NCR Today

Benedictine sister kissed Elvis, votes on Oscars


A totally engrossing article by Entertainment Weekly Online writer Thom Geier was posted Feb. 11 about Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voting member Benedictine Mother Dolores Hart. She is a former movie star and Tony-nominated theater actress who once kissed Elvis Presley ("Loving You," 1957).

The article recounts her journey faith journey and decision to become a cloistered nun. At the age of twenty, already fatigued by her fast-paced career, she visited the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut at the suggestion of a friend. She resisted at first, but once there the nuns let her be, and let her sleep. She returned, again and again. She entered in 1963.

And she watches all the screeners the Academy sends her so she can cast her vote.

Hart, a convert to Catholicism who attended Catholic school in Chicago and then Marymount College in Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) has some wisdom to share about difficult or "R" rated films. She says the nuns in her community are not shocked by "R" rated films when she shares some interesting ones with them; they are mostly bored by them.

Irish bishops reject 'bonus culture' of capitalism run amok


Facing an economic crisis that has produced record unemployment, staggering levels of household debt, and deep political unrest, the Catholic bishops of Ireland have issued a stinging critique of “the excesses of advanced capitalism” and its “bonus culture,” calling for an economy rooted in social solidarity as opposed to “radical individualism.”

On this day: St. Peter Damian


On this day the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Peter Damian, Cardinal-Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

Peter Damian was born at Ravenna in 1007. "He was the youngest of the family; his parents were noble, but poor. At his birth an elder brother protested against this new charge on the resources of the family with such effect that his mother refused to suckle him and the babe nearly died. A family retainer, however, fed the starving child and by her example and reproaches recalled his mother to her duty."

-- Catholic Encyclopedia.

Morning Briefing


Ho Chi Minh City cardinal on church growth in Vietnam


HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- The Vietnamese Communist Party took control of Northern Vietnam in 1954 and all of Vietnam in 1975. The situation between Catholics and the communist leaders of Vietnam has been a major factor in the shape and growth of the church for these past decades. Catholics have generally responded in one of two ways: Confronting and attacking the state leaders or looking for ways to work with them on common concerns. Cardinal Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, falls into the second camp.

Bush Catholic On the Block


Scott Bloch was one of those Bush Administration appointees who was given a relatively unimportant but high-paying job partly in return for the work he did reaching out to conservative Catholics on Bush’s behalf.

Nonetheless, he managed to do a fair amount of damage, going out of his way to push an ideological agenda that had little to do with his job description.

Here’s how NCR covered him at the time.

Now he’s trying to stay out of jail.

Egypt, CÈsar Ch·vez and Nonviolence


The most impressive aspect of the Egyptian uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak is its nonviolent nature. What violence that did occur came from the goon squads in support of the now-fallen dictator.

It was remarkable how the Egyptian people reflected the power of nonviolence. It was like watching Gandhi and his nonviolent movement that achieved independence for India in the post-World War II period.


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017