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Bishop welcomes neighbors to pray in new chapel

CHARLESTON—Alphonso Brown wondered for two years why construction noises kept waking him up in the early mornings in his home along Orange Grove Road. On Sept. 16, he found his answer. Brown joined other neighborhood residents for an ecumenical prayer service and open house to celebrate the opening of the Diocese of Charleston’s new pastoral […]

Church leaders affirm commitment to family as world meeting kicks off

PHILADELPHIA—Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia will be “the city of family love” and the “world capital of families” during the four-day World Meeting of Families, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The largest-ever World Meeting of Families opened in Philadelphia Sept. 22. More than 17,500 participants […]

‘Laudato Si’ is not a total novelty

Among the summer’s newsmaking stories were wildfires in western states, an outflow of wastewater from an abandoned gold mine rushing downriver in Colorado, and searing temperatures worldwide. Just before summer, on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis sparked his own kind of wildfire by issuing the encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home”. Almost immediately […]

Father Mendonca is grateful for a warm welcome

MYRTLE BEACH—Father Norbert Mendonca recently spent his lunch hour darting between tables at the Sea Captain’s House restaurant, urging his family members to try local seafood specialties such as she-crab soup. The setting—a historic restaurant in a tourist town in South Carolina—was almost unheard of in his life a year ago, when he was serving […]

‘Enter to learn, exit to serve’ – Bishop England turns 100

Alumni, school leaders and community members are busily paging through old photo albums and pulling out their green and white as they prepare to celebrate 100 years of Bishop England High School tradition. Festivities, including a village reunion, football game, Mass and dance are planned for Sept. 25-26. There will be much reminiscing and more […]

How do we keep a church safe without locking the doors?

CHARLESTON—Less than three months ago, nine people were killed in a hail of bullets inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in a hate crime. Since then, seminars on how to improve church security have popped up with increasing frequency around the state and country. In the last few weeks alone, discussions sponsored by the […]

The family takes the focus at Hispanic priests meeting

CHARLESTON—Prayers, songs and passionate words about God in Spanish and English rang through meeting rooms at the Francis Marion Hotel on King Street as Hispanic clergy met here recently. The National Association of Hispanic Priests held its annual conference Aug. 31 to Sept. 3 focusing on “Family: Strength of the Priest.” The event drew 85 […]

The holy smoke

We live in strange times. Cigarette smoking is demonized, but recreational marijuana is decriminalized to the point that, according to the University of Michigan, daily usage is at a 35-year high on college campi. Like secondhand smoke, usage of incense in liturgical celebrations may be irritating. However, since Vatican II its usage has been permitted […]

Pope simplifies annulment process, asks that it be free of charge

VATICAN CITY—While a juridical process is necessary for making accurate judgments, the Catholic Church’s marriage annulment process must be quicker, cheaper and much more of a pastoral ministry, Pope Francis said. Rewriting a section of the Latin-rite Code of Canon Law and of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Pope Francis said he […]

60 is just a number

“Sixty is just a number,” a friend wrote in my birthday card. Yes, I thought to myself, and so is my weight, just a number. Funny that out of all the ways I can be measured, age in years and weight in pounds have the greatest power to depress me. Sometimes our culture encourages me […]

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