Thursday, March 30, 2006

Simplify your life! and more...

It's the fifth Sunday of Lent this weekend. Can you believe that Holy Week is almost upon us?

In this issue, we reflect on why Jesus calls us "friends." Pope Benedict tells us, "Communion is key to Church Unity." And if you're struggling with life right now, we are reminded that "life is strewn with many little nights of Gethsemane." If you 've been praying and all you hear from God is silence, we have a wonderful article that might help you understand why.

Here's a gem of an advice from Bo Sanchez for the many who are stuck in the rat race: Simplify! It's the same message you will get from the founder of IKEA, the 4th richest person in the world. He is so simple, this billionaire flies in economy class and drives around in an old Volvo.

Mike Eichhorn was a cradle Catholic. Read about his journey away from the church and what brought him back home again. But what exactly does 'Catholic' mean? Steve Ray tells us how the word came about. Paul Dion reflects on the plight of many Catholics today in "Lotsa religion, but how much faith." It hits the spot.

And before you think ill and pass judgement on others, read "Judgements - A parent's perspective." it relates so well to the many social issues that are front page news again this week. With the immigration issue heating up, we thought we would show you the common themes that abound in Catholic statements about the issue. A catholic group fights poverty by helping mothers reconnect to the community. Check out the march for Christ by 25,000 Christian youths in San Francisco.

And we have more. Did you know actor Bill Murray has a sister who is a Dominican nun? Have you heard that the Catholic Church in Scotland now uses text messaging by cell phones to evangelize? Talk about high tech evangelization. We also bring you the latest wave of companies that are delivering even newer and better cutting edge services via the internet.

Teach your kids how to manage their finances and learn about the many pitfalls and traps your children face when they go into myspace.com. We have the stories. Learn how to pair wine and cheese for maximum enjoyment. Think you'getting a good deal shopping at those dollar stores? Be wary as we tell you why. And see how one college student actually survived "living " in Walmart as part of his college project. And much much more.

Have a wonderful weekend and God bless.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally AridaPublisher and Editor in Chief

Friday, March 24, 2006

We're busting at the seams so we're moving

Yes, we're moving and I'm trying to get this email out to you from an office strewn with moving boxes, disassembled desks and moving people running around.

We are moving out of our Old Town Pasadena office today and hope to get settled into our new offices in a few days. And no, it's not a misprint, we really are opening two new offices - one in West Covina CA and another one in Simi Valley, CA The new addresses can be found in www.parishworld.net.

This move will allow us to better serve our readers and our rapidly growing network of Catholic parishes. Service will not be interrupted during this move, our entire network will be unaffected and our phone numbers will remain unchanged.

If your parish is not yet a member of our network, we are now better equipped and more centrally located to service your needs. Please do call or email us and we will be more than glad to set up an online presence for your parish in no time at all. And do send this free subscription to your children, your parents, siblings and everyone else who could use a dose of God's grace weekly.

Despite the hustle and bustle of our office move, we still managed to prepare a packed issue for you this week. Was Jesus political? Is God really Pro-life? How do you set-up a bible study group in your parish? What exactly is RCIA and how does it affect me? We have the meditation that the Pope reflected upon during his Lenten Retreat this week. How did the Eucharist come about and why do we celebrate it? What about televised Masses? And much more.

We take a quick look around the world as we explore Catholicism in Vietnam, in Scotland, in Canada, in Hollywood, in Afghanistan, even in Mongolia. And we bring you stories that will inspire you - how to deal with life's problems, why you need to catch a moment to listen to your children, a poem about Christians by Maya Angelou, the conversion of someone who became one of only five deaf priests in America. And more.

Did you know that tea can prevent ovarian cancer? And do you know the secrets that drive the twelve most successful people in the world today. We have these stories and over fifty others in this week's issue of ParishWorld. Check it out.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. As for us, it will be about unpacking boxes and restoring order so we can hit the ground running at an even faster pace beginning next week.

