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Preacher on preaching: 'homily needs focal point'

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Fr. James J. Bacik told a national assembly of Catholic priests here today that a good homily has a focal point.

“We need focal points, not themes,” he said. A good homily “has to have a concern. It has to have some joy, some sorrow. It’s co-relational.”

But to deliver such a homily the preacher, he explained, needs to know the concerns of those he is preaching to. And how do I know their concerns? “You have to be in dialogue with the people,” he said. If I cannot come up with an example I throw it away … “A doctor burdened with paper work, people burdened with guilt.”

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.

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July 4-17, 2014

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