when we think of pilgrims to America, we might recall that 30 percent of new
priests ordained in the United States are foreign-born.Many gifts to the United States come from
beyond our borders.
2.There are more than 40 lawsuits against the federal
mandate forcing private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and
abortion-inducing drugs. Federal judges have issued initial rulings in four
cases brought by people of faith who run a business – and in three out of four,
the company has won a preliminary injunction against the mandate. This speaks
well for a few judges’ understanding of freedom of conscience, which lies at
the heart of Freedom of Religion.
3.Generous Catholics help U.S. dioceses meet basic needs.
The U.S. bishops announced Nov. 19 that thanks to the Catholic Home Missions appeal they awarded $8.4 million in grants
to 84 mission dioceses in the U.S. The Fairbanks, Alaska diocese, where many
villages see a priest only once a month, got $135,000 for training deacons and
Eucharistic ministers. The Cheyenne, Wyoming diocese, that has 45 priests to
serve 53,000 Catholics spread over 98,000 miles, got $75,000 to help educate 11
seminarians. The El Paso, Texas diocese, where the ratio of priests to
Catholics is 1:6,800, got $105,000 for youth and evangelization programs. http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-203.cfm
4.Nov. 22 is the feast
of St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians. “Singing belongs to one who loves,”
said St. Augustine of Hippo. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (para
39) speaks of the importance of singing as a part of worship and notes an
ancient proverb: “One who sings well prays twice.”
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