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Volunteers bring vitality

What organization in its right mind wouldn't love to add excitement, energy and inspiration to its work and its mission? What would it be like to have people who contribute time, experience, passion and energy to your goals and dreams? Invite some volunteers to join you and they will do all that by bringing ideas, commitment and vitality along with service. That's what volunteers have done for us at National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company.

New Jersey parishioners take new missal in stride

"Good morning. Hmm, I'm not sure I'm allowed to say this with the new Roman Missal. I feel edgy, like I've never done this before and it's my first Mass," quipped the priest, who had certainly celebrated at least his silver jubilee, at the beginning greeting of liturgy using the new Roman Missal in a New Jersey suburb in the Diocese of Camden. "I think I already made one mistake, but that's OK, we'll get through this together."

Prior to Mass, the music director had gone over a few responses, though it was obvious the community had been preparing along the way. With humor and encouragement, he said several times: "The Lord be with you," attempting to reprogram the previously normal response into "And with your spirit."

With grace and good humor, community members laughed and practiced. During the liturgy it was apparent longtime practices are hard to break, yet the community created powerful liturgy evidenced in its gestures, prayers, proclamations and music.

Laity to carry sisters' legacy forward


RED PLAINS, OKLA. -- The Red Plains Spirituality Center, an outgrowth of the former Red Plains Monastery, was closing. The Benedictine sisters of this Oklahoma monastery had faced a difficult decision. With the aging and shortage of sisters residing at their monastery, the sisters decided to become members of another Benedictine monastery, Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kan., which they formally did in 2009.