Chinese priests baptize new believers
Chinese Catholic priests baptize new believers during a 2013 Easter Vigil in a church in Shenyang, China. A papal visit to China does not appear likely anytime soon, according to experts on the church in China.
Royals visit St. Louis
As part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, Prince Louis Alphonse de Bourbon, of Anjou, France, and his wife Princess Marie-Marguerite, visited the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles. The school was founded by St. Rose Phillipine Duchesne, whose portrait is on the wall. St. Louis was formed in 1764, named for French King Louis IX, known as a pious reformer, who was canonized a saint in 1297.
Lisa Johnston/St. Louis Review, cns
Bishop Peter A. Libasci of Manchester, New Hampshire, shakes John Foley's hand during the Aug. 24 memorial service for slain U.S. journalist James Foley, his son. The Mass at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Rochester, N.H., followed the younger man's execution by Islamic State militants in Syria Aug. 19.
Katherine Taylor/EPA, cns
Obama urged to act on immigration
Hundreds of protesters took part in a rally and march in Washington Aug. 28 chanting: "Not one more! Not one more!" to urge President Barack Obama to stop the deportation of immigrant families, workers and children. The gathering started at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, above, just a few blocks from the National Mall, while police officers stood watching and office workers looked out their windows. Participants then walked several blocks to the White House, chanting slogans in Spanish.
Cardinal backs committee as gay parade ban is lifted
NEW YORK — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said he continues to support the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee after it lifted a ban prohibiting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups from marching openly in the annual event.
The cardinal, who will be the grand marshal of the 254th St. Patrick's Day parade in March, said in a statement Sept. 3 that neither he nor his predecessors determined who could or could not march in the parade.
He said he has "always appreciated the cooperation of parade organizers in keeping the parade close to its Catholic heritage."
"My predecessors and I have always left decisions on who would march to the organizers of the individual parades," the cardinal's statement said. "As I do each year, I look forward to celebrating Mass in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and the patron saint of this archdiocese, to begin the feast, and pray that the parade would continue to be a source of unity for all of us."
The parade committee's decision comes in an effort to defuse the controversy that arose prior to this year's parade over the exclusion of gay banners in the annual celebration of Irish and Catholic heritage.
The ban led New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to refuse to march earlier this year. Guinness also withdrew its sponsorship.
The NBC television network, which has broadcast the parade for years, also was prepared to drop coverage of the event unless a compromise was reached to allow a group of the network's gay employees to march under a banner identifying the organization, Irish Central reported.
There was no immediate word on whether the decision would lead to a wider gay presence in the parade.
Priests 'opened door'
MOBILE, Ala. — Black Catholic bishops, priests, deacons and religious brothers who gathered in Mobile for an annual joint conference celebrated the 80th anniversary of the first class of black priests who were educated and ordained in the U.S. "As we begin our preparations for the 50th anniversary of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, it is important for us to remember those pioneers who came before us," said Father Kenneth Taylor, president of the caucus. "These men who were educated and ordained here in the United States opened the door for the rest of us." The clergy caucus holds an annual joint conference with the National Black Sisters' Conference, the National Black Catholic Seminarians' Association and the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons. This year's joint conference took place July 27-31 in Mobile, where the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary national convention took place July 25-30. Some events of the two meetings overlapped. A highlight of the joint conference was a review of the history of black Catholic priests ministering in the United States. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry of Chicago also gave a progress report on the sainthood cause for Father Augustus Tolton.
HONOLULU — The Vatican has designated Honolulu's Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace as a minor basilica in recognition of its historic and spiritual significance. Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva, a former priest of the Oakland diocese, said he hopes the cathedral basilica, which now holds the relics of St. Marianne Cope and St. Damien de Veuster, will "grow as a spiritual destination for visitors from all over the world." He said the cathedral has been a place of prayer, worship and celebration of the sacraments for generations, "but its status as a basilica will give it more attention as a place of pilgrimage for visitors and residents alike."
Pope Francis announced Aug. 28 that Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra, 69, archbishop of Valencia, would be the new archbishop of Madrid; Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, 68, leaves his job as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, to be archbishop of Valencia. An auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, 55, will head the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio.
San Diego bishop ill
SAN DIEGO — The Diocese of San Diego announced Aug. 25 that Bishop Cirilo B. Flores, still recovering from an April stroke, is now being treated for prostate cancer. Bishop Flores, 66, is being treated at Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Special collection urged
WASHINGTON — The president of the U.S. bishops' conference Aug. 19 asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.
LCWR hopes for resolution
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Members of the national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said their "deepest hope" is to resolve the issues between them and the Vatican doctrinal congregation in a way that honors LCWR's mission and integrity. The board issued the statement after the close of LCWR's annual assembly Aug. 12-15 in Nashville. The leaders of orders of women religious took part in the assembly under the continuing doctrinal assessment by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which cited "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life."
Labor leader honored
WASHINGTON — Awards are not what retired labor leader John J. Sweeney is about. Securing fair wages, preserving benefits and assuring safe working conditions remain a much higher priority even though he retired after 14 years as president of the AFL-CIO in 2009. Still driven by the desire to improve working conditions and expand organized labor's reach, Sweeney, 80, recently was honored by the AFL-CIO with the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Workers' Rights. Sweeney readily pointed to the people and the experiences that guided his career as a forceful advocate for workers, from the Irish Christian Brothers at his alma mater, Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx borough of New York, to Gerry Shea, a longtime assistant at the AFL-CID.
— Catholic News Service
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