HOUSTON (OSV News) – Entering a cavelike entrance, visitors at the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston confront a life-size statue lying in the tomb, a replica of the man’s body image from the Shroud of Turin. Sculpted by Italian artist Luigi Enzo Mattei, the body shows some of the suffering endured but in a subdued manner. The dark, bronze-colored resin statue highlights a gaping hole in his side, in each of his wrists, his feet and other wounds. Across on a wall of the compact space, a 14-foot replica of the well-known Shroud of Turin looms as the possible burial cloth of Jesus. The shroud exposition sits adjacent to the museum’s lengthy exhibit on the death of the popes and features two life-size, back-lit screen displays of the shroud’s photonegative scans from official studies. Visitors have room to view the shroud up close, a certified linen reproduction gifted to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston from the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy. The shroud replica is just one of seven authentic reproductions recently made available by Turin officials for public display around the world. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston blessed the new exhibit with holy water, telling those gathered that the shroud “has led many to contemplate more deeply the central mysteries of the Christian faith, principally the historical reality of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.”
WASHINGTON (OSV News) – On May 11, when Title 42 public health order comes to an end, processing of migrants will be full reinstated under Title 8, a measure that experts said would stiffen the consequences for migrants who attempt to cross the border into the United States irregularly. Additionally, the Biden administration announced on May 10 new measures that would further harden the requirements to request asylum in the United States. Troy Miller, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), testified before Congress in recent days that the agency is preparing for up to 10,000 migrants to cross the southern border daily once Title 42 ends. Title 42 is part of the U.S. federal public health law implemented by the Trump administration in 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Title 8 has been the standard for migration to the United States for decades. Johanna Kelley, a Washington-based immigration lawyer, said, “What is new are the policies of execution and implementation of Title 8; what is new is what the Biden administration is doing to create these regional centers (to process migrants in places like Guatemala and Colombia), to generate alternative paths to stop irregular migration and these processes or procedures before entry through paroles,” she said. “Sadly, the asylum ban policy that the administration is finalizing raises many barriers to the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers at the border,” said Dylan Corbett, director of the Hope Border Institute.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Although she died centuries ago, the English mystic Julian of Norwich continues to remind people of the importance of “faith in God’s loving providence and holiness of life expressed in generous service to our brothers and sisters in need,” Pope Francis said. Pope Francis’ message about the ongoing relevance of the medieval mystic was read May 14 at the Anglican cathedral in Norwich, England, during an ecumenical service marking the 650th anniversary of the “shewings” or visions and revelations Julian received in Norwich over several days and nights in May 1373. Noting how Julian of Norwich’s life and writings are “increasingly being acknowledged and celebrated,” Pope Francis said that “her maternal influence, humble anonymity and profound theological insights stand as timely reminders” of the importance of faith in God and assisting one another. The mystic’s real name is not known; she is called Julian because she lived in a cell at the Church of St. Julian, praying and receiving visitors who asked for help.
JERUSALEM (OSV News) – Faith leaders and activists for coexistence from across Israel gathered in prayer in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on May 10, in a week that once again saw yet another increase in violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The prayer march came after the May 2 death in prison of prominent hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, a leader and spokesman in the Islamic Jihad militant group. The prayer gathering took on more urgency following an early morning Israeli airstrike into Gaza May 9 that killed three senior Islamic Jihad militants and at least 10 civilians including the militants’ wives, several children, and civilian neighbors in a residential building. Muslim peace activist Ghadir Hani, from the northern Israeli city of Acco, and Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway from the Jerusalem area, said their prayers – recited in both Hebrew and Arabic – took on a special urgency now, and that it was important to see Arabs and Jews marching together at these very tense times, with the missile attacks continuing even as they prayed. “Today we are praying for all the children in Gaza and for all the children living along the Gaza border in Israel. We are one, and we are the ones bringing light to all the people of this land,” Hani said. “This march is a very important statement.”
LONDON (OSV News) – Catholic leaders in Britain welcomed the ecumenical and interfaith elements in the May 6 coronation of King Charles III and his consort, Queen Camilla, as well as a pledge by the new monarch “not to be served but to serve.” “The years following the Reformation were a desperately challenging time for Catholics, with priests, religious and laity persecuted and killed for their faith – it is testament to an incredible journey of reconciliation that six Catholic bishops were present at the coronation, including Vatican representatives,” said Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark. The archbishop was preaching at a May 7 thanksgiving Mass at St. George’s Cathedral in Southwark following the coronation, which was attended by 2,300 in London’s historic Westminster Abbey, including heads of state and government, and watched live by tens of millions worldwide. Westminster Abbey said the coronation, with its historic elements of recognition, oath-taking, anointing, investiture, crowning, enthronement and homage, had been the 39th in the Gothic building since that of William the Conqueror in 1066. The procession into the abbey included a new Cross of Wales, incorporating fragments of the Cross of Christ donated by Pope Francis, and a book of Latin gospels used in a sixth-century conversion mission to England, and was joined by various Christian denominations, as well as Bahai, Jain, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish leaders.