Thursday, October 31, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 31

1. The USCCB Fall General Assembly is 11 days away and if you can't make it to Baltimore, it will be carried live via sattelite and on social media. Learn all the details.

2. News.Va reports: "The Holy See Press Office has confirmed a Consistory to create new Cardinals will be held next February. Pope Francis had informed both the Council of Cardinals and the Council of the Synod of his intention earlier this month, according to statement issued by Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Press Office."

3. Catholics can join the war against poverty in the U.S. by giving to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

4. Saturday is the Commemoration of All Soul's Day on November 2 and the USCCB Facebook page will remember and pray for people who have died during the last year with photos and a video.

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 30

1. While many people are focusing on Halloween, Pope Francis has his heart and mind on All Saints and All Souls. Today, he said, "Who hasn't experienced insecurities, losses and even doubts in the journey of faith?" the pope asked. "It's part of life. It should not shock us because we are human beings, marked by fragility and limits."

2. Do you follow Bishop Christopher Coyne? He tackles faith, modern events and much more on Facebook, Twitter and on YouTube.

3. Many people are thinking about the areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy a year ago, including Brooklyn's Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who shared a moving reflection on Facebook.

4. A few pictures of Pope Francis and his new helper have gone viral this week. CNS captions some of those shots.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 29

1. Pope Francis appointed a second U.S. archbishop today. The pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Henry Mansell, 76, of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, and named Bishop Leonard Blair, 64, of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, to succeed him. Learn more about both men.

2. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh has been named the new episcopal liaison to Catholic Charities USA. He succeeds Bishop Michael Driscoll of Boise, Idaho, who has held the post since 2002. The appointment was made by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB.

3. Pope Francis has appointed Father Kurt Burnette as bishop of the Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic, which covers much of the East Coast.

4. The church’s collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is slated for November 23-24, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The collection is taken up in parishes and dioceses nationwide. The theme of this year's collection is: "Defend Human Dignity. Take Poverty Off the Map."

5. God loves you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 28

1. Pope Francis was elected less than eight months ago, but he already has 10 million followers on Twitter @Pontifex. He recognized them this weekend by saying, "Dear Followers I understand there are now over 10 million of you! I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me."

2. Bishop John Quinn, chairman of the USCCB's subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service, explains the work of the subcommittee and the call for the laity to be involved in the work of Church.

3. Bishop Tweets: Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina is one of many bishops who regularly tweets and has inspiring messages. You can follow him at @BishopBurbidge.

4. Although Domestic Violence Awareness Month is coming to a close this week, the USCCB continues its efforts to speak out for abused women. Read "When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response To Domestic Violence Against Women."

5. God loves you.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 25

1. In recent weeks, Pope Francis has been stating the positives of marriage. For instance, today, Catholic News Service is reporting he said: "There are problems in marriage: different points of view, jealousies, arguments, but tell young couples to never let the day end without making peace. The sacrament of matrimony is renewed in this act of peace," during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

2. The Pope has also criticized the "throw-away" culture. Today, he tweeted, "The 'throw-away' culture produces many bitter fruits, from wasting food to isolating many elderly people."

3. Although there is just a week left in October, the month of the rosary, it's never too late to learn how to pray the rosar.

4. A West Point graduate and current seminarian is running in the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness and money for U.S. military chaplaincies. Watch this CNS video on his journey.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 24

1. Pope Francis' English-speaking Twitter account recently topped three million followers. His Spanish account has an incredible four million. Today, he told them, "Being a Christian means renouncing ourselves, taking up the cross and carrying it with Jesus. There is no other way."

2. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development's national collection date is the Sunday before Thanksgiving, but some dioceses hold their collection on other dates due to local considerations. CCHD addresses the root causes of poverty, helping people in lifting up their community. Find information on this important work here.

3. Vatican Radio reports that Pope Francis met with a Jewish human rights group, telling them “Wherever any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnic identity,” he said, “the well-being of society as a whole is endangered and each one of us must feel affected."

