NCR Today

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.

On this day: St. Macrina the Younger


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Macrina the Younger. She was born in 330 at Caesarea, Cappadocia, today's Kayseri, Turkey.

Macrina is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. Among the many saints in her family are her grandmother, Macrina the Elder, her parents, Basil and Emmelia, her brothers Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Naucratius, and Peter of Sebaste, and a sister (or sister-in-law), Blessed Theosebia the Deaconess.

Morning Briefing


It is official: Pope accepts Cardinal Rigali's resignation, names Denver prelate to succeed him. NCR reported that yesterday. Pope taps Chaput for Philadelphia. Now you can read John Allen's Exclusive interview with Archbishop Charles Chaput.

The official media event: News Conference
10:00 a.m.
followed by Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul.

And the commentary has already begun. Our own Michael Sean Winters The Problem With Culture Warrior Bishops

And from the Daily News of Philadelphia It won't be Rigali, Part 2

And in the rest of the world:

Lutheran denomination clarifies view after Bachmann departure

Reflections upon reflections on sex offenders


I really appreciate the thoughtful responses to my essay about Arthur. That brief bit took me about three weeks to write and I am grateful that you have read it so carefully. Your cautions to me about Arthur’s life as well as your recognition of his lack of opportunities and of his story in others you know are all important elements of the conversation.

In Missouri today there are 13,000 persons on the sex offender Internet list. They cannot live within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers and parks. They must register quarterly and on their birthday, taking time off work to do this. Their work places are listed on the registry, making many employers reluctant to hire them and be listed on the Internet themselves.

Additionally, almost 700 persons are held in civil commitment. They served their full sentences and then they were taken to court by a team of prosecutors who only do this work. They have been adjudicated as a threat to public safety and they receive therapy and remain confined. I think three have been released since the program was begun some years ago.

David takes on Goliath and loses -- again: Mann v. Ford


The HBO documentary "Mann v. Ford" premieres tonight, Monday, at 9 p.m. EST.

When I lived in Staten Island, N.Y., in the 1970s, I remember waking up many mornings, breathing deeply, and saying to the other nuns, "Ah, smell New Jersey." Of course, the Staten Island landfill took over the airways in the early 1990s when I lived in Staten Island once again. By then, the slaughterhouse in Elizabeth, N.J., at the end of the Goethals Bridge was closed, and the refineries did something to at least make the unbearable heavy smell of chemicals diminish so we could breathe New York's garbage.

On this day: Apparition in the rue du Bac


On this day in 1830, St. Catherine Labouré had her first vision of the Virgin Mary in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in the rue du Bac, Paris.

Catherine, who was twenty-four years old, was a novice. On July 18th, the day before the feast of St. Vincent de Paul which was celebrated on July 19th at that time, "the Sister Superior spoke to the novices about the virtues of their Holy Founder and gave each of them a piece of cloth from his surplice. Catherine earnestly prayed to Saint Vincent that she might with her own eyes see the mother of God.

Morning Briefing


Debt puzzle pieces On one side lies the chance of a historic bargain; on the other, the threat of a financial apocalypse.

West Virginia State Catholic conference joins appeal to protect federal programs

Michele Bachmann Leaves Church, Gets Catholic Support. Michael Sean Winter blogged about his on Distinctly Catholic here and here.

Kentucky Hospital merger limits medical options: Catholic rules will bar tubal ligations at University hospital


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017