‘Storming the Heavens’ With Prayer For a Miracle

By Denise Bossert
Catholic By Grace

On Jan. 14, I prayed for my newborn granddaughter in the chapel at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. I paused at the door to sign the guest register and write the name Eliana Noel in the prayer request space next to my name.
A couple of days earlier, my son called to tell me that their baby had been born. The call was not the call I expected. “Mom,” he said, “we have a baby girl, but it has been a terrible night. She’s 9 pounds, 9 ounces.” I gasped. My daughter-in-law is extremely petite, with a pre-pregnancy weight of about 110 pounds. Candice had just delivered a baby that was about one-half of her pregnancy weight.


Catholic Relief Services March Collection Helps ‘Jesus in Disguise’

WASHINGTON — The Catholic Relief Services Collection will take place the weekend of March 9 to March 10. This year’s collection theme: “Jesus in Disguise: How will you help?” invites Catholics to influence the lives of more than 100 million people at home and abroad, particularly families affected by persecution, war and natural disasters.
“The Catholic Relief Services Collection enacts Jesus’ message of caring for the least of our  brothers and sisters through providing humanitarian aid and ongoing resources. This collection provides an opportunity for Catholics in the United States  to help suffering families around the world,” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, chairman of the Committee on National Collections of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).


Late-Term Procedure Blamed in Woman’s Death

BALTIMORE (CNA/EWTN News) — Pro-life advocates are urging an end to third-trimester abortions in response to the death of a 29-year-old woman who underwent the procedure at a Maryland clinic run by Dr. Leroy Carhart.
“It is so tragic that this family had to lose not only their nearly full-term child, but also their wife, daughter and sister,” said Michael Martelli, executive director of the Maryland Coalition for Life. “What is most appalling is that the State of Maryland refused to hear the pleas of this community and has allowed this man to continue to butcher women and children.”
The pro-life group said that, on the same day the woman died, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced on its website that it issued an abortion license to Carhart’s clinic without inspecting the facility.


Refugee Crisis Continues as Vatican Officials Arrive in Jordan

By David Uebbing

AMMAN, Jordan — Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is visiting Jordan to take stock of the serious refugee situation created by the Syrian conflict and to assess how Catholic charities are responding.
“The humanitarian situation in Syria and throughout the region is unsustainable. Some estimates speak of 1 million refugees, more than 2.5 million displaced persons, and almost 100,000 deaths directly attributable to violence,” a Feb. 18 press release from Cor Unum says.


Archbishop Urges House to Extend HHS Mandate Conscience Provision

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty has urged the House of Representatives to extend long-standing federal conscience protections to the Affordable Care Act’s new coverage mandates for  private health plans. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore made the request in a Feb. 15 letter to  members of the House. Saying the tradition of conscience rights in health care “has long enjoyed bi-partisan consensus, but is now under greatly increased pressure,” Archbishop Lori asked in his letter to attach the conscience provision to upcoming appropriation bills for the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. “I urge Congress to address this problem when it considers proposals for continued funding of the  federal government in the weeks to come,” he said. 


ACLU’s Opposition to Religious Exemptions Discriminates Against Believers, Attorney Says

By Kevin J. Jones
Catholic News Agency

DENVER — A lawyer involved in prominent religious liberty cases says the American Civil Liberties Union’s opposition to religious exemptions will  discriminate against believers.
Eric Rassbach, deputy general  counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said the ACLU supports restrictions that “would relegate many religious citizens into second-class status.”
This is shown by efforts aimed at “disqualifying them from many parts of public life, including providing certain kinds of social services or even running a larger business,” he told CNA Feb. 11.
The attorney’s remarks come in reaction to an address by Louise Melling, a deputy legal director of the ACLU. She addressed the Colorado chapter’s 2013 annual membership meeting Feb. 9 in Denver on the University of Denver campus.