WASHINGTON (CNS) – Three Republican members of the House of Representatives March 5 introduced a bill to protect conscience rights for both workers in the health care industry and for employers in light of the federal mandate requiring employers to cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.
One of the sponsors, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said it is possible that the bill, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, could be folded into a continuing resolution being considered by the House to keep the federal government operating beyond March 27.
Two Catholic women who run businesses and who appeared at a March 5 news conference on Capitol Hill said they do not want to be forced to choose between their conscience or their business.
WATERBURY – Breaking the $10 million mark for the first time has not seemed to slow the momentum of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, which this year is adding a new supportive housing project to the list of services it funds. Francis Xavier Plaza Inc., a $7-million project to be built on the site of the former St. Francis Xavier School on Baldwin Street, will be serviced by Catholic Charities, which the appeal supports to the tune of $2.225 million, according to Kaitlin Leonard, appeal director.
Each year, the appeal supports hundreds of agencies and local charities. These include the Malta House of Care mobile medical clinics in Hartford and Waterbury; the Emergency Assistance Fund for parishioners in financial need; the Tuition Assistance Fund for eligible Catholic school students; parish missions such as engaged couple conferences, pro-life activities -and programs for divorced and separated people; communications services; and much more.
The 2013 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal officially began on March 2-3.
NEW HAVEN – Mutts are gaining new respect at two Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford, where a curriculum that draws upon children’s love of animals is helping students build confidence, learn responsible decision-making and develop social and emotional skills.
Called the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, the project was developed by the Pet Savers Foundation of North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) in collaboration with Yale University’s School of the 21st Century.
The innovative program uses the rescue and adoption of shelter dogs as a way to introduce students to the concepts of compassion and social responsibility. The goal is to teach children empathy while developing social awareness, relationship skills and problem-solving abilities.
Four people who helped bring a new-old confessional to St. Mary the Immaculate Conception Parish in Derby stand in front of it. From left: Timothy Conlon, who transported the confessional from a church in Iowa; Father Janusz Kukulka, pastor; Lisa Knott, who donated the funds; and her husband, Patrick Knott, who helped locate the confessional.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Cardinal-electors are caught in a Catch-22. They are eager to give the world a new pope; however, they need time to pick the right leader, said South Africa's cardinal.
"There might be a need for a long delay" as the cardinals try to gauge how much they do or don't know enough about each other, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier told Catholic News Service March 1, the first day of the "sede vacante."
No Church leader wants to be away from his diocese for too long, he said, and no one wants to miss Easter, March 31.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Clementine Hall is traditionally the place where cardinals bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually when the pope in question is lying in state before his funeral.
But on Feb. 28, hours before resigning from the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI briefly addressed the College of Cardinals, calling for unity and harmony among the men who will choose his successor and pledging his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to the next pope.
Pope Benedict addressed144 cardinals, including many of the 115 under the age of 80 who are eligible and expected to vote in the upcoming conclave.