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  • 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.

  • From the Archives
    What higher, nobler or more correct principles could any one enunciate than those expressed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
  • Social capital, intentionality can help ensure schools’ success
    Research in the 1980s identified what is called the “Catholic School Effect,” the reason that Catholic schools have been so successful in educating young people regardless of economic or ethnic background.
  • Jo Jo Wagner and the Christmas clown
    Unbeknown to the members, Jo Jo had already got on the blower and hired another clown for the children's bash. It was another Eagle acquaintance of Jo Jo's, a man who was also a clown.
  • Miracles do happen
    My husband’s recurrence of cancer came as a surprise. Nine years after his diagnosis of leukemia, we thought we had left the disease behind.

  • A Franciscan Christmas
    For me, this Christmas was a time of miracles and joy. When I returned to Oregon in October, I came with a mixed bag of emotions, everything from excitement to anxiety.
  • More women die of pregnancy-related complications in the United States than in any other developed nation. An overlooked and overlapping tragedy influences this alarming trend: Black mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers.
  • Beyond politics
    Some of us Catholics lean right, others lean left. Many of us track a moderate course. But all of us are disciples of Jesus, and that is what matters. We are brothers and sisters, not election foes.
  • The homeless person sitting on the corner near our church never moved off his bench despite freezing temperatures. No matter the time of day, there he sat bundled up in clothes people had donated.

  • In late December, as I returned home after an enthusiastic excursion to gather my last Christmas presents, the clicker to my parking garage door died. It looked like it was working; the little red light blinked just as it should when I pressed the "open" button.

  • Discernment begins in the everyday
    At the heart of the vocational question, "What am I to do?" is an existential one, "What am I here for and who am I?"
  • I long to be back in the pew, but the baby spits up again. The contrast cuts sharp in my mind's eye: the priest's hands holding shining gold vessels, mine swabbing stains with a damp burp cloth.
  • Now "gene editing" may soon allow parents to tailor the genetic makeup of their offspring, producing the "perfect" child (whatever that means when we adults have imperfect ideas about children).

  • From the Archives

    Portland’s quota in the Knights of Columbus war fund drive which begins next Monday has been fixed at $50,000 and the men in charge of the local campaign are making energetic preparations to secure that amount in the time allotted.

  • A teachable moment

    Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become some sort of de facto member of the Altar Society—but there I was on a Friday evening, YouTubeing videos of how to wash, fold, crimp, crease and prepare altar linens for Mass.

  • I confess to Almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I loathe New Year’s resolutions in my thoughts and in my words because of what I’ve done and what I’ve failed to do.
  • Send us puppy photos
    We heard from some of you who filed competing declarations on behalf of your own dachshunds, Pomeranians and Shih Tzus. By Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m., we will accept photos of your dogs at sentinel@catholicsentinel.org.
  •  A CHRISTMAS ENCOUNTER IN SOUTHEAST PORTLAND

    What to my wondering eyes should appear

    But Santa, his sleigh and his eight faithful reindeer.

    I was dressed as a hiker, and with snow shovel in hand,

    Santa thought I was the maintenance man.

  • Misplaced priorities

    Congress did pass legislation late last year, funding CHIP for three more months, hardly reassuring. The half-hearted, short-term funding still tortures families worrying that their children’s health care might end.

     
  • Preparing for advent

    Let us take these short weeks before the celebration of his birth to give thought to his coming, to ponder how the Lord has transformed our lives, to consider what more change he will bring and to think about how we are serving him as we might serve anyone we love.



  • ‘Where are you going?’
    God wants you to let him lead, but he will never force you to follow. So grab Christ’s reaching hand and surround yourself with others doing the same.
  • It is important to foster and strengthen the faith throughout our lives. During certain periods, that faith seems particularly vulnerable. One of these is the late-teenage or college years.
  • One church, one rosary, 100 years
    While this was indeed a celebration of community, each person who walked away from the scene felt personally touched by God.
  • The pen is mightier

    Dante Alighieri wrote, “He listens well who takes notes.” It turns out he wasn’t referring to laptops.

  • Amandio and the Christmas trees
    To me as a boy, back in the 1960s, the kind and honest Amandio became synonymous with Christmas.
  • The future of science and faith: A glorious and happy union
    There seems to be a misplaced belief of a conflict between science and faith. This is a false conception built on a foundation of a deficiency and scarcity of truth: an ignorance of history and a lack of understanding of the nature and origin of science, on top of an illiteracy of how God creates and his relationship to creatures.
  • The dignity of women

    That hordes of influential men have been harassing, assaulting, violating and raping women is more than a social or moral problem. There are theological implications. Men who use women as objects of pleasure are striking at the very heart of God’s plan, which was to save us from such debauchery through a selfless woman.

  • My conversion story
    Mine is a story of love. It is a testament to the unconditional, immense, constantly seeking love of God. It pays tribute to how God will wait, ever so patiently, for us to come to him, even if it takes years or a lifetime.
  • We must wonder how many will truly celebrate Christmas this year, making it the best ever? What is meant by a "true celebration"?

  • Richard Wilbur died in October. He was, Dana Gioia said, the finest poet of his generation and the greatest American Christian poet since Eliot.

  • Are we distracted receivers?

    As we prepare for Christmas, I am sure many readers have had the experience of thoughtfully selecting a gift for a child and laboriously tracking down the item. The present, upon being opened, brings moments of squealing, then disappears into a pile of shredded colorful wrap, forgotten within the hour.

  • From the Archives

    The site of the University could not be more charming, situated, as it is, on a high eminence overlooking the picturesque Willamette River, within the city limits, and in full view of Portland, whence it is easily reached by electric cars.

  • This Advent, imagine that you and your family lose everything. Home, neighbors, livelihood. This Advent, imagine that you have only one choice: Leave everything you know, you possess, you count on. Or die.

  • Not just for evangelicals
    Our free will means we can form ourselves by the mundane, by escapist entertainment, by political ideologies, by hatreds, fears, outrage and hubris.
  • We’re all after the truth
    Readers are hungry to see how faith and science coexist. It’s one of the great questions of the 21st century.
  • Problems with packaging

    I have just opened a fresh box containing an over-the-counter pain reliever and now need a double dose because of the discomfort caused by the act of prying the lid off the bottle.

  • Holding the pope's hand in gratitude for being Catholic
    Every now and then, I find in the offices of pastoral leaders and theologians, as well as in the homes of some families I know, a picture of them shaking hands with one of the recent popes.
  • Blessed Solanus Casey's witness to my family

    Pope Francis has said in the preparatory document for the upcoming synod on "young people, faith and vocational discernment" that we need to see credible witnesses in order to be inspired to be holy.

  • The ones who won't be home for the holidays

    This season sparkles with joy. We open our homes to family and friends, greeting each other at wreath-decked doors under twinkling lights.

  • What is sex for?
    The root problem here is a self-centered notion of freedom that "frees" individuals from respecting others, if such respect would get in the way of their own pleasure.
  • Searches beyond Google's capabilities

    A recent article in The Wall Street Journal noted the upswing in the work of reference librarians who are receiving more calls from curious seekers who either can't find what they are searching for on Google or just prefer to search for information with the help of another human being.

  • From the Archives
    No later than last week some gospel gosling with more feathers than brains tells the readers of the Churchman magazine that “it is no wonder the church of Rome desires to prevent the study of the Bible by her people.”
  • A spiritual solution