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Notre Dame

Jack and I landed in Paris in the early morning today from Lourdes and drove into the city with our tour through 206 Tours. We visited Sacre Coeur and it was a graced experience. This Friday, Good Friday, we were to have visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

I have never been to Notre Dame and like fellow Catholics from all over the world, I could not wait to experience her glory. Our visit will be tragically different now, like so many others who came here to see this magnificent witness to our Catholic Faith. But I know it will be no less poignant. To experience Notre Dame on Good Friday — battered and bruised as she is — will easily remind us of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Our Savior, and the salvation He offers to each of us if we choose to accept Him.

Just as the Crown of Thorns was spared from the inferno, so too does the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ spare us from the furnace of flames known as Hell.

In the end, Notre Dame is just a structure, albeit a stunning structure and sign in our fractured and broken world. And most likely she will be rebuilt. But, she is limited and can only reside in one city and in one country.

However, Our Lord’s promise of eternal life, breathed from the altar of Notre Dame for hundreds of years, is omnipresent, and can live in each one of us. And though the sorrowful reality of this loss cuts deeply, the miracle of Easter is alive in this earthly devastation, reminding us that all is made new in the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Easter Sunday message , as well as the message of Notre Dame’s horrible fire, is this: “Look forward and have hope! ”

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Faithful Catholic Group Launches Campaign Urging Obama to Address Catholic Concerns

After three years of some of the most anti-religion policies in U.S. history, The Catholic Advocate has launched a  campaign urging President Barack Obama to keep the promises he made at Notre Dame in 2009 and “meet with Catholic leaders to discuss compromise.”

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Ruling Seen as Victory in ND88 Case

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist A St. Joseph County Circuit Court Judge ruled earlier this week that attorneys from the Thomas More Society may depose a former official recently fired by the University of Notre Dame - a key ruling for the defense in the case of the "ND88," the 88 pro-life demonstrators arrested at the University for protesting President Obama's receiving honors at the commencement ceremonies in 2009.

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President's "Common Ground" Initiative Falls Short

by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The Obama Administration is claiming that the establishment of a new $25 million fund to help pregnant teens is the fulfillment of his promise to seek "common ground" on the abortion debate during his speech at the University of Notre Dame, even though other initiatives promise to pour billions into contraception and abortion programs. LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships sent an e-mail to nonprofit organizations last Friday announcing that it would begin accepting applications for a $25 million fund that it praised as "another critical step in the President's vision for common ground." "It was only a year ago that President Obama gave a seminal speech at Notre Dame urging our nation to find common ground on the issue of abortion and unintended pregnancies," said the email. "The Pregnancy Assistance Fund is a competitive grant program established by the Affordable Care Act to assist women who have decided to carry their pregnancies to term and those who are parenting." The fund, which is part of ObamaCare, will make $25 million available to states to support pregnant and parenting teens. However, as LifeSite points out, another section of the same legislation makes billions of taxpayer funds available to abortion providers through the Community Health Centers program. There was no mention of abortion or other "family planning" programs in the e-mail. During an interview with CNN, Democrats for Life executive director Kristen Day praised the initiative. "Pro-life and pro-choice people have gotten behind it, so it's a good first step at reducing abortion and providing support for healthier babes and mothers," she said.  Day said that the fund promised a political advantage to Democrats, who have "been working on common ground around abortion for a long time because we want to take it away as a wedge issue." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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Controversial Speakers at Catholic Colleges Declines in 2010

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Since the months-long scandal that surrounded the commencement address by President Barack Obama at the University of Notre Dame last spring, the number of controversial speakers at U.S. Catholic colleges and universities declined this year.

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Archbishop Chaput Rebuts pro-Obama Vatican Theologian

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist A prestigious Italian daily has chosen to publish Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput rebuttal of arguments made in support of President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame last spring by Cardinal Georges Cottier,Theologian Emeritus of the Pontifical Household.

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