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John Paul II, Oscar Romero and the politics of making saints

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Reports this week that the late Pope John Paul II may be on the verge of sainthood after a second miracle was credited to his intercession aren't a huge surprise: When he died eight years ago, crowds were already clamoring for his canonization, and Pope Benedict XVI quickly waived the usual five-year waiting period to get the process rolling.

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.

Franciscan sister dedicated her life to teaching, health care

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Sr. M. Patrice Kerin, a Franciscan sister in Sylvania, Ohio, who served as general superior and established the health care system Franciscan Services Corporation, died April 7 after a brief illness. She was 86.

Kerin was a good debater and listener, someone who helped people discover solutions instead of giving orders herself, friends said. She exhibited Franciscan values and Irish hospitality, they said.

"She had just a wonderful way of giving you the reverence that you were the only person that was important to her at that time," Franciscan Sr. Rachel Nijakowski said.

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October 24-November 6, 2014

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