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Head of African youth network: Listen to young people on ecology

NAIROBI, Kenya—The head of an African youth network urged the world’s religions to embrace the voices of young people, as the leaders explore ways to tackle the current global ecological crisis. Allen Ottaro, founder and executive director of the Catholic Youth Network for Environment Sustainability for Africa, said young people were aware of the current […]

USCCB migration chairman, head of CRS oppose ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

WASHINGTON—The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee and the president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services March 13 joined Texas and Mexico bishops in opposing the U.S. policy of sending asylum-seekers back to Mexico while they wait for court proceedings. “We urge the (Trump) administration to reverse this policy, which needlessly increases the suffering […]

On the feast of St. Patrick’s, keep the victims of human trafficking in your heart

St. Patrick, known in his time as Patricius, was a Roman Briton, credited (as we know) with the evangelization of Ireland. Under his gentle teaching, Ireland became the first nation fully evangelized outside of the Roman sphere. The Irish weren’t led to convert under military threat or political expediency. The Gospel simply came alive in […]

After attacks, New Zealand bishops tell Muslims: ‘We hold you in prayer’

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—New Zealand’s Catholic bishops have expressed horror and distress at a terrorist attack in two mosques in Christchurch that saw at least 49 people killed. The shootings took place at or near the Al Noor Mosque, where 41 people were killed, and at the Linwood Mosque, where 7 were killed. One more person […]

Faith and flowers: Special rules keep God’s house simply beautiful

VATICAN CITY—Of the many traditions and penitential practices observed during the season of Lent, one of the more visible is the stark change in church decor and a complete absence of flowers. The small floral arrangement usually seen on the corner of the altar of the chapel in the papal residence for morning Mass has […]

Judge sentences Cardinal Pell to six years in prison on abuse charges

MELBOURNE, Australia—Cardinal George Pell, 77, was sentenced to six years in prison March 13, just over two weeks after a Melbourne court allowed the publication of news that he had been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys. Cardinal Pell, who continues to maintain his innocence, will try to appeal the verdict. The court has […]

Four CRS staffers, humanitarian workers aboard Ethiopian jet that crashed

WASHINGTON—Four Catholic Relief Service staff members on their way to a training session in Nairobi, Kenya, were among the passengers aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed moments after takeoff in the east African nation. The accident March 10 claimed the lives of 157 people on board, many of them from humanitarian agencies. Others on […]

Pope: World in need of ‘ecological conversion’ to advance sustainability

VATICAN CITY—Sustainable development cannot be achieved without the voices of those affected by the exploitation of the earth’s resources, especially the poor, migrants, indigenous people and young men and women, Pope Francis told participants at a Vatican conference on sustainable development. Without a change of attitude that focuses on the well-being of the planet and […]

Lent begins with reminder of all that fades away, pope says

ROME—Marked with ashes, Christians set off on a Lenten journey where they strive to leave behind everything that will turn to dust and instead focus on drawing closer to God and God’s promise of eternal life, Pope Francis said. After a brief prayer at the Benedictine’s Monastery of St. Anselm on Rome’s Aventine Hill, Pope […]

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Youth learn significance of ashes in fiery Lenten tradition

COLUMBUS, Ind.—Smoke billowed from a small fire pit, rising nearly as high as the steeple of St. Bartholomew Church in Columbus. About 100 students watched from a safe distance March 4 as church staff stoked the flame and periodically tossed in handfuls of dry palm branches. The smoldering ashes that remained were destined to mark […]

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