February 20, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (022019)

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February 19, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (021919)

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Positivity: Canonization causes open for Italian mother, religious sister

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 18, 2019 / 03:17 pm

The Vatican has announced the opening of canonization causes for two contemporary women, both of whom died in the 21st century. One, Enrica Onorante in Michisanti, was a lay woman and mother; the other, Mother Maria Bernardetta of the Immaculate, was a professed religious sister.

In an edict published in L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican, Onorante (“in Michisanti” denotes her husband’s surname) is described as a lay woman and mother who became known for her charitable work with developing countries.

While her life, from childhood, was marked by “a number of trials,” she was known for facing them “with trust in Divine Providence,” the edict states.

“A profound life of prayer enabled her to internalize her physical and moral suffering and spurred her to offer herself as a ‘living victim’, wholly abandoning herself to God’s will,” it adds.

Onorante became best known for her work as secretary for the Third World Help Committee of the Italian Episcopal Conference, which provided aid to various developing countries around the world.

“Discrete, attentive and always ready to welcome in order to serve, she made herself available for any task to further the mission of the Church,” the edict states. “With a truly ‘maternal’ style, she encouraged many men and women religious and priests from around the world in their pastoral work, thereby earning their esteem and affection.”

Her reputation for holiness and charity spread, and there is even an “Enrica Onorante Home” for impoverished children and their families named after her in Beira, Mozambique.

The cause for Servant of God Mother Maria Bernardetta of the Immaculate, professed sister of the religious congregation of the Poor Sisters of Saint Joseph, was also announced in an edict published in L’Osservatore Romano.

Mother Maria Bernadetta was born in Montella, Italy, a small town about 53 miles east of Naples, on October 15, 1918.

At the age of 17, she began her postulancy with the Poor Sisters of St. Joseph, an Argentinian-founded order of sisters who serve the poor in various apostolates, including schools, parishes, hospitals, missions, homes for single mothers, and nursing homes.

Three years later, she professed her first vows.

“For all of her Sisters she was an example of humility, piety, diligence, goodness and abandonment to Divine Providence,” the edict stated.

She served in communities throughout the world, including in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in the state of Virginia, “making herself available to all, lending an ear to seminarians and priests, supporting them in their priestly vocation and in difficult moments.”

“She lived by showing, in everyday actions, love for priests, her Sisters, her family and the poor,” it added.

The founder of the community of sisters, Mother Camila Rolon, has also been declared Venerable by the Vatican, meaning her life has been found to be one of heroic virtue and her cause for canonization is also open. Today, the sisters have communities in Virginia, Argentina, Uruguay, Romania, Madagascar, and Italy.

In both edicts announcing the canonization causes of the women, Catholics are encouraged to contact the postulators of the causes or the diocesan tribunals with “any information which could in some way offer elements favourable or contrary to the reputation of holiness of the said Servant of God.”

The edicts also requested that any writings from either Servant of God be submitted to either the postulator of their causes or to the tribunals. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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February 18, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (021819)

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February 17, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (021719)

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Positivity: Paris train attack heroes awarded French citizenship

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

From (yes) Sacramento, California:

Published February 1

The three Americans who thwarted a 2015 terror attack on a Paris-bound train were awarded French citizenship on Thursday during a special naturalization ceremony in Sacramento.

Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone were aboard the 15:17 train to Paris in August 2015 when a terrorist attempted to open fire on passengers on the train. The trio was among a handful of people who helped tackle and subdue the assailant, whose assault rifle had jammed.

Police said the attacker, Ayoub El-Khazzani, had ties to radical Islam.

The three men received French citizenship on Sept. 12, San Francisco French consulate spokesman Matthias Carette told the Sacramento Bee. Thursday’s ceremony was a formality to award the three men their naturalization paperwork, including French birth certificates.

“Our nation will be enriched by your strength, your culture and your personal experiences,” said Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, the consul general of France in San Francisco. “Today, France is proud to welcome you into its rich history.”

Stone, who is a former Airman 1st Class in the United States Airforce, said they are honored to have been granted dual citizenship, which could open up the opportunity of possibly living in Europe in the future.

“We feel a certain connection with France,” he said. “It’s an honor that they’re opening their arms to us like that.”

In addition to French citizenship, the three men have been honored as heroes upon their return to the U.S. Then-French President Francois Hollande awarded them with the Legion of Honour.

