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December 6, 2013 S E RV I N G C H R I ST A N D C O N N EC T I N G C AT H O L I C S I N W E ST E R N N O R T H C A R O L I N A

Belmont Abbey files new lawsuit against HHS mandate, 6

Mary, pray for us INSIDE: Don’t miss out on several Marian celebrations planned this month, 5

Downtown Asheville hotel deal off City will tear down buildings,


INDEX Contact us.......................... 4 Events calendar................. 4 Our Parishes................. 4-12 Schools......................... 14-15 Scripture readings............ 2 TV & Movies.......................16 U.S. news...................... 18-19 Viewpoints.................. 22-23 World news.................. 20-21 Year of Faith.................... 2-3

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FUNDED by the parishioners of the diocese of charlotte THANK YOU!

Serenade Our Lady

Pray for sanctity of life

Venerate ‘Black Madonna’

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish will celebrate its patronal feast day with a big bash at Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte Dec. 11

Participate in the National Night of Prayer for Life and Liberty during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Dec. 8-9

Greensboro and Charlotte will host a replica of the famed Polish icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa Dec. 28-Jan. 1

Closing the Year of Faith Pope Francis venerates St. Peter’s relics, urges people to focus on Christ,


Giving thanks

Scenes of Thanksgiving generosity,


‘For A Child’ Christmas CD is born

St. Pius X parishioners’ dreams realized, 16


Year of faith | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Pope Francis

Belief in eternal life with Christ frees people from worldly woes With His resurrection, Jesus opened the doors for all those who believe in Him to be risen and united with Him in heaven, Pope Francis said. The anticipation of eternal life “is the source and reason of our hope, a hope that, if cultivated and safeguarded, becomes the light to illuminate our own lives” and those around us, he said during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 4. If people could grasp fully this reality of eternal life with Jesus, “we will be less weary from daily life, less imprisoned by the ephemeral and more willing to walk with a merciful heart on the path to salvation,” he said. The pope focused his catechesis on the resurrection of the body. The death and resurrection of Jesus “is not a lie, it’s true. We believe that Jesus is risen and alive at this moment,” he said. “And if Jesus is alive, do you think He would leave us to die and never resurrect us? No! He is waiting for us and, because He is risen, the power of His resurrection will resurrect all of us.” Through Christ, the human body will be glorified and reunited with the soul at the resurrection, he said. “Our relationship with (Christ’s) body and blood” through the sacraments prepares the faithful for this transformation, this “transfiguration of our body,” he said. In fact, baptism marks the start of a new life, “a life with Christ” and, “in a certain way, with Him we are already risen,” the pope said. This “seed of resurrection” and an image of eternity are imprinted in people, underlining the importance of always respecting all human life and showing love for others, especially for those who suffer. “This gives us hope that we are journeying toward the resurrection and this is our joy: one day to find Jesus, encounter Jesus” and be all together in heaven. “This is our destiny,” he said, to be joyous with Jesus.

Pope Francis makes a point as he leads his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 20. In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization, with a focus on society’s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn. CNS | Paul Haring

In document, pope lays out his vision for an evangelical Church Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society’s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn. “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the

Gospel”), released by the Vatican Nov. 26, is an apostolic exhortation, one of the most authoritative categories of papal documents. (Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei,” published in July, was mostly the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.) The pope wrote the new document in response to the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, but declined to work from a draft provided by

synod officials. Pope Francis’ voice is unmistakable in the 50,000-word document’s relatively relaxed style – he writes that an “evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!” – and its emphasis on some of his signature themes, including the dangers of economic CHURCH, SEE page 3

Your daily Scripture readings DEC. 8-14

Sunday: Isaiah 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-9, Matthew 3:1-12; Monday (The Immaculate Conception): Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Ephesians 1:36, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38; Tuesday: Isaiah 40:1-11, Matthew 18:12-14; Wednesday (St. Damasus I): Isaiah 40:25-31, Matthew 11:28-30; Thursday (Our Lady of Guadalupe): Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18-19, Luke 1:26-38; Friday (St. Lucy): Isaiah 48:17-19, Matthew 11:16-19; Saturday (St. John of the Cross): Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11, Matthew 17:9-13

DEC. 15-21

Sunday: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11; Monday: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Matthew 21:23-27; Tuesday: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Matthew 1:1-17; Wednesday: Jeremiah 23:5-8, Matthew 1:18-25; Thursday: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Luke 1:5-25; Friday: Isaiah 7:10-14, Luke 1:26-38; Saturday (St. Peter Canisius): Song of Songs 2:8-14, Luke 1:39-45

DEC. 22-28

Sunday: Isaiah 7:10-14, Romans 1:1-7, Matthew 1:18-24; Monday (St. John of Kanty): Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Luke 1:57-66; Tuesday: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16, Luke 1:67-79; Wednesday (The Nativity of the Lord): Isaiah 52:7-10, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18; Thursday (St. Stephen): Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Matthew 10:17-22; Friday (St. John): 1 John 1:1-4, John 20:1-8; Saturday (The Holy Innocents): 1 John 1:5-2:2, Matthew 2:13-18

December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI


globalization and “spiritual worldliness.” The Church’s message “has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary,” he writes. “In this basic core, what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead.” Inspired by Jesus’ poverty and concern for the dispossessed during His earthly ministry, Pope Francis calls for a “Church which is poor and for the poor.” The poor “have much to teach us,” he writes. “We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voices to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them.” Charity is more than mere handouts, “it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor,” the pope writes. “This means education, access to health care, and above all employment, for it is through free creative, participatory and mutually supportive labor that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their lives.” Yet he adds that the “worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care. ... They need God and we must not fail to offer them His friendship, His blessing, His word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith.” Pope Francis reiterates his earlier

criticisms of “ideologies that defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation,” which he blames for the current financial crisis and attributes to an “idolatry of money.” He emphasizes that the Church’s concern for the vulnerable extends to “unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us,” whose defense is “closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.” “A human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development,” the pope writes, in his strongest statement to date on the subject of abortion. “Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.” The pope writes that evangelization entails peacemaking, among other ways through ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. He “humbly” calls on Muslim majority countries to grant religious freedom to Christians, and enjoins Catholics to “avoid hateful generalizations” based on “disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism,” since “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence.” Pope Francis characteristically directs some of his strongest criticism at his fellow clergy, among other reasons, for what he describes as largely inadequate preaching. He devotes several pages to suggestions for better homilies, based on careful study of the Scriptures and respect for the principle of brevity. The faithful and “their ordained ministers suffer because of homilies,” he writes: “the laity from having to listen to them and the clergy from having to preach them!” Pope Francis reaffirms Church teaching

that only men can be priests, but notes that their “sacramental power” must not be “too closely identified with power in general,” nor “understood as domination”; and he allows for the “possible role of women in decision-making in different areas of the Church’s life.” As he has done in a number of his homilies and public statements, the pope stresses the importance of mercy, particularly with regard to the Church’s moral teaching. While lamenting “moral relativism” that paints the Church’s teaching on sexuality as unjustly discriminatory, he also warns against overemphasizing certain teachings out of the context of more essential Christian truths. In words very close to those he used in an oft-quoted interview with a Jesuit journalist in August, Pope Francis writes that “pastoral ministry in a missionary style is not obsessed with the disjointed transmission of a multitude of doctrines to be insistently imposed,” lest they distract from the Gospel’s primary invitation to “respond to the God of love who saves us.” Returning to a theme of earlier statements, the pope also warns against “spiritual worldliness, which hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for the Church, (but) consists in seeking not the Lord’s glory but human glory and personal well-being,” either through embrace of a “purely subjective faith” or a “narcissistic and authoritarian elitism” that overemphasizes certain rules or a “particular Catholic style from the past.” Despite his censures and warnings, the pope ends on a hopeful note true to his well-attested devotion to Mary, whom he invokes as the mother of evangelization and “wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones.”


Doreen Sugierski | Catholic News Herald

Many hands make light work during an Advent wreath making event at Holy Spirit Church in Denver. Pictured with their Advent wreath is the Wood family: (from left) Katherine, 9, Jeffery, 9, Michaela, 9, and Bella, 7, with dad, Jeffery in the center.

Preparing for Christmas 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 the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season 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, from Dec. 17 to Dec. 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas). At Check out the following resources to help you prepare for the coming of the Lord. – Download a free family Advent activity calendar (English or Spanish), and learn more about the Advent wreath – Bless your Advent wreath

“A human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development,” the pope writes, in his strongest statement to date on the subject of abortion. “Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.”

– Photo contest: “How do you prepare for Christmas?” Enter the U.S. bishops’ Advent photo contest with a daily giveaway of the new two-volume book, “The Simple Wisdom of Pope Francis.”

Pope frames vision for Church outreach at every level

– Learn about the ancient “O Antiphons” to sing from Dec. 17 to 23

VATICAN CITY — Here are a few of the main features of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), which was released Nov. 26 at the Vatican: n With a mix of conversational style and formal papal magisterial language, Pope Francis sets forth a vision for giving the entire Church, at every level, a missionary thrust; he anticipates some objections and confusion, but asks everyone to give it a try. n He calls for renewal and rethinking the way every person and every institution – from the pope and the Roman Curia down to the parish and its parishioners – live their faith and focus their energies. n The pope recognizes the Church must be realistic about the challenges individuals and the world pose to belief today, but – as a Jesuit – he encourages an Ignatian

as the one reading of opportunity the situation, Online each week looking for the At most priests people, places Read or download a complete copy have to and trends of “Evangelii Gaudium” encourage where God is Catholics present. The to live practice should the faith. He provides detailed lead to greater consolation, joy and suggestions on reading the biblical courage in sharing the Gospel. texts for the Mass, writing the n Pope Francis sees the Christian homily and delivering it. life as being based on knowing and n The pope recognizes that some experiencing God’s love, mercy and Church teachings and positions salvation offered to all through the on modern issues are confusing to death and resurrection of Jesus many people, especially outside the Christ. Evangelization programs Church. He affirms Church teaching and catechesis must be designed that women cannot be priests to help people return to that basic since Jesus chose only men as His knowledge and experience and help them understand Church teaching in apostles, but he also says women must be involved more in Church light of God having revealed Himself decision making. He also insists that as loving and merciful. the defense of the life of the unborn n He apologetically spends a long flows from the conviction that every section of the document talking life is sacred, and is a position that about the importance of homilies

will not change. n Pope Francis says that the heart of the Christian moral message is love for one another, which must motivate Christians to share the Gospel, help the poor and work for social justice. n He warns of “spiritual worldliness” which leads apparently good Catholics to be concerned almost exclusively with power or appearances or judging others rather than recognizing their own sin and reaching out to others with the same mercy God offers them. n The pope highlights Mary not only as a model of faith and fidelity, but as a strong woman and mother who shared many of the joys and sorrows facing people today and, therefore, understands the challenges they face. — Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

– Read background and commentaries on the prayers you’ll hear at Sunday Mass in Advent – Bless your Christmas tree – Bless your Christmas manger or Nativity Scene – Download a free “Festival of Lessons & Carols” podcast, featuring nine Scripture lessons, prayers and holiday carols or hymns

– Get Christmas movie ideas: A list of 20 classic films you’ll want to watch with the entire family over the holidays

Go to the movies to see ‘The Christmas Candle’ At View the movie trailer and read more about the movie “The Christmas Candle,” featuring singer Susan Boyle making her film debut.

4 | December 6, 2013 OUR PARISHES 

Diocesan calendar of events ASHEVILLE ST. EUGENE CHURCH, 72 CULVERN ST. — El grupo de oración se reúne todos los sábados a las 7 p.m. en la iglesia

Bishop Peter J. Jugis

— “Bethlehem’s Child – A Christmas Cantata,” presented by Queen of the Apostles’ Music Ministry: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, Sisters of Mercy Cardinal Gibbons Chapel. A reception will follow in the MAK Family Life Center.

DEC. 10 – 1 p.m. Advent Dinner for Priests Bishop’s Residence DEC. 13 – 6:30 p.m. Vineyard of Hope Carmel Country Club, Charlotte

— Breakfast with Santa: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Join us for coffee, conversation, pancakes and sausage. Crafts, caroling, Santa, pictures and gifts for all children attending. Caroling will take place until 10 a.m. when Santa arrives to have his picture taken with all the children.

DEC. 16 – 5 p.m. Advent Gathering for Employees Bishop’s Residence DEC. 17 – 7 p.m. Advent Reception for Deacons and Wives Bishop’s Residence DEC. 19 – 1 p.m. Advent Dinner with Seminarians Bishop’s Residence Jan. 6-10, 2014 Annual Retreat for Bishops

— The Spirituality of Waiting: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 7. Join St. Peter’s Ignation Spirituality Team for a morning of prayer and reflection.

QUEEN OF THE APOSTLES CHURCH, 503 NORTH MAIN ST. — Christmas Food Baskets: 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Help pack food boxes for needy families and share the true spirit of Christmas.

Dec. 7 – 2 p.m. Sacrament of Confirmation St. Mark Church, Huntersville

— Advent Vespers: 6-6:30 p.m. each Sunday during Advent. Join fellow parishioners in preparing for Our Lord’s coming at Christmas. ST. PETER CHURCH, 507 S. TRYON St.

