Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
"That seems to confirm the undisputed, and long-held view that the tomb contains the remains of Paul the Apostle," the pope said. For the full story click HERE and HERE.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Take 30 seconds to watch the ad. And h/t to American Papist for the lead on this.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
In the informal and chatty interview, which includes lots of laughter, Archbishop Dolan talks about the need for people to see joy in their priests and about the importance of the Year of the Priest, which began last week. It's a great interview and worth your time. There are some wonderful moments where the archbishop usurps the role of interviewer and gets Father Benedict to talk about his own vocation. Click HERE to see the show, although the last two minutes are cut off for some reason. That means you'll miss the line about Hostess Twinkies. Is that enough to get you to tune in on Saturday? I should think so.
Click HERE to read the full story, which includes this passage about the Vatican's celestial searching:
"In the Vatican Observatory’s annual report, at the point where a corporation might describe its business strategy, is a section delineating the difference between creatio ex nihilo (creation from nothing) and creatio continua: “the fact that at every instant, the continued existence of the universe itself is deliberately willed by God, who in this way is continually causing the universe to remain created.”
Monday, June 22, 2009
Ever since I read the hardcover version of My Cousin the Saint: A Story of Love, Miracles, and an Italian Family Reunited by Justin Catanoso, I have been recommending it to friends who are Catholic, friends who are Italian, friends who like adventure travel stories because it is a spiritual pilgrimage and tour of Italy rolled into one. It is the story of the author's search for the history behind Padre Gaetano Catanoso, his grandfather's cousin who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. In beautiful prose, Justin Catanoso's quest for faith and knowledge opens up before you like a feast for the senses. You will feel like you can taste the food and feel the heat. You will wonder how it is possible that Padre Gaetano, who founded an order of nuns and spent his life serving the poor, was not known worldwide long before this book was published. And you will want to get on a plane bound for Italy and experience it all for yourself.
Friday, June 19, 2009
But while the rest of us are using our cherished vacation days to unwind, there are others who take a different, more altruistic approach: mission vacations, which often means hard work in difficult conditions. Volunteers -- individuals, couples, entire families -- build, clean, teach, and more on behalf of the poorest people in this country, the folks who are, unfortunately, often out of sight and out of mind in our land of plenty.
Head over to Varia today by clicking HERE to read about one family's 17-year summer tradition of going to West Virginia to serve with the Passionist Volunteers. It just may inspire you to trade your hammock for a hammer.
Have you participated in a summer volunteer vacation? If so, please share your stories in the comment section and provide a link, if possible, for others who might want to give it a try.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We need more innovative efforts like this -- and here in this country -- if we want to get the vocations message out to a media-savvy generation. Kudos to the French Church for coming up with these. Click the button below to view. H/T to Ed Mechmann at Varia for the link.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Christopher West, the well-known popularizer of Pope John Paul II's theology of the body, has responded, in an interview with Our Sunday Visitor, to controversy over his in-your-face and, critics say, vulgar, approach to sexual ethics.
Debate was sparked by his appearance on ABC's "Nightline," and the producers playing up of West's favorable comparison of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to the late Polish pontiff.
"On the one hand, a few million people in the secular world heard about the theology of the body for the first time," West told us. "There has also been an extraordinary online discussion among Catholics that I think will lead to a clearer understanding of the theology of the body for us all.
"On the other hand, the 'Nightline' piece has caused a lot of consternation among certain Catholics," he said. "For any way my own folly contributed to that, I do have regret. There have been some hard-earned lessons for me in all of this, and I'm praying that I don't miss any of them."The piece closes with a strong defense from Janet Smith, a professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit: "Some people find some of his examples vulgar and crude, but at the end of the day, I think many more people are going to develop a greater reverence for sexuality and for the opposite sex and for marriage than they had at the beginning."
Read the entire piece here.
And here's a good collection of some of the pro and con pieces that have appeared.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I kept trying to wrap my mind around Emmie's belief that her "little zygote," as she calls her baby, is too precious to hand over to another couple through adoption and so the better choice is abortion, that any baby is too precious not to plan for and so would be better off aborted than arrive in a world that is not ready.
