How many meals can $1.40 make?

Federal cutbacks on food assistance force poor to find out  Nov. 22, 2013, edition By Patricia Kasten How many meals can you make with a buck and change? That’s what the average family receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) will have to feed each person per meal now that…

‘Tis the season to calm down

Are you already looking past December and into a new year when it might seem that troubles will only continue? Nov. 22, 2013, edition By Maureen Pratt Peace on earth. Good will toward all. Comfort and joy. Light and love. Prosperity. Purpose. Did last year’s wishes as expressed in songs and greetings come to pass…

10 ways to understand Pope Francis

Vatican media adviser Greg Burke suggests not labeling his boss liberal or conservative. Instead the Holy Father should carry a label like cigarettes: ‘Danger: This man could change your life’ Oct. 25, 2013, edition By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service No matter how some media may want to spin it, Pope Francis won’t fit into…

What’s on Supreme Court docket and what may wait

 Oct. 11, 2013, edition The Supreme Court’s docket for the term beginning Oct. 7 is notable — from the perspective of the Catholic Church — for a handful of cases accepted or in the pipeline that would refine previous rulings on free speech, public prayer and the Affordable Care Act. The docket so far lacks…

Pursuing the truth and restoring trust

Oct. 11, 2013, edition There is great concern and confusion about recent media reports alleging that the archdiocese has mishandled investigations into misconduct by priests. This situation is sad and frustrating, and I have heard from many of you that you are deeply pained as you watch and hear these reports in the news. These…

Education policy must focus on results versus revenue

What a difference a session makes. The 2013 legislative session was very favorable for Minnesota public schools. Infusion of new revenue streams for preschool, all-day kindergarten and special education programs were met with much enthusiasm by public school boards, administrators and teachers. Overall, E-12 funding was increased by $485 million. In fact, Gov. Mark Dayton…

Will you have to pay for abortions in your health plan?

It’s enough to confuse anyone. Some supporters of the new health care law known as the Affordable Care Act say it will not spend taxpayer funds on abortion coverage. Yet we’re hearing that Americans purchasing a health plan on the exchanges now being set up in most states must pay a monthly surcharge for elective…

My side of the confessional: What it’s like for the priest

August 30, 2013, edition I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of elderly men and women on the way from an airport. They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it. “Do you do all of the priest stuff?” “Yep.” “Even the confession thing?” “Yeah, all the time.” One older lady gasped,…

Rev. King preached, ‘I have a dream’ — Do we?

August 30, 2013, edition This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech — a dream in which he outlined a vision of racial equality, justice and freedom for all. The eradication of racial segregation and discrimination based on the color of one’s skin was also a dream of hundreds…

Little miracles brighten mother’s day

August 2, 2013 edition By Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully Riley, my 3-month-old son, giggled when my husband, Mike, turned on the crib mobile. “Little things make you happy because you’re a little guy,” Mike said cheerfully. I smiled as I watched them. Little things make me happy too. Being a mother can be exhausting. Nights often consist…