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The Good News
NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE
~By Patrice Treece
God doesn’t need humans to work miracles for Him, but as veteran Catholic author Patricia Treece shows, it certainly seems His good pleasure to perform great miracles by means of human prayers and human hands.
For more than a quarter century, Treece — America’s most experienced and revered saint-watcher — has gathered numerous fascinating reports of miraculous healings brought about in our lifetime.
The healings documented here are not hasty judgments made by gullible, overwrought believers; they’re instantaneous, complete, and permanent cures for which scientific medicine still has no explanations — cures that also meet the Vatican’s stringent seven-part test of authenticity.
In these pages, you’ll learn of countless miraculous healings that have occurred in our lifetime through the intercession of the saints.
CLICK HERE to watch the video trailer.
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In the News
SUPER HERO POPE?
Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.
The Perfect Christmas Gift—Laudate Dominum Hermitage
~by Phyllis O’Beollain, Dayton Examiner
Laudate Dominum Hermitage is a refuge for animals that have lost their homes. This modest monastery in the high mountains of southwestern Virginia is a sanctuary for dogs, cats, chickens and a rabbit: these once-loved pets have lost their homes, sometimes as result of the death, infirmities or nursing home placement of their owners. Sometimes, because of the pets’ own age and infirmities they have become unwanted: some of these pets have missing limbs, some are blind, some are deaf and some have chronic, incurable ailments. The worst affliction of all, however, is not being loved; here at the Hermitage, with very few people, the hermits are able to provide ample care and love for these refugees. The resulting sanctuary within the traditional, religious community of the Hermits of the Contemplative Heart of Mary is peaceful and full of love.
Photo of the Week
The 2013 Vatican Christmas Tree
The tradition of placing a Christmas Tree in the Saint Peter’s Square started in 1982 during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, when the Polish-born Pope introduced the northern European symbol of Christmas spirit. The tradition of erecting a Christmas Tree was celebrated in northern Europe and in Poland, Pope John Paul II’s country of origin, but not in the Vatican at the time.
The first tree came from Italy. Since then, the offering of the Christmas Tree to the Pope has become an honor, and each year the Vatican accepts a tree donated by a different European country or region.
The Founder’s Pen
The Miracle of Shadow
~by Susi Pittman
Four Hurricanes and a Cat…sounds like a movie, right? How about a true story! The miracle of Shadow is one of my own personal animal miracles and a story sure to warm your heart.
Father Ron’s Column
Mary, the Rosary and Christmas
~by Father Ron Camarda
Remember to pray the Rosary as you journey through Advent!
In the Key of “G”
Welcome to Our World, Lord
~by Mary Galvano-Bajohr
It isn’t Christmas yet! We are in Advent…awaiting the coming of the Lord!
Room for New Dreams
~by Louis Templeman
Considering new dreams in the face of sorrow or hardship can be a monumental challenge. Yet, God has an answer and a future ahead for you.
December’s Recommended Read: Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know! by Susi Pittman
~by Michele Gregoire
A review of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want To Know! Be sure and add it to your Christmas list
Meandering Along the River’s Edge
~by Virginia Rhys Anson, OFS
Virginia takes into flights of crystalline fancy in the stark desolation of a winter’s day.
What Are You Waiting For?
~by Father Robert Barron
ADVENT IS THE LITURGICAL SEASON OF VIGILANCE OR, to put it more mundanely, of waiting. During the four weeks prior to Christmas, we light the candles of our Advent wreaths and put ourselves in the spiritual space of the Israelite people who, through many long centuries, waited for the coming of the Messiah (“How long, O Lord?”).
AFFILIATE SHOPPING for YOU! We continue to build a small but, well focused group of vendors, offering products in line with stewardship of the earth and its creatures. By visiting these product sites from our page, you are helping to support our mission.
Mystic Monk Coffee is a small batch coffee roaster operated by the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming through an online gourmet coffee bean store. Many consider their website the ultimate source for gourmet coffee where it is easy to buy coffee online. The monks carefully craft each freshly roasted coffee to perfection for dark roast coffees, espresso, ground coffees, whole bean coffees, single origin coffees, fair trade coffees, flavored coffees and especially the monks’ special gourmet coffee blends. Try our special auto delivered coffee subscriptions also for the best coffee online.
CLICK HERE to visit the Mystic Monks Store
Since 1987, MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS has consistently delivered exceptional quality certified organic herbs and spices with a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Our primary source of herbal material is from certified organic American farms and many of these farms are on contract with us as an exclusive grower for our needs.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS
A Division of Engineering Services & Products Company, FarmTek was founded in 1979 with the purpose of bringing the highest quality products at the most competitive prices with exceptional customer service directly to the agricultural, horticultural, building and retail trade communities.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT FARMTEK
Carolyn J. Smith
Carolyn J. Smith has been married to her husband, Jim, for 41 years. She is the mother of eight daughters and two sons and the grandmother of 15 (and counting). She and her family live in Columbia, Maryland.
