Franciscan Holy Land pilgrimage aims to revitalize priests’ ministry

Jerusalem, Israel, Feb 11, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An upcoming twenty-day Holy Land pilgrimage for priests and religious aims at being a renewal program to help them become more effective in ministry, according to one of the pilgrimage's coordinators. “The main highlights of the program are a thorough orientation by Biblical experts, a detailed pilgrimage in the footprints of the disciples to the nooks and corners of Holy Land and a encountering a spiritual retreat … [Read more...]

After pilot’s heinous execution, Jordan’s Christians pray for religious harmony

Amman, Jordan, Feb 4, 2015 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians in Jordan have responded to the Islamic State's gruesome execution of a captured Jordanian pilot with sorrow, calling for prayer and religious and national unity. Father Rifat Bader, general director of the Jordan-based Catholic Center for Studies and Media, said the Christian churches of Jordan conveyed their “deep sorrow and sadness” over Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh’s execution, which Fr. Bader characterized … [Read more...]

Cape Verde, Africa is getting its first cardinal

Praia, Cape Verde, Feb 3, 2015 / 07:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At the beginning of the year, Pope Francis announced that among the 20 men he would make cardinal on Feb. 14 is Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Santiago de Cabo Verde, whose episcopal motto is “Jesus, the Good Shepherd.” Bishop Gomes will be the first cardinal from Cape Verde, a small island nation of Africa located 350 miles off the coast of Senegal, though the Church was formally established there in 1533 by Portuguese … [Read more...]

Vatican commission to oversee Catholic university in Jordan

Amman, Jordan, Feb 2, 2015 / 04:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican Secretariat of State has established an ad hoc commission to oversee the American University of Madaba, a Catholic university in Jordan, to examine its financial stability, its governance, and its academics. The commission “will work in full collaboration with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the promoter of the project and owner of the university, and will be reporting directly to the Secretary of State,” … [Read more...]

Can Christians survive the ‘dirty games’ of Middle East politics?

Amman, Jordan, Jan 30, 2015 / 04:19 pm (CNA).- Christians have lived in the Middle East since the time of the apostles, but political machinations by world powers and other groups put these communities at risk of extinction, a Jordanian priest fears. “Who are the main players in these ‘dirty games’? Behind the scenes?” Father Rifat Bader asked journalists at his church near Amman on Oct. 28. “I think many nations are involved in dirty games.” “But … [Read more...]

Missionary: Boko Haram behind attacks on churches, religious in Niger

Niamey, Niger, Jan 30, 2015 / 04:01 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- Boko Haram is determined to take its jihadist campaign beyond Nigeria. Its next targets include Niger, where, as reported in an email message from a woman religious working as a missionary in the country, the group has proclaimed that “Christians must die.” Currently in hiding along with her fellow missionaries in private homes in Niger’s capital of Niamey, the sister wrote to international Catholic charity … [Read more...]

Ghana priests shift focus to marriage prep, youth formation

Accra, Ghana, Jan 30, 2015 / 02:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A national gathering of hundreds of priests in Ghana have resolved to become more involved with their parishioners through marriage preparation, family counseling, and educational youth formation. “As priests, we promise to continually update our knowledge and educate ourselves on marriage and family issues, to be able to help the families of today to respond, cope with and manage the challenges they face,” stated Fr. Francis … [Read more...]