December 2016

Annual peace dinner explores responses in a world where violence abounds

December 2016, Universal
Baltimore, MD (CNS) - The small group of folks gathered outside St. Vincent de Paul Church were preparing for another night on the streets. Someone was already hunkered down under a pile of blankets next to the steps leading to the church’s main entrance, their few possessions at arm’s length. Others who were milling about in front of the church, tucked into a corner of downtown not far from the bars, restaurants and activities that mark the city’s nightlife. In an adjacent parking lot, one man, who said he was homeless, greeted visitors and then asked for a few dollars to get through the night. “Homeless people are friendly,” he said. “We’re good people, we’re just having a hard time.” The visitors to the church were encountering real life steps…
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Archbishop Gomez brings Latino voice to new leadership role

December 2016, Universal
Baltimore, MD (CNS) - Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said his election as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops may have had more to do with his archdiocese than anything else. “I’m grateful to my brother bishops for electing me,” he said, before adding that he thinks it was “also about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles” -- the largest archdiocese in the country with about 5 million Catholics, 70 percent of whom are Latino. He said the archdiocese represents the universal church because every month there are Masses in 42 languages. “Really, the presence of Catholics from all over the world is there,” he said, adding that the bishops recognize that the archdiocese represents “our church in the United States is becoming more and more diverse.”…
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Bishops need shared approach to ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ new cardinal says

December 2016, Universal
Vatican City (CNS) - Cardinal-designate Kevin J. Farrell believes the U.S. bishops as a whole should have discussed pastoral guidelines for implementing Pope Francis’ exhortation on the family before individual bishops began issuing guidelines for their own dioceses. Implementing the pope’s exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” he said, “has to be done in communion with our bishops. I think that it would have been wiser to wait for the gathering of the conference of bishops where all the bishops of the United States or all the bishops of a country would sit down and discuss these things.” The committee that produced the report was headed by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, head of the U.S. bishops’ ad hoc committee for implementing “Amoris Laetitia.” The archbishop attended the extraordinary and ordinary synods…
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Social justice advocates challenged to put mercy in action

December 2016, Universal
Washington, DC (CNS) - Activist Lisa Sharon Harper stood before a ballroom full of young social justice advocates and told them: “All of us, every human on earth, is a representative figure of God. ... Not on our watch will the image of God be so fervently crushed. Not on our watch.” Harper, chief church engagement officer for Sojourners, a Christian nonprofit that advocates for social justice, peace and the environment, challenged the crowd, “Are you ready to go to the halls of Congress, to tell Republicans and Democrats, ‘Not on our watch’?” Harper gave one of three keynote speeches at the 19th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Nov. 12-14.
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Diocese hosts marathon reading of Bible to close Year of Mercy

December 2016, Universal
St. Martinville, LA (CNS) - The Diocese of Lafayette planned to hold a “Jubilee of the Word” marathon in the town square of St. Martinville as one of its events to close out the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The special year, beginning Dec. 8, 2015, and ending Nov. 20, was called by Pope Francis as a celebration of God’s mercy. For the “Jubilee of the Word” marathon in St. Martinville, the Bible is to be read publicly cover to cover without pause starting Nov. 17 at 6 a.m. (local time) and ending on Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. local time. It will be live-streamed on the web by the diocese’s radio and TV outlets at www.diolaf.org. Other coverage can be found by searching Facebook for the…
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Report finds diversity abounds in U.S. church

December 2016, Universal
Baltimore, MD (CNS) - The Catholic Church is one of the most culturally diverse institutions in the United States and Catholic institutions and ministries need to adapt and prepare for growing diversity, said a report presented to the country’s bishops. The report, by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church in 2013 to help identify the size and distribution of ethnic communities in the country. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, chairman of the committee, called the study “groundbreaking” because he said it combined, for the first time, all available data from Catholic and non-Catholic sources and mapped the multicultural and ethnic diversity of the church nationwide. Of the world’s…
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Catholic Family Servies hosting special retreat

December 2016, Local
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat –January 13-15, 2017- strictly confidential; a safe, loving, non-judgmental environment. Open to men, women, mothers, fathers, grandparents who have been affected by abortion. The weekend is non-denominational. For registration materials and more information, call Margi at 605-988-3775 or 1-800-700-7867 or e-mail mculhane@sfcatholic.org. Deadline for registration is Jan. 5.
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Parish choir offering performances

December 2016, Local
December 14 and 18 - The Risen Savior Catholic Church Choir in Brandon presents “Go Sing it on the Mountain” Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. at Risen Savior Church and at 7 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Church, Garretson. The choir will also perform at Bethany Meadows, Brandon on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public.
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