In Brief – September/October 2009

From the Sept/Oct 2009 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine

Pope Benedict XVI has approved Cardinal John Henry Newman’s cause for beatification. Catholic News Service (CNS) reported that in July, the Holy Father signed the decree that recognizes as miraculous the healing of a United States deacon, thus clearing the way for the Cardinal’s beatification.

According to a CNS source, Cardinal Newman will be beatified on May 2, 2010,in Birmingham, England.

Over the years, CUF has received many questions on the practice of children celebrating their First Communion before making their First Confession-so much so that we wrote a Faith Fact on the subject.

Archbishop John C. Neinstedt, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, recently reaffirmed the Church’s “clear teaching” that a child’s First Confession should precede his or her First Communion.

He comments, “Quite apart from the forgiveness of actual sin, there is also the powerful grace of the sacrament-grace that is needed if we are to persevere in our daily struggles with sin and temptation, struggles that can slowly weaken us in our capacity to avoid serious sin. Children need this grace as much as anyone else.”

His article can be found online at

Good News

Creative Christians have posted a number of interesting new videos on YouTube that promote life, family, and faith. has created another “Imagine the Potential” video. This third video honors the 40th anniversary of Apollo11, juxtaposing images of a baby “walking” in the womb with sound and footage from man’s first walk on the moon.

The Population Research Institute (PRI) recently posted “Overpopulation: The Making of a Myth.” The animated video provides a brief, breezy overview to the origins of “the myth of overpopulation” and directs viewers to a website for further information. PRI “is a non-profit research group whose goals are to expose the myth of overpopulation, to expose human rights abuses committed in population control programs, and to make the case that people are the world’s greatest resource.”

Paul Camarata, host of the SaintCast (a podcast about saints), created the video “Catholic iPhone Apps.” It spoofs the Apple iPhone ads and shows “some of the many Catholic related applications available for the iPhone,” including an iBreviary, a guidebook to Confession, and a Catholic calendar. (Camarata is also the creator of the video “The Saint Song,” which names over 100 saints to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.”)

Visit Lay Witnessfor links to these videos.

Lay Witness Columnist Wins Catholic Press Award

We are delighted to announce that Lay Witness columnist Emily Stimpson won first place in the “Best Magazine Column” category of the Catholic Press Awards for her 2008 column “Permanent Things.” She was praised for her “distinctive personal voice”; the judges also noted that “the role of the Church remains at the heart of her thinking.”

Through the awards program, the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada “recognizes the extraordinary achievements of its members.”

Keeping Up with Pro-Life Issues

The past months have seen a lot of bad news, on a national scale, regarding life issues. One of the biggest threats mid-summer was the proposed federal heath care “reform” that would allow federal funding for abortion.

Keeping up with the news and finding information on these important topics can be daunting. One place to start the search is with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pro-life office. On their website (, they offer information on not only abortion, but other life issues such as health care, human cloning, capital punishment, and stem cell research.

They have compiled Church teaching and short articles on current pro-life topics. They publish letters that the bishops send to Congress. They also give updates on legislation relating to life issues, encouraging the faithful to contact their elected representatives and let their voices be heard.

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