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Court Allows 9/11 Cross to Remain in Memorial Museum (4085)

The Ground Zero symbol has a place in history, judges rule.

07/29/2014 Comments (6)
Samuel Li/Wikimedia

– Samuel Li/Wikimedia

WASHINGTON -- Rejecting arguments from an atheist group, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that the iconic cross found at the site of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks may remain at the 9/11 Museum.

“The history of 9/11 would not be complete without including the impact the Ground Zero Cross had in inspiring rescue workers and Americans generally,” said Eric Baxter, counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in a July 28 statement.

“Displaying the cross in a display about ‘Finding Meaning at Ground Zero’ is perfectly appropriate,” he continued.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty had filed a brief supporting the museum’s ability to display the cross, which was discovered...READ MORE

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U.S. Farmers and Business Leaders Share Expertise and Insight in East Africa (2664)

Catholic Relief Services is in its first year of administering USAID’s Farmer to Farmer program in the region.

07/29/2014 Comments (5)
Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Farmer Wariso Dekamo assesses prices in a weekly visit to an Ethiopian livestock market as part of a CRS early-warning system for food insecurity.

– Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

NAIROBI, Kenya — It wasn’t Ellen Frazenburg’s first time doing volunteer work overseas, but she admits she had her worries during the first few days of the short-term volunteer assignment to Ethiopia she completed earlier this year.

Despite having a degree in agricultural background and experience abroad, the Van Horne, Iowa, native said it took some time to adjust to her particular assignment — teaching strategies to improve post-harvest grain storage — and to gain the trust of the Ethiopian farmers with whom she was working.

“I think they were concerned about how a little white girl was going to handle being in a remote area for nearly three weeks,” she said.

Nonetheless, after only a...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic relief services, catholic social teaching, corporal works of mercy, stewardship

Ariz. Inmate’s Grueling Execution Called Preventable (1619)

Botched deaths by lethal injection are rising in the U.S. as states experiment with new drugs.

07/29/2014 Comments (5)

– Wikipedia

PHOENIX, Ariz. — The number of botched deaths by lethal injection is increasing in the U.S, with the most recent being the nearly two-hour execution of an Arizona inmate last week, which one observer believes could have been avoided.

“The problems that occurred in the execution of Joseph Wood on July 23 should have been foreseen and prevented,” Richard Dieter of the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center told CNA.

He said that the rate of failed executions is “greater than any other year since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.”

“Over 1,000 lethal injections were conducted earlier with only comparatively minor problems,” Dieter noted. “It is the secrecy and...READ MORE

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‘Amazing Parish’ Movement Unites Clergy, Laity in Renewal (3531)

The movement seeks to provide resources for the lay faithful to help their pastors create a strong, vibrant and engaging parish life.

07/29/2014 Comments (4)

DENVER — A new movement seeking to unite the faithful and their pastors in the formation of thriving parishes has seen a wide scope of interest throughout the U.S. in the time since it was started a little more than a year ago.

“The response has been great,” Pat Lencioni, one of the founders, told CNA.

The Amazing Parish movement seeks to give Catholic leaders, both clergy and lay, the resources and support they need to create strong, fruitful parishes.  

“For most Catholics, the parish is where they come to know Christ and the Church. If parishes aren’t vibrant and strong, it’s really tough for most Catholics to connect with their faith,” Lencioni said.

The movement will have its first...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’ Top 10 List for Happiness (38912)

An interview published Sunday in Argentina marks the Holy Father’s first 500 days.

07/29/2014 Comments (49)
Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

– Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In a new interview published in Argentina Sunday, Pope Francis has given a 10-point plan for happiness, which includes giving oneself to others, spending Sundays with family, helping unemployed youth find work and letting others “live and let live.”

He also commends Sweden for giving asylum to a large number of immigrants, criticizes the destruction of the environment and stresses that peacemaking requires action, not passivity.

The first excerpts of the interview appeared as a feature article in the Argentine magazine Viva, a supplement of the popular national daily El Clarín. It was given to mark the first 500 days of Francis’ pontificate.

The interviewer, Pablo Calvo,...READ MORE

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A Prophecy: The Vocations Crisis Is Over; Is This Love? Surrogates and Same-Sex Couples and More! (4543)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/29/2014 Comment

Follow the A Prophecy: The Vocations Crisis Is Over by Father Dwight Longenecker link to read more.

A Prophecy: The Vocations Crisis Is Over by Father Dwight Longenecker - BigPulpit.com

European Court: Gay Marriage Is Not a Human Right – Stefano Gennarini JD, Catholic Lane

Is This Love? Surrogates, Same-Sex Couples, and Motherless Babies – Jennifer Hartline, Catholic Stand

Gay Catholic Romance Novel Shows Sacrifice at Heart of Love – Karee Santos, Aleteia

Celebration of Liturgy Is Most Important Act of Evangelization by Richard J. Clark - BigPulpit.com

Answers to Questions About Gay 'Marriage' – Leila, Little Catholic Bubble

God Only Helps Whom? – Abigail Reimel, Catholic Stand

The Three Munera: The Father as Priest – Sam Guzman, Catholic Exchange

Religion, Relationship, and New...READ MORE

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Pope Greets Evangelicals as Brothers (7272)

In meeting with 350 evangelicals, Pope asks for forgiveness for past persecution of Pentecostals by Catholics.

07/28/2014 Comments (15)
Cesare Abbate/ ANSA

Pope Francis greets Pentecostal pastor Giovanni Traettino in the southern Italian town of Caserta.

– Cesare Abbate/ ANSA

CASERTA, Italy — Pope Francis made a private visit to Caserta on Monday, his second trip to the southern Italian city in three days.

The purpose of this visit was to meet an old friend from Buenos Aires, pastor Giovanni Traettino, and greet evangelicals and members of the community Traettino founded, the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation.

After arrival by helicopter soon after 10am and greeting Traettino and his family, Pope Francis was welcomed by nearly 350 Pentecostals, who had traveled to Caserta from around Italy, as well as from the United States and South America.

According to La Stampa, he acknowledged that “some people are surprised that the Pope has come to find...READ MORE

Filed under caserta, evangelical, giovanni traettino, pentecostal, pope francis

Rio Favela Still Reaping Fruits From World Youth Day (1453)

A priest said the WYD experience revitalized the faith of a neighborhood, where many held ‘magical’ beliefs mixed with Christianity.

07/28/2014 Comment
Alex Mazzullo via JMJ Rio 2013/Flickr

Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day, July 24, 2013.

– Alex Mazzullo via JMJ Rio 2013/Flickr

RIO DE JANEIRO — After nearly two years of preparation, Father José Almy Gomesalmost wasn’t ready for Pope Francis’ World Youth Day pilgrimage to Rio de Janeiro.

A student at Rome’s Patristic Institute Augustinianum from 2003 to 2007, Father Almy, 40, was the pastor of St. Dominic’s in Perdizes, a rural neighborhood of São Paulo. He worked from June 2011 to August 2012 organizing a group of more than 100 international pilgrims, including 20 Americans, for a three-week Catholic dream experience: seven days of tourism and cultural immersion in São Paulo, a week of mission work in Rio’s favelas and seven days of WYD celebration on Copacabana Beach.

His only hope, for the sake of the...READ MORE

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