Nation and World News

Targeted cash assistance can help people avoid homelessness, study finds

A social worker move boxes of tomatoes during a food Sept. 14 distribution at a low-income housing facility for seniors in Calexico, Calif. Small sums of financial assistance can help stabilize housing for low-income people and stave off homelessness and its slew of related social problems, a University of Notre Dame study discovered.

WASHINGTON — Small sums of financial assistance can help stabilize housing for low-income people and stave off homelessness and its slew of related social problems, a University of Notre Dame study concluded.

Targeted emergency financial assistance of a few hundred dollars for rent, security deposits, utility payments or another cash emergency, may prevent some instances of homelessness and thus save taxpayers $20,000 or more each time homelessness is prevented, according to the study published in the August issue of Science magazine.

Special U.N. summit seeks ways to address refugee crisis

WASHINGTON — Eighty-six percent of the world's refugees are living in developing countries and it is particularly hard for those countries to meet refugees' needs and provide them an education and a livelihood, according to a senior policy and legislative specialist at Catholic Relief Services.

Overall, 65 million people are displaced worldwide, the highest number since World War II, according to the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees.

Pope, Christian leaders pray for peace, victims of war

Pope Francis talks with Patriarch Efrem II of the Syriac-Orthodox Church as religious leaders arrive for an interfaith peace gathering outside the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 20. The pope and other religious leaders participated in the event that marked the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II's Assisi interfaith peace gathering.

ASSISI, Italy — Jesus' cry of thirst on the cross is heard today in the cries of innocent victims of war in the world, Pope Francis said.

Christians are called to contemplate Christ in "the voice of the suffering, the hidden cry of the little innocent ones to whom the light of this world is denied," the pope said Sept. 20 at a prayer service in Assisi with other Christian leaders, including Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury.

Benedictine abbots elect head of Conception Abbey abbot primate

ROME — A room with a view of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica from a monastery atop the Aventine Hill is very nice, but Abbot Gregory Polan knows he will miss his brother monks at Conception Abbey in Missouri very, very much.

The new room at the Rome monastery of St. Anselm comes with Abbot Polan's election Sept. 10 as abbot primate of the worldwide Benedictine Confederation, a network of men's monasteries.

Cdl. Dolan: Group’s ‘deceptive’ ads promote abortion as ‘a social good’

WASHINGTON — Ads appearing around the country "calling for taxpayer funding of abortion in the name of the Catholic faith" are "deceptive," "extreme" and promote "abortion as if it were a social good," said New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.

The abortion advocacy organization Catholics for Choice placed full-page ads Sept. 12 in the print editions of more than 20 local and national publications, including Politico, the Nation, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News and La Opinion.

God specializes in second chances, NCCW convention hears

Kim Padan of Danville, Ill., sings during the Sept. 10 closing Mass of the National Council of Catholic Women convention  in Indianapolis. Some 700 women from across the country attended the convention of the organization that was founded in 1920.

INDIANAPOLIS — At an early age, Judy Hehr suffered sexual abuse. As a senior in high school, she lost her mother without warning to a heart attack. She spiraled into drug and alcohol addiction, battled an eating disorder, "broke every commandment" and contemplated suicide.

But on Sept. 9 at a presentation at the 96th annual convention of the National Council of Catholic Women, the Wisconsin mother of four and radio host electrified an audience of hundreds with her personal witness to God's abounding mercy.

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