Is James Foley a martyr? A brutal death sparks a faith-based debate

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Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons War and Peace

c. 2014 Religion News Service

(RNS) From the moment news broke that U.S. journalist James Foley had been beheaded by Islamic State extremists in the Middle East, many Christians, especially Foley’s fellow Catholics, began calling him a martyr, with some even saying he should be considered a saint.

Yet that characterization has left others uneasy, and the discussion is raising larger questions about what constitutes martyrdom.


Flower child: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

By Mary Anne McElroy| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
Just like modern millennials, Thérèse of Lisieux struggled with how to make an impact on her world.

Ten years ago, when I was a 14-year-old high school student, my religion teacher arranged for me to interview Father Patrick Ahearn, a leading expert on St. Thérèse of Lisieux who happened to reside just blocks away from our school at St. Thomas More Church on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. What at the time seemed like frustrating extra work now stands out in my mind as one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of my adolescence.


25 years ago in U.S. Catholic: A mom’s-eye view of the Blessed Mother

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Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Women

By Margaret Mantle

This article appeared in the May 1989 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 54, No. 5, pages 29-31).

Like a lot of us, I grew up with a pretty traditional view of Mary. She was the gentle, sweet, patient mother of Jesus and a model of virtue to us all. She was the sort of perfect mom we all wanted to be when we grew up and had babies.


Pope John XXIII: A breath of fresh air

By Father Scott Jones, S.D.S.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Vatican
A new pope quickly wins the hearts of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Sound familiar?

The legacies of John Paul II and John XXIII

By Amanda Murphy and Kevin Eckstrom| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Vatican

c. 2014 Religion News Service

(RNS) One was a man who shook the very foundations of the Roman Catholic Church by ushering in revolutionary reforms through the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. The other was a charismatic globe-trotter who stared down communism and taught the world lasting lessons of how to die.

On Sunday (April 27), Pope Francis will canonize two predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II, elevating the two most influential popes of the 20th century to the pantheon of Catholic life and worship.


Easter Sunday: Living in God's joy

By Father Rosendo Urrabazo, C.M.F.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Spirituality

It was Mom’s birthday and I was 12 years old. I made her a card that said “I love you mom!” and when I gave it to her I said, “Thank you for being my mom and for giving me life.” She responded with a smile, saying, “It was a pleasure!”


Good Friday: Jesus' execution and the death penalty in the United States

By Sister Marianne Race| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Saints, Feasts, and Seasons

Each year on Good Friday we listen to the account of the events surrounding Jesus’ death: the trial, the boisterous crowd, the journey to Golgotha. The description is clear; Jesus received the death penalty and was executed. Though the cross is a rich symbol of all that God has accomplished in Jesus, don’t forget it is (or was) also an instrument of torture and execution. Jesus has once and for all taken away sin by his sacrifice (Heb. 9:26).


Can women participate in the Holy Thursday washing of the feet?

By Kathleen Manning| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology
Women and men were both participating in the ancient rite long before Pope Francis arrived on the scene.

Palm Sunday: An unnamed woman and her prophetic act at Bethany

By Sister Laurie Brink, O.P.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology Women

I have no memory. Every Palm Sunday I join the parade of parishioners, waving palm branches and singing “Hosanna” as we process into church. Each year, I am utterly devastated then when the passion is read. The happy hosannas are drowned in the refrain “Were you there?” and I am reminded again that the way of Jesus is the way of the cross. Such is the emotional roller coaster that begins Holy Week.


35 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Don't pass over Exodus

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Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Scripture and Theology

By Father Peter M.J. Stravinskas

This article appeared in the April 1979 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 44, No. 4, pages 36-40).


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