Jim Lackey, longtime CNS editor who embraced old and new media, retires

In this file photo, Rob DeFrancesco, 2014 president of the Catholic Press Association, presents Jim Lackey, web news editor at Catholic News Service, with the association’s St. Francis de Sales Award June 20, 2014  in Charlotte, North Carolina. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass) .

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (CNS) — Jim Lackey, recently retired longtime editor at Catholic News Service, would be hard-pressed to choose between old and new media.

As Web editor and manager for CNS for the past decade, Lackey certainly got the importance of new media — and its broad outreach on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — but he also saw, and still sees, the importance of old-fashioned print publications and doesn’t think they are going away anytime soon.

Sitting at his kitchen table in the Washington suburb of Falls Church Feb. 15 — just two days after his CNS retirement party — Lackey said he is a “firm believer” in every Catholic family receiving a diocesan or archdiocesan newspaper “even if it just sits on the coffee table.”

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Posted in U.S.

Sunday Scripture readings, Feb. 18: Is there anything here for me?


(CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Feb. 18, First Sunday of Lent

Cycle B

1) Gn 9:8-15
 Psalm 25:4-9
2) 1 Pt 3:18-22
Gospel: Mk 1:12-15

 By Kevin Perrotta
Catholic News Service

Previewing today’s readings, I knew right away the grooves my mind would fall into when they are read at Mass.

First we will hear about God promising Noah not to send any more floods and setting the rainbow in the sky as a reminder to himself. Funny, I think, how there weren’t any rainbows before that. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Catholics urged to appeal to lawmakers in Congress to pass DACA bill now

People hold a rally outside Republican Rep. Peter King’s district office in Massapequa Park, N.Y., in 2017 to urge the congressman to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)


By Julie Asher
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — By day’s end Feb. 15, members of the U.S. Senate had rejected four immigration proposals, leaving it unclear how lawmakers will address overall immigration reform and keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in place.

Late that afternoon, Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, issued an urgent alert to Catholics in his archdiocese to raise their voices “to support the ‘Dreamers'” and contact their senators and representatives to vote for a bipartisan measure to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which is set to expire March 5.

“Time is running out for them,” he said in a statement. “Congress must pass bipartisan legislation that would provide urgently needed relief for Dreamers.”

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Posted in U.S.

Florida school shooting an act of ‘horrifying evil,’ says Miami archbishop

A relative embraces a student after being reunited following a shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (CNS photo/Giorgio Viera, EPA)


By Catholic News Service

MIAMI (CNS) — Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski urged community members to come together “to support one another in this time of grief” after a shooting rampage Feb. 14 at a Broward County high school left at least 17 people dead.

“With God’s help, we can remain strong and resolute to resist evil in all its manifestations,” the archbishop said in a statement. “May God heal the brokenhearted and comfort the sorrowing as we once again face as a nation another act of senseless violence and horrifying evil.”

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Posted in U.S.

Pope told Jesuits he regularly meets abuse survivors, journal reports

Pope Francis met Jan. 19 with Jesuits in the sacristy of the Church of St. Peter in Lima, Peru. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)


By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis told a group of Jesuits in Peru that he often meets on Fridays with survivors of sex abuse.

The meetings, which he said do not always become public knowledge, make it clear that the survivors’ process of recovery “is very hard. They remain annihilated. Annihilated,” the pope had told the Jesuits Jan. 19 in Lima.

The scandal of clerical sexual abuse shows not only the “fragility” of the Catholic Church, he said, “but also — let us speak clearly — our level of hypocrisy.”

The director of the Vatican press office Feb. 15 confirmed that the pope’s meetings with abuse survivors is regular and ongoing.

“I can confirm that several times a month, the Holy Father meets victims of sexual abuse both individually and in groups,” said Greg Burke, the director. “Pope Francis listens to the victims and tries to help them heal the serious wounds caused by the abuse they’ve suffered. The meetings take place with maximum reserve out of respect for the victims and their suffering.”

On his trips abroad, Pope Francis usually spends time with local Jesuit communities and holds a question-and-answer session with them. Weeks later, a transcript of the exchange is published by Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal in Rome.

The transcribed and translated texts from Pope Francis’ conversations with Jesuits in Chile Jan. 16 and in Peru three days later were released in Italian and English by Civilta Cattolica Feb. 15 with the pope’s approval, the journal said. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Lent is time to notice God’s work, receive God’s mercy, pope says

Cardinal Jozef Tomko places ashes on the head of Pope Francis during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 14. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — Lent is a time for Christians to get their hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said.

“Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfill the prophecy made to our fathers: ‘A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,'” the pope said Feb. 14, celebrating Mass and distributing ashes at the beginning of Lent.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Sisters from Minnesota Catholic schools play on separate Olympic teams

Hannah Brandt poses with her adopted sister Marissa, left, on Christmas in 2017 at the family home in St. Paul, Minn. (CNS photo/Adam Bettcher, Reuters)

By Matthew Davis
Catholic News Service

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — Few schools can claim an Olympic athlete among their alumni base.

Even fewer schools have more than one, especially from the same family. But Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood and St. Odilia School in Shoreview — both Catholic schools — are proud to make this claim.

That’s because Hannah and Marissa Brandt, graduates of both schools, play on women’s Olympic ice hockey teams competing in this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

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Posted in U.S., World