BRIMMING WITH HOPE | Freedom and faith-based education

As we prepare to celebrate the 240th birthday of our beloved United States of America, we also celebrate the Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4, a time for us to promote the importance of religious liberty — our "first freedom."

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Be there — now and in heaven

My family's celebration of Father's Day was nice. Pizza and wings for dinner with my dad, my daughter Jessica, my son Josh and my two grandsons. One of those grandsons, 8-year-old Colin, treated me in a special way with a triple and home run in his ballgame Sunday evening. I also received a greeting card with Snoopy on the front. What more does a man need?

THE CATHOLIC DIFFERENCE | Two Catholics and the Catholic game

Baseball is, in my opinion, the most Catholic of the sports on which we lavish such attention and passion.

Because it's played without a clock, baseball is like the liturgy: a foretaste of the time-beyond-time, which is God's time, which is eternity. Baseball is also spatially eschatological or infinite: in theory, a baseball field could extend forever — as center field in New York's old Polo Grounds seemed to do, except when patrolled by a higher spirit in human form who made space disappear: Willie Mays.

And let's not forget baseball and Catholic social doctrine.

FAITH AND CULTURE | Prayer in Christ and His Spirit

This year, the summer brings with it a highly publicized election season. Many of us have been attentive to various media wanting to know the latest polls, voting results, talk-show analysis, political spins and creative speculations. Even political neophytes can't escape the barrage of images, words and symbols that bespeak of the urgency and angst surrounding this year's presidential election.

TWENTY SOMETHING | To bake is to believe: A convert in the kitchen

Christina Capecchi

Staci Perry bakes like she lives. She doesn't measure. She works with what's already in the fridge. And she scrapes every last bit out of the bowl.

"I don't do anything fancy," she says, sitting in the kitchen of her century-old farmhouse two miles north of Verdi, a tiny, windswept town by the Minnesota-South Dakota border. "It's very church potluck-ish — bars, brownies, pies, just your home kind of food. If a recipe calls for a candy thermometer, I turn the page."

Faithful Fan | Guidance from coaches is golden, high school stars say

Joseph Kenny

High school baseball coaches do a lot more than fill out a starting lineup and deal with strategy, especially when it comes to having talented players.

Playing for a coach who had success as a pitcher means a lot to St. John Vianney's Luke Mann.

Mann had an outstanding year in 2016. Among his statistical highlights was posting a school- record 0.43 earned run average.

"He gives me the tools of the trade to be successful," Mann said of Vianney's coach, Scott Brown, who pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

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