A week or two ago our newspaper staff was sitting around a conference table for a planning meeting, and someone spoke up: “Gee, there’s a lot of bad news floating around these days. It’s getting to the point that I almost want to avoid news entirely.” A lot of heads nodded in agreement.
I flipped through a couple of recent OSV newsweeklies, and found that there, too, there’s lots of bad news: sex abuse scandals, Church in-fighting, politicians driving forward legislation harmful to human dignity and a healthy society, persecution of Christians around the world, and on and on.
Of course, we’ve had “good” news, too. Like a recent feature on what some parishes around the country are doing to help out the jobless or underemployed.
But we could use more. The important thing about good news is that it strengthens us and inspires us to do good. The risk of an all bad-news diet is anger, dejection, sloth, maybe even despair (or withdrawal from the news and the world — not an option for us Christians, who are supposed to be about building God’s kingdom.)
So I’d like to start a new monthly feature with your help. Please send me ideas for Catholic good news stories, and we’ll pick one each month to report on. We’ll also credit you in print for the idea (unless of course you prefer to remain unidentified).
So, what sort of ideas are we looking for? They could be local events that you’ve personally experienced, whether in your state, community, parish or even family, or people who show generosity, perseverance in adversity, or self-sacrifice. Or it might be a story you saw reported elsewhere and want to bring to our attention. (Of course, because this is a Catholic paper, it’ll help if the person or program or event you highlight is Catholic.)
Please send ideas to the mailing address on the masthead below, or e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (to make it easier to sort, please include the words “good news” in the subject line).
Thanks in advance for your participation and help. I think it will be great if the community of OSV readers pulls together to inspire each other — even if everywhere else they turn is just bad news.
What good news do you know about that might be just what some other OSV reader in a different part of the country might need to hear?
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A reader recently wrote to ask that we follow up on a brief we did last week on the 100 Anglican parishes in the United States that have taken the first step toward becoming Catholic. Talk about good news.
“We’ve read so many tough stories, ranging from priestly abuse in various countries to the huge number of lapsed Catholics. I can’t think of a more welcome and positive story to bring to your readers,” she wrote.
Agreed. See Page 4. Thanks for writing.