NEWS BRIEFS

Posted: January 27, 2018 at 1:49 a.m.

2 of 12 Mormon

apostles visit LR

Dieter Uchtdorf and Jeffrey Holland, both members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles -- the second-highest governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints -- are in Little Rock today and Sunday as part of a three-day visit, according to Annmarie Worthington, public relations media specialist for the Little Rock stake.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles members are considered to be witnesses of Jesus Christ by the church, and although the 12 men who comprise it frequently travel throughout the world to visit congregations, the presence of two members on a visit is rare and "possibly a first for Arkansas," said Renee Carr, the church's director of public affairs.

Uchtdorf and Holland are scheduled to speak with area missionaries and conduct bishop training today, and will speak at a 10 a.m. service on Sunday at 13901 Quail Run Drive in Little Rock.

In addition to the chapel's estimated capacity of 1,300 and rooms where the service will be televised to those exceeding the capacity, the Sunday service will be broadcast to other stakes -- the church's governing territories -- throughout most of Arkansas and in parts of Tennessee.

Arkansas is home to more than 30,000 Latter-day Saints as of the church's latest figures from last January -- around 1 percent of the state's population and less than half a percent of the nation's nearly 6.6 million adherents to the faith.

"It is an incredible encouragement to a state [like Arkansas] that has a small membership, and to get to hear from them and learn from them will probably one of the biggest blessings [we've] had in a long time," said Worthington of the Apostolic visit. "It just makes you feel like they know we're here."

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Book on martyr

Rother available

Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Little Rock Diocese has released his book Blessed Stanley Francis Rother: The First American Martyr, according to a Jan. 19 news release on the diocese's website.

The book is an adaptation of a 90-minute presentation Taylor has given throughout the state on the life of the Blessed Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma native who was martyred while serving the Tzutujil community in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, in 1981.

Taylor, who was part of the Oklahoma City Diocese at the time of Rother's death, served as the Spanish-speaking Episcopal delegate for the case to have Rother beatified -- the next step toward sainthood after martyrdom -- and his work involved interviewing dozens of people in Guatemala and the United States who had known Rother.

Rother was beatified in a ceremony in Oklahoma City on Sept. 23.

Taylor said he has been giving the presentation for two years and put the material together for the book in December, when it was released. The book, which is available in English and Spanish, is currently in its second printing and can be bought in person at the diocese for $5 or for $6 by calling (501) 664-0125.

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Memphis Jubilee

schools will close

MEMPHIS -- A Tennessee Catholic diocese has announced that all Memphis Jubilee Catholic Schools will close at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The Commercial Appeal reported that the closure includes Memphis Catholic Middle and High Schools, St. Michael Catholic School and eight other Jubilee elementary and middle schools.

Catholic Diocese of Memphis spokesman Vince Higgins said finances influenced the closure as few students pay tuition and those who do often pay only partial. The Jubilee schools serve more than 1,500 students of various grades and ages, many of whom live in poverty.

Higgins said the financial trust funding the schools is "nearly depleted."

However, the Tuesday announcement said an unnamed charter network will apply to open new schools to replace closing ones.

-- The Associated Press

Religion on 01/27/2018