Carolyn homeschooled six of their children and was a member of TORCH, Traditions of Roman Catholic Homes. She taught Religious Education for 20 years, which included preparation for the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist and teamed with her husband for Confirmation Preparation. She is a volunteer counselor for a local pregnancy center. For many years, she and her husband acted as a sponsor couple in helping to prepare young couples for marriage. She formed the Family Life curriculum at a private school in the Baltimore area and she taught this curriculum to girls in grades four through eight. Carolyn also served as a consultant on the Family Life Committee for two parishes in Baltimore. In her home parish, she used this book, Growing Up in God’s Image (formerly titled Family Love and Growing Up) to guide parents through the discussion of the facts of life with their children. There were separate nights for the boys with their fathers and for the girls with their mothers. She has spoken on Sexuality at the NACHE (National Association of Catholic Home Educators) Conferences in Manassas, Virginia and at the Catholic Family Expo in Baltimore, Maryland as well as small groups of women in the Baltimore, Maryland area.
Growing Up in God’s Image makes it easy for families to talk with one another mom to daughter, father to son, parent to child especially when approaching that first important discussion about the facts of life. It is a talk about the beauty of growing up as a young woman or a young man. For teens, it provides positive answers through an understanding of sexuality as God intended from the moment He created it and when he later gave it to us as a sacrament through Jesus. For young and old couples alike, it gives a new appreciation of their own sacramental marriages. It is about family and the restoration of family life and love. It is about God’s plan for us. Growing Up In God’s Image is an invaluable resource for parents wanting to give their children more than just a biology lesson.
Quote of the Week
When we were children, we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
Discovering Our Saints
Art of Life
(You might know her best as the art instructor to former President George W. Bush)
Art has been a main thread throughout my life. It wove through years of clothing design, interior design and resulted in the development of oil painting. When I started painting, it became a deep passion of mine. The idea of mixing colors and creating a painting was so facinating to me. I love patterns of reflected light, subtle nuances of color and I am always looking for new ways to express my perceptions and feelings.
I have traveled throughout Europe painting an entirely different scene, vineyards and small villages, but there is no place like home. I have studied in Taos, Santa Fe, Scottsdale and Europe. I have been enfluenced by many great teachers, but I am still in awe of the great Masters. READ MORE…
The highlight of my art career was teaching President George W. Bush. It occurred back in January 2013 and in her words, it was an unforgettable experience with a talented man and a great ex president.
God’s Green Earth
Creation’s Silent Night
The Trappist Monks of New Melleray Abbey
In 1849, Trappist monks from Ireland set out on a journey to America‘s heartland and embraced the rolling prairie of Iowa, where they founded and built our monastery, New Melleray Abbey.
Today, the Trappist monks, together with their hired lay-artisans, bring old world craftsmanship and a sense of sanctity to fine wooden caskets and coffins, available to families everywhere in their time of need.
Many funeral homes offer Trappist Caskets to the families they serve, and all funeral homes in the US will accept a Trappist Casket ordered directly from the Abbey.
We often donate child caskets to families who can use assistance in their time of need. If you are looking for information on our Child Casket Fund or would like to donate to our Child Casket Fund, please call us at 888-495-0805 or contact them online at The Trappist Caskets.
The Avila Institute
Under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the mission of the Avila Institute is to provide spiritual education and formation to Catholics around the world who are seeking to deepen their understanding and appropriation of the magisterium faithful mystical and ascetical patrimony of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Tool Box: Activities for Advent
The Catholic Tool Box has an amazing presentation on family activities for Advent. Please visit her blog and make your families Advent super special!
The Afterlife of Christmas Trees
We have compiled four very interesting ecological articles regarding the use of Christmas trees cast to the curb following the Christmas season.
Where do dead Christmas trees go? The New York Times
Old Christmas trees get new life through recycling programs The Augusta Chronicle
Where do all the Christmas trees go? Mission Local News
What to do with discarded Christmas trees? Treehugger
Real Trees 4 Kids!
The REAL TREES 4 Kids! project began early in 1999 in preparation for the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. Sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association, the project’s goal is to teach school-aged students the ins and outs of Christmas Tree production.
Curriculum materials are made available for teachers of students in grades K through 2. These new materials were designed by elementary educator Michelle Drake as part of a grant through the USDA.
REAL TREES 4 Kids! is not limited to the Internet. Our REAL TREES team has shared information and activities with participants at the convention of the National Science Teachers Association as well as with visitors to the AgEarth celebration of Earth Day on the Mall in Washington DC.
As we keep growing, keep in mind that new additions to the curriculum happen, in great part, through suggestions and requests made by you.
Wellness & Nutrition
12 Ways to De-stress from Thanksgiving to New Years from Woman’s Day
The most wonderful time of the year, huh? So why do the holidays sometimes feel like a month-long panic attack? “During the holidays, people have such high expectations for things to be perfect,” says Jon Abramowitz, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In other words, we take on too much, then feel anxious and stressed out when reality doesn’t measure up to the flawless fantasy in our heads.
Bring Your Garden to Your Christmas Decorating by Beth Botts
Centuries ago, certain plants became part of midwinter celebrations because their evidence of life in the bleak midwinter was a promise of spring to come: holly, ivy, berries, pine trees. Plants from your own landscape can bring an echo of last year’s garden and a promise of next year’s to your holiday décor.
Hubble Telescope is Best Chance at Learning Comet ISON’s Fate
NASA said Monday that the Hubble Space Telescope is the best bet for figuring out whether Comet ISON disintegrated during its brush with the sun last week.
A pair of solar observatories saw something emerge from around the sun following ISON’s close approach on Nov. 28. But scientists don’t know whether the spot of light was merely the comet’s shattered remains or what’s left of its icy nucleus. Either way, by now, they say it may be just dust.
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