Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"God is Winning" and other great stories

BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Can a Catholic person marry a non-Catholic person in a Catholic church ceremony? Let us know what you think. Click here to post your comments.

READER QUESTION: "Will I be judged on my state of grace when I die? Or will I be judged based on a lifetime of deeds?" ParishWorld blogger Paul Dion, STL, provides a very insightful reflection on the subject.

Ecumenism seems to be the central theme enveloping the Catholic world this week. Vatican observers say Pope Benedict has been exhibiting a different attitude towards the subject and the results are evident. An ecumenical breakthrough was achieved this week as Methodists and Catholics mend a historical rift that date back to the 1500s Reformation Movement. We also bring you a historical overview of the relationship between Catholics and Pentecostals.

From Northern Ireland, we have the story of Protestant and Catholic teens who have learned the lesson of understanding at a program called Program Ulster. They plan to break long-standing cultural barriers when they get home. And a Vatican official reminded the bishops of Asia that Vatican II taught Christ's church is to be found only in the Catholic Church.

God is winning. Religion seems to be playing a more influential role in our modern world. Cincinnati-area private and Catholic schools gain 682 new students now that the first round of Ohio Educational Choice Vouchers has been awarded. The successful beginning of Russia’s first pro-life maternity hospital may hold the answer for saving Russia’s dying population from plummeting into a demographic catastrophe and finally reversing the culture of abortion in Russia.

In Italy, while Mass attendance has certainly dropped over the years, local parishes are experiencing a lively resurgence as the faithful flock to standing room only services. In the U.S., Vietnamese Americans are becoming Catholic priests in greater numbers. The first National Asian and Pacific Catholic Convocation affirmed the vital contributions that U.S. Catholics from Asia and the Pacific islands bring to the church.

"Guarding Unity" by ParishWorld blogger Kathi Scarpace talks about the unique challenges those in the parish ministry work need to face. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was hailed this week as the antidote to pride. And will we ever see the return of the music of Palestrina and the Gregorian Chant? An interview with maestro Domenico Bartolucci sheds light on the subject.

From the Family front, a significantly greater part of adult life is spent without kids being in the house, revealing changes in attitudes towards kids. But is marriage really a part of God's plan for everyone? We have an article that says being Christian and single can be very fulfilling. Also, a study has shown that cohabitation is not the road to happy marriage, or even to a happy relationship, but rather ends in separation 90 percent of the time.

In Italy, a court has issued a decision clarifying that under their law there is no such thing as a “right not to be born.” In Spain, the government has decreed that children as young as ten years old will be taught pro-homosexual material as part of a new school curriculum. And remember the lesbian couple whose landmark lawsuit helped Massachusetts become the only state in America where same-sex couples can marry legally? The couple has split up.

GET INSPIRED! A New York Port Authority policemen said this week, "I actually saw Jesus coming toward me," when he was trapped in the 9/11 ruins for several days. "KNOW YOUR DEEPEST DESIRES" by Bo Sanchez is another winner in his series of life-touching articles at ParishWorld. "The Daughter of a Marine" tells of the gallant sacrifices our military people and their family face. And in "When What Seems Broken is Perfect," the mother of a disabled child tells her story.

In Youth Life, LIFE TEEN's Bible Geek said bored faith is the greatest threat to Catholics. And in Lifestyle, learn how the simplicity of the grill does not preclude a gourmet meal. And Catholic cell phone users can now let 'em ring to the tones of the Ave Maria and track the latest movements of the pope, thanks to the world's first Catholic mobile phone service, which launched last week.

Another vibrant and eventful week for Catholics everywhere. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in chief

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