Finding hope amid disaster

You can find before and after photos of St. Joseph Church in Greensburg, Kan., and several stories about the May tornado that destroyed 95 percent of the town on this page of The Southwest Kansas Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Dodge City.

Voice of the Faithful facing financial, membership crisis

Voice of the Faithful, the New England-based church reform group founded in the wake of the clergy sex abuse crisis, is now in a financial crisis of its own, according to, the Web site of The Catholic Observer in Springfield, Mass. The story notes, among other things, that the organization has not yet posted an audited financial statement for the last fiscal year, though it led an unsuccessful effort to require churches to file audited financial statements, and that the organization’s new mission statement avoids issues like priestly celibacy or women’s ordination.

Priesthood came from ‘dreaming big’

A new priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is a man born deaf who dreamed of entering the priesthood. “My parents instilled in me that I should never let my deafness interfere with what I want to do,” says the new ordinand, Carmelo Giuffre, in an interview with the Catholic Herald of Milwaukee.

Redesigned ‘Catholic Trends’ gives insight to modern church

Time to toot our own horn: We’ve totally redesigned Catholic Trends, our every-other-week newsletter that keeps you on top of the latest developments in church life and practice. Pastors, religious orders, libraries, pastoral councils, campus ministers, hospital chaplains and many others can find valuable information in Catholic Trends to keep them informed in their ministries and professional lives.

Better yet, we’ve also switch Catholic Trends to an e-product so you don’t have to wait for postal delivery. We’ll e-mail you a notice as soon as a new edition is published with a link that you can download or print. And best of all, a one-year subscription is only $25.

Take a look at this sample issue for an example of the broad spectrum of topics that Catholic Trends regularly covers.  There’s also a convenient order form to get your subscription started.

Catholic Trends: A Catholic News Service digest for the modern church.

Archbishop learns XLT, then has an LOL moment

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta writes in The Georgia Bulletin that he knows how to send a text message, though he’s not very good at it, but he recently came across a new texting acronym — XLT — that he found represents youthful energy in praise of God. The archbishop’s column ends with an LOL thought of his own.

Disability doesn’t dampen competitor’s commitment

The Catholic Explorer in the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., tells the story of a high school senior with cerebral palsy whose love of sports led her to be an integral part of her Catholic school’s basketball team. Despite her limitations, Annie Huguelet says she feels blessed by God to be able to accomplish something many in her situation could not.

And now, a word from our sponsors …

If you’ve stumbled across this site, or followed the link this week from “Whispers in the Loggia,” welcome!

And now, an explanation:

As of this writing, this is still a test site, a prototype (should we call it the beta version?) for a new “CNS News Hub” that we might launch later this year. The current News Hub is still alive at the Catholic News Service Web site; most of what you’ll see here is merely copied from the current site.

Since this is a mere prototype, we weren’t going to announce it until we had the completed final design. But like all things on the Internet, it didn’t take long for Rocco Palmo to find it (probably because we had just linked to a story on his talk in Madison).

So, if you’re reading this before we “go live,” forgive the dust that you’re bound to get on your sandals as you poke around in our construction zone. We won’t tell the vice principal that you’re wandering the hallways without a hall pass.

Monk never imagined this life for himself

A newly professed Benedictine monk in Arkansas explains his vocation path to the Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock. The story also includes a link to a typical day in the life of a monk. It was part of the paper’s special section on vocations, which also is worth a look.

Chinese church still stymied, says Hong Kong cardinal

Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun is on a three-week North American tour. First stop: Los Angeles. The Tidings has the details.

‘Origins’ focuses on pope’s Brazil trip

Origins, the CNS Documentary Service, this week has three texts from Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Brazil:

  • In a wide-ranging and widely quoted address opening a conference of Latin American and Caribbean bishops, the pope discusses Christianity’s encounter with indigenous cultures, globalization, the failures of Marxism and capitalism, poverty, and the link between social needs and religious renewal as he underlines the central theme of his papacy: “the unique and irreplaceable importance of Christ for us, for humanity.” (Subscribers: click here)
  • The pope urges young people gathered in a Sao Paulo stadium to be “apostles of youth,” sharing generously the hope and joy they derive from their faith with peers who seek to mask their fears — of death, of failure or of a lack of meaning in their lives — with violence, drugs or excessive ambition for wealth and power. (Subscribers: click here)
  • The pope encourages the 446 Brazilian bishops — the world’s largest episcopate — to make outreach to fallen away Catholics and the unchurched a priority, sending missionaries door to door to preach the Gospel and, where necessary, to meet the material needs of the people they encounter, whose faith may be “weak, confused, easily shaken and naive despite their innate religiosity” due to an incomplete evangelization. (Subscribers: click here)

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