National News

Tree from devastated New Jersey heading to Rock Center

An 80-foot-tall Norway Spruce, selected to be the 2012 Christmas tree at New York’s Rockefeller Center, is raised by a crane above spectators after being cut down at the home of Joseph Balku in Flanders, N.J., Nov. 13.

Bishops OK first new preaching document in 30 years

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The U.S. bishops approved their first new document in 30 years on preaching Nov. 13, the second day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore. The document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily,” encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives. The vote was 227-11, with […]

Pro-lifers closely watching Nevada pregnancy case

RENO, Nev. (CNS) — Pro-lifers are paying close attention to a Nevada court case involving a mentally incapacitated pregnant woman. The Nevada Supreme Court Nov. 6 allowed a lower-court judge to continue to conduct a hearing about the pregnancy. After the court’s OK, Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker continued hearings begun Nov. 2 into […]

US bishops discuss penance, preaching, religious liberty, economy

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The U.S. bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore began with an emphasis on conversion and a return to the sacrament of penance. New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, told the bishops at the start of the Nov. 12-15 meeting that he could imagine […]

Bishops urged to make proposed statement on economy more substantive

BALTIMORE (CNS) — A new statement on the economy, intended as a pastoral message of hope, came in for some sharp criticism as the document was formally introduced for consideration Nov. 12 at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall general assembly in Baltimore. During discussion, “The Hope of the Gospel in Difficult Economic […]

Donations, volunteers stream in to help tightknit enclave in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — A steady stream of volunteers and donations of goods arriving from around the country for victims of Hurricane Sandy in Gerritsen Beach are meeting the short-term needs of many residents, but there is still a long road of recovery ahead. “What we’re doing here is not even a fraction of the […]

Gift of $20 million helps launch Georgetown Environment Initiative

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A $20 million gift is expected to help boost Georgetown University’s profile as a major center for environmental education and research. The gift from an anonymous donor affiliated with the school launches the Georgetown Environment Initiative, which university officials said will advance the interdisciplinary study of the environment in relation to society […]

Maryland passes in-state tuition law for undocumented immigrants

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The immigration status of Maryland students will no longer be an obstacle to them receiving lower tuition rates available to other in-state residents, after 59 percent of voters approved a referendum Nov. 6. The Maryland Catholic Conference and other church leaders were among supporters of the law, likened to the federal DREAM […]

New Jersey couple says Sandy didn’t destroy their faith in God, mankind

LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CNS) — When Michael Santo returned to his Hurricane Sandy-ravaged neighborhood in Tuckerton, he was horrified by what he saw, and then thanked God he and his wife, Barbara, were still alive. “It really looked like it was bombed,” Santo told Catholic News Service as he looked at the storm […]

Mass offers ‘spark of fire’ for those coping with mess left by Sandy

BELMAR, N.J. (CNS) — Catholics from around the greater Belmar area and way beyond braved highways barren of traffic lights and a landscape badly mangled by Hurricane Sandy to attend Mass Nov. 4 at St. Rose Church with Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton. They came, despite gas rationing and hard-to-navigate roadways realigned by the […]