National News

Catholic’s White House work led to role as consultant for ‘The Butler’

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (CNS) -- For four years, Steve Rochon worked alongside presidents, dignitaries and international heads of state in his position as director of the executive residence and chief usher at the White House. Rochon, a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Alexandria, Va., led 95 full-time and 250 part-time staff members in running and preserving the White House under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama from 2007 to 2011.

At interfaith service, calls made to continue search for justice

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Recalling the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington urged people to join hands and walk together, and not alone, for justice during an interfaith prayer service marking the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Some strides, but also shortcomings, seen by 1963 marchers

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cordelia Coleman was just 12 when she went 50 years ago to the first March on Washington with her mother, father, sister and brother. Fifty years later, Coleman was accompanied by her son Ronald to the second of two marches commemorating the original march in 1963. The Aug. 28 march capped a week of activities surrounding the march, cemented into history by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

The summer of immigration groundwork: working toward passing a new law

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Members of Congress may be out of town and immigration reform legislation may be stuck until at least this fall, but the summer recess has been time for Catholic activists to rally their forces and pressure elected representatives.

N.M. bishops: Let lawmakers decide fate of same-sex marriage in state

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (CNS) -- New Mexico's bishops asserted that the state legislature is the best group to decide whether same-sex marriage should be permitted in the state. The statement was prompted by the announcement the same day by Lynn Ellins, county clerk of Dona Ana County -- home to Las Cruces, the state's second-biggest city -- that his office would start issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Latino leaders urged to put the Gospel in action at their workplace

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Peter J. Coulchinsky arrived in the United States from Argentina in 1986 as a young man seeking to earn a law degree. As his time in the U.S. lengthened, the more he decided he wanted to stay. There was just one problem: He had only a student visa.

Utah parish vandalized for the fourth time in two years

MAGNA, Utah (CNS) -- Vandals kicked in the basement door of the rectory to break into Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church for the second time this year, smashing statues and glass doors and spraying a fire extinguisher throughout the chapel. The intruders left behind blood stains, fingerprints and a cellphone, police said. When Father Christopher Gray arrived at 8:25 a.m., to prepare for the Sunday liturgy, he saw people standing outside, some weeping, and police cars all around.

St. John’s U probe reveals ‘errors in judgment’ but no crime

JAMAICA, N.Y. (CNS) -- An independent investigation by St. John's University found "no criminal wrongdoing" on the part of its recently retired president, but "errors in judgment" by top university officials over financial conflicts of interest and lack of disclosure to the school's board of trustees.

Priest chaplain nurtures soldiers’ faith in Afghanistan deployment

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CNS) — After more than a year of preparation, Father Christopher Butera has made his way to Afghanistan, serving as chaplain to an Army unit helping train Afghan soldiers as the U.S. presence in the mountainous country winds down. A priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Father Butera began his deployment in mid-August. […]

Black Catholics felt the need to be at March on Washington anniversary

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The presence of Catholic priests and religious was unmistakable at the first March on Washington in 1963; their clerical collars and full habits with wimples stood out even among the black-and-white images of the day. Clergy and religious weren't as visible at the first of two major anniversary events in 2013, but African American Catholics were in attendance, just as they were a half-century earlier. There was, they said in interviews with Catholic News Service, no place else they could imagine being on Aug. 24.