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Hobby Lobby files brief with Supreme Court in HHS mandate case

Arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking protection from a federal mandate that requires coverage of contraceptives in workers' health insurance plans.

The brief, filed Monday, called the mandate "one of the most straightforward violations ... this court is likely to see" of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Under the Affordable Health Care law, most employers' health plans must include free coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and other types of birth control opponents say can induce an abortion.

St. Louis Ukrainian Catholics pray, worry as unrest unfolds in homeland

Olga Shulga said her father has never lived in fear. So when she learned he had joined the protesters in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, she wasn't all that surprised.

Shulga and her husband, Alex, members of St. Mary's Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Parish in St. Louis, are among those prayerfully watching as the unrest continues to unfold in Ukraine.

St. Louis archdiocese orders end to alcohol at youth events

The archdiocese of St. Louis is putting an end to alcohol sales at youth-related events.

Under a new policy that went into effect Friday, drinking will not be allowed at any event that is directed primarily toward minors.

That means parents will no longer be allowed to throw back a few beers during their kids' soccer, volleyball and softball games. And athletic associations will no longer rake in revenue from beer sales at their concession stands.

Maronite leader: World needs message of love in new evangelization

Those attending the annual convention of the National Apostolate of Maronites in Tampa, Fla., in early July had no idea that a newly named bishop was in their midst.

Fr. Abdallah Zaidan was in his hotel room July 5 preparing for Mass when he received a call from the apostolic nunciature in Washington that Pope Francis was naming him the next eparch, or bishop, of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon.

The eparchy, which relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to St. Louis about 12 years ago, serves approximately 34,000 Maronite Catholics in 34 states.

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April 25-May 8, 2014

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