Thursday, October 19, 2006

"God is not against the rich!" and other great stories

BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What three commandments require restitution when violated? Tell us what youthink. Post a comment today.

THIS WEEK'S FEATURED BLOG: "The Cross at Cahuenga" - Shining God's love down upon Hollywood - by Hope Frances

Dear Friends,

The Pope's Islamic comments, Catholic Hollywood and our new Spanish language blogs top our ParishWorld list this week.

We are happy to announce the launch of "Fe Y Razon!" - a Spanish blog that debuts this week in as part of our committed mission to spread the word of God to all people. It is penned by Fr. Roberto Mena, S.T., who also happens to be an active minister on radio and TV. Check out Fr. Mena's multimedia ministry story. And you if you read Spanish, definitely give our new Spanish blog a look-through.

NO RETREAT – that's the Pope's stance to Islam as he spoke out with even more determination this week in a 'reciprocity' challenge to Islam. And Islam - at least the moderate sectors - seem to be responding well to the Pope's challenge with the publication this week of an open letter to the Pope from 38 Muslim leaders from various countries and of different outlooks. And more good news from from Singapore with this report that Muslim-Catholic relations in that country remain strong and unaffected by all the tension.

Catholic Hollywood is in full force this week with the Gabriel Awards set for Friday and the Angelus Awards scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21. FREE tickets are available for the Angelus Student Filmfest Awards - to be held at the Director's Guild of America in Hollywood. If you are a film buff, this Saturday is your chance to view the winning films. And on Nov. 5, Sunday, Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA) invite you to their annual Mass and awards at the Beverly Hilton where they will honor "The Chronicles of Narnia" and TV's "Cold Case." God is truly alive and well in Hollywood!

"God Is Not Against the Rich" explains the preacher of the Vatican's papal household in his homily about last Sunday's Gospel from Mark 10:17-30, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" And the Pope in an address this week said that through Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Christ, we learn that Jesus respects human freedom and waits for a sinner's repentance.

More reader questions were answered this week. The first one is "Why are the Readings at Mass read from Scriptural Translations instead of directly from the Bible?" And the second question is "What is the most appropriate moment to pray the Divine Praises during adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?" We have the answers to both.

We also bring you a "coming home" story about a law professor who has been living his Christian faith outside of full communion with the Catholic Church for a number of years. And a we have a reminder from a Catholic Cardinal who said, "Instead of simply criticizing Pentecostal churches that draw Catholics as members, Catholic leaders should consider why their parishes aren't meeting the needs of those who leave."

SOLA SCRIPTURA! See what happens when a catechist is accused of using too much bible. Paul Dion, STL, is his usual animated self in this wonderful blog about "bible-only" catechism.

With the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections just under three weeks away, the Cardinal of Chicago pronounced to both candidates and voters that “Conscience is not an excuse for doing something irrational” - like supporting abortion. On another hot election topic, a top Catholic bio-ethicist cut through the political spin with this clarification, "It is incorrect to say that the Roman Catholic Church is against stem-cell research. It is only correct to say the Roman Catholic Church is against embryonic stem-cell research." Remember these when you go to the polls in November.

GET INSPIRED! Check out how a lay Catholic renewal ministry in the Philippines is fighting poverty and brining people closer to God by building self-sustaining low-income communities - over 850 communities to date - in that nation. Also, see how great the love of the Father can be in "The Father's Choice." And what would you do if the Virgin Mary spoke to you in person? Read "We must be as open as a child" and then tell us your answer.

YOUTH AND LIFESTYLE. "Bella" is a little family-friendly film that was mostly ignored by critics and U.S. film distributors. To everyone's surprise, it won the People's Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. Check out the movie trailer here and find out why it is a favorite among Catholics in the Hollywood media. Also, a new cartoon show approved by the Vatican is set to make the late Pope John Paul II a star.

And if you happen to walk into a church in Western Pennsylvania and the priest looks a little bit different, don't let the earrings and goatee fool you. Fr. Bob Lubic - PA's 'Punk Priest' is packing all the youth Masses he celebrates.

And here's one just for fun. This video won the best Young Director award for 2005. And that's not surprising. This film is amazing. Turn up your speakers and check it out.

Another God-filled week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed coming week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor-in-chief

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