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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.

Voice of the Faithful seeks to expand its challenges to sex abuse, church structures

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BOSTON -- At a two-day conference in Boston, Voice of the Faithful celebrated 10 years of battling sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and working to change the church structures that permitted and at times facilitated it. But the 450 conference participants spent most of Friday and Saturday exploring how to continue and expand that struggle over the next decade and beyond.

Denver Catholic Charities CEO to succeed Carr in USCCB department

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WASHINGTON -- Jonathan Reyes, president and CEO of Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver since 2009, has been appointed to succeed John Carr as executive director of the U.S. bishops' Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.

Reyes is expected to begin his new job in December.

Carr retired in August after working almost 25 years for the bishops on a wide variety of domestic and international policy issues and took a fellowship at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.

Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the appointment Monday.

In a statement, he praised Reyes for his "vital experience with on-the-ground charities work and with young adults." He called him "a proven administrator" who "has the ability to inspire people to embrace the church's social teaching and carry it out in their daily lives."

Reyes has served as director of social ministry for the Denver Archdiocese simultaneously with his Catholic Charities position.

Dolan and Colbert talk about faith, humor at Fordham

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[Note: The Storify portion of this story has been updated to include an animated video that appeared during the Fordham event.]

On Friday night, two of the biggest personalities in American Catholicism today convened on the campus of a Jesuit university in New York to discuss faith, humor and how the two intersect.

Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the satirical news show "The Colbert Report," entertained a capacity crowd of 3,000 students at Fordham University at the much-anticipated event called "The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life."

Two days before the Sept. 14 event, Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin told NCR the Dolan-Colbert conversation came from two Fordham theology professors, Michael Peppard and Charles Camosy. The idea was a hit to all involved, with the only obstacle finding a date that worked for all three -- a task Martin joked "was only marginally less complicated than arranging the Second Vatican Council, but it should be funnier.”

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September 12-25, 2014

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