Click HERE to read "Choosing Not to Keep the Baby," the story of one woman's belief that a graduate degree program that apparently discriminates against pregnant women just for having the nerve to put their energy into anything other than school is worth more than the life growing within her. It is as sad as it sounds, and it is worth a read.
Head over to NRO to read Lopez's column by clicking HERE. Then visit the Sisters of Life website HERE and check out the good works of the Sisters, who take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, plus a fourth vow: "to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life." We should all take such a vow.
Monday, June 15, 2009
But a fight about what?
In his Notre Dame commencement address in May, President Barack Obama declared support for a "sensible" conscience clause to excuse those who object to abortion from being involved in the procedure. Soon after, two friends, both pro-life, were arguing about what that meant.
One said Obama had made a big concession. The other denied that proposition. He pointed to pro-abortion steps already taken by the Obama administration that violate the consciences of pro-lifers by using their taxes for that purpose, as well as the president's declared intention to rescind Bush-era regulations affirming and clarifying conscience clause laws on the books since 1973.
Then he added:
"I've spent some time figuring out where Obama really stands on abortion, and now I think I know. He believes that every woman has an unconditional, intrinsic right to it. No obstruction or impediment can be allowed to get in the way of exercising that right.
"Within that framework, a 'sensible' conscience clause is acceptable. But a conscience clause that in any way inconvenienced a woman in having an abortion — for instance, by requiring her to go to the next hospital over instead of the hospital nearest her home — would not be allowable."
His friend was unconvinced. "We should exploit the political potential of Obama's pledge," he insisted. "With so much at stake, including the integrity of the medical profession and the livelihood or conscience of Catholic physicians, his words can't be neglected on the plausible ground that they're meaningless. They should be wielded like a club over his head, and if he fails to honor them, the club should strike a blow to his halo."
Both points of view will be tested in the months to come. Congress and the administration are moving full steam ahead on health care reform, with October the admittedly optimistic target date for enactment.
By contrast with the Clintons' bumbling in their failed attempt at reform, Obama & Co. have acted with great subtlety and skill. They enjoy the advantage of widespread agreement that reform of some sort is needed (but opinions differ on what will work and what won't). And, to top it all off, the mindless killing of late-term abortionist George Tiller by an anti-abortion zealot has given the reform campaign a martyr. Enactment of some version of "reform" may not be a certainty, but it's a very good bet.
There's little doubt that Obama and the congressional Democrats will seek to include abortion coverage in the plan, and given their dominance in Washington they're likely to succeed. Very soon, we may all be debating what a "sensible" conscience clause looks like.
Meanwhile, the complex perils of finessing the abortion issue are on painful display in Boston, where the archdiocese has agonized for months over an attempt to find an acceptable way for Catholic hospitals to participate in a state health care scheme that includes abortion, without complicity on the hospitals' part. Good luck to them — but maybe they should try something easy like squaring the circle instead.
Russell Shaw is an OSV contributing editor.
Just a warning, in the middle of his conversation on the play, he is also asked to comment on the gay 'marriage' battle that is raging in New York State. It's a little jarring when the "equal rights" chants begin out of nowhere after the archbishop talks so eloquently about the power of the play to show respect for all human life, but Archbishop Dolan deftly handles the issue of gay 'marriage' and moves on.
A report in today's New York Times said:
"In those families, if the first child was a girl, it was more likely that a second child would be a boy, according to recent studies of census data. If the first two children were girls, it was even more likely that a third child would be male."
Those numbers aren't naturally skewed. Experts say the deviation in gender has to do with a reliance on in vitro fertilization, sperm sorting and abortion to ensure a male heir who will care for parents in their old age -- as is the custom in the immigrants' native lands.
"Dr. Lisa Eng, a Hong Kong-born gynecologist who practices in Chinatown and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, said she tried to discourage couples who prefer boys from having abortions.
