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Studies track effect of family encouragement on vocation pursuit

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- There is no single answer to what spurs a young man or woman to consider a vocation to religious life or the priesthood.

"Vocation is a very complex chain of events," said Mark M. Gray, a senior research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

There is no doubt, according to Gray, that the influence of family contributes to a son or daughter's decision on whether to pursue a religious vocation. But, just as parents can encourage a vocation, they also can discourage consideration of a vocation.

Gray, who is director of CARA Catholic Polls, points to a study issued jointly last year with the National Religious Vocation Conference, "The Role of the Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood," as particularly telling on a family's effect on vocations.

Family members of seminarians, priests and religious are usually Catholic themselves and are more likely than Catholics in general to have attended a Catholic school, according to that study. They are more likely than other Catholic adults to say that their faith is the most important part of their daily life. One in five also had a priest or a religious already in their extended family, according to the study.

These family members report a more engaged prayer life than do other Catholic parents or other Catholic adults in general, the study said. Nearly nine in 10 pray daily, compared to just over half of U.S. Catholic adults and just over a third of Catholic parents. They also feel more strongly than Catholic adults in general that it is important that younger generations of the family grow up Catholic.

"We know it's obviously a consideration," Gray told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.

"The importance of family is in encouraging. But it takes more than one person," Gray said. "If it's just your mom ... or just your dad, that's probably not enough. If two people encourage you or three people encourage you," one is more likely to consider a vocation, he added. Friends, priests and sisters can assist in this process.

"Unfortunately, it's just as often that sometimes parents are the people that discourage you" from consideration of a vocation, Gray said. That's the reverse from two generations ago or more, when families were happy to have a son or a daughter enter a convent or the priesthood.

"There's a real sense of 'that's not my role,'" Gray said. Those attitudes, he added, stem from "a sense of individual autonomy that people should pursue their (own) interests -- 'I want my children to follow their dreams' -- rather than some sort of negative attitude toward the church."

One reason parents may discourage a vocation is that, with lower birthrates, they have fewer children to follow their own dreams.

In "New Sisters and Brothers Professing Perpetual Vows in Religious Life: The Profession Class of 2015," issued in January, CARA asked those new members of religious orders, both male and female, about the size of their family. Only 4 percent reported being an only child. 

The most common response from both men and women was that they had three siblings; 25 percent said so, and close to 25 percent reported they had one sibling. But 15 percent said they had two siblings, 9 percent said four siblings, and 22 percent said they had five or more siblings.

Catholic heritage is another indicator of openness to vocations, with 78 percent of the Class of 2015 saying both parents were Catholic. Moreover, 28 percent said they have a relative who is a priest or a religious.

While parents may be encouraging their children to think about religious life, more survey respondents said they got encouragement from parish priests, other religious and friends. 

Mothers did more encouraging than fathers, but new male religious got more encouragement from parents to pursue a vocation than did women religious by roughly a 2-to-1 margin.

A 2012 study, "Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S. Catholics," examined family discouragement in some detail. 

Encouragement was highest by the grandmothers of ethnic groups that weren't white or Hispanic, with 14 percent saying they had gotten a nudge from their grandmother. Ten percent of white respondents said their mother, and 9 percent said their grandmother, encouraged a vocation -- the highest percentages among this group. Among Hispanics, 10 percent of "other family members," other than parents or grandparents, encouraged a vocation.

But by the same token, 10 percent of other family members of Hispanics also discouraged a vocation. As a result, the difference between encouragement and discouragement was a wash, as it was with the other family members of other ethnic groups. Mothers, fathers and grandmothers recorded single-digit "net encouragement rates" across nearly all categories, but their percentages were lower compared to those rates for priests and priest chaplains.

Schooling also can play an important role in the choice of a vocation, since parents have the final say in what schools their children attend.

