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18 Sep 2014 USA No comments

Austin, Texas, Sep 18, 2014 / 04:22 am .- A pair of Catholic authors has found a new way to give mothers some time off while helping break the social isolation …

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10 Sep 2015 News No comments

What we mean when we Call Mary "Ever Virgin"

We as Catholics firmly believe that Mary is “ever virgin.”  The Catechism asserts, “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess …

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09 Aug 2016 News No comments

Priests send prayers and support for Mexican mudslide victims

Mudslides in eastern Mexico have left at least 40 people dead and dozens of settlements cut off A priest in the Mexican state of Puebla said parish and archdio…

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12 Feb 2016 Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

British actor Joseph Fiennes wept as he meet with Pope Francis

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24 Nov 2015 Europe News Comments (1)

More than 200 consecrated Hosts stolen in an art exhibition.

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04 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (72)

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12 Sep 2016 Uncategorized Comments (1)

The brutal, powerful 9/11 stories of Catholic priests

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12 Jun 2015 Exhortations Resources No comments

Pope tells Bosnians to be 'tenacious' workers for peace

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05 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

If I'm serving active duty and only have access to a Protestant service, does it fulfill my Sunday obligation?

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Authors of new almanac hope to save America’s Catholic heritage

Denver, Colo., Oct 8, 2014 / 02:01 am .- “Is the Catholic Church good for America?”

That was the question recently posed to Americans on the streets of major cities across the United States by the nonprofit advocacy group

It is also the challenge takes up its new book “The American Catholic Almanac.”

“There (is) a serious deficiency or a serious lack of appreciation for the role that religion, more generally, but Catholicism, in particular, has played in the history of our country,” explained president Brian Burch in a recent interview with CNA.

“If you look at the relevancy of the Catholic faith to every area of American life, there’s sports, movies, schools, church, state. You have all these people whose Catholic faith was central to them playing a role in the development and history of American culture.”

“The American Catholic Almanac” hit bookstores last week, offering 365 page-long reflections on U.S. clergy, religious and lay people who have played a role in the nation’s culture and history.

The book explores the Catholic roots or influences of some of the most well-known movers and shakers in U.S. history. Included are profiles of both Catholics and prominent non-Catholics who were strongly influenced by Catholicism during their lives.

Some names are familiar, such as Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Thomas Jefferson and Cesar Chavez. Others are a bit more surprising: Andy Warhol, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, and past Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi.

“We thought we knew what stories we were going to tell,” said co-author Emily Stimpson. “But, what we discovered was that what we knew barely scratched the surface of the American Catholic story.”

One of Stimpson’s favorite stories is that of 19th century laywoman Margaret Haughery, who is remembered as “the mother of the orphans” in New Orleans. Haughery was a penniless, illiterate widow who ended up donating more than $600,000 during her lifetime to orphans in the city.

“It wasn’t hard to find the Catholics who did amazing things,” Stimpson said. “But, what was shocking was how their stories haven’t been preserved. There are so many great stories that are in danger of being lost that we were able to include in this book.”

“That was a great joy because these lay people deserve to be known. They’re real witnesses to the New Evangelization and to American Catholics today.”

Burch’s favorite story is that of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, who lived most of his life struggling with his Catholic faith. The almanac details Hitchcock’s emotional reception of Holy Communion on his deathbed.

“I don’t think you can understand his storytelling through movies without recognizing that it was related to the Catholic sensibilities that he had,” Burch said. “The sense of mystery, the sense of sin and darkness and redemption.”

“That is part of the rich tapestry of the faith manifested in movie-making that he was able to give to the American public,” he added.

Burch and Stimpson said they hope the book inspires modern Catholics to defend religion in the United States.

“We can’t appreciate what we have…when we don’t know where we come from,” Stimpson explained. “And if we can’t appreciate what we have, we’re not going to fight to preserve it. We’re not going to treasure it.”

Burch said the idea for the almanac developed from watching U.S. Catholics respond to the federal contraception mandate.

“We recognize that part of this fight over religious liberty is not just a question of laws and policies and court judgments, but also a part of a cultural struggle,” Burch said.

“One of the best ways to recover some of this cultural inheritance is to tell stories.”

“The American Catholic Almanac” is available in stores and online.

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