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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina


Fred Gallagher: Remembering the days of summer

gallagher fredI remember them well! School let out and the shoes came off to stay except for on Sundays. My brothers and I left the house in the morning and usually showed back up with a few others, oh, let’s say somewhere around lunchtime. Then off again in the green and the sun and the freedom.

Father Cory Catron: A tale of two tributes

As a priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, I always look on with interest whenever a brother priest gets his name in the paper. This interest, unfortunately, sometimes turns to trepidation whenever the story of a brother priest has been told in a way that hardly befits himself or his fellows in ministry. It was precisely this sort of trepidation I felt after reading the interview with Monsignor John McSweeney written by Tim Funk in the July 9 Charlotte Observer.

Bishop Robert Barron: Silence and the meaning of the Mass

barronCardinal Robert Sarah’s recent book “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” explores a number of themes both theological and spiritual, all centering around the unhappy role that noise has come to play in our culture and more specifically in the Church.

Fatima: The apparitions continue

The fourth apparition: The 19th of August

Of all the torment, trial and terror inflicted by the magistrate on the three children of Fatima – 9-year-old Francisco Marto and 7-year-old Jacinta Marto, along with their 10-year-old cousin Lucia dos Santos – the most egregious offense was keeping them imprisoned on Aug. 13. They were heartbroken. Each of the three made a promise to the Lady to be at the Cova da Iria on the 13th of every month, and this month they were not there. With innocent, childlike reasoning they believed they had broken that promise and had disappointed her.

Deacon James H. Toner: May I have a word with you?

tonerWhat we think is the right road
We must learn and appreciate the words of our day, which define reality for us and point to the challenges we face: democracy, diversity, equality, inclusivity, marginalization, misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, colonialism, progressivism, autonomy and many others.

Fatima: The ordeal and God’s providence

062217 fatimaIt is 1917, and the three young visionaries of Fatima – brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos – have learned much over the preceding months. Part of God’s plan, the true identity of the Lady who appears over the holm oak, and the terrors of hell have been revealed to them in a series of apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary. They studied reading and writing at the request of Our Lady.


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