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Content from NCR special sections, including our September 13-26, 2013, Health & Well-Being edition, is not available online. NCR special sections explore topics important to today's Catholics, including Our Environment, Catholic Education, Family Life and Theology.

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blue-zone.jpgLife in the 'blue zone'
Can people live well into their 90s and be happy, too?
By Tom Gallagher

This past February in Riverside, Conn., Msgr. Alan Detscher, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena, my parish, stepped to the microphone at the end of Mass to make a few announcements. His final announcement was to ask Caroline Dulcibella, who was sitting in the middle of the church, to stand and accept the community’s applause: Dulcibella turned 97 years old that day. She beamed and waived. We applauded and were amazed.

As surprising as it was to see a petite but strong nonagenarian at church that day, the fact is that we are living longer, some into their 100s. In 1900, the life expectancy was just 46-48 years. ... READ MORE (Special section stories are rarely available online!)


health-min.jpgChurches team up on health ministry
By Judy Gross

ORLANDO, FLA. . As Christians, we have a millennia-old legacy of working together as a community of believers. Jesus called those who would accomplish great things and instructed them to feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted, and see him in every act of kindness. Through the centuries, we have clung to the tradition of showing faith in action. It is who we are.

Christian church members in and around Orlando have embraced the calling, bringing together a diverse group of churches to form Our Whole Community, an initiative whose goal is to build wholesome lifestyles by offering health ministry, places for the community to grow and harvest vegetables, and fitness opportunities for bodies and minds. .... PRINT ONLY


God is generous in blessing us with replacement parts
By Patty McCarty

My right hip is not part of my original equipment. The one I came with began to ache two years ago and it got so that aching was the thing it did best.

Before my competent surgeon could work his magic, the people at the hospital gave me a bottle of special soap and told me to scrub chin to toes the night before surgery and that morning. These things are best accomplished if you have a circle of friends, relatives and angels willing to step in as needed. A woman friend from church said, “If you need anything … I said, “As a matter of fact, I do.” ... PRINT ONLY


Eucharistic ministers bring Jesus to the sick
By Kate Simmons

Often wearing their Sunday best, parishioners usually receive the Eucharist at church during Mass. For some, however, a hospital gown and an intravenous fluid line prevent them from attending services. When that happens, eucharistic ministers bring the sacrament to them.

“No matter how sick they might be, you see their joy that you’re bringing the host to them,” said John Trumbore of Philadelphia. “It is an enormous affirmation of faith.”... PRINT ONLY


mortality.jpgAn unexpected brush with mortality
By A. James Rudin (Religion News Service)

April 3, 2013, is now permanently deposited in my memory bank as the day when I stared death in the face. And death blinked.

I’ll be honest. Facing unexpected triple bypass surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, I thought I might die as I was lying on a gurney headed into the operating room. But it was not the first time I had an unexpected brush with mortality. It probably won’t be the last. ... PRINT ONLY



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