Pope: Come to manger with love, charity, simplicity

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | January 8, 2019

VATICAN CITY — Jesus’ birth in a stable, God’s coming to earth in extreme simplicity, teaches Christians that love is more valuable than anything else and is what will change the world, Pope Francis said.

“In Bethlehem, we discover that the life of God can enter into our hearts and dwell there. If we welcome that gift, history changes, starting with each of us,” the pope said in his homily at Mass Dec. 24 in St. Peter’s Basilica. After the singing of the “Kalenda,” the ancient Christmas proclamation, and the ringing of the basilica’s bells, Pope Francis lifted a cloth revealing a statue of the baby Jesus, and he gently kissed it.

St. Peter’s Basilica was filled with a new light for the Christmas Mass. For the first time, the basilica’s new LED lighting was used — 700 light fixtures contain 100,000 LEDs and, according to the Vatican, will bring an energy savings of 90 percent.

In his homily, the pope noted how the Christmas story leads believers back to Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.”

“Tonight,” he said, “as we hear the summons to go up to Bethlehem, the house of bread, let us ask ourselves: What is the bread of my life, what is it that I cannot do without? Is it the Lord, or something else?” Continue reading

Serving our North Side neighbors

Editor | January 8, 2019
Seminarians serve food at light of Life Rescue Mission Deacon Kevin Bezner and Seminarians John Welch and David Vonderohe serve an evening meal at Light of Life Rescue Mission in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Nov. 28. I just returned from Thanksgiving … Continue reading

Vatican opens medical center for homeless

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | January 8, 2019

VATICAN CITY — Just before Christmas, the Vatican announced it had opened a new medical clinic for the homeless and the poor, expanding services previously offered in a small space just outside St. Peter’s Square. The Merciful Mother Clinic, which … Continue reading

Sounds of the season

Editor | January 8, 2019

Archeparchial choir presents annual “Christmas at the Cathedral”   The Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholic Archeparchial Choir (PBCAC) presented its annual “Christmas at the Cathedral” concert Dec. 16 at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall, Pa. The choral program featured hymns … Continue reading

Holy smoke

David Mayernik Jr. | January 8, 2019

It’s been said nature abhors a vacuum. Well, it is also true Walt Disney World abhors spontaneity. Every aspect of the Disney experience in its four Parks, two water parks and numerous resorts are executed like clockwork: Guests are not … Continue reading

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Bishop Alexander Chira Fearless Witness of Christ

"I bequeath my body to the earth, my spirit to God, but my heart I leave to Rome!" Bishop Chira On May 26, 1983, the worthy successor to our martyred Bishop Theodore G. Romzha, Bishop Confessor Alexander Chira, passed away … Continue reading