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This week's edition » Local News

From Cardinal Seán's blog

Each year during the Christmas season, I celebrate a Mass for survivors of sexual abuse and their families. It is an important moment to bring people together and hopefully help them in their healing. Because it was held Saturday evening, we celebrated the Mass of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We were so pleased that Deacon Paul Kline, who works closely with Vivian Soper in our Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, invited the youth choir from St. Mary's in Foxborough to sing at the Mass. Their singing was just heavenly.

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Thayer spreads pro-life message one classroom at a time

It all began with a movie. Linda Thayer -- a retired biology teacher, pro-life activist and public speaker -- can trace her pro-life stance to a single movie. "The year was 1968, and I was in college when a biology professor showed us the film, 'The First Days of Life,'" she recalled. "When I came out of that auditorium, I felt I had just seen a miracle."

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MCFL announces 2015 legislative agenda

BOSTON -- As pro-life advocates prepared to march for life in Washington, D.C. Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) geared up to advocate for life on Beacon Hill. MCFL introduced five pieces of legislation before the deadline for the 189th Session of the General Court of Massachusetts, Jan. 16, as part of the 2015-2016 legislative agenda posted to their website that day.

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Boston-area Sisters host prayer vigil for Human Trafficking Awareness Day

BOSTON -- For the eighth consecutive year, local Catholic Sisters from the Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing 16 congregations in the Greater Boston Area, gathered with over 150 sisters, associates, and friends on Jan. 11, National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness, to pray for an end to human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery.

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Assumptionists promote 'education in all its forms' in New England

Ignorance of the faith -- indifference to it -- outright unbelief. The Church in a state of ruin. A century of violence and political turmoil. In the eyes of Father Emmanuel d'Alzon, this was the situation in France in the decades after the French Revolution. Yet in 1835 -- three years after the struggle and tragedy of the June Rebellion depicted in "Les Miserables" -- Father d'Alzon had an insight. "They say the world is evil," he wrote to a colleague. "No doubt, passion turns it away from what is good. But I believe most of all that the world is ignorant."

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This week's edition » National News

State of the Union speech hits on numerous social justice themes

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama hit on numerous themes that resonated with Catholic advocates for social justice issues. Among the items included in Obama's policy agenda in the president's annual speech before a joint session of Congress were what Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, called the "bold ideas" of proposals to enable students to have two years of community college education without paying tuition; to expand paid leave to working parents and to make home ownership more accessible.

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Supreme Court agrees to take up same-sex marriage cases this term

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Supreme Court Jan. 16 agreed to hear four cases over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, tackling the questions of whether the 14th Amendment requires states to allow such marriages and whether it requires them to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.

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This week's edition » International News

Pope says respect for religion should limit freedom of expression

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNS) -- Commenting on recent killings by Islamist terrorists at a Paris newspaper, Pope Francis condemned killing in the name of God, but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence.

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Philippine trip highlights pope's tenacity, attention to details

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- New situations are opportunities to learn new things, even about the 78-year-old Pope Francis. After two days of watching the pope tenaciously keep his appointments in the Philippines despite pouring rain Jan. 17-18, one lesson is that the papal wardrobe needs to be expanded to include rain gear.

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