One hundred and eighty years ago Ira Dutton was born in Stowe on farmland upon which now stands Blessed Sacrament Church. “No one at that time had the slightest inkling that 180 years later, people from Hawaii and people from Stowe and beyond would be together (in the church) to give thanks to God for his birth and his presence among us,” said Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva. He was the homilist and celebrant of a special Mass celebrated in April at Blessed Sacrament Church to mark the 180th anniversary of the birth of Dutton, now known as Servant of God Joseph Dutton.
Sharon Lavigne has been called a modern-day Moses. But the perhaps unlikely environmental prophet — a 71-year-old retired special education teacher — doesn’t want to lead her neighbors out of St. James Parish, Louisiana. She said she just wants area industries — which lie in the 85-mile corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans ruefully nicknamed “Cancer Alley” — to stop poisoning them. So in 2018, Lavigne — a lifelong resident of St. James Parish and a member of St. James Church, a predominantly Black Catholic parish in the Diocese of Baton Rouge with a 250-year history — founded a faith-based environmental advocacy group, Rise St. James.
Jockey David Cabrera has had a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe since he was a child. It’s something he’s continued to carry with him — literally. Cabrera, who races at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, is one of many jockeys who wear Catholic sacramentals when competing in races.
We Catholics are fighting too much amongst ourselves. Our sometimes unclear, not-careful-enough leadership doesn’t always help the faithful bring our best selves forward, so that we may be a church speaking credibly to the world of Christ.