As the battle for the White House intensifies, each of the major political parties will certainly be aiming to win the Catholic vote. With approximately 81.6 million self-identified Catholics (more than 25 percent of the U.S. population), the Catholic demographic is a major prize.
Born in Skopje, Albania, (now Macedonia) on Aug. 26, 1910, Anjezë (Agnes) Gonxhe Bojaxhiu considered her baptismal day, Aug. 27, her true birthday. When she was growing up, Agnes’ mother extended an open invitation to the city's poor to dine with her family, and told her daughter: "My child, never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others." When Agnes asked about the people eating with them, her mother would respond, "Some of them are our relations, but all of them are our people."
Paul Donnelly, 34 and a native of Ypsilanti, lived in Honduras and New York City before returning to his home state to pursue the priesthood. He served as a Franciscan brother for 12 years.
How did you hear God’s call to become a priest?
The change that led me to pursue the priesthood was interior. No one among my acquaintances asked me to consider a priestly vocation. But during high school, I experienced Jesus' lordship and had to admit to myself that something I had actively resisted was becoming desirable.
Pope Francis and a chorus of U.S. bishops condemned the shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, which killed 49 people and injured more than 50.
The Vatican response
Pope Francis joined bishops and clergy across the U.S. in condemning this attack on innocent civilians, calling the violence an act of “senseless hatred.” A statement from the Vatican read:
Pictured right: Dallas police sergeant Paul Hinton (C) takes part in a prayer circle after a Black Lives Matter protest following the multiple police shootings in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 10, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Over the course of the past few months, the news has been filled with stories about violence – from the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, to the killing of two men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, and the subsequent murder of police officers in the line of duty.