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  • Venerable church a natural place to view heavens
    ST. PAUL — Hundreds of solar eclipse viewers on Aug. 21 watched the sky grow dim and then witnessed the spectacular dancing white corona of the sun’s edge from alongside Oregon’s oldest Catholic church.
  • Portland woman addresses Irish lawmakers on life matters
    A Portland woman in late June addressed Irish lawmakers and July 1 spoke before a large rally in Dublin, urging prohibition against screening that prompts parents to abort unborn children with Down syndrome. 
    Karen Gaffney, a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy who has the genetic condition, said lives like hers are worthwhile. 
  •  Sisters ran school for Japanese immigrants
    In November 1941, children of St. Paul Miki School in Portland led a ceremony during which they raised a collection of United States flags. The stars and stripes had been gifts of the students’ fathers. 
    By the next month, the patriotic men and their families were under suspicion and in April 1942 were forced into detention camps. The school closed, never to open again.
  • Father Buckley dies at 86

    In Portland on Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dominican Father Gerald Albert Buckley died. It was 62 years to the day after he professed vows in his religious community. 

  • Management expert tells Catholic leaders they must be willing to get uncomfortable

    “Blessed are the nice.”

    Many well-intentioned people who serve the church insert this ninth beatitude into their work — to the detriment of their ministry. Effective leadership instead is based on radical love, which is grounded in trust, does not eschew conflict and allows for commitment, accountability and, ultimately, results. 

  • The conference, which includes the state’s Catholic bishops, says House Bill 3391 “forces insurance companies to cover abortion on demand and it forces all Oregon taxpayers to help finance an extremist abortion agenda that does not enjoy majority support.”

  • Traffic engineers at the Oregon Department of Transportation, a few end-of-the-world groups and possibly ophthalmologists around the state are talking about the total eclipse of the sun on Monday morning, Aug. 21, in apocalyptic terms. Catholics need not join in.
  • Important clarification
    If viewers use the pinhole-in-a-box method, they should allow the light coming through the hole to shine onto a piece of paper. Looking through the hole at the sun could cause serious eye damage.
  • St. Mary’s grads fall to deaths on Mount Hood
    Two St. Mary’s Academy graduates reportedly fell to their deaths off a Pacific Crest Trail cliff on Mount Hood Saturday, Aug. 12.

  • Even when you want change in life, transition often is difficult. The Northwest Catholic Counseling Center in Northeast Portland offers a workshop on the topic Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-noon. 
  • Archdiocese announces grants that tackle poverty at roots

    “I didn’t have any idea of gardening, and Huerta told me everything about it, and now we grow our own organic food,” says Catalina Angeles. Angeles’ 7-year-old daughter has grown up gardening and is keen on eating fruits and vegetables.

    The family is part of Huerta de la Familia, a Eugene community garden education cooperative that received a $7,500 grant this year from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD for short.

  • Catholic Charities-operated tiny houses are big gift to homeless women
    Martice Bauersfeld takes a drag on her cigarette and flicks the ash away from the welcome mat beneath her feet. 

    Behind her is an open door revealing a full laundry basket and a cat litter box for the scrawny kitten she’s adopted. She pauses mid-sentence as a woman shouts angrily a few yards away. Bauersfeld smiles.

    “We sometimes clash and aren’t all on the same page, but we are still trying to get to know each other, learning people’s stories,” says Bauersfeld. “I feel so fortunate to be here.”

    The open door, the stoop, the sitting down to chat — they are all new and valued pieces of a life that’s moved off the streets and into an unusual community in North Portland. 
  • SB 494 dies in committee
    SALEM — After passing out of the Oregon Senate June 8, Senate Bill 494 failed to pass through the legislature’s House chamber. The bill, which would have modified the state’s advance directive, was said by opponents to strip away protections from being starved or dehydrated to the point of death for mentally incompetent but conscious Oregonians.
  •  Ignite Your Torch Northwest conference sparks young people's faith
    LACEY, Washington — Approximately 250 young adults from Oregon, Washington, Utah and Canada converged onto the campus of St. Martin’s University July 6-9 for the fifth annual Ignite Your Torch Northwest conference.

