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OSV News Weekly Showcase | Jan. 26, 2024

Social studies teacher Mary Bradley smiles as she reviews student assignments during an eighth-grade class at St. William the Abbot School in Seaford, N.Y., Dec. 13, 2023. (OSV News photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Every morning in the wee small hours lately, I read or listen to the daily Mass readings on the USCCB website as I feed the twins. 

Usually I’m struggling to stay awake, but yesterday I was quite struck by St. Paul’s account of his conversion in Acts 22, particularly verse 11: “Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.” 

Maybe it’s because I had two helpless babies in my lap who are starting to look around and observe the world. But I found it beautiful that Paul went from breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord to being like a little child dependent on others in his coming to know and follow the Lord Jesus. All of us are called to conversion, though probably not so dramatically as being struck blind by encounter with God — but the element of childlike humility remains. “Unless you become like little children …”

Speaking of children, we ran an analysis piece this week on the state of Catholic education, ahead of Catholic Schools Week Jan. 28-Feb. 3. There’s also a lovely feature today on Servant of God Stanislawa Leszczynska, who risked her life to deliver thousands of babies in Auschwitz. And the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy chairman recently hailed a new bipartisan child tax credit in the works. More of this week’s OSV News stories are below and on our social media @OSVNews.

Megan Marley

Digital Editor


Controversial book promotes ‘deeply flawed’ of mystical union, says theologian

A recently resurfaced book by the Vatican’s doctrinal head is “deeply flawed” in its portrayal of mystical union with God, a theological expert told OSV News.


Beloved, young Capuchin Franciscan volunteer shot dead in Washington

A young man volunteering with a group of Capuchin Franciscan friars in the nation’s capital has been killed in an apparent attempted robbery.


‘Witch hunt continues’ as Nicaragua creates spiritual vacuum, Bianca Jagger tells OSV News

INTERVIEW: Human rights defender Bianca Jagger has accused the Nicaraguan dictatorship of creating a spiritual vacuum in the country by its purge of Catholic clergy.


Kentucky bishop removes two priests’ faculties for denigrating post-Vatican II Mass

The bishop of Covington has rescinded permission for two priests to minister in his diocese after they publicly dismissed the contemporary celebration of Mass in the Roman rite as “irrelevant.”


Shields, symbols and saints: What is heraldry in the Catholic Church?

Frequently seen in one form or another, coats of arms pervade our Catholic culture in numerous ways: on letters and newspapers, diocesan websites and social media pages, in Roman churches and diocesan cathedrals.


Two years into war, Knights of Columbus steadfast in Ukraine on front lines of aid

The global Catholic fraternal organization established its first council in Ukraine in 2012 and now counts some 10,000 members in Ukraine and neighboring Poland, said Szymon Czyszek, director of international growth in Europe for the Knights of Columbus.


‘We give thanks to God!’ says Haiti archbishop as six nuns are freed from captivity

“Priests and religious are risking their lives in serving the poorest and most vulnerable people in Haiti,” said Edward Clancy, director of outreach of Aid to the Church in Need USA, based in Brooklyn, New York. “Their courage is an expression of Christian charity. It is an abomination that gangs target them for kidnapping.”


More ‘nuanced nones’ challenge parishes to become more outward facing, says evangelization expert

A new study offers a more nuanced take on the nation’s religiously unaffiliated, and the findings show that Catholic parishes need to become more “outward facing” to reach those beyond the pews, an evangelization expert said.


African cardinal says letter clarifying blessing of same-sex couples calms Africa’s faithfulWith “Fiducia Supplicans” triggering sharp responses from the bishops’ conferences across his continent, Cardinal Ambongo wrote to all African conferences, asking them to send along all their reactions. After receiving the statements, the cardinal wrote a synthesis, then wrote a personal letter to Pope Francis and finally traveled to Rome.


Why do Orthodox churches have a valid celebration of the Eucharist?

QUESTION CORNER: How is it possible that the Orthodox practice of the sacrament of the Eucharist would ever be considered as the true body and blood of Christ from the Catholic perspective?


How deep are our divisions?

COLUMN: On a political level, red Catholics and blue Catholics are tempted to pick and choose which parts of the social gospel they highlight — a kind of cafeteria polarization.

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