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Issue Date:  February 22, 2008


Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue, 53, died unexpectedly Jan. 3. He was a popular speaker at the annual Religious Education Conference in Anaheim, Calif., and author of a number of poetry collections, including the best selling Anam Cara (“Soul Friend”). O’Donohue’s latest work, Benedictus, was published in December. Memorials were being organized in North America and the United Kingdom. For details visit the Web site

Ruth Stafford Peale, the cofounder of the inspirational magazine Guideposts and widow of author and minister Norman Vincent Peale, died Feb. 5 at the age of 101.

Renting out their retreat house to 20 football fans on Super Bowl weekend earned the Benedictine Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix about $10,000. Even midlevel hotels were charging more than $500 a night for rooms. For $250, the sisters gave the mix of Patriot and Giants fans semiprivate rooms, a welcoming dinner, continental breakfast, snacks, a cozy living room and a large backyard. A few guests attended Mass in the center chapel before the big game. During his homily, Fr. David Donnay likened the beatitudes to a pre-game pep talk.

If you don’t count the reporters and press photographers who stopped by to check him out, no one talked with the Rev. Chuck Kish Friday night Feb. 1 at the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, Pa. That was the first night of Kish’s plan to put clergy in local bars one night a month to listen to those in need. “It’s going to take time,” said Kish, senior pastor at the Bethel Assembly of God. “It’s going to take one person at a time coming over just to chat and learn to trust. This is going to work. I know it is.”

Update: Penn State University has relented and will allow the request of James Pursley, the self-described “proud alumnus” and “devout Christian,” to put the message “Joshua 24: 15” on a brick in the memorial walk outside the alumni association headquarters in College Station, Pa. Pursley had sued the university (NCR, Jan. 11) after it rejected the request last spring and offered to refund his $250 donation.

National Catholic Reporter, February 22, 2008

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