Category: Those in Need

In Shadow of War, Syrian Christians are Trying to Rebuild Their Lives
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In Shadow of War, Syrian Christians are Trying to Rebuild Their Lives

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By Oliver Maksan HOMS, Syria—Bright colors set off the sullen grey of destruction: children and young people have painted one of the streets in the ravaged Old City of this ancient Christian center in Syria. On house walls, the young artists have expressed in brilliant colours what moves them, what they hope for. “The aim […]

Niger: They set fire to Our Churches, But We Still Love Them
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Niger: They set fire to Our Churches, But We Still Love Them

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By Antonia von Alten NEW YORK—Six months after extremist Muslims attacked Christians and burned down a number of churches, the local faithful remain fearful—but a local bishop reported that Catholic life in Niger continues to flourish. In an interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Ambroise Ouédraogo of Maradi recalled […]

Take A Friend On The Journey
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Take A Friend On The Journey

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A March weekend in 2005 has affected my life as profoundly as almost any other event. Not only did my two-day experience improve the quality of my life, it probably saved my life. Numerous times. I gained a true understanding about the invaluable importance of making my spiritual journey with companions. And to think it […]

Teach a Haitian Orphan to Sew and You Can Clothe Him for Life
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Teach a Haitian Orphan to Sew and You Can Clothe Him for Life

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There is an old proverb that says “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Indeed, the best form of charity is to show people how to be self-reliant. It’s not the only form of charity; often immediate measures […]

A Tireless Pastor Leaves the Killing Fields of Syria
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A Tireless Pastor Leaves the Killing Fields of Syria

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It would be hard to find a more dangerous posting in the Jesuit order today than ministering to the faithful of this city in the heart Syria’s “Valley of the Christians.” And Syrian Jesuit Father Ziad Hilal has been based here for half a dozen years, witnessing some of the worst horrors of the country’s […]

The Playgrounds of War I
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About an Unwanted Boy

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I’ve just watched an in depth report about a baby boy born via surrogacy in India on November 12, 2012, and left behind by his Australian parents. This tragic story highlights the dirty side of buying and selling and trafficking in children, the complicity of government officials, and the corrupt $500 million per year surrogacy […]

Where Is the Mission Field?
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Where Is the Mission Field?

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Last week I went on a mission trip. I was able to travel with our youth group from Georgia to Cincinnati, OH to work with the Franciscans for the Poor. We stayed at the Tau House, a converted convent that is now used to house groups who wish to come and do mission work within […]

Haitian Bishop: 'Human Restoration' is Church's Top Priority
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Haitian Bishop: ‘Human Restoration’ is Church’s Top Priority

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By Antonia von Alten NEW YORK—Five years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the local Church has suffered a series of brazen attacks on Church properties. Between November 2015 and February of this year there were more than 20 robberies of religious communities, a bishop reported. In an interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church […]

Calls to Change Helms Amendment Not about Rape Victims
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Calls to Change Helms Amendment Not about Rape Victims

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Abortion advocates are exploiting victims of sexual violence in conflict to advance their own narrow agenda – opening up a new funding stream to international abortion groups and changing abortion laws in countries where restricted. Global humanitarian groups receive hundreds of millions of dollars to help the most vulnerable – many in areas of conflict […]

woman, prison
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The Gift of Mercy

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I’ve facilitated a women’s expressive writing class for almost five years now. My students have been an eclectic group. A small percentage of the students have been marginally literate, while some have their GED or high school diplomas, a few have technical or associate degrees, and others have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. They are […]

Wounds
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Wounds

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Having my phone fixed a few weeks ago, I had some spare time to walk around by myself in a shopping center I usually don’t patronize. I used to really enjoy shopping. It was a frequent pastime for me and my mom. Now, without her, the bloom is off the rose. Sometimes it’s only a […]

Bruce Jenner: What Does Love Demand? Part 2
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Bruce Jenner: What Does Love Demand? Part 2

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In Part 1, we talked about how a person knows he’s transgendered. This is important, because we must ask ourselves if as a society we’re going to accept and accommodate individuals’ subjective realities, as we’re increasingly being asked to do with the transgendered. Reprinted with permission from CatholicSistas.com. Bruce Jenner says he’s a woman named […]

'Canonizations give hope to Christians in the Holy Land'
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‘Canonizations give hope to Christians in the Holy Land’

