Nation and World News

Trump's order banning refugees evokes strong opposition, support

Demonstrators at LAX International Airport in Los Angeles protested the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump Jan. 29.

WASHINGTON -- As President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum intended to restrict the entry of terrorists coming to the United States in the guise of refugees, the action brought quick response from Catholic and other religious leaders.

The largest response came from more than 2,000 religious leaders representing the Interfaith Immigration Coalition who objected to the action in a letter to the president and members of Congress. The heads of Catholic charitable agencies, organizations working with immigrants and Catholic education leaders also decried the president's action.

Catholics oppose Trump actions on refugees, border wall, sanctuary communities

A woman held a sign during a protest against President Donald Trump's immigration policies during a demonstration near the White House in Washington Jan. 25.

WASHINGTON -- Catholic organizations expressed distress and unease with President Donald J. Trump's actions related to immigration while pledging to continue serving and supporting migrant people.

'Life is winning in America,' vice president tells March for Life rally

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a rally at the annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 27.

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Mike Pence told pro-life advocates from across the U.S. Jan. 27 that "life is winning in America, and today is a celebration of that progress."

Pence addressed the March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, making him the highest government official to address the annual event in person. As a member of Congress, he had addressed the March for Life in previous years, including in 2002, 2003 and 2007.

Cdl. Dolan: If sanctuary of the womb is violated, no one is safe

Men prayed at the closing Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Jan. 27. The all-night vigil is held before the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation.

WASHINGTON -- Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York warned that if the sanctuary of the womb is violated, then other sanctuaries are at risk.

"Can any of us be safe, can any of us claim a sanctuary anywhere when the first and most significant sanctuary of them all, the mother's womb protecting a tiny life, can be raided and ravaged?" he asked in his homily during the Jan. 26 opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The vigil always precedes the annual March for Life, which takes place on the National Mall.

Saint John’s Bible artist inspired to elevate God’s word

Calligrapher Donald Jackson was artistic director for the handwritten, illuminated Saint John’s Bible.

The world-renowned calligrapher and scribe to Queen Elizabeth II was taking in what he thought were a few moments of quiet between presentations. Rather, he found himself in the middle of a funeral Mass for one of the St. John's University's Benedictine monks.

Peering into the chapel from the gallery, Donald Jackson watched as the coffin was processed to the altar. "This monk was holding this fairly regular, cheap Bible ... I thought, 'You've got to be kidding. That little book does not look worthy of what's in it,'" Jackson recently recalled in a phone interview from his home in Wales.

Pro-life groups felt welcomed by participants in Women’s March

Participants in the Women’s March on Washington made their way down Independence Avenue Jan. 21.

WASHINGTON — After being removed from a list of partner organizations for the Women's March on Washington, members of a pro-life group based in Texas decided they still would take to the streets Jan. 21 to participate in the historic and massive event. And they said it was a good decision.

"Overall, it was an amazing experience," said Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, of New Wave Feminists, one of the groups removed as a march sponsor.

"We were prepared for confrontation and instead were supported by so many women," Herndon-De La Rosa said.

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