President Barack Obama in 2015 honored Stone with an Airman’s Medal and Purple Heart, while Skarlatos – who was a member of the Oregon National Guard – received the U.S. Army’s Soldier’s Medal.

“Just having the opportunity to [become a citizen] after feeling so close to the people of France after what we took part in there and the few times we’ve been back — it’s just a humbling experience and I’m really thankful for it and I know the other guys feel the same way too,” Sadler said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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February 16, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (021619)

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Positivity: This Democratic Lawmaker Explains Why She’s Pro-Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Louisiana, via The Daily Signal (HT Life News):

January 31, 2019

“Being pro-life isn’t a party issue, it’s based on a value system. Caring about every stage of life is pro-life.”

These are words from Democrat Katrina Jackson, an African-American state legislator from Louisiana who shared her personal story of becoming an advocate for both life and women’s health in an interview with The Daily Signal.

Jackson represents the 16th District of Louisiana and has served in the state House of Representatives since 2011. She was one of the few in her party to address the thousands gathered to memorialize and march for the unborn earlier this month at the 46th March for Life.

“In Louisiana, it doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat or Republican, black or white—we fight for life,” Jackson said at the March for Life rally.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

“I tell people in my state when they ask me, ‘Why are you a black, female, Democrat lawmaker fighting for life?’ I tell them because I’m a Christian first,” Jackson added. “And then I tell them that Proverbs say God hates the shedding of innocent blood. There’s no blood more innocent than an unborn child who’s never sinned, who never knew sin, and so for them … we will fight.”

Jackson first got a taste for public service as a standout intern for a state legislator during college. Upon graduation, Jackson was hired to stay on.

“I was working in the Legislature after term limits and there was a lot going on. A lot of new members and a lot of concerns. In prayer one day, I felt led to run. That’s how it started. Just prayer,” she told The Daily Signal.

When Jackson attended law school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she joined a church. Her surge into politics began with what she refers to as a series of “spiritual encounters.”

“When I tried to ignore the calling into politics … I spoke to ministers and people who knew me very well and one of them actually told me, ‘You’re running for what God has told you to do,’” Jackson said. “’You need to go run for office.’”

Jackson credits her strong pro-life stance rooted in women’s health to past life experiences and testimonies she heard from women.

One testimony that impacted Jackson’s outlook was from a woman who sought services from an uncertified physician. The woman did not go through a proper procedure, and was bleeding profusely as a result of an attempted abortion.

“The unqualified physician called an ambulance and sent the bleeding woman to the hospital,” Jackson said. “The physician didn’t have any relationship nor affiliation with a hospital so they couldn’t inform the ambulance members on what had happened to the woman.”

Jackson heard similar stories from women who, as a result, suffered mentally from being unable to have children. “That was the part of the woman’s health that made those testimonies powerful and how that one moment affected them for years to come,” Jackson explained.

Jackson is part of Louisiana Right to Life, a pro-life, nonpartisan advocacy group that supports legislation helping pregnant women, single mothers, and families in poverty access resources.

“I’m not going to not only ask someone to choose life, I’m going to support legislative measures and policies that allow a child not to grow up impoverished due to the mother choosing to give birth,” she affirmed. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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February 15, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (021519)

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Positivity: Doxxed Covington Catholic senior helped raise $21K for nonprofit refuge — ‘I’m going to be optimistic’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Covington, Kentucky:

Published 2:49 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2019 | Updated 6:17 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2019

Strangers identified a Covington Catholic senior’s dream and mobilized to dismantle it.

Michael Hodge had applied to Cincinnati State, drawn to the school’s culinary arts program. A mob, angered by videos showing Hodge’s classmates chanting around a group of Native Americans on the National Mall, found a scapegoat in Hodge.

“It was crazy to see all the people, you know, so quick to judge,” Hodge, 18, told The Enquirer. Hodge was 500 miles away when his classmates joined the March for Life event and afterward encountered Native Americans and a reported hate group. Hodge had remained in the Cincinnati area for his older brother’s wedding. But he was mistakenly identified as another CovCath student, Nick Sandmann.

Around the time of the Saturday matrimony, social media users began posting that Hodge aspired to be a chef and had applied to Cincinnati State, using information from school and community magazines.

Hundreds sent “hurtful things and threats” to Hodge, he said, and dozens more made harassing calls to his mother, some lobbing gender-based invective.

The vitriol felt unrelenting.

Police officers escorted Hodge to school those first few days back. His mother, Pamela Hodge, feared for his safety.

