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  • 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.

  • Tanzania's political icon Julius Nyerere spread modern Catholic social teaching
    Posted: November 7, 2016 - 3:56pm

    Julius Nyerere is most famous for his envisioning and implementation of ujamaa (familyhood) socialism in the late 1960s and 1970s. Here Nyerere attempted to marry the ideals of modern Catholic social teaching, the communitarian ethos of traditional African society, and socialist economic theory.

  • Witchcraft and healing part of indigenized Catholic faith in Tanzania
    Posted: November 4, 2016 - 2:37pm

    Traditional healing, witchcraft and exorcisms are part of the fabric of spiritual life. Witchcraft is greatly feared, especially among Christians.

  • Catholic schools, medical and social services serve many in Tanzania
    Posted: November 4, 2016 - 2:08pm

    As in much of Africa, the Tanzanian Catholic Church plays an outsized role in providing educational, medical and social services. Catholic-affiliated street ministries are also making a big impact on social provision.

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