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Website fosters faith, fellowship among students, campus ministries

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MELBOURNE, Fla. -- They are the future of the church and world and it just makes sense that as young adults pursue advanced education for their careers, they should be able to deepen their faith with prayer, fellowship and knowledge about their faith at the same time.

At newmanconnection.com, young adults are doing exactly that. Via the virtual world, they are connected to a community of others just like themselves.

Homosexuality among church leaders discussed at Jesuit university event

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FAIRFIELD, CONN. -- In late October, on the day an out-of-season snowstorm some have called “epic” and “historic” broke nearly 200-year-old weather records and almost shut down parts of the Northeast, something else happened that was perhaps unprecedented: A Catholic university hosted a daylong formal discussion on the topic of homosexuality within communities of nuns and priests.

Faux tell-all by God himself raises eyebrows

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Note to believers everywhere: God apparently wants a do-over.

The first couple was Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve, according to a new divine memoir. The Book of Mormon is "a preposterous, laughable and absurd series of fairy tales," and Jesus -- well, there's no easy way to say this -- pleasured himself as a teenager.

Blasphemous? Most definitely. And that's exactly the point.

Former "Daily Show" executive producer David Javerbaum has assumed the voice of God in his new book, "The Last Testament: A Memoir by God." As might be expected, it's already too hot to handle for some major retailers.

Released on All Saints' Day by Simon & Schuster, the satiric faux tell-all has its own Twitter account, The Tweet of God, which has amassed 53,000 followers with such comic bits as, "The pope just sent me a friend request. Dammit! I hate it when employees try to suck up."

Javerbaum isn't shy about his intentions.

"This book was not written primarily to be polemic," he said. "It was written to sell a lot of copies and become a best-seller."

But there is a bit of a higher purpose -- creating a comic tome that his fellow unbelievers can get behind.

New Jersey nurses sue hospital over abortion policy

WASHINGTON -- Confronted with what one called "a choice between our faith and our jobs," 12 nurses are suing University Hospital in Newark, N.J., over a new policy requiring them to care for patients before and after abortions, even if they have religious or moral objections to abortion.

The hospital, part of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, said that because "no nurse is compelled to have direct involvement in, and/or attendance in the room at the time of," an abortion, its policy does not violate state or federal conscience protection laws.

U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares issued a temporary restraining order Nov. 3 directing the hospital not to compel adherence to the new policy until after the case comes before his court Dec. 5.

At a Nov. 14 news conference outside the hospital in Newark, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., joined the nurses and their attorneys in criticizing the new policy, which was announced in September.

Economy challenges Catholic health care ministry

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As lawmakers debate how they will trim budgets everywhere and reduce the federal deficit, Catholic health care organizations, like the wider health care industry, continue to deal with the challenges of delivering medical care with fewer resources. Like others, they are looking for new ways to treat poor and uninsured patients, bring physicians to rural areas despite a nationwide shortage, and continue to survive in a rapidly changing landscape.

Oklahoma missioner put forth for sainthood

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The call to mission has transformed the lives of priests, religious and people in U.S. and Latin American parishes and dioceses. One dramatic example is the story of Fr. Stanley Rother and Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala.

Rother, an Oklahoma City archdiocesan priest, became pastor of Santiago Atitlán, just 10 miles west of San Lucas Tolimán, in 1965. Guatemalan government death squads murdered him in 1981 because of his work with the poor.

Workplace religious complaints double over 10 years

CLEVELAND -- Northeast Ohio native Suhad Hasan says neither her Muslim faith nor her headscarf should be an issue where she works.

But she said they were while she was a sales associate at the Old Navy clothing store in Santa Clara, Calif., three years ago. Hasan said she was assigned to work in the fitting room and was never offered training for other positions, despite her repeated requests.

After several months, Hasan moved back to Ohio, only to be denied what she said was supposed to be an automatic transfer to a job in another Old Navy store. She found herself without a job.

"I was born and raised in the United States and I pay taxes like everybody else," said Hasan, 39, now a Parma, Ohio, resident who has sued Gap Inc., the parent company of Old Navy. "What I wear on my head and the God that I believe in should not be an issue in the workplace."

Rita Corbin, Catholic Worker artist, dies at 81

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APPRECIATION

Artist Rita Corbin, whose tender line drawings graced the pages of Catholic Worker journals for decades, died Nov. 17 from injuries suffered in a car crash. She was 81.

Corbin decided early in life to become an artist, choosing to major in art while attending Cathedral Girl's High School in New York City.

"The school was keen on turning out secretaries," she said, "but I refused to learn to type. I knew I didn't want to go into business on pure instinct, I guess. I needed a major and art appealed to me the most."

For Corbin, the artistic endeavor could not be separated from one's political and religious consciousness. She considered the work of the artist to be "a real struggle to bring some kind of form and feeling out of the materials one uses and the society one lives in."

Corbin's society included the natural world as well as the poor. Both were frequent subjects of her illustrations. Her etchings and pen and ink drawings of trees, flowers and birds have been described as lyrical celebrations of nature. Her figurative work has been likened to that of German painter, printer and sculptor Kathe Kollwitz.

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