Morning Briefing

Today is Ash Wednesday; it's also Valentine's Day. Without a dispensation from fasting, Catholics will have to move their romantic dinner plans to another day. But Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island sees similarities in the two holidays, as does Global Sisters Report columnist Sr. Nancy Sylvester. And Ken Briggs has suggestions on how to cope with this once-every-73-years coincidence.

Another commemoration this week: the 50th anniversary of the historic strike by sanitation workers in Memphis, which was marked nationwide with rallies meant to revive Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign.

The Winter Olympics continue in Pyeongchang, South  Korea, where a South Korean nun is coordinating 14,000 volunteers at centers to help sexual assault victims during the games.

The archbishop from Guam who is facing allegations that he sexually abused several boys in the 1970s attended one of Pope Francis' weekly general audiences in February.

Immigration issues continue to dominate national politics this week. Catholic advocates want to make sure any deal for "Dreamers" won't harm other immigrants. And Salvadorans in the U.S. are distressed over the loss of temporary protected status that will separate families.

In a Q&A with Global Sisters Report, the CEO of Catholic Charities USA discusses how the current political contentiousness affects the organization's work.

This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.

A lawsuit to preserve a homeless camp in California is part of this week's Justice Action Bulletin.

ICYMI: Cooperation among institutions was a theme at the annual meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Attention Kmart shoppers: An old Kmart store in a Chicago suburb has been transformed into a new Cristo Rey Catholic high school, which uses a work-study model.


Michael Sean Winters is reviewing Rafael Luciani's new book, Pope Francis and the Theology of the People. Part 2 of his review is up today; Part I is here.

If spiritual reading is one of your Lent practices, we have reviews of three faith-related books, including novelist Amy Tan’s new memoir.

Don't have a Lenten plan yet? Try an online Lent retreat or a modern version of an ancient prayer wheel.

Listen up!

To mark the beginning of Lent, BackStory, a podcast about American history, is looking at how what it means to be Catholic has changed over time.

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