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  • What now for the Supreme Court?
    Justices like Amy Coney Barrett may lead the court to a more modest role, leaving issues to the people and their elected representatives when the Constitution says little or nothing about them. But it seems that leaders in the party known as Democratic, which I've belonged to all my adult life, may be afraid of ... more democracy.
  • 'Fratelli Tutti': A call to personal encounter
    Pope Francis' newest encyclical, "Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship," gives tender challenge to "all people of goodwill" in a world fractured by political and economic ideologies. Instead of seeing the person from another nation, religion or group as "other," the pope challenges us to see a neighbor, a brother and sister.
  • Reflecting on my stint as St. Augustine
    I recall one afternoon after school when I was 12, sitting on the floor out in the hallway working on a bulletin board. Lost in thought, engrossed in my work, cutting away at something I had sketched to assemble, I was surprised when Sister Margaret Mary Feldner, principal of All Saints School, stood right over me and asked, “Do you mind if I join you?”
  • ‘Ghastly ruins’
    Desolate, bare walls, and twisted, blackened debris! All that remain of the once beautiful St. Benedict’s Abbey and Mt. Angel College!
  • Forming priests to serve with joy in Christ
    I feel an urgency today to renew and strengthen this eucharistic focus. I’ve seen it at work in the lives of our seminarians. I’ve seen them take this focus on the Liturgy and embody it wholeheartedly.
  • All Catholics can agree that women shape not only the political sphere but also our church in radical and irreplicable ways.
  • Vote with love
    Though we do not push for theocracy, we ought not keep Catholic social teaching to ourselves. It offers a sensible, consistent and beautiful vision that would lead to human flourishing.
  • With so much of humanity sickened in soul and body by greed, self-centered indifference to suffering, inequality, polarization and violence, Pope Francis has wonderfully seized the moment by giving to our wounded world the balm of his new inspiring and challenging social encyclical letter titled Fratelli Tutti (“All Brothers: On Fraternity and Social Friendship”).
  • State-sponsored or legislative coercion through a universal vaccine mandate raises ethical concerns, especially when appropriate exemptions are unavailable.
  • Put your political party, your conservative/liberal leanings, your wallet and your self-interest on the back burner. And instead, vote with a well-formed Catholic conscience
  • QAnon unChristian, unjust
    I believe that QAnon is a philosophy of hate and violence. I believe that QAnon is a philosophy that promotes white supremacy and ignores the rights and contributions of immigrants. And I believe that QAnon is a philosophy that targets Jewish and Islamic people without valid causes.
  • Pancakes three times a day
    Though food insecurity has a new profile, together I believe we have at least 68.7 million ways to respond.

  • Among local Catholic papers I’ve learned about over the years, the Sentinel is among those with the greatest breadth, the most incisive stories and abundant examples of how humans stumble and strive toward flawed holiness.
  • Woe to those who gossip
    Twelve years ago this month, I taught my first theology class at an all-girls high school. Fresh out of graduate school, I could boast of only a few hours of undergraduate lecturing and grading as preparatory experience.
  • Climate change isn’t just something our grandchildren, not us, will have to confront. It’s here and now, and, as Pope Francis said, mainly “a result of human activity.” The pope said we must hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
  • Oregon Catholics should not forget the creeping dangers and violations of physician-assisted suicide. Our first-in-the-nation 1994 law changed medicine, put pressure on the old and sick, and cheapened the value of life overall. Now activists want to expand its reach.

  • Sweeter than the honeycomb
    I'm certainly not the first person to observe that the tone of our civic discourse has gotten increasingly angry. I have recently come to realize, though, that some people actually like it that way.

  • Living sexuality in the church's embrace
    So, how big a deal is sex, in the human scheme, and in Christian life?

  • Climate change is real; its death and destruction is presently upon us, and it is projected to get much worse if far more aggressive national and international efforts to reverse it are not soon enacted.
  • The Groote Beer
    A former Nazi yacht was almost part of a Portland Catholic training program in the 1950s.
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