Opinion From Herald columnists and readers


August 3, 2018  |  By CHRISTINA CAPECCHI

Janet Easter is experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions as she arranges a bouquet in her backyard, and she is unfazed.

“I’m having contractions, which is hilarious,” she says, stripping the leaves off a hydrangea in one swift stroke.

August 3, 2018  |  By BISHOP ROBERT BARRON
For the past several days, I’ve been with my Word on Fire team, filming for the Flannery O’Connor and Fulton Sheen episodes of our “Pivotal Players” series. Our journey has taken us from Chicago to New York to Washington, DC, and finally to Savannah and Millidgeville, Georgia.
July 6, 2018  |  By CHRISTINA CAPECCHI
The numbers don’t look good for the U.S. Postal Service. Last year it reported its sixth straight annual operating loss, in the amount of $2.7 billion. During fiscal year 2017, the USPS delivered 149 billion pieces of mail, down from 154 billion the previous year — and a major drop from its peak of 213 billion in 2006.
A comprehensive 2015 scientific review found medical marijuana to be useful only for a small number of medical conditions. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, an international team of researchers found scant evidence to support broad claims for the drug’s effectiveness. Although clinical trials showed that chronic neuropathic pain and cancer-related pain could often be treated, other forms of pain, such as those related to rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, HIV and multiple sclerosis did not show statistically significant improvement. Researchers also found inconclusive data for people with insomnia, anxiety disorders, depression, Tourette syndrome, psychosis, and sleep disorders. They registered concerns about medical marijuana’s significant side effects as well.
The Fortnight for Freedom, which we’ve been celebrating each year at the end of June and beginning of July has recently been reconfigured. Beginning this year, Religious Freedom Week is to be held annually June 22–29. The observance is a bit shorter, but no less important. This year’s theme is “Serving Others in God’s Love.”

THE CATHOLIC REVIEW: The Fragility of Order

Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times
June 15, 2018  |  By DEACON RICK BAUER

When Catholics seek a mature insight into the politics or history of the current times or want to enjoin a discussion of the utmost gravity, more often than not, author George Weigel is on the short list of potential commentators. Weigel, one of the more prominent public intellectuals in modern times, is the author of two dozen New York Times bestselling books and is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.

June 15, 2018  |  By KERRY PEETZ
BLESSINGS IN BLOOM: Pollinator HabitatWhether it is called a pollinator habitat, bee hotel, insect hotel, bug bank, bug hotel, insect condo or bug stack mansion, it has one important purpose — attracting pollinators that will remain in the garden. An extra reward is that they can be charming, artsy and add a whimsical flair to any outdoor area. 
June 15, 2018  |  By ANDY BARTON
In his most recent Apostolic Exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate,” Pope Francis has given the faithful a practical guide to holiness.  “(Jesus) wants us to be saints” our Pope writes, “and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. . . My modest goal is to re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”  One might assume that a guide to holiness is full of rules and prescriptions on ways to live, but that is not the case with Pope Francis.  As with his other writing, Gaudete et Exsultate is more of a thoughtful conversation than it is a lecture, and this one reflects its title which translates to “Rejoice and Be Glad.” 
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