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Sacred Rights: Land, Lodging, and Labor

The following are excerpts from Pope Francis’ address in July in Bolivia to the World Meeting of Popular Movements. The Bible tells us that God hears the cry of his people, and I wish to join my voice to yours in calling for land, lodging and labor for all our brothers and sisters. I said… continue reading

Agribusiness vs. the Worker: The Business and the Bond of Food

We have a beautiful garden here at Casa Juan Diego. It is always a highlight of our visitor tours. We grow fruits, vegetables and herbs, the soil is cultivated with organic ingredients, we capture rainwater for irrigation, we have an ever-growing bee colony, we compost, and everything that is planted in the ground produces something… continue reading

Beatification of Oscar Romero: Cause of Great Joy and Examination of Conscience

We are rejoicing and the world is rejoicing because of the beatification of Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980. We pray that the world will now be better able to hear his voice. Pope Francis declared Archbishop Romero a martyr for the faith. He is also… continue reading

Rejoicing in El Salvador As Oscar Romero Declared Martyr

by Jaime Septién The Vatican Commission that reviewed the martyrdom of Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez has given the green light to the process of beatification, ruling that the archbishop of San Salvador was assassinated because of “hatred of the faith.” With this finding, his successor, the current arch-bishop of San Salvador and president of the… continue reading

Go Home, Mr Novak, To See the Destruction

Neoconservative elder statesman Michael Novak has weighed in on Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. In his opinion the letter is actually about Argentinean economics, not, God forbid, the global capitalist system: In my visits to Argentina, I observed a far sharper divide between the upper middle class and the poor than any I had experienced in America…. continue reading

Pope Francis and Peter Maurin on Usury

Pope Francis Calls Usury a Scourge, a Plague, as Did Peter Maurin On January 29, 2014, Pope Francis greeted the National Council of Anti-Usury Foundations, speaking strongly about the scourge, the plague of usury, the charging of interest, especially exorbitant interest, calling it a dramatic social ill: “I hope that these institutions may intensify their… continue reading

Dorothy Day and Pope Francis on Advertising

Dorothy Day famously said, “There have been many sins against the poor which cry out to high heaven for vengeance. The one listed as one of the seven deadly sins is depriving the laborer of his share. There is another one, that is, instilling in him the paltry desires to satisfy that for which he… continue reading

The Trickle Down Economy Is Alive and Well at Casa Juan Diego With So Many Poor: Tears Roll Down Instead of Wealth

On a Tuesday last November I was in a planning meeting with some executives of a local social service agency who were talking about the problem of food insecurity in Houston. It is a growing problem and an interesting discussion, but I said nothing, partially because I was late but mostly because I was exhausted…. continue reading

On Making Metro in Houston Less Expensive for the Good of the Poor, for the Good of All

The Houston Chronicle had an interesting headline on the front of the City and State section in September: Metro: Free Fare Days Are Signpost to Future, it read. The story told of the great results of a plan by Metro over the Labor Day Weekend to promote ridership on its buses and light rail by… continue reading

Justice For The Poor: Chesterton and Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching really does not have a lot of nuance to it. It basically boils down to one thing: justice for the poor. The Church has always emphasized the corporal works of mercy, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, tending to the sick, and so on, but as important as those things are, this… continue reading