BELMONT Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following events over the coming weeks:


CHARLOTTE ST. JOHN NEUMANN CHURCH, 8451 Idlewild Road — Community Christmas Concert: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, in All Saints Hall at Christ Episcopal Church featuring the voices of 100 youth singers celebrating the diverse and unique relationship that music has this time of year. The Youth Choir will be singing “Ave Maria” and will join in singing songs with other youth from around the city from public schools and churches. — Festival of lessons and carols: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, featuring youth and adult choirs, celebrating music and readings in anticipation of Christmas. Musicians and readers from many different cultures of the parish will participate. ST. MATTHEW CHURCH, 8015 BALLANTYNE COMMONS PKWY. — Opus Dei Recollection for Men: 7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. All men welcome for a recollection directed by a priest of Opus Dei in the Daily Mass Chapel. The priest is available for confessions starting at 6:30 p.m. For details, contact Joe Ignacio at 704-752-7155 or — Opus Dei Recollection for Women: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. All women welcome for a recollection. Confessions starting at 9:30 a.m. Recollection includes Holy Mass at 12 p.m. For details, contact Remy Ignacio at 704-752-7155 or — Polish Mass: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available beforehand starting at 2 p.m. For details, call Elizabeth Spytkowski at 704948-1678 or

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CHURCH, 1400 SUTHER ROAD — Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Father Patrick Winslow, pastor, will celebrate the third annual bilingual Mass in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas. To help or volunteer, contact — Misa a Nuestra Sra. De Guadalupe: El Jueves de Diciembre a las 7 p.m., la iglesia Sto. Tomas Aquinas sera la anfitriona de nuestra tercera misa bilingue en honor a nuestra Sra. De Guadalupe, Patrona de las Americas’. El celbrante sera el Padre Patrick Winslow Sacerdote a cargo de nuestra parroquia. Si alguien quiere copperar con algo o ser voluntario en esta celebracion especial, favor de comunicarse con: — Filipino Sinbang Gabi Christmas Liturgy: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, the Filipino community of St. Thomas Aquinas will host the Simbang Gabi (Night Mass). ST. VINCENT DE PAUL CHURCH, 6828 OLD REID ROAD — Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair: 9-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Activity Center. For details, call 704644-4656 or email — Prayer Vigil: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and St. Vincent de Paul Parish’s Respect Life Committee. Father Mark Lawlor will celebrate Mass, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a procession to the Hebron abortion mill. Visit for details.

CLEMMONS HOLY FAMILY CHURCH, 4820 KINNAMON ROAD — “Spirit of Christmas” annual concert: 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. In addition to the Adult Choir, there will be Bell Choirs, Children’s Choir and a carol sing along. For details, call 336-778-0600, ext. 206, or visit www.

GREENSBORO ST. MARY CHURCH, 812 DUKE ST. — Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act presentation: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. This program is mainly for the uninsured and the selfemployed. Everyone is welcome. ST. PIUS X Church, 220 STATE St. — Greensboro Youth Chorus: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 in the church. Accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for FOX8 Gifts for Kids.

HIGH POINT IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY CHURCH, 4145 JOHNSON St. — “An Evening of Joyful Longing”: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, a parish family Advent gathering with fellowship and refreshments offering music, stories and tradition. Bring a plate of cookies and/or a large bottle of lotion for our shut-ins and elderly.

KERNERSVILLE HOLY CROSS CHURCH, 616 south cherry st. — Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration: 7:30 p.m.midnight, Wednesday, Dec. 11. Reception at 7:30 in Salasian Hall; traditional dancing at 8 p.m., followed by a play in the church about Juan Diago and Our Lady at 8:45 p.m. and the recitation of the rosary. Mass at 11 p.m. followed by singing and flower dedications to Our Lady. All are welcome.

MINT HILL ST. LUKE CHURCH, 13700 LAWYERS ROAD — Annual Christmas Party with Santa: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Family Life Center. Dinner is free to all parishioners; bring a side dish or dessert to share.

MONROE Our lady of lourdes church, 725 deese st. — Annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Celebration: 5 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, Mananitas in the church, songs and prayers, then breakfast together; 7 p.m. traditional dances and songs in the church; and 8 p.m. Mass in Spanish celebrated by Father Benjamin Roberts, pastor. All are welcome. Call the parish at 704-289-2773 for details. — Celebración Anual de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: 5 a.m. jueves, 12 de Diciembre, Mañanitas en la iglesiacanciones y oraciones, después desayuno juntos; 7 p.m. danzas folklóricas y canciones en la iglesia; 8 p.m. Párroco, Padre Benjamín Roberts celebrará la Santa Misa. Todos bienvenidos. Para mayor información, llame a la parroquia al 704-289-2773.

WINSTON-SALEM ST. LEO THE GREAT Church, 335 SPRINGDALE AVE. — Annual Morning at Bethlehem: 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, all faith formation families are invited. This morning will transport you to the life and times of Jesus. Visit shops that will teach you more about everyday life in Bethlehem with hands-on activities.

Is your PARISH OR SCHOOL hosting a free event open to the public? Deadline for all submissions is 10 days prior to desired publication date. Submit in writing to catholic news HERALD

December 6, 2013 Volume 23 • Number 4

1123 S. Church St. Charlotte, N.C. 28203-4003

704-370-3333 PUBLISHER: The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte

EDITOR: Patricia L. Guilfoyle 704-370-3334, ADVERTISING MANAGER: Kevin Eagan 704-370-3332, SENIOR REPORTER: SueAnn Howell 704-370-3354, Online reporter: Kimberly Bender 704-808-7341, GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Tim Faragher 704-370-3331, COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT/CIRCULATION: Erika Robinson, 704-370-3333, catholicnews@ Hispanic communications reporter: Rico De Silva, 704-370-3375,

The Catholic News Herald is published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte 26 times a year. NEWS: The Catholic News Herald welcomes your news and photos. Please e-mail information, attaching photos in JPG format with a recommended resolution of 150 dpi or higher, to All submitted items become the property of the Catholic News Herald and are subject to reuse, in whole or in part, in print, electronic formats and archives. ADVERTISING: Reach 165,000 Catholics across western North Carolina! For advertising rates and information,

contact Advertising Manager Kevin Eagan at 704-370-3332 or The Catholic News Herald reserves the right to reject or cancel advertising for any reason, and does not recommend or guarantee any product, service or benefit claimed by our advertisers. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $15 per year for all registered parishioners of the Diocese of Charlotte and $23 per year for all others. POSTMASTER: Periodicals class postage (USPC 007-393) paid at Charlotte, N.C. Send address corrections to the Catholic News Herald, 1123 S. Church St., Charlotte, N.C. 28203.

Diocese of Charlotte

@CatholicNewsCLT charlottecnh

Our parishes

December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI


Mary, pray for us Pray for the sanctity of life Dec. 8

‘Black Madonna’ visits diocese on international pilgrimage for life, family

Participate in National Night of Prayer for Life, Liberty

Greensboro, Charlotte to host icon Dec. 28-Jan. 1 CHARLOTTE — St. Paul the Apostle Church in Greensboro and St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte will host a traveling icon of the “Black Madonna” of Czestochowa in late December as the image makes it way around the world. The image is used to encourage prayer for Our Lady’s help in the defense of the most vulnerable and to ask her intercession for the protection of the family and the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. The icon – a magnificent replica of the original housed in the Monastery of Jasna Góra in Poland, and according to tradition liturgically united with the original – was blessed in a special ceremony by the Archbishop of Czestochowa. The Archbishop of Kracow made a special act of entrustment to the cause of the defense of life and family to Our Lady of Czestochowa. The pilgrimage of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa started in Vladivostok, Russia, in 2012. So far the icon of the “Black Madonna” has already traveled more than 40,000 miles, traversed 24 countries, visited 75 cathedrals and 60 Orthodox churches in more than 400 cities; and has been venerated by hundreds of thousands since the “Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life” began. Human Life International, whose U.S. office is based in Front Royal, Va., is sponsoring the Ocean to Ocean Campaign in North America to enlist the prayers of the faithful for the causes of life and family. The “Black Madonna” will travel to Greensboro to St. Paul the Apostle Church, where the icon will be venerated from Dec. 28 through 29. The icon will then travel to Charlotte, where it will be venerated in St. Patrick Cathedral from Dec. 31 until Jan. 1. For more information about the Ocean to Ocean Defense of Life Campaign, go to — SueAnn Howell, senior reporter

Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe CHARLOTTE — Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Charlotte will celebrate its patronal feast day, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with a big bash at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 11, the eve of the feast day. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the celebration will start with recitation of the Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Activities will include different Mexican folk dances, singing by Our Lady of Guadalupe’s parish choir, and a Latin-American flag parade. Father Vincent Finnerty, CM, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, will celebrate Mass. The celebration will culminate with Our Lady of Guadalupe’s parish choir serenading Our Lady accompanied by Mariachis playing “Las Mañanitas,” a traditional Mexican birthday serenade. Bojangles’ Coliseum is located at 2700 East Independence Blvd. in Charlotte. All are welcome. Check the Calendar of Events on page 4 for more celebrations around the diocese. — Rico De Silva, Hispanic communications reporter

Solemn High Mass planned in Salisbury SALISBURY — Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury invites everyone to a traditional Latin Mass at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Solemn High Mass will feature the Carolina Catholic Chorale under the direction of Thomas Savoy, music director at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte. The Chorale will sing Mozart’s “Missa Brevis in D Major,” and Gregorian chants of the day will be sung along with Mozart’s beloved motet, “Ave Verum Corpus.” (“Hail, True Body”). The Mass is believed to be the first Tridentine “orchestral Mass” in the Diocese of Charlotte since the revival of the Traditional Latin Mass, otherwise known as the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. — Catholic News Herald

CHARLOTTE — In solidarity with the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Pro-Life Secretariat and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., parishes in the Diocese of Charlotte and around the country will hold prayer vigils during the annual National Night of Prayer for Life, uniting the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Dec. 8 with the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego on Dec. 9. This year the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception will be celebrated on Monday, Dec. 9, as Dec. 8 is the second Sunday of Advent. The National Night of Prayer for Life traditionally bridges the two feasts, and participants pray for the sanctity of all human life, for the end of abortion and in reparation for sins against the Gospel of Life. The Basilica Shrine will offer a pro-life prayer service consisting of exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, benediction, the rosary, silent prayer and hymns. Catholic churches around the country are encouraged to participate, especially during the Hour of Unity from midnight to 1 a.m. The prayer intention during that Holy Hour is to end abortion and to restore God’s blessings of life and religious liberty in America. For details about the 24th annual National Night of Prayer for Life, go to www. — SueAnn Howell, senior reporter

Participating parishes

n Holy Family Church, Clemmons, Dec. 8, 1:30-6 p.m. n St. Gabriel Church, Charlotte, perpetual Adoration chapel, 9 p.m. Dec. 8-1 a.m. Dec. 9 n St. John the Evangelist Church, Waynesville, Glorious Mysteries followed by a procession, 6 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. John Neumann Church, Charlotte, Holy Hour, 8:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Joseph Church, Newton, 9 p.m. Dec. 8-1 a.m. Dec. 9 n St. Leo the Great Church, Winston-Salem, 7-11 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Mark Church, Huntersville, perpetual Adoration chapel, Hour of Unity, midnight Dec. 8-1 a.m. Dec. 9 n St. Michael the Archangel Church, Gastonia, 9 p.m. Dec. 8-1 a.m. Dec. 9 n St. Thérèse Church, Mooresville, 8-9 p.m. Dec. 8 n St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Charlotte, 6-10 p.m. Dec. 8 Don’t see your parish listed? Check your parish bulletin or call your church office for more details.

6 | December 6, 2013 OUR PARISHES 

Belmont Abbey College files new lawsuit against HHS mandate Patricia L. Guilfoyle Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Belmont Abbey College filed a fresh lawsuit Nov. 20 in its long-running fight against a federal law requiring most employers to provide free contraceptives in their health insurance plans. Belmont Abbey College faces fines of more than $7 million by this time next year if it does not accept the contraception mandate, part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, before Dec. 1. The liberal arts college in Belmont, run by the Benedictine monks of Belmont Abbey, has opposed the contraception mandate since 2011, when it was the first Catholic entity to challenge it in court. Last December the college scored a momentary victory when a federal appeals court ordered the Obama administration to rewrite the controversial contraception mandate to exempt religious organizations such as Belmont Abbey College. If the government did not satisfy the college’s objections, the court said, the college could refile its lawsuit. Belmont Abbey College has done just that – charging that the Obama administration “completely disregarded” the hundreds of thousands of comments it received and issued revised rules that still fail to protect religious employers such as Belmont Abbey College from a law that would force them to violate their beliefs. “Religious liberty, a fundamental right of all American citizens, has enabled our Benedictine community to found and operate our college according to the principles of our Catholic faith for 137 years,” said Abbot Placid Solari, chancellor of the 1,600-student college, in a Nov. 20 statement. “We cannot abandon these principles at the

whim of the government without destroying the distinct mission of the school as well as the fundamental rights we enjoy in this country.” The contraception mandate is part of implementing the Affordable Care Act, which requires nearly all employers to provide free preventative health care coverage specifically for women. That coverage includes services such as mammograms, prenatal care and cervical cancer screenings, but it also mandates free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs – which are contrary to Catholic teaching. Though the Obama administration has repeatedly revised a “religious employer” exemption for churches, dioceses and their related agencies that object to contraception, the mandate still applies to most religious colleges, hospitals and nursing homes. In its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Belmont Abbey College calls the contraception mandate “constitutionally flawed,” “arbitrary and capricious,” and says it “discriminates against religious organizations because of their religious commitment to promoting the sanctity of life.” With less than two weeks before the college has to renew its policy with its insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Belmont Abbey College has only a few options under the Affordable Care Act. Because it doesn’t currently qualify for the religious exemption, the college must either agree to start providing contraception coverage or direct Blue Cross Blue Shield to do it for them. If the college refuses to comply with the mandate, it would face IRS fines of $100 per employee per day. Belmont Abbey College has approximately 200 full-time employees,

More online At Get more information about the Belmont Abbey College lawsuit, and others challenging the contraception mandate

so its estimated fines could total more than $7 million per year. Following objections from religious groups and businesses earlier this year, the Obama administration granted a one-year delay on enforcing the contraception mandate until Jan. 1, 2014, which means fines could be levied starting in 2015. Alternatively, the college could drop its health insurance coverage completely, but then it would face fines of $2,000 per year for each employee, according to the Affordable Care Act. Through its attorneys, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., Belmont Abbey College is seeking “a permanent injunction” against the contraception mandate for all religious organizations that object to it. “Belmont Abbey is yet another religious organization that the government has classified as ‘not religious enough’ for a mandate exemption,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund, in a statement. “Any definition of ‘religious employer’ that excludes monks BAC, SEE page 17

Downtown Asheville hotel deal off McKibbon won’t buy city site; buildings will be torn down Mark Barrett Asheville Citizen-Times

ASHEVILLE — A deal to sell city-owned property near St. Lawrence Basilica for a 140-room hotel fell through Nov. 22, reopening debate over what the city should do with the site. Georgia-based McKibbon Hotel Group notified the city that it would not exercise its option to buy the property for $2.3 million, and a spokesman said the company will focus instead on plans to redevelop the BB&T Building property. City government will definitely go ahead next year and demolish two empty, decrepit buildings that occupy part of the 0.8-acre property on Haywood Street, officials said. Some said it makes sense to again offer the property for sale for some sort of development. But beyond that, it is difficult to say just what may happen to the land or how the city will decide. “I’m eager to have that conversation,” said Asheville City Councilman Marc Hunt. Use of the property has been the subject of discussion off and on again since the city bought it in 2003. In the face of public opposition, higher cost estimates and other issues, the city halted in 2005 plans to put a large city parking garage in the area on property that would include a parking lot owned by St. Lawrence Basilica. City government then solicited proposals for development of the city-owned land. In

September 2012, City Council approved an agreement with McKibbon for the company to build a hotel and a plaza on Haywood Street. That decision was controversial also. Church officials pushed an alternative proposal for apartments and a plaza on the site and said McKibbon’s plans would not be compatible with the historic basilica. Some members of the public said it should be a park.

