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  • The irony involves the moral outrage that surfaced regarding Michelle’s text messages. Similar indignation about encouraging someone to commit suicide is, paradoxically, almost entirely absent when it comes to “physician-assisted” suicide.
  • For millions of working children worldwide, the adventures of a new school year remain but a dream. Sadly, these children will never learn to read or write. They will not acquire computer skills. They will not experience singing in chorus, going on field trips or playing at recess. Their classrooms will be sweatshops, farm fields, and battlefields. 
  • Heaven, not college, is the goal
    MILWAUKIE — When a parent in a blog comment began to suspect that catechesis in Catholic schools is nowhere near as robust as it needs to be, and worried that this lack might endanger the salvation of his three teens in Catholic school, he asked for resources. 
  • God’s grace is everywhere­
    This summer we entered earth’s paradise. Formed by five volcanoes over the span of much time, Hawaii’s big island was our home for nearly three weeks. The island reminded me that God’s footprints are everywhere.
  • In the words of Pope Francis we need to create a “culture of encounter” with all people – even our enemies.

     
  • An August evening’s encounter
    It was a scorching late summer afternoon in Chicago, back in the second half of August 1947. My Aunt Toots was always much more frivolous than my mother. She talked my mom into going to the Chicago Theater, in the Loop, to listen to the music of the latest heartthrob for many young women across the country in those years immediately following World War II. 
  • Millennials, help us
    While previous generations got caught up in careers and making themselves comfortable and happy, millennials might be just right for the mission ahead.  
  • Against hate
    “The anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic sentiments that have been publicly proclaimed in our society in recent years have incited hatred in our communities.” The authors were three bishops who are chairmen of committees at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • PHILADELPHIA — Those of us who have grown up within the womb of a democratic society may not always recognize how radical the idea behind such a society actually is, nor how fragile its structure can be in the face of strident claims regarding individual freedoms. Legalization of abortion, to focus on one of the most strident claims, corrodes the very pillars of our democratic society.
  • The battle cries sound like this: “You co-sleep? That’s horrible!” “You co-sleep? That’s wonderful!” “You use a stroller? What a disgrace.” “You carry your baby in a pouch? How odd.” “You fed your baby what?”
  • From the archives
    Pat Wehrli of Fossil, a freshman at the University of Portland, has been named a princess in the 1962 Pendleton Round-Up court. 
  • The ancient urge
    Those in the gap — who believe but do not worship — might feel they are being admirably independent. But given human history, the “I’m spiritual but not religious” crowd is in a perilous position.
  • ‘Yes, Lord. I Love you’
    The gospels can seem like long ago stories in a faraway land, sometimes difficult to apply to our modern lives, but what I found on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is that Jesus is alive with us today.
  • A sleepover with grandma
    My grandmother’s eyes bulged as she watched every open space of her cozy apartment fill up with my clothes, toiletries, and snacks in the fridge. Lamenting to my mother she said, “It’s amazing how much stuff one petite person can bring.” But she grinned from ear to ear as we had a few days together. 
  • How far is too far for Mass?
    In the future, however, driving long distances for Mass may not be optional when the number of priests available are not enough to staff all the parishes and all the Masses to which people are accustomed.
  • A threat to civil rights
    The Equality Act has been hailed as a measure to prevent discrimination. But for four reasons, it may pose the most serious threat to civil rights ever passed by a chamber of Congress.
  • Many of us are not fond of seeing animals in cages. But when desperate human beings – especially children – who have trekked the grueling, dangerous journey mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras fleeing gang drug violence, forced gang recruitment, extortion and crushing poverty finally arrive at the U.S. border pleading for safe asylum find themselves instead crammed into cages, it’s time for people of faith to take a stand and demand an end to this heartless cruelty.
  • Children require extensive support and protection to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. They are uniquely dependent on their parents because they are particularly vulnerable. Often they are unable to speak on their own behalf or effectively defend themselves from various forms of exploitation.
  • Curiosity may help us
    On the night of July 20, 1969, I was a 4-year-old standing in my back yard staring at the moon. I tried for an hour to spy the astronauts who had landed that day.
  • From the Archives
     In 1816 he entered the Superior Seminary of Quebec and after a distinguished theological course was ordained to the priesthood on July 19, 1819, and celebrated his first Mass on the following day.
  • Vacation tip
    A Gallup poll a few years ago indicated 55% of American adults had summer vacation plans, with July the most popular month to hit the beach or the snooze button.
  • From the Archives
    His Grace became inured to this inconvenience during his Alaskan tour.
  • TV: The ruin of a disciplined people

    We can trace virtually our whole situation to the mollycoddling of our bodies that goes along with sitting, watching, snacking, watching, snacking, watching, but also to the powerful preaching of demons that has poured into our homes for decades and decades as we let down our guard ever further.

     
  • Turning the other cheek

    Those taking Deacon José to task appear to be of the mindset that to be a Christian is to be effete, “nice,” and never offer defense or make anyone feel uncomfortable about what they are doing. Apparently real action, appropriate to the situation, is somehow forbidden to the Christian.

