Meet Pat Perriello, NCR Today's newest blogger

I am excited to be joining the staff of NCR's blog. My history with the National Catholic Reporter goes back to its origins during the 1960s: I was at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. It was the heady days of Vatican II. There was much excitement and hope for the future of our church. NCR appeared on the scene and became the rallying cry for everything that we believed could make the church more relevant to its people.

Together with NCR, we moved from turning the altar around, coming up with English translations of the parts of the Mass, folk songs being written for liturgical celebrations, etc. We watched each document emerge from the council and marveled at the language and how it signaled a new understanding of the truths of our faith.

I slipped away from NCR for a number of years, raised a family and pursued a career. In the last few years, I have rediscovered it and found it still exciting, innovative and challenging as it relates to our church in the 21st century. Unfortunately, I can't say that the church has kept up with the demands of the time, but has chosen to retrench in so many areas.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

I look forward to a lively dialogue with NCR readers and continue to hope and believe in the possibility of renewing and transforming our church. In order to do that, I believe we have to do more than talk about the needs of the church: I believe we have to find ways to take action. Our faithful nuns have shown us the way in so many areas. The time for passively sitting in the pews needs to make way for ensuring that our voices are heard. I know of no better vehicle for that purpose than the National Catholic Reporter.

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