Pope Francis Visits the Cell of Nazarena of Jesus, an American Anchoress


On November 21, Pope Francis visited the cell in a Camaldolese monastery in Rome where American recluse and mystic Sister Nazarena of Jesus had lived for 45 years, until her death in 1990.  The Holy Father was visiting the Sant’Antonio Abate Monastery at the foot of Rome’s Aventine Hill, to mark the Day for the Contemplative Life, one of the final events in the Year of Faith.During a private meeting with the nuns in their Chapter Room, Pope Francis was presented with a letter handwritten by t … [Read more...]


For a moment I wondered, Is this too sappy?  Too wrought with emotion?But no—This is Mary in her humanity, glowing with love for her newborn.  And it’s Jesus—winsome, eliciting coos and cuddles as only a baby can do.  It’s one of my favorite Christmas paintings.May the Christ Child smile on you and yours this Christmas season, and may the New Year bring you every grace and blessing. … [Read more...]

Too Amicable For Me: “Welcoming” Church Makes Jesus a Baby Girl

Photo credit:  Bob Plain/RIFuture.org

The babe in the manger is a girl named Hope.  Joseph (er, “Jose”) is an illegal immigrant looking for a job in the U.S.  Mary (“Maura”) is a teenage runaway who fled her Connecticut home after her parents became upset upon discovering her pregnancy.  The Angel Gabriel, nicknamed “Gabe,” is a homeless black man.The reinterpreted Nativity, its characters hewn by chainsaw artist Michael Higgins, stands in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island.  The unconventional display was conceived by Bill Ster … [Read more...]