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Seminarians enjoy faith, fun and fellowship

By Sarah Cooper

 The 17 seminarians of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City gathered Aug. 5 to Aug. 8 at the Catholic Pastoral Center for education, reflection and, most importantly, fellowship. Over many late night games of Settlers of Catan along with daily discussions about their faith and formation, the seminarians strengthened the bonds that will continue into the future as they become brother priests.

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First black priests in U.S. 'opened door for rest of us,' says pastor

By Catholic News Service

MOBILE, Ala. (CNS) -- Black Catholic bishops, priests, deacons and religious brothers who gathered in Mobile for an annual joint conference celebrated the 80th anniversary of the first class of black priests who were educated and ordained in the U.S.

"As we begin our preparations for the 50th anniversary of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, it is important for us to remember those pioneers who came before us," said Father Kenneth Taylor, president of the caucus.

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Saint Mary’s in Guthrie to mark 125th anniversary

by J. E. Helm

On Sunday, Sept. 7, Saint Mary’s church in Guthrie will celebrate its 125th anniversary. The 10:30 a.m. Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Paul Coakley, Archbishop Emeritus Eusebius Beltran and Father Charles Murphy, Saint Mary’s pastor.

Saint Mary’s history is closely tied to the state’s history and to the continued presence of the Catholic Church in Oklahoma.

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Commentary: Delighting in difference

I spent last weekend on the Texas coast, watching my 7-month-old daughter interact with another baby her age, the son of an old friend. The parents watched as my little Sofia crawled circles around baby Ira. Next was Ira’s impressive catch of a falling toy — a notable event if enacted by an adult and downright extraordinary for a baby. We compared notes on baby talk, teeth and favorite foods — and, of course, we delighted in their interactions.

Driving home, I felt refreshed by the new mom talk and even the comparisons, and I realized how rare this was. We were able to take pleasure in the personalities and differences of our children, rather than isolate ourselves with feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. Ira’s simple contentment with the toy in his hand led me to appreciate this trait in him while relishing the boundless exploration that results from the opposite trait in my own daughter.

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Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen: Two medieval women worth knowing

By J. E. Helm

Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen are two marvelous women whose lives and writing offer great insight into the conditions of women in the Middle Ages as well as the history of the Catholic Church at that time. The two books reviewed here are as different in style and format as were these two very interesting women.

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Vatican calls on Muslim leaders to condemn Islamic State

By Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbarity" and "unspeakable criminal acts" of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardize the future of interreligious dialogue.

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