NCR Today

Benedictine sisters celebrate 75-year anniversaries


Some people make it five years in the same job. Others celebrate when they’ve stuck it out for ten.

For Sisters Lillian Harrington and Rosaria Schaefer, those anniversaries were just waypoints.

In a jubilee Mass and reception packed with friends, admirers, and awe struck observers yesterday, the two Benedictine sisters celebrated something most of us can’t even begin to comprehend: their 75th anniversaries as vowed women religious.

Our treatment of prisoners says a lot about us


It seems to me a measure of the quality of our society is how we treat men and women in jail.

I was in a courtroom a few weeks ago when a jailed defendant asked for a different court-appointed lawyer. The judge scolded him, calling him a whiner who is never satisfied.

The judge treated him disrespectfully, as if he were already found guilty -- and that’s how the public defender, who is young and inexperienced, had been treating him already. That’s why the defendant wanted a different lawyer. He didn’t get one.

This was a very small event. The defendant wasn’t dying for lack of medication. The defendant hadn’t been beaten by arresting officers.

But he had been waiting in jail twenty months for his trial and the charge was a sex offence -- which carries the “ick” factor for everybody. He was very scared that a jury was going to find him guilty if he didn’t mount a strong defense.

Layoffs, new clothes, and shopping ethically


On Sunday right after Mass, I headed out to do the one thing I dread more than going to the dentist: shopping for new clothes. Dante got it wrong when he described the various levels of hell because he left out shopping malls.

I so hate this activity that I put it off until my clothes are either so uncomfortable or, as is the case this time, I’m starting a new job.

A digital examination of conscience?


Granted, personal “confession” has been in decline. There are no lines in front of confessionals on Saturday afternoons like there were in the days of my youth.

So, someone is trying to revive confession -- with digital assistance. There’s a new app for the iPhone that helps Catholic penitents with an examination of conscience, tailored to a person’s age, gender, state in life, etc. It’s apparently the rage, and is #25 among top sellers in Apple's iTunes App store.

Morning Briefing


There must be an app for that


One morning at breakfast we sisters were talking about something that had happened between some people we knew and one sister said, "Well, we can only change ourselves." Another said, "I continue to realize this more and more that I can only change myself; I have to look in the mirror myself." And then one of the sisters said very quietly, "There's an app for that, you know." There really wasn't but we had a great laugh to start the day since we all have smart phones of one kind or another.

Now with the launch of the new "Confession: A Roman Catholic App" on Monday the blog world is abuzz with chatter and commentary abounds.


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017