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Religion

  • Caro, the story of a good shepherd

     Once upon a time, in a land quite far from here, there lived a shepherd whose name was Caro. He was a gentle man who lived a simple life on a tiny patch of land he had inherited from his father, and his grandfather before him.

     

    Caro lived in a little hut made from stone that had been gathered from the hillside nearby. It had only one room, and its furniture was sturdy but simple: a table and chair, a straw mat for sleeping, one oil lamp, and a few pots and pans for cooking. A huge fireplace provided heat and light.

  • Survivors are our stars
  • The fourth ‘R’ in education

     Years ago, we hummed a tune regarding the three R’s –– readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic –– all taught to the tune of a hickory stick! Nowadays, we’ve retained the infamous R’s and denounced the punishment of the hickory stick. We try to make education available to all. Sometimes, our success is called into question, but always we make the attempt. However, I wonder if we give short shrift to a fourth R, or even stop to consider it a crucial component in the educational process. The fourth R is relationship.

  • Autism offers a glimpse of alternate living

     I could not stop reading Mark Haddon’s best-selling work, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” More than intriguing, it is a compelling novel that allows the reader to enter the mind, heart and life of a young man who is autistic.

    Eager to learn more about the disorder, I searched the web and found this information. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by:

    1) Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts.

  • Resurrecting hope with the homeless

     It’s nearly Easter. Bonnets and parades are signals. Perhaps, there will even be warmth in the air and a spring in our steps. Yet, difficulties abound, especially for those who can find no home, no place to know rest and re-creation. How can we celebrate Easter’s resurrection when we allow crucifying poverty to crush our brothers and sisters?

  • Listen to the sounds of silence and noise disappears

    I am always amazed at the synchronicity of things. Just when I think I have an interesting, even unique idea for a column, a multiplicity of similar topics appears before me. It happened again during the Christmas season –– a time when I crave quiet and am bombarded with noise mimicking joyfulness. Richard Rohr, now my daily companion, presented a series on silence. His thoughts and mine coincided!

  • Lenten living is a liberating mission

     By Fran Salone-Pelletier

    When I read an article written by Richard M. Gula, director of personnel for the U.S. Province of the Sulpicians, I was taken aback. First, its title, “A Liberating Mission,” struck me. What might he be referencing? Whose mission would it be and how would it be a liberating one? The next sentences really set me on my pins. “We don’t call Jesus ‘the liberator’ for nothing. His liberating presence ... was a sign that God is at work in the world.”

  • Heartfelt love is an everyday happening

     By Fran Salone-Pelletier

     

     

    It was Valentine’s Day, just a month ago. Hubby Dear and I were home enjoying a warmth neither thermostat nor outdoor thermometer could offer. It was our weekend conversation time. We were recounting the week’s events with a renewal of wonder that we were alive and kicking despite the aches and pains of aging. Our stories bore a repeated gratitude for all we have been given and received across the years.

  • The desert is a powerful preparation place

     The Markan gospel begins with a quote from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, a quote that specifies the desert as a preparation place. Prophetic messengers will discover their vocation, their calling and their voice, in the desert. God’s way will be recognized only after we have spent some time in the desert.

  • If an envelope could talk, here’s what it would say

     A recent letter to the editor caught my eye. There seemed to be a plaintive cry hidden in the words of sorrow and loss. Someone had lost an envelope containing money that was her allowance, dollars to be spent carefully over the coming weeks. Perhaps the cash would be used frivolously. Maybe it would be offered in compassionate caring for another or as an unexpected gift — just because. The reason mattered not. The loss was palpable.