In its effort to promote the new evangelization, the Holy See should take advantage of the popularity Pope Francis is enjoying and develop a campaign around the theme: “The pope. Not just for Catholics anymore.”

Our Holy Father continues to attract attention from non-Catholics and from secular media. Case in point: The June 10th issue of Waste & Recycling News had a photo of the pontiff on its cover and and an inside story regarding his comments about wasting food that he made on June 5 — World Environment Day. They highlighted this piece of papal wisdom: “We should all remember, however, that throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry.”

To the generations that communicate in 140-character increments, the above message — done in 116 characters, including spaces — is an effective way of teaching the Word of God. And if you look at what the pope has said during his pontificate, there are many such messages that combine his down-to-earth wisdom delivered in a friendly, easy-to-understand manner. Either he is redefining the term “apostle,” or he is taking its original personification and living it in our time.  

He certainly deserves the positive attention he’s been receiving, but he’d be the first to admit it’s not about him; it’s about the message. Such an attitude can make one excited about being Catholic.

Unplanned change of plans: While the pope will be appearing at World Youth Day, some people who had planned to make that pilgrimage have had a change of plans — and it wasn’t their doing. ITC Tours, which has been doing WYD trips since the start of the new millennium went bankrupt, leaving would-be WYD pilgrims from the Diocese of Green Bay without a way to get to Rio de Janeiro. Same fate for those from the Archdiocese of Anchorage and the Diocese of  Fairbanks in Alaska.

Lent for sports fans: Sports Cliche Week began Sunday, that time of year when those who read, watch and/or listen to sports reports are reminded just how dreadful it can be when said reports are filled with cliches. We’re little more than six weeks away from the start of the college football cliche harvest, and a little more than seven weeks from the harvest of the NFL variety.

All-Star alternative: If, like me, the last time you had interest in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game was when Spahn and Burdette were still pitching, here’s an alternative: Read R.A. Dickey’s “Wherever I Wind Up.” You won’t be disappointed in this autobiography by a faith-filled knuckleball pitcher.