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January 20, 2012 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

Voting for marriage State amendment campaign gets under way,


Growing in faith Ground broken for new parish center and school in High Point,


INDEX Contact us.......................... 4 Events calendar.................. 4 Our Parishes.................... 3-9 Our Faith............................ 2 Schools.........................14-15 Scripture readings............... 2 TV & Movies.......................16 U.S. news......................18-19 Viewpoints................... 22-23 World news....................20-21

704-370-3333 FUNDED by the parishioners of the diocese of charlotte THANK YOU!


LIFE Catholics witness to the sanctity of all life in Charlotte March for Life INSIDE: Coverage of the sixth-annual march and Mass, 11-13 Sandy Buck: Pro-life advocacy must assert value of the most vulnerable unborn, 23 On to Washington: Faithful from across the diocese prepare to go to D.C. Jan. 22-23, 12

Catholics in the Carolinas First in our year-long series celebrating the four-decade history of the Diocese of Charlotte. Part one: How Catholicism came to North Carolina,


Our faith 2 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

St. Agnes: virgin and martyr Pope Benedict XVI

Christian divisions, including on morality, weaken witness


ivisions among Christians, including on moral issues, weakens their credibility and their ability to respond to the spiritual yearning of many men and women today, Pope Benedict XVI said. While “there is more that unites us than divides us” on the basic tenets of faith – belief in Christ, the Son of God and Savior of humanity – “divisions remain and regard many practical and ethical questions, giving rise to confusion and mistrust, weakening our ability to transmit the saving word of Christ,” Pope Benedict said Jan. 18 at his weekly general audience. With about 8,000 pilgrims and visitors gathered in the Vatican audience hall, Pope Benedict spoke about the importance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan. 18-25. The lack of a united voice and united witness poses a huge obstacle to the new evangelization, “which would be more fruitful if all Christians proclaimed together the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and gave a common response to the spiritual thirst of our age,” the pope said. The Second Vatican Council placed the search for Christian unity “at the center of the life and work of the Church,” the pope said, and it did so because it was Christ’s desire for His followers and because, practically speaking, it is essential for the full credibility of Christians. “The lack of unity among Christians impedes a more effective proclamation of Christ because it puts our credibility in danger,” the pope said. “How can we give a convincing witness if we are divided?” The key to unity isn’t simply to have members of different denominations be nice to one another, he said. “It requires that we reinforce our faith in God, the God of Jesus Christ, who spoke to us and became one of us. It requires entering into a new life in Christ, who is our true and definitive victory. It means opening ourselves to each other, welcoming all the elements of unity that God has preserved for us and gives us constantly. It means feeling the urgency of witnessing to the men and women of our time the living God who has made Himself known in Christ.” Editor’s note: To mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an ecumenical service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at St. John Neumann Church, 8451 Idlewild Road, Charlotte. All are invited. For details, contact Shea Barja at 704-4513629 or

Feast day: Jan. 21 A saintly life

Benjamin Mann Catholic News Agency

On Jan. 21, the Roman Catholic Church honors the virgin and martyr St. Agnes, who suffered death for her consecration to Christ. Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine tradition celebrate her feast day Jan. 14. Although the details of Agnes’ life are mostly unknown, the story of her martyrdom has been passed on with reverence since the fourth century. On the feast day of the teenaged martyr – whose name means “lamb” in Latin – the pope traditionally blesses two lambs, whose wool is later shorn on Holy Thursday and then used to weave the white pallium worn by every archbishop. Born into a wealthy family during the last decade of the third century, Agnes lived in Rome during the final major persecution of the early Church under the Emperor Diocletian. Though he was lenient toward Christians for much of his rule, Diocletian changed course in 302, resolving to wipe out the Church throughout the Roman Empire. Agnes came of age as the Church was beginning to suffer under a set of new laws decreed by Diocletian, and his co-ruler Galerius, in 303. The emperor and his subordinate called for churches to be destroyed and their books burned. Subsequent orders led to the imprisonment and torture of clergy and laypersons, for the sake of compelling them to worship the emperor instead of Christ. Meanwhile, Agnes had become a young woman of great beauty and charm, drawing the attention of suitors from the top ranks of the Roman aristocracy. But in keeping with the words of Christ and St. Paul, she had already decided on a life of celibacy for the sake of God’s kingdom. To all interested men, she explained that she had already promised herself to a heavenly and unseen spouse. These suitors both understood Agnes’ meaning and resented her resolution. Some of the men, possibly looking to change her mind, reported her to the Roman government as a Christian. Agnes was brought before a judge who tried first to persuade her, then to threaten her, into renouncing her choice not to marry. When the judge showed her the various punishments he could inflict – fire, iron hooks, and the rack – Agnes smiled and indicated she would suffer them willingly. Instead, she was brought before a pagan altar and asked to make an act of worship in accordance with the Roman state religion. When Agnes refused, the judge ordered that she should be sent to a house of prostitution, where the virginity she had offered to God would be violated. Agnes predicted that God would not allow this to occur, and her statement proved true.

The facts of faith Why do we bend the right knee when genuflecting? According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil” (GIRM 274). — Peggy Frye,

Should we kneel at Mass, even if there are no kneelers?

El Greco collection at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Detail of St. Agnes from “Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes” by El Greco, 1597 or 1599. This painting and “Saint Martin and the Beggar” were part of one of El Greco’s most important commissions. They originally hung opposite each other, flanking the central altar in the Chapel of St. Joseph in Toledo, Spain. St. Agnes holds a lamb, with which she once appeared after her death to worshipers gathered at her tomb in Rome. The first man to approach her in the brothel was struck blind by a sudden flash of light, and others opted not to repeat his mistake. But the Roman governor’s son Procop, who had at first sought to make Agnes his own, lobbied the judge for her execution and she was sentenced to die by beheading. The executioner gave her one last chance to spare her life, by renouncing her consecration to Christ – but Agnes refused, made a short prayer, and courageously submitted to death. St. Agnes, who died in 304 at about age 13, was venerated as a holy martyr from the fourth century onward. She is one of seven women saints, excluding the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. The saint’s statue is also among those on the colonnade in St. Peter’s Square. She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal instructs: “In the dioceses of the United States of America, (the faithful) should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.” (GIRM 43) This applies even if there are no kneelers, unless conditions such as lack of space or physical infirmity apply. — Jim Blackburn,

Your daily Scripture readings SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 22 - JAN. 28

Sunday, Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20; Monday, 2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10, Mark 3:22-30; Tuesday (St. Francis de Sales), 2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19, Mark 3:31-35; Wednesday (The Conversion of St. Paul), Acts 22:3-16, Mark 16:15-18; Thursday (Sts. Timothy and Titus), 2 Timothy 1:1-8, Mark 4:21-25; Friday (St. Angela Merici), 2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17, Mark 4:26-34; Saturday (St. Thomas Aquinas), 2 Samuel 12:1-7, 10-17, Mark 4:35-41


Sunday, Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Mark 1:21-28; Monday, 2 Samuel 15:1314, 30, 16:5-13, Mark 5:1-20; Tuesday (St. John Bosco), 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30-19:3, Mark 5:21-43; Wednesday, 2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17, Mark 6:1-6; Thursday (The Presentation of the Lord), Malachi 3:1-4, Hebrews 2:14-18, Luke 2:22-40; Friday (St. Blaise), Sirach 47:2-11, Mark 6:14-29; Saturday, 1 Kings 3:4-13, mark 6:30-34


Sunday, Job 7:1-4, 6-7, 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23, Mark 1:29-39; Monday (St. Paul Miki and Companions), 1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13, Mark 6:53-56; Tuesday, 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Mark 7:1-13; Wednesday (St. Jerome Emiliani, St. Josephine Bakhita), 1 Kings 10:1-10, Mark 7:14-23; Thursday, 1 Kings 11:4-13, Mark 7:24-30; Friday (St. Scholastica), 1 Kings 11:29-32, 12:19, Mark 7:31-37; Saturday (Our Lady of Lourdes), 1 Kings 12:26-32, 13:33-34, Mark 8:1-10

Our parishes

January 20, 2012 |  catholic news heraldI

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Bishop Jugis set to go to Rome May 6-13 for ‘ad limina’ visit Pilgrimage to Rome, Italy planned

In Brief

Patricia L. Guilfoyle Editor

Charlotte pro-life display vandalized CHARLOTTE — Just hours after it was set up, a pro-life display in front of St. Vincent de Paul Church on Park Road in Charlotte was vandalized Jan. 4. The parish’s display is set up annually to coincide with the January 1973 anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. This year’s display featured 44 crosses and two banners stating: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”....GOD (from Isaiah), and “Abortion Kills Babies...every 24 seconds.” “We will pray for the person or persons who damaged our banners,” said Father Mark Lawlor, pastor at St. Vincent De Paul. “We will persevere in our prayerful witness to God’s Sovereignty over human life. Our Cemetery of the Innocents display and banners has been a peaceful witness to the Sanctity of Life. It is certainly not to intended to cause anyone hardship or distress.”


CHARLOTTE — Bishop Peter J. Jugis will go to Rome May 6-13 for his “ad limina” visit with Pope Benedict XVI – the first such meeting he will have with the current pontiff. He will join other bishops from the Southeast on the trip, which is typically scheduled every five years or so. Bishop Jugis’ previous “ad limina” visit was in 2004 to meet with Pope John Paul II. The trips are an opportunity for the pope to meet with bishops from all over the world, discussing the Church’s needs in their areas. The visits also build up the relationship the pope has with his brother bishops, reaffirming their ties with the Holy See and the universal Church. The visits formally are called “ad limina apostolorum,” which means “to the thresholds of the apostles” Peter and Paul, who were martyred in Rome.

“The ad limina visit strengthens our bond of communion with the Church of Rome and with the universal Church. I am eager to let the Holy Father and his closest collaborators know about all the great work we are doing in our diocese,” Bishop Jugis said when the dates were announced. U.S. bishops began making their “ad limina” visits to Rome last fall. The most recent delegation included the bishops from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, the U.S. Archdiocese for Military Services and the Virgin Islands. Bishop Jugis will have meetings at the Vatican throughout the week he is in Rome, as well as present a report on the state of the Diocese of Charlotte. As is the custom, he and the other bishops will celebrate Mass at the tomb of St. Peter. In conjunction with Bishop Jugis’ “ad limina” visit, the faithful of the Diocese of Charlotte are invited to participate in a pilgrimage to Rome and other parts of Italy. Father Christopher Roux, rector and pastor of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, will be the spiritual director. Travel details are yet to be determined; look for details in upcoming editions of the Catholic News Herald. — Catholic News Service contributed

— Kimberly Bender, online reporter

Patricia L. Guilfoyle | Catholic News Herald

Bishop Peter Jugis recently videotaped the first in series of four educational videos on marriage that he is producing along with Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge in advance of the May 8 referendum to define traditional marriage in the state constitution. Read the transcript from the video on page 22.

Two installed as lectors Diocese of Charlotte seminarians Santiago Mariani and David McCanless were installed as lectors Jan. 15 in Rome by Archbishop Timothy Broglio, ordinary of the U.S. Military Archdiocese. A lector is someone assigned to read any of the Scripture readings except the Gospel at Mass or other public service.

MLK Jr. Day celebration scheduled in Charlotte CHARLOTTE — The Diocese of Charlotte’s African-American Affairs Ministry will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte. Dr. C. Vanessa White from Catholic Union in Chicago will be the facilitator. — Sandy Murdock

Ecumenical prayer service set CHARLOTTE — The second annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at St. John Neumann Church, 8451 Idlewild Road, Charlotte. This ecumenical event will feature Minister Christina Lee of New Beginnings Church in Matthews as guest speaker. All are invited. For details, contact Shea Barja at 704-451-3629 or — Al Tinson

Kathy Roach | Catholic News Herald

Rev. Monsignor Mauricio W. West, vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Charlotte, blesses the ground during a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 15 for Immaculate Heart of Mary Church’s future Parish Life and Education Center. Construction on the 77,000-square-foot, LEED-certified parish hall and school is expected to take about one year.

