Home » Current edition: Friday, February 24, 2017
  • Ash Wednesday is more than just ashes

    Walk through any school, supermarket, subway or shopping center next Wednesday and you are likely to find Catholics marked with the sign of the cross in dark ashes on their forehead. Ash Wednesday -- the beginning of the season of Lent.

    Read more
This week's edition » Local News

Ash Wednesday is more than just ashes


Walk through any school, supermarket, subway or shopping center next Wednesday and you are likely to find Catholics marked with the sign of the cross in dark ashes on their forehead. Ash Wednesday -- the beginning of the season of Lent.

Read more

Lenten sacrifice can help children in the missions


BRAINTREE -- With Ash Wednesday approaching, the Missionary Childhood Association of the Archdiocese of Boston is hoping schools, parishes, and individuals will use the organization's Mite Boxes to put their Lenten sacrifices to work helping children in the missions.

Read more

From Cardinal Seán's blog


The following day (2/10) we began our weekend retreats for men considering a vocation to the priesthood. There were two tracks, as it were, one for younger men who would be candidates for St. John's Seminary and another for older men who would be candidates for Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary.

Read more

Gregorian chant enriches liturgy at Waltham parish


WALTHAM -- Decades ago, it would have been typical to hear Gregorian chant at a Catholic Mass. Today, that's usually not the case; unless, that is, it's a Mass at St. Mary Parish in Waltham. "Other than the choir school Mass at St. Paul's in Cambridge, the monthly Mass we do at St. Mary's in Waltham is the only Novus Ordo liturgy, to my knowledge, that uses Latin Propers," choir director Randolph Nichols told The Pilot Feb. 21. Propers are the portions of the Mass that change depending on the day and are spoken or sung by the choir or the people.

Read more

North Region Bishop's office moved


Effective Monday, Feb. 20, the office of North Region Bishop Mark O'Connell has relocated to St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish in North Reading. The telephone (978-531-1013) and fax number (978-531-5312) remain the same.

Read more
This week's edition » National News

Supreme Court blocks Texas inmate's execution, cites racial bias


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Supreme Court's Feb. 22 decision to block the execution of an African-American inmate on death row in Texas over racially biased testimony in his sentencing hearing is "another stride toward greater justice in our legal system," said a Catholic anti-death penalty leader.

Read more

USCCB committee chairmen applaud decision on transgender directive


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The chairmen of two U.S. bishops' committees Feb. 24 praised President Donald Trump's repeal of the Obama administration's directive on transgender access to bathrooms. The guidance, issued last May by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education, "indicated that public pre-K through 12 schools, as well as all colleges and universities, should treat 'a student's gender identity as the student's sex,'" said the bishops' joint statement.

Read more

Q-and-A about celibacy, chastity, promises and vows


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Three weeks of testimony from Australia's Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have included many discussions about whether celibacy might be a factor in clergy sexual abuse. Catholic News Service asked Father Michael Fuller, executive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to explain the difference between celibacy and chastisty, a promise and a vow.

Read more

U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on border shooting of Mexican teenager


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Supreme Court took on a U.S-Mexico border issue Feb. 21 when it examined if the parents of a Mexican teenager can sue the U.S. border agent who shot and killed their son. During the oral arguments, the justices seemed divided over who was responsible for the action. Some of the justices stressed that it was a U.S. concern since the teen was shot by a U.S. agent; other justices said that since the 15-year-old died on the Mexican side of the border, the case should stay out of the U.S. courts.

Read more
This week's edition » International News

Vatican, al-Azhar ask world to help stop religious extremism, terrorism


CAIRO (CNS) -- The Vatican and al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's leading institution of higher learning, called for the world's governments, organizations and leaders to cooperate with each other in countering extremist and violent groups, noting that such groups "have negatively impacted stability and peaceful coexistence among peoples."

Read more

South Sudan bishops condemn atrocities, appeal for help to prevent famine


MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- South Sudan's Catholic bishops asked for the world's help to prevent mass starvation that threatens the lives of more than 5 million people. In a separate statement, they also said the looming famine was a man-made catastrophe. They denounced government and rebel troops for attacking the civilian population and at times operating "scorched-earth" policies in defiance of international law.

Read more

Australian archbishops to ask Vatican for clarity on confession issues


SYDNEY (CNS) -- Australia's five archbishops said they would consider asking the Vatican for clarification on concerns raised in a government inquiry into sexual abuse of children in the church. Among those concerns were whether the seal of confession includes only the sins confessed, not other information revealed in confession, and under what circumstances -- specifically concerning an abuser -- a priest could withhold absolution.

Read more

Populism fueling self-centered rejection of migrants, pope says


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Indifference, fueled by populist rhetoric in today's world, fans the flames of rejection that threaten the rights and dignity of migrants, Pope Francis said. Refugees escaping persecution, violence and poverty are often shunned and deemed as "unworthy of our attention, a rival or someone to be bent to our will," the pope told participants of the VI International Forum on Migration and Peace.

Read more

Be ashamed when tempted to use church for power struggles, pope says


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Whenever one is tempted to use the church for pursuing personal ambitions or to be arrogant, pray to feel ashamed, Pope Francis said. When the competitive bug strikes, reflect whether one can "see my Lord on the cross" and still be capable of wanting "to use the Lord for moving up" the ladder of success, he said Feb. 21 during his early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Read more