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On PBS: 'The Calling'


On Dec. 20-21, PBS will air a documentary exploring what it means to be “called” to serve as clergy in the 21st century. It relates a fascinating set of personal stories, featuring seven young people who have felt a “calling” to serve God as either as priests, ministers, rabbis, imams or Islamic chaplains.

On this day


On this day, 150 years ago, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published "Paul Revere's Ride".

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; t
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, ‘If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light, --
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be, t
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.

There's more; it's 130 lines long. And it's much more than a fictionalized version of Revere's ride. Jill Lepore explained in an op-ed piece in The New York Times yesterday, that " 'Paul Revere's Ride' is less a poem about the Revolutionary War than about the impending Civil War -- and about the conflict over slavery that caused it."

As Christmas approaches, let's reach for meals that make us truly happy


A battle royale has been engaged by a mother who is seeking to prevent McDonalds from "luring" children and their parents from buying Happy Meals with toys.

Today's New York Times editorial rightly points out that parents are the responsible party for their children's diet. At what point, however, do states and the federal government have to intervene before a large percentage of our population literally explodes as if in a cartoon?

On the crisis, does the pope have it right?


Pope Benedict XVI’s blunt language on the sexual abuse crisis in his annual address to the Roman Curia this morning is generating headlines around the world, especially the pontiff’s unflinching insistence that the church must examine “what went wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

Notre Dame officials portrayed as rebuffing family of suicide victim


An in depth report at Politics Daily, the online newspaper, portrays University of Notre Dame officials as stonewalling the family of a 19-year-old freshman at Notre Dame's sister school, Saint Mary's College, who committed suicide in September, 10 days after reporting that she had been fondled against her will by a Notre Dame football player.

"We got kind of a double whack,'' says Lizzy's plain-talking 85-year-old grandfather, Bill Seeberg, a WWII Marine veteran and Notre Dame alum from the Class of '44. No, make that a triple: "First Lizzy's death, then two weeks later finding out about the assault; because we're old folks who couldn't understand such things, our kids kept that part from us -- wasn't that nice of them?''

Digital Nativity Story


This innovative version of the Nativity story is making the rounds on Facebook. It made me smile at first, then I thought, is it trivializing Christmas? No, I think it shows how Jesus is present in every new communication technology ... and we can celebrate his presence on and via the web together.

This digital re-relling of the Christmas story transcends every notion of mediated communication. The video also gives us an opportunity to make media the subject of catechesis while it is an instrument of catechesis at the same time.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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