IHM breaks ground on parish hall and school Kathy Roach Correspondent

HIGH POINT — Hundreds of parishioners gathered for the blessing and groundbreaking for a new Parish Life and Education Center at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point Jan. 15 – the culmination of a $6.3 million capital campaign that garnered financial support from more than 750 families. The groundbreaking ceremony began with the church choir singing “We are Marching in the Light of God” as a procession including the parish staff, High Point Mayor Becky Smothers and parishioners walked through a

double line formed by the Knights of Columbus and made their way to the groundbreaking area. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Father Joseph C. Zuschmidt, parochial vicar, gave the opening prayer. Senior parish priest, Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Father James P. Byrne, translated the opening remarks in Spanish and read from 1 Peter 2:3-7, 9. The chorus then sang “The Lord is My Light” by Lillian Bouknight. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Father Vincent. E. Smith, pastor, spoke of the history of the High Point parish and what the new center will mean for future IHM, SEE page 8


Marriage amendment campaign gets under way David Hains Director of Communication

CHARLOTTE — If you are like most voters in North Carolina, you probably are not aware of the fact that a traditional marriage referendum question will be on the May 8 primary ballot. Your awareness level is about to change. The marriage protection amendment will enshrine in the state constitution an existing law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Last year, traditional marriage supporters in the state legislature pushed AMENDMENT, SEE page 17

4 | January 20, 2012 OUR PARISHES 

Diocesan calendar of events ASHEVILLE ST. LAWRENCE BASILICA, 97 HAYWOOD ST. — St. Martin DePorres Dominican Lay Chapter of Asheville Meeting, open to those interested in learning about this group, lower conference room, 7 p.m. Feb. 19. Contact Gail Atkinson at chloris58@ or 828-216-7227.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following events over the next two weeks:


Jan. 23 – 11:30 a.m. North Carolina Holy Mass for Life Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

belmont abbey college, 100 belmont-mt. holly road — Arts at the Abbey: Matteo Bevilacqua, Italian mandolinist assisted by Karen Hite Jacob, 8 p.m. Jan. 23

Jan. 24 – 1:30 p.m. Diocesan Building Commission Meeting Pastoral Center Jan. 28 – 2 p.m. Sacrament of Confirmation St. Gabriel Church, Charlotte Feb. 3 – 7 p.m. Sacrament of Confirmation Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Charlotte

CHARLOTTE CATHOLIC CAMPUS MINISTRY, 9408 SANDBURG ROAD — Wednesday Dinners, open to college students in the area, 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Contact Sister Eileen Spanier at or 704-717-7104. ST. John neumann CHURCH, 8451 idlewild road — Class on Catholic spirituality: Father Steve Hoyt, OFM Cap., will present on St. Francis, Room 7, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 25

ST. JOSEPH VIETNAMESE CHURCH, 4929 Sandy Porter Road — 2012 Tet Festival, which includes food, lion dance, Ao Dai show, music, and games, 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Jan. 21 and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 22 ST. LUKE CHURCH, 13700 Lawyers Road — Anointing of the Sick Mass, 10 a.m. Feb. 18. Contact Mary Adams at 704-545-1224. ST. MATTHEW CHURCH, 8015 BALLANTYNE COMMONS PKWY. — “Honoring veterans as they near the end of life,” presented by Hospice and Palliative Care, NLC 132, 7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 24. Contact Rita Brennan at 704-5437677 ext. 1007. — St. Peregrine Healing Prayer Service, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 — “Called to be Mom,” supports the vocation of motherhood, NLC 239/240, 10 a.m.-noon, Feb. 2 and 16, March 1, 15 and 19, April 18, and May 2. Childcare available by calling 704-543-7677, ext. 1011, 48 hours in advance. Contact Kerry Long at klong003@ or 704-243-6319. — Charismatic Prayer Group, Choir Room, 7:30-9 p.m. Mondays. Contact Barbara Gardner at chlt5nc@aol. com.

Volume 21 • Number 6

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

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

iglesia san marcos, 14740 Stumptown Road, Huntersville, 7-8:30 p.m. el 6, 13, 20, y 27 de febrero, presentado por el Padre Gabriel Carvajal-Salazar El objetivo de este curso tiene una triple finalidad: 1. Respetar las creencias de los no Católicos. 2. Colaborar con todas aquellas personas que

buscan el bien común. 3. Dar razón de nuestra fe ante aquellos que directa o indirectamente nos cuestionan. Registrese: no mas tarde del 31 de enero COMUNIQUESE: Michael Burck, mburck@, 704-541-8362, ext. 4

— “First Fridays at the Abbey,” 5 p.m. First Fridays, followed by dinner. Information and RSVP at alumni.

— Second Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service, 7 p.m. Jan. 26. Contact Shea Barja at or 704-451-3629.

January 20, 2012

Curso en Español: “Fortaleciendo la Fe de los Católicos ante el Proselitismo de los Nuevos Grupos Religiosos”

EDITOR: Patricia L. Guilfoyle 704-370-3334, COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT/CIRCULATION: Denise Onativia 704-370-3333, ADVERTISING MANAGER: Kevin Eagan 704-370-3332, STAFF WRITER: SueAnn Howell 704-370-3354, GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Tim Faragher 704-370-3331, Online reporter: Kimberly Bender 704-808-7341,

— Centering Prayer Group, NLC 206, 7-8:30 p.m. second and fourth Wednesdays. Contact Bruce Hassett at 704-641-9041 or Janie Normile at 803-396-8016. — Lectio Divina, 10-11 a.m. first and third Thursdays. Contact Pat Donlevy at 704-541-8960. ST. PATRICK cATHEDRAL, 1621 DILWORTH ROAD EAST — Eucharistic Adoration, 8 a.m.-9 a.m. Wednesdays ST. PETER church, 507 s. tryon st. — Kennedy Lecture: “The Heavens Proclaim, Astronomy and the Search for God,” 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 28. Register to Visit www. ST. thomas aquinas church, 1400 Suther Road — “Circle of Friends” Grief Support Group, office conference room, 7 p.m. Thursdays. Contact Robyn Magyar at 704-707-5070. ST. VINCENT DE PAUL church, 6828 old reid road — Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group (CCWG) Reflection with Father David Runnion. His talk will be: “Things I have ‘learned’ the hard way in my faith journey,” following 9 a.m. Mass Feb. 6. Contact Mary Catherine Surface at or 704-651-5860. — Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group (CCWG) Reflection with Father Glenn Sudano, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 17. Details and registration at www.


— Ancient Order of Hibernians welcomes Father Sean McManus as he discusses his new book “My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland,” following 11:30 a.m. Mass Jan. 22. st. pius x CHURCH, 2210 n. elm st. — Greensboro Council of Catholic Women Annual Covered Dish Luncheon, noon Jan. 25. RSVP to Debbie Porter by Jan. 23, or 336-2884255. “Learn to Pray the Liturgy of the Hours,” Kloster Center, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Contact Elliott Suttle at

HENDERSONVILLE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH, 208 Seventh Avenue West — St. Francis of the Hills Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan order invites you to a “Come and See.” They meet 1-3:30 p.m. fourth Sundays. Contact Randy Hair, S.F.O., at 828-698-6466 or Tim Gibson, S.F.O., at 828-606-1728.

HIGH POINT IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY CHURCH, 4145 JOHNSON ST. — Free Spanish classes for “beginners” and “advanced,” 7-8:30 p.m. for 8 weeks beginning Jan. 26. Contact Nancy at 336-884-0522 or Dr. Kwan at hinglkwan@

hOLY SPIRIT CHURCH, 537 N. HIGHWAY 16 — Moving On After Moving In (for Women), 10-11:30 a.m. for 10 weeks beginning Jan. 26. Contact Candy at 704-489-1696 or Maureen at 704-489-0544.




OUR LADY OF GRACE CHURCH, 2205 W. MARKET ST. — Walking with Purpose: Rebuild my Church, with Father Jason Brooks, 8-10 a.m. Jan. 21. Contact Patty Disney at 336-382-2558. Visit

OUR LADY OF MERCY SCHOOL, 1730 LINK ROAD — Open House for prospective families, 9-11:30 a.m. Jan 31, and 5-7 p.m. Feb. 23. Visit www.

The Catholic News Herald is published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte 28 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,

st. william church, 765 Andrews Road — Lunch and Learn: “What in the Name of God?” presented by Father George Kloster, 11 a.m. Jan. 28

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. catholic news HERALD Diocese of Charlotte

January 20, 2012 | 



Grants available to fight rising poverty in North Carolina Joseph Purello Special to the Catholic News Herald

Ushers distribute collection baskets at St. Eugene Church in Asheville during a Mass in 2011.

Patricia L. Guilfoyle | Catholic News Herald

Parish offertory collections up 4.1% SueAnn Howell Staff writer

CHARLOTTE — The fruits of stewardship can be seen around the Diocese of Charlotte everywhere you look. Food pantries continue to be restocked, job seekers find support, and parishioners find new ways to reach out to the people in their communities who need spiritual or financial help. Among the strongest indicators of this commitment to stewardship in the Diocese of Charlotte is the increase in financial donations, particularly offertory collections, over the past fiscal year – despite a drop in the number of parishioners who contributed. Overall, parish offertory collections in the diocese are up 4.1 percent in the 2010-2011 fiscal year over the previous fiscal year. Of the diocese’s 92 parishes and missions, 63 parishes saw increased offertory collections and

St. John Neumann Church opens new pavilion CHARLOTTE — St. John Neumann Church’s pastor, Father Pat Hoare, recently presided over the dedication of a new outdoor pavilion on the church’s campus on Jan. 8. The pavilion will enable the parish to hold various functions outdoors such as picnics and other social events as well as other parish activities.

Photo provided by Al Tinson

seven parishes saw no change. Twentytwo saw drops in their collections, with eight of those parishes measuring declines of 5 percent or more. This news bucks the latest national trend. The annual study called the “Holy Toll,” conducted by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research, part of the interfaith Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, reported last year that more than half – 57 percent – of Catholic parishes said their offertory collections had declined either “a lot or a little” during the recession which lasted from December 2007 and ended in June 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Jim Kelley, diocesan director of development, said he is confident about the reasons behind the increased stewardship in the Charlotte diocese. “It’s because we’ve been teaching stewardship for a long time,” Kelley said. “We’ve been cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and parishioners

get it. They give back a portion of their time, talent and treasure. They truly understand the life of stewardship.” He also attributes the increased collections to parishes focusing on stewardship education. He said he sees higher donation rates in parishes that encourage stewardship, put more emphasis on spiritual development programs, step up their ministry efforts, and communicate more often and more openly with their parishioners. “Even in times of economic decline, people keep giving to what means the most to them. People are continuing to be very generous,” Kelley said. For parishes who may not have seen an increase in their offertory collections, Kelley encourages them to contact the diocesan development office. “The development office staff is always available to meet with pastors and parish leaders from any parish who needs help in addressing their offertory. The most effective way to do that is through stewardship efforts.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has renewed its poverty awareness campaign, Poverty USA, and has updated the campaign’s website, The USCCB seeks to engage the public in the shared responsibility to be aware of, and care for, those who are struggling economically. In the spirit of this campaign, it is timely to draw attention to the plight of those who are poor in North Carolina and ways in which our own diocesan parishes and Catholic Social Services are providing resources in the fight against poverty. As of November 2011, 451,400 North Carolinians were seeking employment. With the state unemployment rate hovering at about 10 percent for almost two years, poverty rates have been on the rise. December 2011 USDA Economic Research Service data places the state’s poverty rate at 17.4 percent, with an even higher child poverty rate of 24.6 percent. Job losses and pay cuts have also meant a surge in the use of food stamps and food pantries. SNAP funds (the name Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program replaced “food stamps” in the 2008 Farm Bill) are being increasingly used by people to make ends meet – often by people who are classified as “working poor.” In North Carolina, the percentage of people receiving such support has risen from 10 percent of the population to 17 percent in the four years ending in November 2011. (Source: Amanda Memrick, “Accepting Food Stamps,” Gaston Gazette, Jan. 15) That 17 percent represents 1,660,154 people in our state trying to get by in these tough times by using food stamps. Catholic Social Services, the local Catholic Charities USA agency of the Diocese of Charlotte, has seen increasing numbers of people visiting its food pantries in Asheville, Charlotte and Winston-Salem. For example, 808 households were served by these three pantries in the month of October 2011 – a 61 percent increase in just two years from the 501 households served in October 2009. Catholic Social Services, through its Office of Justice and Peace, also sponsors a grant program designed specifically to assist non-profit organizations in the diocese fighting poverty at its root causes. Funded organizations must include those being helped in the project decision making process. Information on Local Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Grants (including application, grant guidelines and eligibility criteria) can be found at www.cssnc. org/ccdhcrs. The postmark deadline is Feb. 15. All grant applicants and projects are reviewed for their conformity to Catholic social doctrine.

