The Roman Catholic Church has been struggling to recruit candidates for the priesthood, but you can be excused if you haven't heard much about that in these parts. Ordinations have been going gangbusters in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In a review of ordinations from 2003 through 2006 cited by the National Catholic Reporter, the local archdiocese finished fourth on the list -- and was only one short of a tie for third place. The 33 ordinations trailed only those in Chicago (61), Newark, N.J. (52), and Washington, D.C. (34). New York City rounded out the top five with 29.

Nationwide, things are not nearly so rosy. The Catholic University of America estimates that for every 100 priests who retire or die, only 40 new ones are added. But according to the website Future Church, the number of priests in the Twin Cities archdiocese actually has gone up slightly, from 449 to 454, since 2004.

Praying for peace

Hennepin Av. United Methodist Church is holding an interfaith "A Time for Peace" rally Sunday afternoon.

"We are hoping that this is the first step in a movement that brings together people of faith and heart to witness for an end to the devastation that is war," said the Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay, pastor of Richfield United Methodist Church.

She will lead the rally with Rabbi Amy Bernstein from Temple Israel in Duluth, Bishop Sally Dyck of the United Methodists in Minnesota, Iraq war veteran Brandon Day and Rick Hanson, the father of a soldier. Singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen will perform.

The service begins at 2 p.m. in the church, 511 Groveland Av., Minneapolis.

New Bible, take one

A company that delivers installments of books via e-mail has added the Bible to its inventory.

DailyLit (www.dailylit.com) sends out installments of everything from the classics to self-help books. The installments are estimated to take the average reader about five minutes. If the book is in the public domain because its copyright has expired, the service is free.

That's the case with the Bible, which is a King James version. So far, availability is limited to the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) and the first four from the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). But the company is promising that by the time you finish those, more will be available.

How long will it take to read the Bible via e-mail? It depends on whether you want to get the installments five or seven days a week. The company estimates that the entire Bible eventually will comprise somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,100 installments. That means a bit more than three years of e-mails if you get them daily, or about four years if you get them only on weekdays.

New Bible, take two

Want to carry the Bible wherever you go, but need something lighter and less bulky than a bound version? Now there's a microscopic edition. Not much larger than a postage stamp, the type for the Itty Bitty Bible has been reduced 258 times and printed on a plastic microscope slide that is 1 ¼ inches square. To read it, you need a standard compound microscope. OK, having to lug around a microscope takes a lot away from its convenience. But we're guessing that at just $10 apiece, the manufacturer is going more for the novelty factor than practical use. It is available from www.ittybittybible.com in either King James or Catholic Latin versions.

Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392