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'Were it not for Call To Action....\"

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Jim Fitzgerald, the new executive director of Call to Action for the first time in his new role stood before more than 2,000 gathered delegates to the 2009 conference held in Milwaukee this weekend.

These were his remarks:

Good evening Call To Action! Peace be with you.

As I complete my first 12 weeks as Call To Action’s new Executive Director, in this month of Thanksgiving, I find so much for which to be grateful.

KC Nuke Plant: Plans Move Forward

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The plan to develop a new Kansas City Plant cleared a key step on Friday.

Meeting in a room full of supporters and critics alike the city’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA) unanimously voted to approve a development agreement for the new property, located about 13 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Mo.

“We live in a real world that is a dangerous world, and there are threats of all kinds,” said PIEA member Charles Erickson. “A facility of this type may, unfortunately, be necessary to preserve our way of life.”

As reported on this site, the Kansas City Plant is a major nuclear weapons manufacturing center located about 5 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Mo. The plant is planned to be relocated to a newly developed facility further south.

Call to Action' call to healing

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This is the weekend progressive-minded Catholics from throughout the nation trek to Milwaukee for Call to Action's annual gathering. It's a weekend of workshops, talks, exhibits, with plenty of time for old friends to gather over coffee, tea -- and to share stories and renew friendships and hopes. After all, it can get lonely out there in some parishes.

With the "restoration" of a pre-Vatican II church going full speed ahead at the top of the food chain the “what might have been"-ers need some place to come together just to catch their collective breaths and souls.

NY bishop 'nuanced' on visitation of women religious

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Long Island bishop 'nuanced' on visitation of women religious

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., (that's Long Island) is the latest U.S. bishop to make a statement about the Vatican's apostolic visitation of U.S. women religious.

Murphy makes a number of interesting points in his column in his diocesan newspaper, which is dated Nov. 4.


  • "The first I knew of such a visitation was when the announcement was made last spring …"

  • "… while we bishops will be asked our opinion at some point in the process, the whole project was outside the hands of the U.S. bishops."

  • "… 'visitations' are a normal part of the life of the Church."

  • "… the key to understanding this visitation is respect. These sisters deserve and must always have our respect, the respect of the Holy See and the Visitation Committee, the respect of the entire Church. Their dignity must never be compromised and their commitment to a vowed life of consecration to God always honored. None of them should have to be afraid of a visitation."

Hudson v. Sullivan on Burke v. O'Malley

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Deal Hudson is all in a lather because of a well-reported article by Amy Sullivan in the current edition of Time magazine. Sullivan accurately reports on the virtually unprecedented criticism Archbishop Burke leveled at Cardinal O’Malley for presiding at the funeral of Sen. Ted. Kennedy. I say unprecedented because what Burke was criticizing very clearly was not a theological point, nor a canonical interpretation, but a pastoral judgment, indeed, a judgment that was O’Malley’s to make and no one else’s.

Islamophobia ñ Again?

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We were all shocked by the horrific killings at Ft. Hood, Texas, yesterday. But again and again, the media keep mentioning the suspect's religion. He's a Muslim. I must admit: I wonder if someone would say "the suspect is a Presbyterian, or a Reform Jew or a Catholic." His religion may or may not have had anything to do with these killings.

After all, Major Hasan, the suspect, is also a psychiatrist with a specialization in post-traumatic stress disorder. He must have listened to horrible war stories from patients for many weeks or months. He had orders for a deployment he did not want. There is nothing especially religious about these identities, and either one might be a factor in the shootings he allegedly committed. Indeed, he might have simply "snapped."

But in some quarters, the religious hate, the "Islamophobia," has already begun, with threats against mosques and Muslims. It's part of the "blame the entire group for what a small group, or in this case - one person, may have done."

The Politics of Unemployment

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The unemployment numbers are grim indeed, hitting a 26-year high. Nor will these numbers turn around tomorrow: Companies have learned to survive with a leaner workforce and they will not start hiring until they must. That is why unemployment is always the last economic indicator to rebound. This fact requires the Obama administration to recalibrate its political strategies going forward.

In retrospect, the economic benefits of health care reform should have been highlighted more clearly. With more than thirty million new customers coming their way, surely insurance companies should start hiring soon. More importantly, companies that have foreign competition must recognize that they are at a distinct disadvantage as they face increased health care costs for their employees while the foreign companies against which they must compete do not have any such concerns.

Saint of the Day, Nov. 6

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Today is the feast of Blessed Margaret of Lorraine.

Margaret was born to Frederick II of Vaudémont and his cousin, Yolande d'Anjou, in 1463, at their castle in Lorraine.

She married René, Duke of Alençon in 1488. When he died four years later, Margaret was already the mother of three children. "The first thing she did was to secure her right to the guardianship of her children. . . . Having done this, she settled down in her castle at Mauves, where she brought them up. . . . she showed herself to be a most capable administrator. . . ."
--Butler's Lives of the Saints

The Other Anniversary

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Yesterday was not only the anniversary of the coronation of Pope John XXIII. It was also the one year anniversary of the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. The historic aspect of that election tended to obscure the darkening economic clouds that had been rushing in for the previous months, but now one year later they are still there, still dark and ominous.

Turning around the economy is always a slower process than one would wish, especially if you are now the incumbent. Some of the same people who voted for change in 2008 also voted for change in 2009, because they do not like what they see when they read the newspaper. Of course, voting for change in 2008 meant voting for the Dems and this year it meant voting for the GOP.

The health care debate, which has taken longer than Obama wished, is reaching its conclusion. Certainly the Senate should, like the House, move quickly to finish work on that bill and begin considering how government expenditures can best be used to promote job growth. There will be a wind at the Democrats’ back again as soon as they pass health care reform.

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July 18-31, 2014

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