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In 2011, there’s still a market for greatest story ever told

In 2011, there’s still a market for greatest story ever told

| January 6, 2011 | 1 Comment

Let me tell you a story: Once upon a time, God came down to earth as a man named Jesus, a human being just like you and me. He went about the countryside doing good.

He also told stories, stories that held lessons.

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Snapshots of grace: Capturing the sacred in daily life

Snapshots of grace: Capturing the sacred in daily life

| Christina Capecchi | December 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

Funny how a single picture can change everything.

In the tiny town of Bovey, Minn., four years into World War I, an old man peddling foot scrapers knocked on Eric Enstrom’s door.

Eric was 43, a Swedish immigrant who had bought land, opened a photography studio and raised his kids to speak perfect English. He fed the peddler and studied him. There was something striking about the man, a gentle strength in his deep wrinkles and straggly beard.

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What are kids praying for this Christmas?

What are kids praying for this Christmas?

| December 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

I know Christmas is around the corner when I walk into our administrative manager’s office this time of year and have trouble seeing her behind the tall stacks of large envelopes.

Mary Gibbs is the official collector of entries for The Catholic Spirit’s annual Christmas poster contest. This year, some 1,700 youth — kindergartners through 12th-graders — sent us drawings. They were required to finish the phrase, “This Christmas I’ll be praying for…” and then illustrate the finished sentence with a picture.

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Poverty snapshot

Poverty snapshot

| Julie Pfitzinger | December 16, 2010 | 3 Comments

Since fall 2008, Catholic Charities USA has surveyed all of its member constituents every quarter to take what Father Snyder referred to as “a snapshot” of the economic situation nationwide. In the third quarter of 2010, results showed an 81 percent increase in requests for help from the working poor and a 71 percent increase from families — just since the second quarter.

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Dear atheists: most of us don’t care what you think

Dear atheists: most of us don’t care what you think

| Charles Lewis | December 9, 2010 | 2 Comments

There are always debates between atheists and believers. They have been going on forever but they seem to have ramped up ever since a dedicated group of “new atheists” began writing popular works that captured the secular imagination.

You know who they are: Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and the rest of their dreary crew who are out to prove how stupid religious people are.

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Humans in “Frozen Orphanages”

Humans in “Frozen Orphanages”

| Father Pacholczyk | December 7, 2010 | 2 Comments

A key argument in the embryonic stem cell debate — widely invoked by scientists, patient advocacy groups, and politicians — involves the fate of frozen embryos. Barack Obama put it this way in 2008: “If we are going to discard those embryos, and we know there is potential research that could lead to curing debilitating diseases – Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease – if that possibility presents itself, then I think that we should, in a careful way, go ahead and pursue that research.”

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Facing fear of terminal illness leads to a more peaceful death

Facing fear of terminal illness leads to a more peaceful death

| Father Tad Pacholczyk | December 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

In modern times, dying is more often portrayed as a cold, clinical reality to be kept at arm’s length, relegated to the closed doors of a hospital, almost hermetically sealed from the rest of our lives.

When it comes to the event itself, we diligently work to avoid confronting it, addressing it or ac­knowledging it.

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How are we serving the least among us?

How are we serving the least among us?

| December 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

Two important anniversaries occur this week that deserve special mention.

Dec. 2 marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of four missionary churchwomen — Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missionary Jean Donovan.

They were brutally raped and shot by five Salvadoran national guardsmen who ran the women’s vehicle off a road.

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Thanksgiving prayer is for Iraqi Christians to have place at table

Thanksgiving prayer is for Iraqi Christians to have place at table

| November 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are once again reminded of all the blessings we enjoy. One of those blessings is the freedom to worship God without fear. Recent world events, however, remind us that this is a blessing that not every person — particularly not every Christian — enjoys throughout the world.

Many people are still grieving in the wake of a terrorist attack Oct. 31 that killed 58 people and left some 75 wounded at a Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad. It’s not the first time Christians in Iraq have been targeted by militants, who have killed a local bishop, priests and lay people in previous attacks. And it likely won’t be the last.

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Facing Terminal Illnesses Realistically

Facing Terminal Illnesses Realistically

| November 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

In modern times, dying is more and more often portrayed as a cold, clinical reality to be kept at arm’s length, relegated to the closed doors of a hospital, almost hermetically sealed from the rest of our lives. When it comes to the event itself, we diligently work to avoid confronting it, addressing it, or acknowledging it.

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Everybody should spend 10 days with a group of priests

Everybody should spend 10 days with a group of priests

| November 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

I spent 10 days this fall traveling, touring, riding in the back of pick-up trucks, dining, praying, shooting the breeze and solving the problems of the world with a handful of our priests. If every Catholic got the chance to do the same they would all have a renewed love for their faith and a renewed faith in the priesthood.

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Let’s not let bullying claim any more victims

Let’s not let bullying claim any more victims

| November 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

Bullying is never OK.

Period.

It is never acceptable to call someone names, harass them or demean them because of what they look like, how they act or what they say.

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