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Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB


Abbot Peter NovecoskyGood news stories

The recent suicide bombing in Manchester, England, has dominated news coverage in the past week. It is an example of the steady diet of “bad news” we are fed every day.

However, the world is also filled with a lot of “good news” that doesn’t attract as much attention. But they are what make life worth living.

A cursory glance through this week’s PM highlights some of them.

The last page features the story of a high school senior in Ohio who noticed many teens couldn’t afford dresses for their prom. She celebrated her 18th birthday by collecting prom gowns. She called her project Prom Me Please.

Despite being told that it was a “dumb idea,” she went ahead and made their day for more than 200 graduates. Others caught her enthusiasm. Volunteer seamstresses made on-site alterations and the girls received free consultations with hair stylists and makeup artists.

The 18-year-old said compliments from the teens made her feel that “they blessed me more than I blessed them.”

In another story, a Congolese priest is changing the culture in his country through medicine. A mother thought her daughter suffered from “evil spirits,” but the priest encouraged them to see a psychiatrist. They discovered that the evil spirits that plagued the girl came from post-traumatic stress from witnessing her father’s murder, witnessing and experiencing rape and facing other types of violence. The Congo has few clinicians to help people who have experienced extreme violence. He will be the only neuropsychologist in his country of almost 68 million people.

Ever since Pope John XXIII prayed for a new Pentecost for the church in the 1960s, many people experienced a revival of their faith through the charismatic renewal movement. The renewal will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in Rome this coming week.

A page one story notes that Prime Minister Trudeau met Pope Francis after his G7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily. A priority for Trudeau was to follow up on the 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which focused on past treatment of indigenous communities, especially the forced removal of children to residential schools. One of the commission’s recommendations was to have Pope Francis come to Canada to apologize for the role of Catholics in harming their communities and eliminating their language and culture. If this removes a major stumbling block from future reconciliation with our indigenous people, that would indeed be good news.

A picture caption on page one notes that a life-sized monument honouring missing and murdered indigenous women and girls was recently unveiled near the main entrance of Saskatoon police headquarters. This is a reminder of a sad legacy that is currently under investigation and being criticized for undue delays.

And a commentary on this page takes issue with the push in Canada for doctor-assisted suicide. The author raises questions about what makes for a good death — providing a choice to die or providing people with a chance to tie up some loose ends in their lives.

This is but a start of making a list. Readers will find many other stories to give them their “good news fix” for the day.