National Catholic Reporter

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Meet the pope’s astronomer, who says he’d baptize an alien if given the chance

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With Christmas just around the corner, Br. Guy Consolmagno gets a lot of questions this time of year about the star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to Jesus in the manger.

Consolmagno is an astronomer -- a planetary scientist for the Vatican observatory, in fact -- who specializes in asteroids and meteorites, the very sort that may well have been the famous “star” described in the Gospel of Matthew.

Retired Sisters of Charity of New York to receive care at Jewish home

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Twenty-six Sisters of Charity of New York will soon move into assisted living facilities at Jewish Home Lifecare in the Bronx after a multiyear study conducted by the religious congregation found it was "no longer feasible to continue doing our retirement ministry on our own."

Most of the sisters had been living at Mount St. Vincent Convent in the Bronx and Mary the Queen Convent in Yonkers, two of the facilities where the congregation's retired sisters currently reside. The third facility is St. Patrick's Villa in Nanuet.

Growing secularization seen weakening place of religion in U.S. society

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Religious liberty is under aggressive assault on many fronts in a culture increasingly insensitive to rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to U.S. Constitution, according to speakers at a forum Monday in New York

The program, "In the Founding Tradition," was organized by the Alliance Defending Freedom and drew 100 people to the Union League Club in Manhattan.

Nuncio: World won't be more 'genuinely' human unless all work for peace

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Peace is never achieved once and for all, but is the fruit of a daily quest for greater justice and respect for one another, the new papal nuncio to the United Nations said Monday.

For believers, it is not merely a result of human efforts, but also a gift from the Almighty, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said.

He spoke at a prayer service on the eve of the opening of the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly. It was his first official function since arriving Sept. 8 in New York. He was the nuncio to Haiti from 2008 until July 1.

Bones of contention: Catholic dioceses fight over Fulton Sheen's body

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In life, Archbishop Fulton Sheen was exceptional, a riveting Catholic preacher on radio who outpolled star comedian Milton Berle in the early days of television, winning two Emmys and a following that was the envy of Bible-thumping Protestants.

After his death in 1979, it was no surprise that Sheen would be pushed for sainthood. But now two bishops have clashed in an unusual public dispute over who holds claim to Sheen's body: the New York archdiocese, where he is buried, or the diocese of Peoria, Ill., where he was raised and ordained.

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