The National Catholic Review

News

September 2016

  • Sep 23 2016 - 10:48am

    Roman Catholic Church officials pleaded on Sept. 22 for the life of a priest who was kidnapped from his parish residence one day after one of two other priests who had been abducted and killed was laid to rest in another part of Mexico.

    The Archdiocese of Morelia said priest Jose Alfredo Lopez Guillen was abducted Monday from his parish residence in the rural town of Janamuato, in the western state of Michoacan. The archdiocese said he was kidnapped after he was robbed.

    "We...

  • Sep 23 2016 - 9:49am

    Melva Arbelo, director of the Santa Teresita of the Child Jesus Children's Home in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has been named the winner of the 2016-17 Lumen Christi Award given annually since 1978 by Catholic Extension.

    Arbelo and her team help 24 children ages 3-7 who were removed from their homes after being severely neglected, physically beaten, or emotionally or sexually abused.

    Lumen Christi Award, Latin for "Light of Christ," honors a person or group who demonstrates how the...

  • Sep 23 2016 - 8:57am

    The bodies of 115 people had been pulled from the waters off the Egyptian coast by Friday, three days after a boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized in the Mediterranean while attempting to head to Europe.

    Mohammed Sultan, the governor of Egypt's coastal Beheira province, provided the latest death toll and told The Associated Press that dozens more are feared dead. An AP reporter near the Nile Delta city of Rosetta saw between 20 to 30 bodies brought in by fishing boats early...

  • Sep 22 2016 - 5:47pm

    Representatives of five agencies offered their support to efforts to hold accountable the people carrying out killings, torture and other violence toward Christians and minority ethnic and religious communities in Syria and Iraq during a Capitol Hill hearing.

    Addressing the Helsinki Commission, which monitors human rights and international cooperation in 57 countries, the speakers on Sept. 22 also called upon the United States to step up efforts to provide financial support to...

  • Sep 22 2016 - 4:34pm

    After two nights of violence in Charlotte, Bishop Peter J. Jugis called on men, women and children in the Diocese of Charlotte to join him in prayers for "peace and justice" for all victims of violence and for law enforcement personnel who have been victims of "unjust violence."

    "Let us pray for all men and women of good will to be instruments of harmony and the always-shining light of Christ in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and public places," the bishop said in a statement...

  • Sep 22 2016 - 10:47am

    President Bashar Assad rejected U.S. accusations that Syrian or Russian planes struck an aid convoy in Aleppo or that his troops were preventing food from entering the city's rebel-held eastern neighborhoods, blaming the U.S. for the collapse of a cease-fire many had hoped would bring relief to the war-ravaged country.

    In an interview with The Associated Press in Damascus, Assad also said deadly U.S. airstrikes on Syrian troops last week were intentional, dismissing American...

  • Sep 22 2016 - 9:13am

    A volunteer group that rescues civilians from bombed-out buildings in Syria shares this year's Right Livelihood Award, sometimes known as the "Alternative Nobel," with activists from Egypt and Russia and a Turkish newspaper.

    The prize foundation on Thursday announced the four 2016 winners: the Syria Civil Defense group, also known as the White Helmets; Egyptian women's rights activist Mozn Hassan and the Nazra for Feminist Studies; Russia rights campaigner Svetlana Gannushkina; and...

  • Sep 22 2016 - 9:09am

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has invited the United Nations to help negotiations to exchange the kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok for detained leaders of Boko Haram, a government statement said on Thursday.

    Buhari's government has been criticized for failing to free the Chibok girls by parents of the abducted students, community leaders and human rights activists. Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of people, but the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls in April 2014 brought...

  • Sep 22 2016 - 9:03am

    Religious leaders have a grave and urgent responsibility to act against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and other violence committed in the name of religion, said speakers at a United Nations panel on Sept. 20.

    They can help prevent atrocities and promote peace and reconciliation within and beyond their communities, the panel said.

    Religion has a rightful place in the public sphere, the speakers said, adding that enshrining a proper interpretation of freedom of...

  • Sep 21 2016 - 10:16am

    Eighty-six percent of the world's refugees are living in developing countries and it is particularly hard for those countries to meet refugees' needs and provide them an education and a livelihood, according to a senior policy and legislative specialist at Catholic Relief Services.

    Overall, 65 million people are displaced worldwide, the highest number since World War II, according to the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees.

    "After World War II, many of the refugees at that...

  • Sep 21 2016 - 10:13am

    Two priests were kidnapped and killed in the Mexican state of Veracruz, raising the death toll of prelates murdered in Mexico to 14 in less than four years.

    Father Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Father Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz were dragged at gunpoint out of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Poza Rica, a Gulf Coast oil city consumed by crime in recent years, the Diocese of Papantla confirmed in a statement.

    Media reported the men were found on Sept. 19, one day after their...

  • Sep 21 2016 - 10:09am

    Pope Francis met with refugees and leaders of religious faiths including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus who joined him for a day of prayer for peace in Assisi, home of his namesake, the 12th-century friar St. Francis.

    But it was the migrants he invited to join him for lunch on Sept. 20 who captured the headlines and illustrated the tangible impact of war and conflict.

    Among them: 6-year-old Maria, the pope’s youngest guest, who came to Italy from the Syrian capital,...

  • Sep 21 2016 - 10:02am

    Frustrated after years of fraught diplomacy, President Barack Obama will seek Wednesday to cast the U.S. partnership with Israel as on solid footing, even as he openly weighs using the final stretch of his presidency to ramp up pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to finally make peace with the Palestinians.

    Obama's meeting Wednesday with Netanyahu will likely be his last before leaving office, the White House said. For both leaders, it's a capstone to a relationship that...

  • Sep 20 2016 - 12:27pm

    The special investigator Pope Francis appointed to look into allegations that the Catholic archbishop of Guam abused altar boys is urging the Vatican to remove the cleric.

    In a statement read at services in the island’s 26 Catholic churches on Sept. 18, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said he was now in Rome and had asked the Holy See to dismiss Archbishop Anthony Apuron and appoint a successor after Apuron refused to stand down voluntarily.

    “I can assure you that the gravely...

  • Sep 20 2016 - 12:22pm

    Humanity should feel ashamed it can wage war, kill the innocent, bomb cities and prevent food and medicine from reaching survivors, Pope Francis said.

    "There is no god of war," he said.

    Violence and division are the work of the devil who "wants to kill everyone," and that is why people need to come together and pray for peace, united in the conviction that "God is a God of peace," he said on Sept. 20, a world day of prayer for peace.

    Just a few hours before heading to...

  • Sep 20 2016 - 12:12pm

    One day after a knife-wielding man injured nine people at a shopping mall near St. Cloud, Bishop Donald J. Kettler called for prayers for those impacted by the violence.

    "Please join me in praying for the victims of last night's mall attack, for our first responders & for peace and unity in our community," the St. Cloud bishop said via his Twitter account Sept. 18.

    A man was fatally shot by an off-duty officer after stabbing nine people at the Crossroads Center mall in...

  • Sep 20 2016 - 12:08pm

    Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, an Italian priest renowned for his work in dispelling demons, died at the age of 91.

    Ill and hospitalized for some weeks, the priest passed away in Rome on Sept. 16.

    Father Amorth began his ministry as an exorcist for the Diocese of Rome in 1986 and performed–according to his own estimates–some 70,000 exorcisms or other prayers to liberate people from demonic influence.

    He spoke out frequently warning that while it was rare for a person...

  • Sep 19 2016 - 12:07pm

    With more people forced to flee their homes than at any time since World War II, leaders and foreign ministers are expected to approve a document on Monday aimed at providing a more coordinated and humane response to the crisis.

    The issue of what to do about the world's 65.3 million displaced people will take center stage at the General Assembly with leaders from the United Nation's 193-member states converging on New York for the first-ever summit on Addressing Large Movements of...

  • Sep 19 2016 - 12:01pm

    Offering migrants and refugees truly helpful and loving hospitality is the greatest guarantee against terrorism, Pope Francis said.

    The current refugee and migration crisis, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, has become "the greatest humanitarian crisis after the Second World War," he said.

    "At this place and time in history, there is great need for men and women who hear the cry of the poor and respond with mercy and generosity," he told...

  • Sep 19 2016 - 11:58am

    The Indigenous Missionary Council, linked to the Brazilian bishops' conference, has highlighted the "continuous omission by public authorities in relation to the rights of indigenous peoples, especially in relation to land rights."

    In a report, "Violence Against Indigenous People in Brazil," the council, known by its Portuguese acronym as CIMI, said 137 indigenous were killed in 2015, only one fewer than registered the previous year.

    "The same criminal practices are repeated...

  • Sep 19 2016 - 11:49am

    At Eid al-Adha prayers last week, several hundred Shiite and Sunni Muslims offered joint prayers as a show of peace between two Muslim sects often better known for their bitter conflicts.

