Demanding dignity and safety despite the cost

What a spring it has been for news. With everything from a terrorist attack in Boston to a new pope in Rome (along with an old pope in Rome), it has been news overload. I must confess, the day they locked up Boston and searched for the second bomber, I was riveted to the news channels. But soon, it's off to the next "breaking news."

Tragedy in Bangladesh underscores ethics of global economy

All the world's workers, regardless of where they live, are entitled to safe work environments, human rights and fair wages. All corporations have a moral duty to guarantee this workers' trinity of rights to everyone they pay, directly or indirectly. It is unconscionable when Western companies dodge these obligations by blindly moving operations to places where oversight is lax, governments are blind and executives are corrupt.

Village Square, a new Catholic contemporary concert series, welcomes Scythian

A party in a parish gym might not sound like the most thrilling thing in the world. I thought the same thing until early March when I went to a charity concert for the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Mary Magdalene school gym in Media. The nationally touring band Scythian made the event a sell-out. The gym was transformed, as young people and old nuns alike, danced, sang and clapped. My friends and I agreed that it was one of the best times we ever had -- perhaps because it was so unexpected.

Sequestration’s unintended consequence: consideration of the poor

Perhaps the reaction sparked by sequester will cause us to examine our lifestyles and ask: How does this decision contribute to the situation of my brothers and sisters? A concrete example affecting enough people may help us to reflect and study how our faith is to influence and impact the economy, not the other way around.

A call for statesmen to step forward, dispel polarization

To be a statesman is to be prophetic and to choose God's ways over mankind's, to desire unity and truth in the face of opposition, and to feel sympathy rather than wrath -- qualities needed to dispel today's growing polarization in our nation.

Impatience, greed and other lessons we should have learned as children

The missing step between wanting something and not wanting to wait for it and taking action to get it without waiting is justification. We create excuses to make our sins acceptable.

The pope’s example about living in solidarity with the poor

One reason the world has reacted with such joy to the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis is his commitment to the poor. As we have read in many news reports, this is not a purely academic concern on his part. Pope Francis has put his concern into action. For him, it's meant a lifetime of living among the poor and interacting with them. It's meant riding the bus and forsaking the opulent home some feel is a cardinal's due. His devotion has led him into real relationships with people not as privileged as those who sometimes surround a "prince" of the church.

A prophet at the end of the week of fear and evil

That funny little man with the bad haircut peering through binoculars from a bunker into the distance, a staple on every evening television news the week before, was suddenly gone. Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, had been a constant in the news for promising a nuclear attack. There is no reason to fear, authorities said, North Korea does not have a delivery system capable of reaching the United States. (This recalls the observation made by comedian Mort Sahl concerning the then-feared China: "They have an atomic bomb, but we're told not to worry, they have no delivery system. But with 650 million people, they can line up and pass it hand by hand.")

Bishop McFadden: Tireless advocate in the public square

Bishop Joseph McFadden passed away on May 2 after three years of service as the president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. The conference is the public policy agency of Pennsylvania’s bishops. “Bishop McFadden had all of the attributes that make an effective leader in public policy, including his willingness to engage with legislators and his ease around all people. He did not shy away from spirited discussion,” said PCC Executive Director Dr. Robert J. O’Hara.

Team building is essential, in sports and spiritual retreats

The old saying “There is no I in team” can really be put into play when looking at the building process of a team. I experience this first hand when I play volleyball in college. All four years we have had new members join and old members leave. I was lucky enough to have people show me what it means to be a team. I have been a part of many a retreat team during my high school years. It is here that I am blessed with the fortune of working with people who were on fire for Christ and had different team skills other than just athleticism.