National Catholic Reporter
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Issue of December 28, 2007

December 28, 2007 -- NCR front cover


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   This Week’s Edition: December 28, 2007 

Vol. 44 No. 9   

There will not be an issue next week.
The next NCR will be dated Jan. 11, 2008.

Cover story -- Odyssey years
Odyssey Catholics

By Greg Ruehlmann
Young and restless, tenuously connected to their faith.

Full story
Studies put Millennials under the microscope

By Greg Ruehlmann
Spanning the late teens to late 20s in age, the Millennials, America’s newest adult cohort, are inspiring a staggering amount of discussion and research. Sociologists, cultural commentators and maybe especially parents are eager to find out who they are, what they believe, and what on earth they are doing with their lives.

Full story
Many Millennials claim parish membership; few attend

By Greg Ruehlmann
Given the Millennial generation’s aversion to “benchmark” commitments of adulthood -- committing to an employer, a city or a spouse -- it seems likely that they would avoid parish life as well. Yet a solid majority of Millennials -- 70 percent -- identify themselves as parish members.

Full story
Vatican champion of reform finds hope in liturgy

By John L. Allen Jr.
For most people, Archbishop Piero Marini is a face without a name. He’s routinely stopped at airports, restaurants and on the street, usually running into some variant of the same question: “I know I’ve seen you before. Who are you?”

Full story
Vatican tells missionaries that good works aren't enough

By Religion News Service
Catholic missionaries should aim to win souls and not restrict themselves to humanitarian good works, the Vatican said Dec. 14 in a new 19-page document, which was personally approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

Full story
2007 was a quiet harbinger of change on religious scene

By Kevin Eckstrom
History books are full of dates that mark seminal events: 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door and launched the Protestant Reformation; or 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion.

Full story
World -- Analysis
Jesuits plan for life post-Kolvenbach

By Raymond A. Schroth
There’s a story in the 1892 Jesuit review Woodstock Letters where an older Jesuit tells a younger man who is about to start teaching that the order’s schools nationwide the previous year were weak because they had to hire laymen. Now that the faculty are all Jesuits, he says, the secular schools will be coming to the order for advice.

Full story
In search of exposure

By Michael Humphrey
Those at the bottom of the presidential pack, overlooked and undercovered, get their say here, briefly.

Full story
NCR Editorial
Liturgy reform: No going back

When the definitive history of the Second Vatican Council is finally written, beyond all squabbles over the council’s actual intent, one undisputed fact will stand -- that taking up the draft for the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as the first focus of debate had a decisive impact on the tone and direction the council took in all its subsequent deliberations. Though the discussion was liturgy, the real subject was ecclesiology -- the church’s understanding of itself.

Full editorial
An odyssey toward meaning

We humans appear to be hard-wired from our time in the Garden of Eden with a desire to impart labels. Perhaps having run out of flora and fauna to tag, we’ve turned to naming generations. From the Boomers to the Xers to the Nexters to the Millennials, we seem, at least in the United States, intent on creating categories for each new wave of humanity that arrives.

Full editorial

Quotable & Notable

“I can’t modulate God’s will, sweetie.”

-- Joanne Herring (played by Julia Roberts) telling Congressman Charlie Wilson (played by Tom Hanks) that she cannot tone down her religious fervor as they plot to arm Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the film “Charlie Wilson’s War”

More quotes

Colman McCarthy

Peace broker pitches a Tent of Nations

Full story
'Spirit release' is a different kind of therapy

By Stafford Betty
Secular healers report promising results.

Full story
Not a second Vietnam

David McReynolds

A different U.S. defeat looms in Iraq.

Full story

All Things Catholic
John L. Allen Jr.

Ecumenists confuse winter with spring
The problem with ecumenists -- who are almost universally good-hearted and dedicated souls -- is that they don't know how to manage expectations. It's a lesson anyone who has ever organized a public event should have learned: if you expect 100 people, put out chairs for 75, so the result feels like a triumph rather than a disappointment.

Full story

Students' spiritual interests increase on campus

Religion News Service

Though college students’ attendance at worship services declines, their interest in spiritual matters grows during their time on campus, a new UCLA study shows.

Full story
Inside NCR

Rita Larivee


Going back is not an option
Connections sometimes appear in unlikely places; or in this case, between two unlikely stories. The first story is this week’s cover feature: “The odyssey years.”

Full story

A writer's enlightening stunt

By Retta Blaney
Obeying biblical tenets for a year creates a more reverent agnostic.

Full story
The 10 best films of 2007

By Joseph Cunneen and Kevin Doherty
Inevitably, some strong end-of-the-year movies will open after we write this column. But here’s the best of what we saw in 2007 in the order in which we saw them.

Full story
Gems of the Catholic canon
By Donald Brophy
BlueBridge, 222 pages, $16

Reviewed by Rachelle Linner

Full review

Poetry December 28, 2007

 Letters to the Editor

Letters for December 28, 2007

Classifieds for December 28, 2007

News Briefs for December 28, 2007

People for December 28, 2007

Last Words
'You have to do some picking and choosing. There's nothing wrong with the cafeteria approach. I've had some delicious meals in cafeterias.'

-- A.J. Jacobs

A memorable quote from this week's issue.

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