Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Rise Up! Take Action!

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Rise Up! Take Action!

Article excerpt

It's not often we get the chance to witness that the work we do is worth the effort. Those of us here at National Catholic Reporter were blessed with just such an affirmation Oct. 24 in Chicago. It was there that we closed out our 50th anniversary year with a daylong conference titled "New Faces, New Voices, New Ways of Being Church."

The event, made possible through a partnership with Dominican University in River Forest, 111., drew more than 750 participants. Four speakers entertained, enlightened and challenged the group as we looked forward to the future of the church, defined for this day as the people of God and not just those guys in Rome.

Throughout the day, those of us representing NCR at the conference chatted with members of the audience. They thanked us over and over for our work and our mission, and they told their own stories of commitment to the social teaching of Jesus Christ--in local prisons, with local homeless programs, in schools and nursing homes.

The speakers also took the opportunity to promote the work of NCR in the last 50 years, but the biggest promotion, and most daunting call to action, came from Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister. For almost 50 minutes, Chittister called on us to "rise up and take action." She was speaking to a full auditorium, but I knew she was talking directly to me, the woman expected to lead National Catholic Reporter into the next half century.

When she finished and the ovation started to die down, I joined her on stage, where she gave me a hug that could only have been outdone by my own mother. …

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