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Jeriks Tom
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Worried about the world situation? About your spiritual life? Jesus gives us the hope-filled solution. Seek and accept his mercy. Start in the Eastertide celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday, then continue with the devotion. Jesus himself called for this devotion and feast. He made his urgent, essential request through Polish mystic St. Faustina Kowalska, the first saint canonized in the new millennium by John Paul II.

Divine Mercy Sunday, also known as “The Feast of Mercy,” marks the Second Sunday of Easter. The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, the authentic promoters of The Divine Mercy message and devotion, explain that there are tremendous promises of graces and benefits that Jesus attached to the feast. Visit this article to read more about the history of this great Feast Day!
Start With These Basics Worried about the world situation? About your spiritual life? Jesus gives…
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"It was a match-up made in Q&A heaven: two pugilists of opposing convictions going head-to-head in a debate about the existence of God."

Australia's highest-ranking Catholic and Sydney's Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, spent an hour with evolutionary biologist and celebrity atheist, Professor Richard Dawkins taking questions covering everything from evolution, resurrection and eternal damnation. The debate was held in front of a live audience, who were able to participate in the discussion by asking questions. Visit this article for a brief summary of the debate from the Sydney Morning Herald.

http://m.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/dawkins-and-pell-battle-it-out-in-one-hell-of-a-debate-20120410-1wlkg.html
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Interested in Young Adult Ministry for your parish? Then check out this video!

"Ministry to young Catholics is crucial in the Church today and Young Adult Ministry in a Box is the most effective resource I've seen that helps a local faith community get something started for young adults. It's a wise investment for any parish or diocese." Find out more at: http://www.youngadultministryinabox.com/
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On 2 April, the Church marks the anniversary of the death of the great John Paul II. Watch this short video to celebrate the extraordinary life of this ordinary man - and beloved Pope.
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World Youth Day Rio 2013 will be preceded by a week of missions throughout Brazil before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive for the global youth event next summer. Father Jefferson Goncalves, director of pre-World Youth Day activities, said the country's traditional “Days in the Dioceses” will instead be a Missions Week to be held July 17-20 in 2013.

The weeks aims to give young people the chance to participate in spiritual activities, works of solidarity with local communities, as well as missionary and cultural events
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mar 30, 2012 / 02:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- World Youth Day Rio 2013 will be preceded by a week of missions throughout Brazil before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive for ...
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A provocative new study of the correlation between religiosity and happiness suggests that “sitting alone in the pew does not enhance one’s life satisfaction. Only when one forms social networks in a congregation does religious service attendance lead to a higher level of life satisfaction.” However, it seems that a lot of Catholic parishes find it really difficult to develop any connection with parishioners outside of Sunday Mass. Visit this article to read more.
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The 40 Days for Life spring campaign of pro-life advocacy, prayer and community outreach ended on April 1 after saving hundreds of babies from abortion. “This was the largest number of ‘saves’ that we’ve ever had in the 40 Days for Life campaign,” director Shawn Carney told CNA April 11.

With local reports still being compiled, the pro-life group says that participants convinced the mothers of 804 babies not to have abortions. “We’re giving God the glory for that,” Carney said. Visit this article to read more.
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Is the story of Adam and Eve a myth? Or is it historical fact? Does the Book of Genesis contradict evolution?

This article explores the recent episode of Q&A (with Cardinal Pell vs Professor Richard Dawkins), reflecting on the questions raised in regards to Adam and Eve, Original Sin, and Evolution.

Here is an extract:

Adam and Eve? That’s just mythology says Pell. That was the Australian paper’s headline. And it is easy to see why Pell’s words would have appeared to indicate that when he stated that the story of Adam and Eve is a “very sophisticated mythology to try to explain the evil and the suffering in the world," which is easily misunderstood as indicating a belief that the Genesis account is merely a beautiful "story".

Of course, as every teacher of Religious Education knows the word “mythological” when applied to scriptural texts refers to the particular style used in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, which albeit based on true historical events contain figurative language, or “mythological language” in order to convey certain truths and the deeper significance of historical events. Paragraph 390 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which is official Church teaching) clearly states with reference to Genesis 3 for instance that:

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

Many thanks to the blogsite A Legacy of Grace.

Further Reading:

•Catechism of the Catholic Church - Vatican Website: Number 390 of the Catechism says the account of the fall of Adam and Eve “uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event.”
•Adam, Eve and Original Sin - American Catholic: This articles explains that the stories in the first part of Genesis are not historical in a literal sense, but they do teach us truths.
•Adam, Eve, and Evolution - Catholic Answers: An overview of Adam and Eve and creation.
Last night's episode of Q&A began and I was all set for the showdown between Richard Dawkins and Cardinal Pell. With tweets in tow I was ready for the banter, arguments and respectful discussi...
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On 16 April, we will be celebrating the Holy Father's birthday! So today, let us recall the life of Pope Benedict XVI, in particular the life-changing event of his priestly ordination. Watch this video for more!

Here is a full biography of Pope Benedict XVI, from the Vatican Website.

Biography of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, was born at Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau (Germany) on 16 April 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptised on the same day. His father, a policeman, belonged to an old family of farmers from Lower Bavaria of modest economic resources. His mother was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting on the shore of Lake Chiem, and before marrying she worked as a cook in a number of hotels.

He spent his childhood and adolescence in Traunstein, a small village near the Austrian border, thirty kilometres from Salzburg. In this environment, which he himself has defined as "Mozartian", he received his Christian, cultural and human formation.

