NCR Today

The New Yorker Thanksgiving cover takes on immigration


The Huffington Post has a compelling story on the New Yorker's Thanksgiving cover story:

"No stranger to controversial cover art, The New Yorker Thanksgiving issue depicts a gaggle of pilgrims scampering under a starry sky.

"A woman crawls under a barbed-wire fence that could be the U.S.-Mexico border. Two men, sweat dripping from their hats, sprint across the barren landscape.

"The illustration is entitled 'Promised Land.'

"'American politics tend to be very practical and open-minded, so why would you consider throwing them out?' Cover artist Christoph Niemann told Huffington Post LatinoVoices. 'The debate should be about how can a country benefit from immigration. America depends on immigration. The discussion will be more valuable if it is focused on benefits.'"

Morning Briefing


Catholics revise words of Mass

Pope accepts resignation of another Irish bishop, leaving seven of Ireland's 26 Catholic dioceses without a bishop and raising expectations of major cutbacks in the size of the Irish church following child-abuse scandals.

North Smithfield, R.I. -- First Baptist Church settles in Catholic chapel for now

Women’s health advocates fear Obama will cave in to Catholic bishops’ demands

Catholic women to create national network against domestic violence

Give us the grace to feed the hungry


To my great surprise, when I was 40, I acquired two teenage foster sons, brothers whose mother suffered severe depression. I had moved from the large emergency shelter at the Catholic Worker to a four-flat in need of significant rehab. A couple of women from the community came with me and I made a place for Paul, 15, when he got out of the hospital. His 13-year-old brother moved in right behind him.

We were so busy then. We were up to our elbows in need. I'd known the boys for four years. Their family was one of the first to come to Karen House. It didn't seem any more out of the ordinary for them to move in with me than for them to have lived for months at a time on the street.

I tell this because I am so grateful for Elijah and Paul. I went to Elijah's daughter's high school graduation last May. It knocks my socks off.

I'm grateful to their mother, Helen, for letting her boys leave her. I'm grateful to the child abuse supervisor who said she would not pursue the case as long as the boys stayed with me. I'm grateful to Elijah and Paul for choosing me.

The high cost of lost integrity


In commenting on my article concerning the nonreception of church teaching ("When is dissent not just dissent?" Nov. 17), Jim McCrea made some valid points well worth considering: "How many of us know priests and lay people, active in parishes and dioceses, who compromise their core beliefs so as to carry on the good work they are doing within church structures? Whether the issue is Eucharistic inclusivity, option for the poor, a thinking laity, married clergy, women's ordination, homosexuality, contraception, our Church fosters a culture of keeping quiet so as to keep going. Sometimes the pressure from above is overt, but we are all subject to that subtlest form of institutional intimidation which everyone registers without it having to be articulated.

"We watch the few who persist in standing against it being marginalized or pushed out altogether; their whole lives can be taken apart. Many, both young and lifelong churchgoers, can no longer accept it and are walking away. Meanwhile those who slip into capitulating to it progressively deform their spiritual integrity.

DePaul University receives $10 million pledge


From the university's press release:

DePaul University has something special to be thankful for this Thanksgiving—the generosity of an alumnus and his wife who have pledged $10 million from their estate to the university.

The largest single gift in the institution’s 113-year history will support student scholarships and a professorship at DePaul’s College of Commerce. The donors, a retired graduate of the college and his wife, wish to remain anonymous.

"This landmark gift is notable not just in its magnitude but in the profound impact it will have on the College of Commerce and the students who come through its doors seeking opportunity and excellence," said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul. "This gift is going to change the lives of countless students and help DePaul meet our commitment to recruiting the very best faculty to teach them. We could not be more grateful to this generous couple for what they are doing for the many generations that follow them."

A serving of gratitude may save the day


New York Times columnist John Tierney writes today on the life-changing effects of gratitude. It's a good read.

"The most psychologically correct holiday of the year is upon us.

"Cultivating an 'attitude of gratitude' has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. A new study shows that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked, which helps explain why so many brothers-in-law survive Thanksgiving without serious injury."

My daughters and the new Mass


My two teenage daughters are on the warpath. Not about some mean girl at school, or a teacher who grades on an unfair curve. No, they are all riled up about -- the Roman Missal.

Both my girls go to Catholic school (one in high school, the other in middle school). And for the past few days, they've been reviewing and rehearsing the upcoming liturgical changes. They are not happy.

New Mass translation a 'significant turning point' in New York


This article about the new Mass translation appeared in the Nov. 20 edition of the Sunday Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y. It gives some idea of the amount of confusion that may accompany the season of Advent, at least in some places.

Stephen Powers of the Capital District region of Call to Action in upstate New York attempted to clarify some of the issues involved in a reply to the paper:

Report: Religious groups spend millions on advocacy


Over at Roll Call is an interesting article on the amount of money religious groups spend on lobbying, including the U.S. bishops conference, which spent more than $26 million in 2009.

Religious organizations spend more than $390 million a year on lobbying and advocacy, according to a report released today that identifies pro-Israel groups as the No. 1 spenders.

Also among the top spenders are organizations fighting for or against abortion rights and groups that endorse traditional cultural values, according to the report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The report examined direct lobbying to influence legislation and issue-oriented public policy work, offering the first detailed analysis of religious advocacy in two decades.

... The other top spenders in 2008 and 2009, based on the most recently available data, included the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which spent $26.7 million on advocacy in 2009.

Rallying the faithful on matters of the budget


On Sunday, I journeyed to Lafayette Park, across from the White House, for a rally called by faith leaders (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) to tell Congress and the president not to solve the deficit problem on the backs of those who are poor and most vulnerable. It is called the Faithful Budget Campaign.

The topic is relevant, in the news and important. The weather was surprisingly good. The program was inspiring: readings from the Qu'ran, the Torah and the New Testament, brief and stirring speeches by leaders of all three Abrahamic traditions, and a wonderful song about greed from Bernice Johnson Reagon, one of the founders of "Sweet Honey and the Rock."

The problem was this: There were only about 100 people assembled to hear it and participate. I saw one of my friends from NETWORK there, and I wondered, "Why so few with a topic so important?" She didn't know.

I felt disheartened. I doubt that our friends who champion more conservative or traditional causes would have staged an event without strong organizing to produce a much larger turnout.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

February 10-23, 2017