St. Augustine Catholic
El Camino: A beacon of hope to the poor
Picture Perfect
JustFaith: Empowering people to live as Jesus did

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editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
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parenting journey
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editor's notes
A New Year for Life

As we begin a New Year, I want to introduce to you the theme for the 2007 publishing year of the St. Augustine Catholic magazine. This year, the editorial content of the magazine will focus on the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. For the next ten issues we will address: Faithfulness, Self-Control, Joy, Modesty & Chastity, Generosity, Charity, Goodness, Kindness & Gentleness, Patience and Peace.

Faithfulness is the theme of our Jan/Feb issue - faithfulness to life. Our cover story talks about the use of ultrasound technology and how crisis pregnancy centers in North Florida are using it to help abortion-minded women choose life for their baby. It is amazing the number of women who have changed their mind about aborting their child after seeing their baby up close and in person on the screen of an ultrasound machine. Eydie Millwood is one such woman. She courageously shares her abortion story with readers - it’s a story that is both unbelievable and uplifting.

On Jan. 7-13, the U.S. Bishops invite Catholics to observe National Migration Week. This year’s theme is “Welcoming Christ in the Migrant.” Our story on page 16 - El Camino: A beacon of hope for the poor - resonates with this year’s theme and is one example of how people in our local community are reaching out to the poor, especially migrant workers.

Guy and Jeannie Gallina of Sacred Heart Parish in Green Cove Springs have rallied enormous support from their parish and medical community to provide a free clinic for men, women and children who have limited access to health care.

Bishop Gerald Barns, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration, challenges us to provide welcome for the migrants, immigrants, refugees, human trafficking victims, and other people on the move who come to our land seeking justice and peace.

This year’s observance is particularly timely as our citizens and leaders grapple with the complexities and many dimensions of the migration experience. “Our nation’s legitimate security concerns have been distorted by some who would foment anxiety, fear and a distrust of migrants,” said Bishop Barns. “The present immigration reform debate has lost much of its reason and is often being fueled by raw emotions. Scriptures and Catholic Social Teaching call upon all of us to examine the issues and respond to the strangers among us as we would to Jesus Himself. The Holy Family found safety and new lives in Egypt during their time of great need. Many migrants today follow similar paths as they embark on their journey of hope,” he said.

When we reach out to aid and comfort the newcomers to our land we are indeed offering our gifts of service and ourselves to the Lord. This is not only our Christian duty, but also a privilege, knowing that we too have been adopted into God’s family.

Remain faithful to life!

- Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor