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A rainy November morning seemed like a funny time to start talking about spring. But last weekend the Springtime for Faith foundation held its third annual summit here in Rome.
Inspired by Pope John Paul II's words, "The Spirit will truly bring about a new Springtime of Faith, if Christian hearts are filled with new attitudes of humility, generosity and openness to his purifying grace," the Springtime Foundation tries to galvanize lay leaders to be witnesses to their faith not only in their homes, but in every aspect of their lives.
Despite the chilly, shorter days, and the bare trees in the normally lush Borghese park, business executives, authors and television celebrities gathered to listen to a series of lectures on signs of a new springtime in the Catholic world.
The lineup of speakers was as brilliant and variegated as the fall foliage: Cardinal Francis Arinze; Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the pontifical household; Legionary of Christ Father Thomas Williams, author and CBS News analyst; and Joan Lewis, bureau chief for EWTN -- all pointed out various signs of spring in what seems to be a cold, hard winter in the Catholic world.