Leila Gavros, 59, and her grandson Ra’Shaun, 16, soak up sun on the steps of their Northeast Portland home. Gavros started caring for Ra’Shaun when he was 2 months old and is one of a growing number of grandparents raising grandchildren.
They neither planned for it nor asked for it. The responsibility sprung from heartbreak, and they knew the outcome would be messy. But when John and LaVonne Doherty’s daughter died from drug use, leaving two young children, they didn’t hesitate.
“There wasn’t any other answer but to say, ‘Yes,’” said LaVonne, 71. “We were always open to life; we just didn’t realize that would mean we would raise our grandchildren.”
The Dohertys, members of Holy Redeemer Parish in North Portland, are among nearly 25,000 grandparents in Oregon, and 2.7 million nationwide, who are raising grandchildren, according to census figures.
Loss is universal, but identifying grief that results from loss often is difficult. Losses build up and lead to feelings of sadness, depression and grief. A workshop set for Saturday, May 6, at the Northwest Catholic Counseling Center aims to offer insight and hope.
“Dear friend,” many begin. Some are typed, others handwritten with penmanship ranging from precise print to the uneven lettering of small hands still learning the craft. Doodles of birds, flowers, hearts and spirals fill margins. Composed continents apart, their pages contain news of a sibling’s birth, an aced exam and a favorite after-school snack, but also fears, losses, dreams.
The letters, shared between students in Ghana and the Pacific Northwest, are the result of Yo Ghana!, a nonprofit seeking to deepen cross-cultural understanding and build relationships through the art of letter exchange.
WILSONVILLE — Effective parishes embrace shared leadership, create ample opportunities for spiritual growth, offer a compelling Sunday experience and a live by a spirit of evangelization. That was the message April 26 to parish workers from around western Oregon. They were attending the annual Pastoral Ministry Conference for priests, deacons, religious and lay ministers.
PARIS — A few hours after the announcement of the winners of the first round of the French presidential election, the French bishops' conference published a reflection on voting in the final round. As they have throughout the election campaign, the bishops did not endorse a candidate by name, but gave Catholics "elements for discernment."
KIGALI, Rwanda — The Benebikira Sisters, the oldest indigenous congregation in Rwanda, have sisters who are teachers, nurses, pharmacists, formators and administrators. But they also have religious with a unique title: Sister Listeners.
VATICAN CITY — Praying that God would protect Egypt from all evil, Pope Francis told the nation's people that a world torn apart by indiscriminate violence needs courageous builders of peace, dialogue and justice.
"How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion," Pope Francis said in a video talk played April 25 for 1,800 people attending TED 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and posted online with subtitles in 20 languages.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will declare the sainthood of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Mary in Fatima, Portugal, during his visit to the site of the apparitions May 13.