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Trinity Washington University Featured


The remarkable transformation of Trinity Washington University (once commonly known as "Trinity College") is featured in this week's Washington Post Magazine. The article highlights how Trinity President Pat McGuire, a constant presence at the Northeast DC school, saved the institution and made it a model for modern inner-city higher education. Well worth the read.

BTW, Trinity is cosponsoring, along with NCR, a May 6-7 conference, "A Washington Briefing for the Nation's Catholic Community." Plan to attend. For more information, visit

Feb. 15, St. Claude la ColombiËre, S. J.


Accomplish your will within me--
even in spite of me.

--from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, by Michael G. Harter, S.J., Loyola Press, 2005, a collection of prayers written by St. Claude la Colombière, Daniel Berrigan, Pedro Arrupe, Bl. Peter Faber, Joseph Tetlow, St. Robert Southwell, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner, St. Peter Canisius, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Daniel A. Lord, et al.

Vatican's rising African star determined to take risks


Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana was named the new President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in late October, just as his debut on the global Catholic stage as the relator, or general secretary, of the Synod for Africa ended. It was in some ways a baptism by fire for the 61-year-old Ghanian prelate, introducing him among other things to the press climate in Rome. A few fairly innocent comments from Turkson about condoms, and about the prospect of a black pope, briefly became a cause célèbre in the Italian papers and prompted the Vatican to issue a swift “clarification.”

As Turkson now puts it, he was forced to realize that in conversation he may say things with a smile, but in print “the smile never comes across.”

Still, Turkson said he doesn’t want “circumspection” to get in the way of saying what he thinks. He’d rather speak the truth, he said, and run the risk of being misunderstood.

Read Allen's interview with Turkson here: Vatican's justice-peace head says what he thinks

Condoms & Theology


My friend and colleague Austen Ivereigh has a must-read post up at America today dealing with the challenge of articulating theology, even good theology, in a controversial atmosphere. The particular issue at hand – condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS – could scarcely be more controversial and more of a challenge for the hierarchy.

Ivereigh notes that the use of a condom to prevent the spread of a deadly disease is not only pro-life, it is in no meaningful sense of the term prophylactic. The moral intent is not to stifle life but to preserve it. But, he reports, citing reporting by the Tablet’s Rome reporter Robert Mickens, that a Vatican official said it was impossible to recognize this moral fact without sowing greater confusion.

Dubuque's Got Sisters! tour


I just received this news release and thought it was worth passing along.

Interested in Religious Life? Check Out "Dubuque’s Got Sisters!” Tour

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Are you a woman interested in checking out religious life? Then sign up for “Dubuque’s Got Sisters!” and get ready for a unique experience. Join Dubuque-area Sisters for a 24-hour tour of four tri-state area convents to share life through praying, dining, and storytelling. Local transportation will be provided, and there is no fee to attend.

The "Dubuque’s Got Sisters!" event begins Friday, April 9 at 5 p.m. through Saturday, April 10 at 6 p.m. To register or for more details, e-mail Sister Lou Anglin, BVM, at

Dubuque’s Got Sisters! is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubuque Franciscan Sisters, and Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters (Wis).

Resignations 'not on agenda' for Vatican sex abuse summit, Irish bishop says



tA highly anticipated summit with Pope Benedict XVI next week could help the Irish bishops “recapture the ground we’ve lost” in public confidence due to that country's sexual abuse crisis, according to one prelate who will take part, but it will likely not produce a sweeping reconfiguration of the Irish church or additional resignations of bishops.

At the same time, this prelate said, all bets may be off, since the Irish bishops have been instructed to be "frank and honest" and to "speak their minds."

tBishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher in Ireland, chair of the Irish bishops’ Communications Commission, spoke to NCR Friday afternoon by phone.

tThe bishops of Ireland will be in Rome on Monday and Tuesday for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and senior Vatican officials to discuss the crisis which has gripped Ireland since publication of the government-sponsored “Murphy Report” in late November. That report documented hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in the Dublin archdiocese since 1975, and suggested that a string of Dublin archbishops and auxiliary bishops had handled those cases poorly.

Feb. 12, Bl. Humbeline, Abbess


Today is the feast of Bl. Humbeline, the sister of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. She was born at Dijon, c. 1092, and died at Jully-les-Nonnais, c. 1136.

Her parents, Burgundian nobles, had seven children, six boys and one girl. Her mother died when Humbeline was eighteen. After her father and all her brothers had become monks at Clairvaux, Humbeline, heir to the family fortune, married Guy de Marcy, a nobleman of the house of Lorraine.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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