Meghan Markle’s Catholic school celebrates royal wedding

Students at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles wear their hair up like hats May 15 during a celebration for Meghan Markle’s upcoming marriage to Prince Harry. Markle is an alumna of the school. (CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters)

By Carol Zimmermann 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Royal wedding fever has caught on in many places, but it has a particular soft spot at Immaculate Heart Middle School and High School outside Los Angeles, the school Meghan Markle attended from seventh to 12th grade.

The school is located more than 5,000 miles from St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, where Markle and Prince Harry’s May 19 wedding is taking place, but the California school bridged this gap during an outdoor pre-wedding celebration May 15.

Students waved British and American flags, toasted their famous alumna with glasses of lemonade, listened to student speeches and did a group dance all while local and international TV and print reporters mingled among them.

Continue reading

Posted in U.S., World

In light of faith: The life-changing power of joy

(A series of columns focused on and written by millennials and young adults)

SILVER GUEST COLUMNIST

Olivia Clarke Silver is a writer who works in public relations and the founder of the website Humor Beats Cancer. She is a guest columnist for the Catholic News Service series “In Light of Faith.” (CNS photo/courtesy Olivia Silver)

By Olivia Clarke Silver
Catholic News Service

When you’re in your 20s and 30s, you often feel invincible — like there’s so much time to make mistakes because you’ll fix them tomorrow. It’s easy to boast that this is the time to do whatever you want.

But then something happens. Maybe you lose your job or your longtime friend stops returning your texts. Or, maybe you learn at age 35 that you have breast cancer — and that’s what happened to me.

Like any tragedy, it’s impossible to not be changed by what happens to you when you get your diagnosis. And at the same time, you want to interact with those who have experienced this similar life-changing event. The problem is that young adult cancer (cancer affecting those in their 20s and 30s in particular) is not as commonly discussed as the cancer your great-aunt or grandmother gets. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

College diploma: source of pride and uncertainty for graduating Dreamers

Brenda and Yarely are two of the thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients who are graduating from college this spring in the U.S. The two pose for photos wearing their caps and gowns May 10 at Trinity Washington University. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

Updated with video May 21.

By Carol Zimmermann 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A group of current Trinity Washington University graduates are proud of what they’ve accomplished but also very anxious about the future.

These emotions could ring true for almost any graduate, but for this group of 21 graduating Dreamers — among the hundreds of thousands in the U.S. protected, for now, by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA — these feelings are even more intense.

Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

All economic activity has moral dimension, doctrinal congregation says

Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, lead a May 17 Vatican news conference for the release of a document on the moral dimensions of economic activity. The new document, approved by Pope Francis, says financial and economic decisions can be virtuous or sinful. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Financial and economic decisions — everything from where a family chooses to invest its savings to where a multinational corporation declares its tax residence — are ethical decisions that can be virtuous or sinful, a new Vatican document said.

“There can be no area of human action that legitimately claims to be either outside of or impermeable to ethical principles based on liberty, truth, justice and solidarity,” said the document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The text, “Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System,” was approved by Pope Francis and released May 17 at a Vatican news conference with Archbishop Luis F. Ladaria, congregation prefect, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the dicastery.

Continue reading

Posted in Vatican, World

Sex trafficking is ‘rooted in structure of society,’ says speaker

Good Shepherd Sister Winifred Doherty, who is her religious congregation’s U.N. representative, speaks about human trafficking at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 15. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Kurt Jensen 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation may need its own #MeToo moment, according to a leading trafficking opponent.

Good Shepherd Sister Winifred Doherty, who is her religious congregation’s representative to the United Nations, observed that sex trafficking, “a debasement of the human person,” is “rooted in the structure of society, and more so today.”

The “social acceptance of the prostitution of women and girls” includes the benign label of sex worker. “Prostitution is neither sex nor work,” Sister Doherty told the inaugural Shine the Light conference at the U.S. Capitol May 15. If gender equality can be put into laws, traffickers could “no longer buy and sell people,” she said.

Continue reading

Posted in U.S., World

Pope expresses concern about ‘spiral of violence’ in Holy Land

A relative mourns during the funeral of 8-month-old Palestinian Laila al-Ghandour, who died after inhaling tear gas at the Israel-Gaza border during a May 15 protest against the U.S embassy move to Jerusalem. (CNS photo/Mohammed Salem, Reuters)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Warning that violence will never bring peace, Pope Francis urged all sides to do all they can to foster dialogue in the Middle East.

“I am very worried about the intensifying tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East and about the spiral of violence that increasingly leads away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations,” he said in an appeal May 16 during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The Associated Press reported that May 14, the same day the United States was inaugurating its embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 people during mass protests along the Gaza border. In addition, a baby died from tear gas inhalation, the Gaza Health Ministry said, bringing the death toll to 58.

Expressing his sadness for those killed and injured, and prayers for all who are suffering, the pope underlined that violence is never of any use for bringing peace.

“War is called war, violence is called violence,” he said.

Continue reading

Posted in Vatican, World

Some Irish believe lives were saved by country’s prohibition on abortion

Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say “Love Both” and “Vote No” to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)

By Sarah Mac Donald 
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) — In the last major pro-life rally ahead of Ireland’s May 25 referendum on whether to liberalize the country’s abortion laws, thousands gathered to say “no” to far-reaching proposals that could see abortion on demand up to 12 weeks, and even later in some cases.

In less than two weeks, people in Ireland will be asked if they wish to repeal Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, known as the Eighth Amendment, which enshrined a ban on abortion in 1983 and gives equal right to life to the mother and the unborn child.

The Irish bishops have warned that if the Eighth Amendment is repealed, legislation the government plans to introduce would make Ireland one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe.

Continue reading

Posted in World