Opinion From Herald columnists and readers
Several weeks ago, I gave a presentation at the USCCB Spring Meeting in Baltimore. My topic was what I identified as the second greatest crisis facing the Church today — namely, the massive attrition of our own people, especially the young. I trust that the first — around which most of our discussions that week revolved — is obvious to everyone. Judging from the extremely positive reaction of my brother bishops and the lively conversation that followed my presentation, the talk was well received. I was also delighted it apparently prompted a spirited conversation on social media.
Children require extensive support and protection to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. They are uniquely dependent on their parents because they are particularly vulnerable. Often they are unable to speak on their own behalf or effectively defend themselves from various forms of exploitation.
There is an art and a science to slow living. This summer I’m trying to learn both.
In music you can measure it. The tempo called largo — Italian for slow and broad — clocks in at 40 to 60 beats per minute. (Allegro, by contrast, doubles that pace, while presto races up to 200.)
The final book in J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy — “The Return of the King” — begins with Aragorn, Gimli, Gandalf, and others journeying from Helm’s Deep to Isengard. There they find two Hobbits, Merry and Pippin, feasting on salted pork and smoking the legendary Longbottom Leaf tobacco among the ruins of the city.
My fondest memories of summer are the times spent with my favorite aunt at her cottage nestled in the Adirondack Mountains. As a middle school teacher, she had a gift for relating to kids in a way very different from parents, like a wise friend or a trusted confidante. My aunt patiently taught us how to knit and sew; she listened to our stories and nurtured our dreams as if each niece or nephew were the only one.
About 18 years ago I found myself torn between ambition and apathy, wondering if I should roast Cornish game hens or make up some quick BLTs for dinner. I decided to put the question to my then twelve year-old son, DeForeest, laboring at his desk with his homework.
As a convert to Catholicism — my family and I were confirmed on Easter in 2015 — one of the questions I am asked most often by other Catholics is how I feel about the clergy sex scandal. My answer is always the same: it did not change my faith then and does not now. When I made the decision to join the Church, I was aware of the findings that had come to light in 2002. But those revelations had not changed what my family and I had experience while worshipping at an incredible parish for three years before we decided to convert. The “scandal” had no impact on the supportive community, the beauty of the Mass, or our interaction with the parish staff and clergy who welcomed us as members.
What a funny name for a flower, you say? On the contrary, this perennial favorite is no laughing matter. It performs well, isn’t finicky, has long lasting blooms, and looks gorgeous in the garden. Jupiter’s Beard will bring an appreciative smile to all who view its charm.
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