Health & Spirit

Light Notes: She prayed for a 'miracle' and the answer was astonishing

Religion / Religious News /

Christmas. It was on the horizon. But in her moment of despair, it seemed impossible to catch even a glimpse of the coming season of wonder.

"I just sat there in my bedroom and I said, "God, you're really going to have to help me this time. I need a miracle," Shyla Gentry said, remembering how she had given in to tears over her desperate ...Read more

Archdiocese of Los Angeles reveals list of 54 clergy it says abused children

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- For the first time in a decade, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Thursday updated its list of clergy accused of molesting children, addressing renewed outcry about how the Catholic Church responds to abuse allegations.

"We owe it to the victim-survivors to be fully transparent in listing the names of those who perpetrate this ...Read more

Philadelphia Muslims make a statement with opening of first purpose-built mosque

Religion / Religious News /

Ever since 9/11, American Muslims have struggled with whether they should stay under the radar or assert their identity. Despite the discrimination that has risen to the surface since that terrible day, their ranks in the U.S. have grown substantially, and there are twice as many mosques operating today as there were in 2000. Yet the majority...Read more

Light Notes: A holiday candy dish holds semi-sweet memory

Religion / Religious News /

The most delicious memories seem to happen during the holidays.

And like a squirrel preparing for winter, I tuck them away to savor during the long winter months. Sometimes, I enjoy them for years.

Among them are sweetest recollections: my little girls at the church play and the moment they got their first angel wings; a pink dolly stroller ...Read more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Names of Catholic clergy will remain shielded

Religion / Religious News /

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- As the Catholic Church undergoes a national reckoning for its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday ruled it would not release the identities of 11 clerics implicated in a high-profile grand jury investigation of such abuse in nearly every diocese in the state.

In its majority ...Read more

Bringing light into darkness: Public menorahs seen as symbols of hope for Hanukkah

Religion / Religious News /

Outside a volunteer firehouse in northern Baltimore County, dozens of people gather for a ceremony that brings to life an old Jewish proverb: A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness.

Shalom Zirkind, an Orthodox rabbi, presided over the lighting of a 12-foot-tall menorah at sundown, Dec. 2, as the annual Jewish holiday of Hanukkah ...Read more

Spiritual Life: He bought a goat. It put God's love into action

Religion / Religious News /

Who would have imagined that digging water wells in India or buying goats in Egypt would capture the attention of 70-year-old J.C. Runion, a West Virginia coal miner?

Unraveling the narrative of a man's steps through life is a mystery, known only to God. But why had J.C., in the seventh decade of life, responded to Jesus' call to follow him?

...Read more

Catholic priest scandal: New lawsuits use nuisance and racketeering laws to target clergy sex abuse

Religion / Religious News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The ongoing scandal over sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has led to two new high-profile lawsuits, both aimed at forcing American bishops to divulge secret lists of offenders dating back more than six decades.

But one of the legal attacks goes even further by pinning the blame on Vatican officials for misconduct in the ...Read more

Light Notes: Counting your blessings? This family has an extra special one

Religion / Religious News /

Count your blessings. Live thankfully.

This is the season when hearts gather in gratefulness.

On Thanksgiving, one little child will sit with hands folded, his head bowed in prayer, not yet realizing the magnitude of thankfulness that surrounds him. But those who love him know this little boy's gentle moment was unimaginable just 3 1/2 years ...Read more

Unease grows as US bishops face prospect of leaving gathering empty-handed

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- Facing the prospect of leaving their most closely watched gathering in years with no consensus response to the sex abuse crisis that has gripped their church since summer, the nation's Catholic bishops pushed Wednesday for something -- anything -- they might approve to show they were taking the problem seriously.

Some pushed again ...Read more

Vatican orders U.S. bishops to halt plans for vote on sex-abuse reforms

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- The first gathering of the nation's Catholic bishops since a summer wave of anger and recrimination over clergy sex abuse in the American church opened Monday with a stunning announcement:

The prelates would not vote on a series of new accountability measures – and it was the Vatican who ordered them to hold off.

Cardinal Daniel...Read more

Spiritual Life: Even superheroes need courage on the 'battlefield'

Religion / Religious News /

Americans love the idea of a superhero, someone possessed of supernatural powers used for the common good.

Joe Thomas, a professor studying this phenomenon, remarked, "They explain mystery. They model behavior. They inspire. They make mistakes ... and learn from them. They are life lessons. They give hope that no matter what the odds, even one ...Read more

How evangelical messages of sexual purity haunt adulthood for a generation of women

Religion / Religious News /

As a young adult, Linda Kay Klein had not had sex, but she was convinced there was a possibility she was pregnant. So much of what she had been taught about sex was focused on staying pure. What if, even as a virgin, there was a chance she failed by not following the never-quite-explained rules of her evangelical youth?

Klein describes how a ...Read more

Light Notes: This Marine veteran found a road out of homelessness and a path to hope

Religion / Religious News /

He was one of them.

A member of a community the young Marine never envisioned after serving his country.

Yet, U.S. Marine Damon Machado has shared the fate of an estimated 40,000 veterans nationwide who on any given night have no shelter.

Homelessness is a "neighborhood" in which no one wants to live. But in that community of veterans, there ...Read more

Parents angry after bishop tells elementary school students that Santa isn't real

Religion / Religious News /

BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- The Bishop of Belleville, Ill., apparently had two very different visits to Catholic schools this week.

At Our Lady Queen of Peace in Belleville, he told fifth- and sixth-grade students that there is no Santa Claus and they should not celebrate Halloween, according to parents.

At Blessed Sacrament School, he answered their ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Believers and agates have something in common

Religion / Religious News /

Long summer days are lovely. Having grown up in the Northwest, I am still surprised to see daylight linger until nearly 10 p.m. during the summer months.

Light seems to make people feel better because they can get out of the house, enjoy one another and do things that they couldn't (or wouldn't) attempt in the deep dark of winter.

Winter ...Read more

US prosecutors tell Catholic bishops not to destroy records on sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA --U.S. prosecutors pursuing an inquiry into sex abuse by priests and cover-ups the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania have turned their attention to bishops outside the state, signaling a wider federal investigation than initially reported.

In a letter sent this month, Philadelphia-based investigators instructed the U.S. Conference of...Read more

Despite a history of sexual abuse, here's why some catholic parents choose to stay with the church

Religion / Religious News /

Michael Hoffman is what some call a "cradle Catholic." Born and raised into the faith, he and his family were extremely involved in their Forest Park, Ill., parish throughout his childhood. As a kid, he was an altar server. As an adult, he considers the Catholic community the "fabric" of his life.

From 12 to 16, it was also the source of his ...Read more

Amid sex abuse crisis, Pope Francis calls on US bishops to gather for retreat at Illinois seminary in January

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO -- Pope Francis has called on Catholic bishops nationwide to gather for a historic seven-day spiritual retreat at Mundelein Seminary in suburban Chicago in January as church hierarchy grapple with the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal.

As chancellor of the seminary, Archdiocese of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich -- now in Rome for a ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Experiencing a time of 'fog'? See that it can satisfy your spirit

Religion / Religious News /

Looking north to Cape Foulweather on the Oregon coast, one is first impressed by the 500-foot abutment of bare rock jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.

Gazing inland, one sees a steep meadow of ground cover yielding to deciduous then the abundant coniferous trees that blanket the region.

In the clear light of a bright -- if cool -- summer day ...Read more

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