    The prayer took place in a Shiite shrine but was led by a Sunni imam as part of an initiative by a volunteer group called Shoulder to Shoulder.

    “In Uttar Pradesh, sectarian tensions surfaced occasionally between the two sects,” said Arif Durrani, a member of Shoulder to Shoulder. “We came up...

  • Sep 16 2016 - 2:07pm

    Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, a close ally of Pope Francis, is trying to clarify a provocative warning he made that Europe is at risk of an “Islamic conquest” because it has squandered its Christian heritage.

    The archbishop of Vienna made headlines when he used the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks to refer to the triumph of Christians over the Muslim-led Ottoman Empire in a famous battle in Vienna in 1683.

    “On this day, 333 years ago, Vienna was saved...

  • Sep 16 2016 - 12:39pm

    A six-month search for a new president and CEO for one of the largest humanitarian relief agencies in the world ended at its doorstep, with Catholic Relief Services announcing Sept. 16 that it is hiring a veteran employee—the agency's No. 2—Sean Callahan, as its new president and CEO.

    "We looked all across the nation and found that the best person for the job was Sean, already working for us," said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, head of the CRS Board Search Committee...

  • Sep 15 2016 - 12:30pm

    The European Union has admitted Indonesia to a special licensing system it hopes will prevent the illegally felled tropical timber that makes up a substantial part of the country's wood production from being shipped to the 28-nation bloc.

    The EU said Thursday that Indonesia is the first country to qualify for the licenses. It will mean that traders of goods such as wooden furniture, plywood and paper that earn the certification will find it easier to do business with Europe.

    ...

  • Sep 15 2016 - 12:27pm

    Though it has no juridical power, Pope Francis' committee on protecting children has discovered it has consultative punch.

    Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors have now become the go-to team for educating bishops, Vatican diplomats in training and Curia staffers, religious orders and local churches about safeguarding children, adolescents and vulnerable adults and protecting them against sexual abuse.

    More than two years after Pope Francis...

  • Sep 15 2016 - 12:20pm

    Can you put a dollar value on religion?

    One Georgetown University researcher has attempted something close to it, releasing findings from a study that says organized religion and behaviors associated with it contribute, by one estimate, nearly $1.2 trillion to the United States.

    Brian Grim, of the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University, unveiled on Sept. 14 findings of a study he conducted with Melissa Grim, of the Newseum Institute, and which analyzed the...

  • Sep 15 2016 - 12:12pm

    The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration said on Sept. 14 that Catholics "are called to overcome the partisan divides that separate us" on migration issues.

    Instead, Catholics must focus "on the moral teachings of the church that will help us build a vibrant public square," said Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle.

    He said an upcoming summit on migration issues to be held at the United Nations on Sept. 19 "will highlight the need for shared...

  • Sep 14 2016 - 3:41pm

    The United States on Wednesday signed an unprecedented new security agreement with Israel that will give the Israeli military $38 billion over 10 years.

    The deal, the largest such agreement the U.S. has ever had with any country, amounts to $3.8 billion a year beginning in budget year 2019, compared with $3.1 billion the U.S. gave Israel annually under the current 10-year deal that expires in 2018.

    "This commitment to Israel's security has been unwavering and is based on a...

  • Sep 14 2016 - 11:05am

    Clergy who use their position for personal gain rather than to help those in need do not follow the spirit of Jesus who took upon himself the sufferings of others, Pope Francis said.

    Jesus often would rebuke such leaders and warned his followers to "do what they say but not what they do," the pope said on Sept. 14 at his weekly general audience.

    "Jesus was not a prince," the pope said. "It is awful for the church when pastors become princes, far from the people, far from the...

  • Sep 14 2016 - 11:02am

    The Minnesota Catholic Conference declared that a national advertising campaign to restore federal tax funds for abortions "woefully misrepresents the noble Catholic social justice tradition."

    The campaign, by Catholics for Choice, "disregards the need to defend vulnerable human life in all its stages—a principle at the core of authentic social justice," said the conference, the public policy arm of Minnesota's bishops, in a statement on Sept. 12.

    Years ago, the U.S. bishops...

  • Sep 14 2016 - 10:45am

    As Europeans planned street protests against a controversial trade treaty with the United States, a European church leader said intergovernmental agreements were worthwhile when they reflected ethical standards.

    At least 100,000 people were expected to take part in Sept. 17 street protests in Berlin, Munich and other cities, demanding a halt to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. Opponents say such a partnership would damage employment and the environment...

