holy land

Deal promises new life for abandoned Catholic shrine

(RNS) John Baptist Greco built the once vibrant miniature replica of Bethlehem and Jerusalem out of plywood, scrap metal and discarded objects. His years of toil turned a craggy mountaintop into an attraction that drew thousands of Christian pilgrims in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

newtown books

Newtown library flooded with grief books after school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn. (RNS) In the weeks since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 children and six adults, thousands of books have arrived at the town’s public library from all over the country — from authors, publishers, and ordinary people buying multiple copies of books on Amazon.com that they had found helpful in their grief. By Ann Marie Somma.

RNS HartfordFAVS photo by Ann Marie Somma

Descendants want justice for Connecticut witches

HARTFORD, Conn. (RNS) Connecticut was executing suspected witches some 40 years before Salem, Mass. Scores of others were put on trial until witchcraft was no longer listed as a capital crime in 1715. But unlike other states, Connecticut has yet to acknowledge those sent to the gallows. And descendants are trying to change that. By Ann Marie Somma.