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Catholic volunteer dies in Haiti

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Among the tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, who lost their lives in the Haiti earthquake were two Americans at a Catholic orphanage for disabled children operated by Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH).

Molly Hightower, 22, of Port Orchard, Washington, and Ryan Kloos, 24, of Phoenix, Arizona, were found in the rubble of a collapsed seven-story buildling, MSNBC reported.

Hightower, a graduate of the University of Portland, was volunteering for a year with the organization, doing physical therapy with disabled children. She had hoped to go into the field of international adoption.

Kloos was visiting his sister, Erin, who was volunteering with the organization. Erin and another former volunteer who was visiting Molly survived the quake.

Hightower's uncle is a Jesuit priest serving as director of campus ministry at Gonzaga University in Washington. Her blog about her experience, 525,000 Minutes, is being flooded with condolences to her family.

Jan. 18, St. Deicolus, Irish missionary

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Columbanus asked, "Why are you always smiling?"
Deicolus answered, "Because no one can take God from me."


Today is the feast of St. Deicolus, a Leinster man, the older brother of St. Gall.

Both men entered the monastery at Bangor, County Down. When St. Columbanus received permission from the abbot to go out as a missionary, he included Deicolus and Gall among the twelve monks who accompanied him to Britain and then to France, where they founded the Abbey of Luxeuil.

When Columbanus was driven out of France in 610, his disciple Gall accompanied him as far as Lake Constance. Columbanus went on to Italy, where he founded the monastery of Bobbio, and Gall stayed in Switzerland, where, after his death, the Abbey of St. Gall would be built on the site of his hermitage.

Tensions over Pius XII surface in pope's synagogue visit

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

Heading into Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated Jan. 17 visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome, one towering question loomed. What impact would the recent move towards sainthood for Pope Pius XII, the wartime pontiff whose alleged “silence” on the Holocaust has long fueled controversy, have on the broader Jewish/Catholic relationship?

In the wake of the visit on Sunday, two answers seem equally clear.

Read the full report here: Pope welcomed to Rome synagogue despite tensions

Many faiths unite in facing horror in Haiti

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"Port-Au-Prince has become a kind of multidenominational, open-air church. Tens of thousands live in the street together, scraping for food and water, sharing their misery and blending their spirituality."

"It doesn't mean anything if Satan hates me, because God loves me," sing the women at Jeremy Square, their faces almost invisible in the darkness of this powerless, shattered downtown. "God has already paid my debt."

Nussbaum family safe in Haiti

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Pat Marrin, NCR Celebration Editor, has received word from NCR and Celebration columnist, Melissa Nussbaum, that her daughter, her daughter's husband and their children are safe in Haiti. They live in the village outside the Port-a-Prince area, and it did not sustain any damage. But many people in their village have relatives in the capital and so the anxiety and suffering is reaching the whole country.

Coming home to \"Women of Spirit\"

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It was like coming home. Thursday night I went to the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institute for the opening of the exhibit, Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America.

About 200 women and men came to celebrate the history and heritage of Catholic Sisters in America over a period of almost 300 years. The exhibit is a magnificent testimony to the leadership of women in decades before most women even thought about being presidents of universities or administrators of hospitals, much less founding such institutions. It is a celebration of women dedicated to social justice, from the streets of Selma to Capitol Hill. It will be at the Smithsonian through mid-April.

Among the crowd was Mother Clare Millea, ASCJ, the sister leading the investigation of American women religious. I wondered what she was thinking.

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April 11-24, 2014

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