A CARA study done with Holy Cross Family Ministries and conducted in the fall of 2014, "The Catholic Family: 21st-Century Challenges in the United States," showed that only 11 percent currently sent their child to a Catholic elementary, middle school or high school; 5 percent, to a youth ministry program; and 21 percent, to a parish-based religious education program. In all, more than two-thirds, 68 percent, said they did not have any of their children enrolled in formal Catholic religious education.

"Even those in the highest income brackets are still relatively unlikely to enroll children. Among those in households earning $85,000 or more per year, only 14 percent have a child enrolled in a Catholic elementary school and 4 percent in a Catholic high school," the study said.

Family influence might have been greater when more Catholic children went to Catholic schools, but also when young men and women attended seminary or convent high schools, which were more plentiful in the post-World War II era. They provided a direct path to priesthood or permanent vows.

With men and women making the choice for a vocation later in life, family influence wanes, Gray said. "At CARA we're constantly looking at the next layer," he added. CARA recently received a grant to determine the impact of social media on vocations.

Women in particular, according to Gray, are "looking for religious institutes online" for one that matches their interests -- if they don't already have a relationship with a religious order. But, Gray cautioned, "you have to have an institute with the ability to work through social media to be found," and for many leaders of religious congregations, "the internet isn't something they grew up with."

National parks: Places of wonder, history, culture, spiritual refuge

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- From the dramatic vistas of the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the glistening waters of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, national parks have stood as places of wonder, history and culture.

John Muir, considered the father of the nation's national parks, petitioned U.S. lawmakers to set aside such places for preservation, play and prayer.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike," wrote the 19th-century naturalist and philosopher in his book "Yosemite."

During the 100th year of the National Park Service, Catholic News Service traveled to a few of the nation's most popular parks and discovered sites of spiritual refuge beside some of America's most beautiful landscapes.

Though the U.S. governmental agencies operate within the guidelines of separation of church and state, there are sacred symbols in many of the national parks, mainly because the Catholic Church and other religious institutions are a part of the nation's story.

Religious men and women often use nature's bounty as a backdrop for spiritual connection.

Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, an angler and outdoorsman, said he understands people's longing for nature. Newly named to head the Archdiocese of Anchorage, he has for the last seven years overseen the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo., which includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

"Nature stirs something in the human soul that helps to reveal the Creator to us," he said. "Through creation we come to know the Creator."

He called national parks a "true treasure of this nation" and nature "God's first book."

"To set aside the natural beauty of this country is very important," he said. "It helps us to understand the nature of humanity."

Yellowstone, the first national park, was established by Congress in 1872. Today, 412 parks covering more than 84 million acres in the U.S. and its territories are managed by the National Park Service.

Each year, more than 300 million people venture into the parks for recreation, relaxation and renewal.

President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service in 1916 to protect and regulate all federal parks and monuments. Under the Department of the Interior, the Park Service was charged with the conservation of scenery, wildlife and natural and historic objects and to "provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

To meet the needs of Catholic visitors, Catholic clergy and laypeople lead weekend liturgical services inside some of the largest parks -- Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Zion and Glacier -- during the busy summer season.

Two Catholic chapels, Sacred Heart in Grand Teton and El Cristo Rey at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, not only offer Mass but are open daily for visits and prayer.

Parishes in park gateway communities, such as St. Mary's in Gatlinburg, Tenn., also cater to throngs of national park visitors.

A majority of those attending Mass at St. Mary's are visitors of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited of the national parks with an estimated 10.7 million people annually, said Carmelite Father Antony Punnackal, pastor of the parish.

"We call this parish 'the parish of the Smokies,' because it's basically for the visiting parishioners," Father Punnackal told CNS.

Though the church has about 200 registered families who live within the parish boundaries, an average of 700 people attends Mass each weekend from the spring through fall, he said.

Ed Willis of Delaware, Ohio, said his trip through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park offered him a spiritual experience while witnessing "the creation of God," a vision that stayed with him as he worshipped at St. Mary's after leaving the park for the day.

"Having this park and church within reach has deepened my relationship with God," he told CNS after attending a Saturday evening Mass in August.

The National Park Service not only preserves America's top wilderness areas, but its cultural and historical places as well, including such sites as the Washington Monument, the White House, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Independence Hall.

"Most of the national parks are cultural sites," said Kathy Kupper, spokeswoman for the Park Service. "They tell the story of who we are collectively as a people and as a society."

That story includes the role of Catholicism in the building of the nation.

"There are many connections between the National Park Service and the Catholic Church," Kupper told CNS. "Perhaps the most famous Catholic Church association is at the San Antonio Missions."

Established as a national historical park in 1978, it includes Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada missions and represents a unique collaboration between the park service and the church. The Park Service maintains mission buildings, landscapes and visitor centers, while the Archdiocese of San Antonio cares for the mission churches and oversees religious services. Visitors can learn about Spanish Colonial Texas and also attend Mass in the still active missions.

In the mix of national historical parks and monuments, are those that tell the stories of some prominent Catholics.

-- Kalaupapa National Historical Park in Molokai, Hawaii, a memorial to the secluded settlement of people banished from their homes for having Hansen's disease (leprosy), tells the story of the community and those who served as its caregivers, including St. Damien of Molokai (Father Damien De Veuster), St. Marianne of Molokai (Mother Marianne Cope) and Vermont native Joseph Dutton.

-- The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline, Mass., is the Catholic president's birthplace and boyhood home. A reproduction of the baptismal gown worn by JFK and his siblings is among the religious items on display. (The original gown is retained in storage for preservation.)

-- Tumacacori National Historical Park south of Tucson, Ariz., contains the ruins of a mission founded by Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691. The park imparts the accounts of European missionaries, settlers and soldiers and the native O'odham, Apache and Yaqui people they met in their explorations and ministry.

-- Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, located northeast of Keene, Calif., is the home and burial place of the Latino labor leader and civil rights activist. With the rallying call "Si, se puede!" ("Yes, we can!"), his movement led to better working conditions and higher wages for farm workers. The monument is part of the Chavez property known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace).

The National Park Service also manages the National Register of Historic Places, which includes more than 400 Catholic churches. Among them are the California missions established by Spanish Franciscan missionary St. Junipero Serra.

 

Actor Mark Wahlberg praised priesthood in video

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Typically, the Facebook page for the Diocese of Providence Office of Vocations in Rhode Island gets anywhere from three to 40 likes on its posts — most which celebrate seminarians, priests and their ministry.
 
But it took an actor and former member of a boy band to set its Facebook page on fire, not with a song, but with a video praising the priesthood, and one which had been viewed — as of Oct. 6 — 560,000 times and received more than 6,000 likes and upward of 8,000 shares.
 
Actor Mark Wahlberg, a native of Boston, where the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors had its annual conference Sept. 30–Oct.7, made the homemade video shown to those who attended and later posted on the Diocese of Providence vocations office Facebook page.
 
"We, the Catholic faithful, are counting on you to bring us good and holy priests," Wahlberg said in the video. "Enjoy my hometown this week and know that I will pray for you and for your success. Thank you for all that you do and God bless."
 
Some priests from the Boston area, who know Wahlberg, had brought up the idea of asking the actor to attend the conference once the city had been chosen as the location, said Rosemary Sullivan, executive director of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. But as his schedule got tighter and tighter, he asked if he could do a video instead.
 
Wahlberg was promoting a film in which he stars, "Deepwater Horizon," about the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how it affected the workers. The film was released the day the conference began.
 
He wasn't given a script for the priesthood video, but spoke from his heart, Sullivan said in a phone interview with Catholic News Service from Boston Oct. 6. Wahlberg spoke about how priests have helped him during difficult moments in his life and also are there for the good times: when he got married, when his children were baptized, when members of his family died and were buried, when he needs God's forgiveness, when he receives the body and blood of Jesus Christ to replenish his faith.
 
In the video, Wahlberg said he wants his children and future generations to have "good priests in their lives, just like I had." And even though he got into trouble in his youth, "I always had a priest to stick by me," he said.
 
When the video was shown in the conference, the reaction was silence, but a good kind of silence, Sullivan said: "He was so deeply sincere and you could feel it when you're watching the video."
 
"My Catholic faith is the anchor that supports everything I do in life," said Wahlberg, adding that he would be praying for the success of the conference and of the vocation directors.
 
What's plain to see is that the actor "spoke as a son of Christ" in his plea to keep the priesthood alive and about a responsibility that doesn't belong to vocation directors alone, Sullivan said.
 
"We all bear that responsibility," she added.
 
And Wahlberg, as a Catholic, took that responsibility seriously in trying to see what he could do to help.
 
"This is an example where you use a gift God has given you," she said, adding that Wahlberg also was present at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015 and emceed an event attended by the pope.
 
It's important to follow his example and, as Wahlberg did, let priests, those who are thinking about the priesthood and vocation directors know what they mean to Catholic communities, Sullivan said.
 
"They need to know how much we love them and support them," she said. "Mark Wahlberg is challenging them, saying 'We need you to help us.'"

[Wahlberg's video can be viewed on the Diocese of Providence Office of Vocations Facebook page.]
 
 
 

'Moved by Mercy' is theme of Respect Life Month, yearlong observance

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Each year, October is designated as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and this year's theme is "Moved by Mercy."

It draws on a quote from Pope Francis: "We are called to show mercy because mercy has been shown to us."

The first Sunday of October, which is Oct. 2 this year, is Respect Life Sunday and kicks off what is a yearlong pro-life program for the U.S. Catholic Church.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities has prepared a packet for the 2016-2017 program containing materials and resources that can be downloaded in English and Spanish at usccb.org/respectlife.

"Like the good Samaritan, may we always treat each person with merciful love and respect that affirms the gift of his or her life," says the introduction to the packet of materials, which include brochures, fliers and posters. 

The yearlong observance aims "to help Catholics understand, value and become engaged with supporting the dignity of the human person, and therefore the gift of every person's life."

Launched in 1972, the Respect Life Program was created to celebrate the value and dignity of human life in Catholic dioceses across the United States. Each year, as a part of the program, Respect Life Month is observed with liturgies and marked by special events that take place during the month of October and continue through the following September.

The 2016-17 materials focus on the issues of infertility, post-abortion healing, end-of-life care, suicide and care for creation, as well as how to accompany expectant mothers who are considering giving up their baby for adoption.

The materials -- available in Spanish and English -- can be used in parishes, schools and faith-based ministries, but also are suitable for individual use, according to the pro-life secretariat.

Study puts dollar value of religiously motivated volunteering in the U.S. at $1.2 trillion

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Can you put a dollar value on religion? 

One Georgetown University researcher has attempted something close to it, releasing findings from a study that says organized religion and behaviors associated with it contribute, by one estimate, nearly $1.2 trillion to the United States.

Brian Grim, of the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University, unveiled on Sept. 14 findings of a study he conducted with Melissa Grim, of the Newseum Institute, and which analyzed the economic impact of 344,000 religious congregations, "from Adventist to Zoroastrians," around the country.

Depending on which factors one considers, religion contributes $378 billion, by the most conservative of estimates, and up to $4.8 trillion to the U.S. annually, Brian Grim said of the study sponsored by Faith Counts, a nonprofit organization of religious groups, whose aim is promoting the value of faith.

University of Pennsylvania professor Ram Cnaan, who also is program director for the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research at the school, said at the unveiling of the study that while some may consider putting a dollar value on religion a sacrilege, it's important to point out organized religion's benefits to society to balance out news about clergy abuse, extremism, fraud and other ills that are frequently reported on the news and that involve members of faith communities.

It's also important to consider the benefits of organized religion, the study said, when the U.S. seems to increasingly step closer to a more secularized society, such the one painted in the Pew Research Center study "'Nones' on the Rise," about the growing ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.

