Glenmary Missioners care for rural hungry

Glenmary Challenge

Glenmary Challenge

CNS is running a series of stories and photos on the impact of the economic crisis on the rural life in the Midwest and on the church itself. But we aren’t the only ones taking a hard look at what is happening in the American rural lands.

Since 1939, the Glenmary Home Missioners have ministered to rural communities from West Virginia to Florida to the Southwest. In this month’s issue of the Glenmary Challenge, Glenmary Brother David Henley photographs and writes about how a small Glenmary mission, St. Andrew in Danville, Ark., pulled an entire community together to set up an emergency pantry and other assistance for the locally unemployed after the town’s main industry, the Petit Jean Poultry plant, shut down last January. Read the story, “Difficult times; Extraordinary Response.” For many residents, it was the first time they had ever set foot in a Catholic church.

After reading about the St. Andrew’s great work, turn to the feature story by Father John Rausch, a Kentucky-based Glenmary Missioner, on the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey and how the lives of the men and women of the Glenmary missions both “reflect and refute” the national trends. Check out “Religious Trends; Unique Challenges.”

Post-Holy Land visit, pope gets some stamps

VATICAN CITY — The first gift Pope Benedict XVI received at the end of his weekly general audience today was a framed copy of the two stamp sheets and souvenir booklets issued by the Israel Philatelic Service of Israel Post.

POPE-MIDEAST/HOLY LAND VISIT

Pope Benedict XVI prays at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem May 12. (CNS/Catholic Press Photo)

The first sheet and booklet, issued to welcome the pope to Israel for his May 11-15 visit, featured photographs of the Christian holy sites and relevant biblical texts. The 10,000 sets published have sold out.

The second sheet and booklet feature photographs of the pope from his Holy Land pilgrimage along with quotes from each speech he gave in Israel.

Mordechay Lewy, the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, introduced the pope to the president and CEO of Israel Post, the director of the Israel Philatelic Service, and Peter Jennings, a dedicated stamp collector and Catholic public affairs expert, who wrote the text for both booklets.

Yaron Razon, director of the Israeli philatelic service, said he is working with the Vatican Numismatic and Philatelic Office to plan a joint stamp issue commemorating the visit. It should be ready for purchase in 2010.

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