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Preview: With updates, bishops' 1981 message on energy could have renewed impact

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It was 1981.

Only two years separated the United States from its second oil crisis in a decade. In 1979, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini had slashed oil shipments to the U.S. to fewer than 500,000 barrels a day. Prices at the pump had soared and gas lines lengthened.

In this context, the Committee on Social Development and World Peace of the U.S. Catholic Conference drafted "Reflections on the Energy Crisis," a statement addressing energy policy.

In praising squirrels, and their relocation

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My husband said to me, “Don’t worry, Donna, it is a good trap.” 

The trap was in the back of the car, holding the fifth black squirrel we had captured this winter. The squirrel population in New York City has had a rough winter and brought their trouble straight to my small garden.

I know, people shouldn’t have gardens in New York City. Blame my parsonage. Moreover, people shouldn’t have squirrels digging out and eating all their perennials. Thus, we had to take emergency measures. 

Air pollution 'kiss of death' for 7 million in 2012

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“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)

Since the beginning of time, the air we breathe is given to us as a free and ever-present gift from God. Unlike food and water, which is often too scarce for the poorest of the poor, no one can horde, process, package or sell oxygen. Unfortunately, due to humanity’s carelessness, the breath of life is now the kiss of death for seven million people a year.

Death, resurrection and tree trimming

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Winter may be -- slowly -- melting away, but it remains on my mind.

That’s partially because of Mert, the hero of Mert, the Anxious Evergreen, a children’s Christmas story written and illustrated by Claire Bowman. I wrote about the book in December, yet I can’t forget it because of its dual-season appeal. Beyond Christmas, Mert’s story has strong Lenten and resurrection underpinnings, too. 

A recap of Mert’s story:

Keystone XL opponents express climate, spill concerns as commenting period ends

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The U.S. State Department will begin this week tapping into the deluge of feedback that has poured in during its final public comment period regarding the construction of the northern segment of the Keystone XL transnational pipeline.

The controversial project, if approved by President Barack Obama within the next few months, would stretch nearly 1,700 miles and transport more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian tar sands in Alberta through six states en route to Gulf refineries in Texas. 

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In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

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