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Catholic Communications Campaign aids efforts in U.S., around the world

Catholics get chance to celebrate, think about Mary with new feast day

WASHINGTON — The Catholic Church doesn't often add new celebrations to its pretty full liturgical calendar, but this year's new feast day, Mary, Mother of the Church on May 21, has Catholics gearing up to mark the day or at least think a little more about Mary.

Listening is key to bishops’ committee against racism, says new chair

WASHINGTON — Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., the newly appointed chair of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he looks forward to serving the bishops in this role as Catholic Church leaders continue to respond to the "sin" of racism.

The bishop was appointed to the position by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, following the resignation of Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, from this role after his recent diagnosis with a form of acute leukemia.

Spring blessings reap harvest of faith among farmers

Father Andrew Sohm talked with farmers Marlan and Sherry Rolfes of Newcastle, Neb., after blessing their fields April 11.

NEWCASTLE, Neb. — For the past five years each spring and fall, Father Andrew Sohm has traveled the highways, two-lane and dirt roads to farms near the parishes he pastors, St. Peter in Newcastle and St. Joseph in Ponca.

He is busy blessing farmers, seeds and the harvest.

"It's a chance to get to know my parishioners well," said Father Sohm, who grew up on a farm near Danbury, Iowa. "Lots of priests have gotten away from blessing the seed, gotten away from the harvest."

Relief efforts uphold dignity of life, priest says

The teacher in a class in Lebanon connected with her students. The class included refugees from Syria. The number of people devastated by the Syrian crisis continues to climb as the conflict continues, but to the Catholic agencies helping the people “the statistics have faces.”

Msgr. Jack Schuler spotted a woman making the sign of the cross before she sang a song for guests at a Catholic Relief Services-supported program that helps migrant workers and refugees in Lebanon. He reached out to her and gave her a blessing.

The Catholic Church's concern for the dignity of all is seen in its response to the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the war in Syria, said Msgr. Schuler, Catholic Charities of St. Louis chaplain and pastor of St. Cronan Parish in south St. Louis. More than 70 percent of Syrian refugees are women and children, according to CRS.

Nation and world briefs

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Bishop Murry undergoing treatment for leukemia

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