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A winter plea for generosity

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The freezing temperatures and blustering winds across the country this week have left many of the economically poor in peril. At the Catholic Worker where I live in Kansas City, Mo. we have guests who are still living outside, even in temperatures well below zero at night.

With these brothers and sisters in mind I would like to make a humble plea. It is inspired by another local Catholic Worker:

When you find yourself heading to the car to run some errands this weekend consider taking some blankets along with you. If you've got a little extra time and money to spare, think about even buying a couple of pairs of thermal underwear while you're out.

If you see a panhandler or homeless person outside as you travel, stop. Ask the person for their name. Ask how they're doing. If you feel comfortable, try and see if they have some place to stay tonight that's away from the cold. Offer them the blanket or thermals from your car. Give them a hug before you go on your way.

Remember that people are extremely vulnerable in weather like this. Let's help one another.

Jan. 8, Our Lady of Prompt Succor

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""By the blessing of heaven, directing the valor of the troops under my command, one of the most brilliant victories in the annals of war was obtained."

--General Andrew Jackson to the Ursuline Nuns

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond will celebrate the annual Mass of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Prompt Succor at 4 p.m. today at The National Shrine.

In 1727, Mere Marie Tranchepain and eleven other Ursulines traveled from Rouen to New Orleans. Within a few months, they had boarding students, the beginning of what is now the "Oldest Continuously-Operating School for Women in the United States".

Sad on so many levels

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This reported today in Chicago: A newly ordained priest of the Joliet, Illinois Diocese, who had been raised in an orphanage in Bolivia, attempted suicide Wednesday by jumping from a church balcony after being accused on Sunday of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy. The 37-year-old priest suffered serious head trauma and is in intensive care. He had been placed on administrative leave while the allegations were investigated. No charges had been filed yet.

Peace advocate, Francis McGillicuddy, finds rest

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Several years back I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Vietnam with a wonderful couple, Francis and Elaine McGillicuddy. Their love for each other was evident at every step. Their story, while unique, mirrored in some ways the stories of other couples we have known. Francis is an "inactive priest;' Elaine a "former religous."

Francis served as Associate Pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Portland, St. Mary's in Westbrook, and Sacred Heart Church in Waterville, Maine. He was also chaplain and administrator at a diocesan camp for girls, -- Camp Pesquasawasis in Danville, Maine from 1959 to 1970. After two years as Chaplain at Maine Medical Center, he resigned from the clergy and married Elaine at Holy Cross Church, in South Portland, in 1972.

James Kavanaugh dead at 81

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Author of the best-selling book, “A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church.” James Kavenaugh died Dec. 29 at the age of 81. His subsequent books of poetry touched the lives of millions.

The cause of death was complications from surgery Kavanaugh underwent earlier last year, said Katherine Markel, his stepdaughter.

Kavanaugh attended school in Kalamazoo and at the age of 14 went to seminary in Grand Rapids. After serving as a priest in Flint he rose to fame after he wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post in 1967 entitled “I am a Priest, and I Want to Marry.”

Tradition is pope's best protection

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I am not making this up.

Writing in this week's Catholic Herald, the U.K. weekly, security expert Dominic Scarborough urges the Vatican "to draw on tradition to prevent a repeat of the Midnight Mass attack on Benedict XVI." He says that bringing back the sedia gestatoria would protect the pope. He means the pope should be carried around on a portable throne.

The Catholic Encyclopedia offers this description of the sedia gestatoria

Morna Murray to Lead CACG

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Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) announced today that Morna Murray will take over the leadership of the organization as its new President. Murray was previously senior counsel and policy advisor to Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and she brings a wealth of knowledge about issues critical to Catholics to her new role, especially poverty, health care, education and juvenile justice.

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July 18-31, 2014

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