Apple Rankings

Your guide to the iconic fruit. I found it both affirming and challenging. I aspire to one day find a SweeTango.

h/t: One Foot Tsunami

Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After

It's not everyday that you read something that brings a little clarity to the abortion discourse within the Catholic church. Today was one of those days.

This article (like much of Ginocchio's writing) is neither for the faint of heart nor those of tender conscience. The commentary is biting, crass, and sprinkled with ad hominem potshots at "fan favorites," but dammit if it doesn't make me LOL and re-evaluate what I believe on the regular.

When We Are Comfortable, We're Not Learning

“We believe that the St. Louis Archdiocese, using the specific recommendations of the study Forward Through Ferguson, can take a significant role, nationally, in challenging racism and that St. Margaret of Scotland can be a committed ally in the work to be done here at home. Our diocese has been a national leader before, bringing integration of schools years before the courts (St Louis Racial Justice Decrees of 1947), and we strive to lead again. As the largest religious group in the metropolitan area, Catholics could lead by example as we carefully examine our institutions and culture for policies and structures which contain racial bias and create new and equitable ones.” (from St. Margaret of Scotland Parish Statement on Racism)

Reflecting on paragraph seven of our Parish Statement on Racism leaves me feeling tense(s) in at least two ways.

First, this single paragraph invites us to recall three tenses: our past, present, and future. In the past, Cardinal Joseph Ritter began to correct some of the racist policies in the Archdiocese of St. Louis that perpetuated injustices like segregated schools. These policy changes are good and necessary, but not sufficient.

In our present lifetimes, we’ve seen the unjust death of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. A few generations after the tide began to turn under Ritter’s leadership, we continue to live with evil outcomes resulting from centuries of racism.

Racism is an undeniable feature of our past and present. We also have the opportunity to...

An Anniversary No One Wants

Today is Valentine's Day 2023. It is also the 5th anniversary of the Parkland, FL. mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The total number of children exposed to gun violence at school has exploded, rising from 187,000 in 2018 to 338,000 now, a Washington Post analysis show. via: After Parkland: What we've learned tracking school shootings for 5 years

In reading this data-driven report from the Washington Post, it is overwhelming to consider how many students have been exposed to gun violence at school. When I consider multiplying this out to include the parents, family members, and neighbors who are similarly impacted by this trauma, I'm even more overwhelmed. We will be working to heal the mental health wounds brought on by gun violence for generations.

Last night a school shooting occurred at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. I learned about this shooting not from the news, but from a friend, whose daughter is a student at MSU. It wasn't the first time I've learned of a mass shooting this way and it won't be the last.

This is an American problem driven by a interpretation of our constitution that prioritizes liberty over life and individual rights over collective responsibility.

I heard on the radio this morning that there have been sixty-seven mass shootings in 2023. It's only February, so we're on pace for well over 500 by the end of the year.

May God have mercy on us.

Today, I pray...

World Day of the Sick 2023

Working in Catholic health care, I always look out for the pope's annual message for World Day of the Sick (11 February). This year, Pope Francis did not dissapoint.

The parable of the good Samaritan is a classic source of reflection for those who participate in the health care ministry. Often I focus on the individual decisions & interactions in the story: the priest & Levite who kept walking and the Samaritan who stopped to help. I like how Francis offers a new angle of reflection by pointing to the supportive structure that is required for healing.

"...the conclusion of the parable of the Good Samaritan suggests how the exercise of fraternity, which began as a face-to-face encounter, can be expanded into organized care. The elements of the inn, the innkeeper, the money and the promise to remain informed of the situation (cf. Lk 10:34-35) all point to the commitment of healthcare and social workers, family members and volunteers, through whom good stands up in the face of evil every day, in every part of the world."

The structure of available housing (the inn & inkeeper), the ability to pay for services (the money), and the need to support recovery (promise to remain informed) point to the necessity of these supportive structures.

I'm particularly aware of-and thankful for-all the people "behind the scenes" in health care. At an average community hospital, there are thousands of people indirectly serving the needs of the sick. So, thank you to...