National Catholic Reporter

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Coalition hopes days of prayer, fasting will help bring peace to world

In light of the recent political, military and social conflicts taking place around the world, Catholics and other Christians have found reason to come together in faith to pray for world peace and healing.

The 22nd International Week of Prayer and Fasting will take place Sept. 20-28. Organizers are encouraging individuals, families and parishes around the world to participate by fasting, attending daily Mass, prayer services and Holy Hours, going to confession, and praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Pope names Philadelphia auxiliary bishop to head Toledo diocese

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Pope Francis has named an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, to head the diocese of Toledo, Ohio.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, publicized the appointment Tuesday.

Born June 11, 1959, and raised in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk, Thomas, 55, has been an auxiliary bishop in his hometown since 2006. He was ordained for the Philadelphia archdiocese in 1985, after attending the local St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and obtaining his licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Global religious hot spots get their own U.S. envoy

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As the Islamic State tears across Iraq and Syria this summer, sending religious minorities fleeing for their lives, Congress created a new job at the State Department -- one the president needs to fill immediately, say those who pushed for the position.

The job: "Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia."

Special U.S. collection urged to help those suffering in Middle East

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The president of the U.S. bishops' conference on Tuesday asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.

Amid the ongoing crisis in what is "the cradle of Christianity," the Catholic church "mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.

Aim of poster to show border crossers 'are real people,' not 'illegals'

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A human rights center in Tucson, Ariz., has released a poster with the hope that it will bring a human face to those who cross the border between the United States and Mexico.

The poster, titled "The Things They Carried: A Memorial to Lives Lost on the Border" and sold by the Colibri Center for Human Rights, features more than 100 of the most common -- and some not-so-common -- items found on or near the bodies of men, women and children who died when they attempted a border crossing near Arizona from 2000 to 2009.

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