Nation and World News

Pope asks youths to rejuvenate Church; youths ask to be heard

Pope Francis posed for a selfie at a pre-synod gathering of youth delegates at the Pontifical International Maria Mater Ecclesiae College in Rome March 19. The meeting was in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment this October at the Vatican.

ROME — The Catholic Church needs the enthusiasm, daring and hope of young people to preach the Gospel energetically and respond to the questions men and women raise today, Pope Francis told about 300 young adults.

"We need to rediscover in the Lord the strength to get up after failure, to move forward, to strengthen hope for the future," the pope said March 19, opening a week-long meeting in preparation for the Synod of Bishops in October.

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U.S.

Supreme Court examines freedom of speech at crisis pregnancy centers

Mississippi governor signs bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law March 19 the most restrictive state abortion bill in the nation because it bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The owner of the state's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, filed suit immediately after Bryant signed the bill, claiming it is unconstitutional.

Pregame prayer, solid teamwork clinched win for Loyola, says Sister Jean

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, 98, longtime chaplain of the Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball team and campus icon, prayed with the team in October 2017. Sister Jean credited pregame prayer and the players’ solid teamwork for the Ramblers’ thrilling last-second 64-62 NCAA Tournament win over the University of Miami March 15.

DALLAS — A religious sister who is the longtime chaplain of the Loyola University Chicago men's basketball team credited the pregame prayer and the players' solid teamwork for the Ramblers' thrilling, last-second 64-62 win over the University of Miami in the NCAA Tournament on March 15.

"Our team is so great and they don't care who makes the points as long as we win the game," Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, 98, told a reporter with truTV.

Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Wuerl: 'Enduring presence of Christ in Eucharist' at heart of the faith

Christian activists warn of slaughter of Syrian civilians in Afrin

Internally displaced people rode on the back of a truck with their belongings in Afrin, Syria. Christian activists warn that 1 million Syrian civilians will face certain slaughter in northwestern Afrin, where they allege Turkey and its militant allies have already carried out “war crimes” and “ethnic cleansing.”

AMMAN, Jordan — Christian activists warn that 1 million Syrian civilians will face certain slaughter in northwestern Afrin, where they allege Turkey and its militant allies have already carried out "war crimes" and "ethnic cleansing."

They have appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump and top U.S. officials to stop the bloodshed, warning that failure to act jeopardizes the hard-fought U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State in Syria.

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