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Cardinal Law, whose legacy was marred by sex abuse scandal, dies

VATICAN CITY—Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who had been one of the United States’ most powerful and respected bishops until his legacy was blemished by the devastating sexual abuse of minors by priests in his Archdiocese of Boston, died early Dec. 20 in Rome at the age of 86. Before the abuse scandal forced his resignation […]

Light of the World

In the early darkness of winter, it is a wel­come sight to see Christmas lights decorat­ing homes and yards. Though they may be far removed from the early Christian tradition of placing candles on a tree, these lights are still a good reminder that illumination in the darkness symbol­izes Christ who is the light of […]

An Advent tradition: Making wax figures of Jesus for mangers

MONTREAL—For sculptor Sylvette Chanel, Advent is the busiest time of the year. She is among the few people left who keeps alive the ancient New France craft of making and repairing wax Jesus figures for Nativity scenes. This art was brought to Canada by the first female religious congregations more than three centuries ago, Chanel […]

Pope Francis advances sainthood causes

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton and St. John Paul II’s mentor, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. The pope approved the decrees recognizing their heroic virtues during an audience Dec. 18 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The pope also recognized the miracles needed for […]

Catholic leaders offer prayers for all affected by train derailment

DUPONT, Wash.—Catholic leaders in the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, offered prayers for all affected by the Dec. 18 derailment of an Amtrak train that had just come from the Tacoma station and was headed to Portland. “Our community of faith is praying for the victims and families of the train […]

Effort to repeal Johnson Amendment dropped from tax reform bill

WASHINGTON—A regulation that bars nonprofits and houses of worship from making political endorsements remains on the books after it was dropped from the Republican tax reform bill. A provision that would have repealed the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that bans churches and nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status from taking part in partisan political activity, […]

Knights of Columbus donate $1.4 million for post-hurricane rebuilding

HOUSTON, Texas—As Texas and Florida continue to rebuild from a devastating hurricane season, the Knights of Columbus are offering $1.4 million to aid the reconstruction of badly damaged churches. “Getting parish facilities up and running again does not just meet a practical need,” said Knights CEO Carl Anderson. “The people in the affected areas see the […]

St. Mary Magdalene Church shares in the story of its patroness

SIMPSONVILLE—Father Declan Gibson brought an Advent message to St. Mary Magdalene Church Dec. 4, telling more than 300 people the “untold story” of their parish patroness. Using Father Sean Davidson’s 2017 book, “Mary Magdalene, Prophetess of Eucharistic Love”, Father Gibson explained why St. Mary Magdalene is often referred to as “the apostle to the apostles.” […]

As pope turns 81, kids entertain with music and 13-foot pizza

VATICAN CITY—Celebrating his 81st birthday, Pope Francis blew out the candles on a 13-foot long pizza after being serenaded with song and dance by children and employees from a Vatican pediatric clinic. A group of children receiving assistance from the Vatican’s St. Martha Dispensary, a maternal and pediatric clinic, had given the pope a birthday […]

History and traditions of Gaudete Sunday

Today, Dec. 17, is Gaudete Sunday, when we shift our reflection from “the Lord is coming” to “the Lord is near.” Rejoice as you light the pink candle on your Advent wreath. You are more than half-way to Christmas! This third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete” Sunday based on the first word of the […]

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