ST. LOUIS (RNS) The Rev. Don Wester believes homilies should be practical and direct — that they should draw a connection between the everyday struggles of parishioners and biblical truths. And it’s exactly the kind of preaching that Catholic bishops across America are hoping for as part of a new national effort to improve preaching at Catholic parishes. By Tim Townsend.
DAVIESS COUNTY, Mo. (RNS) To non-Mormons, it sounds odd that a bluff on a bend 124 feet above the Grand River represents to 15 million faithful both the beginning and end of human time. Mormon doctrine makes reference to the place as the site where Adam and Eve went after God banished them from the Garden of Eden. It's also regarded as a gathering place for the faithful at the second coming of Jesus Christ. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) It will be difficult for critics to compare Michelangelo's nudes with the ones photographed by the Rev. John Blair. Just after Episcopal leaders launched a sexual misconduct investigation of Blair, he lost his job as a hospital chaplain. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) Terrorism stories are rarely happy stories, and yet the path Timothy O'Leary has taken — from bringing the controversial opera “The Death of Klinghoffer'' to St. Louis last year to the Sheldon's second annual Sept. 11 memorial concert this Sunday — ends with a hopeful, permanent pairing of faith and the arts in St. Louis. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) A church-state watchdog group in Washington has filed a complaint with the IRS accusing the Missouri Baptist Convention of violating federal tax law by intervening in two campaigns for public office, including Rep. Todd Akin's controversial Senate campaign. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) Missouri will vote next week on a constitutional amendment to protect Missourians' right to pray in public, but critics say it will open the door to all manner of unintended and costly consequences including endless taxpayer-funded lawsuits. By Tim Townsend.
MARINE, Ill. (RNS) A Missouri judge has ruled that Joseph Haegele can worship at his Catholic church only on the last Sunday of each month. Legal experts say the judge's order illustrates the conflict between protection orders and religious liberty. By Tim Townsend.
WARRENTON, Mo. (RNS) “Ask at what age a Christian formed a relationship with Jesus Christ, and 85 percent will say before their 15th birthday,” says Reese Kauffman, president of Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Missouri-based group spends $5 million on its international missions, focusing especially on children. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) In his new job as the Vatican's senior communications adviser, Fox News reporter Greg Burke, 52, will be counseling Pope Benedict XVI and his closest staff on how to better project the Catholic Church's image to the rest of the world. By Tim Townsend.
ATLANTA (RNS) Catholic leaders frame their upcoming “Fortnight for Freedom'' as a fight for religious liberty, while critics see signs of political partisanship and electioneering and question the financing of the initiative. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) As Catholic theology has branched out, bishops have struggled to curb theological thinking they consider beyond acceptable boundaries. At the Catholic Theological Society of America meeting, the theologians were girding for a fight. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The board of the nation's largest association of theologians issued a statement Thursday (June 7) in support of Sister Margaret Farley, a Yale theologian whose work in sexual ethics was publicly criticized by the Vatican earlier this week. By Tim Townsend.
ST. LOUIS (RNS) Until recently, many Muslims buried their loved ones in Muslim sections of Christian cemeteries, relying largely on non-Muslims to guide them through the process of death. As the Muslim population has grown, so has the need for Muslim-specific services like funeral homes and cemeteries. By Tim Townsend.