4. The For Your Marriage site is full of fun facts and tips. Today's post sees a "Top 10 Things To Remember As a Parent"

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 23

1. Ken Hackett, the U.S.'s new ambassador to the Vatican met with Pope Francis this week and spoke with Vatican Radio about the experience and what's ahead for him.

2. Catholic News Service explores the challenges and blessings that come for parishes ministering to Hispanic families.

3.Work is being done to update the Blessed John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington as a world-class shrine and museum. The former Pontiff will be canonized next April.

4. USCCB President Cardinal Timothy Dolan, of New York, blogs about popes and how they face challenges similar to everyone else.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 22

1. Multicultural parishes in the U.S. are on the rise. This parish celebrates Mass in four different languages:

2. reminds us that October 22 is the anniversary of the installation of Blessed John Paul II as Pope, 35 years ago. He will be canonized April 27, 2014.

3. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development national collection is offered the Sunday before Thanksgiving, but some dioceses hold their collection on a different date to avoid conflict with local activities and needs. You can find collection resources here.

4. Did you see the list of bishops who have been nominated for President of the USSCB? The election will be held during the annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore in early November.

5. God loves you.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 21

1. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will elect the next president and vice president of USCCB during the bishops’ annual fall General Assembly, November 11-14. The president and vice president are elected from a slate of 10 candidates nominated by the bishops, which you can see at

2. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Learn about the Church's response to this hidden scourge on our families and communities.

3. Want some inspiration for the day. Watch this Catholic News Service video about a 22-year-old cancer survivor who is giving religious life a try and has found a home with cloistered nuns.

4. Greed is definitely not good, Pope Francis said today. "This is a day-to-day problem. How many families have we seen destroyed by the problem of money? Brother against brother, father against son. This is the first result that this attitude of being attached to money does: it destroys! When a person is attached to money, he destroys himself, he destroys the family. Money destroys! It does, doesn’t it? It binds you. Money serves to bring about many good things, so many works for human development, but when your heart is attached in this way, it destroys you."

5. God loves you.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 18

1. Pope Francis made his first English-language address today, which you can watch here.

2. Cardinal Timothy Dolan had an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on immigration reform today. He emphasizes how the Church has always helped immigrants in the U.S.

3.The U.S. bishops welcomed the decision of federal government leaders to agree to end the partial government shutdown 16 days after closing many offices and suspending important programs and services. The bishops also were heartened that so many who had been out of work could return to their jobs.

4. For the the Commemoration of All Soul's Day on November 2, the USCCB Facebook page will remember people who have died during the last year and urge people on Facebook to pray for them. People can send a photo of a departed loved one along with a remembrance of six words or less to with the subject line "All Souls' Day" by Oct. 20.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 17

1. Pope Francis spoke about prayer today and even tweeted about its importance in the fullness of a Christian's faith. He wrote: "Our prayer cannot be reduced to an hour on Sundays. It is important to have a daily relationship with the Lord."

2. Connect with Catholic social ministry professionals from around the country at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington. Speakers will include John L. Allen Jr., senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and Rev. James Martin, S.J., Editor-at-Large of America magazine and author of numerous books.

3. The 2013-2014 Respect Life Program features seven pamphlets in a series called Life Matters. Each presents convincing support for the teachings of the Catholic Church on major pro-life issues, with facts and reasoning drawn from science, history, law, psychology, sociology, and other secular sources.

4. The daily readings are among the most popular features on Did you know there are audio versions of them as well?

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 16

1. Catholic News Service reports on Pope Francis' continued push for an evangelization emphasis in the Church. Cindy Wooden's story notes that "The church can describe itself as 'apostolic' only if it shares the Gospel with the world, remaining faithful to the teaching of the apostles and living out Gospel values, Pope Francis said.

2. Today is the 35th anniversary of the election of Blessed Pope John Paul II and our Facebook followers are sharing how he impacted their lives.

