ADVENT: Prepare for Christ’s coming INSIDE: Resources, commentaries to enrich your Advent season, 30-31 December 7, 2012
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Year of faith
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
Words from the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is devoting his Wednesday general audiences during the Year of Faith to exploring questions we all have about our faith and offering us guidance. Here are recent excerpts:
Pope Benedict XVI
Advent is time to renew faith, bring God’s love to others
dvent’s liturgical preparation for Christmas calls Christians to renew their faith in the reality of God’s great love and to make a commitment to bringing His love to the world today, Pope Benedict XVI said. Advent, he said, “places before us the bright mystery of the coming of God’s Son, the great plan of God’s goodness through which He desires to draw us to Himself to let us live in full communion, joy and peace with Him.” Addressing an estimated 4,000 people at his weekly general audience Dec. 5, Pope Benedict also asked for prayers for peace in Congo, where continuing ethnic violence and civil strife have led to dozens of deaths and has forced thousands of people to flee their homes. In response to the fighting and “the serious humanitarian crisis” it was causing, the pope called for “dialogue and reconciliation,” and he asked the international community to take action to meet the needs of the Congolese people. In his main audience talk, Pope Benedict continued his reflections on the Year of Faith, which he opened in October. Accepting God’s love and freely choosing to follow His ways “brings a fundamental change in how we relate to the entire created reality. Everything appears in a new light; it is a true conversion. Faith is a change of mentality because God, who has made Himself known in Christ and has made His plan of salvation known, draws us to Himself.” “Faith is accepting God’s vision of reality, allowing God to guide us with His word and sacraments in understanding what we must do, the path we must follow, how we must live,” he said. “In the midst of many difficulties, Advent invites us once again to renew our certainty that God is present, He entered into the world, becoming human like us, in order to bring to fullness His plan of love.” In return, the pope said, “God asks that we, too, become signs of His action in the world. Through our faith, our hope and our charity, He wants to enter into the world once again and make His light shine in our darkness.”
Oct. 24: What is faith? What is life’s meaning? Is there a future for humanity, for us and for the generations to come? What awaits us beyond the threshold of death? The world of planning – of precise calculation and of experimentation, in a word, the knowledge of science – although important for human life, is not enough. We do not only need bread, we need love, meaning and hope, a sound foundation that helps us to live with an authentic meaning even in times of crisis, in darkness, in difficulty, and with our daily problems. Faith gives us precisely this: it is a confident entrustment to a “You” who is God, who gives me a different certitude, but no less solid than that which comes from precise calculation or from science. Faith is not a mere intellectual assent of the human person to specific truths about God; it is an act with which I entrust myself freely to a God who is Father and who loves me; it is adherence to a “You” who gives me hope and trust.
Oct. 31: The faith of the Church Faith is something intensely personal: a gift of God which transforms and enriches our life. At the same time, the gift of faith is given in and through the community of the Church. In baptism I receive and appropriate the faith of the Church; my personal faith finds expression in the recitation of the Creed and in the communal celebration of the sacraments. The new life I live in Christ through the gift of His Spirit is received and nourished within the Church’s communion. In this sense, the Church is our Mother.
Nov. 7: The Desire of God God has created us for Himself and, in the words of St. Augustine, our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him. Even in today’s secularized society, this desire for God continues to make itself felt, above all in the experience of love.
In love, which seeks the good of the other, we find ourselves by giving ourselves away, in a process involving the purification and healing of our hearts. Thanks to this innate religious sense, we can open our hearts to the gift of faith which draws us ever closer to God, the source of all good and the fulfilment of our deepest desire.
Nov. 14: Ways of coming to know God By His grace, God inspires and accompanies our efforts to know Him and to find our happiness in Him. Yet today, in our secularized world, faith often seems difficult to justify; we are faced with a “practical” atheism, a tendency to think and live “as if God did not exist.” Yet once God is removed from our lives, we become diminished, for our greatest human dignity consists in being created by God and called to live in communion with Him.
Nov. 21: The reasonableness of faith Through faith we come to true knowledge of God and ourselves, and learn to live wisely in this world as we await the fullness of life and happiness in the next. Faith and reason are meant to work together in opening the human mind to God’s truth. By its nature, faith seeks understanding, while the mind’s search for truth finds inspiration, guidance and fulfilment in the encounter with God’s revealed word. Far from being in conflict, faith and science go hand in hand in the service of man’s moral advancement and his wise stewardship of creation.
Nov. 28: How to speak about God to others How are we to speak about God to our contemporaries? This means bringing the God of Jesus Christ to the men and women of our time. It means bearing quiet and humble witness each day to the core of the Gospel message. This is the Good News of the God who is Love, who has drawn near to us in Jesus Christ even to the Cross, and who in the Resurrection brings us the hope and promise of eternal life. Jesus gave us an example: by His loving concern for people’s questions, struggles and needs, He led them to the Father. In the task of bringing God to our contemporaries, families play a privileged role, for in them the life of faith is lived daily in joy, dialogue, forgiveness and love.
More online At www.annusfidei.va: Read the pope’s full commentaries and watch videos of his general audiences on the Year of Faith. And check out the live webcast of his audiences each Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. Rome time).
Your daily Scripture readings SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 9-15
Sunday: Baruch 5:1-9, Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11, Luke 3:1-6; Monday: Isaiah 35:1-10, Luke 5:17-26; Tuesday (St. Damasus): Isaiah 40:1-11, Matthew 18:12-14; Wednesday (Our Lady of Guadalupe): Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18-19, Luke 1:26-38; Thursday (St. Lucy): Isaiah 41:13-20, Matthew 11:11-15; Friday (St. John of the Cross): Isaiah 48:17-19, Matthew 11:16-19; Saturday: Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11, Matthew 17:9-13
SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 16-22
Sunday: Zephaniah 3:14-18, Isaiah 12:26, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:10-18; Monday: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Matthew 1:1-17; Tuesday: Jeremiah 23:5-8, Matthew 1:18-25; Wednesday: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Luke 1:5-25; Thursday: Isaiah 7:10-14, Luke 1:26-38; Friday: (St. Peter Canisius): Song of Songs 2:8-14, Luke 1:39-45; Saturday: 1 Samuel 1:24-28, 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8, Luke 1:46-56
SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THE WEEK OF DEC. 23-29
Sunday: Micah 5:1-4, Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-45; Monday: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14,16, Luke: 1:67-79; Tuesday: Isaiah 9:1-6, Titus 2:1114, Luke 2:1-14; Wednesday (St. Stephen): Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Matthew 10:17-22; Thursday (St. John): 1 John 1:1-4, John 20:1-8; Friday: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Matthew 2:13-18; Saturday (St. Thomas Becket): 1 John 2:3-11, Luke 2:22-35
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com catholic news heraldI
Online resources for your Year of Faith www.annusfidei.va The official Vatican site for the Year of Faith, this is a must-see for your own journey. Here you’ll find: – the full text of “Porta Fidei,” Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter announcing the Year of Faith – the full text of all the Vatican II documents, including the four constitutions: “Dei Verbum,” “Lumen Gentium,” “Sacrosanctum Concilium” and “Gaudium et Spes” – catechetical talks by Pope Benedict on the Apostles and saints, the Church Fathers, leading Catholic women, medieval theologians, and prayer
www.usccb.org At the U.S. bishops’ website, check out a video series on the Year of Faith, download Catholic prayers and catechetical resources for free, search the Catechism of the Catholic Church, get games for kids, check out resources for families, and more.
‘My Year of Faith’ app An app with daily content updates to help you to a deeper understanding of Catholicism, an increased prayer life, and reflections and thoughts from nationally known Catholic bloggers, writers and speakers – including blogger Lisa Hendey of CatholicMom.com. Produced by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the app is available for iOS (iPhones, iPads) and Android (smartphones, Kindle Fire) for 99 cents. Don’t have a smartphone? Follow the companion blog at www. myyearoffaith.com.
www.vcat.org A new website featuring “Video Catechism for Teens,” produced by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in association with Outside da Box. Besides the video series on the Nicene Creed, check out free resources geared toward youths and young adults.
www.crs.org/yof Learn how Catholic Relief Services proclaims the Gospel through justice and charity and explore ways to make the Year of Faith a richer, more fulfilling time of renewal and spiritual discovery.
www.flocknote.com/caTechism Read the Catechism over the course of this year: Get daily reflections from the Catechism to your email inbox, for free.
www.OnceCatholic.org A general website geared for people who have left their Catholic faith behind for various reasons. Produced by the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati, Ohio. It offers resources and FAQs on Church teaching, reconnects people with local communities, and features online forums.
Year of Faith indulgence offered Catholics who participate in events connected with the Year of Faith can receive a plenary, or full, indulgence, Pope Benedict XVI has announced. An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven. At www.catholicnewsherald.com/ourfaith: Details on obtaining the indulgence.
The Fathers of the Church
he Church Fathers were influential theologians, bishops or scholars whose writings explained key Scriptural principles in the early Church. They were not all ordained, not all of them became saints, and they were not infallible. But they had powerful communication skills, personal holiness and doctrinal orthodoxy, so we honor them unofficially as “fathers” for their proximity to the Apostles, their explanations of how to understand and apply Scripture, and their ability to teach the Catholic faith. They are generally divided into four categories based on when or where they lived: the Apostolic Fathers, the Greek (Eastern) Fathers, the Latin (Western) Fathers, and others such as the Desert Fathers. The era of the Church Fathers, called the Patristic period, ended in 749 with the death of St. John of Damascus. Apostolic Fathers
The Apostolic Fathers lived and wrote in the second half of the first century and the first half of the second century. They were taught by the Apostles and personally witnessed the birth of the Church. Most were martyred – crucified, beheaded, fed to the lions at the Roman colosseum, boiled in oil or burned alive. They were the ones empowered by the Holy Spirit and who personally handed on the oral teaching of Jesus Christ, before the New Testament canon was collected in the late 4th century and then translated into Latin by a later Church Father, St. Jerome. n St. Clement: One of these Fathers, St. Clement, is actually mentioned in the Bible – in Philippians 4:3. Before he died in about the year 96, he wrote an epistle (1 Clement) calling on the Christians of Corinth to maintain harmony and order. His letter was copied and widely read in the early Church, and it is the earliest Christian epistle outside the New Testament. n St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-110): He was the third bishop of Antioch (the see of Peter before he went to Rome) and a student of John the Evangelist, believed to be the author of the Gospel of John. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, where he was devoured by lions in the colosseum, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which we still have today. His hastily-written
letters covered many topics: ecclesiology, the sacraments, the authority of bishops, and the Sabbath. He stressed the value of the Eucharist, and he coined the term “Catholic Church.” n St. Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69-c. 155): He was a bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey) and a disciple of John the Evangelist known more for his spectacular martyrdom than anything he wrote. Around 155, Polycarp was captured and dragged to the stadium to be burned alive for not paying homage to the emperor. He shouted to the watching proconsul: “You threaten me with fire, which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished. But you are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment ... What are you waiting for? Bring forth what you will.” Many witnesses reported that the rising flames did not burn his body. Losing patience, his killers stabbed him to death, and so much blood flowed from his body that the fire was doused.
The Greek Fathers, who wrote in Greek, included St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Athanasius of Alexandria, St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril of Alexandria, the Cappadocian Fathers (St. Basil of Caesarea, St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. Peter of Sebaste and St. Gregory of Nyssa), Maximus the Confessor, and St. John of Damascus. n St. Irenaeus of Lyons: A bishop in Gaul (now Lyons, France), notable early Catholic apologist and disciple of St. Polycarp. His best-known book, “Against Heresies” (c. 180), enumerated heresies and attacked them. He proposed that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all be accepted as canonical. FATHERS, SEE page 20
St. Basil the Great, one of the Cappadocian Fathers. His feast day is Jan. 2 (Western Churches) and Jan. 1 (Eastern Churches). Members of St. Basil Eastern Catholic Mission will mark their patron’s feast with Vigil Vespers and Communion service at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 31, at the Charlotte Catholic High School chapel. All are welcome. See www.stbasil. weebly.com for details.
Learn more online Pope Benedict XVI has delivered many addresses about the Church Fathers, lauding their unique role in building up the Church and their continued relevance today. Online at www.annusfidei.va: Read the pope’s take on famous Church Fathers such as St. Leo the Great, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, St. Cyril, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen and St. Hilary of Poitiers, as well as some of the lesser known Fathers, including St. Paulinus, St. Chromatius of Aquileia and Aphraates “the Sage.”
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 OUR PARISHES
Diocesan calendar of events BELMONT Queen OF THE apostles CHURCH, 503 NORTH MAIN ST. — Community breakfast with Santa: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. All are welcome.
Bishop Peter J. Jugis Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following events over the next two months: Jan. 3, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. Blessing and Dedication of Good Shepherd Gardens Salisbury Jan. 7-11 Annual Retreat for Bishops Jan. 11 – Noon March for Life Charlotte Pastoral Center
— Penance Service: 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 — “Engaging the Story: The Birth of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke,” Bible study: 7:15 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 Catherine’s House, 400 Mercy Dr. — 20th Anniversary Celebration and annual Tree Lighting Ceremony: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. All are welcome. Food and beverages provided. For details: www.catherineshouseinc.org, or contact Office Manager Patsy Fuller (704-825-9599 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
CHARLOTTE ST. ANN CHURCH, 3635 PARK ROAD — Missa Cantata: 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 — Christmas Eve Mass: 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., midnight — Christmas Day Mass: 9 a.m. St. Basil Eastern Catholic Mission, 7702 Pinevillematthews road (Charlotte catholic High school Chapel) — Feast of the Nativity with Matins and Typica Service: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25 — Great Vespers for the Feast of St. Basil the Great: 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31 ST. GABRIEL CHURCH, 3016 PROVIDENCE ROAD — Worth School Choir presents a program of Christmas music: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 ST. JOHN NEUMANN CHURCH, 8451 IDLEWILD ROAD — Feast of the Immaculate Conception: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 ST. MATTHEW church, 8015 BALLANTYNE COMMONS Pkwy.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
— Recollection by a Priest of Opus Dei: Men, 7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14; women, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15
HIGH POINT IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, 605 BARBEE Avenue — Parish Advent Reconciliation Service: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
— Watch “Catholicism”: 7-9 p.m. Dec. 13, Banquet Room — Healing prayer service: first Monday of each month, 7:30 p.m. in the chapel
— “Joyful Longing,” a family Advent gathering: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
ST. PATRICK cathedral, 1621 dilworth ROAD EAST — National Night of Prayer for Life: 9 p.m.–1 a.m. Dec. 7
— Feast of the Immaculate Conception Masses: 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 St. Thomas Aquinas church, 1400 Suther Road — Men of Veritas: All men are invited on the second and fourth Saturdays, at 8:30 a.m. Contact menofveritas@ stacharlotte.com.
St. MARK CHURCH, 14740 STUMPTOWN ROAD — Hora Santa en Español: 7:30-8:30 p.m. Primeros Viernes
MINT HILL ST. LUKE CHURCH, 13700 LAWYERS ROAD — Annual National Night of Prayer for Life, uniting the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with the Feast of St. Juan Diego: 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, to Sunday, Dec. 9
— “Rosary for Life”: Join the Respect Life group to pray each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 7 p.m. To participate, contact Gretchen Filz at gfilz10@ ses.edu or 704-919-0935.
ST. THERESE CHURCH, 217 BRAWLEY SCHOOL ROAD — Advent Penance Service: 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10
Our Lady of Grace church, 2205 West market ST. — Traditional Latin Mass: Offered each Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Missa Cantatas will be offered on Dec. 16 and Dec. 25 at 1 p.m.
— Advent Meditation Service: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 — Christmas Eve Mass: 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and midnight Mass
— Come celebrate the Advent Season with the Grimsley High School Choir: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. All are welcome. For details, call Rita Everle at 336-274-6520.
— Christmas Day Mass: 10:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. (Spanish)
St. Mary’s Church, 812 duke st.
— Holy Day Vigil: 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31
— Para honrar a la Virgen María, rezamos el Santo Rosario: Todos los Domingos a las 5:30 p.m. — Feast of the Immaculate Conception: 9 a.m. Dec. 8 — Parish Penance Service: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20
LEXINGTON OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY CHURCH, 619 s. MAIN ST. — Candle and Prayer Service: Midnight Tuesday, Dec. 11 — Christmas Eve Mass: 5 p.m. followed by a Nativity pageant
ST. PIUS X Church, 2210 North elm st. — Knights of Columbus host a recitation of the “Rosary of Our Lady”: Second Sunday of each month at 10:20 a.m. All are welcome.
— Misa de Nochebuena: 7 p.m. Seguido por un desfile de Navidad
The following parishes announce plans for celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
n Our Lady of the Annunciation, Albemarle: p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Bojangles’ Coliseum 12:15 p.m. Dec. 16, followed by a reception n Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Charlotte: n St. Eugene, Asheville: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9 7-11 p.m. Martes, Diciembre 11, En el Coliseo de Bojangles’ n Queen of the Apostles, Belmont: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 n St. Thomas Aquinas, Charlotte: 7 p.m. Dec. 12, followed by a reception in the event n St. John Neumann, Charlotte: 7 p.m. hall Wednesday, Dec. 12 n St. Mary, Greensboro: 7 p.m. Wednesday, n Our Lady of Guadalupe, Charlotte: 7-11 Dec. 12
n St. Thomas Aquinas, Charlotte: Misa bilingüe, Miercoles 12 de Diciembre a las 7 p.m. n Our Lady of Lourdes, Monroe: Wednesday, Dec. 12, with the following services: 5-7 a.m., the singing of the mañanitas; 7 p.m., prayers and devotions; 8 p.m., Mass n St. Thérèse, Mooresville: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12
(This list is as of press time Dec. 5. Please check with your local parish to confirm dates and times.)
