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A poem for the revolution

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A reader's request: The poem by Edwin Markham THE MAN WITH THE HOE keeps ringing in my head as we see revolutions occurring. Could you print this poem along with Millet's painting of a brutalized toiler since the painting was the inspiration for the poem? It seems so timely and timeless that the poor continue to bear the burden of the wealthy.

Obama's visit to Romero's grave 'rings hollow,' says SOA Watch

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President Obama's expected visit tomorrow to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero "rings hollow" because of the continued operation of the U.S. military school that allegedly trained the slain archbishop's killers, says one human rights group.

SOA Watch, the organization founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, made the statement in a press release this morning, referring to operations at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas and located at Fort Benning, Ga.

“While we welcome President Obama’s interest in visiting Romero’s tomb, a more fitting tribute to Romero’s legacy would be the closure of the school that trained his murder[ers],” SOA Watch Latin American spokesperson Lisa Sullivan said in the statement.

Obama is making the stop to Romero's grave tomorrow as part of the Salvadoran stop of his Latin American tour this week.

A 1993 report by the U.N.-mandated Truth Commission for El Salvador specifically named Alvaro Saravia, Eduardo Avila, Roberto D'Aubuisson, and Fernando (El Negro) Sagrera as responsible for the 1980 murder of the archbishop while he was celebrating Mass.

Spring is promise

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Spring is promise. The tomatoes will ripen in July. There will be no squash bugs. Apples will hang heavy. The hedge bindweed won’t take root and the roses will flower all summer, unhindered by bindweed and black spot.

That’s my frame of mind every spring and I remember that early liturgist Pius Parsch, saying, “Lent is the springtime of the soul.” That’s right. My meditation will be focused. I’ll drive with an attitude of forgiveness. I won’t eat desert and I will lose 10 pounds. And I’ll write Congress regularly -- long personal letters.

It isn’t just that hope springs eternal in the human breast. Springtime embodies hope. All of nature is quite literally bursting with life. Just look at the small bud casings that litter the ground as leaves and blossoms break out of their bindings.

Suffering continues. So does selfishness. But in my garden all the bulbs are sending up their shoots and I’m eager to see the first sprouts of snow peas and spinach that I dared to plant in February.

Single and Pulpit-less

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As article in today's New York Times says that single Protestant ministers face bleak job prospects because congregations prefer that their pastors be married.

It reminded me of an earlier era when the assumption was that hiring a minister with wife was getting "two for the price of one."

On this day: Apparition at Castelpetroso

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On this day in 1888, "two countrywomen belonging to Pastine, a hamlet in the diocese of Bojano, in Southern Italy, were sent to look for some sheep that had strayed on a neighboring hill, to which Castelpetroso is the nearest village. One was named Famiana Cecchino, and the other Serafina Giovanna Valentino; the former being a spinster aged thirty-five, and the latter a married woman a little younger. Before long they returned home, crying, sobbing, trembling, and terrified.

'No more war, never again war'

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As the news broke Saturday that the U.S. would be making air strikes in Libya, I was frantically reading my twitter feeds to see the updates. I couldn't believe what I was reading.

One after another tweets popped up explaining what was happening. Pentagon spokesmen giving the specifics ('100,000 pounds of ordinance dropped in the first two hours'); reporters quoting the president ('there will be no boots on the ground'); commentators with the two sides of usual spin ('with this action the president has shown American strength'/'the president waited far too long and made us look weak.')

Davlin's campaign fund goes to Catholic diocese

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From the Chicago Tribune:

The cash left in Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin's campaign fund when he committed suicide has been donated to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

The more than $222,000 donation was made on March 11. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that campaign disclosure documents filed last week at the Illinois State Board of Elections show the donation brought the fund's balance to zero.

The fighting for \"Fighting Irish\"

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As part of the celebration of St. Patrick's Day (even though this is being written the day after), I want to note something I found out when I visited my hometown of El Paso a couple of weeks ago.

Growing up in this border city, I attended Cathedral High School, an all-boys school run by the Christian Brothers. This year the small (400 students) school in central El Paso celebrates its 85th anniversary.

However, just recently and unfortunately, the University of Notre Dame notified the school that it could no longer call itself the "Fighting Irish" or use the logo of the leprechaun figure due to copyright infringement. Notre Dame claims it alone holds the copyright to this nickname and logo.

Apparently there are other Catholic schools like Cathedral in the country that also use the Notre Dame nickname and logo and the university notes that when it finds this out it notifies them to cease.

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