Commentaries

Doylestown man reflects on his week visiting, living with Pope Francis in Rome

Never would I think that the Holy Spirit would introduce me to Pope Francis by allowing me to stay with him at his residence for one week in Rome and to have the blessing and privilege to attend his daily 7 a.m. Mass which he celebrates at the residence chapel and even have breakfast, lunch and dinner with him each day! I had the honor to have several personal conversations with the Holy Father and what struck me each time was how sincere and genuine he is and how happy he is to see you when in his presence.

The importance of urban greening to my generation

I had never thought about urban greening. For me, nature was something I took for granted in everyday life. It was never something I really thought about. And what I did notice was that every spring I suffer from allergies and that left me with little appreciation for the wonders of greenery. Now, I realize there is much more to plants, grass and trees in the city than that.

Finding the gems, if you look beneath the surface

In my favorite photo from college, my friend Cara and I are standing next to each other at a party, making funny faces. We could be any other teen best friends in the world, except for what we're wearing: Cara's in a typical blue Abercrombie & Fitch babydoll sports shirt, while I'm in black eyeliner, black nail polish and a black shirt emblazoned with the word "Anticrombie." We couldn't look more different.

Making room for women at the highest rungs of business

In the early 1970s I began to notice what I then called the feminization of Jesuit higher education. I was dean of arts and sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans and then moved on to the presidency of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania -- both Jesuit schools. Female enrollment was growing on both campuses and I remember wondering whether previously male-dominant Jesuit colleges were up to the challenge of preparing women for positions of leadership in a changing world.

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.