Wednesday, December 17, 2014

STOP FRACKING IN PENNSYLVANIA!!! They stopped Fracking in New York State

Fracking is allowed in Pennsylvania, but not in New York.  Why's PA allow the poisoning of our environment?  Come on new Gov. Wolf, grow a pair, and match NY Gov. Cuomo's bold leadership.  STOP FRACKING!  - Fr. Rick

Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo listened to a presentation on fracking at a cabinet meeting in Albany Wednesday. Credit Mike Groll/Associated Press
The acting state health commissioner, Howard Zucker, speaking at the meeting. Credit Mike Groll/Associated Press
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the controversial method of natural gas extraction.
State officials concluded that fracking, as the method is known, could contaminate the air and water and pose inestimable dangers to public health.
That conclusion was delivered during a year-end cabinet meeting convened by Mr. Cuomo in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.
The question of whether to allow fracking has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years, pitting environmentalists against others who saw it as a critical way to bring jobs to economically stagnant portions of upstate.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who has prided himself on taking swift and decisive action on other contentious issues like gun control, took the opposite approach on fracking. He repeatedly put off making a decision on how to proceed, most recently citing an ongoing — and seemingly never-ending — study by state health officials.
On Wednesday, six weeks after Mr. Cuomo won re-election to a second term, the long-awaited health study finally materialized.
In a presentation at the cabinet meeting, the acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said the examination had found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking.
Holding up scientific studies to animate his arguments, Dr. Zucker listed concerns about water contamination and air pollution, and said there was insufficient scientific evidence to affirm the long-term safety of fracking.
Dr. Zucker said his review boiled down to a simple question: Would he want to live in a community that allowed fracking?
He said the answer was no.
“We cannot afford to make a mistake,” Dr. Zucker said. “The potential risks are too great. In fact, they are not even fully known.”
New York has had a de facto ban on the procedure for more than five years, predating Mr. Cuomo’s election. Over the course of his first term, Mr. Cuomo at times sent conflicting signals about how he would proceed.
In 2012, Mr. Cuomo flirted with approving a limited program in several struggling Southern Tier counties along New York’s border with Pennsylvania. But later that year, Mr. Cuomo bowed to entreaties from environmental advocates, announcing instead that his administration would start the regulatory process over by beginning a new study to evaluate the health risks.
Polls showed public opinion divided over the issue, and Mr. Cuomo felt pressure from both sides.
Mr. Cuomo had focused a great amount of attention on trying to improve the economic climate in upstate New York, and fracking appeared to offer a way to bring new life to struggling areas atop the Marcellus Shale, a gigantic subterranean deposit of trapped gas that extends across much of New York State, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Mr. Cuomo’s Republican opponent in this year’s election, Rob Astorino, promised to allow fracking, and he accused the governor of squandering an opportunity to help upstate.
But the governor has also faced strong opposition from groups worried about the effects of fracking on the state’s watersheds and aquifers, as well as on tourism and the quality of life in small upstate communities.
Opponents were aided by celebrities like Yoko Ono who drew attention to their cause. As he traveled around the state, Mr. Cuomo was hounded by protesters opposed to fracking, who showed up like clockwork at his events and pressed him to impose a statewide ban.
The governor’s uncertain stance on fracking also hurt his standing with some liberal activists. Pledging to ban fracking, a little-known law professor won about a third of the vote in the Democratic primary in September, a strong showing that Mr. Cuomo later attributed in part to support from fracking opponents.
Complicating matters, dozens of communities across New York have passed moratoriums and bans on fracking, and in June, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that towns could use zoning ordinances to ban fracking.
Recognizing the sensitivity of the issue, Mr. Cuomo both affirmed the fracking ban on Wednesday and tried to keep some distance from it, saying that he was deferring to the expertise of his health and environmental conservation commissioners.
Nevertheless, environmental groups cast the governor as a hero. Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said Mr. Cuomo “set himself apart as a national political leader who stands up for people” over the energy industry.
But advocates of fracking accused him of giving in to fear-mongering by environmentalists.
“While industry will find opportunity elsewhere, our hearts go out to the famers and landowners in the Southern Tier whose livelihoods in New York State are in jeopardy,” said Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York.


Health Department Report on Fracking in New York State

The Cuomo administration decided to ban hydraulic fracturing after concluding that the method posed inestimable public-health risks.
OPEN Document
Correction: December 17, 2014
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article incompletely described hydraulic fracturing. It is a method of extracting natural gas or oil, not just oil, from deep underground. The error was repeated in the summary.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pope Francis's Common Sense Approach = 2014 A Great Progressive Year for the Catholic Church

Love thy neighbor

2014 was the most progressive year for the Catholic Church

December 15, 2014

Pope Francis initiated a revolution in the Catholic Church in 2014—a revolution of common sense rather than ideology or doctrine.

Click here to read more... 

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jesuit JustSouth Monthly Takes on Walmart and Duck Dynasty!

Important info from Jesuit JustSouth Monthly 
Louisiana's $1 Billion Giveaway
Giveaways cost the U.S. taxpayers $50 billion a year by Fred Kammer, S.J. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Advent Thought from Fr. Andrew Greeley

Meanings of Christmas

   "It might be easy to run away to a monastery, away from the commercialization, the hectic hustle, the demanding family responsibilities of Christmas-time. Then we would have a holy Christmas. But we would forget the lesson of the Incarnation, of the enfleshing of God—the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus do not run from the secular; rather we try to transform it. It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree. And we do this by being holy people—kind, patient, generous, loving, laughing people—no matter how maddening is the Christmas rush…"  -
Fr. Andrew Greeley, Woman’s Day, 12-22-81

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

We Need More Government Spending, Not Less. Krugman is right.

