01: Focus is a new Catholic campus organization that is based on evangelization and Catholic orthodoxy.
The group, which recently held its first national convention, operates much like its evangelical counterparts, such as InterVarsity and Campus Crusade for Christ. Focus, which is a ministry of the conservative watchdog group, Catholics United for the Faith, plans to use small group Bible studies and student leaders to spread the Catholic faith on campus.
In fact, the growth of evangelical ministries on campus and their popularity among Catholic students is an important factor in the founding of the organization. Focus, which was co-founded by ex-evangelical convert Scott Hahn, plans to expand nationwide and is now mainly active in Colorado and Kansas.
(Source: News release; for more info: www.cuf.org)
02: The Institute for Religious Values intends to mobilize Jewish attitudes on abortion and foster Jewish-Christian dialogue.
The institute, founded in 1997, has particularly been in the forefront of organizing opposition to partial-birth abortion among Jews. It led in drawing together rabbis and Jewish professional women in petitions to the senate to pass the Partial Birth Abortion Act. A November conference co-sponsored by the institute at Catholic University of America has led to the formation of networks of rabbis and others interested in building a consensus among Jews on how to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S.
Issues such as partial birth abortion and parental notification laws are the prolife issues most likely to find support among rabbis, says Gersten.
(Source: Our Sunday Visitor, Feb. 28)