Years ago, before I had cats, I’d considered “Do animals go to heaven” a child’s question. Then I got to know Loretto Sr. Rose Alice Clarke.
As aid worker Kayla Mueller is mourned around the world, the Tibetans with whom she volunteered are offering prayers and condolences. Mueller, a 26-year-old American, was abducted in Syria in 2013 by Islamic State militants, and held hostage for eighteen months.
Her death was confirmed this week.
The prize comes with a $25,000 award, the opportunity to deliver a lecture at Yale and to be published as the cover story in America.
Column: It's that time of year when Catholics are getting ready to make their second round of New Year's resolutions -- aka Lenten resolutions.
Fr. Tony Flannery dealt with a dilemma that too often faces faithful, but reform-minded priests, nuns and sometimes lay Catholics.
"The purpose of the synod is to ... develop pastoral practices that reach out to Catholics who have not felt welcomed because they do not entirely conform to current teaching."
Grace on the Margins: In her 26 years of life, Kayla Mueller was able to grasp a deeper understanding of God than most people do during their lifetimes.
Religious Life: Hermit meets parish priest and becomes his secretary. Together, the pair nurtures a platonic friendship that develops into romantic love.
In a hermitage overlooking Ohio's Jefferson County, five men spend the majority of their days in silence, solitude and fasting.
Members of a semi-eremitic religious community that came into being as Europe emerged from the Dark Ages, the Camaldolese Hermits of Montecorona are the product of a 16th-century reform movement. Unlike their Camaldolese Benedictine brothers, the Camaldolese Hermits do not have monasteries. The congregation of Montecorona has around 60 members living in nine hermitages around the world, according to its website.
The risk of foreign aid work, especially for young people, has again been thrust into the national spotlight after the death of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller.
Mueller, a foreign aid worker, was confirmed dead Tuesday after being taken hostage by Islamic extremists in 2013 in Syria.
Even as aid organizations have improved security protocols over the past several years, workers can be placed in war-torn areas where safety cannot be guaranteed, said Abby Stoddard of Humanitarian Outcomes, a research and policy group for humanitarian agencies.