Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 30

1. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, called on Secretary of State John Kerry to work with other governments to "obtain a ceasefire" in Syria and create "a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom."

2. The bishops' annual Labor Day statement cites rampant income inequality in the midst of uneven economic recovery, urges bold action to create a just economy with jobs that provide living wage and calls for increased minimum wage, immigration reform, and an end to wage theft.

3. Catholic News Service reports: "Members of Congress may be out of town and immigration reform legislation may be stuck until at least this fall, but the summer recess has been time for Catholic activists to rally their forces and pressure elected representatives."

4. Earlier we mentioned the conflict in Syria. Pope Francis met this week with the Jordanian King Abdullah II and  discussed what is happening in Syria as well.

5.God loves you.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 29

1. The impact of ICE raids are rarely seen, but one Catholic parish in Iowa was impacted heavily. See how our guest blogger is haunted by the memories of children being separated from their families.

2. Hey, who's that in your latest instagram "selfie" from Rome? It's Pope Francis, of course. 

(CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

3. Income inequality is a major concern of the USCCB and the 2013 Labor Day Statement discusses why this issue concerns all of us.

4. Many Catholics took part in the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington Wednesday and the Catholic News Service shares some of their experiences.

5. God loves you.

Hope Before Us: From an ICE Raid to Reconciliation

By Sister Mary McCauley

Lessons learned at the Postville, Iowa, Immigration Raid in 2008 stand vividly in my mind as our nation considers comprehensive immigration reform.

Hundreds of memories flood my mind and heart. Recollections of people from Postville and surrounding communities arriving to offer support, food, clothing, blankets, medical care, money and legal advice warm my heart. The vision of children crying as they feared they would never again see their mother or father breaks my heart. It challenges me to again think of women walking with GPS devices on their ankles carrying signs that read:

We are not criminals.

We came to work. We came to feed our families.

We are mothers.

That May 8 afternoon I stood in the unadorned rectory dining room of St. Bridget’s Parish, where I served as the pastoral administrator. It had suddenly became command central. I read a statement from Immigration Customs Enforcement or ICE.

The statement attempted to explain what had taken place at 10 that morning at Agriprocessors. I skimmed the paper hoping to make sense out of what was happening. I read one line after another and then my eyes fell upon these words:

“An immigration raid was conducted at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa in order to uphold the integrity of the law....”

I saw children searching for parents, wives searching for husbands. I saw faces filled with fear. At that moment my heart stirred and I realized that while our government claimed to uphold the integrity of the law it had totally ignored the integrity of the person, the integrity of the family, the integrity of a community, as well as the integrity of the values for which our country stands.

The profound respect and love for every person affected by the Postville raid and a desire to uphold American values demands we find a humane solution to the Postville scene and those like it. The rendering of relationships in ICE raids, the ripping apart the fabric of families, of children from parents and husbands from wives, demands we find ways to bring people together to benefit all.

After viewing what horrors the ICE raids wrought, we now have the opportunity to create humane solution to the broken immigration system and to reach out to government, to employers who unscrupulously take advantage of undocumented workers, to neighbors who fear the stranger, and to legislators who have been slow to rewrite our broken and callous laws.

Now is the time to say: Let us move on, let us respect and honor the dignity of all persons, let us recognize that laws have but one purpose — to ensure the common good. Now is the time to restore the integrity of the law, of the family, of our American values, of our country. Now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform.

Memories may sadden but they will never paralyze us. Our memories, our consciences, our integrity, our respect for the dignity of all persons, as well as our respect and love for our country call us unabashedly to do all that we can to turn the tragedy of Postville into victory for justice.


Sister Mary McCauley, BVM is a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 28

1. As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, read the USCCB's statement on the event and what still lies ahead.

2. Today is the Feast of St. Augustine, who was cited by Martin Luther King in his Letters from Birmingham Jail, saying: "I would agree with Saint Augustine that "An unjust law is no law at all." Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law."

3. The Archdiocese of Washington shared a Facebook photo album from the March on Washington, which many Catholics participated in 50 years ago.

