Pope urges respect for dignity, human rights
Jan 02 2007
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Welcoming in the new year at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said a world suffering from wars and terrorism can find peace only through respect for human dignity and human rights. The pope celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Jan. 1, which the church marks as World Peace Day, and quoted from his peace day message that was sent to governments around the globe. The theme of the message this year was "The Human Person, the Heart of Peace." In order for peace agreements to last, the pope said, they must be based on respect for the dignity of the human being created by God. This dignity is the foundation of peace and cannot be viewed as something subject to popular opinion or negotiations between parties, he said.

Pope says Christians are urged to become immaculate in love like Mary
Dec 08 2006
All Christians are called to become "holy and immaculate in love," just as Mary was, Pope Benedict XVI said. The pope celebrated the Dec. 8 feast of the Immaculate Conception by reciting the Angelus prayer at the Vatican and by making an afternoon visit to a Marian monument in the center of Rome.

During his afternoon visit, the pope blessed a large basket of pink roses set at the foot of a column topped by a statue of Mary. The statue commemorates Pope Pius IX's proclamation in 1854 that Mary was conceived free of original sin.

Good Shepherd Sisters devote lives to prayer, helping women
Nov 23 2006
In a fast-paced age of cell phones, digital television and rampant consumerism, seven Contemplative Sisters of the Good Shepherd live quite different lives at their Baltimore convent.

St. Alphonsus
Aug 01 2006
St. Alphonsus Maria De Liguori was born Sept. 27, 1696, near Naples, Italy. He received a doctorate in law at age 16 and had his own practice by age 21. When he realized his call to the religious life, he studied theology and was ordained at the age of 29. This preacher and home missioner began to write about theology, history and asceticism. He founded the Redemptoristines, an order for women, in 1730. In 1732, he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Liguorians, Redemptorists). St. Alphonsus came to the rescue of the Redemptorists in 1777 when the government was threatening to disband them. The saint was able to gain the king’s approval for the order. He died in 1787. Pope Piux IX named him a doctor of the church in 1871. St. Alphonsus Maria De Liguori is patron saint of theologians and vocations.

Blessed Junipero Serra
Jul 01 2006
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in 1713 in Spanish Majorca. He joined the Franciscans when he was 17 and was ordained in 1737. He became a missionary in western North America in 1749. He took over missions in Mexican provinces in 1768. Blessed Junipero Serra is credited with spreading the faith on the West Coast of the United States. He began 21 missions and converted and trained thousands of people. He died of tuberculosis in 1784 in California, and he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. The Serra Club, a Catholic organization which promotes vocations, gets its name from Blessed Junipero Serra.

St. Andrew Fournet
May 13 2006
St. Andrew Fournet was born in France in 1752. His mother was very strong in her faith and urged her son to become a priest. St. Andrew resisted and began to lead a wild life. His mother eventually convinced him to stay with his uncle who was a priest. It was at this time that St. Andrew changed his wild ways, went back to school and realized his vocation to the priesthood. He became a parish priest in Maille, France. St. Andrew refused to take an oath denouncing his faith during the French Revolution. Along with St. Jeanne Elizabeth Bichier des Ages, he founded the Daughters of the Cross of St. Andrew. St. Andrew Fournet died May 13, 1834.

Blessed Jordan of Saxony
Feb 13 2006
Blessed Jordan of Saxony was born in the year 1190. He met St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), while at the University of Paris around 1219. He joined the Dominicans in 1220, and he was elected master general of the order after St. Dominic died in 1222. Blessed Jordan, a great preacher, helped the Dominicans grow rapidly until he drowned in a shipwreck in 1237. He is the patron of Dominican vocations.

St. Angela Merici
Jan 27 2006
St. Angela Merici was born March 21, 1474, in Italy. At the young age of 15, she became a Franciscan tertiary and had a vision that she would inspire women in vocations. While making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she became blind. Instead of going home, she continued on her pilgrimage. Afterwards, Angela Merici regained her sight. In 1535 she began the Ursuline sisters, who were formed to teach. She died in Italy in 1540. Her body was found incorrupt. St. Angela Merici is patron saint of people with disabilities and people who are sick.

Good Shepherd Center plans leadership change
Dec 08 2005
Sister Mary Rosaria Baxter, R. G. S., is stepping down as president of Good Shepherd Center in Halethorpe after 16 years leading the residential treatment facility for adolescent girls with emotional and behavioral difficulties of a psychiatric nature.

Father Bauer, Orioles' chaplain, goes to bat for God and the O's
Aug 12 2004
Father John Bauer was looking for a cold drink on a hot day at the ballpark when God threw him a curveball.