December 15, 2016: Merry Christmas Edition

Celebrating 8 YEARS Online

Our website will update again January 2, 2017

From all of us to each of you and your families, MERRY CHRISTMAS – Christ Is Born!

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

~Pope Francis~

Our Very Special


And thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great…and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

~St. Luke 1:32,33~


Did You Know?

That the Catholic Church is calling all Catholics home?

We are grateful to be Catholic, and we’re glad you are too. There is so much to love about Jesus and His Catholic Church, and it is infinitely important that we share this good news with others!

Good News

Jesus the Christ, Son of the Great I AM is born to us! HALLELUJAH!!

We love using this video every Christmas for our Christmas Edition because it NEVER gets old! The village of Quinhagak, Alaska, wishes everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In the News

Major “religious Freedom law” may get a Christmas upgrade

After almost 20 years, a landmark religious freedom bill may finally be getting a big upgrade.

And it wouldn’t come too soon, said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-sponsor of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act. “From China and Vietnam to Syria and Nigeria, we are witnessing a tragic, global crisis in religious persecution, violence and terrorism, with dire consequences for religious believers and for U.S. national security,” he said.

“Ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria are on the verge of extinction, and other religious minorities in the Middle East face a constant assault from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”

The legislation upgrades the original 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, which helped make promotion of religious freedom a larger part of stated U.S. foreign policy.


Picture of the Week

You have to smile at the creativity of this landlord. It reminds us that our time here on earth is a short term lease that renews with a long term contract.

Ask Susi

Q: My parish priest told me that “we (meaning the Catholic Church) do not believe that animals go to heaven, because they have no souls.” But, my heart and faith in Jesus tells me otherwise. Is what he said true?

A: This is perhaps the most epic question I am asked, in numerous and varying contexts. Countless books and articles have been given over to the question of animals in heaven and there is the long and short of it, depending on where you really want to go. So, I will answer the initial question, and follow it with an abridged explanation for the positive.


Susi’s Weekly Column

I Want To Be A Shepherd In Bethlehem

~by Susi Pittman

Put yourself in the sandals of a shepherd who witnessed the Angels announcement of Jesus’ birth.


Catholic Journeyman

St. Joseph: Part 7 Hidden, Ignored, Yet Fruitful– & Part 8–Good Soldier

~by Louis Templeman

A divinely orchestrated mission in fatherhood and complete obedience to The Father has the Church aptly placing Saint Joseph as the Patron of Families. We continue with Louis’ 10-Part series upon the greatest “man” to ever serve the Living God!

Parts 9 & 10 will post December 21st


Meandering Along the River’s Edge

December 2, 2015: The Humility of Winter—The Humility of Christmas

~by Virginia Anson Rhys, OFS

The season of repose guards its mystery well…and to that thought, Virginia takes you on a journey to Christmas love.


Weekly Commentary

Don’t lose sight of Christmas’ true meaning—by Bishop Matthew H. Clark, Diocese of Rochester, New York

All of us I think have enjoyed again and again the Christmas classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which was first broadcast nearly 45 years ago and is still a holiday TV staple. Toward the end of this wonderful story by Dr. Seuss, after the “mean one, Mr. Grinch” has stolen just about every possible sign of Christmas from the Whos down in Whoville, he gleefully sits atop his mountaintop anxiously awaiting the angst that a Christmas-less Christmas morning will bring.


Catholic Writers

Father Frederick William Faber, D.D.

Ordained an Anglican minister in 1839, Faber quickly lost confidence in the Church of England and wanted to convert to Catholicism. Faber knew that he was taking a bold and radical step. Catholics in England were a small, suspect group, associated in the public imagination with “Bloody Mary,” the Spanish Armada and the Gunpowder Plot. When reporting on the conversions, some English newspapers described them as “perversions.”

Faber was ordained a priest in 1847 and he set to work establishing a religious community, the Brothers of the Will of God, comprised mostly of converts. Faber was an enthusiast for all things Roman: forty hours devotions, Corpus Christi processions, novenas to the Virgin Mary. Above all, though, Faber was a champion of Roman authority, declaring that “Rome must not be merely our Court of Appeal from a national episcopate. Rome must really govern, animate and inform things with its own spirit.”

He was indeed a prolific spiritual writer. Fr Faber’s most notable work, All for Jesus, published in 1853, was translated into several languages and sold widely throughout Europe. Perhaps one of his best works to read particularly at this time of the year is Bethlehem: The Most Sacred Infancy of Our Most Dear and Blessed Redeemer.

Recommended Read

BETHLEHEM: The Sacred Infancy of Our Most Dear and Blessed Redeemer

~by Father Frederick William Faber, D.D.

Fr. Faber explores the hidden meanings of Our Lord’s Incarnation; birth; infancy and early life and expands his theme to a wide-ranging discourse on the entire Catholic Faith from the point of view of the Sacred Infancy. Nothing that Jesus did or allowed Himself to undergo is without meaning; and Fr. Faber explores those hidden meanings with a profundity one would hardly believe possible.


Catholic Saints

MARY: Mother of Jesus, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Chosen of God

Quote of the Week

The Son of God became a man, to enable men to become sons of God.

~C.S. Lewis~

Geology & Archaeology

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is a major Christian holy site, as it marks the traditional place of Christ’s birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the Church of the Nativity’s focal point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ’s birth since at least the 2nd century. A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ is believed to have been born. The star’s Latin inscription reads, “Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born.”


Global Weather

New Little Ice Age looming in Earth’s future?

Astronomers from India, China and Japan have found evidence from sunspots showing that Earth may be heading into a “little ice age.”

