2010 Housing Crisis

As we move into the New Year, media outlets have been a buzz with forecasts about the U.S. housing market in 2010. One Wall Street Journal article proclaimed that the future was “uncertain” with things unlikely to recover much this year. But the U.S. housing market isn’t the only one suffering. Worldwide — mainly in ...

New Years Resolutions of the Rich vs. Poor

There’s a unique difference between the prayers and goals of people in developed nations and those born into abject poverty: “I resolve to lose weight” vs. “I am going to trust God for a meal today.” “I resolve to live a healthier lifestyle” vs. “I pray that I might live long enough to raise my ...

God Bless You

During a recent staff gathering, Jim Cavnar, president of Cross International Catholic Outreach, gave a retrospective of 2009. We marveled at how God blessed our ministry, especially during these tough economic times. To-date, through the support of compassionate American Catholics, Cavnar announced we had shipped $150 million worth of much-needed goods, including food, medicines, and ...

Snowflakes: Reminders of the Perfect Gift

At this time of year, we receive Christmas cards from our mission partners in the field. We are continually blessed by these handmade cards and personal notes from orphans we support in Haiti, students in the Philippines, and the Catholic missionaries we support in Latin America and Africa. We received an especially poignant card this ...

The Most Precious Gift

Every year the U.S. Census Bureau collects data on the nation’s Christmas spending habits. A few of this year’s stats: 16.6 billion Number of cards, letters, and packages the U.S. Postal Service will deliver between Dec. 1 and Christmas this year. $4.3 billion The value of U.S. toy imports from China between January and August ...

Winning favor with China

Old news: a prominent religious scholar wants China to pass a law guaranteeing religious freedoms. New news: The scholar, Liu Peng, is getting publicity for his cause in China Daily, the official government English language newspaper of China. How’s that for a twist! Liu Peng’s freedom to promote legal reforms in a government newspaper is ...

Confronting the Christmas Quandary

You want to acknowledge those you love, but not encourage materialism; to give meaningful gifts without imposing an obligation to reciprocate; to rise above the canned opulence of the holidays and focus on the “reason for the season.” You want to slam the brakes on that barreling train of twisted tradition that makes you either ...

Advent: the Forgotten Season

Sunday, Nov. 29, marked the advent of Advent – a traditional Catholic observance that often gets upstaged by Thanksgiving on one end and Christmas on the other, especially now that the Christmas season seems to begin on Black Friday or even earlier! But Advent is important. For one thing, it’s the liturgical version of New ...