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First Communion for Iraqi Refugees Represents Hope for a Persecuted People (496)

'What God is giving us in faith and strength is helping us to give more, and that by itself will bring us closer to God,” said Sister Waffa Yousif, who helped train the 30 first communicants.

05/24/2016 Comment
Firas Pack photos

Iraqi Christian children, uprooted from their homes in the Nineveh Plain by the Islamic State in the summer of 2014, make their First Solemn Communion with Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Beirut, Lebanon. The Syriac Catholic patriarchate set up the center as a satellite church in the neighborhood where most of the Iraqi Christian refugee families live in crowded apartments.

– Firas Pack photos

BEIRUT — Outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Beirut, Lebanon, the children could hardly contain their excitement.

All the suffering of their lives in forced exile seemed to vanish as they anticipated the holy sacrament for which they had so diligently prepared. Two girls joined hands and gleefully spun each other around.

Dressed in white robes adorned with wooden rosaries on the eve of Pentecost, the 30 Iraqi refugee children quickly composed themselves when Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan arrived from the nearby patriarchate. They assembled reverently for the processional, folding their hands in prayer. 

“This is the day we were waiting for. … O...READ MORE

Filed under beirut, doreen abi raad, first communion, iraqi christians, isis, islamic state, lebanon, patriarch younan, sacraments

Holy Spirit Missionary Sister Dies After Being Shot in South Sudan (1829)

A Slovak nun and medical doctor died Friday from wounds she suffered in an attack last week.

05/24/2016 Comments (1)
Alex Proimos via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) via CNA

– Alex Proimos via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) via CNA

JUBA, South Sudan — A Slovak nun and medical doctor died Friday from gunshot wounds she suffered in an attack in Yei, South Sudan, last week.

Sister Veronika Terézia Racková was shot and wounded by three soldiers on May 16, and she died from her injuries on May 20, said Martin Kramara, spokesman of the Slovak Bishops’ Conference (KBS), according to Slovak news sources.

The sister had been driving a patient to a nearby hospital when she was attacked, shot in the stomach and suffered multiple other injuries, including fractures to her pelvis, according to several reports. She underwent surgery at a local hospital before being flown to Nairobi, Kenya, for further treatment.

A member of the...READ MORE

Filed under holy spirit missionary sisters, south sudan

Dominicans Ordain Largest Number of Friars in 45 Years (4637)

Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, a priest of the Order of Preachers, presided over the Mass that ordained 11 men to the Catholic priesthood.

05/24/2016 Comments (5)
Jaclyn Lippelman/ Courtesy of Dominican Province of St. Joseph

Ordination of class of 2016 for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (http://vocations.opeast.org/) at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

– Jaclyn Lippelman/ Courtesy of Dominican Province of St. Joseph

WASHINGTON — “Our Lord commanded us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest, and we have done so — and these are his answer to our prayer,” Archbishop Augustine Di Noia said Saturday, as he prepared to serve as ordaining prelate for the largest class of Dominican friars ordained for the eastern Province of St. Joseph in 45 years.

This year marks the 800th jubilee for the Order of Preachers, and Archbishop Di Noia, ordained a Dominican priest in 1970, emphasized that this class was “blessed to be the 800th-anniversary ordination class” of the province. The 11 new priests, mostly men in their 20s, were ordained at a May 21 Mass that filled to capacity the Upper...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop di noia, catholic, dominicans, new priests, order of preachers, priestly vocations, st. dominic

Will Australia Vote to Roll Back Abortion With Infant Viability Bill? (1494)

Member of Parliament Rachel Carling-Jenkins takes fight to change one of the world’s laxest abortion laws.

05/24/2016 Comments (1)
Wikipedia Creative Commons

Rachel Carling-Jenkins is a member for Western Metropolitan in the Victorian State Parliament in Australia, representing the Democratic Labour Party.

– Wikipedia Creative Commons

MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian state is the site of an uphill legislative battle to roll back one of the most permissive abortion regimes in the world, less than a decade after its legal introduction.

Victoria’s upper house of parliament will vote May 25 on a bill that would ban abortions after 24 weeks, when a fetus can be delivered with good survival prospects, and mandate holistic care for women facing crisis pregnancies.

The current law allows for abortion up until birth, with almost no practical restrictions, mirroring only a handful of U.S. states without time limits. While individual politicians have previously floated plans to tighten access to abortion, the Infant Viability...READ MORE

Filed under australia, john power, parliament, victoria

Pope to Grand Imam: ‘Our Meeting Is the Message’ (1381)

Francis embraced the grand imam Sheik Ahmed Muhammad el-Tayyib during a meeting at the Vatican on Monday.

05/23/2016 Comments (5)
L'Osservatore Romano

The Pope and grand imam meet on May 23 at the Vatican.

– L'Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Monday embraced the grand imam Sheik Ahmed Muhammad el-Tayyib during a meeting at the Vatican, a move which is being seen as a step toward reopening dialogue between Christians and Sunni Muslims.

“Our meeting is the message,” the Pope was heard to have said to the imam during the meeting.

The pontiff and el-Tayyib, who is the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque, observed the significance of the meeting “within the framework of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam,” said Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi.

They addressed the commitment on the part of authorities and the faithful of major religions alike toward bringing world...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic-muslim dialogue, vatican

Benedict XVI Could Appear in Public in June for 65th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination (1220)

Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the pontifical household and private secretary to the retired pope, said that ‘there will be another occasion to see the pope emeritus in public.’

05/23/2016 Comments (1)
Mazur/CNA

– Mazur/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI could appear in public once again on June 29, the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination.

Speaking after the May 20 presentation of a book dedicated to Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the pontifical household and private secretary to the retired pope, said that “there will be another occasion to see the pope emeritus in public.”

“Benedict XVI will celebrate the 65th anniversary of [his ordination] June 29, and we will see what we will be able to manage. … This may present an opportunity to show that Benedict XVI is well.”

The Catholic Church celebrates the martyrdom of Peter and Paul on June 29, patron saints of the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, priestly ordinations

China’s Population-Control Machine Reaches Disastrous Proportions (2278)

Human-rights activist Reggie Littlejohn discusses the latest developments in the country’s assault on its own children.

05/23/2016 Comments (4)
Women's Rights Without Frontiers

Reggie Littlejohn

– Women's Rights Without Frontiers

ROME — Despite the implementation in China of a two-child — rather than one-child — policy at the beginning of the year, forced abortions, mostly of baby girls, will continue on an enormous scale. This is according to Reggie Littlejohn, founder and director of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. On a visit to Rome this month, she sat down with the Register to discuss the latest on the Chinese government’s  population-control policy.

She also explains how her organization’s “Save a Girl” campaign has saved many lives and how International Planned Parenthood Federation is working “hand in hand” with China’s population-control machine. Littlejohn was in Rome to attend the annual Rome Life...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, china, edward pentin, population control, reggie littlejohn

Dominicans at 800 Years Old: Order Committed to Preaching Piety (3960)

U.S. members of the Order of Preachers discuss jubilee, which included the largest ordination class in 45 years; the new priests were ordained this past weekend.

05/23/2016 Comments (7)
Main photo via Kathryn Lopez Twitter; Father Briscoe, Father Lawrence Lew, OP;  Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, Jeb Wilson/Nashville Photography Group; others courtesy of the subjects

Above, Father Thomas Petri blesses a new priest on May 21. Below, the Dominicans featured in this story.

– Main photo via Kathryn Lopez Twitter; Father Briscoe, Father Lawrence Lew, OP; Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, Jeb Wilson/Nashville Photography Group; others courtesy of the subjects

It is not uncommon for Father Patrick Briscoe to be mistaken for anything but what he is — a Dominican priest. His white, ankle-length tunic, the habit of the Order of Preachers, tends to be a dead giveaway.

Newly ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Father Briscoe is among about 100 Dominicans who live and work in the Washington area as part of the Province of St. Joseph.

“It’s not entirely uncommon to see us,” Father Briscoe said, but he added with a chuckle, “We’re often believed to be Jedi or Buddhists. People ask if we’re from the East or are Hare Krishnas.”

You’d think an order celebrating its 800-year founding in 2016 would garner more respect — if not recognition. Rest assured,...READ MORE

Filed under anthony flott, dominicans, new priests, order of preachers, st. dominic

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