The documentary "The Heart of Nuba" opens April 6 in New York City. The film tells the inspiring true story of DR. TOM CATENA, a native of Amsterdam in the Albany Diocese who has spent nine years serving at Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba mountains of Sudan, a region bombed relentlessly. He is the only doctor for up to one million people. He received the prestigious Aurora Prize last year for his humanitarian work and has been profiled several times in The Evangelist (see www.evangelist.org). Learn more about the movie at https://theheartofnuba.com....

REV. THOMAS SHEA, CSC, a missionary from the Albany Diocese who served in Peru for 41 years, has published "Gracias Peru: A Missionary's Memoir." It's available through amazon.com as an ebook or in paperback....

REV. THOMAS MORRETTE, pastor of St. Mary's parish in Glens Falls, offered a thought on dealing with transgendered persons: "A new book ['When Harry Became Sally' by RYAN ANDERSON] might be of help to those of us who are sifting through the many layers of the transgender debate. Anderson's book outlines the Catholic Church's beliefs regarding transitioning from one gender to another. It speaks with compassion to those who find themselves feeling disconnected to their gender and it expresses concern for those who want to turn to radical surgeries to alter their gender. However, Anderson points out that our faith believes that gender is not a state of mind, nor is it a cultural construct that can be abandoned when uncomfortable.

"Catholics should reach out with compassion to those who struggle with sexual identity issues. However, we also have the obligation to speak the truth. We need to point out that there are dangerous choices which can hurt and subvert, in the long run, authentic sexual fulfillment. Advocating and promoting the teaching of Christ and the Church about the dignity of the God-given gift of sexuality is a critical part of what we bring to those who suffer this pain. We can do this along with assuring them that we honor their pain and that we will walk along the road with them to true freedom and healing"....

Students at Saratoga Central Catholic High School were allowed to join a recent nationwide student response to violence in schools. Students who wished to participate could go to the school gym for a remembrance prayer service, starting with 17 minutes of silence for the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Some high school students wished to publicly display their support for the victims; they went outside to continue their prayer service on the sidewalk in front of the school as other students remained in the gym to finish the prayer service there. Students who wished to remain in their classrooms and not participate in the service were allowed to do so....

St. Mary's parish in Cooperstown collected shoes during Lent for Border Buddies, a ministry by missionaries MICHAEL AND GLENDA MILLER serving people in Honduran prisons....

St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands has received a $5,000 grant from the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area for a visitors' enhancement program to offer virtual cemetery tours, historical information and a way to easily locate burial sites. The project begins this month under the direction of cemetery historian KELLY GRIMALDI. There will be a computer kiosk at the visitors' center entrance to provide support to visitors when the office is closed....

DR. PAUL MURRAY, emeritus professor of sociology at Siena College in Loudonville, researches Catholic activists in the civil rights movement and was an activist himself. He just had an article titled, "Franciscan was an unlikely civil rights hero," published in the National Catholic Reporter newspaper's March 23-April 5 issue. Veterans of the civil rights movement can contact him at murray@siena.edu.

About 10 students from Albany High School came to Siena College in Loudonville March 22 to explore career options in culinary arts and culinary business. "Siena Fresh" director RACHEL JONES came up with the idea to have the students try cooking at the college....

The Knights of Columbus have launched a membership initiative in New York that allows eligible Catholic men to join online. See http://kofc.org/un/newjoin/en/press.html.