More headlines … (2/2/09)

Items on our clients’ sites in recent days:

EWTN offers an outdated view of the church

Chairman of U.S. bishops’ international justice committee urges renewed battle against global poverty

Digest this: Fasting is good for you

Pope’s decision on Lefebvre bishops takes a huge risk

La Salette sister leads poor, prisoners to life with God

Human trafficking continues to claim victims in Oregon

NFL coach’s unusual route to a wedding at the Vatican

March for Life coverage includes YouTube slideshow

The Peoria diocesan contingent poses for a photo prior to the March for Life. (Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

The Peoria diocesan contingent poses for a photo prior to the March for Life. (Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Here’s one rather unique example of how a CNS client covered the annual March for Life.

Tom Dermody, editor of The Catholic Post in Peoria, Ill., was one of thousands from the eastern half of the country who took long bus rides to participate in the march. Later, he created a slideshow of photos of the Peoria diocesan contingent participating in the march and the youth rally earlier that day at the Verizon Center here in Washington.

And then he set it to music — a song he wrote and performed called “Life Begins at the Beginning” — and then posted it on the paper’s Web site.

Dermody, you may recall, isn’t a novice at this. Last summer he posted a video and musical tribute to “Last Lecture” author Randy Pausch. But he said the YouTube presentation was a video first for The Catholic Post.

Most-viewed CNS stories for January

Here’s our monthly list of most viewed stories on for January, in case you missed any of them:

1. Vatican report: Most U.S. seminaries are generally healthy (Jan. 14)

2. Beyond the veil: Debate continues on why number of nuns is declining (Jan. 9)

3. Pope cautions tribunals against granting annulments too easily (Jan. 29)

4. Vatican action against U.S. Jesuit is not definitive, order says (Jan. 5)

5 . Pope lifts excommunications of Lefebvrite bishops (Jan. 25)

6. Two top 10 lists equal the best film viewing of 2008 (Jan. 28)

7. Rumors aside, FOCA legislation no threat to Catholic health care (Jan. 27)

8. Vatican orders study of women religious institutes in United States (Jan. 30)

9. Christians can find hope despite evil, danger in world, pope says (Jan. 6)

10. Pro-life marchers turn Obama’s call for change against him at march (Jan. 22)

Super Bowl: Reaping the benefits of prayer?

During a visit to Pittsburgh this weekend, I could feel the Super Bowl excitement in the air. The grocery stores were packed with people stocking up for the big game; people and businesses had signs in their windows; and the Steeler Nation was the topic of conversation all over the city.

So I was not surprised when I went to Mass Sunday morning to see at least half of the church decked out in black and gold. Adults and children sported team jerseys: No. 7, Ben Roethlisberger; No. 86, Hines Ward; No. 43, Troy Polamalu; No. 39, Willy Parker.

I was surprised when the priest did not mention the Super Bowl. He greeted parishioners in Chinese for the Chinese new year and gave a nice homily about the readings. No Super Bowl hype here: In fact, the first mention of the game came in a pulpit announcement about celebrating “Souper Bowl Sunday” with a collection for a Pittsburgh soup kitchen.

At the end of the Mass, however, the priest shared with parishioners why he had remained mum about the big game.

“That’s because I believe it is wrong to pray for a team that you bet on,” he said, adding, “But you can pray that I reap the benefits of my bet.”