4. Catholics are using the latest digital technology and social media to reach out to young people and evangelize.

5. God loves you.

Back to School Safety Tips

By Deacon Bernard Nojadera

Back to school means new clothes, shoes, school supplies and haircuts. It is also time to review family safety rules. To be effective, these rules for children should be specific to a situation.

Let’s start with getting to school. Here’s what children should know.

Children should walk in pairs, never alone, and wait together at the bus stop.

Shortcuts are a no-no. Parents should walk the route with their children first to show them the safest route to and from school.

Children must check with mom or dad before going anywhere with anyone that was not prearranged and should not accept rides from anyone.

On the bus, the rule is to sit quietly and follow all instructions from the bus driver.

Parents can teach:

That children do not have to be polite when someone asks them to do something that goes against family rules or makes them uncomfortable. If a request makes them uneasy, they should say, NO, get away and tell a trusted adult what happened.

That children are wonderfully made in the image of God and no one has a right to hurt them. This means they do not have the right to hurt anyone else either. If children see bullying, they should let a trusted adult know.

That children should pay attention to the inner voice that is telling them something is wrong. This is God keeping them safe.

That adults do not ask children for help finding lost pets or other items. If that happens, children should say, “I’m sorry I can’t help you” and then move away and tell a trusted adult what happened.

That children can tell you anything and that you won’t get angry when they do tell you things. Explicitly tell children that thinking something is so terrible, they cannot tell you is the signal that they must tell you.

Parents also can:

· Attend a parish safe environment training program if they have not already attended one. These programs tell people how to recognize behavior of people who harm children.

· Undergo a background evaluation if they have not already done so. Participating in safe environment programs shows support for the child safety program of the school/parish.

· Show respect for rules. Parents also should not let other adults teach it is okay to break the rules.

More safety tips can be found at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children by clicking here.


Deacon Bernard Nojadera heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 27

1. Tomorrow, the United States will mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. While there is still much work to be done to achieve racial and class equality, we remain hopeful, the USCCB says.

2. Pope Francis' Twitter account has been relatively quiet in August, but he made up for it today with two poignant messages posted back-to-back. First, he tweeted, "Jesus is the gate opening up to salvation, a gate open to everyone." He then posted, "Let us allow Jesus into our lives, and leave behind our selfishness, indifference and closed attitudes to others." Follow him at @Pontifex.

3. As news continues to come out of Washington about Syria, it's worth noting that Pope Francis has called for peace in the country and prayed for the country this week.

4. The Catholic Church in the U.S. is a vocal advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Kim Daniels will join the Alan Colmes radio show this evening to talk about what the Church is doing and why.

5. God loves you.

El Papa Francisco y la desigualdad económica: cinco citas esenciales

Por Obispo Robert McElroy

Cinco meses son nada en la vida de una institución que “piensa en siglos” como la iglesia católica. Por eso es casi milagroso que El Papa Francisco, en el tiempo corto desde su elección, ha acumulado tanta enseñanza sobre un tema: la desigualdad económica. También se enfoca en este tema la Declaración del día del trabajo, escrito por Obispo Stephen E. Blaire de Stockton, California, Presidente del Comité de Justicia Nacional y Desarrollo Humano de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos.

Tres días después de su elección, El Papa Francisco ligó su selección de nombre a San Francisco de Asís y dijo, “¡Ah, cómo quisiera una Iglesia pobre y para los pobres!” Esto comenzó una fuente de comentarios sobre la desigualdad económica y la respuesta de la iglesia. Aquí hay cinco citas esenciales del Papa Francisco sobre este tema y la razón de la importancia de cada una:


1. “Mientras las ganancias de unos pocos van creciendo exponencialmente, las de la mayoría disminuyen. Este desequilibrio proviene de ideologías que defienden la autonomía absoluta de los mercados y la especulación financiera, negando el derecho de control de los Estados, encargados de velar por el bien común. Se instaura una nueva tiranía invisible, a veces virtual, que impone, de forma unilateral e implacable, sus leyes y sus reglas.” -- Discurso a unos embajadores Vaticanos nuevos, 16 de mayo

