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    Church in Pennsylvania defies the curse of a coal fire

    Centralia, Pennsylvania, is a ghost town, as an unquenchable 54-year-old underground coal fire compelled the relocation of virtually the entire population in the 1980s. Improbably, however, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, perched on a hilltop just outside the borough line, is still active.

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    How to engage a loved one who's walked away from the faith

    Following the example of Saint John Paul II in terms of talking with one who has left the fold might prove the most effective route. He listened to people desiring to understand them and their hearts, he discerned to find similarities and shared convictions he held with the other person, and then he used what was shared between himself and the other person as a bridge for dialogue.

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    Three (more) reasons why Mother Teresa's halo matters

    Mother Teresa's holiness is the primary reason she's being declared a saint on Sept. 4, but the canonization also has something to say on other levels -- about what mercy looks like in practice, about how to defend the faith from its critics, and about the role of women in the Catholic Church.

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