Nation and World News

Pope: Educators form lives that are ready to face the future

Jenny Johns, first- and second-grade teacher at St. John Paul II Classical School in Green Bay, Wis., answered a question for first-grader Gwendolyn Danz Jan. 12.

VATICAN CITY — Catholic schools and universities play a key role in evangelization and in creating a more humane world built on dialogue and hope, Pope Francis said.

Future generations who are "educated in a Christian way for dialogue, will come out of the classroom motivated to build bridges and, therefore, to find new answers to the many challenges of our times," he said.

Bishop Vasquez welcomes federal appeals court ruling on refugee ban

Syrian refugee Baraa Haj Khalaf greeted her mother, Fattoum Haj Khalaf, Feb. 7 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration welcomed a federal appeals court ruling that upheld a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump's travel ban on refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries that also temporarily suspended the country's refugee resettlement program.

"We respect the rule of law and the American judicial process. We remain steadfast in our commitment to resettling refugees and all those fleeing persecution," Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, wrote in a statement Feb. 10.

Singing sisters serve the poor, create music for the soul

Sister Teresa of the pop band Siervas played the bass guitar during an undated concert. Sister Teresa and 11 other women, who are members of the Servants of the Plan of God, have taken their inspirational music to other countries but also do social service work in Peru.

LIMA, Peru — When people wave at members of the pop band Siervas as they drive through the city, the nuns in the musical group know they've arrived on the world stage.

The 12 women religious in the group — The Servants in English — have taken their inspirational music to other countries and created hits that their fans sing and carry in their hearts.

Pope names envoy to study pastoral care of faithful in Medjugorje

VATICAN CITY -- Without commenting on the authenticity of alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pope Francis has appointed a Polish archbishop to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the town each year.

The pope chose Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga as his special envoy to Medjugorje, the Vatican announced Feb. 11.

Tragedy prompts family to turn to saints, start company to share devotion

Joe and Colleen Klinker came up with the idea of Tiny Saints to explain the concept of death and heaven to their children after the stillborn birth of a daughter. They have since begun selling the charms.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Small, colorful plastic Catholic saints can be seen hanging from key chains, zippers and backpacks alongside Hello Kitty and Pokemon.

They're called Tiny Saints, and founders Joe and Colleen Klinker conceived the idea as they explained the death of their stillborn daughter, Melody Paige, to her older siblings.

Faith leaders urge communities to show care for their neighbor

Utah march shows support for refugees, immigrants, celebrates diversity
Marchers participated in Utah’s March for Refugees Feb. 4 in Salt Lake City. The march began at the Wallace Bennett Federal Building with a chain of children, representing diverse cultures and upbringings, holding hands.

The march was a reaction to President Donald Trump’s executive order that prohibited travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days and barring all refugees for 120 days.

People of different cultures, religions and beliefs sent a message to lawmakers and to the world that the lives of refugees and immigrants matter and they are welcome in Utah.

WASHINGTON — A coalition of interfaith leaders from the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington gathered at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington on Jan. 31 to announce a vision statement for religious communities in the local area.

The statement, released a day before the start of the United Nations' annual World Harmony Faith Week, arises from the communities' "trust in God and belief that good government is exercised 'under God.'" It also called upon their belief in "our responsibility to serve humanity," which calls them into community.

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