Commencement Speakers Update 2015

More insight on who is being honored — and where

05/15/2015 Comments (43)

– Shutterstock

This year’s college commencements appeared to have several strong Catholic commencement speakers, as reported earlier in the Register. However, the same report noted there were several colleges that still ignore the bishops’ directives and invite speakers who hold public views in opposition to Church teaching.

Since the original report, several more colleges and universities have come to light on both sides of the proverbial fence.

The May 16-17 weekend figures prominently for a number of the ceremonies.

Georgetown University, whose ceremonies have been scheduled from May 14 to 17, continues its questionable track record by inviting two conspicuous advocates for legal abortion to receive...READ MORE

Filed under catholic colleges and universities, commencement speakers, higher education

The Future Isn't What It Used to Be

05/15/2015 Comments (14)

Here’s a really cool site called Paleo-Future, devoted to chronicling the History of the Future.  I’ve often thought such a subject would make a great book.  After all, people have been making predictions forever. So, it would really be fun to see how the Assured Prophecies of Yesterday have panned out.

Browsing through Paleo-Future, I note such prophetic insights as these from 1957:

Interplanetary travel will become "commonplace" in the next 50 years, World War I ace Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker predicts.

"In fact," he told an audience of Rotarians yesterday, "space ships in the year 2007 will be semi-self-sustaining planets in themselves."

Rickenbacker, who is now chairman of the board...READ MORE

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Couple Runs Online Fundraiser to Pay for Abortion

05/14/2015 Comments (14)

The House passed legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The legislation stands little chance of becoming law, as President Barack Obama is unlikely to sign it but still, I believe the bill is important.

I believe that the bill has essentially changed the conversation on abortion and I don't mean just politically, although politically it has certainly done that. The pro-lifers running for office now have something to make the pro-abort politicians look like extremists about. For years, pro-lifers have been harassed by the media about abortion in cases of rape or incest or their stance on the morning after pill. It was a way to marginalize them.

It's just good strategy...READ MORE

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Columbia Students Lay Siege to Themselves

05/14/2015 Comments (31)

Psychological triggers are real. People who have endured assaults or abuse may be highly sensitized to external reminders of that trauma, and images, words or even sounds or smells can land like a blow on the psyches of certain victims. It's a phenomenon related to PTSD, and it is fairly rare.

And it is deeply offensive, says Tom McDonald, to "trivialize the real struggles of those who suffer from psychological problems" by calling everything that startles or alarms us a "trigger," and to demand that others shield us from exposure to these disturbances.  Yet the "trigger" has become a more and more popular concept, especially in academic circles -- and it seems to be gaining more clout...READ MORE

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Real Relief Comes from Loving God, Says Teresa of Avila

05/14/2015 Comments (5)

"God grant you may always find relief in loving Him."

The purpose of the newest book in the Navigating the Interior Life book series, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, is to reveal the unique personality, wisdom, and insight that often emerges out of the letters of the saints. These letters are a window into Saint Teresa’s genuine humanity, witness, and pragmatic advice for pursuing an intimate friendship with God.

I’ll be sharing some of the letters here, in the hope that you’ll be inspired to spend time prayerfully reflecting on them.

Today's excerpt comes from Day 7.

Salamanca, December 3, 1573
To the Father Master Domingo Bañez, Valladolid
The Saint’s loneliness. Advice for Mother...READ MORE

Filed under navigating the interior life, prayer, saint teresa of avila, saints, st. teresa of avila, teresa of avila

Catholic Relief Services: Caught in the Terror of Nepal’s Latest Quake

05/13/2015 Comment
Catholic Relief Services.

Jennifer Poidatz (above) was in the middle of supervising 37 CRS staff distributing aid in Nepal when the second disaster hit.

– Catholic Relief Services.

KATHMANDU — A terrifying second earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, wreaking new terror and destruction just as the afflicted Himalayan nation had begun to recover from the first. Now emergency relief workers from Catholic Relief Services share another bond solidarity with Nepal’s Catholic Church: they too are survivors.

All 37 CRS staff in Nepal are safe and accounted for, and so far — although lines of communication and transport are badly damaged — the May 12 earthquake appears to have taken far fewer lives than the 8,000 victims of the April 25 quake, even though both tremblors were comparable in their intensity (7.3 and 7.8 magnitudes respectively).

As Wednesday night descended on...READ MORE

Filed under caritas, caritas nepal, caritas network, catholic relief services, crs, crs rice bowl, earthquake, emergency relief, himalayas, kathmandu

Signs of the Cross in Romania:  Christianity Thrives in Post-communist Country

05/13/2015 Comments (21)

President Klaus Iohannis of Romania

– Wikicommons

BUCHAREST, Romania — In some European countries, public expressions of Christianity still dignify daily life.

Standing near an Orthodox church in downtown Bucharest, people, old and young, make the sign of the cross as they pass this sacred site.

Even people tumbling from a public bus manage to cross themselves, recognizing God in the church.

In important ways, Christianity is thriving in post-Communist Romania.

Leaders of the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic Churches (representing about 8% of the population according to the 2011 census) say participation has exploded when measured by baptisms, weddings, Sunday attendance, and vocations.

Church properties once shuttered have been...READ MORE

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Life-Changing Summer Reading Program

05/13/2015 Comments (1)

The official start of summer is just a month away — are you ready?

I teach a course called “Foundations of Prayer and Union with God” for the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation. In this course I have had the great blessing of watching hundreds of God's good people grow more deeply in their prayer and union with God. During the course a number of the students asked if I could provide a list of spiritual reading that might help them continue in their progress. The graphic and list you see below is what I prepared for them.

I have given an order of priority to the list in terms of what might be most meaningful at each stage of the three-fold path of spiritual growth (purgative,...READ MORE

Filed under books, catholic books, spiritual reading, summer reading

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