Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. writes for Religion News Service.

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First U.S.-Born Priest and Martyr Beatified by Catholic Church

by Bobby Ross Jr. 09-25-2017

Image via RNS/Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

In an apostolic letter read in Latin by Amato and English by Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Francis praised Rother as a priest and martyr “who was driven by a deeply rooted faith and a profound union with God, and by the arduous duty to spread the Word of God in missionary lands.”

First U.S.-Born Martyr Approved for Beatification Evokes Awe, Stirs Faith

by Bobby Ross Jr. 07-31-2017

Image via RNS/Keaton Ross

“It’s hard to really put into words,” said Marita Rother, a nun and younger sister of the priest who was shot to death on July 28, 1981, while serving as a Catholic missionary during Guatemala’s bloody civil war.

“I think the whole thing is beyond what any of us would expect to be happening,” she added.

As Major Cities Crack Down on Panhandling, People of Faith Wrestle With Their Consciences

by Bobby Ross Jr. 05-26-2017

Image via RNS/Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

“If I’ve got money, and it’s easy for me to get over and give them money, I do,” Thun said. “What the Lord taught me is, I have a responsibility to give. What they choose to do with the money is between them and the Lord, and he can work with them in regards to stewardship.”

Bible Belt State with Nation’s Highest Execution Rate Considers Death Penalty Flaws

by Bobby Ross Jr. 05-03-2017

Image via RNS/Bobby Ross Jr.

“Many of the findings of the commission’s year-long investigation were disturbing, and led commission members to question whether the death penalty can be administered in a way that ensures no innocent person is put to death,” according to the in-depth report.

Stripping Away the Stigma: Christian Ministries Help Women Escape Sex Industry

by Bobby Ross Jr. 05-12-2014

Polly Wright leads “We Are Cherished,” a Texas-based nonprofit. Religion News Service photo by Bobby Ross Jr.

The smoke, the loud music, and the smell of perfumes trigger uncomfortable memories for Polly Wright.

But Wright ignores those reminders of her past as she and a troupe of women make their way to the strip club’s dressing room to deliver gift bags filled with fingernail polish, colorful earrings, and handwritten notes with messages such as “I’m praying for you.”

The bags also contain tubes of lip gloss with contact information where dancers can receive help and support. A finger can cover the tiny print so a pimp or abusive boyfriend can’t see it.

“We are in there saying, ‘You are loved, valued, and cherished, and you are not alone,’” said Wright, founder and executive director of We Are Cherished, a faith-based organization that regularly visits more than 50 adult entertainment venues throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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