Nation and World News

‘We are bridge builders’: Maronite Catholic youth gather in Lebanon

Young people clapped during the World Maronite Youth Days July 19 in Beirut. The July 15-25 event, organized by the Maronite Patriarchate Youth Pastoral Office, followed the World Youth Day model.

BEIRUT — They came from around the world, from Australia, South America, Europe and the United States. Some came from Africa, and some from nearby countries in the Middle East.

They clapped and ululated, creating a celebratory atmosphere as nearly 500 young people from other countries joined 1,000 Maronite Catholic youths from Lebanon for World Maronite Youth Days.

Bring a Christian town back to life

The Knights of Columbus has pledged $2 million to rebuild Karamdes, Iraq, where this church was destroyed.

In a letter to Christians in the Middle East in 2014, Pope Francis wrote of a "newer and disturbing terrorist organization, of previously unimaginable dimensions, which has perpetrated all kinds of abuses and inhuman acts. It has particularly affected a number of you, who have been brutally driven out of your native lands, where Christians have been present since apostolic times."

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Catholic leaders mourn for victims killed, injured in trafficking tragedy

Pope’s visit to Cartagena to highlight inequality in Latin America

Pope Francis’ visit to Colombia in September will include a visit to where St. Peter Claver, seen here in a stained glass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, Ill., ministered to slaves arriving in the New World. Canonized in 1888, St. Peter Claver is the patron saint of human rights in Colombia.

LIMA, Peru — When Pope Francis visits Colombia in September, he will take his message of mercy and reconciliation to Cartagena, a city that still bears scars of its painful history as a slave port. And he will walk the streets where another Jesuit, St. Peter Claver, put that message into practice four centuries ago.

Canonized in 1888, St. Peter Claver is now considered the patron saint of human rights in Colombia. But although the country abolished slavery in 1851 and passed a law prohibiting discrimination in 1993, racism persists.

Religious sisters seek to promote consecrated life in new project

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sister Carolyn Puccio, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, said it's unfortunate there's not a line of women wrapping around the block waiting to enter religious life.

"It's meaningful to be part of a group of women who are bright, articulate, engaged, educated, dedicated (and) generous," said Sister Carolyn, the delegate for religious for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. "To be a part of that is a tremendous gift for me, personally, and an honor. And it humbles me."

With Rome in drought, Vatican shuts off fountains

In St. Peter’s Square, one 100 public Vatican fountains is dry, part of an effort to conserve water through a drought in the region.

VATICAN CITY — While Rome reels from one of its worst droughts in decades, the Vatican is conserving water by shutting down the city-state's 100 fountains.

The office governing Vatican City State announced July 25 that the drought has "led the Holy See to take measures aimed at saving water" by shutting down fountains in St. Peter's Square, throughout the Vatican Gardens and in the territory of the state.

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