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An Iraqi archbishop spoke of "near-genocide conditions" for Christians in his country and said those fleeing violence were straining resources in other parts of the country.
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The Catholic perspective on the 2011 federal election is essentially the same as for every election. Church teaching supports the right to life, the dignity of the human person and a preferential option for the poor. Government policies should reflect those teachings, not because the Catholic Church teaches them, but because they are principles of fundamental human justice.
Lorenzo Rosebaugh, an Oblate colleague shot to death in Guatemala two years ago, used to share at Oblate gatherings some advice that Daniel Berrigan once gave him. Lorenzo, contemplating an act of civil disobedience to protest the Vietnam War, was told by Berrigan: If you can't do this without becoming bitter, then don't do it. Do it only if you can do it with a mellow heart. Do it only if you can be sure you won't end up hating those who arrest you.
Martha, Mary and Lazarus seem to have been the closest friends Jesus had on earth. "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." First came his mother, of course, then these three.
His extended family and neighbours could not understand him, some probably thought him possessed or insane, others were simply afraid. The increasing priestly opposition was like a growing dark cloud, gradually overshadowing Jesus' teaching, dimming his miracles.
When my firstborn daughter was baptized, Father Michael consecrated her to God through our Blessed Mother. He picked up Hannah — a squalling bundle swathed in layers of white satin - and held her up toward the statue of Mary enthroned above the tabernacle.
This tiny miracle, born on Christmas Day, was a special gift from God after years of prayer and expectant longing. In gratitude, I now offered my precious child back to God. I trusted that Mary would take care of Hannah by interceding for her at the feet of her Son.
Kenna McKinnon was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1978. She became ill three years earlier than that, unmedicated but counselled by people whom she only recently has grown to appreciate for their patience and care.
"I searched for God and he was the masthead on my battered vessel. He was the compass, but it would be many years before I found my salvation, searching in many various guises for the "perfect" Church.
Canada's Catholic bishops have provided a 2011 federal election guide to provide a "magnifying glass" to guide judgments about party platforms and candidates.
It provides examples of Catholic moral and social teaching in five areas: respect for life and human dignity; building a more just society; the person and the family; Canada's role in world justice and peace; and a healthy environment.
EDMONTON - When they were engaged, Gavin and Nicole Van Kuppeveld, now married for 22 years, heard about Marriage Encounter. They agreed that someday they would like to give it a try. Someday arrived in March 2010.
"It was a very powerful weekend," said Nicole.
LVIV, UKRAINE — The Ukrainian Catholic Church elected its youngest bishop to succeed Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Kyiv-Halych, who retired Feb. 10.
Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 40, apostolic administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of the Protection of the Mother of God in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church during a five-day synod of bishops in Lviv.
TORONTO — Spiritan Father Michael Troy, founding father and principal at Toronto's Neil McNeil High School, had an untraditional way of thinking, said Father Gerald FitzGerald.
"There was a rapport, a relationship and a casualness between the priest-teachers and the boys that did not exist elsewhere and that was the unique spirit of Neil McNeil," said FitzGerald, a fellow Spiritan who was a seminarian under Troy in Dublin and a science teacher at Neil McNeil.