Another plan

Friday’s announcement by McKibbon that it would not go ahead was no surprise. The company said in August that it would transform the BB&T property, which includes a 17-story office building and a three-story parking garage, into a mixeduse development to include an upscale boutique hotel. Then early this month McKibbon became partners in ownership of the property with Tower Associates, which had been sole owners. Company head John McKibbon blamed the company’s decision on obstacles presented by a lawsuit seeking to block the Haywood Street property deal. The suit brought by owners of Renaissance Asheville Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton and Indigo Hotel was filed in March, then plaintiffs dropped it Sept. 4. “We would have proceeded with the project had the lawsuit not been filed,” McKibbon said in a statement Nov. 22. The lawsuit could be reinstated anytime between now and September 2014, said

Bill Sanders | ASHEVILLE citizen-times

City officials say they will move ahead to demolish buildings on city-owned property near the Basilica of St. Lawrence, left, and the U.S. Cellular Center that includes the former parking garage in the foreground of this photo and surface parking beside it. The long-term future of the property is unclear following a decision Nov. 22 by McKibbon Hotel Group not to put a hotel on the site. McKibbon spokesman Dave Tomsky, and company officials did not want to proceed with the Haywood Street project in light of the uncertainty that created. John McKibbon said in his statement that he believes the lawsuit “lacked

factual and legal basis and amounted to contractual interference.” But, he said, the delay it caused allowed DEAL, SEE page 17


December 6, 2013 | 


Giving thanks

Christians in Belmont gather to give thanks, ‘recognize a common bond’ Christopher Lux Correspondent

Christopher Lux | Catholic News Herald

Singing during an ecumenical prayer service at Queen of the Apostles Church Nov. 24 are Father Francis Cancro (pastor, Queen of the Apostles Church), the Rev. Chuck Baker (First United Methodist Church), Shelton Davis (First United Methodist Church), the Rev. Jeff Taylor (East Belmont Baptist Church), the Rev. Michael Binger (St. Mark United Methodist Church), Elise Kennedy (South Point United Methodist Church), and the Rev. Kevin Ford (First Four Square).

BELMONT — On Sunday, Nov. 24, a bus from Belmont’s First Presbyterian Church was parked at Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church. The Presbyterians – together with Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, and Lutherans – filled the pews alongside the Catholics. Leaders from the Belmont area churches led prayers, read Scripture, and spoke about Christ’s love and care for all people. They gathered in an ecumenical prayer service to commemorate

Thanksgiving and give thanks for the many gifts from God. Father Francis Cancro, pastor of Queen of the Apostles Church, welcomed the Catholics and Christian denominations who “came together as a community ... to celebrate the reality that we give thanks to God that we can come together in this place – to come together from the diversity of our lives, come together from the differences in the work that we do in the neighborhoods in which we live and in the churches where we worship – and recognize a common bond that we find as brothers and

sisters of Christ Jesus the Lord. That love is enough to give thanks for, but we gather here on Sunday before our national feast of Thanksgiving in order to also offer praise and prayer to God on behalf of the many gifts we have encountered and experienced.” The group, comprised of more than eight faith communities, has worked together for more than a decade hosting breakfasts, prayer services, Good Friday Cross walks through Belmont, Easter sunrise services in a local cemetery, and an annual unity BOND, SEE page 24

SPX Knights band together to round up turkeys for Thanksgiving GREENSBORO — On Nov. 23, the Knights of Columbus of St. Pius X Council 11101 met at a local grocery store and brought back to the Kloster Center of St. Pius X Church 162 Thanksgiving Day turkeys that were combined with vegetables, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, that were then delivered to those most in need in the Greensboro community.

Photo provided by Father John D. Hanic

Sharing their Thanksgiving

Photo provided by John Russell

NORTH WILKESBORO — For almost 30 years, Father John D. Hanic has hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner for parishioners, visitors and anyone else who would like to share their Thanksgiving with the parish community of St. John Baptist de la Salle Church in North Wilkesboro and St. Stephen Mission in Elkin. Parishioners help by cooking the turkeys at home and serving the guests. “It is a joy and a privilege to serve those who otherwise would not have a Thanksgiving meal,” Father Hanic said. “In both parishes, we strive to serve as Jesus did, encouraged by the good example of our own Pope Francis.”

Partnering with Catholic Charities

Bill Washington | Catholic News Herald

Lending a hand in Salisbury SALISBURY — Sacred Heart Church’s annual Thanksgiving Basket drive got underway Nov. 23. Under the direction of Sister Mary Robert Williams, pastoral associate, Sacred Heart Church confirmandi, Catholic of Daughters of the Americas Court 1759, and parish volunteers packed up 40 Thanksgiving turkey dinners with all the trimmings. Miscellaneous clothes were also available for families that needed coats and other winter clothes.

CHARLOTTE — Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte teamed up with St. Matthew Church to distribute more than 100 baskets of food to Charlotte area families in need for Thanksgiving – a partnership between the charity and the 9,200-family parish that stretches back more than 20 years. Each basket stocked by parishioners was a reusable bin containing 60-80 pounds of food typically used to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Clients also received a $20 grocery gift card, so they could purchase a turkey, ham or other necessities. Catholic Charities also provided Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department with baskets for families they identified and supported during the holiday season. Members of St. Gabriel Church and St. Patrick Church also donated supplies of food to restock the pantry shelves and volunteered to help distribute food to families in need before the holiday. “No one should go hungry. On Thanksgiving and during this season of giving, the pain they normally experience will take a back seat to joy,” said the charity’s Charlotte Regional Office Director Sharon Davis. Last year, the Charlotte food pantry of Catholic Charities provided nearly 200,000 pounds of much needed food and supplies to more than 8,000 people, serving 2,036 households. Along with local parishes and other community groups, 314 Charlotte families received food and other direct assistance during the holidays. Photo provided by Kathleen Durkin

8 | December 6, 2013 OUR PARISHES 

Two LGBT activists protest outside St. Matthew Church David Exum Correspondent

CHARLOTTE — Holding rainbowcolored flags, two transgender activists protested outside St. Matthew Church during morning Masses on Nov. 24 in reaction to the parish’s decision not to allow a fired employee to participate in an interfaith service that had been planned at the church last week. Steav Congdon was fired last January from his position as music director at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte after he joined another man in a civil union recognized as a marriage by the State of New York – a public act that is in disobedience to Church teaching and which violates the Diocese of Charlotte’s employee ethics policy, which requires employees to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Congdon had contacted local media and requested a special invitation to help lead the interfaith service at St. Matthew Church, but St. Matthew’s pastor Monsignor John McSweeney declined, saying Congdon was welcome to attend the worship service but not to help organize it. Organizers of the Mecklenburg Ministries’ 38th annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service then decided to move the event to Covenant Presbyterian Church in Dilworth on Nov. 26. “I’m here to send a message to the Catholic Church and Bishop (Peter) Jugis,” said protestor Janice Covington, who is also a representative for Citizens for Freedom of North Carolina and Get Equal, a non-profit group which advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. Covington said she thought Congdon had been discriminated against. “We came here in solidarity for Steav and

to support him, and we think the Catholic Church and Bishop Jugis didn’t do right. Even the pope came out and said who was he to judge,” she said. “It’s not right to take a person’s livelihood away simply for being who you are,” added protestor Wendy Summers. “I myself have been discriminated against and lost a position I held for seven years when I came out as transgender. I know exactly what it feels like, and it’s wrong. Everyone should have the right to be who they are. We can’t help who we are. We’re born this way. I feel this is the way God made us and it’s for a purpose, and all we ask is that we are allowed to live our lives like any other person.” A parish staff member noted again on Sunday that Monsignor McSweeney had welcomed both Mecklenburg Ministries to have the service at his parish and for Congdon to attend it. According to an Oct. 20 Charlotte Observer story, McSweeney said he felt the request to formally invite the ousted music director was out of bounds. Marriage can only be the union between one man and one woman, as established in natural law and set forth as a holy sacrament by Christ and His Church. Church teaching emphasizes that all people, including those with same-sex attraction, are made in God’s image and therefore deserving of dignity and respect, but that matrimony is designed by God as the basis for family life and the conceiving and raising of children. Along with the other U.S. bishops and the Church worldwide, Bishop Jugis has opposed efforts to legalize homosexual “marriage” and in 2012 he joined with Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge and others in advocating for a statewide constitutional amendment defining

David Exum | Catholic News Herald

Two people identifying themselves as transgender activists protested at the driveway entrance to St. Matthew Church in Charlotte on Nov. 24 as people arrived for Mass. marriage as between only one man and one woman. In a prepared statement given out to the media Nov. 24, St. Matthew Church made it clear that “same sex ‘marriage’ is a real hot button issue these days. Many people are asking, ‘Why is the Catholic Church so opposed to gay marriage?’ “First of all, the Church proclaims loudly that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or anything else, deserve to

be treated with dignity and respect. She also teaches that any sexual relations, heterosexual or homosexual, outside of marriage are sinful and immoral... Many will tout the fact that a majority of Catholics today believe that gays should be allowed to marry. But the Church cannot ‘change the rules’ and define doctrine by popular opinion. She is tasked with teaching and upholding the truths that God has given to mankind.”

With love and devotion, Good Shepherd Mission women complete ‘Andrea’s Quilt’ Susan Decker Special to the Catholic News Herald

KING — “Andrea’s Quilt” is more than just a quilt, it has a story to tell – a story of community, craftsmanship and friendship. In the 1990s a group of women from Good Shepherd Mission in King invited a local quilting expert to teach them how to make quilts. Dr. Andrea Gordy, an ophthalmologist, was part of this congenial new quilting community. As she learned this new skill, her craftsmanship was evident, her hand stitching as straight and perfect as if she were sewing up an eye, and her choice of colors and design quite remarkable for a new quilter. Unfortunately, Gordy would never finish her quilt. She struggled for seven years with breast cancer, passing away Gordy in November 2010. Some time after her death, Gordy’s husband Bill donated her unfinished quilt to Good Shepherd Mission’s yard sale. That could have been the end of the story, but during the sorting process in preparation for that yard sale, Gordy’s quilt-in-progress was recognized and removed from the sale – too beautiful and full of history to sell as a cast-off. It was kept safely in a closet until this year. Gordy’s friends decided that this special treasure needed to be completed in memory of Gordy. Keeping in mind that the fabrics dated from the 1990s, the chance of finding the same fabric Gordy had used was slim. However, friendship proved to be a powerful motivator. Determined to finish the quilt in the original pattern, parishioner Sharon Stoehr scoured quilt shops until she found the exact floral fabric that Gordy had used. Stoehr sewed the cranberry and floral border on and sent it to a professional quilter. Then, together with

Pictured is Andrea Gordy’s finished quilt, ready to hang in the fellowship hall of Good Shepherd Mission in King. Photos provided by Sharon Stoehr and Bill Gordy

parishioner Vicki Boissey, the binding was added and the quilt was finished – a goal close to Gordy’s heart. Like a vintage car, all lovingly repaired, polished and renewed, Gordy’s quilt was given a new life. Her husband was grateful the women had finished his late wife’s quilt and happy that the quilt’s next step would be as the centerpiece raffle for Good Shepherd Mission’s Fall Festival.

During the days leading up to the festival, the quilt was put on display, affixed high on a wall in the fellowship hall for all to see. Youth in the confirmation program, accompanied by beautiful pictures, sold raffle tickets at a local grocery store. “Andrea’s Quilt” made its final appearance at the festival Oct. 26. The quilt was won by parishioner Patti Berwanger, who then presented it to Gordy’s daughter.

December 6, 2013 | 



Retired pastor of St. William Church celebrates 45th anniversary of ordination SueAnn Howell Senior reporter

MURPHY — Retired Father George Kloster, who served as pastor of St. William Church in Murphy and Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission in Hayesville for 15 years, is celebrating his 45th anniversary of ordination this month. In September, Father Kloster was named Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year at its 2013 national conference in San Francisco. Father Kloster, who moved to North Carolina when he was 10, grew up in the Diocese of Raleigh. He studied for the priesthood in the 1960s. He studied theology in Rome and was there in the fall of 1965 during the convening of the Second Vatican Council. He was ordained in St. Peter’s Basilica with the Class of 1969 by Bishop Francis Reh (then rector of the Pontifical North American College). After ordination and a 10-week trip to Africa, Father Kloster was assigned first in eastern North Carolina in Ahoskie and later sent to Our Lady of Grace Parish in Greensboro. When the Diocese of Charlotte was carved out of the Raleigh diocese in 1972, Father Kloster officially became a priest of the new diocese and spent the next 40-plus years in parishes in western North Carolina. He is known for his charitable works and his devotion to ecumenism. Since his retirement in June, Father

More online At Read more about Father George Kloster’s service in Murphy, as well as the national Catholic Charities award he recently received

Kloster has travelled extensively, both in the U.S. and in Europe, enjoying national monuments and international destinations. He has also appreciated the opportunity to reconnect with longtime friends and extended family. “Quite frankly, I’ve just enjoyed the lack of pressure,” Father Kloster said. “I get up later in the morning. It’s been very relaxing for me. People ask me, ‘How is retirement?’ I say, ‘I’m good at it!’” Reflecting on 45 years of priestly ministry, Father Kloster stated that “it’s hard to believe it’s been that long (since ordination).” “The memories of my ordination are still so fresh. My father (who is now deceased) came to Rome. His sister, who was a religious, also came. She was a Sister of St. Joseph. It was very special. We then went to Germany to celebrate with members of my family who live there in the village of Gross Zimmern, where my father is from.” His German family gave him a vestment after his ordination that he still has to this day, he added.

Photo provided by Catholic Charities USA

Father George Kloster, retired pastor of St. William Church in Murphy and Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission in Hayesville, officially received the Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year Award Sept. 15 at an awards dinner held in conjunction with CCUSA’s 2013 national conference in San Francisco. Pictured with him is CCUSA President Father Larry Snyder and CCUSA Board Chair Sister Linda Yankowski. Father Kloster received the award for his 15 years of volunteer service with Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte’s Office of Economic Opportunity in Murphy.

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10 | December 6, 2013 OUR PARISHES 

Humility is a virtue worth cultivating this Advent Father Christopher Riehl, parochial vicar of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte, spoke during the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group Advent Reflection at St. Vincent de Paul Church Dec. 2. Father Riehl shared his thoughts about the importance of cultivating the virtue of humility and frequenting the sacrament of confession during Advent. sueann howell | catholic news herald

During quiet retreat moment, all I thought was ‘thank You, God’ Elizabeth Habina Special to the Catholic News Herald

Imagine standing in a clearing in the cold, crisp mountain air, then looking up and having your breath taken away by the stars in the clear night sky. That’s what I experienced while on a weekend retreat to Black Mountain last month with a group of more than 60 college students. During the retreat, hosted by the Catholic Campus Ministries of the Diocese of Charlotte, we were taken on a brief walk from our lodgings for a bonfire. While we waited for the bonfire to get started, my friend Theresa and I stood in awe of the beauty of the evening sky. It turned into the perfect movie scene: We sat down on the grass and gazed at the countless stars. I sat there surrounded by friends and God’s beautiful earth, and all I thought was nothing elaborate or fancy. All I thought was “thank You, God.” As a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I have been extremely blessed to be a part of Catholic Campus Ministry. On such a big campus, CCM provides me with a close-knit group of people with a very important common interest: the Catholic faith. Theresa was one of the first people I met at CCM and is the leader of my small group that meets once a week for fellowship and Bible discussion. She invited me to go on the retreat, even though I was hesitant at first because I had never been on one before. I joined 11 other Charlotte students on our trip to Black Mountain for the weekend retreat. I went in with absolutely no preconceptions, and I was curious about how the weekend would play out. I believe my two favorite things about the retreat were getting to know some of my fellow Charlotte students better and being in a judgment-free environment. Many different schools from the Charlotte diocese were represented, and we all had different backgrounds and stories. I tend to be quite self-conscious, especially around

Photo provided by Karen Soos

many people I have never met before, but knowing that we were all there to deepen our Catholic faith and find new friends made me very at ease. So many people were sharing so much about their struggles – they just ripped out their hearts and laid them before all of us. And in return, those stories about their struggles and successes helped us understand how God works in different ways in different people. The weekend included five different students speaking about their inspiring personal stories that correlated with different topics all related to the question Jesus asks in the gospels, “Who do you say that I am?” Topics included forgiveness, the invitation to serve, and the Paschal Mystery. After each presentation, we met in small groups with five or six other students from other schools to discuss the topic and share stories from our lives. We attended Mass, we had the opportunity to pray at outdoor Stations of the Cross, and some of us hiked one of the trails on the mountain. Throughout the entire retreat, we left behind the stress that comes with being a college student, and our focus was

on Jesus and our friendships with each other. The one retreat event that truly remains in my mind was Eucharistic Adoration. Before the bonfire that Saturday night, we had an hour of Adoration. It featured a few of the students singing contemporary Christian songs that were just absolutely gorgeous and added to the beauty of that hour. It was amazing to see the faith of many of the students and to see them bring all of their problems, whatever they were, to Jesus that night. While those problems probably didn’t disappear for most of us after the retreat, I feel that we all gained strength that night from God and each other. So, lying under those stars, the question popped up: “Who do you say that I am?” That weekend I described God with the words “best friend,” “motivator” and “merciful.” But at that breathless moment, only one word came to mind: beauty. God made that beautiful night and gave me wonderful people to share it with, and that night I saw God as Creator of this abundant beauty.

December 6, 2013 | 



Hmong welcome the New Year MORGANTON — Hundreds of local Hmong immigrants and their families celebrated the Hmong New Year with Mass and festivities at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Morganton Nov. 23. Father Kenneth Whittington, pastor, chanted the entire Mass in the Hmong language. Gathered at the foot of the altar were bowls and baskets filled with rice, flowers, candles and eggs: symbols of thanksgiving to God. Father Whittington blessed the baskets, and then after Mass, the families handed the hard-boiled eggs to one another as a good luck wish for the New Year. A special Asian delicacy was reserved for the leaders of the community. They received “Qe me nyuam” (“baby chicken eggs”) – eggs

containing partially formed baby chicks. Dressed in their native garb, Hmong men and women enjoyed a sumptuous dinner of traditional Hmong food. Women also performed traditional dances, the French coins sewn onto their dresses creating festive jingling sounds. The celebration also honored the leaders of the various Hmong communities coming from Morganton, Charlotte, Albemarle and Hickory. The community presented a framed quilt as a gift for Bishop Peter Jugis, accepted on his behalf by Father Whittington. The Hmong raised money to commission the handmade quilt in Thailand, which depicts the story of the

More online At See more photos from the Hmong New Year celebration

Hmong now living in North Carolina. The Hmong come from the mountain areas of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Outside of Asia, the United States is home to the largest Hmong population. — Photos and text by Doreen Sugierski, correspondent

12 | December 6, 2013 OUR PARISHES 

For the latest news 24/7:

In Brief Deacon joins St. Mark Parish CHARLOTTE — Deacon Richard McCarron of Davidson has been granted faculties for the Diocese of Charlotte and assigned to St. Mark Parish in Huntersville McCarron by Bishop Peter Jugis effective Oct. 21. Deacon McCarron and his wife Susan came to the diocese from New Jersey. They have seven adult children and 14 grandchildren. Deacon McCarron was ordained in 1994 for the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J. — Catholic News Herald

Adoration at cathedral planned CHARLOTTE — Everyone is invited to take part in 12 hours of Eucharistic Adoration for the sanctification and protection of marriage and family, sponsored by the Frassati Fellowship of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, from 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, until 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

Advent retreat coming up CHARLOTTE — Are you interested in drawing more meaning from the Advent season? St. Peter Church in Charlotte is hosting a retreat focusing on the theme of “Waiting.” The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 7, in

Like thousands of senior religious, Sister of Divine Providence John Margaret Walsh, 76, 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.

Biss Hall. To register or get details, call 704-3322901 or go to

Usher in the holidays with abbey concert BELMONT – Abbey chorus, voice and instrumental students will perform their annual holiday concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the Abbey Basilica. The program includes music from the medieval times to the 20th century. Karen Hite Jacob directs the chorus and accompanies. Sam Stowe of Belmont is the instrumental ensemble director. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. For details, go to or call 704-461-6813.

SJN youth choir to perform in Christmas concert CHARLOTTE — The St. John Neumann Youth Choir will sing at Christ Episcopal Church for a free Community Christmas Concert starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. The concert features the voices of 100 youth singers celebrating the diverse and unique relationship that music has this time of year. The choristers will sing “Ave Maria” and will join in singing songs with other youth from around the city from public schools to churches. The concert will be in All Saints’ Hall at Christ Episcopal Church.

Hispanic Ministry plans Holy Land pilgrimage CHARLOTTE — The Diocese of Charlotte’s Hispanic Ministry will conduct its first pilgrimage to the Holy Land on March 10-20, 2014. Father Fidel Melo, vicar of diocesan Hispanic Ministry, will be the spiritual director. Burbank, Calif.-based Catholic Travel Centre

will handle all tour and travel arrangements. The deadline for signing up and paying for the trip is Dec. 10. Space is limited to 45 people. As part of the pilgrimage, participants will have the opportunity to renew their baptismal promises at the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized. Married couples will be able to renew their marriage vows in Cana. “I also want to invite our English-speaking brothers and sisters in the diocese to join us in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Father Melo said. “Although the tour will be conducted in Spanish, most of us speak English! This trip is a chance to experience our truly universal Church under the lens of our Hispanic culture.” Download a copy of the pilgrimage brochure at For details, contact Eduardo Bernal at 828-3990912 or

Have you thought about adoption? CHARLOTTE — Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte will host an information session about its adoption programs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at its office located at 1123 South Church St. in Charlotte. To register, contact Sherry Luc at 704-370-3232.

St. Mark youth attend retreat HUNTERSVILLE — Youths at St. Mark Parish in Huntersville attended the “Youth2000” retreat the weekend of Nov. 15-17. The charism of Youth2000 is to lead young people, through prayer and instruction before the Blessed Sacrament, to a personal encounter and everdeepening union of heart and mind with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Christ. The Friars and Sisters of the Renewal working with the Youth2000 organization presented this 21-hour retreat to more than 212 confirmation students and chaperones. — Donna F. Smith

Raffle benefits building fund

Celebrating Christ the King Sunday HIGH POINT — Parishioners at Christ the King Church in High Point celebrated their patronal feast day Nov. 24 with a Eucharistic Procession after Mass. Father Gnanapragasam Mariasoosai, pastor, led the procession carrying the Blessed Sacrament around the church property. Also pictured is the honor guard from the local Knights of Columbus. — Boyce Williams

ASHEBORO — St. Joseph Church in Asheboro recently collected $280 for its building fund by raffling a crocheted bedspread made by parishioner Eleanor Holyfield. It took her one year to complete the bedspread. The lucky winner from the raffle was David Poupore. — Launa Schneider

Retirement Fund for Religious 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 7–8.


December 6, 2013 | 

Segundo Taller Pastoral Juvenil del SEPI 2014 se celebra en Charlotte Rico De Silva Hispanic Communications reporter

CHARLOTTE — Más de 70 jóvenes Hispanos representando a seis diferentes diócesis del Sureste de los Estados Unidos se reunieron en la escuela Holy Trinity Middle School en Park Rd., el 16 y 17 de Noviembre durante el Segundo Taller Pastoral Juvenil Hispano del Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) en preparación para la Pascua de Resurrección del 2014. Los jóvenes anfitriones de la Pastoral Juvenil de la Diócesis de Charlotte, vestidos de personajes bíblicos, dieron la bienvenida a los demás jóvenes participantes que vinieron el sábado 16 desde tan lejos como la Diócesis de St. Petersburg, Florida, y tan cerca como nuestros vecinos del este de la Diócesis de Raleigh, North Carolina. El tema del Taller fue “La Sagradas Escrituras como Herramienta de Evangelización Pastoral Juvenil.” Bajo la dirección del moderador pastoral del SEPI, Juan José Rodríguez, y el Padre José Alberto Moreno, Sch. P., del SEPI, los jóvenes se reunieron y trabajaron arduamente sobre el tema toda la tarde y hasta primeras horas de la noche del 16. El fruto de los talleres se publicará en un libro que será un compendio de la labor de los jóvenes. Al final de los talleres del sábado 16, los jóvenes decidieron como título para el libro compendio de los Talleres 2014 simplemente con el nombre “La Biblia.” El libro les será entregado a los jóvenes Hispanos en el Tercer Taller Pastoral 2014 que

tendrá lugar en Tampa, Florida, en Febrero del 2014. El Padre Moreno celebró la Misa dominical para los jóvenes la mañana del 17. Durante su homilía el Padre Moreno exhortó a los jóvenes, “Tomen la vida en serio, y sean constantes en su compromiso con Cristo. Para poder así ser testigos del Evangelio de Cristo en la cultura moderna que dice, ‘goza la vida y sácale el jugo al momento’” La Banda de la Parroquia de la Asunción en Charlotte, bajo la dirección de Pedro Flores ensalzó la Eucaristía. Al son de “Su Gloria está Aquí,” y “Yo Soy tu Dios,” la juventud congregada en el gimnasio de “Holy Trinity” levantaron sus brazos en alabanza y gratitud al Espíritu Santo que se manifestó fuertemente en ese lugar durante ese fin de semana. “Este Taller fue una tremenda bendición,” dijo David Martínez, Líder Pastoral de la Diócesis de Raleigh. Ramsés Graterol de la Diócesis de St. Augustine en Florida manifestó su alegría al concluir el evento y dijo que “estuvo muy bien organizado.” Leandro Bernabé del Grupo Juvenil de la Diócesis de Charlotte resumió el Taller como, “Una excelente oportunidad para una convivencia entre hermanos y hermanas en Cristo.”

