National Catholic Reporter

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St. Louis

Bishops discuss upcoming synod, pope's visit, traditional marriage

The U.S. bishops gathered in St. Louis for their spring general assembly heard presentations on the pope's upcoming encyclical on the environment, the U.S. church's ongoing work in promoting traditional marriage and the need to remain vigilant in protecting children from abuse.

On the first day of their meeting Wednesday, there also were reports on the bishops' efforts to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and their help in rebuilding work in Haiti, which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.

Bishops hear report on church's ongoing efforts to defend marriage

As the institution of marriage faces unprecedented challenges, the Catholic church continues to promote and defend marriage as being between one man and one woman, said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.

As chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Cordileone gave bishops at their spring general assembly in St. Louis an update on the U.S. Supreme Court's impending decision whether same-sex marriage should be made legal nationwide as well as related public policy and the church's catechetical efforts.

USCCB to launch mobile app ahead of Pope Francis' US visit

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will launch a mobile app ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States to help church leadership and Catholics at the parish level engage with each other.

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, N.M., discussed the app, which will be called Catholic Church, Wednesday at the USCCB spring general assembly.

Wester said 98 percent of parishes have websites, but only about 4 percent have mobile apps. Users are increasingly going mobile, and “we need to do the same,” Wester said.

US bishops' spring assembly opens with rapid start to communications

A few hours before the U.S. bishops' spring general assembly opened Wednesday in St. Louis, the meeting already had begun.

Tweets were trickling out from bishops, media and observers using the hashtag #usccb15. Among their first items to share: a link to the live stream of the proceedings, bishops making their presence known and media types encouraging followers to watch their live coverage.

St. Louis archdiocese cancels speech by visionary who saw the Virigin Mary at Medjugrorje

To Roman Catholic officialdom, it's unclear whether the Virgin Mary appeared to Ivan Dragicevic and five others 34 years ago in a Bosnian village.

What is clear is that Dragicevic won't be appearing Wednesday to speak in St. Charles, as some had hoped.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Robert Carlson addressed a memo to priests and deacons in the archdiocese:

Can Catholic hospitals continue to serve the poor? One program tries

In 1836, several French nuns established hospitals and schools here and in California. Today, an effort is afoot to keep the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange alive.

At the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a small Roman Catholic graduate school next to St. Louis University, doctors, administrators and health care leaders take courses on Bible interpretation; Jesus, church and the healing ministry; and the foundations of morality.

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