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Winning Wednesday

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Celebrate a Birthday on the Air!

Celebrate a Birthday on the Air!

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Daily Scripture Reflections

Daily Scripture Reflections

Grow in your faith and in your love of God's Word with original Scripture reflections written by the staff here at Spirit FM.

Pope wants abuse summit to lead to clarity, action

IMAGE: CNS photos/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the upcoming meeting on protecting minors, Pope Francis wants leaders of the world's bishops' conferences to clearly understand what must be done to prevent abuse, care for victims and ensure no case is whitewashed or covered up."The pope wants it to be an assembly of pastors, not an academic conference -- a meeting characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering," Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press office, told reporters Jan. 16.The Feb. 21-24 meeting on the protection of minors in the church "has a concrete purpose: The goal is that all of the bishops clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors," Gisotti said, reading from a written communique in Italian and English."Pope Francis knows that a global problem can only be resolved with a global response," he said.Th...

Lord's Prayer is reaching out for father's loving embrace, pope says

IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To pray well, people need to have the heart of a child -- a child who feels safe and loved in a father's tender embrace, Pope Francis said.If people have become estranged from God, feel lonely, abandoned or have realized their mistakes and are paralyzed by guilt, "we can still find the strength to pray" by starting with the word, "Father," pronounced with the tenderness of a child, he said.No matter what problems or feelings a person is experiencing or the mistakes someone has made, God "will not hide his face. He will not close himself up in silence. Say, 'Father,' and he will answer,'" the pope said Jan. 16 during his weekly general audience.After greeting the thousands of faithful gathered in the Paul VI audience hall, the pope continued his series of talks on the Lord's Prayer, reflecting on the Aramaic term, "Abba," which Jesus uses to address God, the father."It is rare Aram...

Julliard-trained violinist returns to N.J. roots to record first album

IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Lauren DesbergBy Carl PetersCAMDEN, N.J. (CNS) -- In recent months, violinist Alana Youssefian has performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Yale University and venues in Texas, California, Washington and Canada.But she's coming home to New Jersey -- her hometown parish in particular -- to record her first album.The recording will take place at St. Rose of Lima Church in suburban Haddon Heights, where her mother still is involved in the parish music program.Youssefian, 26, attended the parish school, sang in the parish children and teen choirs, and listened to the Spice Girls with her friends. She holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University and The Julliard School, and she makes her living as a traveling soloist, performing Bach, Haydn and Vivaldi.She told the Catholic Star Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Camden, that her specialty is "historical performance," often working with musicians playing historical i...

Cardinal Wuerl acknowledges he knew of one accusation against predecessor

IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Rhina GuidosWASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a second letter issued in mid-January about what he knew and didn't regarding abuse allegations involving his predecessor, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington's retired archbishop, apologized Jan. 15 for what he called a "lapse of memory," clarifying that he knew of at least one abuse allegation against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, but he had "forgotten" about it.In the letter sent to priests of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged that he became aware of the allegation against now-Archbishop McCarrick after receiving a report in 2004 about a different allegation, but the "survivor also indicated that he had observed and experienced 'inappropriate conduct' by then-Bishop McCarrick."The former cardinal is now an archbishop, having stepped down from the College of Cardinals in July 2018 following accusations that he abused minors in the past. Other accusatio...

Update: Parish of teen who escaped abduction credits power of prayer

IMAGE: CNS photo/FBI handout via ReutersBy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- For nearly three months, parishioners at St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron, Wisconsin, were praying for the safe return of one of their own -- 13-year-old Jayme Closs.When parishioners heard the news that she had escaped her abductor Jan. 10 and was safe, their prayers switched to gratitude.The parish sign said, "Praise God Welcome Home Jayme," after its Mass times listing. It joined dozens of messages that had sprung up in signs and storefronts across the Wisconsin town and neighboring towns cheering the teen's safety."Our prayers have been answered and God is good," parishioner JoAnn Trowbridge told the local NBC affiliate, WEAU, after Jan. 13 Mass at St. Peter. She also said she thinks their prayers may have been answered because "God got sick of us nagging him."St. Peter, in the Diocese of Superior, is where Jayme attended religious education classes and Mass with her...

Foster dialogue, promote solidarity, pope tells Academy for Life

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Marking the Pontifical Academy for Life's 25th anniversary, Pope Francis encouraged the research and advisory body to promote human solidarity and fraternity as part of its mandate to promote human life.A sense of fraternity between people and nations has been weakened with an erosion of mutual trust and "remains the unkept promise of modernity," Pope Francis said."The strengthening of fraternity, generated in the human family by the worship of God in spirit and truth, is the new frontier of Christianity," the pope said in a letter addressed to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the pontifical academy.Speaking to reporters at a Vatican news conference Jan. 15, Archbishop Paglia said the letter's title, "The Human Community," indicated how the pope wants pro-life concerns to include a concern for human relationships -- in the family, in society, among nations as well as with creation....

Visiting bishops see 'incomprehensible complexity' of Holy Land situation

IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Mazur via catholicnews.org.ukBy Judith SudilovskyJERUSALEM (CNS) -- Visiting with Christian communities in northern Israel and the northern Palestinian Territories has helped bishops participating in the annual Holy Land Coordination see "the great need" to promote an understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, said Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor, Ireland."There is ... a need to devise ways for both people to understand that, ultimately and finally, for the common good of all, a permanent and sustainable solution is needed," said Bishop Treanor. "The kind of issues at stake here are not easily resolved, but some kind of solution has to be found. It is difficult to know when that will be achieved.""It does not make sense that people living in such close proximity should be a source of conflict," he added.He said every generation has the responsibility to take the necessary steps to promote mutual respect ...

Faith is passed on at home, pope tells parents at baptism

IMAGE: CNS photo/Vatican MediaBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Faith isn't something learned just by studying the catechism but rather is a gift passed on to children by the example of their parents, Pope Francis said.Although children learn the tenets of the Catholic faith in catechism class, it is first transmitted in the home "because faith always must be transmitted in dialect: the dialect of the family, the dialect of the home, in the atmosphere of the home," he said before baptizing 27 babies.The pope celebrated the Mass and baptisms Jan. 13, the feast of the baptism of the Lord, in the Sistine Chapel."The important thing is to transmit the faith with your life of faith: that they see the love between spouses, that they see peace at home, that they see that Jesus is there," Pope Francis said during his brief and unscripted homily.As the lively sounds of babies' squeals and cries filled the frescoed Sistine Chapel, the pope said babies often cry...

Shutdown won't deter crowds from marching for life in nation's capital

IMAGE: CNS/Tyler OrsburnBy Julie AsherWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Neither snow nor sleet -- nor partial government shutdown -- will keep pro-lifers away from the nation's capital for the March for Life Jan. 18.If it continues, the shutdown will be almost a month old by then. Daily news reports show the closures of monuments, memorials and the Smithsonian museums in Washington and trash cans overflowing on some federal property -- images that might lead some folks around the country to think it is affecting big events planned for the nation's capital.  But not so."PLEASE NOTE: We plan to march even if the government shutdown is not yet resolved," declares the March for Life website, marchforlife.org. "We have marched for 45 years and will march again this year to end the human rights abuse of abortion."Come to think of it, the start of what was a two-day historic blizzard that hit Washington in January 2016 had some impact on numbers, but marchers by the thousands still ...

A global response to abuse: Work already underway, Jesuit says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- By summoning leaders of the world's bishops' conferences and top representatives of religious orders to the Vatican in February to address the abuse crisis and the protection of minors, Pope Francis is sending the message that the need for safeguarding is a global issue.Even though media attention and public fallout for the church's failings have focused on a small group of nations, abuse experts and victims know that does not mean the rest of the world is immune from the scandal of abuse or can delay taking action to ensure the safety of all its members.While Catholic leaders in some countries might not recognize it as a global issue, Vatican offices that receive abuse allegations have a "clear idea about what is the situation now because allegations come from all parts of the world," said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, president of the Center ...

Thought of the Day

Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Hebrews 2:18

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