Sunday Scripture readings, April 22, 2018: A good shepherd


The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

April 22, Fourth Sunday of Easter

Cycle B

1) Acts 4:8-12
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26-29
2) 1 Jn 3:1-2
Gospel: Jn 10:11-18

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

Deep below the Eternal City, Rome, lie several early Christian images of Jesus. One remarkable third-century fresco discovered in the Roman catacomb of Priscilla portrays Jesus as the Good Shepherd. And we are led to ask, Why did the early Christians opt to depict this Gospel image of Jesus?

For the early Christians, the image of Jesus the Good Shepherd was a visual summary of their faith in Jesus for it expressed in visual form what the first Christians understood as the meaning of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Great Caesar’s ghost! Superman turns 80

This is a still of DC Comics series “Superman in Action Comics No. 1,000.” 2018 marks eight decades since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics No. 1. (CNS photo/DC Comics)

By Mark Judge
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — Look! Up in the sky! It’s Superman! And he’s 80!

The year 2018 marks eight decades since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics No. 1. It also sees the arrival of issue 1,000 of the “Action” series. DC Comics is celebrating these milestones with a special expanded edition of Action Comics as well as a book, “80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition.”

Action Comics No. 1,000 costs $7.99, while the book is priced at $30. Both are suitable for readers of all ages.

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Posted in U.S.

Mother killed on Southwest flight was firm believer in Catholic schools

Jennifer Riordan is seen in this 2015 file photo. Riordan, a Catholic wife and mother from Albuquerque, N.M., was a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight and died from injuries she suffered when one of the plane’s engines broke apart and burst into the cabin through a window. (CNS photo/Marla Brose, Albuquerque Journal)

By Carol Zimmermann 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Tributes from business leaders and politicians alike described Jennifer Riordan — the 43-year-old passenger who died April 17 from injuries suffered on Southwest Flight 1380 when its engine exploded — as a devoted mother, community leader, mentor and volunteer.

Riordan, a Wells Fargo executive from New Mexico, was a “thoughtful leader who has long been a part of the fabric of our community,” said Tim Keller, the mayor of Albuquerque. Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, described her as “an incredible woman who put her family and community first.”

But statements about Riordan that were closer to home for the parishioner of Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Albuquerque and mother of two children at Annunciation School were issued by her family, who called her their “bedrock,” and her children’s school, which described Riordan as an “integral member of our school community.”

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Posted in U.S.

In light of faith: What I learned at the presynod gathering

(A series of columns focused on and written by millennials and young adults)

By Katie Prejean-McGrady
Catholic News Service


Katie Prejean-McGrady of the Diocese of Lake Charles, La., was one of three young adult delegates selected by the U.S. bishops to attend a presynod gathering in Rome in March. She is a guest columnist for the Catholic News Service column “In Light of Faith.” (CNS photo/Katie Prejean-McGrady)

It has been nearly a month since the beginning of the presynod gathering on “Young people, the faith and vocational discernment,” in Rome, and other than the palms from the Mass in St. Peter’s Square still sitting on my dining room table and the magnet of a Swiss Guardsman stuck to my fridge, the physical remnants of that remarkable trip have been put away.

My suitcase is unpacked, my (mostly) normal day-to-day schedule has resumed, and save for the occasional tweet about #synod2018, it seems that the presynod gathering of young people, the first of its kind, has largely faded from view.

But for me, the presynod has really just begun, because in the weeks since returning, I’ve been able to more fully reflect on what happened during the gathering and the value I believe it will have for the church as a whole.    Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

Circuitous route led to director’s second film on exorcism

William Friedkin, director of the 1973 horror film “The Exorcist” is seen at Georgetown University in Washington April 17. His latest work, “The Devil & Father Amorth,” is a documentary about the work of the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Mark Pattison 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Sometimes the best opportunities result from a mix of asking and having things fall into your lap.

So it was for William Friedkin, who directed “The Exorcist” 45 years ago and thought he was through with the subgenre he helped create. Then came his documentary on exorcism, “The Devil and Father Amorth.”

“It was a complete accident,” Friedkin told Catholic News Service in an April 16 interview in Washington to promote the film. “I had no intention of doing this. I had no interest. ‘The Exorcist’ was a work of fiction. I had never seen a real exorcism, and neither had William Peter Blatty,” who had written the novel on which that movie was based.

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Posted in U.S., World

Father of Alfie Evans meets pope, begs for help to save his son

Tom Evans, father of Alfie Evans, speaks to reporters in St. Peter’s Square April 18 after meeting Pope Francis and attending his general audience. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

UPDATED 9:55 a.m. April 18

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Begging Pope Francis to help his son, Alfie, Tom Evans met with the pontiff, pleading for “asylum” in Italy so his seriously ill son may receive care and not be euthanized in England.

“If Your Holiness helps our child, Your Holiness will be potentially saving the future for our children in the U.K., especially the disabled. We pray the problem we are facing is solved peacefully and respectfully as no child deserves this,” Evans said in a statement he personally delivered to the pope April 18.

The private meeting came before the pope appealed publicly yet again for appropriate care and respect for 23-month-old Alfie Evans.

“I would like to affirm and vigorously uphold that the only master of life — from its beginning to natural end — is God,” the pope said at the end of his weekly general audience April 18. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

‘Is my dad in heaven?’ little boy asks pope

Pope Francis embraces Emanuele, a boy whose father died, as he visits St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Rome April 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — After circling a massive, crumbling public housing complex on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis had an emotional encounter with the neighborhood’s children.

Question-and-answer sessions with youngsters are a standard part of Pope Francis’ parish visits. And, at St. Paul of the Cross parish April 15, there were the usual questions like, “How did you feel when you were elected pope?”

But then it was Emanuele’s turn. The young boy smiled at the pope as he approached the microphone. But then froze. “I can’t do it,” Emanuele said.

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Posted in Vatican, World