JFK: 50 years after

Washington cathedral, site of Kennedy funeral in ’63, is ‘holy ground’

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- On Nov. 25, 1963, a television audience of millions of people around the world prayerfully bid farewell to President John F. Kennedy, as his flag-draped coffin was placed before the sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, during the funeral Mass for the slain president.

Video captures sight of massive twister, family’s prayers for safety

WASHINGTON, Ill. (CNS) -- Viewers around the world have been captivated and inspired by both the sight and the sound of a 54-second video shot through a basement window by Anthony Khoury, 21, as a massive tornado devastated his Washington neighborhood Nov. 17.

Texas abortion law stays in place; New Mexico rejects late-term abortion ban

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Nov. 19 to allow Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions. The justices ruled to leave in place a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Memoir recalls bishop writing, delivering Kennedy eulogy

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Auxiliary Bishop Philip Hannan of Washington was a close friend and confidant of President John F. Kennedy, but he had kept that friendship secret. Then he was called upon to deliver the eulogy at the funeral Mass for the country's first Catholic president, killed by an assassin in Dallas Nov. 22, 1963. "My own grieving ... would have to wait," wrote then-retired New Orleans Archbishop Hannan in his 2010 memoir. "First lady Jacqueline Kennedy had asked that I deliver the eulogy for her husband -- and my friend."

Washington priest recalls narrating Kennedy’s funeral Mass on radio

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- At 82, Msgr. Leonard Hurley still has a distinctive speaking style and ad-libs easily, qualities that served him well 50 years ago when he narrated President John F. Kennedy's funeral Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington for a worldwide TV and radio audience.

Vietnamese bombing survivor came from war, now preaches peace

The little girl burned in a napalm bomb attack during the Vietnam War, whose photograph became famous, now is a wife and mother who speaks of peace and forgiveness. Her message reached even the man responsible for the bombing run, himself tortured with guilt until he sought reconciliation.

Vincentian pastor recalled for administering last rites to Kennedy

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The late Vincentian Father Oscar Huber was a hard-working, dedicated pastor who made many friends throughout his years of faithful ministry. The priest, who died in 1975, is still remembered for all that. And for one other thing. A Dallas pastor at the time, he administered last rites to President John F. Kennedy, after an assassin's bullet Nov. 22, 1963, brought down the nation's 35th president and he lay mortally wounded at Parkland Hospital.

Victims of powerful Illinois tornado lose everything but faith, charity

Updated -- WASHINGTON, Ill. (CNS) -- As Father Stephen Willard was preparing to celebrate the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass at a filled St. Patrick Church in Washington Nov. 17, the most powerful tornado to hit Illinois in November since 1885 was taking aim at neighborhoods on the western edge of this community of 15,000. With sirens blaring, worshippers were instructed to go to the middle of the church. Father Willard went outside to hurry inside people who were just arriving.

Religious liberties worldwide in ‘crisis,’ says U.K. cabinet minister

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Attacks and threats to religious liberties throughout the world has "become a global crisis," declared Britain's cabinet-level minister of state for faith and communities. Sayeeda Warsi, an official in British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party government, said, "The religious fault lines are being exploited" in country after country.

Call to ‘ask not …’ still resonates in commitment to public service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 50 years ago this week, admonished Americans to "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." He didn't live to see how it played out, but there are plenty of people trying to keep his vision alive.