News & Views
Check in each week to read interesting articles from Catholic writers, discover what Catholics are talking about in the wider world, find out what's happening in the lives of Catholic leaders, and keep up with the latest news from the Sisters of Bon Secours!

VOWS THAT WAKE UP THE WORLD

February 2015
Tracy Kemme, Global Sisters Report
The snow began falling steadily just before prayers Monday morning, and Tuesday we awoke to a world completely covered in white. It was a gentle snow, albeit persistent. My housemate Maureen commented, “It looks like nothing is happening!” But before we knew it, schools were closed, appointments were canceled and the plows were hard at work.
It’s quite remarkable to consider that the culprits of this topsy-turvy day are snowflakes. Each one is a tiny, delicate crystal of ice, or cluster of ice crystals, that may be just a fraction of a centimeter and melts instantly upon contact. On its own, it doesn’t pack much punch.

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UNITED AS FAMILY

February 18, 2015
Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Liberty and equality are not enough for the well-being of a nation, there must also be a strong sense of brotherhood that is first developed and nurtured in the family, Pope Francis said.

Without seeing each other as brothers and sisters, a nation’s citizens may distort these values, letting freedom and equality “be filled with individualism and conformity,” he said at his general audience Feb. 18.

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ASH WEDNESDAY

February 18, 2015
Joyce Meyer, PBVM- international liaison for Global Sisters Report.

Ash Wednesday is one of my favorite days. I love being part of the lines of people, young and old, slowly snaking forward towards the altar to have the mud of ashes and water marked in a cross on our foreheads. As I walk along, I wonder what is so attractive about this day. I remember one place I worked, where a non-practicing Catholic colleague always asked me to share my ashes with her. She wanted to be part of the day. So what is it about this annual marking?

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ADVOCATES FOR JUSTICE

Stand at the cross and hear God's voice.

FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Carol Zimmerman, Catholic News Service

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave Catholic social ministry leaders these words of advice before they went to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers: “Be courageous, be compassionate, be civil, stay calm. Do not fear. Go forth.”

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CONSERVATION IS BEING CHRISTIAN

Feb. 9, 2015
Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

Acts of conservation of the earth are not “going green” but being Christian, Pope Francis said Monday during his morning Mass.

Vatican Radio reported that the remarks came as Francis reflected on the creation of the universe passage in the Book of Genesis, what he referred to as the “first creation.”

“In the ‘first creation’ we must respond with the responsibility that the Lord gives us: ‘The earth is yours, take it forward; let it grow.’ Even for us there is a responsibility to nurture the Earth, to nurture Creation, to keep it and make it grow according to its laws. We are the lords of creation, not its masters,” he said.

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POPE FRANCIS TO ADDRESS CONGRESS

February 5, 2015
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Feb. 5 that Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24.

The pontiff’s “historic visit” would make him the “first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress,” Boehner said in a statement, adding that he was “truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation.”

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GLOBAL INITIATIVE

Stand at the cross and hear God's voice.

February 3, 2015
Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

VATICAN CITY- Several Vatican congregations and leaders of the global representative groups of men and women religious are teaming up for a new global initiative to fight human trafficking, a scourge Pope Francis has called a modern “crime against humanity.”

With the new International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, the Catholic leaders hope to draw attention to what many have called the modern slave trade and what the United Nations says has affected some 21 million around the globe.

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TO BE VISIONARY

We can grow strong spiritually through God's guidance.

January 30, 2015
Colleen Gibson, Global Sisters Report

Look for the tree.” I would tell friends and family when they first came to visit me in Philadelphia. “It’s the only one for blocks.”

In 2010, I moved to Philadelphia to serve as a full-time volunteer, leaving a full-time job behind to serve as a parish outreach minister in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The tree in front of our volunteer house was a point of reference. It was a marker, rising above the row homes and trash-strewn streets of the neighborhood. As it came into focus, it guided others to us, while also serving as a sign of what had been and a signal of what could be.

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Trappist Father’s Message Lives On

January 27, 2015
Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -When Trappist Father Thomas Merton addressed persistent racism in his writing during the 1960s, his message seemingly reached into the future. Appealing to society to recognize that all people are children of God, Father Merton questioned practices that prevented African-Americans from achieving full equality and called for the end of discrimination in all forms. It was just one of the priest’s stances on important social issues, encompassing race relations, militarism and war, consumerism and the burdens posed by technology.

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MIGRANTS FIND WELCOME

Jan. 27, 2015
Megan Sweas, National Catholic Reporter

ROME AND SICILY August in Italy is usually a time for rest and relaxation. But on one Saturday in the summer of 2013, beachgoers in Catania, Sicily, found a boat full of migrants that had crashed off the city’s shore. As news spread throughout social media, a group of Catania’s youth knew what they needed to do.

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