Friday, August 18, 2006

"How do you know if your Catholic parish a 'good' one?" and other great stories

BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What is more important, to believe in God or to believe in the Church? If you've thought of this before, you have an opinion. If this is a new question, thank God that you are getting a chance to delve into your conscience about it. Tell us what you think.

What an exciting issue we have for you this week! The Catholic world was buzzing all week and we're here to get you in the loop.

Let's start with Pope Benedict who gave a no-holds-barred interview to a German TV station. Why? “So that We Can See that Believing Is Beautiful.” He craftily steered through pointed questions from an obviously biased media and come out on top. And during the Feast of the Assumption, he reminded the world that Mother Mary knew God alone can satisfy the individual's thirst for truth and happiness.

ParishWorld blogger Paul Dion, STL, continues his insightful look into the hearts of Catholics, challenging them that ours is not just a "Roman Catholic Paper Chase." Read this, you just may find yourself in the story. We also have a great article that reflects on what Protestant evangelicals and devout Roman Catholics have in common. It is Christ as God who is the foundation upon which we both base our entire lives.

And how do you gauge if your Catholic parish is a good one? By growth? By the warm fuzzies you feel when you go? Check out this story. Also, ParishWorld blogger Kathi Scarpace looks into parish life with "Risky Business." She finds out that growth, after all, is not really that bad.

We have an incredible article about the saga of American nuns and the dire plight many of their elderly face today. We also found out this week that a new breed of Catholic college has opened in San Diego. John Paul the Great Catholic University's unique approach aims to graduate students with strong faith beliefs and put them in the fields of media and media technology where they can have a tremendous future impact. What a great concept!

And it seems like another actor would like to follow in Ronald Reagan's step and become President of the United States. Michael Moriarty of "Law & Order" fame - a Catholic - is running in 2008. Hear his thoughts in this interview. And do you remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen from the old black and white Catholic TV shows of the 1950s? A recent miraculous healing attributed to him may just put him on a faster track to sainthood. If he is canonized, he becomes the first native-born American to become a saint.

In other news, a gracious donor in Hawaii left $1 million of her estate to Catholic Charities. In Malaysia, a court is set to rule whether its citizens will be allowed to convert away from Islam. In India, a local bishop has warned Catholics there that it is a sin to refuse God's gift of children. From Indonesia comes the news that the Pope had successfully intervened to pospone the execution of three people.

While in China, the persecution continues as a bishop, a priest and 90 Catholics were arrrested and tortured by the Chinese government. And in Africa, bishops have warned priests not to moonlight as witch doctors and rely on Christ instead.

In LIFE ISSUES, we found a new pro-life internet search engine that donates money to pro-life charities every time someone uses its service. Try out And finally after three months of record-breaking heat waves, college student pro-life walkers arrive in Washington DC to complete their three month coast-to-coast mission of Life.

BE INSPIRED by Fr. Chales Smith's story of perseverence as he ministered to a violent Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber who was born Catholic. In the end, a crying McVeigh asked, "Fr. Charles, can I still get to heaven?" We also bring you the story of how young people are helping put roofs over the heads of the homeless through "Habitat Homies."

And here's more. Another wonderful story called "AVOID POTHOLES BY TAKING HUMPS" from the poignant Bo Sanchez and a truly riveting piece called ""JUST CHECKING IN" will surely touch your spirituality. And see why the hero of the new "World Trade Center" movie says his Catholic faith saved him from a 9/11 death.

In LIFESTYLE, it's "Cruisin' with the Word!" Seven days of God and leisure on the high seas and it leaves San Diego on Nov. 25. Join Wordnet TV and Fr. Mike Manning aboard Holland America’s MS Oosterdam for a great vacation with God.

And if money is tight, there are ways you can go on your dream cruise for free. We show you how. And if you are looking for a car, there's a vehicle for you no matter your lifestyle. Check out "You are what you drive!"

We told you it was another busy and event-filled week for Catholics everywhere. May you have a great and blessed weekend. God bless you and your family.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in Chief

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