3. Nov. 2 will be the Commemoration of All Souls' Day. Also on the USCCB Facebook page, we'd like to remember with a photo album and pray for people who were special to you that have died during the last year. People can send a photo of this special person along with a remembrance of six words or less. Email a photo to with the subject line "All Souls' Day" by Oct. 20.

4. Have you subscribed to the USCCB's Youtube channel?

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 15

1. The U.S. bishops will vote on five liturgical items presented by the Committee on Divine Worship during the annual fall General Assembly of the USCCB Nov. 11-14, at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott Hotel. Among the items is the use of the Spanish-language Misal Romano from Mexico to serve as the base text for the U.S. Spanish-language missal. Mexico’s Conference of Bishops received a recognitio, or permission from Rome to use the text at the beginning of 2013. Plans call for a U.S. version of the Misal Romano to be available by the end of 2014 or spring 2015.

2. World Mission Sunday is October 20, 2013. Learn about this day set aside each year for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice.

3. Catholic News Service looks at how most Catholics aren't looking for spirituality online, but our Facebook followers shared why they do today.

4. Domestic violence shatters the peace that should reside in relationships and especially in the family, the domestic church. Learn what the Church teaches about combating this problem as we focus on it in October.

5. God loves you.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 11

1. Pope Francis has named Father Andrew Cozzens, 45, associate professor at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minnesota, as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

2. Another U.S. Bishop - this time Archbishop William E. Lori - met with Pope Francis this week. Archbishop Lori is chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. Earlier this week, the president and vice president of the USCCB respectively, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, met with the Pope.

3. World Mision Sunday is October 20. Learn about this day set aside each year for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice.

4. October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Why do Catholics pray the rosary and how does it happen? You can learn on

5. God loves you.

John XXIII and Francis: What They Do, But Also How They Do It

October 11 marks not only the anniversary of the Catechism and the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but the feast of John XXIII, the great instigator of Vatican II and one of two popes to be canonized April 27 of next year by Pope Francis.

John XXIII hold the respective distinctions of ushering in the most significant reforms the Catholic Church had seen in a millennium and being the first Latin American and Jesuit pope. But both men are also witnesses to how Christian holiness permeates daily life in moments big and small and that it's not just what a person does, but how he or she does it, that matters.

Sure, both men provide visions of The Big Picture. John XXIII gave his recipe for sustainable global peace in his final encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963). And Pope Francis has put in place with lightning speed his program of global solidarity and a Church that goes out to the margins to serve.

But Francis has also focused much of his preaching and teaching energy -- exemplified by his daily Mass homilies especially -- on the "small things," behaviors of everyday life like gossip, laziness and cynicism. These are not lofty theological concerns, but pitfalls of human behavior that apply to everyone. And he doesn't criticize them lightly. Often the devil gets dragged into it. It's as if the last thing Pope Francis wants is a Church that "believes correctly" but is populated by otherwise miserable people.

While this may sound like "papal micromanaging" to some, it's more like a cheat sheet for the Christian life. Yes, you know the 10 Commandments and the Catechism, but just in case there was any doubt, the end result should look like this...

John XXIII had his rules for dealing with the small stuff too. His famous managerial maxim (recently quoted by Pope Francis in his interview with the world's major Jesuit journals) was "See everything. Overlook a great deal. Correct a little." His guide to living together in harmony (attributed to St. Augustine) had a similar spirit: "In essentials, unity. In doubtful matters, liberty. In all things, charity."

Pope John's leadership style was on full display at the Council. He didn't participate, wishing to promote freer discussion among the bishops, but watched the proceedings from his apartment on closed circuit television. However, when the curia proposed a highly unpopular draft for the document on divine revelation and the bishops did not have quite enough votes to reject it outright, Pope John, to the Council fathers' surprise, intervened and threw out the draft. He didn't see the point in such an unpopular schema taking up so much of the Council's time and energy. See everything. Overlook a great deal. Correct a little.

Pope Francis exercised a similar sense of discernment and freedom in the act of moving ahead Pope John's canonization without the required second miracle. Look at the witness of his life! The world has already proclaimed him a saint! This system was meant to guide us, not hinder us. Pope Francis seems to be saying. And he is, after all, the pope.

