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News Digest

Issue of September 13 – September 26, 2009The following items are condensed. For the complete articles, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 534-7777.

News Update

Suicide stigma conference

A conference on "Addressing the Stigma of Suicide" will include keynote talks by Kevin Roy of WLS-TV, who won an Emmy Award in 2001 for his series on his family's experience after his mother killed herself, and David C. Clark, assistant dean of the Medical College of Wisconsin's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.

The conference is intended for clinical workers, pastoral ministers, school counselors, social workers and survivors of suicide. It is a collaborative effort of Stauros, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Alexian Brothers Hospital Neyworl, Loyola University and Dominican University. The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at Dominican University Priory, 7200 Division St., River Forest. Cost is $75 and includes lunch. For information, e-mail dickeyservices@

Family calendar

The Archdiocese of Chicago Women's Committee is offering onthe- go families a calendar titled "Church of the Home" to provide families with activities and discussion points that will provide a means to promote faith through ordinary family life.

The calendar presents simple ideas for exploring faith, values and traditions. There is storytelling and opportunities for reflection and prayer. Many of the activities may be carried out in the car or at the dinner table.

The committee is offering the calendar at no charge to local schools and parishes through its Web site,

News Digest

German pope recalls Holocaust, other 'barbarities' of World War II

Pope Benedict XVI said the memory of the Holocaust and other "barbarities" of World War II should lead people to press for an end to contemporary conflicts around the globe.

The world's religions in particular have a duty to fight against violence and extremism, the pope said Sept. 6 during a visit to Viterbo, Italy. It was the second time the German pontiff had recalled the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, which began when Germany invaded Poland Sept. 1, 1939.

Laypeople have duty to nurture vocations, says archbishop

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, keynote speaker Aug. 30 at the 67th Serra International Convention in Omaha, said the lay faithful of the church have a duty to nurture vocations to the sacramental priesthood.

"Ordained priests have the duty to call forth the gifts of the lay faithful as they share in the role of Jesus of teaching, serving and sanctifying," Archbishop Dolan said. "And the lay faithful have the duty to take care of vocations to the sacramental priesthood."

Mexican church officials say drug cartels recruit vulnerable youths

The executions of 18 young men during a prayer service at a Mexican drug rehabilitation center Sept. 2 failed to surprise many church and public safety officials, who say Mexico's drug cartels increasingly are luring vulnerable youths into lives of addiction and crime.

"Every day there are more young people" involved in the drug trade, said Father Jose Jesus Mata Trejo, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Chihuahua, to the south of Ciudad Juarez, where the executions occurred.

Preparing for the flu season

As Catholic schools begin their fall classes amid threats of flu outbreaks, hand sanitizers are going to be more of a staple than ever and school officials will be urged to follow large doses of common sense. At many schools, more than the usual cleaning up took place over the summer as desks and chairs were scrubbed with bleach in an effort to sterilize classrooms and rid them of possible germs associated with the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu. But despite schools' best efforts to stay germ-free, flu outbreaks are still anticipated. If students at Catholic schools are diagnosed as having the H1N1 virus, school officials are advised to follow the same protocol as public schools - to close the school only as a last resort and instead make sure those who are ill stay home until they are no longer contagious.

Vatican dossier highlights tragedy of infant mortality

Efforts to reduce infant mortality around the world are showing positive results, but maternal death rates remain very high in many developing nations, according to a report by the Vatican news agency Fides. In addition, the number of neonatal deaths - babies who die within 28 days of birth - is improving but at a very slow rate, the report said. The document demonstrated the huge gulf that continues between industrialized and poorer countries in maternal, neonatal and pediatric care.

Soldiers' faith takes root, spreads during deployment

On a recent starlit night in eastern Afghanistan, five U.S. soldiers and two civilians spread out under a tent, sitting on leather couches and wooden plank benches to discuss the doctrine of the real presence in the Eucharist. Cpl. Andrew Roy Jr. of Holy Family Parish in Watertown, N.Y., read aloud from a computer outline on a flat-screen television in the chapel at FOB Airborne. He reviewed the history of Gnostics and councils that have long debated the real-presence doctrine of the Roman Catholic faith.