American taxes of all kinds are among the very lowest as a share of GDP of all developed countries

"What’s required now is more government spending. The federal government can now borrow at the lowest rates in its history. Borrowing and investing in roads, bridges, and schools takes a while to percolate through the economy, but pays high dividends in terms of middle-class jobs. (Federal spending in general is much more tilted to ordinary families than spending processed through banks.) And if we don’t want to incur more debt, we can finance it through taxes. American taxes of all kinds are among the very lowest as a share of GDP of all developed countries."  - Charles Morris, "Whose Recovery?" in Commonweal.  Dec 8 2014.

And Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, has been saying this all along!

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Monday, December 08, 2014

Catholic Theologians' Statement on Racial Justice

Catholic Theologians' Statement on Racial Justice

This statement is a good response to current energies (Dec 2014)

I wish Cardinal Bevilacqua's 1998 pastoral letter Healing Racism Through Faith and Truth was more easily available.

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua,
Healing Racism through Faith and Truth (1998)
"Racism is a moral disease and it is contagious.No one is born a racist. Carriers infect others in countless ways through words and attitudes, deeds and omissions. Yet, one thing is certain - the disease of racism can and must be eradicated. … In short, racism and Christian life are incompatible" (Bevilacqua 1998).
"Racism has been condemned as a sin many times… For the truth to have an impact on us, for it to really set us free, it must become our truth. It must be operative within us. It must penetrate and ignite our minds and hearts" (Bevilacqua 1998).

Statement of Catholic Theologians on Racial Justice (Dec 2104)

Advent is a season of waiting and of hoping. In the face of conflict, distrust, and division – in the wilderness – we are called to cry out for a different way. In consultation with several others, CMTer and former law enforcement officer Tobias Winright has prepared a statement of commitment to racial justice, which names the particularly difficult hope we might bring to illuminate darkness. We are happy to share the statement here on this blog. Many Catholic theologians, including myself and my co-editor, Jana Bennett, have already signed on to the statement. Please pray and act for truth and reconciliation this season…

