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Archive for December, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing "urbi et orbi," to the city of Rome and to the world, from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 25. Celebrating Christmas at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI appealed for peace in global tr ouble spots and protection of persecuted Christian minorities in places like China. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

By John Thavis Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Celebrating Christmas at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI appealed for peace in global trouble spots and protection of persecuted Christian minorities in places like China.

At his Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and in his Christmas Day blessing to the world, the pope called the birth of Christ the “culmination of creation” and an event that overcame the “infinite distance between God and man.”

The basilica was packed for the Mass, and an overflow crowd braved intermittent rain and wind to watch the liturgy on giant screens in St. Peter’s Square. Thousands stood under umbrellas for the traditional papal blessing the next day. (more…)

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The diocese says farewell to Deacon Wells

Mass of Christian Burial was held Dec. 22, at Immaculate Conception, Liberty, for Deacon Luther Wells who passed away Dec. 17 at age 88.

Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, celebrated Mass, and Deacon Wells younger brother, Msgr. Patrick Wells of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, served as homilist. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

A Nativity titled "Crib" from Vatican City, made of ceramic, wood and textiles, donated by Pope John Paul II, is displayed in the International Nativity Museum, which reopened Dec. 18 in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Originally opened on the ground floor of the Salesian convent in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1999, the museum was closed a few months later following the outbreak of the second intifada. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — Traditional ceramic and wood Nativity scenes from Spain share center stage along with miniature wooden box reproductions from Mexico, an almond-eyed baby Jesus from Thailand and a hanbok-clad Holy Family from Korea at the newly reopened International Nativity Museum.

Originally inaugurated on the ground floor of the Salesian provincial house in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve in 1999, the museum was closed a few months later following the outbreak of the second intifada.

Its reopening Dec. 18 is part of a general “reawakening” of Bethlehem, said Elisa Nucci, artistic director of the museum. Nucci, an art historian and musicologist, works for International Volunteering for Development. The organization provides technical assistance to the Salesian order in 200 countries and was instrumental in renovating the museum and facilitating its reopening. (more…)

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Students perform the story of Christmas

The children of St. Pius X, Beaumont, presented The Story of Christmas Dec. 18. Elsie Lokay, director of religious education, directed to play, and Denise Broussard, director of music and liturgy, led the St. Pius X choir and attendees in the singing of Christmas hymns during the program. A reception followed in the parish center. (more…)

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By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Senate’s inability to overcome a threatened filibuster Dec. 18 scuttled passage of the DREAM Act, prompting immigrant advocates to pledge to push forward on immigration reform next year with a new Congress and fight for what one immigrant leader termed the “respect we deserve.” (more…)

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Deacon Luther Wells remembered

The Diocese of Beaumont lost a passionate member of its community with the passing of Deacon Luther Wells. Deacon Wells was a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Liberty and was ordained June 13, 1992. Deacon Wells retired in 2006 after serving his entire time as a permanent deacon at Immaculate Conception.

He is remembered fondly by his classmates including Deacon Eddie Blankenstein.

“Deacon Wells was always positive. He always had a smile on his face, and he seemed to be friends with everyone. He didn’t play favorites or pick and choose. He was just an everyday guy but I wouldn’t say ordinary. He was exceptional,” Deacon Eddie Blankenstein said. (more…)

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Auditors have again found that the Diocese of Beaumont is doing all in its power to help prevent child abuse in Southeast Texas. According to an on-site audit conducted August 9-13, 2010 by The Gavin Group, Inc., an independent auditor based in Boston, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont continues to be in full compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” This was the 4th on-site audit conducted in the diocese since 2003. In each of the previous audits the diocese was found to have met and exceeded the Charter’s requirements. (more…)

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