WEEK IN RELIGION

A new coalition of black Catholics was recently formed to support the sainthood of five African-Americans. Located on the campus of Xavier University in New Orleans, the Xavier’s Institute for Black Catholic Studies, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, the National Black Sisters Conference, the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association and the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons, have established a new resource center to facilitate research on the candidates and other black Catholics. The candidates include Peirre Toussaint (1766-1853), Henriette Delille (1813-1862), Mary Elizabeth Lange (1794-1882), Augustus Tolton (1854-1897) and Julia Greeley (1840-1918). The Catholic church has recognized numerous saints of African descent, but currently have no black American saints. For sainthood, the Roman Catholic Church has a four-stage process that can take decades to complete. According to the church, Lange, Tolton and Greeley have attained the first level, in which a diocesan tribunal affirms the person lived lives of “heroic virtue.” Delille and Toussaint are in the second or veneration level, with both being proclaimed heroic in virtue by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints with the approval of the pope.

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STUDY SAYS

Many site practical or personal reasons for not attending religious services

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 37 percent of U.S. adults who attend religious services a few times a year or less often said the prefer to practice their faith in other ways than going to a church, synagogue, mosque or another house of worship.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Religion, History, and Place in the Origin of Settled Life” by Ian Hodder

This volume explores the role of religion and ritual in the origin of settled life in the Middle East, focusing on the repetitive construction of houses or cult buildings in the same place. Prominent archaeologists, anthropologists, and scholars of religion working at several of the region’s most important sites — such as Çatalhöyük, Göbekli Tepe, Körtik Tepe, and Aşıklı Höyük — ontend that religious factors significantly affected the timing and stability of settled economic structures.

— University Press of Colorado

THE WORD

Ganesh: Pronounced “guh-NAYSH.” The beloved elephant-faced representation of God honored by Hindus and followers of other Indian religions, Ganesh is the remover of obstacles.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Jamaica is:

— Protestant: 64.8 percent

— Roman Catholic: 2.2 percent

— Jehovah’s Witness: 1.9 percent

— Rastafarian: 1.1 percent

— Other: 6.5 percent

— None: 21.3 percent

— Unspecified: 2.3 percent

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