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April 2011

Confession can bring unity, peace, serenity, 'spiritual resurrection'

It is called the sacrament of penance and reconciliation; also conversion, confession or forgiveness. Those phrases alone convey something of its scope and depth.

Because no matter what it's called, the sacrament promotes spiritual and emotional unity, humility and healing as people confess their sins to a priest, find forgiveness in God's grace and reconciliation with their neighbors.

Confession can bring unity, peace, serenity, 'spiritual resurrection'

It is called the sacrament of penance and reconciliation; also conversion, confession or forgiveness. Those phrases alone convey something of its scope and depth.

Because no matter what it's called, the sacrament promotes spiritual and emotional unity, humility and healing as people confess their sins to a priest, find forgiveness in God's grace and reconciliation with their neighbors.

No shortage of opportunities for almsgiving during Lent

Almsgiving. It's one of the words we often hear associated with Lenten practices - prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Prayer and fasting seem straightforward enough. Everyone understands prayer. And as for fasting, a refresher course on the details might be helpful each year, but Catholics generally are familiar with the practice.

But then there's almsgiving, a centuries-old word that's hardly in common use in the 21st century. Some might even ask - tongue in cheek ..."What's an alms and how do I give it?"

Enthusiasm and energy levels high for education rally

Did a representative of the public-school teachers' union in Nebraska really say this? "We believe that every student would do well in a public school and we would like to have them at those schools. If parents decide to send them somewhere else, we're O.K. with that, as long as they are not taking the tax dollars with them, because we're struggling in Nebraska as it is for financing for the public schools"? Of course he did.

Eight simple reasons to be Catholic

You never really know when you're going to be called on to defend your Catholic faith. I certainly wasn't prepared for it as I sat down at a job interview. But, two minutes after my interviewer reviewed my resume, he looked me squarely in the eyes and said, "Religion is evil."

"Are you a relative of Bill Maher?" I asked him.

Escaping 'The Waiting Place' - wisdom from Dr. Seuss

Another batch of graduates is nearing the finish line, and preparations are humming along - party planning and robe ordering, "i" dotting and "t" crossing.

And speech writing, of course.

That's my favorite part of the pomp and circumstance - the prospect of a send-off speech that summarizes the past four years and prepares for all the remaining ones. An address that wipes away distractions - sweltering heat, silly stilettos, stiff chairs - and makes us all feel promising and powerful. A boldface life manual.

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