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May the Peace of Christ be with you throughout this New Year. We hope to offer weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation Here we go! Recently, long-time youth minister Walt Mueller reflected on his many decades in ministry. He has come to clarity, as we all should, about what youth ministry is not about and what it should be about. Seventeen years after the Boston Globe first placed a Spotlight on the clergy abuse crisis, last week the US Bishops participated in a retreat requested by Pope Francis to reflect on where we find the American church in this time of continue turmoil over abuses. Pope Francis wrote a letter to them during their time of prayer. Please note the following quote meant not only for our brother bishops, but for all of us in service of the Lord. For the first time, it’s as likely as not that American children will be less prosperous than their parents. For parents, giving children the best start in life has come to mean doing everything they can to ensure that their children can climb to a higher class, or at least not fall out of the one they were born into. “As the gap between rich and poor increases, the cost of screwing up increases,” said Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who studies families and inequality. “The fear is they’ll end up on the other side of the divide.” The New York Times recently offered insight into The Restlessness of Modern Parenting. Something we might all strive to be better at – for bishops, for abuse victims, for parents, or even that smelly, pimply seventh grade boy on the fringes of our weekly program – might be to practice listening. Oh, yeah, and listen to the Lord as well! Here’s a story that is making us happy this week: The lingering scent of incense is confused as someone suggested that a priest was wearing cologne. Read more here. God bless you for all that you are doing to serve the Lord and ministering to our next generations.