story -- Hard as Nails
Controversial Catholic youth minister Justin Fatica is tough and
bruised, but softhearted, and few dispute that he has the knack for reaching
Fatica finds champions, detractors in his home church
Fatica recognizes -- and sometimes relishes -- his role as an agitator.
Yet he also wants to be viewed as an obedient, devoted Catholic. I love
my church, he says emphatically.
Brian N. Massingale
At Marquette University, where I am a theology professor, I teach the
course Christian Faith and Racial Justice. Over the course of the
semester, I ask the students, What are you feeling? I have realized
that discussions of race cause deep emotions to well up, which, if not
acknowledged, impede intellectual engagement with the material we are studying.
I note each emotion as it is called out: fear, anger, confusion, resentment,
guilt, helplessness, shame, outrage, despair, resignation.
Speech shows community organizer skills
Barack Obama began his career as a 24-year-old community organizer,
working in neighborhoods one block at a time, building coalitions for change.
In the most critical moment yet in his campaign for the presidency, when issues
of his race and religion threatened to peel away supporters and leave the
would-be unifier with a fractured shambles, Obama took to the stage in
Philadelphia and set to work community organizing on the issue of race on a
In the national discussion that followed the recent speech on race by
presidential candidate Barack Obama, the phrase black liberation
theology surfaced to describe the body of thought out of which the Rev.
Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor, developed his view of the world, of the
United States and of people of color.
Belleville priests call for bishop to resign; Braxton says no
Catholic News Service
More than half the active priests of the Belleville
diocese have signed a public statement calling for Bishop Edward Braxton to
resign, citing frustration with his leadership and their conclusion that
he has lost his moral authority.
When Bishop F. Martino closed four unionized Catholic high schools in a
reorganization of the Scranton, Pa., diocese last year, he said he would permit
the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers to continue to organize
Pope to get eyeful along U.S. route if he's looking.
Facing east: In anticipation of Benedict's visit
Nancy A. Dallavalle
A month ago, prompted by the latest issue of the magazine
Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, I arranged a panel discussion
that offered reflections on the bodily dimension of campus life at our Jesuit
university. ... Meeting with a Catholic womens group a few evenings later, one
woman commented on the rumors of liturgical retrenchment. Dont you see, its always about them, they always want
to have themselves at the center. ... Catholics in the United States are now facing east, to the arrival of
Benedict in April. His visit will be an important event for U.S. Catholics,
particularly those on the scene in Washington and New York. ...
Reopened Catholic schools bring life back to inner-city
Dave Ellis thought he was taking a tour of his old elementary school and
parish when he returned to St. John in Memphis. What he was actually doing was
looking over his future.
Elmerie Rosser does not complain about her life, but she doesnt
hide its hardships either. She is the primary caretaker of a father in the
acute stages of Alzheimers and the single mother of a 10-year-old
A youth wave is changing the face of the church in Cambodia, where the
vast majority of catechists countrywide are young people.
Teens lead Sunday school at mission
As Theodorus Argo Nugroho stood before about 40 children from 3 to 10
years old, a poster with three pictures on it was displayed behind him.
Standing in front of a statue of the Black Virgin Mary, Delsa Justo
prays for strength to overcome discrimination and the poverty of her
Teacher arranges study in refugee camp
With the new academic year in Kenya underway, teacher Moses Simiyu
Kalenda is once again instructing children -- just not in the place where he
expected to be doing so.
17 years of distorted reality
President Bushs attempts at defending the Iraq war as it reached
its fifth anniversary in mid-March were as irresponsible as the reasons he
advanced for getting the United States involved in this sorry and costly
Why didnt you ever answer my cries for
-- Question asked of Jesus in a letter found in the car driven by gunman
Matthew Murray, who killed four people at a Colorado missionary training center
and evangelical megachurch in December before killing himself
In praise of the peaceable machine
The whys of Holocaust denial
Gordon J. Hilsman
On our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I listened to a
series of CDs by Wendy Doniger, an expert on the infamous fourth-century Hindu
classic The Kama Sutra. It occurred to me then that readiness is
approaching for the communal formulation of a Catholic Kama
Sutra, a gathering together, revising and refining of Christian
tradition honoring the sexual loving aspect of life as deeply spiritual.
John L. Allen Jr.
Rarely does an Easter Vigil become a news event, but this years
Mass in St. Peters Basilica got the worlds attention. The reason:
One of seven new Catholics personally baptized by Pope Benedict XVI was a
high-profile Muslim, an Egyptian-born Italian journalist widely regarded as the
successor to Oriana Fallaci in terms of visceral protest against Muslim
John L. Allen Jr.
Among the most complicated and at times most strained relationships in
the Catholic world is that between the Society of Jesus and the pope. As the
dust settles on the Jesuits 35th General Congregation in Rome, a Jan.
7-March 6 international assembly to ponder the religious orders future,
one question thus hangs in the air: Did Benedict XVI and the Jesuits reach
Catholic News Service
Citing the recent death of an Iraqi archbishop and the fifth anniversary
of the start of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Pope Benedict XVI issued a loud
and concerned outcry, appealing for an end to the bloodbath and hatred
tearing apart Iraq.
Lifelong search for knowledge, meaning
Childhood of displacement left its mark on Templeton winner Fr.
Study: Spirituality a big part of kids' happiness
Religion News Service
Spirituality is a major contributor to a childs overall
happiness -- even more so than for adults -- according to a new study from the
University of British Columbia. The study tested 315 children ages 9 to 12, measuring spirituality and
other factors such as temperament and social relations that can affect an
individuals sense of happiness.
Albert de Zutter
Parents wanted special education for Catholic kids; they raised
funds, found ways.
Beyond video games: Students build empathy online
Heather Grennan Gary
When Kelsey Peltz signed up for the Advanced Placement Environmental
Science class at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill., she didnt know
that part of the coursework would be discussing water issues -- and life in
general -- with Palestinian students from Bethlehem.
School earns kudos for canceling prom and its discontents.
Before seniors rush out the door of Kellenberg High School in Uniondale,
N.Y., into the real world of college, jobs and committed relationships, they
will receive one item they may tote in their rucksack a few more years.
What's the latest gang symbol? Try the rosary
Never did Jaime Salazar imagine that wearing a rosary-like crucifix to
school would provoke a national stir.
Heather Grennan Gary
Make knowledge secondary to nurturing spiritual lives, says
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
Passing on the faith
Much of todays paper is about kids, our kids and the dedicated
educators who are showing us a way to leave no child out. Whether or not you
have children, the stories make everyone a parent and equally responsible for
the young in our midst and in our lives. I cant say for certain, but I
suspect this issue of NCR will get read and passed around more than some
of our other issues. Why? Because the stories touch the core of family life. If
Im wrong, let me know.
An unorthodox traditionalist, John Lukacs challenges both the right
and the left.
Guantánamo lawyer seeks justice for client accused if war
Calling all writers!
We know youre out there. Regularly you send us reflections,
essays, stories about your lives. Were giving you a little extra room to
flex your writing muscles in our Variations on a Theme feature. It
works like this: We provide a topic. Envy, say. You send us a few
paragraphs about an experience youve had with envy. Make it a true story
from your life. Were looking for candor and honesty. Our next
topic is Black Sheep.
Maggie D. Hall
Art from St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums.
and Joseph Cunneen
''The Bank Job' is solid entertainment; 'Miss Pettigrew' is
deliberately weightless; 'Run, Fat Boy, Run' lacks direction.
The ingredients of genocide
Obituaries April 4, 2008
Poetry April 4, 2008
Letters for April 4, 2008
Classifieds for April 4, 2008
News Briefs for April 4, 2008
People for April 4, 2008
A memorable quote from this