US & Canada

News from United States & Canada covering parishes, dioceses, religious orders, community groups, homelessness, moral & political issues and pilgrims.


USA: Trump's border wall threatens Catholic orphanage

Fence near El Paso - image Columbans

President Trump's border wall is threatening a Catholic orphanage near the US-Mexico border. The Department of Justice has filed an eminent-domain lawsuit against Sacred Heart Children's Home in Laredo, Texas, demanding access to the orphanage's land in order to conduct surveys for the wall.

As an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Laredo Morning Times, the Trump adminis...

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USA: Catholic campaign condemns execution amid pandemic

Walter Barton

The state of Missouri executed Walter Barton on Tuesday, in what became the first execution in the United States since the global declaration of the coronavirus pandemic. In that time, three states have stayed or rescheduled a total of eight executions, many citing concerns of COVID-19 infection.

"Our nation has gone to great lengths to save lives and prevent unnecessary loss of life duri...

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US Catholic leaders express solidarity with those affected by Covid-19 behind bars

Five United States Conference of Catholic Bishops committee chairmen, prominent men and women religious, and national lay leaders representing key Catholic organisations released a joint letter Wednesday in response to the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic within US prisons, jails, and detention and reentry centres.

The Statement of Solidarity: A Catholic Response to Covid-1...

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US Catholics invited to take Pledge to Protect

Individuals across the United States are signing a new pledge to take personal responsibility for protecting others as cities and states reopen despite widespread concerns about how to do so safely and responsibly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pledge functions to help people pause and think about how they will act in the context of our states and cities starting to reopen and...

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US Bishops express soldiarity with Native communities badly hit by pandemic

Bishop Shelton J Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of US Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of USCCB's Committe on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop James S Wall of Gallup and chairman of the USCCB's Subcommittee on Native American Affairs have released the following statement ...

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US Bishops urge leaders to examine why Covid-19 is taking such a deadly toll on black Americans

As the death toll from Covid-19 in America increases each day, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) has expressed grave concern that so many of those who are contracting the virus and dying, come from the African American communities. Bishop Shelton J Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S Coakley of Oklahoma C...

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Canada and US Bishops to reconsecrate their nations to Mary

Mary Mother of the Church

On Friday, 1 May , the bishops of Canada and the United States will be reconsecrating their nations to the care and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Both Bishops' Conferences have announced that their countries will be reconsecrated to our Lady under the title 'Mary, Mother of the Church'.

Each year, during the month of May, the Church seeks ...

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USA: Funeral Ministry in the time of Covid-19

Larry Kovak's funeral

For the past year and a half, I have been assigned to the three-parish 'Pastorate' of St Michael the Archangel, the Church of the Annunciation, and St Clement Mary Hofbauer, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Collaborating with a fantastic Pastorate staff, there are four of us who are Franciscan-friar-priests assigned to this ministry; I serve as the Pastor, one is a full-time Paro...

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Petition: Stand with faith leaders to protect migrants in custody

Hundreds of Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centres across the USA, yet the administration has released only 700 immigrants - leaving more than 31,000 in danger. Crowded conditions make it impossible to practice social distancing.

At one ICE facility in Louisiana, according to USA TODAY, guards aren't wearing masks or gloves and th...

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Catholic Charities chief opposes Trump immigration ban

Last Thursday President Trump announced that he was suspending all immigration to the US for 60 days. On Twitter he cited "the attack from the invisible enemy" and the need to protect the jobs of Americans.

Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) opposed the executive order, calling it "inconsistent with our faith tradition and our longstanding p...

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US-Mexico border: Those bones will rise again

"The hand of Spirit came upon me and set me in the centre of the plain that was now filled with bones. Spirit made me walk in every direction so that I could see how many were on the plain. How dry there were!" Ezekiel 37:1-2

John Heild writes for Christian Peacemaker Teams: On Easter Saturday I accompanied a group of six humanitarian aid workers into a remote region of ...

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Churches urge Trump to reverse suspension of WHO funding

President Trump

The National Council of Churches (USA) and World Council of Churches are urging President Donald Trump to reverse his decision to suspend funding from the World Health Organization.

"This is dangerous, immoral and wrong," reads a statement from the council. "Even though international institutions such as the WHO are not perfect, suspension of funding … is irresponsible and ill-timed."

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Covid-19: Pope expresses love and concern for people of New York

Candlit vigil by New York nurses  and supporters - image Vatican News

Pope Francis reached out to the people of New York in a phone call to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York on Tuesday.

Cardinal Dolan said in a statement: "Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, called me this afternoon at about 2pm to express his love, concern, and closeness to all the people of New York, especially those who are sick, during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Pope, w...

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US bishops appeal for prayers after deadly storms hit South

Archbishop Jose Gomez

Archbishop José H Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Paul S Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, have issued the following statement after severe weather killed at least 19 people in the South on Sunday and Monday.

In their statement, Archbishops Gomez and Coakley call for pray...

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