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OSV News Showcase | September 8, 2023

Wiktoria and Józef Ulma are pictured with three of their children in a photo taken in the village of Markowa, Poland, in 1939. Before World War II, the Ulmas wanted to move away from Markowa and this photo was taken before they planned to leave. On Sept. 1, 1939, the war broke out and the couple decided to stay in the village. (OSV News photo/courtesy Institute of National Remembrance)
Wiktoria and Józef Ulma are pictured with three of their children in a photo taken in the village of Markowa, Poland, in 1939. Before World War II, the Ulmas wanted to move away from Markowa and this photo was taken before they planned to leave. On Sept. 1, 1939, the war broke out and the couple decided to stay in the village. (OSV News photo/courtesy Institute of National Remembrance)

Last weekend, all eyes were on Pope Francis and his trip to Mongolia, of which he said, “I’ve been to the heart of Asia, and it has done me good.” We’ve now turned to Markowa, a humble village in southeast Poland preparing for the beatification of an entire family — the first specific family to be beatified together in church history. Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children — including the youngest, whom Wiktoria began to birth at the time of her death — were murdered by Nazis along with the eight Jews they were hiding on March 24, 1944. 

OSV News International Editor Paulina Guzik has created a stunning video, “The saintly lives and heroic deaths of the Ulma family,” that shows the simplicity of their daily lives, their love for family and neighbor, and their tragic deaths. We encourage you to watch it and share it this weekend — with your media audiences, parishes and loved ones.

While the Ulmas’ beatification invites us to reflect on history and eternity, there’s a lot happening in the here and now, giving people around the world the opportunity to show the light of Christ in the face of darkness. The following is a mere selection of the many stories OSV News has covered this week. 

Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and children, pray for us!

Maria Wiering

Senior Writer

P.S.: Even more OSV News stories can be found on our Facebook, X (aka Twitter) and Instagram — you can also message us story ideas on those platforms. And share this Showcase with a friend!


Surviving 9/11 attacks left ‘no questions about the reality of God,’ says deacon

Deacon Carris told OSV News it “literally took three or four days after the event” to process the sequence of events that led to his escape from the North Tower.


Federal judge orders Texas to remove anti-migrant buoys from the Rio Grande

A federal judge ordered Texas to remove controversial floating barriers in the Rio Grande and prohibited the state from adding or reinstalling additional buoys in the river aimed at reducing unauthorized border crossings, marking a legal victory for the Biden administration, which opposed their use.


Mexico’s Supreme Court removes abortion restrictions on a national level

Mexico’s Supreme Court has removed abortion restrictions on a national level — a decision expanding access to abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy across the country.


Lawmaker, bishop urge action as 120,000 Armenians face ‘ethnic cleansing’

A U.S. lawmaker and a Catholic bishop are calling for action to end a months-long blockade that has left some 120,000 ethnic Armenians at risk of what he and other experts are calling “genocide by starvation.”


California’s rising assisted suicide rate alarms Catholics

When California in 2021 relaxed its physician-assisted death rules — easing access to the lethal means for residents to take their own lives — several lawmakers behind the change cited a desire to aid the terminally ill, invoking a sort of legislative altruism.


Teresa of Avila, Good Pope John and … Jimmy Buffett?

There is a time to work hard for a weary world, but also a time to kick off the shoes, settle back and take our cue from Teresa of Avila. Or from Jimmy Buffett.


Catholic Student Center at Washington’s Howard University Named for Sister Thea Bowman

The center was blessed and dedicated to the late Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, a noted evangelist and educator, who is one of six Black Catholics from the United States being considered for sainthood.


‘Abortion didn’t grant us freedom,’ woman testifies, as thousands march for life in London

More than 7,000 people took to the streets of London for the annual March for Life, which had as its theme “Freedom to Live.”


U.S. bishops’ delegation sees hard realities, pastoral needs of farmworkers

During a pastoral visit  themed “Christ in the Heart of the Migrant Farmworker Today,” participants went to the Diocese of Yakima to hear from the Mexican-born agricultural workers who grow and harvest the fruit and vegetables that Washington state ships around the world.


‘Courageous Catholic medicine’ needed more than ever, say medical professionals

“Be Not Afraid: Courageous Catholic Medicine” is the theme of the Catholic Medical Association’s 92nd annual educational conference Sept. 7-9 in Phoenix. This year’s conference chairman Dr. Timothy Millea said the theme was chosen in 2020, and in the short time since, ethical, ideological and legal issues have mounted.

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