  • Sep 13 2016 - 3:17pm

    South Sudan's leaders have amassed wealth abroad amid a conflict in which tens of thousands have been killed, a U.S.-based watchdog group said Monday, charging that the civil war is being fueled by competition among rivals over national resources such as oil.

    South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former deputy Riek Machar and those close to both men have looted the country in accumulating wealth that includes mansions, luxury cars and stakes in a number of businesses abroad, according to...

  • Sep 13 2016 - 1:48pm

    Fifteen years after United Flight 93 crashed in an open field in southern Pennsylvania, a small group of Catholics quietly gathered in the stillness of the site to remember the people who sacrificed their lives so that others might live.

    Msgr. Roger A. Statnick, pastor of St. Sebastian Parish in Belle Vernon, and a board member of the Notre Dame Club of Greensburg/Uniontown, celebrated an outdoor Mass of remembrance on a hill above the crash site for nearly 30 fellow club members at...

  • Sep 13 2016 - 1:44pm

    The Syrian cease-fire appeared to be holding on Tuesday despite sporadic and minor violations of the U.S. and Russian brokered truce, which is aimed at paving the way for the delivery of humanitarian aid and the revival of peace talks.

    The deal, hammered out by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov last week, officially came into effect at sunset on Monday. The Syrian army said it would abide by the cease-fire until midnight Sunday, while...

  • Sep 13 2016 - 1:39pm

    The current economic model that places profit over the common good of all human beings must change in order to confront the challenges the world is facing today, a Vatican official said.

    The world must heed Pope Francis' warning of the dangers of "an economy of exclusion and inequality," Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told participants at a conference studying the pope's views on the economy.

    "We need a new social...

  • Sep 13 2016 - 1:35pm

    For the first time, farmworkers in California will soon be entitled to the same pay as other hourly workers after California's governor signed an expansion of a labor policy.

    Gov. Jerry Brown's announcement came decades after labor leader Cesar Chavez and the thousands of farmworkers he organized pushed officials to recognize the union of agricultural laborers.

    The legislation will require that farm employers pay workers one and one-half times regular wages pay after eight...

  • Sep 12 2016 - 2:51pm

    Pope Francis thanked a group of bishops in Argentina for providing their priests with concrete guidelines for implementing the section of his apostolic exhortation on the family about circumstances in which divorced and civilly remarried couples might eventually be allowed to receive Communion.

    The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published an article Sept. 12 confirming Pope Francis wrote to the bishops of the Buenos Aires pastoral region thanking them for their document on...

  • Sep 12 2016 - 2:45pm

    Agnes Imdieke awakened the morning of Sept. 3 in her apartment on the outskirts of Albany and got ready for the day. As she did every day, she lit a candle and said a prayer for the safe return of Jacob Wetterling.

    It's a ritual she set aside time for each morning for the past 27 years since the 11-year-old boy was abducted from a rural area near his hometown of St. Joseph on Oct. 22, 1989.

    Later that day, Agnes learned that Jacob's remains had been found in a remote area...

  • Sep 12 2016 - 2:39pm

    A U.S.-Russian brokered cease-fire for Syria came into effect on Monday at sunset, with monitoring groups and state media reporting clashes up until the final minutes, and the most powerful rebel groups having yet to commit to the truce.

    Syria's military announced at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) that it would abide by a cease-fire until Sunday at midnight, while maintaining its right to defend itself against any violations.

    The cease-fire marks the latest attempt to end the five-year...

  • Sep 12 2016 - 1:46pm

    In a brief outdoor ceremony, Pope Francis administered the sacrament of confirmation to 16-year-old Giuseppe Chiolo, who had come to the Vatican by ambulance from Florence.

    Chiolo, who is being treated in the oncology ward of a Florence hospital, had written to Pope Francis with a request to meet him.

    The teenager was given his wish, and the sacrament, on Sept. 10 before the pope joined about 30,000 people for a special Year of Mercy general audience in St. Peter's Square....

  • Sep 9 2016 - 6:10pm

    In late August, as the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks loomed, religious leaders tuned into a webinar to prepare themselves for a possible future disaster.

    “Who was the first official casualty of 9/11?" asked Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a Catholic priest and psychologist who led the webinar on “Shepherding in Tragic Times.”

    "Father Mychal Judge,” he said, answering his own question, and referring to the priest who was fatally injured while ministering amid the chaos of...

