When the news of the final suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773 reached young Fr. John Carroll in Belgium, he was crushed.
Faith & Parish
Carlos Marentes was warned he would have only seconds, not even a minute, to greet Pope Francis.
"They said, 'Someone will be there to take your photo. And in the time it takes to take that picture, say what you have to say.' I said so much, they took eight pictures!" Marentes chuckled.
We say: The spotlight is bright on newly installed Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich as this prominent pick by Pope Francis sends a signal.
First Sunday in Advent. The key virtue for Christians is simple: "Be watchful! Be alert!"
Like so many others Monday night, the congregants at West Side Missionary Baptist Church were glued to televisions as a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case was announced.
One woman sobbed in her chair as she learned that police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting.
Then, with the press conference far from over, the church's television went dark. And the congregants at the church turned instead to prayer and preaching.
Within seconds, the Rev. Starsky Wilson was at the pulpit, calling for "contrary folk."
Even though the crowd was smaller than in the past, the spirit remained powerful for the 2,000 people who came to the gathering.
Financial records for the archdiocese show a $9 million deficit in operating activities for the 2014 fiscal year and uncertainty about the costs of its sexual abuse scandal.
Faith and Justice: The meeting fits in well with Pope Francis' desire to have a conversation in the church about family in preparation for the next Synod of Bishops.
While the timing of the grand jury decision involving the Michael Brown shooting remained uncertain, Catholic schools in the Ferguson area were already prepared in case the ruling comes down with classes in session.
"We have our safety plan in place," said Addie Govero, the principal at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School.
Blessed Teresa is about two miles from the site of Brown's death and subsequent unrest. Our Lady of Guadalupe School is only slightly farther away -- about two and a half miles.
Analysis: Church leaders lament the loss in numbers in Latin America. However, many missionaries would see this as a wake-up call.