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Listen to stillness - and gain strength, courage and hope

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I hope all readers of this column are familiar with the Web site gratefulnes.org, "a network for Grateful Living."

Gratefulness.org says of itself that it "povides education and support for the practice of grateful living as a global ethic, based on the teachings of Br. David Steindl-Rast and colleagues. Gratefulness – the full response to a given moment and all it contains – is a universal spiritual practice that inspires personal transformation, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith dialogue, intergenerational respect, nonviolent conflict resolution, and ecological sustainability."

You can sign up on the site for a number of useful reflective aids. One is "Word for the Day." The following is the "Word for the Day" for today, Oct. 1.

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.
Howard Thurman

Morning Briefing

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Philippine senators deplore “hysterical reaction” of Catholic Bishops Conference. The bishops had threatened to excommunicate President Benigno S. Aquino III and other pro-reproductive health lawmakers for supporting the family planning measure.

UK: New equality laws come into force

Mich. assistant AG's anti-gay blog free speech? Read more about this on the Distinctly Catholic blog.

Pope orders inquiry into abusive Catholic women's order

October is Respect Life Month

More on suicide

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Yesterday I blogged about the prevalence of suicide involving teenagers, college students, professional athletes and married couples.

Today came this headline in the New York Times: "Four Suicides in a Week Take a Toll on Fort Hood."

"Four veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan died this week from what appeared to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds at Fort Hood in central Texas, raising the toll of soldiers who died here at their own hands to a record level and alarming Army commanders."

Getting Help

Are you in crisis? Please call 1-800-273-TALK

To learn more about suicide, go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Passionist priest, Theodore Foley, on road to sainthood

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

A Pittsburgh priest who heard the confessions of beggars and of the pope, and who was a voice of reconciliation amid the divisions in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, has cleared the earliest stages in the sainthood process.

Tonight at 7 the Passionists of St. Paul of the Cross Monastery on the South Side Slopes will invite the public to venerate and ask prayers of their former superior, the Rev. Theodore Foley, who died in 1974. The pope declared him a servant of God -- the step before beatification -- in 2007, but his remains weren't accessible for veneration. They now rest in a new sarcophagus next to his old confessional.

"He showed a great love of reconciliation, both as an overall human experience and also as a sacramental experience," said the Rev. Timothy Fitzgerald, a Pittsburgh Passionist who was his secretary in Rome.

For more information, see www.theodorefoley.org.

Implications of 'whistleblower\" saint

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For an institution that deals so much in symbol, the church has chosen Mother Mary KacKillop as a candidate for canonization who brings with her an unusual and timely depth and richness. MacKillop was an Australian once excommunicated by her bishop for denouncing clerical sexual abuse.

Talk about a saint for our times. Jesuit Fr. James Martin plumbs the implications of the canonization in a wonderful essay on the America Magazine blog.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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