Our body tells a language

“Our body is a language, and we are learning that language,” Haley Yeager said, a Natural Family Planning (NFP) instructor with the Diocese of Phoenix. It was only 10 minutes into the first of five classes titled “The Fifth Vital Sign” and I felt Yeager’s words to my core. I already felt empowered to live out my femininity the way God intended and to see my body’s natural rhythms as being good and a gift from Him.

On Good Friday, Catholics urged to support Middle East Christians

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis plans to launch a humanitarian project in Gaza or the West Bank with the possible help of the traditional Good Friday collection for the Holy Land, said the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches. "The outbreak of the war in Gaza, after the events of October 7, paralyzed the Holy Land. The lack of pilgrims and tourists has put thousands of families in difficulty," the dicastery said in its annual appeal to bishops around the world asking them to urge their people to generously support this year's collection.

Pope: Jesus showed acts of mercy to inspire others to follow suit

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When it comes to inspiring people's actions, Jesus knew that being an example to others is more important than "a flood of words," Pope Francis said. Jesus washing his disciples' feet at the Last Supper "is undoubtedly an eloquent symbol of the Beatitudes proclaimed by the Lord in the Sermon on the Mount and of their concrete expression in works of mercy," the pope said in a written message March 7.

NEWS BRIEF: Pro-life Arizonans unite their voices for the unborn

More than 3,000 gathered in downtown Phoenix on March 1 for the Arizona March for Life. Bishop Emeritus Thomas J. Olmsted opened the rally, held at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, and was joined by the Sisters of Life in praying the Rosary. Olivia Escobedo from the It Goes Too Far Campaign, reminded attendees of the importance of fighting the Arizona Abortion Access Act: “What we need to do is fight this, because the legislature, if this passes, will have no power to overturn it. We have to talk to every single voter.”

NEWS BRIEF: Three men take the next step toward the priesthood

Seminarians Michael Salemi, Max Rich and Ryan Wiensch were admitted into Candidacy on March 2 at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. This marks the next step on their journey toward ordination. Candidacy is the first, formal recognition by the Church that the seminarians are considered potential priests.

Pope asks children to make the world better, one little step at a time

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Making the world a better place for everyone starts with prayer and little steps like saying hello, sorry or thank you, Pope Francis said in a letter to the world's children. "Our world will change if we all begin with these little things, without being ashamed to take small steps, one at a time," he wrote in the letter that was released March 2.

Jesus accepts a person’s fragility so they can accept others, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus did not teach his disciples to organize agencies and structures to help vulnerable people, but gave the example of encountering them, listening to them and helping them as individuals and not "categories" of people in need, Pope Francis said. "Jesus wanted to form his disciples in a style of living in contact with the vulnerable, in the midst of them," the pope wrote in a speech prepared for his meeting March 1 with a group of Italians attending a four-day seminar on "Vulnerability and Community: Between Welcome and Inclusion."

‘Camino’ trek through Spain, Portugal bonds women in sisterhood of faith

“It was spectacular.” That was the assessment of Kim Ruggiero, a Phoenix Catholic who, along with 13 other women, had the adventure of a lifetime this year while hiking an 89-mile trail along the Camino de Santiago through Spain and Portugal. The journey lasted eight days. “There were streams and forests and vineyards,” Ruggiero said. They passed through hamlets, observed wildlife and gazed at rugged shorelines. Some prayed the rosary or meditated on the beauty and significance of their journey.

Catholic Charities’ Foster Program gives children a solid foundation

Rebecca Regnier has seen God’s plan as she’s worked for Catholic Charities for 17 years. As the program supervisor for the Foster Care Program, she acts as ongoing support for existing foster families. She credits her husband for getting them involved in foster care. While monitoring the on-call phone, it rang in the middle of the night. It was a worker with the Department of Child Safety (DCS) who explained there was a child in need of a placement. Regnier’s husband, Jason, overheard his wife say there wasn’t a home available. The DCS officer would have to keep the child safe in her office that night. That conversation had a profound impact on Jason. It was the spark that ignited their foster care journey.

Podcast mega-star Fr. Mike Schmitz to speak at Phoenix fundraiser March 21

The host of the most popular Catholic podcast of all time is coming to Phoenix on March 21. Tickets are now available for the public event that will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix.  Fr. Mike Schmitz, whose Bible in a Year podcast has been downloaded more than 350 million times, will be in Phoenix to speak at a fundraiser for the John Paul II Center for Theology of the Body. The Witness to Hope Celebration and Fundraiser is an annual event that supports the work of the Diocese of Phoenix’s center devoted to the late pope’s enduring legacy regarding the human person.