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Featured Article: A Different Kind of Martyrdom - How I learned to stop talking and start listening. - Martyrs go straight to heaven. I first heard this when I was about five and, after quickly thinking it over, I decided to ask God to let me die as a witness to the truth. It seemed to me the surest, fastest way to be with Jesus forever. Trekking through the jungle, sharing the good news with a lost tribe, being quickly put to death-it couldn’t be all that bad, right? Read Full Story

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 We joyfully announce the ‘Daniel Rudd Fund for African American Catholic Ministries’
 A Different Kind of Martyrdom
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 Fourth Annual Summer Spelling Bee Contest
September 6, 2014
 Gospel Music Festival 2014
September 13, 2014
 Sisters in the Spirit
September 13, 2014
 National Council of Catholic Women
September 24-27, 2014
 Venerable Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Fund 2014 Awards Dinner
September 25, 2014
 Fr. Augustus Tolton pilgrimage
September 26-27, 2014
 7th Annual Award Luncheon
September 27, 2014
 Respect Life Sunday
October 5, 2014
 Maryland Catholic Women’s Conference
October 11-12, 2014
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October 14-17, 2015
 Feed Your Faith
October 25-26, 2014
In The News
 Votive Mass for peace and justice in Ferguson
 Pope Francis and the New Values Debate
 Tulsa bishop urges prayer, fasting in response to black mass
 God’s Mercy and Forgiveness - even in Boston
 Catholic Mass done unlike any you've ever seen
 Strong USCCB support for Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act
 Congressman rips administration's silence on 'genocide' in Iraq
 How Americans Feel About Religious Groups
 The Hobby Lobby decision and the future of religious-liberty rights
 University of Mary adds bioethics program to roster
 Catholic charity to hold day of prayer for peace in Iraq
 Abortion's grim reality may explain 'pro-choice' label drop
 “Do not fear the call of Jesus”, Pope says in radio interview
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Votive Mass for peace and justice in Ferguson | St. Louis Review

With strife and violence in the aftermath of Michael Brown's shooting death by a police officer in Ferguson, more than 500 St. Louis Catholics gathered for a Votive Mass for peace and justice, Aug. 20 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated the Mass with 27 priests and, in his homily, laid out five important steps to "dismantle systemic racism," which has become evident in Ferguson...

Prayer is necessary for the journey, and Archbishop Carlson cited Blessed Teresa, who started her day with an hour of Eucharistic Adoration. "It was only after prayer that she would leave to serve," he said. "Prayer is the inexhaustible source of our service." Full Story

Pope Francis and the New Values Debate

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia broke some big news recently when he announced that Pope Francis would make his first trip to the United States next September. While the Vatican has not officially confirmed the visit, it's widely expected the pope will attend a Philadelphia conference focused on families with possible stops at the United Nations and in Washington. This papal trip is shaping up to be a blockbuster worth watching for anyone who cares about the intersection of religion and politics. Full Story

Tulsa bishop urges prayer, fasting in response to black mass

A novena of prayer and fasting leading up to the Feast of the Assumption has been planned to combat the Satanic black mass slated to take place at Oklahoma City's Civic Center in September... Full Story

God's Mercy and Forgiveness - even in Boston

Boston. Beantown. Boston Strong. "The Athens of America." Home of Red Sox Nation, Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, Cheers, and countless other cultural phenomena. But in 2002, Boston unwittingly became known for something far less luminous-Boston became ground zero for the clerical sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Without warning, this predominantly Irish Catholic city was thrust into the epicenter of a massive scandal unlike any other. It was unparalleled because those at the heart of the scandal were people whom we loved and trusted. The whole crisis carried with it a sense of unspeakable betrayal. Forgiveness and reconciliation seemed like a bleak, far-off impossibility. Full Story