"But, she said, 'If it’s going to be a third, they’re pretty determined to have a boy. If it’s a boy, they keep it. If it’s a girl, they’ll abort,'" the New York Times reported.
To read the full story, click HERE.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Sometimes, as we go about our Catholic lives, I think it becomes easy to lose sight of those sacrifices that every priest has made, of the often challenging lives they lead juggling the administrative duties of a parish with the spiritual needs of its people. I know how difficult it is here at home to maintain that careful balance between work and parenting, spiritual and secular, household business and family togetherness. I imagine it's similar for a parish priest trying to be all things to all people.
I have often wondered what it must be like to be able to celebrate Mass, hear confessions, baptize babies, anoint the dying. How do priests keep those powerful experiences from becoming rote with time and repetition? How do they keep from getting distracted when they are saying Mass after Mass, day after day? How are they changed by the ways they enter into people's lives at the most critical moments?
Jesuit Father James Martin, associate editor of America magazine and author of numerous books, among them My Life with the Saints, has posted a beautiful reflection on his ten years as a priest, answering some of those very questions and offering us an inside look at what he loves most about his vocation.
Head over to America's blog, In All Things, by clicking HERE to read Father Martin's post, "Why I like being a priest." And let us remember Father Martin in prayer as he celebrates the anniversary of his ordination today and James as he prepares for his ordination tomorrow and all those men who have answered the call to the priesthood. Thank you all for your sacrifice and service.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi -- or, as it is more popularly known now, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. In the United States, this feast will be celebrated on Sunday, but the Universal Church celebrates it the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. That's today. But enough about the logistics of this feast, let's get down to the meaning of this feast.
Corpus Christi. Sounds simple enough, even in Latin, but the reality is that this is anything but simple. It is about faith. It is about a gift so incredible that it is sometimes hard for us to wrap our little human minds around the greatness of God's goodness.
My grandfather was truly devoted to the Eucharist. He sat for hours before the tabernacle, attended several Masses every day, was visibly affected by Holy Communion. In the church where I was baptized, St. Margaret of Antioch in Pearl River, N.Y., there is a beautiful mosaic over the tabernacle. It was given by my family in honor of my grandparents. When it came time to think of something that could be given to the church in their name, the pastor was the one who suggested it be something related to the Eucharist because he had recognized my grandfather's deep, deep devotion.
I wish I could latch onto that devotion in a tangible way. Even when I sit before Jesus on those rare occasions when I make time to stop by the chapel, I am like a fidgety child -- not sure what I should be doing, but knowing that whatever I am doing is certainly not worthy of what is before me. And what is before me? Nothing less than Jesus himself. That is what we believe as Catholics. That Jesus absolutely meant exactly what he said at the Last Supper:
"While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, 'Take it; this is my body.' Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, 'This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.'" (Mk 14:22-24)
Yes, Lord, we believe, but even in our belief, even on our best days, are we living up to our end of the bargain? If we could fully comprehend the gift of the Eucharist, how could we not drop to both knees or prostrate ourselves before the altar every time we approached to receive Communion? Why would we want to be anywhere else other than there with Jesus every spare minute we had? I guess that would be the ideal, and we humans are often less than ideal. Even with the best intentions, even with the deepest belief, we often cannot rise to the level of what the Eucharist deserves.
The good news is that our God wants us to receive Him in Communion, even with our human imperfections. If we truly believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and we are free from serious sin, we are welcome at the table -- even when we recognize that the details of our devotion could use some work.
Last year, right around the time my daughter Olivia was receiving her First Communion, I saw something at church that stopped me cold and made me want to write more about this subject. Here's a snippet from my Life Lines column, which runs monthly in Catholic New York:
"One week, as we were sitting in church, we saw a teenager walk away from the priest with the host in her hand, carrying it back toward her pew instead of consuming it on the spot. She dropped it on the floor and just kept walking. Another woman went over, picked it up and brought it to the pastor. For me, that moment, where the Eucharist seemed to be worth less than a penny dropped on a sidewalk, was a stark and sad reminder of just how far we have to go in truly understanding this teaching that is the absolute core of our faith. Maybe we all need to go back to square one and learn the lesson like a 7-year-old: This is not like Jesus; this is Jesus. We hear it, we know it, but do we get it?"
We need to talk more about the Eucharist. We need to ensure that Catholics, young and old, understand the truth of this teaching, even if they struggle to grasp its significance fully. If we allow the Eucharist to become just one of many teachings and do not focus on it as the core teaching that it is, we have failed.
When I wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism, I spent a lot of time on the subject of Eucharist. Here is a small sample of what my translation of the Catechism says on this matter:
"Everything in the life of the Church flows from the Eucharist and is directed toward it. 'The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life.' (1324)...The Catechism calls the Eucharist a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, and a paschal banquet, at which believers who consume Christ are filled with grace and receive a pledge of future glory. (1323)
"So to be sure you are clear on the depth of the Eucharist, Catholics believe the bread and wine offered at Mass truly become the body and blood of Jesus Christ through transubstantiation. They do not believe it is a symbol of the body and blood but that through the prayer of consecration prayed by the priest-celebrant, the bread and wine become Jesus." (p. 128)
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi. Celebrate the gift of Jesus himself that is yours each and every time you walk into church. Share the good news with someone you know. (And, if you'd like to read the rest of my Life Lines column on this subject, click HERE.)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
And, if you click on the "related articles" button on the Fathers for Good page, you will find links to additional stories on strengthening marriage after porn addiction, what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about pornography, and the stunning statistics that show why this problem demands our attention now.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"When asked how he created such stunning works of art, a famous sculptor once said that he instills in his mind a clear image of the form and then removes everything that is not a part of it. In a way, God has shorn from Sunni nearly all of the adornments that would be considered part of a basic human life. She cannot act on her own, communicate, or possibly understand even simple concepts. She is left as a nearly pure example of human life without anything to distract us from its elegant beauty."
Click HERE to read Jennifer's full interview with Sunni's parents about what it means to raise a severely disabled daughter in a society that often looks at her and thinks abortion would have been the better choice.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Kathryn Jean Lopez over at National Review Online takes a closer look at the Cosmo feature and one abstinence education program that is having success in Newark:
"The non-profit Best Friends Foundation sponsored an essay contest asking participants in its abstinence-education program to explain the program’s significance in their lives. Hannah, a sixth-grader at Louise A. Spencer Elementary School, explained that the program taught her that she has 'the right to say no to sex and drugs . . . to respect myself and the ones around me . . . to have trust, faith, and self-esteem.'
"In other words, Hannah’s self-worth isn’t determined by her scores in the 'Love Game,' as the Lady Gaga song crudely terms what is far from real love. Quonia, a student at Chancellor Avenue School, also understands this important lesson. 'There are plenty of times when boys have told me things that I wanted to hear just so I would have sex with them. But I didn’t and I am proud to say that I’m in the eighth grade and I am not sexually active,' she declares."
That's right. Eighth grade. And that's a victory. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, if we are going to turn our kids around. Read the full Lopez column by clicking HERE.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Here's a reasonably fair story on the law from today's New York Times, featuring sidewalk counselors from Expectant Mother Care. The reporter even witnessed one young mom-to-be changing her mind after counselors encouraged her to have an ultrasound first. You can read the story by clicking HERE. And you can visit Expectant Mother Care by clicking HERE to see the good work they are doing.
Friday, June 5, 2009
His proposal last month, as shredded by liberal political commentator Rachel Maddow (see seven-minute video below, h/t Patrick Madrid), is to suspend the U.S. Constitution. His idea is to have a sort of preventative, "prolonged detention" of people the government thinks might pose a threat to the country. Seems like a good plan for the immediate Gitmo problem, but is that the kind of precedent we really want to set?
