things that come with it. And at the end, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus. With all the festivities and commitments attached to the season of Advent and Christmas I often forget that this is the beginning of a new year.
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Franciscan Ministry Gives Back to Cincinnati

A ministry of St. John the Baptist Province, OFM, St. Francis Seraph Ministries serves those in need in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. From their website: “We believe every member of the Over-the-Rhine community has the right to enjoy the benefits of good health, prosperity, and well-being and has the capacity to contribute positively to the neighborhood. Through compassion, collaboration, and community building, we provide programs designed to achieve this vision.”
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Franciscans Reach Out to Detroit’s Downtrodden

St. Aloysius Community Center had its beginning with the arrival of the Franciscan friars of St. John the Baptist Province in 1992. Encouraged by Archbishop Vigneron, the Friars are dedicated to following Jesus by living and working among the poor through the community of St. Aloysius Parish. We are situated in a widely diverse area of downtown Detroit. We work with all of the people in the neighborhood to address needs of companionship, food, clothing, and emergency shelter. We also focus on the critical needs of the tenants of many low-income housing buildings in the area. Our parish nurse works to address health and wholeness issues within our community-at-large. After the closing of our Community Center a few years ago, we are now attempting to provide all of these services in a smaller fashion—on the streets and in the community housing areas. This ad gentes style of ministry means we are now more focused on going to the people, rather than them coming to us.
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All Things New: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

When I review my own life, I vividly recall periods that seemed like a lot of senseless struggle at the time, but which God later used for his own sweet purposes. As a young actress, I experienced what a lot of naive and desperate “wannabes” discover, as they struggle to make their way in the world of showbiz: moments of glory flecked into oceans of disappointment and failure. I spent many years failing to build an acting career that would pay my bills and grant me some standing in the artistic community.
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Are We Better Catechists & Evangelists as We Age?

The short answer is "it depends." But for prayerful Catholics who persevere in cultivating a relationship with God, over time, the answer is a resounding YES. First, the most radiant witness is someone in love with God. That soul connection with Christ magnetizes our personalities and fast-tracks our growth in virtue. As our souls are increasingly conformed to Christ, our ability to lead, nurture, and inspire the faith of others explodes. And in a critical sense, this empowerment all comes down to obedience.
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Joan Chittister: Follow Your Joy!

Our guest blogger today is Sharon Cross. Employed at Franciscan Media since 1997, Sharon’s current role as a project manager with the Emerging Media team alternates between producing audio books, managing the Catholic Greetings e-card website, and overseeing Franciscan Media’s online and over-the-air audio features. I have had the privilege and pleasure to both meet and work with someone whom I consider to be a wisdom figure: Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister. Our most recent meeting was to record the audiobook version of In God’s Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics. Near the end of chapter twelve, Joan recounts the following fable from the Scripture of Nature:
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