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October 3, 2012     

'When the Saints Go Marching In'

With the upcoming celebrations of the canonization of two American saints later this month and the feasts of All Saints and All Souls in early November, we have saints on our minds. Let’s look at some resources that will bring our common call to holiness and sainthood to the forefront. And, let’s not forget Halloween, the holiday that is second only to Christmas in terms of decorations and money spent. Can this holiday be redeemed?

Saints and . . . Scary Things
by Joan McKamey

Pope Benedict XVI will canonize two new American saints on October 21. Introduce these two special women to your faith community with the new Catholic UpdateTwo New American Saints: Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope.”

These women were inspired by God’s love to love others.
  • St. Marianne was a teacher and leader in serving the sick at hospitals in New York. She is best known for her ministry to those disfigured and disabled by Hansen’s disease (formerly known as leprosy) in Hawaii.
  • St. Kateri lived a short life of quiet holiness in upstate New York and Canada. Disfigured by smallpox, she was ostracized by her Mohawk clan following her Baptism. Escaping to a Christian enclave near Montreal, she lived her faith by teaching the young, serving the sick and elderly, and dedicating herself to prayer.
Another Catholic Update that’s very timely is “How Halloween Can Be Redeemed.” Author Page Zyromski provides a framework for understanding Halloween in its historical context as a treasured companion to the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, and in its present form as a major secular holiday. “Halloween and its back-to-back feast days mean more than talking about our favorite saints who lived in another time, another place,” she writes. “It’s an opportunity to talk about what’s needed for holiness now.”

The Universal Call to Holiness: Empowering the Laity” by Kathy Coffey is a recent Catholic Update that celebrates the work of Vatican II to acknowledge the call of all of us to share in Christ’s mission.


Saints . . . on the Go
by Joan McKamey

We’re busy. In spite of all the time-saving technology we now enjoy, it seems that we’re busier than ever. Yet, as busy as we may be, we’re each still called to live holy lives.

What does it mean to be holy today? Each person’s way of being holy will be unique—reflecting his or her particular talents, gifts, personality, opportunities, and life situation. This is true of those canonized members of the communion of saints as well. Each responded to God’s call to holiness in his or her particular life situation—reflecting the culture and time in history as well as his or her personal gifts and qualities.

For many years, visitors to our Web site have turned to us for information about the saints. Our popular “Saint of the Day” feature is searchable through the Web site, or you can subscribe to receive it daily as a free e-newsletter. Learn about the lives of the saints one at a time and link to other saint resources, including a calendar and a list of patron saints. You can also listen to a 90-second audio version of “Saint of the Day” from our own Franciscan Media Productions.

Now you can carry the saints with you and access “Saint of the Day” offerings through our iPhone app. Be sure to watch the demo of its features.
 Take the saints along on your daily walk and turn to them frequently to help guide your efforts to grow in holiness.


Countdown to Election Day
by Angela Glassmeyer

Part of our call to holiness, to personal sainthood, is living our faith where we are. For those of us in the U.S., that means voting in our upcoming November election. But choosing the “right” candidate is difficult when neither of the two major political parties fully espouses our Catholic values. So, how do you choose who gets your vote at the ballot box? What issues do you consider when evaluating your voting options?
 
How can you remain nonpartisan and help your parishioners consider their Catholic faith as they prepare to make their voting choices? What can you do to make sure they know what the Catholic Church teaches on the issues? The Catholic Update Guide to Faithful Citizenship is a package of parish resources for sharing the message of the U.S. bishops’ document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility.

The Catholic Update Guide to Faithful Citizenship includes
  • Voter’s Edition This DVD contains video segments directed to parishioners. Viewing these segments will help them better understand Church teaching and see how that can and should influence their votes. It won’t tell your people how to vote, nor does it endorse any political party or candidate. View a sample here (Windows Media). The Voter’s Edition also contains a CD-ROM with four reproducible handouts, a leader’s guide, and Bulletin Briefs for use in your parish communications.
  • Parish Leader’s Edition This DVD is geared for pastors, deacons, and other parish leaders, who may be charged with presenting or prefer to present these topics themselves. It also contains a CD-ROM with a special edition of Homily Helps, designed to connect each of the bishops’ document’s seven key themes with the Sunday readings.
  • Prayer for Voters card offers a prayer on one side and a listing of the seven key themes of the bishops’ document on the other. These are sold in packs of 50 for parishwide distribution.
Two other Faithful Citizenship products include


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Share your ideas on faith formation at our online bulletin board, Faith Formation Forum. Our editors will screen and post your thoughts, and you can learn from others' ideas. Submit your ideas by clicking here.


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Faith Formation Update
is your bridge to a community of readers who share your passion for catechesis. For our part, we offer monthly encouragement, ideas, and resources to assist you in your catechetical ministry. We are honored to serve you in this e-newsletter and hope you find it useful. God bless you in your important ministry of sharing the Good News!

Angela Glassmeyer and Joan McKamey (Find out more about us by clicking here.)

We invite you to share your ideas and questions on our Faith Formation Forum; click here, or on the link at the end of each segment to leave your comments.
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