Sr. Mary Ann Walsh: A Humble Way of Mercy

A few years ago I happened to be sitting at a conference breakfast next to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who at that time was serving as director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. -- a position of weight, responsibility and connections that might be a terrible temptation to ego in another person. Sister Mary Ann managed to wear it lightly, yet powerfully and to great effect. As we munched on sausages and scrambled eggs, I marveled at her energy and … [Read more...]

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“The Church challenges all its members, in different ways over different issues.” Just like Life Itself

Two great reads for you as I head out to Adoration:1) Sister Mary Ann Walsh hits a homerun as she observes the media going batshit crazy over basic Church teaching as though it's all brand-new: It amazes me when basic church teaching is received as if it were somethig brand new. This morning's New York Times brought the latest example with the headline: "Dolan Says the Catholic Church Should Be More Welcoming to Gay People." A glance at other media outlets finds similar news accounts. From … [Read more...]

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Pastor Louie Giglio and the Chill Wind of Correctness

(image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Considering the wide media attention accompanying the announcement that laywoman Myrlie Evers-Williams and Atlanta-based preacher Louie Giglio would offer prayers at President Obama’s upcoming inaugural, Giglio’s withdrawal from the podium just two days later garnered little notice outside of Evangelical circles, but it is a story that deserves some attention. So, I'm talking about it over at First Things:For Pastor Louie Giglio, a frequent visitor to … [Read more...]

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Would “Saint” Dorothy Day like that?

In just about any article or bio of Dorothy Day, one of the first quotes you'll come across that is ascribed to her is, "Don't call me a saint; I don't want to be dismissed that easily." One the heels of news that the USCCB has enthusiastically endorsed her cause Father James Martin, S.J. talks to Robert Ellsberg (who edited her wonderful diaries for The Duty of Delight) about that remark, what it means, and in what context Dorothy might have made it:Dorothy’s own relationship with saints w … [Read more...]

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A Pro-Life/Social-Justice Catholic: Imagine That

Over at the USCCB Media Blog Sister Mary Ann Walsh pens a nice review of Mark Shriver's A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent ShriverWrites Sister:Two moments stand out in the book for me. One was mention of the Choice Program, an effort Mark Shriver started with small government and foundation grants for youthful offenders moving into the work force. As he struggled to keep Choice afloat, he met a priest who offered help from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Mark … [Read more...]

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“Thank Yourself, Catholic Charities Runs It”

The lie that the church "hates" women and wants to keep them down is an an old one and a lazy one and a convenient one, and -- unsurprisingly, it's the lie the media and folks with an agenda will run with. Reality, of course, is quite different and can't be explained in a slogan or with a bumper sticker:The hundred-or-so inhabitants were all ecstatic over the new [Catholic Relief Services supplied] well . . . but the happiest, the leader told me, through the translator, were the little … [Read more...]

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Obama, Alinksy and the Bishops?

Well, I must admit, given how CNN has gone out of its way to pretend there is no such thing as a connection between President Obama and the teachings/trainings of Saul Alinksy, I was surprised to see the Obama-Alinsky connection being made in a Catholic UK paper.Discussing the HHS's decision to compel church-related employers to cover sterilization, artificial contraception and abortifacients in their employee's insurance plans, William Oddie writes:So, American Catholics, you now know, … [Read more...]

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Pelosi and the “Lobbying” Bishops

I read this and couldn't stop laughing. And I don't know why I was laughing -- I guess because it all seems so perfectly on schedule or something:This lawyer apparently has a strong hate on against Catholics. And a touch of paranoia, I think.In the sedate and sober world of bankruptcy law, one lawyer's memorandum sticks out like a sore loser."Across the country the court systems and particularly the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota, are composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic … [Read more...]

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Religious Persecution in the USA? – UPDATED

(Photo: Saturday Evening Post)Yesterday I linked to several stories that outlined the growing tension between our government and our churches.Today at Patheos, two more perspectives:Russell Shaw declares The Persecution of Religion has Begun and explains: "Don't think I'm making the wild-eyed claim that this new persecution either is or ever is likely to become a bloody one resembling the purges of the French and Mexican Revolutions or the Communist war on religion—eruptions of v … [Read more...]

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