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  • La Civilta Cattolica editor describes pope's 'diplomacy of mercy'

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the influential Rome-based magazine La Civilta Cattolica and a close associate of Pope Francis, outlined the pope's "diplomacy of mercy" that he has used with both political leaders and their citizens throughout his papacy during a Feb. 13 talk at Georgetown University.

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  • Where do Ash Wednesday ashes come from?

    Washington D.C., Feb 14, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Or, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” On Ash Wednesday, millions of Catholics throughout the English-speaking world will hear one of these two blessings as a priest applies ashes to their forehead in the sign of the cross.

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  • Catholic leaders caution that federal budget must reflect common good

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic leaders cautioned that federal spending must safeguard the common good after the White House released its fiscal year 2019 spending plan that boosts military spending and cuts human services, environmental protection, diplomacy and international humanitarian assistance while assuring that the budget deficit will grow over the next decade.

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  • 'Lean on each other,' advises couple married 75 years

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (CNS) -- Married for 75 years, Joseph Farr and his wife, Ann, say that they believe they've found the secret to making a marriage last. "What it takes to really make a marriage last is to not think everything should be blue and rosy. Hardships come and you have to stand together. That's the secret," Ann told the Southern Cross, newspaper of the Savannah Diocese. "Stand together and support each other no matter what the hardships and how hard it is, but if you have each other and support each other together, you can withstand it all."

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  • The rules of the streets: Which laws help - and hurt - the homeless

    Denver, Colo., Feb 8, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Walk down 16th Street Mall in Denver, Colo., and you’ll probably see people who are homeless sitting on the ground with cardboard signs. Walk down that same street with a cop, and you’ll probably notice that those same people stand up when they see you coming.

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  • University of Notre Dame adds 'simple contraceptives' to insurance plan

    South Bend, Ind., Feb 7, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- The University of Notre Dame has announced that it will fund “simple contraceptives” through its insurance plan. In November 2017, the university had announced that students or employees and students on its insurance plans would be eligible to receive through a third-party insurance administrator.

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  • Q-and-A on faith leaders' letter on beauty of 'God-given sexual identity'

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In December, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and three other Catholic bishops joined several other religious leaders in signing an open letter titled "Created Male and Female" about the inherent beauty and dignity of God-given sexual identity.

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  • St. Louis Catholic groups assemble 'best practices' after Ferguson

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, near St. Louis, in the summer of 2014, Catholic organizations in the Archdiocese of St. Louis took a long, hard look at what they were doing to serve poor communities in the archdiocese -- and what they could be doing better.

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  • Bishop gives stark appraisal of church relations with blacks

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The bishop who chairs the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism gave a sobering assessment of U.S. Catholics' treatment of blacks, from the laity to the hierarchy. "The American Catholic Church has continued to be virtually silent," said Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, "which leads us to the question: Why?"

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  • Catholic faith an influence for New England Patriots assistant coaches

    MINNEAPOLIS (CNS) -- For a block of time each Saturday evening before a home game, several New England Patriots coaches break away from the task of finalizing game plans. They attend Mass together along with other members of the Patriots' staff. Msgr. Mike Foley, a priest from the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, comes to celebrate the Mass for any players, coaches and staff who want to attend.

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  • Philadelphia Eagles punter sees God's hand in path to Super Bowl

    MINNEAPOLIS (CNS) -- Philadelphia Eagles punter Donnie Jones understands how rarely a chance to play in the Super Bowl comes around. "I've only been once in 14 years, so it's hard," said Jones, 37. "I've tried to explain to these young guys that you don't know when you're going to get another shot. We've got to make the most of this, enjoy the week and get ready for playing the game on Sunday."

