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  • Via phone, priest helps dying man through act of contrition, prayer

    PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) -- Because of hospital coronavirus restrictions, a suburban Portland priest March 22 was not allowed to meet with a Catholic patient dying of COVID-19. Msgr. John Cihak, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Milwaukie, did make telephone contact and because of a provision in church law was able to lead him through the process of an act of contrition and a prayer for forgiveness.

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  • Gomez: 'Where is God in this pandemic? Where there is love, there is God'

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Here is a column titled "Love in a time without hugs" by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez published online March 24 in Angelus, the media arm of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The archbishop, who is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, writes a weekly column in Angelus, called "New World of Faith."

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  • Distraught, determined Little Sisters of the Poor cope with coronavirus

    WILMINGTON, Del. (CNS) -- Mother Margaret Regina Halloran was doing her best to fight back tears in the early morning of March 27, but she wasn't really winning the struggle. The local superior of the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, Delaware, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor had the most difficult time the day before when a longtime resident died after testing positive for the coronavirus. The 86-year-old man with Philadelphia roots was a popular resident who delighted many over the years by dancing a version of the "Mummers Strut" -- a Philadelphia New Year's Day parade tradition.

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  • Coronavirus claims the Pittsburgh Catholic as diocese suspends publication

    CLEVELAND (CNS) -- The new coronavirus has claimed the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper as a victim. Diocese of Pittsburgh officials informed the newspaper's 11 staff members in a conference call March 19 that they had decided to immediately suspend publication in large part because of the effects of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

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  • Priests: Celebrating Mass online with no congregants 'odd,' 'weird'

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here is the church, and here is the steeple; Father says Mass, but where are the people? Imagine if you gave a Mass and nobody came. That's an emerging reality for priests as the phenomenon of livestreamed, YouTubed and other online Masses grows amid the pandemic. That's doesn't make it any easier, though.

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  • Looking at opportunities during the coronavirus crisis

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- This week, I've felt like Jimmy Stewart in the movie "Rear Window." It's a movie from the 1950s that I've watched with my mother probably more than a dozen times, about a photographer with a broken leg whose inability to move leads him to grab a pair of binoculars and, from his wheelchair, snoop on his neighbors.

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  • Schools help families with school supplies, food in wake of closures

    MINNEAPOLIS (CNS) -- A traffic jam of sorts started at noon March 18 in the parking lot of Risen Christ Catholic School in Minneapolis. Principal Joelynn Sartell and a handful of teachers directed dozens of vehicles that pulled up to the parking lot. They drove up near the north door and a purple tent with the school's name. One by one, cars, minivans and SUVs with parents and students came to place orders for school supplies and food.

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  • Catholic University of America's president tests positive for coronavirus

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The president of The Catholic University of America said March 19 that he has tested positive for coronavirus. John Garvey said in a news release that he began what sounded like a self-imposed quarantine March 13, had symptoms and then was tested. Those are the recommendations health care professionals in the U.S. have suggested.

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  • Coronavirus restrictions could renew appreciation for community, faith

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- During the coronavirus pandemic, life as most people have known it, including parish life, has come to a halt. But despite closed churches, canceled parish gatherings and limited outreach, many church leaders are emphasizing that Catholics can take this time of recommended isolation and pause of normal and often-very-busy routines to strengthen their personal faith and reinforce bonds with families, neighbors and the church at large.

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  • It's Erin 'don't' go Bragh as St. Patrick's Masses, events are canceled

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- If, as the bromide says, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, what if there's no sign of St. Patrick's anywhere to be seen on March 17? That's the conundrum many Catholics face as U.S. churches named for the patron saint of Ireland had to either cancel public Masses and events or do a quick jig of a workaround as health officials restrict gatherings of just about any size to blunt the spread of the coronavirus.

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  • Following recommended virus precautions, national shrine closes

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington announced March 17 it has closed its doors to the public in response to the Centers for Disease Control and District of Columbia's guidelines "and to support the efforts of authorities to minimize the spread of COVID-19," the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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  • As coronavirus spreads, many volunteers are asked to stay at home

    CLEVELAND (CNS) -- The volunteers are fewer, but Ernie Stetenfeld and his fellow Vincentians in Madison, Wisconsin, are not slowing down in the face of the coronavirus. Boxes of food are being packed for pickup, the state's only charitable pharmacy continues to operate, and families struggling to pay utility bills are getting assistance through parish conferences even if it means paid staff are having to do more, said Stetenfeld, CEO and executive director of the Madison District Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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  • Catholic nursing homes respond to coronavirus restrictions

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The impact of the coronavirus in the United States is likely felt the strongest in nursing homes around the country, and Catholic facilities are no exception. As of March 13, all nursing homes and long-term care facilities, caring for the population most vulnerable to the coronavirus, have been urged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to restrict all visitation to their facilities except in certain compassionate care situations, such as end-of-life situations.

