My Relative, The Saint

THE TIDINGS, Nov. 17 — Mount St. Mary’s College freshman Jessica Cantu has a saintly example close at hand.

On Oct. 15, her great-great-great-great uncle, Raphael Guizar Valencia, was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. The new saint, a former bishop of Veracruz, Mexico, who died in 1938, was a fearless defender of the Church at a time of intense persecution.

“I remember my mom telling us stories that because of all the persecution he disguised himself as a salesman,” Cantu told The Tidings, the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “And he would go around to the sick and injured people, and he’d give them the Eucharist and last rites before they died.”

Cantu continues to be inspired by her relative at Mount St. Mary’s, an all-women’s college in Los Angeles where she is studying nursing.

She volunteers at the campus ministry office and has also signed a sacred pledge to stay chaste before marriage.

“Coming into college, I met people who aren’t Catholic, and they do different things than I do,” Jessica said. “But it’s where your faith comes in and where going to Catholic school comes in and plays a big role in your life. Because you have morals and know that you’re doing things for God.”

Georgetown NFP

HEALTHNEWSDIGEST.COM, Nov. 27 — Researchers from Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health are promoting modern natural family planning methods as “a good fit for the holistic healthcare approach practiced by nurse-midwives.”

In an article published in the November issue of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Victoria Jennings, director of the Institute for Reproductive Health, and co-author Elaine Germano said that two new family planning methods they have developed are well suited to being taught by nurse-midwives.

“Our goal in developing new natural methods is to meet the needs of the many women who want to manage their own fertility without hormones or devices but without the burden of daily monitoring and charting required by older natural methods,” said Jennings. “These new methods are effective as well as easy to teach, learn and use.”

Newman Center Grows

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov. 26 — The St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois is breaking ground this month on a second residence hall.

The $26-million project will provide housing for 561 students, up from 261, Peoria diocesan officials told The Associated Press. It will also include a 350-seat cafeteria, a club room for nonresidents, a fitness center and a convenience store.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2008.

According to officials, the university’s Newman Center is already the largest in the nation, based on residential population, square footage and number of staff.

Christendom’s Irish Tour

CHRISTENDOM COLLEGE, Nov. 22 — Christendom College has announced a study abroad program in Ireland for next summer.

The program, scheduled for July 23 - Aug. 13, will be directed by Christendom President Timothy O’Donnell and his wife, along with college chaplain Father John Heisler.

It will begin with a week of classes at the college’s campus in Front Royal, Va. Participants will then tour Ireland, sampling the Emerald Isle’s natural, religious and historical sites.

Those interested in the course can contact Siobhan O’Connor at or at (800) 877-5456, ext. 21.