  • Sep 9 2016 - 2:10pm

    As he prays in his house in the Vatican Gardens and, especially, as he ages, retired Pope Benedict XVI said he finds many Scripture passages "more challenging in their greatness and gravity."

    Retirement has given the 89-year-old Pope Benedict what he describes as the gift of silence to enter more deeply into prayer, especially with the Psalms and the writings of early church theologians, but the inevitable approach of death also makes his failings and God's judgment a more pressing...

  • Sep 9 2016 - 2:05pm

    One of the proudest moments of Brian Loeffler's 26-years as a swim coach at Loyola University Maryland came at the 2012 Paralympics in London when he helped Brad Snyder, a blind military veteran, atop the podium during a medal ceremony.

    "I got to position him on the medal stand, then step off to the side and watch the flag be raised and the national anthem be played," Loeffler said. "It really felt like I was a part of that ceremony, being so close. It was pretty powerful."

    ...

  • Sep 9 2016 - 2:00pm

    Emmylou Harris, who has won more than a dozen Grammy awards during a 45-year career singing country music, is heading up a series of concerts this fall to benefit Jesuit Refugee Service.

    The idea to do so came from a longtime friend, coupled with a visit to a JRS-run camp in Ethiopia for Eritrean refugees.

    The friend, Gail Griffith, was an early fan of Harris' as she was playing coffeehouses and clubs in the Washington area in the early 1970s hoping for a break. Harris said...

  • Sep 9 2016 - 1:55pm

    Nearly six months after Secretary of State John Kerry declared the murder of Christians in the Middle East a “genocide,” Westerners are doing little to stop the killings, said activists gathered for a convention on the victims’ plight.

    Religious freedom advocate Katrina Lantos Swett called the crisis “perhaps the great moral challenge of our time right now,” at a news conference Wednesday (Sept. 7) opening the national convention for In Defense of Christians, an advocacy group....

  • Sep 8 2016 - 10:50am

    In a city with the second-highest murder rate and highest violent crime rate in the country, peace can often feel like a hopeless cause in Detroit.

    But on a warm August night, with thunderstorms looming, at the corner of Gratiot and McClellan avenues on the city's east side, peace and prayer were on the lips of Detroiters, friends and strangers alike.

    Taking Back the Night is prayer group started by the Archdiocese of Detroit's Office of Black Catholic Ministries. Its...

  • Sep 8 2016 - 10:46am

    While retired Pope Benedict XVI said organization and governance are not his strong suits, he also said, "I am unable to see myself as a failure."

    In a book-length interview with the German author Peter Seewald, Pope Benedict said that when he resigned he had the "peace of someone who had overcome difficulty" and "could tranquilly pass the helm to the one who came next."

    The new book, "Last Testament," will be released in English by Bloomsbury in November. The German and...

  • Sep 8 2016 - 10:37am

    South Sudanese activists say they face government intimidation in retaliation for meeting with the visiting U.N. Security Council last weekend, and some have fled the turbulent country.

    The reports are the latest sign of hostility by the government toward the international community as this East African country, the world's youngest, tries to recover from a civil war that threatens to grind on.

    At least three local organizations have been told by South Sudan's government they...

  • Sep 8 2016 - 10:33am

    Traditional practices, poverty, last year's massive earthquake and Nepal's ongoing political instability mean child marriages remain a serious problem in the country, where 10 percent of the girls marry before they are 15, even though the government says it is making progress to combat the problem, rights groups say.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch said government indifference means it has not taken the concrete steps needed to achieve the goal of completely stopping the practice...

  • Sep 7 2016 - 12:12pm

    Phyllis Schlafly, 92, died on Sept. 5 at her home in Ladue, Missouri, outside St. Louis, according the Eagle Forum, an organization she founded in 1975. No cause of death was given, but she had been ill for some time.

    A Catholic who gave birth to six children to her husband, John, Schlafly immersed herself for most of her adult life in a host of conservative causes, including stopping ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

    Schlafly also was involved with the abortion...

  • Sep 7 2016 - 12:08pm

    Members of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority expressed hope on Sept. 7 that a visiting panel led by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan will help end the discrimination and violence they face at the hands of the country's Buddhist majority.

    Annan is a member of an independent commission set up last month by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's government to help find solutions to a communal conflict in the western state of Rakhine that has seen widespread abuses and violence by Buddhists...

  • Sep 7 2016 - 12:01pm

    As the body count rises in the Philippines' war on drugs, a Catholic priest is trying to create a space where healing takes precedence over killing.

