Thursday, July 31, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 31

1. An order of sisters, a former state Catholic Conference leader and an archdiocesan social justice director received the 2014 People of Life Award for lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement during a July 28 ceremony at the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference held this year in Charleston, South Carolina. Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented the awards to the Little Sisters of the Poor, Sheila Hopkins and George Wesolek (awarded posthumously).

2. Sister Mary Ann Walsh says we must protect the refugees coming into the U.S. and stand on the right side of history.

3. Catholic News Service talks to a pastor in the Ukraine, who talks about the difficulties being faced right now with the Russians.

4. Catholics discussing the immigration crisis are encouraged to use #WeAreOneFamily on social media.

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Protect the Refugees – It’s the Law

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

There were the Peter Pan children from Cuba. Between December 1960 and October 1962, more than 14,000 Cuban youth fled Cuba for the United States. They traveled alone, sent by their parents to avoid having them become pawns in the Marxist-Leninist revolution that turned Cuba into a one-party socialist state. A few went on to lives of fame and one, Felipe J. Estévez, became bishop of St. Augustine, Florida.

There were the boat people from Vietnam, who escaped their post-Vietnam War nation via rickety watercraft. Many died in the journey and some sank their own boats when reluctant would-be host countries tried to tow them back to the open seas. As I watched pictures of them reaching places like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and other Asian southeastern coastal nations, I thought if they could survive that journey, they have a lot to offer any country. In response to an international humanitarian crisis, the U.S. accepted about 823,000 of these estimated 1.5 million refugees. On August 6, Viet Luong, who was resettled in the United States at age 10, will be promoted from colonel to brigadier general. He becomes the U.S. Army’s first general who was a refugee from Vietnam.

Now there are the child refugees from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, sent by families to a new world to escape the daily gang violence and threat of death at the hands of drug dealers. What they will become and contribute to the United States remains to be seen.

And despite anti-immigration protesters who claim to demonstrate in the streets for the sake of order, this latest influx of people to our shores has the law on their side. Both U.S. law and international law protect them. Under both, a refugee is someone from outside his or her own country with a well-founded fear of persecution in that country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

The 1951 Geneva Convention, the main international instrument of refugee law, defines who a refugee is and what legal protections and other assistance they should receive. In 1980, Congress created the United States Refugee Act to provide permanent and orderly procedures for admitting refugees and to address lasting solutions such as resettlement of the refugees within the United States for humanitarian reasons. Among such refugees certainly could be poor people targeted or forcibly recruited to be drug mules or girlfriends of gang members.

Under U.S. law, protection of unaccompanied alien children, the legal term for unaccompanied migrant children, was codified in the 2002 Homeland Security Act. The Homeland Security Act makes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 established standards for care and placement of such children, including the call for transfer of unaccompanied children within 72 hours from Customs and Border Protection to HHS care. Then while in HHS care, these children are placed in immigration proceedings and assessments are made about whether they can reunify with family while they await their immigration proceeding.

All of which is to say these refugee children have international and U.S. rights, and protesters may want to get out of the way or join the other citizens providing welcome to people in need. It will feel great to be on the right side of history.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh is Director of Media Relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Five Things To Remember On July 30

1. Make sure you read the Unaccompanied Migrant Children toolkit.

2. Find out how the Catholic Church is helping unaccompanied minors during the immigration crisis.

3. Vatican Radio reports: "In an effort to promote peace, the Vatican Secretary of State issued a “nota verbale” to all the embassies accredited to the Holy See. "

4. Father John Crossin says humility is a key to ecumenical relationships.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Humility: A Key to Ecumenical Relationships

By Father John Crossin

“This Sacred Council exhorts…all the Catholic faithful …to take an active and intelligent part in the work of ecumenism.” (Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism, #4)

Humility stands as a virtue essential to active participation in ecumenism. To enter into productive conversations and projects with Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican friends, we need to be like Christ “who humbled himself becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:8)

In being part of intelligent ecumenical relationships, Catholics have both something to share and something to learn. As the Council puts it “Nor should we forget that anything wrought by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of our separated brethren can contribute to our own edification.” (#4)

Sometimes we who grew up before the Council have “to die a little” to accept this more comprehensive way of thinking about the faith. We find that the distance of the past now gives way to the friendships of the present.

