EDITORIAL | A cow, self-sacrifice and evangelization

Twenty years ago, Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa obtained a few dairy cows and gave them to people in his Diocese of Masaka, in the southern region of Uganda. He wanted to do something to help. Naturally hard workers, they had experienced the devastating effects of a disease that had ravaged their primary crops -- bananas and coffee.

BEFORE THE CROSS | The Gospel calls us out of comfort zones

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

I could be wrong, but I doubt that the phrase "comfort zone" has ever appeared in a papal document before. In "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), Pope Francis uses this term quite deliberately. He tells us in no uncertain terms that Christian life is not meant to be comfortable. On the contrary, we are each asked "to obey His call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the 'peripheries' in need in light of the Gospel."

Editorial | Olympic athletes set example for sacrifice

Our Olympic athletes have returned from Sochi, Russia, after intense competition, many having won medals, and all striving to do their best.

They have spent years training and sacrificing.

For example, Megan Bozek, a 2005 graduate of St. Mary School in Buffalo Grove, Ill. represented the United States on its women's hockey team at the Olympics. Bozek, like many other athletes, was an excellent student and athlete due to hard work and the sacrifice it took to focus on those areas, often giving up social events or pursuits such as TV-watching.

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | My life by a creek -- like Lent, a place of renewal

Denise Bossert

Crane Creek was the rambling stream that ran behind our Iowa home when I was a child. Its swelling water would rush mightily in the spring and flood the basements, except ours -- thanks to the sump pump the board of trustees included in the building plan of the new parsonage.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Lent is time to reflect on joy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke to a group of young adults Feb. 18. about his recent pastoral letter. The event was sponsored by Crossroads St. Charles, a ministry for married and single people in their 20s and 30s. For more information, see www.crossroadsstcharles.com.

Joy is not a Lenten theme -- or is it? The purpose of the penitential season of Lent, which involves six weeks of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, is to prepare us for the joy of Easter. What better way to prepare for joy than to meditate on its meaning and its source? What more practical guide to finding, and living, joy than the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- the good news that is our inspiration and hope in the search for true happiness?

Evangelization, Bible series offered to parishes for Lent

The archdiocesan Catholic Education Center's Department of Religious Education has two programs that parishes may use during Lent to help people respond to the call of Pope Francis to reach out to others in the spirit of the New Evangelization.

The first program is titled "Catholicism: The New Evangelization" and is presented by Father Robert Barron. The Education Office noted that Father Barron has been described as the new Archbishop Fulton Sheen, a popular evangelizer with a weekly TV show in the 1950s.

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