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first_imgAt a Mass for immigrants and refugees at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Monday night, associate professor of theology Fr. Daniel Groody said the United States’ and Catholics’ attitude towards immigrants and refugees is of utmost importance.Katelyn Valley | The Observer “What is at stake now is not just our politics, but our very salvation,” he said. The Mass was sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Office of the President and Student Government. University president Fr. John Jenkins presided, and student government leaders and Notre Dame Right to Life president Aly Cox read prayers and scripture, respectively. The Mass came little more than a week after President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning the issuance of visas to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and stopping the admission of refugees for 120 days, in order to review the country’s immigration vetting process. The order, which a federal judge temporarily stayed over the weekend allowing some visa holders to enter the country, sparked protests around the world and in South Bend. It also created uncertainty for the approximately 30 students from the seven countries at Notre Dame as to whether they would be able to return home and come back, or get a job in this country. In his homily, Groody, who is also the director of Immigration Initiatives at the Institute of Latino Studies and has written and edited several books about immigration, directly addressed the executive order, focusing primarily on its effect on refugees. He recalled Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where many refugees arrive in unsafe boats, in 2013. Groody said the Mass reflected Francis’ compassion for refugees.  “We care about issues of national security, the future of our country,” Groody said. “We care about human insecurity and justice and peace around the world. At the same time, we are troubled by the decisions of our political leaders, decisions being made to build walls and close doors. But our readings remind us that as we build walls around our identities, we build walls around our hearts and keep God out as well.” Groody compared the United States’ intake of Syrian refugees to that of Jordan and Germany, who have resettled 1 million each; Lebanon, which has resettled 2 million, and Turkey, which has resettled 3 million. The U.S. has resettled 18,000. “Now our leaders say even this is too much, that this must change to keep us safe, to protect our homes, to ‘Make America Great Again.’ On the surface this is appealing, seductive rhetoric, for who would not want to be safe and secure and prosperous?” he said. “But … closing our doors not only deprives a stranger in need, it diminishes who we are personally and collectively.” Groody said attending to the needs of people both within and outside U.S. borders is a key part of Catholic Social Teaching. “Even if a country has a political right to control its borders, it also has a moral responsibility to be in the world and to do good for the world,” he said. Groody, quoting French diplomat and writer Alexis de Tocqueville, said part of what makes America great is its goodness. “Let me say this even more strongly,” he said. “The current executive order is not just about migrants and refugees, but the core values of our country and the shaping of the soul of our nation and presently betrays the foundational principles of our forefathers.” “Immigration is not our central problem,” he added. “Immigration is rather a symptom of deeper problems, like war, poverty, human rights violations, religious intolerance. Underneath these is what Pope Francis calls the ‘globalization of indifference’ — the feeling that, ‘The migrant and refugee crisis is not my problem. It’s not my concern,’ and in this case it’s not America’s responsibility.” Groody quoted Pope Francis’ 2013 sermon at Lampedusa at length, in which the Pope asked forgiveness for the world’s indifference to the migrant crisis.“In so many ways Francis reminds us that when we become so used to the suffering of others we lose to the ability to lament, we’ve lost something of our own humanity,” he said. “We’re not here to talk about politics but to proclaim and to live the Gospel, even and especially when there are ramifications relating to the political discord of our society.” Groody invoked Jesus Christ as both an example of an immigrant and as a model of compassion. “So we do so not just out of humanitarian concern, but response to the God who first showed us and came to our world as a migrant from Nazareth.”At Pope Francis’ Mass in Lampedusa in 2013, a special chalice was used which was made from driftwood from a recent shipwreck that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of migrants. One of the chalices used for communion wine at the Notre Dame mass was also made of driftwood from Lampedusa, as well as mesquite wood from the American Southwest, another site of mass migration. Those attending the Mass were also encouraged to touch a piece of a boat placed in the center aisle of the Basilica, process to the Grotto after the Mass for further prayer and then attend an information session and short film about Syrian refugees at LaFortune Student Center.Tags: Donald Trump, executive order, Immigration, Mass for Immigration and Refugees, President Donald Trump, Refugeeslast_img read more