Now we recognize that our way of thinking was incomplete. We have deepened our “theology of return” to include the work of the Spirit in other Christian communities. We are all returning to Christ and seeking a deeper conversion to his way of life.

This deeper conversion comes with some humiliation. St. Francis de Sales discusses this deeper degree of humility in his Introduction to the Devout Life. He says that we are called to “love our abjection.”

To do this, we need to acknowledge honestly our responsibility for the divisions in Christianity. We have been selective in recounting past history; we have committed sins in the service of the truth; we have fought against one another and killed one another. We can read more of this painful litany in St. John Paul II’s “Service Requesting Pardon” conducted March 12, 2000, as found in Origins, March 23, 2000 (Vol. 29. No. 40, p. 645, 647-480).

As with the current pedophilia crisis, I find it hard to remain at this level of humility/humiliation. I/we want to flee mentally – not to think very much about all this since it happened so long ago or to pretend it didn’t happen or to deny that it was so bad or to excuse such evil because “everyone” was doing it.

With the guidance of the Spirit, we and our Christian friends are seeking together the truth of the past, acknowledging our wrongs, expressing our need to give and receive forgiveness and beginning a healing process in our communities. We see this, for example, in the work of the International Catholic Mennonite Dialogue [1998-2003]. There, in a process that included acknowledging that Catholics persecuted and killed their forbearers at the time of the Reformation, we have come to a deep and quite moving reconciliation.

Francis de Sales concludes his section on “loving our abjection” by saying:

“I have suggested certain things to you which have perhaps been difficult to hear, but, believe me, they will be sweet to practice.” [Part III, Chapter 6]

The sweetness of course is in the reconciliation and in the humble joy of doing God’s will.


Father John W. Crossin, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, is director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and interreligious Affairs.

Five Things To Remember On July 29

1. Over 1,200 Spanish Bibles donated by the American Bible Society and the publishing house Verbo Divino have gone to unaccompanied minors from Central America.

2. Pope Francis said this week: "Never war! Never war! I think most of all about children, whose hopes for a dignified life, a future are dashed, dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphans, children who have the leftovers of war for toys, children who don't know how to smile. Stop it, please! I beg you with all my heart! It's time to stop!"

3. One of Africa's fastest-growing Catholic communities needs our help to flourish.

4. The U.S. State Department said 2013 was the bleakest year globally in terms of religious freedom in recent memory.

5. God loves you.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Five Things to Remember on July 28

1. Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri said July 27 that “no religion can accept to kill God’s children in the Name of the same God” during a homily at the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Peter in San Diego, California. Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, is visiting Eastern-Rite Catholic communities in California this month. Most members of the Chaldean Church come from Iraq, where there is persecution of Christians, especially at the hands of the Islamist ISIS group which has driven the Catholic community from the city of Mosul.

2. July 26 marked the
First Anniversary of World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Video: What did it all mean in Rio last July? What is the lasting significance of World Youth Days for the Church?  Video: One year ago tonight tons of cardinals & bishops partied on Copacabana beach Video: Warm-up for Concluding World Youth Day 2013 Mass - Brazil
Text: What did we learn from World Youth Day in Rio?

3. First Vietnamese Refugee to become general in U.S. Army in August. Thirty-nine years ago, the Immigration & Refugee Division of Catholic Charities LA (then named the Catholic Welfare Bureau) ensured that Major Duong Xuan Luong, his wife, and their eight children, found a safe home in the United States. Major Luong’s only son, Viet Luong, was ten when his family was resettled by Catholic Charities Los Angeles. He attended the University of Southern California and joined the U.S. Army after graduation. After 20 years in the Army, he will be promoted from the rank of Colonel to the rank of general, making him the first Vietnamese refugee to become a General in the US Army. Credit: Loc Nguyen, Director of Immigration and Refugee Department, Catholic Charities Los Angeles.

4. Bishop Richard Pates urged National Security Advisor Susan Rice to provide humanitarian assistance and work with other governments to stop violence in Iraq.  The United States should help Christian communities and other Iraqis plagued by violence through humanitarian assistance and international collaboration, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a July 25 letter to National Security Advisor Rice. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, had written to her June 19 about the escalating violence in Iraq and wrote that the situation had only deteriorated. “The Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of territory in northern Iraq, leaving a trail of destruction, burning and looting ancient churches and mosques, homes and businesses,” Bishop Pates wrote. “Thousands have fled with little more than the clothes on their backs, often being robbed of their few personal possessions as they ran.” Full text of the letter is available online:

5. God loves you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 25

1. USCCB/MRS is one of two agencies authorized by the Department of State to help children who enter the U.S. without a legal guardian.

2. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, called upon President Obama and the Central American presidents to protect and care for children and families fleeing violence in the region. On July 25, Presidents Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala, Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador, and Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras are slated to meet with President Obama at the White House to discuss the current humanitarian challenge.

3. Wednesday's order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado enjoining the state from enforcing its laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman follows recent decisions on marriage by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver. The U.S. District Court temporarily stayed its order. The U.S. Bishops’ Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, said, “Recent court decisions on marriage in no way deter our efforts to promote the truth about marriage – a truth that no court decision can ever undo.”

4. Imagine going to the cafeteria line, looking to the right and seeing Pope Francis ordering fish.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 24

1. The U.S. cannot separate the humanitarian crisis of many thousands of unaccompanied minors journeying to the U.S. border from root causes in Latin America, many generated by U.S. policies, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a July 24 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. The letter from Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, followed the bishops’ June 24-July 2 travels in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

2. Meriam Ibrahim, the woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, met with Pope Francis in the Casa Santa Marta today.

3. Catholic News Service has a new documentary on the last legacy of World War I.

4. As Americans mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the USCCB Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church has launched a 50th anniversary Initiative, to encourage the faithful to reflect on how the lessons and legacy of the civil rights era continue to shape us today as Catholics and faithful citizens.

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 23

1. reports: "Pope Francis has reassured the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Youssef III Younan that he is following news out of Iraq with concern, particularly the dramatic situation of Christians in Mosul who have been threatened with death and seizure of their homes by Islamic militants demanding they leave or convert to their form of Islamic belief. Christians have lived in Iraq’s second largest city for nearly two thousand years; there are few, if any, left now in Mosul. "

2. Find out how the Catholic Church is helping the unaccompanied minors currently in the immigration crisis in the U.S.

3. A Mass for the immigrants was held in Los Angeles with Archbishop Jose Gomez and he said, "As we all know, this land was built by the blood and sacrifice and the vision of missionaries and immigrants from every race and language and every nation."

4. Among the new members and consultants Pope Francis named to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is Father John W. Crossin, the executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 22

1. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the USCCB, has asked the U.S. bishops to join with him in prayer and action for peace in world trouble spots, including the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa and Central America.

2. Pope Francis prayed for the Middle East, saying, “May the God of peace arouse in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace!”

3. One of the most viral posts on our Facebook page is this tweet from Bishop David Ricken.

4. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what Natural Family Planning (NFP) is. Do you know the difference between the fact and fiction about NFP? Find out more here:

5. God loves you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Five Things To Remember on July 21

1. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, who chairs the U.S. bishops' International Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote July 21 to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to say that the United States should seek an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, provide humanitarian relief to the vulnerable people of Gaza, and return to the challenge of pursuing a just and lasting peace. The letter addressed Hamas’ rocket attacks and the Israeli response and reiterated Pope Francis’ call for a ceasefire and peace.

2. During his Sunday Angelus July 20 Pope Francis told the persecuted Christians of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that he was with them in solidarity and appealed for aid for these people who have been “stripped of everything." Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul to Sunni Kurdish areas up north after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatened to kill them if they don't convert to Islam or pay tax. Extremists of the al-Qaeda-inspired group began implementing their threats by burning a 1,800 year old church in the city. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the persecution of Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes in Mosul could constitute a crime against humanity.

3. Unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the United States should be viewed not through an enforcement lens but through a child protection lens. In fact, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has found 58 percent of these children felling violence in their home countries could qualify for international protection as refugees.

4. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Richard J. Malone have voiced concern for the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would ignore religious freedom concerns. "To dismiss concerns about religious freedom in a misguided attempt to address unjust discrimination in the workplace is not to advance justice and tolerance. Instead, it stands as an affront to basic human rights and the importance of religion in society .... The U.S. legacy of religious freedom has enabled the Catholic Church and other faith communities to exercise their religious and moral convictions freely and thus contribute to the good of all in society. No good can come from removing this witness from our social life." they wrote July 21 on the USCCBlog. They added that "eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behavior – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share. The current political climate makes it very difficult to maintain a reasonable dialogue on these contentious issues, but we must keep trying." Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco chairs the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop Lori of Baltimore chairs the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Wenski of Miami chairs the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Malone chairs the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
5. God loves you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 18

1. Pope Francis spoke with the leaders of Israel and Palestine today in the wake of the latest military conflicts.

2. Catholics are being encouraged to contact government officials to push for peace in the Holy Land.

3. The Catholic Church is absolutely committed to the safety of children. Together we can make a Promise to Protect, and a Pledge to Heal. For more information about our efforts against child abuse and to learn how you can help, speak with your local Safe Environment Coordinator and visit our website at

4. Sunday is the start of NFP Awareness Week. Learn more about it.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 17

1.Here on the blog, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Richard J. Malone write a blog about recent developments with ENDA.

2. Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted against considering S. 2578, a bill empowering the federal government to override the ReligiousFreedom Restoration Act and other federal conscience laws when it mandates including any "item or service" in health plans.

3. "The Church, by her nature, is missionary. She exists so that every man and woman may encounter Jesus," Pope Francis said on his popular Twitter account today.

4. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of Brooklyn, gives a very personal take on the immigration crisis currently happening. His grandfather was an unaccompanied minor.

5. God loves you.

Hobby Lobby and ENDA

By Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Richard J. Malone 

The Washington Post reported July 8 that the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups were no longer supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The reason, said the executive director of one of the lead organizations: the Hobby Lobby decision opens the door for private companies to determine that “LGBT people are not equal…and fire them.”

But the Hobby Lobby decision does no such thing. The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court was an application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which requires that, if the federal government wants to impose a “substantial burden” on the religious exercise of its citizens, it must prove that the burden serves a “compelling government interest” and does so by the means “least restrictive” of religious exercise.

The decision was the Court’s recognition that in the case of the HHS contraceptive mandate the government failed to use the “least restrictive means” of providing coverage for certain contraceptives. The Court deliberately said nothing about whether the government had a “compelling interest” in requiring that coverage. In any event, the current debate about ENDA does not focus on its interplay with RFRA, but instead on whether ENDA itself should have any exemption for religious employers – as all prior versions have – and if so, how broad it should be.

So what is really the matter with ENDA according to these groups?

They argue that ENDA in its current form would leave religious employers free to “discriminate” based on their religious convictions. They argue that religious people cannot “impose” their morality on others. This ignores the fact that these advocates themselves seek to impose their morality on religious people and runs directly counter to the religious diversity that modern societies aspire to.

As Pope Francis wrote: “A healthy pluralism…does not entail privatizing religions in an attempt to reduce them to the quiet obscurity of the individual’s conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques. This would represent, in effect, a new form of discrimination and authoritarianism” (Evangelii Gaudium no. 255).

To dismiss concerns about religious freedom in a misguided attempt to address unjust discrimination in the workplace is not to advance justice and tolerance. Instead, it stands as an affront to basic human rights and the importance of religion in society.

The U.S. legacy of religious freedom has enabled the Catholic Church and other faith communities to exercise their religious and moral convictions freely and thus contribute to the good of all in society. No good can come from removing this witness from our social life.

This also makes a July 8 letter to President Obama about a proposed ENDA executive order rather remarkable: it is from religious leaders who argue against religious freedom protection in ENDA. One would expect these leaders to defend the rights of all people – even those who may disagree with them – to act according to deeply-held religious beliefs and moral convictions about the dignity of the human person and the purpose of human sexuality. Instead, these faith leaders go the opposite direction in the name of “anti-discrimination.”

Indeed, discrimination is already happening to those who advocate for religious liberty protections. Just after the president of evangelical Gordon College signed a coalition letter asking President Obama to include such protections in a proposed ENDA executive order, the college became the subject of review by its higher education accrediting agency.

Unjust discrimination against any one – whether that person experiences same-sex attraction or is of a particular religion – harms us all. But ENDA is simply not a good solution to these problems and, as the Bishops explained last November 7, it should be opposed.

Instead of protecting persons, ENDA uses the force of the law to coerce everyone to accept a deeply problematic understanding of human sexuality and sexual behavior and to condone such behavior. The current proposed ENDA legislation is not about protecting persons, but behavior. Churches, businesses and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity.

Eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behavior – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share. The current political climate makes it very difficult to maintain a reasonable dialogue on these contentious issues, but we must keep trying.

