Tag: Pope Francis

Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, An Order of African-American Nuns in Harlem, Celebrates 100 Years of Service

Nuns in Harlem (Image: Regina Fleming)

article by Janell Hazelwood via blackenterprise.com

An order of black nuns in Harlem—one of only three original orders of its kind in the United States—is celebrating its centennial this year. It will commemorate its legacy with a gala and benefit on March 29 in New York City.

The Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (FHM) will celebrate a century of serving the needs of the community at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan, honoring its history and its unsung heroes, the co-founders of the FHM community.

Founded in 1916 in Savannah, Georgia, by the Rev. Ignatius Lissner, the early beginnings of the order were sparked from a social justice mission. It was created in the wake of proposed legislation that would prohibit white religious leaders from educating and providing pastoral care to black people in the state.

Father Lissner, aided by Barbara Williams (who would later become Mother Mary Theodore Williams, FHM), a black woman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, organized a congregation of black women to educate children of color and provide pastoral care to the black community.

In 1923, the order moved to Harlem at the request of Cardinal Patrick Hayes, where they launched one of the first pre-school educational programs in the United States. They’d later establish three schools, which count Harlem’s who’s who among its past students including Congressman Charles B. Rangel and Kevin Lofton, president of the Catholic Health Association of America.

Today, St. Benedict Day Nursery is carrying on the legacy of the order’s educational and ministerial services.

Mother Mary Theodore and Fr. Ignatius Lissner, SMA (FHM)

“We joyously take a moment to reflect on our 100 years of providing vital assistance to the community, but amid a renewed calling to revitalize our purpose and expand our mission of service for the next 100 years,” said Sister Gertrude Lilly Ihenacho, who heads up the majority black order, in a statement.

In their “100 Days of Kindness” campaign, launched last month and running until April 14, the nuns are advocating for citizens to perform a random act of kindness daily—big or small, embodying “the spirit of Ephesians 4:32, ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ ”

To read more, go to: http://www.blackenterprise.com/lifestyle/black-history-month-order-of-african-american-nuns-celebrates-100-years-of-service/

Gallup Poll Reveals President Obama, Hillary Clinton Are Most Admired Americans

POTUS and Hillary Clinton
President Barack Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House September 12, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama is the man Americans say they admire most, while Hillary Clinton is the woman living anywhere in the world whom they admire most, according to Gallup poll results released Monday.

Obama, who recently completed two years into his second-term in office, has been the most admired man for each of the last seven years, beginning in 2008, the year he was first elected president. The renewed vote of confidence couldn’t come at a better time. The president has suffered a number of political setbacks this year, including stunning midterm election losses by Democrats across the country. The second most admired man is Pope FrancisBill Clinton is third; the Rev. Billy Graham is fourth; and George W. Bush is fifth.

Hillary Clinton, who is believed to be gearing up to run again for president, has held the top women’s spot in each of the last 13 years and 17 of the last 18, with that streak interrupted only by first lady Laura Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks, the report says. Clinton is in good company. Oprah Winfrey is ranked second; Malala Yousafzai, the activist for women’s education in Pakistan and the youngest- ever Nobel Prize laureate is third; Condoleezza Rice is fourth and first lady Michelle Obama is fifth.

The Gallup poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 8-11, 2014, with a random sample of 805 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, the report says. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, according to the report.

article via theurbandaily.com

President Obama, Pope Francis Meet for First Time

President Obama, Pope Francis

President Barack Obama gave Pope Francis a box of seeds as a gift, a fitting token as their first-ever meeting provided a fresh start of sorts between the administration and Catholic leadership after years of strained relations. “These, I think, are carrots,” Obama told the Pontiff, showing him a pouch from the box, which was made from timber from the first cathedral to open in the United States, in Baltimore.

The Pope gave the President two medallions — one symbolizing the need for peace and solidarity between the two hemispheres — and a copy of “Evangelii Gaudium,” or “The Joy of the Gospel.” The book was penned by the Pope and calls for a new era of evangelization and a renewed focus on the poor.  The tokens of goodwill underscored the goal of the meeting: Focus on areas where two of the world’s most influential men agree, and gently tread ground where they differ.

The two men greeted each other with a smile and a handshake and posed for pictures before sitting down across a table from each other. They spoke privately for nearly an hour.  When they emerged from the meeting, the President and the Vatican had slightly different takes on the tenor of their discussions, especially when it came to issues that have frayed the relationship between the Obama administration and American Catholic leaders.

“… (I)t was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved,” the Vatican said in a statement. “In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection. …”

Obama, in a news conference that followed, told reporters that such issues were “not a topic of conversation” with the Pope and instead were discussed with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.  According to the Vatican, the two men also discussed the issue of immigration reform and “stated their common commitment to the eradication of human trafficking throughout the world.”

On this point, the President and the Pope were simpatico.  “I was grateful to have the opportunity to speak with him about the responsibilities that we all share to care for the least of these, the poor, the excluded,” Obama told reporters after the meeting. “And I was extremely moved by his insights about the importance of us all having a moral perspective on world problems and not simply thinking in terms of our own narrow self-interests.”

The meeting took place two days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on a contraception mandate included in the President’s signature health care reform law.  The law exempts churches and houses of worship from the requirement, but nonprofit, religiously affiliated groups are required either to provide contraception coverage to their employees directly or through a third-party insurer.

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President Barack Obama Named Most Admired Man Of 2013

barack obama most admired man

Despite having earned dismal approval ratings for his presidency at the end of last year, President Barack Obama (pictured) was still named the nation’s most admired man of 2013, according to a recent Gallup Poll. The Commander-in-Chief has won the honor for the 57th time, over a six-year period, since Gallup began asking Americans the question for the past 6 years, reports Gallup Politics.  The Gallup organization polled people ages 18 and older via telephone from December 5th to December 8th across the United States to respond to a question about the person they admired the most on the planet. Sixteen percent of Americans named Obama as the individual they most look up to, and he was followed by former President George W. Bush and Pope Francis, who both shared the No. 2 spot as far as admired males with 4 percent each.

The former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady Hillary Clinton took poll honors as the most-admired female on the globe with a 15 percent rating. Clinton was followed by talk show maven Oprah Winfrey, who garnered 6 percent of the vote.  Coming in behind Winfrey and sharing their highly coveted spotlight is First Lady Michelle Obama and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin with each receiving 5 percent of the poll votes.

article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via newsone.com