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'True believers' on Maciel still kicking


Last fall, I wrote a piece on the progress of a Vatican-supervised reform of the Legionaries of Christ, the religious order founded by the late Mexican Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, in the wake of revelations that Maciel was guilty of various forms of sexual and financial misconduct.

At the time, I distinguished three currents with the Legionaries and their lay branch, Regnum Christi:

On this day: Candlemas


On this day we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Purification of the Virgin Mary, Candlemas.

"Why do we in this feast carry candles? Because the Gentiles dedicated the month of February to the infernal gods, and as at the beginning of it Pluto stole Proserpine, and her mother Ceres sought her in the night with lighted candles, so they, at the beginning of this month, walked about the city with lighted candles. Because the holy fathers could not extirpate this custom, they ordained that Christians should carry about candles in honor of the Blessed Virgin; and thus what was done before to the honor of Ceres is now done to the honor of the Virgin."

--from a Sermon of Pope Innocent XII, quoted in Curiosities of Popular Customs and of Rites, Ceremonies, Observances, and Miscellaneous Antiquities, by William S. Walsh, J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1897.

Morning Briefing


Today's top news: School closings! Snow disrupts Catholic Schools Week in New York, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas -- whew. Ontario, Canada. I stopped looking after that.

Two 'symbols of hope' in Iraq, plans for a university and a hospital in northern Iraq

Miami-Dade County, Fla. HCA, the for-profit national hospital chain, to buy Mercy Hospital

Commentary: Nicholas Kristof’s column, “Doctors versus doctrine,” falsely sets up division in the Catholic Church where none exists

Va. may extend statute of limitations for abuse

Gay lesbian coalition asks Vatican representative to condemn anti-gay violence in Uganda


Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Roman Catholic organizations that support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families both in the church and in civil society, today asked the Most Rev. Francis Chullikatt, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, to condemn violence against lesbian and gay people in Uganda.

A Reminder of Things Lost


St. Jeremiah’s in Framingham, Massachusetts is one of the five remaining vigiling parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston. St. Jeremiah’s went into vigil in the spring of 2005 – I was there at the last official Mass, with the group of parishioners who decided that in order to stay at the parish they loved, they would have to save it by remaining in the church 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In Egypt, US should support removal or Mubarak


The uprising in Egypt, as well as the recent one in Tunisia, has no doubt taken the Obama administration by surprise. While Obama is correct in calling on the Mubarak government in Egypt to restrain from using force against the protestors in the street, he has been vague in calling for Mubarak to comply with the demands for reform in his country.

National Religious Campaign Against Torture on Egypt situation


Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released this statement today sharing concern about the past U.S.-Egypt torture program and expressing hope for a torture-free Egyptian future.

“There is strong evidence that in the past the U.S. rendered suspected terrorists to Egypt with the knowledge that they would be tortured. It is our hope that this time of change in Egypt ensures that no government of Egypt will allow the use of torture. Further, we call upon the U.S. government to create a Commission of Inquiry to investigate all aspects of its past use of torture. The U.S.-Egypt torture program was a disgrace for both countries and should be fully investigated.”

Death of a good friend leaves lessons


My high school friend, Michael Phillips, died this past October. Michael and I had not been in contact since our high school days, but our families would see each other at school events and the like. The Syracuse, NY diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Sun, ran a tribute to Michael's life, and what a life it was:

He lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Binghamton. He had no car, few clothes, but many friends. And when he died on Oct. 19, 2010, Michael Phillips was one of Catholic Relief Service’s longest large-gift contributors.
On a social worker’s salary, Phillips had slowly and steadily donated a total of approximately $250,000 to the charity.


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In This Issue

September 25-October 8, 2015


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