Fighting poverty through parish social ministry: St. Luke Church receives CCUSA recognition The St. Luke Church’s Thomasboro Ministry, a partnership between the parish and Mecklenburg County’s Thomasboro Elementary School, is receiving national attention from Catholic Charities USA in 2012. Through its parish volunteer tutoring efforts, enrichment projects with parents and teachers, donations of teacher and student supplies, and support of local community associations, this ministry is being recognized by CCUSA as a 2012 “Best Practice in Parish Social Ministry.” The ministry is one of 12 parish social ministries highlighted this year by CCUSA, a recognition that comes with being selected as a “Ministry of the Month” in the nationally distributed CCUSA 2012 calendar. (St. Luke is featured in February). St. Luke parishioner Kathy Capps, who has led this ministry since its founding more than nine years ago, said she is pleased that the dedicated work of so many of her fellow parishioners has received this recognition. The St. Luke’s Thomasboro Ministry, also a recipient of a 2011 Local CCHD Grant, will be featured in a workshop during the CCUSA Southeast Regional Parish Social Ministry Training at St. Peter Church on April 20 and 21, 2012.

6 | January 20, 2012 OUR PARISHES 


Sacred Heart Church sponsors Kenyan nurse’s education Dorice Narins Correspondent

BREVARD — Parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Brevard began sponsoring the education of a young nursing student in East Kenya nearly six years ago, and now that student, named Philomena, has begun working in a hospital to save babies’ lives. Philomena studied and trained at Consolata Hospital in Nyeri, Kenya, which has as its motto “Furtherance of the Healing Ministry of Christ in the world today with special concern for the Poor.” When they started funding her education, Sacred Heart parishioners – organized through the parish’s community life commission in partnership with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aged – knew almost nothing about Philomena except that she needed support to attend nursing school. Becoming a nurse would enable her to earn a living, she wrote in a letter before the parish began its efforts on her behalf. Following her recent graduation, she began working as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Consolata Hospital. She recently wrote another letter to the parish expressing joy and gratitude for the help given her to “share in God’s saving work”: “Dealing with these infants is one of the greatest challenges I have faced in my life, because the infant is not able to express him/herself. The setup of the unit is also a challenge in terms of equipment and materials, but I try my very best to apply all the skills I have learned, in order to help these precious ones. “I have enclosed a photograph of a mother who delivered twins, one baby weighed about 3 ½ pounds and the other a little over 2 ½ pounds. We fed these premature infants through a nasogastric

Photo provided by Dorice Narins

Philomena sent this photo of herself with the mother of premature twins she helped treat in the neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in East Kenya. The photo accompanied letter of thanks to parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Brevard who helped pay for her to attend nursing school. tube until they attained 4 ½-5 pounds when we discharged them. The mother stayed in the hospital for two months. The family appreciated our service very much.” Sacred Heart Church supports local charities in Brevard as well as provides educational, medical and nutritional support of six children and one aged person through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aged. Aiding Philomena was an outreach that Sacred Heart had not done before, but the parish found the results so heartwarming and far reaching. In her lifetime Philomena will serve many people for the small sum it cost the parish to educate her. To learn more about the Christian Foundation for Children and Aged, go online to

January 20, 2012 | 

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In Brief

confirmation program has contributed to local Christmas-season efforts, but this is the first year that St. Gabriel’s students have “flown solo” with the project. Pete Brehmer and Jerry Jones, both long-time coordinators of this sort of Christmas outreach program, worked many hours with St. Gabriel confirmation coordinator Trish Stewart to put it all together. The students will receive the sacrament of confirmation at two Masses scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28. — Laura Rice

Scouts earn Parvuli Dei emblem

‘Lessons and Carols’ fill St. Vincent De Paul Church CHARLOTTE — St. Vincent De Paul celebrated its annual tradition of “Lessons and Carols” Jan. 8. This event included Christmas carols performed by the adult and children’s choirs as well as Scripture readings appropriate for the Christmas season and a reflection by Father Mark Lawlor.

BOONE — Scouts Benjamin Klaene and Mark Mellon were both awarded the Parvuli Dei (Children of God) religious emblem by Father David Brzoska, pastor of St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Church in Boone on Dec. 11. This award is presented to Cub Scouts who are Bears or Webelos who complete a workbook and participate in service. The purpose of the emblem is to help young boys explore a wide range of activities to discover the presence of God in their daily lives as members of their families and parishes, and also to develop a good, positive self-image through the contributions they can make to the group or community. — Amber Mellon

— Ruben Tamayo

St. Gabriel confirmation students serve up Christmas bounty CHARLOTTE — Over the recent Christmas break, 150 ninth-grade confirmation students at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte provided an abundance of warm clothing and holiday cheer to some less fortunate folks in Charlotte and the surrounding area. Starting in April, the students and their families collected donations of gently-used and new clothing, toys and assorted household and gift items. On Dec. 17, the students gathered in the St. Gabriel Ministry Center to fill more than 350 boxes with gift items, which were then distributed to those in need through a variety of assistance organizations including Catherine’s House at Belmont Abbey and New Christian Outreach Center. New Outreach received 250 boxes filled with much-needed clothing and toys. Over the years, this northwest Charlotte ministry has become a “last resort” provider of Christmas gifts and clothing for those who otherwise would receive nothing. With the help of the St. Gabriel students, New Outreach was able to provide a little Christmas cheer to a record 800 children from 500 local families. Providing service to the community is an important aspect of the students’ preparation for confirmation. For many years, St. Gabriel’s

Successful ‘Moving On’ program continues DENVER — Holy Spirit Church in Denver is gearing up for another session of its successful program, “Moving On After Moving In.” This 10-week program is open to all women in the community who “are new/feel new” or are going through a life transition such as retirement, divorce, widowhood, etc. The classes are based on Susan Miller’s book “After the Boxes Are Unpacked,” which discusses the spiritual, emotional and practical needs of making a move or a life transition. The sessions begin Jan. 26. For details, call Candy at 704-489-1691 or Maureen at 704489-0544. — Doreen Sugierski We welcome your parish’s news. E-mail items to Editor Patricia Guilfoyle at



8 | January 20, 2012 OUR PARISHES 


generations. Intercessions were then read by Deacon Walter J. Haarsgaard. Rev. Monsignor Mauricio W. West, vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Charlotte, blessed the site for the Parish Life and Education Center. Then students from Immaculate Heart of Mary School passed out shovels to the pastoral staff and other dignitaries for the ceremonial groundbreaking. The event ended with the chorus singing “This Little Light of Mine” as everyone

walked back to the gathering space of the church for a reception. Construction of the 77,000-square-foot, two-story building by Edifice of Charlotte will take about one year to complete. The structure was designed by architectural firm Wasmer Keeling of Charlotte. Architect Pete Wasmer is a graduate of IHM School. Father Smith noted during his remarks, “This is not just another job. The architects are really taking this to heart.” Upon completion, the building will be eligible for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. According to Father Smith, “It will be the first LEED-certified school in the City of High Point.” LEED was developed by the

U.S. Green Building Council to promote green building design, construction and operation. The center will be divided into four main wings – education, administration, fellowship hall and activities – and it will include a gymnasium and media center. The project will cost $10.5 million. Besides the $6.3 million campaign, the project will be funded by the sale of the current school property, cash on hand before the campaign, and a 10-year loan. The current school building on Montlieu Avenue accommodates 230 students in prekindergarten to eighth grades, but the new education center will allow for twice as many students and will have room to expand on the second floor as the student population increases. The fellowship hall will be able to host banquets for up to 500 people or can be partitioned into three smaller rooms. It will be used for parish events, but it can also be used by church members for wedding or anniversary celebrations. The outside of the building will complement the existing church architecture. The interior colors for walls and flooring are based upon the colors found in the stained-glass window that can be seen at the church’s entrance. Elements from the old church on Montlieu Avenue, including the crucifix from the chapel, will be incorporated into the new building. The steeple will become a focal point in the new plaza between the church and the center. A stained-glass

Sketch provided by Wasmer Keeling of Charlotte

window of the Holy Family, taken from the original church, will be installed in the transom over the entrance to the new media center. Parish capital campaign cabinet member Matt Thiel noted that the $6.3 million fundraising drive “was the second largest parish capital campaign in the history of the Charlotte diocese.” The more than 750 families who made pledges, he said, was “a record in the parish and community.” The capital campaign will continue to raise funds for updating the media center and for future projects, such as athletic fields. Father Smith credited “a very active, healthy parish with strong leadership” for making the building campaign so successful. “Even in this economic downturn, people rallied,” he said. He also pointed out that parish volunteers, using their expertise in areas such as finance and construction, made the center a reality.

January 20, 2012 | 



Sisters of Mercy Foundation awards $1.7M in grants BELMONT — The Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation have announced grant awards totaling $1,732,758 to 35 non-profit organizations located in Buncombe, Cabarrus, Chatham, Durham, Edgecombe, Guilford, Iredell, Jackson, Mecklenburg, Nash, and Wake counties in North Carolina and Charleston, Spartanburg and York counties in South Carolina. The grant funds will be used for a variety of purposes by the organizations. Supported programs include affordable housing, children’s services, education, health care, food services, immigration services, job training, legal services, and social services. The following 28 organizations will benefit from the foundation’s most recent grant making activities. Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, Asheville, addresses poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the uninsured. They will receive $57,000 for salary support for a part-time pharmacist for the Doctor’s Medical Clinic. Adults Working and Advocating for Kids’ Empowerment (AWAKE), Sylva, facilitates a multidisciplinary team system where child abuse agencies and professionals can work together to assist child abuse victims and their families. Their $20,000 grant will provide salary support for the executive director. Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project, Cashiers, was awarded $24,500 in operating support for a free dental clinic. The organization provides high-quality dental services to the economically disadvantaged. Boys & Girls Clubs of Nash/Edgecombe Counties, Rocky Mount, guides youth to become independent successful citizens through planned recreational and educational programs. They were awarded $35,000 for salary support of the Project Learn staff. Buncombe County Schools, Asheville, provides a safe, caring and engaging learning environment to prepare students to become responsible citizens. Their $75,000 grant will help provide equipment and instructional support for implementation of the Texas Instruments Math Forward program in three middle schools. Cabarrus Health Alliance, Kannapolis, provides all clinical public health services for Cabarrus County. They will receive $93,758 to assist with the salaries for five essential positions for the expanded dental clinic in Kannapolis. Care Ring, Charlotte, provides health screening and health educational services to individuals and families in low-income communities. Their $125,000 grant will be used for operating support for the Nurse Family Partnership Program.

