You may not know the name Neal McDonough -- but he's one of those Hollywood faces you'll instantly recognize. He's a compelling actor, who's played good guys and bad, most recently on the ABC series "Desperate Housewives" and HBO's "Band of Brothers."
Archaeologists and clerics in Sozopol, Bulgaria, say they have unearthed bones belonging to John the Baptist.
Bulgaria's government is looking to the discovery for salvation -- of a financial sort.
NCR editor Tom Fox is tweeting live from Dallas this afternoon as outgoing Leadership Conference of Women Religious president Marlene Weisenbeck speaks to their annual national assembly.
Check out Fox's Twitter account to see the updates as they come in. His username there is @NCRTomFox and his page can be found at twitter.com/ncrtomfox. If you tweet about the event use #LCWR so we can follow along!
Here's a sample of what Fox has 'tweeted' so far:
At 11:42: LCWR President Weisenbeck's farewell address a multimedia expression.
At 11:43: Weisenbeck: Call to hope as prophets, artists, beakers and lovers.
At 11:52: Women are leaving the LCWR annual gathering feeling confident, re-empowered in solidarity, grounded in gospel faith.
At 11:56: LCWR members appear grounded, founded in a "love relationship with Christ," says LCWR president.
For those interested in Catholics overcoming theological and ideological divides, Ireland might provide an example of how to achieve such agreement, admittedly amid difficult circumstances.
The series of government reports in recent years outlining widespread abuse of youngsters by priests and a broad coverup of the crimes by the hierarchy have united people from widely varying points on the ecclesial spectrum, according to Michael Kelly, deputy editor of The Irish Catholic, an independent national publication. From movements left, right and center, he said, people in this overwhelmingly Catholic country are saying: “‘This is not working. We still want to hold our orthodoxy and be traditional Catholics but we also want to find a new way of being church,’” he said in an Aug. 4 phone interview.
In a post titled Strategic Disarray, Commonweal blogger William Pfaff explains why the new US Afghan policy won't work.
"U.S. policy in Kabul has stalemated and officials are whistling in the dark," Pfaff writes.
Some 600 women religious began their last day of a three-day conference here with a public demonstration against the death penalty. Carrying signs and wearing visors reading "LCWR: Nuns for life," they left the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Dallas and walked to a nearby plaza where they held a prayer and protest session.
The number of executions in the United States has decreased from 98 in 1999 to 52 in 2009. Twenty-four, down from 37 in 1999, of the 52 executions in the U.S. took place in Texas in 2009. Moreover, only nine Texas death sentences were given in 2009, down from as many as 48 in the late 1990s, according to an LCWR death penalty paper.
Texas now has executed more than 450 people since 1982 out of some 1,200 executions nationwide since 1977. Currently there are more than 330 people on Texas Death Row; nationally there are some 3,270 such inmates.
Kudos to Call to Action's young adult group for changing their name. While the new name "CTA 20/30" won't win any awards for cleverness, it was chosen by the young adults themselves and suggests they have something to contribute now, unlike their previous moniker, "Next Generation."
"The name not only better identifies that this program is for Catholics in their 20s and 30s, but also reflects Call To Action's clear commitment to intergenerational equity: the desire for all generations of Catholics to work together for a better church," said CTA Executive Director Jim FitzGerald in an email to members.
FitzGerald himself fits into that age category. See more about his opinions on young adult Catholics here.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay received a Centennial award from Catholic Charities USA for its work in reducing poverty through the Financial Health Program.
To learn more about the Financial Health Program, click here.
One of the best Web sites on eco-spirituality is EarthHealing created and maintained by Kentucky Jesuit Fr. Al Fritsch of Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest. Fr. Fritsch and his helpers have created an internet-based interactive service to address eco-justice questions and the current economic order, avoiding physical conferencing via air travel with its heavy carbon footprint.
"Our principal service is to offer a Daily Reflection on pertinent subjects. This website began in 2004 and will continue as long as materials are available and funding permits. The weekday reflections cover a variety of simple living topics and the weekend writings include homilies and other sacred issues. A variety of essays and poems appear here as well."
The daily reflections are archived on the site. There is also an archive of wonderful reflections on eco-sprituality through the seasons. The daily reflections are always accompanied by a photo depicting some part of the natural world.