Features

Soo tower an ode to missionary past

SAULT STE. MARIE, MICH. It stands there, all 60 metres of it, a giant concrete structure, looking like it’s the control tower for the world famous Soo Locks, two blocks away, that connect Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes.

Holy Land Christians: The next generation

BETHLEHEM - Regina Mousalam is adamant that Palestinians are not leaving and will not leave the country of their birth, the land of their ancestry and the culture that is their pride. Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and other Christian Palestinian towns and villages were built around their churches. The homes Palestinian Christians live in, the streets they walk and the extended families surrounding them keep Palestinians wedded to this hard, dry land.

Catholic institutions give aid, comfort to Palestine

BETHLEHEM - Bethlehem’s Christians and Muslims know where to turn for help. If they fall ill, there’s Holy Family Hospital sponsored by the Knights of Malta. An abandoned child or a battered woman will find care at La Creche, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity. The best schools include the Frere School, sponsored by the De La Salle Brothers, the Rosary Sisters School, the Terra Sancta Girls High School, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Salesian Boys Industrial High School. For university the choice is Palestine’s first university, the De La Salle Brothers’ Bethlehem University.

Last Christians standing

TAYBEH, ISRAEL - Christians in Taybeh know they are special — unique in fact. Taybeh is the last fully and completely Christian village in the Middle East. 

Christians ‘drowning in a sea of Muslims’

BETHLEHEM - The Vatican has been increasingly concerned about the possibility the Middle East will become a kind of Disneyland for Christians, full of interesting Christian history, architecture and archeology that will attract tourists, but virtually empty of Christians. 

Older generations fear youth will give up on Palestine

BETHLEHEM - Like elders of every society and every era, Nora Kort worries about a future she will not see.

Pope's Holy Land trip raises hopes, questions

VATICAN CITY - Given the Holy Land's long and complex history of military, religious and cultural conflict, the run-up to Pope Francis' May 24-26 pilgrimage was inevitably marked by fears it would be marred by controversy — or worse.

A papal pilgrimage of peace

JERUSALEM - The Pope had a simple plan as he set out for the Holy Land with a rabbi and a Muslim sheik in tow. But simple plans can be difficult to execute.

Pope to meet with sex abuse victims for first time in June

Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex abuse victims for the first time in June, he told reporters May 26.

Pope Francis thanks religious for their presence in Holy Land

JERUSALEM - Pope Francis dedicated his final hours in Jerusalem to time with local Catholics, reminding them that despite difficulties, God is always by their side.

Fifty years later, Pope and patriarch meet again in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM - Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ's death and resurrection.

On last morning in Holy Land, Pope reaches out to Muslims, Jews

JERUSALEM - Pope Francis spent the last morning of his three-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land meeting with Muslims and Jews and calling for closer relations among the three major monotheistic religions as the basis for peace in the region.

Israel, Palestine leaders accept invite to Vatican

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are both on record accepting the invitation from Pope Francis to come and pray for peace at the Vatican.

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