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  • Americans are marking today what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, 88th birthday, honoring the famed African-American civil rights pioneer for his pursuit of justice.

    Dr. King’s appeal, of course, is global, his message of nonviolent resistance in the face of persecution, which has inspired countless acts of civil disobedience during his life and even moreso since his assassination in 1968.

    Among Dr. King’s biggest fans is Pope Francis, who has invoked...

  • In a highly significant move, Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley as a full (board) member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.).

    The Vatican made the announcement at noon on Saturday, Jan. 14, and highlighted the fact that the cardinal-archbishop of Boston also serves as president of the Pontifical Commission for the...

  • William J. O’Malley, S.J., a longtime teacher at McQuaid High in Rochester, N.Y., and Fordham Prep in the Bronx, N.Y., advised and acted in the film “The Exorcist,” based on the novel by William Peter Blatty. Mr. Blatty died Thursday at the age of 89 . America asked Father O’Malley, a longtime contributor, to remember how his collaboration with Mr...

  • Zimbabwe’s economy is in meltdown. Mozambique seems headed for civil war. Madagascar’s drought is causing what most would call a famine. And South Africa muddles on through it all: drought, corruption and political instability. These were all problems last year, but a combination of factors in these African nations may bring things to a boil in 2017.

    First, there is Madagascar, a large island state off the east coast of Africa that usually makes news only when its fragile democracy...

  • “Faith in god, love of god, love of each other…. That’s what has real meaning. Not the violence in the world.”

    Detective Steven McDonald, who was buried today out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, shared these reflections with me at the Father Mychal Judge 9/11 Walk of Remembrance last September. I was in attendance to cover the event for...

  • Despite the music coming from our high school band, one could hear the red hot candies hit the bells of the tubas. Sometimes, with so much force that they’d bounce off. But others went right down the neck, producing a cheer in the trombone section, from where they had been launched.

    Everybody could hear and see them, everyone except Father Tim. By the early ’70s, with still a decade of teaching to go, Father Timothy Gottschalk would have been well into his 60s. Born in 1906, he had...

  • Kathryn Steinle was murdered in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant felon who, pursuant to San Francisco’s sanctuary policy, had been released from custody despite a detainer request issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On Jan. 6, 2017, a federal district court in California dismissed a lawsuit brought by Ms. Steinle’s parents against San Francisco and I.C.E., which had missed other opportunities to deport the felon. Numerous factors other than San Francisco’s sanctuary policy led to...

  • The final month of 2016 was a chance for new beginnings for refugees and displaced persons in Iraq eager to learn. Jesuit Worldwide Learning , a collaboration of universities, organizations and companies to provide higher education to people living on the margins, officially opened three learning centers in the country on Dec. 12.

    Peter Balleis, S.J., J.W.L.’s executive president, said students gathered outside the schools before the first day,...

  • God's perspective reveals a world of people in sometimes desperate motion—among millions of others, more than 3.3 million Iraqis, 4 million Syrians and generations of Afghans have fled their homes to escape conflict. “I can’t imagine a more urgent time to be addressing issues of migration and refugees,” says Jill Marie Gerschutz-Bell, the senior policy and legislative specialist for Catholic Relief Services . “The international community has really been...

  • In an interview with a Spanish-language Catholic television network released on Thursday, Pope Francis told immigrants living in the United States to “go forward with courage, prayer and much tenderness.”

    The clip was played during a Mass celebrated by Los Angeles Archbishop JoséH. Gomez at the Jesuit-run Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles, a celebration marking the Catholic Church’s National Migration Week . The full...