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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kentwood, MI
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,873

Journal Archives

Mom's obituary

I started writing it a few weeks ago, when it was clear that she wasn't going to be with us much longer. I thought about some of the things by which I wanted people to remember her. I mentioned some of these things during my last conversations with her last week; I wanted her to know the impact she had.

I didn't just want people to know that she died - I wanted people to know that she lived.


Solidarity Forever

Pope Francis recognizes 'Padre Kino,' Arizona's missionary priest

Pope Francis on Saturday recognized the heroic virtue of the life of a 17th century Italian Jesuit missionary who evangelized – and mapped – much of what is now northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

On July 11, the pope formally recognized the life of Servant of God Eusebio Kino, S.J., as one of heroic virtue. Kino, an explorer and missionary, took part in numerous expeditions through the American Southwest and is widely considered an apostle to the native population of Arizona, and defender of their rights.


Dominican sisters commit $46 million to seed new climate solutions funds

Sixteen U.S. congregations of Dominican sisters have pooled more than $46 million to establish a new investment funds initiative aimed at financing solutions to address climate change and assist communities worldwide most at risk.

The new Climate Solutions Funds are a collaboration five years in the making between the Dominican sisters and prominent investment firm Morgan Stanley. The sisters provided initial seeding of $46.6 million in 2018 for the funds, which with additional capital investments have grown to $130 million. The money will be directed toward global projects pursuing solutions to climate change as well as achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The initiative was announced June 18, the fifth anniversary of the public release of Pope Francis' social encyclical on the environment and human ecology, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home." The Vatican and Catholics worldwide began celebrating the milestone in May.

"We are bringing these resources to the marketplace to help address our deep concern about the integrity of God's creation and the people most impacted by climate change," the Dominican congregations, representing approximately 3,500 U.S. women religious, said in a press release.


Friendly reminder: You can still make IRA contributions for 2019 through July 15

There's some good news if you contributed less than $6,000 to IRAs in 2019 (or $7,000 if you were born on or before December 31, 1969). Since the tax filing deadline was pushed back to July 15, you can still make a contribution and have it earmarked for 2019.

The government limits how much you can invest in these tax-advantaged IRAs each year. But the good news is that you have until July 15, 2020 — the special deadline to file your 2019 federal tax returns — to contribute for the 2019 tax year and maximize your annual tax break as well as your future savings.

By earmarking your contribution for 2019 instead of 2020, you can contribute a full $6,000 (or $7,000 if you were born on or before December 31, 1970) between July 16 and April 15 and have it counted toward 2020.

Also, if you contribute to a traditional IRA, that means you can take the deduction and count it toward your 2019 taxes. If you contribute to a traditional IRA but have already filed your 2019 taxes, you can file an amended return with the IRA deduction any time between now and July 15, 2023 (three years after the original filing deadline).

'It's a learning moment': Catholic institution raises Pride flag for first time in its history

It was an emotional morning for many staff and students, as St. Jerome’s Catholic University raised a Pride flag for the first time in its history.

“I almost started tearing up, I'm not going to lie,” says Meaghan Hymers, president of the student’s union at St. Jerome’s University.

“It felt really affirming and really validating, as a queer person myself.”


“Raising the flag says to the LGBTQ+ person that you belong here,” says St. Jerome’s Interim President Scott Kline in his opening remarks.


Greed, Inequality, and a Pandemic (Franciscan priest reflection)

The Endorsement.

Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib will not seek re-election in order to join the Jesuits

Cyrus Habib, the lieutenant governor of Washington, will not seek re-election and is entering the Society of Jesus this fall, the lieutenant governor and the Society of Jesus confirmed to America on March 19.

“I’ve felt a calling to dedicate my life in a more direct and personal way to serving the marginalized, empowering the vulnerable, healing those suffering from spiritual wounds, and accompanying those discerning their own futures,” Mr. Habib wrote in an essay published in America, explaining his announcement.

Mr. Habib, 38, interrupts what had been a rapid political ascent, from his election as a state representative in 2012, an election to state senator in 2014 and finally to lieutenant governor in 2016. Born to Iranian immigrants in Maryland, he is the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office.

Mr. Habib is also a three-time cancer survivor and has been blind since the age of 8.


Louisiana driver pulled over with expired 1997 license plate tags

A Slidell Police Department officer pulled over a man for an expired license plate that hadn't been renewed since 1997, they said on Facebook.

When the officer asked the man why, the driver replied, "Sorry, officer. I've been busy lately and totally forgot to renew my vehicle registration. I will take care of it as soon as I get home," police said.

Louisiana drivers are required to renew their tags every two years.

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