Common for many of us “baby boomers” were the understood, yet little discussed, social and family norms — especially those with regards to sexuality. As a society, certain social issues were not discussed even if everyone knew there was a problem, such as alcoholism, marital trouble, mental health concerns or sexual abuse of some kind. It’s not that these problems were always ignored or went without assistance. But the problem with keeping these topics out of conversation, even private conversations among parents and their children, is that children were not given the tools to address these issues or to seek help with them.
The lead up to this dramatic visit was interesting. While temperatures soared during the well-orchestrated Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, it was stirring to watch Pope Francis live up to his reputation for spontaneity by unscheduled gestures of solidarity with both Palestinians and Israelis.
It is attractive to live humbly. The most attractive person on the earth showed us the kind of strength that flows from a deeply humble life. Jesus did not give up greatness, power or glory by submitting to meekness. Rather his power and greatness are found in and through his meekness. That is attractive.
Some of these teens express a mental and spiritual atrophy, coupled with loneliness and helplessness at the prospect of changing their behavior. As pleasure-seeking becomes habituated, the brain is re-wired, met by a heightened tolerance and increasing despair. It would be difficult to overstate the urgency or depth of this concern as it was revealed by many ACYC attendees. To witness the helplessness teens feel in resisting the temptation to play video games or text message is to wonder how they’ll fair in adult life.
Religion and science are not opposed at Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage. The 7-12 grade Catholic school has built a reputation for innovative science curriculum, while also teaching the tenants of Catholic faith.
The school is hoping to further enhance its science program thanks to a $15,000 grant that teacher Debbie Brewer received earlier this year. Brewer was chosen to take part in a national program that forms mentoring partnerships between high school science teachers and research scientists.
Summers are a busy time at Catholic Social services (CSS). Here’s some of what’s been happening.
We kicked off with a splash at Clare House. The Copper River Seafood Marketing Association donated first-of-the-season Copper River salmon to Clare House. Chef Reuben Gerber of the Crow’s Nest at the Hotel Captain Cook prepared a delicious salmon lunch for the residents. It was delightful to spend time with commercial fisherman Derek Blake and Chef Reuben — both men volunteered their time, talent and treasure to make the day memorable.
Deacon Gornick was there to witness one of Oregon’s most notorious prisoners, Gary Haugen, receive the sacrament. Haugen was convicted and sentenced to death in 2007 for murdering a fellow inmate while serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s mother. It’s the mantra of many a death penalty supporter: even in prison these guys are so dangerous they need to be killed.
My cursory study of local weather science tells me that something is happening on our planet that probably has not happened since the “Big Bang,” that moment in evolutionary history when order was set in place by a benevolent Creator. Thus it has been for trillions of years (earth time) until this most recent age when it has become evident that something is awry.
Parents have different roles from their children. Teachers have different roles from firefighters. Mothers have different roles from fathers. And individually we also have different personalities that play important roles. But — and this is the important part — amidst our diversity there is an underlying unity that holds us together.