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Politics, courts involved in U.S. health care’s 2016 diagnosis

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of year-end stories recapping key events of 2016. WASHINGTON—U.S. health care seemed stuck in the waiting room for part of the year, holding out for its future prognosis from courtroom and political decisions. During the election year, health care as a whole was not a top issue […]

What it means to be powerless

Every now and then something up close and personal gives us a hint of what the experience of Mary and Joseph might have been like. A sad story which came to our sisters this autumn was one of those events. With some variations, it connects with the experience of a twosome faced with unexpected regulations […]

Bringing Our Lady of Guadalupe traditions to life

For thousands of families around the state, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a time for showing devotion to the Blessed Mother and pride in their heritage. The feast day on Dec. 12 celebrates Mary’s appearance to St. Juan Diego, a poor young Aztec man, in 1531 on Tepayac Hill near what is […]

Vatican sets up emails, hashtag to send birthday greetings to Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY—Even though Pope Francis was planning a “normal” workday for his birthday, well-wishers can help brighten it up with special tweets and emails. The pontiff turns 80 on Dec. 17 and plans to start the day with Mass together with cardinals living in Rome, according to the Vatican press office. The Vatican made the […]

Pope writes to Syrian president, urging him to end war

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to do everything possible to end the war in his country, to protect civilians and to ensure humanitarian agencies can deliver emergency aid to the people. Syria’s SANA news agency reported Assad met Dec. 12 with new Cardinal Mario Zenari, the papal nuncio to Syria, and that […]

Byzantine Catholics prepare for Christmas with 40-day fast

A 40-day period known as the Philip’s Fast, which began Nov. 15, is accompanying the faithful of the Byzantine Catholic Church as they prepare to celebrate the feast of the Nativity. These periods of preparation teach that in order to feast, we must fast. Named for the feast of the apostle celebrated the day before, […]

Thousands gather to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe

WASHINGTON—People on the sidewalks of Washington momentarily stopped their holiday shopping and paused in the cold on Dec. 10 to take in the sight of hundreds of pilgrims processing through the streets alongside images of Mary. One procession began at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart and another at Holy Name Church, and the two […]

2016: The year racism and fear make a comeback

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of year-end stories recapping key events of 2016. WASHINGTON—It began with the fatal shootings of unarmed black men and women by police. It was exacerbated in the summer when, on July 7, a gunman in Dallas opened fire on police during a march, killing five officers in […]

Pope Francis calls Coptic Pope Tawadros to share condolences

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis phoned Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria Dec. 12, expressing his prayers and condolences for the previous day’s terrorist attack at the Cairo cathedral that left 25 people dead. “We are united in the blood of our martyrs,” the pope told the Orthodox patriarch, according to a Vatican statement. The patriarch […]

Daughters of Charity seek replacements for outreach in Gloverville

GLOVERVILLE—For nearly 40 years, the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul have been a beacon of hope for residents of the Horse Creek Valley region of Aiken County. Working out of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center, they provide a wide range of assistance to resi­dents of the area, which has long […]

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