#ShortNews: Catholic, Anglican prelates mark 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement

10 April 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The Archbishops of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin and Church of Ireland Archbishop Richard Clarke, have issued a statement marking this significant anniversary saying, ‘We thank God for all that has been achieved in shaping a peaceful and shared future over the past twenty years’.

In the Christian tradition we share, Good Friday is a time of returning to God and of “calling out” anything which prevents us from living truly as disciples of Jesus Christ. This can be a painful exercise. But we are an Easter people. We are always beginning. We are always making a fresh start. It was in the light of the Resurrection that Saint Paul urged us to be “ambassadors” of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5 20).’

They concluded, ‘The peace we have today took a great effort to achieve; it will equally take risk, and leadership at all levels, to maintain. It is therefore our sincere shared prayer that this anniversary will help to rekindle a spirit of opportunity, healing and hope for lasting peace which is now needed more than ever. We call on all people of good will to be ambassadors of reconciliation, helping to rebuild trust and mutual respect in order to move us further forward and closer together as a society that places the common good as its primary purpose.’

Read the full version: https://catholicnews.ie/we-are-an-easter-people-archbishops-of-armagh-mark-20th-anniversary-of-the-signing-of-the-good-friday-agreement/

#ShortNews: Don’t postpone Baptism, Pope urges parents

Pope Francis has urged parents to baptize their children soon after birth, thus giving them the opportunity – and the free gift – of having Jesus Christ live inside them from the beginning. He was speaking during the weekly General Audience.

With a special appeal to new parents he highlighted the fact that Baptism is an unmerited gift, the door to the other sacraments, thanks to which Christians are able to grow in a life of grace until reaching their true homeland in heaven.

“The baptismal font illuminates all of our life, guiding our steps toward the Jerusalem in Heaven,” he said.

Thus, he said in off-the-cuff remarks, “don’t put off baptizing your children with the excuse that ‘he or she is unable to understand”, this attitude he said indicates that “you do not trust in the Holy Spirit”.

Read full story: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-04/pope-at-general-audience-baptism-christifies-us-.html

#ShortNews: Catholic Syrian refugee shares harrowing story

A middle-of-the-night phone call – then another – alerted Gabriel Jabbour to the threat. Reluctantly, he packed a few belongings and $3,000 in cash, and fled from Syria with his wife to avoid being publicly executed by Islamic militants.

Now living in Omaha, Jabbour shared the story of his narrow escape and the Catholic faith that sustains him during a March 10 dinner and auction at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish to help raise funds for resettlement of Middle East Christians displaced by terrorism, war and persecution.

“We witnessed love in action,” said Mike Conrad, a supreme director on the Knights of Columbus national board, a member of St. John the Baptist Parish and co-coordinator of the local effort. “The generosity and outpouring of support exceeded our expectations. It was incredible.”

Read full story: http://catholicvoiceomaha.com/news/syrian-refugee-shares-harrowing-story-kcs