National News

With ‘ministry of presence,’ friars offer holiday shoppers hospitality

Time is running out, they say, to get great last-minute deals on this year's Tickle Me Elmo, ZhuZhu Pet or whatever fad gift the kids just have to have. One store, however, is taking a different approach this Advent season. The Franciscan Friars of the St. John the Baptist Province now occupy a store in the same corridor as Macy's at Cincinnati's Northgate Mall -- and they don't want your money.

Archbishop: HHS mandate aims to drive wedge between church’s faith, worship

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (CNS) -- Defending the religious rights of the Catholic Church against the government's contraceptive mandate is tied to the church's ministry to those in need, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori said Nov. 29. The church's worship life and its faith-driven ministries to the poor and others cannot be separated from one another, he said.

Iran nuclear deal lauded by key U.S. bishop

Some in Congress, wary of making a deal with Iran, have advocated increasing sanctions. Although current sanctions would remain in effect, Iran will get an estimated $6 billion in temporary sanctions relief for signing the interim agreement Nov. 24.

High court to hear two cases on HHS mandate; declines employer case

On Dec. 2, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it had declined to hear the appeal of Liberty University of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Christian university must adhere to the health care law's employer mandate. When the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of parts of the health care law in 2012, it didn't address the employer mandate to provide coverage.

Volunteers say in Peace Corps they learned about universality of church

ATLANTA (CNS) — In the beginning, Monica Oliver figured with her college education and her upbringing in the United States, she’d help transform a poor community. The Jesuit-educated Oliver was a Peace Corps volunteer living in Mali. She worked with women entrepreneurs in the West African country to start small businesses. But looking back, she […]

Fellowship of Catholic University Students sponsors video contest

DENVER (CNS) — The Fellowship of Catholic University Students is sponsoring a video contest that features $10,000 in cash prizes. Judges for the contest include Steve McEveety, executive producer of “Braveheart” and “The Passion of the Christ,” Catholic singer and songwriter Matt Maher, and film actor-producer Eduardo Verastegui, whose credits include “Bella” and “For Greater […]

White House, farm advocates mull cuts to SNAP; silence from Congress

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Both the White House and Catholic Rural Life raised the specter of possible huge cuts in funding for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The Senate's version of the farm bill slices $4 billion over the next 10 years. The House's version would slash nearly $40 billion over the same time period.

Current state of U.S. immigration ‘an offense against God,’ say bishops

SAN ANTONIO (CNS) -- In a new pastoral letter "Family Beyond Borders," the bishops of the border region of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico humanize the immigration debate by placing it in a moral context with specific illustrations of struggling children and families.

USCCB evangelization chair, others laud pope’s apostolic exhortation

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel") is winning plenty of praise, and not exclusively in Catholic circles. The pope "is showing us how to live the Gospels and reach out to the world with what every person needs, a relationship with God," said Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

Black Catholics’ history, heritage given special notice each November

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Black Catholics have made their mark on the Catholic Church in its more than 2,000-year history and the U.S. church's observance of Black Catholic History Month each November calls to mind those contributions, an official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said as the special observance for 2013 was coming to a close.