What the strangers didn’t know: Hodge’s passion for the culinary arts had led him last summer to prepare and serve meals to food-insecure individuals at Mary Rose Mission, a Catholic nonprofit in Florence.

And about six years earlier, Hodge’s father, John Hodge, had offered engineering and architectural advice and a free inspection through his company, Century Construction Inc., to Mary Rose during the renovation of a 100-year old structure.

The nonprofit at first relied solely on volunteers for the project.

“They (John Hodge’s company) always answered,” said Cindy Carris, the executive director of Mary Rose. “A lot of people at that time knew it was me and they would go dark.”

But last month the family sifted through hundreds of hateful messages, unable emotionally to read them all. Michael Hodge deleted his Facebook account. Century Construction was targeted in the doxing.

“We were in such a bad spot, so negative for so long,” said John Hodge. “My wife (Pamela Hodge) said, ‘What can we do to change this? Make some good out of this?’ ”

They mulled creating a fundraiser for Mary Rose, to channel the attention away from hate. They feared it would create more unwanted attention, but ultimately decided to go through with it.

With donations made by check and through GoFundMe, the family raised more than $20,000. The Hodges made a $250 anonymous donation themselves and later donated $600 more to offset a GoFundMe service fee.

On Friday, the family presented a $21,170 check to Carris and Mary Rose.

Carris said the money will likely help defray costs associated with purchasing a new facility to serve as a temporary refuge for people in need. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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February 14, 2019

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (021419)

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Positivity: ‘Keep fighting the bad guys’ — Girl battling cancer with no cure made honorary police officer

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Freeport, Texas (video at link):

Published 4:47 p.m. CT Feb. 8, 2019 | Updated 6:05 p.m. CT Feb. 8, 2019

A young girl who is battling cancer was sworn in as an honorary police officer in Texas, and video of the ceremony is touching hearts on social media.

Freeport, Texas police shared the emotional moment in a Thursday Facebook post. It shows Honorary Officer Abigail Rose Arias in uniform, with her right-hand raised.

Freeport Police Chief Ray Garivey’s voice breaks as he stands in front of Abigail, reading the oath.

“I now and forever promise to keep fighting the bad guys,” Garivey tearfully says, pausing for Abigail to repeat the words.

“Until all of my cancer is gone,” the oath concluded.

The story has been shared by national news organizations such as CBS News and video of the the ceremony been viewed millions of times.

Abigail, 6, has battled the disease before, but this time doctors are telling her family there is no cure, Houston’s ABC13 reports.

“I have cancer. The bad guys are in my lungs,” she reportedly told the station.

Her mother, Ilene Arias, told the ABC13 that doctors have told them it’s time for Abigail ”to enjoy some life.”

Freeport Police said Abigail has been battling Wilms tumor, a type of childhood cancer that starts in the kidneys, for two years.

The special ceremony came after Abigail expressed her interest in being an officer; Garivey and other community leaders worked to make the special moment possible.

“Well as you can see, dreams come true!” the department posted to Facebook. ”Continued prayers for Abigail and God Bless her and her family!” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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February 13, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (021319)

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Positivity: Mom — Two kids who helped neighbor trapped under Jeep were outside for punishment

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

This report from Tulsa, Oklahoma saves the punch line a later paragraph (in bold; HT Weasel Zippers, whose headline is the one used):

Thursday, February 7th 2019

Emma and Josh Kuehl were playing in their backyard when they heard their neighbor call out.

“We were playing a game, and we heard him yelling for help,” Josh said. “And we peeked over the fence, but we didn’t see him. And we both were very scared.”

On the other side of that fence, a man was trapped underneath a Jeep.

Being nine and seven-years-old, they did what you’d expect them to do, run inside and yell for Mom.

“Just having a typical Saturday morning, and they came running in, just screaming and yelling the neighbor broke his arm,” said Kristal Spitler, their mother.

When Kristal went next door, all she could see were the man’s legs.

He yelled to go and get the woman inside and call 911.

“She had never met me before,” Spitler said. “I had never met her, but we went outside, we tried to use a jack to get it off.”

Paramedics had to come and use jaws of life to get him out, before he was taken by helicopter to Oklahoma City.

Luckily, the family says he was able to come home from the hospital later that day.

“It was just a complete and total miracle,” Spitler said.

Kristal Spitler says the only reason the kids were outside in the first place was because they had their electronics taken away for the weekend. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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February 12, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (021219)

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