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By Oliver Maksan JERUSALEM—Pope Francis’ May 17, 2015 canonization of two Palestinians, Blessed Marie Alphonsine Ghattas and Blessed Mariam Baouardi, “gives hope to Christians in the Holy Land,” said the bishop responsible for the Palestinian territories. In an interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali said that […]

Upside
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Upside

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The last month has, at times, been a blur. After being hit by a car on my bike just over a month ago, I have had to look at life through a different lens. Is there really an “upside” to tragedy? Indulge me as I reflect on the lessons I believe God is trying to […]

Iraq: 'We Priests and Nuns Will Be the Last to Leave'
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Iraq: ‘We Priests and Nuns Will Be the Last to Leave’

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By Oliver Maksan “At night we often hear gunfire. But luckily we are quite a bit away from the fighting,” Father Steven says. In fact, the town of Alqosh is only 10 miles away from the front line, where the heavily armed Kurdish Peshmerga forces and ISIS fighters are facing off. When the weather is […]

Whatever the Cost
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Whatever the Cost

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A year ago, I wrote an article challenging the American Church to do more in the face of religious persecution of our Christian brethren abroad. At that time, the kidnapping of 276 young school girls by the Islamist group Boko Haram had captured the world’s attention. I wrote the following: “That so many Christians in […]

Take Those You Love to Jesus
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Take Those You Love to Jesus

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Does the Bible still have relevance? All that guidance and those stories of 2,000 years ago and longer – do they mean anything today? They should, of course – especially the things Jesus taught. Loving God with every fiber of your being, loving your neighbor as you love yourself, forgiving countless times. Laying down your […]

Boko Haram Suffers Setback, Refugees Return Home
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Boko Haram Suffers Setback, Refugees Return Home

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“It is all up to God—it’s not up to us to avenge and take retribution.” That’s the message proclaimed by Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, Nigeria, one of the dioceses heaviest hit by the deadly raids of Boko Haram. Over the past few weeks, a strike force of the Nigerian army joined by troops […]

Sterilization Camps in India
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Sterilization Camps in India

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Anne Roback Morse gave an address on March 13, 2015 at the United Nations surrounding the Commission on the Status of Women at a panel titled, “Coerced Sterilizations, Abortions, and Reproductive Rights.” The following remarks are based on excerpts from that address. Last November, 83 women were sterilized in a matter of hours at a […]

Forgotten Victims of Sexual Violence: Children Born of War
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Forgotten Victims of Sexual Violence: Children Born of War

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Among the hundreds of Christians and minorities abducted by Islamic State terrorists are women and girls forced into marriage and sexual slavery. As world leaders fumble to respond to ISIS attacks, another crisis looms – the perilous future of these women and girls and the children they will conceive during captivity. Throughout history, children born […]

ISIS Said to Have Begun Executing Captured Syrian Christians
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ISIS Said to Have Begun Executing Captured Syrian Christians

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By John Newton In a fast-developing, highly fluid story, there are now reports that ISIS has started killing hostages seized after it captures Assyrian Christian villages in Syria’s Hassake governorate—reportedly 15 kidnapped Christians may already be dead. In a message sent to Aid to the Church in Need Feb. 26, 2015, Iraq-based Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana […]

On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’
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On Brother Paul O’Donnell’s Death and ‘Being There’

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As news of the untimely death of Brother Paul O’Donnell spreads, there will be many remembrances by those who knew him well. Perhaps none more than Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo. Brother Paul distinguished himself, and the Church, by being the constant companion and supporter of the Schindler family as their severely brain damaged daughter, Terri, […]

Egyptian Catholic Copts Consecrate First-Ever Church in Sinai
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Egyptian Catholic Copts Consecrate First-Ever Church in Sinai

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“The Church in Egypt has been strengthened by the murder of our brothers in Libya.” Such was the reaction by Coptic Catholic Bishop Youssef Aboul-Kheir of Sohag to the beheading of 21 Orthodox Coptic men in Libya by ISIS. The guest workers in Libya “suffered a holy death with prayers on their lips. They went […]

Jesus, If You But Said the Word...
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Jesus, If You But Said the Word…

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Do you ever want simply to “be better” from something … from any thing? It could be something that ails you, such as cancer or diabetes or endometriosis, heart disease or asthma or some other chronic health condition. It could be an addiction – to smoking or drinking alcohol, drugs or food or pornography. It […]

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