    More than 30 religious brothers and sisters from orders across the country, in addition to several priests from the Portland and Seattle archdioceses, joined youths for the four-day event. The conference featured workshops, keynotes, recreation and adoration, in which the religious played a pivotal role.
  • Catholics, evangelicals get closer
    A Portland Catholic hopes his friendship with a local evangelical pastor will set off a burst of creativity that will lead to more effective evangelization in Oregon. 

  • Residence for archbishops moved
    When further research this spring revealed that building a new house for the archbishops of Portland would be too costly, Archbishop Alexander Sample changed course. The archdiocese bought an existing home near St. Pius X Parish in Northwest Portland.
  • Catholics pledge against death penalty

    A national organization is urging Catholics to do what it takes to halt the death penalty — including in Oregon.

    In May, the Catholic Mobilizing Network — based in Washington, D.C. — sent out a National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty. Since then, almost 12,000 church leaders, including a handful of Catholic bishops, and others have signed on, promising to take action. The Oregon Catholic Conference, public policy arm of the state’s bishops, has signe

  • Two St. Francis classes sent to Camp Howard, thanks to scholarships

    ROY — The day St. Francis of Assisi fifth-grader Joseph Crowell first heard about Camp Howard at school, he came home begging his mom to send him.

    “I’m so sorry, buddy, but we can’t afford it,” his mother, Ursula Crowell, responded.

    “We have six kids, and we just couldn’t,” she explained recently. Joseph’s persistent plea was repeated for several days, until one afternoon he bolted across the school field, wrapped his arms around his mother and exclaimed: “I’m going to Camp Howard, Mom, I’m going.”

  • De La Salle student's collection for Congo on hold due to instability, violence
    Escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo temporarily stalled the efforts and hopes of De La Salle student Felix Songolo. This spring, the then-junior organized a collection for Congolese youths — gathering enough clothes, shoes and backpacks to fill five large bags and receiving about $400 in donations. The plan was to distribute the items during his first-ever visit to his parents’ native country. The family fled the Congo to Zambia before Songolo was born.
  • CYO helps the youngest begin lacrosse
    As lacrosse flourishes in the Portland area, many youth players are experiencing the sport for the first time in the Catholic Youth Organization league. Since 2011, CYO coaches have guided youths through fundamental skills to advanced techniques. St. Pius X and St. John Fisher parishes provide fields for practice. Home games are played at Valley Catholic and Jesuit high schools.
  • Shoppers can aid service project
    SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Grocery Outlet has designated Catholic Community Services’ Springfield Community Service Center as its recipient of groceries donated during July’s Independence from Hunger Campaign. The effort gives shoppers an opportunity to purchase food or give cash to the cause. 
  • WATCH: Portland Pickles reach out to churches and there is a Catholic flavor at the ballpark
    On a fragrant Saturday evening in Southeast Portland, Adam Richards, Corrine Montana and Rosie Berg are making their way out of Walker Stadium. The Portland Pickles baseball team has lost, but the trio from Portland’s L’Arche community are beaming anyway. They were able to secure a foul ball, a memento that will go back to the Catholic-inspired house where people with disabilities and their assistants live together. 
  • Catholic prison ministers convene to strengthen work

    MOUNT ANGEL — Curtis Gibson was jailed for almost four years for a white-collar crime. In the end, the Portland man says, it was a good thing, because that is where his faith was forged. 

    During a prison ministry workshop June 10 at Mount Angel Abbey, Gibson told 60 participants that prisons and jails are frightening places because inmates seek to grab territory and secure influence.  

  • Tweets be to God: Priests and religious sisters embrace social media

    “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use social media,” said Father William Holtzinger, recasting a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.

