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  • Faithful from near and far gather to celebrate Fr. Solanus, friend and healer

    Detroit, Mich., Nov 19, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Usually, when Detroit’s Ford Field is filled with people, it’s because football fans are watching the Lions play another NFL team. But on Saturday, Nov. 18, despite the chill and the rain, more than 60,000 people from around the country filled the domed stadium for another reason - to celebrate the beatification of their friend Father Solanus Casey, who is now just one step away from canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church.

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  • Notre Dame allows third-party coverage of contraceptives in health plans

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) -- Questions and confusion continue to swirl around the University of Notre Dame's decision to allow the third-party administrators of its health plans to go on providing morally objectionable services to university employees, even though Notre Dame no longer is required by the government to do so.

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  • Venerable Solanus Casey: the priest who answered the doorbell.

    Vatican City, Nov 17, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Venerable Solanus Casey, a Capuchin priest from Wisconsin, was humble before all else, said the postulator of his cause for sainthood. The life of Venerable Solanus Casey is the story of his “humility, his simplicity, as well as his acceptance of whatever life gave him,” Franciscan-Capuchin Fr. Carlo Calloni told CNA Nov. 15.

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  • Who was Albino Luciani, the 'smiling Pope'?

    Vatican City, Nov 17, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Last week Albino Luciani, better known by his papal name, John Paul I, took the next step on the path to sainthood. Yet apart from the fame garnered by various theories that sprouted due to the enigmatic nature of his death, for many little is known of his saintly life and brief pontificate.

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  • Making a holiday holy

    Michael celebrated his first Thanksgiving as a married man at the home of his wife Maria's parents. Gathered for the huge midday meal were her parents and Maria's siblings with their spouses. All the traditional foods were served and the conversation was good.

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  • Imitate the first Thanksgiving with local fare

    If we take the lead from the first Thanksgiving, our holiday tables should feature the food and people close to us. Pilgrims came to the New World knowing little about how to fend for themselves in the new land. They fled England as religious separatists and traveled across waters for new prosperity. But half the Mayflower's hundred or so passengers died during their first New England winter, a particularly harsh one.

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  • The Psalms as models for gratitude

    A wise person once observed that "gratitude is the aristocrat of attitudes." Gratitude not only shows consideration for the one who gave a gift or did a favor -- it also promotes mental health if we cultivate the habit of gratefulness for things great and small.

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  • Supreme Court to hear case on free speech and crisis pregnancy centers

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Supreme Court has decided to hear a case examining freedom of speech at crisis pregnancy centers. The case, accepted Nov. 13, will consider if a California law that went into effect in 2016 violates the Constitution by requiring the state's 200 crisis pregnancy centers to inform their clients, in specific detail, about the availability of free or low-cost abortion and contraceptive services and provide a referral number for them.

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  • New museum tells the story of the Bible -- chapter and verse

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Hey, Smithsonian, there's a new kid on the block. It's the Museum of the Bible, just a few blocks from the National Mall in Washington. With its opening to the public Nov. 18, it will tell visitors how the Bible -- both Old Testament and New Testament -- has intersected society and at times even transformed it.

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  • Archbishop of Puerto Rico sees spiritual rebirth after hurricane's wrath

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Almost two months after the devastating winds and rains of Hurricane Maria pummeled the island of Puerto Rico, there is still no clear path to recovery. Although some power and phone service have been restored and relief supplies are slowly filtering in, the cleanup and rebuilding is only just beginning.

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  • U.S. bishops take on immigration, racism at fall assembly

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- At the start of their annual fall assembly in Baltimore Nov. 13, U.S. Catholic bishops faced some big issues -- immigration and racism -- straight on and zeroed in on how to raise the national level of discussion on these topics starting in the church pews.

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  • Bishop asks for prayers after shooting tragedy in California

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, asked his brother bishops meeting in Baltimore to pray for the victims of the nation's latest shooting tragedy. The bishops were gathered for the second day of their annual fall assembly Nov. 14. Early that morningin Northern California, a gunman opened fire at random locations, including near a grade school, in a rural area, leaving at least four people dead and at least 10 others injured.

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  • Committee sees growing number of texts, rise of digital technology

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- A growing number of texts, not only in English and Spanish but in other languages, and the rise of digital technology is having an impact on the work of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Catechism, said its chairman, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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  • Bishops OK budget figures for 2018, diocesan assessment hike for 2019

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The U.S. bishops approved the budget for their restricted and unrestricted funds for 2018 in a 125-4 vote, with three abstentions. Passage required a majority of members present. They also narrowly approved a 3 percent increase in the diocesan assessment for 2019 by a vote of 136-31, with five bishops abstaining. With 197 diocesan and eparchial heads in the United States, the vote required approval by two-thirds, or 132 of them.

