On this day we celebrate the feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Nicholas P. Cafardi: Advice for new Philly archbishop: Real Catholic agenda is way broader than abortion
Raleigh Catholic diocese plans new cathedral. 2,000-seat cathedral and campus on 39 acres, estimated to cost $75 million to $90 million
South Bend, Ind. Judge blocks city's land deal with Catholic school
$18 million awarded to charities to help those affected by BP oil spill New-Orleans based Catholic Charities one of four nonprofits from "Future of the Gulf Fund"
Congress heads back to, er, "work" this week -- and high on the agenda is what to do about the economy. The battle lines are as dug-in as they are familiar: short-term government spending versus immediate budget cuts.
Over the summer, you'll recall, the president's "grand bargain" over economic policy fell apart on the question of taxes for the top 3 percent or so of income earners. Republicans could not agree to this -- calling such taxes a job-killing burden on a group of people once called "the rich," but now termed "job creators."
This push is a variation on trickle-down economics of the 1980s: if the rich are taxed less they will spend more, and that prosperity will fuel the rest of the country. It makes a kind-of-sense, and yet a look at the numbers shows otherwise.
On this day, 75 years ago, Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas.
"Buddy Holly played rock and roll for only two short years, but the wealth of material he recorded in that time made a major and lasting impact on popular music. Holly was an innovator who wrote his own material and was among the first to exploit such advanced studio techniques as double-tracking. He pioneered and popularized the now-standard rock-band lineup of two guitars, bass and drums. In his final months, he even began experimenting with orchestration. Holly’s catalog of songs includes such standards of the rock and roll canon as 'Rave On,' 'Peggy Sue,' 'That’ll Be the Day,' 'Oh Boy!' and 'Maybe Baby.'"
--Buddy Holly Biography, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Philadelphia Chaput: No place for cafeteria Catholics. "If they don't believe what the church teaches, they're not really Catholic," Chaput told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday, two days before his installation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
Cleveland TV Reports Tradition Transformed: Catholic Mass Prayers to Change
Over the weekend my niece invited family members to join a Facebook word game we could all play. I clicked into "Apps" on my Facebook page and noticed that I had been invited to join more than 50 games, but one really got my attention: Vatican Wars.
It's a "new social game", a fantasy game, where you can become the pope. As a priest and candidate for pope you have to decide what Jesus would say if he were here today based on these issues: abortion, same sex marriage, if priests can marry, birth control and the ordination of women.
I clicked through and saw that I had only two choices: to be a Templar (socially conservative) player or a Crusader (socially liberal). Each team plays together to try to get one of their members elected pope.
New studies show that humans are naturally optimistic -- it's apparently become one of our survival skills as a species. How then to explain the continued whining of ideologically-driven extremists who are always miserable living in the real world? Shouldn't natural selection have culled them from the human herd centuries ago?
My daughter -- a high school senior -- set me down this path a couple of days ago. She was telling me about a discussion in her religion class, centered on research featured in TIME magazine last spring. The article looked at an assembly of studies over the past several years that showed a "bias towards optimism" within the human family.
In fact, even when we are pessimistic about the overall world, we remain upbeat about our own futures. A study in 2007 showed that 70 percent of respondents felt people in general were less successful than in their parents' day -- but also showed that 76 percent of those same respondents were more upbeat about their own futures.
It all started Sunday evening at a BBQ at my home with Loretto friends and neighbors. It was the day before Labor Day, and we closed the evening by singing some old songs from the labor movement like "Bread and Roses" and "Solidarity Forever."
As I sang the words, I knew they were from another era, and yet eerily contemporary at the same time. From "Bread and Roses:"
tHearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
I thought of women in sweatshops at the turn of the century (and the suffragists who used this song too), but I also thought about the women who toil at two or three jobs today just to support themselves and their children. Where are the "roses" in their lives?
On this day in 1881, Edwin Vincent O'Hara was born to Owen and Margaret O'Hara on their farm near Lanesboro, Minnesota, the last of their eight children.
"All the O'Hara children shared the difficult work involved in operating a rural homestead. This, no doubt, helped to forge Edwin's work ethic, which enabled him to accomplish many great things for the nation and the church."
--Cultivating Soil and Soul: Twentieth-Century Catholic Agrarians Embrace the Liturgical Movement, by Michael J. Woods, SJ, Liturgical Press, 2010, page 2.
The big news over the weekend was: Vatican insists it didn't torpedo Irish response to abuse crisis Now come the reactions:
- War of words between Vatican and Irish government continues, Ireland may close its Vatican embassy hints Foreign Minster Gilmore
- Vatican missed the point on abuse anger, says Gilmore
- The Taoiseach got it right but the Vatican gets it wrong once again
- Rapprochement with Vatican still possible