Vatican signals support for international meeting on Iraq
May 04 2007
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican signaled its support for the international meeting on Iraq that took place in Egypt in early May, and Iraq’s Chaldean bishops asked participating countries to do more to end violence and protect Christians in the country.
After former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami met Pope Benedict XVI May 4, the Vatican published a statement saying the two leaders reaffirmed “the need for strong initiatives by the international community, like that occurring in these days at the meeting in Sharm el Sheikh,” Egypt, to bring peace to the Middle East.
Religious groups band together to call for farm bill reforms
Apr 26 2007
WASHINGTON – The U.S. bishops, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, are joining more than a dozen other religious groups in advocating reforms in federal farm policy that could be implemented through the farm bill now working its way through Congress.
The organizations have coalesced into a body called the Religious Working Group on the Farm Bill to propose changes in the legislation that they say would benefit farmers, rural communities and Americans’ nutritional needs.
Ghanaian describes how climate change affects farmers
Apr 15 2007
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – When Hippolyt Pul was a young boy, farmers in his home country of Ghana often referred to the feast of the Ascension as “the feast of the bean leaf.”
Rain came like clockwork each year right after Easter, so farmers planted their first seeds no more than two weeks after the holy day.
“The black bean was one of the first crops to be planted, as its leaves served as an important stopgap food for the many households whose granaries would have run empty by this time of the year,” Pul recently wrote in an e-mail to Dennis Fisher, education program officer for the Northeast regional office of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency.
Church assists Chinese without appearing powerful
Mar 09 2007
VATICAN CITY – While local government officials in some parts of China arrest Catholics, authorities in other areas of the country are tolerating, or even encouraging, Catholic charitable activity.
A growing number of Catholic dioceses on the mainland have established a Caritas organization and are expanding their social service work.
Representatives of four Chinese diocesan Caritas organizations were at the Vatican March 6-7 for a discussion about how official church-sponsored charities around the world could support their efforts and assist the Chinese poor in general.
Chairs gives $1 million as example to his children
Mar 02 2007
Samuel Chairs has always been generous supporting worthwhile causes – especially helping the poor and strengthening education. But the parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City recently decided to step it up a notch and encourage philanthropy among his seven children by donating $1 million to Catholic organizations through the Catholic Family Foundation.
Mr. Chairs, co-owner of a family construction company in Ellicott City, established the Samuel and Patricia Chairs Family Endowment Fund and seven other funds in the names of each of his children and their spouses, who will serve as guardians of the funds. Two of his sisters will watch over two additional funds he established.