Nation and World News

Catholic leaders react to House bill to repeal, replace health care law

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price gestured at a stack of papers that he said was the Affordable Care Act at a March 7 press briefing. Republicans in the U.S. House have introduced a measure to repeal and replace the federal health care law.

WASHINGTON — Calling health care "a vital concern for nearly every person in the country," the U.S. Catholic bishops said March 8 they will be reviewing closely a measure introduced in the House March 6 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Bible, like cellphone, should be carried always

Pope Francis attended the first day of his Lenten retreat at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat center in Ariccia, 20 miles southeast of Rome, March 5. The pope and top members of the Roman Curia were on retreat from March 5-10.

VATICAN CITY — Christians should care about reading God's messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said.

As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they "read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it" into their lives, the pope said before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square March 5.

Abp. Gomez calls on Catholics to ‘show forth image of God’

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez

LOS ANGELES — The answer to society's dysfunctions can be found in one person: Jesus Christ.

That message is at the core of a new pastoral letter by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez — "For Greater Things You Were Born" — released March 1, Ash Wednesday.

The letter is a 16,000-word meditation on human nature, which the archbishop maintains can only be understood in relation to God.

"Jesus Christ alone knows who we are and He is the one teacher of life," he wrote. "He alone shows us the way to live in order to lead a truly human life."

Promote life by protecting, sharing clean water, pope says

A man filled buckets with drinking water at a public filling area Feb. 3 in Aleppo, Syria. Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life, Pope Francis said Feb. 24 at a meeting with 90 international experts participating in a “Dialogue on Water” at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

VATICAN CITY — Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life, Pope Francis said.

"The right to water is essential for the survival of persons and decisive for the future of humanity," the pope said Feb. 24 during a meeting with 90 international experts participating in a "Dialogue on Water" at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Looking at all the conflicts around the globe, Pope Francis said, "I ask myself if we are not moving toward a great world war over water."

Video series offers Gospel guidance for the Lenten journey

Father Aktham Hijazin distributed ashes at a Mass Ash Wednesday at Annunciation Church in Beit Jala, West Bank.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One of the biggest challenges of Lent, for many people who are caught up in the demands of everyday life, is to set aside meaningful time during the penitent season to forge a deeper connection with Christ.

"Despite our busy-ness, we need to find a way to pay attention to God" during Lent, said Father Ed Steiner, rector of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville.

Catholic Charismatic Renewal marks 50th anniversary of founding this year

Patti Gallagher Mansfield, front left, was a 20-year-old junior at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh when she attended a Holy Spirit retreat Feb. 18, 1967, with about 25 college students. The “Duquesne Weekend” is the acknowledged beginnings of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States, which has spread around the world.

NEW ORLEANS — For the past 50 years, Patti Gallagher Mansfield has kept the Champion Wiremaster stenographer's notebook, 5-by-8 inches, safely tucked away among her most cherished, sacred items in her dresser drawer.

The notebook has 80 ruled pages. It cost 25 cents. One was given to each of the 25 students from Duquesne University and La Roche College who attended a weekend retreat in February 1967 at The Ark and The Dove Retreat House just outside of Pittsburgh.

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