Column: Don’t miss the best thing

Katie Prejean McGrady is an international Catholic speaker and author. She writes the “Window Seat Wisdom” column for Catholic News Service. (CNS photo/courtesy Katie Prejean McGrady)

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By Katie Prejean McGrady
Catholic News Service

My daughter has this T-shirt. I found it on the clearance rack at Target marked down 75%. Without hesitation, I tossed it in the cart, and ironically, that steal of a deal has become her favorite shirt, worn at least once a week.

Across the shirt is a line from Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” the popular book handed out as graduation gifts and read in commencement addresses.

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut!” the shirt reads.

Rose wears it with pride. I think she loves the shirt because it’s soft. Simple pleasures keep her pretty content. But I love it because it reminds me to keep my eyes open rather than turned down at a screen. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns

Africa trip planted new seeds of hope, pope says at audience

Pope Francis blesses pilgrims during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 11, 2019. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Having gone to Africa as a pilgrim of peace and hope, Pope Francis said he hoped the seeds planted there by his visit would bear abundant fruit for everyone.

Following in the footsteps of evangelizing saints before him, the pope said he sought to bring with him “the leaven of Christ” and his Gospel, which is “the most powerful leaven of fraternity, justice and peace for all people.”

Speaking to some 12,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square Sept. 11, the pope recalled his fourth apostolic journey to Africa. He dedicated his general audience talk to a review of some of the highlights from his visit to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius Sept. 4-10.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Memories of 9/11 attacks linger for fire department chaplain

Flowers are seen left at the edge of the north reflecting pool at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, Sept. 10, 2019, the eve of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (CNS photo/Mike Segar, Reuters)

By Allyson Escobar 
Catholic News Service

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — Msgr. John Delendick, a longtime New York Fire Department chaplain who is currently pastor of St. Jude Church in Brooklyn, remembers Sept. 11, 2001, vividly.

At the time of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Msgr. Delendick had just finished celebrating Mass at St. Michael’s Church in Brooklyn where he was pastor. He jumped in his car and drove as close as he could get and then walked to the scene.

When he got to the twin towers, he ran into other fire department colleagues, including first deputy commissioner William Feehan, who was later killed in the collapse. He also gave absolution to a police officer who ran to him amid a dark cloud of debris and smoke, asking the priest to hear his confession.

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Posted in U.S.

‘Just the facts,’ pope tells reporters, commenting on news media

Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Antananarivo, Madagascar, to Rome Sept. 10, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MADAGASCAR (CNS) — No one really knows what the future of the news media will be, but it will have no future if reporters and the public cannot distinguish between facts and fiction, Pope Francis said.

Honoring a request from the Spanish news agency EFE to contribute to its collection of views about the future of the media, Pope Francis responded publicly during his flight Sept. 10 from Madagascar to Rome.

When he was a boy, he said, his family did not have a television; instead they listened to the radio and read newspapers. Sometimes, depending on the government in power, they were “clandestine newspapers,” distributed under cover of night.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Ideological fixation, not ‘loyal criticism,’ feeds possibility of schism, pope says

Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Antananarivo, Madagascar, to Rome Sept. 10, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MADAGASCAR (CNS) — Pope Francis told reporters he hoped and prayed the Catholic Church would not experience a new schism, but human freedom means people always have had and will have the “schism option.”

“I pray that there not be schism, but I am not afraid,” Pope Francis told reporters flying from Africa back to Rome with him Sept. 10.

Schisms have occurred throughout church history, he said, and one thing they all have in common is having such a focus on an ideology that they begin reading church doctrine through the lens of that fixation.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Florida senators ask Trump to waive visa requirements for some Bahamians

Personnel from the Royal Bahamas Police Force remove a body recovered in a destroyed neighborhood Sept. 9, 2019, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian on Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour. Because of the storm, two Florida Republican senators have asked President Donald Trump to waive or suspend certain visa requirements for Bahamian citizens with relatives residing in the U.S. (CNS photo/Loren Elliott, Reuters)

By Tom Tracy 
Catholic News Service

MIAMI (CNS) — In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, two Florida Republican senators have asked President Donald Trump to waive or suspend certain visa requirements for Bahamian citizens with relatives residing in the U.S.

Hurricane Dorian stalled over the northern Bahamas Sept. 1-3 as one of the strongest storms in Atlantic history. As of Sept. 10, the death toll was at least 50 and was expected to increase as search and rescue operations continued.

“It’s important Customs and Border Protection and the Bahamian government work together to clarify the current rules regarding visas in the Bahamas,” Sen. Rick Scott said in his statement. His letter was co-signed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Posted in Vatican

Vatican calls for electoral reform, negotiations to resume in Nicaragua

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government Sept. 9, 2019, in Managua. With increasing concerns worldwide about human rights violations in Nicaragua, a Vatican representative has called for an immediate return to negotiations and a rollout of reforms necessary to hold “free and transparent elections” there. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

GENEVA (CNS) — With increasing concerns worldwide about human rights violations in Nicaragua, a Vatican representative has called for an immediate return to negotiations and a rollout of reforms necessary to hold “free and transparent elections” there.

“The Holy See has been following with great attention the sociopolitical situation in Nicaragua and believes that the unsettled disputes should be solved as soon as possible,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

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Posted in Vatican, World