Nation and World News

U.S. seminarians run across Italy to help displaced families in Iraq

U.S. seminarians studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome participated in a relay-run across the Italian peninsula to raise funds for displaced families in Iraq. Runners departed from the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas and met in the middle.

ROME — Loaded with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, Gatorade, grit and prayer, nine U.S. seminarians studying in Rome ran relay-style across the Italian peninsula to raise funds for displaced families in Iraq.

Warm-up included a pre-dawn Mass May 6 at the Pontifical North American College where the students live, followed by packing two vans with nine runners, two drivers and protein- and carb-rich provisions, Christian Huebner of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., told Catholic News Service May 4.

Bishop: Cut ‘harmful proposals’ from health care bill

The U.S. Capitol in Washington is seen April 5. The House of Representatives May 4 passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by a four-vote margin, 217-213.

WASHINGTON — The American Health Care Act that passed by a four-vote margin May 4 in the House has "major defects," said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Social Development.

Walk aims to build trust needed for a unified community

The St. Louis community often talks the talk about moving forward beyond its divisions, but now it's time to walk the walk.

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, St. Louisans and others from throughout the Midwest and beyond are invited to participate in a Walk of Trust to the Chaifetz Arena on the St. Louis University campus. It's a first step to move beyond race, region or other divisions.

Marie Kenyon of the archdiocese's Peace and Justice Commission calls the walk "a wonderful opportunity to publicly witness our hope to bring peace to our community."

New food truck to help stem senior hunger in Diocese of Oakland

Krista Lucchesi stood outside the new Mercy Brown Bag food truck April 4 at Oakland’s Mercy Retirement and Care Center. The truck is an effort to feed seniors who don’t have sufficient access to healthy food.

OAKLAND, Calif. — A new shiny truck is bringing food to senior citizens in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood and nearby communities.

A year in the making, the Mercy Brown Bag Program has expanded, with the truck visiting several locales and offering assistance to seniors faced with the high cost of rent and medication.

Krista Lucchesi, director of the program that is part of the services of the Mercy Retirement and Care Center, couldn't stop smiling as she looked at the vehicle parked behind the residential care facility.

Pope plans Pentecost celebrations with charismatics and Pentecostals

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has invited thousands of Catholic charismatics and members of Pentecostal and Evangelical churches to Rome to celebrate Pentecost and mark the 50th anniversary of what became the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

The pope will lead a prayer vigil June 3, the eve of Pentecost, at Rome's Circus Maximus, an open field that was the site of an ancient Roman stadium used for chariot races. Participants will join the pope the next morning for Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Square.

Pedaling priests to bike across Peoria Diocese seeking vocation prayers

Three priests from the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., rode their bicycles across the diocese, a trek of 350 miles, from April 24-28 to inspire prayers for vocations. The “Priests Pedaling for Prayers” are Fathers Michael Pica, Tom Otto and Adam Cesarek.

PEORIA, Ill. — Being a priest has made Father Michael Pica, Father Adam Cesarek and Father Tom Otto so happy that they are preparing to share their joy with people from Rock Island to Danville — literally.

From April 24 to 28, the three priests rode their bikes 350 miles across the Diocese of Peoria — the width of Illinois — to raise awareness for vocations and show people that priesthood is a wonderful life. Along the way, they stopped at schools and parishes to encourage prayers for vocations and tell the story of their own call to priestly service.

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