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Don’t Skip Out on Saints

Driver's license of Archbishop Oscar Romero seen in museum in San Salvador

The first time I heard of Archbishop Oscar Romero was during my Grade 12 religion class.
Now, religion was the last class of the day and so there was every reason to just skip it.

Something that Mr. Whitebread (yes, that was his real name) was all too aware of, and took measures against.

His strategy was the promise of a movie about a revolutionary.

Hook, line, and sinker; he had me.

We were all present and accounted for, transfixed by the retelling of this ‘revolutionaries’ life.

By the end of it, we were convinced that Archbishop Oscar Romero was a saint, and it sparked meaningful discussion about discipleship and martyrdom.

The big take away for me, was that it gave me a sense of what sainthood might be like.

Man walks next to wall with graffiti bearing image of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador

Up until that point, most of the saints I knew of were so far removed from my own experiences I kind of just wrote them off.

But learning about Archbishop Romero was different.  There was something tragically real about his life.

So it’s with particular joy that I look forward to his beatification. It’s been more than a decade since I was in high school, but I’ve been inspired to reconnect with his story by reading a biography about Oscar Romero published by Novalis. The book I’ve been reading is part of the People of God series, it’s called Love Must Win Out. Its short but serves as a great intro (or refresher) on Oscar Romero and most importantly it tells the story of a modern day person who like us was challenged by the times he lived in to become a hero, a saint.

CNS photos

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The Producer Diaries – Cheridan Sanders, a Producer at Salt and Light Television, reflects on her experiences as she travels the world telling Catholic’s stories.

 

A Pentecost Reflection: Don Bosco and the Salesians

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Fr. Mike Pace, SDB

All around us, this miracle of nature reveals the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost – when the same Spirit who at the dawn of time hovered over the chaos of nothingness to give us God’s gift of creation – breathed new life into the hearts, minds and souls of the once frightened Apostles, and the ever-faithful Virgin Mary, and in this way gave birth to the Church. From the Upper Room in Jerusalem, the Spirit of God, like a mighty wind and with tongues of fire, went forth to draw to the Risen Jesus people of every race and tongue.

Eighteen centuries later, that same Spirt worked a new Pentecost in Turin, Italy. The Holy Spirt breathed new life into the heart, mind and soul of a little boy who would grow up to be the voice of the Spirit for the young, St. John Bosco, whose bicentenary of birth we celebrate this year.

The Holy Spirit spoke to Don Bosco through many different means, including dreams. As a nine year old boy, the Spirit revealed to him the scope and purpose of his life: to teach the young the ugliness of sin (life outside the life giving power of the Spirit) and the beauty of virtue (a life crafted in response to the Spirit’s promptings).

To the young, the poor and the abandoned of Turin’s Industrial revolution, the Holy Spirit sent Don Bosco to stir up new flames of hope from the ashes of despair, to breathe transforming dignity into places of shame, and to enkindle a network of meaningful relationships through education, faith formation and responsible social service. Thus, generations were freed from the bleak, dehumanizing cycle of poverty and exploitation… and the ever-expanding Salesian family was born.

In apostolic times, the Holy Spirit commissioned Christian disciples to become witnesses of the Lord, even to the ends of the earth. That same Spirit would inspire Don Bosco to send Salesian missionaries beyond Italy to every continent on the planet. Ever since November 11, 1875, Salesian missionaries have brought the Gospel to every continent, to peoples awaiting the Springtime of Divine Love, inviting them to join the symphony of joy and optimism that comes through knowledge of Christ and active membership in his Body, the Church.

This year, the Great feast of Pentecost falls on May 24, which is also the feast day of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Mary Help of Christians. Just as Mary did for Don Bosco back then, so she does for us today: she helps us to fix our gaze on Jesus, to say YES to his life giving Spirit, so that we may continue the work of Pentecost, in the style and spirit of Don Bosco, praising God for our share in that symphony of life that is written in the “key of youth”, a privilege and a responsibility which divine providence has entrusted to us as sons and daughters of Don Bosco. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

Written by Father Michael Pace SDB, Pastor, guest blogger. 

Preaching Priests and Christian Superheros

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Noel-BlogWelcome to S+L’s Weekly News Round-Up. As the Director of Marketing and Communications here at S+L, many interesting Catholic news stories and articles come across my desk on a daily basis. Some of them we’ll cover on our different television programs and others I’d like to share with you on this blog.

This blog column is where I’ll point out some of the more interesting news pieces that I’ve come across over the past week! Enjoy!

This week, I have a slew of different topics to share with you. On Saturday, we at S+L TV will be broadcasting live from El Salvador the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Now, we all have a general knowledge of the process of canonization. But there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes before the official declaration of a saint. Check out this short video on the steps of how the Catholic Church declares a saint.

Hallelujah! Actors help future priests amp up sermons. Now, we’ve all been there, that Sunday Mass when the sermon was delivered in a rather monotone manner. And although a dry sermon doesn’t in any way reduce the validity of the Mass, it’s great to hear that Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary has hired two professional actors to put priests-in-training through an acting/public speaking workshop nicknamed ‘Preaching Boot Camp.’ Read all about it here.

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Let’s talk about life in the womb for a second. Again, we all know “conceptually” what happens as a baby grows in the mother’s womb but have you even seen it presented in video? I certainly haven’t until I saw this video! 9 Months in the Womb in 4 Incredible Minutes.

If you are a big TV fan like many, there are two new ‘Catholic’ sitcoms coming out and each are garnering very different reactions. Read about it here on the Crux.

I’ve always been a big comic book and super hero fan since I was a kid. So you can image how amazed and interested I was when I recently came across this article in Relevant Magazine. It’s a definitive ranking of Christian superheroes! Superheros with names like Bibleman, Captain Salvation, Mr. Christian and The Faith Walker are definitely uber cool dudes I’d like to hang out with. Even Captain America himself believes in God:

Read all about these Christian superheroes here.

Have you ever wondered about the physical location of where Jesus was crucified, died and was buried? Today, that place would be the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The site is venerated as Calvary (Golgotha), where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, and also contains the place where Jesus is said to have been buried and resurrected. Although it’s on my bucket list to visit one day, it is unfortunately not in the near future. However, for the short term, I’m more than happy to settle for this amazing video tour of the inside of the church and an explanation of the site.

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Finally, after a long and stressful day, there’s nothing better than to kick back at home with a cold drink or two, or three. Here’s an interesting question – is drinking alcohol wrong? What does the Bible say? Read about it here.

Well, that’s it for me this week folks. I’d love to hear you thoughts and comments on these stories. If you have any interesting stories yourself, please feel free to send them to me!

I hope you enjoy these little stories! I certainly have. Till next week!

– Noel

 

Photo: CNS

Homily of Pope Francis at the Mass of Canonization of 4 New Saints – May 17, 2015

Palestinian Saints 2015

Pope Francis canonized four women religious on Sunday, all 19th century nuns who worked in education. St. Marie-Alphonsine and St. Mary of Jesus Crucified were from the territory that made up historical Palestine; St. Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve was a French nun and foundress; and St. Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception came from Italy. Below, please find the full English translation of Pope Francis’ homily for Holy Mass for the VII Sunday of Easter with the Rite of Canonization:

The Acts of the Apostles have set before us the early Church as she elects the man whom God called to take the place of Judas in the college of the Apostles. It is has to do not with a job, but with service. Indeed, Matthias, on whom the choice falls, receives a mission which Peter defines in these words: “One of these men… must become a witness with us to his resurrection,” the resurrection of Christ (Acts 1:21-23). In this way Peter sums up what it means to be part of the Twelve: it means to be a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. The fact that he says “with us” brings us to realize that the mission of proclaiming the risen Christ is not an individual undertaking: it is to be carried out in common, with the apostolic college and with the community. The Apostles had a direct and overwhelming experience of the resurrection; they were eyewitnesses to that event. Thanks to their authoritative testimony, many people came to believe; from faith in the risen Lord, Christian communities were born and are born continually.  We too, today, base our faith in the risen Lord on the witness of the Apostles, which has come down to us through the mission of the Church.  Our faith is firmly linked to their testimony, as to a nun broken chain which spans the centuries, made up not only by the successors of the Apostles, but also by succeeding generations of Christians. Like the Apostles, each one of Christ’s followers is called to become a witness to his resurrection, above all in those human  settings  where  forgetfulness  of  God  and  human disorientation are most evident.

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If this is to happen, we need to remain in the risen Christ and in his love, as the First Letter of Saint John has reminded us: “He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn4:16).  Jesus had repeated insistently to his disciples: “Abide in me… Abide in my love” (Jn 15:4, 9). This is the secret of the saints: abiding in Christ, joined to him like branches to the vine, in order to bear much fruit (cf. Jn 15:1-8). And this fruit is none other than love.  This love shines forth in the testimony of Sister Jeanne Émilie de Villeneuve, who consecrated her life to God and to the poor, the sick, the imprisoned and the exploited, becoming for them and for all a concrete sign of the Lord’s merciful love.

A relationship with the risen Jesus is – so to speak – the “atmosphere” in which Christians live, and in which they find the strength to remain faithful to the Gospel, even amid obstacles and misunderstandings. “Abiding in love”: this is what Sister Maria Cristina Brando also did.  She was completely given over to ardent love for the Lord.  From prayer and her intimate encounter with the risen Jesus present in the Eucharist, she received strength to endure suffering and to give herself, as bread which is broken, to many people who had wandered far from God and yet hungered for authentic love.

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An essential aspect of witness to the risen Lord is unity among ourselves, his disciples, in the image of his own unity with the Father.  Today too, in the Gospel, we heard Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his passion: “that they may be one, even as we are one” (Jn 17:11). From this eternal love between the Father and the Son, poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5), our mission and our fraternal communion draw strength; this love is the ever-flowing source of our joy in following the Lord along the path of his poverty, his virginity and his obedience; and this same love calls us to cultivate contemplative prayer. Sister Mariam Baouardy experienced this in an outstanding way. Poor and uneducated, she was able to counsel others and provide theological explanations with extreme clarity, the fruit of her constant converse with the Holy Spirit.  Her docility to the Holy Spirit made her also a means of encounter and fellowship with the Muslim world. So too, Sister Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas came to understand clearly what it means to radiate the love of God in the apostolate, and to be a witness to meekness and unity. She shows us the importance of becoming responsible for one another, of living lives of service one to another.

To abide in God and in his love, and thus to proclaim by our words and our lives the resurrection of Jesus, to live in unity with one another and with charity towards all. This is what the four women Saints canonized today did. Their luminous example challenges us in our lives as Christians. How do I bear witness to the risen Christ?  This is a question we have to ask ourselves. How do I abide in him?  How do I dwell in his love?  Am I capable of “sowing” in my family, in my workplace and in my community, the seed of that unity which he has bestowed on us by giving us a share in the life of the Trinity?

When we return home today, let us take with us the joy of this encounter with the risen Lord. Let us cultivate in our hearts the commitment to abide in God’s love.  Let us remain united to him and among ourselves, and follow in the footsteps of these four women, models of sanctity whom the Church invites us to imitate.

Abbas Palestinian Canonization

 

Superhero Saints

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Noel-BlogWelcome to S+L’s Weekly News Round-Up. As the Director of Marketing and Communications here at S+L, many interesting Catholic news stories and articles come across my desk on a daily basis. Some of them we’ll cover on our different television programs and others I’d like to share with you on this blog.

This blog column is where I’ll point out some of the more interesting news pieces that I’ve come across over the past week! Enjoy!