Caring for Children, Asheville, provides high-quality care, shelter, education and treatment to children and families in crisis. They will receive $40,000 for salary support of residential counselors for the Trinity Place Runaway and Homeless Shelter for Youth. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Charlotte, provides affordable housing services designed to help low- and moderate-income families live stable and productive lives. Their $30,000 grant will assist with salaries of the Homeownership Program. Children First of Buncombe County, Asheville, works to improve the lives of children, youth and their families through community collaboration, advocacy and programs that help young people successfully learn and stay in school. They were awarded $40,000 to help support the Project MARCH After-School Program. Communities in Schools of CharlotteMecklenburg, Charlotte, helps students most at risk of academic and social failure learn successfully and stay in school. Their $126,000 grant will provide operating support for the High Impact High School Initiative. Community Health Services of Union County, Monroe, provides outreach services to the indigent and underserved population through community clinics, diabetes services, prescription assistance, and wellness programs. They will receive $45,000 for salary support of the certified diabetes educator and the purchase of supplies. Council for Children’s Rights, Charlotte, received $60,000 to provide salary support for a mental health attorney. The council protects, promotes and represents the needs of children through class advocacy, case advocacy, education and collaboration with other services providers. Disability Rights & Resources, Charlotte, serves people with disabilities through advocacy, independent living skills training, information and referral, peer support and community transition services. They were awarded $20,000 for transition expenses associated with the My Home, My Choice Program. Eliada Homes, Asheville, provides treatment services for abused, neglected and troubled adolescents, assistance for families in crisis, and foster care for children. Their $75,000 grant will provide salary support for two teachers in the Eliada Academy Day Treatment Program. Elon Homes and Schools for Children, Charlotte, provides residential programs, community skills training and experiential learning opportunities for at-risk children in group homes and foster homes. They were awarded $40,000 for salary support of a therapist for the Kids Central Program. Green Opportunities, Asheville, works to improve lives and communities through innovative “green collar” job training and placement programs for low-income youth and adults. Their $35,000 grant will provide

support for the Pathways to Green Jobs Program. KIPP Academy Charlotte, Charlotte, aims to improve access to high-quality education for at-risk and educationally underserved students. They will receive $125,000 to provide operating support for the KIPP Through College Program and general instructional supplies. Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, Huntersville, provides high-quality medical care to uninsured families and individuals. Their $70,000 grant will provide salary support for a nurse practitioner. Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Charlotte, provides civil legal assistance in the areas of public benefits, housing and family and consumer law to lowincome individuals. Their $65,000 grant will support the Employment Law Program. Lions Services, Charlotte, provides employment, rehabilitation and competitive job training opportunities to individuals who are blind or visually-impaired. They were awarded $30,000 for salary support for licensed opticians in the Eye Clinic Program. Mountain BizWorks, Asheville, will receive $50,000 to help support the Latino Business Program. The organization provides business training, technical assistance, group support and loans for low-income people who want to start or expand a local small business. Samaritan House, Charlotte, provides a recuperative care facility for people who are homeless and in need of short-term care following a hospital or emergency room stay. They will receive $40,000 to provide operating support including staff salaries, utilities and insurance, kitchen and office supplies, house maintenance and guest medications. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, Charlotte, feeds hungry people by soliciting and distributing food and other grocery products through partner agencies and educates people about the nature of and solutions to the problems of hunger. Their

$55,000 grant will contribute to the purchase of food for the Mobile Pantry Program. Thompson Child & Family Focus, Matthews, provides prevention, intervention and clinical services to children and families in need of intensive clinical treatment. They were awarded $48,000 to provide salary support for a family partner coordinator. Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro, Greensboro, promotes the self-reliance of women by assessing needs, providing services and acting as a gateway to community resources. Their $25,000 grant will provide salary support for the director of the New Choices Program. Yokefellow Ministry of Greater Statesville, Statesville, will receive $20,000 to support the addition of a volunteer coordinator and to contribute to direct financial assistance. The organization helps meet the needs of people by providing food for the hungry, clothes and household items for those in need, and financial assistance in crisis situations. YWCA of the Central Carolinas, Charlotte, provides services designed to enrich the physical, intellectual, social and spiritual well-being of women, children and families. They were awarded $40,000 to contribute to the Family Support component of the YWCA’s Youth Programs. Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation is a supporting organization and sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Community, providing support for its charitable, religious and educational mission. The South Central Community is one of six communities of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, part of an international order of Catholic women religious. Since 1996, the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation has awarded 1,213 grants totaling more than $54,300,000. | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 




Catholics in the North Carolinas EDITOR’S NOTE: The Diocese of Charlotte was founded on Jan. 12, 1972. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the diocese and the history of the Church in Western North Carolina, we are launching a year-long series spotlighting the people who built up the Church, the major developments over the past 40 years, and what changes could be in store for the future.


Patricia L. Guilfoyle Editor

Church with a missionary spirit. That describes the Catholic Church in North Carolina throughout its history. The Diocese of Charlotte may have 92 parishes and missions now – many of them bursting with increasing numbers of families moving here from all over the world – but there was a time when Catholic families were isolated and often treated with hostility by their nonCatholic neighbors, when the celebration of Mass was rare, when just a handful of priests “rode the circuit” hundreds of miles through the wilderness to reach their flocks.

“A History of the Early Years of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte” recounts, “Before the American Revolution, Catholicism scarcely existed in the Carolinas, except for a few exiled Acadians who were still here at the beginning of the Revolution. In his ‘History of the Catholic Church in the United States,’ John Gilmary Shea tells that in 1775 two Irish Catholics were discovered in Charleston and at once were condemned to be tarred and feathered and banished from the state, accused of conspiring with the Negroes against the liberties of the country. Catholics kept their faith so secret that they were not even known to one another. After the American Revolution a new era began for the government and also for religion. The State of South Carolina in its new constitution permitted Catholics to live in the state as individuals and as organized groups.” The first wave of Catholics in the Carolinas arrived in the early 1800s – mostly Irish stonemasons and other skilled tradesmen finding work with the railroads and in construction jobs, especially in Raleigh, which saw the dedication of its first Catholic church in 1834. Until just after the nation’s founding, Catholics in the Carolinas were part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Just a few years after the American Revolution, however, the Baltimore archdiocese realized it was too distant to oversee

Coming next Feb. 3: “Starting a diocese from scratch in less than six weeks: The founding of the Diocese of Charlotte.”

the Carolinas effectively. So in 1820, the Holy See created a new Diocese of Charleston, comprising the Carolinas and Georgia. Thirty years later, when Georgia was split off into a separate Diocese of Savannah, the Carolinas combined had about 5,000 Catholics, 17 churches and just 16 priests. It took nearly another 20 years for a separate vicariate to be set up for North Carolina, with Bishop (later Cardinal) James Gibbons consecrated to lead it as vicar apostolic. He was just 33. Starting in 1868, he and a fellow priest traveled across the state, seeking out Gibbons North Carolina’s estimated 700 Catholic families – notably, the 100-member congregation at St. Peter Church in Charlotte, which had been founded in 1851 as the first permanent Catholic church in western North Carolina that is still in use.

The Benedictines

No history of the early Church in North Carolina can be told without describing the foundational role of the Benedictines. During his tour of the state in the late 1860s, Bishop Gibbons realized that religious education was critical to shepherding the faithful. At the urging of his priest traveling companion, he wrote “The Faith of Our Fathers,” which became a popular religious text in its day. He also anticipated that the state’s Catholics needed a religious college to educate the faithful and encourage vocations. But where? Around the same time, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah J. O’Connell, a trailblazing priest and missionary who worked throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, bought 500 acres of farmland near what today is Belmont. It was a bankruptcy sale, and he paid just $10. He envisioned a Catholic college for young men run by a religious order. O’Connell Rev. Dr. O’Connell was no stranger to this area. In 1851, he had traveled two days by stagecoach from Charleston to lay the cornerstone of St. Peter’s in Charlotte. “Much of the money needed to construct this church was donated by non-Catholics who had been impressed by Father O’Connell’s preaching,” states the history on the Diocese of Charlotte’s website. Rev. Dr. O’Connell approached Bishop Gibbons with his idea for using the land in Belmont, and not long afterward the bishop petitioned St. Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, Pa., to form a community of Benedictine monks and a

college there. All Rev. Dr. O’Connell asked was to live on the campus, which he did until his death in 1894. While living at the abbey, he penned the seminal work “Catholicity in the Carolinas and Georgia: Leaves of its History.” In 1876, the first Benedictines arrived: Father Herman Wolfe and two students from Richmond, Va. A religious brother and two more students from Charlotte soon joined. Besides their religious studies and missionary work, the monks made the bricks used to build the abbey. Within two years there were 12 students and four faculty, and the college was chartered by the state in 1886 as St. Mary’s College. (In 1913 its name changed to Belmont Abbey College.) Father Leo Haid was elected as the first abbot of the growing community in 1885, which by then included 12 monks. He was soon ordained a bishop, and in 1887 he became responsible for the North Carolina vicariate as well as the abbey for the next two decades. The Benedictine monks had a pioneering spirit and unwavering missionary zeal. Under Abbot Haid’s leadership the community grew to dozens of monks. In cooperation with the Sisters of Mercy, they established parishes and parochial schools across the Haid state, girls’ boarding schools in Belmont and Asheville, and three hospitals. They also founded and staffed new monasteries and schools in Georgia, Virginia and Florida. At the time Abbot Haid was ordained head of the North Carolina vicariate in 1887, there were 2,600 Catholics and 14 priests in the state. When he died in 1924 – serving as North Carolina’s last vicar apostolic – the Catholic population had grown to 8,254 people and 52 priests. That same year, the North Carolina vicariate became a diocese in its own right when the Diocese of Raleigh was created by Pope Pius XI. It encompassed the entire state except eight counties set aside for Belmont Abbey’s control, a separate diocesan structure called “abbatia nullius.” The abbey was the only one in the U.S. to ever hold that rank, from 1910 until the formation of the Diocese of Charlotte. (The abbey’s Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, funded in large part by a donation from St. Katharine Drexel, was a cathedral for much of the 20th century while the abbey enjoyed “abbatia nullius” status, and it is now a minor basilica.) One year after the Raleigh diocese’s founding, Bishop William Joseph Hafey, chancellor of the Baltimore archdiocese, Hafey was ordained its first bishop. At 37, he was the youngest bishop in the U.S. at the time. — Sources: “A History of the Early Years of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte,” by Sister Miriam Miller, O.S.F., 1984; “Voices and Places of the People of God,” by David Hains, 2006; Diocese of Charlotte website and archives.

More online

In 1850, North and South Carolina combined had about 5,000 Catholics, 17 churches and just 16 priests.

n History of Belmont Abbey College: n Rev. Dr. Jeremiah J. O’Connell: n Anecdota in diocesan history:

January 20, 2012 | 




LIFE Sixth-annual Charlotte March for Life tests will, shows heart

Hundreds brave bitter winds to witness to life Jan. 13 SueAnn Howell Staff writer

CHARLOTTE — It’s always freezing on the second Friday in January for the Charlotte March for Life. “More to offer up,” some would say. Ask the more than 200 people who braved the howling winter winds to witness to life and they’ll tell you there was plenty to “offer up” despite the Carolina blue skies and sunshine. Pro-life advocates began the morning at 9 a.m. with a Mass for the Unborn at St. Peter Church in Charlotte. Father Hayden Augustine, vicar general of the Missionaries of the Poor, was the main celebrant and homilist. He has worked tirelessly in the M.O.P. missions in India and Africa for the past 20 years, and has recently helped found the Holy Innocents Crisis Centre in Jamaica with Father Richard Ho Lung, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor. This center helps counsel pregnant women threatened by the prospect of abortion and helps them care for their babies. During his homily, Father Augustine cited the daily reading from the Gospel of Mark which describes how four men came to the rescue of their friend who needed to be lifted down through the roof to be healed by Jesus. He elaborated how we have to counteract the current culture with the values of life that we have learned as Christians. He challenged those present at Mass to consider the choices we will soon make regarding who will lead our nation. “What kind of leaders do we want?” he asked. “Do we want those who exploit

labor? Those who wrench babies from the womb? Or do we want leaders who inspire us to labor for others … to sacrifice for those who are weak?” After Mass, people from across the Diocese of Charlotte gathered at the diocesan Pastoral Center to pick up pro-life signs and rosaries to carry in the march. Father Augustine then shared a prayer and Bishop Peter J. Jugis blessed the marchers and reminded the crowd that “we must be advocates for the unborn.” “Abortion is a grave injustice because it takes the life of an innocent human being,” Bishop Jugis said. The Missionaries of the Poor led the procession including Knights of Columbus, priests, deacons, students and supporters of life into the streets of uptown Charlotte for the sixth-annual March for Life. At Independence Square, the city’s center, Father Augustine spoke to the crowds huddled against the blustery winds. He focused his talk on disabilities – those discovered in the womb and those living with disadvantages – drawing from his experiences helping those most in need, which often include mental and physically handicapped people all over the world. “It has been 39 years since the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legalize abortion,” Father Augustine said. “And it has been 39 years that the Catholic Church in the United States has courageously and purposely LIFE, SEE page 17

photos by SueAnn Howell and Patricia Guilfoyle

Marchers braved bitterly cold winds to process in the sixth-annual Charlotte March for Life and pray in front of the Charles R. Jonas Federal Courthouse in Charlotte Jan. 13.

