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How often do the dead get to speak to the living? Every day on the obits page.

Why you should be reading the obituaries:

"Famous last words" by Catherine O’Connell-Cahill

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Is that God in the sky?! Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took the image as he strolled beside the Wash, the wide estuary between Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
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Image: The Telegraph

Is that God in the sky?! Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took the image as he strolled beside the Wash, the wide estuary between Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

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Image: The Telegraph

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In Chicago? Join us for Mass on August 3 at Fiesta del Sol for DREAMers, immigrants, and the detained undocumented minors!

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Meet the woman who makes Walmart’s low-priced clothes. She works 10-hour days for $103 per month. And her factory is one of the good ones:

Photo story: Inside a Bangladesh garment factory

Images: David Snyder

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Religious Symbols And Their Significance: Take The HuffPost Religion Quiz!

Interfaith dialogue is important! How well do you know the symbols from the different religions?

Take the Huffington Post's quiz and test your skills by guessing what symbol belongs to what religion.

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"Gay people expend a lot of energy looking for acceptance and tolerance. It’s pretty much a part of our DNA. But genuine welcome goes far beyond acceptance and tolerance. Welcome is a joyous absurdity of openness and love, of oneness, and what I love most about my parish is that I’m not a gay Catholic there. I’m just a Catholic. There’s nothing special about me. On the contrary, I am appreciated but otherwise wonderfully taken for granted. It’s a genuine welcome that doesn’t just welcome you to church; it welcomes you to the baptism that made you church in the first place."

- Jeffrey Essmann, in an essay, “Coming out Catholic,” which appeared in the July 2014 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 79, No. 7, pages 35-36).
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Say Grace is a collection of rough-hewn jewels honoring the people Sam Baker calls “everyday heroes.” There is the flagman on “Road Crew,” another guy “wrestling a pipe in a ditch,” the lonely woman in the “terrycloth bathrobe with a tear.” Their portraits are set in a sparse frame of guitars, piano, violin, and Baker’s earnest croak of a voice, and they are all holy. They are all, as Thomas Merton put it, “walking around shining like the sun.”

Give it a listen:

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Image: RNS photo courtesy LIFE Outreach International

What does it take to produce the first-ever papal high-five? A meeting with American televangelists, apparently. James Robison was the lucky recipient.

You know you’re secretly jealous.

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iheartbeingacatholic:

Did this guy have anything to do with Germany’s football victory against Brazil?

Something to ponder over your Wednesday morning coffee.

iheartbeingacatholic:

Did this guy have anything to do with Germany’s football victory against Brazil?

Something to ponder over your Wednesday morning coffee.

Source: iheartbeingacatholic
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"

Somebody’s done a terrible crime. We’re horrified with the crime. That’s a given. We’re going to say, “They’re guilty. They did it.”

Now come, and come with the guards, come and get that person from their cell. Walk with them, assist them, coerce them into walking across, and strapping them down, whether it be for the electric chair or lethal injection. Then all the guards leave the room who have played their part.

Think for a moment, if you were one of the guards whose job was that night that you had to help in the execution of a human being. It’s just your job. You’re not murdering anybody. It’s all legal.

Just for a moment, picture that you’re one of those people. Then all of those guards leave the room. Now, you’re the warden, and you’re the first trigger because you’re going to nod your head, or in Texas he takes off his glasses. There’s an unseen executioner behind that window who is now going to fatally inject, or pull the switch, to kill a human being.

You’re there, and you hear the person say their last words, whatever they are, and then you see. You’re present and it’s silent, and they kill the person. Then the doctor comes in, puts the penlight to see if the pupils are dilating or not, puts the stethoscope to the heart, has declared that the prisoner is dead.

They will then close the curtain, but what is happening is, they’re going to come in, and they have a body bag. They’re going to put the person in it and they’re going to take him out in an ambulance. Probably the photo op that they use the most is the ambulance coming out of the prison with the body of the person.

What have we done? What is the essence of that act that we have done to try to communicate to our children, and for our future that violence is not the answer to human problems. That’s the heart of the journey right there.

"

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Sister Helen Prejean, in an interview with U.S. Catholic on the movement to end the death penalty.

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