On Dec. 29, 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Petrinja, Croatia, and surrounding areas — killing seven people, injuring at least 26, and damaging homes, churches, and other buildings. The earthquake was reported as one of the country’s strongest in history and parishioners from Most Precious Blood Church wanted to offer their support.
The Vatican began vaccinating its employees and residents against COVID-19 Jan. 13, giving priority to its health care workers, security personnel, employees who deal with the public and older residents, employees and retirees.
The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments asked priests to take special anti-COVID-19 precautions this year when distributing ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, including sprinkling ashes on the top of people’s heads rather than using them to make a cross on people’s foreheads.
At the closing of the plenary assembly of the Venezuelan bishops, the prelates released a pastoral exhortation calling for a change in the political leadership and denouncing the “violent repression” by the government of those demanding the respect of human rights.
Pope Francis offered prayers for the people of the United States “shaken by the recent siege on Congress” and prayed for the five people who lost their lives “in those dramatic moments” when protesters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6.
Recognizing “the gifts of each baptized person” — women and men — Pope Francis ordered a change to canon law and liturgical norms so that women could be formally installed as lectors and acolytes.
Canadian churches faced new restrictions as public health officials tried to contain a post-holiday surge of COVID-19.
The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene will only allow 400 people in the church for Masses marking the transfer of the Black Nazarene, but it will offer 15 Masses Jan. 9.
For the first time in 54 years, a Mass will be celebrated Jan. 10, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, at St. John the Baptist Chapel on the banks of the Jordan River.
Pope Francis during a Mass for the feast of the Epiphany advocated what he called an attitude of “theological realism,” which, he said, fosters trust in God and looks for deeper meaning rather than getting caught up in one’s own problems.