Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

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Vatican rejects former President of Ireland & 2 other planned International Women’s Day speakers; drone warfare is on the radar at Hartford Seminary

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HeadshotKateSmallRome-based Kate McElwee, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, praises the previously deferential-to-cardinals organization Voices of Faith for taking its annual International Women’s Day conference outside the Vatican walls after three planned speakers were rejected from the program. One of them is former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, an outspoken proponent of women’s ordination and the mother of a gay son. The March 8th event can be live-streamed at 8 a.m. EST at and can also be accessed within the following week on YouTube and the organization’s Facebook page.


RK photoRev. Richard Killmer, one of the organizers of the  March 14th Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare, promotes the event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman St., Hartford. The presenters include: Andrea Prasow, associate director of the Washington, DC, office of Human Rights Watch; Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, of Catholic University; Rev. Dr. Chris Antal, a Unitarian Universalist minister who resigned as an army chaplain because of the US lethal drone policy; and Lt. Co. Shareda Hosein, US Army Reserves Ret’d., a Muslim chaplain. Registration is free but a free-will offering will be taken. Lunch will be provided. Register at Call 609-924-5022 for more information or visit




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The Shape of Movies: two critics call by name the Oscar winners and losers


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Richard Alleva and Rand Richards Cooper, writers for the Catholic journal Commonweal, unite in WESU’s studio B for a rollicking look at this year’s Oscar nominees. There were no injuries.

[Notes from the cutting room floor: the interview was edited to fit the time slot. For the record, Richard recommends the Albert Finney portrayal of Winston Churchill in 2002’s The Gathering Storm. And Rand would like you to know that one of this year’s unfairly overlooked films is The Florida Project.]


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A conservative calls out conservatives on their hypocritical choice of Trump

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StephenMansfield-4-LARGEStephen Mansfield, a center-right evangelical Christian historian and biographer, explores in Choosing Donald Trump: God, Anger, Hope and Why Christian Conservatives Supported Him, the reasons the right went wrong as well as the forces that made Trump Trump. Mansfield is also — perhaps presciently — the author of the 2011 book Where Has Oprah Taken Us?

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The sights to go with the sounds

Photos from two NYC marches:

Saturday, Jan. 20th’s women’s march in New York City, one of many all over the world, that drew an estimated 200,000 like-minded men, women, children (and yes, even like-minded pets) to the streets around Central Park. Note the wagging finger at one of the Trump properties we passed: the chant there was “Shame! Shame! Shame!”


Sunday, Jan. 21st’s  Feminism & Faith in Union march that gathered in Union Square and began with a blessing by several noted feminist women, then paraded along 16th St. to the wonderfully progressive St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Gives one hope.


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A Beautiful March Weekend in January

Today: the sound of women — and the men and children who love them — taking to the streets of New York City.

Along with people all over the world, on Jan. 20, 2018, people gathered on the streets around Central Park to march in solidarity against the policies and behavior of the Trump Administration.

The next day, downtown, Catholic feminists — including men and children — gathered in Union Square and marched to St. Francis Xavier Church on 16th St., in solidarity for women’s ordination.

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Amazing photos from both marches to come tomorrow!


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No ceiling to Michelangelo’s enduring appeal

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Art historian William E. Wallace, one of the world’s foremost experts on Michelangelo and the Renaissance, says a blockbuster exhibit of Il Divino‘s drawings on view until Feb. 12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC is “a rare opportunity that probably won’t be repeated within lifetime.”

Wallace, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has spent his adult life studying Michelangelo and his world. The author of several books on his hero, shown above, he’s just completed another on Michelangelo’s architectural achievements. His series of lectures on DVD, The Genius of Michelangelo, is available through the Lion Library system.






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Christmas Bird Count 2017

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This beautiful Snowy Owl was named Stormy by Patrick Comins, executive director of the CT Audubon Society, who shot the photos, because the weather for the Stratford/Milford, CT, Christmas Bird Count, on Dec. 23, was frightful. Comins and volunteer birder extraordinaire Frank Mantlik talked birds with Reasonably Catholic in what’s becoming an annual tradition.

Thank you so much to all of you who donated to WESU’s fall/winter pledge drive! Thanks to you, we met our goal!

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No Innocent Bystanders: it’s how change is made

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Chris DoucotNoInnocentChristopher J. Doucot, co-founder of the Catholic Worker community in north Hartford, which is marking its 25th anniversary, has co-authored a book with Shannon Craigo-Snell, No Innocent Bystanders: Becoming an Ally in the Struggle for Justice, a primer for individuals and groups interested in standing with people in marginalized groups. He is shown here with his granddaughter Lilly Dullaire.