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On Feb. 26 Father Theodore Hesburgh, the longest serving president of Notre Dame University one the most influential priests in the history of the American church, passed away at the age of 97. He was known, among many other things, as an innovator in Catholic higher education. 

“Drew, wait up, how are you?” The voice shouted to me as I was leaving a burial at Notre Dame’s Holy Cross cemetery. The burial was for Fr. Bill Lewers, C.S.C., a former provincial of the Congregation of Holy Cross and my predecessor once-removed as director of the bishops’ conference’s Office of International Justice and Peace. I turned around to see who was hailing me. It was Notre Dame’s emeritus president, Fr. Ted Hesburgh.

Leonard Nimoy has died at 83. In a lovely convocation address (h/t Catholic Dems) to Boston University in 2012, he described his connection to Jesuit learning:

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, came out swinging today in response to a collection of articles published in the Italian weekly L’Espresso.

The latest (Un)Conventional Wisdom, from politics blogger Robert David Sullivan.

Pope Francis has appointed Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of clergy who abuse minors, as archbishop of Malta.

The Vatican made the announcement on Feb.27, though the news had been broken some days earlier by the press in Malta.

Earlier this week the National Catholic Reporter did a story on the surveys being conducted by all the dioceses of the United States in prepartion for October’s Synod on the Family. Again, this is all part of the two year consultation process that Pope Francis began over a year ago to discuss the pastoral concerns and needs of families.

What is your Lenten resolution or undertaking? Are you giving something up or taking something on? Does it involve food or drink? Are you making any particularly elaborate efforts to give alms, pray, and fast? 

I would appreciate reader input. I feel as though my Lenten promises are too routine, or too unimaginative. I'm hoping some crowdsourcing will freshen up my spiritual practice. Thank you in advance!

After almost nine months in captivity in Afghanistan, Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar has been released and is back home with his family in India.

On Aug. 5, 2014, I began a poetry series for this site that aims to focus on poets whose work centers on the struggles of often-marginalized peoples within the United States. I started the conversation with Rigoberto Gonzalez on his collection Unpeopled Eden, concentrating on the elements of loss, grief and immigration found in the work.

On Jan. 23, 2015, I continued this series by talking with Saeed Jones.