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December 7, 2012 Volume 22 • Number 3
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Diocese of Charlotte
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com catholic news heraldI
Provide critical support for those who gave ‘faithful service’ Give to the Retirement Fund for Religious Dec. 8-9 SueAnn Howell Senior reporter
CHARLOTTE — The Diocese of Charlotte has been blessed in the past 40 years since its inception by the presence of religious communities which helped pave the way for current and future generations of Catholics living in western North Carolina. On Dec. 8 and 9, people throughout the diocese will have an opportunity to give back to the retired religious, many of whom have given a lifetime of service to the Church, through a second collection at Mass for the 2012 Retirement Fund for Religious. Monsignor Mauricio West, vicar general and chancellor of the diocese, reminds us that, “These women and men – Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests – never stopped to count the cost as they educated the young, cared for the sick, and sought justice for the oppressed. In so doing, they made an inestimable contribution to the Church in the United States, establishing Catholic schools, hospitals and social service agencies.” For most of their lives, elder religious worked for small stipends, without benefit of 401(k) plans or pensions. And, as religious communities are financially autonomous and solely responsible for the support and care of all members, funds collected for the Retirement Fund for will help offset the average annual cost of providing care – estimated at $37,000 per person. And the need for assistance is acute. By 2022, it is projected that religious in the U.S. past age 70 will outnumber those under age 70 by nearly four to one. “I understand many of you have financial difficulties of your own,” says Monsignor West. “I ask simply that you give what you can.”
More online At www.retiredreligious.org: Learn more about the Retirement Fund for Religious and where your money goes At www.catholicnewsherald. com: Read more about some of our retired clergy in “Centuries of service in the Charlotte diocese: Retired priests still serving”
Deacons aging as diocese’s population rises SueAnn Howell Senior reporter
CHARLOTTE — Even as the Diocese of Charlotte continues to grow, it projects a possible decline in the number of deacons serving the faithful in the coming years. The reason is simple: Deacons are retiring from active service here at a faster pace than new candidates are being ordained to take their place. The average age of a deacon in the diocese is 69. By 2018, about half of the diocese’s current 98 deacons will be 75 or older – the age of formal retirement. Right now, nearly half of the diocese’s 92 parishes and missions do not have a deacon to serve them, and by 2018 that number will jump to about 70 percent if the ranks of the permanent diaconate are not replenished. This trend comes at a time when the diocese’s permanent diaconate program is celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, and deacons are shouldering ever more responsibilities in this growing diocese of 325,000 Catholics. Since the first class was ordained in 1983, deacons have filled a vital role in daily parish life – from assisting at Mass, to officiating weddings and baptisms, to leading faith formation and youth ministry groups, to serving the poor, the imprisoned, the airport traveler, and so much more. Plus, there are vibrant multicultural ministries to serve the spiritual needs of Hispanic Catholics and Catholics from Southeast Asia. “The need for deacons is clear in many parts of our diocese and for certain ministry needs,” said Deacon Ron Steinkamp, director of the diocesan permanent diaconate ministry. “Prison and jail ministries need to be expanded; ministry to different language groups in our diocese is a distinct need; and areas of our diocese just do not have deacons in ministry – 39 of our parishes and missions do not have a deacon at present and by 2018, while some retired deacons will surely be active in ministry, 64 of our parishes will not have a deacon under age 75.” One aspect of the diocese’s growth is the fact that 40 percent of the 98 deacons currently serving in the diocese were not ordained here: they moved here from other places, either looking for employment opportunities in Charlotte or the Triad or seeking retirement in the southern clime. And there are more deacons moving in to the diocese than moving out, Deacon Steinkamp notes. The growth and aging trends in this diocese are echoed across the United States. There are 17,816 permanent deacons currently in the U.S. serving more than 77.7 million Catholics. Statistically speaking, that’s only one deacon for every 4,322 parishioners. That number is up from previous years, but it is not keeping pace with the growing Catholic population in the U.S. Besides the expected aging of the current ranks of deacons, adding to the trend – nationwide as well as in the diocese – is “the development of a more lengthy and rigorous formation process that has led to a slower growth in ordinations nationwide,” Deacon
sueann howell | catholic news herald
Deacons of the Diocese of Charlotte are pictured during Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte on Aug. 10, the feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. Bishop Peter J. Jugis celebrated the Mass during which the deacons reaffirmed their commitment to serve him and the diocese. Steinkamp noted. The permanent diaconate as we now know it is still fairly new in the life of the Church: Rome approved the re-establishment of the permanent diaconate after Vatican II and it began in the U.S. in 1968. Over the years, discernment has become more in-depth and training has become more comprehensive. DEACONS, SEE page 10
Deacons honored for their service to the Diocese of Charlotte CHARLOTTE — Fifteen deacons were recently recognized for reaching milestone anniversaries in their ordained ministry: 40 years — Deacon Ralph Eckoff: Ordained for the Diocese of Phoenix, he came to North Carolina and was assigned to St. Margaret Mary Church in Swannanoa in 2003. He retired from active ministry in 2006. 35 years — Deacon Stephen Horai Jr.: Ordained May 14, 1977, for the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., he has lived in Charlotte since 1986. He served at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Charlotte until retiring from ministry in 2002. Deacon Ronald Sherwood: Ordained for the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, on Sept. 22, 1977, he moved to Charlotte and in 2004 was assigned to St. Mark Church in Huntersville. Deacon Sidney Huff: Ordained on Dec. 11, 1977, for the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., he was assigned in 2007 to Our Lady of Lourdes
Church in Monroe. 30 years — Deacon George Szalony: Ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago on April 18, 1982, he began his ministry in the Charlotte diocese in 1995 with parish assignments before taking on Airport Ministry at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in 2008. He is also the past director of diaconate formation for the diocese. Deacon Anthony P. Marini: Ordained for the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., on April 17, 1982, he served at St. William Church in Murphy beginning in 1997 and later at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville before retiring to Florida. Deacon John O. Zimmerle: Ordained for the Diocese of Patterson, N.J., on March 27, 1982, he served many years in the Diocese of Trenton and was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Church in 2001 upon moving to North Carolina.
25 years — Deacon James Johnson: Ordained by Bishop John Donoghue on June 27, 1987, he serves at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Morganton and also serves as chaplain for Scouting in the diocese. Deacon J. Patrick Crosby: Ordained for the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y., on Aug. 8, 1987, he moved to the Charlotte diocese in 1999 and serves at Sacred Heart Church in Brevard. 20 years — Deacon Robert Kratchman: Ordained on May 14, 1992, for the Archdiocese of Newark, he retired and recently moved to the Charlotte diocese, where he serves at St. Thérèse Church in Mooresville. 15 years — Deacon Matthew Reilly Jr.: Ordained on Sept. 20, 1997, for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., he moved to the Charlotte diocese and was assigned to St. Philip the Apostle Church in Statesville in 2007. Deacon
James Gorman: Ordained for the Archdiocese of New York on June 7, 1997, he was assigned to St. John Neumann Church in Charlotte since 2010 when he relocated to this diocese. 10 years — Deacon Roland R. Geoffroy: Ordained for the Diocese of Providence, R.I., on Oct. 18, 2002, he came to Charlotte in 2006 and is assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Monroe. Deacon Joseph H. Fugere: Ordained on June 8, 2002, for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, he came to the Charlotte diocese in 2010 and serves at St. John the Baptist Church in Tryon. 5 years — Deacon J. Barone: Ordained on Feb. 10, 2007, for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, he was assigned to Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews and Prince of Peace Mission in Robbinsville in 2011. — compiled by Deacon Ron Steinkamp, director of the Permanent Diaconate for the Diocese of Charlotte
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 OUR PARISHES
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Memorial Mass celebrated for parents grieving a child’s death
Don’t forget! Saturday, Dec. 8, is a holy day of obligation for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the patron feast day of the United States. That means all Catholics must attend Mass that day. This feast commemorates the fact that Mary was born without the stain of original sin – “full of grace” – because from the beginning God created her as the perfect living tabernacle for Our Savior. To learn more about Mary’s role in salvation, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church 487-493. (Attending the Sunday vigil Mass on Saturday afternoon does not satisfy the requirement to attend the feast day Mass. The liturgy for the feast day Mass is different than for Sunday Mass.)
Join the March for Life in D.C. Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the U.S., and many parishes across the diocese are arranging buses and caravans to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24-25, 2013, to testify against the brutality of abortion and speak up for the rights of all women and their unborn children. Parishes which are organizing buses include: St. Barnabas in Arden, St. Vincent de Paul in Charlotte, St. Michael in Gastonia, St. Aloysius in Hickory, and St. Mark in Huntersville. Contact each parish office for details. Seats are usually limited, so make your reservations as soon as possible.
Providing gifts to children
this Christmas MORGANTON — Students in the 2013 confirmation class at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Morganton recently prepared more than 100 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The boxes of gifts will be shipped to children around the world at Christmastime. — Terri Martino
Take a trip to the Holy Land Join Father Lucas Rossi and Father Christopher Roux on a grace-filled pilgrimage to the Holy Land March 1-9, 2013. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus and His disciples in visiting many of the places we read about in Sacred Scripture. There are still seats left; a deposit of $1,600, depending on discounts approximately 40% of the total, should be made before Dec. 19 to hold your seat (after that date there may still be seats but the fares may increase). Go to www.stpatricks.org to find a brochure and application for the trip, or drop by St. Patrick Cathedral (Charlotte), St. Benedict the Moor Church (Winston-Salem) or Good Shepherd Mission (King) to pick one up.
Megan Barnes Intern
‘It is God our Heavenly Father who continues to care for and love your children, as they make a new home with Him in heaven.’ — Father Carmen Malacari
pastor, Holy Spirit Church in Denver
CHARLOTTE — More than two dozen men and women gathered at St. Peter Church in Charlotte Nov. 30 to remember and pray for their children who have died during the annual Remembering Our Children Mass. The annual Mass is sponsored by the combined efforts of the dioceses of Charlotte and Charleston. Before Mass began, parents were encouraged to sign a book with their child’s name and a message or a prayer. Next to the book were two vases filled with pink and yellow roses for parents to take in honor of their little girl or boy. Maggi Nadol, director of the diocese’s Respect Life Program, welcomed the parents before Mass and acknowledged the solemnity of the occasion and grief that they experience. “This is a very sad journey. I hope (this Mass) gives you some sense of peace or comfort. I hope it can start you on a journey, or help you continue to be healed,” Nadol said. She and her counterpart from the Diocese of Charleston, Kathy Schmugge, Family Life Director, jointly organized the memorial Mass and reception. Father Carmen Malacari, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Denver, celebrated the memorial Mass, and Deacon Tom Rasmussen of St. Aloysius Church in Hickory assisted. During his homily, Father Malacari referred to several relevant Gospel passages that would give peace to the grieving. He started with Jesus telling His Apostles that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God, they must look to the children, for it is the children who teach us what it means to be great in the Kingdom. “We know that children are a great bundle of joy, of love, of purity of mind and of heart, of innocence, and of healthy dependence. It is those beautiful qualities that I’m sure you as parents hold as treasure in your hearts as you recall and remember the beauty of the life that you held, no matter how short or long of a period that you had,” Father Malacari said. Another passage Father Malacari highlighted was the weeping of Jesus over the death of His friend Lazarus. The incident illustrates the humanity of Jesus – that He understands what we endure because of the death of a child or another loved one. But the story did not end with Jesus weeping and grieving. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, He taught Martha and Mary and all those gathered that He is the Lord of Resurrection, and that if we believe in Him we too will be granted the gift of everlasting life. “Even though our hearts are burdened and heavy with grief
and sorrow over the loss of our children, the Lord Jesus reminds us in these times that it is in looking to Him that He assures us that our loved ones are now with Him, residing in His heavenly kingdom. “He is not the god of the dead, but God of the living. It is God our Heavenly Father who continues to care for and love your children, as they make a new home with Him in heaven,” Father Malacari preached. After Mass, the parents were invited to a reception where Renee Pierson, a local parishioner, shared the story of her son’s death less than two days after being born. Pierson’s son Tanner was given a fatal diagnosis while she was still pregnant. After an emergency caesarean section, Pierson was given the news that Tanner was alive but the doctors weren’t sure how long he would live. He was baptized and confirmed before passing away 36 hours after he was born. It happened 12 years ago, yet the memory of her son’s brief life and death remain vividly in her heart. Pierson’s testimony underscored the beauty of the message of the memorial Mass: that no matter when the death of a child occurs, or from what cause, the memory of that precious child will always live on. That parents have to go through grief, not get over it. That there will always be reminders of the children that bring back both happy and heartbreaking memories, and that is OK. Most importantly, Pierson noted, a grieving parent’s journey is difficult, but it can be paradoxically rewarding. One must pray for the strength to get through each and every day, hour and minute, and the Lord will provide, she said. Today, Pierson has two other beautiful children who attended the Mass and reception with her. Also attending the Mass and reception were people who were grieving different circumstances in similar ways. Judy Townsend, active with the Be Not Afraid network in South Carolina, shared that she suffered two miscarriages. As spokesperson for the network that supports expecting mothers through poor prenatal diagnoses, Townsend brought information about some of the services Be Not Afraid provides to these parents in need. Be Not Afraid assists parents in counseling, encouraging them to reject abortion and carry their child to term, arranging for priests in instances of emergency baptism, and providing a support system for the grieving parents after their loss. Another person who attended the Mass was a young man who recently and suddenly had a few of his college friends pass away. He was there to remember his friends, but also there to pray for their parents.
National Night of Prayer for Life set for Dec. 8-9 CHARLOTTE — This year marks the 23rd annual Night of Prayer for Life, linking the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, with the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego on Dec. 9, 1531. The National Night of Prayer for Life bridges these two feasts to pray for the sanctity of life. It is a pro-life prayer service consisting of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the rosary, silent prayers and hymns. Parishes participating include: n Holy Angels, Mt. Airy: 6-10 p.m. Dec. 8 n Holy Cross, Kernersville: 9 p.m.1 a.m. Dec. 8-9 n Holy Family, Clemmons: Adoration 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 8 n Holy Spirit, Denver: 6-7 p.m. Dec. 5 n Our Lady of the Assumption, Charlotte: Contact parish office at 704-535-9965 n Our Lady of Guadalupe, Charlotte: 8 p.m.-6 a.m. Dec. 8-9 n Our Lady of the Highways, Thomasville: 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 7-8 n Sacred Heart, Salisbury: 7-8 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Ann, Charlotte: 6-10 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Gabriel, Charlotte: Perpetual Adoration n St. John Baptist de La Salle, North Wilkesboro: 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8 (Hispanic community) n St. James, Concord: 9-11 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Leo the Great, WinstonSalem: 7-11 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Luke, Mint Hill: 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 8-9 n St. Margaret of Scotland, Maggie Valley: Mass at 4 p.m. Dec. 8, followed by a Holy Hour n St. Michael, Gastonia: 6-7 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Patrick Cathedral, Charlotte: 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 7-8 n St. Pius X, Greensboro: 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 8-9 n St. Thomas Aquinas, Charlotte: 6:30-9 p.m. Dec. 8 (This list is as of press time Dec. 5. Please check with your local parish to confirm dates and times.) For inquiries, contact Maggi Nadol, diocesan Respect Life program director, at mnadol@ charlottediocese.org.
At www.nationalnightofprayer forlife.org: Learn more and download prayers written in both English and Spanish.
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
The â€œExtreme Makeover: Home Editionâ€? house in Lincolnton begins to take shape in December 2011.
Photo provided by Bellamy homes via facebook
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Local â€˜Extreme Makeoverâ€™ to air Dec. 10 LINCOLNTON â€” A Catholic builder, Belmont Abbey College students and countless area volunteers will finally get their chance to see themselves on TV as the â€œExtreme Makeover: Home Editionâ€? episode filmed last winter will air Dec. 10. The Friday family of Lincolnton was given the gift of a new home last December, as Ty Pennington and crew demolished the familyâ€™s old home and built a new one in only a week. The two-hour Christmas-themed episode will air at 8 p.m. Dec. 10 on ABC, according to a press release from the network. The Fridays have been foster parents to more than 30 children, including adopting a family of five siblings. Because their house was too small, the Fridays were forced to convert their carport into makeshift bedrooms to make space for the children. The episode features an appearance by racecar driver Michael Waltrip, the NBA Charlotte Bobcatsâ€™ female dance troupe, and even The Grinch shows up to help with the build. Frank Hereda, a parishioner in the
Get more â€œExtreme Makeover: Home Editionâ€? At www.catholicnewsherald.com: Read more about the Friday family, the home builder and his Catholic faith, and Belmont Abbey Collegeâ€™s scholarship gift.
Diocese of Charlotte, and his company, Bellamy Homes, surprised Devonda and James Friday on Dec. 11, 2011, along with the â€œExtreme Makeover: Home Editionâ€? gang. They demolished the Fridaysâ€™ house, located at 105 Moore St. in Lincolnton, and volunteers helped build one large enough to accommodate everyone. â€œExtreme Makeoverâ€? also created a storefront for the Friday familyâ€™s House of Hope charity. Belmont Abbey College hosted the pep rally before the build and offered scholarships to all of the familyâ€™s children. â€” Catholic News Herald
Elkin, North Wilkesboro women gather to begin â€˜Walking with Purposeâ€™ Sister Janis McQuade, S.S.J. Special to the Catholic News Herald
ELKIN â€” Nearly four dozen women from St. Stephen Mission in Elkin and St. John Baptist de la Salle Church in North Wilkesboro recently gathered to kick off â€œWalking with Purpose,â€? a Catholic womenâ€™s Bible study program involving small group discussions and personal study to help women connect their everyday lives and challenges to Godâ€™s Word found in the Bible and in Church teaching. As they entered the St. Stephen Family Life Center, the women were greeted warmly by the Walking with Purpose Team. Many â€œoohsâ€? and â€œaahsâ€? echoed in the space as they perused the beautifully prepared space in hot pink and green, the homemade supper and specialty desserts of cookies and cupcakes. On the opposite end of the room they saw a table lined with their WWP Scripture books, gift-wrapped in hot pink and lime ribbons, and topped with a personalized name tag. Every loving detail was the result of 14 months of praying, planning and creative energy. Following dinner, Diane Whitmanâ€™s presentation cited all the confirming graces she received as she assembled the Walking with Purpose team and they began to plan
for this journey. Supported by a generous diocesan grant and coupled with their resilient faith, the team of Carmen Kitts, Ronnie Krakovsky, Debbie Parrish, June Soots and Whitman said they trust God will lead them in this effort. In their concluding prayer ritual, each participant received their Walking with Purpose book, â€œThe Better Part,â€? and its companion scripture reflection book, â€œChoosing the Better Part.â€? As they accepted their books, the participants were greeted with, â€œMay the Word of God, rich as it is, help you to walk with purpose.â€? Each woman responded with a resounding â€œAmen!â€? On Oct. 16, the 44 women taking part in Walking With Purpose moved into their weekly study groups, to focus on studying the Gospel of John. Once a month they are also coming together for â€œPriority Talks.â€? These plenary sessions are focusing on topics such as â€œGod: First Place in Everythingâ€? and â€œYour Heart: Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of God.â€? Learn more about Walking with Purpose at www.walkingwithpurpose.com. Sister of St. Joseph Sister Janis McQuade serves at St. Stephen Mission in Elkin.
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Is your parish or organization looking for a guest speaker during this Year of Faith? Invite us to offer Retreats and Presentations on the writings of St. Francis & St. Clare of Assisi.
www.franciscanpassages.org Franciscan Passages is a 501ÂŠ3 non-profit based in Lexington, NC
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 OUR PARISHES
‘Coetus fidelium’ raising funds for traditional Latin Mass vestments
Imitation of Mary at heart of ‘Wear the Veil Day’ Dec. 8
Hopes to provide diocesan clergy with sets for every liturgical season
Effort aims to reignite tradition SueAnn Howell Senior reporter
SueAnn Howell Senior reporter
CHARLOTTE — Most every Wednesday night Catholics can attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 6 p.m. at St. Ann Church on Park Road. For those who experienced the “old” Latin Mass in their youth, they’ll remember the sacred vestments worn by the bishop, priest, deacon and subdeacons. The ornate design of these vestments is rich in Church history and helps set a specific tone to the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, or MEF, that is not seen as often in the “ordinary form” (“Novus Ordo”) Mass most of us experience. Now a group devoted to encouraging the MEF in the Diocese of Charlotte is helping to raise money to buy these vestments for diocesan clergy who may want to use them, and the response to this fund-raising initiative is “overwhelmingly supportive,” said Chris Lauer. Lauer is procurator of a Charlotte area group calling itself “Coetus Fidelium” (Latin for “core group”) whose aim is to support awareness and celebration of the old Mass. Their name comes from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum,” which encourages the celebration of the old Mass. The group is comprised of 65 families from 11 parishes in the Charlotte area, Lauer said. So far the group and other supporters have raised enough money to buy sets of white, violet and red vestments, which cost $7,000 each. Continued fund raising will enable the group to purchase vestment sets in the other liturgical colors, green and black, Lauer said. Each set includes a cope for the bishop or priest celebrant, humeral veil (used to cover the hands and arms while holding the Blessed Sacrament), chasuble with stole for the priest, dalmatic with stole for the deacon, tunicle for the subdeacon, three maniples, plus a burse and chalice veil for the Eucharistic celebration. The vestments are being made by Ditta Annibale VESTMENTS, SEE page 21
CHARLOTTE — A new apostolate has sprung up in the Diocese of Charlotte, led by two Catholic women who are also active in other parish, diocesan and national ministries. Their latest effort is to encourage and educate women about the beauty of wearing a veil or mantilla at Mass and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Andrea Hines, a parishioner at St. Ann Church, and Tina Witt, a parishioner at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, have teamed up to spearhead “Wear the Veil Day” on Saturday, Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Hines recently explained to the Catholic News Herald her motivation for “Wear the Veil Day” and the effort to encourage more women to wear veils regularly:
SueAnn Howell | Catholic News Herald
The first set of diocesan vestments, in white, were first used for the Feast of St. Ann on July 26, for a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form (“Missa Solemnis”) at St. Ann Church in Charlotte. Shown here are the deacon and subdeacon (foreground) and the priest (background). For more photos from the Mass, go online to www.catholicnewsherald.com.
What are the traditional Latin Mass vestments? The sacred vestments are visual expressions of the clergy’s role in the Mass. For the priest, the vestments show him as “in persona Christi” (“in the person of Christ”) during the liturgy: Amice: A white linen cloth covering the neck and shoulder, recalling the cloth that the Roman soldiers used to blindfold Jesus while they beat him. Alb: A long white linen robe, signifying innocence. It recalls the Transfiguration, when Jesus was clothed in garments white as the snow, as well as the white robe He was clothed in while Herod reviled Him.
Girdle: A white cord that cinches the alb at the waist, symbolizing purity. The cord also recalls the rope that tied Jesus to the column as He was scourged. Maniple: A length of cloth hung over the left arm, symbolizing several things: the chains that bound Jesus’ hands, the burden of sin, the fatigue of priestly service. It developed from a handkerchief type cloth, which St. Alphonsus Liguori noted was often needed by priests to wipe away their tears during the celebration of the Mass. Stole: A cloth hanging around the neck, crossing over the chest, recalling the rope
tied around Jesus that led Him through the streets of Jerusalem to His crucifixion. Chasuble: The outer robe, symbolizing the royal robe thrown over Jesus by the Roman soldiers as they mocked Him and crowned Him with thorns. It is ornamented with a column and cross design – recalling Jesus’ scourging at the column and His Crucifixion. When a priest prays as he vests, he speaks of the chasuble as the “yoke of Christ.” — Source: “The New Missal for Every Day,” by Father Francis Xavier Lasance, 1949 edition
CNH: Why have you started this effort? Hines: First of all, I must say that I consecrated my heart to the Immaculate Heart several years ago (Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary – St. Louis de Montfort). Our Lady has nudged me to wear a head covering at Mass and always in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I see and hear of women all over the world receiving that same nudge. Tina Witt and I were connected via that nudge. This grassroots movement that Tina and I have started is to make tangible the spiritual call that women are receiving, to connect the women as we have been connected, and to encourage women to carry out the call and to not be afraid to do so. The number one reason why women do not wear a veil, who are interested in doing so, is because they are afraid of what others will think and they don’t want to stand out. This effort also includes helping to get veils out there to women – to make them more readily available. Currently, online shopping is about the only way to purchase a veil. We are asking for women who sew to help in this cause. CNH: What would you say to someone who does not relate to this tradition? Hines: It has to do with reclaiming us as women and men as God designed, in our relationship to Our Lord, within the family unit and with each other. This last century saw an upending of women being women, men being men, causing a breakdown of the family and bringing about societal ills – sexually and otherwise. I personally have been praying for the cleansing of and healing from all the negative effects of the feminist movement – in myself, my spouse, my family and society. When women go back to being the women whom God designed, men can go back to being the men whom God designed. CNH: Ultimately what effect do you hope this effort has within our local parish communities? Hines: I hope this effort leads to more modesty in dress. Also, to lead to humility, chastity (within a person’s vocation) and purity. I hope this effort leads to us being more reverent at Mass and to a deeper relationship to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, as individuals and as a family unit.
More online At www.ourladyoftheveil.org: Get more information about “Wear the Veil Day”
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
Photo provided by Sister Gertrude Gillette
Photos provided by Patrick Richardson
Forty-five inmates at Avery Mitchell Correctional Center in Spruce Pine recently gathered for a two-day retreat called “Residents Encounter Christ.” The intensive retreat, inspired by the Cursillo movement that focuses on spiritual discussion and growth, featured talks by clergy and laypeople, music, discussions and shared meals. At the conclusion of the retreat, men shared posters that they had drawn to express their feelings about God and what they had learned through the experience.
45 men gather to ‘encounter Christ’ during two-day prison retreat Editor’s note: Last names have been withheld to respect the privacy of those being served in the Diocese of Charlotte’s prison ministry. Mike Murray Correspondent
SPRUCE PINE — A weekend retreat held recently at the Avery Mitchell Correctional Center in Spruce Pine was a “spiritual success,” according to Father Christopher Gober, one of the leaders of the Diocese of Charlotte’s prison ministry. The diocesan prison ministry connects laypeople and clergy with inmates in some of the state prisons in the diocese, regularly visiting with prisoners of all kinds to preach the Good News and remind them that God loves them, no matter what they did in the past. A highlight of this ministry is Residents Encounter Christ, or REC – a two-day, religious retreat inspired by the Cursillo movement that focuses on spiritual discussion and growth, featuring talks by clergy and laypeople, music, discussions and shared meals. Forty-five inmates, called residents, attended the REC retreat in October at Avery Mitchell Correctional Center, a medium-security state prison for men. The two-day retreat was a success thanks to offerings from people across the diocese who helped make the weekend a true blessing for all who attended. The REC team that visited the facility consisted of nine male volunteers, Father Gober, and three residents who served as “inside team members.” Many other men and women and even children in the diocese played an important role in the success of the REC retreat through prayer, sacrifice, letters and more.
‘Coming here this weekend is the best decision I have ever made. Thank you.’ The first day
The retreat’s first day began at 7:30 a.m. with retreat team members gathering for prayer and breakfast in Spruce Pine. Some team members had traveled from as far as Tryon (143 miles) and east of Boone (88-mile round trip). With supplies in hand, the team proceeded to the Avery Mitchell prison and through the security checks. Residents attending the REC included both Catholics and other Christians, as well as other religions. The retreat participants volunteered or were selected from those active in attending monthly Masses conducted by Father Gober or weekly study
Get involved Learn more about the prison ministry: Contact Don Waugh from St. Bernadette Parish at 828-284-2471 or 828-766-2766, or Joe Noser from St. Lucien Parish at 828-766-7784 or 828-385-3663. Send donations: St. Bernadette Church, 2085 Highway 105, Linville, N.C. 28646 828-898-6900. Donations should be noted for REC. sessions by REC team members. Some of the Catholics present had received the sacraments from Bishop Peter Jugis last July. After everyone had gathered, the REC began with talks focusing on the Bible, ideals and maturity, as well as time for singing. Father Gober spoke on the topics of death and resurrection, and later about forgiveness. Between these two talks, Juan, an inside team member, spoke about how the Parable of the Prodigal Son related to his life before and after he was imprisoned. Cesar spoke about his change of heart (“metanoia”) and conversion to the Catholic faith while in prison. Residents had a 90-minute period of silent prayer and reflection. Many of the Catholics in the group received the sacrament of reconciliation offered by Father Gober, Father John Eckert from St. John the Baptist Church in Tryon and Father Matthew Buettner from St. Dorothy Church in Lincolnton. One resident, said he was grateful to be able to make his confession after more than 30 years in prison. He was so happy that he could finally receive the Eucharist again, he said. Meanwhile, non-Catholics were also encouraged to talk with the visiting priests, and many chose to do so. John, a Buddhist, said he was surprised when Father Gober spoke almost 10 minutes with him about his faith in a truly non-judgmental way. He and others said they felt the presence of Christ in our priests during their opportunities to talk about Christ’s love and forgiveness. After dinner, the residents were encouraged to place their confidence in Christ and to be open to the love of God expressed in the “palanca” they were given – anonymous letters of support and prayer from people in the diocese. Through these letters, the retreat participants reflected on agape love, hearing from people who were praying for their healing and for them to receive God’s mercy. The residents took the palanca back to their dorms, where they read them that evening.
The second day
Day two began with the residents expressing their happiness about ENCOUNTER, SEE page 25
Christ the King students visit nearby state prison SALISBURY — Students at Christ the King High School recently visited inmates at Piedmont Correctional Facility, a minimum- to medium-security state prison in Salisbury that houses approximately 2,000 men. It is one of 66 state prisons in the state, two dozen of which are in the Diocese of Charlotte, where 38,198 men and women are currently incarcerated. Theology teacher Sister Gertrude Gillette led the visit. Sister Gertrude noted, “Our purpose in taking the students of Christ the King High School to a local prison was first of all to hearken to Jesus’ words: ‘I was ... in prison and you visited me’ (Mt 25:39). Secondly, it was to give the students a concrete experience of the consequences of bad choices. But none of us, teachers or students, had any idea of just how much we would be impacted by the inmates themselves. Hearing the stories of how they landed in jail, how much they miss their families and life outside, how life inside is woefully monotonous and restricting, brought home to all of us the life that we take for granted every day. We are so blessed. “At the same time, we all felt compassionate towards these men (the seven or eight whom we met) who had over time come to acknowledge their crimes and regret them wholeheartedly. The prisoners spent the greater part of the two-hour interview telling the students not to make the mistakes that they had.” Like many of the students who went on the trip, Luke Modzelewski said what he learned was unforgettable. “When I first heard that our school was going to the prison, I thought that these people were going to be cold-hearted and unkind,” Modzelewski said. “My thoughts changed when I heard ‘Smiley’ talk. He was selfless. Jesus said when He judges mankind He will ask us many questions and one of those questions will be, ‘Did you meet me in prison?’ Now, I can proudly say, ‘Yes.’ This experience was life changing.” “The whole experience brought us face to face with the fragility of our fallen human nature, and yet at the same time, how the grace of God can triumph over every human decision, even murderous ones. May God be praised,” Sister Gertrude said. “I highly recommend that all our Catholic high school students have the opportunity to visit their brothers and sisters in prison. It is a powerful experience.”
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 OUR PARISHES
Mercy Sister Mary Anita Sheerin dies in Belmont following struggle with cancer BELMONT — Mercy Sister Mary Anita Sheerin died Nov. 15, 2012, at Marian Center at Sacred Heart Convent in Belmont, following a valiant struggle with stomach cancer. A funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 19, 2012, at Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Chapel in Sacred Heart Convent with Bishop Emeritus William Curlin presiding; Father Christopher Kirchgessner, OSB, principal celebrant; and Father Frank Cancro, homilist. The eulogy was presented by Mercy Sister Carolyn Mary Coll. Burial followed at Belmont Abbey Cemetery. Sister Anita, the youngest daughter of Catherine Came and William Anthony Sheerin, was born on Feb. 10, 1931, in Philadelphia. She graduated from Little Flower Catholic High School and soon after she came south to Belmont to enter the Sisters of Mercy. Sister Anita was dedicated to the education of young people and throughout most of her 62 years as a Sister of Mercy she ministered in elementary education. In preparation Sheerin for that work, she earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Belmont Abbey College, a master’s degree in education administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in religious studies from Fordham University. Sister Anita’s experience in elementary education was extensive. Her teaching career took her to many cities throughout North Carolina, New York and Florida. She taught at St. Mary’s School in Wilmington; St. Michael School in Gastonia; St. Patrick School in Charlotte; Sacred Heart School in Salisbury; St. Eugene School (now Asheville Catholic School); Sacred Heart School in Cutchogue, N.Y.; and Sacred Heart School in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. She also served as principal of the
schools in Charlotte, Gastonia, New York and Florida. Sister Anita eventually broadened her interest in administration, left education and assumed the role of pastoral administrator at St. Francis of the Assisi Church in Mocksville. In this capacity she was responsible for the daily operation of the parish and worked jointly with a visiting pastor. A part of that ministry was visitation of the sick and homebound, and Sister Anita fell in love with that ministry and wished to pursue it full-time. She returned to Asheville as a chaplain at Mission/St. Joseph Hospital. In the hope of expanding her ministry even further, she assumed the position of pastoral associate at St. Eugene Church in Asheville. There she served as director of volunteers, visitor of homebound and hospitalized and was involved in various advocacy activities including Pro-Life, Crop Walk and the needs of the homeless. During this time she was involved in the Cursillo Movement and also served as the Asheville area director of Mercy Association, a group of lay women and men who witness to Mercy in their everyday lives. Sister Anita’s health began to fail in 2011, which led to her retirement to Sacred Heart Convent. Noted for her love of people and her ability to make everyone feel welcomed and cared for, she quickly became involved in small volunteer jobs and engaged readily in activities for the retired sisters. She was once quoted as having said, “My main goal is to give everything I’ve got every day,” and she did that till the end of her life. In addition to the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Anita is survived by her sisters Margaret Rooney of Philadelphia; Catherine McDonnell of Morristown, Pa., and 35 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Father John Sheerin and Joseph Sheerin, and a sister, Sister Agnes Sheerin, CDS. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 100 Mercy Drive, Belmont, N.C. 28012-4805.
DEACONS: FROM PAGE 5
Deacon Steinkamp credits the release of two documents from Rome – the 1998 “Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons” and the 2004 release of the “Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons” – as providing a solid structure for the formation of permanent deacons in the U.S. Deacons in Charlotte must also take the diocese’s two-year Lay Ministry course as part of the usual seven-year formation period, and each class of deacon candidates is closely shepherded by the bishop. The good news, Deacon Steinkamp noted, is that interest in the diaconate continues to rise – a hopeful sign that more men will answer the Holy Spirit’s call. “Our present class of 15 men is expected to be ordained in 2014,” he said. “A new class will begin an ‘aspirant’ phase that we anticipate will be ordained in 2018.” The diocese encourages men who may be discerning a call to the diaconate to explore the issue with their pastor and talk with other deacons about their vocation. At a time when the Church in western North Carolina is growing faster than ever, the need for more laborers in the vineyard continues to rise.
Find out more about the norms expected of those wishing to pursue the diaconate and details about the diaconate and contact information at: www.charlottediocese.org/ministries-a-departments/permanentdiaconate. An informational meeting will be held 9 a.m.-noon March 9, 2013, at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory. Deacon Ron Steinkamp notes: “Attendance is required for any man and his wife who wish to apply to the next formation class, or for any man interested in learning more about the opportunity. Application packets will be provided at that time.”
Retirement Fund for Religious Like thousands of senior religious, Sister of St. Joseph Rita McNally, 88, has spent her life serving others. Today, she and some 34,000 elder Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious. Your gift provides funding for prescription medications, nursing care, and more. Please be generous.
Share in the Care Please give to those who have given a lifetime. To donate: National Religious Retirement Office/CHA 3211 Fourth Street NE Washington DC 20017-1194
Make your check payable to Retirement Fund for Religious.
Or give at your local parish December 8–9.
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
Grievers dread the holidays Nancy Emery Meanix Special to The Catholic Herald
Annette Widelski is pictured escorting Tara Rai to one of many appointments.
Photo provided by Sandy Buck
Helping refugees with transportation, translations a ‘privilege’ for this volunteer Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of articles showcasing how the faithful of the Diocese of Charlotte welcome and support refugees through Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Resettlement Office, which has helped approximately 11,000 refugees from 27 different nationalities since 1975. Tracy Winsor Special to the Catholic News Herald
CHARLOTTE — “I thank her for helping me live longer,” shares refugee Tara Rai. Rai is speaking about Refugee Resettlement Office (RRO) volunteer Annette Widelski, who assists the colon cancer patient by providing transportation to and from his frequent chemotherapy and doctor visits. Rai is from the Asian nation of Bhutan and was resettled here in Charlotte last fall. “If she had not helped me, it would have been hard for me to go for my appointments,” Rai adds. “She keeps me informed about my condition and comes to my home and talks to the family. Sometimes she brings gifts and food as well. I really thank her.” “We depend on volunteers to achieve the important work of refugee resettlement,” says RRO Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Buck. “They work in the office and in our employment program, teaching youth and mentoring families, and when refugees arrive with complicated medical situations, they help us address those very particular needs. It may be a cancer diagnosis or a chronic condition like Type I Diabetes, or sometimes even a disability such as cerebral palsy for which no intervention was available in refugee camps. We are frequently looking for volunteers to help.” “I was happy to do just that,” says Widelski, who began assisting Rai last March. As a retired English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, Widelski has taught many immigrant children. She and her husband had previously volunteered with Catholic Social Services’ refugee office in the 1990s, helping a family from Bosnia. “My father was an immigrant from Poland,” Widelski explains, “so my heart goes out to those who have to adjust to a new country, language and culture.” An RRO email to a ministry with which Widelski worked at St. Gabriel Parish in Charlotte was soliciting drivers to assist with Rai’s transportation. Widelski knew it was something she could do, and she responded immediately. RRO staff member Hasta Pradhan had been managing Rai’s appointments prior to Widelski’s involvement. “I was having a really hard time helping him, as we had other families who also needed immediate help, with transportation and assistance to our usual resettlement appointments like getting to the Department of Social Services, the Social Security Administration, the health department and so on,” says Pradhan. “Mr. Rai’s appointments were many, at least two a week.” Widelski gladly chipped in to help Rai get to all of his appointments, helping to manage his schedule with him.
How can you help? More information about the needs of the diocesan refugee office and opportunities for volunteering is at the Catholic Social Services’ website: www. cssnc.org. From September through June, CSS aids refugee children with their homework and English skills, and takes them on field trips. Volunteers are welcome to help with tutoring, mentoring and chaperoning. The RRO welcomes volunteers for reception/clerical support, the youth afterschool program, furniture donation pickup, apartment sponsors and refugee mentors. You can also send monetary donations to Catholic Social Services Refugee Office, 1123 S. Church St., Charlotte 28203. For inquiries, contact Sandy Buck at 704-370-3283 or skbuck@ charlottediocese.org.
“She has helped in every way,” says Buck, “not only taking him to his appointments, but also helping him make his appointments, consulting with his doctors and making certain that important information is communicated to him, and then providing updates to the RRO staff so that we can best facilitate care for him.” “And while doing all this,” adds Pradhan, “she is also giving equal importance to his psychological needs as a refugee and cancer patient – making him feel comfortable, visiting him and his family, and sharing her experience with him. He is really grateful and we too appreciate her commitment.” Widelski considers her time supporting Rai to be a privilege. “It’s been such a wonderful experience for me. Tara has such a positive attitude, and it is a pleasure to provide him with transportation to chemo at Presbyterian Hospital, to his oncologist’s office, the pharmacy, for scans and any other medical appointments he might have. “This is an important ministry and I think what I do may be more of a blessing to me than to Tara.” Widelski also said she is amazed by how much Rai has improved over the past six months. In spite of his illness, he has gained a great deal of confidence, and his English is improving – though she notes that her Nepali language skills are not! Another of his daughters will be coming to America soon, so Rai and his wife and their children are anxiously awaiting her arrival. “Then their whole family will once again be reunited,” she says, smiling. “No matter the country, the language or the culture – to all of us, it’s about our families.” Rai also speaks fondly of his time with Widelski. “She has become a part of my family,” he says. “On Sept. 12 she came with a gift. We were not aware about the fact that it was the anniversary day of our coming to the USA. This makes me and my family feel comfortable.”
Whether the loved one who has died is a spouse, a child, a sibling or a parent, most of us have one thing in common. We fear the upcoming holidays. Kay Sterling, a Brevard retiree, saw her first husband, John, pass away due to a surprise massive heart attack at age 44 while they were in Greece on business. “That first Christmas I started to drive alone from my place in Washington, D.C., to my mother’s house in northern New Jersey,” she said. “After a while I noticed road signs for Richmond! I started to cry at my stupidity and felt self-pity because of Christmas carols over the radio.” Many years later, she advises widows to find a different place to spend the first holidays, somewhere without strong memories. “Everyone is different and grieves differently, but for me it was a mistake to go where John and I had always visited. “Go ahead and sob into the pillow, because it helps most of us, and don’t play the hermit. We all need people, even if we just go through the motions of a ‘Merry Christmas.’ Ask someone to come for a simple dinner, not all the turkey extravaganza, and warn them you may have to call it a day after just a few hours.” Planning far ahead is important, agree several Hospice Foundation grief therapists. Perhaps last year you flew to your daughter’s or your mother’s, but this year you want to go elsewhere. Airplane tickets must be purchased weeks ahead of time or you might be forced to be alone at home. Keeping everything the same as other years is impossible for some grievers. The chair that Grandpa used at the head of the table perhaps could now be chosen by your oldest granddaughter who will read a poem about her memories of him. That decision shows the continuity of generations in your family. If Aunt Grace loved flowers, place a single red rose where she once sat at the table. After dinner browse photo albums or watch family videos if anyone chooses to join in. “What comes to mind when you think of Mom?” might start a loving spontaneous stream of stories with tears or laughing – or both. Some seasonal activities could be eliminated, such as sending greeting cards, decorating the yard, attending concerts, or baking special sweets. Buy the candies and cookies, or just ignore them this year. For a small family, order several precooked turkey or ham dinners from a community event or a supermarket. Gift exchanges, parties and neighborhood caroling might be too much this year. Discuss skipping them with your family. Most importantly: try to attend Mass on Christmas even if you have avoided crowds for a while. Come early so you can park your car in an easily accessible place, just in case you end up breaking down and leaving early. Nancy Emery Meanix is a freelance writer and parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Brevard. Her husband Bob died in 2010 of congestive heart failure, and she recently led a grief support group in her parish.
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 OUR PARISHES
Director of Faith Formation St. James the Greater Catholic Church St. James the Greater Catholic Church in Concord, NC is seeking a fulltime Director of Faith Formation, managing all religious education for PreK – 5th grade including Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (PreK-6 yrs old), traditional Faith Formation, Reconciliation/First Holy Communion Sacramental Preparation, overseeing Adult Education and Protecting God’s Children. Requirements: practicing Catholic, possess excellent oral and written communication skills, a Bachelor Degree in Catechetics with a minor degree in Theology is preferred. Experience – through internship, summer programs relating to degree or life experience will be considered. Interested candidates please email your resume and cover letter to Patti Andruzzi at firstname.lastname@example.org or send to 139 Manor Avenue SW, Concord, NC 28025.
Photo provided by Sister Janis McQuade, S.S.J.
Confirmed in the Spirit ELKIN — With great joy, members of St. Stephen Mission in Elkin celebrated the sacrament of confirmation Nov. 11. Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin confirmed nine youths during the Sunday liturgy. Pictured with Bishop Curlin are: Dessyre Hernandez, Alex Garcia Jr., Melanie Shur, Josie Dumas, Jacey Gorman, Carolyn Blackburn, Angela Volk and Kayla Colglazier. Not pictured: Jay Blackburn.
Fr. Christopher roux & Fr. LuCas rossi invite you on a piLgrimage to
the holy Land March 1 - 9, 2013
Fr. Christopher Roux
Inside the Holy Sepulcher
Sail on Galilee
Fr. Lucas Rossi
Stay 3 nights in Tiberias and 4 nights in Jerusalem.Visit ancient biblical sites including Mt. Tabor, Nazareth, Capernaum, Bethleham, Jerusalem, Gethsemane and more with Fr. Roux and Fr. Rossi as your spiritual directors.
SeaTS aRe STill aVailaBle! Call us by December 19th.
For more information or to receive a detailed brochure, please contact Corporate Travel: 313-565-8888 ext 121 or 150 www.pilgrimagesbycts.com
Photos provided by Ruben Tamayo
Joyful day of confirmation CHARLOTTE — Fifty-five young members of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte (below) received the sacrament of confirmation Nov. 9 from Bishop Peter J. Jugis. Pictured receiving the sacrament (above) is Alex Linares with his sponsor Janet Melendez. Also pictured is Deacon John Kopfle.
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
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In Brief World AIDS Day marked Dec. 1 BELMONT — For World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, residents of House of Mercy in Belmont were treated to a homemade dinner and holiday celebration by The Tradesmen, longtime supporters of the AIDS ministry founded 21 years ago by the Sisters of Mercy. The Altrusa Club of Gastonia, Lincolnton District Young Adult Missionary Society and Charlotte Prime Timers also recently adopted House of Mercy as their service projects and delivered many needed pantry supplies and gifts. Friends and employees of MAC Cosmetics also helped decorate the House of Mercy residence for the holidays. Besides supporting House of Mercy with grants from the MAC AIDS Fund (made possible through sales of VIVA Glam lipstick), volunteer help was provided in conjunction with World AIDS Day. Begun in 1988, World AIDS Day is the longestrunning disease awareness and prevention initiative of its kind in the history of public health. Yet at House of Mercy, every day is World AIDS Day. The nonprofit home, located on the Sisters of Mercy campus, provides compassionate, specialized, around-the-clock care for approximately 300 low-income persons living with AIDS. The number of people living with HIV in the U.S. is over 1.2 million and rising, and the impact of HIV/AIDS in the South is a particular concern. The Centers for Disease Control reports that the South accounts for 45 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in the U.S. and 48 percent of AIDS-related deaths. The N.C. Division of Public Health estimates 35,000 North Carolinians are living with HIV or AIDS, including those unaware of their status. As of Dec. 31, 2011, there were 6,324 reported HIV disease cases living in the 10-county area served by House of Mercy. People can make a difference in the lives of persons living with AIDS in this community by volunteering or making a financial donation to House of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy provide funds sufficient to cover all administrative costs, so all donations support direct services. Charitable donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 808, Belmont, N.C. 28012, or made securely online at www.thehouseofmercy.org. Contact House of Mercy at 704-825-4711 for details. — Marjorie Storch
Belmont Abbey reduces tuition BELMONT — Belmont Abbey College recently announced a reduction of its annual tuition cost to $18,500 beginning in fall 2013. This represents an almost $10,000 per year reduction in the college’s published tuition price for incoming freshmen and transfer students. “Over the past 25 years, average college tuition and fees in the United States has increased more than 440 percent,” said Belmont Abbey College President Dr. William Thierfelder. “At more than four times the rate of inflation, that’s not sustainable for the average American family so it’s time to reverse the trend.” Similar-sized colleges have announced “tuition resets” over the past two years, largely due to declining enrollment numbers. However, Belmont Abbey’s tuition reduction comes at a time of growth for the college that marked its highest traditional undergraduate enrollment ever in 2012. This fall also saw considerable capital improvements such as a new dining hall, fitness facility and renovated student center. Two new residence halls will open in fall 2013 to accommodate the increasing number of resident students.
A 2012 College Board Student Poll of collegebound seniors found more than half had ruled out colleges on sticker price alone without considering potential financial aid awards. “While we may not be the first private institution to scale back tuition to close the gap between published tuition price and actual cost, our goal is increasing accessibility, not boosting enrollment,” Thierfelder said. — Belmont Abbey College
Retired or Semi-retired CPAs and Internal Auditors Interested in a unique opportunity to match-up your profession with your faith? Looking for an opportunity to use your time & talent for the Church? The Diocese of Charlotte is seeking qualified volunteers to serve as a financial liaison with parishes in various regions of the Diocese. Interested in learning more? Please contact Bill Weldon, diocesan Chief Financial Officer at email@example.com.
Education in-service held in Hickory HICKORY — More than 70 staff of the diocesan Education Vicariate, including religious education directors, teachers and campus ministers, attended an in-service training session on sacramental preparation held at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory Nov. 8. Presenters included (pictured from left) Tracy Welliver, pastoral associate of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro; Marie Kinney, director of religious education for Holy Cross Church in Kernersville; Peggy Schumacher, director of religious education for Holy Family Church in Clemmons; and Deacon David Reiser, director of religious education for Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Charlotte. — Dr. Cris Villapando
Challenge grant issued for cathedral stair renovation CHARLOTTE — A local resident is offering a matching grant of up to $35,000 to help fund the Bishop Curlin Commemorative Stair project at St. Patrick Cathedral. For every $2 raised by Dec. 31, the anonymous donor will add $1. The Bishop Curlin Commemorative Stair project will completely redesign the stairway and entrance to the cathedral, making the entrance safer and more attractive. The entrance will feature various Catholic symbols and Celtic design details, as well as the diocesan shield and the coats of arms of its four bishops. Donors can purchase engraved bricks to be used in the stair project for $100 each. You can make a donation to the brick program or by making a direct donation to the St. Patrick Cathedral Stair renovation project. Go online to www.stpatricks.org or call the parish office at 704-334-2283 for details.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church 725 Deese Street Monroe, NC 28112
Wednesday, December 12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe 5:00-7:00AM Mananitas 8:00PM Solemn Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish)
Sunday, December 16th 7:00PM Lessons and Carols
Concord area Knights sponsor food drive CONCORD — The Knights of Columbus Council 7450 in Concord, led by Knight Zeke Zickerman and a small committee, recently provided meals to the needy for this Thanksgiving and Christmas. They sponsored a food drive for Thanksgiving with parishioners of St. James the Greater Church in Concord. The response was overwhelming – resulting in 121 food boxes being distributed to parish members and others in the community. — Jim Breslin
Monday, December 24th 4:00PM Mass (English) 6:00PM Mass (Spanish) 10:00PM Mass of Christmas Night (English)
Tuesday, December 25th
10:00AM Mass of Christmas Day (English) 12:00PM Mass of Christmas Day (Spanish)
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 OUR PARISHES
For the latest news 24/7: catholicnewsherald.com For the past 15 years it has been my pleasure to help the employees of the Diocese of Charlotte plan for a secure retirement. I would also like to be your trusted financial advisor.
In Brief Ken Altman
Retirement planning – Life – LTC – Auto & Home Insurance Call: 704-839-3755 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Member: National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA) St. Mark Catholic Church – Huntersville
HISPANIC COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST The Catholic News Herald, a 56,000-circulation newspaper serving the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C., is seeking an experienced bilingual journalist to cover news and events about the local Hispanic Catholic community – writing stories, taking photos, shooting video and audio, etc. – for publication in the Catholic News Herald, in Spanish and in English, and through a variety of other communications channels. This position also involves developing future radio, online and social media communications for and about the Hispanic community. Candidates must have previous journalism experience, plus a bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing or other related field; verbal and written fluency in English and Spanish; proficiency with digital photography and videography, audio and video editing software, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, online content management systems, and social media channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube); familiarity with the Catholic Church and its teachings; attention to detail and accuracy; and ability to work under and meet regular deadlines. We offer a competitive benefits package that includes salary commensurate with experience, health and dental insurance, 403(b) and paid holidays. EOE Please submit resume to: Patricia Guilfoyle, Editor, email@example.com. No phone calls, please.
A gift that lasts an entire year
Photo provided by Done Espina
Pancake fund raiser held in Albemarle ALBEMARLE — The youth group of Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Albemarle treated parishioners to pancakes Nov. 18 in the parish’s Family LIfe Center after the morning Mass, part of a fund-raising effort for the youths. Pictured above, the kitchen is busy as youth group members Ben Ostrander, Breane Storms, Thomas Yarbrough, Hunter Osterhout, Nathan Raming, Caycee Cleghorn and Adam Storms (group leader) prepare pancakes, bacon, sausage and coffee for the hungry parishioners. — Done Espina
October 26, 2012
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Couples for Christ regional director visits Charlotte CHARLOTTE — Glen Santayana, director of the Couples for Christ for the Southeast Region which spans North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, gave a presentation to local coordinators and faith leaders of the Couples for Christ lay apostolate at St. Matthew Church Nov. 28. Using the theme of the Year of Faith, Santayana (pictured above with participants) cited numerous ways the members could participate in the new evangelization. Following his visit in Charlotte, Santayana traveled to Liberia, Africa, at the invitation of the local bishop to establish the Couples for Christ apostolate. A few years ago, he successfully led a team to create Couples for Christ in the Caribbean. — Dr. Cris Villapando
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Knights earn Silver Star award CHARLOTTE — The Knights of Columbus Council 10505 from St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Charlotte recently received the Silver Star Award for their service. Pictured above, Grand Knight Don Gruno receives the commendation Oct. 28 with Father Matthew Kauth, priest in residence at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. — Philip M. Pope
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
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Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte
Executive Director: Gerard A. Carter, Ph.D. (704) 370-3250 Refugee Office: Cira Ponce (704) 370-3262 Family Life: Gerard Carter (704) 370-3228 Justice and Peace: Joseph Purello (704) 370-3225 OEO/CSS Murphy Satellite Office (828) 835-3535 Charlotte Region: 1123 South Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203 Area Director: Sharon Davis (704) 370-3218 Your Local Catholic Charities Agency
Western Region: 50 Orange Street, Asheville, NC 28801 Area Director: Michele Sheppard (828) 255-0146 Piedmont-Triad: 627 W. Second St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Area Director: Diane Bullard (336) 727-0705 Greensboro Satellite Office (336) 274-5577
For information on specific programs, please call your local office.
Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty. Photo provided by Karen L. Hornfeck
Our Lady of Grace graduate Jackson Williams (second from the left) stands in the outdoor classroom that he designed at the Greensboro school with teachers Arthur Romel and Marlene Mode, and Principal Kurt Telford.
Eagle Scout gives back to Our Lady of Grace School GREENSBORO — When high school student Jackson Williams started thinking about what project he’d like to undertake to complete his Eagle Scout award, he decided to give back to his previous school. “I chose Our Lady of Grace School as the beneficiary for my project because I really grew up there and it made the project more meaningful and personal to me,” Williams said. Williams attended Our Lady of Grace School from kindergarten to eighth grade, and his mother Jean Williams teaches kindergarten there. As part of his project, Williams decided to turn a patio outside the middle school into an outdoor science classroom for students. Working with his previous teachers, Marlene Mode and Arthur Romel, Williams designed and built an area that functions as a classroom in every sense. “This space, with tables, portable teaching board, plant beds, bird feeders and water fountain, is a fantastic addition to my science curriculum,” Mode said. “Students will be able to participate in maintaining the flower beds, as well as growing vegetables in the future!” Williams, currently a junior at Grimsely High School, would like to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after graduation and plans to major in biomedical engineering. His parents are Jean and Gordon Williams. Williams is part of Boy Scout Troop 111. — Karen L. Hornfeck
New Eagle Scouts honored at St. Matthew Church CHARLOTTE — Five young men were recently honored at an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte. They are members of BSA Troop 8, sponsored by the parish. Eagle Scout is scouting’s highest rank, and is achieved by just 5 percent of all boys who enter scouting. Scouts must earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate Scout Spirit by living according to the Scout Oath and Law, providing service, and developing and practicing leadership. This includes completing an extensive service project that the scout plans, organizes, leads and manages. For these newest Eagles, the award is the culmination of six years together in Troop 8. The new Eagle Scouts, their schools and their Eagle projects are: n Jay Hanckel is a senior at Charlotte Country Day School. For his Eagle service project, he designed and built 12 large dog houses for Animal Control/Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department to be donated to families adopting dogs.
n Chris Kuuskvere is a senior at Ardrey Kell High School. For his Eagle service project, he developed and led a composting conservation program at the Morrison Family YMCA. n Andrew Nielsen is a senior at The Fletcher School. For his Eagle service project, he designed and built an outdoor classroom/ amphitheater at Omni Montessori School, where he attended elementary and middle school.
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n Mike Sparre is a senior at Charlotte Catholic High School. For his Eagle service project, he built a new stable for the St. Matthew Christmas Nativity scene. n Michael Vari is a homeschooled high school senior. For his Eagle service project, he built a fence addition on the grounds of the St. Joseph Monastery for the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. — Lynn Nielsen
We welcome your parish’s news! Please email news items and photos to Editor Patricia L. Guilfoyle at plguilfoyle@ charlottediocese.org.
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iiiDecember 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
Sacred art enlighten Patricia L. Guilfoyle Editor
FOREST CITY — Over the past year, Immaculate Conception Church in Forest City has continued to take on an even more beautiful appearance as its stained glass windows and religious art have been installed. As parishioners gather to celebrate their patronal feast on Dec. 8, the sacred artwork puts the finishing touches on the church that was dedicated a little over two years ago. The 11,120-square-foot church, built of gray stone on a hill just off Main Street in downtown Forest City, features a soaring Gothic-arched ceiling and 10 windows that until this year were of plain glass that looked out to the rolling North Carolina mountains nearby. But now, all 10 window frames contain stunning stained-glass art made by Statesville Stained Glass Inc. The colored glass panes, depicting scenes from the life of Jesus and His mother, cast a rainbow of lively colors through the church, beckoning people to come in and sit with Our Lord, pray, and take in the peaceful glory of His Presence. One window in particular is unique to Immaculate Conception Church: the pane depicting Mary Queen of Heaven. The Blessed Virgin Mary is standing above the earth and moon, and she is being crowned Queen of Heaven. The window’s design features the traditional imagery of Mary’s coronation, but Father Herbert Burke, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, made a few changes to the design that make the window unique: Jesus is depicted handing her a scepter, and God the Father is handing her a rosary. The image of the Immaculate Heart was also added, and the Sacred Heart is visible on Jesus. Father Burke has been closely shepherding the construction and beautification of the church and the
installation of its decorative religious elements, with the primary aim of showcasing art that educates and uplifts the faithful. “The art has to relate to the identity of the church,” Father Burke explains. Each piece of artwork, each window, each statue, each stenciled Scripture verse is thoughtfully placed to inspire the faithful in their worship experience – helping lead them to a closer connection to God, he said. The 10 windows, which cost about $21,000 each, are, in order starting on the right side of the church: The Annunciation, the Birth of Christ (The Incarnation), Jesus’ Baptism (Theophany), Jesus teaching the little children, and Jesus at the Last Supper (Institution of the Eucharist); then on the
left side of the church: the Resurrection, Pentecost, Mary crowned Queen of Heaven, St. Francis of Assisi, and the Virgin of Guadalupe. The window dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe is particularly special, having been funded by Hispanic members of the parish and featuring a unique design also thanks to Father Burke. He wanted vibrant colors – reds, golds and greens that hint of the Mexican flag as well as the Church’s liturgical colors. Color, even the paint tones used, are important, he said, because of the symbolism of color in religious art. For example, blue represents the waters of baptism, purity, the heavens, and the SACRED ART, SEE page 18
Above, Al Rhyne from Statesville Stained Glass Inc. works on antiquing a part of the Virgin of Guadalupe stained-glass window that was later installed at Immaculate Conception Church in Forest City, making the window look like it is more than 100 years old. Left, Al and his wife Lisha Rhyne make up part of the close-knit team at Statesville Stained
How is a stained-glass window made?
Once the design is created, it is transferred to a lifesize rendering on paper. This serves as the cutting pattern for the glass.
Each piece of glass is cut carefully by hand, following the paper cutting pattern.
In the case of leaded stained glass, all of the visual details – including faces – are painted onto the individual glass pieces. Each piece is painstakingly painted, then antiqued, fired, and painted again, in a process that can take weeks.
The pieces are staged together on a large light table as they are being painted, so that the artists can ensure a consistent design overall even as they work on hundreds of individual pieces.
Gla pas bus
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.comiii
ns Forest City church Left, the completed Virgin of Guadalupe window, funded by the Hispanic parishioners of Immaculate Conception Church. Depicting the famed 1531 apparition on the Hill of Tepeyac outside Mexico City, Mexico, one sees St. Juan Diego grasping his tilma as he kneels before Our Lady, who is clothed in a blue mantle with gold stars, a black girdle around her waist signifying her pregnancy. In the background to the left is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe built at her request and which remains the most visited Marian shrine in the world. Below left and right, details from the Virgin of Guadalupe window.
Photos by Patricia L. Guilfoyle and Father Herbert Burke
ass Inc., a family-owned business that has created custom glass designs like these for countless churches over the st 30 years, including more than a dozen churches in the Diocese of Charlotte. Their work is featured in churches, sinesses, colleges, hospitals and more in 35 states, Washington, D.C., and the Caribbean, Canada, France and Japan.
The artists also carefully gauge the amount of painting and antiquing they do on each piece, to allow for more or less light to shine through the glass at various points in the window. This creates light and dark areas â€“ giving the window a more dramatic, three-dimensional effect.
Strips of lead came are used to join the pieces. The designer bends, hammers and trims the lead came to create a tight fit between each piece, soldering segments together to build the whole window.
The window is waterproofed, and bracing is added to give the window added strength.
After what can take several months of work, the window is installed into its permanent location. Installers will return later to check on its fit and weatherability.
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 FROM THE COVER
SACRED ART: FROM PAGE 16
queenship of Mary. Gold, the color of kings and the most precious of metals, connotes the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle, a gift given to the infant Jesus by the three kings, and the Kingdom of God where the streets are paved with gold (from Revelation 21:21). Featured prominently above the church’s front entrance is a spectacular window depicting an image evocative of the Miraculous Medal: Mary appearing as Queen of Heaven with her foot upon the serpent and standing atop the earth, with the Holy Spirit shining down upon her, and featured at the bottom the verse from Revelation, “A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Each window took about two months for the artists to handcraft at Statesville Stained Glass. Each step in the process – from the initial drawing to the final assembly and installation – required very specific and painstaking effort as well as extreme attention to detail. Pieces of glass were cut by hand following a planned pattern, then painted and fired repeatedly, then assembled and soldered together. While they are new, the windows were purposely crafted to look like they were more than 100 years old. Statesville Stained Glass has created custom glass designs like these for hundreds of churches over the past 30 years, for many churches in the Diocese of Charlotte (Albemarle, Arden, Charlotte, Clemmons, Denver, Greensboro, Hendersonville, Hickory, Monroe, Murphy, Salisbury, Shelby, Spruce Pine, Statesville
and Thomasville) as well as around the world. Their work is featured in churches, businesses, colleges, hospitals and more – in 35 states, Washington, D.C., and the Caribbean, Canada, France and Japan. Husband and wife Dennis and Sylvia Lackey, married for more than 44 years, believe their business is a calling. “God’s been good to us and this is our way to give back,” said Dennis Lackey. Immaculate Conception’s 10 windows were an extensive job for the craftsmen at Statesville Stained Glass. They started on the first window in December 2010, just two months after the church was dedicated. The following April, the first window – Jesus at the Last Supper (Institution of the Eucharist) – was installed. “We knew that this was going to be a very special job,” said Lackey, and they are proud of the results of their creative collaboration with Father Burke and parishioners of Immaculate Conception. The stunning windows are not the only thing of beauty brought into the Forest City church since its dedication. In addition, statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, a collection of saints from throughout the Church’s history and angels are on display in strategic positions throughout the church – framed in a niche, sitting on top of a pillar, tucked into a corner. Each sculpture, painting or statue is thoughtfully positioned to inspire those who see it. Inside the front entrance are attention-grabbing images of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart painted on backgrounds of blue studded with gold stars. In between them stands a statue of the Sacred STATUES, SEE page 21
Intricate stenciling and gold plasterwork is featured throughout the church, attracting the attention of the faithful and conveying specific points about our worship. These statues of St. Joseph (left) and Mary as the Immaculate Conception (right) are situated in arched niches to either side of the altar. Note the gold crown with 12 stars on Mary’s head.
More online At www.lisaartist.com: See more of Lisa Autry’s work At www.statesvillestainedglass.com: See more photos of their craftsmanship and learn more about the different types of stained glass
Above, artist Lisa Autry works on a painting of the Holy Spirit, high above the floor of Immaculate Conception Church. Left, the choir loft area features two kneeling angels worshipping the Risen Christ. Above Him is the Holy Spirit shining down from vast firmament of heaven. Below His feet is the verse from the Gospel of John: “I am the resurrection and the life.” Inset far left, images of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart are painted on either side of a statue of the Sacred Heart located inside the narthex. The large Gothic arch behind the altar is designed to frame a life-size diorama of the Crucifixion. Here worshippers can now see the crucified Christ, with Our Lady of Sorrows and St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross. When the project is complete, on the wall will hang a mural depicting Calvary. At the top of the painting will be God the Father, the Holy Spirit and angels, and to either side of the Cross will depict the two thieves. Below the three-dimensional scene will be the verse from the Gospel of John: “I am the living bread come down from heaven.”
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com
FROM THE COVERI
The stained glass at Immaculate Conception Church
At top, details from some of the 10 stained-glass windows installed over the past year at Immaculate Conception Church. Each window was carefully crafted by the team of artists and designers at Statesville Stained Glass Inc., in coordination with Father Burke and parishioners. Above, one window in particular is unique to Immaculate Conception Church: the pane depicting Mary Queen of Heaven. Mary is standing above the earth and moon, and she is being crowned Queen of Heaven. The window’s design features the traditional imagery of Mary’s coronation, but with a few changes that make the window unique: Jesus is depicted handing her a scepter, and God the Father is handing her a rosary. The image of the Immaculate Heart was also added, and the Sacred Heart is visible on Jesus. Note the painted details on their cloaks, and how the artists at Statesville Stained Glass used the color and cut shapes of the glass, paint, and an antiquing technique to control the light coming through the window – letting more light shine through the image of the Holy Spirit above, and less light shine through the clouds at bottom.
The Baptism of Jesus (Theophany)
The Last Supper (Institution of the Eucharist)
St. Francis of Assisi
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
FATHERS: FROM PAGE 3
n St. Clement of Alexandria: One of the most distinguished teachers of the Church in Alexandria. He united Greek philosophical traditions with Christian doctrine, and he wrote on such topics as “Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved?” and “Exhortation to the Heathen.” n St. Athanasius (c. 293-May 2, 373): A theologian, patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church (called the “Doctor of Orthodoxy”), and a noted Egyptian leader of the 4th century. He is remembered for his role in the conflict with Arianism and for his affirmation of the Trinity. At the First Council of Nicaea in 325, he argued against the Arian heresy that Christ is not truly God with the Father. n The Cappadocians: A 4th-century monastic family led by St. Macrina the Younger (324-379) to provide a place for her three younger brothers to study and pray and a home for their mother. Abbess Macrina fostered her brothers’ education, and they became scholars, bishops and saints. The brothers, called the “Cappadocian Fathers,” were St. Basil the Great (330379), a Doctor of the Church (called the “Doctor of Monasticism”); St. Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-after 394); and St. Peter of Sebaste (c. 340-391), the youngest brother. These remarkable brothers and their close friend, St. Gregory Nazianzus (also a Doctor of the Church, called the “Doctor of Theologians”), demonstrated that Christians could hold their own in conversations with Greek-speaking intellectuals of their day. They argued that
Christian faith, while it was against many of the ideas of Plato and Aristotle, was an almost scientific philosophy – with the healing of the soul and a person’s union with God at its core. They made major contributions to the definition of the Trinity and the final version of the Nicene Creed. n St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-c. 407): Perhaps the greatest preacher in Church history. Known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, he was nicknamed “chrysostomos” (Greek for “golden tongued”). A Doctor of the Church (“Doctor of Preachers”), he left hundreds of recorded homilies and writings, and his Divine Liturgy is still celebrated by Eastern churches. The themes of his talks were always practical, explaining how to apply the Bible in everyday life, and he lived a simple, unpretentious lifestyle even after being pushed into becoming archbishop of Constantinople. There he denounced the lavish lifestyles of local Church and political leaders – making him popular with the laity but causing his exile to a desolate area along the Black Sea, where he died from ill health. n St. Cyril of Alexandria (c. 378-444): Bishop of Alexandria when the city was at its height of influence and power within the Roman Empire. He wrote extensively and was a leading defender of Christ’s dual identity – both fully divine and fully human. A central figure in the First Council of Ephesus in 431, he is a Doctor of the Church (“Doctor of the Incarnation”). n Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-Aug. 13, 662): A Christian monk, theologian and scholar. In his early life, he was a civil servant and an aide to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius. However, he gave up politics to become a monk. After moving to Carthage, he studied several Neo-
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Learn more online At www.catholicnewsherald.com: Read in-depth biographies of each of the Church Fathers, read English translations of their works, and check out what Pope Benedict XVI says about them and other Church Fathers not listed here.
Platonist writers and became a prominent author, defending against heresies denying Jesus’ dual humanity and divinity. His title of Confessor means he suffered for the faith, but not to the point of death, and thus is distinguished from a martyr. His “Life of the Virgin” is thought to be the earliest complete biography of Mary, the mother of Jesus. n St. John of Damascus (also known as St. John Damascene) (c. 676-Dec. 4, 749): A Syrian Christian monk and priest, and the last of the Church Fathers. Born and raised in Damascus, he died at his monastery, Mar Saba, near Jerusalem. A noted scholar, his expertise included law, theology, philosophy and music. Before being ordained, he served as an administrator to the Muslim caliph of Damascus, wrote works expounding the Christian faith, and composed hymns still sung in Eastern monasteries. He is a Doctor of the Church, often referred to as the “Doctor of the Assumption” because of his writings on the Assumption of Mary.
The fathers who wrote in Latin are called, not surprisingly, the Latin Fathers. n Tertullian (c. 160-c. 225): He converted to Christianity before 197 and was a prolific writer of apologetic, theological, controversial and ascetic works. He denounced Christian doctrines he considered heretical but later in life adopted views that themselves came to be regarded as heretical. He wrote three books in Greek and was the first great writer of Latin Christianity, thus sometimes known as the “Father of the Latin Church.” He is said to have introduced the Latin term “trinitas” regarding the Trinity to the Christian vocabulary (but Theophilus of Antioch already wrote of “the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom,” which is similar but not identical to the Trinitarian wording), and also probably the formula “three Persons, one Substance” as the Latin “tres Personae, una Substantia,” and also the terms “vetus testamentum” (“Old Testament”) and “novum testamentum” (“New Testament”). He used the early Church’s symbol for fish – the Greek word for “fish” being ΙΧΘΥΣ, an acronym for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior” – to explain the meaning of baptism since fish are born in water, saying that people are like little fish. n St. Ambrose (340-397): Archbishop of Milan, one of the most influential Church figures of the 4th century and one of the four original Doctors of the Church (the others being St. Augustine, St. Jerome and St. Gregory I). His writings include “On the Christian Faith,”
“On the Mysteries,” “On Repentance,” “On the Duties of the Clergy,” “Concerning Virgins” and “Concerning Widows.” n St. Jerome (c. 347-Sept. 30, 420): Best known as the translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin, what’s known as the Vulgate. He also was a Christian apologist, and is a Doctor of the Church. n St. Augustine (Nov. 13, 354-Aug. 28, 430): Bishop of Hippo, philosopher and theologian, Doctor of the Church, and one of the most important figures in the Church. Augustine was radically influenced by Platonism. He framed the concepts of original sin and just war as they are understood in the West. When Rome fell and the faith of many Christians was shaken, he developed the concept of the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material City of Man. Augustine was born in present-day Algeria to a Christian mother, St. Monica. He was educated in North Africa and resisted his mother’s pleas to become Christian. He took a concubine and became a Manichean. He later converted to Christianity, became a bishop and opposed various heresies. His works include “Confessions” (often called the first Western autobiography), “City of God,” “Concerning Faith of Things Not Seen,” “On the Good of Marriage,” “On Lying,” “On the Morals of the Catholic Church,” “On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin,” “On the Spirit and the Letter” and “Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.” n St. Gregory I (c. 540-March 12, 604): Pope from 590 until his death, and the first pope with a monastic background. One of the four original Doctors of the Church, St. Gregory the Great’s papacy had the most influence on the early medieval Church. n St. Isidore (c. 560-April 4, 636): Archbishop of Seville for more than three decades and Doctor of the Church (“Doctor of Education”). At a time when the remnants of the Roman Empire were crumbling and aristocratic violence and illiteracy were spreading, he helped convert the royal Visigothic Arians to Catholicism and played a prominent role in developing Visigothic legislation – regarded by historians as having influenced the beginnings of representative government.
The Desert Fathers were early monastics living in the Egyptian desert. Although they did not write as much, their influence was also great. A small number of Church Fathers wrote in other languages. St. Ephraim the Syrian (306-373), a Doctor of the Church, wrote in Syriac. His works include “Miscellaneous Hymns – On the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh, For the Feast of the Epiphany, and On the Faith (‘The Pearl’).” — Sources: The Catholic Encyclopedia, The Vatican, www.catholic.com, www.staycatholic.com, “Early Church Fathers Overview: A Snapshot of the Fathers of the Church” by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, www.catholicbible101.com, Wikipedia
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SueAnn Howell | Catholic News Herald
VESTMENTS: FROM PAGE 8
Gammarelli of Rome, the famous familyowned tailor that has provided vestments for popes, bishops and priests since 1798. Lauer said Coetus Fidelium considers it an honor to be able to provide these vestments for clergy to use in celebrating the MEF. The vestments are being stored at St. Ann Church for now, but they are considered diocesan-owned vestments and any priest in the diocese offering the MEF may use them. “We are so honored to provide this gift to the bishop and to the priests of the diocese who have done so much to support us,” Lauer said. “Being able to raise such a large amount of funding in such a short time frame without any real publicity really shows the enormous amount of support there is for the traditional Latin Mass in Charlotte and further demonstrates that we are indeed a ‘coetus fidelium.’ ” Coetus Fidelium has also formally requested that the diocese start a regular Sunday morning traditional Latin Mass in the Charlotte area, following the protocol
For more info For more information about Coetus Fidelium or the MEF vestments fund raising effort, contact Chris Lauer at email@example.com. Donations for the vestments can be made online at the St. Ann Church website. Go to www.stannchurchcharlotte.org and click on the “donate” button until the itemized donations page pops up, then select the Latin Mass priest vestments category.
that Pope Benedict provided in his 2007 apostolic letter. The MEF is celebrated on weekdays at several locations around the diocese, but there is not a Sunday liturgy regularly celebrated in Charlotte. “Since our group first began our formal request process, the Charlotte diocese has initiated a Sunday Latin Mass in two parishes in the Greensboro and Marion areas which are each 100 miles away from Charlotte,” Lauer noted. “These are very promising signs, and we remain hopeful that the diocese will soon continue that trend here in the Charlotte area.”
Immaculate Conception Church, which now serves as a chapel. “To get to do what I do, in a place like that, is a dream come true for me,” FROM PAGE 18 Autry says of her time at Immaculate Conception Church. Father Burke thought Heart – Jesus’ arms through exactly what outstretched in welcome he wanted, she said, and – and the words from the it has been a pleasure Gospel of Luke, “Love the “to execute” his design Lord with all your heart,” vision. written underneath. “It blossoms as you go,” Walking back through she said, unfolding like the nave to leave the faith itself. church, the faithful pass But the work at the new below a dramatic scene: church is not complete statues of two angels yet. The crowning glory kneeling in worship before of this artistic effort will the Risen Christ, and below be an enormous mural it, the Scripture verse “I above the altar, set inside am the resurrection and a 23-foot high Gothic arch the life.” (John 11:25) niche. Sacred texts are also A statue of St. Martin de Porres Now, a statue of the painted in several other is among a collection of statues crucified Christ rises up key places: “Immaculate positioned high along the walls from behind the altar. Mary pray for us” below of the narthex, there to greet Life-sized statues of Our a statue of Mary, “St. worshippers as they enter. Lady of Sorrows and St. Joseph pray for us” below John the Evangelist stand a statue of Joseph, and “I to either side. am the living bread come The mural will depict down from heaven” (John God the Father, God the 6:51) planned for above the Holy Spirit, angels and tabernacle. the two thieves behind To the left of the the crucifix – presenting a sanctuary is a chapel three-dimensional image dedicated to St. Thérèse of of Calvary. Lisieux, and to the right, It is another design there is a chapel to St. crafted by Father Anthony. Burke, and it has as its The painting and inspiration the Italian stenciling work has been Renaissance frescoes done by local artist Lisa found in Old World Autry in collaboration with churches. Father Burke. Once the plan for the Following in the footsteps mural is finalized and of local stonemasons and Immaculate Conception Church approved, Autry plans woodworkers who helped also has two chapels on either to paint it on multiple construct the new church, side of the altar area: one canvases over the course Autry has been busy for devoted to St. Thérèse, and the of several months, the past year and a half other to St. Anthony. finishing it by next adding the decorative summer, she hopes. finishes – stenciling, gold plasterwork, She will paint the mural sections in her painting and more – to help set off each Charlotte area studio, then install them of these visual expressions of faith. together inside the archway. Autry also did similar painting inside The mural will be among the final St. Ann Church in Charlotte in 2011, and large-scale aspects of this church her work is well known for its quality beautification, and a sight not to be and craftsmanship. Besides the work missed among the artistic beauty that is in the new church, Autry has been Immaculate Conception Church. busy repainting the interior of the old
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‘We could not have had a better person with these kids. He loves them. They love him.’
OLG School thanks veterans at special Mass GREENSBORO — Our Lady of Grace students took time to thank veterans of the armed services during a special school-wide Mass Nov. 14. Father Eric Kowalski welcomed veterans, many of whom are family members of OLG students, and thanked all those present for their service to God and country. First-grade teacher Trish Klier planned the Mass and had her students make thank you cards that they passed out to each veteran at the end of the Mass. Also assisting at the Mass were Knights of Columbus. “We work hard to teach our students to be compassionate and thoughtful citizens of the world,” Klier said. “Part of that instruction is teaching our students to be grateful for those whose service allows us to have the freedoms that we are blessed with in this country.” After the Mass, First Lt. Sean Daily and Captain Richard Scoggins, part of the N.C. National Guard, visited with OLG students in their classrooms, including the kindergarten class pictured above. They talked about the role of the National Guard both nationally and internationally. Students shared their experiences and understanding of the military, often talking about grandparents who served in World War II. Several students also had parents who are veterans. Second-grader Aniela Giarmo talked about her brother, Ian Taylor, who is currently serving in the military, and said she missed him when he is away. To demonstrate that all members of a military family sacrifice and serve, not just the soldier, Daily presented Aniela with the National Guard’s “Challenge Coin” to thank her for being a brave and supportive family member of a soldier. — Karen Hornfeck
Sacred Heart students raise money for United Way SALISBURY — Sacred Heart students participated in a special “Dress Down” day in October for the local Rowan County United Way Campaign, raising $389. During a United Way report luncheon, Student Government President William Clark gave a speech and student Rachel Harrison delivered a poem she had written. — Robin Fisher
— Peggy Mazzola
principal of St. Ann School
Goodbye ‘Mr. Gabe’ Custodian, friend to diocese retires after nearly 40 years of service SueAnn Howell Senior reporter
CHARLOTTE — There were hugs and tears at St. Ann School Nov. 20 as students and teachers bid farewell to the school’s custodian of nearly four decades – a friend everyone knows simply as “Mr. Gabe.” Gabe Tindal, 65, a tall, humble, joyful man, came to work at St. Ann School in Charlotte back in 1974, shortly after he returned from serving in Vietnam. He was attending classes at Central Piedmont Community College when his mother heard about the job at St. Ann and encouraged him to apply. “My momma told me about the job after she came home from playing bingo,” Mr. Gabe recalled. “I took the first bus the next morning and sat down with Father Tony (Monsignor Anthony Kovacic) and talked to him. He said, ‘You ready to go to work?’ in the middle of our conversation. I said ‘I’ll go to work right now if you want me to,’ and I’ve been here ever since.” Besides his custodial work at the parish school, Mr. Gabe rotated around several Catholic schools in the area, filling in wherever he was needed. He also drove a school bus for a time. St. Ann Parish, along with the rest of the diocese, has grown and changed a lot during his tenure, but through it all Mr. Gabe has been a constant presence of love and joy in the community. Peggy Mazzola, the current principal of St. Ann School, had tears in her eyes during the celebration for Mr. Gabe’s retirement. There were three cakes at Mr. Gabe’s farewell party, each featuring special messages written in icing. Mazzola cut out the word “LOVE” from one of the cakes and handed that slice to Mr. Gabe. “He’s wonderful,” Mazzola said. “We could not have had a better person with these kids. He loves them. They love him. He’s a gentle soul.” St. Ann students and faculty also showed a range of emotion,
Say goodbye to Mr. Gabe Anyone who wishes to extend their best wishes or say goodbye to Mr. Gabe is welcome to attend an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9 in the St. Ann Activity Center, at 3635 Park Road. Cards, gifts and letters may be sent to Mr. Gabe, care of: St. Ann School, 600 Hillside Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28209. (Please mark “Retirement Party” on the envelope.)
from smiles and laughter – giving him great big group hugs – to a few tears being shed at the prospect of no longer seeing their dear friend at the school. They all made homemade cards and sang a song for him called “We love you, Mr. Gabe!” That brought a few tears to Mr. Gabe’s eyes. As the celebration wound down, he and Mazzola reminisced about his years at the school, and he recalled one of the hardest times the community had been through – the loss of a terminally ill seventh-grade student named Katie Rossi. When Katie became too weak to walk from the school entrance to her classroom, Mr. Gabe would carry her. She passed away in 1990. “That tore me up when she died,” he recalled. “I couldn’t stay in school (when I heard the news). I had to leave. She was a special little girl.” At the end of the farewell celebration, students and staff waved their goodbyes and gave him more bear hugs. Shouts of “We love you!” rang out through the cafeteria. “I’ll never forget this day,” Mr. Gabe said.
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IHM students share Thanksgiving snack HIGH POINT — First-grade students at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in High Point also celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday by sharing a delicious, healthy Thanksgiving snack together. — Mendy Yarborough
photos provided by Anastasia Macaya
We welcome your school’s news and photos. Please email items to Editor Patricia L. Guilfoyle at plguilfoyle@ charlottediocese.org.
St. Patrick’s sweet potato harvest CHARLOTTE — Third-graders at St. Patrick School in Charlotte recently enjoyed a fantastic harvest of sweet potatoes. The students planted sweet potato slips in their school vegetable garden in the spring. They were amazed at how the sweet potatoes grew and multiplied over the summer and fall. They enjoyed the fruits of their labor as they dined on delicious sweet potato pancakes together in the school cafeteria. Their harvest was large enough to feed their entire grade, plus they were able to donate 42 extra sweet potatoes to their neighbors in need at the Dilworth Soup Kitchen.
Principal Christ Our King – Stella Maris School, a K-4 through 8th grade Catholic School with an enrollment of 600 students is accepting applications for principal. Located in Mt Pleasant, SC, near Charleston, our school enjoys an excellent reputation as thoroughly Catholic and academically excellent. The school is one of only a few elementary schools operating under the President – Principal Model. Our Middle School is an International Baccalaureate World School where our 5th – 8th grade students are issued iPads. We are a Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School and we are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The successful candidate must be a practicing Catholic who is able to continue the spirit of academic achievement and provide essential educational leadership in maintaining a vigorous Christian environment. Candidate must hold a Master’s Degree in Administration or Education and have at least 5 years of teaching experience. This position reports to the School President. Salary will be commensurate with degree and experience. Position is available for the 2013 – 2014 school year. A curriculum vitae and references may be submitted to: Christ our King Stella Maris School Search Committee, c/o John Byrnes, President, Christ Our King Stella Maris School 1183 Russell Drive, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. These items must be received by Tuesday January 15, 2013. www.coksm.org.
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catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
For the latest movie reviews: catholicnewsherald.com
‘Bread Upon the Water’: A sign of hope, story of faith Father Tien’s inspiring journey from Vietnam to the priesthood SueAnn Howell Senior reporter
‘Life of Pi’ Exotic 3-D fable in which an Indian teen (Suraj Sharma) whose family (led by parents Adil Hussain and Tabu) is emigrating to Canada, and transporting some of the animals from the zoo they owned in their home country, becomes the lone human survivor when the freighter on which they and their menagerie are traveling sinks. But his endurance is put to a further test when he finds himself forced to share a small lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Religious themes are central to director Ang Lee’s screen version of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel. But, while it features a positive treatment of Catholicism and a sympathetic priest, this visually artful psychological parable – told in flashbacks by its now-adult protagonist (Irrfan Khan) – upholds its main character’s view that he can be, simultaneously, a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. Not for the impressionable or the poorly catechized, Lee’s film also becomes somewhat taxing as the rigors of the lad’s unusual ordeal begin to rub off on viewers. Complex treatment of religious faith requiring mature interpretation, potentially upsetting scenes of life-threatening danger and animal aggression, some mildly vulgar wordplay. CNS: A-III (adults); MPAA: PG
‘Rise of the Guardians’ Delightful 3-D animated adventure, based on books by William Joyce and focusing on the destiny of the legendary bringer of winter, Jack Frost (voice of Chris Pine). Free-spirited and mischievous, youthful Jack is also lonely and uncertain of his purpose in life until he’s invited to join the Guardians, a force of mythical characters who protect children against the machinations of the Bogeyman (voice of Jude Law). Jack’s newfound comrades include Santa Claus (voice of Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (voice of Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (voice of Isla Fisher) and the mute but cheerful Sandman. In his feature debut, director Peter Ramsey, pits hope and wonder against fear and self-doubt in a tenderhearted and touching film entirely free of objectionable content. Perilous situations. CNS: A-I (general patronage); MPAA: PG
Additional movies: n ‘Anna Karenina’: CNS: A-III (adults); MPAA: R n ‘Killing Them Softly’: CNS: O (morally offensive): MPAA: R
FRANKLIN — St. Francis of Assisi Church, tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina, is a long way away from Vietnam where its pastor Father Tien Duong is from. This cozy church’s serene surroundings are also in stark contrast to the war-torn nation and cramped refugee camps Father Tien lived in for more than two years after escaping his homeland and coming to the U.S. In “Bread Upon the Water,” a biography by local Catholic author Deanna Klingel, the struggle and triumphs of Father Tien’s life are detailed in order to bring hope to others facing difficult situations. Father Tien now leads a relatively peace-filled existence compared to his earlier years when he and his family had to flee war-ravaged Vietnam, suffering great physical trials in the process. “Suffering tests your faith and strengthens it as well,” Father Tien says. “Certainly, no one wants to go through suffering, but that is part of human life.” He grew up in the hardship of communist-run Vietnam. When he was in the sixth grade, he left his home in South Vietnam to pursue his goal of becoming a priest. While in seminary school, he dealt with not-sodistant mortar fire – rockets blazing every night until finally the school had to close. He Duong returned home to find it invaded by the North Vietnamese. Father Tien and his family fled the fighting, and in order to follow his call to the priesthood, he had to leave his homeland. He and his loved ones, including his two brothers who also desired to become priests, became some of the thousands of “boat people” who escaped the Communist persecution. They all endured terrible conditions – starvation, dehydration and disease. The only thing they had to cling to was their Catholic faith. It took two dangerous attempts to escape Vietnam and many years of enduring life in refugee camps before Father Tien was able to immigrate to the U.S. in 1991. He worked for a year after coming to the country and then entered seminary. Father Tien and his brother, Father James Duc Duong, were ordained together at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte on June 2, 2001. Their other
On TV n Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m. (EWTN) “Solemn Mass: The Immaculate Conception.” The EWTN Franciscan Missionaries celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception from Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Irondale, Al. n Sunday, Dec. 9, 9-9:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Christ Comes in History, Mystery and Majesty: Reflections on Advent With His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, reflects on the mystery of Christ and how He comes to be reborn in us each day, despite the world’s failure to recognize Him. n Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m. (EWTN) “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant Of All.” The personal story of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, one of the most influential voices of the 20th Century. n Monday, Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “The Cloak Of Juan Diego.” This documentary examines the history of the appearance of the Blessed Mother to Juan Diego and explains the current devotion of the Mother of God at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. n Saturday, Dec. 15, 5 a.m. (EWTN) “Guadalupe: A Living Image.” The historical accounts of Juan Diego and the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Monsignor Eduardo Chavez, postulator of the cause for canonization of Juan Diego and a featured speaker at the 2011 Diocese of Charlotte Eucharistic Congress, discusses the authentic history of the Miracle of Guadalupe.
brother, Vincentian Father Tri Minh Duong, is the chaplain at St. John University in Jamaica, N.Y. “Pray for a stronger faith, persevere in prayer, trust in God’s plan, hope in God – you will never be hopeless,” Father Tien encourages. “Our Savior will share His victory over sin and death to those who are faithful to Him to the end. Remember we are on the journey to our true home in heaven. “I bring all these lessons to my priestly life to live and to share with the people of God.” Klingel, who is thankful to have convinced the humble Father Tien to share his story, hopes that the hardships he endured will have a lasting impact on readers. “I wanted to tell the story so my generation wouldn’t forget that the struggle in Vietnam was about real people, their freedom and their right to it,” she says. “I wanted my children’s generation to hear about the war from someone who experienced it from the inside, rather than the Hollywood version, or the political spin. I wanted their children, and the grandchildren of the boat people who enjoy these freedoms, to know at what cost their grandparents procured it for them. “But most of all, I wanted to write about the importance of faith. This is a modern-day-saint-hero story. Faith wasn’t just for biblical times. It’s for now. His example is real.”
n Saturday, Dec. 15, 8-9:30 p.m. (EWTN) “La Notte Del Profeta” (“Night of the Prophet”). The life story of Padre Pio (1887-1968), the priest who received the stigmata early in his priesthood and bore the wounds for 50 years. A reporter travels to the Italian city of San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio lived and ministered for decades, and interviews those who were closest to him. n Sunday, Dec. 16, 1:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Walk Through Time.” This documentary explores the history of St. Gerard’s chapel at St. Lucy’s Church in New Jersey and its dedication as a national shrine. n Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8-9:30 p.m. (PBS) “First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty.” A look at the origins of the religious guarantees enshrined in the First Amendment. n Thursday, Dec. 20, 10:30 a.m. (EWTN) “Light Of The East II Liturgical Year: The Nativity.” Fathers Mike Sopoliga and Joseph Bertha discuss preparing for Christmas in the Byzantine tradition.
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com catholic news heraldI
ENCOUNTER: FROM PAGE 9
receiving the palanca. The residents truly savored each and every letter. Many of them had received very few, if any, letters during their years in prison. These letters of support and prayer were so deeply touching and loving that many residents totally opened their hearts to God’s mercy, healing and His words. God used so many people to show them His love, and the residents found Christ in these letters. Several said they chose to read just one or two letters each night before they went to bed – they wanted so much to meditate carefully on each message. One resident received a very moving handmade card from a 7-year-old child. The letter reminded him of his 7-year-old daughter, he said, and he was so thankful for the love he experienced. Another resident said he could not believe that an Appalachian State University student, whom he did not know, took the time to hand write a personal twopage letter to him. That letter showed him the love of Christ, he said. There were many emotional moments during the retreat weekend – for both residents and REC team members. One resident told one of the team members that his life had been a waste. Later the team member said, “I am not the hugging type, but I told him, ‘Your life is not a waste’ and gave him a hug.” Another moving moment was when the residents each received a blessed rosary and were taught how to say the prayers. Many Protestants and Catholics then joined together to recite the rosary in unison.
Members of the outside Christian community joined the retreat that evening. Music was sung and everyone broke bread together at the evening meal. A wife of a team member presented a well-received talk about her relationship with Christ. Then many residents took the opportunity to share their feelings about what they had experienced. One resident spoke about the pain of losing his father, and how angry with God he had been. Indeed, several residents described how upset they had been with God, thinking about all they had lost – family members, friends, freedom. Others thanked the team members for the REC retreat, calling it a “spiritual gift.” Another resident told of his sorrow in having been an alcoholic and drug addict who left his sick girlfriend in the hospital one night to go get drunk. He wrecked his truck and nearly died, and it took doctors months to reconstruct his face. “I am very grateful to you men for being here this weekend,” he told the REC team. “My life has been a series of bad decisions. Coming here this weekend is the best decision I have ever made. Thank you.”
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REC team members hope to continue their work at the Avery Mitchell prison and the nearby Mountain View Correctional Center. The inmate population changes, so there are always more men there to be ministered to. The team would also like to help other groups and individuals in the diocese who would be interested in reaching out to men and women who are in prison. There are more than 38,000 men and women incarcerated in North Carolina, with more than two dozen state prisons within the Charlotte diocese.
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Our nation 26
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
For the latest news 24/7: catholicnewsherald.com
The U.S. Capitol dome is seen behind the entrance to the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington in early November.
In Brief Wake Forest president: Leadership critical to university’s identity CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Leadership and creativity are crucial to a university establishing and maintaining a distinct identity, and hiring and developing faculty in line with that identity must be a priority, the president of Wake Forest University recently told participants at a Boston College symposium. “Leadership is critical. To develop anything like a distinct identity will take formative leaders and great creativity. It will not be a natural evolution. It will not just happen,” said Nathan Hatch in an opening keynote. A group of 15 scholars, writers, university presidents and former university presidents gathered for a symposium on “Religion and the Liberal Aims of Higher Education,” held as part of the university’s sesquicentennial celebration. It addressed the question of what sets religious colleges and universities apart from secular institutions, even though they pursue very similar educational goals and methods.
March for Life board elects successor to late Nellie Gray WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jeanne Monahan is the new full-time president of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund, which organizes and runs the March for Life in Washington each January. The organization’s board of directors unanimously voted to appoint Monahan to the post. She succeeds the late Nellie Gray, founder and president, who died in August at age 86. Monahan, a former board member, had been serving as interim president since Gray’s death. Prior to her appointment, she was director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council in Washington, serving as a spokeswoman on life issues and as a regular media contributor on topics related to the dignity of human life. Before that, she served in various capacities at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. — Catholic News Service
CNS | Larry Downing, Reuters
Catholic advocates monitoring several issues facing lame-duck Congress Mark Pattison Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 2010 lameduck session of Congress handled a huge workload two years ago, but it may seem like a trifle compared to what’s on the agenda for the 2012 lame-duck session. Foremost on many people’s minds is the impending expiration of several tax cuts and tax breaks – which, when coupled with budget deficits and the need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling yet again, has led to the popularization of the term “fiscal cliff” to describe the situation. Catholic advocates have joined a multifaith effort calling for a “circle of protection” around the poorest and most vulnerable Americans. The effort started in 2011, even before last year’s midsummer debt showdown between the Democratic-occupied White House, the Republican-dominated House, and a Democratic-led Senate that had a large Republican minority threatening to invoke filibusters. Not to mention the House-Senate “Gang of Six” and the “supercommittee” bids to present palatable debt-relief options after the 2010 Simpson-Bowles debt reduction commission’s recommendations went largely ignored by lawmakers. During a Nov. 20 conference call with reporters, “circle of protection” advocates pointed out that during debate on last year’s Budget Control Act, they were able to take off the table programs benefiting the poor, and were hopeful they could repeat that success in the month ahead. Any fiscal deal “must be comprehensive and balanced,” said Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development for the U.S. bishops. “It must involve deficit reduction. It must require tax increases. It must protect the poor and vulnerable.” And to accomplish all that, she added, “it must be bipartisan.” The Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president
of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, wanted to debunk the notion that government programs that help the poor promote dependency. “My father was a hardworking man. He had two jobs. He was a pastor,” he said. “My mother was working. We were on food stamps. It helped us. If it didn’t help us, we’d go hungry.” But the deficit isn’t the only agenda item. For one thing, there’s still a farm bill to approve. The measure is a reauthorization bill that comes up every five years or so. The National Catholic Rural Life Conference is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “There’s a lot of groups out there, sustain agriculture groups, farm groups, conservation groups, even the administration and folks in the Democratic wing saying we need a 2012 farm bill in the current year,” said rural life conference policy adviser Bob Gronski. “But the reality is, how do we get it done?” There’s not a lot of time left on the calendar, he added, even if Congress were to meet between Christmas and New Year’s Day to attend to the nation’s business. The House has not yet had floor debate on the bill its Agriculture Committee approved, and which looks markedly different from the Senate version, Gronski said. The farm bill’s scope is wide-ranging, covering not only American farms, big and small, but also the nation’s school lunch programs and the Supplemental Nutritional and Assistance Program, or SNAP, the renamed food stamp program, which benefits families in need. Conservation and trade are among the farm bill’s other components. “There’s a game of chicken that’s being played here,” Gronski said. “Most likely there’s going to be an extension but what kind of extension I can’t say.” He outlined the options: a three-, six-, or
12-month extension, either “clean” with no changes or modified with disaster relief for livestock producers who suffered from recent droughts, the restoration of a dairy insurance that expired, and/or funds for a conservation security program backed by the rural life conference. If any debt deal is struck, all of that will likely have to be done with less money. And that doesn’t even address food and nutrition programs, whose outlays spiked since the recession hit nearly five years ago. In another arena, the U.S. bishops are behind the CAP Act. CAP stands for Community Access Programming, which would safeguard the public, educational and governmental access channels that were established when cities and counties first awards franchises to cable operators. One change the bill promotes is the use of funds set aside for access channels to be used for operational expenses. Currently, the money can be used only for capital expenses; most cable systems built their community access studios long ago. It also will keep some channels from going dark, a byproduct of statewide franchising laws that took cable TV out of municipalities’ jurisdiction. So how does the 112th Congress address these issues in the remaining time it has left? Paul Alexander, director of the Institute for the Common Good at Jesuit-run Regis University in Denver, notes,“What are the core values at stake here? There’s this tension between responsibility and compassion and how you really deal with it. The other key thing, and this gets back to Catholic social teaching, is this whole thing of subsidiarity. How do we get the right people to the table who are affected by the issue? One of the core concepts (of Catholic social teaching) is getting closest to the people who are affected.”
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com catholic news heraldI
Lawsuits’ dismissal called disappointing but won’t end legal challenge Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After judges in two separate rulings Nov. 27 dismissed lawsuits filed by Catholic organizations and dioceses in Pennsylvania and Tennessee challenging the federal contraceptive mandate, Catholic leaders in both states expressed disappointment but also some hope the rulings left the door open to refiling their claims. Two days later, a federal appeals court in St. Louis granted a temporary injunction against enforcement of the mandate while a Catholic business owner prepares an appeal of a lower court ruling that rejected his claim the federal requirement is a burden on his religious rights because he is morally opposed to providing contraceptive coverage. In Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik said Nov. 28 that he was disappointed in the U.S. District Court ruling but “very encouraged that it was ‘dismissed without prejudice.’ That means that we have every right to file again in the future.” The Diocese of Pittsburgh, along with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh Inc., and the Catholic Cemeteries Association of Pittsburgh, filed suit in May against a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to include coverage for contraceptives and sterilization free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. In Tennessee, the Nashville diocese in a statement said the order of dismissal by the U.S. District Court there “does not foreclose the bringing of similar claims once the alleged administrative change to the mandate takes place.” The Diocese of Nashville, joined by Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Father Ryan High School, Pope John Paul II High School, Mary Queen of Angels assisted living facility, Villa Maria Manor and St. Mary Villa Child Development Center and Aquinas College, which is owned and operated by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, filed suit in federal court in mid-September against the HHS contraception mandate.
“The Diocese of Nashville and the seven Catholic entities continue to evaluate all of their options in light of the court’s decision,” it added. In his Nov. 27 ruling, Judge Terrence F. McVerry of the U.S. District Court for the western district of Pennsylvania said the plaintiffs have not yet suffered harm from the mandate, because the government will not “enforce the challenged regulations against plaintiffs while accommodations are under consideration, and in any event no sooner than January 2014.” He noted that the plaintiffs’ claims “are not ripe for judicial review and that the plaintiffs have not alleged an injury” under the existing law “sufficient to establish standing.” The final rule on the mandate takes effect in August 2013. The Obama administration C has put in place a yearlong period, called M “safe harbor,” that protects employers from immediate government action if they Y fail to comply with the mandate. On Jan. 1, CM 2014, the U.S. government begins imposing penalties on those who do not comply; the MY government also will fine individuals not CY covered by health insurance and employers that do not offer any coverage. CMY Bishop Zubik said the Pittsburgh diocese and the other Catholic groups that filed K suit will “now await in good faith the accommodation to religious freedom that the federal government has claimed it will offer,” but also stressed that “no modification to the original HHS mandate in regard to religious freedom has yet been made.” He also noted that other courts “have reached differing conclusions in the challenges to the HHS mandate, so this remains fluid.” “I do want to make clear, however, that we cannot and will not negotiate away our constitutional rights to religious freedom and religious expression,” he said. The mandate, part of the Affordable Care Act, has a narrow exemption that applies only to those religious institutions that seek to inculcate their religious values and primarily employ and serve people of their own faith. It does not include a conscience clause for employers who object to providing such coverage.
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Our world 28
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
Pro-lifers concerned abortion may widen in Ireland DUBLIN — An Irish bishop and pro-life activists insisted that any legislation to provide abortion in limited situations would inevitably lead to widespread abortion. “If abortion is introduced, even on a very limited basis, it becomes widespread,” Bishop William Murphy of Kerry said Nov. 29. Days earlier, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny promised “swift action” after a report by a study group recommended that the government introduce legislation to provide for abortion in limited circumstances. In practice, abortion is illegal in Ireland. However, a controversial 1992 Supreme Court judgment – known as the X case – found that there is a constitutional right to abortion where there is a substantial risk to the life of the mother, including the risk of suicide, up to birth. Ireland has been gripped by the issue of abortion in recent weeks after a 31-yearold woman, Savita Halapanavar, died while being treated for a miscarriage. Her husband claims that she was denied the termination of her pregnancy because of Ireland’s ban on abortion and the decision led to her death. However, medical professionals have pointed out that current Irish law allows for intervention to save the life of a mother even if it results in the unavoidable and unintentional death of an unborn child. Bishop Murphy accused campaigners seeking to legalize abortion of attempting to “hijack” the tragedy. — Catholic News Service
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Celebrating Church’s universality, pope creates new cardinals Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Recalling that Christ’s mission transcends “all ethnic, national and religious particularities,” Pope Benedict XVI created six new cardinals from four different continents, representing the Latin rite of the Catholic Church as well as two Eastern Catholic Churches. The churchmen who joined the College of Cardinals Nov. 24 were U.S. Archbishop James M. Harvey, 63, former prefect of the papal household; Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai, 72; Indian Archbishop Baselio Cleemis Thottunkal, 53, head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church; Nigerian Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan , 68, of Abuja; Colombian Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez, 70, of Bogota; and Philippine Archbishop Luis Tagle, 55, of Manila. “I want to highlight in particular the fact that the Church is the church of all peoples, so she speaks in the various cultures of the different continents,” the pope said during the hour-long service in St. Peter’s Basilica. “Amid the polyphony of the various voices, she raises a single harmonious song to the living God.” The six new cardinals later stepped up to the pope, who was seated before the basilica’s main altar, to receive symbols of their office: a ring, the “zucchetto” skull cap and the three-cornered hat called a biretta. The headwear was colored scarlet, like the cardinals’ robes, to symbolize the blood they risk shedding in service to the Church. The new Eastern Catholic cardinals received modified versions of the biretta, consistent with the distinctive clerical garb of their churches. Cardinal Rai received the turban-like Maronite tabieh, and Cardinal Cleemis a head covering in a shape reminiscent of an onion dome. Pope Benedict also assigned each of the new cardinals a “titular church” in Rome, making them full members of the Rome clergy and closer collaborators of the pope in governing the universal Church. Cardinal Harvey’s titular church is the Church of St. Pius V a Villa Carpegna, a post-war church about a mile southwest of Vatican City. The pope has also named Cardinal Harvey to serve as archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, one of Rome’s four major papal basilicas. The Nov. 24 ceremony was a much quieter affair than the last consistory in February, when Pope Benedict created 22 cardinals, including three from the United States and Canada. This time, there was no overflow crowd in St. Peter’s Square, and only 99 of the 211 members of the College of Cardinals were in attendance. Yet the congregation was spirited, with pilgrims applauding
CNS | Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo
Pope Benedict XVI places a red biretta on the head of new Cardinal Bechara Rai, Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch, during a consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Nov. 24. The pope created six new cardinals from four continents during the ceremony. enthusiastically as the new cardinals’ names were called. Cardinal Tagle seemed especially moved as he knelt before the pope, and afterwards was seen wiping a tear from his eye. At the end of the ceremony, the College of Cardinals had 211 members, 120 of whom were under the age of 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. The new consistory raises the percentage of Asian electors from 7 percent to 9 percent. Catholics in Asia account for just over 10 percent of the worldwide Catholic population. At the same time, the percentage of European electors dropped slightly, to just over 51 percent. But the continent remains statistically overrepresented, since the Vatican reports that fewer than 24 percent of the world’s Catholics live in Europe.
Pope makes new rules to strengthen charities’ Catholic identity Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Warning that Catholic charitable activity must not become “just another form of organized social assistance,” Pope Benedict XVI has issued new rules to strengthen the religious identity of Catholic charities and ensure that their activities conform to Church teaching.
The pope’s apostolic letter on the “service of charity,” issued “motu proprio” (on his own initiative), directs bishops in overseeing charitable works in their dioceses. It was released by the Vatican Dec. 1. Charities approved by the church or supported by Church funds “are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments
which could in any way affect the observance of those principles,” the pope wrote. Staff members of such charities must therefore “share, or at least respect, the Catholic identity” of their agencies, and exemplify “Christian life” and faith. Bishops are to provide these employees with “theological and pastoral formation” through special courses and
“suitable aids to the spiritual life,” he wrote. Catholic charities are forbidden to “receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to the Church’s teaching,” or to “accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching,” he also wrote.
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com catholic news heraldI
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In Brief With @Pontifex, pope reaches out to new kind of followers VATICAN CITY — To celebrate the launch of his new Twitter account, Pope Benedict XVI will tweet the answers to a handful of questions from his followers. The pope’s rare question-and-answer exchange on the social media site shows the Church doesn’t just want to teach the truth, but also to listen to others, said Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The archbishop and other Vatican officials spoke at a news conference Dec. 3 to reveal the pope’s new Twitter account @Pontifex. Starting Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the pope will send messages in eight languages, including Arabic, from eight different Twitter accounts. @Pontifex is the English feed while the other language accounts use an extension of the main handle. For example, the Spanish feed is @Pontifex_es. The handle “Pontifex” was chosen because it means “pope and bridge builder,” said Greg Burke, media adviser for the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. The name suggests “reaching out” and bringing unity not just of Catholics “but all men and women of good will,” he said. Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the communications council, said the pontifex name also “refers to the office more than the person,” that is, it highlights the leader of the Church and the Catholic faithful. A more practical
consideration was that numerous permutations of the name Pope Benedict XVI were already taken by other people not affiliated with the pope, whereas the handle “Pontifex” was available.
Vatican praises new UN status for Palestine, urges sovereignty VATICAN CITY — The Vatican praised a United Nations vote making Palestine a non-member observer state but called for full recognition of Palestinian sovereignty as necessary for peace in the region. One hundred thirty-eight member states voted Nov. 29 to boost Palestine’s status from “entity” to “non-member state” – the same status held by the Holy See – in an implicit recognition of Palestinian sovereignty. Israel, the United States and Canada were among the nine states that voted against the motion. Forty-one countries abstained. The vote reflects the “sentiment of the majority of the international community” in favor of a “more significant presence to Palestinians within the United Nations,” the Vatican said in a written statement Nov. 29. But Palestine’s enhanced status at the U.N. “does not constitute, per se, a sufficient solution to the existing problems in the region,” the Vatican said. Such a solution would require “effective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and in the respect for legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and of the Palestinians,” it said. Israeli and Palestinian leaders need to restart peace “negotiations in good faith and to avoid actions, or the placing of conditions, which would contradict the declarations of good will and the sincere search for solutions which could become secure foundations for a lasting peace,” it said. In its statement, the Vatican noted its
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World AIDS Day: Pope highlights problem of poverty in fighting HIV VATICAN CITY — In a special appeal against HIV and AIDS, Pope Benedict XVI called for special attention to those unable to afford lifesaving drugs, especially pregnant and nursing women affected by the disease. The pope, speaking before World AIDS Day Dec. 1, said his thoughts and prayers were with “the great number of children who contract the virus every year from their own mothers, despite the fact there are therapies for preventing it.” AIDS has caused “millions of deaths and tragic human suffering, most markedly in poorer regions of the world, which have great difficulty in getting access to effective drugs,” he said Nov. 28. The pope encouraged the many initiatives the Church supports aimed at “eradicating this scourge.” The Vatican has estimated Catholic agencies provide about 25 percent of all HIV treatment and care throughout the world. The World Health Organization has estimated that perhaps as much as 70 percent of all health care in Africa is provided by faith-based organizations.
Archbishop says Church won’t see much change in China BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A high-ranking Vatican official from China says he doesn’t expect much to change in Church-state relations with the new Chinese government. “I don’t think there will be a big change in the immediate future for the religious policy in China. It’s not one of the immediate priorities
of the new government. They have many other things to take care of,” said Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He made the comments during a visit to the Diocese of Brooklyn that was part of a six-day trip to the United States. He was in the U.S. to attend a meeting of the board of directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies at the national office in New York. China unveiled its new Communist Party leadership Nov. 15. Archbishop Hon explained that since the 1966-’76 Cultural Revolution in China, people have been able to freely worship. The problem, he pointed out, is with “the structure and development of the Church – especially for the hierarchy – the control is too much.” The Chinese government demands the power of approval before a bishop can be appointed by the Vatican, which undermines the independence of the Church’s apostolic authority.
Judges in ‘VatiLeaks’ case issue second guilty verdict VATICAN CITY — Explaining why they found a Vatican computer technician guilty of aiding and abetting the papal butler who stole private papal correspondence, Vatican judges said they found much of his testimony hard to believe. The Vatican court Nov. 10 found Claudio Sciarpelletti, 48, a computer technician in the Vatican Secretariat of State, guilty of obstructing the investigation into the leak of Vatican documents. The court gave Sciarpelletti a two-month suspended jail sentence. As is the custom at the Vatican and in Italy, the judges released an explanation of their findings and their sentence after the verdict was delivered. The 11-page explanation of the Sciarpelletti decision was published Dec. 1. — Catholic News Service
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Come with old friends or meet new ones as we “escape winter” and explore this new, exciting travel destination – the Dominican Republic! Fly non-stop to our Caribbean beach and luxury resort surrounded by palms. This ALL-INCLUSIVE vacation means all drinks, all meals, all tips are included! No worries! Relax by the enormous winding pool or in the Jacuzzis. Walk on the powdery white sands or float in the crystal blue sea. Try exciting new water sports, tennis or the private jogging trail. Spoil yourself by dining in 8 international restaurants -- and choose your favorite of the 10 bars, each with its own kind of fun! This all-inclusive vacation takes you away to an unforgettable experience! Plus, we also will have daily Mass (subject to space availability) with our own diocesan priest! Rates are $1109 to $1249 per person (all-inclusive) double occupancy, depending on your choice of accommodations. Singles are available, too. A $150 deposit holds your space today – but don’t wait! Only limited group space can be held and your airfare (cost to be quoted at registration) may go up closer to deadline.
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catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
Sister Margie Lavonis
Remember Jesus? Christmas is His birthday, not ours
am not a Scrooge, but all the activity during this time of year depresses me. People are running around frantically buying things they often do not need or cannot afford. Stores ply Christmas carols even before the Halloween decorations are taken down, and lots of people put up their Christmas trees before the turkey is cooked on Thanksgiving. The malls are crowded and some people will actually get up at four in the morning to stand in long lines for Christmas specials. And you probably can give other examples. I want to tell them whose birthday it really is and why we celebrate. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not against Christmas or gift-giving. Gifts are important expressions of appreciation and love. However, trying to outdo one another or giving gifts only because someone else is giving them to us seems ridiculous. In most of the Western Hemisphere we have the tendency to think that more is better. Our culture is very materialistic. Our wants have become our needs. Many want the best and the latest of everything. Children often hound their parents and Santa for the most popular toys. I know parents who agonize because they can’t afford these items and will go into debt just to give their children what “everybody else” is getting. Sometimes I wonder who this “everybody” is. We often can lose sight that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Christians should remember and remind others about why we celebrate. It is Christ’s birthday, not ours. Hopefully our gifts are expressions of God’s love and the fact that Jesus is the greatest gift of all. You might wonder what you could possibly do to turn the tide. Every year I ask myself the same thing. The following are a few suggestions that might help us all. Examine your gift giving. Think of those who are on your Christmas list and why you give them gifts. Maybe you do it because you feel obliged or have always done so. Hopefully, your giving
is out of love and that more is not better than less. Reinforce with your family, especially your children and grandchildren, that the joy of Christmas does not depend on how many or what gifts we receive or give. Suggest to your children that gifts don’t always have to be things. They can give the special gift of service, like giving a card with a promise to shovel the person’s driveway and sidewalks this winter or offer a couple with little children some days of free babysitting. Let them use their imaginations. Emphasize that their time can also be a precious gift. Gifts also can be made. Giving baked Christmas goodies or homemade candy is appreciated by all. It is very special
Advent, a time for fasting J
ohn Climacus sums up the value of fasting in one sentence: “Begrudge the stomach and your heart will be humbled; please the stomach and your mind will turn proud.” These words appear in his chapter on gluttony in his great spiritual classic, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent.” That he links fasting with humility and gluttony with pride is not to be overlooked. Both Evagrius of Pontus (345-399) and St. Gregory the Great (540-604) list gluttony as the first of the vices Christians must attack as they move toward union with God. Both place pride as the last of the vices one must conquer. Evagrius, considered the originator of the list of vices, places pride as his eighth and final vice. St. Gregory received the list of vices from Evagrius’ disciple John Cassian, who greatly influenced St. Benedict, and transformed it into what we know today as the seven deadly sins.
Fast, the Advent Fast began on Nov. 15 and lasts through Dec. 24. Some call the Nativity Fast the St. Phillip’s Fast, because it begins the day after the feast of St. Phillip the Apostle on the Eastern Catholic liturgical calendar. Although fasting is voluntary, during this time people are encouraged to abstain from meat. They are also encouraged to do acts of penance such as prayer and charitable works. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a fast-free day. Christmas Eve is a strict fast. On this day, people abstain from meat and have only one full meal and a snack. It is customary for some also to abstain from dairy products on this day. The other three seasonal fasts in the Eastern Catholic Church are those for Lent, similar to that in the Roman Catholic Church; the fast of the Holy Apostles, from the first Sunday after Pentecost until June 28; and the Dormition Fast, a fast from Aug. 1 to 14 in honor of the Blessed Mother’s Assumption. Parishioners also are encouraged to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year, as well as on special days. Fundamentally, fasting helps us to empty ourselves so that our hearts can be purified. Writing of avarice – what today we call greed – St. Augustine once said, “Do you not realize that hoarding yourself in this way you are covering your heart with mud? How then will you see him whom you desire?” In fasting we uncover our hearts of mud, we purify ourselves and open ourselves up to Christ. Keeping this in mind, Advent is the perfect time to fast because it allows us to more fully appreciate the Incarnation of Our Lord. In essence, it allows us to prepare for the coming of the Lord just as we prepare for the reception of grace. Preparation for grace, Olivier Clément writes in “The Roots of Christian Mysticism,” is “making ourselves attentive to the possibility of a meeting.” Fasting in Advent keeps our minds focused on meeting Christ at His birth, not on the glitzy trappings of the holiday season that blur the distinction between Advent and Christmas. This Advent try fasting, and open yourself up to the Lord. No effort, Climacus reminds us, will be too small. “Fight as hard as you can against the stomach and let your vigilance hold it in. Make the effort, however little, and the Lord will quickly come to your help.”
‘Few of us think of Advent as a season of penitential preparation. Most of us instead get caught up in the joy of the Christmas season, when we should instead be waiting expectantly – preparing for the birth of Our Lord.’ Doreen Sugierski | Catholic News Herald
when someone takes the time to make something delicious to give to you. Send Christmas cards to people who live far away and won’t see during the holidays. Share the gift of your time by letting friends know what has happened in your life. It seems a waste of paper and postage to just sign your name. Also, remember that the Church’s Christmas season goes far beyond Dec. 25, so cards don’t have to make it to recipients by Christmas day. Changing our materialistic way of celebrating Christmas will not happen overnight, but each of us can do our part to keep into focus remember whose birthday we celebrate. It also will help us to more appreciate the meaning of Advent and relieve a lot of stress so we can truly enjoy this beautiful season of preparation for the birth of Jesus, not primarily Santa. Sister Margie Lavonis is professed with the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Ind. Learn more about the sisters at www.cscsisters.org.
Gluttony, Climacus writes, is “the prince of the passions,” but “pride takes up residence wherever we have lapsed….” The devil’s invention, Climacus notes, pride leads to the denial of God. But the true journey to God leads to humility, and the journey to humility begins with self-denial. One of the best ways to build up a practice of self-denial is through regular penance and fasting, a practice long recognized by the Church. Everyone seems to fast in some way for Lent. Many of us continue to fast in some measure throughout the year by giving up meat on Fridays, a practice that fell out of widespread practice following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Few of us, however, think of Advent as a season of penitential preparation. Most of us instead get caught up in the joy of the Christmas season, when we should instead be waiting expectantly – preparing for the birth of Our Lord. One of the great traditions of the Eastern Catholic Church is the Advent Fast, one of four seasonal fasts. Also called the Nativity
Kevin Bezner is a member of St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte. The mission has several Adventrelated celebrations planned this month. Learn more at www. stbasil.weebly.com.
December 7, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.com catholic news heraldI
Ponderings of the heart T
he arrival of Advent marks a significant time of reflection in our lives. When I think of quiet time spent in reflection, I am always reminded of such saints as St. Clare and St. Bruno, who chose solitary lives of prayer, their deepest yearning to be alone with God. In contemporary society, quiet reflection is not so easy. We live in one of the most communicative times in history. With the touch of a screen we can instantly talk to someone on the other side of the planet. Our attentions are fixed on digital messages constantly buzzing in our pockets. Within the span of just 30 minutes, many of us have had at least five phone conversations while on route to another social engagement. So how can we mimic the saints? How can we too experience a reflective moment during this busy season of Advent? The key comes from Mary’s example as the mother of Jesus. Mary was with Jesus from the miraculous moment of conception, through His death, Resurrection and Ascention. Luke tells us that Mary pondered all these things in her heart. How else could she have made sense of all that God asked of her, of all that God brought into her life? She experienced events that no other woman has. How could she socialize about these moments with anyone other than God? Mary’s ponderings must be looked at as reflections. More than reflections, we can even conceive that these ponderings were quiet conversations with God. Some call a mother’s pondering innately characteristic of women. Women are intuitive, sensitive, and think and feel with deep emotion. However, in the season of Advent, Mary’s reflections, these ponderings of the heart, can be a model for both men and women of our preparation for Christ at Christmas. In this Advent season we should take the time to ask ourselves: Where is Jesus in my life? Am I saying “yes” to God’s call, as Mary did? How can I be more like Mary and Joseph, and give my whole life, my work and my family to God? Where does Jesus more fully need to be “born” in my life this Christmas? Making quiet time for such reflection despite our busy schedules can be difficult. However, we can take advantage of small pockets of time. Those who participate in prayer groups continually advocate that time for prayer can be found in the smallest recesses of time – whether it is while washing our hands, buckling our seat belts, or on our daily commute. If we could use these small quiet moments to pose at least one question to God, we might find ourselves growing ever quieter throughout the day because we are instinctively listening for an answer. We can also use the time we usually devote to Facebook or television instead to reading the Gospels or spiritual materials. This listening thus begins our reflection; prayer with quiet time to hear an answer, to truly acknowledge what Christ is trying to teach us, to tell us about our importance to Him and His love for each of us. Even if an answer doesn’t come in this Advent season, it gets the ball rolling for us to put Christ first in our lives, to feel a sense that we are working toward what He wants us to do. This in itself opens doors for a closer conversation and relationship with God. During this Advent season, how can we follow Mary’s example and ponder our hope, our glory, our Savior who is Jesus Christ, and thus with open hearts await His arrival this Christmas? April Parker is a published author, freelance writer, and teacher at St. Pius X School in Greensboro.
Prepare this Advent – and the rest of the year, too
e’ve come upon one of the most important times of the year in our Catholic faith. It’s a time when we are supposed to prepare to welcome our Savior into this world in flesh and blood. It’s also a time where we should look for Him and welcome Him into our hearts. A time where we want to put on our very best to welcome Him the way He deserves to be welcomed. It’s Advent. However, the real question remains – am I, you or anyone really looking for Him in the right places? The season has become one of grandiosity. Who can open their doors first for shoppers on “Black Friday”? What website has the best deals on “Cyber Monday”? Do I have better decorations than my neighbor? To a degree, I guess there could be something said for that. It gets people into the “spirit” of giving during the season and it can be easy to get wrapped up (pun intended) in all of it. It begs the question, though – why do we need a season to get into the spirit of giving? As Catholics, shouldn’t this feeling be not only a yearlong feeling but a lifelong one? He was born in the simplest of situations, nothing grandiose or over the top. Our Savior was born in a simple manger to parents who gave all that they had. It wasn’t a “season” that made Mary and Joseph do what they did. I truly believe that is a lesson we all should be reminded of and put into action in every day of our lives. Instead of looking for the next big thing to find Jesus in our lives, we should do our best to find Him in the everyday things we do. Surely that can be difficult, but if we all made a commitment to try a little harder to see Jesus and hear what He is saying to us in our day-to-day lives, wouldn’t this be a better world in which to live? Maybe that means giving your spouse a kiss for no reason, or telling your children how proud you are of them. It could mean calling an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while just to say hello. Or maybe it means buying a cup of coffee for that person who really needs cheering up during this stressful season. Each situation is personal, but each situation gives us the chance to meet Jesus face to face. All we have to do is make the effort – and not just during this time of year, but during the entire “season” of our lives. Advent gives us a great reminder of not only what it is, but who it is we are truly preparing for. As Catholics, we have to do our best to practice it every day and not just during a particular season. It is Advent – time to prepare for Christmas. During this season, I pray that I not only prepare my decorations and gifts for the holidays, but most importantly, I pray that each of us prepares our hearts for His birth every day of our lives. Ryan Murray is a member of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro. Have an idea or comment? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Murray on his blog at nobonzaboutit-ryan.blogspot.com.
Resources to enrich your Advent Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from “ad-venire” in Latin, or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays and weekdays leading up to Christmas. Advent is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, Dec. 17-24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord. The liturgical color for Advent is purple, just like Lent – as both are seasons of preparation and penance. The Mass prayers, devotions and other activities this season are meant to help us quiet and discipline our hearts so that we may better appreciate the full joy of the Incarnation.
Online at www.usccb.org: n Read background and commentaries on the prayers you’ll hear at Sunday Mass in Advent n Print a free family Advent activity calendar (English or Spanish) n Learn more about the Advent wreath n Bless your Advent wreath n Bless your Christmas tree n Bless your Christmas manger or Nativity scene n Download a free “Festival of Lessons & Carols” podcast, featuring nine Scripture lessons, prayers and holiday carols or hymns n Learn about the ancient “O Antiphons” to sing from Dec. 17 to 23 n Get Christmas movie ideas: A list of 20 classic films you’ll want to watch with the entire family over the holidays
Holy Spirit parishioner Grant Mooney, 6, lights the first candle of the Advent Wreath he made after Mass on Dec. 2.
Doreen Sugierski | Catholic News Herald
catholicnewsherald.com | December 7, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD
The Nurturing Center of Greensboro an exciting new program of Room At The Inn of The Carolinas The Nurturing Center is an exciting new service for homeless families in Greensboro, pairing child care services and personal development support designed to stabilize both parents and children. The Nurturing Center helps these families with services and support designed to enable them to regain their ability to support themselves. The Center provides child care for children ages 6 weeks - 5 years old, counseling and referral services, life skills development and other programs. Partner referring agencies include the Greensboro Urban Ministry, Salvation Army, Mary's House, and Family Service of the Piedmont's Clara House. Caseworkers in these agencies are able to refer eligible families for child care services, parenting classes, counseling and life skills education and support. Current program participants in any of Room at the Inn of the Triad's maternity home and college based supportive housing programs are also able to take advantage of these services. We offer free of charge • High quality accessible childcare for children 6 weeks to 5 years old • Supportive counseling and referrals from an on-site mental health professional • Parenting classes to nurture both parents and their children • Life skills classes to develop practical skills needed to regain selfsufficiency • Transportation to and from The Nurturing Center • A "Trauma Informed" approach to care Nurturing Center programming is based on a trauma informed service delivery framework, recognizing that these families and children have been through many difficult circumstances on their journey through homelessness. The instability and crisis of homelessness, occurring during the key developmental period of early childhood, can have significant effects on the healthy growth and development of young children. All Nurturing Center staff have specialized training and support to serve these families with compassionate, responsive services which meet their unique needs in an environment of safety, dignity and respect. In order for the children in our program to benefit from a secure and consistent nurturing environment, we offer these services to our families for up to a whole year, not just the time they are staying in a shelter. Over the years that we have been operating our shelter for single pregnant women, we realized two key things: 1. Children in homeless situations have special needs that are not being addressed 2. It is almost impossible for single parents of young children to break out of homelessness without at least temporary access to free or affordable childcare We realized that other shelters in Greensboro face these same issues as they try to help families transition to permanent housing and a hope-filled future. We decided to expand our services and move them out of our maternity home so they would be accessible to all the single families staying in Greensboro's shelters. The Nurturing Center of Greensboro opened its doors in May 2012.
PO Box 14867, Greensboro, NC 27415 www.nurturingcenterofgreensboro.org
All of us at The Nurturing Center wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas!
Celebrating for Homeless Children At Christmas, God Has A Child’s Face
It’s FUN and EASY…..here’s how it works: 1. Host a Celebrating for Homeless Children event (anything from a formal dinner to a pot of chili) anytime between Thanksgiving and Dec 13th 2. Invite guests who you’d normally be celebrating the season with anyway (friends, family, neighbors and co-workers) and tell them that they will be invited to make a donation that will make a difference in the life of a local homeless child instead of bringing a gift for a gift exchange 3. Attend the Celebrating for Homeless Children Dessert Finale where we will celebrate our success together (optional)
Celebrating for Homeless Children Dessert Finale Thursday, December 13th at 7 pm Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church 3906 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro HOMELESS SANTA WILL BE THERE!!! If you would consider being a Celebrating for Homeless Children event host, Call Marianne @ 336.391.6299 or email: mdonadio@RoomInn.org
Santa will be staying in a homeless shelter in Greensboro for 33 days to remind us there are children staying in shelters this Christmas and that…
At Christmas, God has a Child's Face.
"Homeless Santa" is campaign of The Nurturing Center of Greensboro to educate people about the problem of homeless children and to raise money to help them. Santa's goal is $33,000; he will spend 33 nights from Thanksgiving until Christmas in homeless shelters. We are looking for 1000 people to support him by donating just $33 to help him reach his goal. That is one dollar per day!
Would YOU be one of them? To Follow him on his journey visit: