2016: During the election year talk, health care as a whole was not a top issue as it competed against the economy, terrorism, foreign policy, gun control and immigration.
2016: No one imagined then that frustrations about race and racism in the United States, which began with the police shootings, were about to get worse in the later part of 2016.
With a president-elect who made campaign promises to form "deportation forces" and remove 11 million immigrants, many are facing 2017 with trepidation.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is establishing a working group charged with developing spiritual, pastoral and policy advocacy support for immigrants and refugees.
Refugee issue in 2016: Estimates this year placed the number of immigrants worldwide at 65 million — 21 million of them refugees — with many millions more labeled "internally displaced" only because they still live within the borders of their birth country. Refugees and what to do about the situation raised continued attention during the marathon presidential race. The United States, cognizant of the swelling number of refugees, accepted roughly 100,000 from around the world for fiscal 2016, which ran Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, and announced its intent to accept 110,000 in fiscal 2017.
The last episode will air on Feb. 24, announced WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN Productions.
International Catholic Rural Association: While today's family farmers worldwide are tested as never before, the church believes they can contribute to a more just ordering of life, said a new document issued Dec. 7. "The circumstances facing the family in farming are especially distressing. In many respects, we have sought an abundant harvest in exchange for a more diminished culture of life," said the document, "The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader," released by the International Catholic Rural Association.
Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska is named bishop of Dallas: Pope Francis has named Burns to be bishop of Dallas, succeeding now-Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, who headed the Dallas Diocese until he was named in August to be the first prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life. Burns, 59, has headed the Diocese of Juneau since 2009.
Diocese of Rockville Centre: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and appointed as his successor Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Supreme Court: The Supreme Court agreed Dec. 2 to hear arguments about church hospital pension disputes over whether religious hospitals and schools can be exempt from complying with federal laws covering employee pension benefits. Lower courts have ruled against three hospital systems, two of which are Catholic, that have claimed an exemption from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.