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!

HOMELESS JESUS

Chaz Muth- Catholic News Service  8/25/15

WASHINGTON — When Pope Francis approaches the Catholic Charities building in downtown Washington during his U.S. visit in September, he will encounter a “homeless person” covered in a blanket laying on a park bench.

The scene actually is a sculpture. And it’s not a work of art depicting any homeless person; it’s the bronze image of “Homeless Jesus.”

“I hope Pope Francis blesses our ‘Homeless Jesus’ when he’s here,” said Roland Woody, a Washington resident who was homeless until earlier this year. “It’s kind of a symbol of hope for the homeless in D.C. If the pope blesses it, it will be even more special.”   (more…)

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THE HUMANITY WITHIN US

Joan Chittister-National Catholic Reporter: June 9, 2015

NASA is quiet about it, but the fact remains: It is looking for aliens in outer space. What’s more, these days, the rest of us almost expect to see them in our own lifetime. They’re out there somewhere, we figure. And if they don’t find us first, we are certainly going to find them. Maybe under a rock on Mars; maybe in the water beneath the crust of Ceres. Surely somewhere.

If nothing else, the odds alone demand it. Of the 200 billion to 300 billion stars in our own Milky Way and the 100 billion to 200 billion galaxies in the universe, who really believes that we are alone out here?

The problem we’re overlooking is that they are already here. Only now, we call them “robots.” They, too, are alien to our society but moving in fast. In fact, now we hardly notice them anymore.

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WALK IN THE MARGINS

National Catholic Reporter| Editorial Staff | July 27, 2015

Editorial

In the growing corpus of Pope Francis pronouncements — in homilies and speeches and encyclicals — an eloquence adheres that might safely be characterized as singular in quality in the long history of papal literature. It is an eloquence eminently accessible, born of personal experience and shaped primarily by his love of the poor.

It is not a distant love or a romanticized notion out of which he speaks. He doesn’t make heroes of poor people or conjure some noble purpose out of poverty that will somehow be fully realized in the next life.

Quite the opposite. Transcendence is not reserved for some other reality. For Francis, the Christ we worship in the quiet of the sanctuary is the Christ of the streets. Francis is about real here-and-now situations in very plain language, and that language at times is disarmingly undiplomatic.  (more…)

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RADICAL FORGIVENESS

Ilia Delio | Global Sisters Report, May 30, 2015

Nature is fickle. Just when you think you know something about something else, say another human person, a tree or your new cat, you are taken off guard because the other can spring from the plane of the predictable and do surprising things. Just about a month ago, we adopted two six-month-old kittens who had struggled through the first few months of life. We brought them home from the shelter thinking that these two would be fragile and weak, but in a month’s time and with lots of food and rest, they have come alive. Despite their fragile beginnings, they are playful and carefree and remind me of nature’s creative resiliency, as they romp down the hallway throwing their toys into the air, as if the abandoned alley never existed.

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FAITH LEADERS HONORED BY WHITE HOUSE

Dennis Sadowski | Catholic News Service, July 17, 2015

Two Catholics are among a dozen faith leaders who will be honored at the White House July 20 for their work on climate change.

Franciscan Sister Joan Brown, executive director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, and Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, were named Champions of Change by President Barack Obama.

Both told Catholic News Service they were surprised by the honor.

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A GRATEFUL RESPONSE TO LAUDATO SI’

As an Earth lawyer and Catholic sister striving to awaken people to the peril of Earth’s desecration and the promise of acting as a single community of life, I hear Francis’s story with gratitude and relief.

 

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WORKING FOR THE NEEDS OF ALL

Kelli Litt | Global Sisters Report, June 29, 2015

It took a radical notion about serving the marginalized to encourage Sr. Eileen Reilly to accept a job at the United Nations.

The position had been suggested to Reilly multiple times, all of which she graciously declined. When her general superior gave a talk on radical availability, being open to God’s call and the working for the needs of all, Reilly explained that “it just went right to my soul. . . . How can I continue to say no when she’s challenging us all . . . to be radically available to the needs?”

The United Nations was founded in 1945 on the pillars of peace and security, human rights, and development. Today, those pillars still guide the work. Yet, as an inter-governmental system of 193 member states, the United Nations is only as strong as its weakest members and only as strong as each member government allows it to be. While the bureaucracy and power plays are frustrating and discouraging, the presence of non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, many of which are operated by religious communities, helps push the focus of debate to people and the planet rather than power, money, and self-interest.

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POPE FRANCIS’ ENCYCLICAL

Thomas Reese| National Catholic Reporter, June 18, 2015

Some of the most frequently asked questions I have gotten from journalists this week: Why does the encyclical matter? What impact will it have? Why is it getting all this attention?

Let’s start with the last question: Why is it getting all this attention?

The encyclical, “Laudato Si’, On Care for our Common Home,” is getting lots of attention for two reasons.

First, there is a growing consensus around the world that we need to take better care of the environment. Scientific consensus exists that climate change is happening, and human activity is causing it. People are growing in their awareness of environmental problems, but they also see that so far, the world has done little to respond to the crisis.

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ENDING HUNGER

Carol Glatz |Catholic News Service , January 11, 2015

Ending hunger requires changes in lifestyles, production, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Vague concerns and long-winded reports about hunger must be turned into action with policies that guarantee access to food, and lifestyles that stop wasting and start sharing, Pope Francis said.

People’s tendency to run and hide from difficult issues is natural, which means sometimes “instead of acting, we prefer to delegate, at every level,” the pope said June 11 in an address to participants in an annual conference on hunger organized by the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

In fact, avoiding hard truths is something “we often prefer even if we then won’t miss a meeting, a conference or drafting a document” addressing the problem at hand, he said.  (more…)

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ON BEING CHRISTIAN

Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service – May 28, 2015

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must ask themselves whether they help people in need of salvation or whether they just keep Jesus for themselves and are deaf or indifferent to others, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

“It would be good for us to have an examination of conscience” and see if we are Christians who bring people to Christ or push them away, the pope said May 28 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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