Statement: Catholic Theologians for Police Reform and Racial Justice
The season of Advent is meant to be a time when Christians remember the birth of Jesus Christ, when God became human, born on the margins of society. To the poor shepherds, the angelic host proclaimed “peace, goodwill among people” (Luke 2:14), which refers to a shalom that is not merely the absence of conflict, but rather a just and lasting peace, wherein people are reconciled with one another, with God, and indeed with all creation.  But this Advent, hope for a just peace must face the flagrant failures of a nation still bound by sin, our bondage to and complicity in racial injustice.
​The killings of Black men, women and children – including but not limited to Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, John Crawford, 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones and 12 year-old Tamir Rice – by White policemen, and the failures of the grand jury process to indict some of the police officers involved, brought to our attention not only problems in law enforcement today, but also deeper racial injustice in our nation, our communities, and even our churches.
As Eric Garner’s dying words “I can’t breathe” are chanted in the streets, and as people of faith, we hear the echo of Jesus’ breathing on his disciples, telling them, “Peace be with you.”  His spirit-filled breath gives his disciples, then and now, the power and obligation to raise our voices about the imperative of a just peace in fragmented and violent world.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” speaks searingly to our headline divisions today. The “cup of endurance runs over” again for African Americans and many others of good will. Our streets are filled with those exhausted by the need to explain yet again “why we can’t wait.”
King challenged “white moderate” Christians for being “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice;” and for preferring “a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” This challenge to the White Christian community is as relevant today as it was over 50 years ago. Such a negative peace calls to mind the warning by the prophet Ezekiel, “They led my people astray, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there was no peace” (13:10).
Pope Francis’s warning of the explosive consequences of exclusion and fearful seeking of “security” based on such a negative peace are similarly prophetic:
“Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear.” Evangelii Gaudium, 59
As Catholic theologians, we wish to go on the record in calling for a serious examination of both policing and racial injustice in the US. The time demands that we leave some mark that US Catholic theologians did not ignore what is happening in our midst – as the vast majority sadly did during the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
● We pledge to examine within ourselves our complicity in the sin of racism and how it sustains false images of White superiority in relationship to Black inferiority. In the words of the US Catholic Bishops Conference, “Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.”
● We pledge to fast and to refrain from meat on Fridays during this Advent season and through the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany, as well as during Lent, as a sign of our penitence and need of conversion from the pervasive sin of racism.
● We commit ourselves to placing our bodies and/or privilege on the line in visible, public solidarity with movements of protest to address the deep-seated racism of our nation.
● We support our police, whose work is indeed dangerous at times, but we also call for a radical reconsideration of policing policy in our nation. We call for an end to the militarization of police departments in the US, and we support instead the proven, effective results of community policing. Rather than perpetuating an “us versus them” mentality, a community policing approach is more consonant with our Catholic convictions that we are all each other’s keepers and should work together for the common good of our communities.
● We call for a honing of the guidelines for police use of lethal force so that they are uniform in all states within the US and so that the use of lethal force, echoing Catholic teaching on “legitimate defense,” is justified only when an aggressor poses a grave and imminent threat to the officer’s and/or other persons’ lives.
● We support those calling for better recruiting, training, and education for our police so that they may truly and justly do what they have sworn, namely, to “serve and protect” their communities.
● We support new efforts to promote accountability and transparency, such as body cameras for police officers.
● Regarding the widespread dissatisfaction with recent grand jury decisions, and the perception that a conflict of interest exists between local prosecutors and police departments, we call for the establishment of publicly accountable review boards staffed with civilian attorneys from within the jurisdiction and/or for the appointment of independent special prosecutors’ offices to investigate claims of police misconduct.
● Our nation’s pervasive yet too often denied systemic racial divisions compromise our structures of justice – in our view so much so that we support calling for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine race in America. A precedent would be the 2004 Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission in North Carolina.
● In view of the recent US Justice Department’s report on the pattern of excessive force found in the Cleveland Police Department, we call for similar investigations of the Ferguson Police Department, the New York Police Department, and other police forces involved in the killings of unarmed Black citizens.
● We call upon our bishops to proactively proclaim and witness to our faith’s stand against racism They have authored pastoral statements in the past, and these documents need to be revisited – in parishes, dioceses, and seminaries – and brought to the forefront of Catholic teaching and action in light of the present crisis.
● As Catholic theologians and scholars, we commit ourselves to further teaching and scholarship on racial justice. Our faith teaches us that all persons are created in the image of God and have been redeemed in Christ Jesus. In short, our faith proclaims that all lives matter, and therefore, Black lives – and Brown lives, the lives of all, regardless of color – must matter, too. As part of this commitment, we pledge to continue listening to, praying for, and even joining in our streets with those struggling for justice through nonviolent protests and peaceful acts of civil disobedience.
We pray that all of these actions will move us closer toward the fulfillment of the hope of the Advent season, toward a time when “love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss” (Psalm 85:10).
Signatures (institutions are listed for identification purposes only):
1) Tobias Winright, Mäder Chair of Health Care Ethics, Associate Professor of Theological Ethics, Saint Louis University
2) Alex Mikulich, Jesuit Social Research Institute, Loyola University New Orleans
3) Vincent Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture, University of Dayton
4) Bryan N. Massingale, Professor of Theological Ethics, Marquette University
5) M. Shawn Copeland, Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College
6) Susan A. Ross, Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department of Theology, Loyola University Chicago
7) William L. Portier, Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology, University of Dayton
8) Richard Gaillardetz, Joseph Professor of Theology, Boston College
9) Christopher Pramuk, Associate Professor of Theology, Xavier University
10) Mark J. Allman, Professor of Religious and Theological Studies, Merrimack College
11) James F. Keenan, SJ, Canisius Professor, Boston College
12) Lisa Sowle Cahill, Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College
13) Nicholas P. Cafardi, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Canon Law, Duquesne University
14) Brian M. Doyle, Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Marymount University
15) Dolores Christie, Catholic Theological Society of America/John Carroll University (retired)
16) David Hollenbach, S.J., University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College
17) William Cavanaugh, Professor of Catholic Studies, DePaul University
18) John Sniegocki, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Xavier University
19) Emily Reimer-Barry, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
20) Kristin Heyer, Bernard J. Hanley Professor of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University
21) Bradford E. Hinze, Karl Rahner, S.J., Professor of Theology, Fordham University
22) Kathryn Getek Soltis, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Director, Center for Peace and Justice Education, Villanova University
23) Joseph Fahey, Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
24) Charlie Camosy, Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics, Fordham University
25) John Renard, Professor of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University
