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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina


Deacon James Toner: Column conclusions and a farewell

tonerWhat we think is the right road
Everybody knows that capital punishment violates the right to life, that it’s an affront to human dignity, that it erodes respect for human life, that it’s motivated by vengeance, that it does not deter, that it removes the possibility of reform, that the state has no right to inflict the death penalty, and that innocent people often receive the death penalty.

Fred Gallagher: Thank you, St. Michael’s

gallagher fredThe year was 1942, 10 years before I was born, and just a couple of years after my family had moved to Gastonia. My grandfather, who by this time had eight grandchildren (with many more to follow), just kept on bothering his good friend, Father Alphonse Buss, the Benedictine monk from Belmont Abbey who was the pastor of St. Michael Church.

Special children and another October Life Chain

gallagher fredOne of the great honors of my life was when I was asked at the meager age of 12 to be the godfather to an older cousin’s child. As a matter of fact, I was already a godfather and proud of it. But this was a little different.

The case for a fair U.S. immigration policy

dolanOne of the most vivid memories of my childhood was the arrival of four religious sisters from Ireland who were coming to my hometown of Ballwin, Mo., to begin teaching in the brand new grammar school of Holy Infant Parish.

Advocates find there’s little to like in White House immigration plan

102717 immigrationWASHINGTON, D.C. — There’s little, if anything, that immigrant advocates like in the Trump administration’s latest immigration plan.

Latin Mass commentary prompts reactions

Editor’s note: The commentary “Why we should not attend the traditional Latin Mass” by Deacon James Toner in the Sept. 29 edition of the Catholic News Herald sparked a lot of comments on social media and several letters to the editor. Here is some of what readers had to say:


Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:

020717 fatimaVATICAN CITY — The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Portugal in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Fatima.

The pope, who accepted the invitation made by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the bishops of Portugal, "will go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima from May 12-13," the Vatican announced Dec. 17.

The pilgrimage will mark the anniversary of the Marian apparitions, which first began on May 13, 1917, when three shepherd children reported seeing the Virgin Mary.

The apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.

Following the announcement, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, rector of the Fatima shrine told Agencia Ecclesia, the news agency of the Portuguese bishops' conference, that the visit was a "cause for joy" for the shrine.

"For the shrine of Fatima, it is a great joy to receive this confirmation of Pope Francis' visit," he said.

"We know that those days will be a pilgrimage marked by this festivity that, on the one hand is for the centennial of the apparitions and, on the other hand, marks the presence of the pope in our midst and a pope as beloved as Pope Francis," Father Cabecinhas said.

While the Vatican confirmed the dates of the visit, the pope had already said that he intended to go.

"Certainly, as things presently stand, I will go to Portugal, and only to Fatima," he told journalists during his return flight to Rome from Azerbaijan Oct. 2.

Pope Francis will be the fourth pontiff to visit the Marian shrine, following the footsteps of Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who each paid homage different years to Mary on the anniversary of the first apparition May 13.

— Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service