See more online For more photos from the sixth-annual Charlotte March for Life, go online to or the Diocese of Charlotte’s YouTube channel.


iiiJanuary 20, 2012 |


CNS | Peter Lockley

Events in D.C. mark 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One thing that always stands out in the annual marches and rallies in Washington, D.C., and across the country marking the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion is the crowd. “People are always surprised by the number of pro-lifers that show up in Washington and in their own state capitals,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “The crowds are getting bigger and bigger each year and have more young people, which is encouraging for the pro-life movement and a shock for those who think abortion should remain legal,” she said. And based on expected turnouts, this year will be no exception. Tens of thousands of people from across the U.S. are expected to gather in the nation’s capital Jan. 23 for this year’s March for Life in Washington with the theme: “Unite on the life principles to overturn Roe v. Wade and with love protect mothers and preborn children – no exception, no compromise.” The event falls the day after the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, to allow participants to visit n Follow us on Facebook: their representatives on Capitol Hill Staff writer SueAnn Howell and after a noon rally on the National contributors to the Catholic News Mall and a march along Constitution Herald from across the diocese will Avenue to the Supreme Court. be in Washington, D.C., for the march The night before the rally, March and pro-life events throughout for Life organizers are planning a Sunday and Monday. See photos and mini-rally in Lafayette Park across follow our coverage on Facebook and from the White House. They are also on sponsoring a youth rally that night. n Tune in to live coverage: Go A capacity crowd of about 20,000 to for pilgrims is expected to fill the live streamed coverage of the D.C. Basilica of the National Shrine of March for Life from EWTN, from the the Immaculate Conception for the opening Mass starting at 6:30 p.m. annual National Prayer Vigil for Life, Sunday, Jan. 22, throughout the day which begins with a Jan. 22 opening on Monday, Jan. 23. Mass. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Marchers are invited to participate in various services, including a rosary, confessions, hourly holy hours, night prayer and morning prayer, concluding with a morning Mass celebrated by New York Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, USCCB president. For the 16th year, the Archdiocese of Washington will sponsor its annual pro-life youth Mass and rally the morning of Jan. 23. The popularity of the event prompted the archdiocese to hold this event in two sports venues last year – the Verizon Center and the D.C. Armory – to accommodate a crowd totaling about 28,000. The event includes a concert, confessions, praying the rosary, and Mass, before most of the crowd heads to the annual March for Life. After the March for Life the rallying-spirit will continue with several pro-life organizations sponsoring the National Pro-Life Youth Rally near the Supreme Court. Other Washington events related to the Roe anniversary include the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life at Jesuit-run Georgetown University Jan. 22 for college and high school students featuring a keynote address by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput; two Rock for Life concerts on Jan. 21 and 22; speeches at the Supreme Court during the march sponsored by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; and a Jan. 23 Mass at St. Aloysius Church in Washington sponsored by the Ignatian Pro-Life Network, a union of pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges universities and parishes.

Go online for more

Square in Charlotte during the march, which began at the diocesan Pa to process in the sixth-annual Charlotte March for Life along South Tr

Prayer for the unborn Thirty-nine years ago with its decision in Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion – the killing of unborn children. Since then, more than 1 million babies have been murdered each year in the U.S. To help stop the anti-life push around the world, Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen encouraged the spiritual adoption of an unborn child by composing this brief prayer: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion. Amen.” Sheen Through this prayer, we can ask that one particular but unknown child’s life be spared from abortion. To help accomplish this, it is recommended that we say the prayer daily for nine months. To learn more, go online to


January 20, 2012 | catholicnewsherald.comiii


(Far left) Students from St. Mark School in Huntersville pray during the Mass for the Unborn at St. Peter Church before the start of the march. “I would recommend young people to go to the March for Life because the March and all the people in it are so inspirational. The stories you hear are real and touching,” said one student. (Left) Father Hayden Augustine, M.O.P., elevates the Eucharist at the Mass for the Unborn.

(Top left) A man bundled up against the cold holds a 40 Days for Life sign during the march while guest speakers give their testimonies in Independence Square in Charlotte. (Top right) Brice Griffin, a witness for Silent No More, testified how an abortion in her early 20s left her emotionally traumatized. She began to heal after going to reconciliation and attending a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat for women and men who have experienced the pain of abortion. (Above) Heather Martin sings the Divine Mercy Chaplet in front of the courthouse. (Left) March organizer Tina Witt thanked everyone who participated in the sixth-annual march. (Above) Pro-life advocates ring Independence

astoral Center and ended at the federal courthouse. (Above left and left) More than 200 marchers braved bitterly cold winds ryon Street in Charlotte Jan. 13.

Pro-life message displayed for all to see CHARLOTTE — A billboard promoting the pro-life cause is on display in uptown Charlotte until Feb. 4, thanks to a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 7343 from St. John Neumann Church in Charlotte. Deputy Grand Knight Rich Adams won the use of the prominent billboard on Mint Street near the Carolina Panthers stadium for a month, valued at $1,400, after he won a contest in a recent Special Olympics golf tournament sponsored by Bojangles’ and News Channel 36. He said he thought it was the wisest use of the billboard to coincide with the Charlotte March for Life and the 39th anniversary of the legalization of abortion.

SueAnn Howell and Patricia L. Guilfoyle | Catholic News Herald

Our schools 14 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

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In Brief

MACS parents provide input on ‘Catholic identity’

St. Leo School helps the needy WINSTON-SALEM — The members of St. Leo Parish and School in Winston-Salem recently donated food and gifts to help make Christmas special for 52 needy families in the area. The project was coordinated by parishioner and school mom Katie Reynolds. — Donna Birkel

St. Michael students write to Marine GASTONIA — As part of a Thanksgiving project, first-graders in Carla McGuire’s class at St. Michael School in Gastonia wrote letters of thanks to Private 1st Class Jon Brackett, a U.S. Marine stationed at Cherry Point. (Pictured above) While at home for Thanksgiving, he made a surprise visit and shared donuts with the class.

Focus group recommendations expected by spring SueAnn Howell Staff writer

CHARLOTTE — Nearly one year after an evangelization committee was formed to strengthen Catholic identity in the diocese’s schools, it is almost finished gathering opinions from parents and teachers – the first step in putting together a plan for diocesan leaders to consider. Father Roger K. Arnsparger, diocesan vicar of education, announced the creation of the evangelization committee – made up of parents, teachers and other stakeholders – about 10 months ago to find ways to enhance the nine Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools’ “Catholic identity.” This came on the heels of the 2010 accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools of the diocesan school system, which in part gauges Catholic identity in Church-run schools. At the time, Father Arnsparger said the committee would “explore how our schools are implementing their mission to ‘proclaim the Good News of the

Gospel’ and to identify opportunities to enhance the spiritual development of our students, parents, teachers, principals and administrators.” The committee then set about creating and distributing a survey for MACS families, conducted interviews with teachers and administrators and established focus group meetings at seven of nine schools to glean ideas and input on the subject of “Catholic identity,” which is a key factor in the district’s accreditation process. “Most of the nine school teams have reported their findings, (and we) hope that the remaining teams wrap up by later January,” said Jason Beckert, who chairs the evangelization committee. “We’re pleased with the quality of ideas we have received so far.” The findings compiled by the committee will be sent to Father Arnsparger and the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools Board for review sometime in March or April, with an implementation plan to be developed upon approval of the committee’s recommendations.

“The committee wishes to thank all of the principals, teachers and parents who graciously shared their input and enthusiasm over the last six months,” Beckert added. “We are especially grateful to Father Arnsparger for his leadership and guidance along the way.” Using “The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools” by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, as a guide, the committee and Father Arnsparger said they want to clarify and establish what the Church asserts as the “five marks of Catholic schools.” That means schools which are: inspired by a supernatural vision, founded on a Christian anthropology, animated by communion and community, imbued with a Catholic worldview throughout its curriculum, and sustained by Gospel witness. Michael Guerra, former president of the National Catholic Educational Association, echoed this approach, stating: “The first and most important task for Catholic schools is to maintain and continually strengthen their Catholic identity.”

— Pat Burr

OLM hosts first golf marathon WINSTON-SALEM — Triad area golfers had the opportunity recently to showcase their skill and endurance and raise money for Our Lady of Mercy School in Winston-Salem, with the school’s first golf marathon Oct. 5 at Bermuda Run West. Play lasted from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and each golfer’s goal was to play 100 rounds. Four out of 19 golfers completed the challenge of 100 holes. One pair completed 96, playing right up until “God turned out the lights,” they said. Several players completed 80 holes. The golfers raised $12,000 in pledges. “We would like this golf event to be an anchor fundraiser for us,” said Lara Davenport, director of advancement for OLM. “The marathon concept has the potential to help us raise more funds than a normal golf outing because the golfers help spread out the fundraising efforts. Marathons work for charity runs and walks, and making it a golf event makes it something out of the ordinary.” — Annette Tenny

Catholic Schools Week 2012 to focus on faith, academics, service SueAnn Howell Staff writer

CHARLOTTE — All 19 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Charlotte will celebrate the 38th annual Catholic Schools Week Jan. 29-Feb. 5. This national celebration is co-sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This year’s theme for Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools – Faith. Academics. Service.” which focuses on three of the top priorities of Catholic schools that distinguish them from other educational institutions. First: Children are taught faith – not just the basics of Christianity, but how to

have a relationship with God. Second: Academics, which in Catholic schools are held to very high standards, help each child reach his or her potential. Third: Service, the giving of one’s time and effort to help others, is taught both as an expression of faith and good citizenship. “The Catholic faithful in the United States have long supported Catholic schools, with great personal and financial sacrifice, as a method of sharing the fruits of the great Catholic life of study and prayer that lead to authentic Christian service,” said Father Roger K. Arnsparger, diocesan vicar of education. “It really is the gift of hope in the development of a culture of holiness and salvation. Catholic schools have

been a great blessing to all of us, and our country and its citizens have benefited greatly from this monumental academic endeavor. Catholic schools around the country will celebrate Mass and offer special activities throughout the week to recognize the gift of a Catholic education. Students, teachers, staff, families and parishioners all receive recognition for their efforts to foster Catholic education in their schools and communities. Outreach activities also give students and faculty an opportunity to give back to others. For more information about Catholic Schools Week, go to CatholicSchoolsWeek.asp.

January 20, 2012 |  catholic news heraldI

Photo provided by Donna Birkel

Celebrating Vocations Awareness Week WINSTON-SALEM — As part of Vocation Awareness Week in January, Father Lucas Rossi, parochial vicar at St. Leo School, met with the boys in grades 3-8 to review the vocations video “Fishers of Men.” Discussions, questions and prayers were among the activities. Father Rossi blessed all the young men and asked for God’s grace to open their hearts and minds to the will of God for their lives and the lives of their fellow classmates. To learn more about vocations to the priesthood and religious life in the Diocese of Charlotte, call diocesan vocations director Father Christopher Gober at 704-370-3327. For inquiries about the permanent diaconate, call Deacon Ronald Steinkamp at 336-882-9717.


