Kathy Irvin admits she takes her role in music ministry seriously.

Written in the stars: From astrophysics to religious life


Sr. Mary Margaret Hope of the Morning Star spent years studying the heavens, but what she learned has taken her down a very different path in life than the one she was on.

The power of humility


At age 73, Graydon Nicholas has lived a life of firsts.

Synod tackles issue of married priests

QUITO, Ecuador -- One of the challenges for bishops at the Amazon synod will be finding ways to meet the spiritual needs of the region’s people.

Small farmers caught in battle to save land

BOA VISTA, Brazil -- Driving up the BR401, it’s hard not to be startled by the sight of a giant soy farm stretching out on both sides of the highway — the empty land is parched and denuded in mid-summer, after the crop is in. 

Indigenous survival starts with language

MANAUS, Brazil -- As a caçique or chief of the Apurinã people, Xytara Apurinã has a pretty clear-eyed view of her people’s position in the Amazonian metropolis of Manaus. 

Saving the Amazon: A fight for life

MANAUS, Brazil -- For Enock Barroso Tenente, what’s at stake at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is life as he knows it.

Violence, disease, death are constant companions

BOA VISTA, Brazil -- Consolata Br. Carlo Zacquini was ministering among the Yanomami people in a remote area of Brazil, near the border with Venezuela, when gold miners invaded their lands.

Makushi tribe seeing their culture being pushed aside for mining interests

RAPOSA, Brazil -- Summer evenings in the community of Raposa are golden and gentle. Half-wild horses wander in from the fields to feed on mangos that have fallen from huge trees in front of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church. A few young Makushi grab rakes to push the mangos into piles out of harm’s way. The setting sun seems so close, a giant ball of fire slipping behind the mountains that ring the prairie where the Makushi live. Makushi tradition says life exists as a kind of force — stkaton — that comes from the sun. It’s hard to disagree.

Brazilian bishop sees a land of promise in the Amazon

Bishop Dom Mário Antonio da Silva knows the Amazon is in trouble, but he doesn’t want its crises — political, ecological and cultural — to define the synod he will attend in Rome Oct. 6-27.