The Life of “An Apostle of Charity”

Antoine Frédéric Ozanam by Raymond Sickinger 412 pages, University of Notre Dame Press $60.00Raymond Sickinger, a professor of history at Providence College, has written an impressive new biography of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the mid-19th Century French layman who Pope St. John Paul II called an "apostle of charity" and "a precursor of the social doctrine of the Church." As a 20 year-old student, Ozanam founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a lay Catholic apostolate focused on pro … [Read more...]

Jesus, Taxes, and Charity

By Matthew Cooper Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent out unto Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, ‘Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar, or not?’But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew … [Read more...]

Francis meets TED, Talks About ‘Solidarity’

"How wonderful it would be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work and became instead the default attitude in political, economic, and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries. Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the ‘culture of waste,’ which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techn … [Read more...]

My Most Grievous Fault: The Moral Problem of Wealth

"How can I make you realize the misery of the poor? How can I make you understand that your wealth comes from their weeping?" - St. Basil the Great."Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth, but theirs." - St. John ChrysostomIt is always easier to accuse than to confess. But in reality we're all sinners of one sort or another sitting together in the dock. I have long been, and will continue … [Read more...]

A Lawless Man

On Friday, January 20th, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. It will be dark day for our nation, and a portent of even more dire days ahead, because the highest office in our land is being assumed by a fundamentally lawless man.Like Erebus and Nyx, Trump is born of Chaos. His campaign, indeed his broader public career and persona, have been characterized by the absence of any recognized constraints on his conduct and by the cavalier violati … [Read more...]

Good News & Great Joy

To all people of good will fighting for social, economic, and environmental justice, defending the poor & the marginalized, ministering to the world's sick and wounded, or working for peace and reconciliation among both men and nations- rejoice!  You do not labor to build the Beloved Community in vain, but are instead the harbingers of a Kingdom that is, even now, triumphantly breaking into our world.To all people in darkness- the poor, the oppressed and abused, the migrants, the fo … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Deal: Privatizing the Presidency

Dispossessed of jobs and their dignity for a generation now or more, the Trump voters are glowing as they await what they were promised: nothing less than the reversal of a great tidal wave of economic history, the one popularly referred to as globalization or offshoring or free trade.As their unlikely tribune of the plebs, they have elevated a man with businesses in 18 countries, including Trump-branded hotels in India (2), Istanbul, Uruguay, the Phillippines, South Korea, Panama, Rio de … [Read more...]

Novena for Peace: August 29 – September 6, For an End to the Injustice of Exploitation

Join us at Novena For Peace!General Intentions: For an end to the injustice of exploitation. For the redemption of structures that enable the powerful to abuse the Earth, bind women and children in sexual slavery, promote pornography, and deprive workers of just wages. For the spread of an integral ecology that protects nature, promotes the dignity of the human person, and seeks the common good.Particular Intentions: For those people known to us who suffer from exploitation, and in re … [Read more...]

The Novena for Peace Begins Today

Eighty-one days of prayer for justice, peace, and racial reconciliation in the United States. We begin today and end on November 8, Election Day, which also happens to be the birthday of our patron, the Servant of God Dorothy Day.Please consider joining us at any point along the way. This isn't magic. We're not "multiplying words as the heathen do" (Matthew 6:7). We are Christians lifting our hearts and minds to God in lamentation, supplication, praise, and thanksgiving on behalf of our … [Read more...]

Praying for Miracles

Every summer for the past 19 years, the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City has prayed a "novena of novenas" for justice, peace, and the care of creation. I recently stumbled upon their novena while looking for prayer resources online. This discovery got me thinking: if we all agree that the United States is on the wrong track; that injustice, racism, and violence still permeate our society; that today we are as far from the Beloved Community as we were when Dr. Martin Luther … [Read more...]