After a three week hiatus, I’m back. And what a crazy three weeks it has been here for all of us here at S+L. Nevertheless, the news goes on. Here are some of the articles that piqued my interest over the past few weeks that you may have missed:

This article in NewsWeek left me puzzled and shaking my head in disbelief.Main Feature to Crop Apparently, 16% of French Citizens support ISIS! A poll of European attitudes conducted by ICM revealed that 16% of French citizens have a positive opinion of ISIS. This percentage increased among younger respondents, spiking at 27% for those aged 18-24. Read all the details here. What’s also interesting are the comments at the bottom of the article!

On another note, we all know that the month of May is dedicated to our Blessed Mother. Are you aware of the five little-known Marian apparitions? Check out these five examples of approved Marian apparitions that haven’t made the news lately. Click here!

With comic book-turned-movies being all the rage in the theaters these past few years, (Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers just to name a few), there seems to be no end to the “super-remarkable” being thrown on to the big screen. But did you know that Mother Teresa was also a Marvel comic book hero? Check it out! In fact, you can still get a copy on Amazon along with books St. Pope John Paul II and St. Francis of Assisi. Perhaps there’s still a chance that Marvel will spend $100+ million to produce a movie of her life?

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Speaking of superhero saints, I came across this article posted in The Crux a few weeks back that I found particularly interesting. 10 ways Pope St. John Paul left his mark on the world. Incidentally, today, May 13is the anniversary of the assassination attempt on JPII’s life back in 1981.

Now here is a story of the ultimate catholic family road trip! As you know, the Pope will make a historic visit to Philadelphia, Washington and New York in September to attend the upcoming World Meeting of Families. This family of six will drive 18,000 km from Argentina to Philadelphia in a beat up 80’s VW bus just to attend the events. Read about it here.

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Now, who doesn’t watch television? Of course S+L TV is one of your favourite channels, but in addition to that, who doesn’t watch a rerun episode of House or Boston Legal for a good laugh? Personally, I still watch Seinfeld reruns on DVD. That being said, Epic Pew published an article called: 10 Episodes of Television Every Catholic Should Watch.

And since we are on the subject of television, a S+L viewer sent me this History Channel documentary on Youtube entitled: The Real Face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin. It’s a full hour and a half feature that reconstructs what the face of Jesus would look like using the latest in imaging technology. Watch it here:

Well, that’s it for me this week folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on these stories. If you have any interesting stories yourself, please feel free to send them to me!

I hope you enjoy these little stories! I certainly have. Till next week!

– Noel

The Shroud of Turin & Don Bosco’s Bicentenary

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Fr. Mike Pace

Don Bosco is bigger than the Salesians and his 200th birthday is being celebrated beyond the Congregation. Evidence of this is everywhere in Turin where festive tribute is offered to her most celebrated son. A travel brochure issued by the city of Turin reads thus:

Turin welcomes the many pilgrims who reach and visit its Holy Places. 2015 is an extraordinary year, with a lot of holy events. From April 19th to June 14th, the Holy shroud is exhibited in the Turin Cathedral of St. John, while the celebrations for the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco continue until the end of August. Both events – the Exposition of the Holy Shroud and the Salesian Jubilee – are graced with the visit of Pope Francesco to the city of Turin…

Toronto’s St. Benedict Parish and Filipino Salesian Past Pupils paid homage to Don Bosco and the Holy Shroud as the last stop of their April 12 – 27, 2015 Bicentennial Pilgrimage.

Admission to the Holy Shroud has been extremely well planned and is conducive to prayerful veneration. Online registration is mandatory and assures groups their admission time. Volunteers offer a smile and a wheelchair service for any visitors requiring special assistance.

Devotees are streamlined along Via dei Partigiani and across the Royal Gardens where food vendors sweeten your wait time. There was even an authentic Sicilian cannoli stand! At the bottom of the Gardens, pilgrims pass airport-like security and wind their way through the “Passage of the Saints” en route to Cathedral. This winding white tarp corridor is lined with images and quotes of Turin’s vast array of saints and blessed, Don Bosco foremost among them.