    The pastor of St. Anne Parish in Grants Pass and many of his fellow priests and religious sisters see social media as helpful — and increasingly necessary — in their ministry, especially in their efforts to reach youths.   


  • Church seeking insights of young people

    Young people of the world: Pope Francis wants to hear what you think. That’s true even if you’re not Catholic or if you’ve stepped away from the church. 

    In preparation for the fall 2018 Synod on Young People and Vocational Discernment, dioceses around the globe are reaching out to teens, 20-somethings and 30-somethings and asking about their relationship with the Catholic Church. The answers may influence ministry all over the globe, including Oregon. 

  • Oregon Catholic Conference denounces state's abortion funding bill

    Calling state lawmakers "intolerant of widely held opposing views" and religious beliefs, the Oregon Catholic Conference is denouncing a Legislature-approved bill that requires health insurers to cover abortion on demand.

  • Portland man ordained as Jesuit

    A 36-year-old man who was raised in Portland has been ordained a Jesuit priest in Los Angeles. 

    Father Sam Conedera, who grew up as a member of St. Philip Neri Parish, attended All Saints School and Lincoln High School. 

    Father Conedera’s first assignment will be at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Phoenix. He celebrated his first Mass with his fellow Jesuits at Loyola Marymount University.

  • For more than four centuries, the Vatican Observatory has been a model and haven

    A quick check of science history shows that Catholic priests played a key role in many areas, from Albert the Great in 13th-century physics to Father Gregor Mendel in 19th-century genetics. 

    Not surprisingly, churchmen have excelled most in study of the heavens. The Vatican Observatory has been their inspiration and guide.   


  • A bill that increases state spending on abortion by $10.2 million is headed to the desk of Gov. Kate Brown.
  • WATCH: Group helps families with sick kids feel normal
    When Timshel Tarbet was going through hell, a small group called Candlelighters helped her feel normal, if even for a few hours at a time.
  • Sentinel named top paper in its class
    QUEBEC — The Catholic Sentinel and El Centinela won 21 awards during the annual Catholic Media Conference at Laval University here June 23.The Sentinel was named the best of North America’s non-weekly newspapers with a circulation of 25,000 or fewer. That’s the first time since 1959 that the Sentinel has been named first in its class.
  • Connected through a cup of coffee
    MOUNT ANGEL — A Catholic Relief Services worker who builds water systems in Latin America spoke to students at Mount Angel Seminary about his work, which he considers a ministry.
  • CYO recognizes volunteers
    Catholic Youth Organization counts on more than 1,500 volunteers each year to help facilitate sports programs.
  • Two Catholic authors show books at ball game
    At the Portland Pickles baseball game June 24, two Catholic writers were on hand to discuss their work.
  • WATCH: It's no Jurassic Park
    BEAVERTON — Hands gnarled from 64 years of priestly work, Father Vincent Cunniff cradles a missalette and reads: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this I seek: To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
    It’s easy to forget that one of Oregon’s Catholic bishops is an immigrant.
  • Hispanic youths seen as potential apostles
    Each year after Easter, scores of Oregon Latino Catholic youths convene in a space of friendship, prayer and coexistence.
  • Sr. Denise Desil elected mother general

    This spring, the Little Sisters of St. Therese in Haiti elected Sister Denise Desil as mother general. Mother Denise, a frequent visitor to Portland, is a midwife who speaks on healthy birthing in developing nations. 

    For many years, Mother Denise applied her training as a midwife in rural Haiti. She survived a building collapse in the 2010 earthquake and last year's Hurricane Matthew. 

  • Archdiocese of Portland combats porn

    He’s a husband and a father. He goes to Mass every Sunday. But what started off as a peek at a magazine escalated into an out-of-control diet of pornography.

    Viewing pornography creates “a chemical reaction in the brain,” says Jason Kidd, director of the Portland archdiocesan Marriage and Family Life Office. “In order to achieve the high, you need increasingly large quantities for your brain to get the same response.” 

