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NCR writers among Religion Newswriters Association honorees

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Several NCR writers received honors at the Religion Newswriters Association 2012 awards competition, held at the organization’s annual conference Oct. 4-6 in Bethesda, Md.

At the awards ceremony on the conference’s final night, NCR editor at large Tom Roberts received the top prize for his book The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself, named the Nonfiction Book of the Year.

Jesuit Volunteer founder dies

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A memorial service will be held Friday in Spokane, Wash., for Jesuit Fr. John “Jack” Morris, the priest who named and helped found the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 1956 and who in 1982 led a 7,000-mile pilgrimage from Bangor Naval Base in Bremerton, Wash., to Bethlehem to call attention to the threat of nuclear weapons.

Morris died Sept. 30 at the Jesuit infirmary in Spokane after a long battle with cancer.

Born in Anaconda, Mont., Morris would have been 85 on Oct. 22.

Vatican lifts suspension of priest who altered prayers at Mass

An Illinois priest who was forced out of his parish by his bishop for improvising prayers during Mass has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican.

The Vatican decided in favor of Fr. William Rowe on one of three counts, saying Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., had not followed the proper procedure.

Update: Judge allows Texas cheerleaders to use Bible banners

Texas cheerleaders can continue to use banners with Bible verses after a court granted them a temporary restraining order against their school district.

A judge in Hardin County, Texas, issued the order on Thursday after parents filed suit on behalf of the cheerleaders. It orders the Kountze Independent School District to "cease and desist" from preventing high school cheerleaders from displaying the large paper banners, through which football players ran at the start of games.

A hearing on the case has been set for Oct. 4.

A lawyer from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the district saying the cheerleaders' tradition was "inappropriate and unconstitutional."

Superintendent Kevin Weldon had stopped the use of the banners after consulting with a legal adviser at the Texas Association of School Boards.

Liberty Institute, which is representing cheerleaders and parents in the case, hailed the judge's decision.

Texas cheerleaders fight to keep Bible quotes on football banners

Cheerleaders at an East Texas high school are fighting their school district's orders to stop using Bible quotes on their signs at football games.

In August, a school with fewer than 500 students 30 miles north of Beaumont, Texas, began painting Bible verses on large paper signs football players burst through at the beginning of games.

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July 18-31, 2014

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