St. Augustine Catholic
Consecrated Life
Born to Serve   
Internet Pornography

editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
world news
theology 101
your marriage matters
parenting journey
spiritual fitness
parish profile
around the diocese
calendar of events
previous issues
contact us
world news
the top-10 Catholic News
events this month

The earliest existing parish registers of Saint Augustine, dating from 1594 to 1763, are the oldest documents of American origin north of Mexico. Taken to Cuba when Florida was ceded briefly to Great Britain (1763-1784), they were discovered in the archives of the Cathedral of Havana by Augustin Verot, first Bishop of Saint Augustine, in the summer of 1871. It was an extraordinary find.

1 Vatican to study care of elderly

Research is underway on how Catholics can offer better pastoral assistance to the world’s 390 million people over the age 65.

2 Donations for the poor
U.S. parishioners collected 9.5 million in donations in 2007. The money will be used by more than 300 poverty-fighting organizations who work to help the 36.5 million Americans living below the poverty line.

3 Blogged faith
Benedict XVI has encouraged religious leaders to use Internet blogs as a means of reaching out to the youth and showing them the true Jesus.

4 Good Christians pay taxes
Good Christians must also be good citizens, and this implies even the unpleasant task of paying taxes, said Pope Benedict XVI in a recent address.

5 Five million strong
A petition signed by 5 million people from 154 countries calling for an end to capital punishment was recently presented to the United Nations. The document is the fruit of nine years of labor.

6 Chicago Cardinal elected as president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Cardinal Francis George was elected for a three-year term beginning in 2008. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Arizona was elected vice president.

7 Responsible withdrawal
The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference is calling for a “responsible transition” to resolve the problem of Iraq. This would require our nation’s leaders to be more realistic about the difficult situation and more concerned about the likely consequences of a withdrawal that is too rapid or not rapid enough, Cardinal George said.

8 Iran not an immediate threat
The recent assessment of the confrontation with Iran by U.S. bishops suggests that all nonmilitary alternatives must be exhausted before military action is considered.

9 Bishops support child tax
U.S. bishops urged the House of Representatives to make the well-being of poor families with children a central priority when they debate and vote on the Temporary Tax Relief Act.

10 Planned Parenthood encounters resistance by Colorado bishops
The bishops decried the secrecy that surrounded the recent acquisition of new Planned Parenthood facilities in their state. Planned Parenthood has quietly sought expansion in the state in order to avoid the protests they’ve encountered at other branches.

People need God to have hope, pope says

In an encyclical on Christian hope, Pope Benedict XVI said that, without faith in God, humanity lies at the mercy of ideologies that can lead to “the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice.” The pope warned that the modern age has replaced belief in eternal salvation with faith in progress and technology, which offer opportunities for good but also open up “appalling possibilities for evil.”

  Pope Benedict XVI signs his encyclical, Spe Salvi (on Christian hope), at the Vatican Nov. 30. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Vatican assistant secretary of state, is at right.

“Let us put it very simply: Man needs God, otherwise he remains without hope,” he said in the encyclical, Spe Salvi (on Christian hope), released Nov. 30. The 76-page text explored the essential connection between faith and hope in early Christianity and addressed what it called a “crisis of Christian hope” in modern times. It critiqued philosophical rationalism and Marxism and offered brief but powerful profiles of Christian saints - ancient and modern - who embodied hope, even in the face of suffering.

Spe salvi is the second encyclical of Pope Benedict. His first, Dues caritas est, (God is love) explored the meaning of Christian love and how it is expressed in everyday life. He issued it Dec. 25, 2005.

Spe salvi can be found at and also in Spanish at