Here's a development out on the West Coast today that vies for "best Catholic news story of the day." Cardinal Roger Mahony has stepped in  and offered struggling pub lic schools a helping hand. Because of California's extreme budget crunch, funding for all public school summer programs have been eliminated. Mahony announced today that Catholic summer school programs can pick up the slack - and that non-Catholic students are welcome to take part. This is an essential piece of news, especially in poorer neighborhoods. And at a time when Catholic schools across the country are struggling, Mahony's actions demonstrate anew the vital role these schools play, especially in our urban areas.