Labor Day: A time to reflect, not celebrate

Things a priest never buys

Once you are ordained a Catholic priest in the U.S., there are some things that you will never have to buy. They are not enough of a benefit to bring people into the seminary, but they are a side benefit nevertheless. Most obvious, priests never have to buy a necktie. That is a distinct advantage over other men. When I was practicing law, I had dozens of neckties. I hated wearing them, especially on hot summer days in Washington, D.C. I never liked having to figure out which tie to wear. Red tie or blue tie?

Bearing quiet witness to the protection of life

In mid-July, the proposed merger of two large hospital systems in suburban Philadelphia -- Abington Memorial Hospital and Holy Redeemer Health System -- fell apart. Abortion was the reason for the breakup. Holy Redeemer is a widely respected Catholic health care organization. It describes itself as "a Catholic health system, rooted in the tradition of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer" and specifies that "we care, comfort and heal following the example of Jesus, proclaiming the hope God offers in the midst of human struggle." The system lists its "key values" as:

Learn your limits before the busiest time of the year begins

Yesteryear’s good TV dads replaced by today’s drunks and klutzes

Six-fold costs one more argument to end child homelessness

Every night in Pennsylvania thousands of children sleep in homeless shelters. Can we measure what the awful experience of being homeless can do to a child? Perhaps not, but we can see what it is costing in dollars, which is quite a bit more than it would cost simply to provide housing. The People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia examined 13 cost categories associated with child homelessness, including physical and mental health, social services and housing, early development and education, and costs associated with high school dropout. For the 9,027 children in Pennsylvania who slept at least one night in a shelter in 2011, these were more than costly problems. The categories represent the grim reality these children face.

A knock at the door led to a path of service

I wouldn't realize it for years, but a knock on my door almost a decade ago was going to change my life in fundamental ways. The knock came from Ken Hackett. The door was to my office as dean of the Mendoza College of Business of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Ken was president of Catholic Relief Services, which was about to put lay members on its board for the first time. He was recruiting me. I had always believed in the organization's mission to serve the poor and most vulnerable. Since I grew up in Hong Kong and was influenced by Catholics from the United States -- the Maryknoll Sisters who educated me intellectually and spiritually -- I felt it was a mission I should be part of. I didn't know that a decade later, I would be president of CRS.

From Penn State sexual abuse report, some striking similarities

Responding to editors’ requests for current commentary from around the Catholic press, Catholic News Service presents the following editorial from the July 29 issue of Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newsweekly based in Huntington, Ind. It was written by the editorial board. At the request of the shell-shocked board of trustees of Pennsylvania State […]

Joining the fight for accurate images of women and girls

Show me the money? Show us the values