Rome: The Eternal City

Richard SontagSpiritual Reflections


It takes a traveler mere minutes in Rome to understand why she is called the “Eternal City.” As you speed from the airport, the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica suddenly looms from beyond the Vatican walls, and time seems to turn in on itself. Insta-communications and all the glories of the present age become as passing fancies — the grass … Read More

Italy Earthquake Survivor

Richard SontagChurch News, World News


Sister Marjana Lleshi awoke in the early hours of Wednesday morning to the violent shaking of the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that killed 250 people, devastating several towns in central Italy. Wounded and trapped under her bed as her convent in Amatrice crumbled to the ground around her, Sr. Lleshi thought for sure that death was imminent, and began sending messages … Read More

A Pilgrimage of a Lifetime

Richard SontagChurch News, New Evangelization, Pope Francis

(Catholic News Agency) Thousands of poor and excluded men and women from across Europe will be given a once in a lifetime opportunity this November: a chance to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy in Rome with Pope Francis. Around 6,000 people will be sponsored for the Nov. 11-13 pilgrimage to Rome. “This time of pilgrimage and opportunity to meet … Read More

8 questions about the Jubilee of Mercy you might be asking [English-language video]

Richard SontagUncategorized

(RomeReports) A Holy Year is one of the most important times in the Catholic Church. But since they typically happen just once every quarter century, they’re often misunderstood. Given that this year’s Jubilee of Mercy is an extraordinary one, it’s even more confusing. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the Jubilee of Mercy. [embedyt][/embedyt] … Read More

Author explains why an elephant was buried in the Vatican

Richard SontagChurch News

(Catholic Herald) In February of 1962, while digging up the Vatican’s Belvedere Courtyard to modernize a heating and cooling system, a group of Italian workers hit bone. There was a large tooth and four pieces of a giant jawbone, and at first they thought they had found a dinosaur. But the bones were not fossilized, and when the custodian of … Read More

Pope Francis: Vatican to announce decision on Medjugorje

Richard SontagUncategorized

(OSV) — Pope Francis said the Vatican was ready to make an announcement concerning the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met recently to discuss the issue and “we’ve reached the point of making a decision and then they will say,” he told journalists on the flight back to Rome June 6. … Read More

Pope’s Easter Sunday Homily

WebmasterPope Francis

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday morning, April 5, despite the cold and the rain, to take part in Solemn Mass with Pope Francis in celebration of Easter. Following the Liturgy, the Holy Father gave the traditional Blessing Urbi et Orbi – to the City [of Rome] and to the World. Following is the … Read More

Pope Francis creates 20 Cardinals and doesn’t mince words

WebmasterChurch News, Pope Francis

(VIS) – At 11 a.m. today in the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated an Ordinary Public Consistory during which he created twenty new cardinals, to whom he imposed the biretta, consigned the ring and assigned the title or diaconate church. The celebration was also attended by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Pope Francis embraced upon entering the basilica. He was … Read More

Showers and haircuts for the homeless coming soon at the Vatican

WebmasterChurch News

(Vatican Insider) All the necessary kit has already been donated by the many barbers who are volunteering: scissors, brushes, razors, a mirror and of course, a barber’s chair. As of 16 February, in addition to the showers and bathrooms which Pope Francis had installed for them under the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, homeless people around the Vatican, will now … Read More

Pope modifies Pallium Investiture ceremony

WebmasterChurch News

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has made changes to the public ceremony of investiture of the Pallium on Metropolitan Archbishops emphasizing that the investiture is an ecclesial event of the whole diocese, and not merely a juridical or ceremonial event. Speaking to Vatican Radio, Monsignor Guido Marini, Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, says that from now on – starting from the … Read More

An environment encyclical in March? Pope Francis hopes so

WebmasterChurch News, Pope Francis, World News

(CNA/EWTN News)  During an in-flight press conference on his way to the Philippines, Pope Francis said he plans to have his much-anticipated encyclical on man’s relationship with creation finished in March. “At the end of March, I think it will be completed,” he told journalists aboard the papal plane Jan. 15. “I think that if the translations go well, in … Read More

Vatican astronomer first cleric to ever win prestigious Carl Sagan Medal

WebmasterChurch News, World News

(By Patricia Montemurri, Detroit Free Press) Michigan-bred Vatican astronomer and Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno will become the first clergyman awarded one of planetary science’s most prestigious awards, when on Thursday in Arizona he receives the Carl Sagan Medal. And then Consolmagno, for two decades the curator of the Vatican’s meteorite collection, plans to head to metro Detroit where he grew … Read More

Students attending Catholic schools increase

WebmasterChurch News, US News

“Catholic schools provide lasting faith formation, vocations to the religious life and priesthood, high educational attainments, and communities of the New Evangelization and should reach out to Latino communities and other underserved populations as part of the Church’s mission to preach the Gospel”, said two U.S. bishops in a presentation to the Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of … Read More

Blessed Paul VI beatification highlights

WebmasterChurch News, Pope Francis

(CNS, Cindy Wooden) “Although he was not always understood, Paul VI will remain the pope who loved the modern world, admired its cultural and scientific wealth and worked so that it would open its heart to Christ, the redeemer of mankind,” wrote Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. The Italian cardinal, a former papal diplomat like Pope Paul, said that while St. John … Read More