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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina


Dr. Tom Neal: Symphonic faith

nealMore than 20 years ago, I knew a gentleman who had converted from atheism to the Catholic faith. He was a very bright man, a successful professional, a dilettantish philosopher of sorts and was filled with great passion for his newfound faith.

Bobby Speers: Faith is something we should ‘wear’ all the time

speers17Lord Jesus, every Sunday you fill me with Your bread of life, the Eucharist. But how can I give my all to you? How can I center my life around you and not center my life around me?

Bobby Speers: Five guaranteed resolutions for a new you

speers17With the coming of a New Year, we are put on the spot to make a New Year’s resolution. For days, we contemplate how we can make the “new” year better than the year before.

Bishop Robert Barron: Pride, humility and social media

barronDuring a recent flight to Sacramento, I reached for a magazine in the seatback pocket and came across an article by a woman named Sarah Menkedick entitled “Unfiltered: How Motherhood Interrupted My Relationship with Social Media.”

Dr. Kamila Valenta: The Flight to Egypt and refugees today

valentaAs the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt to protect the life of Baby Jesus 2,000 years ago, many families around the world are facing the same hardships, uncertainly and vulnerability of being a refugee.

Fred Gallagher: Something moves: A Christmas reflection

gallagher fredSomething moves inside the Jewish girl – moves and turns like a dream of ancestors looking out from their dustbound time to the apex of history. Because she said “yes” to an angel, the girl’s lineage and lineage itself issues forth from a Child. And, within her, He moves and turns on a lowly beast’s worn back like the pouring of a cup in a catacomb to a weary heart, like bread given of a winter’s night for all those grown hungry.


Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:

020717 fatimaVATICAN CITY — The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Portugal in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Fatima.

The pope, who accepted the invitation made by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the bishops of Portugal, "will go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima from May 12-13," the Vatican announced Dec. 17.

The pilgrimage will mark the anniversary of the Marian apparitions, which first began on May 13, 1917, when three shepherd children reported seeing the Virgin Mary.

The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

Following the announcement, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, rector of the Fatima shrine told Agencia Ecclesia, the news agency of the Portuguese bishops' conference, that the visit was a "cause for joy" for the shrine.

"For the shrine of Fatima, it is a great joy to receive this confirmation of Pope Francis' visit," he said.

"We know that those days will be a pilgrimage marked by this festivity that, on the one hand is for the centennial of the apparitions and, on the other hand, marks the presence of the pope in our midst and a pope as beloved as Pope Francis," Father Cabecinhas said.

While the Vatican confirmed the dates of the visit, the pope had already said that he intended to go.

"Certainly, as things presently stand, I will go to Portugal, and only to Fatima," he told journalists during his return flight to Rome from Azerbaijan Oct. 2.

Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who each paid homage different years to Mary on the anniversary of the first apparition May 13.

— Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service