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Religious on the run for peace, justice and vocations
Sisters of Charity Annie Klapheke, left, Tracy Kemme, and Andrea Koverman, took part in the four-person relay during the Flying Pig Marathon. Congregation of Divine Providence Sister Leslie Keener, not pictured, was also on the relay team. (Courtesy Photo)

Sisters of Charity Annie Klapheke, left, Tracy Kemme, and Andrea Koverman, took part in the four-person relay during the Flying Pig Marathon. Congregation of Divine Providence Sister Leslie Keener, not pictured, was also on the relay team. (Courtesy Photo)


Religious life is alive and well in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

For the second year in a row, women religious in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati donned their running (or walking) shoes for a good cause. Fifteen sisters from different congregations participated in the recent Flying Pig Marathon for Team IJPC, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. Their participation was sponsored by the SC Ministry Foundation. Continue reading

Cross the Bridge for Life Sunday
Cross the Bridge for LIfe

American Heritage Girls carry a banner across the Newport-Southbank Bridge during the annual Cross the Bridge for Life event. (CT Photo/Colleen Kelley)

Staff Report

On Sunday, June 7, thousands of people from across the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington will come together and witness for the unborn by crossing the Purple People Bridge (officially the Newport-Southbank Bridge), which spans the Ohio River from Newport on the Levee in Kentucky to Sawyer Point in Cincinnati. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Catholic Campaign for Human Development announced under different name

An article from the Oct. 9, 1970 edition of The Catholic Telegraph reports on the Campaign for Human Development. Now called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a national collection will take place this weekend. (CT File)

Staff Report

Parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the nation will take up collections this weekend for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Today’s Throwback Thursday heralds the announcement of said campaign in 1969, but under a different name.

The Nov. 6, 1969 edition of The Catholic Telegraph announced that the Catholic Church in the United States would begin a “National Catholic Crusade Against Poverty.” The story announced that $50 million would comprise the initial funding and that an annual collection for the poor would be a part of it. The same article heralded the formation of the U.S. Bishop’s national office for Black Catholicism.

The National Catholic Crusade Against Poverty is better known by its present name, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Continue reading

Cardinal: Pope is ‘friend, brother’; working with him ‘really beautiful’

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis, gives his keynote address during a conference at the Bread for the World headquarters in Washington June 3. During the conference, Catholic experts looked at libertarianism and why it is incompatible with Catholic social teaching. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By Beth Griffin
Catholic News Service 

NEW YORK — Pope Francis evangelizes with “encyclicals of gestures,” which speak louder than words and texts, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa.

One of nine members of the Council of Cardinals advising the pope, the cardinal reflected on the reorganization of the Roman Curia, his advisory role to the pope, and Catholic response to climate change. Continue reading

Nigerian church groups organize prayers for missing schoolgirls
Women holding signs take part in a May 5 protest in Lagos, Nigeria, to demand the release of abducted high school girls. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction of 276 schoolgirls during a raid in the remote village of Chibok in April. (CNS photo/Akintunde Akinleye, Reuters) (May 8, 2014) See NIGERIA-GIRLS May 8, 2014.

Women holding signs take part in a May 5 protest in Lagos, Nigeria, to demand the release of abducted high school girls. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abduction of 276 schoolgirls during a raid in the remote village of Chibok in April. (CNS photo/Akintunde Akinleye, Reuters)

By Peter Ajayi Dada
Catholic News Service

LAGOS, Nigeria — Religious groups in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state have organized prayer sessions and other activities to support the rescue of kidnapped schoolgirls. Continue reading

Archdiocese of Cincinnati announces appointment of Director of Dayton and Northern Regions Catholic Schools

Press Release

Gregg Marino, most recently Academic Dean at Carroll High School in Dayton, has been appointed Director of Dayton and Northern Region Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Continue reading

Mandela remembered for his valiant efforts to end aparteid

By Steve Trosley and

Catholic News Service

Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle to replace South Africa’s apartheid regime with a multiracial democracy, died Dec. 5 at his home in Johannesburg and was remembered the world over as well as in Cincinnati.

Mandela, 95, became the country’s first black president in 1994. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

In Cincinnati, Tony Steiritz, director of the Archdiocesan Catholic Social Action Office, recalled that when Pope John Paul II visited South Africa for the first time in 1995, the Holy Father said of the recently elected, first black president, Nelson Mandela:
“At the beginning of my visit, I wish to pay tribute to you, Mr. President, who, after being a silent and suffering “witness” of your people’s yearning for true liberation, now shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction.” (September 16, 1995 Address, no.2)

“Nelson Mandela was a man of faith who often worked with South Africa’s church leaders, including Catholic leaders, to eventually toss off the yokes of such overt racism,” Stieritz said Friday. “In addition to the resistance efforts of black and Asian South Africans throughout that country, the crushing system of Apartheid was eroded by the solidarity of millions around the world who were moved by Nelson Mandela and many other leaders’ passion and leadership.”

“So, Steiritz said, in addition to celebrating his life, “this occasion is also a reminder that we are continually called to stand with the poor and outcast of today, wherever they may be, to pursue a greater respect for their life and dignity, Stieritz said


As Pope Francis recently expressed, “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 187).



“In that mission,” Stieritz said, “we can all be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s faith, courage, endurance for suffering, leadership, and personal humility for the struggles ahead.”  In addition, as President of South Africa, Mandela’s support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also illustrates for us how we can make oppressive structures of sin give way to opportunities for personal healing and God’s grace. Stieritz said such solidarity led to effective international sanctions, which were endorsed by the U.S. and South African Catholic bishops, and other efforts that reshaped the policies of the ruling minority and eventually led to the path for a more racially equal society.



One of the world’s most revered statesmen, Mandela had a touch of humanity rarely seen in political leaders, said Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa in an interview with Catholic News Service earlier this year.

Cardinal Napier represented the South African Catholic Church in discussions between Mandela and church leaders beginning in 1990, following Mandela’s release after 27 years in prison, until he retired from public life in 2004.

Cardinal Napier said he came to treasure Mandela through regular meetings church leaders had with his African National Congress in the transition from apartheid to democracy.

“I always felt we should introduce ourselves to him again, but it was never necessary,” said the cardinal, who was president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 1994.

Mandela “remembered names and faces and always gave us a hearty welcome,” he said.

“I came to realize that if he had met someone he had no trouble remembering their names or where they were from. To him, people mattered because of who they were, not the position they held,” he said. “That’s what I really treasure about the man.”

Negotiations between Mandela and South Africa’s apartheid regime began in 1989 while he was still imprisoned. The late Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban told Catholic News Service at the time that he was “astonished” to hear that the notoriously intransigent former President P.W. Botha had approached Mandela to discuss negotiating an end to the armed struggle against apartheid.

The negotiations were fraught with difficulties, and Mandela frequently called on the country’s church leaders to help overcome the deadlocks, Cardinal Napier said.

“When there was a problem, Mandela would say exactly how he saw the problem,” he said, noting that the South African leader was a “direct man and it was easy to engage with him.”

Mandela’s humility and self-deprecating sense of humor were other qualities Cardinal Napier said he valued.

In February 2001, when Cardinal Napier was inducted into the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II, Mandela was in Mozambique.

“He tracked me down to St. Peter’s to congratulate me. He said, ‘Archbishop Napier, how wonderful that you’ve been promoted to this esteemed position and you still have time for all of us back home.’ I called him Mr. Mandela and he said, ‘No, it’s Madiba.’ He wished me luck and asked me to pass on his greetings to everyone there.”

Mandela, who was born in 1918 into the Xhosa-speaking Thembu people in a village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, was often called by his clan name ‘Madiba.’

Cardinal Napier recalled a 1991 meeting at retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Cape Town office, where church leaders and liberation movement leaders were introducing themselves to each other.

“I could see Mandela quite clearly from where I was seated, and when the Methodist bishop’s turn came to introduce himself Mandela said, “That’s my bishop.’ He’s the only political leader I’ve known who’s … allowed himself to be defined in terms of his faith, not just in terms of political allegiance,” the cardinal said.

After serving one term in office, Mandela became a high-profile ambassador for South Africa and helped with peace negotiations in other African countries.

Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and, three years later, at the age of 85, retired from public life. He made rare public appearances after that, but helped to secure South Africa’s right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.

On his 80th birthday, he married Graca Machel, the widow of the former president of Mozambique.

After his official retirement, his public appearances were primarily connected with the work of the Mandela Foundation, a charitable fund he founded.

On July 18, 2007, his 89th birthday, Mandela formed The Elders, a council that aims to tackle global problems.

In honor of Mandela’s birthday in 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama called the South African leader “a beacon for the global community and for all who work for democracy, justice and reconciliation.”

Two years earlier, the U.S. and 192 other U.N. member states created Nelson Mandela International Day to honor the African leader through acts of community service.

Every July 18, people around the world take up Mandela’s call for citizens to “take responsibility to change the world into a better place” by donating 67 minutes of their time — one minute for each year of Mandela’s struggle against white-minority rule — to helping others.

The parishioners of Regina Mundi Church in Soweto are among thousands of South Africans who have heeded the call, said Oblate Father Benedict Mahlangu, a priest at the parish.

On July 18, 2011, members of the Catholic Women’s League were at the church at 6 a.m. to prepare a special meal for unemployed and homeless people in and around Soweto, Father Mahlangu said, recalling that Mandela came to a service at the church to celebrate his birthday in 2010.

The church, the largest in Soweto, served as a refuge for anti-apartheid activists for decades. Bullet holes in the ceiling and the broken marble altar have been preserved and serve as reminders of the apartheid era.

Bishop Binzer, area religious leaders to pray for immigration reform

Bishop Joseph R. Binzer and other area religious leaders will join together Tuesday to pray for immigration reform. (CT Photo/John Stegeman)

Press Release

Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, along with other faith leaders and representatives from the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati and the American Jewish Committee, will gather at noon Tuesday, November 26, in the undercroft of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral for an Interfaith Prayer Service for Immigration Reform. Continue reading

St. Maximilian Kolbe- Changing Habits: The Nun Monologues

Saturday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe invites you to attend “Changing Habits: The Nun Monologues.”  Ticket includes presentation and appetizers.  A cash bar will aso be available.  $20 per person for advance tickets and $25 at the door.  We will also be taking an offering for the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Changing Habits: The Nun Monologues is a play of monologues about growing up Catholic, being Catholic, learning from nuns, stories and confessions from actual nuns.  It’s both humorous and bittersweet, nostalgic and current, taking a sweeping look at the culture of nuns in society.  For more info. check out our website: www.saint-max.org or call Lakme in parish office 513-777-4322, ext. 105

Pope’s comments did not mark change in Church teaching

By Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Francis told reporters July 28, “Who am I to judge” a homosexual person, he was emphasizing a part of Catholic teaching often overlooked by the media and misunderstood by many people.

In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the church teaches that homosexual people “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity” and that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

But the catechism also describes a “homosexual inclination” as “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered,” because sexuality is “an integral part of the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”

The church teaches that any sexual activity outside the bond of marriage between a man and a woman is sinful. Pope Francis did not change or challenge that teaching.

Pope Francis made his comments about homosexuality during a news conference with reporters flying with him from Brazil to Rome.

The pope was asked about what has been described as a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, allegedly a group of priests and bishops who work at the Vatican and protect each other. Pope Francis said it was important to “distinguish between a person who is gay and someone who makes a gay lobby.”

“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”

Although the question to the pope was about gay Vatican employees, the pope’s response was not specifically about priests who are homosexual, a question addressed in 2005 by the Congregation for Catholic Education, which was in charge of seminaries at the time.

The document was titled, “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations With Regard to Persons With Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders.”

The church distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies or orientation, it said. The church, unlike much of the public, does not assume all those with a homosexual orientation are sexually active, just as it does not assume all heterosexuals are sexually active.

Men “who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture'” are not to be admitted to Catholic seminaries or to be ordained, it said, although it did not give a detailed explanation of what exactly constitutes a “deep-seated” homosexual tendency.

While excluding their suitability for ordination, it said, “such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter.”

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaking on “CBS This Morning” July 30, said Pope Francis’ remarks on the plane reflect “a gentle, merciful, understanding, compassionate” approach to church teaching which emphasizes “that while certain acts may be wrong, we would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity.”

Pope Francis’ words “may be something people find new and refreshing,” Cardinal Dolan said, but “I for one don’t think it is and I hate to see previous popes caricatured as not having that.”

The current pope’s approach to the question of homosexuality on the flight from Brazil reminded some journalists of the approach Pope Benedict XVI took to a question about gay marriage during a July 2006 flight to Spain where he celebrated the World Meeting of Families.

“It’s true that there are problems and things that Christian life says no to,” he told reporters. “We want to make people understand that according to human nature it is a man and a woman who are made for each other and made to give humanity a future.”

However, he said, instead of focusing on condemning attempts to legally recognize homosexual unions, “let’s shine a light on the positive things, so we can make people understand why the church cannot accept certain things, but at the same time wants to respect people and to help them.”