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The White House announced a presidential directive on Jan. 14 that will make travel and financial assistance to Cuba easier, especially for religious organizations. • The Catholic Climate Covenant welcomed the news of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, describing the late pope as “instrumental in renewing the church’s ancient teachings in light of modern environmental degradation.” • Retired Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, right, known as the champion of the poor and indigenous in southern Mexico, died on Jan. 24 of complications from long-standing illnesses. He was 86. • The Eternal Word Television Network has signed a letter of intent to acquire the National Catholic Register, operated by the Legionaries of Christ since 1995. • Top Muslim academics in Egypt are suspending all dialogue with the Vatican to protest Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about anti-Christian violence in Egypt. • Looking forward to his retirement, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles said in a blog post that he intends to spend the coming months and years “walking in solidarity with the 11 million immigrants who have come to the United States to improve their own lives and the life of our country.”

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Father Michael Nixon and parishioner work a volunteer table at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City, Fla. Photo by Atena Sherry.
Much like New Orleans’ Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, the low-income neighborhoods east of Panama City, where St. Dominic is located, were especially hard-hit by the storm. Now residents here are desperate for help.
Atena SherryOctober 18, 2018
“I believe there are adequate, alternative options for true women’s health care out there, and Planned Parenthood is not needed,” said Alisha Fox, a health and wellness coach at a Catholic fertility center in Chicago.
Colleen ZeweOctober 18, 2018
 Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa checks out the name badge of Nathanael Lamataki, a youth delegate from the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, as they leave a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Cardinal Souraphiel highlighted the role globalization plays in connecting young people in unjust ways.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 18, 2018
The pope said he would visit North Korea “if an official invitation arrives.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 18, 2018