Friday, May 5, 2006

May is the month of Mary, the Fatima Pope, finding the lowest gas prices in town and more

Pope Benedict XVI has proposed that during the month of May we rediscover the role of the Virgin Mary in our Christian life. All families are encouraged to pray the rosary together specially during this month.

A new book just released points to the signs in the life of Pope John Paul II that suggest he just might have been the person mentioned in the apparitions at Fatima. Could he really be the Fatima Pope?

While appealing for the conversion of all people to the love of God, Pope Benedict made a plea against war and terrorrism. He looked into the increase in failed marriages and a decrease in birth rates in much of the developed world, and said a lack of true love was behind the trend.

This decline in faith seem to also manifest itself in Canada where a new survey among Canadians show less than one-third of adults in that country are serious about their faith. In Europe, where the decline of faith has been evident for several decades, hopes are high that a landmark meeting between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox would result in the re-evangelization of the continent.

But in China, relations between the Vatican and the state-sponsored Catholic Church are on the rocks as the latter consecrated a second Catholic Bishop in three weeks without Vatican approval.

It lost in the last California elections, but the Parental Consent initiative has secured almost 700,000 of the 900,000 signatures required to put it back on the ballot in November. Also, the California state legislature may yet thumb down a bill that legalizes assisted suicide after about 600 representatives from different Catholic organizations trooped to the capitol.

Just what are the dynamics in play between Presidents, religion, and American moral values? The issue isn't about party affiliations but one's stance on moral values. This was further reinforced by a pronouncement from the Vatican that Church teaching is not "mere opinion" that can be argued one way or the other.

The Da Vinci Code faces a boycott by Catholics as called by a top Vatican official this week. The Church is also weighing whether to allow limited condom use by Catholics. The new U.S. priests being ordained this year cover a wide spectrum. They include a set of twins, grandfathers, former Protestant ministers, the father of a priest and the son of a deacon. It's also interesting to note that the largest segment of seminarian in the U.S. today are Vietnamese and Filipinos.

In Japan, the effect of its declining population means fewer children and more elderly. So toy companies are now making dolls for the elderly.

Catholic evangelist Bo Sanchez is back this week with "How to Find Your One True Love - 8 Steps to Attracting Your Lifetime Partner... Now!" You got to see this.

A few more interesting tidbits. Young girls are more likely than boys to have a cell phone, use the net, listen to radio and read papers. If you feel faint, we have the simple exercises that can keep you from passing out. And if you're afraid of germs, fear not the doorknob. It's the phone you should avoid!

And if you're groaning about the high prices of gas like I am, this web site we found will tell you instantly where to find the cheapest gas prices in your local area.

Finally, I would like to share a refelection emailed to me by ParishWorld blogger Paul Dion.

Why, Lord, are you abandoning me?
I do not want to desert your work, I want to complete it...
Kneeling before your altar, close to the Eucharist, I heard your answer, Lord:
"It is me you are supposed to be following, not my work!"

Makes you think, doesn't it? Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor-in-chief

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