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The playground is a place where friendships are made and broken. I remember a Sharks vs Jets-style battle in about 5th grade where half the class was...
BOSTON (AP) -- A wind-driven winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to Cape Cod fell short of forecast snowfall totals and spared the Northeast the widespread power outages that had been predicted....
DUBLIN (AP) -- Ireland's police force deployed military-style road checkpoints Tuesday as the government announced toughened measures to try to prevent a gang war in Dublin from claiming more lives....
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Growing up in the 1950s, William Bell had to enter Birmingham's segregated Lyric Theatre though a side entrance, marked "COLORED," that was walled-off from the elegant lobby. He climbed a dimly lit stairwell to watch movies from the steep balcony where black patrons had to sit for generations....
By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICANCITY (CNS) -- Confessors have two choices: to be like Jesus who readily forgavesins or like thedevil who always condemns,Pope Francis said. "Youcan either do the work of Jesus, who forgives, by giving your lives in prayer (and) through many hoursseated there or you do the work of the devil who condemns and accuses,"the pope said during Mass Feb. 9 with Capuchin friars from around the world. The Mass at the Altar of the Chair inSt. Peter's Basilica was held in conjunction with the veneration of the relicsof two Capuchins, Sts. Padre Pioand Leopold Mandic; Pope Francis requested their relics be brought to theVatican for the Year of Mercy.Both saints, the pope told the friars, spent long hours in theconfessional as ministers of God's mercy and forgiveness.Recalling the day's Gospel passage, in which thePharisees and scribes condemn Jesus and his disciples for not observingtraditions, the pope reminded the Capuchins that confessors are called to be"great f...
Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 02:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday it was announced that Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Peter Bryan Wells, the highest ranking American in the Vatican Secretariat of State, as his new ambassador to South Africa and Botswana.“I am extremely humbled and honored by the faith which has been placed in me by the Church and our Holy Father, especially in this Year of Mercy,” Msgr. Wells said about his nomination.He asked for prayers as he prepares to embark on his new mission “to the extraordinary people of southern Africa.”The Vatican announced Wells’ appointment as nuncio in a Feb. 9 communique, which noted that the Pope has also elevated him to the rank of archbishop.Since July 16, 2009, Msgr. Wells, 52, has served as the Assessor for the General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, which handles the majority of Church affairs aside from relations with other states.His role as assessor made Msgr. Wells the fifth ranking offi...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday evening met with the Missionaries of Mercy, who are priests given special faculties to absolve even sins reserved to the Holy See.The Missionaries of Mercy are being commissioned by the Holy Father during the Ash Wednesday Mass to be “a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness,” and will be preaching mercy and hearing confessions in dioceses around the world during the Jubilee of Mercy.Pope Francis, meeting with the Missionaries the day before their commissioning, told them they are a “sign of special importance” which characterizes the Jubilee of Mercy, and offered some brief reflections to give practical help in their task.Listen: “First of all, I would like to remind you that in this ministry you are called to express the maternal nature of the Church,” Pope Francis said.“The Church is a Mother because she always creates new children in faith; the Church ...
(Vatican Radio) The latest meeting of the Council of Cardinals, Pope Francis’ closest advisers, ended on Tuesday. During their meetings, the cardinals discussed the theme of ‘synodality’ and Pope Francis’ call at last year’s Synod of Bishops for the Church to move towards “a healthy decentralization.”  The other main item on the agenda was a discussion and approval of the cardinals’ final proposals concerning the two new dicasteries that are being set up within the Roman Curia. Pope Francis attended all three sessions, held on Monday morning and afternoon and on Tuesday morning. Often called the G-9, the Council of Cardinals is a group of cardinals chosen by the Pope to advise him on governing the Church and reforming the Roman Curia. It meets at regular intervals. At a briefing following the end of this meeting, Father Federico Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, summarized the main issues dis...
The Church in the Philippines offers its contribution in the effort to combat the spread of the Zika virus in the country, joining the widespread awareness campaign prepared by government authorities. Camillian Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino, Secretary of the Commission for Health in the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said that in several dioceses, ecclesial teams have started to support local officials committed to reaching and informing the population living in areas at risk. "The population exposed is the same that is vulnerable to dengue" explained the Secretary. Fr. Cancino has urged the government to a stronger and determined commitment to combat an epidemic that has already taken hold in America.  Prevention is indeed a key strategy, while there is still no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent the Zika virus. It is endemic in parts of Africa and Asia. The most affected countries are Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador. (Fides)&nb...
 WASHINGTON-Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago will serve as the first Catholic co-chair of a new National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, sponsored by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Archbishop Cupich's tenure as dialogue co-chair will begin January 1, 2017.The bishops' ecumenical and interreligious committee has co-sponsored three regional Catholic-Muslim dialogues for over two decades. Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Springfield, Massachusetts, chair of the committee, said the time is right to begin a national dialogue."As the national conversation around Islam grows increasingly fraught, coarse and driven by fear and often willful misinformation, the Catholic Church must help to model real dialogue and good will," said Bishop Rozanski. "Our current dialogues have advanced the goals of greater understanding, mutual esteem and collaboration between Muslims and Catholics, and the members have established lasting...
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