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Vocations Delayed by High Student Debt (6055)

Catholic colleges are taking steps to reduce costs for students, whose lives after graduation are often hindered by their accumulated financial burdens.

01/16/2014 Comments (24)
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– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — The increasing burden of student debt on Catholics has turned into a major roadblock for young people trying to fulfill their vocations: whether it be for marriage, priesthood or religious life.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston raised the alarm in November about student debt, saying that “people are postponing marriage — are postponing a decision to go into the seminary or religious life — because they’re saddled under these tremendous debts which former generations didn’t have.

“If you have a $150,000 debt when you graduate law school, are you going to marry a girl who has a $130,000 debt and start off your marriage with over a quarter-million dollars’ debt?”

Just last...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: ‘Our Faith Is Not an Ornament’ (2234)

The Holy Father continued his reflections on the sacrament of baptism at his Jan. 15 general audience.

01/15/2014 Comment
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Pope Francis speaks at his Jan. 15 general audience in St. Peter's Square.

– ctv.va

VATICAN CITY — During his general audience, Pope Francis continued his reflections on baptism, emphasizing that we are called to use the grace we receive in order to become “missionary disciples.”

“We are one community, and living together our faith is not an ornament, but, rather, is something essential for the Christian life ... for testimony and for evangelization,” the Pope explained in his Jan. 15 general audience.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” he stated to the pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square, “today we continue our catechesis on the sacrament of baptism by reflecting on how, through baptism, we become members of Christ’s mystical body, the Church.”

The Second Vatican...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Appoints New Bishop of Pueblo, Colo. (3061)

Bishop-designate Stephen Berg promises, ‘You will have all I have to give.’

01/15/2014 Comments (1)

Bishop-designate Stephen Berg

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has named the next bishop of Pueblo, Colo.: Msgr. Stephen Berg of Fort Worth, Texas, a trained pianist who became a priest after a career as a business executive.

“You will have all I have to give,” Bishop-designate Berg, 62, told the people of his diocese at a Jan. 15 press conference in Pueblo. “I will also give my best to all of my people, especially the Hispanic ministry.”

The Pueblo Diocese covers 48,000 square miles of territory across southern Colorado. It has about 64,000 Catholics in 53 parishes, 44 missions and four Catholic schools.

Bishop-designate Berg, whose new diocese is predominantly rural and mountain, cited his own background in rural...READ MORE

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Fear of the Lord Gives Us the Desire Not to Offend God (2065)

COMMENTARY: The conclusion of a Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

01/15/2014 Comments (2)

As we saw last time, fear of the Lord is ordered toward Christian hope, and hope is linked with suffering as Christ the Son, not Christ the slave, suffered. “We rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope; and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us” (Romans 5:2-5).

This sounds counterintuitive, since our whole civilization is ordered toward not suffering, and it regards suffering as proof that God either does not exist, does not care or...READ MORE

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Pregnant Woman’s Brain-Dead Diagnosis Renews Abortion Debate (7112)

Fort Worth case raises question of what constitutes ‘extraordinary care’ for an unborn baby now gestating in the womb of a mother on life support.

01/15/2014 Comments (25)
AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis

Erick Muñoz stands Jan.3 beside a copy of a photograph of himself with his wife Marlise and their son Mateo in Haltom City, Texas.

– AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis

FORT WORTH, Texas — A hospital room in the city of Fort Worth, Texas, has become the newest focal point in the national abortion debate.

In John Peter Smith Hospital lies the body of 33-year-old Marlise Muñoz, who is reportedly brain-dead, after having suffered what seemed to be a blood clot in her lungs some six weeks ago. Her bodily functions are being sustained on a ventilator, however, because Muñoz is now 20 weeks pregnant, and hospital officials are interpreting Texas law to require that Muñoz not be disconnected from life support until the viability of her baby can be determined.

The case is causing a national debate about when human life begins, a woman’s “right to choose” and...READ MORE

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San Francisco Pro-Life Walk Includes Dynamic Speakers and Events (3423)

Eva Muntean, the Walk for Life West Coast’s co-founder, said the walk has been a labor of love these past 10 years, but this year will be very special.

01/15/2014 Comments (2)
West Coast Walk for Life

Pro-life supporters join in the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco.

– West Coast Walk for Life

SAN FRANCISCO — The 2014 Walk for Life West Coast will host an engaging series of events surrounding the walk itself, which one of the founders is calling a fruition of 10 years of pro-life witness in San Francisco.

“We have so many events around the walk: the Law of Life summit, the sidewalk counselor training by Abby Johnson, the very first West Coast Students for Life of America conference … it’s the fruits of the walk,” said Eva Muntean, a co-founder of Walk for Life West Coast.

She added, “It’s amazing the fruit that comes out of making these events happen.”

The Walk for Life is a pro-life march held annually in San Francisco, from Civic Center Plaza to the Ferry Building on...READ MORE

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Papal Almoner Celebrates Funeral for Homeless Man (2140)

Alexander Pawlewski, a 63-year-old Polish national, was found dead on the street with his sole possessions — a blanket and a cardboard box he used as a bed.

01/15/2014 Comments (7)
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Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner

– mazur-www.thepapalvisit.org.uk

ROME — Vatican officials held a funeral Mass Jan. 10 for Alexander Pawlewski, a beggar who was often seen on the streets of Rome, who died from exposure to the cold last month.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, who is responsible for distributing donations to those in need on behalf of Pope Francis. Father Policarpo Nowak of the Vatican Secretariat of State delivered the homily.

“Let us defend ourselves from the evil of selfishness and indifference, offering more time to our neighbor and, above all, recognizing his full dignity as a child of God,” the priest said.

Pawlewski, a 63-year-old Polish national, was found dead on the street with his...READ MORE

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‘Close Friends’? Go Ahead and Adopt, Rules N.Y. Judge (6477)

The surrogate court judge’s ruling is unprecedented, but consistent with social and legal logic that has redefined marriage away from its child-raising purpose, Catholic critics say.

01/15/2014 Comments (10)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

NEW YORK — A New York state judge has delivered an unprecedented ruling that says close friends who live in separate households can legally adopt children together.

“KAL and LEL are two loving adults who are both functioning as G.’s parents and have a relationship with each other built on a solid, decade-plus friendship,” stated Surrogate Rita Mella in her Dec. 27, 2013, ruling from Manhattan surrogate court.

Surrogate Mella’s ruling, “The Matter of G.,” involves two friends, living in separate households, who decided to adopt a child from Ethiopia together in 2011. According to court papers, the woman, identified as KAL, first wanted to conceive a child via artificial insemination....READ MORE

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