Death & Dying

The Rev. James Lawson Jr., civil rights leader who preached nonviolent protest, dies at 95

By Travis Loller, Adrian Sainz, and Christopher Weber — June 12, 2024
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Rev. James Lawson Jr., an apostle of nonviolent protest who schooled activists to withstand brutal reactions from white authorities as the Civil Rights Movement gained traction, has died, his family said Monday. He was 95.
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Bulgarians line the streets of the capital to bid farewell to Orthodox Patriarch Neophyte

By Associated Press — March 19, 2024
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Orthodox Christians died on Wednesday at the age of 78 after a long illness.

As threats to Black cemeteries persist, a movement to preserve their sacred heritage gains strength

By Darren Sands and Giovanna Dell'orto — March 15, 2024
MIAMI (AP) — When sites of sacred cultural memory are desecrated, it adds additional trauma to the indignity of being segregated even in death, said the executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

Animal chaplains offer spiritual care for every species

By Kathryn Post — March 8, 2024
(RNS) — 'This is beyond animal blessings and pet funerals,' said animal chaplain Sarah Bowen.

Tep Vong, the leader of Cambodia’s Buddhist community, dies at 93

By Associated Press — February 27, 2024
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's Ministry of Cult and Religion said Tep Vong died Monday after an extended illness.

Sharon Brous on the power of saying ‘amen’ in a broken world

By Yonat Shimron — January 11, 2024
(RNS) — 'The Amen Effect' is an extended meditation on the importance of showing up — in good times and bad.

Lawsuit: Priest says first gas execution in US poses threat to religious liberty

By Kathryn Post — December 14, 2023
(RNS) — The Rev. Jeff Hood, spiritual adviser to Kenneth Smith, argued the restrictions imposed during the execution would violate Hood’s right to the free exercise of religion.

The pope says he wants to be buried in the Rome basilica, not in the Vatican

By Nicole Winfield — December 13, 2023
ROME (AP) — Francis has already said if he retires, he would want to live outside the Vatican somewhere in Rome in a residence for retired priests.

Pilgrims yearn to visit isolated peninsula where Catholic saints cared for Hawaii’s leprosy patients

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher — December 1, 2023
KALAUPAPA, Hawaii (AP) — The pilgrimage to Kalaupapa, defined by its natural isolation in northern Molokai, is logistically challenging and restricted under normal circumstances.

Welcome to Mexican “muerteadas,” a traditional parade to portray how death can be as joyful as life

By MarÍa Teresa HernÁndez — November 3, 2023
SAN AGUSTÍN ETLA, México (AP) — The staging of muerteadas is humorous for participants and spectators alike.

How does the Vatican plan a retired pope’s funeral?

By Nicole Winfield — December 28, 2022
(RNS) — When Benedict announced his retirement in 2013, he opened a decade of uncharted pontifical territory.

The nun who became a star shares her wisdom in new book of letters

By Yonat Shimron — October 24, 2022
(RNS) — Sister Wendy Beckett's three-year correspondence with Robert Ellsberg, the publisher and editor in chief of Orbis Books, reveals a life devoted to saints, holiness, beauty, suffering and prayer.

Watching the Parkland jury verdict was wrenching. Survivors need more agency.

By Beth Kissileff — October 19, 2022
(RNS) — I mostly felt profound grief and sadness at the haunted, broken, anguished faces of the families. I don’t think anyone else needs to experience this stress.
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