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New space discoveries resurrect questions of life outside Earth


And God made the two great luminaries, the greater luminary to dominate the day and the lesser luminary to dominate the night; and the stars.” (Gen. 1:16)

During the month of April, Christians throughout the world celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the promise of eternal life. This particular April also brought two astronomical discoveries that raise the question of life beyond the planet Earth.

Let Easter release your inner immortal


When we lose a sense of the immortal, we lose more than a dusty old idea. We lose a sense of storied time. We lose a sense of beginning and end, and we float in a world where the devils easily have their way with us.

One devil is capitalism. Not all capitalism is demonic but enough of it is to notice and name. Some of it is energetic, curious and interesting, urgent to find the optimum human potential. But much of its wine has become vinegar. It acts like a whip, beating its horse to go faster and faster, long after the horse has no idea where it is going with such speed. 

Pastoral letter ‘from the trenches’ emerging in Appalachia


Pastoral letters tend to function as top-down, formal documents from Catholic bishops filled with instructions and moral directives.

But for its next statement, the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, a 44-year old organization devoted to social and environmental justice, is flipping that model upside down.

Preview: With updates, bishops' 1981 message on energy could have renewed impact


It was 1981.

Only two years separated the United States from its second oil crisis in a decade. In 1979, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini had slashed oil shipments to the U.S. to fewer than 500,000 barrels a day. Prices at the pump had soared and gas lines lengthened.

In this context, the Committee on Social Development and World Peace of the U.S. Catholic Conference drafted "Reflections on the Energy Crisis," a statement addressing energy policy.

In praising squirrels, and their relocation


My husband said to me, “Don’t worry, Donna, it is a good trap.” 

The trap was in the back of the car, holding the fifth black squirrel we had captured this winter. The squirrel population in New York City has had a rough winter and brought their trouble straight to my small garden.

I know, people shouldn’t have gardens in New York City. Blame my parsonage. Moreover, people shouldn’t have squirrels digging out and eating all their perennials. Thus, we had to take emergency measures. 

Air pollution 'kiss of death' for 7 million in 2012


“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)

Since the beginning of time, the air we breathe is given to us as a free and ever-present gift from God. Unlike food and water, which is often too scarce for the poorest of the poor, no one can horde, process, package or sell oxygen. Unfortunately, due to humanity’s carelessness, the breath of life is now the kiss of death for seven million people a year.


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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS