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 News Briefs

NEWS BRIEFS Jul-26-2013

By Catholic News Service


Program informs Catholic educators about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Bill Bayly, a history and religion teacher at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md., said the future for Catholic and Jewish relations is bright. Bayly was one of 40 Catholic school educators from 24 states who gathered at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum July 24 to learn about the history of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the historical relationship between Jewish and Catholic communities. The event was part of the Anti-Defamation League's 18th annual Bearing Witness program, a five-day series of lectures, seminars and workshops designed to give Catholic school educators knowledge, skills and resources to teach about the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust in their classrooms. Participants were chosen from an applicant pool of more than 120 people based on their answers to a series of questions about their interest in the topic and what they hope to do with it in their classrooms. ADL was founded in 1913, with a two-part mission: To stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to address justice and fair treatment of all, said Naomi Mayor, the league's assistant director of training and curriculum.

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U.S. woman killed in train crash recalled for her love of family, faith

ANNANDALE, Va. (CNS) -- Ana-Maria Cordoba, a wife and mother, an active Catholic parishioner and an employee of the Arlington Diocese, who died in a train crash in Spain July 24, was remembered two days later for the love she brought to every aspect of her life. Cordoba was killed in a train derailment that left 80 dead and more than 100 injured in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. She was traveling with her husband, Philippe, and the couple's daughter, Christina, a rising senior at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington. The Cordobas' son, Santiago, had just completed a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and the three family members were en route to meet him. Philippe and Christina Cordoba were among the injured and were listed in stable condition at the local hospital. The Cordobas are members of St. Ambrose Parish in Annandale. Father Andrew J. Fisher, pastor of St. Ambrose, described the love that Cordoba expressed in everything she did throughout her life. "The family was always doing things for others by volunteering in the parish and playing an active role in the school," he said. Ana-Maria and her husband have two teenage kids of their own, but in a lot of ways, they take on the responsibilities of mother and father to most of the young people of our parish."

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On stormy seashore, pope invites young people to follow Jesus

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- Even at its stormiest, the Sea of Galilee doesn't have waves like those that pound Copacabana beach, but Pope Francis asked young Catholics to imagine they were with Jesus on the seashore and he was asking them to follow him and share his love with others. In his first remarks to the young people at the World Youth Day celebration on the beach July 25, Pope Francis spoke of belonging to the great family of faith. The celebration included a "shout out" to retired Pope Benedict XVI, who chose Rio as the site of World Youth Day 2013 and selected its theme: "Go and make disciples of all nations." An estimated 1 million people were present on the windswept, rain-drenched beach. Many young people began gathering just after noon for a program of prayer and song dominated by Brazilians, but featuring groups from around the globe. Thousands abandoned the sandy beach for the paved roadway when the pope's helicopter touched down at Fort Copacabana; the pope spent more than a half hour driving from the fort on one end of the famous beach to the stage situated two and a half miles away.

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Pope honors grandparents, leads prayers for families

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- Pope Francis went to World Youth Day with grandparents, or at least society's elders, on his mind, and he honored them in a special way July 26, the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne and Grandparents Day in many countries. In dozens of homilies and speeches since becoming pope in March, Pope Francis, 76, has referred with great affection to his grandmother, Rosa, and her role in teaching him the faith. Reciting the Angelus July 26 with tens of thousands of people gathered in the square outside the archbishop of Rio's residence, the pope highlighted the importance of grandparents "for family life (and) for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society." Talking about Jesus' grandparents in his Angelus address, Pope Francis said Sts. Joachim and Anne surrounded Mary with "their love and faith. In their home, she learned to listen to the Lord and to follow his will." Mary's parents, he said, "were part of a long chain of people who had transmitted their love for God, expressed in the warmth and love of family life, down to Mary, who received the Son of God in her womb and who gave him to the world, to us."

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World Youth Day pilgrims find faith transcends differences in culture

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- For Americans at World Youth Day, it's not just seeing and praying with Pope Francis that's exciting, but the chance to bolster their own faith and take home their experiences. Young pilgrims from across the country said the energetic feeling of being among hundreds of thousands of people from the world's different cultures who are unafraid of sharing their faith is both dynamic and inspiring. "There is just such an amazing positive energy here," said pilgrim Moira Loughman, 33, of Scranton, Pa. "It's quite an experience to have so many people with common ideology, common bond." Loughman, a public school teacher, said she hopes the things she learns during the weeklong celebration will help her to be a better witness to the Gospel. Her sentiments match the World Youth Day theme: "Go and make disciples of all nations." Rooted in Matthew's Gospel, the theme stresses the idea of reaching out to others, that is, evangelizing for the faith through one's life. World Youth Day organizers hope that's what will transpire in the years ahead among the pilgrims voyaging to Brazil.

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Penitents, prisoners and pilgrims: Pope meets youth up close

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- Pope Francis spent the morning and early afternoon of July 26 with about two dozen young people from different countries and diverse backgrounds, in a range of encounters that illustrated his characteristic emphasis on inclusion and reconciliation. The most dramatic meeting was the half hour he spent in the Rio de Janeiro archbishop's residence with eight young offenders from four area prisons. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the six men and two women sat in a circle with the pope, Rio Archbishop Orani Tempesta, a judge and a lay minister who works with incarcerated youths. The group presented the pope with a homemade rosary with Styrofoam balls for beads, and a cross inscribed with the slogan, "Candelaria never again," a reference to a 1993 massacre of eight young people near Rio's Candelaria church. The name of each victim was written on one of the rosary's beads. The pope stayed at the archbishop's residence for lunch, where he was joined by 12 young people -- six men and six women -- chosen by lot to represent all World Youth Day pilgrims. Two were from Brazil and two each came from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

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A million young people jam Rio's Copacabana beach to try to see pope

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- "I saw the pope! I saw the pope!" yelled Hiago Ferreira de Araujo of Feira de Santana, Brazil, as he jumped up and down like a little kid who had just scored a goal. The 23-year-old student said he had been waiting for at least three hours on a side street near Copacabana beach the afternoon of July 25 because he knew "the pastor of our church would come my way." One million people braved the rain to hear Pope Francis that evening on the beach for a World Youth Day welcoming ceremony. Despite problems with transport and loudspeakers, pilgrims stood patiently and cheered at the pope's words. "The crowd is so large we knew we wouldn't be able to see him on stage, so we waited here and heard him through the loudspeaker," Araujo said. He and 38 friends came by bus. The normal 24-hour trip took 40 hours because the bus broke down on the highway, but the young people were not complaining. "I expected this to be incredible, but it is so much more than I ever hoped," he said.


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