Phyllis Tickle is a southern born and bred, mother of seven and a doyenne of religion writers.  She is now 81, and a widow living on a small farm in Lucy, Tennessee just outside of Memphis. The land where her cows once roamed, stray dogs she has adopted and some family surround her. She is being treated for Stage IV cancer. Religion News Service photo by Karen Pulfer Focht

Author Phyllis Tickle dies at 81 – a profile

LUCY, Tenn. (RNS) After learning of her Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis last spring, the renowned spirituality author said: “Am I grateful for this? Not exactly. But I’m not unhappy about it. And that’s very difficult for people to understand.”

patrician cross

Godless funerals thrive in ‘post-Catholic’ Ireland

DUBLIN (RNS) After 32 years as an interior designer, Patricia Wojnar went back to school for a master’s degree in bereavement studies, a hot commodity in Ireland’s “post-Catholic” economy that features growing markets for wedding and funeral officiants who aren’t associated with the scandal-scarred Catholic Church.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s burial angers Va. Muslims

(RNS) The burial ended a frustrating search for a community willing to take the body, which had been kept at a funeral parlor in Worcester, Mass., as cemeteries refused to accept the remains, fearful about gravesite vandalism and backlash from the public.