nation and world

Hundreds dead, thousands injured in Iran and Iraq after quake

A woman mourned next to a dead body following an earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran. The earthquake Nov. 12 killed more than 500 people and injured more than 8,000 in Iran and Iraq.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis sent messages of condolence to people in Iran and Iraq after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake killed more than 500 people and injured more than 8,000, mostly in Iran.

The pope "assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity," stated the nearly identical messages, released Nov. 13.

"In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the almighty," stated the telegrams, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.

Cdl. DiNardo decries Texas church shooting, ‘fundamental problem in our society’

A man and woman attended a candlelight vigil after a mass shooting Nov. 5 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A gunman entered the church during Sunday services taking the lives of at least 26 people and injuring several more.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Catholic Church stands "in unity" with the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the larger community after a shooting in Sunday services took the lives of at least 26 people and injured at least 20 others.

The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, and included 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy. Her father, Frank Pomeroy, is pastor of the church, but he wasn't at the service.

Philippine Christian leaders join to help rebuild Muslim-majority city

Residents who returned from evacuation centers walked past a bullet-ridden house Oct. 29 believed to have been used by pro-Islamic State militant group leaders in Marawi, Philippines.

Christian leaders in Philippines have banded together to help rebuild Marawi, a Muslim-majority city in southern Philippines damaged by five months of occupation by terrorists.

Catholic-Lutheran dialogue is progress, not perfection

As a Lutheran boy growing up in Virginia, Michael Root saw the faith-based fear and loathing that permeated the 1960 presidential election when some non-Catholics worried that the Vatican would run America should John F. Kennedy be elected.

As an ordained Lutheran pastor and professor of Lutheran history and theology, Kirsi Stjerna saw the trepidation some of her students felt when she took them to Mass at St. Peter's in Rome.

Long recovery ahead for communities hit by wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The Diocese of Santa Rosa "has been hit hard" and "is in an ongoing state of uncertainty" because of Northern California wildfires that began the night of Oct. 8, said Bishop Robert F. Vasa.

At least 12 major fires were raging across the region, according to news reports. Of those 12, at least five were zero to 5 percent contained, and the rest were 15 to 70 percent contained. Fanned by warm winds, they devastated a vast swath of North California's wine country and forced 20,000 to evacuate. They left at least 17 people dead, and at least 180 others were missing.

Let Jesus be ‘your teacher, your life coach,’ archbishop urges teens

Young Catholics sang songs Aug. 4 during the third annual City of Saints youth conference. More than 1,600 young people attended the conference.

LOS ANGELES — Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told 1,600 Catholic teens gathered for the "City of Saints" conference that their faith and love for Jesus was an inspiration.

"Your desire to live your faith and share your faith — it is so beautiful to witness. And it is so inspiring," he said in an Aug. 5 homily at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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