Category: The Shepherd’s Voice

Dating the Last Supper: Excerpt from Jesus of Nazareth, Part 2 by Joseph Ratzinger
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Dating the Last Supper: Excerpt from Jesus of Nazareth, Part 2 by Joseph Ratzinger

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An excerpt from An excerpt from Jesus of Nazareth PART TWO Holy Week From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection by Joseph Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI The Dating of the Last Supper The problem of dating Jesus’ Last Supper arises from the contradiction on this point between the Synoptic Gospels, on the one hand, […]

The Common Declaration
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The Common Declaration

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February 12, 2016, Friday — Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in Cuba The Middle East — “We call upon the international community to act urgently in order to prevent the further expulsion of Christians from the Middle East.”—Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, Common statement, issued today in Cuba, just a few minutes […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Introduction to the Year of Mercy

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In his first General Audience during the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis explained why he has called for this extraordinary jubilee year.  “Yesterday, I opened here, in Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Door of the Jubilee of Mercy, after having opened it already in the Cathedral of Bangui in the Central African Republic,” during his […]

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: The Jewish Roots of Christianity

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Reflecting on the 50 anniversary of the historic Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate, Pope Francis lauded the document for proposing to every Christian “the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity.” Speaking in cinematic terms to give ourselves a frame of reference, is Christianity a remake (or re-boot), a sequel, or a spin-off of Judaism?  […]

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: On Scandal

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Key to seeing the Holy Father’s message this week is reading again the opening passage of Matthew 18, read in St. Peter’s Square before the general audience. Distracted by the question of “greatness before God,” the apostles ask Jesus who would be the greatest. Jesus answers the question in a kind of rebuke, saying that […]

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 Makes Historic Address to U.S. Congress
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Pope Francis Makes Historic Address to U.S. Congress

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Full text of Pope Francis’ address to the Joint Session of the United States Congress: Mr. Vice-President, Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends, I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.  I would like to […]

Pope Declares Junípero Serra a Saint
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Pope Declares Junípero Serra a Saint

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Pope Francis’ homily at the Canonization Mass of St. Junípero Serra in Washington. Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice! These are striking words, words which impact our lives. Paul tells us to rejoice; he practically orders us to rejoice. This command resonates with the desire we all have for a fulfilling […]

Pope to U.S. Bishops: Be Shepherds in Unity and Dialogue
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Pope to U.S. Bishops: Be Shepherds in Unity and Dialogue

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Meeting with the United States Bishops, Cathedral of Saint Matthew, Washington Dear Brother Bishops, I am pleased that we can meet at this point in the apostolic mission which has brought me to your country.  I thank Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Kurtz for their kind words in your name.  I am very appreciative of your […]

Pope: Freedom is One of America’s Most Precious Possessions
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Pope: Freedom is One of America’s Most Precious Possessions

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Welcome Ceremony The White House, Washington Wednesday, 23 September 2015 Good morning! Mr President, I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all Americans.  As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.  I look forward to […]

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

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Continuing his catechesis on the importance of the family, Pope Francis’ latest audience is on the role families play in evangelization. Whenever we think about evangelizing, we tend to think of it as something individuals do. We seldom pay attention to the role families have in this critical process. The first and most important role […]

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: Excommunication

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If you are divorced and civilly remarried, you are not excommunicated. But if you are in such “irregular” situation, you cannot receive Communion. Last but not least: excommunication is good. Take a deep breath and repeat! At his first General Audience after his summer break this year, Pope Francis told us that “it is necessary […]

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: Marriage and Poverty

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Family bonds are the virtue of the family, and poverty is the family’s its most direct enemy. Yet it would be a serious error to mistake the problem with society’s material poverty as a solely material problem. “It is not just a matter of bread.” The family is a benefit to society even as it […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: A Message to the Engaged

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Talking about engagement in his last General Audience in May, Pope Francis continued his 2015 cycle of catechesis on the family. “The covenant of love between man and woman, a covenant for life, is not improvised,” said the Pontiff, “it is not made from one day to another.” The Pope’s articulation reminded me of something […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Saving Education from Experts

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I can remember vividly that August morning nearly eleven years ago.  I sat cross-legged on the floor of my family room facing my soon-to-be two year old son reclining in his little rocking chair and my newborn daughter nestled in her baby swing.  The house was quiet. My husband had just left for work – […]

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: Building a Godly Marriage

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Pope Francis calls three realities of creation a masterpiece; man, woman, and the family, which is the love between man and woman. To write a gloss, brotherly love is good, and even the love for a child is good, but it is the love between a man and a woman which results in a marriage […]

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: The Passion of Children

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Divorce, malnutrition, poverty. Children “are the first victims.” For all the talk about being pro-life and pro-family, and for all that our post-Protestant nation worships children, are we really aware of the damage done to children by sin and injustice? Just as Christ suffered as the son of the Father, and just as Christians give […]

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