26) Kathy Lilla Cox, Associate Professor of Theology St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict
27) Nancy Dallavalle, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Fairfield University
28) Gerard Mannion, Amaturo Professor in Catholic Studies, Georgetown University
29) Laurie Gagne, Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice, St. Michael’s College
30) Christine Firer Hinze, Professor of Theology, Fordham University
31) Brian P. Flanagan, Assistant Professor of Theology, Marymount University
32) William J. Collinge, Knott Professor of Theology, Mount Saint Mary’s University
33) Nichole M. Flores, Instructor of Theology, Saint Anselm College
34) Stephen J. Pope, Professor of Theological Ethics, Boston College
35) Nancy Pineda-Madrid, Associate Professor of Theology and U.S. Latino/a Ministry, Boston College
36) Sandra Yocum, Associate Professor, University of Dayton
37) Patricia Beattie Jung, Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics, Saint Paul School of Theology
38) MT Dávila, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, Andover Newton Theological School
39) James E. Hug, S.J., Spiritual Life Department, Adrian Dominican Motherhouse
40) Mary Doak, Associate Professor of Theology, University of San Diego
41) Anna Floerke Scheid, Assistant Professor of Theology, Duquesne University
42) Paulette Skiba, BVM, Professor of Religious Studies, Clarke University
43) Paul J. Wojda, Associate Professor of Moral Theology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
44) Marcus Mescher, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, Xavier University
45) Christopher Denny, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, St. John’s University
46) Kevin Glauber Ahern, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
47) Rachel Hart Winter, Director, St. Catherine of Siena Center, Dominican University
48) David DeCosse, Director of Campus Ethics Program, Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University
49) Julie Hanlon Rubio, Professor of Christian Ethics, Saint Louis University
50) Holly Taylor Coolman, Assistant Professor of Theology, Providence College
51) Terrence W. Tilley, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of​ Catholic Theology, Fordham University
52) Jason King, Associate Professor, Chair of the Theology Department, Saint Vincent College
53) Laurie Johnston, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Emmanuel College
54) Nancy M. Rourke, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, Canisius College
55) Sally Vance-Trembath, Lecturer, Santa Clara University
56) Karen Teel, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
57) Una M. Cadegan, Associate Professor of History, University of Dayton
58) Ron Pagnucco, Associate Professor, Department of Peace Studies, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University
59) Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston  College
60) Mary E. Hines, Professor of Theology, Emmanuel College
61) Erin Lothes, Assistant Professor of Theology, College of Saint Elizabeth
62) Joe Torma, Professor of Theology, Walsh University
63) Bryan Froehle, Professor of Practical Theology, St. Thomas University, Miami
64) Matthew A. Shadle, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Marymount University
65) Elisabeth Vasko, Assistant Professor of Theology, Duquesne University
66) Jana Bennett, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton
67) Dana L. Dillon, Assistant Professor of Theology, Providence College
68) William George, Professor of Theology and Chair, Theology and Pastoral Ministry, Dominican University
69) Jon Nilson, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Loyola University Chicago
70) Patrick Lynch, S.J., Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, Canisius College
71) Darlene Fozard Weaver, Associate Professor of Theology, Director of the Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Duquesne University
72) Matthew Ashley. Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame
73) Tracy Tiemeier, Associate Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
74) David O’Brien, Emeritus Professor, College of Holy Cross and University of Dayton
75) Kate Ward, Flatley Fellow in Theological Ethics, Boston College
76) Eugene McCarraher, Associate Professor of Humanities, Villanova University
77) James P. Bailey, Associate Professor of Theology, Duquesne University
78) Debra Dean Murphy, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, West Virginia Wesleyan College
79) Amy Levad, Assistant Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
80) Jennifer Beste, College of Saint Benedict Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture, Associate Professor of Theology, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University
81) Colleen Mary Carpenter, Sister Mona Riley Endowed Chair of the Humanities, Associate Professor of Theology, St. Catherine University
82) Todd A. Salzman, Professor of Theology, Creighton University
83) Jim Caccamo, Associate Professor of Theology, Saint Joseph’s University, PA
84) Kenneth Himes, OFM, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College
85) Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF, The Erica and Harry John Family Endowed Chair in Catholic Ethics, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
86) Thomas M. Kelly, Professor of Systematic Theology, Creighton University
87) Elizabeth W. Collier, Associate Professor of Business Ethics, Co-Director of Center for Global Peace through Commerce, Brennan School of Business, Dominican University
88) Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, Associate Professor, Seattle University
89) Julia Brumbaugh, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Regis University
90) David Burrell, Hesburgh Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
91) Gerardo Rodríguez, Assistant Professor of Theology, Carroll College
92) Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM, Professor Emerita of New Testament Studies and Spirituality, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
93) Michael E. Lee, Associate Professor Theology, and Latin American & Latino Studies, Fordham University
94) Brian Stiltner, Chair of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies, Sacred Heart University
95) Susie Paulik Babka, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
96) Elizabeth Groppe, Associate Professor of Theology, Xavier University
97) David Cloutier, Associate Professor of Theology, Mount Saint Mary’s University
98) Martin J O’Malley, Research Scholar at the Center for Applied Ethics, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
99) Christopher McMahon, Associate Professor of Theology, Saint Vincent College
100) Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Professor of Theology, Fordham University
101) Christopher Steck, SJ, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theology, Georgetown University
102) Elena Procario-Foley, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Iona College
103) Gerald W. Schlabach, Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas, MN
104) William Werpehowski, Robert L. McDevitt, K.S.G., K.C.H.S. and Catherine H. McDevitt L.C.H.S. Chair in Catholic Theology, Georgetown University
105) Timothy P. Muldoon, Division of University Mission and Ministry, Boston College
106) Stephen Wilson, Associate Professor of Theology, Spring Hill College
107) Kelly S. Johnson, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton
108) Andrew Staron, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Wheeling Jesuit University
109) Michele Saracino, Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department, Manhattan College
110) Claire Noonan, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Dominican University
111) Stephen Okey, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion, Saint Leo University
112) Anna Bonta Moreland, Associate Professor of Theology, Villanova University
113) Sallie Latkovich, CSJ, Director of Bible Study and Travel Programs, Director of Summer Institute, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
114) Andrew Prevot, Assistant Professor of Theology, Boston College
115) Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, Professor and Chair of Sociology and Anthropology, Stetson University
116) Margaret A. Farley, Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics, Yale University Divinity School
117) Boyd Taylor Coolman, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College
118) Edward Foley, Capuchin, Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
119) Elizabeth Sweeny Block, Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics, Saint Louis University
120) John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Professor of Social Ethics, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
121) Robert Masson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theology, Marquette University
122) Deirdre Dempsey, Associate Professor, the Department of Theology, Marquette University
123) Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent, Assistant Professor, Marquette University
124) Melody Layton McMahon, Director of the Library, Associate Professor, Co-Editor of New Theology Review, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
