Single but not alone: Helping single Catholics feel at home in the Church

prayer (1)Last month’s Synod on the Family has generated lots of conversation and near-constant analysis on issues of marriage and family; but one group that seems to have been pushed to the margins are single Catholics. In his column in the New York Times, Ross Douthat points out that the Synod missed an opportunity in its discussions on the family by not addressing the rise of a post-familial way of life – with many more people who aren’t married, or don’t have kids, or live all by themselves. Douthat writes:

Now some of the people in this broad, varied population are touched very directly by the sex-and-marriage issues that Catholics (and other Christian churches) keep debating … But some, many, are single and likely to remain so, for the foreseeable future or the long term. They’re divorced and widowed people who don’t plan to marry again any time soon (or at all); they’re single parents who aren’t in a position to date or don’t want to introduce a step-parent into the home; or they’re people whose likely destiny is the single life, for reasons personal, societal or both.

As directed to these people, the official/orthodox Catholic message often seems to boil down to something like: “Hurry up and find a mate (of the opposite sex) and don’t have sex until you do!” Which represents, to put it mildly, a kind of falling-off from the broad Christian, and particularly Catholic, history of both valorizing the unmarried state, the celibate vocation, and building rich institutions and networks designed to offer non-marital community and care in all kinds of varied forms.

(more…)

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Catholic radio on Maui reaching hearts – and other islands

The red area indicates where the station has a strong signal, while the yellow indicates where the station reaches, though with a weaker signal.

The red area indicates where the station has a strong signal, while the yellow indicates where the station reaches, though with a weaker signal.

Our station on Maui – KCIK 740 AM – doesn’t just cover Maui, several other Hawaiian islands also receive the signal, as shown on the map above.  The Hawaii Catholic Herald recently published a feature on Immaculate Heart Radio’s signal coverage and the impact it is having on listeners in Hawaii:

Joan Opitz of Haiku, Maui, wakes up every morning to Immaculate Heart Radio, KCIK-740 on the AM dial. Her radio alarm is set at 6 a.m. so she can make it to the 7 o’clock Mass at St. Rita Church.

Optiz is one of the growing number of Maui county residents discovering Hawaii’s only 24/7 Catholic radio station, which is based on the Valley Isle. But what few people know, according to Immaculate Heart Radio president Doug Sherman, is that the radio signal can be heard on other islands as well — Lanai, Molokai and parts of Oahu and the Big Island.

According to Sherman, most of the western coast of Hawaii Island can dial in clearly. On Oahu, eastern slivers of Honolulu and limited windward and central locations can catch the station with varying degrees of success. He’d like to spread the word about his station’s accessibility.

Immaculate Heart Radio fans like the variety of talk and prayer programs the station offers.

For Opitz, it’s much more than a morning wake-up call.

“My home and car radios are on 740,” she told the Hawaii Catholic Herald by email. “I particularly like the prayers.”

“If I’m at home at 12:30 p.m., I rest and pray the rosary,” she said.

“I particularly like Mother Angelica, The Son Rise Morning Show, the news and sermons or lectures,” Opitz said. “I do believe that listening to Immaculate Heart Radio has brought me closer to God and taught me a few things.”

Read the rest at the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

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Pope Francis: If we do not enter into this temple, this building, we are not in the Church

 Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

From Catholic News Agency:

Pope Francis said that those waiting at the threshold of the Church without going inside are not true members of the Church which Jesus established and on whom it is built.

“We are citizens, fellow citizens of this Church. If we do not enter into this temple to be part of this building so that the Holy Spirit may live in us, we are not in the Church,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his Oct. 28 daily Mass.

Rather, “we are on the threshold and look inside…Those Christians who do not go beyond the Church’s reception: they are there, at the door: ‘Yes, I am Catholic, but not too Catholic.’”

Pope Francis reflected on the daily Gospel and how Jesus founded the Church, saying: (more…)

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