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Faith & Parish

Oakland priest holds vigil for church reform while on voluntary exile

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Every Sunday morning for the last three years, Tim Stier, former pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Fremont, Cailf., has stood outside Oakland's Cathedral of Christ the Light to call attention to the need for what he calls "structural reform" within the church. Sometimes he is alone, holding a large sign that reads, "Include the Excluded: Women, Gay Persons, Abuse Survivors." At other times, a handful of supporters joins him in the two-hour vigil.

Science still can't explain Shroud of Turin, researcher says

Even with modern scientific technology, the Shroud of Turin continues to baffle researchers.

Barrie Schwortz was the documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin research project in 1978, an in-depth examination of what many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus.

Raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, "it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I'm a Jew and involved with probably the most important relic of Christianity," Schwortz told Catholic News Service.

"Isn't it funny how God always picks a Jew to be the messenger," he said.

Catholic school principal: Back to classes will help return to normalcy

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The principal of St. Mary Catholic School in the town shattered by an April 17 explosion said two days later that classes would resume Monday, partly to help return a sense of normalcy to the community.

Ericka Sammon told Catholic News Service that the school day Monday would start with a prayer service. Otherwise, she said, "when the students want to talk about it, we'll let them," and counseling would be made available, if appropriate.

The primary goal for teachers was to give students, indeed everyone, the feeling of normal life resuming, Sammon said.

Gonzaga University to review Knights of Columbus group status

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Declaring concern "that all of the factors involved in this decision have not been represented in their entirety, and thus may be misunderstood," Gonzaga University has announced it will review denial of official student club status to a Knights of Columbus campus organization.

Gonzaga University president Thayne McCulloh "is personally conducting the review," according to Mary Joan Hahn, the school's director of community and public relations.

Vatican office looks at challenges facing couples from different faiths

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Catholics need to know that marrying someone from a different Christian community or, even more so, from a different religion will create extra challenges in their marriage, but church leaders also must learn how to help people in mixed marriages meet those challenges, a Vatican official said.

"We can express a positive judgment only when the conditions are met for a family life where the values and purposes of marriage are respected, and where a common faith in God helps the spouses to weave together an authentic communion of life and love," said Bishop Jean Laffitte.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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