Vatican City -- The Vatican has asked for wide input on the 2015 synod
Father Christmas' face revealed -- The most realistic portrait of St. Nicholas. In other news, a Catholic priest in the UK told a group of young children that Santa Claus didn't exist.
Chicago -- A Catholic school has enlisted the help of Santa to stay afloat
France -- An unholy row has started as nativity scene ban divides France
Global Sisters Report -- Apostolic visitations are common but often difficult to trace.
Also at GSR -- Check out the beginning of a several-part series on retirement care for religious.
New York City -- Clergy join black and Latino city council caucus 'die in' to protest killing of Eric Garner. The protests in NYC and Ferguson, Mo., have led Catholic theologians to call for 'police reform and racial justice' in America
Interview -- In these troubled times, does the 'black church' still matter?
Kansas -- Religious conservatives in the state want to revive the controversial religious freedom bill
Montevideo, Uruguay -- U.S. sends six prisoners from Guantanamo to Uruguay
Brooklyn, N.Y. -- Diocese takes on youth gambling
Ireland synod -- Limerick bishop says the church of the future must be inclusive
Looking for a little inspiration to begin your day? NCR's sister publication, Celebration, gives you two options, both based on the Scripture readings of the day:
Pencil Preaching is blog in which Celebration editor Pat Marrin combines Scripture and sketching to reflect on the Word.
Daily Bread is a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings. Daily Bread is intended to help daily preachers and others who pray from the assigned Scriptures each day to orient themselves to the Living Word addressed to the church in the world. It's a great way to begin the day.