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  • Rare relic of Auschwitz saint on display at Chicago church

    CHICAGO (CNS) -- For Conventual Franciscan Father Robert Cook, pastor of St. Ita Parish in Chicago, St. Maximilan Kolbe isn't some far-off legendary figure. St. Maximilian Kolbe died in Auschwitz Aug. 14, 1941, after volunteering to take the place of another man who was to be tortured in a room meant to starve people to death. Like Father Cook, St. Maximilian was a Conventual Franciscan, and Father Cook has met older friars who knew the priest in Poland before he was martyred.

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  • In chilly Minnesota, archbishop has warm welcome for Super Bowl visitors

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) -- Archbishop Bernard J. Hebda may be a Pittsburgh native, but like a true Minnesotan, he began a welcome video for Super Bowl visitors talking about the weather. "The weather here can get a little chilly this time of year, but as a transplant myself, I can tell you firsthand, the people and hospitality here are warm and inviting," the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a 76-second video taped in the Cathedral of St. Paul.

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  • Soup dinner and no dessert? Valentine's Day Ash Wednesday-style

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Many people looking at their February calendars are doing a double-take with Ash Wednesday falling on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. The two days, steeped in tradition, don't have too much in common beyond their religious roots. Valentine's Day, named after St. Valentine, a third-century martyr, is all about romance with its emphasis on cards, candy, flowers and nice dinners, where Ash Wednesday takes a more somber tone as the start of 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving of Lent.

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  • Ignatian network to mark Valentine's Day with a focus on migrants

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A coalition of Jesuit schools and universities is encouraging those in their network and beyond to celebrate Valentine's Day this year by sending cards to lawmakers, asking them and others to "love your neighbor" and send "migrants welcome" Valentine's Day messages from Feb. 11-18.

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  • Pro-life strength lies in love, speakers tell March for Life

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The pro-life movement's most powerful tool lies in its ability to love, speakers said Jan. 19 at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year's annual March, the theme of which was "Love Saves Lives," was an historic event for numerous reasons -- it marked the 45th anniversary of the March, it was an uncharacteristically balmy 50 degree day in January, and it was the first time the event was addressed live by the sitting President of the United States.

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  • Update: Notre Dame community reacts to controversy over contraceptives

    NOTRE DAME Ind. (CNS) -- Some University of Notre Dame students, faculty and alumni are voicing strong public criticism over the university administration's decision to continue employee insurance coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients after a federal mandate to do so was amended late last year.

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  • Young pro-life leaders seek to break stereotypes about millennials

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Marching up along Constitution Avenue, Trey Krause lost sight of his students. Surrounded by thousands in the heart of Washington for the annual March for Life, a majority of them young people like himself, the 26-year-old Krause searched the crowd for a McGill-Toolen Catholic High School banner, a sign for his Mobile, Alabama, group.

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  • Brownback OK'd as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Senate has confirmed Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Catholic, to be the new U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom in the U.S. Department of State. Nominated to the post in July by President Donald Trump, Brownback was confirmed Jan. 24. The Senate vote was 49-49 and Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote. On Jan. 25, Brownback announced he will resign the office of governor Jan. 31.

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  • USCCB president calls for prayer after pair of school shootings

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston called for prayers for the victims killed and injured in a pair of school shootings in Kentucky and Texas. In a statement released Jan. 23 after the second shooting in two days, Cardinal DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Christians experience the pain of the family and friends of the victims "as if it were our own."

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  • Bishops consider plans to revitalize appeal of a Catholic education

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic bishops are looking to "transform" Catholic schools in response to decades of declining enrollment that has forced hundreds of schools to close since 2005. The effort, said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education, encompasses a wide-ranging look at issues facing Catholic schools and a renewed effort to help parents better understand that the spiritual development of a child goes hand in hand with academic achievement.

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  • House passes protections for abortion survivors

    Washington D.C., Jan 19, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As the annual March for Life began just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol on Friday, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring medical care for babies surviving botched abortions.

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  • New HHS department created to protect religious freedom

    Washington D.C., Jan 18, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- A new division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will work to ensure the protection of religious freedom and conscience rights for Americans, government officials announced Thursday.

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