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Guest Columnists

  • ‘I was in prison and you came to me’

    For all the world to see, Pope Francis and President Obama recently gave personal witness to Christ’s words in Matthew 25:30, “I was in prison and you came to me.” While it was an historic first prison visit for an American president, it was a relatively familiar act of pastoral outreach for a pope.
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  • Facing a new reality

    With the Supreme Court’s sweeping legalization of same-sex marriage June 26, the church is facing a difficult road ahead – a truth spelled out in the pointed remarks by the four dissenting justices in the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling.
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  • Letting worry out the door while trusting in God

    The kingdom of God is within you. We’ve all heard this truth, but few of us fully understand it or make an effort to put it into practice when we need it. In signing off my letters to friends and others, I often write, “May the Lord be your strength and your joy.”
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  • Supreme Court does not decide what is or is not a sacrament

    An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010 added acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list of federal hate crimes.
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  • Remembering another great encyclical

    While Pope Francis’ new encyclical “Laudato, Si’” is enjoying wide publicity, few people are aware this year marks the 20th anniversary of another powerfully prophetic social justice and peace encyclical: “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”).
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  • Resistance to Pope Francis’ encyclical

    Recently, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said the pope should “leave science to the scientists.” His sentiment is echoed by those who deny climate change and contend that the church should stay out of the debate – following the release of “Laudato Si’” and the conversation that the pope’s encyclical letter on the environment has generated.
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  • Assisted suicide: A Catholic perspective

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  • The trappings of our modern world

    In 1976, you could drive to the United States Capitol, park there and be greeted by police officers who acted as tour guides. You could stand on its steps and watch the city wake up in the morning. Today, this is not allowed.
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  • The family: The closest hospital

    VATICAN CITY – Illness, a common experience in the life of families from childhood until advanced age, was the theme of Pope Francis’ catechesis during his Wednesday. June 11, general audience. “The family has always been the ‘closest hospital,’ and still, today, in many parts of the world, the hospital is a privilege enjoyed by few, and is often far away.
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  • Racism: Paradox of the unique and universal

    Race continues to divide our families, our cities and our nation. Communities of all colors in local communities and law enforcement have suffered unacceptable human losses. Race, skin color, religion, creed, national origin (ancestry), sex, age, disability, military status, accent bias, and language discrimination are a few of the “isms” that continue to plague our society irrespective of legal protections, integration efforts and economic development.
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  • The family and the downward spiral of poverty

    VATICAN CITY – The living conditions that put the family to the test and render it vulnerable, starting with poverty, will be the themes of Pope Francis’ catechesis starting from today, he announced to the 20,000 faithful attending Pope Francis’ Wednesday general audience June 3 in St. Peter’s Square.
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  • The hidden poor of Appalachia

    Back in the mid-1980s, I was working as a director of religious education at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in western Maryland.
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  • Engagement is a path of preparation

    VATICAN CITY – Engagement, the time devoted to laying the groundwork for a project of love taken on in full freedom and awareness, was the theme of Pope Francis’ catechesis during his Wednesday general audience May 27.
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  • The 3 key words of the family: Please, thank you, sorry

    VATICAN CITY – “Please, thank you and sorry” are the three words that Pope Francis “would write on the door of every family home” as they are the key to living well and in peace both inside and outside the home.
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  • Putting faith into action

    Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras and past president of the Latin American bishops’ council, was on the campus of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia at the end of April to participate in a meeting of about 250 Catholic community organizers gathered to express their hopes for the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next September.
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  • Using dialogue in difficult situations

    In today’s secular climate, it isn’t easy to guide teens along paths that will lead them to happier lives. Where do you begin talking to them about some of the potential problems they might face or the situations others might force them into?
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  • The beauty of Christian marriage

    The beauty of Christian marriage, which is not “simply the beauty of the ceremony that takes place in church, but rather the Sacrament made by the Church, giving rise to a new family community,” was the theme chosen by Pope Francis in the catechesis of his Wednesday general audience May 6.
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  • Sacred Heart Cathedral: Students from China at the crossroads

    When you find yourself sitting in your car at the red traffic light at the crossroads of Gough and Ellis streets by St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, take the opportunity to watch classmates at the urban campus of Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep trudge between buildings.
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  • The elderly as poets of prayer

    At 6 o’clock each morning, we Little Sisters gather in the chapel to begin our day with an hour of prayer. Most days we are joined by a petite, frail old woman who wheels herself into the chapel, strains to reach the holy water font, blesses herself and then settles in to begin her daily devotions.
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  • America’s pornography pandemic

    “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.” Matthew 5:28
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