Esta cita lo cubre todo. Demasiado dinero cae en manos de poca gente, mientras que la gran mayoría lucha para sobrevivir. Esto es un resultado directo de ideologías que ponen al mercado libre por encima de todo, incluyendo la obligación del gobierno para asegurar la satisfacción de necesidades básicas humanas. El Santo Padre dice que el dinero tiene que servir, y no dominar. Algunos comentarios han notado que Francisco, que pone énfasis en su papel como Obispo de Roma, dió importancia en llamarse El Papa en ese discurso.

2. Toda teoría o acción económica y política debe emplearse para suministrar a cada habitante de la tierra ese mínimo de bienestar que consienta vivir con dignidad, en la libertad, con la posibilidad de sostener una familia, educar a los hijos, alabar a Dios y desarrollar las propias capacidades humanas. Esta es la cuestión principal. Sin esta visión, toda la actividad económica no tendría sentido. -- carta al Primer Ministro David Cameron, con ocasión del cumbre del G8, 17-18 de junio.

Esta cita refleja el tema de enseñanza social católica, desde Rerum Novarum (1891), que la gente debe estar al centro de cada sistema económico.

3. “Esto pasa hoy: si las inversiones en las bancas caen un poco... tragedia... ¿qué hacer? Pero si mueren de hambre las personas, si no tienen qué comer, si no tienen salud, ¡no pasa nada! ¡Ésta es nuestra crisis de hoy!” -- Palabras a la vigilia de Pentecostés, 18 de mayo

Aquí El Papa Francisco obviamente critica las prioridades de la sociedad. ¿Cómo nos hemos alienado tanto de nuestra humanidad que valoramos el destino de un banco más que una vida humana? Nuestra cultura Americana ha realizado tanto bueno a través de la creatividad y la innovación, pero nuestra cultura también sufre bajo un materialismo penetrante y corrosivo.

4. “¡Pero recordemos bien que el alimento que se desecha es como si se robara de la mesa del pobre, de quien tiene hambre!” --Audiencia general, 5 de junio.

No es solo nuestras pólizas que no hacen caso a los pobres, sino nuestros hábitos también. Luego El Papa Francisco critica la “cultura del descarte” que valora personas en relación a sus capacidades de consumir y desvalora lo demás. Tenemos que darnos cuenta que nuestros modos de vida muchas veces fortalecen la desigualdad grotesca de sueldo y estándares de vida que nos rodean. Principalmente, tenemos que examinar esos aspectos de nuestras vidas donde hemos caído en la tentación del materialismo, y tenemos que cambiar nuestro corazón.

5. “Tantos de nosotros, me incluyo también yo, estamos desorientados, no estamos ya atentos al mundo en que vivimos, no nos preocupamos, no protegemos lo que Dios ha creado para todos y no somos capaces siquiera de cuidarnos los unos a los otros. Y cuando esta desorientación alcanza dimensiones mundiales, se llega a tragedias como ésta a la que hemos asistido.” --Homilía, 8 de Julio

Estas palabras habló El Papa en Lampedusa, la isla italiana donde un barco lleno de migrantes africanos, buscando una vida mejor, hundió, causando la muerte de cientos. En nuestros corazones nos damos cuenta de la extrema pobreza que existe en las naciones más pobres del mundo. Pero respondemos muchas veces, en vez de con justicia o caridad, por no prestar atención a los gritos de dolor y las escenas de sufrimiento en medio del pobre, para no tener que explorar el carácter de nuestra sociedad, nuestras preferencias. De esta manera, todos volvemos a ser participantes en la “globalización de la indiferencia,” como dice El Papa Francisco.

Por la gracia de Dios, podemos contestar la llamada del Papa Francisco de construir una cultura de encuentro, en que nos vemos cada uno con la dignidad regalada por Dios.
El Obispo McElroy es obispo auxiliar en el Arquidiócesis de San Francisco y miembro del Comité de Justicia Nacional y Desarrollo Humano de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 26

1. With Labor Day just a week away, be sure to read Bishop Stephen Blaire's Labor Day Statement, which has been released by the USCCB. It focuses on income inequality and its impact on families and communities.