first_imgA third decision was made to reinvest the principal payments on the securities purchased under the asset purchase programme as they matured for as long as necessary.“This will contribute to favourable liquidity conditions and an appropriate monetary policy stance,” Draghi said, adding that technical details would be given later.The central banker made a fourth policy decision to admit regional and local government bonds into the QE programme.“We decided to include euro-denominated marketable debt instruments issued by regional and local governments located in the euro area in the list of assets eligible for purchase by the respective national central banks,” he said.The bank also decided to continue its main refinancing operations and the three-month longer-term refinancing operations as fixed rate tender procedures with full allotment for as long as necessary and at least until the end of the reserve maintenance period of 2017.“Our new measures,” Draghi said, “will ensure accommodative financial conditions and further strengthen the substantial easing impact of the measures taken since June 2014, which have had significant positive effects on financing conditions, on credit and on the real economy.”European stocks rose in early trading today on hopes the ECB would cut rates and announce an increase in the pace of QE.The rate cut was in line with money market expectations.Markets are also keeping a keen eye on US rates, which could be changed by the Federal Reserve at its committee meeting on 15-16 December. The European Central Bank (ECB) is cutting its key deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.30% with effect from 9 December and extending its quantitative easing (QE) programme in several ways, following the meeting of its governing council today.While the size of the asset-buying programme is to be kept at its current pace of €60bn a month, rather than being expanded as some market participants had hoped, the central bank announced several measures to effectively increase it.The deposit rate was the only key rate to be changed, with the interest rate on the ECB’s main refinancing operations, as well as the rate on the marginal lending facility, remaining unchanged at 0.05% and 0.30%, respectively.Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, told a press conference: “The monthly purchases of €60bn under the asset purchase programme are now intended to run until the end of March 2017 or beyond if necessary, or, in any case, until the governing council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its aim of achieving inflation rates below but close to 2% over the medium term.”last_img read more

first_imgCommentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington school board had an interesting discussion the other night.Wellington school board member Larry Mangan at the Oct. 9 meeting posed a legitimate question to the other elected members in the room: Does the Sellers Park football stadium fit the standards of the American Disabilities Act?That set off a debate amongst the members, and the answer to the question was never reached. About a decade ago, the school district installed bleachers on the visitor’s side which were indeed ADA compliant for wheelchair citizens. Wellington Superintendent Rick Weiss said by the letter of the law he was told that would make the stadium ADA compliant.However, he said if the stadium was to be completely rebuilt it would not meet ADA standards. The home stands are not compliant, nor were the restrooms or the paths leading to the stands. The discussion, as it always does, started to gravitate toward costs. How much would it cost the school district to make those stands ADA accessible? Someone threw out a figure of $250,000.I’m not sure if that was just a rough guess or based on sound reasoning, but $250,000? More than 99 percent of the homes in Wellington can not be sold for that kind of money but you are saying to rebuild the Sellers Park stands it will cost that much? I would like some more concrete figures. Wellington board member Jason Newberry said that it was best to leave the issue alone, not alert anyone that might force the school district to address it. Attaboy. The best solution to a problem is to ignore it.Board member Angie Ratcliff took it a step further with this quote.“I know one thing, I’m not in favor of spending school funds out there. We have plenty of other places to spend our our money on curriculum, textbooks and computers.”Ah, the education vs. athletic debate. If we invest just an ounce into athletic facilities, we are shortchanging our students in the classroom. Has anyone ever thought that sports can be part of the educational process? And can anyone really prove that athletic funding has hurt education endeavors when it is about 1 percent of the total budget?Let me ask Mr. Newberry and Ms. Ratcliff a pertinent question.Let’s say you unfortunately become disabled for whatever reason, whether it be in an automobile accident or a disease and you become strapped to a wheelchair. Would you be OK, knowing you would be unable to attend a football game, or perhaps an outdoor concert at Sellers Park, or a fireworks show, or even a graduation ceremony if the commencement exercise was moved back to the field?Or how about this. What if you had a child or grandchild who is disabled and wishes to attend a football game with his/her friends on a Friday night to cheer on the Crusaders? Are you ok with him/her sitting on the visitor’s side amongst a bunch of Andale fans, while his/her friends are cheering on the Crusaders on the other side?I wouldn’t be.Here’s the things about disabilities. Nobody chooses to be in a wheelchair.I’m sure a lot of you have been on crutches for a certain length of time because of a broken foot or whatever. I was on crutches for about two months. It stunk. Not only was it a pain to get from one place to the other, but for me I didn’t particularly like having a target on my back – with people staring at me or asking the inevitable question, “what did you do?”But I am lucky. I got better and walked again. Some people don’t have that luxury.  