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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

‘Help us’: Asylum-seekers cling to hope as Title 42 limbo continues

Title 42, a federal public health rule that permits immigration officials to bar migrants seeking asylum from entry based on public health concerns enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, has barred tens of thousands of people from seeking protection in the United States over the past two years. After their initial disappointment upon recently hearing that Title 42 will continue, migrants fleeing violence continue to wait at the Mexico-U.S. border. The organizations that serve them say going back home is not an option for most of them. Just days before the policy was set to expire, the U.S. Supreme Court issued Dec. 27 a 5-4 ruling that Title 42 would remain in place while legal challenges to the policy play out. The high court plans to hear arguments in late February or early March. Pedro De Velasco, director of education and advocacy for Kino Border Initiative, a Catholic organization that works with migrants in the border town of Nogales, Mexico, said 350 migrants hoping to present their asylum cases attended an information session about these changes. As part of its holistic approach to caring for migrants, Kino made sure its psychologist and social workers were available while giving the news about Title 42. (OSV News)

Listeners of ‘Catechism in a Year’ podcast seek clarity amid chaos

The Jan. 1 launch of “The Catechism in a Year” podcast has generated notable excitement, especially among listeners of “The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)” podcast. The new podcast jumped to the No. 1 spot on Apple podcasts Jan. 1. Part of the appeal for both podcasts is the host, Father Schmitz, and the podcast’s occasional commentary from Scripture scholar Jeff Cavins. Cavins thinks anticipation is sparked, in part, by the national and international turmoil of recent years, from U.S. politics to the pandemic, and people’s hunger for real truth amid various “truths.” Other Catholic catechetical leaders agree that cultural confusion and division are driving Catholics’ desire to better understand the faith. (OSV News)

WORLD

On New Year’s, pope calls for taking the risk of changing the world

VATICAN CITY — The best way to usher in a truly “new” year is to stop waiting for things to get better on their own, and instead recognize what is essential and reach out now to help others, Pope Francis said. “Today, at the beginning of the year, rather than standing around thinking and hoping that things will change, we should instead ask ourselves, ‘This year, where do I want to go? Who is it that I can help?’” he said. “So many people, in the Church and in society, are waiting for the good that you and you alone can do; they are waiting for your help,” he said at Mass Jan. 1, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and World Peace Day. While Pope Francis presided over the liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica and gave the homily, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, was the main celebrant at the altar. In his homily the pope reflected on how Catholics begin a new year by contemplating the motherhood of Mary, who “blesses us and brings us the tender love of God made flesh.” (CNS)

Archbishop Broglio visits Ukraine, meets with military chaplains

KYIV, Ukraine — Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, met with top Ukrainian military chaplains Dec. 29 in Kyiv. The archbishop’s meeting with the chaplains at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Resurrection took place the day after he participated in funeral services in Lviv for three Ukrainian soldiers killed in battle. Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, welcomed the archbishop to the cathedral and gave him a tour, which included the basement where hundreds of civilians living nearby took refuge in the early days of Russia’s war on the country. According to the Church, Archbishop Broglio then met with Jesuit Father Andriy Zelinskyy, coordinator of chaplains for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and the leaders of chaplaincy services for the Ukrainian army, national guard and border guard services. (CNS)

Vatican agency pays tribute to 18 missionaries killed in 2022

VATICAN CITY — Most of the 18 Catholic missionaries murdered in 2022 were not carrying out high-risk missions when they were assassinated but were simply “immersed and submerged in the ordinariness of their lives and their apostolic work,” said the editor of Fides, the Vatican’s missionary news service. The 13 priests, three religious sisters, one seminarian and one lay leader recalled by Fides were killed in the midst of carrying out their daily service “for the good of all, including — sometimes — their own executioners,” wrote Gianni Valente, the editor, in a column Dec. 30. Since the 1980s Fides, the news agency of the Pontifical Mission Societies, has published a list of missionaries killed around the world. The agency always notes that the list is not complete and that while it recognizes those killed as witnesses of the faith, it leaves the technical judgment of whether they are martyrs to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. The agency said 526 missionaries have been killed in the world from 2001 to 2021. (CNS)

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