The Vatican has officially recognized the state of Palestine

The Vatican has officially recognized the state of Palestine

Very exciting news, hoping this can bring about some understanding that the middle east is home to all people.


A very small change was just made to the world map of countries that recognize Palestine as a state: The Vatican is now among them.


The world’s smallest country, taking up half a square kilometer in the middle of Rome, is the third in Europe to officially recognize Palestine, following Iceland (2011) and Sweden (2014).

The Holy See had considered Palestine a state since the United Nations’ recognition of it as a fellow “non-member observer state” in 2012, a spokesman told Reuters, and in the 2014 Vatican yearbook, the country is referred to as “Palestine (state of).”

Official diplomatic recognition, however, only came on May 13 in the final version of an official joint statement of the Vatican and Palestine. In it, the Holy See edited the initial wording from PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) to “State of Palestine.” Now it’s official.

A Vatican spokesman, reverend Federico Lombardi, confirmed: “Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists.” Predictably, Israel—which was…

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Appeals court overturns Sabotage conviction, vacates sentences, remands Megan, Michael and Greg for resentencing

Transform Now Plowshares

Appeals court overturns sabotage convictions of Transform Now Plowshares activists, vacates sentences of Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed on all charges and remands for resentencing.

Court suggests decision may lead to release of Rice, Boertje-Obed and Walli

8 May 2015
for immediate release

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision in favor of the Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed who were convicted in 2013 of sabotage for their July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares protest of nuclear weapons production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“The purpose of the action of Michael, Megan and Greg was to call attention to the ongoing production of thermonuclear weapons components at the bomb plant in Oak Ridge and, more specifically, to oppose plans to build a new, multi-billion dollar bomb plant—the Uranium Processing Facility—at Y12,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak…

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April Newsletter: Stop the Killing

Redwood City Catholic Worker

As I was cuffed and stuffed into the back of a paddy wagon by one of Sunnyvale’s finest, Steve Kelly S.J. was next.  He too was cuffed.  As all of his pockets were roughly turned inside out in the futile search for weapons, I asked, “Steve, what are you giving up for Lent?””  He replied, “Apparently, everything.” (Larry Purcell)

“When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes
again he went back to the table. ‘So you understand’ he said,
“what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and
rightly: so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have
washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet.  I
have given you an example so that you may copy what I
have done to you.’”   (John 13)

Lent 2015

Dear Friends, 

As I was cuffed and stuffed…

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Redwood City Catholic Worker House continues to seek support as new year begins

Redwood City Catholic Worker

By Antonia Ehlers in the San Francisco Examiner, Jan 2, 2015

During the holiday season, the front porch of the Catholic Worker House on Cassia Street in Redwood City is overflowing with donations. But the need for support doesn’t stop now that the holidays are over.

“It’s nonstop for us between Thanksgiving and the new year,” Catholic Worker House Executive Director Larry Purcell said. “Then, on Jan. 3 the phone stops, the mail stops and the visits stop. People are done, but poverty isn’t done.”

Purcell is a former priest who in 1974 helped to found the Catholic Worker House, which provides services for at-risk youths and others. The organization is based on the traditional Catholic worker model — nobody is paid to work and no one is charged for services. Purcell said his goal is to “try to make sense of everyday life and the Gospels.”

For four…

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“Always Be Grateful” November 2014 Newsletter

Check out the great work the Catholic Worker house in Redwood City is doing!

Redwood City Catholic Worker

“Always be grateful.” (St. Paul the Apostle)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                           Thanksgiving ‘14

The Giants won the pennant!!!! The Giants won the World Series!!!! How could life get any better for us diehard Gigantes fans? I’ll tell you how, but first I digress.

In early November a group of Catholic Worker supporters (Jim McGarry from the University of Notre Dame Dorothy Stang Center, a few Notre Dame Sisters, and Butch & Lynn Shafsky & friends) collaborated with us to open a new home for women in Redwood City. Our first guest…

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Can You Help a Religious Sister?

I need to ask a favor. One of the Catholic Workers I live with at Casa de Clara, Laryn Kovalik, is in the process of becoming a Verbum Dei religious sister. If you are not familiar with Verbum Dei, check them out here. They are an awesome community of priests, brothers, sisters and consecrated married couples, I know I was shocked to hear about the married couples too, I thought it was awesome😀.

Laryn’s problem is that she has some student loans to pay off and is working full time and living as simple as you could to put as much money as possible towards pay her loans off, but she still needs some help.

Thankfully there is an organization called the Labouré Society which helps people accepted into a diocese or religious community pay off their student loans because you cannot enter religious life with debt. So if you would not mind taking a moment and checking out Laryn’s story by click her. 

You can also watch this quick YouTube video of her describing her vocation story below:

Ignatian Prayer for Generosity in a Video

It is ironic that I am sharing an advertisement with a positive option of it after I just shared how my fear of joining the advertisement industry lead me to taking a year off of school, but this one was too good not to share.

First you have to be familiar with St. Ignatius’ prayer for generosity:

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve,
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not to seek reward,
Except that of knowing that I do your will.

The video below is an ad for a Thai insurance company that tells the story of a man who is generous, serves others, and gives without counting the cost—some of the very virtues we ask for when we pray the Prayer for Generosity.

I thought it was a beautiful video and wish there could be more ads that tried to convey a similar message. What do you think?

I found this video on, a great resource for all things spiritual with an Ignatian flavor.