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\"I'm spiritual but not religious\"

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St. Francis of Assisi was wont to pray for nights on end, “Who are you, God, and who am I?” He was unable to find satisfying answers to these questions in the culture and institutions of his times.

One Sunday he was listening to a sermon in which the preacher quoted Jesus telling his followers to take nothing for their journey, to rely upon the kindness of strangers – in short, to embrace poverty as a spiritual way. Francis was galvanized. He left Mass overjoyed and committed the passages to memory, saying: “This is what I want. This is what I long for.”

Francis had noticed that whenever and wherever he encountered poverty and simplicity in his life, then his heart would warmly glow, his insides would light up with smiles. The scripture passage validated this important inner experience. His enthusiasm enkindled and his creative energies given direction, he went on to create a band of brothers who lived simply and in solidarity with the poor.

Will U.S. still turn blind eye on Indonesian military abuses

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More than 50 U.S. organizations Thursday urged the U.S. government to "strictly prohibit any U.S. cooperation with or assistance to the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus)' in a letter sent Thursday to President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of Congress. The letter was coordinated by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN).

Abortion reduction bill: third time the charm?

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More comments on abortion reduction bill introduced today.

For the third consecutive Congressional sessions, Mr. Ryan and Ms. DeLauro have introduced a bill aimed at trying to bridge the schism over this divisive issue. With the legislation now garnering increased support from both supporters and opponents of abortion rights, Mr. Ryan said it is an “idea whose time has come.”

Can the great divide be breached?

Deposition gives glimpse of \"clerical culture\"

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In discussion of the clergy sex abuse crisis the term "culture" is often used in reference to the clergy or, more specifically, the hierarchy.

The term crops up again in the deposition of Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Raymond E. Goedert of Chicago. The deposition was taken by Atty. Jeffrey Anderson on November 13, 2007, and was released Tuesday, July 21, as part of a settlement of a Chicago case.

Omaha installation featured rare pipe organ

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I hope some readers got to watch the video of the installation Mass for Archbishop George Lucas as the new archbishop of Omaha. (So far, I have not found it on-demand.) The ceremony was lovely but St. Cecilia’s Cathedral is spectacular. There, smack-dab in the very middle of Middle America is a structure of Spanish colonial revival architecture that took my breath away.

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