SGU to Rebless Benedictine Hall

St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, Okla., will host a brief ceremony Monday, March 11, at 10 a.m. to officially commemorate the start of the Benedictine Hall Centennial Restoration Project.
Benedictine Hall, the historic heart of St. Gregory's, was completed in 1915 and damaged during the earthquake that shook central Oklahoma on Nov. 11, 2011, resulting in the loss of the structure's iconic towers. Long seen as the symbol of St. Gregory's, the restoration of Benedictine Hall will launch a larger campaign to reinvigorate the entire campus.

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Oklahoma Catholic university students take part in retreat

OLOG — More than 140 college and university students from around the state attended the 2013 Oklahoma Catholic College Student Conference.
The weekend retreat was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Camp in early February.
The students enjoyed the opportunity to meet and connect with other Catholic college students from around Oklahoma. They spent the weekend learning about documents of Vatican II in breakout           sessions, listening to prominent speakers like Bob Rice and Francis Beckwith, and having a blast playing Catholic Trivia. There were morning prayers, adoration and Mass celebrated by Archbishop Paul Coakley and Bishop Edward Slattery.
Among the colleges represented were OU, OSU, TU, St. Gregory’s, Southwestern, Southeastern, Panhandle State, UCO, USAO, OSU-OKC, East Central, Mid America Christian University and even a few from out of state.

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Saint Ann health fair April 17

OKLAHOMA CITY — Saint Ann Retirement Center is hosting the annual “Health Fair and Open House” on Wednesday, April 17. This  special event will take place in the Grand Theater from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Healthy snacks and beverages will be served. Representatives from  various health-related organizations will be on hand to discuss health issues and the services they provide. The event will feature drawings for gifts donated by vendors.  Guests will be able to tour the facility.

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Catholics speak out against Colo. civil unions bill

DENVER (CNA/EWTN News) — Those who testified against a Colorado civil unions bill last week included a Catholic man with same-sex attraction and a Colorado attorney general who was adopted through Catholic Charities.
State attorney general John Suthers told the Colorado House Judiciary Committee Feb. 28 that, if the bill passes in its current form, “Catholic Charities and some other religiously affiliated social service agencies will no longer be in the adoption business in Colorado.”
Suthers, a Catholic and a Republican who testified against the bill in his capacity as a private citizen, was adopted through Catholic Charities as an infant.

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Legislative update: Bills to protect religious liberty advance at both state and national level

By Sooner Catholic Staff

In the first month of the 2013 regular session of the Oklahoma legislature, House and Senate committees have approved nearly 500 bills for consideration by the full House or Senate respectively. Among them is House Bill 1918, a bill that aims to protect the religious liberty of employers. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide their employees with insurance that covers contraception, including abortifacients, or face steep fines. Sponsored by Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton), H.B. 1918 would allow businesses to subtract those fines from taxable state income.

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Opinion: The unique impossibility of the papacy

By George Weigel

ROME — At the point at which John Paul II began his papacy in the first volume of my biography of him, Witness to Hope, I borrowed some thoughts from Hans Urs von Balthasar and tried to explain a bit of the uniqueness of the papal office:
"To be pope is to take on a task that is, by precise theological definition, impossible. Like every other office in the Church, the papacy exists for the sake of holiness. The office, though is a creature of time and space, and holiness is eternal. No one, not even a pope who is a saint, can fully satisfy the office's demands. Yet the office, according to the Church's faith, is of the will of God, and the office cannot fail, although the officeholder will always fall short of the mark. That distinction between the office and the man who holds it is a consolation to any pope. According to (Balthasar), it is also 'unutterably terrible.' The office reflects

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Opinion: Facing the downstream effects of same-sex parenting

By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk

In March, 2013, the British paper The Independent ran an article entitled, "Children in gay adoptions at no disadvantage: Research confirms same-sex couples are just as good at parenting as heterosexuals." The article, based on a study at Cambridge University, concluded there was "no evidence" to support the claim that children's masculine or feminine tendencies were affected by having gay or lesbian parents, nor were the quality of their family relationships significantly different.

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Opinion: Of St. Celestine V and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

By Jeremy A. Ingle

Farewell, Papa.
Catholic apologist Scott Hahn Feb. 11 described the complex situation best when reflecting on the lead-up to the resignation by the Holy Father:
"Back on April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather striking, but which went largely unnoticed," Hahn wrote.
"He stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure medieval pope named St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine's tomb!

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Cardinal elector: Conclave ‘opens up a new future’

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News ServiceVATICAN CITY (CNS) — Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet said the conclave “opens up a new future” for the church and is a responsibility the cardinals see as “their main task.”
In a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. interview March 4, he said the cardinals are all considering the meaning of the “extraordinary decision of Pope Benedict” to resign and understanding that decision’s impact on the church.

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Cardinals discuss needs of Church before conclave

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The College of Cardinals used the March 4 and 5 pre-conclave meetings to discuss needs of the church.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, could not give  specific details of the discussions be-cause he is bound by an oath of secrecy to give only general information. He said March 5 the subjects were “broad and varied,” and included “the activity of the Holy See and its various dicasteries, their relationships with the bishops, the renewal of the church in the light of the Second Vatican Council, the situation of the church and the needs for new evangelization in the world, including in different  cultural situations.”

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