US bishops recommend prayers for Year of Faith

Washington D.C., Dec 9, 2012 / 04:05 pm (CNA).- By working to enrich their prayer lives, Catholics can grow closer to Christ and more deeply live out the Year of Faith, said the U.S. bishops' leader on matters of evangelization. “The Year of Faith is about returning to the foundational teachings of the Church and drawing strength from them,” said Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, who heads the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis for U.S. bishops' … [Read more...]

North Pole Catholics honor holy days in town filled with Christmas kitsch

North Pole, Alaska, Dec 9, 2012 / 01:05 pm (CNA).- The much bemoaned commercialization of Christmas reaches a whole new level in North Pole, Alaska — a town that celebrates Santa 365 days a year.Commercialized ChristmasThe giant candy cane street lights are a permanent feature in this northern town, where Santa is available for pictures in July. In fact the town’s economy revolves around the selling of Christmas year round.Amid this tourism spectacle, Father Robert Fath and … [Read more...]

Christmas is more than a party, Pope explains

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2012 / 07:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pope asked Catholics to prepare for Christmas amid a consumerist society by listening to the voice of John the Baptist, who teaches us to celebrate Christmas as more than a party."Our aim today is listening to that voice to give space and welcome to the heart of Jesus, the word that saves us," said Pope Benedict XVI from his apartment window to pilgrims gathered below in St. Peter's Square.The Pope asked Catholics to … [Read more...]

On Dec. 14, Church remembers Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross

Denver, Colo., Dec 9, 2012 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Dec. 14 is the liturgical memorial of Saint John of the Cross, a 16th century Carmelite priest best known for reforming his order together with Saint Teresa of Avila, and for writing the classic spiritual treatise “The Dark Night of the Soul.” Honored as a Doctor of the Church since 1926, he is sometimes called the “Mystical Doctor,” as a tribute to the depth of his teaching on the soul's union with … [Read more...]