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Make-A-Wish Wisconsin teams up with 128th Air Refueling Wing to fulfill a special aviation dream

The 128th Air Refueling Wing held its first joint pilot-for-a-day and honorary commander ceremony in early August at General Mitchell Field in Milwaukee. Caleb Zimmet’s wish was to be a pilot. Unfortunately, Department of Defense regulations do not allow anyone under the age of 17 on an orientation flight. That meant flying on a KC-135 was out of the question. Members of the 128th Air Refueling Wing decided to make Caleb’s visit a joint venture. The 128 Air Refueling Wing’s first Make-A-Wish event entailed a full day of ceremony, training, tours, with Caleb’s favorite foods – pizza and ice...

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Prayers amid trauma: Survivors respond to funeral as Archdiocese of Milwaukee honors Rembert Weakland

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee held a funeral Mass on August 30 for former archbishop of Milwaukee Rembert Weakland, who died on August 22 at age 95. The service stands as a difficult day for many sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones, and the celebration of Weakland’s life may bring up strong, painful feelings. “Sexual abuse, especially abuse by a religious leader, is a deep and long-lasting trauma, and we urge all people to be mindful of this reality when they speak about Weakland’s legacy … As Catholics, we believe in praying for all who have died. While this...

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Mike Larson: Personal reflections on remaining Catholic in spite of the ongoing sex abuse crisis

When the news of the McCarrick scandal hit the headlines in November 2020, the blow to my family and our faith was devastating. Normally, I am an unabashed enthusiast full of love for the Catholic Church, sharing my faith even with secular friends, but these revelations reduced me to silence. I found myself wrestling with unavoidable questions: Why am I still doing this? How can I stay in a Church associated with so much corruption and evil? As a kid growing up in a family of former Catholics, I could give you hundreds of reasons to not be Catholic....

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When words hurt instead of heal: What never to say to someone who has survived abuse by Catholic clergy

As the daughter of a clergy abuse victim-survivor and a lay person who works for the Church, Jerri von den Bosch speaks often with fellow Catholics about her family’s experience with the abuse crisis. In June of 2021, I wrote 10 Things Never to Say to Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse that covered some of the hurtful things people sometimes say to clergy abuse survivors. Included were some more supportive things they might say instead. Many people read it and several clergy abuse survivors, including my mom, responded with additional things that they have heard from Catholics and would...

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Persecuted Writers: The attack on Salman Rushdie is a wake-up call for defending the freedom to write

Just hours before he was brutally attacked on August 12 in Chautauqua, New York, Salman had emailed me to help with securing safe refuge for Ukrainian writers who face grave perils that are silencing their voices at a time when they badly need to be heard. The email was nothing new. Salman and I have been in dialogue for nearly a decade on an endless array of efforts to aid persecuted writers and defend the freedom to write. Salman has been targeted for his words for decades, but he has never flinched nor faltered. He has not lived life...

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A Warning Unheeded: Terror attacks on places of worship increasing in spite of painful lessons

The decade since has seen a rise in mass shootings and terror attacks on places of worship. Sikhs hope the anniversary helps reverse those trends. In India, Satwant Singh Kaleka was a farmer. His wife and their two small sons lived in a village near the city of Patiala, in the state of Punjab. He was a devout Sikh who would post religious writings on the walls of the home. In 1982, Kaleka brought his family to the United States in search of opportunity. Like countless other immigrant families, he worked long hours at hard, manual-labor jobs to provide...

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