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  • Shipwreck and mission



    The post-Vatican II Lectionary for Mass has many fine features, one of which is the continuous reading of the Acts of the Apostles during weekday Masses in the Easter season. As the Church celebrates the Resurrection for 50 days, the Church also ponders the first evangelization: the primitive Christian community, in the power of the Spirit, brings the surrounding Mediterranean world the history-shattering news that Jesus of Nazareth, having been raised from the dead, has been constituted Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of sins. These serial readings from Acts end with Paul established in Rome (probably in today's Trastevere district), speaking with the Roman Jewish community about the fulfillment of their ancient, covenantal hopes in the Risen Christ.

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  • What the Supreme Court did (and didn't do) to religious freedom



    On July 1, Magna Carta, in one of its four surviving original copies, the one from Lincoln Cathedral, began a U.S. Tour with an exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. The legal document, dating from June 15, 1215 -- which means it's celebrating its eight-hundredth anniversary -- begins and ends with King John guaranteeing "that the English church shall be free," with its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired. It is one of the few provisions of Magna Carta that still remains on the English statute books.

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  • Unlocking potential through education



    At 16, Shaun never imagined that he would be where he is today academically -- the recipient of a National Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. It is with the benefit of hindsight that Shaun shared that making the decision to leave high school in his sophomore year so that he could make money was "a foolish decision" even further admitting that, "I knew it as I was making it, but at the time, I didn't care."

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  • Painting the picture



    I can do a number of things reasonably well. But like everyone else, I've dreamed about being able to do the things I'm not very good at. Painting has always been at the top of that list for me. "Good singing voices are a dime a dozen," I like to say, but how I wish I could draw and paint!

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  • Mother of exiles



    Over the course of the recent 4th of July weekend, the stories of two people -- one a young boy and the other a woman -- came together for me in a powerful way. The boy and the woman don't know each other; they have never met. In fact, the woman died over 100 years before the boy was born.

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  • A parochial vicar's perspective



    Father Anthony Luongo, Father Tony, was ordained in 1987 and has served at parishes in West Roxbury, Norwood, and Stoneham. In 2013 he was assigned as Parochial Vicar in the Phase I Lynnfield Collaborative of St. Maria Goretti and Our Lady of the Assumption Parishes. Because of his prior assignments, he is comfortable serving in large, busy parishes and in parishes with schools. Lynnfield is a good fit. Father Tony is working with pastor Father Paul Ritt, Permanent Deacon Tom O'Shea, and a full pastoral staff. Together with faith-filled parishioners of both parishes he is living out the pastoral plan, Disciples in Mission. The Lynnfield Catholic Collaborative is now in the second year of implementation, which is a good time to reflect on being one of the 12 collaborative pioneers.

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  • Since we've been gone



    Actually it's only been a couple of weeks that we've been on the beach for this distinguished journal's annual summer breather, little more than a bloody fortnight. In terms of the furious sporting fare that's transpired in this brief interlude it seems more like a full semester. Such is the vast reach and rush of global sport in our times. There was a time when July was the exclusive domain of Baseball. No more! The games are too much with us.

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  • An eminent distortion of history



    As the world marked the silver anniversary of the Polish elections of June 1989, which eventually brought to power the first non-communist Polish prime minister since the Second World War, a conference met at the Vatican to consider "The Church in the Moment of Change in 1980-1989 in East Central Europe." (The habit of devising succinct, punchy titles is not overly-developed in Rome.) There were moving testimonies, by former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and from Ukrainians who are living a similar drama today. And then there was an address by the former cardinal secretary of state (and current dean of the College of Cardinals), Angelo Sodano.

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  • Heaven and the oenophile



    Fathers face many challenges in raising their children. My latest, choosing the wine for our youngest daughter's wedding, was (to put it simply) befuddling. By disposition, I am pro-wine. Our children have often heard me recite Richard Wilbur's touching poem written for his son's wedding:

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  • Secularism



    Considered either as an ideology or as a program of action, secularism is deeply coercive. Reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate make that abundantly clear.

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  • Mission time



    The Office of Readings for the solemnity of the Ascension offers a lovely excerpt from one of St. Augustine's sermons "de Ascensione Domini," in which the learned Bishop of Hippo takes as his text Colossians 3:1-2: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated, at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."

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  • Five myths, five realities



    Disciples in Mission, the Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese of Boston, is now in its second year of implementation. Although much has been written about the plan, some misunderstandings exist. Here are five points that seem to need clarification.

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  • Beast hunting in the east



    As June ends, so does the first half of the season. In Baseball, time flies even when you're not having so much fun. Hereabouts, one question emerges above all. Where have the "Beasts of the American League East" gone?

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  • God is there 24/7



    The two of us just returned from a week together in Mexico. After the overwhelmingly crazy family calendar of events this spring, we needed a chance to decompress more than ever. We also needed to reconnect as a couple and spend a little time away from our kids. (Frankly, I'm sure they were pretty glad to spend a little time away from us, too!)

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  • On seeing and being a relic



    Last weekend a vial of St. John Paul II's blood was brought to Boston's Holy Cross Cathedral and exposed to the public in a reliquary on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22. There was an honor guard from the Knights of Columbus, to whom the relic was given by the pope's longtime personal secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, in 2011 to foster devotion at the Knight's St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., just across the street from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, our country's patroness.

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