His youthful years were not easy. His faith and the education received at home prepared him for the harsh experience of those years during which the Nazi regime pursued a hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church. The young Joseph saw how some Nazis beat the Parish Priest before the celebration of Mass.

It was precisely during that complex situation that he discovered the beauty and truth of faith in Christ; fundamental for this was his family’s attitude, who always gave a clear witness of goodness and hope, rooted in a convinced attachment to the Church.

During the last months of the war he was enrolled in an auxiliary anti-aircraft corps.

From 1946 to 1951 he studied philosophy and theology in the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology of Freising and at the University of Munich.

He received his priestly ordination on 29 June 1951.

A year later he began teaching at the Higher School of Freising.

In 1953 he obtained his doctorate in theology with a thesis entitled "People and House of God in St Augustine’s Doctrine of the Church".

Four years later, under the direction of the renowned professor of fundamental theology Gottlieb Söhngen, he qualified for University teaching with a dissertation on: "The Theology of History in St Bonaventure".

After lecturing on dogmatic and fundamental theology at the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology in Freising, he went on to teach at Bonn, from 1959 to1963; at Münster from 1963 to 1966 and at Tübingen from 1966 to 1969. During this last year he held the Chair of dogmatics and history of dogma at the University of Regensburg, where he was also Vice-President of the University.

From 1962 to 1965 he made a notable contribution to Vatican II as an "expert"; being present at the Council as theological advisor of Cardinal Joseph Frings, Archbishop of Cologne.

His intense scientific activity led him to important positions at the service of the German Bishops’ Conference and the International Theological Commission.

In 1972 together with Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac and other important theologians, he initiated the theological journal "Communio".

On 25 March 1977 Pope Paul VI named him Archbishop of Munich and Freising. On 28 May of the same year he received episcopal ordination. He was the first Diocesan priest for 80 years to take on the pastoral governance of the great Bavarian Archdiocese. He chose as his episcopal motto: "Cooperators of the truth". He himself explained why: "On the one hand I saw it as the relation between my previous task as professor and my new mission. In spite of different approaches, what was involved, and continued to be so, was following the truth and being at its service. On the other hand I chose that motto because in today’s world the theme of truth is omitted almost entirely, as something too great for man, and yet everything collapses if truth is missing".

Paul VI made him a Cardinal with the priestly title of "Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino", during the Consistory of 27 June of the same year.

In 1978 he took part in the Conclave of 25 and 26 August which elected John Paul I, who named him his Special Envoy to the III International Mariological Congress, celebrated in Guayaquil (Ecuador) from 16 to 24 September. In the month of October of the same year he took part in the Conclave that elected Pope John Paul II.

He was Relator of the V Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which took place in 1980 on the theme: "Mission of the Christian Family in the world of today", and was Delegate President of the VI Ordinary General Assembly of 1983 on "Reconciliation and Penance in the mission of the Church".

John Paul II named him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission on 25 November 1981. On 15 February 1982 he resigned the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. The Holy Father elevated him to the Order of Bishops assigning to him the Suburbicarian See of Velletri-Segni on 5 April 1993.

He was President of the Preparatory Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which after six years of work (1986-1992) presented the new Catechism to the Holy Father.

On 6 November 1998 the Holy Father approved the election of Cardinal Ratzinger as Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, submitted by the Cardinals of the Order of Bishops. On 30 November 2002 he approved his election as Dean; together with this office he was entrusted with the Suburbicarian See of Ostia.

In 1999 he was Special Papal Envoy for the Celebration of the XII Centenary of the foundation of the Diocese of Paderborn, Germany which took place on 3 January.

Since 13 November 2000 he has been an Honorary Academic of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

In the Roman Curia he has been a member of the Council of the Secretariat of State for Relations with States; of the Congregations for the Oriental Churches, for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, for Bishops, for the Evangelization of Peoples, for Catholic Education, for Clergy and for the Causes of the Saints; of the Pontifical Councils for Promoting Christian Unity, and for Culture; of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and of the Pontifical Commissions for Latin America, "Ecclesia Dei", for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law, and for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law of the Oriental Churches.

Among his many publications special mention should be made of his "Introduction to Christianity", a compilation of University lectures on the Apostolic Creed published in 1968; "Dogma and Preaching" (1973) an anthology of essays, sermons and reflections dedicated to pastoral arguments.

His address to the Catholic Academy of Bavaria on "Why I am still in the Church" had a wide resonance; in it he stated with his usual clarity: "one can only be a Christian in the Church, not beside the Church".

His many publications are spread out over a number of years and constitute a point of reference for many people specially for those interested in entering deeper into the study of theology. In 1985 he published his interview-book on the situation of the faith (The Ratzinger Report) and in 1996 "Salt of the Earth". On the occasion of his 70th birthday the volume "At the School of Truth" was published, containing articles by several authors on different aspects of his personality and production.

He has received numerous "Honoris Causa" Doctorates, in 1984 from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota; in 1986 from the Catholic University of Lima; in 1987 from the Catholic University of Eichstätt; in 1988 from the Catholic University of Lublin; in 1998 from the University of Navarre; in 1999 from the LUMSA (Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta) of Rome and in 2000 from the Faculty of Theology of the University of Wroc?aw in Poland.

On 19 April 2005, Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope during a papal conclave, following the death of Pope John Paul II. He celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.
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