National News

New Pew study shows most Americans view abortion as moral issue

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A new study shows that most Americans view abortion as a moral issue but do not feel as strongly about stem-cell research or in vitro fertilization as moral issues. According to the study, released Aug. 15 by the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project, 49 percent of adults consider it morally wrong to have an abortion; 22 percent consider embryonic stem-cell research morally wrong; and 12 percent view the use of in vitro fertilization as morally wrong.

LCWR leader hopes assembly a contemplative experience for attendees

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- The president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said organizers of this year's assembly hope attendees would find it to be a contemplative experience because "it is imperative to view religious life within the context of our faith and in an evolving world." "We have included an hour and a half of contemplative prayer at all meetings to determine what the signs of today are calling us to and we hope that the entire experience of this assembly will be an act of contemplation," said Franciscan Sister Florence Deacon.

Catholic lawmaker in Missouri legislature files suit over HHS mandate

Missouri state Rep. Paul Wieland and his wife, Teresa, said they are suing because the mandate violates their religious liberty, free speech and parental rights, as it requires them to be enrolled in group insurance coverage for their family that includes contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations. The case presents an unusual twist in the fight against the HHS mandate, as it is among the first to involve an employee filing suit against the mandate. Currently there are 67 lawsuits challenging the mandate, many of them involving individual employers.

When migrants arrive, parish volunteers provide rides to Mass, meals

ENFIELD, Conn. (CNS) -- In summertime, tobacco grows practically like a weed under white nets and in open fields throughout the tobacco valley of central Connecticut. Near the end of June, when the plants are about knee-high, migrant workers who have journeyed thousands of miles by bus from Mexico and beyond, or by air from Puerto Rico, start arriving for three-month jobs cultivating the crop on Connecticut farms. And with their arrival, St. Patrick Parish continues its long-standing Hispanic ministry program to cultivate their faith.

Case solved: Father Dowling was mystery priest at accident scene

ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- The identity of a "mystery" priest who prayed with a young woman at the scene of an accident in central Missouri has been solved. The Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., has identified the priest as Father Patrick Dowling, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, who is currently serving in prison ministry and in parish ministry to Spanish-speaking Catholics in the diocese.

Detroit’s bankruptcy seen as chance for city to become livable again

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The bankruptcy of Detroit does not mean the city is dead, said Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. Residents and political leaders certainly are challenged and remain uncertain, the archbishop of Detroit told Catholic News Service. "I would say people are responding with a lot of grit," he said. "Stories about the city being on its death bed are wrong."

Living in car with sons, Detroit woman embodies city’s challenges

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After three months, Katrina Robinson and her two young sons are getting tired of roaming Detroit's suburbs to find a safe place to sleep. Since May, on the nights when they can't crash with family or friends, the family car is the only shelter Robinson and her two young sons have. The 24-hour big box stores, with bright lighting, security cameras and a decent amount of foot traffic that deters robbers from lurking offer the safest place to bed down for the night.

Millennials, young minority adults suffer high rates of unemployment

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Emily Rolla, a 22-year-old graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, recently accepted a retail job at Target after trying unsuccessfully since December to get a job in her field of study. A double major in communication arts and German, Rolla has applied for jobs ranging from public relations, social media management and writing to teaching German.

After 75 years since minimum wage established, workers still struggle

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Seventy-five years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a national minimum wage, many workers still struggle to support themselves and their families living at or slightly above that pay. "Jobs that are paid minimum wage take a lot of physical effort. You're on your feet; you're moving and working quickly. Imagine working that hard and not feeling like you can provide for yourself and your family -- it is incredibly demoralizing," said Judy Conti, an activist with National Employment Law Project.

Adjunct faculty want to form union at Catholic university, two colleges

UPDATED - RYE, N.Y. (CNS) -- Whether inspired by Catholic social teaching or rulings by the National Labor Relations Board, Catholic colleges and universities will eventually sit down with their adjunct faculty members to negotiate wages and working conditions. That's the consensus of union organizers involved in securing collective bargaining rights for adjunct and contingent faculty at religious institutions.