Do You Make Room in Your Life For God?: Pope’s Christmas Eve Homily

On Christmas Eve Pope Benedict XVI spoke during Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. His main point was that so many Catholics live hectic and technology driven lives, that he questions whether people are capable of making room for God anymore. This is obviously an issue that people should take seriously. If you cannot find time in your day for God you are not looking close enough. Maybe you spend too much time watching TV or on the computer, there has to be something that can go to make more room for God in your life. Pope Benedict spoke about this during his homily, where he drew a comparison between today’s situation and Joseph and Mary not find room at any of the inns they visited. He stated that “we are so ‘full’ of ourselves that there is no room left for God.” I cannot say that I disagree with this view point, and I think it was a good way to bring up this issue.

Read more about Pope Benedict’s Christmas Eve homily by following this link: “Pope Worries We Are So Full of Ourselves ‘There is No Room For God'”

Pope Paul VI Steps Closer to Beatification

This week Pope Benedict XVI helped to move along the movement to beatify Pope Paul VI. On December 10th all of the Cardinals voted to a unanimous decision that Pope Paul VI should be beatified. There is a collection of documents for those being considered for beatification, and the Cardinals unanimous vote paired with Pope Benedict finding a “heroic virtue” of Pope Paul VI’s means he is just steps away. If everything goes smoothly the beatification will likely be sometime late in 2013, and would be a nice end to the Year of Faith.

To read more about Pope Paul VI and his road to beatification read this: The Cause of Paul VI Proceeds

Latin Mass: A New Trend in the Catholic Church

Apparently it is pretty cool to be a traditionalist in the Catholic Church. I was unaware of this until a read an article on Economist the other day. They have reported that there is a Traditionalist Avant-Garde occurring in the Catholic Church. This is in regards to more people advocating a Latin Mass, something the Catholic Church moved away from about 50 years ago. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales has seen a huge jump in membership within the last few years. The total of Latin masses in any given week is up from about 26 in 2007 to 157 in 2012. These are encouraging numbers.

So the new trend is Latin Mass, and honestly whatever is getting people to attend is cool with me. What do you think about a revival of Latin Mass?

New Mass Translations: Surveys Show Different Opinions a Year Later

It has been over a year since the new Mass translations have been put into effect. Hopefully you’ve all gotten used to saying, “And with your spirit” by now! A recent survey shows that 70% of Catholics are happy with the new translations and think it was a good idea. The survey was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. 1,047 Catholics took place in the survey. It seems like mostly Catholics who said they went to Mass on a more regular basis appreciated the changes more.

However, there are surveys that have been done to show the contrary. U.S. Catholic Magazine featured an interview that showed clergy and Mass goers are overall unhappy with the changes. So I suppose it really depends on where you get your information from.

To read more about the surveys talked about in this post read this: Catholics Find New Mass Translations to Their Liking

How do you like the new Mass translations?

Celebration at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines

There was a large gathering yesterday at the Shrine of the Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, Illinois. This celebration happens every year, and is led by the Archdoicesan Office of Hispanic Catholics. Father Marco Mercado, the director of the Archodiocese, led the gathering in prayer yesterday. The celebration numbered in the upper tens of thousands and could have reached 100,000.

The celebrations began around 4 PM and ran until the final service Mass at 8 PM. The celebration is in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is the Patroness of the Americas. This has been happening in Des Plaines for 25 years now, and it marks the date that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to an Aztec Indian in 1531.

To learn more about this story follow this link: Catholic Pilgrims Gather at Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Saint Joseph Catholic in Florida Partners with Notre Dame

A read a really refreshing story today about a Catholic school in Florida that, in my opinion, is setting a model for many more Catholic schools to follow. Saint Joseph Catholic School in West Tampa Bay has partnered with the University of Notre Dame and the Diocese of Saint Petersburg in the Notre Dame ACE Academies. The goal of the program is to make Catholic schools and their communities stronger. This is important because Catholic school enrollment has been dwindling in recent years, mostly because these schools simply have fewer resources than public schools.

