Catholics rename shrine for St. John Paul II in US

Religion Briefs (May 2 - 8)

Compiled by Stan Washington | 5/2/2014, 2:14 p.m.
Catholics in Washington are celebrating the sainthood of John Paul II by renaming a shrine devoted to his legacy.
On Sunday, the U.S. shrine dedicated to John Paul II was renamed the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Catholics in Washington are celebrating the sainthood of John Paul II by renaming a shrine devoted to his legacy.

On Sunday, the U.S. shrine dedicated to John Paul II was renamed the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II. A ceremony was held just hours after Pope Francis celebrated the canonization of two 20th century popes, John Paul II and John XXIII, in Rome.

The Knights of Columbus purchased the former Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in 2011 to establish the shrine. It includes exhibits about his legacy from 26 years serving as pope and an exhibit about Catholic heritage in North America. The main floor will be converted into a church.

Executive Director Patrick Kelly said it is among the first places of worship in the world to bear the name "Saint John Paul.’’

In March, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the center a national shrine. It’s located next to the Catholic University of America. The center was created in 2001 by Detroit’s archdiocese, but it required millions in subsidies to operate and was closed for years, open only by appointment.

Now the shrine is open for tours Mondays through Saturdays.

Missionaries find big challenges in N. Dakota oil fields

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - When the oil and natural gas boom took off, tens of thousands of workers flocked to North Dakota for jobs, and missionaries soon followed.

Many of them now say the work is every bit as challenging as seeking converts in Africa or Asia - because of the roughnecks’ transient lifestyles, their exhausting round-the-clock shifts and the fact that many work camps simply do not allow visitors.

Most workers are in the oil fields on a short-term basis, which creates an environment in which everything seems temporary.

Missionaries say that’s both an opportunity and a hindrance, because people are more receptive to religious messages when they’re going through changes. But it also means missionaries have less time to build relationships with potential followers.

Prosecutors: Religion central to girl’s death

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - A Linn County judge will soon decide whether a family’s religious beliefs are relevant to the death of their daughter.

Syble Rossiter, 12, died of complications from diabetes, and she endured such a dramatic weight loss in the month before she died that a teacher confronted her mother about the issue.

The family is part of the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist sect that believes traditional medical treatment is sinful, and instead trusts in God to heal them through faith, The Albany Democrat-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1jS23gm).

Syble’s parents, Travis and Wenona Rossiter, face manslaughter charges. Their attorneys want to exclude evidence of the couple’s beliefs from the trial, arguing that such evidence would be prejudicial. Wenona Rossiter’s family made history in the 1990s, when her brother, Anthony Hays, 7, died of leukemia in 1994 after his parents failed to provide medical care for him.

‘Mother Daughter Event’ at Calvary United Methodist Church

Calvary United Methodist Church is holding its third annual ‘Mother Daughter Event’ from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at the Providence Clubhouse, located on 6226 Providence Club Dr., Mableton, GA. The keynote speaker is Rev. Jasmine Smothers. Tickets are $25 for Adults and $15 for ages 15 and under. For information, call the church at 404-753-8151.

Certificate of Theology Graduation and ITC Commencement Exercises

Bishop Teresa Snorton, the 59th Bishop and the first female Bishop in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church since its founding in 1870, will deliver the address during the 2014 Graduation Exercise for Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). The event is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, on the campus of Morehouse College in the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel (830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA). Bishop Snorton is presiding bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District, which includes the states of Alabama and Florida. Additionally, Rev. Aaron L. Parker, Ph.D., Pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta, will deliver the Certificate of Theology graduation message during the service that takes place 2 p.m., Friday, May 9, at Antioch Baptist Church North (540 Cameron Madison Alexander Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30318).For dates and times of other activities, call 404-614-6394 or log on to www.itc.edu.