More online At DioceseOfCharlotte: y vean el video del Taller en espanol.

Celebración de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Charlotte CHARLOTTE — La Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Charlotte celebrará la Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe la noche del 11 de Diciembre en el Bojangles Coliseum en la 2700 de Independence Blvd en Charlotte. Las puertas se abrirán al público a las 7 p.m., y la celebración comenzará a las 7:30 p.m. con la recitación de la Novena a la Virgen de Guadalupe. Entre otras actividades habrá bailes folklóricos Jarabe Tapatío, poesía, cantos y un desfile de bandera. El Padre Vicente Finnerty, CM, Párroco de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe celebrará la Santa Misa durante el evento, y el Grupo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe le dará serenata a la Virgen al ritmo de Mariachis tocando las Mañanitas. Todos están bienvenidos a la celebración. Rico De Silva | Catholic News Herald


Antorcha Guadalupana recorre la Diócesis de Charlotte GROOVER — El Capitán de la Antorcha Guadalupana, Jhoan Trinidad en la línea fronteriza de los Estados de North y South Carolina. El recorrido de la Antorcha comenzó en la Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en México, D.F. el 23 de Septiembre. Trinidad es originario de Puebla México, pero está radicado en Nueva York y planea llegar con la Antorcha el 12 de Diciembre a Nueva York, la Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Groover es la primera parada oficial en el Estado de North Carolina. Este el duodécimo año consecutivo que la Antorcha ha pasado por North Carolina. La primera visita de la Antorcha en la Diócesis este año fue en la Parroquia de San Gabriel en Charlotte la noche del 24 de Noviembre, y la Antorcha después visitó cinco parroquias después de San Gabriel: Parroquia de San José, en Newton; San Francisco, en Mocksville; Inmaculado Corazón de María, en High Point; Nuestra Señora de los Caminos, en Thomasville y Santa María, en Greensboro.

Our schools 14 | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

For the latest news 24/7:

In Brief

gleaned from Riverbend Farm. Besides gleaning, students also collected canned and packaged food to be distributed to local food banks. The canned food drive began Nov. 1 and was organized by the fourth-grade students as part of their Corporal Acts of Mercy service project. They challenged the entire student body to bring in at least 100 cans of food each day during November. The challenge was accepted, exceeded and last week more than 3,500 items of food were donated to the food pantry at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte and to Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte. — Amy Burger and Jenifer Selzer

period at Kernersville Moravian Church, where they were able to use their Spanish in a realworld setting and providing service to others. Bishop McGuinness Spanish II and III classes also contributed to the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund by creating bilingual Christmas cards to be included in the gifts to be distributed on Dec. 7. Volunteer translators included Matthew Basel, Michael Beck, Kristen Bellas, Julia Brown, Nicholas Burns, Thomas Chappelow, Grant Davidson, Jocelyn Domabyl, Federica GarciaCalderon, Colleen Gillooley, Lindsey Kalish, Jay Kirby, Josefina Labra Escudero, Alejandra Leon, Jillian Lindquist, Sebastian Lucek, Isaiah Mateen, Hugo Mino, Jennifer Molen, Mateo Morillo, Cameron Nieters, Emily Russell, Jesse Russell, William Shannon, Zarek Sobkowski, Stuart Spiers, Jason Standen, Nicholas Trego, Daniel Valcour and Kable Young. — Jeff Stoller

This year’s team won best overall large delegation at the Vanderbilt Conference. Alex Strasser, KT Watterson and Rebecca Lassiter earned honorable mention. Bobby Mason and Caleb Carmichael received Outstanding Delegate Honors, and Tanner Owen was named Best Delegate. The Bishop McGuinness Model UN Team was established at Bishop McGuinness in 2002, and the program has blossomed into a 100-member team. The purpose of the program is to enhance students’ knowledge of international relations and the organizations that forward much of the international community’s progress. Students are assigned a nation to represent and then a topic to research. They must then represent that nation’s views on the chosen topic in an organized debate with other nations, which are represented by other students. There are multischool competitions that represent teams from all over the country. — Jeff Stoller

Our Lady of Mercy School gives thanks, pitches in to help WINSTON-SALEM — Students and staff at Our Lady of Mercy School in Winston-Salem gave thanks for the kind and generous families who help them to put our faith into action. The school was able to feed 11 needy families for Thanksgiving, and it provided coats to 65 people through OLM’s Helping Hands of Mercy group. The food baskets were blessed at the school Mass Nov. 22. OLM fourthgraders also helped assemble luminary kits for Ronald McDonald House’s annual fundraiser. “Our school’s theme for this year is to be God’s Instruments – of peace, of love, and of kindness,” said Sister Geri Rogers, principal. “Through the outreach we do, our students and their families truly are His instruments.” — Lara Davenport

CCHS debate team wins awards CHARLOTTE — Twenty-two members of the Debate and Speech Team of Charlotte Catholic High School attended the Asheville High School Tournament Nov. 23. More than 600 competitors attended from 31 schools across North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The following members received awards: Angeline-Marie Morales, first place, Varsity Lincoln-Douglas; Brett Heinz, second place, Varsity Congress; Ryan Kennedy, fifth place, Varsity Congress; Uwa Akhere, second place, Varsity Children’s Storytelling; Jerome Mckibben and Nolan McDonald, third place, Novice Public Forum; and Ian Miller, ninth place, Novice Lincoln Douglas. Charlotte Catholic High School has also been granted charter membership in the National Forensic League. Charter membership is the highest school membership honor in the League, and reflects sustained commitment to speech and debate education over several years.

St. Michael School begins Advent GASTONIA — Eighth-graders Clara Hahn and Carmella Shindler lit the first candle of each class’s Advent wreath Dec. 2. Students and staff gathered in the cafeteria as part of the school’s Advent celebration, which included Bible readings and an explanation of Advent from pastor Father Matthew Buettner. — Pat Burr

OLG students have fun with run

St. Mark students glean fields, collect food for the hungry Candidates visit OLG

BMHS students assist as translators with Christmas Stocking Fund KERNERSVILLE — Bishop McGuinness Advanced Placement and Spanish IV students, led by Spanish teacher Mollie Gray, recently volunteered as translators for the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund as a service project that went along with their curricular unit. More than 31 students volunteered over a two-day

GREENSBORO — Our Lady of Grace School’s kindergarten classes recently traveled to Quaker Lakes pumpkin patch to enjoy a beautiful fall day outdoors. Students had a wonderful time picking out pumpkins to bring back with them. — Karen L. Hornfeck

— Mary A. Morales

HUNTERSVILLE — Eighth-graders at St. Mark School in Huntersville spent the day gleaning a field of turnips at Riverbend Farm in Midland Nov. 22. Working with the Society of Saint Andrew (SoSA) Gleaning Network, 90 students arrived with gloves and boots ready to work. They were joined by parent volunteers and teachers who together were able to load four trucks full of fresh produce to be delivered to area agencies. Gleaning is an ancient biblical concept where people gather what remains in the fields after the main harvest and give it to those who don’t have enough to eat. Each year, the SoSA works with thousands of volunteers to harvest and distribute 35 million pounds of fresh produce. They work with 5,000 feeding agencies across the United States to get the food into the hands of the people who desperately need it. Pictured are Griffin Sansbury, Matthew Rouse and Jimmy Sides with turnips and greens they

OLG students visit a pumpkin patch

GREENSBORO — St. Pius X School welcomed Greensboro City Council candidates and school parents, Mike Barber and Wendell Roth, Oct. 21 to discuss the role of government and the importance of serving our community with the middle school student body. — Jean Navarro

BMHS Model UN team wins awards at Vanderbilt tourney KERNERSVILLE — The Bishop McGuinness High School Model United Nations Team, under the director of advisor David Seidel, brought home honors at the Vanderbilt University Model United Nations High School Conference Nov. 8-10.

GREENSBORO — Our Lady of Grace School students are pictured taking off at the start of the school’s first Panther Prowl Fun Run. Students spent weeks gathering donations from sponsors and then participated in the run Oct. 25. The event to earn money for the school also featured Paws the Panther, the mascot at Our Lady of Grace School. — Karen L. Hornfeck

We welcome your school’s news! Please email news and photos to Editor Patricia L. Guilfoyle at plguilfoyle@

December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI


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St. Mark School raises more than $62k for JDRF HUNTERSVILLE — For the second year in a row, students at St. Mark School earned the title of top school fund raiser for the JDRF Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes. Through direct donations from school families, corporate matches, penny wars and a raffle, the students raised more than $62,000 during the school’s annual spring service project. The festivities began with an action-packed kick-off at the school featuring Charlotte mascots Sir Purr of the Panthers, Chubby from the Charlotte Checkers, and Lug Nut from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte radio personality Stacey Simms, who has a son with diabetes, returned to emcee the day and Elle Bunn from the Checkers helped to rev up the excitement. But it wasn’t all fun and games. The entire student body also learned what it is like to live with diabetes and why it is so important to find a cure for this disease. The five students at the school who have Type I diabetes made a heartfelt and personal home video of what it is like to live day to day with Type I diabetes. The parents filmed their children getting ready for school, testing their blood sugar, making safe food choices and doing middle-of-the-night pin pricks to administer insulin. On the actual day of the walk, the school was a bevy of activity. Kindergarten through secondgrade students jumped rope, hula hooped and took turns trying out pogo sticks. Third- through fifth-graders played musical dots, danced the limbo and hula hooped. The middle school upped the activity level by forming dodgeball teams – complete with class costumes – and played for several hours. (Pictured are (from left) middle school students Luke Langbo, Charlie Merryman, Jack Yordy and Caden Bonofski dressed and ready to play some dodge ball.) All classes walked around the school track and enjoyed ice pops as a treat. “Our school families are so generous,” said Terri Langbo, a St. Mark School mom who is mother to three Type I diabetic children. “It is so amazing that the school community embraces this effort. It never ceases to amaze me how the school community can come together each year to help kids with diabetes. With so many kids in the school who deal with diabetes each day, the students feel like they are helping their friends when they donate spare change and ask for pledges.”

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Mix 16 | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 


For the latest movie reviews:

n Sunday, Dec. 8, 9-10 a.m. (EWTN) “Homage to the Immaculate Conception.” Live coverage as Pope Francis celebrates a traditional homage to Mary Immaculate in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna. The event will be rerun 8-9 p.m.

In theaters

n Monday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Solemn Mass of the Immaculate Conception.” From the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the eucharistic liturgy for the shrine’s patronal feast broadcast live. (The feast of the Immaculate Conception is observed this year Dec. 9 in the United States because the Dec. 8 feast day falls on a Sunday.)

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Satisfying action sequel follows the further adventures of the two victors (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) of an annual survival tournament in which youngsters drawn at random from the ranks of an oppressed underclass must battle to the death for the entertainment of their dystopian society’s elite (led by Donald Sutherland). With rebellion stirring among the downtrodden, the two become pawns in a repressive power play by Sutherland’s character, backed up by the supervisor of the games (Philip Seymour Hoffman). They rely, once again, on the help of a hard-drinking veteran of the contest (Woody Harrelson) and the kindhearted guide (Elizabeth Banks) assigned to watch over them. In adapting the second volume in Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy, director Francis Lawrence decreases the intensity of the violence on screen, and his film’s moral center is solid. But Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn’s script includes a few vulgarities and a sexual flourish not found in the 2012 first installment. Much action violence with occasional gore, a sexually provocative act, crass language. CNS: A-III (adults); MPAA: PG-13

‘Frozen’ 3-D animated musical, loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale “The Snow Queen” and directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The new queen (voice of Idina Menzel) of a mythical kingdom accidentally unleashes her power to create ice and snow, causing an eternal winter. She retreats into exile, but her princess sister (voice of Kristen Bell) is determined to find her and undo the spell. Joining the younger royal’s epic odyssey are an amiable mountain man (voice of Jonathan Groff), his silent reindeer sidekick, and a comedic snowman (voice of Josh Gad). This good-natured film has something for everyone: Broadway-style show tunes, thrilling adventure, gorgeous visuals, cute-as-a-button characters, and a nice message about the enduring bonds of family. There are even a few respectful religious overtones likely to please believers. CNS: A-I (general patronage); MPAA: PG

Other movies: n ‘Delivery Man’: CNS: L (limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling); MPAA: PG-13 n ‘12 Years a Slave’: CNS: L (limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling): MPAA: R n ‘Black Nativity’: CNS: A-II (adults and adolescents); MPAA: PG n ‘Homefront’: CNS: L (limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling); MPAA: R

‘For A Child’ Christmas CD is born St. Pius X parishioners’ dreams realized SueAnn Howell Senior reporter

GREENSBORO — For years parishioners have been asking longtime music minister Sallie Kelton why the choir hadn’t produced a CD. The answer was simple. They just didn’t have the funding. But now, thanks to the generosity of parishioner Bill Chase, the dream has become a reality for both the regular choir and the St. Pius X Church handbell ensemble. Their efforts have produced a CD entitled “For A Child.” “Back in September of this year I got in touch with Frank Martin with Media Production Associates out of Winston-Salem, and he and his associate brought their mobile unit to our church and we recorded a number of Christmas selections (of my choosing),” Kelton said. More than 39 singers and instrumentalists from the choir, as well as nine handbell ringers, helped create the music on the CD. Brian Otter, St. Pius X’s handbell ensemble director, directed both choirs. Kelton provided the piano accompaniment. “We had two different recording times, a Wednesday evening that consisted of approximately four hours, then a Saturday for another four to five hours,” Kelton explained. “The entire project took about two and a half months.” After the recording sessions were completed, Kelton went to Martin’s studio to edit the CD. She enlisted the help of a St. Pius X parishioner to produce the art for the cover of the CD as well as the poster for advertising. Kelton sent the project off to be produced by a company called DiscMakers in New Jersey. “And after a lot of hard work, here we are!” she exclaimed.

