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Have a good day

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A couple of weeks ago I visited a friend in a nursing home. On the way out I shared the elevator with an aide, a middle-aged woman wheeling out a barrel of trash. I was thinking what a tough job it was, and she took me by surprise as I got off, saying warmly, "Have a nice day."

Washington, DC's Gonzaga (Catholic) High School sophomore scores 80-yard goal, full-field lacrosse goal

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From the Huffington Post:

Gonzaga College High School sophomore Matt Borda was just trying to kill some time off the clock in the final minute of Monday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference boys' lacrosse championship game against Good Counsel.

Instead, he ended the game by scoring an unbelievable full-field goal to give his school their second consecutive conference title.

Punishment and Forgiveness

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What's the appropriate punishment for a man who -- when he was 14 -- killed a man? When this man, Kenneth, was sentenced to life with parole, back in 1989, the ordinary Missouri practice was to parole murderers after about 12 years served. Soon the Legislature set a 15-years-served base requirement. Then the Parole Board became much more stringent in its practice, tending to grant paroles to older inmates, 50- and 60-somethings.

'Suicide Kit' crackdown bill passed by Oregon state Senate

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It's more than ironic that the Oregon state Senate is "appalled" by companies selling suicide kits and Oregon residents buying them, while those with a so-called terminal illness can legally kill themselves.

Apparently, the culture of radical self-determination is to be limited when the media embarrasses a legislature into action.

Newt Gingrich's public Catholicism raises questions

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The New York Times today features a front page article on Newt Gingrich, who is preparing a presidential bid. The Times article focuses on his new found and quite visible Catholicism and that of his third wife's.

It's a challenge for me to be charitable here.

The Times writies:

As he prepares for a Republican presidential primary run — he said Monday that he would formally declare his intentions on Wednesday — Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with his wife as a kind of character witness.

On this day: St. John of Avila

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On this day we celebrate the feast of St. John of Avila.

He was born in 1499 to Alfonso of Avila and Catherine Xixon. "His father was of Jewish ancestry, and his mother may also have been Jewish. Consequently, John of Avila 'had race' (ten'a raza), to use the expression current at the time to distinguish 'new Christians' or converts from 'old Christians'."

-- Audi, Filia -- Listen, O Daughter, by St. John of Avila, translated and introduced by Joan Frances Gormley, D.C., Paulist Press, 2006.

To understand what this meant in 16th-century Spain, see "Avila's Family and Jewish Background", page 4.

Morning Briefing

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Opinion from Australia Losing faith in the Catholic Church, a "semi-reitred" Cahtolic reflects on her 72 years in the church

Opinion from Dayton, Ohio Must Catholics all worship alike?

MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Bishops Conference has finally decided to pullout from its dialogue with the presidential palace on reproductive health/responsible parenthood measures.

Vancouver, Canada -- The Franciscan Sisters are moving out of their convent s Downtown Eastside, but the 500 men who line up daily for food and clothing will not go hungry.

Gingrich set to run for president, with his wife in a central role

One bishop who reads NCR

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Bishop Joseph A. Galante of Camden, N.J. found food for thought in Fr. Tom Reese's essay for this publication, The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants.

Writing in his diocesan newspaper, Galatante notes one point from Reese in particular: "Those who leave Catholic practice often report that they find their hunger to understand the Scriptures better fed outside the Catholic Church."

Webathon: One grand thank you!

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The Webathon turned out to be a success beyond our expectations. It turned out this way because you responded generously. In giving, you reassured us you find independent, Catholic journalism a value in your lives. Moreover, you reassured us the pastoral church, which came out of the Second Vatican Council, defined primarily as the People of God, is a church worth sustaining and building.

Kathy Kelly on democracy and the use of drones

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Few have the credibility of Kathy Kelly to question the political and military decisions of national leaders. Her credibility stems from the fact that she has spent more time than most among the innocent most deeply affected by war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As she says in this recent piece questioning the use of predator drones as a means of accomplishing assassinations at a distance, her organization, Voices for Creative Nonviolence "believes that standing alongside people who bear the brunt of our wars helps us gain needed insights. Where you stand determines what you see.

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