April 4 issue of the Century offers Ruth Burrows's witness to her life as a
contemplative Carmelite; it also includes an homage to a community
of students shaped by their experience with Trappist monks, which in turn shaped Faith Matters writer Stephanie Paulsell in her
faith and thinking.
Yet Carmelite, Benedictine, Trappist and other
monastic communities find themselves in a precarious place these days, with many
of them closed or closing. Must we lose these Catholic (and Protestant) communities before we
realize that they are a profound presence
to those of us out wandering in the world?
I know some people who refuse to sit on church committees
because they think it's a waste of time. I've known some church committees that
prove them correct. In one case, the chair has become something of an
establishment. She's rather undisciplined, drags meetings out needlessly and
talks excessively herself.
FedEx donated an old wide-body MD-10 plane to Orbis International, whose mission it is to fight blindness. A team of FedEx employees and retirees from FedEx and McDonnell Douglas refurbished the plane as a hospital for treating the eye—the only such plane in the world. There are 39 million blind people and 285 million visually impaired people around the world. Eighty percent of visual impairments can be avoided or cured (Ophthalmology Times, June 7).