San Francisco archbishop holds exorcism where protesters toppled Junipero Serra statue | Fox News

A Roman Catholic archbishop performed an exorcism in Northern California on Saturday morning at the site where racial injustice protesters toppled a statue of 18th-century Spanish missionary Junipero Serra days earlier.

Source: San Francisco archbishop holds exorcism where protesters toppled Junipero Serra statue | Fox News

Biden launches ads touting his faith after cardinal says he’s ‘not a Catholic in good standing’ | Fox News

Former Vice President Joe Biden has launched an ad campaign seeking to highlight his faith as many conservatives and fellow Catholics have questioned the sincerity of his beliefs.

The campaign includes three ads that are set to run in 14 states, many of which are major battlegrounds, according to Religion News Service (RNS). “These ads are one component of our expansive, direct appeal to people of faith that Vice President Biden’s agenda is much more aligned with their common good values than the divisiveness, racism, and fear we see from the current administration,” Josh Dickson, who leads the campaign’s faith engagement, reportedly said.

The ads portray Biden as turning to his faith in dark times and knowing “what it means to be your brother’s keeper.” In one ad, Biden tells a Jesuit priest and magazine editor that “my father would say the cardinal sin of all sins is the abuse of power.”

Source: Biden launches ads touting his faith after cardinal says he’s ‘not a Catholic in good standing’ | Fox News

Yom Kippur to Begin at Sundown Amid Restrictions and Alterations – NBC Los Angeles

Yom Kippur begins at sundown, with services marking the holiest and most somber day on the Jewish calendar altered because of the coronavirus pandemic. With indoor religious services in Los Angeles County prohibited under public health orders, synagogues and other Jewish organizations will hold services outdoors and online, just like for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, Sept. 18-20. “This Yom Kippur will be different from past ones as we miss being able to gather with family, friends and community members in our indoor sanctuaries, singing together and greeting friends with hugs,” said Rabbi Ilana Grinblat, the vice president of community engagement for the Southern California Board of Rabbis.

Source: Yom Kippur to Begin at Sundown Amid Restrictions and Alterations – NBC Los Angeles

South Pittsburgh Catholics to distribute 1,200 free meals Sunday in Carrick | TribLIVE.com

Catholic Community of South Pittsburgh volunteers will be distributing 1,200 meals starting at noon on Sunday at Saint Basil Church on Brownsville Road in Carrick.

The meals consist of meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, applesauce, a roll and dessert. Giant Eagle in Brentwood is donating the rolls, and the Waterfront Costco is supplying applesauce, cookies, and other desserts.

“We’re looking to help others find the comfort of Christ through a hot meal and to help remind them that they are not forgotten and that they are truly loved and cared for by our parish community,” said the Rev. Stephen Kresak, pastor/administrator of the grouping of Holy Apostles, Holy Angels, and Saint Sylvester.

Source: South Pittsburgh Catholics to distribute 1,200 free meals Sunday in Carrick | TribLIVE.com

Pope Francis celebrates Easter Mass alone amid coronavirus pandemic

Pope Francis called for unity from around the world to confront the coronavirus pandemic as he celebrated Easter Mass in solitude Sunday inside an empty St. Peter’s Square.

The 83-year-old pontiff made his traditional Easter address, urging the European Union to step up to the “epochal challenge” caused by the pandemic.

“This is not a time for self-centeredness, because the challenge we are facing is shared by all, without distinguishing between persons,” he said.

He noted that Europe rose again after World War II “thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to overcome the rivalries of the past.”

He gave prayers for the sick, dead, poor, elderly and refugees, as well as doctors and nurses who have worked “to the point of exhaustion and not infrequently at the expense of their own health.”

Source: Pope Francis celebrates Easter Mass alone amid coronavirus pandemic

What is Easter, and why do Christians celebrate this holiday? | Fox News

Easter Day, which falls on Sunday for most Christians in the U.S., celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter Day, which falls on Sunday for most Christians in the U.S., celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. After being executed on a cross on Good Friday, Jesus was buried in a tomb. That first Easter, some 2,000 years ago, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. The account is found in all four Gospels of the New Testament in the Bible.

That’s the basic definition. I hope every Christian knows that much, and I suspect that many non-Christians know this much, too. Beyond those basics, much of our Easter celebration is layered in tradition.

Our churches are often decorated with white lilies and other spring flowers. Families gather for festive meals, often eating ham or lamb. For me personally, jelly beans are always a highlight of Easter customs. It’s traditional to buy new clothes to wear to church on Easter. And if you come to a church on Easter Day, it’s likely you’ll sing hymns and songs beloved by that church community.

But if we keep looking at Easter, it gets more complex and the meaning deepens. The day is larger than the commemoration of a historic event, and it’s larger than familiar traditions. For on Easter, everything changed.

