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OSV News Showcase | Feb. 23, 2024

This is an updated map showing the four routes of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage to the National Eucharistic Congress in 2024. Pilgrims traveling in "Eucharistic caravans" on all four routes will begin their journeys with Pentecost weekend celebrations May 17-18, 2024, leaving May 19. They will all converge on Indianapolis July 16, 2024, the day before the five-day Congress opens. (OSV News illustration/courtesy National Eucharistic Congress)

Whew, what a week! We’ve covered celebrities (Mark Wahlberg  Jonathan Roumie, Andrea Bocelli and others), a controversial funeral, warnings of possible schism in the church, what to expect to encounter walking the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, the New York Encounter and artificial intelligence, vandalism at a shrine, nuclear weapons ethics, a Zoom Lenten series on mindful media use and more. There have been a lot of long hours (and prayers), but time flies when you’re doing something you love — which is sharing the news on Catholic issues and issues that affect Catholics. Read a selection of our stories below, and on social media at @OSVNews.

Megan Marley

Digital Editor

The commoditization of the funeral industry is hurting the Catholic Church 

COLUMN: With fewer wakes, and with fewer clergy attending them, are we missing out on a vital pastoral dimension of funerals? And with the reduction of Christian wakes, are we losing an in-built precaution to avoid something like what happened at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City?

Ending euthanasia is ‘an act of love,’ says Canadian activist

A Canadian woman is relying on her faith, education and personal experience to end euthanasia — and to encourage hope amid end-of-life suffering in her nation.

CHA says article ‘perpetuates myth’ Catholic hospitals’ pro-life stance ‘constrains’ care for women

The head of the Catholic Health Association of the United States called it “extremely disappointing” that a USA Today article published Feb. 17 “suggested that Catholic health care’s long-standing commitment to providing care that recognizes the sacredness of each individual — from conception to natural death — somehow constrains care.”

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are children under wrongful death law

An Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos qualify as children under state law has raised complex legal questions about artificial reproductive practices opposed by the Catholic Church.

Russian Catholics stage ‘quiet commemorations’ for deceased dissident Navalny

A senior Russian Catholic has urged others abroad to commemorate the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, as armed police dispersed citizens mourning his death at age 47 in a remote prison camp. Navalny ran for president in 2018, despite a court ruling him ineligible, and was jailed in January 2021 for violating parole after receiving life-saving treatment in Germany for Novichok poisoning in Siberia.

3 years after drug decriminalization, Oregon now faces a state of emergency

Three years after Measure 110 — America’s first law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cocaine, fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamines — took effect, a nationwide surge in fentanyl use has collided with the measure’s legalized tolerance to create a perfect storm of overburdened social services, policing and community dynamics. For Catholic ministries and parishes in Portland, the impact has been intense as they cope with offering the healing love of Christ to the overwhelmed city.

The Knights of Peter Claver offers a unique African American Catholic perspective

INTERVIEW: The Knights of Peter Claver is the oldest Black Catholic lay-led organization still in existence. Gregory Herr, who helped establish the first Knights of Peter Claver Council in Orange County, California, in 2022, shares the history behind the group, why Catholics from all backgrounds should consider joining and the issues it addresses.

One year later, California Catholics still mourn ‘Bishop Dave’ as alleged killer awaits trial

The first anniversary of the shocking killing of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell prompted reflections and commemorations from Catholic leaders about the bishop’s joy and love of Jesus Christ.

Oregon bishop bars blessings for same-sex couples in diocese to prevent confusion, scandal

Bishop Liam S. Cary of Baker, Oregon, said he has asked the priests of his diocese “not to bless known co-habiting couples, of the same sex or both sexes” because he does not believe that blessings for couples in such situations could be carried out in a “scandal-free” manner in his diocese.

“Guadalupe: Mother of Humanity” (Goya)

MOVIE REVIEW: Every year, in the run-up to her Dec. 12 feast day, more than 10 million pilgrims flock to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The uplifting documentary “Guadalupe: Mother of Humanity” (Goya) provides viewers with an insight into the background of this remarkable phenomenon.

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