From the model of John XXIII to the current admonitions of Pope Francis, Catholics everywhere can learn from these men how to discern what is truly important in matters large and small and learn follow their lead in in exemplifying the key to a Christian witness: "See how they love another." Both men extended that love, in word and deed, to the entire world.

(Photo of Pope Francis CNS Photo/Paul Haring. Photo of John XXIII CNS file photo.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 10

1. Did you know that more than a third of U.S. parishes are multicultural?

2. Sister Mary Ann Walsh blogs on the government shutdown, saying it's time to listen to the U.S. Bishops. "As the government shutdown continues, it may be time to listen to another body – the U.S. bishops. Recent statements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offer significant points worth considering.  They are neither Democratic nor Republican positions. They are simply principled."

3. In this Catholic News Service video, you can see how "immigration reform advocates, politicians and citizens made their voices heard in Washington to keep the issue from being eclipsed by the political stalemate."

4. The theme of Respect Life Month is "Open Your Hearts to Life" and you can see the many resources the USCCB has made available for this month and throughout the year.

5. God loves you.

Time to Listen to the Bishops On The Shutdown

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

As the government shutdown continues, it may be time to listen to another body – the U.S. bishops. Recent statements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offer significant points worth considering.

They are neither Democratic nor Republican positions. They are simply principled.

Consider, for example, an October 1 letter from Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, chair of the Committee on Domestic Policy and Human Development, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace. The letter urged Congress to fulfill the role of government and meet the basic needs of people. The bishops told Congress that they “welcomed earlier bipartisan action which averted a federal government shutdown and the hardship that would have come with failure to reach agreement."

They added that "The Catholic bishops of the United States stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that reduces future unsustainable deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity."

The bishops noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says it is the proper role of government to "make accessible to each what is needed to lead a truly human life," including food, clothing, heath care, education and culture.

The Church is a voice for the poor. It’s often the only lobby for people in desperate need. In that regard, the church has argued for universal health care for about a century.

The church has also asked Congress to protect rights of conscience as a part of the same legislative process. A September 26 letter from Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, called for respect for religious freedom. They did so as a January 1 deadline approaches for beginning to impose the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate on many religious institutions that serve the needy. As the bishops’ October 1 letter pointed out, threats to conscience rights undermine access to needed health care by driving people of faith out of the system.

Some have falsely interpreted this as a call for the government shutdown or a default on our nation’s debts. The bishops have done nothing of the kind. The bishops have been urging Congress to enact legislation like the Health Care Conscience Rights Act for two and a half years. Since July 2012, the bishops have been asking that this protection be included in “must-pass” bills such as the appropriations bills funding the government, which have long been vehicles for a number of important federal policies on conscience rights.

The bishops offer principles that uphold rights for all people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Good government protects its citizens. When it shuts down, it protects no one; and when it runs, it must be sure to respect their fundamental rights. The bishops have emphasized all of these concerns together. In this way, they offer a voice of reason.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 9

1. Earlier this week, USCCB leaders, including President Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Vice President Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, met with Pope Francis. You can read about their exchange here and watch video on our Facebook page.

2.  Bet you never thought you'd see a red carpet interview by the Pope, did you?

3. October is the month of the Holy Rosary and Sister Mary Ann Walsh says it's the prayer you can say anywhere.

4. Domestic violence shatters the peace that should reside in relationships and especially in the family, the domestic church. Learn what the Church teaches about combating this problem as we focus on it in October.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 8

1. Pope Francis is convening an Extraodinary Synod on the Family on the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.
The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”. - See more at:
The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”. - See more at:

2. The USCCB will vote for the chairmanships of six of its committees during the bishops’ annual fall General Assembly, Nov. 11-14, at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott Hotel. A bishop elected to chair a USCCB committee serves as chairman-elect for one year before beginning a three-year term as chairman.

