Nation and World News

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.

Knights of Malta to continue focus on the poor, grand chancellor says

Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Vatican substitute secretary of state, has been appointed by Pope Francis as his special delegate and sole spokesman to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

ROME — The newly reinstated grand chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta said the crisis that led to the resignation of the order's grand master will remain a footnote in history that pales in comparison to the suffering of refugees and the poor.

Speaking at a news conference Feb. 2, Albrecht von Boeselager, grand chancellor of the order, said that while recent events have shown that "we are not immune to crisis in our government," the Knights of Malta will continue placing their priority on helping migrants, the poor and the marginalized.

Vatican releases updated guidelines for bioethical questions

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican released an expanded and updated guide of the Catholic Church's bioethical teachings to offer clearly and accurately its positions on abortion, contraception, genetic engineering, fertility treatments, vaccines, frozen embryos and other life issues.

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