Appreciation: These two priests were astonishingly gifted leaders who transformed the wider American church from the perch of their beloved Notre Dame.
Appreciation: Holy Cross Fr. Ted Hesburgh was as close to a saint as anyone I have ever known.
Appreciation: I still remember my very first class with Fr. Richard McBrien. Two insights from that day in 1997 have stayed with me.
Appreciation: So many of us saw in Dick McBrien a genuine spokesman for our ideas and aspirations about a church styled with Second Vatican Council ideals.
Appreciation: Actor Edward Herrmann was an incredibly kind and decent man who was willing to help others right up until he died on Dec. 31.
Appreciation: Beatrice Bruteau, one of the most powerful shaping influences on contemporary mystical theology, interspirituality, and contemplative practice, died Nov. 16. She was 84.
Global Sisters Report: Sr. Christine Vladimiroff refused to follow a Vatican order to prohibit Sr. Joan Chittister from speaking at a conference advocating women's ordination.
Appreciation: At his funeral Mass, Msgr. Ignatius Roppolo finally took center stage as hundreds came to celebrate the priest they had come to cherish.
Appreciation: Dominican Sr. Kaye Ashe was part of a generation of smart, gutsy women who opened the world's eyes to Catholic women's potential and barriers to its fulfillment.
Appreciation: Nelson Mandela's innate faith in God remains an untold yet pivotal chapter in his story.