  • If you were at least 10-years-old on July 20, 1969, you will surely remember that your eyes were glued to a black and white television set watching what no eyes had ever seen before.
  • It is beyond wrong; it’s evil. To excuse it is to acquiesce to the “culture of death” that St. John Paul II warned against in Evangelium VitaeAnd the Bible isn’t silent about immigrants.

  • Remember nonviolence
    Meeting hate with love and violence with a defenseless cheek may not win elections, but it will add a little more divine will to the world. 
  • THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY
     I hope that we bring back the good — an appreciation of the transcendence of God through meaningful worship; remember the bad — the legalism of the past with a firm determination not to return to it; and correct and rectify the ugly — through vigilance, processes of accountability and greater transparency.
  • From the Archives
    It’s a sad commentary on the ethos the American public that we seem unsure about whether it makes a difference that a president is faithful his wife. . . . The media and polls tell us that Americans don’t really care a great deal about the nature of President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky as long as the economy remains strong. 
  • Such slogans as “My country right or wrong” and “America love it or leave it” are not patriotic; in truth they hurt the health of the United States. Americans who espouse such feelings ignore the nation’s many critical ills.
  • A welcomed routine change
    You never know when a seemingly distasteful interruption might come along and change your life for the better.
  • How far the church has come this past year
    For many Catholics these days, bishops are like members of Congress. We may like ours but distrust the lot of them. To judge from the reaction of social media to the U.S. bishops’ June meeting, not a few tweeters think they should all go for a swim with a millstone.
  • Fruit from the sky
    I remember it fondly — climbing the fruit trees at my family’s farm to pick plums and cherries. The romantic vision stuck with me, even into my urban-centric adulthood. When my husband and I recently chose to move out of our condo in its walkable neighborhood and into a house with a large yard, I had my heart set on having a fruit tree for my children to enjoy like I had.
  • Stop wasting food
    As Christians, we are called to care for the resources we have been given, and to use them as well as we can, while keeping our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in the forefront of our minds. 
  • Sacrament must remain inviolable
    In recent months, there have been rumblings of a new challenge to the Catholic Church on the part of various government agencies, in different parts of the world.
  • My name is Carmen
    My name is Carmen Gaston, and I am the director of Stewardship and Development for the Archdiocese of Portland. More specifically, I serve as the chief development officer in funding the mission of the local Catholic Church.
  • The Catholic Church has a very big secret. It is so powerful, challenging and relevant, that if every bishop, priest, religious and layperson was committed to communicating and implementing this secret, it would turn society upside-down and literally transform the world.
  • To assist with your understanding of the news, here is a glossary of reassignment terms:
  • Seal must be inviolable
    In recent months, there have been rumblings of a new challenge to the Catholic Church on the part of various government agencies, in different parts of the world.
  • Losing our humanity to robots?
    Nonetheless, I was surprised to find that this year’s assembly in February was on "Roboethics." How do issues arising from our use of robots link up with our concern about respect for human life? What I found was that, as Pope Francis has reminded us in "Laudato Si'": "Everything is connected."
  • From the Archives
    These have, through the ex­tent of whole tribes and bands, so deterio­rated their physical and mental staminas to leave but little hope for their duration and perpetual existence.
  • At Pentecost, where are you?
    The Easter Feast is a 50-day celebration, preparing the way for Christians to recount the birthday of the Church on Pentecost, June 9 this year. It is on this day we find the disciples and the Blessed Virgin Mary waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
  • Giving physical presence to faith
    In the end we know that the gathering of the people is what is most important. Yet the space that they use for worship can inhibit or foster that sense of community. All architecture should uplift our spirit through good design; a space devoted to worship must do it consistently.
  • Pope Francis has warned that "fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other, the person different from myself; it deprives me of an opportunity to encounter the Lord.”
  • There is an inconsistency here. Oregonians pride themselves on standing up for the marginalized and questioning the entitlement of big business. But it’s almost a religion now that Oregon public officials side with a behemoth corporation — Planned Parenthood — against unborn babies, the most defenseless of all. 
  • Suppose we let the people decide
    Abortion would unquestionably remain legal in many states, and available to anyone with bus fare. But the reversal of Roe would at least make abortion part of our democratic debate for the first time in almost half a century.
  • Let your conscience be your guide
    Our political life has become such a war of words that many may not notice that the Trump administration has done something very good and long overdue -- and is being condemned for it.
  • Recent news stories have chronicled the troubling story of a funeral home in Colorado clandestinely taking body parts out of corpses and selling them to medical supply companies.
  • From the Archives
    The consci­entious guardians of the municipal domain, ac­cording to Mr. Grant, were so solicitous for the public welfare, security and safety that they could not do otherwise than eliminate the danger that would arise from the erection of a small Catholic school in the Laurelhurst dis­trict.
  • Instead of making it a day of intense nationalism which accepts ongoing war as “normal,” the healthiest, holiest way to honor combatants killed, is to stop sending new combatants to take their place – to kill and be killed – again and again.
  • Saints and shooters
    Rather than writing about killers, our mission is to tell the stories of the everyday saints among us and the church’s teachings that form their goodness. 
  • Conscience protected
    Kudos and thanks to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for recent work to protect the conscience rights of health care workers.
  • From the Archives
    Inch by inch, step by step, foot by foot, squarely and fairly did the fire-boys, assisted by our citizens, fight the conflagration, but aided by the fierce north wind, which seemed to have combined with the flames for the city’s ruin, the devouring element spread headlong onward.
  • Motherhood, milestones, and Mary all celebrated in May
    On May 12th we honor motherhood by celebrating Mother’s Day.  May is also a milestone for the family.  During May thousands of children will receive their first Communion.  In Catholic families it’s a time to celebrate your child receiving the Eucharist.  And of course, May is also the month we recognize Mary; the ultimate example of motherhood, the one who carried Jesus in her womb, thereby making it possible that we all can experience the joy of receiving the Eucharist.  I believe these events are connected. 
  • Whitewashing Planned Parenthood
    I hope "Unplanned" changes some hearts and minds on the subject of abortion -- and encourages greater scrutiny of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
  • PHILADELPHIA — A few years back, I gave a talk entitled “Thinking Through the Transgender Question” at a local parish. In the audience were several individuals supporting the transgender movement. During the question-and-answer session, one of them, a young woman, raised this difficulty:  “If someone wants to transition, how does that hurt anybody else? If my friend wants to be transgender, how would that harm any of us?”
  • “The persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history,” says Aid to the Church in Need – a papal charity – in its report on oppressed Christians titled “Persecuted and Forgotten?” (see: https://bit.ly/2DimV2a).
  • Why are people leaving?
    Satan hates the Mass. He hates the Catholic Church. Satan loves the sexual abuses. Satan goes throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
  • ‘He is risen!’
    What proof do we have that this story of the resurrection isn’t just another tale we believe simply because this is what we’ve been taught? I would like to take a shot answering this question by citing two facts. 
  • Light in the darkness