Catholic Mass done unlike any you've ever seen

St. Mary's should be felt both ways - empty and full. With no one in the pews, it's a monument of soaring arches, stained glass and carved marble, where your voice instinctively sinks to a whisper - so impressive it's the only Catholic church in Virginia to earn "basilica" status, chosen by the pope as a special place of pilgrimage. Packed with worshippers, it's even more remarkable: the only African American basilica in the country, a place where an overwhelmingly black flock is led by a white priest with Irish roots and the formality of ancient rituals pulses with stand-up-and-shout soul. Full Story

Strong USCCB support for Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

Three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have offered their "strong support" for the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014. Full Story

Congressman rips administration's silence on 'genocide' in Iraq

Christians are facing genocide in Iraq while the U.S. government and the United Nations are silent, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said on the House floor Thursday. Full Story

How Americans Feel About Religious Groups

Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a "feeling thermometer" ranging from 0 to 100 - where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating - all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher). Full Story

The Hobby Lobby decision and the future of religious-liberty rights

The Supreme Court today expanded the scope of religious-liberty rights and dealt a blow to part of the Obama administration's health care overhaul when it ruled 5-4 that some for-profit businesses have religious rights and, as a result, can opt out of the law's contraception mandate. But the ruling, while important, is limited because it applies only to smaller, closely held businesses and specifically warns against companies using religious-liberty claims to discriminate. Full Story

University of Mary adds bioethics program to roster

The University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., has teamed up with the National Catholic Bioethics Center to offer its students a master's of science degree option in bioethics. Full Story

Catholic charity to hold day of prayer for peace in Iraq

Aid to the Church in Need has scheduled Aug. 6 as day of prayer for Iraq, portions of which are now controlled by Islamist militants, in response to the violence threatening Christians and others in the nation. The prayer initiative is being supported by the Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, Louis Raphael I Sako, who has composed a text for the day of prayer. Full Story

Abortion's grim reality may explain 'pro-choice' label drop

Abortion advocates' recent shift away from the term "pro-choice" could be due to improving medicine and technology showing the harsh reality and effects of the procedure. "Health is a popular buzz word for abortionists, but is much weakened as medical science shows women's health is harmed by abortion," Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, told CNA.Full Story

"Do not fear the call of Jesus", Pope says in radio interview

"Each person has a role, each person has a job to do, a vocation, the Pope said. Pray that God sends workers to the harvest, that he sends shepherds." "Young people who feel the call of Jesus should not be afraid," he continued, explaining that life is not for achieving gains. Life is for giving it away." Full Story

The National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) African American Catholic Youth Bible receives Imprimatur!

African American Catholic Youth BibleWe are happy to announce the NBCC African American Catholic Youth Bible: New American Bible Revised Edition has received the imprimatur and is scheduled to launch, January 2015. The imprimatur is a license/permission granted by a bishop certifying the Church's approval of a book to be published.

John Vitek, president of St. Mary's Press and publisher of the bible said, "I wanted to create a bible that was unique for the African American teen audience and culturally complementary to the many various written and visual elements of the bible." Upon reading the articles, he said; " I have read the text myself and it is a beautiful, powerful work. May lives be transformed by His Spirit through this good work."

Many thanks to Fr. James Chukwuma Okoye C.S.Sp., D. Phil. (Oxon), L.S.S (PIB, Rome)
general editor, writers and editorial team for their dedication, time, and commitment to this youth bible. More news as it happens.

Scholar recounts Black Catholics rich History

"Black Catholicism is not something new. From the very first century, people of color have been involved in the universal Church," Dr. Camille Brown, author of the 2008 book "African Saints, African Stories," told CNA. "They have embraced the Universal Church with courage and with love of the Lord, just like everyone else. We need our families so in love with the Church that they have to support their sons becoming priests and they have to support and advocate for their daughters to become religious sisters," she urged. We need our families so in love with Jesus and so in love with the Church that we are going to church together, sitting in the pews together," she said. "We have to be at table praying, we have to be together saying our rosary. This is the time for us to pull our act together." Full Story

