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Dolan and Colbert talk about faith, humor at Fordham

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[Note: The Storify portion of this story has been updated to include an animated video that appeared during the Fordham event.]

On Friday night, two of the biggest personalities in American Catholicism today convened on the campus of a Jesuit university in New York to discuss faith, humor and how the two intersect.

Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the satirical news show "The Colbert Report," entertained a capacity crowd of 3,000 students at Fordham University at the much-anticipated event called "The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life."

Two days before the Sept. 14 event, Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin told NCR the Dolan-Colbert conversation came from two Fordham theology professors, Michael Peppard and Charles Camosy. The idea was a hit to all involved, with the only obstacle finding a date that worked for all three -- a task Martin joked "was only marginally less complicated than arranging the Second Vatican Council, but it should be funnier.”

Bishop of Lincoln, Neb., retires; Denver auxiliary named his successor

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WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., and has named Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley of Denver to succeed him.

The changes were announced in Washington Sept. 14 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, papal nuncio to the U.S.

Bruskewitz, head of the Lincoln diocese since 1992, is 77 years old. Bishops are required by canon law to submit their resignation to the pope when they turn 75.

Sr. Mary Rose McGeady, head of Covenant House for 13 years, dies

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Sr. Mary Rose McGeady, who took over Covenant House for homeless youth after its founder was accused of financial and sexual improprieties, died of respiratory failure in Albany Sept. 13 at the age of 84.

Arrangements for her funeral Mass in Albany and a memorial service in New York City were incomplete.

A member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, McGeady served as president of Covenant House from 1990 until her retirement in 2003, doubling the number of homeless young people served by the international network annually.

Stop the torture: End forced algebra

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It has taken me decades to reveal this publicly, but as a lad of 14 at St. Dominic High School, Oyster Bay, N.Y., I was a victim of child abuse. The merciless torture, which heaved me into a miasma of pain, went on for nine months, five days a week in dispiriting 50 minute sessions. It began in September, this time of year. Up against the might of my abuser, I was helpless.

Instead of having it all, a call for all to have

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In a departure from the norm, NCR was sufficiently intrigued by a recent book to ask three of our younger married writers to review it. As a bonus, we asked the reviewers if they would mind introducing us also to their families. -- Arthur Jones, books editor

Earlier this summer, a number of friends (Facebook and otherwise) began “liking,” forwarding and otherwise commenting on an article in The Atlantic magazine with the depressing title, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”

Author cuts across gender lines and mommy wars

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In a departure from the norm, NCR was sufficiently intrigued by a recent book to ask three of our younger married writers to review it. As a bonus, we asked the reviewers if they would mind introducing us also to their families. -- Arthur Jones, books editor

The New Feminist Agenda is a page-turner. That’s what I told my husband when he asked me what I was reading. However, chatting with neighbors as our kids played, I did not dare reveal my secret summer reading. It seemed to pale in comparison with their discussion of the Fifty Shades of Grey book series. That uncomfortable dynamic alone reveals one of Madeleine M. Kunin’s theses -- that we need to complete the feminist agenda of the ’60s and ’70s.

How the Lord's Prayer saved a 9/11 survivor

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- For John Mahony, a retired U.S. Army colonel who was managing projects for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, instinct came before analysis as he fought to stay on his feet the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

"The building jerked hard, throwing everyone off balance," remembers Mahony in the account he has written of surviving the 9/11 attacks.

In the world of Catholicism, there are no degrees of separation

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COLUMN

Six degrees of separation, we are told, is all that exists between any two persons on the planet. Will Smith, in the movie of the same name, used this phenomenon to execute a magnificent con, which proved to be a deeply humanizing experience, on Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland. But I have found that within the vast world of Catholicism, the degrees of separation get down to three, sometimes two, sometimes one.

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September 12-25, 2014

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