The polls on Election Day 2020 began by pointing toward a dominant victory for Joe Biden and the Democrats, with Biden leading in Florida and Texas. Of course, we know now that both states voted decisively for Donald Trump and the election was so close it took days to call.
But no results were more surprising, writes NCR political column Michael Sean Winters, than the results of Miami-Dade County in Florida and Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Both are strongholds of Latino voters, and in Texas, they are mostly Catholic.
Experts agree that the 2020 election proved to all political commentators that "the Latino vote is not a monolith and Hispanics from different countries, living in different kinds of neighborhoods, with different levels of education and affluence and different ideological dispositions will always be misunderstood by campaigns and the commentariat if they are indiscriminately lumped together," writes Winters.
The gist of a meeting on a late February weeknight at St. Joseph Parish in Babylon, New York, is probably familiar to many Catholic churches across the country, as Fr. Jason Grisafi, the pastor, discussed how St. Joseph could meet its expenses in light of steadily declining contributions, a drop exacerbated during the last year by COVID-19.
The meeting, however, was remarkable, given St. Joseph's recent history. For one, it was livestreamed and a video of it was posted on the parish's website, which also contained St. Joseph's latest financial report.
That transparency stands in stark contrast to the alleged opacity that marked the tenure of the previous pastor, Fr. Charles Mangano, who has moved on to a new assignment but has left behind unanswered questions about his financial stewardship at St. Joseph.
Mangano is a bit of a mini-celebrity on Long Island because of his music ministry and appearances on Telecare (now the Catholic Faith Network), a local television network. But according to multiple accounts, Mangano wreaked financial havoc on St. Joseph's during his time as pastor there from 2016 to 2018.
- Carla Harris, a celebrated gospel singer and a leading U.S. financial executive, will receive the University of Notre Dame's 2021 Laetare Medal, one of the most prestigious prizes in the American Catholic Church.
- At Global Sisters Report,
The School of Life, a residential program for teenage girls in
metropolitan Manila run by the Missionaries of Mary, has focused on
providing the support, skills and structure to change the lives of
troubled teens and young adults in the Philippines.
- Catholic officials and human rights campaigners across Africa are reiterating their opposition to capital punishment after Botswana carried out two executions for murder convictions in February.
- The Vatican has warned that it has nearly depleted its financial reserves from past donations to cover budget deficits over recent years, and is urging continued giving from the faithful.