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Ministering to the Gangs of Los Angeles (5254)

The Church is making strides to reduce gang violence, but more effort is needed to make parishes an effective presence and voice for peace on the streets.

08/05/2014 Comments (11)

A handcuffed MS-13 gang member

– Wikipedia

LOS ANGELES — The scourge of gang violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has driven tens of thousands of migrants into the U.S. and other Central-American countries.

But the two major gangs that control whole swaths of these countries, MS-13 and the 18th Street gang, are not native to the region: They are a U.S. export straight out of Los Angeles.

“MS-13 started in the Pico Union area,” said Father Stan Bosch, a psychologist with years of experience as a pastor in gang-ridden Compton, Calif. “They were young fellows, 14 or 15 years old, who had watched their parents literally beaten and decapitated in front of them.”

The Catholic Church in Los Angeles is actively engaged in...READ MORE

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Campaign Seeks to Help Educate Escaped Nigerian Schoolgirls (1321)

A non-profit group wants to give 60 girls who escaped from Boko Haram terrorists 'a fresh start' through education in a safe environment.

08/05/2014 Comment

– YouCaring.com

WASHINGTON — As more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls remain missing after being kidnapped this spring by Islamist terrorists, one human-rights group has started a campaign to help educate those who were able to escape.

“Right now, as these courageous girls remain in Nigeria, they are confronted daily with the paralyzing fear of recapture and potential village attacks,” legal intern Sarah Jane Norris of Jubilee Campaign told CNA.

“These are our sisters in Christ, and they need our help.”

In April, the radical Islamic group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. About 60 girls have escaped, according to reports, but the majority remain missing,...READ MORE

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Five Tips for Parishes from Pope Francis, Jesse Romero: Fighting for Souls and Much More! (3410)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

08/05/2014 Comment

Follow the Five Tips for Parishes from Pope Francis by Sr. Theresa Noble of Ignitum Today link to read more.

Five Tips for Parishes from Pope Francis by Sr. Theresa Noble of Ignitum Today - BigPulpit.com

Jesse Romero: Fighting for Souls – Carlos Espinosa, Living The On A High Wire

Dear Homeschooling Parents, Public & Private School Teachers. . . – T. J. Burdick, Ignitum Today

Preparing Ourselves For Our Eternal Destiny – Fr. Joseph Esper, Catholic Journal US

Anonymous Donor Empowers Digital Evangelizers - Little Flower

New York Times Reporter: Some People Deserving of Incivility for Pro-Marriage Stance by Ryan T. Anderson - BigPulpit.com

Solomon’s Wisdom: The Necessity of Reading the Old Testament – Fr. Tucker Cordani, Catholic Lane

What Truly Belongs To You? – Strahlen Smith, Catholic...READ MORE

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Secretary John Kerry Renews Calls for Pastor’s Release From Iranian Prison (2181)

Since September 2012, pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen, has been imprisoned because of his Christian faith.

08/04/2014 Comment
American Center for Law and Justice

Imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedin with his family

– American Center for Law and Justice

WASHINGTON — Nearly two years after a U.S. citizen was imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, calls for his release continue.

“In Iran, U.S. Iranian citizen Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned. The Iranian authorities sentenced him to eight years behind bars simply because of his religious beliefs,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a July 28 report on international religious freedom.

Kerry said that the U.S. “will continue to call for his release, and we will continue to work for it,” uniting with efforts from other government officials, including President Barack Obama.

Born and raised Muslim in Iran, Abedini converted to Christianity in 2000, becoming a U.S. citizen...READ MORE

Filed under john kerry, pastor saeed abedini, persecution

Pope Francis: ‘Put the Needs of the Poor Ahead of Our Own’ (6718)

Holy Father says the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes is all about compassion, sharing and the Eucharist.

08/04/2014 Comments (1)


VATICAN — At Sunday's Angelus address at the Vatican, Pope Francis called on those receiving his message to care first for the poor before concerning themselves with their own wants and needs.

“Jesus teaches us to put the needs of the poor ahead of our own,” he said Aug. 3 in St. Peter’s Square. “Our needs, even if legitimate, will never be so urgent as those of the poor, who lack the necessities of life.”

He reflected on the day’s Gospel, the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, from which he drew three messages: compassion, sharing and the Eucharist.

Beginning with compassion, he said that Christ “does not react with irritation to the crowd that followed him and would not, so to...READ MORE

Filed under angelus, pope francis, poverty

Gram Josephine: Witness to the Truth About Marriage (2022)


08/04/2014 Comments (7)

– Shutterstock

In October 2014, at the behest of Pope Francis, an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will convene in Rome on the “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”

One issue to be considered is the painful circumstances of divorced Catholics who remarry. I offer the story of my late grandmother, Josephine — beloved “Gram.”

Gram and my then-7-year-old dad were abandoned by my railroader-grandfather in 1931. Granddad’s only exculpation: “No one could live with Josephine.”

At St. Joseph Parish and School, a traditional German-American community, this was doubtless a scandal. Additionally problematic was that, since 1940, Gram lived with Bob (Dad’s...READ MORE

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Outcry Ensues Over Top Polish Doctor Fired for Abortion Refusal (3675)

Dr. Bogdan Chazan is appealing his removal from a Warsaw hospital because he would not perform or refer for an abortion request.

08/04/2014 Comments (3)
Katy Senour/CNA

– Katy Senour/CNA

WARSAW — The forced removal of one of Poland’s top doctors as director of Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw for his refusing to perform an abortion has drawn widespread condemnation, and questions have been raised over whether his firing violated the law.

“The official council in his institution has not found any miscarrying of procedures or breaking of the rules within the hospital,” said Catholic advocacy group member Bogna Obidzinska.

“His decision not to commit the abortion was perfectly within the law, and he had the right, according to the Freedom of Conscience Act,” to refuse, she said.

“The only breech they found [was] that he was guilty of was not referring the lady to another...READ MORE

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Congressman Accuses Obama Administration of Silence on ‘Genocide’ in Iraq (8338)

Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf said the U.S. Congress must hold the White House accountable ‘for its failure to act’ in defense of Iraq’s Christians.

08/04/2014 Comments (39)

Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Va


WASHINGTON — Christians are facing genocide in Iraq while the U.S. government and the United Nations remain silent, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., charged on the House floor Thursday.

“I believe what is happening to the Christian community in Iraq is genocide. I also believe it is a crime against humanity,” Wolf said July 31.

“Where is the West? Where is the Obama administration? Where is the Congress? The silence is deafening.”

The militant Sunni Islamist organization called the Islamic State has in recent months consolidated control over large portions of Iraq and Syria, establishing its version of a caliphate and imposing a radical interpretation of sharia  (Islamic law) in its territory.


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