Nation and World News

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.

Cdl. Burke: Need for Catholic health care has never been greater

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As society has placed the dignity of human life under constant attack, there has never been a greater need for the Catholic approach to health care in response to the needs of the sick, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke told participants in a medical ethics conference in Columbus.

After years in war zone, burnout rises among those who serve Syrians

Ramzi Abou Zeid, regional coordinator for Caritas Lebanon, checked on the distribution of winter clothes for 16 Syrian refugee families Jan. 4 in Zahle, Lebanon. In all, 150 refugee families who live in Zahle are being assisted by the coordinated distribution.

TORONTO — Humanitarian aid workers in Syria and Lebanon are exhausted, said Helene Tremblay-Boyko, who recently traveled to the region.

It isn't the exhaustion a person feels at the end of a long day, she said. This exhaustion comes from working in the same desperate conditions as the people they serve.

"We do not know here (in Canada) what is going on there," said Tremblay-Boyko, vice president of the Development and Peace national council. "They need peace. They need to be able to start rebuilding their lives. We need to do everything we can to enable a peace accord."

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.

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