Catholic cemeteries seen as a link to heaven

Catholic cemeteries have the look and feel of Catholic symbolism, from the shrines to the statues of Mary, the saints and angels.

In an article about why Catholic cemeteries are important to Catholics, The Florida Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, explores the eternal resting places in consecrated ground.

The link from heaven, to birth, to death and to the future also is examined.

Welcoming the stranger

The biblical injunction to welcome the stranger remains, even when the government might not seem to care about the stranger.

The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Diocese of Phoenix, Ariz.,  details ongoing and growing efforts by the two provinces of the Jesuits plus Jesuit Refugee Service and the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, along with the bishops of the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz., and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo, Mexico, and the possible participation of No More Deaths, which already has a presence on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The projects being undertaken show that, despite the hardships endured by immigrants to a country where many people are at best ambivalent about having them, there are still people ready to act in a spirit of Christian charity.

Most-viewed CNS stories for August

Who says August is a dead month for news? Here’s the list of our most popular stories for August from our main Web site, catholicnews.com, with links in case you missed any of them. You’ll see that political issues dominated the bottom half of this most-viewed list, while No. 3 through No. 6 and No. 10 attest to the popularity of Pope Benedict XVI.

1. No ‘Yahweh’ in songs, prayers at Catholic Masses, Vatican rules (Aug. 12).

2. Priest to meet Maryknoll leaders over role in Womenpriests’ ceremony (Aug. 14).

3. Heaven is God, not an imaginary place, Pope Benedict says (Aug. 15).

4. Pope approves beatification of St. Therese’s parents in Lisieux (Aug. 19).

5. Pope says his most important task is to pray for church, world (Aug. 13).

6. Ten texts help crack pope’s pontificate, mission, ministry (May 30).

7. Biden on Obama ticket: a Catholic with mixed record on church issues (Aug. 23).

8. Delaware bishops have been low-key with Biden’s church involvement (Aug. 27).

9. Bishops say Pelosi misrepresented abortion teaching in TV interview (Aug. 27).

10. Pope urges church to help overcome racism in modern society (Aug. 18).

Bishops issue fact sheet on abortion teaching

Following up on last week’s controversy over comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on church teaching on abortion, the U.S. bishops’ conference yesterday issued a “fact sheet” on the history of that teaching. You can view the press release from the conference here and the fact sheet, called “Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching,” here. Especially in an election year, questions on this topic are not likely to go away.

Oregon Catholic nun considered pioneer in labor movement

Hopefully between cookouts we took a few moments during our holiday weekend to reflect upon the true meaning of Labor Day.

In an Aug. 29 article about Holy Names Sister Miriam Theresa Gleason, the Catholic Sentinel – newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland and the Diocese of Baker , both in eastern Oregon – reflects on her contributions to the labor movement in the early 20th century, even in her days as a young lay woman.

Details are given about her life, the time she spent infiltrating Portland factories in 1912 to survey working conditions, and how her efforts in 1913 helped bring about the nation’s first enforceable minimum wage law, guaranteeing minors $1 a day and adults $8 to $9 per week, depending on the industry.

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