Author Archive for Melanie Jean Juneau

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Journey to Africa

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Pope Francis reflected on his first Apostolic Visit to Africa during his Wednesday Address on Dec.2.  He travelled to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic with a message of hope in the Risen Jesus, calling Catholics to the mission field, “Please don’t exclude this possibility of becoming a missionary, to bring love, humanity and […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Forgiveness in the Family

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Pope Francis opened his Nov. 4th Wednesday General Address by spotlighting real families who witness daily to the great gift of marriage and family. Essential Christian families revitalize modern life by living out the humanizing values of the Gospel. When Christian families practice forgiveness in their homes, their actions have a ripple effect, reconstituting the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Family and Fidelity

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Pope Francis’s Wednesday General Audience, on October 21, focused on the promise of love and fidelity made between husbands and wives.  The resulting fidelity in turn sets the couple and their family free. A couple’s fidelity to their promise to love is a blessing for the whole world because “no other school can teach the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Trip to America, According to Pope Francis

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Pope Francis’s Wednesday General Audience on September 30 focused on his apostolic visit to Cuba and the United States. It was refreshing to hear the pope’s personal reflections on his visit, rather than the opinions of the media. The pope reminded the faithful he had specifically timed his visit to coincided with the 8th World Meeting of […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Family Prayer

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For his 100th general audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by considering family prayer. In his opening statements, the pope pointed out that most people find it difficult to find time to pray. Pope Francis teaches that love of God, not guilt will inspire us to pray. Pope Francis zeroed in on […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: How Families Deal With Illness

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On June 10th, the Pope’s Wednesday general audience continued his catecheses on the family, focusing on the theme of sickness and suffering. Man experiences his own fragility primarily in the family, first as a child and, then, as an elderly person.While family sickness presents obvious challenges, it can also be a source of quiet strength […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Six Words to Transform the Family

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On May 13th, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family by reflecting on three phrases: “May I?”, “Thank you”, and “Pardon me”. These simple phrases are difficult to put into practice but “when they are ignored, their absence can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse. If […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Alliance of Man and Woman

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Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family on Wednesday in his general audience by explaining the central aspect of the family:” that of the great gift that God made to humanity with the creation of man and woman and with the Sacrament of Marriage. This catechesis and the next are concerned with the difference […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Prayer and the Synod

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On Wednesday, March 25, in the Church the Annunciation, Pope Francis celebrated the Incarnation as Archangel Gabriel visited the humble Maiden of Nazareth and  announced she would conceive and give birth to the Son of God. The pope incorporated this feast day into his Wednesday address as he continued his course of catechesis on the family because, with Joseph, Jesus […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: What Makes a Good Father

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On February 04, 2015, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the family, reflecting on the dignity and role of fathers. Last week he spoke of the danger of “absent” fathers, reminding us of Saint Joseph who was also tempted to leave Mary, when he discovered she was pregnant. He was prevented from leaving when the […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Root of Ecumenism

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At Wednesday’s General Audience on Dec.3, Pope Francis’s catechesis focused on “ the hope that fruits of dialogue will flow be it in our relations with our Orthodox brothers, be it in those with Muslims, be it in the path to peace among peoples”, as a result of his apostolic visit to Turkey. While most […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Ezekiel’s Bones and The Church

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Pope Francis continued his teaching series on the Church, explaining how the Body of Christ is a visible expression of the very life of God. Referring to a passage in Ezekiel, he warned that the mission of this vital, mystical entity is often derailed by the sins of its members. The pope reminded the faithful […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Church and Mercy

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Pope Francis continued his catechises on the Church as mother during this Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Sept.10. Throughout the entire address, the pope reiterated that the concept of mercy is at the crux of both the Gospels and the teaching of the Church. He also challenged Christians to let go of […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Living Out the Eucharist

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As faithful Catholics, how exactly are we living out the Eucharist, both during and outside of Mass? This is the basic question posed by Pope Francis during the second part of his Catechesis on the Eucharist . In the first teaching, the pope reminded us about our real communion with Jesus and his mystery during […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Nature of the Church

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After concluding his talks on the gifts of the Spirit, Pope Francis now takes up the subject of the Church, its identity and mission. He began by warmly welcoming everyone as his brothers and sisters. This was a fitting greeting since his address emphasized God’s desire to form a family of people through Fatherly love. […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Gift of Counsel

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Pope Francis continues his catechesis at the General Audience  Wednesday morning in Saint Peter’s Square on gifts of the Holy Spirit. After having examined wisdom and understanding the last two weeks, this week he discusses the often misunderstood gift of counsel. The pope reminds us that “we must make room for the Spirit, so that […]

Being Still With God
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Being Still With God

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 “As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back”.  Big mistake. Lot’s wife looked back and remember what happened to her? She turned to a pillar of rock salt. What did the Israelites do? They looked back as well. What do we do when we are trying to leave our former lives of sin? We look back with […]

Where Do I Stand?
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Where Do I Stand?

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It is Holy Thursday, and during the daytime we celebrate the Chrism Mass. Tonight we will celebrate the Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper.  During this liturgy, churches around the entire globe will wait in  prayerful vigil, with lights dimmed, all images covered and the congregation adopts a tone of respectful and somber silence. The Church is remembering […]

The Folly of Debating God
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The Folly of Debating God

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The Scribes and Pharisees are presented with a conundrum when they argue with Jesus in the temple. They are the religious experts of their day. They know the scriptures inside out and upside down and keep every letter of the law. Yet in their arrogance, with only their human wits to guide them, they are […]

Don't Be Seduced by Word Games
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Don’t Be Seduced by Word Games

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When people manipulate words, even  scripture, with the sole purpose of supporting their own point of view, instead of the truth, they are using a form of sophistry.  Sophistry could also describe the logic used by a lawyer intent upon persuading a jury to find a criminal not guilty.  The word sophistry describes the language and logic […]

Christ Icon - Alpha Omega - IC XC
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The Lord Does Not Forget

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The readings for today give hope to the humble. They proclaim the mercy of God for those who emerge from their darkness by revealing Jesus as the man who dares to call God His Father . In the first reading from Isiah, God promises a covenant  to the peoplethat will restore the land. In issuing this covenant, The […]

The Nature of Fasting
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The Nature of Fasting

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Reading:  Is 58:1-9; PS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 18-19 The words of the first reading from Isaiah 58:1-9 are like brilliant beams of light, cutting through any false notions we might have about this season of repentance that we call Lent. Often we tend to think of Lent as a time to share in the suffering of Christ yet when we […]

Coming Out of Our Caves
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Coming Out of Our Caves

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When I speak with someone who is curious about the faith, I realize my revelations about the spiritual life in the Mystical Body of Christ are completely foreign. I might as well be a fantasy character explaining life in an alternate reality outside of their own personal cave. The worst possible fate for me would […]

Thriving by Surrendering
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Thriving by Surrendering

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As every mother knows, a newborn takes at least eight hours a day to nurse, burp, rock and comfort, bathe and change. Then a mother must wash loads of clothes which tend to get covered in vomit, and other nasty surprises.  The lack of sleep leads to a rather narrow existence where the best days […]

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