Mix 16 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

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In theaters

a drug dealer. Set in New Orleans, and in the shipping lanes between the Crescent City and Panama, this Hollywood retread of a 2008 Nordic movie immediately bogs down in vulgar language, while director Baltasar Kormakur, who starred in and produced the original, fails to provide any depth or to exploit the relatively novel crime scenario. Skewed values, much lethal but only moderately graphic violence, and one instance of drug use. CNS: O (morally offensive), MPAA: R

‘The Devil Inside’

‘Joyful Noise’ Vibrant, faith-driven blend of comedy, drama and music focused on the sometimes raucous but ultimately friendly rivalry between two leading members of a small-town Georgia church choir. As the chorus competes for regional and national recognition, the freespirited, mildly prodigal grandson of Parton’s character falls for the strictly reared daughter of Latifah’s. A premarital situation and occasional sexual references and jokes. CNS: A-III (adults), MPAA: PG-13

‘Contraband’ Expletive-laden, dispiriting crime thriller about an ex-smuggler forced to ply his illicit trade once more to protect his family from

Director and co-writer William Brent Bell’s eye-poppingly bad, grotesque exorcism outing combines inept storytelling with a lazy, sullen antagonism toward the Catholic Church. Keen to know what provoked her mother to murder two priests and a nun during an exorcism 20 years earlier, a plucky documentary maker jets off to Rome in search of answers, accompanied by her faithful cameraman. Anti-Catholic animus, a fallacious presentation of Church teaching and practice, and implied acceptance of abortion. CNS: O (morally offensive), MPAA: R

‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ The hunt is on for a double agent within Britain’s intelligence service in this faithful adaptation of John le Carre’s best-selling 1974 novel, set at the height of the Cold War between East and West. A loyal lieutenant of the agency’s chief is sacked when a covert mission to find the mole goes awry. Secretly rehired and commissioned to ferret out the traitor, he identifies four principal suspects. Bloody violence including gunplay and torture, a scene of nonmarital sexual activity, brief rear nudity, and a homosexual reference. CNS: L (limited adult audience), MPAA: R

On TV n Monday, Jan. 23, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Death as a Salesman: What’s Wrong with Assisted Suicide.” An in-depth look at the moral culpability of euthanasia and the difference between helping someone die and helping someone who is dying. n Monday, Jan. 23, 5 a.m. and Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 p.m. (EWTN) “Bloodmoney: The Business of Abortion.” Dr. Alveda King exposes the truth behind the Abortion Industry from the Pro Life perspective, and hosts an examination of the history of abortion in America. n Tuesday, Jan. 24, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Crossroads: Taking Steps to Save Lives.” This program features an inspiring, pro-life youth movement. n Wednesday, Jan. 25, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Hearing God.” The ‘against-allodds’ story of Fr. Christopher Klusman, and his faithfullness in responding to the call to priesthood, despite total deafness. n Wednesday, Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (EWTN) “Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul: Celebration of Vespers (LIVE).” Pope Benedict XVI will preside over this service of evening prayer celebrating the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. n Thursday, Jan. 26, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Saint Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love.” The life of St. Gianna Molla, which covers her parents’ background, her childhood in Italy in the 1930s, and later her role as a physician, wife and mother. n Friday, Jan. 27, 1 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 28, 5 a.m. (EWTN) “Demographic Winter: The

Decline of the Family.” With chilling clarity experts from around the world discuss the dangers facing society and world economies, as a result of declining populations around the globe. n Saturday, Jan. 28, 6 p.m. (EWTN) “The Vitae Monologues.” Jeremy Stanbary of Epiphany Studio Productions presents a powerful and inspiring Catholic pro-life play. n Saturday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m. (EWTN) “The Right Choice.” The story of one teen’s journey from the despair of the abortion clinic to the hope of new life. n Tuesday, Jan. 31, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “A Time to Rebuild.” Father Mitch Pacwa explores the history and restoration of the Nowy Cacz Jesuit School in Poland, highlighting the determined faith of the Polish people and how it sustained them in times of persecution and oppression. n Wednesday, Feb. 1, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Wherever You Are.” St. Josemaria Escriva speaks about the Christian meaning of work. “Seek God in everything. God is hidden in the most simple, ordinary everyday things....” n Thursday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (EWTN) “Vespers With Religious on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Live).” From Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica, on the World Day for Consecrated Life, Pope Benedict XVI presides at this service of evening prayer with the members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. n Friday, Feb. 3, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Providence Will Provide.” A documentary look at Mother Mary Lange, who despite cultural hostility established the first religious community of black women in the history of the Catholic Church.

January 20, 2012 |  catholic news heraldI





championed and defended the culture of life by raising and sustaining awareness of the evils of abortion.” Father Augustine highlighted the growing trend of women having abortions after extensive prenatal screening finds the risk or evidence of genetic and other disorders. “Abortion in these situations can lead to all sorts of things in society like euthanasia and purification of the species. That’s not good,” Father Augustine told the Catholic News Herald shortly before the march began. “It’s a slippery slope. Where do we go from here?” The next to address the crowd was Brice Griffin, a parishioner at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte and a witness for Silent No More, who gave her testimony on how an abortion in her early 20s left her emotionally traumatized. She explained that she began to heal after going to reconciliation and attending a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat for women and men who have experienced the pain of abortion. Now she and her family thank God and the priests who came to her aid with love and mercy. Charlotte resident Deborah McKinney then took the stage, sharing her adoption story. “Twelve years ago, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant,” said McKinney, who also attends St. Patrick Cathedral. “I thought about having an abortion, but I decided to go with an open adoption.” This is McKinney’s third year attending the march. This year she also bundled up her 4-year-old daughter Betty June and 2-year-old son Luke to witness to the sanctity of all human life. They were among a couple of hundred Catholic faithful who participated in the march, which ended at the Charles R. Jonas Federal Courthouse Building on West Trade Street. Tina Witt, organizer of the Charlotte March for Life, expressed her thanks to all who attended, funded and prayed for the march. “Keep on praying...keep on marching, and one day you will march into Heaven!” she wrote in an email to supporters afterwards. For more coverage about the Charlotte March for Life, go to — Patricia Guilfoyle and Kimberly Bender contributed to this article.

for the referendum because of a concern that the law could be changed or overruled in the courts – as has been the case in several other states including Connecticut in 2008, Iowa in 2009, and, most recently, California in 2010, when a federal district judge overturned Proposition 8, a 2008 measure passed by California voters to ban same-sex unions. That legal battle remains held up in court. Placing traditional marriage in the state constitution puts it beyond the reach of the courts and elected officials, as the state constitution can only be changed by popular vote, marriage supporters point out. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “Over half of the states have passed language defining marriage between a man and a woman in their state constitutions. Arizona is the only state where a constitutional amendment on the ballot in a general election has failed (2006); however, in 2008 the measure ultimately passed. Typically, constitutional amendments have passed with an overwhelming majority.” A communication campaign, coordinated between the Diocese of Charlotte and the Diocese of Raleigh by Catholic Voice North Carolina, is launching this month with the first in a series of four educational videos on YouTube featuring Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis and Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge. Each video highlights important points about the proposed marriage amendment and urges viewers to vote for it. In the first video, which will be posted to the Diocese of Charlotte’s YouTube channel this month, Bishop Jugis explains Church teaching on marriage and emphasizes that Catholics respect the dignity of all persons. “The Church’s position on traditional marriage is not an instance of discrimination or animosity toward homosexual persons. Marriage is based on natural law, a law that can never be changed. Therefore, there will be boundaries that cannot be modified,” he said. Catholic Voice NC isn’t alone in its support for marriage. A coalition of churches and public interest groups has formed “Vote FOR Marriage.” Twenty-nine states have defined marriage in their constitutions as the union between one man and


Also inside Read the full text from the first in a series of four educational videos featuring Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis and Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge on page 22. The U.S. Bishops have joined other religious leaders around the U.S. in issuing “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together.” See page 19.

woman, with North Carolina and Minnesota eyeing similar moves this year. North Carolina is the only Southern state that does not already support traditional marriage in its constitution. Twelve states have redefined marriage to include homosexual civil unions or same-sex “marriage,” including New York and Rhode Island in 2011. In addition to the videos, North Carolina Catholics will be seeing bulletin inserts and suggested prayers for the amendment’s passage. News articles and advertisements in diocesan publications will appear on a regular basis between now and May. Catholic Voice NC will also be sending out postcards to remind supporters to get out and vote for the May 8 referendum. The bishops will also be in touch with the 6,000 members of Catholic Voice NC via emails and Facebook.

Learn more Read the text of the proposed marriage amendment at: www. Read a transcript of the first educational video by Bishop Peter Jugis on page 22. Membership in Catholic Voice NC is free and open to any resident of the state at

Our nation 18 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

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In Brief Court upholds church school’s exception to laws against firing WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court Jan. 11 unanimously upheld the idea that a “ministerial exception” to antidiscrimination laws means the church can’t be sued for firing an employee who the church classified as a minister. For the first time, the court held that such an exception to federal employment laws exists. The decision was hailed by Church advocates. Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, called it “a great day for the First Amendment.”

Texas bishops applaud court decision to uphold sonogram law AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Catholic bishops applauded the Jan. 11 decision of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowing the state to enforce a sonogram law requiring abortion providers to offer women the opportunity to view the ultrasound images of their unborn children. “Providing mothers access to sonograms informs them about the risks and complications associated with abortion,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. “These consultations save lives by educating mothers who may not realize that the child in their womb is exactly that – a unique, irreplaceable human life.”

Pope names 22 new cardinals, including three North Americans Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals, including two from the U.S., and announced a consistory for their formal induction into the College of Cardinals Feb. 18. Among those named were Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem who still is administering the Archdiocese of Baltimore; and Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto. The pope announced the nominations to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 6. Cardinal-designate O’Brien – who was in St. Peter’s Square when his name was announced – said his priestly life has been “a surprise at every step. I thought being appointed archbishop of Baltimore would be the last surprise, but I was wrong.” He said the ministries he had been appointed to, and now his elevation to cardinal, were not things he could “anticipate, navigate or engineer. It’s just a matter of being open and in the right place at the right time and good things happen.” In separate statements, the North American cardinals were quick to stress the collective rather than the personal nature of the honor. “This is not about Timothy Dolan,” the New York cardinal-designate said. “This is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York. ... It’s as if Pope Benedict is putting the red hat on top of

CNS | Gregory A. Shemitz

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York addresses the news media at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York Jan. 6. He is among 22 new cardinals named by Pope Benedict XVI. the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, or on home plate at Yankee Stadium.” Cardinal-designate O’Brien said his nomination reflected the “zealous faith” of Catholics in Baltimore, and Cardinaldesignate Collins attributed his elevation to the pope’s “esteem for the role of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Toronto in the universal Church.” The latest additions will bring the U.S. and Canada’s share of the College of Cardinals to 22. The U.S., home to about 5.5 percent of the world’s Catholics, will provide almost 10 percent of the 125 cardinals under the age of 80, who are the only cardinals eligible to vote in a conclave for a future pope. By contrast, only one of those named,

Cardinal-designate Joao Braz de Aviz, comes from the country with the most Catholics, Brazil. When the cardinals are inducted Feb. 18, only seven of the 22 cardinal electors from Latin America will have been appointed by Pope Benedict. With his latest appointments, Pope Benedict will have named more than 50 percent of the current cardinal electors, with the rest having been named by Blessed John Paul II. The pope’s latest nominations included 16 Europeans, continuing a trend in his cardinal appointments since his election in 2005. Seven of the new appointments are Italians, which will bring that nation’s total of cardinal electors to 30 – or 24 percent – more than any other country.

January 20, 2012 |  catholic news heraldI

Letter objects to treating same-sex unions ‘as if they were marriage’ Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A letter signed by more than three dozen U.S. religious leaders objects to the specter of religious groups being forced to treat same-sex unions “as if they were marriage.” “Altering the civil definition of ‘marriage’ does not change one law, but hundreds, even thousands, at once,” said the letter, “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together,” released Jan. 12. “By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital status – such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption, education, health care, elder care, housing, property and taxation – will change so that same-sex sexual relationships Bishop Peter must be treated Jugis urges the as if they were faithful to vote for marriage,” it said. the upcoming state “That constitutional requirement, in amendment turn, will apply to protecting religious people marriage. See and groups in the page 22. ordinary course of their many private or public occupations and ministries – including running schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other housing facilities, providing adoption and counseling services, and many others.” Four Catholic bishops were among the 39 religious leaders signing the letter: Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Other signers included top representatives of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Assemblies of God, the Church of the Nazarene and the Salvation Army, along with a collection of smaller Protestant denominations, seven

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pan-Christian associations including the National Association of Evangelicals, and two representatives of Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism. Religious employers would “face lawsuits for taking any adverse employment action – no matter how modest – against an employee for the public act of obtaining a civil ‘marriage’ with a member of the same sex. This is not idle speculation, as these sorts of situations have already come to pass,” the letter said. “Even where religious people and groups succeed in avoiding civil liability in cases like these, they would face other government sanctions – the targeted withdrawal of government cooperation, grants or other benefits.” The letter cited the case of Portland, Maine, which required Catholic Charities to extend spousal employee benefits to same-sex domestic partners as a condition of receiving city housing and community development funds. “There is no doubt that the many people and groups whose moral and religious convictions forbid same-sex sexual conduct will resist the compulsion of the law, and church-state conflicts will result,” the letter said. Because those who object to giving equality to same-sex partners have been marked as “bigots, subjecting them to the full arsenal of government punishments and pressures reserved for racists,” the letter predicted other consequences if same-sex “marriage” were to gain more legitimacy. “These punishments will only grow more frequent and more severe if civil ‘marriage’ is redefined in additional jurisdictions,” it said. “Because law and government not only coerce and incentivize but also teach, these sanctions would lend greater moral legitimacy to private efforts to punish those who defend marriage.” The push to alter the definition of marriage “warrants special attention within our faith communities and throughout society as a whole,” the letter said, because such an action would have “grave consequences,” including interfering with the “religious freedom of those who continue to affirm” traditional marriage. “The promotion and protection of marriage – the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife – is a matter of the common good and serves the well-being of the couple, of children, of civil society and all people.” The value of traditional marriage transcends any society or government, is “a universal good” and is the “foundational institution of all societies,” it said.