Lobbying for coercive laws that violate freedom will not promote justice in the workplace. Nor will it advance the common good to seek to silence debate about sexual morality. We, like all Americans, wish there was an easy way forward. There is not. But there is an honest one. And it starts with the unflinching commitment to the inherent dignity of every human person, and to the “healthy pluralism” we all wish to share.


Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco chairs the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore chairs the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami chairs the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Richard J. Malone chairs the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 16

1. Pew Research finds that Catholics in America rate the Church very warmly.

2. Happy 75th anniversary to the Archdiocese of Washington, which celebrates the landmark during the next week.

3. The USCCB's Migration & Refugee Services is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the world. It helps those who are being persecuted start a new life. Learn more in this video.

4. One priest in Iowa has the ears of every Minor League Baseball fan in Sioux City, Iowa thanks to becoming one team's PA announcer.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 15

1. In case you missed it: In a letter sent July 14 to all U.S. Senators, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore stated their “strong opposition to the misnamed ‘Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014’ (S. 2578).” Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Lori chair the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, respectively.

2. reports: "Pope Francis has sent a message to the 'Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development,' urging protection for tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who are migrating North from Central America and Mexico in increasing numbers."

3. Natural Family Planning Awareness Week starts July 21. Here are some frequently asked questions to show what NFP is.

4. “The church must have a culture that’s reliable, where everyone knows what warning signs to look for and where to get help.” - Deacon Bernie Nojadera, Executive Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, while attending the 2014 Anglophone Conference in Rome.

5. God loves you.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Five Things To Remember on July 14

1. Numbers tell it all. Said Cokie Roberts yesterday on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos": "I heard a report this week that in New York your chances of getting murdered are 1 in 25,000. In Honduras, it's 1 in 14. You can't send children home to that." 2. Catholic News Service reports from Honduras that bishops from five countries are calling on Catholics, politicians and society at large to confront the issues causing a flow of unaccompanied minors from Central America -- and to care for them as they travel through Mexico and arrive at the U.S. border. "Bishops and their workers reiterate the urgency of respecting human dignity of the undocumented migrants, strengthening governmental institutions ... firmly combating the reprehensible activity of illegal groups and organized crime ... and investing in Central America," the bishops' conferences of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States said in a July 10 statement. "We call on business leaders, especially Catholics, to invest and contribute to the promotion of justice and equality. We exhort parents to not expose their children to the dangers of the dangerous journey toward Mexico and the United States. And we ask society to in general to assume their rightful roles." 3. Pope Francis prayed at his Sunday Angelus address yesterday for peace in the Holy Land, where fighting has escalated in recent days. "I urge the parties concerned and all those who have political responsibility at local and international levels to spare a prayer and make some effort to put an end to all hostilities and to achieve the desired peace for the good of all," he said. Then he prayed: "Now, Lord, help us! Grant us peace, teach us peace, guide us toward peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say: 'Never again war!' and noted "Everything is destroyed by war..." 4. Today is the feast of the North American saint Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian whose shrine is in Auriesville, New York. Known as the "Lily of the Mohawks," she faced rejection by her family and tribe when she converted to Catholicism and died a martyr when she was 24. 5. God loves you.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 11

1. The national Migration Conference wrapped up yesterday. hear a Vatican Radio interview with Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, of Seattle, who chairs the USCCB's committee on migration on what the church is doing.

2. A Honduran cardinal says more than 50,000 Central American children who have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border should be treated as refugees.

3. This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 21, and will focus on the theme "Teaching About God's Gift of Forgiveness." Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry.

4. reports: "The Pontifical Council for Culture has launched the 'Pause for Peace' campaign ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 final in Brazilon Sundayevening.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 10

1. Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., chairs the National Review Board that advises the U.S. bishops Office for the Protection of Children and Young People. He writes: "Today’s Catholic parishes and schools may be among the safest places for children. However, one case of abuse is too many; bishops must not become complacent in their efforts to protect children and help victims."

2. CNS looks at how the World Cup Final is the Pope Final as well. Who do you think will win between Argentina and Germany?

3. Did you miss the news earlier this week that a new version of the Pope App has been launched. Check out what's been upgraded.

4. Participants in the National Migration Conference are meeting on Capitol Hill today. Follow along on social media at #migrationconf.

5. God loves you.