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Second Chances: Judas and ISIS

Noel Ocol

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Noel-BlogWelcome to S+L’s Weekly News Round-Up. As the Director of Marketing and Communications here at S+L, many interesting Catholic news stories and articles come across my desk on a daily basis. Some of them we’ll cover on our different television programs and others I’d like to share with you on this blog.
This blog column is where I’ll point out some of the more interesting news pieces that I’ve come across over the past week! Enjoy!
With all the atrocities and horrors being committed against Christians in the Middle East, here is a story that sticks out like a palm tree in the desert! Apparently, an ISIS fighter converted to Christianity after “Allah” refused him entrance to the gates of heaven. Read all the details here. Somehow, I’m just not surprised but it's interesting nevertheless. Why does he get such a revelatory second chance?
Speaking of interesting, when one thinks of Judas Iscariot, it’s a fairly common belief that he isn’t up in heaven basking in God’s glory with the angels… Or is he? Here is very interesting article published by CNN that raises some interesting questions. Read about it here.
Fifth week of lent and this comes across my desk only now. Here is a really neat infographic that explains the Penitential Season – please feel to share this graphic far and wide!
Info Graphic - Lent
We all have them. That special priest friend or spiritual director who has been there for you. At one point or another, we’ve all been faced with the question: What gift (for Christmas, Easter, birthday etc.) should you give him? The last thing Fr. Joe needs is another crucifix, a rosary, a statuette or an icon. Here are some epic suggestions from our friends at Epicpew.
Speaking of epic, have you seen these 14 Christian scenes finely sculpted out of sand?Sand
Everything from La Pieta and Our Lady of Guadalupe to Jesus on the Cross have been beautifully hand sculpted into sand.
On a more serious note, I found this article on Mary and Why Demons are so Afraid of Her particularly interesting because it was written from a former protestant’s viewpoint on Father Gabriele Amorth’s, (formerly the chief exorcist for Rome), two books, An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories.
What’s particularly interesting about Fr.Amorth’s accounts of several exorcisms was the presence and power of Mary. There is definitely Something About Mary! Read all the details here.
Last week, National Catholic Reporter published an article that asks some thought-provoking questions: Is the Shroud of Turin real, as many Catholics believe? Or is it a product of the 14th century? Does it matter at all? - and, if it does, how much does it matter? This article, based on a new CNN series, "Finding Jesus" and an interview with Jesuit Fr. James Martin is definitely not to miss. Read it here.
And finally, I leave you with this great video that is popping up all over social media titled, 'The Beauty of the Catholic Church.'
Leading up to the World Meeting of the Families in Philly, I’m absolutely certain that more amazing videos will surface shortly!
That’s it for this week folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on these stories. If you have any interesting stories yourself, please feel free to send them to me!
I hope you enjoy these little stories! I certainly have. Till next week!
– Noel

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