BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "Who is the Church?" Do you really know who the Church is? Tell us what you think. Post a comment today.
FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: "Jesus asks us: Who do you say I am?" - A personal reflection on life by Paul Dion, STL
The world's reaction to Pope Benedict's comments continue to make headlines this week as well as our youth's continuing struggle with their Christian values.
"Why Benedict XVI did not want to fall silent or backpedal" by Sandro Magister offers one of the most in-depth look at the real issues behind the controversy. This is a must read. And "Benedict XVI, Faith, Reason and Islam" takes another stab at explaining the real message that Pope Benedict had for the world at large.
And somewhat related to this issue, you may have heard that last week Rosie O’Donnell raised ire and drew fire when she boldly asserted that "radical Christianity" is "just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state." If Jesus was alive today, WWJD (what would Jesus do) in response to statements like these? Check it out.
The struggles of our youth to stay in the faith remain top stories as a result of our report last week that 66% of our college youth fail to follow through with their strong spirituality from high school.
And let's talk about Generation-Y (teens from grades 6-12). New studies show a very strong spirituality in this age group with 65 percent say they pray to God regularly. While this number shows a generation that is truly running after God, the problem is that this same generation is portraying itself much differently on its MySpace accounts as our featured article shows. Have you seen your teen's myspace.com accounts?
The solution to these difficulties, however, seems to hit closer to home than we think as the article "Parents: The most effective youth ministry" asserts.
And parents are also the focus of "Where have all the padres gone?" as the article tries to explain the declining number of priests in this generation. This article further explains why having a priest for a son is really not as bad as many parents think it is.
"Young and old, we all feel inadequate. This is firstly because we are so few in comparison with the many needs and we come from different backgrounds." This was the lament an older priest made to Pope Benedict in the open forum, free-flowing style of discussion this Pope is becoming quite famous for. The Pope answered the question without cue cards, straight from the heart.
And we bring you the story of a very talented young man - the webmaster of the Archdiocese of Vancouver - who has decided to turn off his computer and embrace God’s silence in the ascetic solitude of an "eremite," a hermit who seeks God. I was blessed to have met him last month during my visit to the Archdiocese.
We also have some very interesting faith-filled articles starting with "Confession - the most difficult Sacrament." "Does the real presence of Jesus remain in the Eucharist when consumed by non-believers?" will enlighten you more about God's gift of Himself to us.
In "If any would be first," Fr. Cantalamesa explains why it is possible to want to be first and why Jesus, in fact, encourages it. This should be suggested reading for the members of the 2006 Forbes 400. For the first time in its history, every member of this exclusive list has an individual net worth of well above $1 billion.
In Catholic News, Spain’s Socialist government has decided to eliminate its long-standing subsidy to the Catholic Church. From Calgary, Canada, comes the news that Catholic schools there will stop using bingo and casino fundraisers within the next year.
In LIFE AND YOUTH stories, a youth event is gaining momentum across the country as the 16th annual "See you at the Pole" event drew over 100,000 students last Sept. 21 to flagpoles in schools all over the country to celebrate Jesus.
And it seems Corporate America has discovered the consumer drawing power of Christian music as companies like Suzuki, Chevrolet, McDonalds and Disney sign deals to aggressively promote Christian music. "The Perfect Cry" is just one such band that's bringing Christian music to new levels. This Catholic band is rocking coffee houses and clubs in the Los Angeles area when they are not playing their regular gig: Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's in Long Beach, CA.
GET INSPIRED! "PSALM 23 - A fresh reflection for today's world," "Hospital Ministry" by Kathi Scarpace are wonderful articles to get you going. As well as this story we have about a man who, at 101 years old, still walks every day to his local Catholic church for Mass.
And finally, here's a special treat for you music fans out there. You have to see this simply stunning performance by a young virtuoso as he plays George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on his ukelele! Yup, you read right, his ukelele. Watch the video here.
And how was your week? May you have a blessed and happy week ahead of you.
Keep the faith. Peace.
Publisher and Editor in chief