• Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Catholics hold pilgrimage to grave of Venerable Augustus Tolton, first African American priest

    Denver Newsroom, Jul 12, 2020 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- The fourth annual Quincy pilgrimage honoring Venerable Augustus Tolton, the first African-American priest, took place Thursday with the intention of overcoming racism. Fr. Daren Zehnle, the founder of the Quincy pilgrimage and pastor of St. Augustine parish in Ashland, Ill., said Tolton pastored beyond racial barriers. “He saw the dignity of people made in the image and likeness of God. That was a turning point for what he did. That is one of our goals – to help people rediscover that basic approach to other people is to see in them Christ the Lord and to try to minister to Jesus…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    ‘Always forward!’: San Gabriel fire is a call to mission of hope, says Gomez

    CNA Staff, Jul 12, 2020 / 01:01 pm (CNA).-   Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez has called for Catholics to find hope and a renewed sense of mission amid a “season of sickness and death.” Gomez preached a Sunday morning homily at the Chapel of the Annunciation, on the grounds of the historic San Gabriel Mission Church which was severely damaged by a fire early Saturday morning. “Yesterday’s fire was heartbreaking. Let’s thank God that nobody got hurt. I thank God this morning, too, for this opportunity to pray with you and to mourn with you,” Gomez said in his July 12 homily. “In this long season of sickness and death…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Statues of Mary vandalized in weekend of church attacks

    CNA Staff, Jul 12, 2020 / 10:50 am (CNA).- Boston police are investigating an arson attack on a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary Saturday night, the second attack on a statue of the Virgin Mary in two days. Police were called to reports of a fire on Bowdin Street in the Dorchester neighborhood Boston at around 10 p.m. on July 11. Local police confirmed that a statue of the Blessed Virgin, located outside the church of St. Peter’s Parish, had been set on fire and suffered damage. Local police and firefighters both responded to reports that an unknown individual had set fire to plastic flowers which were in the…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Culture is about ‘creating, not destroying’ says sculptor

    Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 12, 2020 / 08:00 am (CNA).- Tired and heartbroken at seeing statues get pulled down and vandalized, Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz wracked his brain to come up with a compromise that would both preserve the artwork, and acknowledge the flawed nature of many historical figures.  Schmalz has been a sculptor for 30 years and is perhaps best known for his “Homeless Jesus” sculpture and the “Angels Unaware” statue dedicated to migrants in St. Peter’s square. He told CNA that he believes sculpture is a unique and powerful method of preaching.  He said it made him upset “beyond belief” watching the news and seeing statues of figures…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    ‘You are not forgotten,’ Vatican cardinal tells seafarers on Sea Sunday

    Vatican City, Jul 12, 2020 / 06:30 am (CNA).- A Vatican cardinal urged Catholics Sunday to exercise a “preferential option for the poor” for seafarers serving on the front line of the coronavirus crisis.  In a July 12 message marking Sea Sunday, Cardinal Peter Turkson described how the pandemic had left hundreds of thousands of maritime workers stranded and even driven some to suicide.  “The celebration of Sea Sunday, especially by Christians, should invite us all to exercising a ‘preferential option for the poor’ seafarers, a pledge to live in solidarity with them,” he wrote.  Sea Sunday is usually observed worldwide on the second Sunday of July, but some regions…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Pope Francis: ‘If we want, we can become good soil’

    Vatican City, Jul 12, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis urged Catholics Sunday to reflect on whether they are receptive to the Word of God.  In his Angelus address July 12, he meditated on Sunday’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus recounts the Parable of the Sower. In the parable, a farmer scatters seed on four types of terrain — a path, rocky ground, thorns, and good soil — only the last of which successfully produces grain.  The pope said: “We can ask ourselves: what type of terrain am I? Do I resemble the path, the rocky ground, the bramble bush?”  “But, if we want, we can become good soil,…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Pope Francis expresses sadness after Hagia Sophia is declared a mosque

    Vatican City, Jul 12, 2020 / 04:50 am (CNA).- Pope Francis expressed his sadness Sunday after Turkey’s decision to convert the former Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. In improvised remarks after reciting the Angelus, the pope recalled that July 12 is Sea Sunday, when the worldwide Church prays for seafarers.  “And the sea carries me a little farther away in my thoughts: to Istanbul. I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened,” he said, according to an unofficial translation provided by the Holy See Press Office. The pope appeared to be referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to sign a decree July…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    News anchor-turned-Catholic vocations director embarks on ‘Tour de Priest’

    Jackson, Miss., Jul 12, 2020 / 03:53 am (CNA).- This Sunday, a Catholic priest will embark on a 320-mile, 5-day bike ride to recruit young men and women for the Church. Father Nick Adam had to be creative when he was assigned to be the director of vocations for the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, in the midst of a global pandemic. “How do I reach people? How do I reach people?” Fr. Adam recalled repeatedly asking himself while the shelter-in-place order was in effect. Since he had evenings free, he began riding his bike on the Natchez Trace Parkway. He soon realized that the parkway, which connects the entirety of…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Gomez asks for prayers after fire at ‘spiritual heart of Los Angeles’

    CNA Staff, Jul 11, 2020 / 08:15 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has expressed his “terrible sadness” after a fire at a 249-year-old mission church founded by St. Junípero Serra, and asked for prayers for the local Catholic community. Gomez said that the fire at “our beloved Mission San Gabriel Arcángel” early Saturday morning had caused severe damage to the California Historic Landmark. “The damage is extensive — the roof is destroyed and much of the old church is ruined,” the archbishop reported in a letter released the evening of July 11. “It is terribly sad. Thanks be to God, nobody was hurt.” The church had been…

  • Inspiration,  Mission Giving

    Arrest made in Florida Catholic church burning

    CNA Staff, Jul 11, 2020 / 07:14 pm (CNA).-   A Florida man has been arrested after he reportedly admitted to crashing a minivan into a Catholic Church and then setting it on fire. Stephen Anthony Shields, 24, of Dunnellon, Florida has been charged with attempted murder, arson, burglary, and evading arrest, after he was apprehended by police July 11. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday morning that deputies were called at about 7:30 am to Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, which was set aflame while parishioners inside prepared for morning Mass. According to a Saturday evening statement from the sheriff’s office, Shields poured gasoline in the…