Having emerged from the Passage of the Saints, visitors are escorted into a presentation room where the Shroud is explained before entering the Cathedral. A life-size projection of the Shroud appears on a screen, high above everyone’s head for maximum visibility. In silence, a concise, written description of the Shroud is displayed in six languages as the projector zooms in on one part of the crucified body at a time, identifying the details which might otherwise be difficult to discern.

The pilgrimage winds its way through one final passage before arriving at the Cathedral. This passage is covered in plain, seamless raw cotton canvas with soft backlighting. The effect is dramatic: step by step, you feel like you are being enveloped by the very shroud you are about to venerate.

Having entered the Cathedral, one is impressed by the silence that reigns there in spite of the massive crowds. One has the sensation of crossing into the empty tomb on Easter morning. A warm golden glow emits from gilded baroque side altars, while the stark stone nave pays homage in darkness. The Shroud stretches majestically across the sanctuary. Before it, a three-tiered platform provides the faithful ample gathering space with an unobstructed view of the precious relic, 150 or so people at a time. A meditation is led over the sound system. After a few moments of quiet veneration, visitors are gently invited to exit to the right so others may have their turn to pray as they arrive from the left. The visit is short, but highly impacting, impressive for its calm reverence.

That the Holy Shroud of Turin be on display for Don Bosco’s bicentenary is most appropriate. It keeps the focus of our celebrations where Don Bosco would want it: on the Risen Jesus, to whom the Salesian spirit and the Shroud still lead us today.

Written by Father Michael Pace SDB, Pastor, guest blogger. 

Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

S+L on the road: the Cause for Henriette Delille

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From the left: Sr Laura, Sr Greta share with me about Venerable Henriette Delille’s story and her continuing significance.

During my time in New Orleans, I visited with Sr. Greta and Sr. Laura of the Sisters of the Holy Family to learn about the Cause for Venerable Henriette Delille, founder of The Sister’s of the Holy Family – the second oldest African-American congregation of religious women in America.

Opened in 1988, Henriette’s Cause took a major step forward in 2010 when Pope Benedict XVI declared her Venerable. And it looks like there’s much more to come.

To date, more than 300 favors and possible miracles, granted through her intercession, have been reported; and over 2,000 letters from 47 states and 15 countries have been received.

Even Hollywood has taken notice. In 2000, Hollywood actress Vanessa Williams starred as Henriette Delille in The Courage to Love  a movie inspired by Henriette’s story. Although, to hear the Sister’s tell it, the love story angle in the movie is highly improbable.

This gave me a good chuckle.

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Sr. Laura holds up a t-shirt, which promotes the Cause of Venerable Henriette Delille.  On the shirt is her only recorded writing,  penned on the inside cover of an 1836 prayer book: “I believe in God. I hope in God. I love God. I want to live and die for God.”

In the following clip, Sr. Greta speaks to me about a painting depicting Venerable Henriette Delille’s life.

It’s interesting to note that Henriette was not a slave. In fact, she came from a long line of free women.

By the time Henriette was born in 1812 she was a fourth generation descendant of an enslaved African women; a third generation Afro-Creole and a second generation free woman.

In other words, Henriette grew up in a society in which she was respected as a Creole with ties to prominent white and free coloured Creoles (Henriette Delille,Virginia Meacham Gould, 18).

According to Benedictine Father, Cyprian Davis who wrote a biography about Henriette called, Henriette Delille, Servant of Slaves, Witness to the Poor, the Delille family became free because Henriette’s great, great grandmother Nanette was brought to America as a slave, and freed after the death of her owner.

Apparently, Louisiana under French rule, had some provisions for slaves in their law, and it was possible for a slave to be bought out of slavery over the wishes of his or her owner.

According to Father Davis, a slave could demand an owner to name a price for the slave’s freedom and if the owner refused, the slave had recourse through the courts.

