Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina


Fatima: The Past Prepares the Future

Europe, 711 AD. The Muslim population is increasing. Islam is firmly rooted in North Africa, Tunisia and most of the Arabian Peninsula. As the religion’s sphere of influence widens, the leaders establish, by force, an Islamic State – a Caliphate. It stretches from Aleppo, Syria in the west, Turkey to the north and Iran in the east. It is ruled by the Righteous Caliph.

Barbara Case Speers: The power of love

speersFebruary is the month where we express our love to each other with cards, chocolate candy and other gifts. We also hear lots of love songs. In 1985, Huey Lewis and the News’ song, “Power of Love,” was the soundtrack for the hit movie “Back to the Future.”

Bishop Robert Barron: Why goodness depends on God

barronOne of the commonest observations made by opponents of religion is that we don’t need God in order to have a coherent and integral morality. Atheists and agnostics are extremely sensitive to the charge that the rejection of God will conduce automatically to moral chaos. Consequently, they argue that a robust sense of ethics can be grounded in the consensus of the human community over time or in the intuitions and sensibilities of decent people, etc.

Dr. Janice Ritter: Catholic Schools Week: As we reflect on our many successes, we say 'thank you!'

ritterCatholic Schools Week is a wonderful time to reflect on our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Charlotte.

Fred Berretta: Humility: The antidote to our divisive culture

berrettaOne of the many noble facets of Catholicism is that its teachings hold the answers to life’s most difficult challenges, if we only take the time to seek, understand and embrace them.

Deacon James H. Toner: Doing it my way

tonerWhat we think is the right road
Our pastor is an innovator, an improviser, a mover and a shaker. We love the way he ad-libs during Mass – and the upbeat and humorous homilies he offers. Best of all, though, are the cool innovations he adds to the Mass. In other churches, the priests stick to the script, but our pastor isn’t afraid to be stylish.


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