McCartney, Ignatius, and the Sacred Heart


What do Paul McCartney, St. Ignatius, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph’s Oratory (Montreal) have in common? An excellent question, posed by a friend of certain multi-media expertise. Upon inquiring, I discovered a remarkable correlation: the former Beatle had composed an oratorio being performed at the great Canadian shrine, a work based upon an inscription he had read on a statue at St. Ignatius Church in New York.

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Pope Francis and the Reform of the Laity

CNA/Stephen DriscollThe reform of the Church already evident in the words and witness of Pope Francis may be starting, but it won’t be stopping at the revamping of the Vatican Curia and the renewal of the clergy.

It also will involve a thorough reform of the laity, since some of the cancers the cardinals elected him to confront in Rome have metastasized throughout Christ’s mystical body.

In his conclave-changing address to the cardinals four days before his election, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio identified what he believes is the Church’s fundamental illness: “ecclesiastical narcissism.”

“When the Church does not come out of itself to evangelize,” he said, “it becomes self-referential and then gets sick.”

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Patriarch Raï: The Conclave from a Middle Eastern perspective

Rss Feed Twitter Facebook Print 07-Rai-at-concistoro2He was one of the last to land in Rome but he got to work immediately alongside the other cardinals. Yesterday, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Bechara Raï, handed cardinals with a dossier on the situation of Christians in the Middle East: “The universal Church and the next Pope must never forget that Christianity has its origins in the Middle East.

And they should keep in mind what is happening to Christian communities in the Middle East. This is a priority that cannot be ignored,” the Lebanese cardinal told Vatican Insider.


Your Holiness, as leader of the Church in the Middle East, what would you say the


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New bells for Notre Dame de Paris

08-bells-notre-dameIn a society divided over fundamental issues, marriage and the end of life, with fewer people practicing a Christian, let alone a Catholic faith, the most famous cathedral in the world is giving itself a big present -- nine new bells, to celebrate its 850th birthday.

Notre Dame, the beautiful cathedral on the island in the heart of Paris, had its first stone laid in 1163. This week its new bells are being installed and will ring out for the first time on Saturday 23 March at 5 pm, on the eve of Palm Sunday.

“The project to restore the


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'The Hobbit' and Virtue

14-the-hobbit-virtue"You don’t really suppose, do you," Gandalf tells Bilbo, "that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit?"

Contrary to the claims of Nietzsche, Hitler and other secular "progressives," there is no triumph of the will without the supernatural assistance of grace. This is the whole point of Frodo’s failure to destroy the One Ring of his own volition in The Lord of the Rings. Human will, on its own, is never enough. Grace is always necessary.

In The Hobbit, as in The Lord of the Rings, good "luck" is inextricably connected to good choices, and bad "luck" is inextricably connected to bad choices. With regard to the latter, we should recall the words of Gandalf to Pippin: "Often does hatred hurt itself" — or the words of Theoden that "oft evil will shall evil mar."

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