    It’s no secret that there’s darkness in the world. The Easter attacks in Sri Lanka are just the latest example of it. But in the darkness, we can find the light.

  • Another notre Dame
    While OKC’s star Russell Westbrook taunted, whimpered, thundered, boasted and gloated his way through the contests, with Lillard as the main target, Dame remained mostly dignified, letting his play do the talking. 
  • From the Archives
    The bronze statue of Joan of Arc, the gift of Dr. Henry Waldo Coe to Portland, was placed on its base in Laurelhurst, at East 39th and Glisan streets, on last Saturday.
  • “Unplanned” is an inspiringly powerful movie that will deeply touch your heart. It will move you to feel uncomfortable, angry, sad, enlightened, encouraged, vindicated and joyful. You’ll probably even shed some tears, as I did.
  • Once upon a time, each of our young children crafted ornate artworks proclaiming one glorious word: “Alleluia.” They beamed as they presented us with their crayon- and marker-infused creations. Some of the pieces dripped with healthy helpings of glitter paste and others were adorned with leftover Valentine’s Day stickers.
  • Inject joy into climate fix
    As winter ended and spring began, almost 5,000 volunteers cleared more than 21,000 pounds of debris that had washed onto the Oregon coast. For us, the annual beach cleanup increasingly enters a Catholic milieu. And importantly, the project could serve as a model for confronting the global environmental crisis. 
  • Study the saints
    Mark Twain helped me fall in love with Joan of Arc. The writer of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” penned a book about the illiterate, intelligent peasant girl from medieval France who would lead an army and burn at the stake at age 19.
  • My curiosity led to Catholicism
    Since my conversion, my whole paradigm has shifted. All of my relationships have been transformed. I see myself as part of an enormous spiritual family. I see sanctification and conversion as ongoing lifelong processes. I recognize the communion of saints and the daily battle for souls. 
  • In two corners of the world
    On Sunday, April 8, 1938, my Aunt Pleuna, then a day-dreamy, 18-year-old Dutch farm girl with her life ahead of her, posed for a photo in the family garden. She loved the beauty of things and above all, she loved her Queen Wilhelmina, and oftentimes dreamt of royalty.
  • From the Archives
    I am disappointed because I am not able to tell my Creator that I have been able to make a dent on this wild world for a better world. But I did try, so help me God.
  • As foreign ministers of the 29 member nations of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), gathered in Washington, D.C. on April 3-4 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of this largest military alliance in the world, nonviolent peace activists across the U.S. and from around the world also gathered in Washington to proclaim: “No to NATO – Yes to Peace.”
  • Not so fast
    I probably shouldn’t admit this in front of my grandchildren, but I am a fan of McDonald’s fish sandwiches. When I was a young lawyer in San Francisco, my firm’s office was right across Market Street from a McDonald’s, and every day for a year, I had two fish sandwiches and a chocolate shake for lunch. I am ashamed. But I still like them.
  • 'We have one to spare'
    Traveling through Lent, we note that Jesus Christ asks us in the Gospels not to worship him, but to follow him, and that he set an example of sacrificial love and healing the sick. Heather Hannam and Euvira (Vi) Beaty of St. Philip Benizi Church in Redland, near Oregon City, found an opportunity to follow him.
  • Congress and infanticide
    Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft once found himself arguing with an abortion supporter, and said to her: "