In the case of the Delille family, Nanette eventually amassed enough money to buy her daughter (and two of her grandchildren) out of slavery.  In time, Henriette’s family became relatively wealthy, even if they remained second-class citizens.

But Henriette’s early life was not without turmoil, and as I delve further into her story, I look forward to sharing these revelations with you.

Learn more about St. Augustine’s parish where Venerable Henriette Delille ministered in this post.

S+L On The Road: The Producer Diaries
In this blog series S+L producer, Cheridan Sanders shares her experiences developing an original S+L television series featuring seven women religious communities located in Africa, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and the United States. The globe-trotting series invites viewers to delight in the spiritual gifts of each of community and witness the extraordinary work of: educating girls, ministering to outcasts, sheltering HIV orphans, preventing human trafficking, taking care of the elderly, and so much more. The time is now to show the world how magnificent our Sisters are. The new series is an exciting collaboration with the Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans and is made possible through a $900 000 dollar grant from the Conrad Hilton Foundation.

S+L on the road – the Catholic soul of New Orleans

20150410_113442Side altar at St. Augustine’s Church in Treme

New Orleans is a city with deep Catholic roots. There are many religious communities that have played critical roles at various points in the city’s history. In our new series, three of the seven women religious communities that we’ll feature have unique connections to the city. My principal guide throughout my stay in New Orleans has been Dr. Barbara Fleischer of the Loyola Institute for Ministry. You could say she’s to me what Virgil was to Dante (minus all the demons).

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Dr. Barbara Fleischer, Loyola Institute for Ministry, New Orleans

As I’ve gone about the business of visiting with the Sisters’ gathering information for the new series, Barbara shared insights with me. For example, on one of these drives Barbara shared with me the story of the indentured Irish workers who came to New Orleans to help dig the Canals. In the following, she makes an interesting connection with a memorial commemorating the Irish and Blessed Fr. Seelos, a Redemptorist priest.

Even a quick stop for some delicious gumbo was an opportunity to learn about an initiative by Jesuit Fr. Harry Tompson, former pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish. Fr. Tompson was looking for a way to address generational poverty in New Orleans and together with two community members founded Cafe Reconcile, a restaurant that serves as a job training program for at-risk youth.

Today Cafe Reconcile‘s Workforce Development Program has graduated more than 1 000 youth between the ages of 16 and 22.

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Besides receiving awards for their food and support from well-known celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse – did I mention that their gumbo is awesome?

20150410_142743Staff at Cafe Reconcile

And before I sign off, I leave you with a taste of what Sunday mass is like at St. Augustine’s parish, which is located in heart of the legendary neighbourhood of Treme, home of musicians and singers.

Stay tuned for more!

S+L on the road – when the Saints go marching…

henriette-delillejpg-002 Venerable Henriette Delille, Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family.

As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been in New Orleans for the past couple of days doing some research for a new series which will feature the charisms of seven women religious communities in Louisiana and Africa.

Naturally, my first stop was Treme one of the oldest and historically significant neighbourhoods in New Orleans. For those unfamiliar with the area it is an important centre of African-American and Creole culture. Jazz fans will immediately recognize it as the home of Louis Armstrong (‘Satchmo’ to folks down here).

What you may not realize however, is that Treme is also home to St. Augustine’s church, a church which is intricately connected with the story of several significant religious women’s communities in New Orleans.

You see, prior to becoming the site of St. Augustine’s church, the property was originally purchased and used as a school to educate free women of colour and slaves. Both the Ursulines and the Carmelites were involved in this controversial endeavour.

Later in 1842, when Henriette DeLille and Juliette Gaudin, publicly knelt before the altar to pledge before all that they would live in community and work with orphans, the uneducated, the poor, and the sick, St. Augustine’s became the site where the Sisters of the Holy Family came into being.

Today the Sisters of the Holy Family are the second oldest African-American congregation of religious women in America.