    On Sept. 1, 20 drug users surrendered to police under the watchful eye of Father Luciano Feloni, an Argentine priest who is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Caloocan City, on the edge of Manila. Another 20 were expected to surrender under a program the parish has dubbed "Healing, not killing."

    The mass surrender–which...

  • Sep 7 2016 - 11:57am

    Some 28 million children around the globe have been driven from their homes by violent conflict, with nearly as many abandoning their homes in search of a better life, UNICEF said in a report.

    The report released Tuesday found that while children make up about a third of the world's population as of 2015, they accounted for nearly half of all refugees, with the number of child refugees having doubled in the last decade.

    "What's important is that these children on the move are...

  • Sep 6 2016 - 1:09pm

    Excited but fearful, refugees from Boko Haram piled into yellow school buses with their bundles of belongings, returning after two years to homes that have been torched, wells destroyed, livestock looted and fields that still may not be safe from the Islamic insurgents.

    On Monday, the largest group yet of such refugees, nearly 2,000, was transported to villages and the town of Konduga. Though they are just 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria's biggest city,...

  • Sep 6 2016 - 1:03pm

    The last three months of the Year of Mercy include jubilee celebrations for the imprisoned and for homeless people.

    Releasing a schedule of liturgical celebrations over which Pope Francis will preside, the Vatican included Holy Year Masses for prisoners on Nov. 6 and for the homeless on Nov. 13.

    The schedule, released at the Vatican Sept. 6, also mentions his planned trips to Georgia and Azerbaijan on Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and to Sweden on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 to commemorate the 500th...

  • Sep 2 2016 - 4:50pm

    Sister Sandy Sherman thought she would follow the traditional route of women religious, joining the ranks of the Catholic teachers who had inspired her.

    “I thought I would enter and I would teach school my whole life and I would wear a habit,” said Sherman, who joined the Order of Saint Ursula in 1975. “Well, I entered and I’ve never worn a habit.”

    The Ohio native did teach for several years, but she has spent much of her time with Rahab’s Heart, a street ministry program in...

  • Sep 2 2016 - 11:33am

    The Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, said it will notify the state attorney general of any allegations of sexual abuse of a minor in an effort to strengthen its child protection policies.

    The diocese said it already reports allegations of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement officers and said in a statement on Aug. 31 that the additional step of notifying the attorney general's office "provides supplemental transparency" to help ensure a safe environment.

    Bishop...

  • Sep 2 2016 - 11:27am

    A personal encounter with Mother Teresa and her work serving the poor and the dying led a young Japanese man on a journey of faith and conversion.

    "I was born into a Buddhist family; I didn't know about Jesus, Christianity, Catholicism or anything," Missionaries of Charity Father Francisco Akihiro told Catholic News Service on Sept. 2. "But I saw in a very visible way how Jesus works through the example of Mother Teresa."

    The Japanese priest was one of countless Missionaries...

  • Sep 2 2016 - 11:23am

    Northwestern Pakistan was struck by two separate militant attacks hours apart on Friday, when gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Christian colony near the town of Peshawar, killing one civilian, and a suicide bomb attack on a district court in the town of Mardan killed 12 people and wounded 54 others.

    Militants stormed the Christian neighborhood early on Friday morning, triggering a shoot-out in which four attackers were killed and one Christian died, police and the military said...

  • Sep 1 2016 - 5:10pm

    Hopes for Christian unity may not be spring fresh, but Pope Francis' fall calendar is filled with ecumenical appointments.

    Even as developments within Christian denominations seem to be solidifying differences that would make full unity difficult, there is no sign that the desire to meet and dialogue is waning. And, in fact, divided Christians are finding more opportunities to pray together and engage in joint work to help the poor and needy.

    Pope Francis will open his season...

  • Sep 1 2016 - 4:35pm

    When Franciscan Brother Jay Rivera first started volunteering at Miami-area crisis pregnancy centers, he noticed mothers inside taking classes and consulting staff while dads typically sat outside on the curb or in their cars.

    In many cases, an unborn child's life was hanging in the balance. Brother Rivera figured those fathers would have no small role in what happened in the child's future, if the child was given a chance to be born at all.

    Seven years later, after searching...

  • Sep 1 2016 - 8:22am

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Thursday proposed that caring for the environment be added to the traditional seven works of mercy that Christians are called to perform, taking his green agenda to a new level by supplementing Jesus' Gospel call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick.

    Francis made the ambitious proposal in a message to mark the church's World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which he instituted last year in a bid to highlight his ecological...