For more Get more information about “For A Child” or to order copies, go to or call Sallie Kelton at the church office at 336-272-4681. St. Pius X’s “For A Child” CD features: “Calypso Lullaby” “Christ, Be Our Light” “Manger Songs” “The Holly and the Ivy” “Run to the Manger” “Away in a Manger” “Mary, Did You Know?”

“The Rose Tree Carol” “Child of God’s Compassion” “I Wonder as I Wander” “Christmas Benediction”

The choir starting selling the CD after all Masses the weekend of Nov. 23. “This past weekend was our first to sell the CD, and we did very well. The parish is very excited. We also have the marketing ability to sell them online through our parish website.” Kelton, who has been the music director at St. Pius X Church for 15 years, is appreciative of the opportunity to give back to the parish. Proceeds from the sales of the CD will go towards the parish’s capital campaign called “Making a Place to Gather and Grow,” which will help fund a large meeting area where the music ministry can host coffee houses and events. “The people of St. Pius X Church love the music ministry and support it with all their hearts,” Kelton said. “This gives me the most satisfaction in my job, and in the making and distributing of this Christmas CD. We plan on doing at least one more, perhaps Lent/Easter selections, using more brass and woodwind instrumentation.”

n Tuesday, Dec. 10, 8-9 p.m. (PBS) “Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Alfie Boe and Tom Brokaw.” A holiday concert showcasing the famed chorus, together with British-born tenor Boe and television journalist Brokaw. n Friday, Dec. 13, 9-11 p.m. (PBS) “Silent Night.” This special presents an operatic retelling of the Christmas Eve truce during World War I. n Sunday, Dec. 15, 2-4 p.m. (TCM) “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947). A debonair, smartly tailored angel (Cary Grant) uses his heavenly powers to help the neglected wife (Loretta Young) of a busy Episcopal bishop (David Niven) renew her husband’s ministry to those in need rather than in raising money for a new cathedral. n Sunday, Dec. 15, 4:157 p.m. (AMC) “White Christmas” (1954). Cheerful but synthetic musical comedy about two veterans (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) who use their popularity as entertainers to make a success out of a winter resort. n Wednesday, Dec. 18, 5-6 p.m. (EWTN) “San Juan Children’s Choir Presents: Siempre Navidad.” The San Juan Children’s Choir celebrates Christmas.

Let’s keep talking.

December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI


instilling religion is baffling.” “Belmont Abbey is being forced to pay for its First Amendment right to practice its religious freedom,” Rienzi’s statement continued. “The government has lots of ways to distribute contraceptives if it wants to – forcing monks to do it is completely unnecessary.” In the lawsuit, the college and its lawyers charge, “Despite its obvious religious nature, and despite the fact that Belmont Abbey College is still operated in part by an order of Benedictine monks, Belmont Abbey College does not qualify for any exemptions. While ‘religious employers’ are exempted, (the government has) limited that exemption to protect only ‘churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches,’ and ‘the exclusively religious activities of any religious order.’ That is because, in the eyes of the government, the monks’ work educating students in ‘the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning’ is not an ‘exclusively religious activity.’” The contraception mandate relegates Belmont Abbey College to “a second-class religious organization, not entitled to the same religious freedom rights as other religious organizations...,” the lawsuit states. It also puts a “selective burden” on some religious employers but not others – giving the government “unbridled discretion in deciding whether to allow exemptions to some, all, or no organizations meeting the definition of ‘religious employer,’” it states. The lawsuit also criticizes the Obama administration for forcing religious employers to direct their insurance companies to provide contraception in cases where they object to it – an “accommodation” to the mandate the administration announced earlier this year following the loud public outcry over


other developers to move ahead with plans for hotels on nearby properties. Officials with the other hoteliers either could not be reached for comment or declined comment Friday. City government has approved plans for a Hyatt Place Hotel at the northwest corner of Haywood Street and Montford Avenue. The company that owns the Haywood Park Hotel has announced plans for a 14-story Cambria Suites hotel on the southern end of Page Avenue, across from the Grove Arcade. Those hotels would be no more than three blocks from the site McKibbon considered buying. They would compete with any McKibbon project at the BB&T property as well, but Tomsky said, “Something that’s in Pack Square is really different than Haywood Street.”

Now what?

Hunt and Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer, who will become mayor next month, both said the city should look at existing city master plans when deciding what to do with the Haywood Street property. Manheimer said she does not have a particular use in mind, but, “I think it just

the law. Even if it is not required to pay directly for contraceptive services, the college charges in its lawsuit, its religious beliefs do not allow it to provide access to contraceptives through its insurance carrier, either. The lawsuit states, “Belmont Abbey College’s religious convictions forbid it from participating in, paying for, designating others to pay for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting or facilitating access to, contraception, sterilization, or abortion.” And under the accommodation, Belmont Abbey College would have to continually coordinate with Blue Cross Blue Shield, providing and updating a list of its employees so that the insurance carrier could offer and pay for contraceptive services for each eligible person, it noted. “Thus, even under the accommodation,” the lawsuit states, the college “would continue to play a central role in facilitating free access to contraceptive, sterilization, and abortifacient services.” That “would conscript their health care plans as the main cog in the government’s scheme for expanding access to contraceptive and abortifacient services.” The lawsuit calls this accommodation “nothing more than a shell game.” Approximately 82 other lawsuits have been filed in federal courts by Catholic dioceses, religious orders, religious colleges, charities and business owners. Catholic dioceses with pending lawsuits include the Archdioceses of Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York and Fort Worth, and the dioceses of Erie, Pittsburg and Fort Wayne-South Bend. In an email to the Catholic News Herald Nov. 20, the president of Belmont Abbey College, Dr. William Thierfelder, summed up the college’s lawsuit: “Since Belmont Abbey College was the first institution to sue the federal government over the HHS mandate, it should come as no surprise that we would continue to fight for our religious liberty. ... We have refiled our lawsuit and are prepared to persevere to the end. We will never give up!”

needs to be something that contributes positively to downtown and that contributes to smart urban infill.” Just using the property for a parking lot over the long term doesn’t make sense, Hunt said. “There’s plenty of research that shows that surface parking lots kill downtown vibrancy,” he said. “I’m in favor of moving ahead with some sort of productive disposition of the property.” Given the emergence of other hotel proposals, Hunt said a project including retail space might now be more likely. The city should be careful to protect the basilica across the street, he said. The termination of the McKibbon proposal has already renewed calls for the property to become a city park. “Now more than ever we need green space downtown. We’re going to be a canyon of concrete,” said Elaine Lite, a city resident who has pushed for a park in the past and said again Nov. 22 that it would be the city’s best option. “You just can’t have too much green space,” Lite said. A basilica official declined comment Nov. 22. Councilman Cecil Bothwell said a park on the property “would be great,” but on Friday only called for City Council “to open up the discussion again as to what should happen there.” — Reprinted with permission from the Asheville Citizen-Times

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Our nation 18 | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

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In Brief Bishop Thompson dies aged 90; recalled as ‘good friend, holy priest’ CHARLESTON, S.C. — Retired David B. Thompson, who headed the Diocese of Charleston from 1990 to 1999, died Nov. 24. He was 90. His funeral Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston Dec. 4. Charleston Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone recalled him with warmth, saying he was grateful for the genuine welcome and support Bishop Thompson offered him when he first took the helm of the diocese five years ago. “We in the Diocese of Charleston have lost a good friend, a holy priest and faithful bishop,” he said. “Bishop David Thompson was an inspiration, not only in his active life as priest and bishop, but also in his 16 years of retirement.” Blessed Pope John Paul II appointed then-Monsignor Thompson as Charleston’s coadjutor in April 1989. When Bishop Ernest L. Unterkoefler retired in February 1990, Bishop Thompson immediately succeeded him, becoming the 11th bishop of Charleston. He was known for his stance against the Confederate flag over the Statehouse and gambling, and strongly upholding Catholic teaching against abortion and the death penalty. His 1992 pastoral letter, “Our Heritage – Our Hope,” convoked a synod, the first in the Charleston Diocese since 1956.

USCCB international policy committee head lauds Iran nuclear deal WASHINGTON, D.C. — The interim multilateral accord that could put the brakes on Iran’s nuclear development program is a steppingstone for a longrange deal that “enhances genuine peace in the region,” according to Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. In a Nov. 27 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Bishop Pates lauded the “tireless efforts to negotiate an agreement that allows continued dialogue with Iran on this crucial issue. I understand that this accord provides a six-month period for further negotiations and confidencebuilding measures. The goal is to reach a more comprehensive agreement that would settle the crucial questions related to nuclear enrichment and nuclear nonproliferation. We welcome this step and hope that this interim agreement will allow all parties to negotiate further (and) build mutual confidence and trust.” The interim agreement, reached Nov. 24, is intended to restrict Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes. The five countries that are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France – as well as Germany negotiated the deal with Iran.

CNS | Nancy Phelan Wiechec

The front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington is pictured in a file photo from 2012.

High court to hear two cases on HHS mandate; declines employer case by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said their Hobby Lobby chain of more than More online 500 stores and Mardel, a chain of 35 Christian WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme bookstores, could proceed with seeking an Court agreed Nov. 26 to take up two cases At injunction protecting the companies from that challenge provisions of the Affordable Keep up with the latest news on the meeting parts of the contraceptive mandate Care Act requiring employers to provide HHS contraception mandate and issued by the Department of Health and contraceptive coverage on behalf of forthese court cases Human Services as part of the health care law. profit companies whose owners object to the The second case, Conestoga Wood Specialties mandate for religious reasons. v. Sebelius, is an appeal by the Hahn family, On Dec. 2, the court announced it had declined the Mennonite owners, of a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the appeal of Liberty University of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court ruling that they had to comply with the contraceptive coverage of Appeals ruling that the Christian university must adhere to the requirement. The circuit court ruled that as a for-profit, secular health care law’s employer mandate. When the Supreme Court ruled corporation, Conestoga Wood and its owners are not protected by on the constitutionality of parts of the health care law in 2012, it didn’t the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment. address the employer mandate to provide coverage. In its petition for the Supreme Court to review its case, Conestoga Probably in March, the court will take up the cases of Hobby Wood argued that the 3rd Circuit’s decision conflicts with rulings Lobby, an Oklahoma-based, family-run arts-and-crafts chain, and by other circuit courts that recognized religious rights of for-profit Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania family-run company corporations. that makes cabinets. A decision is likely by late June. At issue in both cases will be First Amendment arguments that a federal requirement that the owners of the companies provide insurance coverage they morally oppose violates the owners’ Free Exercise rights as well as their rights under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says the government “shall not PITTSBURGH — A federal judge Nov. 21 granted the Pittsburgh and Erie substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless that dioceses a preliminary injunction against the federal health care law’s burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling contraceptive mandate, saying religious employers’ right to adhere to their governmental interest.” moral objections to it outweighs a government decision to widen access In the Liberty University case, which the court without comment to contraceptives. Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik said that “all who declined to consider, the institution argued the mandate for recognize the importance of religious liberty should be very pleased” with employers to provide government-defined health insurance violates the ruling by Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the U.S. District Court for Western the school’s rights, and the individual rights of employees. Pennsylvania. “Acknowledging that our beliefs are sincerely held, Judge The law requires nearly all employers – with 50 or more workers Schwab found that the good works that the church provides in society are – to provide health insurance that includes free coverage of both essential and integral to who we are as believers,” the bishop said in a contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs. The statement released the day of the ruling. “Judge Schwab refused to accept mandate does not include a conscience clause for employers who that religious freedom is solely the freedom to worship behind closed object to such coverage on moral grounds. doors.” In a statement issued in Washington, the president of the U.S. . This is the second unsuccessful attempt to challenge the mandate Conference of Catholic Bishops said he was “strongly encouraged by the in the Supreme Court. Other cases are still working through lower court’s rejection of the government’s attempt to reduce freedom of religion courts. The deadline for the requirement to take effect has been to freedom of worship, as well as the court’s recognition that service to postponed until Jan. 1, 2015. It was to have taken effect Jan. 1, 2014, those in need is at the heart of our faith. The court’s decision vindicates but the deadline was delayed to give employers more time to adjust. that approach and we fully expect more decisions like this to follow,” said In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the Green family won a ruling Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky. Catholic News Service

Pittsburgh, Erie dioceses win temporary injunction against HHS contraception mandate

December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI

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In Brief Current state of U.S. immigration ‘an offense against God’ SAN ANTONIO — In a new pastoral letter “Family Beyond Borders,” the bishops of the border region of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico humanize the immigration debate by placing it in a moral context with specific illustrations of struggling children and families. It addresses the misconceptions concerning undocumented immigrants and their contribution to society in the United States, while outlining the serious threats facing immigrant families and tragic conditions under which children have been separated from their mothers and fathers. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio joined with his brother bishops in urging Catholics, national, state and local leaders, and all people of good will to engage in dialogue, advocacy and action to protect the human rights of immigrants and to help keep their families together. Archbishop Garcia-Siller said the bishops of the border region have published and are distributing “Family Beyond Borders” with a sense of urgency. “We believe it is imperative that the people of the United States see that the broken immigration system of this land comes with tragic human cost,” he explained. “Families are torn apart, children are separated from their mothers and fathers, husbands are divided from wives, not just for days or weeks, or even months. Many may never see their families for decades, if ever.”

