Saturday, September 9, 2006

It's the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

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Dear Friends,

“People know whether we’re putting on a show or are in conversation with God.” These powerful words were spoken by Pope Benedict this week to a group of priests in the diocese of Albano, Italy. He engaged them spontaneously on how to celebrate Mass well and many other matters relating to being good pastors. This is a super article.

He also said this week that the Catholic Church will survive all tests as it has always done over the last 2000 years. And while confirming the importance of inter-religious prayer meetings, he clarified guidelines on respecting the various religious traditions.

The mystery of substantiation is discussed in "Jesus gives himself to us," a powerful piece about the Holy Eucharist. And when was the last time that you turned your mind to the celebration of the Virgin Mary's birthday? You might have to think about that question a little bit because today, Sept. 8, is the day the Catholic Church celebrates her birthday.

"Catholic school teachers are special people," says a noted speaker who adds that children in our schools experience love and learn to their full potential. We also have an inspiring story about an Italian volunteer who has spent over 30 years of her life helping the people of Somalia.

With the 2006 elections heating up political discussions in the U.S., we take a look at the concept of democracy from a Christian point of view. In Europe, Catholic politicians have united to counteract anti-Catholic sentiment in European political environments. In Mexico, the Catholic and pro-life Felipe Calderon has been installed as the country's new president. And from the Philippines, a new e-bible was recently released to make the word of God more accessible to an ever-increasing digital society.

GET INSPIRED! A 6th grader battling cyctic fibrosis had one wish: to graduate from his Catholic middle school that was being shut down. His story inspired so many people, they raised $260,000 to stay open. "T-Bone Steak and Yellow Roses" and "A Tale of Two Cities" are two stories that will move you in their respective ways. And we tell you how a friendly discussion about "The Apostolic Church" between a Catholic and his Episcopalian friend changed minds and hearts.

In LIFESTYLE, Newsweek's "The New First Grade: Too Much Too Soon?" explores how our society may be pushing today's first graders a bit too early and too hard. "What Have We Done? " is a candid commentary on the sad state of sports and its heroes from a Christian point of view. And "Make your phone...100% Catholic" by Catholic Mobile just might be the answer for busy Catholics who want to keep God at the center of their lives.

Several weeks ago, we launched Youth Ministry Blogs for all the parishes in our ParishWorld family. And it is amazing to see how the young people have responded, eagerly sharing their strong spirituality with the rest of us. So, we decided to feature two of these youth blogs in this week's issue: "We are the Church of Now," from St. Christopher in Moreno Valley, CA and "Broken into Pieces" from St. Edwards in Corona, CA.

Wordnet's "The Power of Love with Fr. Mike Manning" airs on Sept. 13, 8:30 am PST, on TBN with "NetSurf4Life," a conversation with the founder of, the only pro-life internet search engine in the world.

It was another busy and blessed week in the Catholic world. Don't forget to greet our Blessed Mother a "Happy Birthday!" today. And may you have a great weekend.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in chief

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