National News

Prayers at morning service, swearing-in ceremony mark Inauguration Day

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama's second Inauguration Day Jan. 21 started with a private prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church and centered on a swearing-in ceremony bracketed by prayers and highlighted by an inaugural address dotted with references to God-given societal rights and obligations.

Faith groups begin to muster their members in support of gun controls

WASHINGTON (CNS) — If Vincent DeMarco is right — and he’s got a whole bunch of faith leaders and their organizations lined up to work with him — ending easy access to the kinds of high-power guns used in mass shootings can be accomplished with a tried-and-true strategy. DeMarco, national coordinator of Faiths United to […]

Abortion in America

The number of abortions performed annually in the U.S. hit a high point in 1988 and has been on a decline since.

Deacon: Rev. King’s civil rights advocacy marked by faith, hope, love

GARY, Ind. (CNS) -- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. may have been a reluctant leader, "but he was willing to put himself out there," said Deacon Melvin R. Tardy Jr. He was "the right person for the moment" in the civil rights movement, said the deacon, an academic adviser at the University of Notre Dame. What separated Rev. King from other contemporaries was faith, hope, and love, he added.

Priest urges Catholics to regain ‘ardor’ for risen Christ to evangelize

SALT LAKE CITY (CNS) — To evangelize in today’s world, Catholics “need to recover their sense of ardor for Jesus risen from the dead,” a Chicago priest told attendees at the national Cathedral Ministry Conference in Salt Lake City. Father Robert Barron, a Chicago archdiocesan priest long involved in media ministry, also told his listeners […]

Citing conscience laws, Illinois judge halts contraceptive mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Catholic owners of an Illinois health services consulting company have won a temporary restraining order against the state's contraceptive mandate. Judge Terence M. Sheen of the DuPage County Circuit Court granted the order Jan. 15 to Christopher and Mary Anne Yep and their company, Triune Health Group Inc., saying Illinois' conscience laws take precedence over the state mandate that the health insurance they provide to their employees must cover abortion, sterilizations and contraceptives.

Pro-lifer says activism has shown her ‘despair’ in abortion ‘mindset’

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- Pro-life activist Lila Rose was a just child when she first became aware of the tragedy of abortion. Growing up in San Jose, Calif., the third of eight children, "we were taught from a young age to love and respect human life," she told more than 150 pro-life advocates gathered at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington for a mini-retreat. Rose, a 24-year-old Catholic convert, officially became involved with the right-to-life movement at 15 when she founded Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit specializing in investigative journalism.

Flu epidemic prompts some churches to stop offering Communion chalice

WASHINGTON (CNS) — This year amid the raging flu epidemic in the United States, several dioceses have issued recommendations for receiving Communion, offering the sign of peace and even attending Mass. According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu season started earlier than usual this year. As of […]

Federal court panel dismisses ACLU challenge of USCCB trafficking grant

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A federal appeals court dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts legal challenge to a contract between the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the case had become moot because the contract had expired. In a unanimous ruling Jan. 15, the three-judge panel […]

Women from diverse backgrounds drawn to life of cloistered monastery

TYRINGHAM, Mass. (CNS) -- They come from California, Delaware, Pennsylvania and India. One is a nurse; another was an assistant manager at a Walgreen's. They have different life experiences and span several decades in age. However, the four newest members of the Visitation Monastery in Tyringham have one thing in common: They all feel drawn to the life of a cloistered nun.