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  • Priest in Diocese of Yakima hospitalized with coronavirus

    YAKIMA, Wash. (CNS) -- A priest of the Diocese of Yakima has been hospitalized for two weeks with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Father Alejandro "Alex" Trejo, pastor of Our Lady of the Desert Parish in Mattawa, Washington, continued to be treated for pneumonia caused by the virus, Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima said March 16.

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  • CDC head 'not shy about his Catholic faith,' says Baltimore pastor

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- When Msgr. Richard Woy sees Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on television these days flanked by medical experts issuing the latest guidance on the novel coronavirus he doesn't just see one of the top health officials in the U.S., he sees one of the faithful.

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  • U.S. Catholic colleges adapt to online format during coronavirus

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Initially the coronavirus impacted study abroad programs and spring break travel or service opportunities for U.S. colleges and universities. But by the second week of March, a desire to curb the spread of the virus in this country prompted more than 100 higher education leaders to temporarily cancel in-person classes and move to an online teaching program for a few weeks or an unspecified time period.

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  • Hebda: Honor those who support life, not those who 'purposefully end' it

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) -- Minnesota's archbishop said he was "profoundly saddened" that elected officials in St. Paul and Minneapolis declared March 10 Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. "Given that each human life is created in the image and likeness of God and has value, to honor those who purposefully end such life is an affront not only to our Creator but to the foundational values of civil society," Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a March 10 statement. "There is no way around it -- abortion kills children."

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  • San Francisco Archdiocese closes schools for 10 days to curb virus spread

    SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of San Francisco announced March 10 that its schools will close for two weeks as a precaution against exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Schools superintendent Pamela Lyons announced that all 90 archdiocesan K-12 schools will be closed March 12-25. There are 22 preschools, 55 elementary schools and 13 high schools in the archdiocese, with a student population of more than 24,000.

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  • Make prayer part of hand-washing protocol to fight virus, says diocese

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- "How to hand-wash Catholic style" reads the headline on an informational graphic from the Diocese of Dallas. It suggests Catholics say the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be as they follow the protocol for hand-washing being recommended around the globe as one of many ways for people to protect themselves against the coronavirus, designated COVID-19 by world health authorities.

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  • Catholic medical professionals offer online coronavirus care

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the coronavirus, a Catholic virtual health website, MyCatholicDoctor, has dedicated part of its site just to the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The site, essentially a virtual medical practice which launched last year with more than 40 medical professionals, has an on-call infection control officer available as well as a COVID-19 readiness team.

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  • Fordham University suspends campus classes over coronavirus

    New York City, N.Y., Mar 9, 2020 CNA.- Fordham University suspended in-person classes Monday afternoon, after an undergraduate student was tested for COVID-19. The Jesuit university in The Bronx announced that the suspension will continue through Tuesday, March 10, after which all classes will move to on-line instruction.

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  • Coronavirus threat cancels event celebrating pope's anniversary

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Due to coronavirus threats in the U.S., the U.S. apostolic nuncio and the permanent observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States have canceled a celebration scheduled for March 13 to mark the seventh anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.

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  • Catholics organize to defeat advance of assisted suicide bill in Indiana

    WHITING, Ind. (CNS) -- Catholics in Northwest Indiana are organizing to raise awareness about the ongoing efforts in the state Legislature to legalize assisted suicide. "The assisted suicide and euthanasia lobby is patient," Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, who addressed a regional event organized by St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Parish in Whiting.

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  • A divided court examines Louisiana abortion restrictions

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In oral arguments March 4, the Supreme Court justices expressed mixed views about a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and if the abortion providers have the legal standing to challenge the state law on behalf of their patients.

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  • Pro-lifers hopeful for outcome of court's first abortion case in four years

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Optimism among pro-lifers ran high March 3 for a successful outcome to the first abortion case heard by the Supreme Court in four years. It also is the first such case heard by new Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both appointed by President Donald Trump and considered favorable to pro-life issues.

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  • Dioceses adopt wide-ranging plans to limit spread of coronavirus

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As worry about the spread of the coronavirus continues and health officials tend to the sick and emphasize best practices for guarding against getting the disease, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, tweeted a message for the faithful in his diocese March 6.

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  • R.I. Catholic school closes for week after coronavirus case reported

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- While school systems around the country are discussing what to do in response to the coronavirus, St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, had to put its plans into immediate action when a member of the school community tested "presumptive positive" for a strain of coronavirus after participating in a recent school trip to Italy.

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