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On this day: St. Martha


On this day we remember Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus.

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

The federal budget is a moral document


The federal budget is a moral document. Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners, has led a campaign the past six years or so to call our elected senators and representatives to be mindful of their moral responsibility to the poor. I got arrested on the steps of one of the House office buildings in one of the Sojourners actions back in 2006.

However, Todd Akin, Missouri congressman and Senate candidate, believes government should be out of the business of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He says it's the responsibility of the churches. Oh, dear. I wish the churches had the will, not to mention the capacity.

Catholic bishops take stand against Boehner budget bill


Today, at the U.S. Capitol, some friends of mine were arrested because they care a lot about the poor. They sought to give witness to members of Congress that the budget bill drawn up by Speaker John Boehner is travesty, especially for the poor and vulnerable.

Arrested were people like Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause (also a Methodist minister), Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia, Rev. C. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Jim Winkler, general secretary, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, and Rev. Jennifer Butler, Executive Director, Faith and Public Life. Sr. Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service and director of NETWORK, was an official observer.

Israel forces attack Jenin Freedom Theater


Early yesterday morning, Israeli soldiers attacked the Jenin Freedom Theater in the northern West Bank city of Jenin and arrested two of its employees.

According to the theater's press release about the incident, Ahmed Nasser Matahen, a night watch guard and technician student at the theater, was awakened by the sound of stones being hurled at the theater's entrance. Matahen said when he opened the door, he found masked and heavily armed Israeli Special Forces outside.

Tokyo's oldest temple, and waiting for a good chance


TOKYO -- As you walk up to the Senso-ji Buddhist temple here, you might be forgiven for not realizing you're standing in front of the city's oldest temple, first built in the year 645.

Past its main gate, the temple grounds are lined with tourist shops, selling candy and souvenir knick-nacks. Japanese shopkeepers, wearing traditional outfits and split-toe shoes, attract tourists with rice cakes being cooked over hot coals and other goodies.

On this day: St. Pedro Poveda


On this day, 75 years ago, at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Father Pedro Poveda Castroverde, founder of the Teresian Association, was shot to death, a martyr of faith. He was 61 years old.

Pedro Poveda was ordained in 1897 at Guadix, in the province of Granada. In the early years of his priesthood, he ministered to the Roma people who lived in the caves of Guadix. His work with the poor cave dwellers was so successful that "it outraged some of the more traditional Catholic lay people and clergy, who conspired to have him dismissed (glossed over as 'being misunderstood' in the Osservatore Romano biography published on the occasion of his beatification.)"

Morning Briefing


California prisoners assert their humanity with hunger strike


Late last week, a group of California prisoners, many of them kept in maximum isolation units, ended their extraordinary 20-day hunger strike waged in protest of the cruel conditions of their confinement.

The strike, which began July 1 among inmates in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison, transcended the gang and geographic affiliations that typically divide prisoners. At its height, as many as 6600 prisoners from 13 California prisons were refusing food, leading some to describe the mass fasting as the largest inmate uprising since the 1971 revolt at Attica Prison in upstate New York.


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017