To learn more about what this school is doing to make strives educationally check out the post “Catholic School Reform Takes Root in Florida”.

Growing the Catholic Presence on Social Media Sites

I was recently brought to realization that there is a glaring lack of Catholic presence on social media sites. Too much of the stuff seen on social media every day is negative and evil. Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever else people are using today there is an alarming amount of negativity. I feel as though it stems from the anonymity the internet creates. You can leave a hate filled comment on a Youtube video and nobody will ever know it was you, or you can tweet mean things at Pope Benedict’s new Twitter account and get away with it. I guess some people get a kick out of saying hurtful things online.

Anyway, what brought my attention to this issue was a positive story concerning social media. I was pleasantly surprised to read about a teenager named Dylana Smith who has taken it upon herself to promote the New Evangelization for the Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI called for Catholics to spread the New Evangelization in any way they could this year, and Dylana is using social media to do that. To get more specific she has been using Instagram to create a Catholic presence on the popular app. Dylana noticed a lack of Catholic presence on the app, and figured a good way to celebrate the Year of Faith would be to make a personal mission to create one. I am delighted to see such a young person trying hard to make a difference.

Much like Dylana I was also alerted that groups of Catholic bloggers have been uploading Advent photos of the day. These Catholics are using Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets to share their Advent photos each day. They also include a short Advent thought with their photos. This is a wonderful way to celebrate a season that often times goes overlooked by many people.

I was thrilled to see these efforts to make a bigger and better Catholic presence on social media. All of this news came the same week as Pope Benedict’s Twitter account was activated. I can’t wait to see what his tweets will be like next week!

How are you trying to help grow the Catholic presence on social media sites?

The “Pope App”: There is an App for Everything These Days

There really is an app for everything. Today I found out about the new “Pope App”. This app lets users see live streaming papal events and video feeds webcams around the Vatican. On top of those functions the app will also alert its users of new stories, news, and other interesting information about the Pope. This is part of an effort to document the ongoing Year of Faith in the best way possible. All of the bishops conference in the next year are being asked to document any materials involved with the celebration of the Year of Faith so that they can make an e-Book out of it all. The “Pope App” should be out sometime next week for the iPhone and iPad.

To learn more about this click here: Papal Events, Vatican Webcam Feeds Streamed Live with New “Pope App”

Was Joining Twitter a Good Idea for Pope Benedict XVI?

There has been a lot of controversy over the Pope’s new Twitter account. There seems to be two sides to this issue. One side is excited for the Pope’s tweets and can’t wait to see what they will be like. I thought I was completely on board with this side of the issue, however the other side makes a decent point. The other side thinks it is unnecessary for Pope Benedict XVI to have a Twitter account. Some of them feel this way because of the obscene and hate filled tweets that some people have been sending at the Pope’s account already. I never thought that people would tweet mean things at the Pope, but I suppose I didn’t think too much about it. If I had I would have known to expect it. The positive side is, even if these negative people are going to tweet bad things at the Pope they are still following him. Meaning even the worst people amongst us are still receiving the messages the Pope sends out.

Fr. Z recently weighed in on the topic over on his blog. The post was called “Are Christ’s mission and Holy Church well-served by ‘me-tooism’?” and gave Fr. Z’s interesting opinion on the matter.

Do you think it was a good idea for Pope Benedict XVI to start a Twitter account?

Pope Benedict XVI Twitter Handle Announced: Tweets to Follow

Today marks the beginning of Pope Benedict’s existence in the Twitter world. Pope Benedict XVI’s Twitter handle has been announced this morning (@Pontifex) and also news that he will tweet for the first time next week. The date that was announced is December 12, and apparently these tweets will be in a Q and A format. I know that I am thoroughly excited to see what the Pope will tweet about. It is very crazy that social media has become so embedded into our every day lives.

Read more about this story here: Pope Benedict XVI Launches Twitter Account