The thought that someone has to spend an eternity in a wheelchair is a tough way to live life.And that is why I support ADA legislation, and why I believe we have a moral obligation at every turn to try to make life as normal as possible for those who suffer from disabilities.The question whether Sellers Stadium is ADA accessible by the “letter of the law” is irrelevant. The question is can a person with disabilities attend a Wellington football game without being discriminated against?The answer is no.The Wellington football field has gone through incredible transformation lately – all I remind you through private donations and grassroots efforts. The stadium again rises to the level of our Crusader football team.But making the home stands ADA compatible is something that can’t be done by the private sector due to the various governmental laws. It’s an issue the board has to address.The question at the Oct. 9 meeting was whether or not to pay for a study to see what the costs of the stadium will be to make it ADA accessible.  I urge the board to follow through and get a study completed.Then, the board working with the community at large, can figure out what the best course of action can be in making our stadium accessible for everyone.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (21) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +17 Vote up Vote down WHSMOM · 303 weeks ago let’s just “sweep it under the rug” kind of statement to me by some current board members…what is going to happen to that budget when someone decides to stand up and sue for discrimination??? or if someone with a disability gets hurt??? and as for spending the budget on things for the classrooms…HA HA!!! maybe if we would see more school board members visiting classrooms talking AND listening to the teachers would be nice….and I mean ALL the schools…NOT just a chosen few… Great article Mr. McCue Report Reply 1 reply · active 303 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Seen it happen · 303 weeks ago I am in the older group but 2 years ago at the football games that I attended, I personally seen two different people fall on the steps. One was 60’s ( in that area) and one was a school age that wasn’t running for once but going up stairs and very lucky they both did not break a leg. We haven’t been back as it is to hard to get around in the bleachers. Don’t wait till school gets a law suit over this. Get er done Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago +28 Vote up Vote down Rita & Jim Rutledge · 303 weeks ago As a parent that has a child that graduated from this district in 1993 and is permanently disabled, I am appalled that this issues is even being debated 21 years after the fact. At time she could not get in the stands and to this day still could not if she wanted to. In 1997 she sat in a wheelchair on the old track to watch her sister graduate, not with the rest of her family. The school buildings may be accessible, so why not the rest of the facilities. Where is the logic in this picture? I don’t have a student in the district at this time but I have had and if they are waiting for someone to alert them of the issue of ADA maybe I will be that person. Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down WellMom · 303 weeks ago Wellington board member Jason Newberry said that it was best to leave the issue alone, not alert anyone that might force the school district to address it. Trust me, the people and family members of those in wheelchairs don’t need it to be pointed out that certain buildings etc have issues. Compliant and usable are often times different. You especially don’t forget every activity your child misses out on that their peers from school get to attend. Report Reply 1 reply · active 303 weeks ago +8 Vote up Vote down Sally · 303 weeks ago turn it in to ada. maybe newberry can pay for it then. Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago -11 Vote up Vote down notlla · 303 weeks ago Raise the Sales Tax , tha`ts the answer to every thing. or maybe we could build a new stadium out at the High school. Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down Jason Newberry · 303 weeks ago Actually that was not exactly what I meant Tracy. My thinking is that per the district’s legal counsel we are compliant in regard to the ADA seating. I know it is on the visitors side, and sure I would like to see it on both as well, but there are other things that should probably be addressed first (sidewalks,restrooms). That is why I brought up the restrooms. There is more to being ADA compliant than seating on the home side, and we have to be ready to deal with those issues as well. Thanks. Report Reply 3 replies · active 303 weeks ago +15 Vote up Vote down Levi · 303 weeks ago To those against it: Put yourself in a wheelchair and try to access it just one time by yourself. Then imagine your life that way. Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago -6 Vote up Vote down nobody · 303 weeks ago I think is a valid concern but if you know anything about the financial crisis the school district faces; well you might understand that this could cost a lot of people their jobs. I think that community fundraising might be a better idea. I totally agree that all people should be able to access all school facilities. Maybe some of the business owners who are benefiting from Gov Brownback’s tax relief could step up and share a little? Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago +19 Vote up Vote down Meadow Lanes · 303 weeks ago As a parent of a special needs student who graduated over 10 years ago, I look back at all the changes that have happened over that time frame to the stadium to accommodate these students. absolutely nothing has been done, it is still the same. Its time to fix this. Its a shame that we have to watch a parent carry a special needs student into the stands so that they can sit with there classmates. Report Reply 0 replies · active 303 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. 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