Bishop Stephen Blaire (1941-2019)

via CNS:

Retired Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton died June 18 after a prolonged illness. He died at his retirement residence at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Modesto. He was 77.

The much beloved bishop was recalled by many both in California and across the country as a churchman who lived by a simple code: “We are here to serve, and to do it with a touch of class.”…

In 2009, he was elected to a term as chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice, Peace and Human Development.

In 2009, Blaire one of the first bishops to sign the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation, sponsored by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. The pledge offers a series of steps that people can follow to reduce their impact on the environment.

California Bishops Release Pastoral Statement on Ecological Conversion

via Christopher White:

Timed to mark the 4th anniversary of Laudato si’ – Pope Francis’s landmark document on the environment – the Catholic bishops of California have released a major pastoral statement calling for statewide ecological conversion.

“God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home,” was released on Tuesday by the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, “to animate and energize the implementation in California of what Laudato si’ calls us to do, and to offer a dynamic teaching and evangelization tool for our Catholic faith community and beyond, especially for young people.”

The 17-page document is divided into two sections, with the first half offering a reflection on the natural beauty of California, followed by a call to action on how all residents of the state are able to live out particular “ecological vocations” to aid the common good.

Bishop Flores to Fellow Bishops: We Must Express Ourselves More Strongly on Migration and Human Dignity

Embed from Getty Images
via CNS:

In less than a year, at least six children are believed to have died while in the custody of immigration officials along the border. While immigration along the U.S. southern border once involved almost exclusively men looking for work, women with children or entire families are now the ones regularly making the dangerous trek, fleeing poverty and violence.

“I know this gathering has been dominated by the question of abuse and we have to deal with (it),” Bishop Flores said in an interview with Catholic News Service June 12. “It has to be clear that this is something that will not be tolerated.”

However, he said, the church also must “express” itself more strongly about its teachings when it comes to migrants and the situation along the border is one affecting the most vulnerable in society, including many children.

“I feel that as a (bishops’) conference, we must express ourselves more strongly when it comes to the dignity of immigrants, to say that they are not criminals, that they are vulnerable families and we need to invite all the governments involved, not just the U.S., to defend the migrant as a human being, to not cast the person aside as someone who doesn’t matter and is a problem,” Bishop Flores said.

Advice for New Dads

At Grotto Network, Millennial editor Robert Christian writes:

Balance is important in many ways. If my kids are being too rough or not including others, I can surprise other parents with how sternly I respond. And parents have definitely been shocked when my daughter is tripped playing soccer and I tell her very directly to get up and go after the ball. These same parents might be surprised, though, by how warm and affectionate I am with my kids just moments later — for instance, if I carry my daughter to the car from the soccer field not because she’s tired, but because I can and she wants to be close. And they might think I’m too lax when I let my kids climb on a random rock or get quite loud playing a silly game.

But what could look like incoherence is a calculated attempt to find balance. I try to instill discipline where it matters, particularly in treating others the right way. At the same time, I don’t want to be a helicopter parent — I want my kids to fight through adversity and accomplish things on their own. Too often, kids are not given the chance to make mistakes and grow or to take on tasks that children in other contexts have been perfectly able to handle.

Alongside this, I also often see parents stifling the joy and fun of being a kid for no apparent reason. The very same kids who aren’t allowed to grow up and accomplish things on their own are treated like mini-adults, forced to conform to the senseless rules and etiquette of a soul-crushing bourgeois culture. So I do my best to avoid these pitfalls by being strict and intervening when necessary, while being relaxed where more space can help them to flourish.

You can read the full article here.

Pope Francis: To Overcome Hunger, Environmental Degradation, and Economic Distress, Refuse to Leave People on the Margins

via Pope Francis:

In the four years since the publication of the Encyclical, there have certainly been signs of an increased awareness of the need to care for our common home. I am thinking of the adoption, by many nations, of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Organization; a growing investment in renewable and sustainable energy sources; new methods of energy efficiency; and a greater sensitivity, especially among young people, to ecological concerns.

At the same time, however, a number of challenges and issues still remain. For example, progress on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals has in some cases been slow and even non-existent, or, sadly, has regressed. Improper use of natural resources and models of development that are not inclusive and sustainable continue to have negative effects on poverty, social growth and social equality (cf.  Laudato Si’, 43, 48).  Laudato Si’ is not a “green” encyclical: it is a social encyclical.  Don’t forget this. Moreover, the common good is placed in jeopardy by attitudes of unbridled individualism, consumption and wastefulness. All this makes it difficult to promote economic, environmental and social solidarity and sustainability within a more humane economy which considers not only the satisfaction of immediate desires but also the welfare of future generations. Faced with the enormity of such challenges, it would be easy to lose heart, giving in to uncertainty and anxiety. Yet, “human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start” (ibid., 205)….

Striving to overcome problems such as hunger and food insecurity, persistent social and economic distress, the degradation of ecosystems, and a “culture of waste” calls for a renewed ethical vision, one that places persons at the center, desiring to leave no one on the margins of life. A vision which unites rather than divides, includes rather than excludes.