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  • U.S. bishops' predecessors read 'signs of the times' in founding USCCB

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- "Happy 100th anniversary, my brother bishops," Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said at a workshop on the centenary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 12. Held the day before the bishops opened their fall general assembly in Baltimore, the workshop featured three talks, the first by Cardinal Dolan, head of a task force on the centenary observance.

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  • Panama archbishop: World Youth Day will invite youth of other faiths

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The Panamanian archbishop helping to organize World Youth Day said the 2019 celebration in his country will invite youth of other faiths to join in. "We want it to be ecumenical," said Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panamain a Nov. 13 interview with Catholic News Service. "We're working to include youth from other communities of faith to participate."

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  • Bishops voice support of migrants, worries over 'poisoning rhetoric'

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The longest and most passionate discussion on the first day of the fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 13 focused on immigrants, on how to help them but also how to drive home the point that they, too, are our brothers and sisters and should not be demonized.

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  • Beatification will see 'Jesus planting his cross' in heart of Detroit

    DETROIT (CNS) -- On Nov. 18, more than a few Hail Marys will be thrown around inside Ford Field. And unlike a football game, every single prayer will be answered. That day jerseys and helmets will be replaced by chasubles and miters as thousands of bishops, clergy and faithful from across the country prepare to celebrate the beatification of Capuchin Franciscan Father Solanus Casey at the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions, the largest venue Detroit could find.

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  • Protesters at bishops' gathering ask for sanctuary, anti-war stance

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- As the U.S. bishops were beginning their fall assembly in Baltimore, also marking their 100th anniversary as a conference, a couple of nonviolent protesters gathered nearby. One was seeking dialogue with church leaders to urge them to offer sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation, and another voiced displeasure with church leaders he said support war.

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  • Nuncio: Bishops must focus on youth, evangelization, Jesus

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- There are three things bishops must always keep in mind as they exercise their episcopal ministry, according to Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican's nuncio to the United States: youth, the mission of evangelization and "the Lord himself."

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  • Holy Land 'custos' sees greater cooperation between Catholics, Orthodox

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The metaphorical but impenetrable walls that separated Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox in the Holy Land are beginning to crumble. What is formally called a "status quo," but for generations had the effect of an excuse for inaction, is now being replaced by collaboration, said Franciscan Father Francesco Patton, custos of the Holy Land. Father Patton, elected and papally approved, is responsible for the region's most sacred sites.

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  • Dreamers top priority for Hispanic ministry directors during Hill visits

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Olga Villar wants to be sure that young adults who were brought to the United States as children by their families can achieve the same success that she has in her life. Villar, director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama, is concerned though that the 800,000 "Dreamers" in the U.S. may not have that opportunity.

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  • Texas shooting a reminder to some that churches should be more secure

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Nov. 5 deadly shootings at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, left many people wondering how something so horrific could happen in a place of worship. It also called to mind other shootings or attacks in recent years in sacred spaces, including the nine people killed in 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the murder of a priest in northern France during Mass last year, and violent acts at synagogues and mosques.

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  • Worsening natural disasters prompt greater awareness of climate change

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul-USA's Disaster Services Corp., has become a road warrior. Since Sept. 3, Disco-Shearer has been in the field coordinating the society's response with local Vincentian councils to powerful, drenching hurricanes in Texas and Florida and ruinous wind-driven wildfires in California. Puerto Rico is next on her itinerary.

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  • 'Spiritual but not religious': What does it mean? Survey offers clues

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- It's almost reached the level of cliche in American society: You ask someone why they don't go to church, and they reply, "Oh, I'm spiritual but not religious." But what does that mean? A survey conducted jointly by the Public Religion Research Institute and Florida State University does not provide hard-and-fast answers, but it offers clues.

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  • Friar's relatives, near and far, marvel at his reputation for sanctity

    DETROIT (CNS) -- It's a great excuse for a family reunion: The Caseys are coming to Detroit. More than 300 relatives of Capuchin Franciscan Father Solanus Casey will visit the Motor City from as far away as California and Ireland to see the man many know as "Uncle Barney" come one step closer to sainthood.

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  • High school students unearth possible ties to slavery at Jesuit school

    ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- After Georgetown University last year publicly acknowledged it had benefited from the sale of 272 enslaved women, men and children in the 1800s, a high school teacher at a Jesuit school in Washington invited the historian from the institution who had researched the sale to speak to students in his history classes.

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  • What caused the Reformation? A Catholic explainer

    Washington D.C. (CNA) -- One fated Halloween, 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle in a dramatic act of defiance against the Catholic Church. Or, he may have just hung it on the doorknob. Or mailed out copies.

