About a year ago, I suggested to one of the top editors of a major American newspaper that his journal’s coverage of things papal left something to be desired, as it seemed based on the assumption that Pope Francis was some kind of radical wild-man, eager to toss into the garbage bin of history all those aspects of Catholic faith and practice that mainstream western culture finds distasteful. My friend replied, in so many words, look, you know how these media narratives are: they’re like bamboo. Once they get started, there’s no stopping them. They just keep growing.
New Year’s resolutions are a renewed focus on areas of our lives we want to improve. For some it is dieting or increased exercise. The stories at CSS have inspired me — and I ask you join me — to focus on a different kind of renewal. This year, let’s try to consciously give and connect with our community. It will not be easy.
Personally, I like the Catholic idea that the New Year starts with the new liturgical year, Advent, a time of waiting. And instead of making all kinds of soon-to-be-forgotten resolutions, we commit ourselves to the exercise of waiting — conscious, prayerful waiting.
At any event, Jesus, like many others, came to the Jordan River on that memorable day to receive the penitential washing offered by John. He came, like many of his fellow Jews, to heed once again the warnings of the ancient prophets and to be reminded that they and their nation stood in dire need of purification.
Alaska is among a handful of states in which local Catholic dioceses seem to have dramatically underreported the overall number of Catholics in the state. This comes from an article published by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).