Wasn’t the papal visit amazing? You’ll have a chance to revisit it in the December issue of St. Anthony Messenger, which we’re working on now. Our crew was scrambling to produce the official commemorative edition about the visit, partnering with our bishops and the Vatican.
That book was a project like no other for us. It will come out October 30, and it’s beautiful. No rest yet, though! Fifty years ago, Vatican II was coming to a close. Our younger readers might take for granted how dramatically the Church changed back then: a complete renewal of the liturgy, with altars facing the congregation, celebrants learning how better to preach (an unfinished project, says the pope), a refocusing of the Church’s mission onto the troubles of the world.
One of the far-reaching achievements of the council was a rethinking of our relationship to other religions, including Judaism, long mistreated in the name of the Gospel. Rabbi Abie Ingber, at Xavier University’s Center for Community Interfaith Engagement, has been watching and participating near the center of this worldwide renewal. His parents narrowly survived the Holocaust, unlike much of his extended family who were murdered. It takes a giant of a soul to devote himself to reconciliation—our friend Abie has made that his life’s work.
I am proud to help bring his experience and insights to you, whether it be his friendship with St. John Paul II’s boyhood friend, his relationship with Pope Francis’ rabbi-friend from Buenos Aires, or his marvelous, mind-stretching engagement with young Catholics and others at Xavier University. Rabbi Ingber, like other newsmakers in the world of Catholic news and understanding, has become my friend over the years. That’s one of the things that makes my job irresistible. I hope all of us editors, art director, writers, photographers, and illustrators help pass along that passion for our faith, in the spirit of St. Francis.
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