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Voices

Guest Columnists



  • Let’s encourage the elders in our church

    I recently participated in the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Florida. The purpose of this large, unprecedented encounter between U.S. bishops and laity was to study what Pope Francis has termed the “new peripheries” and to form missionary disciples.
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  • Why pray the rosary?

    More than a century ago a proud university student boarded a train in France and sat next to an older man who seemed to be a peasant of comfortable means. The brash student noticed that the older gentleman was slipping beads through his fingers. He was praying the rosary.
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  • Civilta Cattolica essay: Overreaction to a questionable problem

    An overreaction to a questionable problem – that was my thought on reading a piece about American politics and the religious right by two men said to be close to Pope Francis.
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  • Civilta Cattolica misses richness of Catholic-evangelical relations

    In a recent editorial, “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism,” Civilta Cattolica identified cooperation between Protestant fundamentalists and conservative American Catholics as “a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.”
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  • Mary, consecration and Christian life

    A season of consecration is upon us, a season of joyful commitments gladly made. In May, 13 new permanent deacons and in June two new priests were ordained in our cathedral, consecrated to the service of the people of this archdiocese.
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  • California legislative dreaming

    California has had a full-time legislature since 1966, only one of three states that boasts a full-time, lucratively paid and nicely staffed governing body.
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  • Some fear is salutary

    A woman wrote to me recently: “Father I was wondering if you could offer me some suggestions? I am trying to trust in our Lord, but I tend to be anxious, sometimes to the point of having anxiety attacks. I want to trust God, but I get so frightened.”
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  • The greatest mission for parents

    Last month we watched Pope Francis travel to Fatima for the centenary of Our Lady’s apparitions to the three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto. Much has been said and written about Fatima this year.
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  • Self-help is a choice

    One of the most important things you can do to improve your mental health, and strengthen your spiritual life is to find a way to fill your mind with uplifting thoughts because the thoughts you wallow in today, will always filter down into your feelings tomorrow.
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  • Pentecost and you

    We celebrate the birthday of the church on Pentecost Sunday 50 days after Easter. The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, and transformed them from the frightened men they had become after the crucifixion, into the courageous apostles of Jesus Christ, who fearlessly faced martyrdom.
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  • Reformation at 500: Year of unparalleled opportunity

    In his new book “Martin Luther: An Ecumenical Perspective,” Cardinal Walter Kasper notes that our ideas about Martin Luther have undergone transformations in a number of ways over the past 500 years. Historically, for Catholics, Luther was the church father of Protestantism, the heretic to blame for the division of the Western Church.
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  • A girl called ‘Resurrection’

    In the 1980s I lived and worked at a Catholic Mission situated about an hour’s drive northwest of Pretoria, South Africa. Along with eight other Sisters of Mercy, I lived in a village of about 40,000 Tswana people.
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  • Refugee crisis: Meaning in the face of suffering

    In recent decades the forced movement of refugees and internally displaced persons has been rising markedly, reaching 67 million displaced people today. This is higher than at any time since World War II.
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  • The importance of speaking in the public square

    Every time I am asked to speak on this topic I find myself returning for inspiration to the story from the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 17) of St. Paul in the agora of ancient Athens – that great meeting place of government, commerce and ideas. Paul could see the city was full of idols, and Acts tells us his spirit was “provoked,” but still he held his ground and witnessed to Christ. His testimony was of particular interest to the philosophers, who enjoyed discussing all the latest news and fashionable ideas of the time.
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  • Healing the loss of a loved one

    I lost my mother unexpectedly last November, after having lost my father after a long illness eight years earlier. My siblings and I suddenly found ourselves “orphans” as we marked our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without either of our parents. Now we are anticipating our first Mother’s Day without mom.
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  • An Easter blessing

    I wish you a Happy Easter, and I send you this blessing with my love and prayers.
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  • The message of Ash Wednesday

    What is the message of Ash Wednesday? What does the Liturgy of the Word for Ash Wednesday say to you about Lent and following Christ?
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  • Christ ‘enough to satisfy every heart’

    Each of us is called to be a disciple. We’re called to listen like disciples (Isaiah 50:4). “The Lord opened my ears that I may listen like a disciple. Morning after morning he wakes me to hear that I might learn from him how to offer a word of comfort to the weary.”
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  • Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service

    This year’s theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.”
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  • March for Life

    On Jan. 27, thousands of young Americans – including nearly 200 from the Diocese of Green Bay – will fill the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, holding signs and chanting slogans that proclaim a pro-life message.
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