Archbishop Schwietz’s November Calendar

Archbishop Schwietz

Nov. 1, 8 a.m., Mass, Blessed Sacrament Monastery

Nov. 1, 7 p.m., Season of Forgiveness presentation, Holy Spirit Center

Nov. 3, 9 a.m., Mass, Our Lady of Guadalupe

Nov. 4-6, Confirmation and weekend Masses, St. Christopher-by-the-Sea, Unalaska more…

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Poll: Alaska voters support school choice scholarships

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According to a new survey, Alaska voters strongly favor school scholarships and other educational choices that would provide parents a range of options when it comes to educating their children.

A school scholarship system allows parents to send their child to the school their choice, whether government or a non-government schools, including both religious and non-religious schools.

Legislation currently under consideration by the Alaska Legislature would allow such tuition scholarships. Under the proposed bills, money would follow students and give families the option to enroll their child in one of more than 50 private schools across the state.

The legislation is supported by Alaskans for School Choice, an educational advocacy group.

The recent poll—”Alaska K-12 & School Choice Survey” — found that Alaska voters strongly support school scholarships. More than twice as many voters said they favor a school scholarships (64 percent) than oppose the idea (29 percent). more…

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Improved survival of youngest Alaska babies celebrated

A volunteer rocks a premature born infant at Providence Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit in Anchorage in 2007. —

Alaska moves from worst to first

Alaska youngest babies — 0-28 days old — now have the lowest mortality rate in the nation. From rates as high as 8.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in the early 1980s, Alaska has improved to 2.27 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the most recent data for infants born in 2008.

“Advances in the care of mothers and their newly born children have saved hundreds of lives in Alaska over the past 30 years,” stated a press release from Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services.

Agencies involved with the health care of pregnant women and their newborn infants gathered Oct. 28 at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage to celebrate Alaska’s improved neonatal survival rate. more…

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Anchorage Archbishop reflects on upcoming changes to the Mass

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Anchorage Archbishop Schwietz calls for support of Middle East Christians

Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz


Despite the vast separation in geography, language and culture, Catholics living in the comfort and safety of the United States are being urged to not dismiss the rising persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

In an Oct. 14 interview with the Catholic Anchor, Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz joined his voice to a growing number of bishops and church leaders who are speaking out against the Oct. 9 violence against Christians in Cairo, Egypt.

The mostly peaceful protest turned violent when the Egyptian army turned its guns and vehicles on the 10,000 Coptic Christians who were protesting church burnings and religious persecution in Egypt. At least 25 people died and more than 300 were injured in the protests. more…

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Religious students find dietary challenges at University of Alaska, Anchorage

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A new story from the University of Alaska, Anchorage student newspaper, The Northern Light, reports that a number of religiously devout students find it difficult to eat according to their dietary practices. Several Catholic, Muslim and Jewish students are featured. Read the entire story here.

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Lebanese patriarch warns of ‘Arab Winter’

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter Rai

Points to Lebanon as model of Christian-Muslim cooperation

NEW YORK CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The leader of Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic Church says the world must not let the “Arab Spring” turn into a “winter” of civil war and minority oppression.

“The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ sweeping the Middle East holds much promise, yet we must remain vigilant. The Church abhors the use of violence to meet any goal,” said Patriarch Bechara Rai of Antioch, in an Oct. 20 conference at the Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s U.S. headquarters.

“We do not wish to see happening in these countries what happened in Iraq, where the country now is in the middle of a civil war,” said the leader of 3.2 million Eastern Catholics of the Maronite tradition. “In such a situation, this will not be a ‘spring.’ It will be rather a ‘winter.’” more…

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Vatican council proposes a global financial authority

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VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is calling for the creation of a new global authority which it hopes can make economic decisions based on the international common good rather than individual national interest.

The document on the economy, which was unveiled Oct. 24 at a Vatican press conference, was drafted with an eye to contributing to the upcoming G-20 summit, which will focus on the international monetary system and strengthening financial regulations.

It aims to “propose a reflection on possible ways forward — in line with the most recent social Magesterium — that are effective and representative at a global level, and which seek the authentic human development of all individuals and peoples,” said Bishop Mario Toso S.D.B., Secretary of the Justice and Peace council, in comments to the media. more…

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Pope outlines Holy See’s global vision for diplomacy

St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. — CNS photo

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Pope Benedict XVI used his address to the new ambassador from the Netherlands to outline how the Catholic Church views its role in diplomatic relations.

“In acting as a voice for the voiceless and defending the rights of the defenseless, including the poor, the sick, the unborn, the elderly, and the members of minority groups who suffer unjust discrimination,” said Pope Benedict, “the Church seeks always to promote natural justice as it is her right and duty to do.”

Although the terms “Vatican State” and “Holy See” are often used interchangeably they are very different things.

According to international law and diplomatic custom, it is the Holy See and not the Vatican City State that is the recognized “legal personality” of the worldwide pastoral ministry of the Bishop of Rome as head of the Catholic Church. Therefore the Holy See existed for centuries as a diplomatic entity before the creation of the Vatican City State in 1929. more…

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Slippery slope: ‘loneliness,’ ‘fatigue’ now criteria for euthanasia in Netherlands

UTRECHT, Netherlands ( – The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) has released new guidelines for interpreting the 2002 Euthanasia Act that now includes “mental and psychosocial ailments” such as “loss of function, loneliness and loss of autonomy” as acceptable criteria for euthanasia. The guidelines also allow doctors to connect a patient’s lack of “social skills, financial resources and a social network” to “unbearable and lasting suffering,” opening the door to legal assisted death based on “psychosocial” factors, not terminal illness. more…

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