TOP STORIES

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    Apr 25, 2015

    Catholics to press nuclear weapons ban at U.N. treaty review conference


    (CNS photo/Joey Kelly, EPA)

    By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service
    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- It was April 11, 1963, as the Catholic Church was in the midst of the Second Vatican Council, that St. John XXIII issued his landmark social encyclical "Pacem in Terris" ("Peace on Earth") that included a call for a verifiable ban on nuclear weapons.

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    Apr 24, 2015

    Pope's prayer suggestion: Remember when you first met Jesus


    (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In every relationship, including one's relationship with Jesus, it is important to remember that "first encounter," that initial, life-changing moment of love, Pope Francis said.

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    Apr 24, 2015

    Goal of dialogue to 'deepen understanding' of one another, says speaker

    Story and photo by Rico De Silva, Catholic News Service
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CNS) -- A speaker told participants at the 2015 National Workshop on Christian Unity in Charlotte that a lack of unity "seriously undermines Christian witness in the world from a Muslim perspective, and it's ever present in our dialogue with Islam."

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    Apr 24, 2015

    Providence Ministries’ culinary program holds graduation ceremony


    (Photo courtesy of Providence Ministries)

    Staff report
    HOLYOKE -- The foodWorks @ Kate’s Kitchen culinary education program held a graduation ceremony and dinner celebration on Wednesday, April 15.


Jul 11, 2013

Pope Francis prays for victims, families of Quebec train derailment


 

WORLD


(CNS photo/Mathieu Belanger, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

 OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) -- Pope Francis offered prayers for the people touched by the tragic July 6 train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, said the Vatican secretary of state.

In a message released July 8 by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said the pope offered words of condolence to the small community located near Quebec's border with Maine.

"Upon learning of the tragic train derailment at Lac-Megantic, with its many victims of whom a large number is still unaccounted for, His Holiness Pope Francis unites himself through prayer in the anguish of the grieving families, and he entrusts the victims to the mercy of God, asking him to welcome them into His light," the cardinal's message said.

"He expresses his deep sympathy to the injured persons and their families, to the emergency workers and to all the people around them, asking the Lord to support and comfort them in their hardship," the message continued.

"As a token of consolation, the Holy Father sends a special apostolic blessing to all persons touched by this tragedy," the message concluded.

At St. Agnes Parish, within feet of the derailment and blast site, Father Steve Lemay was awakened by the explosions. He has spent much of his time since the disaster ministering to parishioners, many of whom were evacuated as multiple blasts shook the town.

(CNS photo/Transporation Safety Board of Canada via Reuters)

The century-old church sustained minimal damage from the accident, which occurred after a runaway freight train headed to a New Brunswick oil refinery derailed and exploded.

He said young people were hit particularly hard, reported the Globe and Mail in Toronto. He lauded the community's perseverance, saying it "reassures us of human nature." He also said residents are asking questions about the train's safety.

Father Lemay has provided updates on his Facebook page and thanked followers for their prayers.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski, Quebec, president of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec, offered condolences and words of solidarity to Sherbrooke Archbishop Luc Cyr in a July 8 letter.

Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal called for a day of prayer July 14 for victims of the tragedy. He also called for a special collection to be taken in parishes.

The archbishop planned to celebrate a Mass for accident victims and the people of Lac-Megantic at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral July 14.

The death toll continued to rise July 10 in the once-picturesque town of 6,000 in the southeast corner of Quebec in the Sherbrooke Archdiocese, about 130 miles east of Montreal. Fifteen deaths were confirmed and about 40 people remained missing, authorities said.

The cause of the disaster remains under investigation.