2. Pope Benedict’s latest book “The Infancy Narratives—Jesus of Nazareth” is getting some negative press. Pundits like Stephen Colbert, the master of the tongue-in-cheek, are making the pope out to be a grinch for writing that the bible’s Christmas story doesn’t speak of animals at the crib and that the angels said, not sang, “Glory to God in the highest…” Reuters’ Journalist PhilPullella, however, clarifies what’s really in the book in his wire servicearticle. Hint: you can still sing carols and place replicas of dogs, camels, cows and sheep in your manger scene.
3. The National Religious Retirement Collection will be taken up in parishes the weekend of Dec. 8-9. If you want to know why it is important, consider the following: The U.S. Social Security system projects that it needs four wage earners for every retired beneficiary in order to keep the system solvent. By 2022 religious institutes will have one wage earner for every four retired – the exact inverse. If you want a worthy collection, this one is it. Check out www.retiredreligious.org
4. When it comes to giving gifts, it is time to recognize the church’s largesse through the Catholic school system. Based on public school per pupil cost, Catholic elementary and secondary schools save the nation more than $20 billion dollars a year. Lots of info at www.ncea.org
5. God loves you.