Every day, trillions of things go right while only a few go wrong. That’s not an exaggeration. Rejoice in the Lord always!…

This Sunday is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, based on the Introit for the day: Gaudete in Domino semper, iterum dico, Gaudete (Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice). Today, this theme is developed most fully in the 2nd reading, which is from 1 Thessalonians. It also begins with the salutation…

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Biden’s pick of Xavier Becerra for HHS has nothing to do with health care, and everything to do with a radical abortion agenda…

Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden is fulfilling predictions that his administration will be the most militantly pro-abortion of any in American history. His nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Secretary of Health and Human Services is an expression of Biden’s commitment to force extreme, oppressive abortion policy on the American public…

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The Nativity set is alive and well, whatever you think of the Vatican’s…

For more than twenty years, no matter where travels may take me the rest of the year, I’ve always made a point of being in Rome for Christmas and New Year’s. You’d think nothing about the holiday season in the Eternal City would surprise me anymore, yet somehow I always manage to be blindsided when the annual fracas over the Vatican’s nativity set breaks out.

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Skilled artists are renewing the majesty of traditional Catholic statues…

St. Michael’s Catholic Church stands like its namesake sentinel over a city that needs the church’s presence. For the faithful who cross the threshold, the doors of this neo-Gothic church open wide to reveal a pageant of color and light. Around the Rochester, New York, sanctuary and upon the altar are the statues…

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Bishop in Philippines Calls for Intensified Efforts Against Child Labor

An official of the Philippine bishops’ conference has called for intensified actions in eliminating child labor in the country, reported CBCP News.

Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon of Daet, chairman of the bishops’ Commission on Youth, pushed for a concerted approach to address the high number of children who are forced to work.

“We need to intensify efforts to protect the most vulnerable, especially children,” Alarcon said.

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Norway: A Poor Church in a Rich Country

Not only is the weather harsh and cold north of the Arctic Circle, but the religious climate is also anything but pleasant at times for the handful of Catholics living in the Norwegian city of Harstad on the island of Hinnøya. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) helped the parish rebuild the priest’s living quarters and the parish house, which was destroyed by fire in 2015. It is the northernmost project of the international Catholic pastoral charity.

Father Gunther Jäger grew up in Lower Bavaria, which is still quite apparent from his accent, and that in spite of the fact that he has spent more than half of his life in Norway. As a young man, he joined a monastery of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine in the Norwegian city of Molde and then completed his priestly formation in Scotland. However, after his ordination to the priesthood, he did not return to the monastery, preferring to work as a priest in the parish. Five years ago, he was sent to St. Sunniva in Harstad, which is located about 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, making it one of the northernmost parishes on Earth.

“We live in an extreme diaspora,” Father Jäger says, but without a trace of melancholy in his voice. However, he does admit that the situation is not easy. Harstad has about 25,000 inhabitants; of these, about 250, or around 1%, belong to the Catholic faith. Catholics are even fewer in number than Muslims. While the building for the parish house and its living quarters for the parish priest is being rebuilt, Father Jäger moved into a flat in the house next door to the church. As it happens, a mosque is located on the ground floor of this building. About 75 percent of the country’s inhabitants belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway, although most of them are members-only on paper. Attendance rates at Protestant church services are below 1 percent.

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