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Cesspool of ‘A Haunted House 2’ gets deeper

April 22nd, 2014 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

A year ago, we summed up the first “A Haunted House” as “pornographic when not being scatological.” In “A Haunted House 2,” obscene imagery, like an invading virus, has taken over even more territory.

Graphic depictions of body functions return along with the sex acts and racial stereotypes that characterized the original. It’s all supposed to be pulled together as a comedy by the frantic mugging of Marlon Wayans who stars in — and with Rick Alvarez co-wrote — this mess, directed by Michael Tiddes.

We said the first installment “joylessly splashes around in a sewer with a wide range of perverse images.” This time around, the cesspool has only gotten deeper.

The film contains a sacrilegious portrayal of Catholic clergy, drug use, explicit sexual acts, at least one of them aberrant, upper female and rear male nudity, crude sexual banter, constant profanity, frequent racial slurs and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive.

 

 

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Boys pick up with busy slate in baseball, lacrosse

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For The Dialog

 

The week in boys sports kicks off with some great action in baseball and lacrosse, starting this afternoon. Read more »

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Girls teams return to action after short Easter break

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For The Dialog

 

The week after the Easter holiday finds some great games on the girls’ sports schedules. Read more »

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Easter should last all week, including in your Bible reading, pope says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Trusting that people took his Lenten advice and either downloaded a Bible app or bought a pocket-sized edition of the Gospels, Pope Francis encouraged Christians to re-read the accounts of the Resurrection during Easter week.

Pope Francis walks past flowers as he leaves after celebrating Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

“Remember this week to pick up the Gospels, find the chapters about the Resurrection and read them, a passage from those chapters each day. This would do us good,” the pope said April 21, Easter Monday. At midday on the Italian holiday, the pope led the recitation of the “Regina Coeli,” the Marian prayer used from Easter to Pentecost.

With thousands of visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis stood in the window of the papal apartment he chose not to live in and urged those in the square to let their Easter joy be evident in the way they think and interact with others.

“Let us allow the joyful awe of Easter Sunday radiate in our thoughts, gazes, attitudes, gestures and words,” he said before leading the prayer.

Telling the crowd that they could wish each other Happy Easter all week long, “as if it were just one day, the great day the Lord has made,” he said Christians can learn Easter joy from Mary and the other women who mourned Jesus’ death and were transformed with joy at his rising from the dead.

“Think of the joy of Mary, the mother of Jesus,” he said. “Just as her pain was intimate, so much that her soul was pierced, so, too, her joy was intimate and profound and the disciples could draw from it” like drawing water from a spring.

From Good Friday to Easter morning, Pope Francis said, “she never lost hope. We have contemplated the suffering mother, but at the same time, the mother full of hope. That is why she is the mother of all disciples, the mother of the church and the mother of hope.”

Easter joy is not something fake, he said. “It comes from inside, from a heart immersed in the source of joy.”

Recognizing that with the resurrection, Jesus conquered death and promises eternal life to those who believe, the pope said, Christians are able to shine “a ray of the light of the Risen One on different human situations: on happy occasions, making them more beautiful and preserving them from selfishness; and on sad situations, bringing serenity and hope.”

 

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City parishes celebrate Easter Vigil together

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Parishioners from four Wilmington parishes gathered at St. Elizabeth Church April 19 for the Easter Vigil Mass.

Bishop Malooly prepares the Paschal Candle as Deacon Ken Pullium assists during the Service of Light at the start of the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Elizabeth Church,April 19. At left are Father Leonard Klein, Cathedral of St. Peter administrator and pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick Churches’ and Father Norman Carroll pastor of St. Elizabeth’s..Christ Our King Parish was also represented by Father Joseph T. Brennan, who joined with his fellow city pastors in concelebrating the Mass. wwwDonBlakePhotography.com

Bishop Malooly was the main celebrant for the Easter liturgy for Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Elizabeth, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick parishes. Concelebrants included Father Norman Carroll, St. Elizabeth’s pastor; as well as Father Leonrd Klein, administrator of Cathedral of St. Peter and pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick, and Oblate Father Joseph T. Brennan, pastor of Christ Our King Church.

 

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Easter proclaims that love gives life, pope says; share it with others

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged Christians to remember how they first encountered Christ and to share his love and mercy with others, especially through acts of caring and sharing.

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus’ resurrection means giving concrete witness “to unconditional and faithful love,” he said April 20 before solemnly giving his blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world).

Celebrating the second Easter of his pontificate, the pope told at least 150,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square and on adjacent streets that evangelization “is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast.”

Pope Francis prepares to deliver his Easter blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican April 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Whatever is going on in one’s life, he said from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Jesus’ victory over sin and death demonstrates that “love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.”

Overlooking the square where he had just celebrated Easter morning Mass surrounded by hundreds of flowering trees and bushes and thousands of daffodils, tulips and roses, Pope Francis said Christians proclaim to the world that “Jesus, love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death.”

