Nativity scenes bring joy to hardened hearts

Posted December 22, 2017 at 12:00 am

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is not getting rave reviews: The backdrop does not look like a stable and the characters in need, hungry, naked, dead, imprisoned, don’t exactly evoke a silent night when all was cozy, calm and bright.

Franciscan Father John Puodziunas said he didn’t like it at first.

In addition to Mary and Joseph – baby Jesus will appear only on Christmas – the scene includes figures of people who illustrate the ongoing need for the corporal works of mercy, including feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, burying the dead, caring for the sick and visiting those in prison.

As Father Puodziunas, a friar from Philadelphia who is now general treasurer of the Order

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    “After this magisterium, after this long journey, we can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible,” Pope Francis told participants in Italy’s National Liturgical Week.

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    Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of

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    Mercy opens the door to understanding the mystery of God, pope says

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    Having experienced forgiveness, Christians have a duty to forgive others, giving a “visible sign” of God’s mercy, which “carries within it the peace of heart and the joy of a renewed encounter with the Lord,” the pope said April 23 before praying the “Regina Coeli” with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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    SIPPING SUDS

    Retired Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household, left, toast men in traditional clothing with a beer during the German pontiff’s 90th birthday celebration April 17 at the Vatican. The pope’s birthday was the previous day. Photo provided by CNS

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    VIVA EL PAPA: USA 2015

    A student shows Pope Francis a lesson on the environment during his visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in the East Harlem area of New York Sept. 25.

     

    Pope Francis blesses a prisoner as he visits the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia Sept. 27. Photos by CNS

     

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    Pope Francis says good priests bring joy, comfort to those in need

    By Carol Glatz

    Catholic News Service

    VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called on the world’s priests to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalized and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”

    Pope Francis breathes over chrism oil, a gesture symbolizing the infusion of the Holy Spirit, during the Holy Thursday chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 28. Photo by Paul Haring | CNS

     

    Those priests “who do not go out of themselves” by being mediators between God and men can “gradually

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