JFK: 50 years after

Vincentian pastor recalled for administering last rites to Kennedy

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The late Vincentian Father Oscar Huber was a hard-working, dedicated pastor who made many friends throughout his years of faithful ministry. The priest, who died in 1975, is still remembered for all that. And for one other thing. A Dallas pastor at the time, he administered last rites to President John F. Kennedy, after an assassin's bullet Nov. 22, 1963, brought down the nation's 35th president and he lay mortally wounded at Parkland Hospital.

Victims of powerful Illinois tornado lose everything but faith, charity

Updated -- WASHINGTON, Ill. (CNS) -- As Father Stephen Willard was preparing to celebrate the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass at a filled St. Patrick Church in Washington Nov. 17, the most powerful tornado to hit Illinois in November since 1885 was taking aim at neighborhoods on the western edge of this community of 15,000. With sirens blaring, worshippers were instructed to go to the middle of the church. Father Willard went outside to hurry inside people who were just arriving.

Religious liberties worldwide in ‘crisis,’ says U.K. cabinet minister

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Attacks and threats to religious liberties throughout the world has "become a global crisis," declared Britain's cabinet-level minister of state for faith and communities. Sayeeda Warsi, an official in British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party government, said, "The religious fault lines are being exploited" in country after country.

Call to ‘ask not …’ still resonates in commitment to public service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 50 years ago this week, admonished Americans to "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." He didn't live to see how it played out, but there are plenty of people trying to keep his vision alive.

As president, John F. Kennedy faced challenges of fast-changing world

DALLAS (CNS) -- A young first family, captivating and chipper, reinvented life in the White House during John F. Kennedy's 34-month presidency in the early 1960s. As Kennedy, then 46, arrived in Texas in November 1963, the visit came against a backdrop of the Cold War, the space race and the nation's volatile civil rights scene. Reflecting on the president who was assassinated 50 years ago this week, a historian argues Kennedy earned a reputation for inspired crisis management at a time when humanity grappled with unprecedented fears.

Boehner remarks raise questions on immigration reform

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Depending on how one interprets House Speaker John Boehner's recent comments on the prospects for immigration reform legislation to be passed in the House, it might be out of the question or the measure might just take a different form than the bill already passed by the Senate. According to one advocate of reform, the House can instead move to the floor five separate bills that deal with aspects of immigration reform, which have already moved through relevant committees.

Now-overturned abortion law aimed at protecting women, says archbishop

OKLAHOMA CITY (CNS) -- Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley called it "gravely disappointing" the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge to a ruling that overturned an Oklahoma law requiring women who seek an abortion to get an ultrasound.

Bishops send ‘special message’ reiterating objections to HHS mandate

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- In a "special message" released Nov. 13, the U.S. bishops reiterated their objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employee insurance include contraceptive coverage and said they remain "united in our resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom."

‘Catholicism’ creator likes new media’s impact ‘way outside’ churches

SMYRNA, Ga. (CNS) -- Chicago priest Father Robert Barron has a dream -- for another grand, sweeping documentary on Catholicism. It's the latest goal for the priest who more than a dozen years ago was asked to jump-start an evangelical endeavor to "invade that space" where the church's message was not often heard. "If you want to reach people who are under 40, you have to use media. Things like YouTube had just come into being and we jumped into that with two feet," said Father Barron. "If you want to find the unchurched Catholics and the secularists, you aren't going to find them by staying in church and inviting them to programs. You have to use this new means. We have to invade that space."

Honolulu bishop calls same-sex marriage a ‘manufactured civil right’

HONOLULU (CNS) -- Following a special session of the Hawaii Legislature that for two weeks turned the state Capitol into high-spirited exhibition of populous democracy, Gov. Neil Abercrombie Nov. 13 signed the bill causing all the commotion and made Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.