In his Easter message, the pope prayed that the risen Lord would “help us to overcome the scourge of hunger, aggravated by conflicts and by the immense wastefulness for which we are often responsible.” He also prayed that Christians would be given the strength “to protect the vulnerable, especially children, women and the elderly, who are at times exploited and abandoned.”

The pope offered special prayers for those facing serious difficulties and threats in various parts of the world: for victims of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; the victims of kidnapping; migrants and refugees; and for the victims of war and conflict in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan and Venezuela.

Celebrating the fact that in 2014 Easter fell on the same day on the Gregorian calendar used in the West and on the Julian calendar used by many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, the pope’s Easter morning Mass included a Byzantine choir singing “stichi” and “stichira,” hymns that in ancient times were sung in the presence of the bishop of Rome on Easter.

In his “urbi et orbi” message, the pope offered special prayers for peace in Ukraine, a country with various Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Latin-rite Catholic communities. The pope prayed that all sides in the current political tensions would avoid violence and, “in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country’s future.”

The pope’s celebration of Easter got underway the night before in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica.

His Easter Vigil began with the lighting of the fire and Easter candle in the atrium of the basilica; walking behind the Easter candle and carrying a candle of his own, Pope Francis entered the darkened basilica. In the silence and solemnity of the moment, very few pilgrims and tourists disturbed the atmosphere with their camera flashes.

Brian Baker, a deacon and seminarian from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, sang the Exultet — the poetic hymn of praise calling the whole world to rejoice at the resurrection of Christ.

As the bells of St. Peter’s pealed the joy of the Resurrection through the night, torrential rains beat down on Rome.

In his homily Pope Francis, who often tells people to look up the date of their baptism and commemorate it each year, urged people to remember and reflect on the first moment they really recall having encountered Jesus.

Referring to the Easter account from the Gospel of St. Matthew, Pope Francis noted how the women who went to Jesus’ tomb were told first by the angel and then by the risen Lord to await him in Galilee and tell the disciples to go as well.

“After the death of the Master, the disciples had scattered; their faith had been utterly shaken, everything seemed over,” the pope said. Yet they were told to go back to Galilee, the place they first met Jesus.

Returning to Galilee, he said, means re-reading everything – “Jesus’ preaching, his miracles, the new community, the excitement and the defections, even the betrayal — to re-read everything starting from the end, which is a new beginning,” one that begins with Jesus’ “supreme act of love” in dying for humanity’s sin.

Departing repeatedly from his prepared text, Pope Francis kept telling people: “Have no fear. Do not be afraid. Have the courage to open your hearts” to the Lord’s love.

Returning to Galilee, he said, “means treasuring in my heart the living memory” of “the moment when his eyes met mine.”

“Where is my Galilee,” the pope urged people to ask themselves.”Have I forgotten it? Have I gone off on roads and paths which made me forget it?”

Pope Francis encouraged people to ask the Lord’s help in remembering and in telling the Lord, “I want to return there to encounter you and to let myself be embraced by your mercy.”

Pope Francis baptized 10 people at the Easter Vigil; they ranged from a 7-year-old Italian boy to a 58-year-old Vietnamese woman. Four other Italians and one person each from Senegal, Lebanon, France and Belarus also were baptized. As each stepped forward, the pope asked if they wanted to be baptized and waited for their response; he asked one man twice because his response had not been clear. The catechumens bent over the baptismal font and the pope, putting one hand on their heads, used a deep silver shell to pour water over their foreheads.

The pope confirmed the 10 during the liturgy, anointing them with oil and giving each a kiss on the cheek. And, although Pope Francis does not usually distribute Communion at large public Masses, he made an exception for the 10 new Catholics, who received their first Communion during the vigil.

Contributing to this story was Carol Glatz at the Vatican.

 

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Pope Francis leads thousands in prayer at Rome’s Via Crucis

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Catholic News Service

ROME — Seated atop a hillside overlooking Rome’s Colosseum, Pope Francis presided over the nighttime Way of the Cross, joining thousands of people gathered in prayer.

The solemn torch-lit service April 18 gave powerful voice to the many social and spiritual problems facing the world and to the redeeming power of Christ’s sacrifice for humanity.

Thousands gather outside the Colosseum in Rome April 18 for a nighttime Way of the Cross. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By passing a bare wooden cross from one group of people to the next in succession, those chosen to lead the Way of the Cross acted as visible representatives of the often-hidden injustices still wounding the world.

Two children held the cross as a reflection was read about the plight of sexually abused minors, and two inmates carried the cross during a reflection on the anguish of imprisonment and torture.

As he did last year, Pope Francis remained on the hillside terrace in silent reflection and prayer as thousands of people, many holding candles, attended the ceremony, which was broadcast by more than 50 television networks around the world.

While he offered a very brief impromptu reflection last year at the end of the ceremony, the pope was not scheduled to speak this year.

Each year, the pope chooses a different person or group of people to write the series of prayers and reflections that are read aloud for each of the 14 stations, which commemorate Christ’s condemnation, his carrying the cross to Golgotha, his crucifixion and his burial.

