Thursday, August 21, 2014

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 21

1. During a Mass for peace and justice in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Archbishop Robert Carlson said, "I pledge my support and the support of the archdiocese to assist the churches in Ferguson to deal with issues of poverty and racism. Finally, I am asking each priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to offer a Mass for Justice and Peace. This is a modest beginning, but begin we shall."

2. Former Detroit Cardinal Edmund Szoka died Wednesday. Learn about his rise from a life of poverty to priestly life, which included long service in high Vatican City posts.

3. Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message will focus on human trafficking.

4. Learn more about an upcoming special collection for Iraqi violence victims.

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 20

1. The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB reasserted their commitment to dialogue with other religions and Muslims in particular in a statement developed between October 2013 and its release August 19. The committee, which is chaired by Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore, listed tensions between Christians in Muslims in different parts of the world as a primary reason for reaffirming the need for dialogue.

2. James Foley, the journalist killed yesterday in Iraq, was a Marquette University graduate. He wrote this reflection about being in captivity. It's a remarkable story of his faith. 3.

3. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the USCCB, has asked for a special collection to be held for Iraqi outreach and recovery.

4. Make sure you read the annual Labor Day Statement, which addresses unemployment amongst young adults. Kerry Weber's blog on mercy in the city touches at the heart of this issue.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 19

1. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the USCCB has called on the bishops to consider taking up a special collection “to provide humanitarian relief and pastoral support for our affected brothers and sisters in the Middle East.” In an August 19 letter, he requested that the collection be held during the weekend of September 6-7 or September 13-14.

2. Kerry Weber of America Magazine guest blogs for the USCCB today, writing about how young adults are showing and have to show mercy in the cities.

3. Pope Francis is asking for prayers as he mourns the deaths of family members in an automobile accident.

4. Catholic schools are changing lives. See how:

5. God loves you.

Young adults must show mercy in the city

By Kerry Weber

The calls and e-mails arrive with some regularity. Friends in their 20s and early 30s asking me: Can you keep an eye out for any job openings? In many cases, they are looking for work as campus ministers, teachers, social workers or therapists. In every case, they are hoping to find meaningful work, jobs through which they might be men and women for others. If such jobs—finally—come through, there is a moment of celebration before the calls begin again: Do you know of any affordable apartments?

Making ends meet in a place like New York City can be difficult. In a city of 8 million people, it’s all too easy to feel alone. The city’s bright lights, Sunday brunches and celebrity sightings often are accompanied by the worry of making rent or finding safe, suitable housing. And in a city of this size, hundreds of people may apply for any single job opening. For many young people at the start of their careers, it’s all too easy to forget that others are struggling, too, and to focus on beating out the competition rather than showing compassion.

Thankfully, so many people I know, especially those I meet through various young-adult Catholic ministries, take their faith to heart and take solidarity seriously. This not only means looking for work that allows them to serve those in need, but also means supporting fellow young adults in the search of such work. It also includes supporting each other when the work we do to make ends meet is not exactly a dream job. It can take time to find a job that is a good fit and that provides a living wage, and many people must settle for one or the other. In such instances, a supportive community becomes even more important.

Young adults today understand how hard it can be to find and keep a job, and so many of us make an effort to look out for one another throughout that process, and to connect individuals to possible job openings or to connect people with similar interests. We try to be there for one another in times of transition. Years ago, while working at a small-time newspaper in a high-price city, I sought the help of friends who let me crash on their couches when I struggled to make ends meet. Now that I have got a job (and a couch) of my own, I have tried to show that same hospitality to others.

Pope Francis has warned: “Indeed, the unemployed and underemployed risk being relegated to the margins of society, becoming victims of social exclusion.” We must work to avoid such marginalization. We must open our hearts, and perhaps even our homes, to those who are in times of transition, to those who are looking for work and trying to make ends meet. In answering their calls for support, we also answer the Gospel call to love, justice, and inclusion.


Kerry Weber is the author of Mercy in the City and Managing Editor of America Magazine. 

Read Archbishop Wenski's 2014 Labor Day Statement.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 18

1. In the annual USCCB Labor Day Statement, Archbishop Thomas Wenski wrote, “For those fortunate enough to have jobs, many pay poorly. Greater numbers of debt-strapped college graduates move back in with their parents, while high school graduates and others may have less debt but very few decent job opportunities. Pope Francis has reserved some of his strongest language for speaking about young adult unemployment, calling it ‘evil,’ an ‘atrocity,’ and emblematic of the ‘throwaway culture.'"

2. Hundreds of thousands of people said this prayer for peace in Iraq during the last week on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Catholic News Service points out, "Past popes have set a variety of records, but Pope Francis seems sure to be setting the record for papal selfies."

4. It's Back to School time. See how Catholic schools are preparing children for the future.
5. God loves you.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 14

1. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged President Obama to answer the call of Pope Francis for the international community “to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities” in Iraq. Archbishop Kurtz made the appeal in an August 13 letter, in which he assured President Obama of the prayers and support of the U.S. bishops in these efforts.

2. Violent acts against Christians and Christian sites across the world are a mounting concern to leaders of Catholic and Jewish communities in the United States, according to a joint statement issued August 14 by the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue sponsored by the National Council of Synagogues and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

3. Pope Francis spoke to South Korean authorities in English and you can watch that speech starting at the 40 minute mark.

4. Today, we say goodbye to Sister Mary Ann Walsh, our media relations director, who is leaving to become U.S. Church Correspondent for America Magazine. Sister is a visionary in Catholic media, a friend to so many of us and an incredible mentor. We will miss her dearly. Thank you, Sister, and remember...

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Five Things To Remember On Aug. 13

1. Just a reminder: U.S. Catholics are called to pray this weekend for peace in Iraq.

2. Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski was installed today as Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.

3. Catholics in Iraq are detailing the horrors they are seeing in their home country.

4. Pope Francis will spend the next few days in South Korea on an historic trip.

5. God loves you.