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opinion/commentary View Comments

Back From Iraq
By B.B.
Source: St. Anthony Messenger
Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Click here to email! Email | Click here to print! Print | Size: A A |  
 
At our Thanksgiving dinners, sometimes as part of the grace before the meal, we each say what we are especially thankful for right now. This year I will say I am thankful for the removal of combat troops from Iraq.

Yes, we all know it’s not “Mission Accomplished,” and we will never know the jubilation of V-E or V-J Day. Changing the program from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn” does not mean Iraq is militarily secure or its government is democratic. But it is a milestone, as President Barack Obama said in his August 31 speech from the Oval Office, only the second time in his presidency he has used that prestigious venue.

About 50,000 Americans remain in the country in an advisory capacity. What that means in a country that six months after its national elections had yet to form a government, I can’t predict. But I do know two things: Fewer Americans will die in Iraq, and Obama kept a key campaign...

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Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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