Soldiers and prayer linked in parish Web site

For several years, Julie Sines, the religious education director at St. Charles Parish in Bellows Falls, Vt., has been praying for U.S. soldiers every week in the parish’s adoration chapel.

Two years ago, Sines, who is also the parish webmaster, took these prayers out of the chapel and into cyberspace with a link on the parish Web site. The “Prayers for Soldiers” page includes prayers for the troops and an alphabetical listing of more than 200 soldiers.

In a Sept. 12 story in The Vermont Catholic Tribune, Sines told reporter Cori Fugere Urban that she has received names from all over the country. She updates the list every week and as far as she knows, all the soldiers on the list are still alive. “The ones who are deployed need to be under the care of the good Lord,” said Sines, who also has kept up her weekly prayers for these men and women in the parish chapel.

Presidential candidates and Catholic Digest

Two days ago we posted an entry on the major parties’ presidential candidates responding to an e-mail interview in the October issue of the U.S. Catholic magazine. It turns out Catholic Digest’s October election issue also contains interviews – conducted by phone and e-mail – of the two candidates.

Republican Sen. John McCain told the magazine’s contributing writer Kerry Weber that faith played a significant role in his life long before he entered politics. He also said he prays for “guidance and to do the right thing.” Democratic Sen. Barack Obama told the magazine’s managing editor Julie Rattey that prayer strengthens him and guides him through the day. He also said a president shouldn’t “shy away from applying principles that are important” to the work that needs to be done.

The candidates also spoke about the economy, parenthood, the troops in Iraq and whether a good president can change his mind on a given issue.

The election issue of Catholic Digest, published by the Bayard Magazine Group in New London, Conn., also contains a voting guide, a discussion of Catholics’ duty to vote by San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer and a link to a webcast about the Catholic perspective on election issues by Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn.