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Chicago pastors balk at monsignor titles

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A grand experiment in independent Catholic journalism is unfolding in Chicago at ChicagoCatholicNews.com. The site provides local coverage of interest to Chicago-area Catholics, without the funding or permission of the Chicago archdiocese.

It was founded by Robert Herguth, a former reporter and editor at the Chicago Sun-Times.

The site has published several good news stories. It's latest deals with "increasing unrest in Chicago-area parishes -- from those in pews and pulpits."

Losing a child

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Ethan Seitzer would have been 10 years old today. But instead of celebrating that milestone, his family--and our whole parish and school--is grieving. Ethan drowned while swimming in Lake Michigan two weeks ago.

I don't know how parents who lose a child go on. A special Mass was offered for Ethan this morning, and many members of the school and the parish adoptive families group were there to support and pray for Ethan's parents and his 3-year-old sister.

It's the least we can do. I'm not sure how else to offer any consolation to his parents; even well-meaning words sound so trite. Instead I just say, "We're here for you" and show up.

A Catholic shrine and center in Chicago offers a "Lost Child Pilgrimage" for those who have lost a child whether through miscarriage or the death of an adult child or any time in between. Organizers hold up Mary as a model of a grieving parent who drew on her faith for hope.

The Tillman Story

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On Aug. 22, a few days before President Obama marked the end of combat by U.S. forces in Iraq on August 31, “The Tillman Story” opened in four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Last January it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and it played during the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. Still, for the travesty of how this pro football player died and the cover up that followed, I expected more interest; more outrage. More sorrow. More movie screens.

Pat Tillman, the eldest of the three sons of Dannie and Patrick, joined the army in 2002 with his brother Kevin following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. He never explicitly said why he joined up, preferring to keep his motives private, but after Tillman’s death, heroic patriotism was attributed to him. General Stanley McChrystal approved him for the Silver Star; he also received a Purple Heart.

No doubt

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What if, as human beings, we could erase all doubt? Would that make us better people? That’s the central focus of a new branch of American psycho-analysis called "Positive Psychology" -- it's sort of a Tinker Bell solution to life's worries: if we just believe hard enough, it will all work out.

Time to preach about the 'common good'

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Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus was at Glen Beck’s event on the Mall last Sunday, asking people why they attended. A quote from one woman she interviewed stunned me. “…My freedoms are lost. To be able to preach anywhere we want, to have God in our schools, to drive any kind of car we want and if I want to drive a gas guzzler, I can, if I want to eat a lot of sugar and salt, and I shouldn’t be forced to buy medical care… to be able to burn the kind of light bulb I want…the list goes on.”

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