New Orleans Catholic Charities to Build Homes

TIMES-PICAYUNE, April 5 — Catholic Charities of New Orleans plans to build 4,000 rental homes and apartments to meet the area’s needs, said the New Orleans daily.

The organization plans to create 2,000 units in mixed-income communities and 1,000 modular homes and 1,000 apartments to replace approximately 1,200 units that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina last year. Prior to the storm, Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New Orleans operated 2,700 units.

In many cases, the new housing will be on Church property.   Jim Kelly, executive director of Catholic Charities, hopes that the housing will “give all of the people the opportunity to come home.”

Bishops Disappointed With Amendment Inaction

PIONEER PRESS, April 8 — Minnesota’s Catholic bishops said they were disappointed by the state Senate’s inaction on a marriage amendment, reported the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The majority of a Senate committee rejected the amendment, which would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman and ban same-sex “marriage.”

“We urge Catholics and all people of good will to work with us to secure the meaning of marriage in the Minnesota Constitution as the union of a man and a woman,” the bishops said in a news release.

The majority of Minnesotans oppose same-sex “marriage.” Supporters are hopeful that the amendment may later be presented to the full Senate so that it might be placed on the 2006 election ballot.

Catholic School Fires Unmarried Father

UPI, April 6 — An Attleboro, Mass., man says he was fired from his teaching job at a Catholic school after admitting he impregnated his girlfriend, said United Press International.

Robb McCoy was ordered to resign from Bishop Feehan High School, where he taught social studies and was a football coach. McCoy said that when he asked Father David Cost of Sacred Heart Church to marry him and his girlfriend, the priest refused because he said that the two were not marrying for the right reasons.

Teachers in the Diocese of Fall River sign a contract containing a clause that says they will live according to Catholic teaching.

‘Bathtub Marys’ Mimic European Shrines

SCRANTON TIMES-TRIBUNE, April 9 — The proliferation of “Bathtub Marys” — Marian statues with old bathtubs used as backgrounds — trace their origins to outdoor shrines found in Europe, reported the Pennsylvania newspaper.

The shrines, which dot gardens in predominantly Catholic Pennsylvania, fist appeared in the 1950s and ’60s as families replaced their cast-iron bathtubs, and mass-produced statuary became available.

Jeannie Thomas, director of the folklore program at Utah State University, said “the average person could have a shrine that was found in cathedrals.”