Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bishops' Labor Statements Says Workers Need Unions


WASHINGTON—With millions unemployed and U.S. workers experiencing tragedies such as mining deaths in West Virginia and the oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Americans “must seek to protect the life and dignity of each worker in a renewed and robust economy,” said Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York. Bishop Murphy addressed these issues in the 2010 Labor Day Statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), entitled “A New „Social Contract‟ for Today‟s „New Things,‟” which can be found online in English (www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/labor_day_2010.pdf) and Spanish (www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/labor_day_2010_spanish.pdf).

Bishop Murphy, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, compared the challenges faced by today‟s workers to the changing society of the Industrial Revolution addressed by Pope Leo XIII in the 1891 encyclical, Rerum Novarum (Of New Things).

“America is undergoing a rare economic transformation, shedding jobs and testing safety nets as the nation searches for new ways to govern and grow our economy,” said Bishop Murphy. “Workers need a new „social contract.‟” Bishop Murphy said that creating new jobs would require new investments, initiative and creativity in the economy. He also drew on the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, which call for placing the human person at the center of economic life and emphasize the role of civil society and mediating institutions such as unions in pursing the common good.
“Workers need to have a real voice and effective protections in economic life,” said Bishop Murphy. “The market, the state, and civil society, unions and employers all have roles to play and they must be exercised in creative and fruitful interrelationships. Private action and public policies that strengthen families and reduce poverty are needed. New jobs with just wages
and benefits must be created so that all workers can express their dignity through the dignity of work and are able to fulfill God‟s call to us all to be co-creators. A new social contract, which begins by honoring work and workers, must be forged that ultimately focuses on the common good of the entire human family.”

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dr. Paul Cooke (June 29, 1917 - July 4, 2010)

History Makers

Paul Cooke Biography

Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke was born on June 29, 1917 in New York City. His parents were the late Mamie Phillips Cooke and Louis Phillips Cooke. Cooke attended Garrison Elementary School and Garnet-Patterson Junior High School, both in Washington, D.C. He earned a diploma from Dunbar High School where he played on the baseball team and was a member of the Cadet Corps, serving as Captain of Company F. During his senior year in 1933, his company was asked to perform at a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

From 1933 to 1937, Cooke attended Miner Teachers College (M.T.C.) in Washington, D.C. [which later became the District of Columbia's Teachers College after combining with Wilson Teacher's College. It subsequently became the University of the District of Columbia (U.D.C.).] where he earned his B.S. degree. He continued his studies at New York University where he earned his M.A. degree in education. In 1943, Cooke earned another M.A. degree in English language and literature from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and completed his studies with an Ed.D. degree from Columbia University in 1947.

While attending graduate school, Cooke worked as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. Before receiving his graduate degrees, Cooke served in the U.S. Army between 1945 and 1946. He was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal. In 1948, Cooke, along with several colleagues from M.T.C., protested against Washington D.C.'s National Theatre for its discriminatory treatment against blacks. In 1951, Cooke worked to assist Washington D.C.-area African American deaf children who were being sent out of the city for their education while white deaf students from the city were being taught at what is now Galludet University. From 1954 to 1966, Cooke worked as a professor at District of Columbia Teacher's College. In 1966, he was appointed president of District of Columbia Teacher's College and served in that post until 1974. In 1978, Cooke worked as a consultant for the World Peace Through Law Center. From 1984 to 1986, he worked as a professor at Beacon College in Washington, D.C.

Cooke is a member of the World Veterans Federation and the American's Veterans Committee and serves as an officer for the Catholic Interracial Council of Washington, D.C. In 1983, Paul Phillips Cooke Day was declared in Washington, D.C. by former Mayor Marion Barry. One year later, Cooke was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope John Paul II. In 1986, the University of the District of Columbia awarded him with an honorary doctor of laws degree and also gave him the U.D.C. Legacy Award in 2004. The university also established the Paul Phillips Cooke Lecture Series and the Paul Phillips Cooke Scholarship Program. Two scholarships were awarded in 2006. Cooke is also active in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc., which awarded him the Laurel Wreath in 1995. He is also a lifelong member of the NAACP.

After sixty-three years of marriage and four children, his wife, Rose Clifford Cooke, died.

Cooke was interviewed by The History Makers on March 1, 2004.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mass in Honor of Cardinal McCarrick

Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington

invites you to a

Mass of Thanksgiving

in honor of

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick

on the occasion of his 8oth birthday

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
5:30 p.m.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Health Care Law Leads to New Pro-Life Opportunities in the States

The new health care law, while blasted by many opponents of abortion (though supported by some pro-lifers) is proving to provide new opportunites to protect the unborn at the state level and in private, commerical health insurance.

