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October 2013

Church persecution continues; often goes unnoticed

Each issue of the admirable ecumenical journal, "Touchstone," includes a department called "The Suffering Church." It's a title that Catholics of a certain age associate with purgatory; in the vocabulary of "Touchstone," however, "the Church suffering" is the church being purified here and now by persecution. It's a useful reminder of a hard fact.

Volunteers needed: Can you spare some time to save a life?

If you knew that spending a little bit of your time praying could save lives, would you commit the time? This is not hyperbole; it is fact. Every day that abortions are committed at one of the three abortion centers in Nebraska, volunteers come to pray. And as a result, lives are saved.

How do we know this? Because, praise be to God, women occasionally tell us our prayerful presence is what prompted them to change their mind and choose life.

Simplest of actions often can reflect depth of our faith

By our very nature, we human beings often make things more complicated than necessary. For whatever reason, we equate complexity with quality; we correlate complexity with value.

If it's complex, it must be good. And the more complex, the more valuable. At times, we even apply those assumptions - although often misguided - to our faith.

Community efforts in Wayne, Macy help with recovery from storms

Losing a home they've spent so much time to upgrade has been difficult for the Dustin and Valerie Ankeny family of Wayne.

But seeing the community rally to help those affected by the storm has been one positive aspect of the weeks since an Oct. 4 tornado damaged or destroyed dozens of homes, businesses and farm property in Wayne, including the Ankeny home, Valerie Ankeny said.

Faith-filled response includes prayer

An ecumenical prayer service and dinner at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Wayne is just one example of faith-filled help community members have provided to people impacted by an Oct. 4 tornado that caused millions of dollars in damage, said Diane Gentrup, a member of St. Mary Parish in Wayne who helped organize the event.

The prayer service Oct. 16 drew about 300 people and raised more than $2,000, Gentrup said.

Finding the saint in us and healing the sinner

What are we ultimately, saints or sinners? What's deepest inside us, goodness or selfishness? Or, are we dualists with two innate principles inside us, one good and one evil, in a perpetual dual with each other?

Certainly, at the level of experience, we feel a conflict. There's a saint inside us who wants to mirror the greatness of life, even as there is someone else inside us that wants to walk a seedier path.

Year of Faith: Celebrating the saints

Catholics are urged during the Year of Faith to study the saints and follow their example, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published several summaries of saints' lives.

And once each month during the Year of Faith the Catholic Voice featured a saint offered through the USCCB.

The Year of Faith ends Nov. 24, the feast of Christ the King, marking this as the last installment for the newspaper's special Year of Faith section on the saints.


FEAST DAY: March 17


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