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Nation and world briefs


Annual collection for U.S. bishops’ Catholic Communication Campaign set for May 20-21

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign supports media that connect the faithful with Christ, said Atlanta Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign. From the early days of the Church, when monks, scholars and other scribes wrote on parchment, to today’s modern communications methods, the Catholic Church has continuously used the communications technology available “to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said. In most dioceses, the collection is taken during Masses the weekend of May 20-21. Half of all donations stay in the diocese to supplement the local Catholic communications needs. The collection “raises money for creative and far-reaching ways to share God’s love universally,” Archbishop Hartmayer said ahead of the collection. (OSV News)

List of Native boarding schools ‘powerful step’ in healing, say compilers

MOUNT ST. JOSEPH, Ohio — A new resource for tracking Native residential schools affiliated with the Catholic Church marks a major advance toward healing the wounds of systemic abuse, said project organizers. “While there are more steps for the Catholic Church to take to move toward truth, healing and reconciliation, this list is a powerful step forward,” said Maka Black Elk, executive director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. On May 9, Black Elk and a group of archivists, historians, tribal members and other supporters unveiled a list of some 87 Catholic-run Native boarding schools that had operated in 22 U.S. states prior to 1978. The schools were among more than 400 overseen by the U.S. federal government in the 19th and 20th centuries, with many sites operated by Christian churches and organizations. The list, accessible online at ctah.archivistsacwr.org, provides school names, locations and dates of operation, along with the dioceses in which the facilities were located and the orders that operated and staffed them. Acknowledging the “intergenerational trauma” of the residential school system through initiatives such as the new list is only the beginning, Black Elk told OSV News. (OSV News)


Holy Year 2025 website to go live; registration opens in the fall

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican office in charge of coordinating plans for the Holy Year 2025 announced they are launching a new website and releasing an app to help people register and to guide them along their pilgrimage in Rome. By registering online at iubilaeum2025.va or on the jubilee app, people will receive a free digital “pilgrim’s card,” which will be needed to participate in jubilee events, especially gaining access to the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica, said Msgr. Graham Bell, undersecretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization’s section that is coordinating the Holy Year. The jubilee website was to go live May 10 and be available in nine languages, he said at a news conference at the Vatican May 9. People can begin registering online starting in September, he said, “by clicking on the ‘participate’ button.” After registering, people will be able to access a personal page on the site’s “pilgrim’s zone,” which will also go live in September. (CNS)

Desperate families dig through mud in search for relatives in Congo floods

BUSHUSHU, Congo — As the death toll from the flooding and landslides in Congo surpassed 400, Catholic bishops in the country expressed their deep sorrow at the disaster, while calling for support. Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisingani, president of Congo’s bishops’ conference, said it was a sad moment for the Church and the country, as rescue workers continued to pull out bodies trapped in mud in the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi in Kalehe territory in South Kivu province. The tragedy was ignited May 4 following days of heavy downpour in the region near the shores of Lake Kivu, triggering landslides and causing rivers to burst their banks. The resulting sludge covered homes, as it swept away people and farmlands. (OSV News)

Every moment is a chance to live the Gospel, pope tells new Swiss Guards

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis asked 23 new members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard to draw close to the sacraments, read Scripture and meditate on spiritual texts, including during calm shifts on guard. “Your mission here in the Vatican is a path the Lord has opened for you to live your baptism and bear joyful witness of faith in Christ,” the pope told them May 6. “In the many faces that approach you each day, be they members of the Roman Curia or pilgrims and tourists, may you see just as many invitations to recognize and share God’s love with each person.” The pope met with the recruits and their families before the traditional swearing-in ceremony in a Vatican courtyard. The ceremony is held May 6 each year to commemorate the 147 Swiss soldiers who died protecting Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome on that date in 1527. Pope Francis said that the guard, now composed of 125 Swiss men, should be “an environment of human and Christian formation for all.” (CNS)

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