Archdiocese takes vocations message to its schools
Jan 27 2007
MILWAUKEE – In an age of complex, high-speed technology, the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s Vocations Office has turned to a method used in the time of Christ to help young Catholics determine God’s calling for them. “They went out two by two, just like the disciples,” said Father James Lobacz, archdiocesan vocations director, about members of the Vocation Ministers of the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Last fall they visited each of the archdiocese’s 13 high schools to discuss vocations education and programming at each school. The initiative is called “Give God a Chance!”

Catholics need solid preaching, not fluff
Jan 22 2007
ROME – Catholics need solid preaching about Jesus, the cross and the church, and not “feel-good” spiritual advice that demands no sacrifice, said U.S. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee. Preaching well means challenging people’s complacency and, like Christ, occasionally “shaking things up,” Archbishop Dolan said in Rome Jan. 14. That cannot happen if preachers soft-pedal the cross, he said.

Scouting helps youths discern vocations
Jan 07 2007
IRVING, Texas (CNS) -- Participating in Boy Scouts is a great way for youths to meet people in all walks of life and help them discern their own vocations, says Monsignor John B. Brady, a 65-year veteran of Scouting. In an interview with Scouting, a family magazine published by the Boy Scouts of America, Monsingor Brady said jamborees -- nine-day national or international gatherings of Scouts and their leaders -- provide opportunities for vocational discernment “not equaled in any other environment.”

Retreat helps men discern calling to priesthood
Jan 05 2007
As David Tolar sat in the sun-filled lobby of St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Roland Park, the son of a Baptist father and Lutheran-baptized mother reflected on how far he has come in his journey to Catholicism and possibly the priesthood. Mr. Tolar joined three other men chosen by their pastors and pastoral life directors to attend the annual Discernment Retreat on Diocesan Priesthood Dec. 28-29 at the seminary. During the invitation-only event begun by Cardinal William H. Keeler 10 years ago, the men have the opportunity to get to know seminarians, Father Gerard Francik, director of vocations for the archdiocese and the cardinal on a one-on-one basis as they seriously consider their call to the priesthood.

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.