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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.

  • Not idiots but un-Catholic
    While those positions are not idiotic, they are certainly un-Catholic.
  • A dearth of diversity in letters
    In the Catholic Sentinel I read articles and even editorials such as “Save the safety net,” March 16, page 27. This editorial urges readers to write Congress, and in particular House Speaker Paul Ryan.
  • A nationally known fight

    Regarding “Overruling the Klan,” March 2, page 1:

    This story described the intensity of the debate on the school closing initiative aimed at ending parochial schools in Oregon, but it had three important errors.

  • From the archives: MLK assassination
    Archbishop Dwyer this week paid tribute to the “genuine Christian commitment” of Dr. Martin Luther King, victim of an assassin’s bullet April 4.
  • We have the tools for holiness, joy
    Sometimes holiness seems complicated. It’s certainly not easy. Exhausted at the end of a workday, we snap at our spouse or children; we gossip about a co-worker when it’s easier than disengaging — and more titillating; and we question ourselves and our value: What would people think if they knew the real me?
  • Bringing back dating
    There were glimmers over the past 20 years when it seemed as though the awkward misery of dating might be a thing of the past — at least for those blessed with a surfeit of technology. 
  • Another son

    I was at Mass at St. Mary in Eugene with my husband, John; he had a tough year with lots of medical problems. As usual, we sat in the back because of John’s big wheelchair.

    A thin young black man came and sat in my pew. He looked like a foreign college student who perhaps missed the campus Newman Center Mass.

  • Find beauty

    If Sunday Mass has become “the same old same old” for your adolescent children, why not expose them to something different, namely the Maronite liturgy at St. Sharbel Church in Southeast Portland  and/or the 11 a.m. high Mass at Holy Rosary?



  • ‘To receive me’
    Concerning your recent coverage on abortion: The Scandinavian composer Aulis Sallinen (b. 1935) in his Fifth Symphony (Songs of Life and Death) has the baritone sing the part of the unborn child.
  • Thank you for explaining Becky’s important mission
    When I pick up my copy of the Catholic Sentinel after Mass, I spend the late morning and early afternoon reading it cover to cover — a truly delightful event.
  • King's wisdom is still calling us higher
    When a disciple of Jesus takes his or her baptismal call seriously, that person’s words and actions live on long after he or she leaves this world. An outstanding example of this truth is found in the prophetic discipleship of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Women's History Month: The Daughters of Charity
    Women's History Month is the perfect time to celebrate the legacies of the many congregations of women religious who pioneered health care, education and social services in the United States. 
  • Sisters call for gun legislation
    The Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, and the Sisters of St. Dominic of Tacoma are calling for legislation to curb gun violence.
  • For the past month, I’ve been toting around a new book by Catholic speaker and author Chris Stefanick called “I Am,” and it has been a game-changer.
  • Palm Sunday half marathoning
    “With palms let us welcome the Lord as he comes, with songs and hymns let us run to meet him, as we offer him our joyful worship and sing: Blessed be the Lord!” That’s from the Benedictus Antiphon.
  • 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. 

  • Simple acts
    Ah, so simple, yet so complete, truly God-centered.
  • FBI memories
    Thenceforth, he began hiring only men of the Catholic faith. Naturally, the discovery of this ended the practice.
  • It failed to identify those supposed conservatives who actually advocate that the end justifies the means.

  • Practice peace
    Nonviolence and right to life filled the pages of the Feb 2. Catholic Sentinel with hope and inspiration.
  • God has a plan

    All humans are created by God. All humans have souls created by God. God controls this area 100 percent, not man.

  • Don't forget biology and psychology
    Human sexuality is a miracle and a mystery.
  • 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.
  • The Marycrest choir started earlier than you implied
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Allegras choir from my alma mater, Marycrest. However, I was also taken aback and somewhat insulted.
  • Show mercy
    That any woman considers abortion begs the question: Before conception, where were her family, her physician, her impregnator, her faith community and her clergy?
  • 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.”
  • Your paper is obliged to present clear Catholic teaching

    Because of your newspaper’s office to teach and educate Catholics, you have a responsibility to present clear, authentic Catholic teaching to avoid harm to the souls of your readers.

  • 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.
  • Objections raised over Notre Dame's new change on contraceptive coverage

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — An Indiana bishop said he supports the University of Notre Dame's Feb. 7 decision to stop coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and add natural family planning services to the school's health plan, but he said coverage of artificial birth control by a Catholic institution is unacceptable.

  • 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.

  • Actions Speak Louder
    “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” St. Francis’s signature quote sprang to life as I met the man who took Francis’s name to the Papacy. There were over three hundred 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.
  • 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.
  • A first experience with Portland’s right to life rally
    I also was surprised to find out that Oregon is the only state in the country that has no restrictions on abortions. A baby could be aborted here right up to birth.
  • Opioids prescribed irresponsibly
    I had bottles and bottles of Oxy that I had to turn in to get rid of them. They were prescribed post-surgery even though I didn’t need that level of pain control.
  • 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?
  • He honored her
    Archbishop Sample truly honored his mother, and in doing so is an example for his flock. 
  • Raised him right

    My heart and prayers go out to Archbishop Sample for the loss of his wonderful mother. His faith and commitment to the Fourth Commandment is awesome.

  • Lives at stake
    Measure 101 isn’t perfect but it’s much better than putting the health care of more than 200,000 Oregonians at risk.
  • Noble work

    I was at a wedding at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego last month. I picked up a copy of the Catholic Sentinel. You folks put out a great Catholic newspaper.

  • Aid or eject those who put partisanship over faith

    Unfortunately, these descriptors have been hijacked by a significant number of people who believe the end justifies the means and have clearly demonstrated they will accept sinful behavior by people willing to advance their agenda.

  • 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.