State Dept. refutes pushback over embassy move WASHINGTON, D.C. — A State Department spokesman Nov. 25 said plans to move the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See to a different building in Rome are based on cost savings and security concerns. In a teleconference organized by the agency, a senior State Department official speaking on background told reporters that the U.S. mission to the Holy See will move in 2015 out of its current location in “a decidedly ugly, slab-sided” former residential property in “an unprepossessing building.” Its new location, actually a block or two closer to the Vatican, will be a free-standing building in a complex that is home to the U.S. Embassy to Italy and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and other U.N. agencies, each in their own building, with entrances from different streets, the spokesman said.

Archbishop criticizes same-sex ‘marriage’ law WASHINGTON, D.C. — Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco said the action by the Illinois Legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn to legalize same-sex “marriage” “does not alter the natural reality that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.” Speaking as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, the archbishop also said in a statement that some legislators took steps to “manipulate” the words of Pope Francis to gain support for the measure. The law takes effect June 1. Same-sex “marriage” now is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.


— Catholic News Service

St. Ann Catholic Church 3635 Park Road Charlotte, NC 28209

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Monday, December 9th 7:00 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Saturday, December 21st, Rorate (Golden) Mass 6:30 a.m.

Christmas Masses: Christmas Eve: 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Latin Mass, and 12 Midnight. Music beginning at 11:30 p.m. Christmas Day: 9:00 a.m.

Confessions Thursdays 5:30-6:30 p.m., Saturdays 3:00-4:00 p.m. No Confessions on Thursday, December 26th.

Join Catholic Charities at the 11th Annual Vineyard of Hope for cocktails, dinner and holiday cheer! Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM Carmel Country Club 4735 Carmel Road Charlotte, North Carolina 28226 3rd Annual Fruit of the Vine Award for Service will be presented to St. Matthew Catholic Church for their generosity and support of Catholic Charities. Reserve your complimentary seat and make your donation online: or contact Sherry Luc: Please help to meet the goal of $150,000 this Christmas season. Your generous donation will support the continued mission of Catholic Charities to strengthen families, build communities and reduce poverty.


Our world 20 | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Pope venerates apostle’s relics, urges to people focus on Christ Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis closed the Year of Faith by calling on people to keep Christ at the center of their lives, especially in times of trouble. “When Jesus is at the center, light shines even the darkest moments of our lives; He gives us hope,” he said in his homily Nov. 24, the feast of Christ the King. The closing Mass in St. Peter’s Square also saw, for the first time, the exposition for public veneration of bones believed to be those of St. Peter. The apostle is believed to have been martyred on a hill overlooking St. Peter’s Square and buried a tomb now located two levels below the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. Eight bone fragments, each two to three centimeters long, were nestled in an open bronze reliquary displayed to the side of the altar. During the ceremony, the pope – the 265th successor of Peter – held the closed reliquary for several minutes in silent prayer while choirs sang the Nicene Creed in Latin. The bones, which were discovered during excavations of the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica in the 1940s, are kept in the pope’s private chapel but had never been displayed in public. While no pope has ever declared the bones to be authentic, Pope Paul VI said in 1968 that the “relics” of St. Peter had been “identified in a way which we can hold to be convincing.” Pope Francis began his homily by thanking retired Pope Benedict XVI for establishing the Year of Faith, calling it a “providential initiative” that gave Christians “the opportunity to rediscover the beauty of the journey of faith begun on the day of our baptism.” The pope then greeted patriarchs and archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches, who were in Rome for a meeting, and extended those greetings to all Christians living in the Holy Land, Syria and the East, wishing “them the gift of peace and harmony.” He expressed his appreciation for their fidelity to Christ, which comes “often at a high price.” In his homily, the pope focused on “the centrality of Christ” and how the faithful are expected to recognize and accept “the centrality of Jesus Christ in our thoughts, words and works.” “When this center is lost, because it is replaced with something else, only harm can result for everything around us and for ourselves,” he said. Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading of the good thief, who was crucified alongside Jesus, repents and asks Jesus to remember him in paradise, the pope said Jesus responds to the man with forgiveness, “not condemnation.” “Whenever anyone finds the courage to ask for this forgiveness, the Lord does not let such a petition go unheard.” The pope said everyone should ask the Lord to remember them because “each one of us has a history,” has made mistakes and sinned as well as experienced happy times and sad. People need to say, “’Jesus, remember me because I want to be good, I have the desire to become good, but I don’t have the strength. I can’t, I’m a sinner,’” the pope said. In response, “the Lord always grants more than what he has been asked.” With an estimated 60,000 people gathered in the square for the Mass, a special collection was taken up for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. At the end of the Mass and before reciting the Angelus prayer at noon, the pope formally presented his first apostolic exhortation to representatives of the Church community, including bishops, seminarians, catechists, Catholic journalists and a woman with a visual impairment, who received her copy as an audio file on a CD-ROM. His letter evangelization, titled “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), was released Nov. 26.

CNS | Stefano Rellandini, Reuters

Pope Francis holds a bronze reliquary containing the relics of St. Peter the Apostle on the altar during a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 24. The bone fragments, which were discovered during excavations of the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica in the 1940s, are kept in the pope’s private chapel but had never been displayed in public. In a Nov. 25 meeting with people who volunteered their time and efforts to organize and promote Year of Faith activities, Pope Francis said, “the faith is the cornerstone of the Christian experience because it drives the choices and actions of our daily life.” “Faith in Christ is able to warm hearts, truly becoming the driving force of the new evangelization,” he said. A faith “lived deeply and with conviction” spreads the proclamation of the Gospel far and wide, but “apostolic courage” also is needed to reach people where they are, especially in very difficult places. Before closing the Year of Faith, Pope Francis presided Nov. 23 over the Rite of Acceptance, marking the moment when some 500 men and women, from 47 countries, inquiring about the Catholic faith formally became

catechumens preparing for baptism at Easter. During a Liturgy of the Word in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope told the adult catechumens that it is always God who initiates relationships with people and that He patiently and perseveringly waits for a response. “He never draws away from us, but has the patience to wait for the favorable moment to meet each of us.” Believing “is walking with Jesus. It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime,” Pope Francis told the catechumens. “Obviously, in this journey there will be moments when we feel tired and confused. However, faith gives us the certainty of the constant presence of Jesus in every situation, including the most painful and difficult to understand.” — Contributing to this story was Cindy Wooden at the Vatican

December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI

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In Brief Best gift in life is encountering Christ, pope says at start of Advent VATICAN CITY — The best present in life is encountering Jesus – an encounter that will last a lifetime, Pope Francis said. A Christian’s whole life “is an encounter with Jesus: in prayer, when we go to Mass, when we do good works, when we visit the sick, when we help the poor, when we think of others, when we’re not self-centered, when we are amiable,” he said in a homily given at a Rome parish Dec. 1. “We always encounter Christ in these things and the journey of life is exactly this: walking to encounter Jesus,” he said.

Pope, Netanyahu, Putin discuss Mideast peace VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel Dec. 2, and discussed prospects for peace in the Middle East and the pope’s still-unscheduled trip to the Holy Land. A statement from the Vatican press office said the leaders discussed the “complex political and social situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, hoping that a just and lasting solution may be found as soon as possible.” After their private meeting, the prime minister presented the pope with a book about the Spanish Inquisition’s persecution of the Jews.

Peace in the Middle East, particularly the ongoing war in Syria, also topped the agenda Nov. 25 as Pope Francis welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Vatican. The Russian president “conveyed the greetings of (Russian Orthodox) Patriarch Kirill, but there was not a discussion of ecumenical relations,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. A formal statement issued after the meeting said “special attention was given to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East and to the serious situation in Syria.”

Pope: 2015 will be dedicated to religious life VATICAN CITY — During a three-hour meeting with 120 superiors general of men’s religious orders, Pope Francis said the Church would make consecrated life its focus in 2015. Consecrated men and women “can wake up the world,” the pope told members of the Union of Superiors General Nov. 29, at a closed-door meeting during which he listened to the superiors and responded to their questions. The questions and answers, the Vatican said, focused on the identity and mission of consecrated people in the Church, vocations, formation, community life, relations between religious orders and dioceses and the mission of religious in the world today.

end of his talk, in a section devoted to bishops’ care of priests under their authority. “Like fathers, find the necessary time to welcome (your priests) and listen to them, every time they ask. And do not forget to go out to meet those who do not approach you; some of them unfortunately have fallen short of their commitments. In particular, I want to express my compassion and assure my prayers to all victims of sexual abuse and their families; I ask you to continue to support them along their painful path of healing, undertaken with courage,” the pope said. It was Pope Francis’ most explicit reference to clerical sex abuse since his March election.

Churches must first be places where God is adored, pope says VATICAN CITY — Temples and churches are


places people gather for many reasons, but if a place of worship is not primarily a place where God is adored, then it can’t really be called a temple or a church, Pope Francis said. “I think, and I say this with all humility, that we Christians have lost some of the sense of adoration,” the pope said Nov. 22 during morning Mass in the chapel of his residence. Gathering at church as brothers and sisters “is good, it’s beautiful,” he said, but the church “is where God is and we adore God. The temple is the place where the community goes to pray, to praise the Lord, to give thanks, but most of all to adore the Lord,” he said. At a Mass or other liturgy, the pope asked, “What is most important? The songs, the rites, everything beautiful? Adoration is most important: the entire community gathered, looking with adoration toward the altar were the sacrifice is celebrated.” — Catholic News Service

Pope prays for victims of abuse VATICAN CITY — In his clearest public reference as pope to the subject of clerical sex abuse, Pope Francis urged bishops to support abuse victims while also reaching out to priests who have “fallen short of their commitments.” The pope made his remarks Dec. 2 to bishops from the Netherlands making their first visits “ad limina apostolorum” (“to the threshold of the apostles”) since they met with Blessed John Paul II in 2004. Speaking in French, the pope brought up sex abuse near the


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ViewPoints 22 | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Letters to the editor

Father George David Byers

Charity: Meet a star poet from beyond the grave F or the last installment of this threepart series on how much Jesus loves us, we meet a one-time parishioner of mine, “K,” who died aged 11 on All Hallows Eve, just in time to celebrate All Saints Day in heaven with the saints. “K” lived her short life more in hospitals than at home, enjoying only a little time at school with her friends and bravely facing the difficulties that came her way because of multiple congenital heart defects. Her mother, of course, also lived those years more in hospitals than not, sitting next to the guardrails of her daughter’s bed, where “K” lay in a tangle of EKG wires and intravenous tubes. I’ve never seen a mother and daughter more concerned for each other’s welfare, yet who fought with each other more vigorously – continuously pushing each other beyond each other’s limits of mere human understanding, so that they might take their search for who we are before God to new levels. “K” was the one to make sure that their arguments did not descend into the bitterness that is so common to suffering mankind. The day before “K” died, I was sitting at my desk in the rectory when I sensed quite suddenly, with inescapable urgency, that my guardian angel was insisting I write a poem for the two of them, helping them to understand how much they loved each other despite how much they fought with each other. I think I had written only one other poem in my life by that time, some 10 years earlier. It was devoid of literary merit, which was also the case with this poem. But that was not the point. The urgency of my guardian angel was electrifying: This had to be done, and done now! Death was surely at hand for “K,” although her condition did not seem any worse. When I arrived, “K” and her mother were fighting as usual. They stopped when they saw me, knowing that I was bringing Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament for them both, as always. While going up the stairs to their living room, I said that I also had another surprise that I would give them after Communion. Before giving them my poem, I anointed “K” and heard her confession. Then “K” and her mother sat together on the couch, arms around each other, listening and shedding those cathartic tears which proclaim that, yes, love is stronger than any of our weaknesses. “K” and I then spoke of the joy of going to heaven and being with Jesus, the angels and all those who know the goodness and kindness of Jesus. She said she had high hopes of meeting

the angels. Early the next morning, “K” was quietly resting on a couch at home, keeping her father company as he watched television. Realizing her heart stopped, “K” tried to stand, dying as she did, her soul having gone out, already on her way to meet Jesus. “K” herself was an accomplished poet, and we often discussed her poetry, which, despite her own circumstances in life, reveled in offering joyful hope for others, looking beyond her own suffering. Here are a few lines she put together for her parents not long before she died: “I Can Still See You” I’m the star that twinkles in the sky I see and hear everything you say and do Now we are no longer together – And I miss you and you miss me I can hear you, but you can’t hear me ... I can hear your wishes for a happiness ahead And your wishes for forgiveness I can see you ... and you see me As a shiny star above you You’re sad I’m gone ... But I’m in a small land where I’m safe I am happy and I don’t suffer anymore But I still wish I were with you! “K” knew heaven was no “small land,” but she was writing for this from the perspective of her parents, who would think that she is somehow hidden away from them. But, no, “K” speaks of love. Children who suffer, some of whom die – but who nevertheless who keep alive their very real hope in Jesus, whatever happens – demonstrate the most overwhelming proof for the existence of a kind and merciful God. Instead of being blamed for what we suffer in this life, God is to be thanked for having become one of us in Christ Jesus, who took upon Himself what we deserve as members of the human family with its original sin. In this way, forgiving us from the Cross, He had the right, as it were, to have mercy on us despite ourselves. He had the right to give us the hope of going to heaven after this vale of tears is finished for us. Only He knows the best time for us to go. We’ll have no questions then, so we will be happy when we see how justice is the foundation of mercy. Father George David Byers serves in the western region of the Diocese of Charlotte. This is the third of three commentaries about suffering children. Read his previous commentaries online at www.

