National News

Theologians give Pope Francis thumbs up for ‘good pastoral directions’

MIAMI (CNS) -- The new papacy of Francis has thus far been inspiring, challenging and accessible and is giving "new traction" to Catholic social teachings, according to a cross section of distinguished scholars on hand for a convention of theologians.

Mass celebrates life of Boston marathon bombing victim Martin Richard

DORCHESTER, Mass. (CNS) — A June 9 Mass at St. Ann Church in Dorchester celebrated the life of Martin Richard, the boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings and who would have turned 9 the day of the Mass. The crowd, at the 10:30 a.m. Mass that the Richard family usually attends, included […]

People long for spiritual home, an inviting parish, says Franciscan nun

NEW YORK (CNS) — People long for a spiritual home and Catholics expect to find it at their parish, with a pastor who provides a rich diet of spiritual food and “meets people where they are,” Franciscan Sister Katarina Schuth told a New York audience June 7. Catholics want their parish to be an inviting […]

Church has led way in addressing abuse of minors, says board chairman

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) -- The Catholic Church has led the way in addressing the sexual abuse of minors, said the new chairman of the National Review Board. Francesco C. Cesareo, president of Assumption College in Worcester and a member of the review board for one year, will oversee the board as chairman at its first meeting in September.

For Mother Dolores Hart, it’s time for her close-up — again

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Don't look now, but Dolores Hart is about to become a star again, 50 years after her last movie. Hart -- that's Mother Dolores, the prioress of a Benedictine women's monastery in Bethlehem, Conn. -- has just had her memoir published a year after a documentary featuring her life in as a cloistered nun picked up an Oscar nomination for best documentary short subject.

Bishops warn against changes in immigration bill that could kill it

SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- Three bishops weighed in on the ongoing congressional debate on immigration reform legislation June 10, warning against amending a Senate bill in ways that would block the path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. "Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals and schools, we witness the human consequences of a broken immigration system,” said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration. "Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert."

Ohio Council of Churches say mandate raises religious liberty concerns

CINCINNATI (CNS) -- A Cincinnati archdiocesan official called it an "exciting breakthrough" that mainline Protestant churches in Ohio have joined with the Catholic Church in objecting to the federal contraceptive mandate based on religious freedom concerns. The Ohio Council of Churches, which represents 18 denominations, adopted a statement May 29 saying that with the mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the government is defining what constitutes a religious belief and who has a right to that belief.

College loans revisited: Costs to go up if Congress can’t reach deal

A year ago, Congress examined federally subsidized student loans for low- and middle-income students and passed a one-year extension on their 3.4 percent interest rate. If lawmakers fail to come up with another plan by July 1, that rate is set to double to 6.8 percent. The Senate failed to take up two separate bills on June 6 that would have kept the rate from doubling.

Aim of new Chicago fundraising campaign to teach all ‘who Christ is’

A new three-year fundraising campaign by the Archdiocese of Chicago will raise $350 million for Catholic education and faith formation. The funds will support archdiocesan Catholic schools, religious education for children and teens, adult faith formation and capital needs for parishes and schools.

Tornadoes wreck homes but bond communities in Kansas

CORNING, Kan. (CNS) -- As winds roared, trees toppled, grain bins crashed, hail pounded and walls ripped apart overhead, seven members of the Becker family added their own voices to the storm. Huddled in a shower stall in their basement near Corning the afternoon of May 28 with a comforter over their heads, they prayed the rosary.