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Pictured above: Stephanie Hough of Laconia is flanked by Dawn and Dave Longval of Sanbornton, founders of Isaiah 61 Café in Laconia. She first met Dawn at Rotary Park in 2017, when she was homeless. Hearing Dawn play guitar set her on her journey toward God and getting her life back on track.
The Song of Salvation
With kindness, faith, a little music and support from Isaiah 61 Café, a Laconia woman turned her life around.
Stephanie Hough’s memories of the summer of 2017 are hazy at best.
“I was homeless and addicted to drugs. My drug of choice was meth, and I spent most of my time sleeping at the gazebo next to the Belknap Mill. I slept a lot and never really knew what day it was.”
Among her recollections of that desperate time, two things stand out that would inspire a complete transformation in her life.
Want to learn more about how Isaiah 61 Café helped Stephanie Hough turn her life around? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.
Sacred and secular: What data should I share with the Church?
Dear Father Kerper: I recently joined a new parish. The secretary gave me a packet of materials, including a data form. I was surprised by the information they requested: race, marital status, date of birth, date of baptism and so on. Also, my adult daughter, who claims to be an atheist, wants her baptism “de-registered.” This seems to make sense. After all, I own my personal data. Why should the Church control it?
Your concerns about data collection by the Church are well-founded. The Church, which operates within the broader society, often tends to follow the lead of technology and copy its techniques. These include digging deeply into personal data and treating people as targets for advertising and persuasion. This happens even within the realm of independent Catholic media and, as you’ve already experienced, within parish life. We must ask: What data does the Church really need? Have we gone too far in collecting tons of data simply because we have the capacity? How can we protect our personal information?
Want to read more of Father Kerper's response? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.
‘Why Do You Give Gifts You Take Away?’
By Simcha Fisher
Grieving parents minister to those who’ve lost a child
The loss of a child is a loss like no other. Kelly Breaux, the founder of Red Bird, a lay ministry for grieving parents begun in Louisiana and spreading across the U.S., says there once was a time when a parent who had suffered this loss would automatically turn to the Church in their grief.
“Communities were built around the Church. That was where people would go when they were suffering. Now it’s not,” she observes.
Want to read more of Simcha Fisher's article on grieving the loss of a child? Please click here to learn how you and your parish can receive Parable.
Other Columns in the Current Issue
Bishop’s Message - Rediscovering the Purpose and Meaning of the Sign of Peace
Dear Father Kerper - Sacred and Secular: What Data Should I Share with the Church?
Marriage And Family Life - Grieving Parents Minister to Those Who’ve Lost a Child
Always Faithful - ‘Behold, Children are a Gift of the Lord’
Journeying With the Saints - St. Moses the Black Conquered Temptation Through Fasting, Prayer and Solitude
Cross Reference - Welcome to Parable’s New Column — Book Discussion Through a Catholic Lens
Cover Story - With Kindness, Faith, a Little Music and Support from Isaiah 61 Café, a Laconia Woman Turned Her Life Around
Remembering Pope Benedict XVI - A Look Back at His Life, as Well as the Lives He Touched Here in New Hampshire
Calendar Of Events
7 Days A Pastor: Reflections From Father Andrew Nelson - A Glimpse Into the Heart of Holiness
Mission Moment - St. Joseph Hospital Invests in Its Community and Our Planet