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Economic poverty in ten words, from a Catholic Worker breakfast


This morning today I got a ten word lesson from a friend while helping with breakfast at the Holy Family Catholic Worker house here in Kansas City.

The breakfast is a pretty casual deal. We just put out some toast (along with peanut butter and jelly), fill some pots with coffee, and hard-boil a few eggs if there's been a donation lately.

Mostly it's just a chance for people to come inside for a bit before they go about their day. After breakfast many of our guests head out to find day work.

Often during the time we're open in the morning people use our phones to call their contacts and try and find something they can do that will pay a few dollars.

As I was sitting having some peanut butter toast this morning, a short man named James came over to the table from the phone in a little bit of a huff. He was stomping his feet as he made his way over.

I said, "James, what's wrong?"

Looking back on a long hot summer


Summer 2010 set temperature records across the country and around the world. The Natural Resources Defense Council's analysis of June, July, and August 2010 US temperature data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Historic Climatology Network reveal that this summer set heat records in many parts of the country. In fact, of the 1,218 weather stations in the contiguous United States, with data going back to 1895, 153 locations recorded their hottest summer on record and nearly one in three stations recorded average temperatures among their five hottest on record.

Even more telling is that nighttime lows were the hottest ever recorded at nearly one in four weather stations. Hot, stagnant nights can prove even more harmful than daytime highs as vulnerable populations (particularly the elderly) are unable to cool down and get relief from the stress of the daytime heat.

From the mail bag 1


Here at the world headquarters of the National Catholic Reporter, we get a lot of reader mail. Some of it are letters to the editor, which are printed in the newspaper. Some envelopes contain newspaper clippings with penciled in comments like: "Can you believe this?" or "Thought you might want to see this."

In yesterday's mail was such an envelope. The clip came from the Yuma Sun of Yuma, Ariz. The page one headline reads: Large debt revealed at Immaculate Conception Church. The subhead reads: Diocese says nearly half a million deficit not dire, ministries will operate normally.

New Vatican Bank scandal threatens to erupt


This morning, Italian authorities announced that U.S. $30 million in funds belonging to the Vatican Bank have been seized, and the bank’s president and another senior official have been placed under investigation, following allegations of money-laundering. Specifically, prosecutors apparently believe that the Vatican Bank is being used by some Italian entities and VIPs to disguise financial fraud or tax evasion.

Quote of the day


From Religion News Service, quote of the day:

“We have fallen short in honoring all people of God and being an instrument for that grace. We have disciplined, censured and expelled when we should have listened, learned and included.”

Good news from the border at last


The faith-based group, No More Deaths, maintains camps in Southern Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico border. Volunteers from around the country fan out each day from the camps in search of immigrants who might be lost, hungry, thirsty, injured and in danger of death. They also look for bodies of those who could not survive the perilous trek north. To help prevent deaths the group leaves bottles of water along known migrant trails.

Archbishop Dolan: A superman for Catholic schools?


Both the news out of New York's archdiocese and the debut in theatres this weekend of a compelling documentary provide a poignant one-two punch in support of Catholic education.

The news from New York is this: there's going to be radical surgery to keep Catholic schools alive. According to The New York Times, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is working on a program to sever Catholic schools from their traditional main funding source: the local parish. Instead, Dolan is reportedly proposing to close several schools (as many as thirty) and finance the rest out of a common fund contributed to by all parishes in the archdiocese.

It is a far-reaching move, but one that makes sense. Here in Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony has kept struggling inner city schools alive through a wildly successful annual findraising appeal called "Together in Mission" -- essentially prodding wealthier parishes and parishoners to donate to a fund for everyone else. Archbishop Dolan's proposal institutionalizes this and brings stability to school funding.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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