On January 22 our nation will mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.

Since that tragic decision, more than 56 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.

Join the Diocese of Tyler and millions of Catholics across the country by coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 17 –  Sunday, January 25.

Bishop Joseph Strickland has issued a liturgical instruction to the clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese of Tyler designed to foster a better understanding of the ritual “Sign of Peace” offered during Holy Mass and to ensure that this rite is carried out in a reverent manner.

The instruction comes after discussions by the Diocesan Liturgical Commission in response to the Circular Letter on the Ritual Expression of the Gift of Peace at Mass issued by the Holy See’s Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to the Bishops of the Church in the summer of 2014.

by Jennifer Gregory Miller for CatholicCulture.org

From the end of December into January, everyone is abuzz about making  New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions revolve around health of the body: lose weight, exercise more, change bad eating habits. As we enter the third week of January, so many resolutions are already forgotten, broken, or being revised. The new gym memberships are lying fallow and exercise equipment is gathering dust. The gloomy winter weather weakens one’s willpower against comfort foods that are off the diet.

A new calendar and a new year gives a sense for many of a “clean slate” and inspires a fresh start or new beginnings. I’m not against making resolutions. I make my own and continually need to refresh them. But I find that making resolutions just for a new calendar year feels arbitrary and artificial. Applying new resolutions to change anything in my life needs to be balanced with the spiritual life. And I see that balance in two ways: 1) within the liturgical year 2) accomplished with God’s grace.

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNS) — Canonizing Sri Lanka’s first saint, who ministered to Catholics under persecution three centuries earlier, Pope Francis proclaimed what he called the “fundamental human right” of religious freedom.

“Each individual must be free, alone or in association with others, to seek the truth, and to openly express his or her religious convictions, free from intimidation and external compulsion,” the pope said Jan. 14, before a congregation of more than 500,000 in a beachfront park on the Indian Ocean.

As part of the Diocese of Tyler’s Safe Environment Program, Bishop Joseph Strickland has designated the week of January 10-16, 2015, as a “Week of Prayer for Those Affected by Abuse.”

During the week, every parish, mission and community has been asked by Bishop Strickland to offer prayers for the victims, families and others affected by abuse.