    The porn-burdened father who confided in Kidd is not a rare case. “I get phone calls from spouses, from concerned mothers, from young males,” Kidd says. “We know pornography is a problem, but not everyone realizes how big.”

  • Marylhurst student earns third degree at 94

    Velda Metelmann was born in 1922; Auriana Cook is 22. Both will accept their Marylhurst University diplomas as they join 300-plus degree candidates honored at Marylhurst’s 123rd commencement June 24 at the Oregon Convention Center. 

    Velda Metelmann, 94, will pick up her third Marylhurst diploma. She earned her bachelor’s in her mid-80s and her master’s in interdisciplinary studies three years ago. Now she has completed a master’s in food systems and society, attending classes predominantly online from her home in King City. 

  • WATCH: Thanks to Catholic Charities, new tiny houses development opens

    With Catholic Charities of Oregon guiding the project, 14 formerly homeless women moved into a village of tiny houses June 10 in North Portland. 

    “It makes a difference to be able to say, ‘This is my place,’” said Desiree Rose, who lives at a similar grouping on city land a few miles away. Organizers of Kenton Village asked Rose to give advice on the new project, one of four in the city.  

  • Priests celebrate milestone anniversaries

    Congratulations to priests in the Archdiocese of Portland celebrating their 60th, 50th and 25th jubilees. 
    Here are their brief biographies and reflections on the priesthood. 

  • Monks' brews and Swiss cuisine offered at Saint Benedict Festival
    SAINT BENEDICT — The monks of Mount Angel Abbey invite the public to visit them during their annual Saint Benedict Festival Saturday, July 8. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their centuries’ old way of life — rooted in a rhythm of work, prayer, and silence — while enjoying an afternoon of food, music and company at the abbey.
  • Wage theft
    As a child in Mexico, Selso Sarabia worked in the fields. So when he came to America, he wanted a job working outside. But about eight years ago, what he found was a landscaping job with a boss who never paid him.

    Sarabia thought his boss would be a good guy. He was Christian. He asked his workers not to drink and not to smoke. He even played Christian music in the work truck. His workers worked hard: 12- or 13-hour days with no water, no lunches, no breaks and no bathrooms.
  • Adapted liturgies: A history of 'the happiest' Masses

    Back in the 1980s, Ramona and Wenceslaus Polivka took turns going to Mass. The couple had three children, two of whom were profoundly autistic. Their third child, Marie, coped with Asperger’s syndrome. The Polivkas couldn’t bring Joseph and Laura to Mass, so one would watch the children so the other could receive the Eucharist.

    The Archdiocese of Portland wasn’t unique in its lack of Masses that could make families like the Polivkas feel comfortable enough to come with their children. Most dioceses didn’t have accommodations for people with special needs, in particular, people with cognitive disabilities like autism. 

  • Senate approves legislation affecting end-of-life decisions

    SALEM — The Oregon Senate approved legislation June 8 modifying the state’s advance directive, bringing into question the future of end-of-life decisions for Oregonians.

    Currently, the default advance directive rule states that health care representatives cannot make life-ending decisions unless the patient gives them that authority. Oregon Right to Life believes that the likely outcome of the advance directive legislation, Senate Bill 494, will change this rule, giving health care representatives life-ending authority unless patients say they cannot.

  • Sisters of the Holy Names in solidarity with migrants
    The Sisters of the Holy Names have made a commitment to enter into solidarity with migrants and refugees. In what they call a “corporate stand,” the sisters prayed and voted on the statement, which is meant to guide ministries, events and public advocacy.
  • Veterans flourish at Marylhurst University
    Lisa Payan, a former gunner with the Army military police, sought spiritual groundedness. Cody Mills had worked on Black Hawk helicopters but hoped to heal others through music. And Ian Beaty, who serves in the Army National Guard, wanted a master’s degree program that could accommodate a potential deployment.

    Each of the military veterans discovered, with a touch of surprise, a place to fulfill their goals at a small Catholic school located 10 miles south of Portland.