Have a great and blessed weekend.

Keep the faith. peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in Chief

Thursday, March 16, 2006

St. Patrick's Day, the legacy of Irish priests, the Da Vinci Code, spam mail, avian flu, media and the Church and more

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

Get into the green spirit. Try out the Irish recipes we have lined up for you. And then get into the real spirit of the holiday with this article about the real St. Patrick and why he should be honored not just by the Irish but by all down-trodden people everywhere.

And this being an Irish holiday, let's not forget the sacrifices of the thousands of Irish priests who serve our American Catholic communities today. Did you know that becoming a priest in Ireland during the turn of the 20th century was so honorable that that mothers draped their infants in black diapers hoping they would become priests someday? Wow!

Lent offers us "40/40 vision - that's 40 days to care and share in 40 days of Lent." Check out the great article. And why can't we eat chicken instead of just fish during Lent? And why do we genuflect and when should we do it? We have the answers.

Feeling down lately? Reflect on this, "Our only guarantee is the love of the Father and the mercy of Jesus." This meditation given last week to members of the Papal household is the same message guiding all those in RCIA as they prepare to become Catholics this Easter.

But despite this guarantee, "the Church today is confronted more by indifference and practical unbelief," a loss of faith - not just among Catholics as noted by Vatican scholars - that induces people to live "as if God did not exist." Read up on the issues of "unbelief" and "bad belief," and how the media can play a role in it.

So, where is Jesus speaking today so that we can hear him? He speaks to us above all through our conscience. But conscience is not enough on its own. It is easy to make it say what we like to hear. Thus it needs to be illuminated and supported by the Gospel and the teaching of the Catholic Church. It's the same Church that Pope Benedict reminds us this week as "inseparable from Christ, despite the sins of the people who make up the church."

And here comes The Da Vinci Code. While waiting for the main feature to start at a moviet heater recently, two Catholics were stunned to see people roar in approval and stand to applaud an anti-Catholic trailer for the Da Vinci Code movie. Understandably, the Church is bracing for this onslaught with its own coordinated efforts to counter the misinformation.

Do you know anyone with Down Syndrome? It's a major challenge to raise these special-needs babies but the number of prospective adoptive parents waiting to adopt them is on the rise. See why the waiting list is getting longer. Here's more. In Spain, where gay marriages are now legal, the government has replaced the legal word for Mother and Father as "Progenitor A and Progenitor B." Unbelievable. But there's hope. In the Philippines, its Catholic president said this week she will fight all efforts to legalize abortion and divoce in her country.

On the Lifestyle front, we know you've received those well meaning Christian chain letters by email and probably even forwarded a few yourself. I like their messages, but I have to admit I hate it when they come with the threat of misfortune should you break the chain. I guess I'm not alone. See what people are saying about them. And ParishWorld blogger Paul Dion exhorts us to "Cry, cry, cry and be happy!"

Suffering from body aches? We help you pinpoint whether you're sufering from regular household flu or the dreaded avia flu. More great news about olive oil for all you cholesterol watchers out there. And we have a true story about a lady in Norway who thought God had performed a miracle when she turned on her kitchen faucet to see beer coming out from it instead of water.

These and more await you in this issue. Over 60 articles about all kinds of topics to keep you inspired, blessed, entertained and amused. All yours to enjoy.

So kick back, relax and enjoy everything we have prepared for you. And don't forget to send this to all your friends and offer them their FREE ParishWorld subscriptions. Enjoy your weekend!

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in Chief

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lenten Sacrifice, Illegal Aliens, Divorced Catholics, Abstinence, Hi-tech Gadgets from Apple and Microsoft and more!

I know you will absolutely enjoy the ParishWorld we have for you this week. Let's give it a whirl.

So what did you give up for Lent? Can you give up candy for forty days? This young lady in our story did. See how she fared. Another article reflects upon finding holiness through veggies and going meatless on Fridays. And still another talks about giving up on 'complaining?'

