Plagiarism by former SKC columnist

Former SKC columnist, Sister Irene Hartman, OP, has been found to have plagiarized at least 25 of the columns she provided to the SKC. For more than a decade, Sister Irene provided dozens of weekly columns under the title “Holy Ones of Our Times,” and the earlier title, “Charisms”.

It has been discovered that at least 25 of her columns were taken in part from the work of Robert Ellsberg, author of All Saints, Blessed Among All Women, and Blessed Among Us (a collected volume of his work that appeared in the publication Give Us This Day).

According to Give Us This Day editor Mary Stommes, a reader recently called their attention to one instance of potential plagiarism, which led to a more careful review and the discovery that, “Sister Irene not only copied many of Mr. Ellsberg’s words, but she also copied his method of expanding our understanding of saintliness in the range and breadth of those portrayed.”

One article reviewed by the SKC contained phrasing identical to that used in a column by Mr. Ellsberg, whose column was written more than a decade prior to Sister Irene’s.  The SKC trusts fully that the research completed by Liturgical Press, the publishing house of Give Us This Day, is accurate. Therefore, the Catholic has removed all of Sister Irene’s columns from our website, including the issues in which they were contained.

“As a 20-year columnist, I would like to offer my personal apologies to Mr. Ellsberg,” said Dave Myers, SKC editor. “I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel had I encountered someone using my columns in such a way. Ms. Stommes and Mr. Ellsberg have been extremely gracious in their response to this serious issue.”

Sister Irene died at age 95 on Aug. 17, 2017. The SKC urges readers to take a moment to view the books written by Mr. Ellsberg, the links of which are included above.  Coverage will appear in the April 7 SKC.

 

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 Call to Continuing Conversion and Rite of Election 2019

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March 24, 2019

March 10, 2019

Mathematical solution to the Sock puzzle

 

   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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What Catholics are doing about

Flint's stunning water scandal 

Flint, Mich., Jan 29, 2016 / 03:09 am (CNA/EWTN News) - “It all started before Christmas. We knew something was wrong with the water.”

Vicky Schultz is president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, headquartered in Flint, Michigan. In a recent interview, she recounted the development of the city’s public health crisis over the last two years.

“Everybody knew that the water had an orange tint. Everyone talked about the smell of it,” Schultz told CNA.

Schultz recalled that the discoloration was so pronounced, it could be seen yards and yards away.  Looking out from her office, she watched as fire hydrants were flushed out: “It could be running for hours, and it was still orange coming out.”

In recent months, the employees at Catholic Charities – who were affected by the water pollution themselves – have been a vital resource for a struggling community.

“We’re all doing whatever it takes at ground level to just do what we’re doing, serve our communities and keep our head above water,” Schulz said.

The problems with Flint’s tap water go back to 2014. In April of that year, the city of Flint switched water sources – it stopped purchasing treated Lake Huron water from Detroit, and began sourcing its own water from the Flint River as part of a larger batch of cost-saving measures. The river was a long-time disposal site for industrial waste from automobile companies, sewage and local runoff, but local city official celebrated the switch with a toast of city water inside the Flint water treatment facility.

Immediately, locals began complaining that the water smelled bad, that it was rust-colored, that it tasted strange. Some people started to develop rashes or intestinal issues, while others started losing their hair after drinking, bathing and swimming in the water. In August 2014, Flint officials advised the public to begin boiling their water for safety: E. Coli was found in the water.

Schultz, and countless others, were concerned. “I was going to some city meetings saying, ‘Whats going on?’ It was explained to us…they were treating it.”

Yet, despite the assurances that the strange tastes, smells and colors were part of the treatment process, the city also began distributing bottles of water – including at one Catholic Charities site.

Schultz said the request was confusing. “I’m scratching my head thinking, ‘If there’s nothing wrong with the water, why are we giving out cases of water?’” she recalled, saying that she approached the mayor at one water distribution event. Schultz said that at the water distribution event, she approached the mayor with her concerns.  “I can remember saying to the mayor, ‘If there’s nothing wrong with the water, you guys on city council should be drinking it, showing and demonstrating to the general public it was safe’.”  

But the water was not safe. In June 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency found evidence of lead in the water, although city and state officials dismissed the findings. Flint officials maintained instead that the lead levels were the result of plumbing issues in the house of a local activist who raised the alarm. While local and state officials assured the EPA that they were following federal guidelines requiring corrosion control for its treatment plant and municipal pipes, these measures were never put into place. When testing for lead in 2015, few samples were taken, and samples that were taken were done improperly. In addition, two samples that would have indicated an “actionable” lead issue and required public notification were discarded.

