Welcome to our new feature, Monday Morning Roundup, where we note a couple of interesting Catholic stories from the weekend to get you tuned up for the week.
• Catholic News Agency reports on the Sunday Mass at Pontifical North American College in Rome, as Pope Francis celebrated the life of Junipero Serra, a Spanish Fransican friar who helped evangelize 18th century California and will be canonized Sept. 23.
"He was one of the founding fathers of the United States, a saintly example of the Church's universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country," the Pope said in his May 2 homily. Through Father Junipero's witness of holiness, "may all Americans rediscover their own dignity, and unite themselves ever more closely to Christ and his Church," he said.
His consciousness partly shaped by the darker aspects of his unwitting creator's cynical worldview, Ultron believes the only solution to humanity's incurable aggressiveness may be the elimination of the species as a whole. Is this annihilating outlook meant to serve as anything more than a convenient means of raising the stakes in Ultron's confrontation with the Avengers to a planetary level? It's hard to judge.
• Over at Busted Halo, Matt Weber comes up with five ways you can keep the faith as you go outside to enjoy the warmer weather.
Al Fresco Style: You're dining out with friends. Craft beer has been brought in mason jars. Your grass-fed organic cheeseburger slider sits in front of you. The air is crisp. You're about to dip a farm-to-table sweet potato French fry into the housemade ketchup. Then you remember: GRACE.
• Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, writes for the USCCB blog that the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage could impact religious freedom.
Unfortunately, such groups seem to care only about advancing their own agenda: erasing in law the rightful distinctions between men and women, and between marital and non-marital sexual conduct. For example, we all agree that every person is a gift and deserves respect. But civil protections that purport to protect persons, should not be stretched to protect conduct or behavior that many people of good will, religious and nonreligious alike, may object to on moral grounds. In this way, religious and moral convictions are being mislabeled and disrespected as "discrimination," further corroding civil discourse in this debate.