It reminds me an awful lot of that famous dialogue in the movie, "A Man for All Seasons." St. Thomas More chastises William Roper for saying he'd "cut down every law in England" to "get after the Devil." More responds:
And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Suspending key provisions of the Constitution to protect us from potential threats of assumed terrorists may sound like good idea, but we end up cutting down the laws that protect all of us. Here's a hypothetical: What if the government decided to hold pro-lifers in "prolonged detention" because of their alleged propensity to murder abortionists?
Let's give even the Devil the benefit of law.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
With its purchase of Harcourt Religion Publishers, Our Sunday Visitor expands its business into the Catholic curriculum publishing industry, thus furthering its mission to serve the Church by providing Catholics with materials that will strengthen their relationship with Christ, deepen their commitment to the Church, and help them to see the world through the eyes of faith.
Will Harcourt Religion's name change?
Yes. Harcourt Religion Publishers is now a division of Our Sunday Visitor.
Will Harcourt Religion's product change?
No. The existing Harcourt Religion products will not change, and the commitment to developing innovative products in the future remains the same.
Will Our Sunday Visitor’s products change?
No. Our Sunday Visitor’s commitment to high quality catechetical resources and materials in new and flexible formats will continue.
Will Harcourt Religion’s product continue to be supported?
Yes. Harcourt Religion, now Our Sunday Visitor, will continue to support its award-winning products.
Will Harcourt Religion's focus on lifelong catechesis change?
No. Harcourt Religion’s focus on and support of lifelong catechesis will be further enhanced by Our Sunday Visitor’s mission and product line.
Will Our Sunday Visitor’s non-profit status change?
No. Our Sunday Visitor is a non-profit Catholic publishing company and the acquisition of Harcourt Religion does not change the status.
Will Harcourt Religion’s Totally Catholic Summer Program continue to be offered?
Yes. Plans are already under way for the 2010 Totally Catholic Summer Program!
Will Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Vacation Bible School continue be offered?
Yes. Plans are already under way for the 2010 Catholic Vacation Bible School Program!
Will Harcourt Religion continue to offer Call to Faith eConnect and Call To Discipleship?
Will Fashion Me A People continue to take place?
Yes. The 2010 Fashion Me a People will continue as planned. Decisions for gatherings beyond that will be made in the normal planning process, approximately a year in advance.
Is my sales representative going to be the same person?
Yes, the sales representatives will remain the same for both Harcourt Religion and Our Sunday Visitor customers. We are currently working hard to fill open positions.
How do I place my order?
If you are purchasing Harcourt Religion products, you have three options for placing your order. First, you may contact your sales rep. Second, you may call customer service at 1-800-922-7696. Third, you may place your order on www.MyCatholicBookstore.com.
If you are purchasing Our Sunday Visitor products, you have two options for placing your order. First, you may call 1-800-348-2440 ext. 2173. Second, you may visit www.osv.com.
Is this going to cause order challenges?
No. Our number one goal is to maintain and even improve on the high standard of service you already expect by maintaining existing ordering processes. As a result, order difficulties are not expected.
Are the contact phone numbers going to change?
No. All contact numbers will remain the same.
Will my order costs go up?
No. Prices are set for 2009 and can be found in catalogs and online at www.MyCatholicBookstore.com or www.osv.com. Contact your sales representative for further information.
Can I get Our Sunday Visitor materials now from my Harcourt sales representative?
Not at this time. The fastest way to get Our Sunday Visitor’s products is to call 1-800-348-2440 ext. 2173.
Can I get Harcourt Religion materials from my Our Sunday Visitor sales staff?
Not at this time. The fastest way to get Harcourt Religion’s products is to call your sales representative or contact customer service at 1-800-922-7696. You may also place your order on www.MyCatholicBookstore.com.
I'm a not-for-profit customer. Will my costs go down?
Prices are set for 2009 and can be found in catalogs and online at www.MyCatholicBookstore.com or www.osv.com. Contact your sales representative for further information.
Will Harcourt Religion and Our Sunday Visitor honor their existing speaker and event commitments?
Yes. We are proud to honor all commitments previously established through the end of May 2009. We look forward to continued partnerships with national organizations, local dioceses, and our customers.
