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Editor's Note

StoryCorps: He Traded Single Life To Be Foster ‘Pop’ To More Than 50 Kids : NPR

Roberto and I are foster parents to a young woman who came to us at age 17 and has chosen to stay in our home. Youth in transition to adulthood need caring, loving adults in their lives. Ninety percent of what we do as foster parents to a teenager is just showing up, supporting her choices and listening.

This story might inspire you to become a mentor or foster parent. It might also make you grateful for your own family and more understanding of those who have to build families of choice.

StoryCorps: He Traded Single Life To Be Foster ‘Pop’ To More Than 50 Kids : NPR
— Read on www.npr.org/2019/10/18/770985354/he-traded-single-life-to-be-foster-pop-to-more-than-50-kids

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Editor's Note

A long ride through memories…

One summer, I rode the Rock Island line downtown to the La Salle Street station. I took photography classes at Columbia College and loved wandering the streets of Chicago.

This isn’t the first time I have taken the Blue Line to O’Hare, either. Today it will be challenging since there were mechanical delays… but that’s part of the adventure of public transportation.

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Editor's Note

US Open 2019: Naomi Osaka warms hearts by consoling Coco Gauff – BBC Sport

Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka wins hearts all over again when she consoles teenager Coco Gauff after beating her in the third round.
— Read on www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/49539902

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Editor's Note

GUEST POST: Walking With Naomi | Lent Devo 2019, Holy Week

I’m always honored to participate in a Lenten reflection series, and particularly this year when I was invited to write this post.

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Editor's Note

Betty Ballantine, who helped popularize modern paperback, dies at 99 – The Washington Post

Who -hasn’t- read a Ballantine or Penguin paperback? I never knew the whole story behind the publisher who brought us “Fahrenheit 451.”

An immigrant from Britain, Betty Ballantine and her husband expanded the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as “The Hobbit” and “Fahrenheit 451.”
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/betty-ballantine-who-helped-popularize-modern-paperback-dies-at-99/2019/02/14/8ef456cc-2fdf-11e9-8ad3-9a5b113ecd3c_story.html

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Editor's Note

Me and Lindsey Vonn on a Mountaintop

I learned to ski in Are, Sweden where Lindsey Vonn won the bronze medal in the world championship downhill, the final race of her skiing career this weekend. She’s tenacious, and I admire her determination and all out performance.

There were no crowds cheering me on as I tumbled down that mountain for the first time. My Swedish guides knew I’d been cross country skiing but seemed unaware that there are no mountains in Illinois. They chose a nice, high, wide mountain with a scenic view to help me remember what they considered the basics. Alas! I’d forgotten how to snowplow. Teaching me how not to fall took the entire afternoon (which is rather short during February that close to the North Pole). But like Lindsay, I kept getting up and was back out on the slopes the next day. After a couple of days on safer trails, I was able to keep up with my friends. Persistence wins, every time!

— Read more about Lindsay here: www.espn.com/olympics/skiing/story/_/id/25964844/lindsey-vonn-wins-bronze-medal-final-race-skiing-career

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Editor's Note

Read and reflect on “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

m.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

A strident reminder of our country’s long argument with itself, this poem hits home after a day that began with Cory Booker’s presidential announcement and ended with Ralph Northam’s apology. His surely upcoming resignation may gratify our anger and disbelief, but we must not pretend it solves anything. Structural racism still plagues our country, a birth wound that never heals because we pretend all that blood, the scraped flesh and unrelenting pain is normal, inevitable, acceptable.

I was shocked when I moved to Virginia and learned that the rebel flag flew over a local city hall until the mid-1990s. Learning how segregation affected every part of life here from the schools to the churches during my own lifetime made me realize that it’s horrid legacy still lives. It compelled me to dedicate time to introspection, education and action.

I’ve always admired Langston Highly and his work inspired me to write poetry. His poems sing with clarity through their imagery, but they are not enough. Words can point us toward our shared dreams, but only hard work will lead us through the darkness to that great, shining land of liberty and justice for all.

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Editor's Note

‘I Really Hope a Lot of Men Read It’: Sohaila Abdulali on How We Talk About Rape

An important contribution to our national #MeToo conversation

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Expectations Reflections

In the Hands of the Potter~ November 9, 2018 — In the Hands of the Potter

Catholic circles are talking a lot these days about evangelization and the new evangelization. Much of this is because of the writings of Pope Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XV and now Pope Francis. Our Church leaders have called us to be aware of how we “preach” […]

via In the Hands of the Potter~ November 9, 2018 — In the Hands of the Potter

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Recap

Hurricane Harvey Relief Project – Communications Recap

The stark images and flooding left by Hurricane Harvey inspired many people of goodwill to give generously. At St. James Catholic Church, where I worked at the time, we provided an opportunity for the parish and its surrounding community to participate in a food drive. The project came together very quickly. Harvey hit Texas on Friday, August 25. Our food drive was the main topic of the parish leadership meeting the following Monday, local ads were published on Thursday, August 31, and we officially announced the effort to the parish on via email on Friday, September 1.

My responsibilities included serving as the key staff contact, producing graphics, coordinating the paid print and Facebook advertising campaign and banner production, collaborating with colleagues on the press release for the diocese communications office to distribute, and photographing the food drive from the truck’s arrival on September 1 through its final day on campus, September 10. My amazing colleagues and our outstanding volunteer coordinator made this effort both rewarding and fun. The parish and local community combined to send over 10,000 pounds of food to a food bank in Southeast Texas, and we were also able find homes for donations that did not fit the relief efforts.

Social Media:

Select Twitter posts


 


 


 

Select Facebook posts

 

The pastor posted this text on his personal profile as well:

 
I provided the pictures and details to the diocesan social media coordinator for this post:

 
Parish outreach:

St. James Website – in addition to the now defunct Harvey Relief section, we included the drive in a news article and a front page banner link.

Emails: On September 1 and September 6, the food drive was the lead topic.

 

Press coverage:

 

Tysons Corner Patch

St. James Lends a Hand to Hurricane Harvey Victims

 

Other coverage:

Two teenage volunteers on our project received a mention on Durable Human:

When Disaster Strikes Others, Feel the Pinch of Generosity