Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sister Simone Campbell to Testify Before House Budget Committee

Today at 12:30 EDT, NETWORK executive director Sister Simone Campbell will be one of four witnesses to testify before the House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).  The hearing is entitled "The War on Poverty: A Progress Report."  Sister Simone will talk about the vital role government-funded programs play in church/private initiatives.  You can follow the hearing on Twitter at #FaithfulBudget and join a conversation about the hearing on the NETWORK Lobby Facebook page, where a link will be posted to the live stream.  Go to the NETWORK web site for more information.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 29 Immigration Reform Webinar

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition asks for your participation on July 29th for a webinar in which a 40 day action of fasting and prayer in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers will be discussed.  Their message: "We will discuss the spirituality of fasting, orienting our fasting to accompany immigrants, suggestions for sharing your prayer and fasting with Congress and the media, and we'll also include a legislative update and experiences from the field. Please join us in this transformative endeavor and on the webinar!"
When: Monday, July 29th Webinar/ Conference Call at 4 PM EDT
Where: Online. Sign up by RSVP'ing  HERE for the webinar. A link to the visual portion of the call will be sent to you on the day of the webinar.
How:  Call In Number:  805-399-1000  Passcode: 104402

Monday, July 22, 2013

Papal Profile in Time Magazine

As the Pope participates in World Youth Day, Time Magazine presents a lengthy profile, which is available here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Two American Families

For a greater understanding of poverty among American families, try to find some time to watch Frontline's "Two American Families."  Bill Moyers reports on the very real economic struggles of two Milwaukee families he has been following since 1991.  This is, by no means, a "feel good" story, but it is one that will touch your heart.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July Stop Trafficking Newsletter

Click here to read the July 2013 issue of Stop Trafficking, focusing on the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Have You Tried "Free Rice" Lately?

Perhaps you remember from the many times it has been suggested on this blog.  Have you visited this site lately?  In addition to English vocabulary, you can strengthen your German, Spanish, French, Italian and Latin vocabulary.  Additionally, you can use the Humanities, Chemistry, Geography, Math and English Grammar sections.  What's so great about  Every correct answer donates 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme!  Go to to begin.  The home screen uses English vocabulary. Simply click on "change subjects" to visit the other subjects.  It really is that simple to help feed the hungry.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

LCWR Resolutions to Action

Click here to read the Summer 2013 edition of LCWR's Resolutions to Action, focusing on immigration reform.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pope Francis with Seminarians/Young Religious and at Lampedusa

Yesterday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with seminarians, novices and those discerning a religious vocation.  Click here to read his homily, which focused on the joy of consolation, the cross of Christ and prayer.

This morning, Pope Francis visited and celebrated Mass at Lampedusa, Europe's so-called "Island of Tears," where thousands of refugees have died attempting to migrate to Europe.  In fact, portions of the Pope's crozier and chalice for the Mass were made from the wood of boats that capsized on the way to Lampedusa.   Click here to read the homily from today's Mass, focusing on "the other" and "the globalization of indifference."

Both homilies are worthy of much further reflection.

As always, we recommend Whispers in the Loggia to keep up with the comings and goings of not only the Holy Father, but of the Catholic Church on many shores.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Little Princes

While it is not necessarily light summer reading, Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, is worth reading this summer.  Here's a description from 

In search of adventure, 29-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal.  Conor was initially reluctant to volunteer, unsure whether he had the proper skill, or enough passion, to get involved in a developing country in the middle of a civil war. But he was soon overcome by the herd of rambunctious, resilient children who would challenge and reward him in a way that he had never imagined. When Conor learned the unthinkable truth about their situation, he was stunned: The children were not orphans at all. Child traffickers were promising families in remote villages to protect their children from the civil war—for a huge fee—by taking them to safety. They would then abandon the children far from home, in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.  For Conor, what began as a footloose adventure becomes a commitment to reunite the children he had grown to love with their families, but this would be no small task. He would risk his life on a journey through the legendary mountains of Nepal, facing the dangers of a bloody civil war and a debilitating injury. Waiting for Conor back in Kathmandu, and hopeful he would make it out before being trapped in by snow, was the woman who would eventually become his wife and share his life’s work.  Little Princes is a true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.

Click here to learn more about Conor Grennan and Next Generation Nepal, the organization he founded to help reconnect trafficked children with their families.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lumen Fidei

If you have not yet had the chance to browse through the Pope's new encyclical, Lumen Fidei,  click here to access a copy on  There are already many conversations being held on social media regarding this encyclical.  Perhaps joining in on one (or starting your own) would be a way to delve more deeply into the encyclical.  Check out #LumenFidei on Twitter, Whispers in the Loggia, America Magazine, or a host of other sites. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fortnight for Freedom: Day 14

Click here to access the reflections for today, Independence Day, the final day of the Fortnight for Freedom.  Today's questions are:  Since the Vatican Council, has religious freedom improved or deteriorated throughout the world?  What is the relationship between growing religious diversity . . . and religious liberty?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fortnight for Freedom: Day 13

Click here to access Day 13's reflections.  Today's questions are:  In the United States, religious freedom is protected in the Constitution, as the Council desires.  Are those constitutional protections enough?  Are they growing stronger or weaker in our society today?  What else, apart from the law, can strengthen or weaken religious liberty?  What should Catholics do to defend and foster religious liberty in America today?  What have Catholics done in the past when religious liberty was threatened?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Catholic Priest Killed in Syria

Please remember in your prayers Father Francois Murad, who was killed in Syria.  While the details are sketchy, the Vatican has confirmed his death.  Click here to read a BBC report and let us remember in our prayers all who are affected by the violence in Syria.

Fortnight for Freedom: Day 12

Click here to access Day 12 of the Fortnight for Freedom reflections.  Today's questions:  What present circumstances threaten the freedom of the Catholic Church particularly?  Are threats to the Church's freedom always from without, or do threats arise from within the Church itself?  What threats in the past has the Church in our country had to contend with?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fortnight for Freedom: Day 11

Click here to access the USCCB's reflection for Day 11 of the Fortnight for Freedom.  Today's questions: What causes religious conflicts today?  Do governments always adequately respond to such conflicts?  What distinguishes "public order" from an ordinary "policy preference"?