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Social media is great for keeping in touch, but some moments are more meaningful when experienced offline.

One writer puts down the camera and dares not to share.

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Invisible Hour by Joe Henry (Work Song, 2014)

Joe Henry may always be thought of as the T Bone Burnett of his generation. After all, his career began when the legendary producer pulled his demo off the slush pile. In recent years, as a producer himself, Henry seems to have worked with every rock and soul legend that Burnett didn’t have time for.

As a singer-songwriter, Henry has outpaced his mentor by releasing a dozen fine albums with styles ranging from alt-country to jazz. But this bare-boned and openhearted collection may be his best.

Listen to this.

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History nerds, listen up!

University of Notre Dame's Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism is showing a rare Bible that belonged to the first U.S. priest, Stephen Badin, and is inscribed by the first U.S. bishop,John Carroll. Printed in 1790, it is one of only 26 are known to exist, out of fewer than 500 that were printed when this nation was young. Check this out and if you’re near South Bend, go to the symposium!

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Photo courtesy of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, University of Notre Dame

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Who is the most interesting parishioner at Corpus Christi University Parish at The University of Toledo?

Bruce Gradkowski, quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. See what other facts make this parish unique:

Better Know A Parish: Corpus Christi University Parish

Think your parish is pretty cool? Tell us about it here.

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Everyone can help with suicide prevention:

When a person dies by suicide, those left behind often find themselves asking the same painful question: “What could I have done to prevent this?” In most cases, there is no answer, and no one individual should hold him- or herself personally responsible for preventing a loved one’s suicide. But as the understanding of suicide and its causes has increased, so too have prevention efforts. When larger communities learn strategies for preventing suicide, it can make a difference in helping reduce the number of suicides.

What every church should know about preventing suicide

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Happy October! Our new issue is out.

Come take a look: October 2014

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Should girls be allowed to serve at the altar?

Altar serving is a key tool in hooking children’s interest and getting them involved in the Mass. The way to get kids and teens to take ownership of their faith is to give them responsibility, and altar serving does just that. But there’s a move now in some quarters to restrict altar serving, as was once the case, to boys only. Not an issue at your parish? Be on the lookout.

Mary Kathleen Cahill, who was a server for nine years at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Chicago and is currently a sophomore at Boston College, argues that when girls are barred from being altar servers, they miss out on an important part of faith-formation—and the church does, too.

What do you think? Weigh in here.

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Cool saint alert!!!

Vincent de Paul, the model of a modern career man, was on the fast track when experiences with the poor in small French villages sparked a conversion. Seeing the face of Christ in the neglected and abandoned, Vincent became “charity’s saint,” dedicating his life to God and the poor.

Today, we can borrow his tough questions about how to best help those most in need:

What is going on?
What must be done?
How must it be done?
What motivates and nourishes our actions?
Am I embracing the image of God in myself and others?

Meghan J. Clark, an assistant professor of theology at St. John’s University in New York, reflects on this patron of the poor.

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Image: Flickr photo cc by MariaRoma

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Known for his two-volume epic Boxers & Saints (First Second Books) based on the events of the China’s Boxer Rebellion as well as for his work on the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender, Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novels are an epic quest for cultural identity as he balances his Chinese heritage with his Catholic American life.

Read more: Comic consciousness

Images: Courtesy of First Second Books