Fr. David Poecking is the pastor of Archangel Gabriel Parish in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.


“Nobody loves me, everybody hates me”

One way to understand adolescence is as a crisis of the value of life. I may take my mother’s love for granted, but it no longer seems to suffice. Father’s love seems remote and conditional on my (unreliable!) performance. My sense of self-worth is displaced by fickle fads among...
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Vaccinations, Life, and the Common Good

Most of us have a commonsensical grasp of the common good, which we can apply easily if we do not allow ourselves to be misled. Pro-life arguments can be strengthened by appeals to the common good. Pro-choice forces, however, often encourage us to misunderstand or neglect the...
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Share the Credit for a Culture of Life

While visiting Texas recently I observed two rather different approaches to accommodating Latino migrants released from federal detention into the United States—and learned a lesson applicable to the pro-life movement. At one non-denominational church, Christians received a...
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An “Unwanted” Boy Helps Heal a Community

  Nine years ago, I buried a twenty-year-old man, Joseph. I recall Joseph in his casket, especially his facial features—emphatically unmistakably Native American. He looked every inch the Native Peruvian he was. We don’t know much about Joseph’s infancy except that he w...
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“Please Stop, before It’s Too Late.”

  My community is among those in Appalachia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania hit hard by opioid abuse. The emergency medical technicians tell me they get from one to three overdose calls daily. Rarely does a month go by without a funeral for some young or middle-aged man, or...
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The Pro-Life Sincerity—and Irony—of Pope Francis

  Pope Francis perhaps puzzles prolifers. For decades, the Catholic Church supported the pro-life movement both institutionally and philosophically. Francis, however, adopted a critical posture, complaining of Catholics’ “obsession” with abortion. Prolifers have often...
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How a Cradle Pro-Choicer Became Pro-Life

Jack and I met in 1982 when we both arrived as freshmen at an engineering school in Pittsburgh.  The school assigned us to the same floor of the freshmen male dormitory, a hulking bunker of a building that smelled perpetually of college-boy sweat and marijuana. Though Jack and I...
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A Lesson in Flag-waving

Brightly colored flags greet visitors to the United States Holocaust Museum. The flags are not the national flags of the millions of victims of the shoah. Nor are they the national flags of the Allied powers who defeated Nazi Germany. Instead, they are the flags of the military...
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