A recent, lower than average, sunspot count by the Physical Research Laboratory in India indicates Earth could enter a period of low solar activity by 2020. Sunspot activity is currently approaching a 200 year low.

There has been a drastic decline in the number of sunspots and a corresponding decrease in solar wind microturbulence during the Sun’s last two 11-year solar cycles, according to research published online last August.

The scientists openly worry about a repeat of the period between 1645 and 1715 AD when the sun was almost completely spotless, which coincided with most of Earth witnessing extremely harsh winters.



Hottest Arctic on record triggers massive ice melt

he Arctic shattered heat records in the past year as unusually warm air triggered massive melting of ice and snow and a late fall freeze, US government scientists said on Tuesday.

The grim assessment came in the Arctic Report Card 2016, a peer-reviewed document by 61 scientists around the globe issued by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NOAA report covers from October 2015 to September 2016, a period it said the Arctic’s average annual air temperature over land was the highest on record.



Museum of Tomorrow: Imagine A Sustainable World

Jutting diagonally into the sky from the old port of Rio de Janeiro is an other-worldly edifice that looks like a cross between a solar-powered dinosaur and a giant air conditioning unit. The Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), which opens Thursday, must already rank as one of the world’s most extraordinary buildings. But once the public starts to visit this weekend, it may soon also become known for one of the planet’s most powerful arguments for sustainability.



Hibernation: The Big Sleep

Hibernation is an adaptation to an anticipation of famine,” says Brian Barnes, director of the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska–Fairbanks, who has studied hibernation for 40 years. During hibernation, Barnes says, an animal can “manipulate every cell’s need for energy and oxygen plus reduce heat production,” curtailing its need for fuel when food is scarce. Some evidence suggests that by avoiding such stresses as hunger and bad weather, hibernating species live longer than related animals that don’t hibernate. That helps explain why hibernation is found in a wide range of species, from mammals to snakes to fishes. Among mammals, hibernators are found in bears, bats, rodents and even primates—at least three species of lemur in Madagascar hibernate. Scientists are discovering that the behavior is more complex than its basically comatose state might suggest and that it may offer pathways to treatments of human ailments such as osteoporosis.


God’s Green Earth

Beautiful Israel

Farm News

Bethlehem Farm

Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic community located in Appalachia that transforms lives through service with the local community and the teaching of sustainable practices.


Steward Alerts

12 Theology Books EVERYONE Should Read

Over the last 2,000 years, some of the greatest minds in the world have written countless words on Catholic Theology. From the early Church Fathers like Justin Martyr, Augustine, and Athanasius, to the great minds of the Middle Ages like Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, and Duns Scotus, all the way to modern masters like Sheen, Ratzinger, and Garrigou-Lagrange, theologians have shaped how we understand and seek God.


Steward Activities


Will you be in Rome for Christmas? Are you worried that a lot is closed? Well don’t worry!

The city is quite alive and only a few places close on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, but there is still plenty to do and you will not be without a place to eat! The Christmas holiday season in Rome starts on December 8, which is the holiday of the Immaculate Conception, or Immacolata. The season officially ends on January 6, the Epiphany. This day is called the Befana in Italy.


A Song Before The Lord


Christmas Stewardship

Catholic Family, Doug & Julia Bean  Present Living Nativity: Streets of Bethlehem

Experience the narrated Christmas Story, enacted by characters in period costumes. The story begins with the angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary, the Annunciation. The story is beautifully narrated, accompanied by a vocalist, bringing the historical account alive with song. The actors portray weary travelers approaching an Inn with no vacancy. Being given a place to stay in a stable, among the animals, the Christ child is born. The shepherds give homage to the little baby and the Magi present their valuable gifts to the precious King in the manger. The portrayal is simple yet profound.





Poinsettas: Keep them thriving year round

One major staple for the holiday comes by way of a very common plant that only receives the noted attention it deserves around this time of year: the poinsettia. At the end of the season it’s usually time to dance its funeral jig, but I suggest that it’s time to play this plant a different tune.


Wellness & Nutrition

Natural Remedies For Dry Skin

The outer layer of your skin works like a self-oiled machine, but sometimes oil production can’t keep up with demand. What’s the best refreshment for parched skin? Most moisturizers (which don’t actually add moisture to the skin but serve to lock in moisture that’s already there) will do the trick. Or try a home remedies below.


The Star of Bethlehem

Scholars debate whether the Star of Bethlehem is a legend created by the early church or a miracle that marked the advent of Christ. Is it possible that the star was a real, astronomical event? From Producer Stephen McEveety (The Passion of the Christ) comes an amazing documentary on the Star of Bethlehem. This presentation as seen by tens of thousands in the U.S. and in Europe explores the exciting truth of scripture and reveals the evidence for God’s existence as seen in the stars above. Presenter Rick Larson walks you through Biblical and historical clues revealing the incredible significance of this celestial event as well as the vastness of God’s creativity. Discover the secret of the Star – a secret of magnificent beauty.


Wishing you the heavenly Peace only CHRIST can bring!

Disclaimer is an online Ezine operated by a Roman Catholic family. The website content is particular to Roman Catholic theology, but in no way is this website an “official” website for the Catholic Church. It operates as a layman’s ministry devoted to interesting, informal, spiritual, interactive, educational, and religious content and products to aid in one’s personal journey towards better stewardship of creation and the creatures we share this life with. Sharing the joy of communion with God through the extended family of creation. This website may contain links to third party blogs/websites. is in no way responsible for the contents of any linked blog/websites or any links contained in such blog/website. Links are provided for convenience and information and do not imply endorsement of the linked site. Privacy is important to us; therefore, we will never sell, rent, or give away your name, personal information or Email address to anyone, ever! You may contact us by sending an email to:

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