From Scott P. Richert

On Sunday, October 7, 2012 the Catholic Church named two additional Saints “Doctors.” For more information go to doctors of the Church. Here are the Saints so named:

Hildegard of Bingen (from Women’s History)

While 35 saints known for their defense and explanation of the truths of the Catholic Faith have been named doctors of the Church, Saint Hildegard of Bingen is only the fourth female saint to be so honored. (You can find the other three in this list of the doctors of the Church.) My colleague Jone Johnson Lewis, the Women’s History expert for, has written a comprehensive biography of Hildegard of Bingen, a woman who has greatly influenced the man who named her a doctor of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI.

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Saint John of Avila

The other saint whom Pope Benedict named a doctor of the Church on Sunday is Saint John of Avila. The Holy Father declared Saint John a "profound expert on the Sacred Scriptures" who "was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit" and "united constant prayer to apostolic action." Here is a short profile I wrote of Saint John of Avila in August 2011, after Pope Benedict announced his intention to bestow this great honor on one of the most beloved of Spanish saints.

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Novena of the Week: For the Unity of the Church

October 20, the Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross, is also the third anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s promulgation of new procedures to allow entire congregations of Anglicans to be reunited to the Catholic Church. And so, in honor of this remarkable step toward unity, I have chosen A Devout Exercise for the Unity of the Church as our novena this week. Begin the novena on Thursday to end it on the eve of the Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross, who worked tirelessly for the conversion of England. Read more…

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‘Try Prayer! It Works!’ Contest Open for Entries

Every year for the past 18 years, Holy Cross Family Ministries, through its member ministry Family Rosary, has sponsored a national competition in which "children are encouraged [to] express their faith through art, poetry and prose." The "Try Prayer! It Works!" contest is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade, from Catholic schools, home schools, parishes, and other Catholic organizations. Click here for the details of this year’s contest (which focuses on the Third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Nativity of Jesus) and a link to the application form.

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