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  • Pro-life at all times
    Many Catholics are brought up in pro-life homes, attending marches and rallies as children and teenagers. But we shouldn’t forget how dangerously simple it is to wander from a pro-life opinion to a pro-choice one
  • No more dividing
    Recent enforcement of federal immigration policy eviscerates Catholic values. On our borders, federal officers tear couples apart and, unimaginably, drag children from their parents.
  • A chance to help God’s creation at the ballot box
    An example of an initiative that hears the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor is the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) Ballot Initiative. PCEF addresses both the call to care for creation in Portland and advocates for those who are suffering most heavily from the effects of climate change.
  • There are no involuntary baby expressions and noises to marvel over. No tiny baby toes and fingers to caress. No fresh baby head smells to breathe in. No coos or sighs or sleepy milk-drunk grins to relish.



  • Planned Parenthood receives over half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds annually, about $80 million of it from Title X. The organization performs over one-third of all abortions in the country, and abortion is what it provides to 96 percent of its pregnant clients.

  • One word: Dignity
    I have long believed that the greatest poverty in this world is a lack of recognition of our own dignity and that of those around us.
  • I think one of the reasons young people feel drawn to Pope Francis is that he makes an effort to take young people seriously. He does not make promises of an easy and carefree life. His words are based on truths but also are a response to his listening to young people.
  • So for now, Christians who accept the millennia-old definition of marriage have as much constitutional protection as racists and pornographers. And some justices disagree even with that.

  • From the Archives
    The coming of the depression made it impractical to attempt a foundation at that time, but today, as a result of the drive held in the parishes last spring, the first unit of Central High School stands completed.
  • Quoting Pope Francis, “Money must serve, not rule!”

  • Service is important to the faith of cradle Catholics. Food drives, trips to nursing homes and various other service opportunities permeated my life and ingrained the importance of service in my mind and heart as a child. However, the attitude toward service is different in high school. There, people are asking an important question: “Is required service real service?”
  • What we don’t see on the border
    These migrants are not coming because they are greedy. They are coming because they are living in a state of desperation so extreme they are ready to die for a chance at a better life.
  • Oregon’s brand of attack on religious freedom goes like this: Believe what you want, but don’t act on it or you could be penalized.
  • Keep kids safe
    We need to expect stronger child protection policies across the globe, report abuse — inside and outside the church — and continue to support local efforts to keep our kids safe.
  • In the final analysis, human sexual activity calls for something much deeper and more abiding than mere transactional consent, namely, the irrevocable and permanent consent of spouses.
  • Rough benches did duty in place of pews, and the whole interior of the edifice was unfinished. 
  • Spectacle vs. beauty

    For us mortals, it is up to each of us to continue forming ourselves so that we can bring what we know to the event of our lives, to live the church’s unwavering goodness, beauty and truth.

  • A CLOUD OF WITNESSES
    THE DALLES — We traveled from Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Multnomah and Washington counties and Central Oregon to St. Paul Episcopal Church for an interfaith service overlooking The Dalles and a facility that detains migrants.
  • It began like most other days; I realized with great resignation that there were, as usual, many more items on my to-do list than hours and energy with which to complete them.

  • Craft bill for families
    The federal farm bill may sound like it deals only with tractors and crop rotation, but it impacts families heavily. The nation’s Catholic bishops and aid agencies have laid out sensible priorities for agriculture policy, still under debate in Congress after a dustup.
  • When your 10-month-old is stacking blocks, you might or might not care to participate. When she laughs uncontrollably, you can't help joining in.
  • Cecile Richards, who plans to retire this year as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has authored a self-congratulatory memoir called "Make Trouble."

  • In his address to the U.S. Congress, French President Emmanuel Macron reminded lawmakers to think about working to make the world greater and less about making America great.

  • In a recent homily, Bishop Robert E. Barron rightly identified two paramount values in our secular culture: being "inclusive" and being "nonjudgmental. Big problems emerge when a society tries to act on these ideas.

  • Catholics must engage in these debates with intellectual vigor, but with humility as well.
  • From the archives
    Every lie that is told is an insult to 14,000,000 Catholics in the United States, and Catholics will not pa­tiently bear such treatment from press or preacher.
  • Be like St. Paul. Cast your seeds in the online marketplace but do not be afraid to enter the Areopagus where your ideas and beliefs can be tried face to face. Done in charity, it will bear fruit.