Our world 20 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

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In Brief Pope: Eucharist gives strength to those who are weak, weary, lost VATICAN CITY — The Eucharist sustains those who are tired, worn out or lost in the world and transforms human sin and weakness into new life, Pope Benedict XVI said. Speaking at his weekly general audience Jan. 11, the pope focused on Jesus and the Last Supper, where He instituted the Eucharist, “the sacrament of His body and blood. Jesus’ gift of Himself anticipates His sacrifice on the cross and His glorious resurrection,” the pope said. He offers His life before it is taken from Him on the cross and as such “transforms His violent death into a free act of giving Himself for others. Violence immediately is transformed into an active, free and redemptive sacrifice,” the pope said. The pope said that, at the Last Supper, Jesus prayed for His disciples, especially Peter, warning him, according to the Gospel of Luke, that “Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat.” But Jesus prayed that His disciple’s faith would not fail and that Peter, who would betray Jesus, would return to strengthen the others’ faith, the pope said. “The Eucharist is food for pilgrims, which becomes (a source of) strength also for those who are tired, worn out and lost,” he said.

Iraqi archbishop ‘not afraid’ after residence shot at VATICAN CITY — Gunmen shooting at guards keeping watch over the archbishop’s residence in Kirkuk in northern Iraq triggered a firefight, leaving two of the gunmen dead and five policemen wounded. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako told Vatican Radio that he had just returned home from a parish visit before the drive-by attack Jan. 11. After the shooting, the archbishop said he immediately went to the scene to IN BRIEF, SEE page 21

Pope condemns ‘religiously motivated terrorism’ Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI condemned “religiously motivated terrorism” and restrictions on religious freedom during his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican. Looking both at signs of promise and areas of concern around the globe, the pope said human dignity, truth and justice demand governments safeguard all human life and recognize the importance of the traditional family based on the marriage of a man and a woman. But his strongest words Jan. 9 were reserved for the topic of religious freedom and religiously motivated violence. The pope paid tribute to Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic and government minister for minorities in Pakistan, “whose untiring battle for the rights of minorities ended in his tragic death” when he was murdered last March. “Sadly, we are not speaking of an isolated case,” the pope told the diplomats. “In many countries, Christians are deprived of fundamental rights and sidelined from public life; in other countries they endure violent attacks against their churches and homes,” he said, mentioning particularly the Christmas Day attacks against churches in Nigeria. “In other parts of the world,” he said, “we see policies aimed at marginalizing the role of religion in the life of society, as if it were a cause of intolerance rather than a valued contribution to education in respect for human dignity, justice and peace.” “In the past year, religiously motivated terrorism has also reaped numerous victims, especially in Asia and in Africa,” he said. Discussing the Arab Spring movements that toppled repressive governments in North Africa and spread to the Middle East, Pope Benedict said, “it is hard to make a definitive assessment” of the recent events, but “initial optimism has yielded to an acknowledgment of the difficulties of this moment of transition and change.” With concerns expressed about creating new power elites or creating situations where Christian minorities could face more pressure, the only way forward

Pope Benedict XVI attends an audience with the diplomatic corps at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope condemned “religiously motivated terrorism” and restrictions on religious freedom during his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.

CNS | Pier Paolo Cito, pool via Reuters

toward true democracy and peace “is through the recognition of the inalienable dignity of each human person and of his or her fundamental rights,” the pope said. “Respect for the person must be at the center of institutions and laws,” the pope said in his address to representatives of the 179 countries that have full diplomatic relations with the Vatican. He focused particularly on the needs and concerns of the world’s young people as he spoke to the ambassadors about the global economic crisis, the Arab Spring democracy movement, wars and social tensions. “The present moment is sadly marked by a profound disquiet, and the various crises – economic, political and social – are a dramatic expression of this,” he said. The pope expressed his hopes for an end to bloodshed and tensions in South Sudan, Syria, the Holy Land, Iraq and the Great Lakes region of Africa, and urged the nations of the world to take seriously their obligation to protect the environment and

fight climate change. Saying he was looking particularly toward developed Western nations, Pope Benedict urged governments to protect the most basic human right – the right to life. “I am convinced that legislative measures which not only permit but at times even promote abortion for reasons of convenience or for questionable medical motives compromise the education of young people” in respect for life and hope for the future, which in turn compromises the future of humanity, he said. Pope Benedict said education in knowledge and in values is crucial today and among educational settings “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.” “This is not a simple social convention,” he said. The family is the basic structure of society and “policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

Pope prays for migrants, refugees seeking a better life Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The millions of refugees and migrants in the world are not numbers but people in search of a better life for themselves and their families, Pope Benedict XVI said. “They are men and women, young and old, who are looking for a place they can live in peace,” the pope said Jan. 15, which the Vatican marked as the World Day for Migrants and Refugees. The pope welcomed migrants living in Rome to his recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square and told the thousands

of people gathered for the midday prayer that migrants and refugees are not only recipients of the Church’s outreach, but also can be agents of evangelization in their new communities. In his main Angelus address, Pope Benedict spoke about the day’s Scripture readings at Mass and how Samuel in the Hebrew Bible and Simon and Andrew, James and John in the New Testament recognized the Lord’s call with the help of a wise guide. “I would like to underline the decisive role of a spiritual guide in the faith journey and, in particular, in responding to the vocation of special consecration in the

service of God and His people,” the pope said. “The call to follow Jesus more closely, to give up forming one’s own family in order to dedicate oneself to the larger family of the Church, normally passes through the witness and suggestion of a ‘big brother,’ usually a priest,” he said. The role of parents, “who with their genuine and joyful faith and their conjugal love demonstrate to their children that it is beautiful and possible to build your entire life on the love of God,” also prepares young people to hear the call to priesthood and religious life, he said.

January 20, 2012 |  catholic news heraldI


bolster the spirits of guards and bystanders. “We are not afraid,” he said. “It’s also true that the situation is a bit tense, and there’s no order or control in the country. We, however, were not afraid, at least not immediately.” Archbishop Sako said he believes the gunmen had the wrong target. Police suspect the attackers were targeting a member of the Iraqi parliament who lives next to the archbishop’s house and whose home also was attacked Jan. 8, according to the Rome-based AsiaNews. Archbishop Sako said the gunmen were from Baghdad “and, therefore, were not sure where to go. They found themselves facing our security guards and fired, without knowing who they were shooting at.”

Pope: Selfishness, individualism fed economic crisis VATICAN CITY — The economic crisis should push people to look at the values reflected in their civic life and prompt an honest evaluation of whether citizens are working together to promote justice and solidarity, Pope Benedict XVI said. Addressing the mayor of Rome and the presidents of the province of Rome and region of Lazio Jan. 12, the pope said citizens need to “recover values that are at the basis of a true renewal of society and that not only favor economic recovery, but also aim at promoting the integral good of the human person.” The pope, as bishop of Rome, traditionally meets at the beginning of the year with the area’s political leaders, addressing social issues of particular concern to the Church. He told civic leaders that among the causes of the financial crisis is “individualism, which obscures the relational dimension of the person and leads him to close himself off in his own little world, to be attentive mostly to his own needs and desires, worrying little about others.” While Catholic parishes and the diocesan Caritas network are committed to community building, welcoming newcomers and helping the poor, he said, the government and individual citizens also have an obligation to promote solidarity and a renewed social life.

Three-year study of women religious completed; Vatican reviews results WASHINGTON, D.C. — A three-year study of U.S. women religious called for by the Vatican has been completed with the final comprehensive report recently sent to Rome. No details of the findings in what the Church calls an apostolic visitation were released by Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the apostolic visitator appointed by the Vatican to undertake the study. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed Jan. 10 that reports had been received by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life “and is now studying them. At this time, it is premature to expect comments from the congregation,” he said. The Vatican spokesman said the congregation is expected “to make known its evaluation of the results of the visit” at some future date. In a Jan. 9 press release, the visitation office said a comprehensive report was sent to Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, the congregation’s secretary. In addition, the release said, Mother Clare had submitted most of the reports on each of the nearly 400 religious congregations in the U.S. and continues to work on completing them by spring, the release said. Mother Clare said in the release that the visitation “generated widespread interest.” — Catholic News Service


Pope baptizes 16 infants, says sacraments help parents raise kids right Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI baptized 16 infants and told their parents and godparents that prayer and the sacraments will give them the strength and guidance they need to promote a child’s true well-being. Presiding over the annual liturgy in the Sistine Chapel Jan. 8, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the pope said the sacraments and putting one’s trust in God through prayer offer “that light of truth” that illuminates the right path to take in their child’s education and upbringing. The Holy Spirit “enlightens the mind, warms the heart of the educator so that he will know how to pass on an awareness of Jesus and His love,” he said in his homily. Grounded in faith and in communion with God, parents and teachers will know how to be both “tender and strong, gentle and firm, be silent and speak at the right time, to scold and correct in the right way,” he said. The infants – 10 boys and six girls including a set of twins – were baptized by the pope over a font that was supported by an ornately detailed bronze olive tree. One by one the parents suspended their

babies over the font as the pope poured water from a gilded shell. The pope recalled St. John the Baptist’s baptism of the Lord in his homily and said a true teacher, like the saint, leads people to the truth – to Christ – and does not try to establish loyalty to himself. “Parents are not the source, like we priests are also not the source” of salvation and the truth, he said. The sacraments and the word of God are the source of salvation and “we are rather like channels through which the lifeblood of God’s love must pass,” he said. “Parents must give a lot” when raising their children, CNS | L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters so if parents don’t receive Pope Benedict XVI baptizes one of 16 infants during a Mass in the strength, support and Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. knowledge from the true who suffer from mistreatment, hunger sources of salvation then they will be and disease: May the Lord always call left empty and all dried up inside and no forth men and women able to kneel before longer able to teach others, he said. them with tireless charity and tenacious One of the intentions read during the hope.” prayers of the faithful was “for children

ViewPoints 22 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Letter to editor

Money could be spent on helping others

Bishop Peter J. Jugis

Vote to support marriage I

n a few months voters in North Carolina will have the opportunity to elevate traditional marriage in our state via an amendment to the state constitution. You may have heard some recent discussion about this and are wondering what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage and why it does so. The Church teaches that marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman, joined as husband and wife in an intimate partnership of life and love. Marriage exists for two reasons: the mutual love and support of the spouses, and for the procreation and education of children. These two purposes, uniting couples and procreating children, are equal and inseparable. The institution of marriage has a very important relationship to the continuation of the human race, to the total development of the human person, and to the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family and of society. The natural institution of marriage has been blessed and elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. This means that Christian marriage is more than a contract between two persons. Because they are married in the Lord, the spouses acquire a special relationship to each other and to society. Their love becomes a living image of the manner in which the Lord personally loves His people and is united with them. Living a Christian sacramental marriage becomes a fundamental way of attaining salvation. Because marriage offers benefits – unlike any other – to persons, to society and to the Church, the institution of marriage, as the union of one man and one woman, must be preserved and protected. No same-sex union can realize the unique and full potential that the traditional marriage relationship expresses. This position for marriage is not an instance of unjust discrimination or animosity toward homosexual persons. The Catholic Church teaches that individuals and society must respect the basic human dignity of all persons, including those with a homosexual orientation. Homosexual persons have a right to and deserve our respect, compassion, understanding and defense against prejudice, attacks and abuse. I therefore urge Catholics and all North Carolinians to commit themselves both to upholding the human dignity of every person and to upholding the distinct and irreplaceable status of traditional marriage.

