A good Christian shares the Gospel, pope says

Lay Catholic missionary Connor Bergeron of Reston, Va., center back row, poses in this 2015 file photo with people he served during his 16 months of working with the Salesian Lay Missioners in Yapacani, Bolivia. (CNS photo/courtesy of Connor Bergeron)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — All Christians are called to be missionaries, concerned more with sharing the Gospel than with earning money or even with being successful at winning converts, Pope Francis said.

“A baptized person who does not feel the need to proclaim the Gospel, to announce Christ, is not a good Christian,” the pope said July 15 before reciting the Angelus prayer with an estimated 15,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis was commenting on the day’s Gospel reading, which told about how Jesus sent the disciples out two-by-two to preach and to heal in his name.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Deacons’ ministry of presence will be in forefront at upcoming congress

Deacon John Horn blesses Carol Rizzotti following his ordination May 19 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

By Peter Finney Jr. 
Catholic News Service

NEW ORLEANS (CNS) — The 18,000 deacons in the United States exercise a ministry of presence, bringing the healing and hope-filled message of Jesus Christ to people they encounter daily in their parishes, other ministries and workplaces.

That diaconal ministry of presence will be front and center July 22-26 in New Orleans.

About 2,800 people — including 1,300 deacons, along with their wives and children — will attend the 2018 National Diaconate Congress, an event so big it will require three hotels to accommodate the attendees.

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Posted in U.S.

Charities’ CEO visits border, hears immigrants’ stories of fleeing danger

Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, and Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of Tucson, Ariz., pray July 12 with a young family moments before they leave Casa Alitas, a family shelter in Tucson, for a bus trip that will take them to family in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Michael Brown, Catholic Outlook)

By Michael Brown 
Catholic News Service

NOGALES, Mexico (CNS) — Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, grew emotional talking about the harrowing stories she heard from immigrants about the life they left behind to seek refuge in the United States.

“The suffering they are going through is unimaginable,” she said after listening to stories from families waiting to apply for asylum at the international border at Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Sister Markham, who recently completed a tour of a detention facility for children in McAllen, Texas, said she wanted to visit Nogales to get the whole story behind the current public debate over immigration.

“Their stories,” she said, pausing to compose herself. “They are running for their lives. Literally, they left at gunpoint.”

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Posted in U.S., World

Sunday Scripture readings, July 15, 2018: Freedom to serve


The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

July 15,  Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B
1) Am 7:12-15
Psalm 85:9-14
2) Eph 1:3-14
Gospel: Mk 6:7-13

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

St. Francis of Assisi is one of the most well-known and beloved saints of the church. Today, a familiar aspect of his saintly life was his love for creation that reveals the beauty and power of God. His Canticle of the Creatures is a moving, poetic hymn of praise to God through all of creation — the sun, the moon, stars, wind, air, water, fire, flowers and fruit. Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’,” On Care of Our Common Home, begins with the words of St. Francis’ canticle of praise to God for creation. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

After World War I, church changed mission approach, cardinal says

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, is pictured in a May 11 photo at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — World War I and its aftermath changed the map of Europe, but also dismantled the notion of the “state church” in a way that forced the Catholic Church to discover again the authentic meaning of mission, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

After the war, Pope Benedict XV “was prompt in indicating how the missionary world must change paths, abandoning the colonial ideology in which it had been lulled and promoting autonomy, independence and ecclesial self-governance in all the areas outside Europe,” said the Vatican secretary of state.

Speaking at a conference July 12 anticipating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Cardinal Parolin looked at the wide-ranging impact of the war and its aftermath on the political map of Europe, and how that affected the fates of peoples in the Middle East and in the countries of what would become the Soviet Union.

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Posted in World, Vatican

Catholic organizations playing role in reunification of children

Immigrant children react as they are released from detention at a bus depot June 22 in McAllen, Texas. The U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services and Catholic Charities USA issued a statement July 12 saying their are lending their support to ongoing efforts to reunite immigrant families. (CNS photo/Loren Elliott, Reuters)

By Rhina Guidos 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Some of migrant children under age 5 separated from their families by the government were reunited with loved ones July 9 with help from Catholic organizations.

About two dozen families in all were brought back together on that date with help from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, Catholic Charities USA and a network of other agencies from around the country.

In all, the Catholic agencies will help reunite 55 families by mid-July and provide short-term care, such as food and shelter, said Bill Canny, executive director of MRS.

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Posted in U.S.

Papers, chafing under weight of newsprint tariffs, seek relief

Newspapers of every type, including Catholic papers, are seeking relief from the U.S. government after six months of increased costs due to tariffs on imported Canadian newsprint. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Mark Pattison 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Newspapers of every type, Catholic papers included, are seeking relief from the U.S. government after six months of increased costs due to tariffs on imported Canadian newsprint.

The Catholic Press Association, which includes English-speaking Canada, is a member of the STOPP Coalition, which has pressed the Commerce Department for relief. STOPP is an acronym for Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers.

Price increases due to the tariffs have socked the Pittsburgh Catholic three times already this year, according to Carmella Weismantle, advertising director and business manager. “And we’ve been told more are coming,” she said.

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Posted in U.S.