At least 11 states have passed laws this year regulating or restricting abortion, giving the pro-life cause what partisans on both sides of the issue say is an unusually high number of victories.

In the past, conservative Pro-Life groups have said and done little about abortion in private health insurance plans. To do so would have upset alliances with Big Business and other conservative activists opposed to government regulation of private companies. Instead, the focus was on government policies that often concerned a much smaller number of abortions or even matters only indirectly touching on abortion.

In the health care debate, progressive pro-lifers took their conservative brethren to task for their historic silence on this issue and the sometimes twisted arguements they had to make on the heath care bill while avoiding the admission of their past silence. Groups now seem ready to make up for their past inaction.

The new law enhances the ability of states to restrict abortion in private plans. The Democratic controlled state Legislature in Mississippi became the latest to prohibit insurance comapnies from offering plans that include abortion to be sold on the exchange. Federal law prohibits subsidies for abortions, but states also have the right to even prohibit the unsubsidized sale of abortion riders.

The non-partisan Nebraska Legislature has also acted.

Even conservative anti-abortion leaders are now admitting the federal govenrment does not have all that much to say about abortion.

“Ninety percent of pro-life legislation happens at the states,” said Daniel S. McConchie, vice president for government affairs at Americans United for Life, a pro-life group. “While Congress is the main focus of attention for so many people in the country, state legislatures have greatest impact on daily lives, and life-related legislation is no exception.”

Abortions in the United States have been increasingly concentrated among poor women and those without health insurance, whose rates have gone up even as the overall national rate has declined. This is why many pro-lifers including Catholic bishops and Cardinals and others not wedded to secular conservative politics have noted that by providing national health care, the unborn are protected.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sisters Say: Support Health Care Reform

60 Leaders of Religious Orders Representing 59,000 Sisters Support Health Care


Dear Members of Congress:

We write to urge you to cast a life-affirming “yes” vote when the Senate health care bill (H.R. 3590) comes to the floor of the House for a vote as early as this week. We join the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), which represents 1,200 Catholic sponsors, systems, facilities and related organizations, in saying: the time is now for health reform AND the Senate bill is a good way forward.

As the heads of major Catholic women’s religious order in the United States, we represent 59,000 Catholic Sisters in the United States who respond to needs of people in many ways. Among our other ministries we are responsible for running many of our nation’s hospital systems as well as free clinics throughout the country.

We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor. We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment.

The health care bill that has been passed by the Senate and that will be voted on by the House will expand coverage to over 30 million uninsured Americans. While it is an imperfect measure, it is a crucial next step in realizing health care for all. It will invest in preventative care. It will bar insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. It will make crucial investments in community health centers that largely serve poor women and children. And despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions. It will uphold longstanding conscience protections and it will make historic new investments – $250 million – in support of pregnant women. This is the REAL pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for it.

Congress must act. We are asking every member of our community to contact their congressional representatives this week. In this Lenten time, we have launched nationwide prayer vigils for health care reform. We are praying for those who currently lack health care. We are praying for the nearly 45,000 who will lose their lives this year if Congress fails to act. We are also praying for you and your fellow Members of Congress as you complete your work in the coming days. For us, this health care reform is a faith mandate for life and dignity of all of our people.

We urge you to vote “yes” for life by voting yes for health care reform in H.R. 3590.


Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA
LCWR President
Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Joan Chittister, OSB
Co-Chair Global Peace Initiative of Women
Erie, PA

Sr. Mary Persico, IHM
Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Scranton, PA

Sr. Susan Hadzima, IHM
Councilor for Missioning and Community Life
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Scranton, PA

Mary Genino (RSHM)
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
Western American Province.

