Lent 2014

God is on side of abused and violated, pope will say on Good Friday

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The often silent plight of sexually abused children, victims of domestic violence, prisoners, the abandoned elderly, the unemployed and immigrants facing hostility will be given a powerful voice during the Stations of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum on Good Friday, for which Pope Francis will preside.

Spotting all the crosses of holy week, and every week

Columnist Michelle Francl Donnay hopes the narratives of Jesus’ passion help her to see people bearing their cross. Will we help them carry their cross, and see Jesus in a thousand places?

‘The devil exists’ and doesn’t want you to follow Jesus, pope warns

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A lot of people, even Catholics, think that talking about the devil is completely old-fashioned, but anyone who wants to follow Jesus needs to know that Satan exists and will keep putting up obstacles to faith, Pope Francis said.

How much does a funeral Mass cost? Nothing, actually

Father Ken Doyle clears up confusion about "selling" spiritual goods, which is the sin of simony, and the commonplace free-will offering of $10 for celebrating a funeral Mass. He also answers the letter of a Newtown Square writer about annulments.

Pope: Take up God’s offer to face life’s problems with his love, wisdom

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People can choose either to tackle life's challenges with the loving and wise heart of God or be driven by their own passions and interests, Pope Francis said.

Let someone else sacrifice, too

As we make sacrifices for others, we must also let others offer themselves to us, writes columnist Michelle Francl-Donnay. As Lent moves toward holy Week, she is listening for God's voice and that of her brothers and sisters everywhere.

You can’t eat meat during Lent, but why feast on lobster?

Father Ken Doyle responds to a reader that fish and shellfish may be consumed on abstinence days in Lent, such as Fridays, but indulging in a lavish seafood buffet sort of misses the point.

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for April

Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for April is: "That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources." His intention for evangelization is: "That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness."

Pope to priests: Draw people to confession, be available, show mercy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Don't be too lax or too harsh during confession and always make sure people know when the sacrament of reconciliation is available, Pope Francis told priest confessors March 28.

Only way to know how much God loves you is to give him a try, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For people who believe their sins make it impossible for God to forgive them, the pope said, "Well, try! If you want to discover the tenderness of this father, go to him and find out, then come and tell me about it."