MARCH 29, 2017

Celebrating 8 Years Online

Website will update again on April 5, 2017

~Return to the Lord your God~

Did you hear?

THAT…the American Kennel Club has named the TOP 10 American Breeds? Guess who is # 1?

The Labrador Retriever does it again! In a press conference today at its new pet care space, AKC Canine Retreat, the American Kennel Club (AKC®), the nation’s largest purebred dog registry, is announcing that the intelligent, family friendly Lab firmly holds on to the number one spot on the most popular list for a record-breaking 26th consecutive year.


Good News

Beagle Brigade Protects Our Borders

Meet the Department of Homeland Security Detector Dogs. These adorable hounds patrol the nation’s airports to keep our food safe by sniffing out meat, fruit and vegetables banned in the U.S.


In the News

Abused Beagle Joins USDA Beagle Brigade

Meet Murray, a three-year-old beagle who will be Hartsfield-Jackson’s newest agriculture detector dog in a few weeks. About a year ago, he was rescued by Alcovy Pet Rescue, Inc. from the Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter, which intakes about 3000 animals annually.  “Murray is the happiest dog you will ever meet (laughs),” Warfield said. “When he’s at the airport, he just loves being in that environment.”


Picture of the Week

Endangered pink freshwater Amazon Dolphin.

It was previously listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to pollution, overfishing, excessive boat traffic, and habitat loss, but in 2011 it was changed to data deficient due to a lack of current information about threats, ecology, and population numbers and trends.

Ask Susi

Q: My parish priest told me that “we (meaning the Catholic Church) do not believe that animals go to heaven, because they have no souls.” But, my heart and faith in Jesus tells me otherwise. Is what he said true?

A: This is perhaps the most epic question I am asked, in numerous and varying contexts. Countless books and articles have been given over to the question of animals in heaven and there is the long and short of it, depending on where you really want to go. So, I will answer the initial question, and follow it with an abridged explanation for the positive.


Susi Weekly Column


~by Susi Pittman

She was my best childhood friend. And after the age of fourteen, we lost contact. I wanted to find her again.


Catholic Journeyman

How I Came to Honor Mary

~by Louis Templeman

Louis shares an indepth and scriptural look at his present day relationship with Mary after his conversion to the Catholic faith 16 years ago.


Meandering Along the River’s Edge

One Lucky Pooch

~by Virginia Rhys Anson, OFS

Little dogs can have courageous hearts that sometimes can lend themselves into danger unaware.


Weekly Commentary

Mother Angelica’s Legacy One Year Later

~by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Mother Angelica, the founder of a world-ranging media operation, EWTN, has been dead for a year. Today, the cable network she started still plays archives of her “live” show, which, whenever I catch it, is as relevant as it ever was. When I Google it, the first episode that pops up is one in which she’s talking about the lack of hope seemingly everywhere — in the world, in the home, in the workplace. Tell people they’re beautiful, she says. Because we so often don’t know. Don’t knock people down, give them hope. People need it — not false hope but trust in the love with which we were created.


Discovering Catholic Writers

Gregory F. Augustine Pierce

Gregory F. Augustine Pierce, president and copublisher of ACTA Publications, is the author or editor of ten books, including Spirituality at Work: 10 Ways to Balance Your Life on the Job, which has sold more than twenty thousand copies and won two awards from the Catholic Press Association. He is a former president of the National Center for the Laity, a founder of Business Executives for Economic Justice, and a leader in United Power for Action and Justice. Pierce is a popular national speaker using his sense of humor regarding his own spiritual journey to delight and inspire audiences.

Pierce graduated first in his class at Maryknoll College in 1969 and is the 2000 recipient of the Hillenbrand Award for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He resides in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife Kathy. They are the parents of three adult children.

Recommended Read

The Mass Is Never Ended

~by Gregory F. Augustine Pierce

This hard-hitting yet entertaining book argues that the Catholic Church offers (or is supposed to offer) three things we all need:

  • A mission worthy of our lives. Such a mission, the author argues, is what everyone — especially our young people — are looking for, and the Church has a great mission to offer anyone willing to accept it. It is none other than the mission of Jesus of Nazareth, to bring about the kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • A ritual or liturgy to celebrate and send us forth on that mission. It is called “the Mass,” which comes from the Latin words for the Dismal: Ite, Missa Est. Loosely translated, this mean “Go, you are sent out into the world — on your jobs, with your families, and in your community and civic affairs to carry out the mission of the Lord Jesus.”
  • A spirituality to sustain us in this mission. That spirituality is the spirituality of work, a spirituality that is based not so much on getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life as it is on raising our awareness of the presence of God in the midst of that very hustle and bustle and allowing that awareness to change how we act.

In his book, The Mass Is Never Ended reminds readers of the meaning of the Mass and urges Catholics not to lose sight of its purpose during our everyday lives. Pierce outlines the basics of a spirituality of work, leaving readers with a renewed appreciation for the beauty and wisdom of the Mass.


Quote of the Week

God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.

~Jacques Boularan~

(Pseudonym Jacque Deval)

Discovering Our Catholic Saints

Saint Gertrude the Great

Archaeology & Geology

The “Door to Hell”

There are places on Earth that are a little creepy, places that feel a little haunted and places that are downright hellish. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed by locals ”The Door to Hell,” or “The Gates of Hell,” definitely falls into the latter category—and its sinister burning flames are just the half of it. Located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan (a little over 150 miles from the country’s capital) the pit attracts hundreds of tourists each year. It also attracts nearby desert wildlife—reportedly, from time to time local spiders are seen plunging into the pit by the thousands, lured to their deaths by the glowing flames.


Global Weather

Cyclone Debbie in Australia damages Great Barrier Reef

Cyclone Debbie is likely to have damaged Australia’s already beleaguered Great Barrier Reef, experts have said. The cyclone struck the Queensland coast as a category four storm, carrying winds of up to 263km/h (163 mph). Marine experts said they expected to find damage to the reef’s ecosystem, although it would not rival widespread destruction caused by coral bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said it had not yet been able to assess potential damage caused by the storm.



STUDY: Global warming leading to longer periods of extreme weather

Ever since 2012, scientists have been debating a complex and frankly explosive idea about how a warming planet will alter our weather – one that, if it’s correct, would have profound implications across the Northern Hemisphere and especially in its middle latitudes, where hundreds of millions of people live. The idea is that climate change doesn’t merely increase the overall likelihood of heat waves, say, or the volume of rainfall – it also changes the flow of weather itself. By altering massive planet-scale air patterns like the jet stream, which flows in waves from west to east in the Northern Hemisphere, a warming planet causes our weather to become more stuck in place.


Using Google to map our ecosystem

Researchers have developed a method to quantify ecosystem services of street trees. Using nearly 100,000 images from Google Street View, the study helps further understanding on how green spaces contribute to urban sustainability.



Alaska Outdoors: Our sustainability focus

Ecotourism is a style of tourism that emphasizes engagement with nature while minimizing the impacts associated with travel both to the environment and local residents. To be considered ecotourism it is not enough to just visit nature, it must be done respectfully, minimizing impact, and in a way that can actually benefit nature and host communities.


God’s Green Earth


Farm News

Dirt Free Farming: Will hydroponics finally take off?

Zach Yohannes, an enthusiastic undergraduate at Stanford University, is refining an idea that he thinks could someday feed all of humankind with fresh, local food while using less land and fewer pesticides. Yohannes grew up on a 1,500 acre farm in California’s Central Valley where he learned to simultaneously irrigate 20 acres of walnut tree orchards, but he dreams that the next generation will measure farmland in cubic meters instead of acreage. Last summer, the optimistic entrepreneur set out to prove that large-scale indoor hydroponic farming is not only possible, but also economically viable.

Steward Alerts

Catholic News Agency

The Catholic News Agency has a new app you can download and stay in touch with all the latest news in our Catholic World.


Steward Activities

2016 World Youth Day on CD

This poignant and inspirational film captures the World Youth Day experience like never before, following youth on their journey with Pope Francis. The film also includes highlights from the program of the Knights of Columbus sponsored Mercy Centre at the Tauron Arena Krakow.



The Chickadee’s Guide to Gardening–by Douglas W. Tallamy

I GREW up thinking little of plants. I was interested in snakes and turtles, then insects and, eventually, birds. Now I like plants. But I still like the life they create even more. Plants are as close to biological miracles as a scientist could dare admit. After all, they allow us, and nearly every other species, to eat sunlight, by creating the nourishment that drives food webs on this planet. As if that weren’t enough, plants also produce oxygen, build topsoil and hold it in place, prevent floods, sequester carbon dioxide, buffer extreme weather and clean our water. Considering all this, you might think we gardeners would value plants for what they do. Instead, we value them for what they look like.


Wellness & Nutrition

Bufo Toads Are Toxic To Our Pets

“If [pets] get exposed to it, the chemical actually goes across the mucus membranes or in their mouth and they paw their mouths – it can get into their system very rapidly and cause seizures, coma or death.”



Final two ExoMars landing sites chosen

Two ancient sites on Mars that hosted an abundance of water in the planet’s early history have been recommended as the final candidates for the landing site of the 2020 ExoMars rover and surface science platform: Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis. A primary technical constraint is that the landing site be at a suitably low level, so that there is sufficient atmosphere to help slow the landing module’s parachute descent.




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