Nancy Conway CSJ
Congregation Leadership Team
The Congregation of St. Joseph

Debra M. Sciano, SSND
Provincial Leader
Milwaukee Province, School Sisters of Notre Dame

Josephine Gaugier, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Holy Rosary Mission Chapter Prioress
Adrian, MI

Kathleen Nolan, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Office of the General Council

Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
La Crosse, WI

Corinne Weiss
Servants of Jesus Leadership Team
Saginaw MI

Adrian Dover OP
Dominican Sisters of Houston, Texas

Rose Mary Dowling, FSM

Franciscan Sisters of Mary
Leadership Team
Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Beatrice Haines, OLVM
President, Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters
Huntington IN

Joan Saalfeld, SNJM, Provincial
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
U.S.-Ontario Province

Jo'Ann De Quattro, SNJM
Sisters of the Holy Names
U.S.-Ontario Province Leadership Team

Sharon Simon, OP
Racine Dominicans

Maryann A. McMahon, O.P.
Vice President
Dominican Sisters of Racine, WI

Agnes Johnson, OP
Vice President
Racine Dominicans

Pat Mulcahey, OP
Prioress of Sinsinawa Dominicans

Pam Chiesa, PBVM
Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Patricia Anne Cloherty, PBVM
Leadership Team, Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Gloria Inés Loya
Leadership Team
Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco

Gloria Marie Jones, OP
Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose
Congregational Prioress and Council

Mary Litell
Provincial Councilor
Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity St. Francis Province

Theresa Sandok, OSM
Servants of Mary (Servite Sisters)
Ladysmith, Wisconsin

Sr Claire Graham SSS
General Director
Sisters of Social Service
Encino CA

Margaret Byrne CSJP - Congregation Leader
Teresa Donohue CSJP - Assistant Congregation Leader
Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace

Sr. Carmelita Latiolais, S.E.C.
Sisters of the Eucharistic Covenant

Joan Mumaw, IHM – Vice President
On behalf of the Leadership Council
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Monroe, Michigan

Sister Clare of Assisi Pierre, SSF
Sisters of the Holy Family
New Orleans, LA

Sister Marla Monahan, SND
Sisters of Notre Dame
(St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, KY
and St. Charles Care Center in Covington, KY)

Vivien Linkhauer, SC
Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, United States Province
Greensburg, PA

Dolores Maguire
Sisters of the Holy Faith
Northern California LCWR Region XIV

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Schweiger, OSB
Mount St. Scholastica
Atchison, KS

Marianites of Holy Cross

Sr. Suellen Tennyson, MSC
Congregational Leader

Barbara Hagedorn, SC
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Mt. St. Joseph, Ohio

Francine Schwarzenberger OP
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Denver, Colorado

Sister Maureen McCarthy
School Sisters of St. Francis
U.S. Provincial Team
Milwaukee, WI

Eileen C. Reid, RJM
Provincial Superior
Religious of Jesus and Mary
Washington DC

Sister Cecilia Dwyer, O.S.B.
Benedictine Sisters of Virginia

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
Sister Joann Sambs, CSA
General Superior

Sisters of St. Francis
Tiffin, Ohio
(from Sr. Mary Kuhlman)

Sr. Helen McDonald, SHCJ
Province Leader
Society of the Holy Child Jesus
Leadership Team

Sisters of the Precious Blood
Dayton, OH

The Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
Sister Jane Blabolil, SSJ-TOSF
Sister Michelle Wronkowski, SSJ-TOSF
Sister Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF
Sister Linda Szocik, SSJ-TOSF

Sr. Gladys Guenther SHF
Sisters of the Holy Family
Congregational President
Fremont, CA

Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, Councilor
Sisters of St. Dominic
Blauvelt New York

Sheral Marshall, OSF
Provincial Councilor
Sisters of St Francis

Marilyn Kerber, SNDdeN
Canonical Representative, Ohio Province
Sisters of St. Louis, California Region
(from Sr. Michele Harnett, SSL)

Ruth Goodwin, OSF
Sisters of ST. Francis of Philadelphia
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Leadership Team

Sr. Joanne Buckman, OSU
Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


We will keep the victims and their families in our prayers. We will be resolute in our response, and I pledge to the people of Haiti that you will have a friend and partner in the United States of America today and going forward.

May God bless the people of Haiti and those working on their behalf.

--President Barack Obama

Please help the people of Haiti in the aftermath of a massive earthquake that struck near the capital of Port-au-Prince. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and was still recovering from deadly 2008 hurricanes when the quake struck.

You can help in the following ways:

Pray for the suffering people of Haiti and for the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, who is missing and feared to be dead.

Contribute to Catholic Relief Services by calling 1-800-736-3467 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or visiting their website at www.crs.org/haiti/

Contribute to the Red Cross. For more information go here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/01/13/help-haiti

Contribute to the Solidarity Center's Haitian Relief Fund and read their blog to inform yourself: http://www.solidaritycenter.org/content.asp?contentid=1004

Contribute to Jesuit Refugee Service: http://www.jrsusa.org/news/news_100114.php

Read CRS's blog about the sad situation in Haiti and place yourself in spiritual solidarity with the people of Haiti. http://crs-blog.org/

Friday, January 8, 2010

Passing of Mrs. Jean Biden

We were sad to learn of the passing of Mrs. Jean Biden. May saints & angels lead her on to to the Lord, and may He grant her rest eternal and let perpetual light shine on her.


