National Catholic Reporter

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Faith & Parish

Students pray for safety of Pope Francis more than 1 million times

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The prayerful protection of Mary has been showered upon Pope Francis 1 million times over, thanks to students and their friends at St. Charles Borromeo School in the New Orleans archdiocese.

On Holy Thursday, April 2, just before the start of the school's monthly rosary, religion teacher Lisa Benoit, accompanied by seven students bearing numbered placards, made a joyful announcement: The school's 2014-2015 goal of praying 1 million Hail Marys for the safety of Pope Francis had not only been met, but exceeded.

The count: an incredible 1,031,840 Hail Marys.

At San Francisco school, priests stir parental ire

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Star of the Sea School in the San Francisco archdiocese has become a kind of war zone between the majority of school parents and Star of the Sea Parish's two priest leaders -- Fr. Joseph Illo, administrator, and Fr. Patrick Driscoll, associate pastor.

The priests began their assignments there last August as part of a plan to establish an oratory, or a kind of fraternity where diocesan priests live in community.

Small band of Mormons register their opposition to church leaders, say 'all is not well in Zion'

For the first time in decades, a small band of Mormons who disagree with their church stood during the semi-annual General Conference on Saturday and publicly shouted "opposed" to sustaining the top Mormon leaders.

At least seven people rose in dissent as part of an action by a loosely organized group calling itself "Any Opposed?"

Christ our light

When asked to describe the mystery of Easter, author Carl Knudsen responded with the following story. Years ago, an old municipal lamplighter, engaged in putting out the street lamps one by one, was met by a reporter who asked him if he ever grew weary of his work. After all, it was a lonely job and the night was cold and damp.

"Never am I cheerless," said the old man, "for there is always a light ahead of me to lead me on."

The future map of religions reveals a world of change for Christians, Muslims and Jews

Muslims will overtake Christians by the end of this century.

India, now mostly Hindu, will become the world's largest Muslim country.

The numbers of people with no religious identity will soar in the United States and Europe, but the unaffiliated will lose worldwide market share as Christians maintain a steady growth.

All these changes are drawn from the Pew Research Center's new projections, released Thursday, that map global faith traditions and how they're likely to shift by 2050.

Dolan and other religious leaders discuss 'the rise of religious intolerance,' interfaith harmony

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Is religion the cause of so much of the violence racking today's world? Or is faith just one of many factors? Or collateral damage?

Those are tough questions, the kind that are usually posed to religious leaders, not by religious leaders.

But Cardinal Timothy Dolan wanted to switch things up on his weekly radio show, so he invited a minister, a rabbi and an imam to tackle that issue in an in-depth discussion of "the rise of religious intolerance."

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In This Issue

April 10-23, 2015

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