3. Domestic violence shatters the peace that should reside in relationships and especially in the family, the domestic church. Learn what the Church teaches about combating this problem as we focus on it in October.

4. USCCB President Cardinal Timothy Dolan and other conference leadership met with Pope Francis Monday. You can see a photo from the meeting here.

5. God loves you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Oct. 7

1. Pope Francis had two powerful Tweets recently, first writing,"Dear young people, you have many plans and dreams for the future. But, is Christ at the center of each of your plans and dreams?" Today, he wrote: "Mercy is the true power that can save humanity and the world from sin and evil."

2. Respect Life Sunday was yesterday and the official kickoff of Respect Life Month. There are seven informational resources in English and Spanish for various life issues.

3. Sister Mary Ann Walsh reflects on recent comments by Pope Francis in a new blog. He compared the Church to a field hospital. Sister Mary Ann shares notes from priests on how they serve those hurting emotionally and spiritually.

4. Local and practical collaboration in aiding others is the rule not the exception notes
Fr. Donald Rooney, pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Va., and an opportunity for Christians to work together.

5. God loves you.

The Parish Field Hospital

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Pope Francis is the master of metaphor. One of his best: the church is a field hospital. All of us have to surround the hurting with care, but the parish priest has a formal role of general practitioner. He heals hurts, salves spiritual wounds and suggests healthy living.

I asked some priests to explain their role and learned that the priest deals mostly with spiritual and emotional pain. He knows theology, but most issues he confronts center on human and spiritual relationships. Here are their responses.

Marriage problems are the most difficult. They are usually longstanding and, if emotional problems are involved, need professional attention. Equally difficult are concerns of parents whose children don’t practice the faith. They don't want to be nags but feel guilty about not doing something. They feel they have failed. The priest reassures them that they did their best and while an occasional gentle reminder is not out of place, they shouldn't push the issue to the point of alienation. They should pray and trust in God's grace to do the work. He tells those who feel God doesn't hear them that some the great saints (and Blessed Mother Teresa) had the same experience. He talks to the unforgiving about how forgiveness is rarely easy but Jesus emphasized how important it is by including in the Our Father a petition asking for forgiveness as we have forgiven others.

The toughest problem is scrupulosity, which makes some people think everything they do is sinful. They can't be convinced that God is a forgiving God. They simply can't trust in God's mercy. It's usually a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Another priest noted that people go to a priest with almost every conceivable malady. Some situations are acute: marriage breakup, terminal disease, loss of loved one (most difficult: loss of child, spouse, someone through suicide), hitting bottom with alcohol or drug addiction, worry about a family member or friend. Some wonder what to do in life or feel a general malaise about where God is leading them. Some problems are chronic: loneliness, lack of purpose, bitterness and anger, and struggle with one of the deadly sins.

The priest brings wisdom from life experience and the balm of Christ. Priests have had doctors tell them they bring to healing what a doctor can’t. A good priest confidently and humbly brings Christ to the table.

Ninety percent of the job of doctor of the soul is to listen and let people know God loves them no matter what. When Pope Francis talks about healing wounds and warming hearts, he adds: “It needs nearness, proximity.”

People often seek out a priest when going through a divorce or dealing with a just finished divorce or the loneliness that follows one. People look to a priest when they are trying to negotiate relationships: parent to child; child to parent; adult to elderly parent; employee to boss or coworkers. Some ask how to be less selfish or more charitable. Some struggle with sin (pornography, chastity, for example) or with problems within such as bitterness, anger, lack of discipline, laziness. People seek a priest when they are depressed and feel helpless or trapped. Sometimes they are struggling with the death of someone close. Sometimes they’re angry at God, the Church or a particular person or Church teaching. Some want financial help. Some want advice on dealing with sexual orientation. Some ask how they can get more involved with their faith or contribute more to help the poor.

People seek the “remedies” of the Sacraments: pardon and forgiveness (Reconciliation), healing (Sacrament of the Sick), mission/vocation (Marriage), and the grace of the Eucharist. People also look for help in discerning God’s will not just in the big vocational questions but in the day-to-day attempts to follow Jesus.