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict and his staff - like Christians everywhere - attended their very own spiritual retreat where they were reminded that to preach the Gospel implies difficulties and failures, as it did for Jesus himself. They also reflected on the thought that Jesus picked the poor and the sinful to be His disciples.

Social issues are peppered all over this week's issue, beginning with the Vatican's concern about the plight of divorced Catholics. And as more and more American's live together without marriage, we bring you four myths that cloud this type of relationship.

Immigration takes center stage again as US bishops vow to defy a proposed law that targets illegal aliens. And did you hear about the New York Times article that said parental consent does not have any affect on teen pregnancy? We have the article that refutes it.

A new poll says Hollywood is out of step with American values. Not a surprise there. On the Today Show, Katie Couric goes after Tom Monaghan and his plan to build a Catholic town in Florida. You gottta read this. More on TV, parents are warned: Do not assume that children's programming is child-friendly. And on the Da Vinci front, US Bishops go on the information offensive, releasing materials that provide accurate information on the life of Jesus. While Mary Magadalene is front and center in an article that traces her true purpose in the Gospel.

Planning a Spring Break? Young women beware! The America Medical Association issues a health warning and recommends alternative service-oriented trips instead. And another warning about a dangerous "choking" game that is killing young people all across the U.S. today.

Now here's a stretch. Skip the whole milk. Pass on soda. Drink beer and coffee instead? A controversial new study stands by it. And you can plan on being green on St. Patrick's Day. We have the traditional Irish recipes for you!

Check out the new IPOD Hi-Fi released this week by Apple. Big living room sound for home theater enthusiasts! And review Microsoft's new handhled PC. It's touchscreen, wireless and is only as small as a hardcover book.

All this and much more, inside America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine this week. And subscription is FREE! Go ahead and share it with all your family and friends. Have a great weekend!

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor-in-chief

Friday, March 3, 2006

Lenten Rites, American Politics and Catholics, Fresh Homemade Pasta and More

Have we got a busy issue of ParishWorld for you this first weekend of Lent.

The Holy Father talks about Lenten Rites, such as the imposition of the ashes and the "stations," and how they have maintained their significance over the centuries. He reminds us that the Christian life is a ceaseless struggle against evil.

Pope Benedict XVI also urges our youth to read the scriptures and "build your life on Christ, to accept the word with joy and put its teachings into practice." In the US, however, studies reveal many of our church-going American teens are marginal believers in historic Christianity. Why? The answers strike closer to home than you think.

During this season of fasting, a Benedictine father suggests we observe Lent by abstaining from radio, TV, telephone and criticism of others. And how and exactly who determines when Lent starts? We have the answer.In Iraq, Catholics there have set up a donation drive to help rebuild the Islamic Samarra mosque that was damaged in sectarian violence last week, despite the violence launched against them. While in Europe, Italian leaders blame the “moral and spiritual crisis” in the continent for the confusion and fear over Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

In Washington DC, a group of Democratic congressmen play politics with their Catholic faith by claiming "commitment to the basic principles at the heart of Catholic social teaching," but refusing to accept the Church's opposition to legal abortion. And so we ask: Are Democrats or Republicans really more in tune with the Catholic faith? Five prominent Catholic TV pundits from both sides of the political spectrum exchange their thoughts in this lively exchange.

We have the inspiring story of a world champion bass fisherman with a "little" disadvantage. He was born with no legs, no left arm and a right arm that reaches only to the elbow. Also this issue, we debut "No Crying at my Funeral," a blog by long-time Catholic Paul Dion.

In our Lifestyle section, find out how couples can avoid fighting over finances by following the advice we list from the pros. We report on the cancer-causing chemical in the most common soft drinks in the market. And take out the flour and eggs as we show you how to make fresh homemade pasta. It's easier than you think and definitely worth the effort.

TGIF, my friends. Have a blessed weekend.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor-in-chief