Resources on Prisons: Help a Reader Out!

Hi guys. A reader wrote in asking a question I'm embarrassingly ill-equipped to answer: I have been reading both your articles and that of Roger Olson (from the Evangelical Patheos channel). You're in different circles but both, from time to time, have written about poor conditions and unjust practices in prisons and the criminal justice system.What would you recommend for a young recent college grad toA) Read on the subjectB) Do to get involved to try to make things change, in … [Read more...]

In Which I’m Inspired by Direct Mail. Really.

I just finished The New Evangelization: 2003 - 2013 Missionary Letters, which is basically a collection of fundraising letters from A Simple House, an intentional Catholic community which practices "friendship evangelization" among the poor in DC and Kansas City, MO. It's a genuinely moving book with solid reflections on the theory and practice of charity. There are good explanations of why the authors focus on friendship as vs. efficient meeting of material needs, and there are countless … [Read more...]

“Heeding Cries for Help from Discarded, Disconnected Young Men”: LA Times

feature--and do read to the end: ...Fifteen years ago, Ruett and Rhonda Foster were grieving parents in a courtroom. Their 7-year-old son Evan had been shot and killed by a gang member at Inglewood's Darby Park.Evan was clutching his soccer trophy in the back seat of the family car when bullets aimed at someone else tore through the windshield and struck him in the head.Three young men were convicted and sent to prison. And the Fosters began performing their own sort of penance, making … [Read more...]

“Pope Warns Comfortable Living Causes ‘Gentrification of the Heart’: CNS

reports: Pope Francis warned against "gentrification of the heart" as a consequence of comfortable living, and called on the faithful to "touch the flesh of Christ" by caring for the needy.The pope's words came in a homily during Mass in St. Peter's Square May 12, when he canonized the first Colombian saint, as well as a Mexican nun and some 800 Italians martyred by Ottoman Turks in the 15th century. more … [Read more...]

“Cardinal Dolan Visits Maximum-Security Prison”

NYT: As Roman Catholics worldwide commemorate Holy Week, Cardinal Dolan chose Wednesday morning to visit the Shawangunk Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in the Hudson Valley town of Wallkill. The trip was one day before a scheduled visit by Pope Francis to a youth detention center in Rome, which the pope chose instead of the traditional visit to a basilica on the afternoon of Holy Thursday.Cardinal Dolan said that the new pope’s actions had “inspired me” to become a better bi … [Read more...]

“The Case Against Government Bans on Feeding the Homeless”: Reason

mag: ...I mention Elijah’s selflessness and generosity toward me and these two men for this startling reason: While Elijah’s act of sharing food with me would be legal virtually anywhere in this country, his decision to feed the homeless men who ate with us could be illegal in many cities today. The reason for this dramatic discrepancy boils down to this fact alone: I slept with a roof over my head, but the others slept under the stars.Such illogic has led cities like New York City, Phi … [Read more...]

“Down and Out in Antarctica”

Hunter R. Slaton, great piece at The Fix: Eight years ago this month, I was mind-bendingly hungover and miserable, pushing a push broom across a dirty blue-linoleum floor in Antarctica.I was working as a “dining attendant”—aka a dishwasher—at McMurdo Station, a US scientific research facility on Antarctica’s Ross Island, site of the launch of many heroic expeditions, including Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated trek to the South Pole, and home to the world’s southernmost active volcano, … [Read more...]


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