Finding God’s comfort

The pastor of the parish in Blacksburg, Va., near the Virginia Tech campus is a native of the Detroit area, so The Michigan Catholic called him to see if he had a message for Catholics far from the tragedy. The priest, Father James Arsenault, told the paper the grace of God is stronger than any evil and said he was grateful for the messages of support he received from Detroit acquaintances. A separate story in the same edition asked Detroit priests and others to reflect on where God was in the wake of the shootings. The Tidings in Los Angeles also published a story on how local Catholic college students and administrators were reacting to the massacre.

Students helping soldiers

shoe2_web1.jpg Students fill shoe boxes with items that will be sent to military personnel overseas. St. Bernadette School in Milwaukee hosted the event April 20 and invited students from St. Catherine and Our Lady of Good Hope schools to join them. More than 100 sixth- through eighth-grade students filled shoe boxes with snacks, personal hygiene items, paperback books and movies for Operation Shoe Box. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, Catholic Herald)

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‘Origins’ this week features limbo document, text on education in Africa

Here’s the rundown on what’s in the latest issue of Origins: CNS Documentary Service:

  • What happens to infants who die without having been baptized remains one of theology’s thorniest questions and one that the church has yet to answer definitively despite the once widely taught theory of limbo, observes the International Theological Commission in a new study. Growing numbers of unbaptized infants give the question new urgency, it notes, and developments in theology and in society during the last 50 years give “serious theological and liturgical grounds for the hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and brought into eternal happiness even though there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in revelation.” (Subscribers: click here; also, CNS story here)
  • Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Vatican ambassador to the United Nations, says that education, particularly the education of women, holds the key to African development.  (Subscribers: click here)

When grief meets grace

What would you do if an alcohol-impaired driver was responsible for your 23-year-old son’s death? The Leaven in Kansas City, Kan., has the incredible story of how one mother in that situation not only forgave the driver but also allowed him to console her and how she drew close to him as if he was a member of her family. This is a story of faith and mercy you won’t soon forget.

Man owes his life to prayer and an organ donor

Billy Maggio was well on his way to becoming a military jet pilot when cancer derailed his plans. He’s alive today thanks to the prayers of thousands of strangers and a timely liver transplant, according to this Florida Catholic story.

Abuse crisis response stresses caring, knowledge

The clergy sex abuse scandal brought forth all kinds of disconcerting emotions from Catholics nationwide, but The Record in Louisville, Ky., reports that a positive and promising result developed “away from the glare of television newscast floodlights and the voice recorders of newspaper reporters.” This story might not be all that unusual since many dioceses have similar programs, but it serves as a reminder that, as one archdiocesan official says, the church is no longer naive about the problem.