Cnaan, who said he is not affiliated with a religion, said he believes it's important to gauge, not if religion is important but how much it is important, in terms of its dollar value to society. That's because churches and other centers of worship benefit society, financially and otherwise, through schools, hospitals, charitable institutions, by providing certain social services and volunteer work that help people in need in their local communities.

Think of organizations, Grim said, such as the Knights of the Columbus, 1.9 million members strong, who have provided help to communities in distress, physically and financially, at a moment's notice.

Given increasing secularism, "think of what would happen if everyone in America woke up like me. I'm not religious," Cnaan said, encouraging others to ponder a society in which the many social and financial benefits of organized religion are no longer there because there are fewer or no church members left. Would others pick up the slack?

Grim said there are organizations that are not faith-based that do good works.

"We wouldn't see the good of society disappearing but it would be significantly less," he said.

William Galston, of Brookings Institution's Governance Studies Program, said the $1.2 trillion estimate Grim offered, is the "Goldilocks estimate," not too high and not too low, but consider what it means to have programs, people and services originating from a religious base that contribute to 7 percent of the country's GDP, he said. That's exactly what the study finds if you go by the mid-range estimate, he said.

"It's a sensible number to use as a baseline for national discussion," Galston said.

Cnaan said in his interactions with clergy and religious leaders, he sometimes finds people who are apologetic. But the study shows that they should be proud and should be a boost of confidence to all communities of faith in the U.S., he said.


"I wish I could have gone to every place and every people and say, 'Be proud, you're part of something very big and very important,'" he said.
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Cleveland diocese educates on ‘Faithful Citizenship’

While Republicans gathered in Cleveland to confirm their nominee and settle on a platform, the Diocese of Cleveland, too, began preparing for the upcoming national election.

As director of the diocesan Social Action Office, Sister of Notre Dame Kathleen Ryan, oversees efforts to educate Catholics in the diocese on “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the U.S. bishops’ quadrennial document on political responsibility.

“They (the bishops) make it very clear that we don’t give up any aspect of citizenship to be a Catholic,” Sister Ryan said. “In fact, because we have a values system, we can use it to enhance and influence the democracy that calls for — by its very definition — participation.”

The document reflects on long-held concerns related to abortion and the needs of poor people. It also references emerging issues related to court decisions on same-sex marriage, public policies that impact religious freedom and a rising concern for the environment as climate change affects more people around the world.

An introductory note states that the document is meant to offer “our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy.” The bishops call on Catholics to study the document “prayerfully and in its totality.”

The U.S. bishops at their fall general meeting in November approved revisions to the document. It is longer than its predecessors, issued for the previous presidential election years.

“Faithful Citizenship” draws on the words of Pope Benedict’s 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”) and Pope Francis’ “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) and “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.” The revision includes at least 25 quotations from Pope Francis.

“There are Catholic issues and we raise these issues to both parties,” Sister Ryan told Catholic News Service. “We are very anxious to see the platforms of both parties.”

She noted that “Faithful Citizenship” could instruct Catholics active in politics about Church teaching and who in turn might influence the positions of their respective parties.

“Things like Catholic education, Catholic health care, Catholic social services are all an outgrowth of what we do on Sunday,” Sister Ryan said. “The last thing our priest tells us is, ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.’ We are not a worship-only Church.”

The Social Action Office distributes materials, including a CD with other resources, the USCCB’s suggested ways that parishes can educate their voters, and USCCB’s list of what to avoid. Supplied with this information, individual parishes choose activities to reach their members, such as discussion groups and formal presentations.

Before the past two national elections, Father Gerald Bednar, who is vice rector of St. Mary Seminary and teaches theology there, addressed Catholics at well-attended meetings. He described the principles set forth in “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” and he advised attendees to consider factors such as a candidate’s past performance and whether or not a nominee avoids issues or “plays fast and loose with the facts.”

“There is no perfect candidate,” Father Bednar said. “It’s difficult in this election because both candidates have expressed opinions opposed to Catholic principles.”

