nation and world

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.

Inspired by pope, BridgeBuilder Challenge picks winning social innovators

WASHINGTON — Salim, a Syrian refugee, fled an unwanted draft into the Syrian army, escaping the potential of having to join the Islamic State or other groups. Leaving behind his friends and family, Salim was left without an income or any form of identification in Lebanon.

Today, Salim is an assistant professor of Arabic in Italy.

The game changer was NaTakallam, a platform that assists refugees in becoming tutors for Arabic learners around the world via Skype. After working as a tutor for more than a year and a half, Salim was able to raise enough money to start a new life.

Amid polarization, nation urged to reclaim civility through dialogue

WASHINGTON — Political polarization in America has recently peaked, according to surveys conducted by Pew Research Center and Gallup, among others.

At a time in which such polarization threatens civility in public discourse, Catholic leaders called for respect, trust in dialogue and awareness of opinions for people with whom one disagrees.

U.S. urged to be more vigorous in protecting religious freedom globally

WASHINGTON — A U.S. congressman told attendees at a Washington summit on Christian persecution that "more than ever before, vigorous U.S. leadership and diplomacy are needed to address religious freedom violations globally."

"Religious persecution is festering and exploding around the world. What has been unconscionable for decades, centuries, has gotten worse," Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, said May 12 in remarks at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.

Supreme Court seems to lean toward church in Lutheran playground case

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices seemed to side with the church in a separation of church and state case argued April 19 about a Missouri Lutheran preschool barred from receiving state funds for playground resurfacing using recycled tires because it is a church property.

In his first minutes before the court, David Cortman, arguing for the church in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, said: "The question is why would someone's religious status matter in the first place to receiving a government benefit?"

An empty tomb and a bodily resurrection: why it matters

A life-size depiction of Jesus being laid in the tomb is seen April 9 in the Stations of the Cross on the grounds of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.

WASHINGTON — Catholics and other Christians have grown up believing in the Resurrection, but the apostles themselves were among the first who were skeptical that Jesus arose from the dead.

They didn't believe it at first when they were told by the women who had come to anoint the crucified Jesus' body but instead found an empty tomb.

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