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What's in a (Papal) Name?

Did Pope Francis really want to be Pope John XXIV? Maybe not. 

Catholicism Spotlight10

Extreme Humility

Friday April 18, 2014

Icon of Extreme Humility. (Photo © Slava Gallery, LLC; used with permission.)

Icon of Extreme Humility. (Photo © Slava Gallery, LLC; used with permission.)

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Lent Recipes: Greek Food

Friday April 18, 2014

With Good Friday, the final day of required fasting and abstinence in Lent, upon us, why not check out some Lenten recipes from Greece?

Like all Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox hold to a stricter regimen of fasting and abstinence than do Catholics--Western Catholics, at least. In recent years, many Eastern Rite Catholics have revived the traditional Eastern Lenten fast, which includes abstaining from all meat, dairy, and eggs for all of Lent.

Nancy Gaifyllia, the former Guide to About Greek Food, put together an impressive collection of Greek Orthodox fasting recipes, including appetizers, salads and side dishes, and main dishes. You can find her recipes, as well as recipes from other About.com Food Experts, in Lenten Recipes: Meatless Recipes for Lent and Throughout the Year.

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Lent Recipes: Lenten Recipes for Busy Families

Wednesday April 16, 2014

During Holy Week, Catholic families often find themselves with very little time to think about the dinners they must prepare.Baked spaghetti casserole © Stephanie Gallagher, licensed to About.com, Inc. Especially once we enter the Easter Triduum, church services take precedence. The Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday is usually right around dinner time; traditionally, the Good Friday service takes place at 3 P.M., so there's not much time to prepare a meal after it has finished. And those who keep the traditional fast (including abstinence) on Holy Saturday will want something easy to prepare for supper, before the Easter Vigil starts.

But don't despair: In this final week of Lent, Stephanie Gallagher, the Expert at About Cooking for Kids, has come to our rescue. Her selection of Lenten Recipes for Busy Families will not only appeal to the culinary tastes of children (and perhaps even make them forget that they're not eating meat) but ease the burden on parents, because they're so easy to prepare.

You can find Stephanie's recipes, as well as recipes from other About.com Food Experts, in Lenten Recipes: Meatless Recipes for Lent and Throughout the Year.

(Photo of Baked Spaghetti Casserole, © Stephanie Gallagher, licensed to About.com, Inc.)

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Novena of the Week: The Divine Mercy Novena

Tuesday April 15, 2014

During Holy Week, there is really only one choice for the Novena of the Week: the Divine Mercy novena.The Divine Mercy The Divine Mercy novena began as a private devotion which Our Lord revealed to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Our Lord asked Saint Faustina to recite the novena starting on Good Friday and ending on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, the Octave of Easter (the Sunday after Easter Sunday). The words of the prayers were dictated by Christ Himself to Saint Faustina, and Saint Faustina recorded in her diary Our Lord's instructions for each day's prayer.

To make it easier to pray the Divine Mercy novena, I have set up an e-mail reminder. Simply sign up for the e-mail course on Good Friday, and you will receive the prayers for the novena each day between Good Friday and Divine Mercy Sunday. The e-mail course includes additional links each day related to the prayer for that day.

Pope John Paul II had a great devotion to Saint Faustina, whom he canonized in 2000, and to the Divine Mercy, and over the past decade, the practice of the Divine Mercy novena has grown by leaps and bounds. In 2011, on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI presided at the beatification of Pope John Paul II; on Divine Mercy Sunday 2014, Pope Francis will preside over the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. That makes participation in the Divine Mercy Novena all the more significant.

If you have a favorite novena that you'd like me to choose as Novena of the Week, or if you'd like me to suggest a novena for a particular intention, send me an e-mail, and I'll work it into the rotation.

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