Young adults make ‘deep dive’ into faith during ‘ad limina’ visit

Bishop Donald J. Kettler of Saint Cloud, Minn., talks with a group of young adults after concelebrating Mass with U.S. bishops at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome Jan. 15, 2020. Young adults from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of New Ulm, Minn., and the Diocese of Bismarck, N.D., accompanied U.S. bishops from North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota on their “ad limina” visits to Rome. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Supporting and supported by their bishops, 25 young adults from Minnesota and North Dakota made a pilgrimage “ad limina apostolorum” — to the threshold of the apostles — in mid-January.

The delegation of women and men, single and married, ages 21-35 flew to Rome with the bishops of Region VIII, who are required by church law to make the “ad limina” visits to pray at the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul and to meet with the pope and top Vatican officials.

Many dioceses offer pilgrimages to coincide with their bishops’ “ad limina” visits, but the Region VIII trip was different: Young adults were invited last May to apply to make the trip either by providing a letter of recommendation from someone who would attest to their leadership in evangelization or by writing a short essay on how Christ has worked through others to draw them closer to him.

While the region’s bishops met Pope Francis Jan. 13, the young pilgrims met him two days later after the pope’s weekly general audience. Two young men came bearing white zucchetti — the papal skullcaps — and the pope put each on his head, then handed it back as a souvenir.

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Posted in U.S., Vatican

Bishops visiting Holy Land get look at complexities of Gaza Strip

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese of the Military Services, center, concelebrates Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in the Gaza Strip Jan. 12, 2020. (CNS photo/Marcin Mazur, Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales)

By Judith Sudilovsky 
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — In addition to a sense of isolation, young people in the Gaza Strip are experiencing an unemployment rate of 70 percent, and most see emigration as their only solution, said Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services.

“This is a challenge for young people,” he told Catholic News Service Jan. 13. “They are facing uncertainty and insecurity about their future.”

Archbishop Broglio was one of 15 bishops — mostly from Europe and North America — taking part in the annual weeklong Holy Land Coordination visit to support the Holy Land’s local Christian communities. Several talked to Catholic News Service after visiting Gaza.

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Posted in U.S., World

God’s word can never be ‘enchained,’ pope says at audience

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 15, 2020. Also pictured is Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A true apostle is one who continues to be a courageous and joyful evangelizer even in the face of persecution and certain death, Pope Francis said.

By choosing to close the Acts of the Apostles not with St. Paul’s martyrdom but with his continuing to preach the Gospel even while under house arrest, St. Luke wanted to show that the word of God cannot be “enchained,” the pope said Jan. 15 during his weekly general audience.

“This house open to all hearts is the image of the church which — although persecuted, misunderstood and chained — never tires of welcoming with a motherly heart every man and woman to proclaim to them the love of the Father who made himself visible in Jesus,” he said.

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Posted in Vatican

Knights, New York Archdiocese and others providing aid to quake victims

A woman in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, walks in front of a damaged church Jan. 9, 2020, after an earthquake struck the area two days earlier. (CNS photo/Marco Bello, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

PONCE, Puerto Rico (CNS) — Jose Lebron-Sanabria, a Knight of Columbus and a general insurance agent for the fraternal organization, is coordinating assistance to Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes.

He led the Knights’ recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in September 2017. Among other efforts this time, he is working with the Diocese of Ponce to bring food, water and nutrition drinks, like Glucerna and Ensure, to a religious monastery, home to 25 elderly nuns.

“I have a tool to offer my community and that is the Knights of Columbus,” Lebron-Sanabria said in a statement. The island is home to 5,240 Knights and 81 councils.

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Posted in U.S.

Retired pope wants his name removed as co-author of book on celibacy

This is the cover of “From the Depths of Our Hearts,” by retired Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. In the book they defend priestly celibacy, an issue that was discussed at last year’s Synod of Bishops for the Amazon. (CNS photo/Ignatius Press)

Updated 11:45

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At the request of retired Pope Benedict XVI, his name will be removed as co-author of a book defending priestly celibacy, said Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican official who coordinated work on the book.

“Considering the polemics provoked by the publication of the book, ‘From the Depths of Our Hearts,’ it has been decided that the author of the book for future editions will be Cardinal Sarah, with the contribution of Benedict XVI,” Cardinal Sarah tweeted Jan. 14.

“However,” he said, “the full text remains absolutely unchanged.”

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Posted in Vatican

Love of baking, culinary skills and prayer make religious brother a winner

Capuchin Franciscan Brother Andrew Corriente poses for a photo in the kitchen at his friary in Washington Jan. 9, 2020. The 31-year-old third-year seminarian was the winner of the fifth season of ABC’s “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition,” where he was recognized as one of the nation’s best amateur bakers. (CNS photo/Andrew Biraj, Catholic Standard)

By Richard Szczepanowski 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The oven timer dings, alerting Capuchin Franciscan Brother Andrew Corriente the chocolate layer cake he is baking needs to be checked.

A quick test with a toothpick tells him the cake needs about five more minutes in the oven, more than enough time for him to soften the butter that will eventually become the buttercream icing that will top the confection.

The enticing aromas in the kitchen at Capuchin College in Washington signal that Brother Andrew is busy creating another treat for the men who call the friary home.

Brother Andrew knows his way around a kitchen. In fact, he was crowned this year’s baking champion on ABC’s “The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition.” The program, which aired during the month of December and concluded Jan. 2, is an adaptation of the wildly popular “Great British Bake Off.”

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Posted in U.S.

Residents fear what may come next after quakes, archbishop says

Cars lie under a collapsed house after an earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Jan. 6, 2020. (CNS photo/Ricardo Ortiz, Reuters)

By Mark Pattison 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Hurricane Maria was a body blow to Puerto Rico in 2017, one from which it has yet to fully recover.

Then came the series of 5-magnitude-and-higher earthquakes that began Dec. 29 — topped off by three such temblors in a 30-minute span Jan. 7 and followed by a magnitude 5.9 quake Jan. 11 — that has resulted in only two confirmed deaths, but untold losses in property damage. And not only the earthquakes, but their many aftershocks.

Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan lives on the northern part of the island, which was spared most of the worst effects of the quakes. But on a Jan. 10 visit to the island’s southern region in the Diocese of Ponce — what he could see of it — the damage was much worse.

“I got around by car,” Archbishop Gonzalez said. “But I wasn’t able to go everywhere I wanted to because a bridge here or there collapsed.”

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Posted in U.S.