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  • Happy Thanksgiving
    Columnist Michael van der Hout, also an illustrator, offers this drawing of pilgrims departing for the New World on the Speedwell from Delftshaven in 1620. Happy Thanksgiving to our readers.
  • Of Harold, napkins and vignettes
    Harold, a retired electrician, was a slight, likeable, white-haired gentleman right out of the Greatest Generation. Harold always wore a smile, regardless of life’s pratfalls. A widower, he was a regular who was popular with the ladies at the Wednesday afternoon dances at the North Portland Eagles lodge when the house band ‘Ruthie and the Boys’ performed.
  • In autumn we all become contemplatives
    The flaming reds, the burnt oranges, the golden yellows, the greens fading in order to give way to a new canvas… Ah, for the moment we are left speechless, motionless, and even unaware of our own issues, cares, struggles, and “to do” lists. We are simply caught up in a glimpse of the mystery of creation, even of the transcendence of the creator God.
  • The good news
    Benedictine Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer offered some advice recently that is eminently worth sharing.

  • Guard journalism
    Like many good journalists, Ehrlich wanted to report on people at the margins, which is precisely what Pope Francis has asked journalists to do.
  • From the Archives
    1891: Christian parents, watch with a careful eye over the early acquaintances of your sons and daughters; forbid them any kind of associations that may ripen into dangerous friendships.
  • Climate change risks devastating conflicts – even nuclear war
    As climate change rages along its disastrous path of increasing and more intense natural disasters – hurting the poor most of all – it now appears that a majority of people are finally beginning to admit climate change is for real – and that pollution from humans burning oil, gas and coal is the main cause.
  • She defies categories
    No matter how we dumbly try to categorize everything as conservative or liberal, Dorothy Day confounds such efforts. Running in circles with anti-religious radicals, she attended daily Mass. She faced down racist police while praying the rosary. She edited a newspaper that promoted both the low-wage worker and the liturgical calendar.
  • The day I met RFK
    Kennedy seemed surprised when he looked at me and saw a child. He stooped over and asked, “So you did this?” I shyly nodded yes to his question. “You're very good,” he told me as he thanked me and shook my hand.
  • The time has come for listening
    Catholics in the Archdiocese of Portland should be aware that, beginning now through April 2022, there is a process for gathering and listening to all the baptized on important matters in our church in the lead up to the 2023 Synod of Bishops, “Toward a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”
  • Imprinted to follow Jesus?
    When animals are born, or very shortly thereafter, there is an “imprinting” that takes place, so that the newborn recognizes its mom, like ducklings who follow their mother no matter what, even across a busy highway.
  • I was not quite 13 when my dad took me to protest outside the cathedral in Seattle. I was a cradle Catholic, but my dad was a passionate convert. He ardently believed that Seattle’s archbishop at the time wasn’t expressing pro-life views and he was determined to make that position known. That’s how it all began for me — my duty to hold those in power accountable.
  • A major issue in bioethics today involves "informed consent," but some try to make everything about consent. This is especially notable when it comes to ethical discussions around the exercise of human sexuality.
  • Life-giving meditation
    Our focus so often is directed toward our future on earth. We make lists, set goals, plan for retirement. That’s all good. But how often do we look back and examine closely the life we’ve lived — not with nostalgia or regret but with prayerful discernment to detect God’s presence, grasp his plans for us and, ultimately, be prepared to meet God in death?
  • Halloween, All Saints' and All Souls' point to 'thin places'
    We are in the Halloween season, and also the season of All Souls' and All Saints', so I am more aware of the presence of things not of this earth.

  • A partisan court?
    "The Supreme Court's partisanship is becoming increasingly difficult to deny," said attorney James Zirin in the congressional newspaper The Hill. Other media have published similar broadsides.
  • Clearly siding with the world’s poor and marginalized in a video message for the recent Fourth World Meeting of Popular Movements, Pope Francis boldly declared, “Seeing you reminds me that we are not condemned to repeat or to build a future based on exclusion and inequality, rejection or indifference; where the culture of privilege is an invisible and insurmountable power.”
  • The will of the people
    Left-leaning editorial writers and news anchors have recently been warning us that public approval of the Supreme Court is dropping. They refer to polls conducted by Gallup and the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
  • Mary's message
    Information hasn't always moved at the speed of light. Accustomed as we are to instant communication, it's hard to imagine that we once had to wait, sometimes for days, for messages to reach us.
  • From the archives
    For the first time in 27 years, the magnificent ceremony of the consecration of a bishop will be performed in Portland, next Tuesday, October 28, when Rev. Edwin V. O'Hara, former pastor of the Cathedral here and St. Mary's church, Eugene, will be consecrated bishop of the diocese of Great Falls, Mont.
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