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First black priests in US 'opened door for rest of us,' pastor says

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Black Catholic bishops, priests, deacons and religious brothers who gathered in Mobile for an annual joint conference celebrated the 80th anniversary of the first class of black priests who were educated and ordained in the United States.

"As we begin our preparations for the 50th anniversary of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, it is important for us to remember those pioneers who came before us," said Fr. Kenneth Taylor, president of the caucus.

First woman priest ordained in New Jersey dies

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Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly was not known to brag, but many among the more than 150 who attended her memorial service Monday at Newton Presbyterian Church said she had plenty to boast about.

One thing she could have trumpeted was that she had received all seven Catholic sacraments. From her baptism in 1942 to her more recent reception of the anointing of the sick, she had made her first confession, first Communion and been confirmed in her youth. Later, she entered into matrimony.

Rabbi David Saperstein tapped as first non-Christian to serve as U.S. ambassador for religious freedom

President Barack Obama on Monday said he plans to tap Rabbi David Saperstein as the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, the first non-Christian to hold the job, which was created in 1998.

As ambassador, the man named as the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine in 2009 will head the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom and will be tasked with monitoring religious freedom abuses around the world.

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August 15-28, 2014

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