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  • In Romania, men and women assume traditional roles for calendrical rituals
    Posted: December 12, 2016 - 11:43am

    Annual calendrical rituals associated with Lent, Easter and Christmas often assume traditional complementary gender roles, but you will see women and men relate to each other in a very different manner in regular life.

  • Radio Maria listeners in Romania divulge stories of Virgin's intercession
    Posted: December 12, 2016 - 10:42am

    Talking about miracles is most popular among volunteers with the new Transylvanian branch of the World Family of Radio Maria, a Catholic media network. The volunteer efforts by women who give their time to Radio Maria are making it more acceptable to tell stories about asking the Virgin Mary for help, but many Catholics in Romania still worry about what others will think if they speak about divine intercessions.

  • Catholic wedding rituals in Romania give both men and women a chance to perform
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 2:31pm

    Two wedding traditions special to Romanian Catholics include friends of the groom building an arbor of pine poles and flowers to mark the groom's house, and a procession to call out the bride on the day of her wedding. Today's wedding couples prefer contemporary music, while older generations belt out traditional ballads.

  • Saint Anthony devotees travel to Csíksomlyó shrine weekly through spring
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 11:59am

    Although Saint Anthony is popularly known for finding lost things, devotees say that he is particularly dedicated to helping mothers and children in danger. They show their devotion by traveling to the Csíksomlyó shrine every Tuesday evening from early April until late June, beginning the first week after Easter, for “Saint Anthony’s Large Novena.”

  • Pilgrimages blend family and village history in Romania's Csík Valley
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 11:44am

    The Pentecost pilgrimage to Csíksomlyó is one of the largest annual religious gatherings in Romania. Meanwhile, two smaller pilgrimages take place in the Csík valley each year, one to visit and leave wildflowers at a statue of Saint Anthony, and another to remember the murder of a 16th-century cardinal.

  • Pictures of saints in the home remind Catholics in Romania to pray, teach faith to children
    Posted: December 8, 2016 - 10:34am

    Pictures of saints and the Virgin Mary on refrigerator doors, kitchen cabinets, and bookcases are not only a way of decorating the home, but they also help people pray and play an important role in providing religious education for children.

  • Charismatics in Romania blend music festivals and church to engage youth
    Posted: December 5, 2016 - 4:24pm

    Like at a European concert festival, music is a major attraction at the Csíksomlyó Youth Gathering. The young people in the crowd jump, dance, shout, and sing along to well-known Charismatic Catholic songs.

  • Romania's Lenten rituals include straw man's burial and Easter basket blessings
    Posted: December 5, 2016 - 3:49pm

    Just before Lent, villagers in the Ciuc Valley hold a raucous procession called the "Carnival Burial," which ends with the burning of a straw man. At Easter, families present their food baskets for blessings by the parish priest, while young men go "watering" neighborhood women like flowers with water or perfume.

  • Introduction: Romania's ethnic Hungarian minority takes pride in 'Catholic homeland'
    Posted: December 5, 2016 - 2:14pm

    Everyday life in the ethnic Hungarian Catholic enclave can look and feel just as devout as in Orthodox Christian and Romanian parts of the country — from devotional cards and rosaries on buses to the noontime church bells heard far and wide. Catholics in Romania are comfortable with these signs of religious observance that mostly go unnoticed as people go about their daily business.

  • Pew survey on Christian attitudes and beliefs in Tanzania
    Posted: November 9, 2016 - 11:33am

    A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa,” sheds light on a number of aspects Tanzanian culture.

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