125) Rita George-Tvrtković, Assistant Professor of Theology, Benedictine University
126) William McDonough, Associate Professor of Theology, St. Catherine University
127) David G. Schultenover, S.J., Henri de Lubac Professor of Historical Theology, Department of Theology, Marquette University
128) Min-Ah Cho, Assistant Professor of Theology, St. Catherine University
129) Mary Jo Iozzio, Professor of Moral Theology, Boston College
130) Michael G. Lawler, Amelia and Emil Graff Professor Emeritus of Catholic Theology, Creighton University
131) Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ, Assistant Professor of Church History, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis
132) Sandra Sullivan-Dunbar, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, Loyola University Chicago
133) Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, D.Min., Convener, Black Catholic Theological Symposium
134) Gerald J. Beyer, Associate Professor of Theology, Villanova University
135) Marian K. Diaz, Assistant Professor, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago
136) Patrick McCormick, Professor of Religious Studies, Gonzaga University
137) Susan Abraham, Assistant Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
138) Thomas P. Rausch, S.J., T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology, Loyola Marymount University
139) Jame Schaefer, Associate Professor of Theology, Marquette University
140) Joseph Flipper, Assistant Professor of Theology, Bellarmine University
141) Daniel C. Maguire, Professor of Theology, Marquette University
142) Maurice J. Nutt, C.Ss.R., Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies, Xavier University of Louisiana
143) Margaret Pfeil, Joint Appointment, Department of Theology and the Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame
144) Jennifer Reed-Bouley, Professor of Theology and Theology Program Director, College of Saint Mary, Omaha
145) Lissa J. Yogan, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminolgy, Valparaiso University
146) Christopher P. Vogt, Associate Professor of Theology & Religious Studies, St. John’s University, New York
147) Mark Potter, Provincial Assistant for Social Ministries, California and Oregon Provinces of the Society of Jesus
148) Victor Carmona, Instructor of Moral Theology, Oblate School of Theology
149) Corinna Guerrero, Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies, American Baptist Seminary of the West; Lecturer, Santa Clara University
150) John J. Slovikovski, Theology Faculty, Saint Francis University, Pennsylvania
151) Miguel H. Diaz, Ambassador to the Holy See, Ret., The John Courtney Murray University Chair in Public Service, Loyola University Chicago
152) Andrea Smith Shappell, Associate Professional Specialist, Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame
153) George R. Boudreau, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis
154) Kathy Heskin, Professor Emerita, Dominican University
155) Bruce T. Morrill, S.J., Malloy Professor of Catholic Studies, Vanderbilt University
156) Hille Haker, Richard McCormick Endowed Chair of Catholic Moral Theology, Loyola University Chicago
157) Stacy Davis, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN
158) Michael P. Horan, Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
159) Melissa Pagan, Instructor of Theology, Loyola Marymount University
160) Gregory D. Walgenbach, Director of Life, Justice, and Peace, Diocese of Orange in California
161) Jay M. Hammond, Associate Professor of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University
162) Seung Ai Yang, Associate Professor of New Testament, Chicago Theological Seminary
163) Edward C. Sellner, Professor of Theology, Saint Catherine University
164) Daniel Dion, Instructor of Religious Studies, Rivier University
165) Gregory K. Hillis, Associate Professor of Theology, Bellarmine University
166) Edward P. Hahnenberg, Breen Chair in Catholic Theology, John Carroll University
167) Michael J. Schuck, Co-Director, International Jesuit Ecology Project, Associate Professor of Theology, Loyola University Chicago
168) Timothy Brunk, Associate Professor of Theology, Villanova University
169) Hoon Choi, Assistant Professor of World Christianity, Bellarmine University
170) Honora Werner, OP, Associate Professor and Director of the D.Min. in Preaching Program, Aquinas Institute of Theology
171) Laurie Brink, OP, Associate Professor New Testament Studies, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
172) Philip J. Rossi, S.J., Professor of Theology, Marquette University
173) Vincent Skemp, Associate Professor and Chair of the Theology Department, St. Catherine University
174) Fr. Roy Lee, Theology Department, St. Leo University
175) Thomas M. Bolin, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, St. Norbert College
176) Shawnee M. Daniels-Sykes, SSND, Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, Mount Mary University
177) John K. Leonard, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Edgewood College
178) Roger Bergman, Director and Associate Professor, Justice and Peace Studies Program, Creighton University
179) Mara Brecht, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, St. Norbert College
180) Peter R. Gathje, Professor of Christian Ethics and Associate Dean, Memphis Theological Seminary
181) John W. Martens, Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, Director of the M.A. in Theology Program, St. Paul Seminary, School of Divinity
182) Mary J. Vitolo, St. Steven’s Catholic Community, Sun Lakes, Arizona
183) Nathan Eubank, Professor of Scripture, Notre Dame Seminary
184) April Gutierrez, Campus Minister, Loyola University Chicago
185) Matthew T. Eggemeier, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross
186) Julia A. Fleming, Professor of Moral Theology, Creighton University
187) Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, Buckman Chair in Christian Ethics, Fordham University
188) Daniel P. Scheid, Assistant Professor of Theology, Duquesne University
189) Tisha Rajendra, Assistant Professor of Theology, Loyola University Chicago
190) David M. Lantigua, Assistant Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics, The Catholic University of America
191) Gertrud Mueller Nelson, Writer on Theology, Artist, San Diego, California
192) Raymond Ward, Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics, Barry University
193) Timone Davis, Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago
194) Catherine T. Nerney, SSJ, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Chestnut Hill College
195) Anna Kasafi Perkins, Senior Programme Officer, Fellow of the Ethics Centre Initiative, The University of the West Indies, Jamaica
196) Bridget Burke Ravizza, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, St. Norbert College
197) Stephen D. Miles, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theology, Immaculata University
198) Paul Green, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside
199) Margaret Susan Thompson, Professor of History and Religion, Syracuse University
200) Mary Margaret Pazdan, OP, Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis
201) David Wheeler-Reed, Visiting Fellow, Yale University
202) Gerard A. Pottebaum, Executive Director, Human Foundations Institute, Inc., Loveland, Ohio
203) Rev. Mark R. Francis, C.S.V., President, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
204) Ryan Marr, Instructor of Religion, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines, Iowa
205) Joseph M. Incandela, Aquinas Chair in Catholic Theology, Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana
206)  Lois Harr, Campus Minister and Adjunct Instructor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College
207) Luis Calero, S.J., Associate Professor of Anthropology, Santa Clara University
208) Fr. Leo Almazán, O.P., Montesinos Fellow, Professor of Moral Theology, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis
209) Stefanie Knauss, Assistant Professor of Theology, Villanova University
210) Fernand J. Cheri, III, OFM, Director of Campus Ministry, Quincy University
211) Michael L. Budde, Professor and Chair, Department of Catholic Studies, DePaul University
212) Paul E. Dinter, Visiting Professor, Religious Studies, Manhattan College
213) Vincent M. Smiles, Professor of Theology, College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University
214) Connie LaMotta, New Evangelization Ministry, Church of the Presentation, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
215) Mary E. McGann, RSCJ. Adj. Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies, Jesuit School of Theology / Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
216) Aline Paris, RSM, Professor of Theology, College of St. Mary, Omaha, Nebraska
217) Bernard Brady, Professor of Moral Theology, University of St. Thomas
218) Teresa Berger, Professor of Liturgical Studies & Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of Catholic Theology, Yale University
219) Virgina Ryan, Visiting Instructor of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross
220) Chris Franke, Professor Emerita of Theology, St. Catherine University
221) Corey Harris, Assistant Professor of Theology, Alvernia University
222) Donald Rappé, Associate Professor of Theology, Mount Mary University

To be added to this list, email Tobias Winright at with your name, position, and institutional affiliation (for identification purposes only).

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pope Francis 10 Secrets to Happiness.

POPE-HAPPINESS Jul-29-2014 (930 words) xxxi

In latest interview, Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis' secret recipe for happiness.

In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly "Viva" July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one's life:

1. "Live and let live." Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, "Move forward and let others do the same."

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to lead a general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican last month. (CNS/Paul Haring)
2. "Be giving of yourself to others." People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because "if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid."

3. "Proceed calmly" in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist -- gaucho Don Segundo Sombra -- looks back on how he lived his life.

"He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool" of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water -- to have "the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life."

4. "A healthy sense of leisure." The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.

"Consumerism has brought us anxiety" and stress, causing people to lose a "healthy culture of leisure." Their time is "swallowed up" so people can't share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it "complicated, but you must do it," he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime "doesn't let you communicate" with each other, the pope said.

5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because "Sunday is for family," he said.

6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. "We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs" and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

"It's not enough to give them food," he said. "Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home" from one's own labor.

7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation "is one of the biggest challenges we have," he said. "I think a question that we're not asking ourselves is: 'Isn't humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'"

8. Stop being negative. "Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, 'I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,'" the pope said. "Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy."

9. Don't proselytize; respect others' beliefs. "We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you,' No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing," the pope said.

10. Work for peace. "We are living in a time of many wars," he said, and "the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive" and dynamic.

Pope Francis also talked about the importance of helping immigrants, praising Sweden's generosity in opening its doors to so many people, while noting anti-immigration policies show the rest of Europe "is afraid."

He also fondly recalled the woman who helped his mother with the housework when he was growing up in Buenos Aires.

Concepcion Maria Minuto was a Sicilian immigrant, a widow and mother of two boys, who went three times a week to help the pope's mother do laundry, since in those days it was all done by hand.

He said this hard-working, dignified woman made a big impression on the 10-year-old future pope, as she would talk to him about World War II in Italy and how they farmed in Sicily.

"She was as clever as a fox, she had every penny accounted for, she wouldn't be cheated. She had many great qualities," he said.

Even though his family lost touch with her when they moved, the then-Jesuit Father Jorge Bergoglio later sought her out and visited her for the last 10 years of her life.

"A few days before she died, she took this small medal out of her pocket, gave it to me and said: 'I want you to have it!' So every night, when I take it off and kiss it, and every morning when I put it back on, this woman comes to my mind."

"She died happy, with a smile on her face and with the dignity of someone who worked. For that reason I am very sympathetic toward housecleaners and domestic workers, whose rights, all of them, should be recognized" and protected, he said. "They must never be exploited or mistreated."

Pope Francis' concern was underlined in his @Pontifex Twitter feed just a few days later, July 29, with the message: "May we be always more grateful for the help of domestic workers and caregivers; theirs is a precious service."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Poverty's perduring effects in Baltimore and Other places

Urban poverty, in black and white

By Karl Alexander and Linda Olson
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Discoveries revealed from a 25-year study in Baltimore may hold truths for other urban areas, such as the South Bronx.
Discoveries revealed from a 25-year study in Baltimore may hold truths for other urban areas, such as the South Bronx.
  • Authors: "Urban poor" is not just black men, single moms; many whites fit the category
  • For 25 years, authors studied poor children through their adulthood in Baltimore
  • Authors: Hardly any poor children, black or white, went on to finish college
  • They say white privilege won out as they got more and better-paying jobs
Editor's note: Karl Alexander is the academy professor and sociology research professor at Johns Hopkins University. Linda Olson is a research scientist at the Baltimore Education Research Consortium and the Hopkins Center for Social Organization of Schools. They are co-authors, with Doris Entwisle, of the book "The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood," published by the Russell Sage Foundation. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writers.
(CNN) -- Say "urban poor," and the image that most likely comes to mind is one of young black men caught up in a swirl of drugs and violence and irresponsible single women having babies. But this pervasive stereotype overlooks a surprising reality: Many whites live side by side African-Americans in some of the country's poorest urban neighborhoods.
Because white poverty is less expected, less recognized and less studied, we often exclude poor whites from our discussions. That masks a fundamental truth about economic inequality: Poverty is colorblind. But neither is it the same for everyone, as the white poor benefit from a lifetime of the hidden perks of white privilege.
As our nation continues down the road of economic recovery, this is a reality our local and national policymakers cannot afford to ignore as they seek to address employment and income inequality.
We traced the experience of nearly 800 children in Baltimore for more than 25 years, from the time they entered first grade in the fall of 1982 in 20 Baltimore public schools to well into their third decade. Half their families were low income, according to school records, and the typical low-income parent hadn't finished high school. What might be surprising is that of that half, 40% are white.
Karl Alexander
Karl Alexander
Linda Olson
Linda Olson
Looking at where these children started in life and where they ended up, the study results are troubling but clear: At 28, hardly any of the children from a disadvantaged background, black or white, had finished college.
But even without the benefit of a college degree, whites, and white men especially, had vastly better employment outcomes. At every age, the white men experienced shorter spells of unemployment, were more likely to be working full-time and earned more.
Baltimore, like so many other American cities, suffered immensely under the ravages associated with de-industrialization: the loss of industry, population and wealth. Under such circumstances, many of the city's disadvantaged youths stumbled along the way.
But the consequences have been especially dire for African-Americans. As young adults, African-American men had fared much worse than whites in the job market, even though they and their white counterparts had about the same levels of education and the whites reported higher rates of marijuana and heavy drug use and binge drinking.
Take, for example, the types of jobs the men in our study held. At 28, nearly half of the white men who had not attended college were employed in the industrial and construction trades, the highest-paying sector of blue-collar employment. By contrast, only 15% of African-American men worked in these sectors, and even within that small group, annual earnings were less than half that of whites -- $21,500 versus $43,000.
This disparity is no accident.
It fits a broader pattern evident as far back as high school: About one-fifth of white men who grew up in disadvantaged families had after-school and summer jobs in these industries -- important experience that can help secure a full-time job -- while not a single African-American person did.
Indeed, throughout the course of our study, it was clear that African- Americans face greater barriers to employment. Having an arrest record or failing to complete high school were less consequential for white men than for African-American men: 84% of whites without a high school degree were employed at 22; among African Americans, just 40% were.
Racial inequality also is embedded in hidden ways in other spheres of life, including discrimination in housing and banking practices that have kept white and black Baltimore substantially separate and cut off working class African-Americans from potentially valuable social contacts.
Why do differences in employment track so sharply with color lines?
The race-based privilege that benefits working-class whites over working-class African-Americans has its origins in the discriminatory practices that excluded African-Americans from the skilled trades during Baltimore's booming World War II and post-war industrial economy.
Although overt racial discrimination has lessened since then, the deep structural inequalities these barriers helped establish continue today through word-of-mouth hiring, employer attitudes that limit opportunities for African-Americans and segregated social networks.
The differences in how these young people found jobs illustrate the invisible ways race-based privilege is institutionalized in the job market.
When asked at age 22 how they found their current jobs, whites more often mentioned help from family and friends, while more African-Americans found jobs "on their own." The white job seekers in our study had family, friends and neighbors who could help them access good-quality, higher-paying jobs.
And what of those women having babies?
Most of the women of disadvantaged background, white and African-American, became mothers as teenagers, worked sporadically and when working, their employment was concentrated in the low-pay clerical and service sectors.
The difference, though, is that many more white women were married or in a stable co-habiting relationship. An additional earner in the household makes a vast difference in economic well-being, which means that white men's workplace advantages benefit white women as well.
As Americans, we like to think that we are all on a level playing field. Our society treasures rags-to-riches stories of individuals overcoming their humble origins to achieve the American Dream. But, the harsh reality we witnessed in Baltimore is that race and class place severe limitations on a child's ability to achieve that dream.
Too often, our policymakers focus on colorblind solutions, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, to help the urban poor. Such programs only help those who already have jobs and fail to address chronic unemployment among African-Americans.
Amid the growing national conversation on economic inequality, now is the time for our leaders to recognize that race matters and develop creative programs, such as President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, to address the different challenges facing poor African-Americans.
Tracking the lives of Baltimore children for 25 years, we witnessed all too clearly how family conditions and poverty early in life cast a shadow that follows children into adulthood and how that shadow extends much further if you are African-American.
Only by facing this reality head on with proactive programs and policies can we offer young African-Americans a fair shot at achieving the American dream.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Church Responds to Immigration Crisis

IMMIGRATION: Inland parishes, Catholic Charities wait for migrants

With flights suspended, it’s unclear whether Inland shelters and other help will be needed
 Church volunteers Araceli Rendon, left, and Faustine Aguayo assemble donated food at St Catherine of Siena Parish in Rialto to benefit recently arrived migrant families on July 10.

Catholic Charities and the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino are preparing to shelter and care for additional Central American migrants, but it’s unclear whether more will be arriving.
St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fontana welcomed 46 migrants Thursday, all of whom were gone by Friday. But the U.S. Border Patrol announced Thursday it was suspending flights that sent migrants arrested in Texas to Southern California for processing, so the shelters may no longer be necessary, at least for now.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested the help of the diocese and Catholic Charities and transferred the migrants from San Diego County to St. Joseph. On Monday, ICE declined to speculate on whether more migrants might be sheltered in the Inland Empire.
“We certainly are prepared to accept more,” said John Andrews, spokesman for the diocese, which includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
RELATED: Congress moving to resolve border crisis
Several parishes are ready to house migrants, he said.
One of the back-up sites, in case of an unexpectedly large influx of migrants, is St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in Riverside. Volunteers are waiting for the call to help, Deacon John DeGano said.
St. Catherine is one of a number of Inland parishes collecting food, toiletries, first-aid kits, diapers and other items for migrants.
The migrants who arrived Thursday in Fontana were given some of those donations, and a Catholic Charities caseworker made arrangements for family members across the country to meet them at their destinations, said Ken Sawa, CEO of Catholic Charities San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The migrants were then accompanied to a Greyhound bus station before being sent to live with family.
For migrants who didn’t have the money for bus tickets, Catholic Charities covered the cost using private donations raised specifically to help the migrants, Sawa said.
All the migrants were women with children, he said.
Most of the migrants helped on Thursday were gone by the end of that day. Four families left on Friday, Andrews said
None of the families stayed in the Inland Empire. One was sent to San Francisco; the others traveled to states including New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Colorado, Andrews said.
Protesters picketed St. Joseph on Sunday, saying the Catholic Church should concentrate on helping U.S. citizens rather than foreign migrants. Some of those who protested Sunday have been involved in broader efforts to stop congressional proposals that would provide a path to citizenship for many people who have lived illegally in the United States for an extended period.
But Andrews said the assistance the church is providing should be separated from the political debate over immigration.
“We’re receiving these folks because it’s a crisis situation,” Andrews said. “They have very real human needs we need to attend to. We can get back to the public policy questions later.”
Contact the writer: 951-368-9462 or

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First Jesuit University in India

India's first Jesuit University to set up in Odisha, to start classes from 2015

Monday, 14 July 2014 - 5:33pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 1 July 2014 - 1:18pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

Jesuits, known as the schoolmasters of Europe are ready to make their university debut in India with St Xavier's University in Odisha.
The campus for the same will be ready for classes in December this year and the first batch will be admitted from the next academic year which is 2015-2016. The campus is located near the temple city of Puri, 60 km from Bhubaneshwar.
Jesuits are credited with introducing modern education in India during the 16th century. They manage several colleges but under government universities.
The Xavier University bill was passed in the Odisha assembly after a marathon debate on April 5. "This is the first time that a private university will have a reservation for Odisha students," said Higher Education minister of Odisha, Badri Narayan Patra.
"Odisha is a very important destination of higher education for students. This is an engagement and a commitment," said Fr Paul Fernandes, the brain behind the project. He added that the Jesuits plan to expand the university to other places as well.
The committee plans to introduce one or two programs in every phase beginning with the rural management program. The university will not be limited to teaching only business but will have science and humanities school as well. As for the resources, Fr Fernandes says,"We need resources and we seek support openly from alumni, friends, donors and anyone whoever wants to support our venture."
The vision of the Jesuits with regards to the university is very clear: establish the university, make it innovative and of greater quality.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

UCatholic Has Great Pope-World Cup Memes

Fun Popes and World Cup Memes from UCatholic.








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Friday, July 11, 2014

USCCB Spokesperson Sr. Mary Ann Walsh defends the immigrant children

Birmingham, Vietnam and Murrieta
By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

Sometimes a picture says it all. Consider the 1963 picture of fire hoses and snarling police dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, used against African-American students protesting racial segregation. Surely not our civil servants at their best.

Or the 1972 picture of the little girl in North Vietnam running terrified and naked with burning skin after South Vietnamese planes accidentally dropped napalm on Trang Bang, which had been occupied by North Vietnamese troops. The world then saw how war could hurt children.

Now, in 2014, we see citizens of Murrieta, California, turning back buses of women and children headed for a federal processing center, a day after Mayor Alan Long told them to let the government know they opposed its decision to move recent undocumented immigrants to the local Border Patrol station.

The first two images helped turn the tide when they awakened U.S. citizens to a shameful tragedy. We know the aftermath. The Congress 50 years ago passed Civil Rights legislation to guarantee basic human and equal rights for minorities that Civil Rights workers fought (and some died) for. We pulled out of Vietnam, a war we could not win.

We now await a moral conscience moment in the welcoming of children and others escaping the violence in such countries as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Parents and children from these countries have made the difficult decision to leave their homes and have endured dangerous journeys to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. They risk it because the possible horrors of the treacherous migration, such as trafficking, abuse and even death in the desert, still look better than the almost sure death by gang violence at home.

Some hopes exist already. Contrast the mob in Murrieta, with the people of Brownsville and McAllen, Texas. There Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley offers welcome centers at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen and Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville. The youngest guest: a one-day-old baby girl. The baby and others are being helped by a host of volunteers.

Heroes are emerging. First might be Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ (Missionaries of Jesus), executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. She is convening the local faith communities to address the problem and organizing the local populace to collect food, medicine, children’s sweaters and hoodies, men’s sneakers, and women’s socks and underwear. The city of McAllen is collaborating by providing portable shower facilities and tents for overnight stays.

Another is Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville. He gets the problem. On his social media blog, he notes: “What we are seeing unfold in front of our eyes is a humanitarian and refuge reality, not an immigration problem.” He adds that “the Church must respond in the best way we can to the human need” and says “at the same time we ask our government to act responsibly to address the reality of migrant refugees. A hemispheric response is needed, not a simple border response. And we ask the government to protect the church’s freedom to serve people.”

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, spoke before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in late June. He called the number of children crossing the US-Mexico border “a test of the moral character” of our nation. “We must not fail this test,” he said.

Right now, the welcoming community of Brownsville and surrounding communities are acing the test. In Murrieta, the mayor and the citizens who drove back the buses need to study more. President Obama looks for ways to return the children to their perilous homeland. The U.S. Congress sits on its hands. To prepare for the test of moral character, protesters in Murrieta, the President and the Congress, might hit the books, especially the New Testament. A place to start is Matthew 25, where Jesus states: “Whatever you do for these, the least of my brethren, you do also for me.”


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