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Voices
  • Defending tenants’ rights

    I write about our situation in the area surrounding our parish in the Mission District, but certainly in defense of all local communities under threat of displacement. Speaking to Gabriel Medina from the Mission Economic Development Association (another great Riordan graduate), and Francisco Herrera, long active in Mission District parishes, taught me that 1,400 families with children, and a total of 8,000 people, many on fixed income or disability after working for many years, have been evicted over the past 10 years in the Mission District, even though they are good tenants who pay their rent. I personally have been involved with many families or fixed income individuals who unjustly are given eviction notices.
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  • Displacing ego and narcissism

    The Buddhists have a little axiom that explains more about ourselves than we would like. They say that you can understand most of what’s wrong in the world and inside yourself by looking at a group photo.
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  • Death in a Christian perspective

    When someone departs from this life we say that person has died. What do we mean? St. Paul says the person fell asleep in the Lord.
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  • Annulments: What is really changing?: The abbreviated process

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process. The mass media, including even some Catholic news outlets, have reported a great deal of misinformation about the changes. In question-and-answer format over the next few weeks, I would like to reflect on various aspects of this new “motu proprio” responding to some logical questions which have been raised since publication.
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  • Throwing aside the garment of worldly attachment

    What must I do to be saved? To ask this question – truly, authentically, honestly, in the depths of our hearts – is already a profound gift of grace from Jesus Christ. How often do we ask this question? How seriously do we take this question? Do we realize it is possible not to be saved?
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  • World Mission Sunday 2015

    Every year we remember in a special way our Baptismal call to mission as we celebrate World Mission Sunday, this year on October 18.
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  • Pope Francis: A model ministry

    Pope Francis has shifted the conversation away from “who is out” to “who is in”; away from what behaviors will preclude you from the services of the church to how the services of the church must be better deployed to serve those at the periphery of society.
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  • Annulments: What is really changing?: Elimination of automatic appeal

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process. The mass media, including even some Catholic news outlets, have reported a great deal of misinformation about the changes.
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  • Sons of thunder: ‘We want power’

    Since the Second Vatican Council there has been a lot of confusion about power in the American church. To some Vatican II became an opportunity to “restructure” the distribution of power in Catholicism.
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  • Jailed for defending marriage

    Kim Davis, the now famous clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, who became known for her refusal to issue marriage licenses, was arrested and incarcerated.
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  • Life after the convent: Finding the courage to start over

    There is no scrapbook of Kathy Webb’s life as a Dominican sister. No picture frames or friendship bracelets, no nun memorabilia perched in a closet or buried in a trunk.
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  • Communication and mercy: A fruitful encounter

    VATICAN CITY – “Communication and mercy: A fruitful encounter” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for World Communications Day.
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  • Issues beneath issues at synod 2015

    Since Pope Francis announced that two synods would examine the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family and work to devise more evangelically dynamic responses to that crisis, a lot of attention has focused on issues of Catholic discipline:
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  • Innocence, complexity, and sanctity

    Some years ago, I officiated at a wedding. As the officiating priest, I was invited to the reception and dance that followed upon the church service. Not knowing the family well and having church services the next morning, I left right after the banquet and the toasts, just as the dancing was about to start. When I was seemingly out of earshot, I heard the bride’s father say to someone: “I’m glad that Father has gone; now we can celebrate with some rock music!”
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  • The church can light up the darkness of humanity

    “When life proves difficult and demanding, we can be tempted to step back, turn away and withdraw, perhaps even in the name of prudence and realism, and thus flee the responsibility of doing our part as best we can,” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 3.
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  • Follow the money

    On Sept. 3, pro-life Susan B. Anthony List invited 2,000 congressional Democrats and their staffs to a Capitol Hill screening of the Planned Parenthood investigative videos released to date. Only nine staffers showed up. Why? Perhaps a quick look at the money flowing between Planned Parenthood, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats tells the story.
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  • Caring for our soul

    What does it profit you if you gain the whole world but suffer the loss of your own soul?
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  • How the marriage nullity process is changing

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process. The mass media, including even some
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  • Unity marks God’s kingdom

    In the Gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for their “hardness of hearts.”
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  • Annulments: What is really changing?

    On Sept. 8, 2015, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (“The Lord Jesus, Gentle Judge,”) a document revising the marriage nullity process.
    Full story
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