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  • Parents of year-old quadruplets get challenges, smiles times four

    CRYSTAL, Minn. (CNS) -- Four high chairs line the kitchen counter at Justina and Matt Kopp's home in Crystal. Four baby chairs sit on the living room floor adjacent to four stacked baby pillows. Nearby, four 1-year-olds tumble with one another on the floor, bumble with awkward steps and vie for their parents' arms. Like expert ringmasters, Matt, 26, and Justina, 27, navigate the acrobatics with a certain calm. They simultaneously soften falls and give out hugs, and at the first fussy cries of hunger, prepare and distribute pre-nap bottles with ease.

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  • Kansas priest gives invocation at groundbreaking for Eisenhower Memorial

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, had a broad understanding of American faith practices. From birth in Kansas in 1890, he belonged to his mother's small Mennonite sect, the River Brethren. He didn't identify with a denomination after he began his military service when he graduated from West Point in 1915, but he joined National Presbyterian Church in Washington, at the urging of the Rev. Billy Graham, the evangelist, during his first term, and he remains the only president to be baptized while in office.

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  • Mass formally opens canonization cause for Black Elk

    PINE RIDGE, S.D. (CNS) -- During a Mass to formally open the sainthood cause for Nicholas Black Elk, the Native American was described as someone who merged the Lakota and Catholic culture in a way "that drew him deeper into the mystery of Christ's love and the church."

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  • After Harvey, faith fuels Houston fans; team wins World Series

    HOUSTON (CNS) -- Baseball bats and rosary beads were the only thing on Tonya Killian's mind as she walked toward Minute Maid Park for Game 3 of the 2017 World Series. A longtime Houston Astros fan and parishioner at Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood, Killian was on a mission to buy rosaries custom made for the World Series by members of Annunciation Catholic Church.

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  • Theologian resigns from USCCB committee after publishing letter to Pope Francis

    Washington D.C., Nov 1, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- A member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission has resigned his position as a consultant to the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, following the publication of a letter written to Pope Francis asking the Pope to correct the “chronic confusion” of his pontificate, which he says “fosters within the faithful a growing unease.”

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  • Senate confirms Notre Dame professor as federal judge

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor, to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The 55-43 vote for the nominee included all Republicans votes and three Democrats. At her nomination hearings in September, Barrett, who is Catholic, was grilled about the impact her faith would have on her interpretation of the law.

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  • Memento mori - How religious orders remember death

    Denver, Colo., Oct 30, 2017 CNA.- There’s an old Latin phrase that’s suddenly new again - at least in the realm of Catholic Twitter™. The resurgence of the the Latin phrase “memento mori” (remember your death) is thanks in large part to tweeting nun Sr. Theresa Aletheia, a “media nun” with the Daughters of St. Paul, who has been recording, via tweets, what it’s like to have a (plastic) skull sitting on her desk:

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  • Head of Cristo Rey New York High School receives Spirit of Francis Award

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Jesuit Father Joseph Parkes, president of Cristo Rey New York High School, is the 2017 recipient of Catholic Extension's Spirit of Francis Award. Now in its fourth year, the Spirit of Francis Award recognizes an individual or group for their commitment "to reach out to the margins of society" in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis and the founder of Catholic Extension, Father Francis Clement Kelley.

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  • Pence rebukes U.N. efforts to help Christians, announces Middle East trip

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized the United Nations' efforts to help persecuted Christians in the Middle East in a speech Oct. 25. Since the organization "failed" to help Christians and other minority religious communities, he said, aid from the United States from now on would be routed through the U.S. Agency for International Development and "faith-based and private organizations" to help those who are persecuted in the region.

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  • USCCB publishes official English-language translation of exorcism rite

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The first official English-language translation of the ritual book "Exorcisms and Related Supplications" is available from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Distribution of "Exorcisms and Related Supplications" is limited to bishops, though exorcists, other clergy, scholars and seminary professors also can obtain a copy with the permission of a bishop.

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  • Frequently asked questions about exorcism

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the English translation of "Exorcisms and Related Supplications" in 2014. The Vatican approved the translation in spring 2017. During the approval process the Secretariat of Divine Worship at the USCCB developed a series of frequently asked questions on exorcism. Because much of the public perception of the nature and application of exorcism is shaped by mass media, the bishops' Committee on Divine Worship approved basic questions and answers with the hope of providing clear information on the topic.

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  • Priest says exorcism is ministry of healing that helps suffering people

    NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- Father Gary Thomas has served for the past 12 years in the Diocese of San Jose, California, as the priest authorized to perform the rite of exorcism. The rite is the Catholic Church's largely hidden and often-misunderstood ministry of healing that Hollywood has transformed into a cash cow of blood, gore and fantasy.

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  • Defining our values: What Catholics can take from Bush's speech

    New York City, N.Y., Oct 20, 2017 CNA.- In a rare political speech on Thursday, former president George W. Bush had blunt words for America: Remember your identity or lose your freedom. Bush spoke Oct. 19 at the at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” event at the Lincoln Center in New York.

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