Thankfully, the field hospital is there for us all.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oración del campesino para la era moderna

Por la hermana Mary Ann Walsh

Aquí quisiera levantar mi voz en apreciación al rosario, la oración rezamos cuando nos sentimos confundidos y estresados, cuando estamos esperando en la oficina del doctor, conduciendo de ida y vuelta al trabajo, demasiado distraídos para meditar, solos en la gran ciudad o sentados al lado de un moribundo e, incluso, cuando estamos a solas.

Yo rezo el rosario todos los días, así que no estoy mintiendo cuando le digo a la gente que estoy rezando por ellos. Yo quiero hacer algo más que decir “Dios, bendice a quienes yo les dije que iba a rezar por ellos”.

Como tengo tantos sobrinos y sobrinas y colegas jóvenes, rezo diariamente por las mujeres embarazadas y por los niños. Yo vivo en el área de Washington, donde hay mucho tráfico, así que también rezo para contrarrestar la conducta agresiva de los que manejan. Es mejor decir en voz alta “Santa María, Madre de Dios” que decir algo lamentable que quizás uno necesite confesar más adelante.

Los misterios del rosario me inspiran. Los Misterios Gozosos, la Anunciación, la Visitación, el Nacimiento, la Presentación del Señor y Jesús perdido y hallado en el templo, tienen mucho significado. Cuando rezo la Visitación, me voy en un viaje espiritual hacia la persona que me necesite y, como una especie de telepatía, les digo “No te rindas”.

En el cuarto misterio, la Presentación del Señor, pienso en los padres de familia que llevan cargados a sus bebés en la fila para la Comunión en la Misa. Y no es que no tengan con quien dejar a sus hijitos. El padre o la madre camina con orgullo y aprecia que el sacerdote le de la bendición a su niño o niña.

En los Misterios Dolorosos, uno tiene que darse ánimo y enfrentarlos en oración. Estos incluyen la Agonía en el huerto, la Flagelación en la columna, la Corona de espinas, Jesús cargando la cruz y la Crucifixión y muerte del Señor. Un amigo me dijo que meditar sobre el tercer misterio doloroso podría causar un dolor de cabeza. El cargar la cruz es familiar para aquellas personas que están enfrentando desafíos en su vida, por ejemplo, cuidando a padres ya ancianos o a un hijo con una enfermedad crónica, o lidiando con una situación difícil en el trabajo. Eso ayuda a unir el dolor que uno siente con el de Jesús.

Los Misterios Gloriosos celebran los momentos maravillosos de nuestra fe. La Resurrección, la Ascensión, la Venida del Espíritu Santo, la Asunción y la Coronación de María como Reina y Señora de todo lo creado. Mi favorito es la Venida del Espíritu Santo. Trato de imaginarme que estoy metida entre los apóstoles para que el Espíritu descienda sobre mí y me ayude a tomar decisiones sensatas. Cuando yo era joven, esto significaba elegir la respuesta correcta en un examen, pero ahora. . . .

El Papa Juan Pablo II sí que me sorprendió en el 2002 cuando introdujo los Misterios Luminosos. Estos celebran la vida pública de Jesús: Su Bautismo, la bodas de Caná, el Anuncio del Reino de Dios, la Transfiguración y la Institución de la Eucaristía. Yo necesito encontrar una manera fácil para ayudarme a recordarlos.

La leyenda dice que Santo Domingo le enseñó a la gente a rezar el rosario alrededor del año 1200. Otros dicen que sus raíces vienen de tiempos anteriores y que el rosario ayudó a los campesinos incultos a orar. Hoy podemos leer pero hemos cambiado la vida sencilla de los campesinos por una existencia agitada y llena de distracciones, donde a veces se nos hace difícil hasta pensar. Esta es una razón más para que el rosario, que nos conmueve más allá de las palabras, más allá de los pensamientos, hacia la presencia de Dios, aun tenga un lugar en nuestras vidas.