I’m on a business trip in a faraway city right now, when I’d rather be in Stewartstown, New Hampshire. There’s a celebration going on there in honor of a place and people who have come to mean a lot to me. The Cohos Trail is turning 20, and the coming-of-age party is happening today.
In twenty years, I’ve spent maybe eight hours on trail maintenance up there in northern New Hampshire. That’s not even a blip in the tally of volunteer hours and days and weeks given by countless people over the past two decades to build and maintain the CT. If I were at today’s party, I’d be able to meet some of them and offer face-to-face thanks. As it is, this meager post will have to do.
Read the rest of the post at Granite State Walker.
The Obamacare HHS contraceptive mandate prompted the American Catholic bishops a few years ago to speak unanimously in strong terms about the policy’s undermining of religious liberty. Since then, the bishops’ conference has made a point of trying to keep the Catholic faithful apprised of our religious freedoms and some threats those freedoms are facing.
If you tweet, follow @usccbfreedom. If you prefer email, sign up at usccb.org/freedom. Read what Archbishop Lori of Baltimore published today via Catholic News Service about steps the incoming federal Administration can do to respect the rights of all Americans to practice their faith at all times, not just an hour a week inside a designated building.
President-elect Trump has the opportunity to ensure that people of all faiths can continue to do their good work in serving their communities without having to violate their consciences or face crippling fines or onerous lawsuits. Our hope is that the next administration will ensure that Americans remain free to serve.
Read the full post for the steps Archbishop Lori recommends. Repeal of the contraceptive mandate is just one of them.
The Year of Mercy is drawing to a close, leaving us the commission to keep it going in our respective ways. I just encountered the #MercyStories series on the YouTube channel for the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. I was drawn to “Poster Child of Divine Mercy: The Testimony of Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC” because the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Father Calloway’s order, have been important to my husband and me for many years. Their promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion has been profoundly effective.
Father Calloway’s story is one for me to keep in my heart as I see the Holy Door at the church near me closing at the end of the liturgical year. The Mercy of God knows no calendar. In hearing each other’s down-to-earth stories of mercy in action, I can see the hand of God reaching out to us in unexpected – not to say unnerving – ways. We can be inspired to hope and act in a way that manifests that mercy, passing it forward.
The full series of 14 videos can be seen at the link below. Pick any one, or binge on the whole thing. As Father Calloway says, there is “an ocean of mercy waiting for us.”
There are a lot of would-be Facebook posts and tweets in my digital shredder. These post-election days are not bringing out my best. Some little angel on my shoulder is keeping me from hitting the Send button too often. I know these are serious times, but I can’t help but laugh at myself for having so many opinions and snappy replies that simply must (not) get out there.
I’m reminded of something I read years ago by Michael Perry in Backpacker magazine, of all places. My commonplacing notebook says this is from the June 2003 issue.
Some say I repress my anger, and I reply, You betcha. I have never had much patience for the “let-it-all-out” theory. I know several people who are forever letting it all out, and their spirits remain consistently unimproved.
Hello, social media.
Here’s to consistent improvement – and here’s to avoiding that Send button.
Perfect reminder on Twitter, compliments of the Carmelites, that there’s more to November 8 than the American election. It’s the Feast of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, a 20th-century woman newly canonized. I look forward to reading more about her, beyond this brief post by the Catholic News Agency. Something written about her in there is very compelling to me.
“She said her mission was to lead souls out of themselves and into a great silence, where God could imprint himself in them, on their souls, so that they became more God-like.”