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The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me. Isaiah 61:1

Southeast Texas Catholics are invited to join Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, at the annual Chrism Mass March 31 to share in the liturgy to consecrate the chrism and bless the oils used in each parish and mission in the Beaumont Diocese.

The Diocese of Beaumont will celebrate the Chrism Mass on the Tuesday of Holy Week, March 31, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, 700 Jefferson St., Beaumont.

Within the Chrism Mass is seen the rich diversity of the diocese in the many liturgical ministers who participate and in the music. Continue Reading »

As sacred sites are being destroyed in areas of the Middle East, the annual Good Friday Collection April 3 will offer an opportunity to unite the faithful of Southeast Texas with the Christians in the Holy Land to help protect shrines, fund schools and provide assistance, such as housing and food, for the poor and needy who might otherwise flee the lands.

“Presently, there are millions of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq,” said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. “This year [the collection] presents a precious opportunity to become pilgrims in faith after the example of the Holy Father. It is a chance to become promoters of dialogue through peace, prayer and sharing of burdens.” Continue Reading »

By Nate Madden Catholic News Service

Groom, bride hold hands on wedding day

A groom and bride hold hands on their wedding day. Catholic marriages in the United States are at their lowest point since 1965. (CNS file photo/Jon L. Hendricks)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The number of Catholic marriages in the United States is at its lowest point since 1965.

Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate keeps records of Catholic Church statistics going back to 1965, tracking such things as the total number of priests, the Catholic population of the United States, and the number of baptisms and marriages per year.

The statistics show that while there were over 420,000 Catholic marriages in 1970, that number has dwindled to just over 154,000 for the year 2014.

“There’s no definitive answer” for this trend, according to Mark Gray, a senior research associate and poll director at the center. He cited some of the leading hypotheses about the decrease.

“We’re seeing an increase in cohabitation,” he said, which can “create a hurdle to receiving the sacrament of marriage, depending on the parish or diocese’s policies,” Gray said in an interview with Catholic News Service. “There’s also the notion of a destination wedding trumping the traditional notion of getting married within the church.” Continue Reading »

IMG_2864Hundreds gathered at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica Center March 19 for a traditional Italian meal in celebration of the feast of St. Joseph.

Weeks of work culminated with the elaborate St. Joseph Altar decorated with cookies, breads, cakes, flowers and pictures of loved ones who have died. The altar is made every year to celebrate St. Joseph’s intercession with God for relief from a devastating drought in Sicily. Continue Reading »

IMG_0015In a true “Labor of Love,” Our Lady of Victory Parish in Sour Lake honored St. Joseph with an elaborate altar of thanksgiving March 15.

In a room packed to capacity, everyone ate after Father Martin Nelson blessed the altar with fennel fronds and the traditional Tupa-Tupa.  This ritual is where the Holy Family began knocking door-to-door for food and shelter before the third home stated, “Welcome to this house. The table is set. The food is prepared. Come in and honor us with your presence.”

pope anniversaryBy Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Francis went out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time, he said he did not prepare what he was going to say, but “I felt deeply that a minister needs the blessing of God, but also of his people.”

He did not know if it was right to explicitly ask the thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square to bless him, so instead he asked them to pray that God would bless him, he said. And he bowed for their prayers.

Marking the second anniversary of his election March 13, Pope Francis spoke about the conclave that elected him in 2013, about his life the last two years and about the future in an interview with Valentina Alazraki of Mexico’s Televisa. Continue Reading »

 

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Young people are honest and bold in identifying fakes, which is something church leaders should not be afraid of, Pope Francis told the bishops of South Korea and Mongolia.

“When we speak with young people, they challenge us to share the truth of Jesus Christ clearly and in a way that they can understand,” he said in the written message handed to the bishops March 12. The bishops met with the pope during their “ad limina” visits to report on what is happening in their dioceses.

Pope Francis said that just as Korea’s Catholic martyrs — mostly laypeople, who were unwaveringly committed to the faith and to charity — call the peninsula’s Catholics to continue caring for others, today’s Korean young people “challenge us to hear one another.” Continue Reading »

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