Interestingly, St. Augustine’s other claim to fame is that it was the first fully racially integrated parish in America. Although, how that all came about is not what you’d expect:

A few months before the October 9, 1842 dedication of St. Augustine Church, the people of color began to purchase pews for their families to sit. Upon hearing of this, white people in the area started a campaign to buy more pews than the colored folks. Thus, The War of the Pews began and was ultimately won by the free people of color who bought three pews to every one purchased by the whites. In an unprecedented social, political and religious move, the colored members also bought all the pews of both side aisles. They gave those pews to the slaves as their exclusive place of worship, a first in the history of slavery in the United States. An excerpt from St. Augustine’s Church website.

Imagine that!

But to get back to Henriette Delille, I suppose what captures my imagination most about this bone fide New Orleans saint is how her love for Jesus led her to defy the social conventions of her time. It was expected that free born women like Henriette should aspire to becoming a placee (concubine) to wealthy white men; but, she chose not to participate in the placage system and devoted herself to serving Jesus instead. This, during a time when  it was commonly held that women of colour could not become consecrated religious.

With Henriette Delille’s cause for canonization underway, its a marvel to reflect upon how these Sisters have educated and inspired generations of young women to embrace Christ. And as my gracious tour guide Ms. Linda Harris, the parish secretary at St. Augustine’s and former student with the Sisters, shared with me during my recent visit – the Sisters’ mere presence continues to provide great witness to all they encounter. Here’s a clip from that conversation (I hope that you’ll forgive the poor quality).

TV Priests and where to find them

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Noel-BlogWelcome to S+L’s Weekly News Round-Up. As the Director of Marketing and Communications here at S+L, many interesting Catholic news stories and articles come across my desk on a daily basis. Some of them we’ll cover on our different television programs and others I’d like to share with you on this blog.

This blog column is where I’ll point out some of the more interesting news pieces that I’ve come across over the past week! Enjoy!

Ok, this week I’ve come across a diversity of articles to share with you. Some of them funny, some interesting, and others with a more serious nature. But first, who doesn’t remember their mother telling them, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” or “God won’t give you more than you can handle?” Interestingly, these and several other similar statements have gained enough traction that many people believe they’re actually Bible verses! Check out these 7 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe are biblical!

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On that note, here is a fun article that talks about famous TV priests that are not actually priests! Read about it here on The Crux! – Now who doesn’t remember Fr. Dowling from Father Dowling Mysteries or Father Mulcahy, from M*A*S*H?

I came across this article last week on the Catholic Herald that made me realize how small and trivial my “first world” problems really are against the suffering in the world and the heroic acts of charity that, in many cases, never get recognized. This article titled , ‘The ‘angel’ among the garbage-pickers is truly an eye-opener- or rather a tear-jerker.

For now, Christianity is the most dominant world religion. However, did you know that the Muslim population is projected to match Christianity by 2050? These projections are being reported by the Wall Street Journal here and also backed up by the Pew Research Center here.

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Now who doesn’t remember or love St. Pope John Paul II?. I came across this article on the 11 of the Most Inspiring Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II, from our friends at Church Pop.

On that note, check out this video about what you may not know about Saint John Paul II:

COMBINATION PHOTO SHOWS PARENTS OF ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX

Speaking of saints, did you know that the first married couple to be canonized together are also the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux? It is expected that Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin will be canonized during the Synod of Bishops on the Family Oct. 4-25 of this year. Here is a very interesting article that details 8 Things You Need to Know About Louis and Zélie Martin and Their Upcoming Canonization!

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And finally, for all you movie fans out there, (like myself), who are always struggling to find good films to watch with the kids, Netflix has just released 12 great films about faith that are now available to watch right now. Some are better than others, but all definitely better than most of the run-of-the-mill garbage that’s out there. Check out the listing here.

Well, that’s it for me this week folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on these stories. If you have any interesting stories yourself, please feel free to send them to me!

I hope you enjoy these little stories! I certainly have. Till next week!

– Noel