Scott Roeder took aim at an abortionist and succeeded in putting a bullet in the pro-life movement. And it couldn't have come at a worse time.
The 51-year-old from Merriam, Kan., had a history, according to the Washington Post, of believing that killing abortionists is morally justifiable (and a history, according to his brother, of mental illness). Once before, he had delighted in staring down another abortionist to make him believe he was going to kill him.
But at the end of May, Roeder, a Lutheran, apparently hunted down Kansas City, Kan., Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of Tiller's Lutheran church during services and shot him dead with a handgun. It was the fourth ideological killing of an abortionist, and the first since 1998.
Tiller was one of a handful of doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions, and he was proud of his practice. His website unapologetically called the unborn "babies."
For that, he had earned special notoriety among pro-life groups, both mainstream and fringe. His clinic was bombed. He was shot in both arms in 1993.
Now his slaying has transformed him into a martyr for the cause of abortion "rights," and has smeared by extension all those dedicated to defense of unborn human life. In no insignificant way, Tiller's assassination -- in a church of all places -- is a blasphemy against the pro-life cause.
New York's late Cardinal John O'Connor once said: "If anyone has an urge to kill someone at an abortion clinic, they should shoot me. ... It's madness. It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder."
The timing of Tiller's killing is particularly awful. A Gallup poll in May found that for the first time a majority of Americans consider themselves "pro-life." This murder will do little to further draw hearts and minds to the pro-life cause.
Additionally, the assassination is likely to mute important discussion of the abortion views of President Barack Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, and of other appointees.
It will also be seen as confirmation of a quickly quashed report by the Department of Homeland Security this year that labeled "groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," as potential threats. The National Organization for Women already has urged the federal government to use Tiller's murder to launch a broad domestic terrorism investigation of the pro-life movement.
Tiller's death may also mean that his clinic remains open longer than it would have otherwise. Legal efforts to shut down the abortionist, who had been under investigation for possible violations of Kansas law regulating late-term abortions, recently had been gaining ground.
Mainstream pro-life groups, who were quick to condemn Roeder's action, are justified in worrying about a chilling effect. After anti-abortion violence in Boston in 1995, the city's top Catholic leader called for a five-month moratorium even on peaceful and prayerful protests at abortion clinics because tensions were running so high.
Pro-lifers cannot be held responsible for every wacko with a gun. But they can determinedly eschew the heated rhetoric that may embolden them. And they can emphasize the broad range of legitimate activity to advance the cause, from prayer rallies to civil disobedience.
Tiller's death was a tragic crime. It's up to us to resuscitate the pro-life movement.
From the June 14 issue of Our Sunday Visitor, award-winning journalist Emily Stimpson takes a look at one of the most pressing issues facing our next generation:
When the Internet went viral a decade ago, educational experts and social critics predicted it would make young people smarter, happier and more engaged with the world than ever before. With the advent of Web 2.0 -- interactive social media such as blogs, texting, Facebook, etc. -- the same experts repeated their praise. But the actual evidence -- the hard data about American teenagers' academic performance and social lives -- as well as the anecdotal evidence from teachers and parents, paints a somewhat different picture.
Read more here.
From the press release:
The strategic combination of the two companies’ product lines, services, and innovations represents an unprecedented, one-source solution for lifelong faith development within Catholic parishes and schools. Joined together, they provide a dynamic approach to systematic and intentional catechesis for all members of the faith community.
Through the transaction, Our Sunday Visitor solidifies its ability to help millions of Catholics of every age bring their faith to life, while Harcourt Religion Publishers substantially extends the reach of its curriculum base.
“We are thrilled to welcome Harcourt Religion Publishers into the Our Sunday Visitor family,” said Greg Erlandson, President and Publisher, Our Sunday Visitor. “They have long stood out for their curricula and forward-looking support tools. The joining of our product lines not only reinforces both missions, but it leverages similar corporate cultures that value innovation, hybrid solutions, and sharing what the Church teaches and why to Catholics of all ages.”
President of Harcourt Religion Publishers, Diane Lampitt, added, “Our Sunday Visitor’s people, products, and mission complement our vision and commitment to provide solid, age-appropriate catechesis. Together, we’ll be able to respond to parish and school needs like never before—with exceptional speed, creativity, and new formats.”
Our Sunday Visitor will retain Harcourt Religion Publishers’ existing management team, support staff, field representatives and product line. Harcourt Religion Publishers’ customers will continue to work through their established local sales representatives and gain immediate access to a wider array of products and programs. Over the next several months, customers can expect to see expanded service support, expedited fulfillment services, and new hybrid products and services. Harcourt is a registered trademark of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, and is used by Our Sunday Visitor under license.
The announcement has won early praise from leaders in the catechetical field.
“This announcement brings together two great traditions in catechesis and lifelong faith formation,” said Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, former chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. “Our Sunday Visitor has an exceptional history of bringing the Catholic faith to a wide-ranging audience. At a time when education in the faith and strong Catholic identity are of critical importance in our Church, I am confident that Our Sunday Visitor’s acquisition of Harcourt Religion Publishers will contribute to a new day in catechesis.”
“The joining of two Catholic Publishing entities with such deep commitment to the Catechetical Ministry over many years, can only be cause for celebration,” said Anne Comeaux, Catechetical Director of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Harcourt Religion Publishers is best known for its award-winning Call to Faith K-8 Series, innovative Call to Faith eConnect web tool, liturgical-catechetical sacrament preparation programs, and the nation’s number-one-ranked Catholic high school religion programs.
Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. was founded in 1912 by priest John F. Noll (later Archbishop of the Ft. Wayne/South Bend, IN, Diocese), as the publishing company for a Catholic newsweekly serving the needs of the Church. Nearly 100 years later, the not-for-profit organization stands as the nation’s largest Catholic publisher, holding many prestigious editorial awards and distinctions across their extensive product line of early childhood curricula, sacramental preparation tools, adult education programs, vacation bible school, books, periodicals, pamphlets, websites, offering envelopes, and many other programs for parishes and individuals—offered in multiple formats and frequencies.
Through its publishing operation, offering envelope division, and charitable institute that gives monies generated by Our Sunday Visitor’s activities back into the Catholic community, Our Sunday Visitor continues to answer the needs of Catholics everywhere with products and services that help bring their Catholic faith to life.
For more information (link will be active later today), see www.newdayincatechesis.com.
So please, take a minute or two and vote for OSV Daily Take. While you're there, be sure to vote for your favorites in the many other categories for blogs, podcasts and Websites. In fact, you can also vote for Our Sunday Vistor in the "Best Overall Catholic Website" category.
Go. Vote. Now.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Poor women, poor families, female college students, single moms -- there are lots of women out there who would never voluntarily put their health at risk and their eggs into circulation for the sake of science. But throw in $5,000 or $10,000 and suddenly moms who can't afford to feed their children are willing to overlook the very serious side effects that often come with this procedure.
"Such aggressive monetary reimbursements have been disallowed in most states, including California and Massachusetts, both of which are enthusiastic about stem-cell research," writes Father Thomas Berg on National Review Online today. "Even the University of Pennsylvania ethicist Arthur Caplan, a pro-cloning advocate, thinks paying women for eggs is a bad idea: 'The market in eggs tries to incentivize women to do something they otherwise would not do. Egg sales and egg rebates are not the ethical way to go.' "
So where are the women's rights groups now? Why is there silence instead of outrage? Poor women will be sacrificed in the name of "science" if money-for-eggs becomes the norm. And the taxpayers will foot the bill.
Read the full story, Scrambled Ethics, by clicking HERE.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Deacon Greg Kandra (of The Deacon's Bench) is news director for Currents. NET, which was launched Dec. 8, is a new ministry of the Brooklyn Diocese, replacing The Prayer Channel in an attempt to reach a younger, hipper audience a la The Catholic Channel on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. Read more on that at The Tablet by clicking HERE.
Here's a promo for Currents: