Sister Euphemia and the education of Mary Grace Parker


Never noticing St. Thomas Hospital during my brief time as a freshman at Belmont University before the wreck, I knew nothing of the rich history, mission, or theology of the hospital.

So lying in one of its hospital beds, without the mobility to explore my surroundings, I could only face straight ahead; and all there was to see on the wall before me was a 10-inch crucifix placed there dutifully by the Daughters of Charity.

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Crucifix and a statue of the Virgin Mary destroyed in Roman riots.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said he “condemned the violence and the fact that a church was desecrated by some protesters who broke in and destroyed some images.” He referred to the clashes in Rome as “horrific.”

The 18th-century church of Santi Marcellino and Pietro is near St John Lateran square where much of Saturday’s violence occurred.

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Look closely: See the water Rosary.

At the baptism of Erica Mora’s son Valentino, a conventional film camera captured the water pouring over the little one, in the image of a beautiful crystal Rosary, complete with crucifix.

Nobody really knows what this means, but there’s little doubt that it’s a sign from God, as is baptism.

Here’s to little Valentino and his mom, to the Church, to God … and to signs!

Christ among the Haiti ruins

Bible reading is central in conversions to Catholicism in Shanghai, reports organization

Shanghai, China, Dec 1, 2009 / 12:04 pm (CNA).- Many conversions are taking place in Shanghai, China, in part thanks to the encouragement of Bible reading and youth outreach programs. One convert’s story began in a classroom encounter with Catholicism and led to the conversion of another young man he met while reading the Bible at McDonald’s.

While most Catholics in China are born to Catholic parents, many of the nearly 300,000 Catholics in Shanghai are converts, the United Bible Societies China Partnership reports.

One convert, 27-year-old Shen Cheng, had little exposure to the Catholic faith as a youth. He became interested in Catholicism when one of his professors introduced him to a book by American legal scholar Harold J. Berman. The book so interested Cheng in Catholicism that he bought a Catholic Bible.

Exploring Scripture convinced him to convert to Catholicism. He calls the Bible his “daily bread,” essential to his soul’s well-being.

Shen would often read the Bible wherever he went. At one McDonald’s restaurant he frequented he would read the Bible with a crucifix in front of him.

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European court rules against crucifixes in Italian school rooms

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Rome – Italians reacted with outrage on Tuesday after a European court ruled that displaying crucifixes in the country’s schools violated the principle of secular education.

Italy’s education minister condemned the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights, saying that the Christian cross was a symbol of the country’s Roman Catholic religion and cultural identity.

Mariastella Gelmini, a member of the conservative government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, argued that “no one, and certainly not an ideological European court, will succeed in erasing our identity,” said

Other ministers said they were appalled by the ruling, calling it “absurd,” “shameful” and “offensive.”

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Why Is There A Crucifix, Rather Than A Plain Cross, In Catholic Churches?

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Q: Why Is There A Crucifix, Rather Than A Plain Cross, In Catholic Churches?

Isn’t Christ’s work on the cross finished?

A: If all of Christ’s work was truly finished, we would all be either in heaven or hell right now, there would be no more death, no more sickness, no more sin, likely no more need for the Church, and eternity would be an earthly reality.

That’s obviously NOT the case.

There’s a crucifix in every Catholic Church, because as the priest “lifts up” the body and blood of Jesus Christ to God, in Heaven, the crucifix reminds us that we are participating in the very same one time, once for all sacrifice, in which Jesus was “lifted up” on the cross.

For this reason … a cross, complete with the likeness of the crucified body of Jesus (crucifix with corpus) must be prominently displayed above the altar, or in the sanctuary. 

Photo Courtesy of Bob & Fran B.