This year the pope picked Italian Archbishop Giancarlo Maria Bregantini of Campobasso-Boiano, a former factory worker, longtime prison chaplain, champion of the unemployed and fiercely outspoken critic of the Italian mafia.

In the meditations, the archbishop, who belongs to Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata, looked at how the wounds and suffering of Christ are found in the wounds and suffering of one’s neighbors, family, children and world.

For the second station, Jesus takes up his cross, the archbishop criticized the global economic crisis’ grave consequences, like job insecurity, unemployment, suicide among owners of failing businesses and corruption.

A laborer and a business leader carried the cross, “which weighs upon the world of labor, the injustice shouldered by workers,” said the reflection, which was followed by a call for people to respect political life and resolve problems together.

For the fourth station, Jesus meets his mother, two former addicts carried the cross as people meditated on the tears mothers shed for their children sent off to war, dying of cancer from toxic wastelands or lost in “the abyss of drugs or alcohol, especially on Saturday nights.”

For the fifth station, Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross, two people living on the street carried the cross as a reflection was read about “finding God in everyone” and sharing “our bread and labor” with others.

For the eighth station, Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, two women carried the cross, as the meditation deplored domestic violence, “Let us weep for those men who vent on women all their pent-up violence” and to weep for women who are “enslaved by fear and exploitation.”

But compassion is not enough, the archbishop wrote: “Jesus demands more.” Follow his example of offering reassurance and support “so that our children may grow in dignity and hope.”

The archbishop’s meditations had equally strong words about the sexual abuse of children and its cover-up.

Two children carried the cross for the 10th station, Jesus is stripped of his garments, as the reflection crafted an image of the utter humiliation of Jesus being stripped naked, “covered only by the blood which flowed from his gaping wounds.”

“In Jesus, innocent, stripped and tortured, we see the outraged dignity of all the innocent, especially the little ones,” the meditation said.

A family held the cross for a reflection on the need for kindness and shared suffering; two older people carried the cross during a reflection on how age and infirmity can become “a great school of wisdom, an encounter with God who is ever patient.”

Two Franciscan friars from the Holy Land carried the cross during a meditation on Christ emerging from the fear of death as a sign how forgiveness “renews, heals, transforms and comforts” and ends wars.

 

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Jesus wants everyone to serve others with love, pope says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY— In the humble act of washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus is showing all Christians how he wants them to serve others with love, Pope Francis said.

“This is the legacy that Jesus leaves us,” and he wants it to be passed down through people’s loving service to others, he said.

Pope Francis kisses the foot of a disabled person at Our Lady of Providence Center during Holy Thursday Mass in Rome April 17. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

During the evening Mass at a rehabilitation facility on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis washed the feet of four women and eight men who are living with disabilities.

Ranging in ages from 16 to 86, nine of the 12 patients were Italian, one was a Muslim from Libya, one was a woman from Ethiopia and one young man was from Cape Verde.

Two sisters helped patients, all of them with limited mobility, remove their shoes and socks.

The pope then knelt on both knees on a small cushion before each person. He poured water from a small silver pitcher over each person’s foot; some feet were greatly swollen due to the individual’s medical condition.

With a white towel, he dried each foot and kissed it, often having to bend onto the floor to reach the feet of those who were completely paralyzed.

Two aides assisted the pope in kneeling and standing back up, which proved increasingly difficult as the 77-year-old pope made his way across the chapel to serve all 12 patients. Yet, before rising, he gave each one of them a long and loving gaze and broad smile.

Jesus’ gesture was like a parting gift and “an inheritance” that he left out of love, the pope said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper held at the Father Carlo Gnocchi Foundation’s Our Lady of Providence Center April 17.

“You, too, must love each other, be servants in love,” he said in a brief homily, which he delivered off the cuff.

He asked people to think of ways “how we can serve others better — that’s what Jesus wanted from us.”

Held in the center’s large chapel, which was dotted with bright stained-glass windows, the Mass was the second of two Holy Thursday liturgies over which the pope presided. The first was a morning chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

A large number of patients, their relatives as well as the facility’s religious and lay staff, directors and volunteers attended the evening Mass.

Medical personnel and other staff members did the readings while staff and patients, some seated in wheelchairs, provided the singing and music: One person played acoustic guitar, another marked the beat with a triangle.

Msgr. Angelo Bazzarri, president of the Father Gnocchi Foundation, told Vatican Radio April 17 that the pope’s decision to wash the feet of patients with different abilities, ages and religious convictions was meant to reflect the “universal gesture of a God who became man, who serves all of humanity.”

By choosing to visit the rehabilitation center, the pope was showing the kind of “evangelical mercy that he wants to embrace the entire world of suffering,” he said.

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Our Lenten Journey: Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Click here for today’s Scripture readings:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042014.cfm

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Our Lenten Journey: Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Click here for today’s Scripture readings:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041914.cfm

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