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release
January 8, 2010
Statement from Vice President Joe Biden

“My mother, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan Biden, passed away peacefully today at our home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and many loved ones. At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times. She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves. Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor. Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us.”


Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan Biden was born on July 17, 1917, the daughter of the late Ambrose J. Finnegan and the former Geraldine C. Blewitt of Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1941, she married Joseph Robinette Biden. They were married for 61 years before Mr. Biden passed away in 2002.

Mrs. Biden is survived by her eldest son, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., his wife Jill Jacobs Biden and their three children, Joseph R. Biden, III, of Wilmington, Delaware, his wife Hallie Olivere Biden and their children, Natalie Paige Biden and Robert Hunter Biden, II; R. Hunter Biden of Washington, D.C., his wife Kathleen Buhle Biden and their children, Naomi King Biden, Finnegan James Biden and Roberta Mabel Biden; and Ashley Blazer Biden of Wilmington, Delaware; and by her daughter, Valerie Biden Owens of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, her husband John T. Owens and their children Valerie James Owens, Cuffe Biden Owens and Catherine Eugenia Owens; and by her two younger sons, James Brian Biden of Merion Station, Pennsylvania, his wife Sara Jones Biden and their children, James Brian Biden, Jr., Caroline Nicole Biden and Nicholas Coleman Biden; and Francis W. Biden of Florida and his daughter, Alana Jaquet Biden.

Details on services for Mrs. Biden, 92, will be available in the coming days. On behalf of the Biden family, Valerie Biden Owens has requested that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution in memory of Mrs. Biden do so to a hospice, the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, Delaware, or the Naomi Christina Biden Minority Scholarship Fund at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rush Limbaugh Loves Union Hospitals and Socialized Medicine

Hell Freezes Over:
Rush Limbaugh Loves Union Hospitals and Socialized Medicine

By Jessica Kutch

Over the past year of Obama's presidency, conservative blowhard Rush Limbaugh has routinely mocked, distorted and even invented various health insurance reform proposals before Congress. Given Limbaugh's blanket opposition to the new administration (recall Limbaugh's public confession, "I want [Obama] to fail"), it's hard to take Limbaugh's incessant fear-mongering seriously - or even tune in it at all. That was the case, however, until Limbaugh used his recent emergency hospital visit to show that the U.S. health care system is "working just fine."

On December 30th, Rush Limbaugh underwent an angiogram at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu after complaining of sharp chest pains. When Limbaugh exited the hospital on New Year's Day, he told reporters, "They found absolutely nothing wrong. It was a blessing. No arterial disease, no coronary disease whatsoever."

Limbaugh then turned to health care reform, citing his Honolulu experience as evidence that the health care system doesn't need fixing:

"Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there is one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy."
We're thrilled to hear that Limbaugh appreciates Hawaii's exemplary health care system.

Here's why:

1. Hawaii is a shining example of progressive health care reform. In fact, Hawaii is so forward-thinking that the Senate bill excludes Hawaii from some of its provisions, because Hawaii's requirements on employers go farther than the federal legislation.

•Since 1974, Hawaii has required all employers to provide quality health care benefits to any employee who works 20 hours a week or more. Because of Hawaii's increased coverage, reports the New York Times, "hospital and insurance executives in Hawaii say they have been able to innovate efficiencies. For instance, the state's top three medical providers are adopting electronic medical records -- years ahead of most mainland counterparts."

•One reporter noted "the medical system in Hawaii is as close to socialized medicine as there is in the United States, and, much of the Democrats reform bill is based in the Hawaii system."

2. Limbaugh stayed at Queen's Medical Center, where nursing staff are represented by the Hawaii Nurses' Association (read: a labor union). The nurses at Queen's are protected by their contract, which adheres to the ANA's safe-staffing principles guaranteeing appropriate staffing levels for any patient care unit.

In fact, Hawaii has one of the greatest percentages of organized workers of any state and also had the highest percentage of organized RNs. All private-sector acute care hospital RNs are organized, with just two known exceptions. We're guessing this might have something to do with why Limbaugh found the Hawaii hospital staff's work so "confidence-inspiring."

When Limbaugh was released from Queen's Medical Center, he cheerily noted, "The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer."