The U.S. Postal Service is honoring one of the Church’s most beloved holy people in time for the centennial of her birth in August.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in India and was famous worldwide for her holiness and acts of charity, will be featured on a U.S. stamp that will go on sale on Aug. 26, on what would have been her 100th birthday.
In its release announcing the stamp, the postal service said it was recognizing Mother Teresa for her humanitarian work. “Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations,” the release said.
Others who will grace stamps this year include movie legend Katharine Hepburn and Hollywood cowboys William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. New stamps will also feature the Mackinac Bridge, the 2010 Winter Olympics and Negro League Baseball.
This honor is just the latest for the holy woman of Calcutta, who died in 1997 and was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II in 2003. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, among many other international recognitions, including the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. A year earlier, she was awarded honorary U.S. citizenship, an honor bestowed on only five other people.
The stamps give Catholics another opportunity to embrace and spread Mother Teresa’s message of love of Christ and care for the poorest of the poor — especially if they’re on envelopes containing donations to help the least among us, or cards that reach out to estranged family and onetime friends.
'Fatties' need not apply on this site
With Valentine’s Day a mere month away, many single people are visiting online dating sites in their search for that special someone.
If they have packed on a few extra pounds at Christmas time, they should not even think about turning to BeautifulPeople.com, an online dating site that has “a strict ban on ugly people.” Apparently that applies to people who have been deemed overweight as well.
According to a Jan. 4 CNN report, the website, which has an international membership, has dropped 5,000 members who indulged a little too much on the eggnog, cookies, turkey and trimmings that accompany the holiday season.
Apparently, big is not beautiful in the eyes of the website’s users, whose complaints caused the zaftig members to be expelled.
“Every year we see that some of our members from Western cultures eat and drink to excess over the holidays, and clearly their looks suffer,” BeautifulPeople.com founder Robert Hintze said in a statement. “The U.S.A. has been grossly over-indulging since Thanksgiving. It’s no wonder that so many members have been expelled from the network. We hope they will be back after shedding the festive pounds.”
Praise be to God for beautiful people. But it’s hard to imagine a shallower criteria than good looks in limiting one’s social circle. Beauty should be sought “in full harmony with truth and goodness” as Pope Benedict XVI wrote in a 2008 message to the pontifical academies.
Worst amateur theologian of 2009
If there was a “Worst Theologian of 2009” category in the parade of annual year-end awards clogging up the media these days, there is no doubt it would have to go to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her multiple theological faux pas sans mea culpas.
In a Dec. 31 column, “Nancy Pelosi, Catholic Without a Clue,” at the website Politics Daily, Elizabeth Lev dissects Pelosi’s misguided Church-speak, particularly on abortion and when human life begins:
“Pelosi’s Catholic-lite construct here suggests that free will means the ability to judge what is right and wrong, with each person’s conscience being the final arbiter. Coherency in her concept of Catholic teaching would mean legalizing rape and murder and allowing each person to choose and then take responsibility for his or her own actions. More than the far-left liberal that many claim her to be, Pelosi seems to favor anarchy.”
Lev notes that the Church does recognize the principle of “invincible ignorance” — you won’t be held morally accountable for what you don’t know or understand about Church teaching. But you have to exercise moral diligence to learn it.
Lev’s grade for Pelosi? An F in theology and an incomplete in history.