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  • Do you see Medicaid as a life issue? The nation’s bishops do. 

  • Pope Francis’ beautiful apostolic exhortation on the Amazon caught the attention of many secular journalists mostly because they were primed to witness celibacy tumble or report that the all-male clerical state took a hit. We urge our media colleagues to read more deeply. The contents are earthshaking.

  • Though this is a dark time to be Hispanic, there are rays of light
    A brief news story on New Year’s Eve stated that a 42-year-old woman in Clive, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines, earlier in December intentionally ran over a 14-year-old girl with her SUV because she "thought she was 'a Mexican.'" The victim, Natalia Miranda, was walking on the sidewalk toward school when struck by Nicole Poole Franklin, who did not stop to help.
  • Finding the light
    We see that our core values align with those of Catholic Charities.
  • From vulnerability to security: Stories of strength, courage and compassion
    Nearly every person coming to Catholic Charities of Oregon for help is in the throes of a traumatic loss — of home, family, health, income or well-being. They are frightened and vulnerable, sometimes numb and confused, and that is most often where we meet them — in a dangerous, fearful and confusing place where hope is absent and the future looks bleak.
  • Church owned it
    Before modern progressivism, classical education was the only model of learning. And thanks to St. Augustine, the Catholic Church owned it.
  • See 'Laudato Si'"

    We discussed the importance of Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si’,” which was published in June of 2015. Over the last four years, we have attended educational sessions on this encyclical. But we seldom hear about the seriousness of the climate crisis from the pulpit.

  • Uses of terms like “gay” and “orientation” buy into the acceptance of cultural and political norms.

  • Those we’ve lost

    Thank you, Michael Van der Hout, for reminding us about the feast of the Holy Innocents. Herod in his power-hungry rage killed innocent babes in arms.

  • Hole in the dome
    She explained that she attends Christmas Mass in that church, and when it rains one just has to step away from the middle of the church.
  • My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ: As followers of the God whose very essence is love, a love so deep and abundant that this love took on human flesh and dwelt among us to teach us the way of love – a love more beautiful, more inspiring and more wonderful than the world has ever seen.

  • Dome debate
    The architectural style of St. Patrick Church is an “American” interpretation of “Italian Renaissance Revival.” 
  • When Mother Teresa visited New Bedford, Massachusetts in June 1995, she told those of us gathered at St. Lawrence Martyr Church: “Abortion is the greatest evil of today.” Never one to mince words, Mother Teresa’s courage, truthfulness and charity were palpable. Parents today need similar fortitude, honesty and love to be able to discuss the hard topic of unplanned pregnancies and abortion with their children.

  • Wayne, John Paul and the silly tie
    Do you see that goofy tie that Wayne is wearing, the tie that looks like a fish? Well, Wayne told me that he bought that tie in Eugene in 1960, has never washed it, and wears it only for special occasions.
  • Rediscovering de Rancé
    There is no doubt about it, de Rance's approach is demanding, radical and if adopted revolutionary for both home, cloister and church. It could change everything.
  • Sheen deserves sainthood

    Archbishop Sheen’s program was more popular than Milton Berle’s. Sheen used the Bible and appealed to Protestants and Catholics alike. 

  • Here’s the secret — I’m afraid. I’m afraid that you won’t say ‘Hi’ back. I’m afraid that you won’t remember me. I’m afraid you’re too busy to be bothered by me. I’m afraid of you.

  • On abortion, good news and bad news

    Many young people see the truth and urgency of standing up for the unborn. Sadly, we have much more teaching to do.

  • The four popes
    Witty the film sometimes is, and the acting and production values are impressive. "True" is another matter.
  • Storytellers for the Great Commandment
    The Sentinel’s mission, when you whittle to the core, has always come from the mouth of the Lord: We are here to help people love God and love others. Both of those tasks of the Great Commandment involve understanding and loving our wholly human and divinely led institution, the church. That we do. We are all in.
  • Catholic judges under the microscope
    Catholics wanting to serve our country in the legal system are coming under intense scrutiny.
  • From the Archives
    Now we need to cleanse our national conscience and imagination to be able to hope, dream and work for a truly caring world, one in which there will be genuine communication, true compassion and a full recognition of our connectedness and human unity.
  • Among the countless vulnerable human beings in our world, none are more vulnerable than millions of unborn babies threatened by abortion.

  • Avoid bias
    People believe different things about the morals of Attorney General William Barr and President Trump. Please remember we should always respect the office of the president and pray for our officials.
  • Historical?
    Archbishop Zumárraga never claimed the miraculous vision had occurred, the popular story notwithstanding.
  • Where are the children, youth and young adults?
    Our church needs help learning how to create disciples.
  • Good approach
    Just shelter does not resolve the problem; the multifaceted approach with shelter does.
  • We love Mass
    When the priest is there it means so much to the parish. 
  • Love from beyond
    My deceased husband does similar little things for me also. Experiencing the communion of saints is wonderful.
  • Act on encyclical
    We have heard very little from the clergy about Pope Francis’ teaching in “Laudato Si’” and the moral mandate to act in defense of all vulnerable life on Earth now and in the future.
  • Winter mornings in Bavaria and the postcard
    He wandered the snowy back streets of Offingen, tired, cold, emaciated and very hungry.
  • What we don’t say
    My husband first noticed Jonah while taking out the compost one bitterly cold night. What first appeared to be a pile of threadbare clothes turned out to be an elderly homeless man sleeping next to our garage.
  • “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Just think how much better each one of us and the world would be, if we held fast to this morally correct common sense proverb. But unfortunately, common sense and morality are often not considered when we feel we have been wronged.
  • We are glad to witness the cooling of fight talk between the White House and Iranian leaders. We support Pope Francis, who wisely has appealed to both nations for self-control and dialogue. “War,” the pope said, “brings only death and destruction.” The downing of a passenger jet during the Jan. 8 skirmish outside Tehran proves this sad point.
  • A plan for my tundoku
    I’m highly amused that there’s a term for this phenomenon, because it means there were enough individuals afflicted by this particular condition that a whole new word had to be created to describe it.
  • Catholic schools promote a hope-filled future
    Catholic schools see every student as a unique gift made in God’s image and deserving of love and respect. Catholic schools honor the student, striving to bring out the best in each one. Catholic schools educate the whole child in a faith-filled environment, assisting each child to live the life God intended for him or her.
  • Probably the biggest bioethics story of 2019 involved Dr. Jankui He (known to his associates as “JK”), a Chinese scientist who employed a new technology called CRISPR/Cas9 to produce the world’s first gene-edited babies.
  • From the Archives
    He is a highly unselfish player.
  • Keen on Kennard

    On another occasion, when a certain program was very popular in the church, I asked him what he thought about it. He stated: “There is no quick fix to growth in God. What we have to do is to die a little more to ourselves each day.”

  • Thanks for effort
    Thanks to you and your staff and the Archdiocese of Portland for your efforts to promote the Retirement Fund for Religious collection. 
  • Kennard’s advice
    The Sentinel editor continues, “Father Kennard continually chided the Marxists ...”
  • A contradiction
    The letter writer who defends Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Catholics for Choice against Richard Doerflinger’s castigating them for their response to a United Nations declaration regarding the family then goes on to commend these organizations for their opposition to the ill treatment of families on our southern border.
  • Tricky topic

    Thank you for Religion Gone Wrong, the series on spiritual abuse (Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1). It can often be a topic tricky to navigate, but I felt your approach really gave it justice and provided coverage on a topic not often talked about.

  • Over the last decade the world has awakened to the terrible reality of climate change. For me personally, it’s an existential assault on my faith in God’s protection: “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.”

  • Hail, defenders
    We don’t hold forth with such style now, but we still admire good defense, an underappreciated art. In sports, defenders get little glory. As Christians, those selfless players appeal to us because ours is a religion of the humble and dutiful, not the superstars. 
  • This new year, this new decade, begins much like the past year, the past decade: wars between countries, wars within countries, nations around the globe preparing for future wars and astronomical military budgets cemented in place to ensure all this unholy madness continues.

  • From the Archives
    A real love of our fellows which the law of Christ insists upon would lead us not merely to open-handed giving at Christmas but to a real interest in the alleviation of suffering throughout the year.
  • Morals overboard!
     It is disturbing that Barr, a Catholic, promotes moral discipline while he is part of a political administration that has tossed moral values overboard.
  • Mass missed
    I was disappointed that the spiritual part of the ministry was not mentioned. The heart of this ministry at St. Peter is the celebration of the holy Eucharist at 11:30 a.m. Our seniors look forward to the celebration of the Mass before the social takes place.
  • On Red Beach
    The name has nothing to do with the loss of French soldiers.
  • A special trip home for Christmas
    Sixty-seven years have gone by, but the voice of Bing Crosby, "I’ll be home for Christmas ..." still tugs on the heart. This season in 1952 found me in Milwaukee, working two part-time jobs and going to Marquette University full time. There I had met four students from the Denver area who, like me, had never been that far away from home.
  • Giving like Santa
    In his newest book, “Rediscover the Saints,” author Matthew Kelly looks at St. Nicholas of Myrna in terms of holding Christmas in your heart year-round. Mark Larson, aka Santa Mark, knows about that. While the Christmas season is his busiest as a Santa (including the honor of lighting the Portland Christmas tree in Pioneer Square), he’s never far from St. Nick. “We Santas are keepers of a secret,” he says. “We’re working to keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year. It resides in the heart of every person, it just needs to be let out.”
  • Kathy’s gift
    I had what Pope Francis calls an encounter experience one Advent that captures the longing of this season. It was with a woman named Kathy, who had turned to Catholic Charities when she lived on the streets, when her season of darkness had lasted for years.
  • The angel chimes at Christmas time
    Each Christmas, when I was a boy, my mom always brought out the box of angel chimes and had me set them up atop the library table in the reception hall. There was nothing as peaceful and enchanting as sitting in the warm glow of candlelight, watching the angels delicately chime the carillon. My mom told me to think of the magical chiming of the bells as the song of angels among us. 
  • Take a close look at your Nativity scene

    The most recent apostolic letter of Pope Francis, “Admirabile Signum”) was signed in Greccio, Italy. Some may know the significance of Greccio, the mountain village where St. Francis created the first nativity scene in 1223.

  • This Christmastide we’ll have five children, my parents, and two dogs (puppies, really) under our roof to celebrate the arrival of the Prince of Peace. 
  • Mom shares journey of her son's mental illness, suicide
    HERMITAGE, Pa. — Betty Koscinski of Notre Dame Parish in Hermitage, in the Diocese of Erie, spends much of every year shedding light on mental illness and suicide.
  • Regardless of whether your mother is on this, or the other side of eternity, you can still give her the most wonderful gift of all: your love.

  • A Christmas parable
    “All your answers are true, but incorrect,” Clarence retorted.
  • Our unpredictable God

    Ancient Greece and Rome perceived gods and heroes aplenty, all with big egos struggling with one another cataclysmically. Judaism revealed the truth of a single all-powerful God in constant relationship with his people.

  • Waiting well during Advent
    While I can rattle off a long list of positive things about being raised in the Northeast (the quality of bagels, access to cultural events in big cities and proximity to the ocean top the list), an honest assessment would include some downsides. The most glaringly obvious one is that for most of my life I’ve been conditioned to be completely and totally impatient.
  • Finding reason to hope amid the pessimism
    My father-in-law, Joseph, was a wonderful guy. An immigrant who passionately loved America, he was hardworking, honest and thrifty. He had a laborer’s hands but a poet’s mind. Joseph had seen enough of life, however, to make him a bit jaundiced about human nature.
  • When it comes to giving, less is more
    Every year my sister and I make the same promise to each other. "One year, we’re not going to do presents at all," we declare over the phone. "And it will be the best Christmas ever."
  • Vatican finances: How did the IOR work?
    VATICAN CITY — How did the Institute for Works of Religion work in real estate investments? The question is pertinent to two major issues: the recent so-called Vatican financial scandal, which led to an institutional crisis; and, for some of the lawsuits initiated by the IOR to protect its integrity. 
  • Advent and waiting
    My wife and I are expecting our fifth child in February. It’s been six years since we had a newborn in the house, so there are some things we need to relearn about life with a baby. Most pressing perhaps is the role that technology will play in our family life when the new baby arrives.
  • Happy holy days
    See Christmas day as the beginning (not the end) of festivity and gift-giving. On or near the 12th day of Christmas, hold an Epiphany party (you can tell your secular friends it's an "after Christmas" party).
  • From the Archives
    "Working together, we enter more deeply into the mystery of our God."
  • As clergy, we touch upon very holy realities when we baptize, consecrate the Eucharist, give absolution to sinners, or anoint the sick. These special moments engage divine grace in deep and important ways in the lives of those to whom we minister. 
  • Teach ‘Laudato Si’’
    I am concerned that Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” is missing from the pulpit. 
  • Totally sincere

    We ought not finding fault with and discourage young climate activists without contributing any solution to the issues they address.

  • Care for families
    These organizations are united in opposition to our own government’s inhumane separation policy that has torn children from their parents, placed them in detention camps, and failed to keep adequate records that would facilitate reuniting them with their families.
  • Good columnist

    He clearly understands the timeless value of our Declaration of Independence and our Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  • Think safety
    The facts of this incident clearly illustrate the need for every parish to develop protocols for dealing with a host of safety, security and medical issues that are occurring far too frequently in today’s society.
  • Might Holy Cross have come to Oregon sooner?

    As archivist for the Archdiocese of Portland, I recently encountered a collection of letters written by our first archbishop, Francis Norbert Blanchet. The missives covered his career from 1821 to 1883. The letters, mostly written in French, include correspondence with Father Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

  • Two years ago, speaking before a Vatican sponsored international symposium titled “Prospects for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament,” Pope Francis said we cannot fail to be “genuinely concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental effects of any employment of nuclear devices.
  • Bite your tongue

    It’s one of the most underrated sins, and one that sneaks into office Christmas parties and family gatherings as readily as that extra glass of eggnog.

  • A hopeful time

    Three signs of hope stood out at last month’s Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly in Salem: clarity, unity and zeal.

  • Great pictures
    The Padre Pio Mass at The Grotto was wonderful. 
  • Unchristian story

    I cannot for the life of me understand why a minor incident involving a mentally ill man was splashed on the front page of the Catholic Sentinel.

  • Human activity

    The World Health Organization estimates 7 million worldwide premature deaths last year due to air pollution. The organization also estimates there were more than 150,000 deaths on the planet in 2017 directly from global warming alone.