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Young Voices

Where does nature live?

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One of my most cherished memories from college is of a guest lecture by the late Fr. Jim Edmiston, hosted by my friends and me at The Catholic University of America's chapter of Pax Christi. Fr. Jim, a Franciscan friar and an entomologist, and gave us a small window into the joy and awe he witnessed in the study of fly DNA. His message that day: Get St. Francis' love of nature "out of the birdbath" and into the metaphysical meditations of Christian faith.

Pell Grant cuts would spell strife for Catholic students

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Like millions of Catholic college students, Ryan Fecteau is excited to return to campus this week. His junior year at the The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is filled with promise. Fecteau is a political science major whose focus on politics extends past the classroom. An aspiring policymaker, he was recently elected to the position of city commissioner in his hometown of Biddleford, Maine. On campus, he is speaker of the university's Student Association, communications director of CUA College Democrats and executive director of CUAllies.

Book on African women gives power back to victims

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Empowering women to be storytellers and writers is an act of peacemaking. Hilda Twongyeirwe, editor of I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival, eloquently creates a mosaic of the struggle and dreams of Ugandan women. The collection of stories in I Dare to Say creates a community that gives power back to the victims. Knowing that real change is possible pivots individuals from victims to change agents. Stories of women getting connected to lawyers, doctors and nonprofit organizations offer hope. People around the world are aware and accompanying storytellers in their struggles: Legal aid for Nankunda Mbarara in "Quest for Freedom" and Nakato becoming a health advocate as an AIDS victim in "The Second Twin" give a sense of purpose and identity for the women.

Believing in light without seeing light

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At its best, modern art asks us to confront the meaning of art itself: what belongs in museums, what doesn't and whether art's power over us is well-earned. Such is the case with "Annual Light" (1966), a work by Alighiero Boetti currently on display as part of a retrospective of the artist at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Boetti's light is a wooden box with a bare bulb inside it; it is said to illuminate for 11 seconds at random once a year. Reportedly, no one has ever seen the work light up.

On the brink: How Ignatius can offer you care today

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My favorite saint is St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose feast day is July 31. Born into a Spanish family in the Basque country in the northern part of Spain, Inigo had a conversion experience during his convalescence after a cannonball shattered his knee in a battle at Pamplona. His imagination, courage, valor and striving toward excellence has caught my attention and informs my spirituality. In fact, it is these same traits that offer insight and direction to the Society of Jesus and all their ministries and works throughout the world.

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In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

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