A quirk in the stats

The annual statistical summary published in the 2009 Official Catholic Directory, which we reported on here, shows an odd jump in the number of church-run residential homes for children, or orphanages — from 163 at the beginning of 2008 to 403 now.  But the increase can be attributed to the Archdiocese of Seattle, which the directory lists as having 251 orphanages, when it had none the year before.

Greg J. Magnoni, director of the Seattle archdiocesan Office of Communications, says there are still no orphanages in the archdiocese. With an adjustment down to zero for Seattle, the number of Catholic-run residential homes for children actually declined by 11 to 152.

It’s a mystery where the error came from. An official with the directory said 251 was the number submitted by the Seattle Archdiocese. “We try to scrutinize everything that comes across our desk, but we cannot question them on everything they submit,” said publisher Jeanne Hanline in an e-mail to CNS.



Christian Egyptian children find refuge in Catholic school haven

Here’s a story about a Catholic school in Egypt that serves as a refuge to Christian Egyptian children — many of whom have been sexually abused. It’s in the colorful May edition of One magazine, the official publication of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association in New York. Not only are the photos beautiful, but the story is inspiring, heartfelt and lively written. It’s worth a read!

And it’s a timely story from a country all over the news these last several days because of President Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo.

Graduating blind students help Catholic school peers see

This story about two blind students graduating from a Catholic school in Drexel Hill, Pa., is worth a read for anyone in need of a boost in spirit. The story in The Catholic Standard & Times, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, tells us how these two young men learned how to function in the world of sight at their school, and how the student body embraced them and saw beyond their disability.