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"Rebuilt" The Number 1 Selling Book on this site 
Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter

Drawing on the wisdom gleaned from thriving mega-churches and innovative business leaders while anchoring their vision in the Eucharistic center of Catholic faith, Fr. Michael White and lay associate Tom Corcoran present the compelling and inspiring story to how they brought their parish back to life.

Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, and Making Church Matter is a story of stopping everything and changing focus. When their parish reached a breaking point, White and Corcoran asked themselves how they could make the Church matter to Catholics, and they realized the answer was at the heart of the Gospel. Their faithful response not only tripled their weekend mass attendance, but also yielded increased giving, flourishing ministries, and a vibrant, solidly Catholic spiritual revival. White and Corcoran invite all Catholic leaders to share the vision, borrow their strategies, and rebuild their own parishes. They offer a wealth of guidance for anyone with the courage to hear them.
 
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 Catholic News 
Vatican City, Apr 25, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A newly published book gathers the memories of 13 journalists and communications specialists about John Paul II, including those of Fr. Giorgio Costantino, spokesman of the Synod of Bishops.

“Giovanni Paolo II, raccontato da chi lo ha ‘raccontato’”, or “John Paul II, as reported by those who ‘reported’ him”, edited by Angela Ambrogetti and Raffaele Iaria and published by Tau Editrice, discusses the 26-year pontificate of Bl. John Paul II, who will be canonized together with John XXIII April 27.

Among the contributors are Emanuele Roncalli, Gian Franco Svidercoschi, and Fr. Costantino, who has been the Synod of Bishops’ representative since 1990.

Fr. Costantino’s chapter shares stories of Bl. John Paul II’s commitment to the synod, which he knew “very well, as he had taken part in each of the assemblies except the first one, in 1967.”

“He had in fact been invited to that assembly,” Fr. Costantino wrote, “but he chose not to take part, out of solidarity with Cardinal Wyszynski, Primate of Poland, whom the (communist) Polish authorities denied a visa to go to Rome.”

This story, he recounted, was told “during a dinner the Pope shared with spokesmen of various languages and the then-director of the Holy See press office, Joaquin Navarro Valls.”

Bl. John Paul II often shared his views during meals, which were an occasion for informal exchanges with those working at the Synod of Bishops.

“At the final lunch of the 1990 Synod of Bishops, John Paul II spoke off the cuff, stressing that he ‘noted an increasing spirituality and maturity. My hopes have not been vain. This tool of the collegiality of bishops is efficient’”, recounted Fr. Costantino.

According to Fr. Costantino, the late Pope held the synod to express apostolic tradition as well as a collegial and primatial structure.

He also related that Bl. John Paul II would lunch with the spokesmen, “asking for information about each Vaticanista. He showed that he knew both their faces and names, and that he read their articles. It was an always-open window to the world.”

Vatican City, Apr 24, 2014 / 06:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi said that as many as 150 cardinals and 1,000 bishops will concelebrate the April 27 canonization Mass for Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

The concelebrants at the altar will include Vicar General of Rome Cardinal Agostino Vallini, former John Paul II aide Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, and Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo, Vatican Radio reports.

Fr. Lombardi told an April 24 press conference that Mass attendees will include more than 93 official delegations from countries and international organizations, plus 24 heads of state. Representatives of other major religions, including Orthodox Christian, Anglican, Jewish and Muslim officials, will attend.

Celebrations of the canonizations include a series of April 26 prayer vigils held in at least 11 churches around Rome.

The Canonization Mass itself will be held in St. Peter’s Square on the morning of April 27 at 10 a.m. Rome time. A recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will begin at 9 a.m., while choirs from Karkow, Rome and the Sistine Chapel will perform at 9:30 a.m.

The canonization is expected to draw millions to Rome.

The Holy See Press Office director said that the prayer vigils will be attended by official delegations from more than 90 countries, with 24 heads of state or royalty.

Fr. Lombardi also noted that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was of course invited to attend the Canonization Mass and would be “very welcome.” However, he added, “we will have to wait and see.”

Benedict XVI resigned the papacy in February 2013 due to his advanced age and deteriorating strength.

Vatican City, Apr 24, 2014 / 11:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis rebuked Christians who are “afraid of joy” and “mournful,” encouraging them to remember that Jesus Christ accompanies them.

“We’re afraid of being close to Jesus because this gives us joy,” he said in his homily during Easter Thursday Mass at the Santa Marta Residence in the Vatican, Vatican Radio reports.

He said there are Christians whose lives “seem to be a perpetual funeral” and who “prefer sadness to joy.”

“They move about in the shadows, not in the light of joy,” he said, comparing them to night-time animals like bats.

The Pope joked that there are “Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord.”

Instead, the Pope advised, Christians should look to the joy of the Resurrection.

“Do you talk with Jesus? Do you say to Jesus: ‘I believe that You are alive, that You are risen, that You’re near me. That You will never abandon me’?” the Pope asked.

“A Christian life should be this: a dialogue with Jesus, because – this is true – Jesus is always with us, always there alongside us with our problems and our difficulties, with our good works.”

He suggested that mournful Christians have been “burnt by the drama of the Cross” and feel that it is better to keep God at a distance.

“We ask the Lord to do for all of us what he did for the disciples who were afraid of joy: to open our minds,” Pope Francis said, citing the Gospel reading from Luke in which Jesus opened their minds “to understand the Scriptures.”

“Let Him open our minds and help us understand that He is a living reality, that He has a body, that He is with us, that He accompanies us and He has won,” the Pope said.

“We ask the Lord for the grace to not be afraid of joy.”

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