As refugee child, she knew no English; now as teen, she’s poetry champ

Belise Nishimwe, a sophomore at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Ore., performs March 9 at Oregon’s 2019 Poetry Out Loud competition, which she won. Nishimwe wants to study law and international affairs in the future and hopes to “speak up for and lift up those who have been put down.” She will compete in the national Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington April 30-May 1. (CNS photo/courtesy Oregon Arts Commission)

By Katie Scott 
Catholic News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — Belise Nishimwe remembers what it’s like to feel voiceless.

Born in a refugee camp in Tanzania, she came to Portland at age 5 unable to speak or understand English. She couldn’t pass her first year of kindergarten.

“But wow, she found her voice at a young age,” said Erin Weisensee, an Oregon Catholic who helped the family resettle in the United States and remains a close friend. “She’s powerful, articulate and unafraid.”

Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

Jesus replaced law of revenge with law of love, pope says

Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 24, 2019. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The scales of justice cannot solve everything, especially when it comes to stopping a cycle of evil vengeance, Pope Francis said.

“Evil knows revenge and if it is not halted, it risks spreading, suffocating the whole world,” he said April 24 during his weekly general audience.

Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Bishop says ‘love of Christ’ compels him to proclaim Gospel of life

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix speaks April 23, 2019, during the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Kurt Jensen 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Preservation of the family, marriage and the unborn were the main themes of the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington April 23.

“Faith in the crucified and risen Christ shields us from two cold and deadly sins: arrogant presumption and cynical despair,” said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix, the guest speaker. “Neither of which are appropriate in a Christian leader. The enemy of our souls does not care which we prefer.”

Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

Volunteer gardener at crisis maternity home provides balm for the wounded

Jana Hukriede is Catholic Charities USA’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Hukriede leads dozens of volunteers in growing food on the grounds of LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home run by Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri. She is pictured in an undated photo. (CNS photo/John Farmer de la Torre, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri)

By Dennis Sadowski 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Outside of a week or two in the darkest days of winter, it’s always gardening season for Jana Hukriede.

A key volunteer at Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri’s LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home in Springfield, Hukriede finds that hardly a day passes in which she is not organizing volunteers, looking for bargains on gardening supplies and planning which vegetables to plant when in the numerous raised beds at the home’s 11-acre property.

Hukriede, 69, a retired Catholic school teacher, has been at it for seven years and has seen her involvement grow into one that the women who live at the maternity home have come to appreciate and welcome.

Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

Curia reforms put priority on evangelization, synodality, cardinals say

The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is seen at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — The proposed apostolic constitution for reforming and governing the Roman Curia is expected to emphasize the church’s missionary mandate with the creation of a “super-dicastery” merging two offices dedicated to evangelization.

“The main point of the new apostolic constitution is that the church’s mission is evangelization. It puts it at the center of the church and of everything the Curia does,” Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, told Vida Nueva, a Spanish weekly publication dedicated to news about the Catholic Church.

Cardinals Gracias and Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, both members of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, spoke to the Spanish weekly about the final draft of reforms the council approved at its previous meeting in early April. Vida Nueva provided Catholic News Service with an advance copy of the Spanish-language article, which was to be published April 27.

Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Argentine martyrs’ road to beatification recalls period of military rule

Sister Maricarmen Paruas, pictured March 26, 2019, came to La Rioja, Argentina, from Spain nearly 50 years ago with the the Religious of the Assumption to work with Bishop Enrique Angelelli Carletti, pictured in the mural behind her. Many priests and religious were drawn to La Rioja due to Bishop Angelelli’s pastoral plan, which was heavily inspired by the Second Vatican Council. (CNS photo/David Agren)

By David Agren 
Catholic News Service

LA RIOJA, Argentina (CNS) — Bishop Enrique Angelelli Carletti traveled to a rural corner of his diocese in July 1973 to celebrate the feast of San Antonio. He was run out of town instead.

A mob organized by wealthy landowners pelted him with stones. It was their response to his promotion of worker cooperatives at a time when such concepts were criticized as communist, and anything emphasizing the “social” was seen as subversive.

Bishop Angelelli’s pastoral approach was inspired by the Second Vatican Council and Young Christian Workers Movement, but the resistance became more brazen in the ensuing years. He was murdered in a mysterious car crash in July 1976 — a crime carried out by the then-ruling military dictatorship.

Continue reading

Posted in World

Sri Lankan attacks are the latest in series of Easter-related incidents

A mother in Negombo, Sri Lanka, mourns her daughter, who died in Easter bomb blasts, during a wake April 22, 2019. Sri Lankan officials reported 290 confirmed deaths from the eight blasts at churches and hotels in three cities the previous day. (CNS photo/Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters)

Updated: April 23, 2019

By Catholic News Service

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNS) — More than 300 people were killed and more than 500 injured in Easter attacks on three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka. The bombings were the latest in a string of Easter season bombings by extremists.

The others:

April 2, 2018: Four people were shot dead in an attack targeting Christians in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Easter Monday.

Continue reading

Posted in World