2. Be sure to visit Faith and Safety, a site that is helping families to navigate technology together through the eyes of faith.

3. Pope Francis encouraged people to be true Christians this weekend and to bypass fleeting pleasures.

4. We can either stay angry or encounter people and dialogue with them, Father John Crossin wrote in a recent blog.

5. God loves you.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 23

1. A Pittsburgh Steeler and a Benedictine monk have struck up a friendship over the years.

2. Several priests who work at the USCCB are in this Catholic News Service video about saying in shape and thriving athletically.

3. Pope Francis tweeted today: "Lord, teach us to step outside ourselves. Teach us to go out into the streets and manifest your love."

4. Today is the Feast Day of St. Rose of Lima, the first person who was born in the Americas to be named a saint.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 22

1. Father John Crossin, executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, looks at the decision to disengage or dialogue and how Pope Francis' example leads the way.

2. The USCCB has been encouraging people to support immigration reform by sending a postcard to Congressmen.

3. See what the next step is for Ken Hackett as he becomes the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican in this well-done graphic.

4. To understand why the USCCB and the Catholic Church have been vocal about income inequality, here's a tremendous Prezi on the matter.

5. God loves you.

Pope Francis’ Challenge: Staying Angry or Encountering Christ

By Father John Crossin

Sometimes it’s safer to stay angry at the church and its teaching. Despite Pope Francis’ recent sensitive words about gay people, remarried Catholics and the important role of Catholic women, some people prefer to keep their distance.

Disengagement has its advantages. Occasional headline news items might break into consciousness but faith can usually be kept peripheral to daily life. Church attendance at Christmas, Easter and an occasional funeral of wedding seems to be sufficient contact.

Letting Pope Francis’ affirmative attitude break into our consciousness could have singular effects. He is calling everyone to encounter Christ first. He is presenting the central message of Jesus. Mercy, mutual respect, love for enemies, compassion for the outcast, and attention to social justice are central to his message. He first seems to be calling for a return to the Sermon on the Mount.

Of course, what he really is doing is exemplifying the Beatitudes in his actions. Whether he embraces the prisoners in a Roman prison and washes their feet on Holy Thursday or visits with the poor in favelas in Rio, he shows us the Sermon. Protestants and Catholics tell me that he is genuine. What he did every week in Buenos Aires he does now on the world stage.

Example teaches. The encounter with Christ is most often through the example of others. They call us out of our comfort zones, our gated mental communities, into an encounter with Christ.

Pope Francis’ message and ministry challenges all of us, no matter where we stand on today’s hot topics. There is enough in his message to make every one of us squirm. For some, it is best to stay angry and avoid discomfort, pain or guilt.

Pope Francis calls us to look around more carefully. There are genuine Christians nearby. They pray “in secret” and not for adulation. They dress in old clothes and ladle out soup to the homeless. They prefer to be invisible if possible.

The pope, neighbors, friends and strangers are encouraging us to look again at the core Christian message.

Certainly he is calling everyone, priests, religious, lay people and “occasional Christians” to a deeper commitment. He is challenging the compromises, small and large, such as those we make with the injustices of the capitalist system with its winners and losers or with neglect of our commitments to the younger generation and their wellbeing.

Francis is putting justice for the poor and those who have nothing at the center. He challenges our self-preoccupation. If we follow Christ, we may give more financial assistance to those who are starving and less to special lobbying groups that pursue our personal prosperity. Taking the Gospel seriously leads us to encounter and dialogue more with the other and less with those like me.

The call is to spiritual growth. This is not the stuff of spiritual fads or meeting my needs. This is the stuff of service with its inconveniences and sufferings. These challenges make for a genuine character that people can see.

Pope Francis is calling us to become more like Christ, to become saints. Lobbying will not change the church; saints will.


Oblate of St. Francis de Sales Father John Crossin is executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 21

1. Pope Francis held a mini-audience with Japanese students Wednesday and said dialogue with those you disagree with can only be beneficial. "If we go out to encounter other people, other cultures, other religions, we grow and we begin that beautiful adventure called dialogue," he told the students.

2. This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 15, and will focus on the theme "Open the Door of Faith." Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry.

3. Sister Mary Ann Walsh blogs about how Catholics have always been called to educate the immigrants. Now, that need is great.

4. A group of Benedictine Monks recently celebrated one year in making beers, as you'll this see in this fun Catholic News Service video.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Catholic schools for immigrants: A second bloodless social revolution

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh

As the immigration debate continues, one question hunts me: What can we do to educate immigrants’ children? The question eats at me because I and millions of others are children of immigrants. We grew up when it was expected that we would go to Catholic schools. As a result, children whose parents had little if any schooling got top-flight educations, went to college and entered the professional world. It was a bloodless social revolution that we didn’t even know we were part of. Everybody won.

The challenge now: How do we do the same for children of immigrants today?

First: We must aim high and avoid the discrimination of low expectations. These children need to know Catholic schools are there for them. Their parents need to see that attending Catholic schools is possible. Pastors need to push them.

Second challenge: We must make Catholic schools a realistic option. We need to explore and expand programs such as Christo Rey Network, the Jesuit initiative which provides solid academic education with real life work experience in business. Potentially college-bound youth earn their tuition as they work alongside business people. Another program is the Alliance for Catholic Education, known as ACE, and launched at the University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame and other college grads in the ACE program teach in low-income Catholic schools and earn their master’s degree in education free of charge. Still another is the Sisters Academy of Baltimore, an independent tuition-free Catholic middle school operated by several orders of nuns for girls from low-income neighborhoods.

Given the sorry state of urban schools, the government needs to do its part by supporting parental choice and allowing businesses to get tax credits from donations to alternative education for children in failing public schools. Sixteen states have parental choice programs. Pennsylvania has scholarship tax credits through which businesses receive tax credits for donations to school programs for the underprivileged. The effort benefits not only parents and students but also the neighborhood because Catholic schools are stabilizers.

Third challenge: We must be creative as we address a social problem. Head Start began in 1964 as an endeavor of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. It helped level the kindergarten playing field as it offered reading readiness to preschoolers from families in need.

All of the above involve changes in approach by parents, churches, schools and government. They invite people to show the will to give educational opportunities to this new generation.

Research in recent decades shows Catholic school education works. Their students demonstrate higher academic achievement than their public school peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, note several researchers, including William Sander writing in the Journal of Human Resources as far back as 1996. The more disadvantaged a child is the greater the relative achievement gains he or she experiences in a Catholic school, according to Darlene Eleanor York in an essay “Growing Up African American in Catholic Schools.” A child who is black or Latino is 42 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 2.5 times more likely to graduate from college if he or she attends a Catholic school, according to Derek Neal writing on “Why Catholic Schools Spell Success for America's Inner-City Children.”

We’re at a critical juncture. The church has unabashedly worked for immigrant rights. Immigrants, documented and otherwise, provide services we all use – in homes, restaurants, construction, and health care, for example. A move toward Catholic education for immigrants’ children would be a sign of welcome and a wise national investment for the long run.

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 20

1. The canonization date for Blesseds Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II will be announced Sept. 30.

2. Bishop Robert McElroy guest blogged for us today and did five essential quotes on economic inequality by Pope Francis.

3. The upcoming 50th anniversary of the March on Washington is remembered by employees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. who were there that day.

4. In case you missed it last week, the USCCB says there are unmet goals of the March on Washington.

5. God loves you.

Pope Francis and Economic Inequality: Five Essential Quotes

By Bishop Robert McElroy

Five months is nothing in the life of an institution that "thinks in centuries" like the Catholic Church. So it's almost miraculous that Pope Francis has, in the short time since his election, amassed so much teaching on a single subject: economic inequality. This subject is also the focus of the 2013 Labor Day Statement by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Three days after his election, Pope Francis tied his choice of name to St. Francis of Assisi and said, "How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor." This began a stream of commentary on economic inequality and the Church's response to it. Here are  five essential quotes from Pope Francis on this issue and why each is significant:

1. "While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules." -- Address to new Vatican ambassadors, May 16

This quote puts it all out there. Too much money is in the hands of too few, while the vast majority struggle to get by. This is a direct result of ideologies that put the free market before everything else, including the duty of the government to ensure that people's basic needs are met. The Holy Father says that money must serve, not rule. Some commentators noted that Francis, who emphasizes his role as bishop of Rome, made a point to refer to himself as the pope while delivering these remarks.

2. "Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one's own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless." -- Letter to Prime Minister David Cameron for the G8 Meeting, June 17-18

This quote reflects the thread of Catholic social teaching, going back to Rerum Novarum (1891), that people must be at the center of every economic system.

3. "This happens today: if the investments in the banks fall slightly... a tragedy... what can be done? But if people die of hunger, if they have nothing eat, if they have poor health, it does not matter! This is our crisis today!" -- Address at Vigil of Pentecost, May 18

Here Pope Francis clearly questions society's priorities. How could we be so alienated from our own humanity that we care more about the fate of a bank than a human life? Our American culture has accomplished so much good through creation and innovation, but our culture also suffers from a materialism that is pervasive and corrosive.

4. "Let us remember well, however, that whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor, from the hungry!" -- General Audience, June 5

So it's not just our policies that ignore the poor, but our habits too. Francis goes on to criticize a "throwaway culture" that values people based on their ability to consume and treats others as useless. We have to realize that our lifestyles so often legitimate the grotesque inequalities of income and living standards that surround us. Most piercingly, we have to examine those areas of our personal lives where we have totally succumbed to the allure of materialism, and then we must change at our core.

5. "How many of us, myself included, have lost our bearings; we are no longer attentive to the world in which we live; we don't care; we don't protect what God created for everyone, and we end up unable even to care for one another!" -- Homily, July 8

These words were spoken by the pope at Lampedusa, the Italian island where a boatload of immigrants from Africa seeking a better life tragically shipwrecked, and hundreds drowned. In our hearts we realize the excruciating poverty that exists in the poorest nations on the Earth. But we respond so often not with justice or even charity, but by shutting out the screams of pain and scenes of suffering among the poor so that we will not have to probe deeply into the nature of our own society, our own personal choices. In this way, we all become participants in what Francis has terms "a global culture of indifference."

With God's grace, we can all answer Pope Francis' call to build a culture of encounter, in which we see every person with the dignity given to them by God.

Bishop McElroy is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and a member of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 19

1.Next week, people will mark the March on Washington. The USCCB reflects on facing some of the unmet goals.

2. Our blogs last week on Labor Day were some of our most read of the year. It all stems from Bishop Stephen Blaire's Labor Day Statement, which you can read about here.

3. The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Washington Redskins tonight in preseason NFL action. They've been holding their training camp at St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania for 48 years. Learn how the Catholic connection helps the six-time Super Bowl champion in this Catholic News Service video.

4. Pope Francis continues to use his Twitter to bring attention to global problems. This weekend, he wrote: "We cannot sleep peacefully while babies are dying of hunger and the elderly are without medical assistance." Follow him at @Pontfiex.

5. God loves you.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 16

1. This week's Labor Day blogs have led to a lot of conversation here on the blog and on our Facebook. Yesterday's blog addressed how Catholic schools help people emerge from poverty while today's addresses the importance of unions.

2. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's Mass at World Youth Day in Denver. Sister Mary Ann Walsh played a critical role in the planning of the event. Paul Jarzembowski, now the program director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, was there in Denver and recently led the U.S. effort for World Youth Day Rio. Listen to his audio reflection below.

3. Pope Francis is appealing for peace in Egypt amid political upheaval and violence.

4. The USSCB believes the time is now for immigration reform.

5. God loves you.