Liturgical music not ‘one size fits all’ Regarding the Nov. 22 article “Carolina Catholic Chorale takes ‘leap of faith,’” I wish Thomas Savoy great success with the formation of the Chorale. I hope Savoy’s passion for promoting the Second Vatican Council’s order that the “treasury of sacred music be preserved and fostered with great care” is successful. I also found the adjacent article pertaining to Our Lady of Consolation Church’s Perpetual Hope Gospel Choir also to be significant. I hope that OLC’s choir continues to be an inspiration to that parish as well and fosters a continuance of “an enthusiastic audience joyously clapping and singing.” There is a need not only to preserve the “treasury of sacred music” but also to encourage our parishioners to join in an enthusiastic participation at Mass. The Mass is centered on the Eucharist. We are certainly not in church to be “entertained” by any genre of music, but to give witness to the Eucharist. That said, I hope all choirs throughout the Diocese of Charlotte understand that it is not “one size fits all” when it comes to music in the liturgy. One person’s passion to promote the Second Vatican Council’s order to preserve sacred music without acknowledging another’s passion for contemporary music can create mixed signals. Is the St. Thomas Aquinas choir’s liturgical music more appropriate than Our Lady of Consolation’s music? It seems to me that since the Catholic News Herald reported on both of them, they are both appropriate. “Sacred music” and “contemporary music” should not be mutually exclusive musical styles in our worship of God. Thankfully, the offering of the Mass is the one consistent theme throughout the world, no matter what music is used in the liturgy. However, as far as liturgical music, if we think “one size fits all,” then we will find that we all have sore feet. Jim Healy is a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte.

Christ’s Presence is true, real and substantial I found Father Dwight Longenecker’s Nov. 8 commentary on the Real Presence quite engaging. His point is something we should always consider: how we use terms. Terms are used in different ways, including a word like “spiritual,” but especially philosophical words which are used differently in the various schools of thought throughout the ages. Father Longenecker gave a wonderful summary of the discussion on what “real presence” means in the British Anglican tradition. However, when he wants to

clarify what the Blessed Sacrament means for Catholics, he uses a word alien to Catholic teaching: “corporeal.” I cannot find this term in the Fourth Lateran, Trent or Second Vatican councils. What I read in the Church’s infallible teaching is that the Presence of Jesus, in the Sacrament of the Altar under the appearances of bread and wine, is true, real and substantial. Rather than the word “corporeal,” I suggest the language of the Council of Trent: “accidents.” “Accidents” and “substance” refer to the two dimensions of reality. “Substance” deals with meaning and essence and cannot be perceived even with electron microscopes, whereas “accidents” (or “appearances” or “species”) can be perceived through our senses. Trent reaffirmed that the Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament comes about by the removal of the substance of bread and wine and replacing these by the substance of Christ – His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The “substance” of Jesus comes to stand under the “accidents” of bread and wine. “Corporeal” should not be used to describe the Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament under the appearances of bread and wine. The Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is true, real and substantial. In the Sacrament of the Altar, we partake of the Lord and participate in His Presence. When we eat His Body and drink His Blood, we enter into the wholeness of Jesus Christ and become one with each other in His Person. This is Holy Communion. Father Lawrence Heiney is the pastor of Holy Angels Church in Mount Airy.

‘Be on the lookout’ this Advent While I was between undergraduate semesters at Marquette University College of Nursing in Milwaukee, I was in a mall parking lot when a very handsome man approached me and asked if I believed in the power of prayer. When I replied in the affirmative, he asked me to pray a Hail Mary with him because his car would not start. We prayed together, then he ducked under the car’s hood and asked me to try the ignition. Success! I went home and told my mom that I thought I’d just met an angel. Now as a nurse, we use the acronym BOLO – “be on the lookout” – when looking for a specific individual in the hospital. In this Advent season, the BOLO message here is for everyone. Look for Him every day. I’m not exactly sure who I met in that parking lot long ago, but I know I’ve seen Jesus in the loving acts of family members, caring acts of friends, helping acts of parish members, and in the eyes and cries of the poor and hurting. Deb Bagnasco Stanford is a registered nurse and member of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro.

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December 6, 2013 |  catholic news heraldI


Dr. Cris Villapando

Allison Schumacher

Mary: The ideal of love


ach one of us has ideals, resulting in standards or goals that we set for ourselves and for others. Some of these ideals we deliberately choose. For example, I may like the way a certain musician plays, and I listen to his recordings and study his work diligently until I can replicate his style. There are, however, certain desires and values we experience as integral to our person – particularly the ideal love. In “The World’s First Love,” the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote, “That ideal love we see beyond all creature-love, to which we instinctively turn when flesh-love fails, is the same ideal that God had in His Heart from all eternity – the Lady whom He calls ‘Mother.’ She is the one whom every man loves when he loves a woman – whether he knows it or not. She is what every woman wants to be when she looks at herself. She is the woman whom every man marries in ideal when he takes a spouse; she is hidden as an ideal in the discontent of every woman with the carnal aggressiveness of man; she is the secret desire every woman has to be honored and fostered; she is the way every woman wants to command respect and love because of the beauty of her goodness of body and soul. And this blueprint love, whom God loved before the world was made, this Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in the depth of depths: ‘She is the woman I love!’” At the beginning of Creation, God created man and woman and made them in His image and likeness. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were beautiful and holy. God had established man “in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 374). Man and woman did not suffer from concupiscence (a tendency to sin), but enjoyed complete mastery over self, and this state of “original justice” would have been inherited by future generations. Adam and Eve, however, willfully chose to eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Through that Original Sin committed in the Garden of Eden, our first parents tragically lost their friendship with God and abandoned us, their future children, into the clutches of death. Estranged from God and bound by sin’s fetters, we were left orphaned and sick. But God did not abandon us. On Calvary the new Adam, Jesus Christ, redeemed mankind through His death on another tree, the wood of the Cross. During His dying hours, He gave us His Mother to be our new mother, the new Eve; and through His Resurrection, He took the sting out of death (1 Corinthians 15:55) and opened up for us the gates to eternal life. If Christ’s death and Resurrection give us cause for rejoicing, then we cannot separate the New Adam from the New Eve. Does devotion to Mary take away from the worship we give to God? This is not a matter of giving one more attention than another. The Divine Plan deliberately includes the role of Mary. Just as God chose Adam and Eve to be the first parents, so He has ordained salvation to come through Christ, who came through the Blessed Mother. St. Irenaeus said of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Mary is indeed the cause of our joy! Eve led us away from God by listening to the serpent, but through Mary’s conversation with the angel Gabriel and her obedient “fiat” to God’s will, humanity once again became “bride” to the Divine Lover – God. Hence, we find by example, our ideal of perfect love in her. True devotion to Mary leads to an authentic and deep encounter with Christ. Mary always leads souls to Jesus, echoing again and again her words at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” Within the setting of a wedding feast, she teaches the bridal soul how to love. She is the model of love for all souls. As the woman who crushes the head of the serpent, she leads the Church Militant and gives courage to the fainthearted. As the Mother of Jesus, she gives the perfect of example of motherhood. She, the Virgin of all virgins, inspires consecrated souls in their vow of chastity. Priests who give their lives to defend her as their queen, find that she holds them in her heart and forms them into the true “alter Christus.” Sinners become saints through her intercession. Let us earnestly look to Mary and honor her as the perfect lover of God, who desires to lead each of us into that transforming union of our soul with the Bridegroom. Allison Schumacher is a freelance writer who works with MiraVia in Belmont.

CNS | Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters

A man lights a candle Nov. 25 as he pays respects to a deceased relative at a mass grave where victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan are buried near St. Joaquin Church in the province of Leyte, Philippines. Haiyan, the most powerful storm to make landfall this year, struck the central Philippines Nov. 8, killing thousands and displacing more than 4 million people.

Why does God allow evil?


esus said, “All that you see here – the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” This dire prediction of Jesus brings back the haunting memories of the recent devastation recently inflicted by Super Typhoon Haiyan on Leyte, Samar and neighboring islands in the Philippines. Before that, an earthquake equivalent to 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs leveled Bohol’s historic buildings and homes, killing thousands. In the midst of these sufferings, some people have begun to ask: “Where is this merciful God? How could He allow this to happen to His people? How could He allow the elderly, the poor, especially helpless children, be crushed by earthquakes or be smashed by deadly storm surges? How could He allow innocent lives be lost, especially when millions of prayers were offered prior to Super Typhoon Haiyan’s landfall?” We do not have an answer to this question, but we do have a response. An answer denotes a reply that explains clearly and intelligently the reason behind an action or an event. As such, we do not have an answer to this query. Atheists and agnostics might rejoice at this, saying, “I told you so. The concept of God is irrelevant. The forces at work here can be explained by the laws of nature and meteorology forces.” But we do have a response: God is not fair. God is just. God is not fair because He allows it to rain on the fields of the wicked and the just. But God is just because He never abandons His people, and His loving presence is there even though it is not palpably felt. This certitude does not arise from rational discourse. Rather, it comes from faith – not a nebulous, hollow faith – but a faith grounded on experience. It is that faith that caught God acting as a loving Father, who cared every day for these devastated communities for thousands of years before Nov. 7, Super Typhoon Haiyan’s landfall. It is that faith that captured God red-handed showering blessings of crops, food and natural resources on His people

regardless of whether people believed in Him or not. God is not an interventionist God. He created the laws of nature and He does not contradict Himself by suspending the laws of nature, the laws of thermodynamics, etc. Even with the accumulative impact of human carbon footprints on the planet that is creating climate change, God still respects human free will and human activity. God allows humans to obtain the information that will mitigate the destructive impacts of climate change, but He will not engineer the solutions that are within the power of human beings to implement. God’s “allowing evil” is not descriptive of God. The expression “God permitting evil to happen” is human language that arrogantly pretends to know how the Divine Will and the Divine Mind work. Could an ant explain Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity? Much less can the human mind delve into Divine mystery. Jesus died protecting us from all evils. If God were a cold-hearted God, why would He die in order to protect us from all evils? God is preoccupied not just with the evil of sin, but with all kinds of evil, natural or spiritual, which assault the human family. For us, this should be the lens we use when viewing calamitous evil in the world. Our response is rooted in our experience and relationship with a magnanimous God who labored for 4.5 billion years to provide us with this beautiful, good and fertile planet with its majestic volcanoes, terrifying cyclones, and all of nature’s abundance. Dr. Cris Villapando is director of Faith Formation Programs for the Diocese of Charlotte. A native of the Philippines, Villapando arrived in Manila for a family visit just days before Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall last month. The devastating storm killed more than 5,000, left hundreds of thousands without shelter, and caused an estimated $34 billion in damage. Although Manila itself was not hit by the storm, Villapando said he watched in tears as the storm wreaked havoc. Later, he worked to raise relief funds through his son in Charlotte, and he wrote this reflection that was distributed to clergy and pastoral agencies in the Philippines.

24 | December 6, 2013 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 


‘Church, we have much to be thankful for. We can’t count our blessings.’ The Rev. Jeff Taylor

service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Rev. Kevin Ford of Belmont’s First Foursquare Church, who played a key role in organizing the ecumenical prayer service, says “all denominations – every church, every walk of life – are welcome.” The lively reception that followed the prayer service showed the tremendous success and continued growth of the ecumenical group. Ford noted, “I have people coming in all the time and I tell them what we do, and they’re like, ‘Man, I can’t believe you all can get together and everyone don’t fight.’” “And we don’t, but something could break out tomorrow, ” he joked. He continued on a serious note, “It has been very good to just look past any religious lines or any denominational lines and say, ‘Hey, we can put the small differences aside and see we got a greater cause.” The prayer service included an ecumenical version of the Lord’s Prayer and prayers of gratitude that recognized the unique qualities of each Christian denomination. After the Scripture reading, the Rev. Jeff Taylor of East Belmont Baptist Church spoke of thanksgiving for God’s love. He said to those gathered that God “is for us the One who gave His life as a sacrifice to redeem us and to cleanse us. And that’s why we come and give thanks. We give thanks to the God who loved us enough to give His only begotten Son, that whosoever will believe shall never perish but shall have eternal life.” He then addressed the

East Belmont Baptist Church congregation, “Church, we have much to be thankful for. We can’t count our blessings. We can’t express to God in enough ways to thank Him for all He has done for us. But when we come to Jesus, when we seek that atoning sacrifice, and say, ‘Thank you, God, for salvation,’ it’s enough. It’s enough.” In the spirit of gratitude, Taylor called those gathered to recognize “the ones at a distance, the ones separated from society... all alone. As part of the Thanksgiving service, those gathered recognized those who were worse off financially. Offerings were taken up to donate to Catherine’s House, a Belmont ministry of the Sisters of Mercy that provides transitional housing for women with children who are homeless, and the BackPack Weekend Food Program, a shared ministry among local churches including Queen of the Apostles Parish that provides meals for needy children. A final blessing was given by Elise Kennedy of South Point United Methodist Church. “Let us unite again as one body,” Kennedy prayed. She then dismissed the congregation saying, “Now as we prepare to go out into a cold night, even though we may not live in a mansion, even though we may not wear the finest clothing, and even though we may not feast on filet mignon and lobster, let us indeed be thankful and grateful for the things that God has richly given to us. And may we go into God’s world on this cold night and share the warmth of this room.”

Show your love for our faithful servants The people of the Diocese of Charlotte have long been noted for our loyal support of the priests who have baptized and taught our children, preached the Gospel, officiated our weddings, celebrated the Eucharist, comforted us in our sufferings and heard our confessions. Through this campaign we, the parishioners they are happy to shepherd, will have the opportunity to return the favor for their faithful service, as well as help to ensure the future of our faith by educating future seminarians. To meet the anticipated needs of our retired priests and our seminarians, Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love will allocate $10 million to the Priest Retirement Trust Fund and $3 million to the Vocations and Seminarian Support Endowment.

Forward in Faith, Hope, and Love will provide a solid basis for responding to the immediate needs of your parish and key diocesan ministries that either directly or indirectly benefit parishes. Funds raised will help respond to the extraordinary growth experienced throughout our diocese, and address much-needed endowment security to prepare for the future, such as support for our retired and future clergy. The success of this effort will help us renew, strengthen and advance our diocese and parishes in the work of putting into action Jesus’ Gospel message of salvation.

Learn more about the campaign:

Dec. 6, 2013  

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