Meet the ‘evangelical’ Catholics who are remaking the GOP

The challenge for Catholic politicians might be finding the balancing act between a Catholic and an evangelical appeal, said Amy E. Black, a political science professor at Wheaton College in Illinois. “While the Catholic faith used to be a liability, it might even be an asset now,” Black said. “Evangelicals are a solid voting bloc in the Republican Party, whereas Catholics are likely to be swing voters. Republican presidential candidates know they need to appeal to evangelical voters, and they want to win over as many Catholic voters as they can.” Full Story

Black and Born to Succeed is Released

Samuel F. Black had served his country for four years and displayed loyalty to the Catholic university where he worked for a decade, but in the end his employer chose to let him go rather than honor his service. In Black and Born to Succeed, Black shines a light on issues of employment discrimination, racial discrimination, and the shameful treatment of veterans in the United States. Full Story

Phoenix priest killed, another wounded in attack

Father Kenneth Walker, 28, was shot and killed and Father Joseph Terra was wounded at a Catholic church Wednesday night near the state Capitol, a Phoenix police spokesman said. Police were responding to a burglary call shortly after 9 p.m. near 16th Avenue and Monroe Street at the Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission, Sgt. Steve Martos said…“He was very dedicated to Christ, his church and to his parishioners,” she said. Livingston described Walker as being warm and generous. She said the last thing he told her when she saw him Monday, June 9, was “humility is everything.” Full Story

Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

“When instead of adoring the Lord, one substitutes the adoration of money, one opens the path to sin, personal interests and exploitation,” Pope Francis said to applause from an estimated 250,000 people gathered in a field near the town of Sibari. “When one does not adore the Lord God, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live lives of crime and violence.” Full Story

Are We Willing to Die for the Mass?

Catholic doctrine teaches that the bread and wine, once consecrated at Mass, actually become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This radical belief has been worth the cost of everything for countless Catholics throughout history. In a brief, two-and-a-half minute YouTube video entitled “Mass”, the well-known Catholic public speaker paints a powerful picture of what a privilege it is to attend Mass in freedom and how this can be so easily taken for granted. Full Story

Nudist Claims Catholic Saint Francis Embraced Body Freedom, Plans Naked March To Religious Shrine

Catholic clergy don their heavy black vestments every day, even covering their head with hoods and habits, but nude activist Gypsy Taub claims a pillar of the Catholic faith embraced nakedness, and is planning a naked march to the National Shrine of Saint Francis to make her point. Full Story

IRAQ: ‘Crisis on top of a crisis’ as food, water become scarce in upheaval

Black-clad fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (ISIL) have caused nearly half a million people to flee their homeland. The long-troubled Middle Eastern nation now faces the very real prospect of an all-out sectarian war. In the face of this upheaval, shelter, food and medical care are urgently needed in Iraq. Full Story

Perkasa thanks God for judgment

Hundreds of supporters of Perkasa and other Muslim groups rejoiced over the Federal Court’s judgment that did not allow the appeal filed by the Catholic Weekly, The Herald on the use of the word ‘Allah’. Full Story

Msgr. Leonard Scott Retires

Msgr, Leonard G. Scott, who has been pastor of Emmaus Catholic Community in Mount Ephraim since 2011, will retire June 30. Msgr. Scott, who holds a doctorate in canon law from Rome, served as Judicial Vicar of the Camden Diocese Tribunal from 1978-2002. He was the first black priest elevated to the rank of monsignor in the Camden Diocese and the second named in the United States. He also has served as president of the Canon Law Society of America Full Story

Faithful honor martyred Ugandan saint: Waltham service attended by 200

Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa, from the Malaka Diocese of Uganda, served as the main celebrant during Sunday’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s canonization of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions. “ I bring you all greetings from your brothers and sisters in Uganda,” he said to applause. “They all love you, and they wish you a happy celebration today.”

Wearing long robes and bright traditional Ugandan dresses with pointed shoulders, parishioners sang, danced, and offered prayers honoring the men known as the Uganda Martyrs. The worshipers were led by a traveling choir that honors the men, singing from the gallery overhead. Full Story

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