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St. Louis

Firing of lesbian teachers at St. Louis Catholic girls' school draws outcry

The termination of two lesbian faculty members at Cor Jesu Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school, has prompted an outcry from alumnae who have vowed to withhold donations to the school.

In the last several weeks, alumnae have created a private Facebook group with more than 2,000 members in support of the couple, Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro, urging supporters to call and write to Cor Jesu leaders and voice their concerns.

Friends, family, community gather for Michael Brown's funeral

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The mood was somber Monday morning, but there was a sense of community as the family and friends of Michael Brown gathered for his funeral. Mourners from across the community and the country arrived as early as 7:45 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis for the 10 a.m. service.

Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9.

St. Louis archbishop urges prayers for peace to calm chaos in Ferguson

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Residents of Ferguson "are struggling to find peace in the chaos" that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer and "as people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest," said Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis.

"We are all aware of the turmoil and tragedy our St. Louis community is experiencing," he said in a letter Monday to Catholics of the archdiocese.

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.

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