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Faith & Parish

Oklahoma attorney general wants private citizens to distribute religious literature in schools

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After a series of challenges to the distribution of Gideon Bibles in the state's school districts, Oklahoma's attorney general stepped in to defend the practice.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced a new initiative "designed to defend religious freedom and provide support to Oklahoma schools facing intimidation."

Laity called to be on 'frontlines' of using media in new evangelization

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Laypeople are meant to be "out on the frontlines" of using media in the new evangelization, said a speaker at a panel discussion Monday at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

The panel consisted of leaders in Catholic broadcasting and communications and was held in honor of the 75th anniversary of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's first televised service on Easter of 1940*.

It was part of a weeklong celebration of the legacy of the 20th-century Catholic evangelist.

West Virginia parish, community mourn loss of landmark church devastated by fire

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Where parishioners once sat for Mass in Benwood now sit the charred remains of a building regarded as a monument in the community.

At a time when parishes look forward to the most holy of seasons and the Easter triduum, a fire tore through St. John Church on March 30.

Fire officials said the fire started just before 9 p.m. and took only minutes to become fully engulfed. They said the fire started near the high altar and spread toward the front doors of the church with the bell tower acting as a chimney, allowing the fire to spread more quickly.

Female rabbis are forging a path outside denominational Judaism

At a synagogue in Charleston, S.C., more than 20 years ago, teenager Rachel Nussbaum began wrapping tefillin -- two black boxes attached to leather straps that Jewish men wear as they pray.

To the older Jewish men gathered for morning prayers, the sight of a woman decked out like a man at prayer was shocking. Many didn't know what to make of Nussbaum's brazen willingness to break with tradition.

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.

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