The Napa Institute is a remarkable mix of religious retreat, networking opportunity, strategy session, wine-tasting vacation and glimpse at the U.S. traditionalist Catholic superstructure.
Faith & Parish
When all the graced visionaries have prophesied, when the healers have soothed every pain, when all the fettered are set free, when the naked and the shamed are clothed with justice and dignity (Isaiah), one will come among us -- one in whom hope and healing, freedom and salvation will find their most eloquent expression (John). He is the one for whom we wait with joy (1 Thessalonians). On this, the third Sunday of Advent, Isaiah, Paul and the two Johns (the evangelist and the Baptizer) call the assembly to cultivate that joy and allow it to sustain us. Ours is good news.
"We have become a nation built on half-truths. We fail to tell truth that without undocumented immigrant labor we would have very little food on our nation's table."
Plywood covered the broken front windows of her restaurant, the back door served as the main entrance, and no diners appeared on this afternoon.
Yet Maria Flores counted her blessings.
"God was watching over us," Flores said, standing in the intact dining area at El Palenque restaurant about a block from the Ferguson Police Department.
"African-American brothers and sisters, especially brothers, in this country are more likely to be arrested, more likely to be executed, more likely to be killed."
It's the kind of statement that's often cited by black clergy and civil rights activists. But hours after a grand jury on Wednesday chose not to indict the New York City police officer who put Eric Garner into a fatal choke hold on Staten Island, those words came from none other than white evangelical leader Russell Moore.
When the news of the final suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773 reached young Fr. John Carroll in Belgium, he was crushed.
Carlos Marentes was warned he would have only seconds, not even a minute, to greet Pope Francis.
"They said, 'Someone will be there to take your photo. And in the time it takes to take that picture, say what you have to say.' I said so much, they took eight pictures!" Marentes chuckled.
We say: The spotlight is bright on newly installed Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich as this prominent pick by Pope Francis sends a signal.
First Sunday in Advent. The key virtue for Christians is simple: "Be watchful! Be alert!"
Like so many others Monday night, the congregants at West Side Missionary Baptist Church were glued to televisions as a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case was announced.
One woman sobbed in her chair as she learned that police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting.
Then, with the press conference far from over, the church's television went dark. And the congregants at the church turned instead to prayer and preaching.
Within seconds, the Rev. Starsky Wilson was at the pulpit, calling for "contrary folk."