Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott to speak at bishop's Respect Life dinner

By Joan Kurkowski-Gillen

North Texas Catholic
August 27, 2015

FORT WORTH -- In her first public appearance as the First Lady of Texas, Cecilia Abbott stood on the steps of the Capitol building during a January 24 anti-abortion rally and thanked supporters for joining her “in the cause of protecting life.”

Faith includes recognizing one's sinfulness, pope says

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
September 3, 2015

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even a demon can recognize that Jesus is Lord; the recognition becomes a profession of faith when one also can admit, “I am a sinner” and confess specific sins, Pope Francis said. 
Celebrating a morning Mass in the chapel of his residence Sept. 3, the pope focused on the day's Gospel (Lk 5:1-11) and its description of Peter's profession of faith after a miraculous catch of fish. But first Pope Francis told the small congregation in the Domus Sanctae Marthae how he imagines the daily life of Jesus.

Priests in North America can already absolve people for the sin of abortion

By Nancy O'Brien
Catholic News Service
September 2, 2015
Father James Pemberton

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Pope Francis' Sept. 1 announcement that priests worldwide will be able to absolve women for the sin of abortion during the Year of Mercy will have little effect on pastoral practices in the United States and Canada, where most priests already have such authority in the sacrament of reconciliation. “It is my understanding that the faculty for the priest to lift the latae sententiae excommunication for abortion is almost universally granted in North America,” said Don Clemmer, interim director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Nuns are bringing 'spiritual flavor' to classrooms around the diocese

By Susan Moses
North Texas Catholic
August 31, 2015

FORT WORTH -- As recently as two generations ago, Catholic schools were largely staffed and run by sisters. That time has passed, but several orders still work in education in our diocese, bringing a deeper dimension of spirituality and a unique perspective on living our faith to the students who are blessed by them. Without detracting from the dedicated service of Catholic education by lay teachers, Sister Yolanda Cruz, SSMN, spoke of the added value that women religious offer in the Catholic school setting.

"90 Minutes in Heaven" reveals reach of God's hand on earth

By Jerry Circelli
North Texas Catholic
August 28, 2015

In the new movie “90 Minutes in Heaven,” moviegoers intrigued with the title undoubtedly will be compelled to catch a glimpse of the hereafter.  The directors will not disappoint. If you’re counting on being lifted, however, up to that place where only those who have passed from this life have gone, don’t expect to stay long. You’ll be offered only a glimpse; but that's the beauty of the movie.

Iraqi archbishop: Plight of fleeing Christians has challenged his faith

By Sean Gallagher
Catholic News Service
August 27, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil, Iraq, placed his face in his hands when asked how his faith has been challenged and changed in the crisis he has helped manage over the past year. He said he has outwardly encouraged the Christians whom he welcomed to Irbil when they fled the Islamic State, but within his heart he would frequently "quarrel with God." 

Peaceful crowd of 600 leads local protest against Planned Parenthood

By Joan Kurkowski-Gillen
North Texas Catholic
August 25, 2015

FORT WORTH -- More than 575 local residents, representing several religious denominations, lined the sidewalks outside Fort Worth's Planned Parenthood clinic on August 22 as part of a national protest against the non-profit organization and its abortion practices. But for one participant, the silent, prayerful demonstration was more than a response to recent videos showing Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of fetal tissue.