By September 2015, pediatricians in Flint found that the number of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had nearly doubled from 2.1 to 4 percent city-wide and were even higher – 6.3 percent – in some neighborhoods. Lead poisoning impacts every major bodily system, including the kidneys, heart, reproductive system and brain. The heavy metal also interferes with nervous system development in children, potentially leading to developmental and learning disabilities, and has been linked to some mood disorders. In severe cases, lead poisoning can lead to coma or death.

In October 2015, the city and the state admitted the extent of the issues with the water supply and again began purchasing water from Detroit. However, concerns remain due to pipe corrosion that the Flint River water caused in the pipes, creating a continued leaching of lead.

For the people of Flint, this means continuing to use filtered or bottled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing.

Catholic Charities is offering help, starting with the most vulnerable – children, infants and the unborn.

“Since about October, November we’ve been giving either a case of water or a gallon jug of water to every mother coming to pick up diapers,” Schultz said, so that mothers can use fresh water in formula and other care for their children.

The organization is also ensuring that its foster children receive the care – and access to clean water – they need. This means lead tests, water filters and regular cases of water. The same is true for the other houses run by Catholic Charities and the services that it offers.

In addition, the water crisis is forcing the organization to reconsider its future plans. Schultz told CNA that she has been planning for years to create a space for homeless clients in Flint to shower and do laundry, and that the project was moving forward.

Now, however, those plans have to be reconsidered. “I don’t know if we’ve even incorporated anything about a water filtration system. And now I’m thinking we have to do that,” she said. “We have to think ahead because if the city doesn’t have this resolved and we’re in the process of renovating a building – we have to think about it.” Schultz noted that similar concerns over adding filtration systems are affecting hospitals, schools and other community services.

The challenges brought by the water crisis raise serious questions as to what the future of Catholic Charities services will look like. “There’s so many pieces and we’re not set up with the infrastructure to deal with the crisis,” Schultz admitted.

Addressing mental health needs – both from the emotional impact of the crisis and from the physical impact of the lead poisoning itself – is another prime concern. “We’ve got a lot of people very anxious,” she explained. “They’re worried about their children.”

Health care for the children suffering from lead poisoning is a grave concern. Children bearing the consequences of water contamination will be in even greater need for access to healthy, balanced and safe meals for the best outcomes, she explained.

And even so, she added, “It’s lead poisoning. It’s never reversible.”

“Are we going to pay for this for the next 20-something years of these kids’ lives in school and everything else?” she questioned. “I don’t know what this means for the future, for these kids who could be affected by this lead.”

Schultz said she is also concerned about how to fund a long-term response to the water contamination. Flint was already facing high poverty levels before the crisis, she explained, and it is uncertain whether money to back any possible solution will materialize.

The workers at Catholic Charities are not immune from the water crisis, Schultz noted, explaining that this makes the task even more difficult, particularly when it comes to counseling people and reassuring them when at times it is tough to know what information is true.

But despite the challenges before them, Catholic Charities will “carry on,” she told CNA. “We’re trying. I just don’t think we were prepared for anything like this, and we’re just trying to find our way through it.”

Still, hope remains. Since the news of the situation in Flint has spread, Schultz has been floored by the public concern, which she calls “a Godsend.”

“It’s been crazy, because we’re getting calls from all over the country,” she said. “It is unbelievable the outpouring of support, concern – we know it’s across the entire nation.”  

However, even the flood of donations has presented challenges, such as finding adequate forklifts and storage space to handle the donated water. Catholic Charities is working with organizations like the American Red Cross and other charities to coordinate water distribution.  

For those interested in supporting Catholic Charities’ response to the water crisis, the organization has set up a GoFundMe page for monetary donations, which will be used both for clean water and future water-related needs. Information can also be found on its Flint Water Recovery page.

Local residents in need of clean water can find resources and aid at the Center for Hope on 517 Fifth Ave, Flint, MI, at its soup kitchen, on 735 Stewart St., Flint, MI, and also at local fire stations.
 
Through the challenges that lie ahead, Flint and Catholic Charities will stay and serve the community, Schultz stressed.

“We’re resilient, we’re gonna be here. It might look different, but we’re going to be here to serve the community.”

 

 

Past Issues

Feb. 24, 2019

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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