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  • While the world around us boils and spits, God’s holy church remains an unmoving beacon in the storm.
  • Sorry to say, many Catholics today have lost the spirit of Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.  Sunday is to be dedicated to the Lord with reverence. 
  • The episcopacy may include problems of wisdom and discernment. Thank God we have his grace in the service of the good Archbishop Alexander Sample.
  • Regardless of how inconvenient it may be for those who fear the church leaning toward the Marxist left, the message of the New Testament regarding our obligation to strangers, refugees, and the poor in general could hardly be more clear.
  • Am I never again to have a church I can be proud of rather than ashamed of? It is with total disgust that I look at the situation in my church. 
  • My human reaction was anger. Then I stopped to think of my parish priests and their kindness.
  • The universal church and the U.S. church is lacking standardized management structures as well as clergy leadership development to prevent numerous and recurring scandals, exercise accountability and achieve the church’s mission.
  • We, the members of the Justice and Peace Committee at St. Henry Church in Gresham, were dismayed to learn about plans to spend millions on a military might parade. The image of a country eager to display a militant attitude is in sharp contrast to the Statue of Liberty. Which would we prefer to show the world?
  • I also am proud of the position taken by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is a stand for life and the value of the family.
  • “I am the lord, your God, be holy because I am holy.” Lev 11:44.  “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, be holy because I the Lord your God is holy.” Lev 19:1-2.  “But according to Him who has called you, who is holy, be also holy in all manner of conversation.  Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.” I Pet 1:15-16.  The book of Leviticus mentions holy and its derivatives 44 times.
  • Almost two million Americans are now addicted to opioids. At a minimum, a three-pronged approach is required.
  • We are dealing with the most meaningful spiritual realities.  Grace is a blessing freely given by God.  Sanctifying means making holy.  Holy only relates to God.  Thus, Sanctifying Grace is God’s Holy Presence within us.
  • No one can pigeonhole the Catholic Church. That’s a sign that divine genius is at work. We Catholics stand firm for principles taught by the Lord, but in practice that often means we are a both-and people.
  • “By one offering He had perfected forever them that are sanctified.  And the Holy Spirit also testifies this to us.  For after that He said: this is the testament which I will make to them after those days…  I will give My laws in their hearts and on their minds will I will write them. Heb 10:15-16.  This quote is from Jeremiah 31:33. 
  • Every strongly worded homily and letter from church leadership on the evils of the crisis is encouraging. Every transparent step is appreciated. But healing a wound so deep does not come from simply being preached at — it comes from being heard.
  • After all the wretched, evil things that happened under the banner of “church” — unspeakable abuses and shameful cover-ups and various other allegations — wouldn’t it be reasonable to just cut and run?
  • Federal appellate judge and lifelong Catholic Brett Kavanaugh is expected to be confirmed to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Based on a speech he gave last year and his 12-year record as a judge, we know what type of justice he will be.
  • “On this day, beloved sons, I am asking you to renew your pledge of love for Jesus present in the Eucharist.  Make Holy Mass the center of all your piety, the summit of your priestly day, the heart of your apostolic action.  Celebrate it with love, with the scrupulous observe to the liturgical laws; live it, participating personally in the Sacrifice which Jesus renews by means of you.”  MMP #421.
  • Over the past 10 years, I came to know Sean Dooney and his wife, Sheri, and their seven kids. In no time at all, I loved every one of them. Sean and Sheri made an extraordinary impact on CYO and Camp Howard through their own contributions and by enrolling their children in the various sports programs and Camp Howard over the years. Sean coached the teams while Sheri shuttled them around to practices and games. 
  • The desire of Our Blessed Mother, The Mother of the Church could not be more explicit.  Now Our Blessed Mother gives us Her precise role to make us very pleasing to God.
  • The ongoing discussion of clergy sex abuse has moved to proposals for church reform.
  • It’s that time of year again, when many children, teens and adults fortunate enough to have access to formal education head back to school to learn about such things as math, science, history and the arts.
  • From 1983: Father Thomas Laughlin Tuesday will begin serving a one-year sentence in a Multnomah County jail after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse of boys under the age of 18.
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley is a grandstander, a backer of laws that protect baby killers and a strong supporter of “Sodom and Gomorrah.”
  • I have recently read accounts of the clerical abuse in Pennsylvania. The problem, as I reflect on it, is the subtle introduction of moral relativism into our churches.
  • As women religious who have always sought to advocate for powerless and marginalized people, we are compelled to stand with Sisters throughout the world — including here in the U.S. — who have been victims of sexual violence and abuses of power by clergy, or anyone else.

  • The Sacred Holy Hour is in a way an extension of the Mass.

  • The vast majority of Catholic priests are not child abusers
  • We are called to be a priestly people. 
  • Leadership is loving, truthful, kind, professional and its actions lift the community while practicing accountability. Archbishop Sample emulates leadership while political parties and politicians regularly demonstrate the opposite of leadership.
  • Jesus promises to renew the modern day priesthood by this means for those priests who will respond to His call.

  • I wish to counter erroneous statements in letters saying that immigrants commit a disproportionate percentage of all crimes in the U.S.
  • Let us be mindful of many verses of Sacred Scripture that Our Lord wants us - to seek Him.

  • Imagine living here in Oregon, and leaving to find a better life in another country only to be denied. Imagine having to then live for several years in a tent on an island (which is a detention center for immigrants) 30 miles from the equator. And imagine finally making it to a country that is half way around the world where strangers welcome you and provide for your needs. One more thing: Imagine having to leave your children behind in your homeland during all this.
  • These pages often acknowledge that western Oregon, Portland in particular, is unchurched. God, however, is alive and well.

  • On clergy sex abuse, here are three thoughts from a Catholic dad. First, include parents on review boards.
  • Everyone knows families that have been torn apart by violence and injustice. For them, the prayer is a common mission statement: a pledge to one another that this church, this new temple, will be a place where people will rejoice when people say “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
  • From the ethical point of view, our ultimate goal should be not so much to “incentivize donation,” as to “support or encourage personal generosity” on the part of those individuals who may desire to donate freely one of their kidneys.
  • In the last judgment scene of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus sends a severe warning that hell awaits those who ignore meeting the essential human needs of the poor and vulnerable – and thus likewise, ignore him.
  • Both contribute to a misunderstanding of our na­tion’s purposes, confuse the young peo­ple who are in their spiritual charge and painfully arouse the emotions of par­ents whose sons may be called to honor­able service for their country and the cause of peace.

  • The Catholic News Service story about the Supreme Court ruling on the Trump Administration’s travel ban is not balanced.
  • Some contend that the national Catholic Charities leader, when in Portland, lied about migrants and refugees, when she said, “They had no alternative. They had to run for their lives.” I rather wonder at such critics’ notion of the social teaching of the Catholic Church.

  • The basic premise of country and immigrant has reversed. Think of one who has a home and family who invites guests. The home and family are the core. Since when do the guests take over the home?

  • I can honestly say that Christ is very alive and active in the hearts and the faith of so many of these persons without a home.
  • I wanted to let you know that issue was wonderful.
  • How is someone who breaks into our country an immigrant and not an invader? If he has committed a crime, should he not be punished?
  • If he truly believes that most people are going to heaven, regardless of what they believe or how they live their lives, then why do we need priests and the Catholic Church?
  • Jesus is loving and forgiving, not courteous and polite.
  • In 2010, Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner, who served in the White House under Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidents, wrote a book, “The City of Man,” about Christianity and politics. Christians, they wrote, best influence public policy by speaking and acting with grace and truth.

  • Every Monday morning for the past 30 years, members of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker community in Washington, D.C. have been making their way across the Potomac River to pray and nonviolently witness for peace in front of the most symbolic war planning, war-making headquarters on earth: the Pentagon.

  • Cardinal George was a shining beacon in the church. His leadership, his intellectual integrity and rigor, his witness of resilience and steadfastness in the faith, are tremendous examples for the faithful to follow.
  • In upstate New York, a slim young nature lover who looked like St. Francis stopped on the roadside and handed us bananas and cupcakes just purchased from a meager budget. He cooked us a meal as we lounged in his tree house.

  • There is a lot of fear-mongering these days about immigrants. We’re told that we should fear them because they’re dangerous, untrustworthy criminals out to get us. I don’t really feel that way, but maybe it’s because I was born in an immigrant family.

  • I find it totally hypocritical for the Catholic Sentinel to feature Sen. Jeff Merkley in a half-page article.
  • The frugal, thrifty, industrious Italian is to do for us even more than was done for us by the Irish.
  • As a Presbyterian, it was the first time I had seen the paper.
  • I dare Catholics also to pray for ICE agents, border patrol, and national security personnel.
  • I was struck by the contrast on facing pages.
  • Perhaps next year you could also include the home parishes of the Catholic high school students.
  • There are so many people, myself included, who labor behind the scenes to fulfill the Lord’s work and the mission of the church.
  • As he heads to Seattle University in the fall, La Salle Prep graduate Evans Brackenbrough has left behind a legacy as a young Catholic committed to his faith.
  • We are hearing the voice of young people — the students who have experienced school shootings — because not only their dignity but their very lives are in jeopardy. It is the adults, especially those in the church, whose voices are muted and muffled.

  • We Catholics of the Portland metro area have noticed both of you tearing your hair out. We are here to help.

  • Our minivan is one big silver stereotype.

    Granola bar wrappers on the floor. Cheerios stuck between seats. Baseball gear rolling around the back. I'll admit our car is overlooked; I'd never let the house get this dirty. It's also much-maligned, as I crack jokes regularly about minivan life.

  • Catholics are rightly horrified by the reported sexual exploitation of boys and men by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, now resigned from the College of Cardinals. Other church leaders knew of his misdeeds but remained silent and kept advancing him to leadership posts. We even hear of churchmen involved in grave offenses who protect and advance each other in a conspiracy of shame.

  • I’ve made a habit in my life of controlling as much of it as possible. Well, trying to control it anyway. God often reminds me who really is in charge.
  • Things have come to a sorry pass in Canada. Trinity Western University, the country's largest privately funded Christian university, was established by the Evangelical Free Church of America in 1962. It aims to promote "total student development through ... deepened commitment to Jesus Christ and a Christian way of life."

  • A radical program of reform addressing the widespread problem of abusive clergy and negligent superiors in the 11th century holds some essential insights and lessons for the church today, a church historian has said.
  • Known as “Dutch” by his siblings and nieces and nephews, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen was a quintessential Northwest down-to-earth and soft-spoken lover of the great outdoors, a fine athlete, an inspiring coach, a gentle and kind character, and a person of prayer with a listening attitude and an empowering spirit in how he related to people.  He was grounded — in every sense of the word.
  • What a poor, mean, dwarfed piece of matter is man’s manufacture, when compared to God’s creation such tremendous differences in size, in smoothness of operation, in permanency of life and delicacy of action.
  • With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court, interest groups and politicians are insisting that any replacement must pledge to uphold the court's Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.

  • On July 25, 1968 – in the midst of the “sexual revolution” which aggressively promoted premarital sex, pornography, homosexual activity and artificial contraception – Pope Paul VI with the courage of a prophet gave the Catholic Church and world an entirely different message.

  • It’s worse than waiting in the checkout at Freddy’s.
  • When the church starts basing its social teaching on falsehoods it will go the way of the Marxist and communist left, whose mantra has always been that the truth is whatever serves the cause.
  • We “oldies” from pre-1958 will always be alums of Immaculata Academy.
  • To reject a resolution that could save lives and to abet dishonest claims by formula manufacturers are affronts to Catholic values.
  • Superheroes attract us. From Greek gods to Superman and Spiderman, our fascination with the awesome deeds of superheroes beckons us to become Masters of our own destiny.
  • During these slower summer months, I’m going to keep working on leaving the past behind me, not worrying about tomorrow, and putting my phone down (somewhere other than the freezer) so I’m free to love and be loved.
  • American society has suffered an exploration slump. The July 20 anniversary of the 1969 moon landing makes it painfully clear.
  • We don’t know what kind of engine is in someone until we communicate. We don’t know what someone’s experience, pain, capacity for love or needs are until we have a friendly race.

  • Situated deep in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, the Huntsville monastery was established in 1947. The monastery became a thriving community of 84 monks with a large farm supplying eggs, bread, grain and honey to neighbors, friends and visitors.  Then in September, after 70 years, that monastery closed.
  • Pope Francis has not only inherited, but continues to earn the title pontiff – “bridge-builder.
  • Yes, you, with 1,000 things to do and a racing mind that won't quit. Go to bed early. Sleep in a little later. Take a guilt-free nap. Summer is a season to slow down and let ourselves breathe again
  • This summer marks the 50th anniversary of "Humanae Vitae." The world has changed dramatically since Pope Paul VI wrote the encyclical, mostly in ways he foretold.

  • In its June 26 decision on freedom of speech, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy aid centers to tell pregnant women how to get an abortion.

  • In the early months of his papacy, Pope Francis felt the urgent need to courageously preach on the actual existence of the devil, and the grave dangers of not taking his existence seriously (see: 1 Peter 5:8-9).

  • Plans for a major international fund campaign to secure in excess of $1 million designed “to mount a determined effort to stem the world vocations crisis and the critical priest shortage” were announced this week by Serra International at the organiza­tion’s convention in Portland.

  • We are all God’s children. God hears the cry of the children and their parents. Do we? It is time to listen, stand up and speak out.

    John Kingery