A woman wades through floodwater next to a damaged church on Samar Island, Philippines, Dec. 8. Typhoon Hagupit weakened into a tropical storm after leaving at least 21 people dead and forcing more than a million people into shelters, the Philippine Red Cross reported.
Francis R. Malasig/EPA, cns
||Paraguayan Catholics celebrate Mass
Catholics attend Mass at Caacupe Cathedral on the Day of the Virgin of Caacupe near Asuncion, Paraguay, Dec 7. Catholics from around the region will visit the cathedral to pray for employment and good health in the coming year.
New Bible aimed at African-American youth
This illustration of a scene from Chapter 8 of the Book of Nehemiah is included in a new African American Youth Bible that should hit bookstores in January. A project of the National Black Catholic Congress, it has been four years in the making and is being published by St. Mary's Press in Winona, Minn.
courtesy of St. Mary's Press/cns
Hong Kong cardinal surrenders
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, retired bishop of Hong Kong, leaves the Hong Kong police station after surrendering to police Dec. 3. Cardinal Zen asked the faithful to pray for the democracy in the city after he stayed at the police station for an hour, documenting his involvement in the Occupy Central movement, a civil disobedience campaign to block roads in central business area in an effort to force the Hong Kong and Chinese governments to allow true democracy in the city.
No-nukes forum in Vienna
Representatives of several faith traditions assembled Dec. 6 at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons' Civil Society Forum in Vienna. While Pope Francis did not travel to Vienna for either of the two high-profile nuclear disarmament conferences, his name was called out frequently during the events. Many of the speakers and participants of these forums said they were looking for someone with the kind of star power held by the popular pope, someone trusted worldwide, who can assist them in furthering their cause to help rid the world of nuclear weapons.
KOC sends $2.2M
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus announced its Christian Refugee Relief Fund has donated $2.2 million to help displaced Iraqi and Syrian Christians and other religious minorities who continue to face violent persecution "and the very real prospect of extinction. This is a concrete response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Iraq and to the urgent appeals from the region as well as Pope Francis' request for material assistance for those affected by this persecution," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a statement.
Film on Mary
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A film director raised in Longmont is taking on Mary's story with a new film in production in Hollywood. "She was the first one to say 'Yes' to Christ, to take on this whole idea of being the Mother of all of us. It's all about that encounter, that first time you met Christ. It's different for everybody," said Andrew Hyatt, writer and director. The film, "Full of Grace," wrapped production Nov. 7. Outside da Box, in association with Justin Bell Productions and ReKon Productions, started filming "Full of Grace" Oct. 27.
Art exhibit on Mary
WASHINGTON — A new exhibition of Western European artwork portraying Mary during the 14th through the 17th centuries shows her in another light and reminds viewers that she was indeed human. Artists portrayed her holding a squirming son, resting during a long journey, visiting her cousin and watching her grown son die. The exhibition, "Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea" at Washington's National Museum of Women in the Arts Dec. 5-April 12, includes more than 60 works of art from well-known Renaissance and Baroque artists.
Vandalism at cathedral
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Police continued to investigate vandalism that occurred Dec. 2 at Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Anchorage. According to Dominican Father Mark Francis Manzano, parochial vicar and a member of his order's Western province, he and the other Dominican priests on the parish staff discovered overturned pews, toppled furniture and debris in the sanctuary.
Leading catechist dies
LANHAM, Md. — Conventual Franciscan Father Berard Marthaler, who played a major role in the church's catechetical renewal in the 20th century, died Nov. 30 in Lanham. He was 87. He retired from teaching at The Catholic University of America in 1997 and for several years was in residence at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Washington.
'Inspired by faith'
LANDOVER HILLS, Md. — Dr. Martin Salia, a Maryland Catholic doctor who died Nov. 17 after contracting the Ebola virus while serving patients in his native Sierra Leone, was remembered by his family, colleagues, government officials and others as a man who loved God, lived to serve others and died as a hero.
Website for vocations
WASHINGTON — What started out as a blog at a time when few people knew about blogs and hardly anyone was familiar with Twitter is a living and growing ministry run by two women religious who are Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Sisters Julie Vieira and Maxine Kollasch oversee their website "A Nun's Life" (anunslife.org) from Toledo, Ohio, which is a quick drive from their order's motherhouse in Monroe, Michigan.
Leader for Gary diocese
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying of Milwaukee as bishop of Gary, Indiana, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Dale J. Melczek, who has headed the diocese since 1996. Bishop Hying, 51, has been an auxiliary bishop in Milwaukee since 2011 and is former rector of the archdiocese's St. Francis De Sales Seminary. Bishop Melczek is 76 years old.
25th year since killings
WASHINGTON — More than 1,600 representatives from Jesuit institutions and other Catholic organizations joined together for the 17th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Nov. 15-17 to mark the 25th anniversary of the murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador Nov. 16, 1989.
Jesuit superior election
ROME — The general congregation to elect a new superior general for the Jesuits will begin with a Mass the evening of Oct. 2, 2016, the order announced. Last May, Father Adolfo Nicolas, the current Jesuit superior, announced his intention to resign in late 2016 after he turns 80.
WARSAW, Poland — Czech government officials and former dissidents marking the 25th anniversary of their country's "Velvet Revolution" gathered with church leaders in Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral Nov. 15. Although the part played by the Catholic Church in the overthrow of communism has been detailed by countless books and studies, some Western commentators and historians appear unwilling to acknowledge it. "We know a great deal now about how the church, led by Pope John Paul II, helped disseminate a doctrine of human and civil rights when Marxism was losing its attractiveness," said Jan Zaryn, a Polish historian who specializes in church history. "But interpretations of this period still seem heavily colored by ideological preferences."
Seduced into slavery
MANCHESTER, England — Young Africans are being seduced into modern slavery by the promise of a dream that never comes true, an English cardinal told a conference on human trafficking. Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said "there seems to be no enticement that isn't being used" by human traffickers to entrap children. He cited as an example the offer to play soccer in the English Premier League to children who appear to excel at the sport.
— Catholic News Service
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