NCR Today

A priest among the tribes


His parish is vast -- millions of acres of brushland and desert. But his flock is small -- at Sunday Mass, two people show up to worship. But for Fr. Earl Henley, his task is huge: inviting Native American tribes of California back into the church after centuries of abuse and mistrust.

Henley is the subject of a fascinating profile in today's Los Angeles Times, detailing his work among desert tribes as head of the Native American Ministry of the San Bernadino diocese. It is, he admits, hard work -- much harder than the decades he spent as a missionary on Papua New Guinea, out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Scandal and confusion?


I just read the NCR story on the 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago and the pressure brought to bear by Cardinal George over a Sept. 8 event in which they showed the film, "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican", and sponsored a talk by Maryknoll priest, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who has been ordered to recant his public support for women in the priesthood.

According to the story, "George stated the event could lead to scandal and confusion among the faithful over the church's teaching on ordination."

Scandal and confusion? Really? The hierarchy loves to use these words to describe events or statements or publications with which they disagree. And they are ludicrous.

Alabama's vanishing students


Hispanic Students Absent From Alabama Schools Following Controversial Immigration Law

The Huffingtonpost is reporting that Hispanic students are "vanishing into thin air" because of the harsh, new immigration law in Alabama.

There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments – from small towns to large urban districts – reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students' immigration status.

The anxiety has become so intense that the superintendent in one of the state's largest cities, Huntsville, went on a Spanish-language television show Thursday to try to calm widespread worries.

On this day: Saint Mother Theodore GuÈrin


On this day we celebrate the feast of Saint Mother Theodore Guérin who came to Indiana from Brittany in 1840 with five other Sisters of Providence to found Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Like so many other founders of women's congregations, Mother Theodore was abused by her ecclesiastical superior.

"The carriage was empty. Sister Mary Xavier was walking slowly and sorrowfully over the bridge. 'Where is Mother?' we asked. 'Where is Mother?' Sister Mary Xavier pressed the hand of Sister St. Francis; it was some time before she could speak. At last she said, 'O mon Dieu! she could not come; the Bishop has excommunicated her and expelled her from the Congregation, and forbidden her to come back to St. Mary's.'

Churches lose fight over Ala. immigration law


The Washington Post reports:

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A federal judge jolted the national immigration debate on Wednesday (Sept. 28) by approving most parts of Alabama’s aggressive immigration law that religious leaders had called the “meanest” in the nation.

In a ruling hailed by many state officials, U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn refused to block much of Alabama’s far-reaching immigration law from going into effect.

Blackburn’s decision came after three separate challenges were filed by the U.S. Department of Justice; Catholic, Episcopal and United Methodist bishops; and a coalition of civil rights groups, unions and individuals who said they would be harmed by the law.

The Christian Post reports that the judge's decision wasn't a total loss for the churches:

Solidarity and the Red Sox


I grew up close to Boston and started listening to Red Sox games on our cabinet sized radio when I was about 4. Short form: I'm a lifer.

But my contrary streak prevents me from joining that confectionary commercial known as "Red Sox Nation" which came into existence around the time the cursed tribe won the World Series in 2004 for the first time in eight decades.

Seton Hall University to cut tuition for high achievers


The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Seton Hall University in New Jersey will be making the cost of its diploma substantially less for high achievers:

Seton Hall University will radically restructure its tuition for next year, slashing costs by more than 60% for all incoming students who have achieved a set of academic standards in high school, officials announced on Wednesday.

Some national education experts expressed concerns that the plan could accelerate a national trend: a shift in the focus of financial aid toward merit-based scholarships rather than awards based on need.

"There's only so much money, and at the end of the day every college needs to make decisions about who they'll subsidize," said Patrick Callan, the president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.


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March 24-April 6, 2017