Hundreds of energetic participants gathered at Metabolic Meltdown gym in Clifton Park recently for Sweat for St. Catherine’s, a fundraiser for St. Catherine’s Center for Children in Albany, organized by Girl Scout Troop 2024 and the gym. Trainers LYNSEY ABBALE and TIM O’CONNOR led two groups in an hour-long workout; proceeds benefited the Girl Scouts’ scrapbooking project for children in St. Catherine’s residential program....

Local Catholic MABEL GIL, still a political advocate at age 96, writes to The Evangelist that “there are 550,000 homeless people in the United States. In one night, 73,523 people sleep in homeless shelters in New York. A Housing and Urban Development official says we need $20 billion to be able to permanently house 634,000 homeless people. The American public spends $20 billion a year on Christmas decorations. If we cut back just a little, together we can supply enough money to provide these families with permanent homes. HUD believes the cure to homelessness is to vote for politicians who support urban development. When Christmas comes, instead of buying new Christmas decorations, just use the ones you have”....

GARY GUSTIN JR. of St. Michael’s in Troy offers: “When I look at the ongoing violence in America, I am reminded that a complex problem often cannot be boiled down to one specific cause, but I would suggest that part of what ails us is a lack of resiliency. We don’t teach, demand or expect each other to be able to bounce back from challenges, and as a result, some people will act irrationally. The Bible addresses this most notably in the story of Job, who refused to give up on the Lord during agonizing times. Philippians 3:13-15 urges us to move forward in times of adversity, and James 1:12 instructs us to persevere. Some things are harder to overcome than others: the loss of loved ones, the end of a significant relationship, a serious illness or the loss of a job. The answer is to develop personal coping mechanisms that allow us to deal with what life throws at us. Frequent reception of the sacraments, prayer — I recommend novenas and the Rosary — and service to others can give us new life, and by uniting ourselves to the sacrifice of Christ, we can find the strength to carry on.”