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Voices
  • Wanting what is right for us

    God wants us to desire the right things. In the readings, he approaches Solomon, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you. Ask and you will receive,” Jesus echoes (Matthew 7:7).
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  • The Gospel challenge to enjoy our lives

    Joy is an infallible indication of God’s presence, just as the cross is an infallible indication of Christian discipleship. What a paradox! And Jesus is to blame.
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  • Considering the options for infertile couples

    When Catholic couples experience trouble getting pregnant, they often seek medical help and begin to research what options are available to them.
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  • Let’s encourage the elders in our church

    I recently participated in the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Florida. The purpose of this large, unprecedented encounter between U.S. bishops and laity was to study what Pope Francis has termed the “new peripheries” and to form missionary disciples.
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  • Are jihadis ‘losers’?

    When I first visited Israel in 1988, my friend Professor Menahem Milson, a distinguished Arabist at Hebrew University who was Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s military aide during Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem in 1977, told me that “you have to meet my friend, Colonel Yigal Carmon.”
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  • Archbishop Quinn’s secretaries

    As a retired longtime secretary in the chancery office of the archdiocese, I would like to add information to the final paragraph of the coverage of Archbishop John Quinn (“Archbishop John R. Quinn: A clear and powerful voice,” July 13, 2017).
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  • Looking at Luther with fresh eyes

    With great profit and pleasure I’m currently reading Alec Ryrie’s new book “Protestants: The Faith that Made the Modern World.”
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  • Why pray the rosary?

    More than a century ago a proud university student boarded a train in France and sat next to an older man who seemed to be a peasant of comfortable means. The brash student noticed that the older gentleman was slipping beads through his fingers. He was praying the rosary.
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  • Civilta Cattolica essay: Overreaction to a questionable problem

    An overreaction to a questionable problem – that was my thought on reading a piece about American politics and the religious right by two men said to be close to Pope Francis.
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  • Civilta Cattolica misses richness of Catholic-evangelical relations

    In a recent editorial, “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism,” Civilta Cattolica identified cooperation between Protestant fundamentalists and conservative American Catholics as “a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.”
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  • Mary, consecration and Christian life

    A season of consecration is upon us, a season of joyful commitments gladly made. In May, 13 new permanent deacons and in June two new priests were ordained in our cathedral, consecrated to the service of the people of this archdiocese.
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  • James Phelan’s complex history

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, one might say. My only relationship to the University of San Francisco is that I graduated from another college in the Bay Area. So what could be my point?
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  • Respect for the gift of faith

    I know George Weigel is popular in some circles. I find him arrogant and excessively pleased with himself. His latest column is a perfect example (“Way beyond the new atheist nonsense,” June 22).
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  • Trump wrong on climate pact

    John McCord’s letter of June 22 was only partially correct, and in some cases used measures irrelevant to the Paris climate agreement going into effect.
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  • Inchoate desire

    Sometimes while praying the Psalms, I’m caught looking quite uncomfortably into a mirror reflecting back to me my own seeming dishonesty.
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  • History and humility: An old man’s plea to young adults

    The old man with the typewriter would like a word with us texters and tweeters: Don’t be a blockhead.
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  • The word of God

    Some years ago it was reported in The New York Times that some Wall Street executives attended Bible study groups: “The meeting... begins with a prayer: ‘Lord, help us apply the truths in your words to our business lives.’ … A passage from Scripture is then read and prayerfully discussed.” Speaking about the importance of these meetings, one executive said, “If I couldn’t come here, I don’t know what I would do!”
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  • Divine encouragement and inspiration

    Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word “encourage” as “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope.” The word “inspire” has a similar definition: “To influence, move, or guide the intellect or emotions” but includes “by divine or supernatural action or power.”
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  • Christianity and noonday fatigue

    There’s a popular notion which suggests that it can be helpful to compare every century of Christianity’s existence to one year of life.
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  • Consecration provides needed grace

    I’m so glad that Richard Morasci (Letters, June 8) reminded us of the consecration of the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – even if he did sound rather dismissive.
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