Fifteen years ago, Puerto Rico’s economy entered a death spiral when the United State’s federal government phased out a provision of the Puerto Rican tax code that gave U.S. corporations in Puerto Rico tax exemptions. Many companies moved out of Puerto Rico and unemployment rates went through the roof. It was the beginning of a calvary that hasn’t ended.
As the Holy Season of Lent progresses each year, we welcome new Catholics to the Body of Christ. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a journey, a true act of accompaniment by the local parish to catechumens (those who need to receive all three of the sacraments of initiation — Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion) and candidates (who were baptized, as a Catholic or in another ecclesial communion and need to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist).
On Ash Wednesday, Roman Catholics begin the holy season of Lent. This is a time to do exactly what we were exhorted to do when we had ashes sprinkled on our head — “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Recently, Currents News interviewed Father John Cush, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who is currently serving as a professor and as the Academic Dean of the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City-State. During the conversation, he mentioned who he felt, as an author and as a teacher, were his biggest influences.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, stating that the celebration helped to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman said in 2011: “You’re going to relegate my history to a month? … I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”
This past week saw a disagreement among our American bishops play out publicly in the media. On January 20, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. Mr. Biden, a church-going Roman Catholic, is only the second Catholic in U.S. history to be elected as president.
This week, the nation saw Joseph R. Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States of America. Whether an individual chose to vote for Biden or the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, at this point, the matter is moot. Mr. Biden is the President of the United States, and we, as a united country, need to pray for him.
What was witnessed on January 6, 2021, was truly horrifying. This country has seen riots before — just look back to last May, June, and July. But we as a nation have never seen anything like the events that took place on a day when most Catholics throughout the world celebrate the Epiphany’s light.
It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a difficult year. Expectations are high for a better year in 2021, with the reality that, in some ways, even a little bit of improvement is better than this annus horribilis.
With the installation and blessing of sculptor Timothy Schmaltz’s “Angels Unawares” replica in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, we are reminded of a powerful reality — we are a nation of immigrants.