Cover Story: Pope Francis preaches mercy and flexibility

WHAT DOES ‘AMORIS LAETITIA’ MEAN?

th Pope Francis releases Amoris LaetitiaCOVER STORY—The impact of Pope Francis’s massive new “apostolic exhortation” may take the form of the mercy and regional flexibility that Francis calls for from the beginning of this 265-page document. But there’s a lot in these pages that is encouraging many men and women, while disappointing many others. Our Cover Story this week provides a number of starting points to learn more about Francis’s latest milestone in reshaping his worldwide church.

AND, NEXT FROM THE VATICAN

Saint_Peter's_Square_from_the_dome_v2 (2)RETHINKING “JUST WAR”—If news of the “exhortation” weren’t enough to signal major changes in the Catholic church, this week theologians are gathering at the Vatican from around the world to rethink a centuries-old moral code known as “just war theory.” Global peacemaker Daniel Buttry explains what is at stake at this important summit meeting.

 

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

Don’t miss a date! Remember www.InterfaithHolidays.org, our master calendar.

Cover of Shrunken Treasures Scott Nash (1)HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY, MRS. CLEARY!—We join Americans coast to coast who remember the dozens of novels written by Beverly Cleary in wishing the author a wonderful 100th birthday. Here’s a story about her life with links to read more about her—and a 2-minute video about her life and legacy.

LOVE OF READING BEGINS AT HOME—In addition to our story about Mrs. Cleary, this week, we added a rave review of a new book that playfully retells literary classics in rhymes for children. Called Shrunken Treasures, this big picture book is a delight for families!

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Rama and Hanuman (1)RAMAYANA WEEK—In India, we are seeing the crescendo of a week-long cultural emphasis on the Ramayana, a cycle of inspiring stories from the life of Lord Rama. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story. The photo here shows Rama giving a ring to the monkey king Hanuman to carry to the beloved Sita.

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PASSOVER

COMING APRIL 22—Seder meals will begin this year after sundown on Friday April 22.

Charoset balls for PassoverFEED THE SPIRITOur FeedTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis brings us a fresh approach to charoset this week. If you’re Jewish, you’re familiar with this seder staple. If you’re not Jewish, but perhaps have visited at a dinner as Passover begins—you’ll remember that charoset is the brown, fruity-nutty food that is meant to remind Jews of the mortar their ancestors used in their building as slaves in ancient Egypt.

Last week, Bobbie began her series of pre-Passover columns with a guest viewpoint from Jewish educator Rebecca Starr. Rebecca’s column comes with a recipe for a Passover-adapted recipe for vegetable kugel.

 

19th century Russian icon of the resurrection (1)EASTER

EASTERN ORTHODOX—The majority of the world’s Christians have celebrated Easter (March 27), but hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians still are in the midst of their fasting season known as Great Lent. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

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REMEMBERING RAOUL WALLENBERG

Raoul Wallenberg as a student at University of MichiganSUZY FARBMAN—GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman reports on a new documentary film in production by a team that intends to include Raoul Wallenberg‘s connections with the University of Michigan as a student. Wallenberg’s courageous effort to save thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust is a model for human-rights activists today. The filmmakers hope to inspire a new generation of young adults.

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Electricity-in-the-Air-002-1024x681 (1)GOING SOLAR

RODNEY CURTIS—Columnist Rodney Curtis decides to do a good deed for Planet Earth. Even though he lives in Michigan, where the winters are long and the skies often gray, Rodney shares an inspiring tale and some photos you’ll enjoy.

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30 FRESH VIEWPOINTS ON AMERICA

Taos Pueblo in New Mexico (1)PBS SERIES DEBUTS—Across most of the United States, PBS continues a three-week series called 10 That Changed America, which actually will take viewers to a total of 30 landmarks in “our” national story as Americans. This week’s program takes us to 10 city parks; and, next week, the final episode explores 10 culturally innovative towns. What made the list? You may be surprised. Read our review and you’ll see why you should catch this new PBS series.

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FILM, FAITH & CULTURE

April 2016 issue of Ed McNulty Visual Parables journal (1)TALKING ABOUT MOVIES? Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org 

Then, please consider subscribing to the one service Ed sells: His long-running publication Visual Parables Journal, used by individuals, teachers, group leaders and clergy who want to spark discussion with current films. The April 2016 issue is new this week, packed with complete study guides. Then, among Ed’s recent free movie reviews, you’ll find …

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