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Prayer can stop mountains from moving

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Glenmary Fr. John S. Rausch, profiled in our special issue on ecology last year, reports on a recent prayer gathering near a site in Kentucky where the strip mining of coal was taking place:

"With storm clouds changing the sky by patterns of various lights and darkness, 75 people gathered last September on Pine Mountain near Whitesburg, Kentucky, to pray. The ecumenical gathering called “The Cross in the Mountains” (check YouTube) prayed for a renewal of Appalachian communities on a four-acre prayer site that looked onto Black Mountain where strip mining was eating away part of Kentucky’s highest ridge.

Invitation for Cleveland area NCR readers

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John L. Allen Jr. will speak in the Cleveland area Thursday night.

The Abrahamic Center of Notre Dame College is proud to present a distinguished lecture by John Allen, Jr., senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and CNN senior Vatican analyst, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4. The lecture will be held in the auditorium of the College's Regina Hall, located at 1857 South Green Road, South Euclid.

Secular Franciscans declare solidarity with migrants

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A press release:

U.S. Secular Franciscan Order Declares Solidarity with Migrants

SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- The U.S. Secular Franciscan Order declared its “solidarity with migrants in our midst” during its national gathering Oct. 29 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ.

The national body, representing 14,000 Secular Franciscans across the United States, unanimously approved a statement declaring “some current harsh attitudes towards migration” as intolerable and deploring “the fear and anxiety paralyzing our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

“As Franciscans, we intentionally chose to come to Arizona to stand in solidarity with the migrants in our midst,” the statement reads.

The statement goes on to say:

  • “We endorse the United States Catholic Bishops’ urgent call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, including their strong support for the DREAM act.”

  • “We support and encourage all the humanitarian efforts to assist immigrants who are struggling to survive.”

  • “We pray for peace and harmony, and we always remember in prayer families who are being torn apart.”

Not all saints were sane

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Iurodstvo is the Russian word for the idea of “holy foolishness.” It’s a form of asceticism that has been practiced within the Russian Orthodox church for centuries.

Its practitioners feign madness, Marx brothers-like behavior, in order to provide the public with spiritual guidance. The aim too is to avoid praise and acclaim for perceived holiness. It’s a radical form of humility as well.

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