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The items in this newsletter, vol. 5, no. 47, are just a sampling of content on our award-winning website, updated every day. Visit every day and stay informed, formed and inspired with Catholic news and information on CatholicPhilly.com.

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‘We must stand together,’ archbishop says after cemetery attack


Archbishop Charles Chaput commented on the destruction of 100 gravestones over the weekend at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia last weekend. He was joined by other faith leaders in the region condemning the vandalism.

Archbishop Chaput announces clergy appointments


Changes of assignment were announced for three priests and one deacon on Feb. 28.

See more Local News.

The task for Christian ‘strangers’ is to live the faith we proclaim


In a talk Monday night in New York City on his new book "Strangers in a Strange Land," Archbishop Charles Chaput explained how Catholics can renew the church and America, both of which are experiencing dramatic changes.

Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent


One way to prepare ourselves for Lent is to better understand the day that starts it all: Ash Wednesday, March 1. See our package of resources before receiving the ashes that launch our pilgrimage throughout these 40 days.

The rallying cry of seeming contradictions
Lent as a pilgrimage on which we are not alone
'They'll know we are Christians': The ritual of ashes

See more in Spirituality.

Video postcard from St. Thomas of Villanova Church


Watch our video of scenes from the Feb. 19 Sunday morning Mass, including two baptisms, at the Villanova parish church.

See also: Across the Aisles: St. Thomas of Villanova Parish photo feature.

Virginia families know the heartbreak of opioid use, addiction


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of opioid overdoses in the United States has tripled since 2000. Opioid overdoses in 2014 led to nearly 30,000 deaths nationwide.

With Lilly grant, seminary will help parishes reach out to young adults


St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad is launching an initiative to help parishes reach out to young adult Catholics and help them rediscover and renew their Catholic identity.

See more National News.

Local bishop says again Mary is not appearing in Medjugorje


After the Vatican announced Pope Francis was sending a Polish archbishop to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and the thousands of pilgrims who flock to Medjugorje, Bishop Peric posted his statement on his diocesan website.

Don’t worry how it’s spent, always give homeless a handout, pope says


People who don't give money to the homeless because they think it will be spent on alcohol and not food should ask themselves what guilty pleasures they are secretly spending money on, Pope Francis said.

See more World News.

Ponder the idol of money, and its evils, during Lent


We live in a culture of greed where grasping for wealth and security can mask our emptiness, writes Effie Caldarola. The Gospel story of Lazarus and the rich man may make a challenging daily reflection during Lent.

In a divided church, are we party operatives or messengers of the Gospel?


A consistent attitude of openness to others demands that I love those who disagree with me -- including Catholics who think their favorite issue is more urgent than mine, writes Richard Doerflinger on apparent divisions among Catholics.

Onward, Christian stranger, into the Romanesque ruins of America


Seminarian Eric Banecker looks at Archbishop Charles Chaput's new book and finds inspiration from its passages on St. Augustine, who wrote during the time of the collapsing Roman Empire -- with parallels for today.

See more in Commentaries.

The poetry of a ‘world without end’


Father Kenneth Doyle in his weekly Q&A explains the meaning of the stylistic phrase at the end of the "Glory be" prayer. He also advises a woman about how to convalidate, or bless, her marriage in the church. 

See more in Spirituality.

Physician-author finds God in studies of near-death experiences


Despite this and other attempts to study what happens after we die, we may just have to take it on faith. At the very least, "God and the Afterlife" leads us to ponder the reality of God, if not to find a definitive answer.

‘Rock Dog’ is animated fun, if far fetched


Guitar-playing dogs as rock heroes? A pop radio station in the Himalayas? Implausible, but as Elvis once crooned, the paw-tapping film "ain't nothin but a hound dog."

See more in Culture.

Now in stores: Archbishop Charles Chaput's new book


"Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post Christian World," Archbishop Charles Chaput's newly published book, explores how Christians can reclaim the joy, the beauty and the grandeur of life in the world.

Shop for it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound or iTunes, and learn more about it here.
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