new year

FAITH AND CULTURE | A new year of mindfulness

Every season brings unique challenges and opportunities. As humans preoccupied with many things, it's useful to calendar significant social events, historical moments and a variety of other spiritual and religious movements that are part of faith lives. The rhythm of our experiences has us moving physically, as well as in constant spiritual and psychological motion, seeking answers to our deepest questions and anticipating the future.

For New Year, pope urges help for refugees, respect for life

Young Rohingya refugees played soccer Dec. 10 at the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Specially established centers in the camps help child refugees with basic education, recreation and counseling services. Before reciting the Angelus Jan. 1, the pope said of migrants and refugees: “Let’s not extinguish the hope in their hearts; let’s not suffocate their hopes for peace.”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis began the New Year praying the world would demonstrate a marked increase in solidarity and welcome for migrants and refugees.

"Let's not extinguish the hope in their hearts; let's not suffocate their hopes for peace," the pope said Jan. 1 before reciting the Angelus with a crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square.

For the New Year's celebration of World Peace Day and the feast of Mary, Mother of God, Pope Francis had chosen to focus on migrants and refugees and their yearning for peace.

TWENTY SOMETHING | The pursuit of happiness in the new year

Don Currey was a 30-year-old graduate student when he was responsible for cutting down the world's oldest tree.

A geography student at the University of North Carolina, Don wanted to better understand Ice-Age glaciology by examining bristlecone trees. In the summer of 1964, he was in a grove of bristlecones on Wheeler Peak Mountain in Nevada when his tree corer got stuck in a tree.

Pope: Have courage, hope in 2017

Pope Francis greeted people in St. Peter’s Square after leading vespers on New Year’s Eve at the Vatican Dec. 31.

VATICAN CITY — Whether the new year will be good or not depends on us choosing to do good each day, Pope Francis said.

"That is how one builds peace, saying 'no' to hatred and violence — with action — and 'yes' to fraternity and reconciliation," he said Jan. 1, which the Church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.

Speaking to the some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the first noon Angelus of 2017, the pope referred to his peace day message in which he asked people to adopt the "style" of nonviolence for building a politics for peace.

FAITH AND CULTURE | This New Year, faith matters

F. Javier Orozco

In the Scriptures, much of our faith identity is connected to the opening lines of Genesis: "In the beginning...." This repetitive phrase or literary mantra not only serves to ground our truest self, but also signals something about our deepest aspirations: renewal. Our human spirit and imagination naturally seeking to start anew in our search for what really matters in life.

FROM THE EDITOR | Some reflections at the end of the year

Teak Phillips

This time of year, like many people, I reflect on the past 12 months. And every year, I wonder how we did it.

This is our 50th newspaper, the number we crank out every year. We also published seven issues of Catholic St. Louis magazine (a dating switch meant an additional issue to what is otherwise bi-monthly).

At times, the workload and pace appears daunting. But the newspaper business, even in a digital age, is energized by the quirky character found in the people whose stories we tell -- and those who tell their stories.

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