Ray Rice & domestic violence

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Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. (Read the policy here). Rice allegedly beat his fiancee (now wife) unconscious following a domestic dispute in an elevator.

Obviously there are always two sides to every story, and that must be what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took into account when he doled out Rice’s punishment of a two game suspension, $529,411.24 and mandated counseling.

As a Church that holds great pride in the sacrament of reconciliation, I wonder, what do most Catholics and people of goodwill think about the suspension? Is it too much, should he be forgiven because he has apologized and acknowledged his mistake? Is it too lenient, should he be banned from the public eye so that the kids that look up to him don’t think that domestic violence is right? Or is the punishment just right because he is doing his penance and should be forgiven from here on out.

I want to hear what you think!

AL-bottom

It’s universal

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Soccer mania is over… in the U.S, just 3 days after the World Cup Final.

Every four years a sudden love of soccer sweeps through our country and during that time, everyone wonders if soccer is “here to stay” in a country dedicated to football, basketball and baseball. While countless Americans prefer to watch tacky colored cars drive in circles (and try to pass it off as a sport), soccer just is not popular here. I was a soccer player growing up, so I wish it were. But just a few days after the Cup’s finale everyone seems to have completely forgotten about Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard for LeBron James and Kevin Love.

During a conversation while watching the USA vs. Belgium match, my grandpa said it best: if you set a ball on the ground in front of a 2 year-old in America, she picks it up and throws it. If you hand a ball to a 2 year-old anywhere else in the world, he puts it on the ground and kicks it.

Soccer is the world’s sport.

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Commit to Pray for Religious Liberty

Catholics across the nation are being encouraged to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to protections of religious liberty during the third Fortnight for Freedom Join Catholic in the Archdiocese of St. Louis by pledging your commitment to pray for religious liberty by clicking the button below. religiousliberty-button

The following people have made the commitment to pray for religious liberty. Will you join them? 

  1. Deacon Mark Jaeger
  2. John Wilmsen
  3. Katie Pesha
  4. Kathy Lewandowski 
  5. Tom Lancia
  6. Mary Ann Pratt
  7. Vicki Thurmond
  8. Brian Niebrugge
  9. Barbara Schantz
  10. Lynn Ewy
  11. Marie Fox
  12. Marcella Benoist
  13. Tim Hessel
  14. Jane F. Beato

God’s Grace is the greatest gift

DadDiary_BannerI recently celebrated my 54th birthday and I still receive hand-made birthday cards from my adult aged children. I worked for Anheuser-Busch for most of my adult life, so beer has always been part of the birthday celebration. That hasn’t changed either, except my children are now having a beer with me.

Each year I get asked “what do you want for your birthday?” Each year I answer “nothing” (although I usually receive some iTunes gift cards).

To be honest, my idea of “gifts” has really changed (evolved?) over the past 6 -7 years. There was a time though when I “needed” all kinds of “things”. The more I got, the happier I was (or so I thought). Continue reading

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Reflections from St. Peter’s Square

The day started early, almost running straight through from the day before. I did manage two glorious hours of sleep after a delicious, but long, Italian dinner with Zac Povis, a St. Louis seminarian studying in Rome. Earlier in the day Lisa Johnston and I had waited in a long line for our media credentials for the canonization ceremony. We couldn’t understand what caused such a long delay, but we made the most of it by “Catholic celebrity” watching. (Our newest friend in Catholic media is Fr. Robert Barron.)

Lisa and I left the hotel shortly before 4 a.m. (9 p.m. back in St. Louis) and walked a mile to Piazza del Sant’Uffizio, at the gate of St Peter’s Basilica. After waiting in line for what seemed longer than necessary once again, we were herded like cattle through the crowd to enter through the press gate (yes, I said “the” press gate, as in singular!). Lisa was trampled by one group, but a kind Polish fellow came to her rescue.

We found ourselves rushing from one line to the next until we finally made it through the last metal detector. Unfortunately, we were directed to the wrong line and had to retreat against traffic. We finally found ourselves in St Peter’s Square winded and sweating, but in awe of our surroundings. With the chaos of the press corps confusing and unpleasant, we moved into the main area of the square to fend for ourselves.

I now sit here writing this from the ground in St Peter’s Square next to the obelisk. The most beautiful music and the widest variety of people surround me. I have a view of the altar and look forward to the blessed opportunity this day will be for our Faith.

God is good, always and forever!

Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, pray for us.

Katie Pesha is the Executive Director for Communications and Planning for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Close the evangelization generation gap

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I grew up in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, when communication was relatively simple compared to today.

Most people had a telephone. It wasn’t called a “land-line” back then, it was just called “the phone.” Plus, the first two digits of your phone number were actually letters (K-I-4-0-6-7-2).

Most people had one black-and-white television set with channels 2, 4, 5, 9, 11 and maybe 30. Continue reading

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The role of dads

By Stephen Kempf | Email Stephen
Follow @StephenKempf on Twitter

New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy welcomed his first child, Noah, into the world on Monday, March 31. Congratulations to him and his wife, Tori. Nothing wrong with a father doing everything he can to be at his wife’s side when she is in labor, is there?

Well, some sports talk radio hosts are criticizing Murphy for the decision, saying that he should not have missed two games to be with his wife for the delivery and then the next couple of days. The agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ union allows for an absence of up to three days. So Murphy wasn’t violating any rules, he was taking advantage of a short time off written into the contract. In the long run, he missed 2 games out of 162.

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Game changers in Lent

sports-diaryThe official start of the Major League Baseball season is next week! I love sports in general, but to me there are really only two sports seasons: baseball season and no-baseball season.

There are quite a few reasons why baseball is my favorite. One reason is because it’s just so easy to love when you’re a Cardinals fan! But another major reason is because it’s long. There are so many games to watch!

I won’t claim to watch every single game the Red Birds play, but when I do miss a game – whether in person, on the TV or the radio – I don’t feel completely gypped, like a big football fan probably would.

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Catholic schools are a great treasure, but choosing one can be daunting

Earlier this month I found out that my nephew, Nick, an eighth grader at Our Lady of the Pillar, received his high school acceptance letter. Nick got into the Catholic high school we wanted.  Everyone is happy.

I’m 53 and I don’t remember the Catholic high school selection process being as daunting as it is for kids today. I wanted to go to St. Mary’s High School — all boys — but my mom wanted me to go to Bishop DuBourg High School —co-ed — because she thought I would get into too much trouble at an all-boys school. She was more afraid that I wouldn’t meet any girls. I went to DuBourg.

I remember when our kids went through the Catholic high school selection process. We visited all the schools. We talked about each one. Then the decision was made we wrote down your first, second and third choices. Continue reading

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