  • This Mother's Day, if your parish adds anything to Mass, let it be words of love as wide as our Lord's. Prayers that celebrate motherhood as a calling. Blessings that comfort the sorrowful. Petitions that pray for the living and the dead.

  • An advocate for the Gospel of Life
    How to achieve great things and advance urgent messages in a world prepared to put up great resistance? Embrace family and friends who support you and give you a sense of perspective
  • I have encountered many Catholics who are deeply committed to ending abortion, but often have no hesitancy about going to war – which always involves killing countless innocent people. And on the other hand, I have encountered many deeply committed Catholic peace activists who are indifferent to the war of abortion waged against innocent unborn babies.

  • Dorm priests
    When I set off for college, the last thing I expected was a friendship with a priest, but that turned out to be part of what makes the experience here at U.P. so unique and beautiful.
  • Look beyond the cozy
    My confirmation started a transformation in me, a journey toward an individual faith.
  • Walking into an adoration chapel for me is a bit like what I imagine walking into heaven is like — quiet and peaceful. It is a place where I know God is present in a real and tangible way.

  • Don’t mess with our family
    We will let no one attack our siblings without getting a dose of the hot, righteous venom of our ink.
  • What is being proposed here is Robin Hood in reverse.

  • Immigrants’ humanity

    The immigration issue is complex, but militarizing our border without a clear plan of compassion for families is not welcoming the stranger.

  • We shouldn’t be afraid at school

    Once again, our country has started its ritual after a mass shooting, when we heavily debate gun control, but without any real changes. Instead of action, the argument continues.

  • Marching to victory
    Growing up in Portland, an event like this was wild beyond my imagination.
  • I walked down the aisle of the library, scanning the shelves for a book on drawing. As I grabbed a book for beginners, feelings of excitement and confidence swelled within me. I was going to be an artist.
  • The U.S. Catholic bishops, Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA have denounced congressional leaders who would apply deep cuts to social safety nets to offset an expected deficit over the next decade.
  • They are gifts to us
    The conversation on immigration seems to always steer toward the herd — the economic and social effect of mass numbers of nameless people ruining things. But that’s never been my experience with immigrants.
  • When it comes to the “wild west” of infertility — a field of medicine with little oversight and unbridled profit margins — there are a lot of cowboys out there.

  • Do you remember the childhood story "Stone Soup?"
  • Untangling the root causes beneath the school shootings
    We have deadened the value of life with the Culture of Death, attacked empathy with invasive and cruel technology, and, I would argue, refused to take any serious degree of responsibility for our family’s personal safety. 
  • Our eldest just received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and the chrism oil smeared across her teenaged forehead transported me back to when she received the same glorious-smelling oil on her bitty baby head at baptism.
  • At its core, the idea of a “wrongful birth” claim is unreasonable and ethically incoherent.
  • Bring on the taxes

    I am rich in all the ways that matter even though I also have an arts tax to pay, you know.

  • Our greatest spiritual teachers can be our nearest and dearest. The familiar ones with whom we share sinks and sheets and silverware.

  • It was a bad afternoon at the ad agency. I was just finishing up a creative brief for a denture adhesive ad campaign when my boss came by to tell me about a new client, smokeless tobacco from Sweden.

  • So what do we do, since we must do something? The policy debate continues, and I hope it includes discussion of the loneliness and alienation of boys in our society.
  • “To call the world’s nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy,” warned Rachel Bronson, Ph.D., president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  • From the Archives

    To say the spectators were sur­prised at the ability of the youth­ful thespians would be putting it mildly. 

  • Darker side to story?
    We cannot ignore that Nestle, the parent company of Gerber and Gerber Life Insurance, repeatedly acts with greed that harms human life and our planet, and, at the very worst, may be using Lucas as a smoke screen.
  • Comprehensive approach

    Students from local Catholic high schools are joining their peers around America to voice fear and anger over mass shootings. We should listen. They are right. At its core, this is a dignity of life issue.

  • Dreams, justice, solidarity

    On Feb. 10, 50 people attended Dreams, Justice and Solidarity, an event at the Portland Commmunity College Rock Creek Campus. The powerful, engaging, community event was a collaborative effort of Jhoana Monroy-Espinosa and Petrona Dominguez from PCC Rock Creek and St. Juan Diego parishioners Mary Davidson and myself.

  • ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER
    WASHINGTON — “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” St. Francis’ signature quote sprang to life as I met the man who took Francis’ name to the papacy. There were more than 300 people in the room, all who received the opportunity to shake hands with the Holy Father. His simple greeting taught me so much as a Catholic and challenged me to grow as a person.
  • Three cheers for Lucas
    There are plenty of physicians and ethicists with a utilitarian streak who work to eliminate some of the happiest and most loving people on earth. I am sure these experts are very smart. But then all the wars, genocides and pogroms in history were started by people who are very smart.
  • Each year human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects about 50,000 people in the United States, and more than two million worldwide. Reducing the number of infections with this virus, which causes AIDS, is a high priority for public health officials.  Some strategies to reach this goal, however, raise significant moral concerns.
  • At the annual tri-faith conversation this year at St. Mary Cathedral, Rabbi Michael Cahana said something ostensibly shocking: “Politics, these days, is more important than religion.”
  • Callie’s journey
    TIGARD — Callie was a small, three-year-old Maltipoo who took on the important role of lovingly supporting her “mom” who was fighting pancreatic cancer.
  • Learn from each other
    At last month’s Encuentro meeting in Salem, Archbishop Alexander Sample’s call for unity in the church was met with emotional applause and a few tears from the region’s Hispanic Catholic leaders.
  • Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Lent began on St. Valentine’s Day. I don’t believe this was merely a cosmic calendar coincidence. Rather, I think it’s possible that the Sovereign Scheduler On High is encouraging us to journey with him on the Way of Love during this penitential season.

  • On size of family, trust in God
    We have to trust that God loves our children more than we do, that he has numbered the hairs on their heads, and that he created them to glorify him.
  • In recent years we have witnessed a growing tendency to promote suicide as a way of resolving end-stage suffering. Physician-assisted suicide is now legal in a handful of states and a number of other jurisdictions are considering laws to legalize the practice. A few years ago on Nightline, Barbara Walters interviewed an assisted suicide advocate who summed it up this way: “We’re talking about what people want. There are people who, even suffering horribly, want to live out every second of their lives, and that’s their right, of course, and they should do it. Others don’t want that. Others want out!”
  • There is an ongoing debate in our home on how well my husband can hear. He doesn't always catch the conversation, and particularly so in noisy venues. Sometimes I will loudly convey a message from the bottom of the stairs to his office upstairs.
  • One Sunday after Mass when I was 13 years old, I told my dad that I wasn't sure if I believed that Jesus was really in the Eucharist.

  • The biggest news at the Golden Globes this year was not which television series won the most honors. It was Oprah Winfrey's speech, saying of the "brutally powerful men" in Hollywood who have sexually harassed and abused women: "Their time is up!"

  • The 'bitter pill' of false liberation

    A major study published on Dec. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that hormonal contraception increases the risk of breast cancer for women.

  • From the Archives
    While we have made great progress in the sciences and mechanical arts, we have dwarfed the noblest qualities of the mind. We have attended to our material and bodily wants but we have stifled the ethereal longings of the soul.
  • The church is the founder of modern health care. And in the United States, Catholics are original proponents of expanding access to medicine. So it has been grueling to see government health initiatives chip away at Catholic conscience.
  • Winning the world for Christ
    Imagine thousands of young men and women sprinting to confession and receiving God’s ever-flowing love and mercy.
  • Time for a bipartisan repeal of the death penalty

    This Catholic Republican is grateful to see my church and my party taking initiative on this life-or-death issue. It is time to pass a strong, bipartisan repeal of the death penalty like Senate Bill 5354.

  • Sleeping on the couch
    But I’m not sure there’s a good reason to have a full-blown argument every other day, let alone more than once a day like in Wyoming.
  • How we come to know God? Faith and prayer for sure, but the physical world also provides material signs of his presence.

  • The ecclesial imperative of educating Hispanic children in Catholic schools

    Millions of Catholics in the United States were educated in Catholic schools during the past two centuries. It is no secret that such education has yielded amazing fruits for this particular faith community and for the larger society.

  • How can the church support young people during the 'defining decade'?

    Pope Francis has called a synod on "Young people, faith and vocational discernment" to discuss how the church can help young people live their faith "through a series of choices that find expression in the states of life." In short, the synod wants to help young people live out their vocation to holiness as lifelong adult Catholics by learning how to discern God's will in daily life.

  • Even after working on an issue for decades, you can come across one thing that shifts your perception of what it's about. That happened to me recently on the issue of physician-assisted suicide, thanks to an intrepid Swedish investigator named Fabian Stahle.