To give a fair hearing to both sides, Father Bednar recommends that voters read a liberal newspaper, like The New York Times, and a conservative newspaper, like The Wall Street Journal for two weeks and then compare views reported there to Church teaching.

Sister Ryan said the Social Action Office does not overlook the youngest voters. She serves as the diocesan liaison to the Catholic Schools for Peace and Justice network, a longtime fixture in each of the diocese’s 20 Catholic high schools. Representatives in individual schools deliver materials to designated teachers or guidance counselors to use as they choose. Students in schools that hold mock elections, for example, apply the information when selecting candidates.

“In the (Catholic) colleges, we have a similar relationship,” Sister Ryan said. “We have a long history of social action in this diocese, and so we have very good relationships with all these different entities.”

She hopes Catholic voters will familiarize themselves with “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” before the November election.

“I’m very grateful to the bishops for coming out with this document as a way of informing people of the issues that are of importance in our day (and) of their hope and encouragement to be an active citizen,” Sister Ryan said. 

Article written by Jerri Donohue, Catholic News Service.

Read the document: “Faithful Citizenship” 

March for Life planned in Washington

The annual March for Life will take place Jan. 22 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In concert with the annual March for Life, the U.S. bishops invite all Catholics to pray for the protection of all human life by participating in a special novena called 9 Days for Life, from Jan. 16-24. Join thousands of others in praying for the protection of all human life. Download the novena online, or participate through Facebook, e-mail, text message or an app. Join at www.9daysforlife.com.

More information about all the March for Life events is available at www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/index.cfm.

There will be no Diocese of Burlington-sponsored bus to Washington, D.C., this year for the annual March for Life. It is hoped there will be one next year.

 

U.S. Supreme Court sends Zubik case back to lower courts

The U.S. Supreme Court May 16 sent the Zubik v. Burwell case, which challenges the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive requirement for employers, back to the lower courts.

The justices' unanimous decision, explained in a nine-page unsigned opinion, was based on the information that both sides submitted a week after oral arguments were heard in the case about how and if contraceptive insurance coverage could be obtained by employees through their insurance companies without directly involving religious employers who object to this coverage.

The court made clear that it is not expressing an opinion on the merits of the cases that are challenging aspects of the federal government's health legislation and it also was not ruling on the issue of a potential violation of religious freedom.

The court stressed that this approach is "more suitable" than addressing the refined positions submitted by both sides and added that "although there may still be areas of disagreement between the parties on issues of implementation, the importance of those areas of potential concern is uncertain, as is the necessity of this court's involvement at this point to resolve them."

Five appeals courts had ruled in favor of the contraceptive mandate and one had ruled against it. But now, equipped with the new information both sides submitted to the Supreme Court, the lower courts have been ordered to review these cases once more.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote separately to stress that the court had not decided any of the legal questions in the cases and cautioned the lower courts not to read anything into the new opinion.

"This is a game-changer," said Mark Rienzi, lead attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the Little Sisters of the Poor, one of the group's challenging the federal contraceptive mandate.

He said the opinion reflects that the court has "accepted the government's concession" that it can provide contraceptives to women "without using the Little Sisters."

He also was pleased the court was forbidding the government "from fining the Little Sisters even though they are refusing to bow to the government's will. It is only a matter of time before the lower courts make this victory permanent," he said in a May 16 statement.

Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl had a more nuanced look at the court's opinion, saying he was pleased that it offered a path forward, but he also acknowledged that "this struggle will continue."

The Washington Archdiocese is one of several plaintiffs in this case.

The cardinal said the archdiocese will continue its work to "serve others in education, health care, social services, and outreach to the poor and those most in need. We will continue to do that because we are resolute that it is precisely by being true to our Catholic identity in what we proclaim and in what we do that we can continue to help realize a truly good and just society." (CNS)

Obituary, Mother Angelica

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CNS)–Mother Angelica, who founded the Eternal Word Television Network and turned it into one of the world's largest religious media operations, died Easter Sunday at age 92.

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