Five things to know January 4, 2013
1. The annual Collection for the Church in Latin America (CLA) will be the weekend of January 26-27. The 2013 campaign highlights the youth of Latin America and the extraordinary efforts they expend to live their faith each day. The pope is holding the 2013 World Youth Day in Brazil this summer. Portions of the 2012 CLA collection went to aid the upcoming World Youth Day and other exemplary, faithful programs across Latin America. The campaign intends to inspire all to follow the example of the youth of Brazil, who continue to worship and celebrate despite numerous challenges. http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/latin-america/how-to-give.cfm
2. On Facebook? The Poverty USA Facebook page posts stories about U.S. poverty and what communities are doing in response. http://www.facebook.com/povertyusa
3. The Church celebrates St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, first native-born American saint today. A convert from Catholicism, Elizabeth Bayley Seton became Catholic after the death of her husband and founded the Sisters of Charity in 1809. She founded a girls’ school in Baltimore and is considered the founder of the parochial school system.
4. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory addressed civility in the Cardinal Bernardin lecture at the University of South Carolina in Columbia Nov. 5. He listed five rules for civil discourse  Respect the other person whose views you deeply disagree with; the person deserves respect even as you seek to persuade him or her of another perspective;  Recognize that a good argument is composed of two things – some agreement and then some differences; we can address our differences more effectively if we find that some common ground exists among us;  Use as much factual data as we can identify — let the facts speak for themselves wherever possible;  Understand that disagreements about values are the hardest hurdles – the facts can take us only so far. Do not duck the values arguments but enter them with a sense of civility;  Keep before ourselves a sense of and commitment to the common good as well as our personal interests. http://www.archatl.com/archbishops/gregory/writings/2012/abgbernardinlectureuniveritysouthcarolina.pdf
5. God loves you.
It was Mark Gray from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) who estimates that there will be about 100 million Catholics in U.S. by mid-century. http://blogs.thearda.com/trend/featured/counting-catholics-church-of-immigrants-poised-for-growth/