A Texas editor puts Hurricane Ike in perspective

Writing in the latest issue of East Texas Catholic, newspaper of the Beaumont Diocese, editor Karen Gilman puts into perspective Hurricane Ike and the damage it caused along the Texas Gulf Coast and elsewhere.

“When my life is disrupted I feel I am having problems and have to find solutions,” she wrote in her column in the paper’s latest issue.

“Alone in a house in an evacuated neighborhood, stay the night with friends. No power for eight days, boil water on the gas stove for my coffee. … Can’t get to the grocery store because of short hours of operation, a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast is just fine,” she said.

“But when I sit and think, these are just inconveniences, not problems. Because it’s all perspective,” she added.

Some in Beaumont say Ike wasn’t as bad as Hurricane Rita in 2005, according to Gilman, but she urged everyone to think about the storm from the perspective of those in communities that got slammed and found that the storm surge deposited fish in the yard, drowned family pets, poisoned crops and ruined pastures.

“You just got your East Texas Catholic in the mail. Others in our diocese don’t even have a mailbox,” she told readers.

Out of this world

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — what we know as NASA — turns 50 years old, the National Catholic Register assembled an interesting story about Catholics in the early days of the “space race” and subsequent space travel, in addition to a look at the church’s contributions to astronomy (sorry, but there’s no mention of Galileo).

Most-viewed CNS stories for September

The beginning of a new month means it’s time to look at the most-viewed CNS stories during September. As regular readers of these posts know, stories involving the liturgy usually get the most circulation, and this month is no exception (see Nos. 2, 5 and 7 below).

But there’s also an interesting mix of stories on the current economic crisis, the election season, popular devotion, and evolution. And the words of Pope Benedict are always intriguing for many readers (see No. 9).

Here’s September’s list:

1. Vatican newspaper says crisis shows failure of ‘new economy’ (Sept. 24)

2. No ‘Yahweh’ in songs, prayers at Catholic Masses, Vatican rules (Aug. 12)

3. U.S. archbishop at Vatican says Democrats becoming ‘party of death’ (Sept. 29)

4. Vatican disciplines ex-spiritual director to Medjugorje visionaries (Sept. 5)

5. Cardinal: Some not satisfied even after pope’s Tridentine Mass decree (Sept. 16)

6. Anglican archbishop comes under fire for homily at Lourdes (Sept. 24)

7. Mixed reviews: Implementation of Tridentine ruling frustrates some (Sept. 19)

8. Top Polish theologian rejects Vatican demand to retract article (Sept. 17)

9. Ten texts help crack pope’s pontificate, mission, ministry (May 30) (Editor’s note: Is there a professor somewhere out there who is teaching a class on Benedict XVI and using this four-month-old story — which lists “10 fundamental texts that can help people understand the man, his thought and his ministry” — as a syllabus? If so, don’t forget to check out our post with links to each of these papal texts.)

10. Vatican evolution congress to exclude creationism, intelligent design (Sept. 16)