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Nation and world briefs


Detroit program helps families to see Sunday as a day of rest, togetherness

DETROIT — There’s no such thing as the perfect Catholic family. Recognizing everyday reality, the archdiocese has introduced a series of tools geared toward supporting parishes and helping families live their mission as the “domestic Church.” Foremost among those tools is a new program designed by the archdiocese to help families reclaim Sunday as a day for God and for the family. Called 52 Sundays, the program is a road map for families to live Sundays together in a countercultural, faith-filled way. Spanning the 2020 calendar year, 52 Sundays includes a resource book and an online component to guide families through weekly exercises based on the Sunday Gospels. It also includes reflections on the saints, a specific prayer activity and a recipe for each week.

Administrator elected to oversee Cleveland Diocese

CLEVELAND — Father Donald P. Oleksiak has been elected administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland by the diocese’s college of consultors following the appointment of Archbishop Nelson J. Perez as the new leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Father Oleksiak, 57, will serve as diocesan administrator until Pope Francis names a successor to Archbishop Perez to lead Ohio’s largest diocese. Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Perez to Philadelphia Jan. 23.


Northern Italian dioceses take drastic measures against coronavirus

VATICAN CITY — With the biggest two days of celebration and costume parades left, the famous pre-Lenten “Carnevale” of Venice was canceled as were Ash Wednesday services and even funeral Masses throughout the diocese. The Archdiocese of Milan also issued a notice Feb. 23 suspending all public celebrations of the Mass until further notice in compliance with Italian Ministry of Health precautions to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. As of Feb. 24, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country had risen to 219, including five people who died. The majority of cases — 167 — were in the northern Italian region of Lombardy.

Pope advances causes of young tech whiz, Salvadoran Jesuit

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis formally recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian teenager who the pope has said is a role model for young men and women today. In a meeting Feb. 22 with Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope advanced the sainthood causes of Acutis, as well as one woman and seven men, including Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande and his two companions who were murdered in El Salvador in 1977. In “Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”), Pope Francis’ exhortation on young people, he said the teen was a role model for young people today. Jesuit Father Grande died March 12, 1977, near his hometown of El Paisnal in rural El Salvador after being shot a dozen times or more along with elderly parishioner Manuel Solorzano and teenager Nelson Rutilio Lemus, who were accompanying him to a novena for the feast of St. Joseph.

One year after abuse summit, Church reviews progress, additional needs

VATICAN CITY — Since Pope Francis convened a historic summit at the Vatican one year ago to address clergy sex abuse and accountability, much has been done, but advocates say more is needed. Dozens of experts, abuse survivors and their advocates came to Rome the same week as the summit’s anniversary to emphatically reiterate the need to never let ignorance, complacency or denial ever take hold again and to make the Church safe for everyone. The advocacy groups held media events and worked on talking to as many Vatican officials and religious leaders as possible to highlight still unaddressed concerns. However, significant measures have been rolled out piecemeal over the year, including a sweeping new law and set of safeguarding guidelines for Vatican City State and the Roman Curia.

— Catholic News Service

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