NCR Today

A better end


The paramedics had just brought my father into the emergency room. It was long after midnight, and his breathing was labored -- I was used to it, after his years of struggle with emphysema and a weak heart, but this was different.

Within a few minutes, ER doctors had sized up the situation, and looked at me. One of them asked: "We're going to have to put in a breathing tube. That OK?" I nodded. I didn't know what else to do. They began their work, and a young, disheveled intern stepped up next to me. "Once they put the tube in," he said, "that's usually it. You can't keep going without it."

And I knew: my family and I would have some decisions to make.

New bishop appointment to Savannah, Ga.


In other bishop appointment news besides Archbishop Chaput going to Philadelphia:

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen a metro Atlanta priest to be the new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, which governs parishes in 90 south Georgia counties.

The diocese announced Tuesday that the Rev. Gregory John Hartmayer will succeed Bishop J. Kevin Boland, who is retiring after 52 years in the priesthood.

On this day: Pope Leo XIII


On this day in 1903, Pope Leo XIII died. He was 93 years old. He had reigned since 1878.

In 1887, when Therese of Lisieux kissed his slipper and begged him to allow her to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen, he appeared "so old that one would say he is dead; I would never have pictured him like this. He can hardly say anything". But Pope Leo XIII lasted another sixteen years.

Click here to listen to him chanting the Ave Maria a few months before his death.

Morning Briefing


A reader request


We have a reader who is looking for a DVD copy of the ABC television show "Nothing Sacred," a critically acclaimed program that ran for the 1997-1998 season. Anybody have ideas? Submit suggestions in the comment boxes below.

The Internet Movie Database describes the show: "Kevin Anderson plays Father Ray, a passionate priest/teacher who questions his calling, his existence, and his faith as he deals with the problems of the poor and the troubled."

A Jesuit priest, William P. Cain, was one of the screen writers.

The show, according to, was about "a maverick priest in an urban parish [who] struggles with religious and secular pressures in a series that was both praised and panned for its frank handling of sensitive issues such as AIDS and abortion."

Experiencing the Procession of La Conquistadora


I spent a week in Santa Fe earlier this month and had the privilege of participating in an impressive procession organized by the Catholic faithful in this city, a place that is so filled with religious symbols its name even means "Holy Faith."

Catholic processions are not seen as much in various parts of the country anymore. However, here in the Southwest, especially among Latino Catholics, processions are still very much a part of the Catholic tradition.

Quote of the Day: The budget-deficit debate


Here's my choice for quote of the day: E.J. Dionne has an article over at Commonweal titled: "Get on with It: The debt 'crisis' has kept the government from doing its job."

Here's the quote:

"Every member of Congress who got us into this debt-ceiling fight should be docked six months pay. They wasted our time on political posturing instead of solving problems. Better yet, the voters might ponder firing them next year. This could do wonders for national productivity."

The road to 'Carmageddon'


A serene silence enveloped Los Angeles this weekend. For two days, the nation's second largest city felt like a Medieval village on the feast day of its patron saint: quiet, reflective, almost like a prayer.

This sudden solitude grew out of a near-catastrophe half-jokingly dubbed "carmageddon." Construction and repair forced the closing of one of Southern California's main freeway arteries, and for weeks now predictions of disaster have flooded the media: frantic drivers pushed off the 405 would choke adjacent neighborhoods and streets. Emergency vehicles would be mercilessly trapped by the traffic; lives would be lost.

By early last Friday afternoon, an urgent exodus had begun -- workers, many let off early by nerve-wracked companies, darted home a heartbeat ahead of the inevitable disaster.

Republican strategist plans to recruit 100 Hispanic state legislature candidates


Jon Ward writes from the Huffington Post:

"The same Republican strategist who presciently focused his party's resources on winning state legislatures in the last election is now trying to patch up the party's relationship with Hispanic voters, with an eye toward saving the GOP from itself.

Ed Gillespie, the 48-year-old former White House adviser to President George W. Bush, announced Monday that he is spearheading an effort to recruit at least 100 Hispanic candidates to run for seats in state legislatures around the country in 2012.

"The demographics of America are changing, and any political party that fails to recognize that is going to find themselves consigned to minority status in the not too distant future," Gillespie said on a conference call with reporters.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017