National Catholic Reporter

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St. Louis

USCCB to launch mobile app ahead of Pope Francis' US visit

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will launch a mobile app ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States to help church leadership and Catholics at the parish level engage with each other.

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, N.M., discussed the app, which will be called Catholic Church, Wednesday at the USCCB spring general assembly.

Wester said 98 percent of parishes have websites, but only about 4 percent have mobile apps. Users are increasingly going mobile, and “we need to do the same,” Wester said.

US bishops' spring assembly opens with rapid start to communications

A few hours before the U.S. bishops' spring general assembly opened Wednesday in St. Louis, the meeting already had begun.

Tweets were trickling out from bishops, media and observers using the hashtag #usccb15. Among their first items to share: a link to the live stream of the proceedings, bishops making their presence known and media types encouraging followers to watch their live coverage.

St. Louis archdiocese cancels speech by visionary who saw the Virigin Mary at Medjugrorje

To Roman Catholic officialdom, it's unclear whether the Virgin Mary appeared to Ivan Dragicevic and five others 34 years ago in a Bosnian village.

What is clear is that Dragicevic won't be appearing Wednesday to speak in St. Charles, as some had hoped.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Robert Carlson addressed a memo to priests and deacons in the archdiocese:

Can Catholic hospitals continue to serve the poor? One program tries

In 1836, several French nuns established hospitals and schools here and in California. Today, an effort is afoot to keep the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange alive.

At the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a small Roman Catholic graduate school next to St. Louis University, doctors, administrators and health care leaders take courses on Bible interpretation; Jesus, church and the healing ministry; and the foundations of morality.

Ferguson pastors urge peace after grand jury doesn't indict

Like so many others Monday night, the congregants at West Side Missionary Baptist Church were glued to televisions as a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case was announced.

One woman sobbed in her chair as she learned that police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting.

Then, with the press conference far from over, the church's television went dark. And the congregants at the church turned instead to prayer and preaching.

Within seconds, the Rev. Starsky Wilson was at the pulpit, calling for "contrary folk."

St. Louis Catholic schools prepare for Ferguson grand jury verdict

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While the timing of the grand jury decision involving the Michael Brown shooting remained uncertain, Catholic schools in the Ferguson area were already prepared in case the ruling comes down with classes in session.

"We have our safety plan in place," said Addie Govero, the principal at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School.

Blessed Teresa is about two miles from the site of Brown's death and subsequent unrest. Our Lady of Guadalupe School is only slightly farther away -- about two and a half miles.

In wake of Ferguson, a bid to make St. Louis a more 'compassionate' city

Some might argue that if there is one thing this city could use more of right now, it's compassion.

Even before civil unrest surfaced in the region after Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, local leaders were trying to find a way to cultivate more of it. But how exactly? And how would we know when we had enough?

Unlike other commodities, compassion is difficult to quantify.

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February 12-25, 2016

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