Lenten Reflection: “The great joy”

Joy and hope are Christian traits. It is sad to find a believer who knows no joy, fearful in his attachment to cold doctrine. This was the very reason for Francis’ ode to joy during Mass at Santa Marta on Thursday, 26 March. At the beginning of Mass, the Pope acknowledged the Carmelite “Hour of […]

Pope Francis Becomes A Sommelier So Can You

Food For Thought

Pope Francis received a delegation of some 180 Italian wine producers, vintners, sommeliers (wine stewards) and wine writers on January 21 at his Wednesday morning general audience in Vatican City’s Palazzo Nervi. The meeting was organized by Franco Ricci, head of the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier (The Italian Sommelier Association). “The idea of asking for a […]



In these homilies, Pope Francis encourages us to renew our faith. He encourages us to go out to be “workers for the Kingdom.” He encourages us to go on a search for Christ, to have “restless hearts” until we find Him. Each of us needs to ask: What do I seek? Am I truly in […]

People display signs in Los Angeles at a demonstartion before the National Human Traffickin Awareness Day  last month.

Vatican Watch March 2015

MONDAY 26 Just as Mary gave the world Jesus, women hand on the faith, pope says Why is it, Pope Francis asked today, that so many women are the ones who hand down the faith generation after generation? “Quite simply, because it was a woman who brought us Jesus,” he said. “It’s the path Jesus […]

Archbishop Bruno Musaro.

People March 2015

New Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt appointed Pope Francis has named 66-year-old Italian Archbishop Bruno Musarò to be the new Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt and Delegate to the League of Arab States. Archbishop Musarò was formerly the Apostolic Nuncio to Cuba from August 2011 to February 5, 2015. He takes over his new office from Archbishop […]


The anthropid Coffin of Butehamon, an Egyptian royal scribe during the 21st century.

The Vatican Mummy Project and its Discoveries

The art treasures of the Vatican — from all ages and of many cultures — are to be found in 10 pontifical museums, often erroneously referred to as the “Vatican Museum” in the singular. Less well-known than the Raphael Rooms, Borgia Apartments and the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek and Roman art, but nonetheless […]

Could Putting “Mercy First” Ahead of “Rules and Doctrines” Be Dangerous?

There is, in Buenos Aires, a “papal tour” bus that takes visitors around places linked to the life of Jorge Bergoglio, from those of his youth—his baptismal church, family home, and schools—to those of his adulthood: a seminary where he recuperated after his life was saved at age 21, and the cathedral seat of once-Archbishop Bergoglio. Austen Ivereigh is well […]

A Superficial and Biased Book on the Vatican Bank

Gerald Posner has published what he claims is an “extensively researched” study of the Vatican’s bank. However, the first 14 chapters of the book (out of 43) deal with the pontificates of Popes Pius XI (1922-1939) and Pius XII (1939-1958) and their banker, Bernardino Nogara, a period of history I have studied for many years. […]

Francis of Assisi: “Never Will I Cease”

The Compilatio Assisiensis, or Assisi Compilation, is a hagiographic work from the 13th century, generally thought to be “difficult” because of its fragmentary nature and the particular structure of its text. But it is a document of inestimable worth, being one of the most authentic testimonies concerning St. Francis of Assisi and the origins of […]

Urbi et Orbi Section

We continue our series on the spirituality and practices of Eastern Christianity by looking at liturgical themes of the penitential season of “Great Lent” The Crucifixion Icon – By Robert Wiesner Any time is a good time to contemplate the saving cross of Jesus Christ, but Lent is an especially appropriate season to take a close […]

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Books, Art & People

Pope Francis during one of his in-flight conferences.

“Ideological Colonization” in Lord of the World

Monsignor Luigi Negri comments on Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s apocalyptic novel, repeatedly cited by Pope Francis. On his way home from the Philippines in January, Pope Francis made time, as is his habit, to speak with journalists. Responding to one question about the concept of “ideological colonization” he had mentioned during his meeting with families […]

St Peter's railroad station with convenient connections to Rome's beaches or to Rome's main railroad station and subway system.

Via Monte Del Gallo

For many years, Friar Tuck and I were neighbors on Via Monte del Gallo, a narrow, quiet, residential street, which winds uphill from the Italian State Railway’s St. Peter’s station at the beginning of Via Greg­orio VII to the Vatican-owned, spartan, rabbit-warren hotel Casa Tra Noi ( With its ample parking lot for buses and […]

The Pope in Domus Santa Marta.

From the Domus Santa Marta: The Words of Pope Francis

With this issue we are beginning a new “rubrica” (section) of the magazine, named “From the Domus Santa Marta.” I have chosen the passages from Pope Francis’ morning homilies which struck me most deeply, and helped deepen my own faith. In these homilies, he seems to be and to speak as a parish priest with his parishioners. […]

Father Richard P. McBrien.

People February 2015

Father Richard McBrien, prolific theologian and essayist, dies at 78 Father Richard P. McBrien, retired professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and chair of the university’s theology department for 11 years, died January 25 at age 78, after a long illness, in his native Connecticut. Father McBrien wrote 25 books as well […]

St Peter's Basilica is seen in the background as seminarians lead a procession during the dedication of a new building at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

New “Tower Built at North American College

Pope Pius IX founded the North American College in 1859. Its first home — until the outbreak of the Second World War when Pope Pius XII closed Rome’s “foreign” seminaries — was at a former Dominican and Visitation convent, the Casa Santa Maria, near the Trevi Fountains, today the residence of American priests pursuing graduate […]

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