News & Views
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!


Bishop Gerald Kicanas, August 9, 2016 | National Catholic Reporter

They are coming from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other places that are difficult or dangerous to live in. They are mostly young men but many families as well. They have left behind everything: their jobs, their homes, their belongings, their security. They left desperate to get away from violence, war, the death of family and friends, the impossibility to find work to sustain themselves. They left wanting to find a safer place for their children to live and to grow up with some semblance of dignity.

They travel several routes to get to the West. Each route is challenging and risks the loss of their lives. (more…)

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Cindy Wooden, August 1, 2016 | Catholic News Service

Aware of the risk of being called naïve or being accused of spouting platitudes, Pope Francis called on young people to model for adults the paths of mercy and respect, and then demonstrated what he meant.

“Today we adults — we adults — need you to teach us, like you are doing now, how to live with diversity, in dialogue, to experience multiculturalism not as a threat but an opportunity,” the pope told young people gathered for a prayer vigil July 30 in Krakow, Poland.  “Have the courage to teach us that it is easier to build bridges than walls.”


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Brenda Nettles Riojas, July 26, 2016 | Catholic News Service

As World Youth Day kicked off in Poland today, a group of Catholic youth in Texas, some without the money to travel to Poland and others without the legal papers to travel there, got the next best thing: Pope Francis came to them via video, with a message tailored for the community there.

Why did the rural area known as Pueblo de Palmas, near Peñitas get such an honor? Why would the Holy Father send a message to the people of a rural area that some consider “insignificant”?

Three missionary sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who have been living and helping in the area for 12 years will tell you that it’s because the people of God here have a deep faith that is not daunted by poverty or other hardships they may endure.

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Susan Francesconi, July 6, 2016 | National Catholic Reporter

I learned early on that food cooked with care and enjoyed with others is a sure sign of love. Childhood memories steeped in long, lingering meals and shared gifts of food tell me this is true. Of course, it helps that my family has a tradition of snapping pictures not only of people eating the meals we cooked but also of the food itself. People used to think we were strange. I think we were ahead of our time, considering today’s enthusiasm for food photography.

In some ways, the abundance of “foodie” films mirrors our love affair with creating and sharing our culinary masterpieces. Dining scenes are not unusual, but when food-related subject matter becomes a thematic element, the focus extends well beyond food. When observed through a theological lens, food scenes invite viewers to correlate this basic human need with spiritual and scriptural symbols of hunger, abundance and salvation.

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Heidi Schlumpf, July 20, 2016 | National Catholic Reporter

“Who are your heroes?” asked a colleague at the Catholic diocesan newspaper where we both worked.

The question, posed two decades ago, had stumped me. Was it possible that at age 30 I was already so jaded that I couldn’t identify someone I admired for their extraordinary achievements?

My co-worker helped me out, suggesting a number of Catholic women I had interviewed and gushed about when I returned to the newsroom.

He was right: I did have heroes. But I had gotten hung up on the word. As schoolchildren, we learned that heroes win battles, lead nations or found long-lasting organizations. (more…)

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Laura Hammel, July 18, 2016| Global Sisters Report

Last month I was at a meeting of Poor Clare nuns from the Eastern and Midwestern states. These meetings are opportunities for me to see friends and meet new people coming into the Order. Meetings with large groups of people, especially with those I do not know well, are not easy for me. I am used to a life of quiet prayer and am by nature an introvert. However, if I manage to have one conversation with a sister when we share joys and problems of our lives and discuss the present challenges that we face, I find the meeting a very good experience.

In the Gospel account of Mary, Martha and Jesus we see an example of that personal sharing that means so much in our lives. I understand better why Jesus wanted Martha to give up her busy activities and join Mary and him in their time together. (more…)

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Kerry DiNardo, June 29, 2016 | Global Sisters Report

The last day of the 2015-2016 school year, June 17, was also the last day of my two years as a volunteer at Cristo Rey Boston High School. It came quicker than I thought possible.

I spent the last couple of weeks completing the “lasts” of my volunteer duties at school: proctoring my last study block, serving breakfast for the last time, having lunch with my junior students for the last time.

I said goodbye to my beloved students, as I am preparing to move back to Philadelphia after two years in Boston. I know I will be back to visit, but of course, it won’t be the same as being with them every day. I’m excited to be the college mentor for two of my students, so I will be keeping in touch with them and helping them throughout the college process. (more…)

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Joan Chittister, June 23, 2016 | National Catholic Reporter

I was just settling in at the Carter Center in Atlanta for the first session of the “Human Rights Defenders Forum” when it happened. In so august an environment, with participants streaming in from countries I had yet to see, a beautiful young American woman, Melinda, spied a group at the other end of the center’s theater-style conference room. “Oh,” she cried, her arms open wide and her face alight, “my family.” And by that time, they were here. I could hear the languages but not understand them. I could see the smiles but did not know what could have inspired them. But one thing was clear: Family? Obviously so but obviously not. Friends, clearly — but how could that be? I mean, so intense — so immediate — and from that far away?

It was, after all, an international gathering meant to stoke a movement for peace and human rights and, most of all, to recognize the particular difficulties of women everywhere who lack them to the full.

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By Bishop Larry Silva, of Honolulu, June 13, 2016
Posted by Matt Palmer – United States Bishops Conference

Each time I have had the privilege of being present at the Vigil and Closing Mass of World Youth Day (Sydney, Madrid, and Rio), when millions of young Catholics are gathered together at the same time, I think of the scene in the Book of Revelation (see Chapter 19) in which a great multitude stands before the throne of the Lamb, singing praises forever and ever. (more…)

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Jocelyn A. Sideco, June 2, 2016 | National Catholic Reporter

I commute to work each day: side streets to freeway to bridge over 7 miles of the beautiful San Francisco Bay to freeway, freeway and yet another freeway. These 33 minutes (without traffic) give me time to connect with world news, politics, and my own thoughts.

Like many drivers, I get easily startled by motorcyclists whizzing by in between lanes, carving out their own space. Some do this legally, some do this despite the danger and risk their own safety and the safety of others.

Today I caught myself thinking about women in the church and the current conversation of re-thinking women’s role in the life of the church as I sat both startled and annoyed by these motorcyclists sharing the road with me.

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