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2017

USCCB president decries mass shooting at Texas church

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Catholic Church stands “in unity” with the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the larger community after a shooting during Sunday services took the lives of at least 26 people and injured at least 20 others. Those who died ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, and included 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy. Her […]


Msgr. Joseph F. Hanley, beloved pastor, dies at 75

Msgr. Joseph Francis Hanley Jr., retired pastor of Holy Family Church on Hilton Head Island, died Nov. 2 in Charleston. He was 75. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, at 11 a.m. by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone at Blessed Sacrament Church, located at 5 Saint Teresa Drive in Charleston. […]


War brings only death, pope says at U.S. military cemetery

NETTUNO, Italy—”No more, Lord, no more (war)” that shatters dreams and destroys lives, bringing a cold, cruel winter instead of some sought-after spring, Pope Francis said, looking out at the people gathered for an outdoor Mass at a U.S. war memorial and cemetery. “This is the fruit of war: death,” he said, as the bright […]


Faithful help departed souls enter heaven through prayer

The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on Nov. 2, or, if this falls on a Sunday or a solemnity, the feast is celebrated on Nov. 3. The Office of the Dead must be recited by the clergy on this day, and all the Masses are to be of Requiem except […]


Desire to honor martyrs leads to All Saints Day

The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated on the first of November. It was instituted to honor all of the saints, both known and unknown, and, according to Pope Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year. In the early days of the Church, Christians would honor the anniversary of […]


Thoughts on Halloween and how it can point you to heaven

Halloween. It is a curious phenomenon, isn’t it? An annual holiday, sanctioned and monitored by local governments all over the country, that celebrates death with a creepy display of ghosts, corpses, headstones, and skeletons … What gives? Where does such a “celebration” come from in the human psyche? Holiday, of course, means “holy day.” And […]


Pope: Heaven isn’t a ‘fairy tale’ – it’s an embrace with God

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis spoke about the hope Christians have at the end of life, which is found in God’s promise to be with us at the moment of our death, and to give us eternal life with him in heaven. “Paradise is not a fairy tale, nor is it an enchanted garden. Paradise is an […]


Work is part of God’s kingdom

Jesus never expected a stipend for speaking or collected a consultant’s fee. He never made — or stipulated — a minimum wage. He did, however, appreciate work and understood what labor meant to farmers, shepherds, sailors, fishermen, homemakers, seamstresses, and cooks. Although the work world has changed dramatically, it is obvious that certain values regarding […]


Why can’t we scatter ashes?

Q: Why is it that we can’t scatter the ashes of our loved ones but we can cut up and distribute body parts of saints? (Aiken, SC) A: It’s true, at first glance, the two practices could seem complementary/similar. So your question arises, why is one permitted while the other is prohibited. First, it’s worth […]


A day to remember deceased loved ones fuses faith and culture

When Jennifer Bermejo was growing up in Aguascalientes, Mexico, her family celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) every year. She recalls it as a fusion of culture and religion, noting that her family and neighbors always attended Mass to pray for their deceased loved ones. After, everyone joined together for La Catrina […]


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