BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: When St. James wrote about the need to "keep oneself unstained by the world'" what exactly did he mean by "the world?" Share your thoughts with us. Post a comment today.
NOTABLE BLOG: "Lights, Camera, GOD!" - a Faith Journey in Hollywood by Hope Frances
Unauthorized baptisms, Immigration, Bible Christians and beating slumping home sales are our top stories this week.
What would you do if your adult son and his wife refused to baptize their child - your grandchild? This grandmother took matters into her own hands. Was it a valid baptism? Check out this story. And a ParishWorld blogger responds to a solicitation letter he received from a prestigious Catholic institution regarding the need for Catholics to be Bible Christians. Read this interesting discourse on the concept of sola scriptura or scripture-only Christianity.
On the Vatican front, the Pope made two assertions this week. First, he urged that families return to the old Christian rituals - such as taking children to church on Sundays, kneeling in prayer at bedtime and saying grace before meals. He also preached that it is not possible to understand the figure of Jesus if both his divine and historical dimensions are not taken into account.
And October being the month we dedicate to the Virgin Mary and the holy rosary, he also reminded the world that when it comes to teaching others about Christ, Mother Mary's example is the one to follow.
Have you had a Faith Checkup lately? Take this periodic review of key areas of your life - your relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, your relationships with your family and others, and your faithfulness to him in your everyday life.
In Catholic news from around the world comes this inspiring story about a group of New Orleans parents who banded together to revive a Catholic school that was closed during Katrina. From Beijing, a bishop reports that Catholicism is winning in China - many Churches are open for worship, the seminaries are full - despite the government's restrictions. In fact ,the government even funded the construction of a $9 million dollar seminary - the largest in China.
In Washington DC, the Catholic justices of the Supreme Court joined Catholic cabinet members and senior administration officials for the annual Red Mass marking the start of a new term of the Supreme Court. The presiding bishop urged them all to uphold their Christian beliefs in the performance of their duties.
Still from the US Capital, the US Senate passed legislation to build a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexican border over the objections of the Catholic Church. While in Switzerland, Church leaders have criticized a late-September referendum in which citizens voted to give the country some of the toughest immigration laws in the Western world.
And last Sunday, at all parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, taped messages of Cardinal Roger Mahony were played urging Catholics to vote yes on Proposition 85. If approved, this proposiition would amend the state constitution to require that at least one parent of a minor girl be notified before undergoing an abortion.
GET INSPIRED! "Define Your Core Gift and Remain Faithful To Who You Are" by Bo Sanchez kicks off this week's round of warm, inspiring articles. "F.R.I.E.N.D.S." by Jerome Placido deals with the challenges of keeping your faith strong when your friends pull you the other way.
"The Luck of an Unemployed Graduate," "You are welcome" by Kathi Scarpace, and Steve Ray's "An Open Letter to Filipino Catholics," are great reads. Check them all out.
In YOUTH and LIFE stories, Fr.Stan Fortuna -the rapping priest - has just released a new Catholic rap CD. He says the genre speaks more closely to the youth. And did you know that rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg is a practicing Catholic? Check out his story.
And with the real estate sales slumping nationwide, many realtors are turning to a most unlikely source to help sell their listed homes - St. Joseph. Realtors swear that burying the icon under the listed home helps sell the property. Superstition or faith? You be the judge.
And how was your week? Have a blessed and wonderful coming week.
Keep the faith. Peace.
Publisher & Editor in Chief