Morning Briefing

More than 2,500 student walkouts over the issue of gun violence are planned for today, at 10 a.m. local time. NCR staffers in Kansas City plan to wear orange and walk out in support of the young protesters. What you need to know.

Last week, an America columnist asked “Where are all the millennial Catholic activists?” (I think we’re about to find out). But at least one older activist is encouraged by the student-led movement against gun violence.

Meanwhile, a Catholic university CFO resigned after pressure from students, faculty and staff, when they learned she had joined the board of the parent company to Smith & Wesson, which made the weapon used in last month’s Florida high school shooting.

Prolife Democrat (and Catholic) Conor Lamb declared victory in Pennsylvania's special election for the 18th District House seat last night, although most news organizations said it was too close to call. Lamb led with just a few hundred votes, with one county still needing to count its absentee ballots. Trump won that district by 20 percentage points just a year and a half ago, and the GOP spent $10 million on the race against Lamb, a first-time candidate.

ICYMI: Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. Our “Francis at Five Years” series includes a number of reflections on his papacy so far.

Branson, Missouri is trying to lure Puerto Ricans to the Ozarks to work in the tourism industry. But the 90-plus percent white area, with its “White Pride Radio” and Confederate flags, has prompted the need for a course in Hispanics 101.

An upcoming Pax Christi-led Good Friday Way of the Cross in Manhattan is highlighted in our weekly Justice Action Bulletin, while our Field Hospital roundup of parish news includes the nation’s first Filipino bishop to lead a diocese, racial healing and a missing body.

Daughters of St. Paul are known for their media ministry, but this nun’s is creative: She tweets daily her thoughts inspired by a ceramic skull on her desk that reminds her of her mortality.

I spent Monday night and Tuesday at a conference on the timely topic of religious freedom at Loyola University Chicago. Look for my report in NCR later this week.

FEATURED SERIES:
Explore this NCR special report with recent articles on the topic of immigration and family separation.

Opinion:

The church can’t win young people back through intellectual arguments, says Michael Sean Winters, commenting on a keynote address by Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron at last week’s conference at Notre Dame in preparation for the upcoming bishops’ synod on young people.

Americans need to buy less junk, says a columnist in The Week, arguing that less “planned obsolescence,” not tariffs, could reboot American manufacturing—and would be more ethical.

Our reviewer analyzes “Holy Wars and Holy Alliance,” which argues that in the face of the economic decline of nation-states since the 1970s, world religions have become increasingly influential players on the global political stage.

Everyone is still talking (and tweeting) about Michael Gerson’s Atlantic piece on evangelicals and politics. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

Listen up!

Impolite Company is the clever name for a weekly podcast on politics and religion, hosted by Nish Weiseth and Amy Sullivan. Although neither is Catholic, earlier this month they took on a trio of Catholic stories.  

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