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Philippine bishop seeks Holy Week cease-fire in southern province

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The bishop in conflict-ridden Basilan province called for a cease-fire Tuesday as clashes between government troops and Abu Sayyaf rebels entered its fourth day.

"I call on our brother Muslims to please respect our observance of the Holy Week," Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela said in a radio broadcast to his prelature.

Vietnam church expands facilities for increasing priestly formation needs

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Major seminaries are erecting new buildings and upgrading basic facilities to meet the growing need of giving priestly formation to students in Vietnam. This comes amid a relaxation of seminary enrollment rules by the government.

Cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese told NRC that in recent years the government has eased its limitations on recruitment, priestly ordination and the reshuffling of priests.

South Sudan church leaders urge serious talks to end country's violence

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Church leaders in South Sudan have called on their country's warring groups to stop fighting and begin serious peace negotiations.

In a pastoral statement released Sunday in Juba, nearly four months after fighting broke out in the newly independent African country, officials of the South Sudan Council of Churches lamented that face-to-face negotiations have yet to begin.

Indian sisters nurture hope, reconciliation in teeming South Sudan camp

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The Daughters of Mary Immaculate from India are helping the thousands of Nuer people in South Sudan who have been living in U.N. refugee camps since December. The sisters provide trauma counseling, food support and activities for children who otherwise have nothing educational to do.

Catholic convent, Maronite village latest targets of vandals in Israel

A Catholic convent near Jerusalem and a largely Maronite village in Galilee were damaged in recent weeks as a two-year wave of vandalism directed at Christians and Muslims in Israel and the West Bank continued.

In late March, anti-Christian and anti-American graffiti was scrawled on the walls of the Deir Rafat convent, also known as Our Lady Queen of Palestine. The tires of cars at the monastery also were slashed.

Memories of genocide drive Rwandans in rebuilding their nation

Every time Nathalie Piraino returns home to Rwanda, she sees a country advancing economically and politically and where the development of people, especially women, is foremost.

She also has found that memories from her homeland's genocide 20 years ago remain vivid, not forgotten.

Searing memories of the bloodbath that claimed as many as 1 million lives underlie the actions the country of 11.5 million people is taking to become a modern African nation, Piraino said.

Philippine church official: Court ruling on health law partial victory

The Philippine Supreme Court ruled a reproductive health law constitutional Tuesday and declared it effective immediately.

But in rendering the decision, the court also struck down some provisions of "The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012," leading an official of the bishops' conference to call it a "partial victory."

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July 18-31, 2014

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