It’s hard to believe, but already summer is winding to a close. I, for one, am not sorry to see it go.
Don’t get me wrong — I love summer. I love the sun and the heat, the cookouts and the beach, and I am seriously lamenting the lack of minutes I clocked at my local YMCA pool. But this summer seems to have been eclipsed, at least in part, by world and domestic events. Israel and Hamas; Iraq and Syria; Ukraine and Russia; the crash of MH17; kidnappings in Nigeria; the killing of James Foley; the suicide of Robin Williams; riots in Ferguson, Missouri. The list goes on and on.
Even Pope Francis faced tragedy following the death of his nephew’s wife and the couple’s two small boys (one 2 years old and the other 8 months) in a car crash Aug. 19.
“Even the pope has a family,” he said to those gathered for his General Audience the next day.
As we enter September, therefore, I think we’re all feeling a bit downtrodden. So, in an effort to turn the tide, I’m going to focus the remainder of this column on good news only!
First: Teenagers rock! Really, I was so impressed by the five teens interviewed for our “Teen voices” In Focus last week. And via Facebook, we got even more great responses to questions about how today’s teens are relating to the Faith. We’ve included some of these in this week’s issue (Page 18).
Second: With fall comes the start of school, and it’s safe to say that the young people at Catholic colleges and universities are in good hands. For more on professors at those schools see our special content (B Section) available online September 7.
Third: The most recent tweet by Pope Francis says it all: “God’s love is unbounded: it has no limits.” Enough said.
Fourth: While the ALS Association ice bucket challenge that went viral this summer had its pros and cons, the giving spirit behind the summer spectacle was refreshing (no pun intended). (For those who don’t know what the challenge is, it involves donating money to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and pouring a bucket of water and ice on one’s head.) Even Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik participated, and seeing people come together in a spirit of philanthropy and goodness can only make the spirit soar.
Finally, my last piece of good news is that Bob Lockwood will be returning to his regular biweekly spot on our perspective pages in two issues (Sept. 21). I am grateful to J.D. Mullane for filling in as Bob recovered from his recent medical difficulties, and you likely will be seeing his byline again in these pages.
I have received many inquiries about Bob, so I know his long-time presence has been missed. I know that he has missed his “biweekly Sunday visits” as he called them, as well. Please join me in welcoming him back with open arms.
To share your good news (little or big), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get enough good responses, I’ll run them in this space at a future date. Have a GOOD week!