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Parkland students arrive in Florida capital, urge action on gun reform

February 21st, 2018 Posted in National News Tags:

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — About 100 students from Parkland arrived in Tallahassee the evening of Feb. 20, highly motivated to press their state lawmakers in person to reform gun laws after the deadly shooting rampage at their high school.

The afternoon shooting spree Feb. 14 at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County left at 17 people dead and at least 14 injured. Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, is being held without bond on 17 counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the attack.

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Repentance: A response to the Father’s love and forgiveness

February 20th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

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As we enter Lent we are welcomed by the phrases “repent and believe in the Gospel” or “you are dust and to dust you shall return.” These words are spoken as a cross of ashes is placed on our foreheads.

As Catholic Christians this is a time to understand our call to repentance. This call is one to an honest and authentic understanding of our self and of God. Our repentance is what reminds us that we are “dust.” In this there is great freedom. Read more »

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Living Our Faith: Lenten series: Repentance

February 20th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

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A woman prays during Ash Wednesday Mass March 1, 2017, at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston. Lent presents Catholics with an opportunity and an obligation to examine where their lives are modeling the Lord’s example and where they are failing to help bring about the kingdom of God. (CNS photo/James Ramos, Texas Catholic Herald)

According to the early Fathers of the Church, all true repentance must begin with humility. To take our eyes off others’ sins and instead to admit our own is an act of humility.

In our faults we come to know more profoundly the love of God. Repentance then is to live within the dialogue of salvation.

Lent is a time to delve deeply into our lives during this season of penance and give a thorough look at what our values are and how we live them out each day.

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U.S. bishops declare national call-in day to urge Congress to save DACA

February 19th, 2018 Posted in Featured, National News Tags: ,

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WASHINGTON — After the Senate failed Feb. 15 to garner the 60 votes needed to move a bill forward to protect the “Dreamers,” officials of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced a “National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers” Feb. 26.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers,” the USCCB officials said in a joint statement Feb. 19.

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‘Dreamers’ say they’re asking for chance to stay, not handouts

February 17th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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HOUSTON — Angelica Velazquez came to the United States at age 3 when her parents brought her from Mexico to the United States. They came on tourist visas that they then overstayed.

Now 20, Velazquez applied for, paid her fees and was accepted as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

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In Vancouver, Catholics adapt ancient Lunar New Year traditions

February 16th, 2018 Posted in International News

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — For Asian Catholics in North America, marking the Lunar New Year can be tricky when the traditional feast falls during Lent, because part of the traditional celebrations include large family meals.

This year, Lunar New Year begins Feb. 16, a Friday in Lent. In the greater Vancouver area, home to more than 400,000 people of Chinese origin, Archbishop J. Michael Miller granted a special dispensation to the city’s Asian Catholics, but asked them to keep in mind the Lenten spirit of charity and to pray for ongoing talks between the Vatican and China.

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Jesuit journal: Pope regularly meets with abuse survivors

February 15th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags:

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told a group of Jesuits in Peru that he often meets on Fridays with survivors of sex abuse.

The meetings, which he said do not always become public knowledge, make it clear that the survivors’ process of recovery “is very hard. They remain annihilated. Annihilated,” the pope had told the Jesuits Jan. 19 in Lima.

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Florida school shooting an act of ‘horrifying evil,’ says Miami archbishop

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MIAMI — Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski urged community members to come together “to support one another in this time of grief” after a shooting rampage Feb. 14 at a Broward County high school left at least 17 people dead.

“With God’s help, we can remain strong and resolute to resist evil in all its manifestations,” the archbishop said in a statement. “May God heal the brokenhearted and comfort the sorrowing as we once again face as a nation another act of senseless violence and horrifying evil.”

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Olympic image of Korea is better together than at odds

February 14th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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In ancient Greece, warring sides would sign a truce for the duration of the Olympic Games so athletes could safely join the sporting festival. That ideal, sport as a bridge to peace, still endures despite the modern games being darkened so often by scandal.

So it was encouraging on Jan. 26 when 12 female hockey players from North Korea stepped off a bus to receive flowers and cheerful introductions to their new teammates from South Korea. It was a truce in the spirit of the ancient games that few saw coming.

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FEMA policy change for disaster recovery lauded by church

February 13th, 2018 Posted in National News

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TRENTON, N.J. — Superstorm Sandy-weary diocesan and parish officials lauded a Federal Emergency Management Agency policy change announced earlier this year that reverses a prior exclusion for religious organizations and houses of worship from applying for federal aid to recover from natural disasters.

“This change in eligibility for FEMA public assistance to religious organizations is monumental,” said Joe Cahill, director of the Diocese of Trenton’s Department of Risk Management.

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