VIEWS

VIEWS

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Phoenix is more than 7,000 miles from Mosul. And yet as I sit and pray here in sunny Arizona, my heart turns to the beleaguered city in Iraq.

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There is a close connection between service of the poor, freedom and evangelization. Catholic apostolates integrate service to the poor with joyful witness to Christ; they serve because they love Jesus. They freely receive God’s mercy; they freely give mercy to others in turn. They imitate Jesus in His solidarity with the poor.

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Plowing through a formidable stack of mail that accumulated while I was away last month, my eyes fell on a large envelope from Food for the Poor. Inside was a tabloid newspaper with a bold red headline: “Answering the Call.”

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Whether it’s global warming or global terror, big government or big corporations, the poison in our food or the poisoning of the airwaves, the temporal world is and always has been filled with problems and challenges. And we must constantly strive to make the world better and safer for humanity.

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Pope Francis' words give us insight into some of his top priorities as the Bishop of Rome. It is worthwhile, then, to look briefly at what he writes about parish life today.

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At its best, media informs, inspires and engages. It creates unity and a common thread throughout a community, allowing people to share in the daily joys, sorrows and challenges of their neighbors. Media must provide for “an authentic culture of encounter” and serve to give voice to those on the margins of society.

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You’ve seen them. Holding cardboard signs with scrawled pleas for help, they stand at freeway exits, hoping for a handout. Should you give them money? Should you circle around and return with food and water?

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On April 24, the Arizona Legislature adjourned sine die at 1:46 a.m., after spending 101 days in session. Like last year, the number of bills introduced was somewhat lower than normal with just over 1,300 pieces of legislation offered this session, about 300 of which actually became law.

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Last time we looked at what Pope Francis writes about Jesus in his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” Now let us consider what the Holy Father has to say about the Mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Chris Benguhe wants to know if what he writes about is “Catholic” enough. Make your voice heard in the comment box!

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