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Julian, Adrian Riester, Buffalo-Born twin friars, die on same day at age 92

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From the Associated Press:

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Identical twins Julian and Adrian Riester were born seconds apart 92 years ago. They died hours apart this week. The Buffalo-born brothers were also brothers in the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor. Professed friars for 65 years, they spent much of that time working together at St. Bonaventure University, doing carpentry work, gardening and driving visitors to and from the airport and around town.

On the passing of a conservative Catholic commentator

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While the NCR family was still mourning the loss of journalist Joe Feuerherd last week, I learned that a prominent Catholic commentator in Chicago had died. Tom Roeser, a conservative columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, was 82 when he died May 28.

The adjective "acerbic" was used in several obituaries, and it is fitting. I regularly checked out Roeser's blog to see what "the other side" thought and was up to. It's no secret that I agreed with very little of his opinions not only about the church but about secular politics.

Benedict touts Christian humanism, defends wartime prelate in Croatia

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

tEven before he landed in Croatia on Saturday for a brief weekend excursion, Pope Benedict XVI made the trip’s basic pitch clear. Speaking to reporters on the papal plane, Benedict used some version of the phrase “Christian humanism” six times – the idea being that Christian moral and spiritual values are the ultimate basis for peace, tolerance, and human rights.

tAs Croatia prepares to enter the European Union, the pope’s core argument was thus that this deeply Catholic nation doesn’t have to choose between the humanistic ideals of secular Europe and its religious heritage. The latter, he suggested multiple times, is actually the guarantee of the former.

tIn selling that message, however, Benedict XVI faced two clear challenges, and although he tackled both head-on, it’s not immediately obvious that either was resolved.

Kansas City Star calls for Bishop Robert Finn's resignation

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An editorial in today's Kansas City Star, saying that Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert Finn has "shattered moral guidelines" and "shaken the faith of many,"called for his resignation.

The editorial reads:

Recent child sexual abuse allegations and disturbing inattention to earlier warnings make it clear it’s time for Bishop Robert Finn to step down. It’s painful to believe the most vulnerable in his flock weren’t protected. Allegations that priests in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph were harming children apparently were downplayed, even in the aftermath of a stream of national scandals. Finn appears to have pushed legal limits and shattered moral guidelines by delaying actions. He has tragically shaken the faith of many who seek peace in churches under his supervision.

America magazine tribute to Joe Feuerherd

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Jesuit Father Ray Schroth, longtime contributor to, and friend of, NCR posted a video tribute to our beloved, late publisher and editor in chief Joe Feuerherd on the America magazine Web site. Our dear friends and colleagues at America should know we prize their work and are grateful for the tribute.

Schroth was also a concelebrant at Joe's funeral Mass last Wednesday.

Israeli Jew turned Catholic priest named head of papal court

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In addition to this unusual headline, the story itself is quite
interesting about this Franciscan priest.

According to Israeli newspaper, Haaretz:

David Maria Jaeger, a native of downtown Tel Aviv who converted to
Catholicism, will become a prelate auditor of the Roman Rota, one of
the chief papal law courts of the Catholic church.

University of San Francisco stresses social justice within justice education

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A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I attended the graduation or our daughter, Giuliana, from law school at the University of San Francisco (USF). It was a wonderful event and we’re very proud of our daughter for her hard work and perseverance over the last three years. But she now has her law degree and this summer is already hard at work again preparing to take the California bar exam in a couple of months. I know that she will succeed.

A Jesuit in the House of Representatives

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Jesuit Fr. Patrick Conroy is our lead guest on Interfaith Voices this week. He is the new Chaplain of the House of Representatives, only the second Catholic to hold that post.

He has a varied background. He is a lawyer who once thought about running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. But he felt a call from God that led him to enter the Jesuits, the Oregon Province. There he ministered for five years on a Native American reservation ("not a normal career path to the House of Representatives," he says). Later, he served as a chaplain at Georgetown University, and most recently taught theology to ninth graders at a Jesuit High School ("improvisational acting for 55 minutes several times a day," he calls it).

He is now the 60th Chaplain of the House of Representatives, a position where he received the bi-partisan support of both Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi.

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April 22-May 5, 2016

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