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More on suicide

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Yesterday I blogged about the prevalence of suicide involving teenagers, college students, professional athletes and married couples.

Today came this headline in the New York Times: "Four Suicides in a Week Take a Toll on Fort Hood."

"Four veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan died this week from what appeared to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds at Fort Hood in central Texas, raising the toll of soldiers who died here at their own hands to a record level and alarming Army commanders."

Getting Help

Are you in crisis? Please call 1-800-273-TALK

To learn more about suicide, go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Passionist priest, Theodore Foley, on road to sainthood

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

A Pittsburgh priest who heard the confessions of beggars and of the pope, and who was a voice of reconciliation amid the divisions in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, has cleared the earliest stages in the sainthood process.

Tonight at 7 the Passionists of St. Paul of the Cross Monastery on the South Side Slopes will invite the public to venerate and ask prayers of their former superior, the Rev. Theodore Foley, who died in 1974. The pope declared him a servant of God -- the step before beatification -- in 2007, but his remains weren't accessible for veneration. They now rest in a new sarcophagus next to his old confessional.

"He showed a great love of reconciliation, both as an overall human experience and also as a sacramental experience," said the Rev. Timothy Fitzgerald, a Pittsburgh Passionist who was his secretary in Rome.

For more information, see www.theodorefoley.org.

Implications of 'whistleblower\" saint

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For an institution that deals so much in symbol, the church has chosen Mother Mary KacKillop as a candidate for canonization who brings with her an unusual and timely depth and richness. MacKillop was an Australian once excommunicated by her bishop for denouncing clerical sexual abuse.

Talk about a saint for our times. Jesuit Fr. James Martin plumbs the implications of the canonization in a wonderful essay on the America Magazine blog.

Time Warp: First World War to officially end Sunday

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For the 'news that you thought ended a century ago' file:

The Daily Telegraph in the UK reported yesterday that the First World War will officially end on Sunday, almost a century after the guns stopped firing.

The end of the war comes with the final payment of $94 million from Germany to Belgium and France as mandated in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.

92 years later, another reason to appreciate the devastation and incredible consequences of war.

Prevalence of Suicide

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Suicide is a tragedy. These days newspapers are replete with suicides.

A student a Rutgers University in N.J. just committed suicide, as did a student at Fordham University in New York City.

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has had a "wave" of student suicides.

A report was just issued in which the U.S. military is failing to reduce suicide among the enlisted.

A British rugby star, who tested positive for use of a human growth hormone, just committed suicide.

'Tell them to come to the church'

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NCR readers will be seeing some full page ads in the paper for a conference on immigration in San Antonio next Jan 12-14. And if you are a regular to this Web site, you can't miss the colorful banner ad for the same conference at the top of this page. The conference is being hosted by Celebration magazine, the worship resource of the National Catholic Reporter. I am Celebration editor, and I will be writing here in the coming weeks to tell how this conference came about and why I think it could be crucial in the life of the church and for our country as we struggle with the question of immigration reform.

Living in a church -- literally

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With massive numbers of Catholic parishes closing around the country, diocesan owners have been selling off church buildings and lands. Occasionally, the property converts into another use. But what happens when a church building is bought and the new owners literally move in?

The Wall Street Journal's real estate section has a picture slideshow of such a case.

In this case, St. Mark's Methodist Church (a National Historic Landmark), located in Brookline, Mass. was converted into condominiums. Sharon and Paul Olean bought a three floor unit in the 19th century church.

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