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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Catholics with developmental disabilities

December 17, 2013

Real presence: What Catholics with developmental disabilities bring to the table
Catholic churches strive to welcome those with developmental disabilities through special ministries and a change in attitude.  

Like many other lifelong Catholics, Danny Benavidez, a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chula Vista, California, helps out at his parish in a number of ways. On Thursdays he serves as a eucharistic minister. Every other Sunday he delivers communion to the homebound. Once a month he listens to the "talking, talking, talking" at his Knights of Columbus meeting. And once a week--usually Tuesday--he stops into a neighboring parish to visit an old friend, who is now a deacon. Read more.

Be sure to take a look at the rest of the features and columns in our December 2013 issue. Let us know what you think and send us a letter to the editor

In praise of the 'good enough' family
The holy family, with its adoptive father-son pairing, can lead the way for today's unconventional families. 

I've never liked Norman Rockwell. It is not because of his artistic abilities that I do not like him, but because of his subject matter. I am particularly troubled by his presentation of an idealized family. Remember the scene of the Thanksgiving dinner? Everyone sitting around the table, cheerful faces, waiting for Dad to carve the giant turkey? Where do those people live? Read more.

What's your parish music preference? 
Does the music you hear at Mass have you singing to the mountains or running for the hills?
Nothing can make or break a sacred experience quite like the music. It can mean the difference between sublime and sub-par, between fantastic and fiasco, between extraordinary and merely ordinary. So we at U.S. Catholic are gathering responses now to appear in our March 2014 Reader Survey. When you go to Mass do you like to hear organ music, or do you prefer to clap your hands along with a praise band? Does the sound of a guitar cause your ears to perk up or your heart to sink? Take our survey and let us know!

How would U.S. bishops fare under a papal performance review?
The messages coming from some American church leaders still don't sync up with the mission statement put forth by their boss in Rome.
Anyone who has ever held a job has probably had to endure some type of employee evaluation. You know the drill--the boss goes over your progress, lists your flaws, tells you what you need to improve upon. Most workplaces today have some sort of formal review process, and some of us even have the fun of not only being reviewed but reviewing other employees as well. Reading a column in the Boston Globe by Kevin Cullen got me thinking about how some U.S. bishops would do if they had to sit down with Pope Francis for an annual performance evaluation. Read more.

Is calling for women cardinals an act of clericalism? 
The pontiff offers a new take on the idea of the church appointing female cardinals.
In the past few months, there has been a lot of speculation and debate about the possibility of Pope Francis appointing the church's first female cardinal. Some have even tried to figure out what changes to church law would be needed to make it possible (removing ordination as a requirement for being a cardinal would be step one). The Vatican called the whole thing "nonsense." But what does Francis himself have to say? Read more.

Read: Atchison Blue
By Judith Valente (Sorin Books, 2013) 

As is the case for so many Catholics today, Judith Valente's faith had been chipped away by the clergy sexual abuse scandals, by increasingly politicized statements of bishops, and by priestly homilies "pointing to splinters in everyone else's eyes but their own." In Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith, Valente tells how frequent visits to Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas taught her that spiritual peace requires not so much a change in thinking as a change in habits. Read more

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December 2013

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