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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - April 1, 2014

April 1, 2014

Week Four: Becoming children of the light
In part four of our Lenten Reflections series, Robert Christian of the Millennial blog discusses why Lent is a good time to reflect on authenticity.
Millennials are obsessed with authenticity. We have been raised to explore who we are and to be that person. That might be why we can't pass up the latest Buzzfeed quiz, whether it will tell us where we should live, what career we should have, or which Christian saint or pretty little liar we most resemble. And if authenticity is the cardinal virtue of the millennial generation, hypocrisy might be the considered the ugliest vice. Read more

To see more in our series of Lenten Reflections, click here. And, we want to know how you and your family choose to observe the solemnity of Lent. Take our survey and let us know about your Lenten traditions!

35 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Don't pass over Exodus
This piece from our archives details how the burning bush, the first Passover, and the Hebrews' flight out of Egypt are parts of our religious heritage that we remember at the Easter Vigil. 

Nearly every human being has experienced at least one intensely significant moment in life. The relative infrequency and the fleeting nature of these moments bothers us. And so a very natural desire arises: How can I capture these moments? How can I eternalize a temporal event?
The events recounted in the Book of Exodus reflect one such attempt of the Hebrew community to make historical events take on meaning. Read more.

Best practices for multicultural communities
Great parishes shared by several ethnicities discover ways to give each group what it needs while also forging unity.

The medium-sized Midwestern parish shared by communities of Mexican immigrants and non-Hispanic whites had two Easter Vigil Masses, one in English and another in Spanish. During the liturgy of the word at the second service, a man made his way up to the priests and quietly spoke to one of them. Apparently, a car from the current Spanish Mass was blocking the exit of a family who had just left the party for the newly baptized and confirmed that had followed the English Mass. The priest got up after the psalm, read off the license plate, and asked the person to move the car. I felt this was a shocking interruption on this holiest night of the year, but I was merely being welcomed back to the complex world of the "shared parish." Read more

Is fracking the answer to our energy crisis?
In our national energy crisis, fracking for natural gas has been hailed as a "bridge" solution. But there are other options that we should not be ignoring. 

The problem of climate change is well understood, even if the outcomes are not entirely certain. Fossil fuel consumption is generating greenhouse gas pollution, that is, more greenhouse gases beyond what naturally occurs to keep the planet in balance. We have to immediately slow and quickly reverse this activity or we'll likely cook the planet and generate enormous hardship for ourselves, especially the poor and vulnerable. So what's the tool, what's the lever that we need to get the job done smarter and with less pain?

Some, including President Obama, think that one important tool is natural gas because it burns cleaner. Even if this method of pulling natural gas out of the ground can be made safe, it seems that the fuel and the process are, in many ways, the same old approach. What we really need are new, but very attainable, tools. It's clear we cannot keep burning fossil fuels (even relatively clean ones like natural gas) and save the planet from harmful climate change. Read more.

What do you think? Can fracking provide us with the energy--and jobs--our country needs, or is this one more way we are neglecting care for God's creation? Take our survey and let us know!

COMMENTARY: The tragedy of America's failed immigration system
More than 6,000 people have died in the past 15 years crossing the desert to our Land of the Free. 
The saga of immigrants in 2014 may go down in history as a blight on America. Tragedies abound, from thousands who have died trying to cross the desert from impoverished Mexican towns, to little children born here and fighting for their parents to remain in the country with them. The government is setting records separating families, approaching 2 million deportations in the past five years. Read more

Watch: The Monuments Men
Directed by George Clooney (Columbia Pictures, 2014) 
They didn't storm the beaches at Normandy or liberate Paris. But the real-life "Monuments Men"--a special unit tasked with recovering masterpieces of art that the Nazis had stolen as they took over Europe--may have been just as important to the war effort, or so George Clooney's latest film claims. Clooney himself stars as Frank Stokes, the leader of a group of museum curators and scholars who find themselves whisked off to basic training. Read more

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April 2014

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