Pope recognizes martyrdom of Oklahoma priest killed in Guatemala
The Vatican made the announcement Dec. 2. The recognition of his martyrdom clears the way for his beatification. Father Rother, born March 27, 1935, on his family's farm near Okarche, Oklahoma, was brutally murdered July 28, 1981, in a Guatemalan village where he ministered to the poor.He went to Santiago Atitlan in 1968 on assignment from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. He helped the people there build a small hospital, school and its first Catholic radio station. He was beloved by the locals, who called him "Padre Francisco."
USCCB leaders seek prayers for migrants, refugees on Guadalupe feast
Prayer services and special Masses will be held in many dioceses across the country as the U.S. Catholic Church has asked that the Dec. 12 feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe be a day of prayer with a focus on migrants and refugees. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas. “As Christmas approaches and especially on this feast of Our Lady, we are reminded of how our savior Jesus Christ was not born in the comfort of his own home, but rather in an unfamiliar manger,” said a Dec. 1 statement from Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Franciscan religious killed in Congo
Sister Clara Agano Kahambu, who taught at the Christ the King School, was assaulted by a man who had come to her office saying that he wanted his daughter to attend the school. She was stabbed in the neck, and died before reaching a nearby hospital. The Bukavu archdiocese said that the name of Sister Clara could be added to the long list of human-right defenders who have died in our province.”
Supreme Court appears skeptical of Texas' death penalty standards
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a death penalty case that could determine the fate of a man whom lawyers say is intellectually disabled. The legal issue in question, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, is “did Texas violate the Eighth Amendment when it disregarded the national consensus definition” of intellectual disability and “substituted a non-clinical” standard in its place? In Moore v. Texas, the petitioner Bobby James Moore was convicted of robbery and murder in Texas in 1980, after killing a convenience store employee in a robbery attempt. He was convicted again in a retrial in 2001.
Tennessee bishop asks for prayers, help for victims of wildfires
Catholic parishioners in the Diocese of Knoxville are among those who have lost homes and businesses in the wildfires that ravaged tourist areas in the Great Smoky Mountains region, said Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville. Midday Nov. 30, the diocese was still awaiting word on the condition of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Gatlinburg, he said in a statement posted on the diocesan website. Earlier, the diocese reported that the pastor, Father Antony Punnackal, had to evacuate but was safe.