Christian marriage is more than a contract between two persons.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis leads the Diocese of Charlotte.


2011 Missionary Deaths There were 26 pastoral workers killed in 2011. AMERICAS Father Rafael Reatiga Rojas Father Richard Armando Piffano Laguado Father Luis Carlos Orozco Cardona Father Gustavo Garcia Father Jose Reinel Restrepo Idarraga Father Gualberto Oviedo Arrieta Luis Eduardo Garcia Father Santos Sanchez Hernandez Father Francisco Sanchez Duran Father Salvador Ruiz Enciso Father Marco Antonio Duran Romero Maria Elizabeth Macias Castro Monsignor Julio Cesar Alvarez Father Romeu Drago Father Marlon Ernesto Pupiro Garcia

EUROPE Father Ricardo Munoz Juarez ASIA Father G. Amalan Sister Valsha John Rabindra Parichha Father Fausto Tentorio AFRICA Sister Lukrecija Mamic Francesco Bazzani Father Marek Rybinski Sister Jeanne Yegmane Sister Angelina Father Awuor Kisero

Source: Fides

Cindy Platko lives in Charlotte.

Letters policy ©2011 CNS

Vatican agency says at least 26 church workers killed in 2011 VATICAN CITY — At least 26 Catholic pastoral workers were killed in mission lands or among society’s most disadvantaged communities, although they were more often the victims of violent crimes than persecution for their faith, said a Vatican news agency. Each year, Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, publishes a list of pastoral workers who died violently. The agency said over the course of the year, it registered the deaths of 18 priests, four religious women and four laypeople. Twenty-five church workers were killed in 2010 – a figure down from an unusually high number of 37 workers murdered in 2009. — Catholic News Service

Reader poll A new year has begun, and that means a time that many people use to make New Year’s resolutions. This month, we’re asking readers:

Are you planning on making any resolutions this year? n Yes

I felt my heart sink as I read the Jan. 6 article about the 12 new hand-carved statues at St. Ann Church in Charlotte. I was especially disheartened when I read that the cost of this project was $350,000. As we read about the lines at food banks growing longer and the numbers of people in homeless shelters breaking all records, I find it hard to justify this amount of money being spent on statues. I cannot believe that Our Lord would welcome this Christmas gift, while His children are hungry, cold, naked, in prison. I appreciate the beauty and inspiration that the images of the saints bring to the environment of St. Ann’s, and that this money was given to the parish by an anonymous donor specifically for this project. On the other hand, I believe that a more powerful “cloud of witnesses” would be present if $350,000 had been spent to lift the burdens of the least of our brothers and sisters.

n No

Go online to to respond. And join the conversation on our Facebook page about New Year’s resolutions and why you are or why you are not making resolutions this year. — Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor

Most-read stories on the web So far in January, 889 page titles were viewed a total of 8,033 times. The top five local headlines in January are: n Saint Benedict Press resurrects old theatre on Sacred Heart campus ........................................1,102 n Larger than life saints grace St. Ann Church for Christmas...............................................................397 n Pro-life display outside St. Vincent De Paul Church vandalized ......................................................222 n Sixth-annual Charlotte March for Life set for Jan. 13 .......................................................................... 193 n Hundreds March for Life in Charlotte.......................................................................................................... 94

The Catholic News Herald welcomes letters from readers. We ask that letters be originals of 250 words or fewer, pertain to recent newspaper content or Catholic issues, and be in good taste. To be considered for publication, each letter must include the name, address and daytime phone number of the writer for purpose of verification. Letters may be condensed due to space limitations and edited for clarity, style and factual accuracy. The Catholic News Herald does not publish poetry, form letters or petitions. Items submitted to the Catholic News Herald become the property of the newspaper and are subject to reuse, in whole or in part, in print, electronic formats and archives. Mail: Letters to the Editor Catholic News Herald 1123 S. Church St. Charlotte, N.C. 28203 E-mail: catholicnews@

January 20, 2012 |  catholic news heraldI

The Poor Clares

Being a woman


hat does it mean to be a woman? The gender we bear is a call and gift from Our Lord to a certain way of reflecting His image and likeness. Whether we are male or female, we each have particular and complementary gifts, strengths and weaknesses which are completed by the other. For those of us whom God has created to be women, we begin to find the answer to our question “What does it mean to be a woman?” on the very first pages of Scripture. The Book of Genesis beautifully voices God’s own words which lead to the creation of woman: “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen 2:18) It is clear from this simple phrase that woman’s role is to be a supporting one. She is a helper, a companion for Adam. This does not imply a lesser dignity. Rather, the being whom Adam can truly be accompanied by must be of equal dignity with himself to fulfill that role. In Genesis 3:20, Adam names his wife Eve, which means “mother of all the living.” This verse shows us that motherhood is another key role of woman in God’s plan. All women have the inherent capacity of motherhood, whether they live it out in a physical sense or not. Women are designed, both physically and spiritually, to cherish and to nurture life. We have the ability to carry another life – indeed, another soul – within our very selves. Because of this call to motherhood, women are naturally more focused on “being” itself. Men tend to hone in more on activity, on accomplishments. For women, the most important thing tends to be the human person and the relationships between people. Not every woman gets married, though. Not every woman bears her own physical children. But all women have the capacity to fulfill this basic part of woman’s role by spiritual motherhood. We know that when Our Lord came to earth as a man, He chose to come through a woman, Our Blessed Mother. Throughout His earthly life, she was to be found at His side. As He hung upon the Cross, in His last moments, Our Lord entrusted His Mother to His disciple John. What does this mean for us? We need to look at the two figures at the foot of the Cross to understand this. First, we see Our Blessed Mother – she who is truly our Mother in the most real sense of the word. She did not physically give birth to any of us, but she is the Mother of the life of grace within us. She stands as a reminder that giving life to souls is the most fruitful and lasting motherhood. Beside her is St. John, an Apostle and a newly-ordained priest. Our Lord had chosen that we should receive grace through His Church, through the sacraments. And these sacraments, for the most part, come to us through

the hands of priests. Because of this, priests are necessary for the life of the Church. In the action of Our Lord’s entrusting St. John and Our Lady to each other, we see that spiritual mothers are necessary for the life of the priest. The tremendous calling to the holy priesthood is a super-human mission. It is truly a calling to be “another Christ,” and that means that this calling leads down the way of the Cross. It is a life of self-sacrifice and of love for Christ’s Bride, the Church. There is much that priests must battle against throughout their lives. In recent times, the priesthood has been through a very rough period with the many scandals in the news, and the oppositions and difficulties many of them face. They need our prayers, and as women, we can pray for them in a particular way as spiritual mothers. There is a beautiful quote from St. Teresa of Avila on what it means to be a woman: “To be a woman is to love and to suffer.” These words sum up what the role of spiritual motherhood entails. To love and to suffer for priests is a hidden calling. It is not often something that can be seen, but a life like Our Lady’s throughout the pages of the Gospel. We do not hear many words from her lips, or many details of her life, but she is always there. She is with Our Lord in the joys and the sorrows, at the Crib and at the Cross. The priest is called to follow in Our Lord’s footsteps as He carries His Cross to Calvary, but he need not walk that path alone. We can be the holy women, the Veronica who wipes his face, his mother who strengthens him with her last loving gaze. This does not require the adoption of a whole new way of life. This role of spiritual motherhood can be lived out in our day-to-day schedules. We can say a rosary for priests, offer Holy Communion for them, make a Holy Hour for them, or just a quick visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps it will just be the offering of little sacrifices that pop up throughout our busy days. In spiritual motherhood, regardless of our vocations in life, we find a way to live out the calling to be a “helper” as well as a mother to others. The more we give of ourselves to others, the more we come to be more completely ourselves. What does it mean to be a woman? As we reflect on this question, and the roles that Our Lord has entrusted to us as women, we will come to understand this in an ever deeper way, as we look upon and learn from our Mother and model, Mary. Sister Marie Thérèse of the Divine Child Jesus is professed with the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration St. Joseph Monastery in Charlotte. This is excerpted from a reflection she gave to the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group on Oct. 3, 2011. Learn more about the local community of Poor Clares and subscribe to their newsletter by going online to


Sandy Buck

Pro-life advocacy must assert value of the most vulnerable unborn


here is nothing extraordinary about my story. Most accounts of parents receiving a poor prenatal diagnosis sound something like, “The ultrasound technician became very quiet as she intently studied the screen. She then abruptly rose from her seat and hurried from the room. She returned with the doctor. As he looked at the images, he used phrases such as ‘anomaly,’ ‘heart defect’ and ‘Trisomy.’ We were then ushered into the genetics counselor’s office, where we were introduced to the terms ‘incompatible with life’ and ‘interruption of pregnancy.’” Though the stories are similar, it’s different when it’s your baby. I was 20 weeks pregnant and expecting a happy ultrasound and some pictures for the refrigerator. Much of that week was a blur, but so many moments remain crystal clear to me – even now. I always trusted my medical providers, but now they were telling me to kill my son and becoming obviously frustrated by my refusal to do so. They were the experts. I was a naïve, hormonal woman who just didn’t get it. It’s been said that a truly pro-life woman would never consent to an amniocentesis. But I was so angry about the things being said about my precious baby that I wanted to prove them wrong, so I allowed the test. Sadly, the amniocentesis confirmed that my son had a chromosomal anomaly called Trisomy 18. According to the genetics counselor, my only “treatment” option was termination of the pregnancy, which again I refused. She dismissed me saying, “You’re on your own.” Those words would become the defining statement of my pregnancy. I remember thinking, “Now what?” My baby was still kicking. I had no information; no one to talk to who had experienced this before; no guidebook of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Baby with a Lethal Diagnosis.” No hope. My husband and I were devastated, and we struggled with how to handle it. If we told people about the issue, what would we say? Most people in these situations don’t know what to say, so they either avoid you or say something inadvertently hurtful. We thought it best to limit our news to family and close friends. We really were on our own. Looking back, I regret that in our effort to protect others from the sadness of our news, we missed the opportunity to celebrate our son’s life. We were so shocked and numb, it never occurred to us that this was our only chance to capture meaningful memories of him as a member of our family. We muddled through the next eight weeks in fear and sadness. Casey Joseph was born on Memorial Day. I labored through the night, trying to be strong but the whole time silently praying and hoping that this was all a big mistake and he would be OK. In my mind, I can still hear the silence of his arrival, and it still makes me cry to recall it. Ten years later, with a better perspective, I recognize what was missing from my own experience. Now, with my Be Not Afraid co-founder and a team of peer ministers and volunteers, I can provide the response that parents need when the diagnosis is fresh and

the grief is raw. We journey with parents and provide practical guidance as they seek to parent their children to the best of their abilities. Although the majority of poor prenatal diagnosis stories may begin very similarly, the more distressing fact is that 80 percent of women who receive this sad news will terminate their pregnancies. Pro-life women are having abortions – not at an abortion clinic, but in the hospital. The pressure is intense and the language is confusing. Pro-life women are having abortions because no one is offering them an alternative. We recognize that every human person – regardless of potential or disability – has dignity as a creation of God. But we as Catholics are called to something more. Our pro-life advocacy must always assert the value of the lives of the most vulnerable unborn. We are called to be the hands of Christ and reach out to those who suffer. Dignity is only realized in the context of our relationships with others. Studies indicate that most parents are looking for someone to affirm the dignity of their child and to offer an option that promises the comfort of support in the experience of carrying to term. They want a Catholic response to prenatal diagnosis and a chance to do something other than follow the only path often presented to them by the medical community. Whereas 80 percent of mothers terminate their pregnancies following the news of a poor prenatal diagnosis, when offered a service of comprehensive care and support like that offered by Be Not Afraid, 80 percent of them will in fact choose to carry their babies to term. As we stand up and march for life, we must not forget these babies. We need a different approach to save them. We need to create a loving community of friendship around their parents and journey with them, offering the assurance that they are not on their own.

‘You’re on your own’: Those words would become the defining statement of my pregnancy.

Sandy Buck is the co-founder of Be Not Afraid of Charlotte, a support service for parents carrying to term following a poor prenatal diagnosis. BNA is currently being replicated in four other dioceses across the U.S. For more information, email or call 704-948-4587.

24 | January 20, 2012 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Jan. 20, 2012  

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