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.”

Pope: Conversion isn't just an appearance - it's a matter of the heart

By Elise Harris
Catholic News Agency
August 31, 2015

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) -- In his Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis said that merely obeying the rules isn’t enough to make us holy, but that if we truly want to serve God our conversion has to be deeper, changing the heart. “It's not exterior things which make us holy or not holy, but it's the heart that expresses our intentions, our choices, and the desire to do everything out of love for God,” the pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Prayerful crowd of 600 leads local protest against Planned Parenthood

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

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. 

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." 

"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.

Deacon class of 2020 gathers for the first time

By Joan Kurkowski-Gillen
North Texas Catholic
August 12, 2015

FORT WORTH -- Thirty-seven men from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and occupations, gathered inside St. Patrick Cathedral Aug. 8 for a common purpose. Seated alongside spouses, children, and grandchildren, the group of aspirants entering the Permanent Deacon Formation Program, began the five-year journey toward ordination with a Mass concelebrated by Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson and several diocesan priests.

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

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

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.