Violence prevention director draws inspiration from pope

Last month, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that former FBI agent Phil Andrew would be its first-ever director of violence prevention initiatives. The position grew out of Cardinal Cupich’s April 2017 announcement of an effort to strengthen the work of current anti-violence programs in parishes and schools and other archdiocesan ministries, such as Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Catholic Charities and Kolbe House, the archdiocese’s jail ministry.

Lent: fasting in the church

Fasting is a method that people can use to limit or deny their physical desires for a higher, often spiritual, goal. Fasting was widely practiced among the ancient Jews, usually before important feast days. It was also practiced by disciples of John the Baptist. As a Jew, Jesus would have fasted, his disciples likewise fasted, and the earliest Christians followed in that path. The New Testament speaks of fasting, but the Bible and other early sources simply do not include many statistics. Initially fasting was not universal.