More resources for the year of St. Paul

Last week we passed along some resources for marking the year of St. Paul, which opened Saturday. Here are some other items worth your time:

— For a good primer on who St. Paul was and why Pope Benedict is putting the spotlight on him for the next 12 months, read — and link to — CNS Rome Bureau Chief John Thavis’ Vatican Letter last Friday, which reports on how the pope thinks Paul’s life can be a lesson for today’s Christians.

— The Arkansas Catholic in Little Rock has begun publishing a 13-part series of articles by staff members of Little Rock Scripture Study on the year for St. Paul. Here’s a link to the first column. (Publishing clients of CNS should look at an advisory that ran today behind the password wall of our Web site for a special offer about the series.)

— The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship has unveiled its own page of resources for the year of St. Paul, with links to papal homilies and other liturgical aspects of the celebration, such as details on celebrating a votive Mass for St. Paul.

Permanent diaconate growing

While much has been made about the shortage of priests in the last decade, the number of men committing themselves to the permanent diaconate seems to be doing well.

Many dioceses are ordaining permanent deacons in excess of 20 a year. Here’s a look at some of the permanent diaconate classes making the news:

— Over the weekend the Archdiocese of Indianapolis ordained its first class of permanent deacons. There were 25 men in the inaugural class. The Criterion archdiocesan paper quickly posted a photo gallery from the ordination and has had ample coverage leading up to the ordination.  Included are profiles of the newly ordained and an overview of their ministry and role in the church. Those articles and many more can be found on this page.

 — The Arkansas Catholic reports that the Diocese of Little Rock has accepted 50 men into a new formation class for permanent deacons, with ordination anticipated in 2012.

 — As previously noted on the CNS Blog, 26 men were recently ordained to the permanent diaconate in Boston by Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

 — On the complete opposite side of the country, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles ordained 19 men to the permanent diaconate at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The Tidings coverage of the ordination can be seen here.

 — And in the Southeast, the Georgia Bulletin covered the ordination of 20 men to the diaconate in Atlanta earlier this year.