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Nine days of prayer part of Roe v. Wade anniversary events for 2014

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For the second year in a row, the U.S. Catholic bishops are sponsoring "Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," planned for Jan. 18-26, as part of several events marking the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U.S.

"Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children's lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss -- often in silence," says a posting on www.9daysforlife.com.

Justice's order temporarily halts HHS mandate

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With one of its last acts of 2013, the Supreme Court gave Catholics a preview of what could be among its most anticipated decisions in 2014.

On Dec. 31, just before the clock struck the end of 2013, Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily halted the implementation of part of a federal mandate requiring coverage of contraceptive services in health care plans in response to a lawsuit by a group of Catholic sisters in Colorado.

Courts give some last-minute relief from HHS contraceptive mandate

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In the midst of their New Year's Eve celebration with low-income elderly residents, the Baltimore-based Little Sisters of the Poor learned that the Supreme Court issued an injunction temporarily protecting them from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

The order by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, issued within hours of the mandate taking effect at midnight Wednesday, applies to the Colorado-based Little Sisters of the Poor and their co-plaintiffs -- Christian Brothers Services and Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust -- in a lawsuit against the federal government.

Unfinished business awaiting action in 2014

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I want to highlight some of my hopes for the New Year in areas of government and the church. Many of these hopes represent topics which we are likely to be talking about throughout much of 2014.

In the world of government there is much unfinished business. The year ended on a positive note with the budget agreement crafted by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray. The agreement resolves budget issues for two years and provides an opportunity to move on and address other pressing matters.

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April 25-May 8, 2014

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