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  • 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. 

  • Feeling a part
    I think feeling that you are part of the parish is important. The article about why people leave the church addressed the problem of not addressing parishioners’ needs.
  • Harms the church
    Clearly, this type of liberal thought harms the Catholic Church and it should be admonished.
  • Values unite us
    Our common values like caring for “the least of these” should unify Americans on the issue of climate change. 
  • When will we?
    The latest amazing technologies strongly suggest global warming is the result of humans. If we don’t believe the sky is falling now, when will we believe it? We must act while it is falling, not after it has fallen.
  • Inviting angels to dinner

    In his inaugural address of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln begged the American people to turn away from enmity. “Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection,” he said, asking listeners to be open to “the better angels of our nature.”

  • When we pray Christianity’s most important single prayer – The Our Father – do we really attempt to understand and meditate upon the challenge of its words – especially “thy kingdom come”?
  • The forgotten commemoration
    When rain falls and winds blow leaves in spinning circles that dance like whirling dervishes across the sidewalks, I once again realize that I am one of a very few who remembers a long forgotten observance on the last day of November. 
  • How you can help
    The story “Everyone belongs at the table” (Nov. 1, Page 19) described Catholic Charities’ plans to develop Germaine’s Café as a job-training site for young men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Due to reader interest, I want to provide some additional background and explain how you can help us bring this project to fruition. 
  • I laminated it
    I am absolutely delighted at the wonderful section on 150 years of St. Vincent de Paul. It was just perfect. 
  • What an issue
     It’s the best newspaper I’ve read in a long, long time. I read for hours. 
  • Receiving Jesus
    Maybe the question in the poll should have been, “Do you believe you are receiving Jesus?"
  • Strong miracles

    If you continue to doubt after reading even one of these books, God help you! These are the strongest and most earth shattering miracles ever known.

  • Study before vote
    As election season continues into full swing, we need to read and think about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ admonitions in their publication, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” listing the Christian values and personal characteristics candidates should possess. 
  • How we dress
    Just exactly what is proper attire in the eyes of God? Unless one wears something very distracting and revealing, as far as I am concerned, this is the least that God will concern himself with when one attends Mass.
  • No false witness
    Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si’” was not intended to scare children to death.
  • From the Archives
    Catholics, however, have the unspeakable pleasure of pointing back to the history of the past and from thence producing the evidence which annihilates the fraudulent fabrications brought against us.
  • Freddy the Freeloader
    Few know this, but when I was a boy, Thanksgiving was also the feast day of the stray dogs.
  • You are called by God to be a saint! And that all important calling from the Lord is not just to be seriously considered on All Saints Day – but every day!

  • During a recent speech in Texas, I mentioned that “Drag Queen Story Hours” are being sponsored by local public libraries across the country. Toddlers and kids are brought in and placed in front of cross-dressing men who read children’s stories to them, stories that encourage them to reject fundamental gender differences between males and females. The LGBTQ agenda, I also noted, is being energetically promoted to upend and rewrite public school curricula even for kindergarten and pre-school-aged children.
  • Thriving via teamwork
    Scientists now are learning that survival is enhanced not just by strength but by the proclivity to cooperate. The very mechanisms of biological growth and progress really do reflect what we know of God from Scripture: self-dealing leads to failure while other-centeredness builds success.
  • In stark contrast to today’s Congress, 70 years ago Congress passed “The Housing Act of 1949” with the objective to provide “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family” (see: https://bit.ly/33Ib22l).
  • From the archives
    Some Christians would consider abortion as ethically permissible where I would maintain the inviolability of human life. But it is clear that our differences are within the context of a general affirmation that abortion is sinful and that life is sacred.