The Catholic Church in the United States is celebrating National Vocation Awareness Week Jan. 13-19. The annual event is a reminder for parishes and individuals to consider the importance of promoting the role of priests, deacons and religious order brothers and sisters to Catholics deciding on their future.
Inevitably, this is the time of year that fitness clubs start filling up with those determined to fulfill their New Year's resolutions.
But somewhere around March or April, those gyms start to thin out, prompting a collective sigh of relief from the year-rounders who have witnessed the cycle of short-lived resolutions time and time again.
Numbness was one of the initial reactions to the Dec. 14 shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, hit on a key point when he spoke out against the culture of violence infecting our country. All of us, he noted, are called to work for peace in our homes, in our streets and our world, now more than ever.
He also noted that the shattering of a peaceful preparation for Christmas "wrenches the hearts of all people."
A great deal of ink has been spilled on the Petraeus scandal. We hesitate to spill more, but we can't help but note that much of the finger-pointing seems a bit off target.
Gen. David Petraeus, as nearly everyone knows, has confessed to having an affair with Paula Broadwell. Both are married to others and have children. An investigation has entangled others in this apparently endless scandal: a general, a Florida socialite, even an FBI agent.
It's disconcerting that popular culture now refers to Thanksgiving in terms related only to shopping: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday. It's as if we've forgotten that Thanksgiving was not intended to be about getting a start on Christmas shopping.