Dominican Sisters of Mary Conquer Billboard Charts, Remain at No. 1


ATLANTA, August 29, 2013 – The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist’s debut CD, MATER EUCHARISTIAE, continues to captivate music fans across the country, landing the No. 1 spot on Billboard magazine’s Classical Overall and Classical Traditional Charts, No. 75 spot on the Top 200 Overall Chart, No. 2 spot on the Christian (contemporary) Chart and No. 3 spot on the Christian (gospel) Chart.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 1963

Connecting the dots on Martin’s legacy: poverty and racism here, militarism there.

In the official commemorations in Washington today, we refused to connect the dots that Martin connected. We refused to see the connection between the poverty and racism here to the militarism there–though of course the policies of America the Empire are already implicated in racial assumptions of billions of people in the world (majority of them Muslims today) being less than fully human, less than fully deserving of the same right to live, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that we cherish as the cornerstone of our own experiment.


Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Sunday Bulletin Artwork Now Available in Electronic Form

Fairfax, Virginia – For over 15 years, Eastern Christian Bulletin Service has been providing printed, full-color Sunday Bulletin Covers to over 300 Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic parishes throughout the US and Canada.  Designed and produced uniquely for each week of each calendar year, they include a color icon suitable for each Sunday – the feast day, scripture reading, or saint of the week – and text commentary appropriate for the icon. Jack Figel, Publisher, explained, “With the lower cost of color digital printers for parishes, and more capable design and layout programs for PCs, parishes are moving toward producing Sunday bulletins completely themselves.  Therefore, starting with Sunday, September 1, 2013, we will offer our unique Byzantine artwork in high-resolution electronic PDF form for download from our website.  Each download file will contain the upcoming eight Sundays, following the Eastern Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic dates for Easter and Pentecost.”

According to Mr. Figel, “The intermixing of the calendar of fixed feasts with the moveable dates of feasts related to Easter creates the need for a different Sunday bulletin cover every week of every year.  I believe we are the only supplier of Sunday Bulletin covers who design and produce our artwork accordingly, and who offers two versions for years when there are two dates for Easter, one according to the Gregorian Calendar followed by Byzantine Catholics, and one according to the Julian Calendar followed by the Orthodox.”

Although originally designed for Eastern Christian parishes, many of the major feasts and saints are the same and could be used by any church looking for something different and colorful. Some benefits of the artwork from ECBS include –

The high-quality color icon provides an attractive cover that is appealing to your parishioners
The commentary about the Gospel reading or feast gives your parishioners something they can reflect upon during the following week
A more attractive Sunday bulletin may enliven your parish and get people excited about their church

The new electronic download service will cost only about $5.00 per week — $39.95 for eight weeks of artwork that you can print or use in your custom designs.  The pre-printed legal-size sheets will still be offered and cost $8.00/100 copies, including shipping.  To order go to and select the Catalog button.  For more information, contact the ECBS office at 703-691-8862 or email


Theosis Completes First Year of Publication

Fairfax, Virginia – Theosis: Spiritual Reflections from the Christian East has completed its first full year of publication with the August 2013 issue.  The monthly magazine from Eastern Christian Publications is a small format, full color, pocket-size booklet that contains a collection of educational essays by leading scholars and daily prayers for the saints and feasts according to the Byzantine Church calendar.  Despite the small size, it’s full of a month’s worth of reading material, photo essays and iconography. Editor and Publisher Jack Figel said, “In addition to the general spiritual enrichment of the faithful and clergy, I believe Theosis is also a valuable product that can be used for:

Gifts to catechists at a local parish in thanks for their service
Material for teens to provide them with a colorful, informative,  regular publication to combat the pressures of our secular world
Monthly reminders from parishes for young adults away at college to keep them involved in their Eastern traditions through short daily prayers, educational essays and colorful images
The basis of a monthly prayer group or adult catechetical activity using the writings of world-class theologians
Monthly meditations, daily prayer and short stories of the lives of the saints for elderly shut-ins”

Father John Basarab, Jack Figel’s pastor at Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church in Annandale, VA said, “Theosis is a cross between Reader’s Digest, a prayer book, and the wall calendar of saints, that all fit in your pocket.”  Father Chris Zugger, author and retired priest in Albuquerque, NM, commented that “Theosis feeds your soul for a whole month for only $5.00, less than a typical fast-food meal.”  Subscribers have commented:

“I carry it with me in my purse and pull it out to read something short while I wait for my coffee to cool off at the local cafe.”
“I keep mine next to my bed and read a little from it each night.”
“It’s so great to read a little story about each saint on each day so we know something about them when we pray to them.”
“I send them as gifts to my adult children who don’t live near a Byzantine church so they can stay connected to their roots.”
“After I read a few pages of an essay, and it says ‘to be continued’, I want to read more right away and can’t wait for the next issue to arrive.”

Individual subscriptions are available for just $60 per year for the print version and $29.95 per year for the electronic version which is sent by email each month to your computer or smartphone.  Bulk subscriptions are available for $48/year in quantities of 10 or more per month for church store or distribution in a parish.  The first full year of publication—12 booklets—are available at a special discount of $25 plus postage.  Place your orders online at  or by calling the ECP office at 703-691-8862.


Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly listings – August 30

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET. Visit for additional information.   Show # 1652 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on August 30 (check local listings). Sister Joan Chittister – Sister Joan Chittister, author of more than 40 books on the spiritual life that have sold more than a million copies has been a member of Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, Pa., for the past 61 years. Judy Valente profiles and interviews the controversial nun who has long advocated and worked for a wide variety of social causes many of which have rankled the Catholic church hierarchy.

Bullets to Burnings logo

From Bullets to Burnings: Religion & Violence in America

Religion News Service’s regional hubs — the Faith & Values news sites — debut their first team series, “From Bullets to Burnings: Religion & Violence in America.” Part 1: The Business of Church Safety
In its first weeklong series, Faith & Values news explores what happens when violence crosses thresholds in churches, synagogues and mosques. Though deadly shootings  happen every week in public spaces, have these incidents become more commonplace in the holiest of places? How are houses of worship responding and preparing to defend themselves from intruders and attacks? To answer these questions, we’ll look at five cities in America and the painful realities, lessons and decisions taking place each day to keep worshipers safe.