We Christians believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God the father to live among us, to show us perfect love. Jesus loved outcasts and sinners. Jesus offered hope and healing. Jesus said that our joy is found in sacrificial generosity, not in accruing possessions.

Jesus always told the truth. Jesus offered forgiveness of sin, even to those who betrayed and murdered him. Jesus said, over and over, that we shouldn’t be afraid. Jesus showed us perfect love.

Of course, the Roman Empire didn’t much care for someone preaching a message like this. The empire relied on wealth and was built on might and fear. Jesus’ teachings undercut all that.

Authorities conspired to kill Jesus in an attempt to silence his message. So Jesus was betrayed, arrested, tortured and executed on a cross. His followers lovingly cared for his body and he was buried in a stone tomb.

When women went to the tomb early on Easter morning, they found it was empty. Then they met the risen Jesus, who told them not to be afraid. These women told the men, Jesus’ disciples, the good news that Jesus had been raised from the dead, that he was alive.

People 2,000 years ago understood that when people die, they are meant to stay dead. So it was shocking to them to see their friend and teacher alive again. They were so convinced that Jesus was really, truly alive that many of them would willingly be martyred for their faith in the decades that followed.

Jesus’ followers rejoiced at Easter and developed deep faith. It wasn’t just that Easter showed them a really amazing miracle. No, the joy of Easter is even deeper than that.

Easter shows us that perfect love always wins. In the end, whatever powerful people might try to do to silence love, God’s way is always stronger.

Easter shows us that our mortal bodies die, but life for us continues. Easter shows us that we need not fear death. Death no longer has dominion over us.

This holiday celebrates a complete reorientation of the universe. Love defeats hate. Hope defeats fear. Sacrifice defeats greed. Mercy defeats might. Life defeats death.

If you celebrate Easter, you are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But you are also celebrating God’s great love for us, a love strong enough to defeat death itself. Happy Easter to you all.

Source: What is Easter, and why do Christians celebrate this holiday? | Fox News

Easter on the big screen at Pittsburgh-area drive-in

7:45 PM | 9:15 PM | Riverside Drive In

April 10–12

The Riverside Drive-In in Parks Township, Armstrong County is teaming up with Harvest Baptist Church in Natrona Heights to provide Easter services while also allowing people wishing to worship to practice social distancing.

There will be six showings of a 53-minute pre-recorded service at the drive-in this weekend.

Although the drive-in has a capacity of 300 cars, owner Todd Ament said he’ll limit capacity to 150 to help people practice social distancing. Bathrooms will be open but concessions will be closed.

The event is free but people wishing to attend need to reserve a spot online.

To reserve a spot, click this link.

Source: Easter on the big screen at Pittsburgh-area drive-in

Diocese of Greensburg closes churches, limits funerals, baptisms, confessions

The Diocese of Greensburg has announced that it is closing all church buildings until further notice, with a few exemptions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bishop Edward C. Malesic said baptisms and weddings should be delayed if possible and all funerals should take place at the cemetery with a memorial mass scheduled for a later date.

In addition to all previous directives, the following guidelines and mandates apply to all parishes, parish priests, parish administrators and deacons, parish churches and all public chapels:

•All parish churches and public chapels are to be closed until further notice, except in those cases listed below.

•The Sacrament of Reconciliation should be limited to those in serious need. Confessions should be arranged by appointment.

•Baptisms are to be delayed, if possible. However, should baptism be required, no more than 10 people, including clergy, are permitted to be present, taking extreme caution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

•Weddings should be delayed, if possible. However, should a wedding occur during this time of threat, no more than 10 people, including clergy, are permitted to be present. Proper social distancing must be maintained.

Bishop Edward C. Malesic said baptisms and weddings should be delayed if possible and all funerals should take place at the cemetery with a memorial mass scheduled for a later date.

Source: Diocese of Greensburg closes churches, limits funerals, baptisms, confessions

Louisiana pastor who defied coronavirus order arrested on misdemeanor charges | Fox News

The pastor of Lousiana megachurch was arrested on misdemeanor charges for holding Sunday services for hundreds of followers in the face of a state-wide coronavirus large gathering ban.

The criminal action against Pastor Tony Spell comes a day after Rev. Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of another megachurch, River at Tampa Bay Church in Florida, was arrested and charged with violating a local coronavirus stay-at-home order when he held services over the weekend that drew large crowds.

Spell’s service Sunday drew an estimated 500 people of all ages to Life Tabernacle Church in Central.

On Tuesday Central police charged Spell with six counts of violating the Louisiana governor’s ban on large gatherings that was enacted to contain the sometimes-deadly coronavirus.

Source: Louisiana pastor who defied coronavirus order arrested on misdemeanor charges | Fox News