South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

The next generation of lay ministers 
As the first wave of lay parish staff members begins to retire, a fresh crop of young people is bringing new energy and new ideas to parishes across the country. 

Not every teenager knows what they want to do for a living, and fewer still dream of a career in church ministry. But after getting involved in her parish's youth ministry program during her teenage years, Emily Anderson knew that this was what she wanted to do with her life. "My faith was always a big part of my life," she says. "My mom was always very up front with me that 'you belong to God.' As I grew up, I learned to appreciate that I truly did belong to God, and it sort of all worked up to this." Read more.

Once you've read this feature, be sure to check out the rest of the content from our September issue. What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor and let us know!  

The crisis on the border and blame to spread around
The current wave of child migration really began on our side of the border. 

The border crisis, a pileup of humanity--including women with children and record numbers of unaccompanied minors--is bringing out the worst among "native" Americans in what has already been an overheated season of anti-migrant fever. With as many as 90,000 unaccompanied children now anticipated this year, President Barack Obama has called for $3.7 billion in emergency funding, money that will largely be used to improve border policing and accelerate deportations. Meanwhile, a vast machinery of nativist rumor-mongering has sprung into gear, turbo-charged by the various advances of social media. Read more

Should girls be allowed to serve at the altar?
When girls are barred from being altar servers, they miss out on an important part of faith formation--and the church does, too. 

I recently went back to my home parish for Mass for the first time after returning from college. My eyes snapped to the altar servers, and I watched closely throughout Mass as they seamlessly executed their tasks--processed up the aisle, held candles during the readings, led the priest to the ambo for the gospel, and washed his hands. I was proud. I had served from fourth grade all the way through high school, and I had personally trained all of the servers who were on the altar that day. Read more
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Barbie as the Virgin Mary? Ken as Jesus? Italian Catholics are not amused 
Barbie has had a number of careers in her 55 years--flight attendant, astronaut, even president. Her latest role, however, is raising eyebrows. 

Italy's Catholic bishops are furious about controversial artistic depictions of the popular Barbie and Ken dolls as the Virgin Mary and a crucified Jesus Christ and other saints. Two Argentinean artists, Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini, produced 33 dolls of various religious figures for a show named "Barbie, The Plastic Religion," which opens in Buenos Aires on Oct. 11. Read more.

Pope Francis tries again on traditionalist reconciliation after Benedict XVI failed 
Picking up a piece of unfinished business that consumed the energies of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Vatican under Pope Francis is again trying to repair a decades-old breach with a controversial group of traditionalist Catholics.

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, who heads the Vatican body responsible for doctrine, held a two-hour meeting on September 23 with the head of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, and other senior officials from the breakaway group. In a statement, the Vatican said the parties had discussed "problems of a doctrinal and canonical nature" that need to be resolved before the traditionalists can be fully reconciled with the church. "During the meeting ... it was decided to proceed gradually and over a reasonable period of time in order to overcome difficulties and with a view to the envisioned full reconciliation," the Vatican statement said. Read more.

Read: What They Wished For
By Lawrence J. McAndrews (University of Georgia, 2014) 

The election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 has long been described as the apogee of Catholic political life in the history of the United States. Largely eschewing his Irish Catholic identity, Kennedy convinced the electorate that he was an American who happened to be Catholic and not merely a pawn of the Roman pontiff. Read more.

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September 2014

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