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March 11, 2011 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

LENT 2011

Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! March 17: Hibernians prepare for St. Patrick’s Day Mass at old St. Joseph’s Church, 6

Seek a new heart

March 19: The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Charlotte is always a huge hit, 6 Learn about the life of St. Patrick, 2 A brief history of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, 2 FUNDED by the parishioners of the diocese of charlotte THANK YOU!


Ash Wednesday is observed, 3 Mount Airy celebrates Mardi Gras, 18 List of Lenten penance services around the diocese, 4 What’s on EWTN to kick off the Lenten season, 14 U.S. youths participate in Food Fast, 16

Calendar 4 Diocese 3-7


mix 14

Father Matthew Buettner: For real spiritual growth, we must make serious sacrifices, 19 Father John Vianney Hoover: Get caught up in the grace of Lent, 18 Pope Benedict XVI: Lent fasting, almsgiving, prayer bring strength, 2

nation & World 16-17 Schools 12-13

Viewpoints 18-20

Call us: 704-370-3333 E-mail us:

Our faith

2 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

St. Patrick Feast day: March 17

Pope Benedict XVI

Lent fasting, almsgiving, prayer bring strength


ishing all Christians a “happy Lenten journey,” Pope Benedict XVI said fasting, almsgiving and prayer are traditionally suggested for Lent because they have proven to be effective tools for conversion. Lent is a time “to accept Christ’s invitation to renew our baptismal commitments” to arrive at Easter in a new and stronger state, the pope said at his weekly general audience March 9, Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent for Latin-rite Catholics. “This Lenten journey that we are invited to follow is characterized in the Church’s tradition by certain practices: fasting, almsgiving and prayer,” he said. “Fasting means abstaining from food, but includes other forms of self-denial to promote a more sober lifestyle. But that still isn’t the full meaning of fasting, which is the external sign of the internal reality of our commitment to abstain from evil with the help of God and to live the Gospel.” In the Church’s tradition, he said, “fasting is tied closely to almsgiving” and is the sign that after having given up an attachment to things and to sin, the Christian has embraced good works. “Lent is also a privileged time for prayer,” the pope said. He quoted St. Augustine, who described fasting and almsgiving as “the two wings of prayer,” because they are signs of humility and charity. The Lenten period is also the Church’s gift to Christians to help them prepare to truly celebrate Easter, he said.

A saintly life

Christopher Lux Intern

March 17 commemorates the feast of St. Patrick of Ireland, a bishop and missionary of the early Church. Patrick (“Patricus”) was born around the year 390 in Cambria, England. Although he was the son of a deacon and grandson of a priest, he said that he “knew not the true God” in his youth. At the age of either 14 or 16, he was captured in a pirate raid and enslaved in Ireland for six years. As a sheepherding slave in Ireland, he used his time to pray. He wrote that the “love of God and His fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.” After six years of enslavement, he was told in a dream that he would soon go to his own country. He either escaped or was freed, made his way to a port 200 miles away and eventually persuaded some sailors to take him with them. Upon his return home he received training for the priesthood, including the Latin Bible, which he came to know well, but he did not receive a “higher education,” the lack of which he regretted and for which he was criticized. Patrick was then ordained a bishop and returned to Ireland, the country where he had been enslaved. He worked principally in the north, setting up his see at Armagh. He encouraged the Irish to become monks and nuns. In an attempt to abolish paganism and idolatry, he made many missionary journeys. He spent the rest of his life spreading the Gospel, playing a vital role in converting the country of Druids into a bastion of Christianity. Because of his stand against the Druids, he is invoked against snakes and witchcraft. According to legend he used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to pagans. The shamrock has three leaves on each stem. Patrick explained that the Trinity is similar to the three-leaf plant: just as the shamrock has three leaves but is one plant, so the Trinity has three persons but is one God. Although he had little learning and less rhetorical training, St. Patrick had sincere

A statue of St. Patrick looks over Croagh Patrick, called Ireland’s holy mountain. In 441, the saint prayed and fasted 40 days and nights on the mountain’s summit. Today thousands of pilgrims make the steep and rocky climb each year, with many climbing on the last Sunday in July (“Reek Sunday”) while barefoot to atone for sins. simplicity and deep pastoral care. He made no distinction of classes in his preaching and was himself ready for imprisonment or death in order to follow Christ. He is also considered a secondary patron saint of Nigeria, next to the Virgin Mary. In the early 1900s Irish missionaries spread the message of Christianity to Nigeria, and the African nation is now home to about 20 million Catholics. Patrick died in 461. He is buried in County Down, Ireland. Sources: “The Oxford Dictionary of Saints” by David Hugh Farmer,

Your daily Scripture readings SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 13 - MARCH 19

Sunday (First Sunday of Lent), Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11; Monday, Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18, Matthew 25:31-46; Tuesday, Isaiah 55:10-11, Matthew 6:7-15; Wednesday, Jonah 3:1-10, Luke 11:29-32; Thursday (St. Patrick), Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25 or 4:17 (Esther’s prayer), Matthew 7:7-12; Friday (St. Cyril of Jerusalem), Ezekiel 18:21-28, Matthew 5:20-26; Saturday (St. Joseph), 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Romans 4:13, 1618, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24


Sunday, Genesis 12:1-4, 2 Timothy 1:8-10, Matthew 18:1-9; Monday, Daniel 9:4-10, Luke 6:36-38; Tuesday, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Matthew 23:1-12; Wednesday (St. Toribio de Mogrovejo), Jeremiah 18:18-20, Matthew 20:17-28; Thursday, Jeremiah 17:5-10, Luke 16:19-31; Friday (The Annunciation of the Lord), Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38; Saturday, Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The facts of faith A brief history of St. Patrick Cathedral On St. Patrick’s Day 1938, ground was broken for a new church in Charlotte. St. Peter Church, which was in the care of the Benedictine monks from Belmont Abbey, had been the city’s church for decades. But to accommodate the growing Catholic population in Charlotte, St. Patrick Church was built in the Dilworth neighborhood. John Henry Phelan of Beaumont, Texas, donated the funds to build the church in memory of his parents, Patrick and Margaret Adele Phelan. Frank Frimmer, an Austrian native known for remodeling famous Old World churches, designed and supervised construction of the church, with its gray stucco face, 400-seat nave, balcony and 77-foot tall tower. On Sept. 4, 1939, Bishop Eugene J. McGuinness of Raleigh consecrated the church under the patronage of St. Patrick and in 1942 St. Patrick Church became a parish. A rectory and convent were completed in 1941, and a Catholic grade school that had been built on the property in 1930 was expanded in 1943 to include high school grades. During the late 1950s and early 1960s – with the founding of Charlotte Catholic High School – the school reverted to elementary grades and was named St. Patrick School. On Jan. 12, 1972, Pope Paul VI established the Diocese of Charlotte, and St. Patrick Church was designated the cathedral church. The cathedral experienced a major renovation in 1979. The original character of the building, including memorials and windows, was preserved while the church was brought up to current liturgical standards. The cathedral remained closed for six months, and Masses were celebrated in the school. On June 10, 1979, Bishop Michael J. Begley of Charlotte presided over the celebration of the church’s reopening. Bishop William G. Curlin initiated another extensive refurbishment of the cathedral early in his pastorate as bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte. Father Frank O’Rourke, then rector of the cathedral, oversaw the work. The majority of renovation efforts to restore St. Patrick Cathedral to its original condition were completed by Easter of 1996, yet work has continued. The altar, baptismal font and statues were given new prominence, and a hardwood floor was installed. The dark oak wainscoting from the 1979 renovation was removed to brighten up the cathedral and make it appear as it did in 1939. — Christopher Lux, from material at and

Our parishes

March 11, 2011 | 

Keffer honored during CCHS gala

‘And to dust you shall return’

Jennifer B. Johnson Special to the Catholic News Herald

CHARLOTTE — Alumni parent and grandparent Richard W. “Dick” Keffer Jr., a longtime supporter of Catholic schools and the Diocese of Charlotte, was honored March 5 during Charlotte Catholic High School’s annual fundraiser and gala. Keffer is the chairman of Keffer Management Co., and oversees an extensive chain of automotive dealerships in the region. He and his wife Constance Keffer have five children, Richard III, Ann, Karen, Michael and Jim; and 13 grandchildren. Ann Keffer Flannigan is Keffer a 1975 graduate of CCHS, and Karen Keffer Baucom is a 1978 graduate. Michael Keffer is a 1982 graduate, and Jim Keffer is a 1983 graduate. The Keffers are members of St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte and were a driving force behind the creation in 1974 of the Charlotte Catholic High School Foundation, the fundraising arm to support the growth and development of CCHS. The Keffers have been supportive of CCHS over the years, and its sports stadium and chapel are both named in their honor. Keffer also chaired two capital campaigns for CCHS, as well as the campaign to build the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory. Their generosity has also supported Catholic Social Services, the Diocesan Support Appeal, Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools Education Foundation, the Eucharistic Congress, Friends of Seminarians, St. Gabriel Church, Room at the Inn, and the Newman House for Seminarians. “As Catholics we are asked to give generously of our time, talent and treasure to the Church in gratitude for all our blessings,” said Jim Kelley, diocesan director of development. “Mr. Keffer lives that way of life and is a model for all of us to follow.” Keffer is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Charlotte South Rotary, Charlotte Business Council, U.S. Marine Corps League, and the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors. Proceeds from the gala will be used in part for the CCHS Foundation’s Fund-a-Tuition program.

catholic news heraldI

photos by SueAnn Howell, Patricia Guilfoyle and David Hains | Catholic News Herald

Parishioners and school children from St. Mark Church and School in Huntersville, St. Patrick Cathedral and School in Charlotte, and Holy Trinity Middle School were among the thousands of faithful who received ashes March 9 as Catholics marked the start of Lent. In his Ash Wednesday homily, Bishop Peter J. Jugis encouraged the faithful to strive this Lent for a conversion of heart – by turning away from sin and selfishness and instead turning towards God. He said that prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent are ways to support that interior work of conversion. For more photos from these Masses, go to the Diocese of Charlotte’s homepage,


4 | March 11, 2011 OUR PARISHES 

Diocesan calendar BELMONT queen of the apostles church, 503 n. main st. — Women’s Bible Study, 9:30-11 a.m. or 7:30-9 p.m. weekly March 9-26. Contact Kelly Munsee at qoaformation@aol. com or 704-825-9600.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following event over the next week: March 13 – 2 p.m. Rite of Election St. Pius X Church, Greensboro

CHARLOTTE st. GABRIEL church, 3016 Providence Road — “From Vengeance to Forgiveness,” speaker discusses how she was able to overcome the violent loss of her child, Ministry Center, 6:30 p.m. March 16. Child care available by reservation to Susan Krasniewski at 704-362-5047, ext. 210. st. john neumann church, 8451 Idlewild Road — Forty Hours Devotion – “The Holy Eucharist: Fountain of God’s Love in Us,” with Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin, 7 p.m. March 23, 8:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. March 24, and 6:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. March 25 — Estate Planning Seminar, Parish Hall, 11:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. March 29. RSVP by March 25 to 704-708-5001. ST. MATTHEW CHURCH, 8015 Ballantyne Commons pkwy. — Children and Grief, presented by Hospice of Charlotte, NLC Room 132, 7-8:30 p.m. March 14. Contact the Bereavement Office at 704-543-7677, ext. 1007

This week’s spotlight: Lenten Reconciliation Services

— Roman Missal Revision Workshop, 7-8:30 p.m. March 15. Contact Michael Burck at mburck@stmatthewcatholic. org or 704-541-8362, ext. 4. — Lenten Parish Mission, with Father Richard Fragomeni, 9:45 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 21, 22 and 23. Contact 704541-8362, ext. 4, or visit ST. pATRICK CATHEDRAL, 1621 dilworth road e. — Lenten Bible Study, 9:15-10:30 a.m. March 13 or 7-8:30 p.m. March 15. Both sessions will run for 5 weeks. Contact Jonathan Gareis at or 704-3342283. Visit ST. peter CHURCH, 507 s. tryon st. — Conferencia sobre Procedimientos de Inmigración, presentado por abogados/as y representantes autorizados de inmigración, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 26 de marzo. ST. THOMAS aquinas CHURCH, 1400 suther road — Lenten Parish Mission – “Holiness: A Journey Into Love,” with Conventual Franciscan Father Jude Michael Krill, 7 p.m. March 27, 28 and 29

GREENSBORO our lady of grace CHURCH, 2205 w. market st. — Defending the Faith Conference, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. March 12, apologetics conference presented by Gus Lloyd, Catholic evangelist and morning show host. Bring a bible and a bag lunch. Contact Mike Gnaster at

— Call to Prayer at abortion facility located at 201 Pomona Dr., 7:45 a.m. May 14. RSVP to Meg Froppe at 336-510-4218.

MOUNT HOLLY st. JOSEPH church, MOUNTAIN ISLAND HWY. (ROUTE 273) AND SANDY FORD ROAD — St. Patrick’s Day Mass, 11:30 a.m. March 17

MURPHY ST. WILLIAM CHurch, 765 ANDREWS ROAD — Ecumenical Lenten Worship Service, noon-12:30 Wednesdays. Soup and sandwiches will be served following the service.

SALISBURY sacred heart church, 375 lumen christi lane — Lenten Series: Getting more out of Mass and a look at the New Translation,” Brincefield Hall, 5:45-6:45 p.m. Tuesdays from March 15 to April 12

WINSTON-SALEM st. benedict the MOOR CHURCH, 1625 E. 12th St. — “Cup of Life and Love,” Franciscan Center, retreat for couples, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 19

Our lady of consolation church, 2301 STATESVILLE AVE., CHARLOTTE, 7 p.m. April 18


st. mary, mother of god church, SYLVA, following 9 a.m. Mass Fridays

our lady of grace church, 2205 W. MARKET ST., GREENSBORO, 7 p.m. April 11






st. philip the apostle church, 525 CAMDEN DRIVE, STATESVILLE, 6:30 p.m. March 30


ST. ALOYSIUS CHURCH, 921 SECOND ST. N.E., HICKORY, 6:30 p.m. March 22





our lady of the assumption church, 4207 SHAMROCK DRIVE, CHARLOTTE, 6-7 p.m. April 7 (Spanish), 6-7 p.m. April 9 (Spanish) and 3:30-5 p.m. April 16 (English)

ST. DOROTHY CHURCH, 148 ST. DOROTHY’S LANE, LINCOLNTON, throughout Lent- 5-5:45 p.m. Wednesdays, 6-6:45 p.m. Thursdays, 4-4:45 p.m. Saturdays and 10:3011:30 a.m. Sundays

March 11, 2011 Volume 20 • Number 15

1123 S. Church St. Charlotte, N.C. 28203-4003 704-370-3333 PUBLISHER: The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte

EDITOR: Patricia L. Guilfoyle 704-370-3334, COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT/CIRCULATION: Denise Onativia 704-370-3333, ADVERTISING MANAGER: Cindi Feerick 704-370-3332, STAFF WRITER: SueAnn Howell 704-370-3354, GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Tim Faragher 704-370-3331,

ST. JOSEPH CHURCH, 108 ST. JOSEPH ST., KANNAPOLIS, 7 p.m. March 29 (English and Spanish)

Note: This is only a partial list – for additional information, contact your parish’s office.


The Catholic News Herald is published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte 35 times a year. NEWS: The Catholic News Herald welcomes your news and photographs for publication in our print and online PDF editions. Please e-mail information, attaching photos in JPG format with a recommended resolution of 150 dpi or higher, to catholicnews@ 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: For advertising rates and information, contact Advertising Manager Cindi Feerick at 704-370-3332 or ckfeerick@ 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.

March 11, 2011 | 

Deacons assigned CHARLOTTE — The Diocese of Charlotte announces that the following deacons have been assigned effective this month: Deacon Brian P. McNulty of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte is moving to St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte; Deacon James H. Witulski, from outside the diocese, is coming to St. Thomas Aquinas Church; and Deacon Kenneth L. Drummer, also from outside the diocese, is coming to St. James the Greater Church in Concord.

Morgan Castillo Correspondent

Seminarian instituted as acolyte

Father Fragomeni to speak at St. Matthew parish mission CHARLOTTE — All are welcome to attend a parish mission led by Father Richard Fragomeni, an associate professor of liturgy and preaching at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., and an internationally known author and speaker. Father Fragomeni will be the guest homilist at the Masses the weekend of March 19-20. Two separate and distinct sessions will be held in the mornings at 9:45 a.m. and the evenings at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, March 21-23. The theme of the evening sessions will be “Come To The Feast: An Invitation to Eucharistic Transformation,” a series of reflections on Pope Benedict XVI’s most current teaching on the Eucharist entitled “Sacramentum Caritatis.” The morning session theme will be “Come and See: An Invitation to the Spiritual Journey.” St. Matthew Church is located at 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy. in Charlotte. For details, go to or call Michael Burck at 704-541-8362, ext. 4.


Notre Dame official asks ‘Who will save Catholic schools?’

In Brief

ROME — On March 6, 53 seminarians of the Pontifical North American College were instituted to the ministry of acolyte during a celebration of the Eucharist. Jason Christian of the Diocese of Charlotte, in his second year of theological studies, was among those seminarians instituted. These seminarians have now received both the ministry of lector and acolyte in anticipation of their diaconal, and then priestly, ordinations. As the rite indicates, an acolyte is charged with assisting at the celebration of the Eucharist, purifying the sacred vessels and, when needed, to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.


Jennifer Krawiec | Catholic News Herald

St. Aloysius Church in Hickory hosted a World Day of Prayer ecumenical service March 4. Pictured are Anne Lyerly; Carole Marmorato, chair of the Church Women United Planning Committee; Thea Sinclair; Rev. Hilda Bailey; Francisco Risso, who gave a talk about life in Chile; Karla Blakey; Nellie Pruitt, co-chair; Dot Fairchild, co-chair; and Fresia Risso, Francisco Risso’s mother.

World Day of Prayer celebrated in Hickory Jennifer Krawiec Correspondent

HICKORY — What are your gifts? What can you share? How many loaves have you? These questions were posed to the attendants of the World Day of Prayer at St. Aloysius Church in Hickory. Christian denominations in more than 170 countries and regions come together March 4 to participate in a common day of prayer. Each year, a different country is selected to write the worship service; this year the World Day of Prayer Committee of Chile prepared the program. The movement began in the early 19th century with Christian women in the U.S. and Canada joining together to help women and children in their home countries and in other parts of the world. In 1927, nearly a century after its inception, World Day of Prayer for Missions was established. In the U.S., the World Day of Prayer is coordinated by an interdenominational group known as Church Women United. Carole Marmorato, St. Aloysius parishioner and chair of the Church Women United Planning Committee in Hickory, explains, “We rotate the services between area churches, representing all mainline denominations.” Women from 18 churches in the Hickory area put together the bilingual service. It began with four women delivering greetings in some of the languages spoken in Chile. Father Bob Ferris, pastor of St. Aloysius, spoke about the purpose of World Day of Prayer. He also asked the

more than 130 attendees to “join our hearts and hands in prayer” and lift up the people of Chile. Father Jean Pierre Lhoposo, parochial vicar, gave a similar presentation in Spanish. The evening progressed with lessons about Chile’s topography, agriculture and history. After the first Bible reading (Deuteronomy 8:7-10), a parallel was drawn to the Chilean people’s life. The land is full of natural resources, including wheat used to make bread. The bread feeds the people, and the reader asked everyone to give thanks to “those men and women who have tirelessly sought to share their bread and the Gospel.” Jesus’ words in the third reading (Mark 6:30-34) were the central focus of the service: “How many loaves have you?” He asked his disciples. The leaders of the service pointed out how some have many loaves but do not want to share. Some have many but do not know how to share them. Some have hardly any bread, yet are still willing to share. They then asked those in the pews to ponder what they could do with their own “loaves.” Francisco Risso, the keynote speaker, has a strong connection to Chile. Seeking opportunity, his parents emigrated from Chile before he was born. During his childhood, the family often visited Chile. “I saw real poverty for the first time,” he said. “Despite the poverty, people there were not miserable.” Risso uses his “loaves” as director of the Western North Carolina Worker’s Center in Morganton, where he helps the Spanish-speaking community. To support the people of Chile through World Day of Prayer or learn more, visit

CHARLOTTE — Catholic schools are “the best thing the Church has ever done to pass on the faith to the next generation.” That was one of many points made by Father Ron Nuzzi at a March 1 talk at Charlotte Catholic High School. Father Nuzzi is the director of Catholic Leadership Programs in the Alliance for the Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. His lecture was entitled, “Who will save Catholic schools?” Co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of Charlotte and Charlotte Catholic High School, the talk was a part of the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s Hesburgh Lecture Series. Father Nuzzi described Catholic schools as “the number one tool of effective evangelization of the Church.” Unfortunately, Catholic schools now face two big issues, summarized by Father Nuzzi as “faith and finance.” The faith aspect includes the modern problem of “Catholic identity” and the question of “what makes a Catholic school Catholic?” Financial difficulties arose when the labor pool changed, he said. Fifty years ago schools were run and staffed by religious, and there was no need to pay salaries for sisters and brothers. Now, institutions must charge tuition to provide salaries for their mostly lay educators. Research shows that Catholic schools are academically and civically superior to the public school system and many private schools, Nuzzi said, but they get “tepid” support from the Church and political leaders. Some remedies to the problem, he said, include “new emphasis on mission and Catholic identity” and a “new framework for the teaching of religion in Catholic high schools” as ordered by the bishops; and the “parental choice movement.” Also, the growing Catholic Hispanic population should be recruited for Catholic schools, he said. For more information, read the Notre Dame Task Force on Catholic Education Final Report at

6 | March 11, 2011 OUR PARISHES 

PROFILE OF LIFE During 40 Days for Life, the Catholic News Herald is featuring people across our diocese involved in the pro-life movement who serve as examples for what we can all do to help protect the rights of the unborn:

Gabriel Project coordinator helps give hope to moms SueAnn Howell Staff writer

CHARLOTTE —Some of the best things in life are unplanned. Just ask Diana Meredith, the coordinator for the Gabriel Project at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte. Two years ago, Meredith had no idea she would be heading up the first Gabriel Project pilot program in North Carolina to assist mothers struggling with unplanned pregnancies. “I was late for church one Sunday in 2009 and an unmanned table was set up for the Gabriel Project,” Meredith says. “So I filled out form to be an ‘Angel’ volunteer.” She was then contacted by a member of the office staff who told her the pastor of St. Gabriel Church, Father Frank O’Rourke, would like to meet with her about coordinating the ministry. “I was ecstatic,” Meredith says, as she had been praying for a way to put her faith into action in the pro-life movement. The original Gabriel Project began following the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 that legalized abortion in the U.S. The late pastor of St. Michael Parish in Houston, Texas, Monsignor John Perusina, put a sign outside the rectory that said, “If you will have your baby, this parish will

help you in every way.” That original sign still stands today. In 1990, a larger outreach Gabriel Project was developed in the dioceses of Galveston-Houston and Corpus Christi. “The Gabriel Project is the manifestation of God’s love to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy,” Meredith explains. “This love is a witness of the infinite and healing love of God. Through the parish acting as the Good Samaritan, a mom receives the love, care, spiritual, material and emotional support she needs throughout her pregnancy.” Gabriel Project volunteers consist of ‘Angels’ and ‘Michaels.’ Angels are women Meredith volunteers responsible for ongoing contact with mothers, throughout their pregnancies and beyond. Michaels (men volunteers) support the Angels when needed. Eighteen volunteers now work in the Gabriel Project ministry at St. Gabriel Church. Three babies have been born since May 2010, when the Gabriel Project was officially up and running. Speaking of what motivates her and the volunteers, Meredith says, “We remain motivated out of love and mercy

St. Patrick’s Day Mass planned at old St. Joseph’s Christopher Lux Intern

MOUNT HOLLY — On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, the four Charlotte divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians will honor their faith and heritage with the celebration of Mass at old St. Joseph Church in Mount Holly, starting at noon. Preceding the Mass, a ceremony honoring Father T.J. Cronin will take place at 11:30 a.m. Father Cronin was the first pastor of St. Joseph Church and is buried in the church cemetery. He was a native of County Cork, Ireland.

The church was built in 1843 for Irish immigrant gold miners who were attracted to America’s first “gold rush” that took place in the Charlotte region. It was the fourth Catholic church built in North Carolina and the first in the western half of the state. St. Joseph’s is located in Gaston County at the intersection of Mountain Island Road, Highway 273, and Sandy Ford Road. This is the third year that the Hibernians have participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Mass at the church. The public is invited to both the Mass and a gathering that will follow at Killington’s restaurant at 10010-C Rose Commons Drive in Huntersville.

for the woman. If we love her as Christ loves her, seeing Christ in her, we will be serving her unborn child the same way. It is an honor and privilege working with this ministry and the great volunteers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with the outpouring of donations received from the parish.” Monthly meetings for volunteers are held on the first Monday of each month at St. Gabriel Church. For more information about the Gabriel Project, contact Diana Meredith at 704-534-9008. Moms in need of assistance can call Catholic Social Services at 1-888-789-4989.

Pray for end to abortion Come join area Catholic parishioners for a call to prayer outside the abortion facility at 201 Pomona Drive, Greensboro, on the day after the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, May 14. RSVP to Meg Foppe at 336-510-4218.

Get your Irish on 15th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade set for March 19 SueAnn Howell Staff writer

CHARLOTTE — It’s that time again. Irish dancers will soon grace the streets of uptown Charlotte with their swift feet and curly locks, and bagpipe bands will delight parade goers with the stately sounds of Old World music at the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 19. More than 50,000 people turned out to watch the parade and attend the free Charlotte Goes Green Festival last year. Many in the crowd wore green, some proclaiming their right to be “Irish for a day.” The parade’s 2011 grand marshal will be the Honorable Paul Gleeson, Consul General of Ireland. Gleeson recently opened the Irish consulate in Atlanta, which is the first new Irish consulate to

open in the U.S. since the 1930s. He has an extensive background in Irish foreign affairs, serving in both Europe and Africa. Catholic schools and parishes, as well as local marching bands, beauty queens, cheerleading squads, drill teams, alumni groups, businesses, associations, police and fire departments will all participate in the parade, which will process from Tryon and Ninth streets south along Tryon Street to Third Street. The parade ends there at the Charlotte Goes Green Festival. Festival and parade goers will enjoy free music as well as the opportunity to purchase food and beverages. For more information about the 15th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Charlotte Goes Green Festival, go to or contact Frank Hart at 803-802-1678 or by e-mail at

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March 11, 2011 | 



LANDINGS: A safe haven for returning Catholics Wendy E. Murray Correspondent

ASHEVILLE — LANDINGS is like a lighthouse whose life saving beacon upon the shoreline welcomes weary Catholics home. This program at St. Eugene Church in Asheville is just one way parishes across the diocese are encouraging Catholics to return to the Church, as part of a sustained “Catholics Come Home” campaign. Father Edward Sheridan, pastor, said, “I believe that the LANDINGS program is a terrific way for people who have drifted away from the Church or who have had some issues with the Church, clergy or people, to voice their concerns and to talk the problem out. It provides an opportunity for re-entry for people who may have had some bad experiences or who have not practiced their faith in some time. It is a very positive way of becoming once again members of the faith community.” LANDINGS is an international ministry founded by Paulist Father Jac Campbell and is dedicated in honor of Father Isaac Hecker, founder of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (known as the Paulist Fathers). The society was established to evangelize both believers and non-believers to convert Americans to the faith. Father Hecker aimed to evangelize through preaching in the pulpit, traveling the public lecture circuit and engaging with the press. His spirituality targeted calling on the action of the Holy Spirit within the soul, as well as the requirement of being attuned to how we are prompted, in important and not-so-important times in our lives. Service, freedom and community are essential, he believed. Ex-Catholics are the second largest religious group in America, and people’s

reasons for leaving are numerous. LANDINGS aims to welcome them — no matter their backgrounds or their paths through life – and help them find a place in the Church. LANDINGS isn’t a quick fix – it’s a thoughtful and compassionate process, said the parish’s LANDINGS ministry leader, Joseph Wansong. “LANDINGS offers the example of lived faith, and the key is confidentiality and compassionate listening,” Wansong said. Welcoming Catholics and returning Catholics meet at St. Eugene for two hours each week for several weeks. All share their spiritual journeys, discuss spiritual topics, pray together and socialize to better know each other. “We are people in solidarity, who in their own lives have returned,” he said. Jeanne Charters Restivo, a cradle Catholic who was raised in Springfield, Ohio, stopped going to church for 25 years because she didn’t feel welcome after getting divorced, she said. Restivo tried attending other Christian churches, but she always had a yearning for Catholicism, she said. After she moved to Asheville, she walked into St. Eugene Church and “it felt warm and friendly. I felt good for the first time,” she said. “Then I heard about LANDINGS.” “All who are in it have an issue with the Catholic Church. Most importantly,

In Brief

Knights raise money for Room at the Inn

Go ‘From vengeance to forgiveness’

HENDERSONVILLE — The Knights of Columbus Council 7184 at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville conducted a weekend bake sale in their parish March 5-6, all proceeds of which were donated to the Room at the Inn in Charlotte to support its capital campaign for a new collegebased pregnancy life center to be constructed on the campus of Belmont Abbey College. Despite the cold and rainy weekend, the spirit of giving was not dampened and the council raised more than $1,400 for the new center.

CHARLOTTE — A free presentation for adults by a Catholic woman whose 7-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed by a serial killer will be held Wednesday, March 16, at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte. In “From Vengeance To Forgiveness,” Marietta Jaeger-Lane will discuss how she was able to overcome the violent loss of her child and ultimately find healing and peace. Marietta Jaeger-Lane’s 7-year-old daughter Susie was abducted during a family camping trip. For more than a year, the family knew nothing of her whereabouts. Finally, a man came forward and confessed to kidnapping and killing Susie, as well as several others. Jaeger-Lane overcame her anger by praying and honoring her daughter’s memory. Today, she travels the country speaking against the death penalty. Free childcare is available. Contact Susan Krasniewski at 704-362-5047, ext. 210, to reserve your space at this free program. Details are available at

LANDINGS is a non-judgmental ministry,” Restivo said. “It is a very emotional process because we learn about each other’s lives, before and then after the return. We bring pictures of our childhood, our weddings, our children or grandchildren, even a first Communion.” Tom Adelsbach, who joined the first LANDINGS program at St. Eugene in 2000, said, “The Church I returned to, about 10 years ago, was much different from the one I had left some 25 years earlier. Getting in on the first LANDINGS group at St. Eugene parish was exactly what I needed. I got to know many parishioners who helped me fit in and to understand the wonderful changes made by Vatican II. I led 16 groups before retiring from the ministry last year. LANDINGS has been a very rewarding experience. I thank God for it.” LANDINGS has inspired people to engage more actively with the parish, Wansong added. “It promotes involvement in other ministries and when I see someone from the LANDINGS ministry, it gives me a feeling of comfort. This has a multiplying effect, as we all get more active in the Church.” Restivo is now a “welcoming Catholic” with the LANDINGS program, and praises the program’s impact on her life. “LANDINGS broke down a lot of barriers in my soul that I had put up,” she said. “At each meeting, each person must perform one task, like bringing the snack, preparing the opening prayer or leading the discussion. When it was my turn to tell my story, what resonated within me was the realization that I wasn’t alone. I cried, everyone embraced me, and shared feedback about what my story meant to them,” she said. It was “a life-changing experience.” To learn more about LANDINGS, contact Joe Wansong at

a message listing the items to donate, your complete address and telephone number, or e-mail the same information to maryjane.bruton@ Pickup is available for large items.

— John Remensnyder

Your old furniture could help a new family CHARLOTTE — The Refugee Resettlement Office of Catholic Social Services is in critical need of couches, loveseats, chairs, end tables and coffee tables, dining tables, and lamps to furnish apartments for arriving refugees. The economic downturn has hurt their usual rate of donations, and they would appreciate any assistance. Call Mary Jane Bruton at 704-370-3283 and leave

Celebrating Girl Scout Sunday BOONE — Parishioners at St. Elizabeth Church in Boone celebrated Girl Scout Sunday on March 6. Ten girls participated by reading, serving at the altar, and ushering. Father Dave Brzoska, pastor, gave the girls a blessing. — Patrick Richardson and Amber Mellon We welcome your parish’s news. E-mail items to Editor Patricia Guilfoyle at

Len Tufford | Catholic News Herald

Tim McHugh (left) and his friend Richard McIntosh stand in front of the utility room where McHugh was rescued.

Catholic saves fellow Catholic Len Tufford Correspondent

MURPHY — A log, a fire and a friend each played a role in a recent story of healing for St. William Church member Tim McHugh. When McHugh attempted the routine chore of adding a log to a fire, his clothing suddenly became engulfed in flames. Terrified, he ran frantically into his utility room looking for something to extinguish the fire that was causing second- and third-degree burns. But his search only led to the utility room catching fire. Fortunately, fellow St. William parishioner, neighbor and friend Richard McIntosh arrived unexpectedly. He rushed into the room and extinguished the flames, saving both the house and his friend’s life. McHugh was rushed by ambulance to the VA hospital in Asheville, where he received emergency treatment for burns to his hands, arms and legs. He was later transported to the Wake Forest Burn Center in Winston-Salem, where he received more extensive treatment for the burns. While at the burn center, McHugh says, he felt the healing hand of Jesus Christ and is convinced that there is no medical procedure or medication that works better than the power of prayer. He described how one nurse was amazed at how quickly his wounds were healing. McHugh says he is very thankful to his friends and family for their love and support. He has received hundreds of calls and e-mails from well-wishers. As he recuperates at home, McHugh says he is already making plans to rejoin the choir soon at St. William Church.

8 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Louie Verrecchio

Father Benjamin Roberts

The Creed – a personal statement of our beliefs

The words of our worship


For more Father Benjamin Roberts of Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury will present a Lenten series, “The Words of Our Worship: Getting More Out of Mass and a look at the New Translation,” from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. each Tuesday during Lent in Brincefield Hall. The free program is open to everyone. Here are the topics for each day: March 15: “In the beginning…The Introductory Rites” March 22: “And opening the scroll…The Liturgy of the Word” March 29: “He offered prayers…The Intercessions and Preparation” April 5: “On the night He was betrayed…The Eucharistic Prayer” April 12: “Known to them in the breaking of the bread…Holy Communion and Conclusion” For inquiries, contact Father Roberts at broberts@

lthough I am now serving as a priest in the Diocese of Charlotte, I was not raised in the Catholic faith. After years of searching and study, I sought full communion with the Church and as part of the process, I had the opportunity to learn the prayers of the Mass. Prayerfully reading and slowing pondering the Gloria, the Creed and those responses that belonged to me as a baptized child of God, expressing my union with the priest who offered the sacrifice of the Mass changed forever the way I experienced the celebration of the Eucharist. These were the Church’s words, the sacred dialogue between Christ and His people, and when I became a priest I would speak the same words. I would not sense such a profound change again, until that moment after I was ordained, with hands still scented with holy chrism, I invited the faithful to “Pray, beloved that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.” To hear the response, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands” for the first time brought tears to my eyes and trembling to my voice, for I would speak the words of Christ and set the paschal feast before the Lord’s beloved disciples. The Second Vatican Council echoed the call of the Lord Jesus that all of the faithful of the Church – laity, religious and clergy – are called to holiness. We live out and respond to this call according to our specific vocation and grow in holiness as we are faithful to the duties of that vocation. All of us, as part of our vocation, are called to

WORDS, SEE page 15


e discover right away in the revised translation that the Creed is a personal statement. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe.” Yes, we profess the faith of the Church in one voice with all of her members, but the Creed must be our own personal acceptance of that faith. And so we will now say, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible... .” The current words which speak of “all that is seen and unseen” are clearly deficient. There is a real difference to be considered between things “unseen” and those that are “invisible.” Maybe you’ve never seen Jupiter, for example. However, you may know it’s there, but it is as yet unseen to you. This is not what the Creed means to address. When we speak of things “invisible,” we are acknowledging that there is yet another reality of which God is Creator: the angels for instance (e.g. the thrones, dominations, principalities, and powers of which St. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16), and the souls of humankind. These are indeed created things, and our God is Lord of them all. We continue to pray, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages... .” Once again, we will state “I believe,” and similar to the Gloria, we are once again saying that there is a relationship between the “begotteness” of the Son and the fact that God is Father before all ages. The Son’s begotteness further indicates that both Father and Son are of the same divine substance, and we articulate this even more clearly as we say, “God from God, Light from Light, etc...” culminating in the revised translation with the phrase, “consubstantial with the Father.” Jesus, in other words, is of the same substance as the Father. In Latin we say, “consubstantialem Patris”: “con-”, meaning “with,” and “substantialem,” meaning “substance.” So when we say that Jesus is “consubstantial with the Father,” we are saying that He is in some way “with the substance of the Father.”

Learn more This is part 10 of a year-long series featuring the revised translation of the Third Missal. Our series will be compiled online at For even more resources, check out the U.S. bishops’ extensive material online at

We are professing that the Father and the Son are the same in glory and the same in divinity. The Son, in other words, is not the lesser divinity. The Son is God with the Father – not two gods, but one God of one divine substance. We continue to pray, “For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.” “Incarnate” means to become or to be in the flesh. The current translation isn’t just insufficient as far as translations go, it also hints of grave error. When did Jesus become man? Before you answer, know that the Latin text reads, “et homo factus est,” or, “He became man.” Homo means “human.” So when did Jesus become human? Was it when He was born of the Virgin Mary? That’s what we’ve been saying for more than 40 years now, but isn’t this exactly the lie of the proabortionists, who say that babies are not fully human until they are actually born? “Lex orandi, lex credendi” – “The law of prayer is the law of belief.” As we pray, so too do we believe. For more than four decades now even the most committed pro-lifers among us have unwittingly been saying that even Jesus became human only at His birth, but the truth is that Jesus, like all of us, became a real man at the moment of His conception by the Spirit, when He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary. CREED, SEE page 15

March 11, 2011 | 

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Discounts available on pre-orders of revised Roman Missal Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — USCCB Publishing is accepting pre-orders for the altar and chapel editions of the third edition of the Roman Missal, with 25 percent discounts available through June 30. Both the larger altar edition and the more compact chapel edition will be beautifully designed and bound, consistent with USCCB versions of previous liturgical books, and will feature four-color artwork from the Basilica of the

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. With the 25 percent discounts, pre-ordered altar editions (No. 7-100) will cost $126.75 each and chapel editions (No. 7-192) $86.25 each. (Discounts cannot be combined.) After June 30, the missals will sell for $169 and the chapel edition for $115. The revised Roman Missal ritual books, which go into use in the U.S. on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, will begin shipping Oct. 3. Monsignor Anthony Sherman, who recently completed his term as executive director of the

U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship, said the revised Missal will be “a source of strength and spiritual development for Catholics throughout the United States.” “The prayers within it lift up our hearts and minds to the Lord in song and prayer,” he added. The USCCB Publishing editions of the Roman Missal may be pre-ordered, using discount code RM-0311. Pre-orders can also be placed by telephone to 800-235-8722; by e-mail to; by U.S. mail to 3211 Fourth St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017; or by fax to (202) 722-8709.

Workshops planned St. Matthew Church in Charlotte is offering a series of workshops on adult faith formation using the U.S. bishops’ materials on the revised Missal. The next workshop will be held 7-9:30 p.m. March 15. Contact Michael Burck at mburck@ or 704-541-8362, ext. 4.


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March 11, 2011 | 

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Our schools

12 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

In Briefs

Johnston, Anna Hammacher, Bailey Weston, Maddie Ring, Carrie Sorrell and Erika Miller. Coaches are Sherri Elliott and Michelle Johnston. — Mendy Yarborough

Run with the Lions WINSTON-SALEM — St. Leo School will hold its 16th Annual 5K and 10K Road Race and Fun Run Saturday, March 19. The newly-designed 10K course and the original favorite 5K course wind through the beautiful Buena Vista neighborhoods in Winston-Salem, while the One-Mile Fun Run provides a family-friendly shorter route for all to enjoy. On Friday, join the Knights of Columbus in their Fourth Annual Pre-Race Pasta Dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Parish Center. All proceeds from the pasta dinner will be split between St. Leo School and Operation L.A.M.B. For more information, go online to or contact Pam at 336-4069792 or — Kathy Dissosway

CCHS students honored CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Catholic High School seniors Michaela Reinhart, Michael Batres, Ellen McDermott and Kelci Schilly have been nominated for the 2011 Robert C. Byrd Scholarship Program. Also, seniors Anthony Lopez and Kelci Schilly have been named finalists for the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. — Jennifer B. Johnson

IHM girls basketball team excels HIGH POINT — The junior varsity girls basketball team of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in High Point recently took first place in the Piedmont Elementary Catholic School Athletic Association Tournament and brought home the sportsmanship award. Team members are: Emily Elliott, Belen Perez, Molly Bernard, Hannah Menzel, MaKenna

Science Fair winners named SALISBURY — Five students from Sacred Heart School in Salisbury who won the school’s 2011 Science Fair competed in the Rowan County Division of the N.C. Science and Engineering Fair Feb. 8. They were: eighth-grader Erin Ansbro – Impact of Texting on Grades; seventh-grader Kaytee Leonguerreo – Rocket Propulsion; seventh-grader Sara Bess Hallett – Gender Memory: Does It Really Matter?; seventh-grader Kayla Honeycutt – Save the Birds; and fourthgrader Jack Fisher – Burn, Baby, Burn: Testing the Effectiveness of Sunscreens. Hallett and Ansbro advanced to the Regional 6A Level of competition Feb. 11, and Ansbro won the Gold Medal of Distinction at the Regional Science Fair. — Robin Fisher We welcome your school’s news. E-mail items to Editor Patricia Guilfoyle at

photo provided by Tricia Wendover

Fourth- and fifth-graders at St. Matthew School in Charlotte, members of the “Friday Morning Eucharist Group,” show off their new daily Missals that they received through a grant from the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools Education Foundation. Pictured with them is fourth-grade teacher Tricia Wendover and Father Robert Conway, parochial vicar at St. Matthew Church.

Friday morning Mass: a tradition at St. Matthew School Tricia Wendover Special to the Catholic News Herald

CHARLOTTE — A week before Lent four years ago, I was sitting in a prayer circle with my fourth-grade homeroom students at St. Matthew School in Charlotte, talking with them about their plans for the Lenten season. The students were all sharing their plans and the promises they planned to make. I told them that I was planning to attend daily Mass. The children were inquisitive about what I meant. I told them that I often attended Mass in the morning before school started, but that I made a special effort never to miss morning Mass during Lent. The students asked me if anyone could go to daily Mass and I responded, “Of course! You can come any day if you would like. The door to God’s house is always open to you.” We made a plan to meet every Friday morning at 7 to attend Mass together in the chapel before school, then share a quick breakfast before going to class. Everyone really enjoyed this special way to start the day, so when Lent was over the students asked me if we could continue to attend

Mass together. That brought tears to my eyes! With that the tradition of the “Friday Morning Eucharist Group” was born. The group is now made up of about 20 fourthand fifth-graders who meet in front of the St. Matthew Chapel at 7 a.m. every Friday, year ’round. I have to admit that the simple breakfast of fruit and muffins has improved over the years as parents have volunteered their help, but the joy of having the students get up early to join in the celebration of the Mass every week is still as special and uplifting for me as it was that very first Lenten Friday years ago. Last year, I received another blessing. The Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools Education Foundation generously provided daily Missals for the group. These Missals allow the students to more fully participate in the Mass by following along with the reading and the Responsorial Psalm. I am so thankful to the MACS Education Foundation for contributing in such a wonderful way to this group. Tricia Wendover is a fourth-grade teacher at St. Matthew School in Charlotte.

March 11, 2011 | 

photo provided by Pat Burr

Spelling Bee champs at St. Michael School Fifth-grader Catherine “Catie” Wilkinson (pictured seated in the middle) won St. Michael School’s spelling bee March 1 and will go to the Gaston County competition March 15 at Gaston College. This is the second consecutive year that Catie has won the spelling bee championship at St. Michael School in Gastonia. Also pictured are the winners for each grade: (first row, standing from left) Cecelia Tolbert, third grade (third-place winner), and Karlie Nielson, fourth grade (second-place winner); (back row, standing from left) Duncan Fleming, seventh grade, and Brandy Crenshaw, eighth grade.

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14 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

In theaters

On TV n Sunday, March 13, 10 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, 1 p.m. and Thursday, March 17, 5 a.m. (EWTN) “Lenten Parish Mission, Part 1.” From the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala., the Very Reverend Casey, C.P.M., Superior General of the Fathers of Mercy, gives a series of six one hour talks for Holy Week. Topics covered include the sacraments, the Mass and devotion to the Blessed Mother.

‘The Adjustment Bureau’ The agents of a supernatural bureaucracy intervene to break up the budding relationship between a New York politician (Matt Damon) and a gifted dancer (Emily Blunt) because it runs contrary to the predetermined plan of an unnamed higher power. Complex themes, brief nongraphic premarital sexual activity, uses of profanity, considerable crude and crass language. CNS: A-III (adults), MPAA: PG-13

‘Drive Angry’ Over-the-top, hyper-violent 3-D action flick weaving a vendetta theme into a demonic road trip narrative. Doomed soul Nicolas Cage escapes from hell and travels through the desolate American West on a mission to rescue his infant granddaughter from being sacrificed by a Satanic cult. Frivolous treatment of the supernatural, intense gun, knife and sexual violence, graphic sexual encounters, full-frontal female nudity, pervasive rough, crude and crass language. CNS: O (morally offensive), MPAA: R

‘Rango’ Sophisticated, comparatively edgy animated riff on Westerns during which a lonely chameleon (voiced by Johnny Depp) stumbles upon a Mojave Desert town where water and heroism are in short supply. Fairly intense cartoon violence, brief irreverent and frequent toilet humor, occasional innuendo and sexual references. CNS: A-III (adults), MPAA: PG

‘Take Me Home Tonight’ A comedy, set in 1988 Los Angeles, chronicles a transformative night in the life of a recent MIT grad (Topher Grace). He somehow learns a lesson in maturity by stealing a car, attending a wild party and posing as a high-powered investment banker to impress, and hopefully bed, his elusive high school crush (Teresa Palmer). Strong sexual content including graphic nonmarital sexual activity, voyeurism and upper female nudity, drug use and profanity. CNS: O (morally offensive), MPAA: R

CNS | Samuel Goldwyn Films

Michael Higgenbottom and Louis Gossett Jr. star in a scene from the movie “The Grace Card,” released in theaters Feb. 25. It is the story of two police officers – one white, one black – who overcome a strong mutual dislike and ultimately become friends.

‘The Grace Card’ shows way to defeat racism Denis Grasska Catholic News Service

SAN DIEGO — Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is doing his part to cure the “cancer” of racism. “Racism is a cancer, and we have to get it out of our systems,” the 74-year-old told The Southern Cross, newspaper of the San Diego Diocese, in a phone interview. “We have it in our systems even when we don’t know we have it, and (we have to) do some self-examination and get better, especially (because) our children are watching.” Gossett hopes his new film, “The Grace Card,” will provide viewers with an opportunity to look inside themselves and perhaps reevaluate some of their perceptions. The unabashedly Christian film, released in theaters Feb. 25, is the story of two police officers – one white, one black – who overcome a strong mutual dislike and ultimately become friends. “They really don’t like one another, and they have to ... work together, and the miracle happens,” Gossett said, summarizing the plot without giving away specific details. “The miracle comes with a changing of attitudes, and slowly but surely, they are almost conditioned to rely on one another because of certain things that happen. ... That’s a gift of grace.” In “The Grace Card,” Gossett plays Wright’s

grandfather George, also a minister, who listens to the young pastor/policeman’s concerns and imparts some wisdom. The film’s title comes from a story that Gossett’s character tells about the friendship between his own grandfather, Wendle P. Wright, and a wealthy cotton farmer. Gossett has had a distinguished career as an actor, winning an Emmy for his performance as Fiddler in the epic miniseries “Roots” (1977), as well as an Academy Award for his portrayal of drill instructor Sgt. Emil Foley in 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentleman.” These days, he said, his primary motivation in life is his desire to impart important messages to the next generation. For Gossett, the message of “The Grace Card” dovetails nicely with the mission of the Eracism Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization he founded in January 2006. Over the years, Gossett said, he has learned that “you don’t directly combat racism. You just change the thinking and the lifestyle, so it doesn’t live so long.” “We’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go,” he said, reflecting on the current state of race relations in America. But an end to racism “could happen overnight” if people – after the manner of the film’s characters – choose to “play the grace card.” CNS: A-II (adults and adolescents), MPAA: PG-13

n Monday, March 14, 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. (EWTN) “Meeting Josemaria Escriva.” On Feb. 11, 1975 (four months before his death), in Alto Claro, Venezuela, St. Josemaria Escriva spoke to a crowd of roughly 5,000 people from Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. This program represents the highlights of his Q&A with the audience. n Thursday, March 17, 3 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (EWTN) “Lives of the Saints.” This program discusses the life and times of one of the most beloved saints: Patrick, the apostle of Ireland. n Friday, March 18, 11-11:30 p.m. (EWTN) “St. Peter: Icon for Lent.” First episode of a three-part Lenten series in which Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shows how St. Peter can help us draw closer to Jesus and teach us practical lessons about Christian discipleship. In this installment, he focuses on Chapter 14, Verses 22-23, of the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which Peter is able to walk on water so long as he remains focused on Christ.

March 11, 2011 | 


We continue to pray, “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” “He suffered death... .” Have you ever heard it said that someone had “a peaceful death”? This particular expression is not meant to deny whatever suffering may have been present for the person; rather, it’s meant to describe the manner of death. When we say that Jesus suffered death, we are likewise giving heed to the manner of His death: a violent immolation. In fact, Jesus suffered death with an intensity that exceeds that of any other person. We know this because suffering and death can only be understood in relation to sin. Indeed, they are a consequence of sin. And so Jesus who took upon Himself the sin of the world – the sin of every man, woman and child who ever lived or will ever live – suffered death in a manner that exceeds our comprehension. Now, while there is nothing inherently wrong with the current translation “in fulfillment of the Scriptures,” the properly translated Latin text “in accordance with the Scriptures” makes more sense from the standpoint that the Scriptures are as yet not entirely fulfilled. We are a pilgrim Church that “waits with joyful hope for the coming of our Savior” and His return in glory. We await the new heavens and the new Earth that are promised in the Book of Revelation. It is more fitting, therefore, to say that everything we have professed thus far has happened in accordance with the Scriptures. There are two more statements in the current translation that begin “We believe” that are no longer prefaced as such in the revised translation. Instead, these statements also employ the personal affirmation “I believe.” One such statement regards the Holy Spirit: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,


participate in the Eucharist. Each of us, by virtue of our baptism, have the privilege of joining in the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made present daily on the altar. We join in worship first in our hearts, which we will lift up at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer. With attention we are invited to hear the Word of the Lord proclaimed to us, today, for our formation in the faith and our salvation unto eternal life. In the prayers of the Mass, and in particular during the Eucharistic Prayer, we unite ourselves to the sacrifice of Christ and His unceasing prayer before the Father. We join in the words of Christ, the words of the Church, which we have received and made our own. As we receive the gift of the revised

the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.” This is essentially the same as the current translation, but the threefold addition of the personal pronoun “who” seems to underscore the distinct “personhood” of the Holy Spirit. We will also say “adore” as opposed to “worship,” just as it is stated in the original Latin. We again assert our personal acceptance of the faith when we say “I believe” for the fourth and final time in the Creed as we profess, “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church... .” We then conclude by professing, “I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.” Where once we said, “we acknowledge one baptism,” we will now say, “I confess.” Again, this is means to be a personal statement of faith, but in this case one that goes beyond simply acknowledging baptism. To “confess” in this sense means that we not only “acknowledge” the doctrine, we also personally endorse and submit to the truth of its teaching. We will also no longer say that “we look for the resurrection of the dead.” Instead, we will say that we “look forward to” it. This manner of speaking more perfectly reflects the theological virtue of hope, and it is much more in keeping with Romans 8, in which St. Paul tells us that the entirety of creation longs for the resurrection and the renewal of all things in Christ. The Creed is both a profession and a prayer, and so we conclude with “Amen,” which means to say that we confirm and adopt as our very own before God and one another the faith we just professed. Louie Verrecchio is a Catholic speaker and Catholic News Agency columnist. For more information, go to This series is excerpted from the book “And with Your Spirit – Recovering a sense of the sacred in the English translation of the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition.”

translation of the Roman Missal, all of us have the great opportunity to learn and experience anew the words of our worship. We have the privilege to learn not only new words and responses, and experience the scriptural depth of our worship, but also to renew our understanding and participation in the celebration of the Eucharist. In so doing, we will respond more fully to the universal call to holiness given to each of us and lift up our hearts and voices to the praise and glory of God the Father. Father Benjamin A. Roberts is parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury.

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Our nation

16 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Calif. Supreme Court says it won’t speed up Prop. 8 hearing

In Brief Philadelphia suspends 21 priests PHILADELPHIA — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed 21 priests on administrative leave in the wake of a Philadelphia grand jury report last month alleging sexual abuse by clergy and personnel. Philadelphia church officials have pledged a re-examination of the cases of 37 priests facing credible allegations of abuse of minors. Three other priests were suspended last month immediately following the report’s release.

Illinois bans death penalty SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill on Ash Wednesday to end the death penalty in the state. Illinois is now the 16th state that has abandoned capital punishment. The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., joined the bishops of Illinois in calling for Quinn to sign the bill to end the death penalty.

Archbishop: Obama’s decision on marriage law ‘alarming’ WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama administration’s decision to no longer support the federal Defense of Marriage Act is an “alarming and grave injustice,” said New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in response to the Feb. 23 announcement that the Department of Justice would stop defending the federal law. — Catholic News Service

CNS | courtesy of CRS

Youths participate in their first annual Food Fast in the Archdiocese of San Francisco last year. The fast is Catholic Relief Services’ 24-hour poverty and hunger awareness program aimed specifically at teens.

Hunger awareness retreat for youths becoming Lenten tradition for many Emily Lahr Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Pennsylvania girls took a day off of work to take part in an annual Food Fast that has become a Lenten tradition for many Catholic parishes. “It has impacted them in a way that they keep coming back,” said Cathy Savilla, youth minister for three parishes in West Virginia. Food Fast is a 24-hour hunger awareness retreat for Catholic youths, focusing on global poverty and hunger. The program, which has been active since 1999, runs under the direction of program officer Jennifer Swope of Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency. Food Fast offers a journey of solidarity with people overseas as a way of living out the Catholic faith. Grounded in Catholic social teaching, Food Fast teaches youths about issues faced by their peers in the developing world; encourages youths to take action on behalf of the poor and hungry; and invites youths to share their perspectives and knowledge about the world with their community to create lasting change in the world. The Food Fast program offers a curriculum for the parishes that participate, providing icebreakers, prayers, discussion topics and fliers.

Swope said Food Fast is often used during Lent, especially during Holy Week, but the resources are available throughout the year. “We provide everything,” said Swope, but the youth ministers use their creativity and “they make it their own.” Swope said youths are always being encouraged to go out and change the world, but Food Fast shows them how to do that. Sue Matour, youth minister of St. Teresa of Avila Church in Norristown, Pa., said it gives youths a chance to do something for both the community and raise awareness globally. “As Catholics, we are called to not only look locally but also internationally,” said Matour, adding that Food Fast is one of her favorite youth group activities. Matour said she was impressed with how young people take ownership of the activities and unite together in sacrifice during a short period of time. During the fast, her youth group in the past had volunteered at a soup kitchen in Pennsylvania, which was “eye opening for them.” The youths made food for others, while they themselves went hungry. Fundraising has become an additional option for Food Fast, with CRS offering three programs to which parishes can choose to donate: Peace in Sudan, Water in Afghanistan and CRS programs around the world. More information can be found online at

SAN FRANCISCO — With a one-sentence order, the California Supreme Court March 1 denied a request to speed up consideration of a key question in the appeal over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal asked the state Supreme Court to decide whether state law gives initiative sponsors the legal standing to defend ballot measures when state officials refuse to do so. Legal standing became an issue when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown – who succeeded him as governor Jan. 3 – both refused to defend the initiative in the appeals process. The decision by the state’s high court will determine whether Proposition 8 is overturned on narrow procedural grounds with limited impact or whether the case eventually reaches the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional questions, the Los Angeles Times reported. Plaintiffs opposing Proposition 8, which was approved by more than 7 million voters in 2008, also wanted the hearing moved up from September to May. The appeal before the state Supreme Court was brought by a group of faith-based supporters of Proposition 8, including Catholics, along with Imperial County, after U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled last August that the initiative is unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In the meantime, state Attorney General Kamala D. Harris urged the 9th Circuit to permit samesex couples to marry during the Proposition 8 appeal. A three-judge panel of the circuit court had issued a stay, also last August, to prevent such marriages from taking place while the appeal was pending. — Catholic News Service

Our world

March 11, 2011 | 

Catholic, Jewish leaders want to prepare new generation for dialogue

Pope’s book says Jesus’ death cannot be blamed on Jewish people VATICAN CITY — In his latest volume of “Jesus of Nazareth,” Pope Benedict XVI says the condemnation of Christ had complex political and religious causes and cannot be blamed on the Jewish people as a whole. The pope also said it was a mistake to interpret the words reported in the Gospel, “His blood be on us and on our children,” as a blood curse against the Jews. Those words, spoken by the mob that demanded Jesus’ death, need to be read in the light of faith, the pope wrote. They do not cry out for vengeance, but for reconciliation, he said. The pope’s treatment of the events of the Passion form the core of his new book, “Jesus of Nazareth. Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection.” It is an extensive reflection on the Gospel texts and on the arguments of Scripture scholars, in effect offering Pope Benedict’s version of “The Passion of the Christ.” — Catholic News Service


Vatican condemns murder of Pakistani minister

In Brief

VATICAN CITY — Catholic and Jewish leaders denounced persecution and violence against religious minorities and expressed support for pro-democracy movements across North Africa and the Middle East. The comments came in a statement by the International Catholic Jewish Liaison Committee after a four-day meeting in Paris. The Vatican published the statement March 3, one day after a Catholic government minister in Pakistan was assassinated, apparently by Islamic extremists. Participants expressed “a profound sadness at repeated instances of violence or terrorism ‘in the name of God,’ including the increased attacks against Christians, and calls for the destruction of the State of Israel,” it said. The Catholic and Jewish leaders said they deplored “every act of violence perpetrated in the name of religion as a complete corruption of the very nature of a genuine relationship with God.” As for the unrest that has spread across North Africa and parts of the Middle East, the participants said that “millions of human beings are expressing their thirst for dignity and freedom.”

catholic news heraldI

Catholic News Service

CNS | Suhaib Salem, Reuters

A man mourns at the graves of rebels, who were killed in clashes with forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, at a cemetery in Benghazi, Libya, March 7.

Pope calls for aid to civilians in Libya Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — As fighting between rebels and government forces in Libya intensified, Pope Benedict XVI called for aid and assistance to civilians caught in the conflict. “Recent clashes have caused many deaths and an increasing humanitarian crisis” in Libya, the pope said after praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square March 6. He expressed his concern over the growing crisis and said his prayers were with all victims and “those who find themselves in distress.” More than 1,000 people were believed to have died in the two weeks after prodemocracy protests began in mid-February. A violent crackdown on the popular movement also triggered a large exodus of people, including migrants; more than 100,000 people were said to have fled to Egypt and Tunisia. Rebels opposed to the 42-year rule of Col. Moammar Gadhafi tried to take control of cities in the country’s western and eastern regions, and forces loyal to the Libyan

dictator launched aerial bombing raids in a counteroffensive. Bishop Giovanni Martinelli of Tripoli, Libya, said there were clashes “in the mosque after prayers in central Tripoli” March 4, but that most of the capital is currently “wellguarded” by government forces. Meanwhile, Catholic aid agencies mobilized to provide assistance to some of the tens of thousands of foreign and migrant workers fleeing the violence who gathered along the Libyan-Tunisian border. A spokesman for Jesuit Refugee Service, which runs a major operation in Malta for refugees from North Africa, said the agency was assessing how best to respond to the crisis at the border. Caritas Internationalis and Catholic Relief Services started distributing 2,000 meals and 3,000 bottles of water at the eastern border March 7. The effort was expected to reach 5,000 people stranded at the crossing into Salloum, Egypt. The agencies planned to have their own distribution network established by March 10, said a CRS spokeswoman. The effort is being coordinated by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.

This week the Vatican condemned the assassination of a Catholic government minister in Pakistan who had spoken out against anti-blasphemy laws. Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister for minorities and the only Christian member of the government’s leadership, was attacked in his car in Islamabad March 2, when unidentified gunmen pumped bullets into his car from automatic weapons as he was being driven to his office. Bhatti, 42, died at a nearby hospital shortly afterwards. Bhatti’s assassination “is a new and terribly serious act of violence,” said the Vatican’s spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi. Bhatti, the first Catholic to serve in that position, received several threats against his life after criticizing the country’s anti-blasphemy laws, used to persecute Christians and other religious minorities. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 Christians from all over Pakistan flocked to the Faisalabad diocese for Bhatti’s funeral March 3. The procession was led by Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, joined by two Protestant bishops and dozens of Catholic priests. Bhatti’s body had been flown to Kushpur after a memorial Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Islamabad. Thousands of Christians, religious leaders, foreign diplomats and government officials led by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani attended the service, which included a state salute.


18 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 

Letter to the editor

Get caught up in the grace of Lent The 40 days of Lent make up the season of the Church year when we take up our crosses and follow Jesus through the memorial of His passion and death. Originally designed as an extended retreat for catechumens who would meet Jesus for the first time in the sacraments at Easter, Lent is for us today a time of sacrifice and discipline, of stretching and growth. We are stung by the Lord’s words to us in Isaiah 58: “You call this a fast, to hang your head and feel sorry for yourself ?! This is the kind of fasting I want from you: to give up your own will, to break the bonds of oppression, and not to turn your back on your own!” Wow, now that’s a program for Lent! To help us follow through on keeping a holy Lent this year, I offer several practical suggestions. Wear a cross or a crucifix every day in Lent – literally “take up your cross and follow” Jesus. The cross is the sign of our salvation in Christ and wearing it can be a powerful witness to ourselves and each other. Pray four times every day of Lent. Resolve now to consciously open yourself to God upon rising, at noon, on the way home from work or school, and before bedtime. Upon rising, say the Morning Offering or offer your day to God in LETTERs, SEE page 20

‘From Thy bounty’ Share your favorite Lenten recipes with fellow readers! E-mail the Catholic News Herald your recipe and, if you like, a photo and a brief explanation of why the dish is so meaningful to you. Send your recipe to: — Patricia Guilfoyle, editor

creole seasoning and/or crushed red pepper. Lower heat to medium. Continue cooking about a half hour to infuse flavors or until the okra is cooked. Serve over cooked white rice.

Creole Filé Gumbo * roux (flour and oil) 1 lb. chicken 1 lb. smoked sausage 1 lb. hot smoked sausage 1 cup okra 1/4 cup celery 1/4 cup onion 1/4 cup bell pepper creole seasoning crushed red pepper filé (seasoning made from sassafras leaves, optional)

Creole Bouillabaisse

* Roux is the essential ingredient in a gumbo. It is made with equal parts flour and oil. In a skillet over medium-high heat, put in 3 tbsp. oil and 3 tbsp. flour. Constantly stir until the roux is the color of a worn penny. It usually has a kind of nutty smell. If the roux burns even slightly, throw it out and start over. Boil chicken, de-bone, cut into bite-size pieces and strain and save the water for the gumbo. Cut sausages into bite-size pieces and strain and save the water for the gumbo. Cut hot sausages into bite-size pieces and fry on medium-high heat to sear in flavor. Drain grease and set aside. Combine the celery, bell pepper and onions (called the Trinity), then sauté the Trinity until it is opaque. In a large pot, combine 2 qts. water from the chicken with the roux, hot and regular smoked sausage, the Trinity (celery, onion and bell pepper), okra and filé and allow it to come to a boil. Season to taste with

1 lb. fresh fish 1/4 cup oil 2 small onions, chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped 2 green bell peppers, chopped 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tbsp. parsley 2 tbsp. oregano 1 bay leaf 1/4 cup flour 19-oz. can chicken broth (water can be substituted for broth) Note: You can use creole seasoning, or you can season to taste with salt and pepper. If the fish is frozen, thaw it and cut it into one-inch cubes. In a heavybottom saucepan, heat the oil, then sauté the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and seasonings. Stir in flour (it’s important to stir the flour in with sautéed veggies.) Do not let it burn. This is your roux. (Roux does not have to brown.) Add tomatoes and chicken broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Add fish. Cover and cook over low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Stir occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Peggy Bowes | Correspondent

Members of the Columbiettes from Holy Angels Church in Mount Airy

Mount Airy celebrates Mardi Gras Peggy Bowes Correspondent

MOUNT AIRY — On March 4, more than 100 Holy Angels parishioners and their friends gathered in the Monsignor Duncan Center to celebrate the time-honored tradition of Mardi Gras. Masked and bead-bedecked partygoers dressed in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple (symbolizing justice), green (faith) and gold (power). The walls and tables were festively decorated, a DJ played jazzy New Orleans standards, and amazing smells wafted from the kitchen where the Columbiettes busily prepared traditional New Orleans cuisine. After dinner, the festivities began. Everyone jumped up from their seats to join the parade, waving colored tissues and throwing beads from a decorated wagon “float,” followed by dancing, raffle drawings and the traditional King’s Cake. The sweet and colorful King’s Cake honors the three wise men who traveled from afar to worship and bring gifts to the infant Jesus. A plastic baby is baked into the cake. Traditionally, the person who finds the baby must buy the next King’s Cake or throw the next party (or win a prize, in the case of the Holy Angels celebration). The first Mount Airy Mardi Gras was celebrated nearly 15 years ago when five Holy Angels couples from Louisiana thought it would be fun to share their heritage with the rest of the parish. They worked together to provide decorations, food and crafts, and the party was a huge success. Due to the time and expense involved in planning and executing such a large event, the Holy Angels Columbiettes decided to adopt the party as an annual fundraiser, using the profits to aid the many charities they support. Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday” in French, traces its roots to ancient Rome and the circus-like festival of Lupercalia, celebrated in mid-February. With the spread of Christianity, the festival evolved into the pre-Lenten merriment of Carnival (from the Latin “carnelevamen,” which translates as “farewell to flesh” or meat eating). Carnival begins on Epiphany (Jan. 6) and ends the day before Ash Wednesday (“Fat Tuesday”). It is traditionally a time of parties and celebration before the solemn observance of Lent.

Letters policy 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:

March 11, 2011 | 

catholic news heraldI


The Poor Clares

Father Matthew Buettner

For real spiritual growth, we The desire to be known must make serious sacrifices “


any people are surprised when I tell them that when I was a boy, I was fat and lazy. I had bad eating habits. Besides neighborhood sports, I didn’t play many sports in school and I spent long hours watching television. My lifestyle was the ideal recipe for getting fat. During my senior year of high school, I began to change my eating habits and I exercised much more. I started to lose weight. By the time I entered college, I had dropped 60 pounds. I had changed quite a bit – I was much thinner and had more energy. Losing the weight taught me an important life lesson: nothing changes unless we decide to make the change, and change involves sacrifice. This lesson can be applied to our relationships. If people are having issues and troubles in their marriages, they are not going to suddenly wake up one day without issues and troubles unless they decide to change. Relationships require sacrifice to keep the love new and fresh and alive. A husband needs to show his love for his wife by making sacrifices to spend time with her, to give her his time and attention. In turn, a wife needs to show her love for her husband by making sacrifices to be attentive to his needs. Personal self-sacrifice proves our love and improves our love. If sacrifice is the key to promote growth in our relationships, then it is certainly true in our friendship with God. To grow in the spiritual life, to grow in our relationship with the Lord, many sacrifices are required – less important loves need to be sacrificed, need to die, so that more significant loves can arise and have new life. In the personal example earlier, I mentioned that I had to sacrifice the love of food and television and laziness so I could lose weight and become healthy – a lesser love is sacrificed for the sake of a greater love. If sacrifice is required to maintain our health, then certainly sacrifices are required to grow in holiness. This is the fundamental intelligence behind the holy season of Lent that lies before us this week. Our annual 40-day retreat began March 9 with Ash Wednesday. Lent always seems to sneak up on us. But I have always found that Lent always arrives at a necessary time – when we have become complacent or indifferent in the practice of our faith, when we refuse to go outside of our comfortable habits, when our love has become dry and cold and routine. Lent comes along and

encourages us to make real sacrifices. There are three traditional kinds of sacrifices: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. During Lent, we are encouraged to make sacrifices in each of these distinct areas. So why do we make these sacrifices each year? Because our love needs to be refreshed, renewed, resurrected. And for our love to be resurrected, we must first experience sacrifice and death. And so, in preparation for Lent, I would like to share with you the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his message for Lent this year. His address is much longer, but I want to share with you three relevant sections that address prayer, fasting and almsgiving so that we can better understand the meaning and purpose of our sacrifices. Pope Benedict begins with my least favorite: fasting. “Fasting, which can have various motivations, takes on a profoundly religious significance for the Christian: by rendering our table poorer, we learn to overcome selfishness in order to live in the logic of gift and love; by bearing some form of deprivation – and not just what is in excess – we learn to look away from our ‘ego,’ to discover Someone close to us and to recognize God in the face of so many brothers and sisters. For Christians, fasting, far from being depressing, opens us ever more to God and to the needs of others, thus allowing love of God to become also love of our neighbor.” Pope Benedict always challenges us to inspect the reason for our action, the motivation behind our behavior. Why do we fast? Is it to lose weight? Is it to save money by not spending as much on food? No. These are good reasons to eat less, but these are not Christian reasons to fast. As Christians, we fast from food not for selfish reasons, but for selfless reasons – to overcome our selfishness and become more aware of the hunger and thirst in our neighbors. It is in the context of becoming more aware of our neighbors that Pope Benedict addresses the need for almsgiving: “In our journey, we are often faced with the temptation of accumulating. The greed of possession leads to violence, exploitation and death; for this, the Church, especially during the Lenten period, reminds us to practice almsgiving – which is the capacity to share. GROWTH, SEE page 20

The emotion of friendship is among the most mighty and the most mysterious of human instincts,” wrote Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. The need for companionship is inherent in each of us, and the book of Sirach tells us that a friend is a treasure. Benson takes this a step further in saying that “there is but one supreme friendship to which all human friendships point; one ideal friend in whom we find, perfect and complete, that for which we look in type and shadow in the faces of our human lovers.” By our nature we need companionship and society (CCC 1879). We want to be with those who have the same ideals and corresponding values. Deeper still, what we really desire is to be known and understood. We try to hide our weaknesses and struggles, but don’t we really wish that someone would know and love us in spite of them, or dare I say, even because of them? I recall a trial in my life that caused me great heartache. Feeling sure that no one would understand, I tried to keep my pain hidden. Then one day in a conversation someone said to me, “I know what you are going through; I experienced something similar years ago; you’ll be all right.” I was stunned and thought to myself, “I am safe? I am understood?” That small shared experience of suffering worked a miracle of grace. On the reverse side, that same week two other people approached me and confided to me their difficult circumstances. At that point I could say to them, “I understand your pain.” If people can have relationships built upon common experiences of suffering, what about our relationship with Christ? Because He is the transcendent God, can we have that common experience? Does He really know? In the Gospel of John, Chapter 4, Jesus is sitting at a well when a Samaritan woman arrives to draw water. The Evangelist notes that she came at the sixth hour, that is, noon. It seems that most women would have gathered together before the heat of midday, probably enjoying the social aspect of exchanging news with one another. Did shame or a sense of rejection keep the Samaritan woman at a distance? Jesus addresses her, “Give me a drink.” He begins a dialogue – an invitation to friendship – because He wants to give her the living water. This woman, however, is completely on her guard. Married five times already, she has obviously been pretty wounded. Additionally, she knows that Jews have no

dealings with Samaritans. Jesus tells her about the living water, but she challenges back, “You have nothing to draw with; you’ve asked me to give you a drink, and yet you offer me living water?” Not giving up, He entices her with the promise of never thirsting again, and she slowly is captivated. “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” He proceeds to dig into her personal life. “Go, call your husband, and come here.” By the term “husband” we can think of the need for companionship. The words “come here” appeal to the deepest desires of the heart to be welcomed and loved. At this point, she lets down her guard and admits, “I have no husband.” Not only is she acknowledging her sinful lifestyle, but perhaps even her loneliness. When Jesus reveals her situation, she experiences the freedom and love of someone uncovering her past and not rejecting her. She is known. Then marvel of marvels, Jesus reveals Himself to her as the Messiah! This woman, open to being known, receives the grace to know Him. She finally found everything she had been looking for in this ideal Friend. As the Incarnate Word of God, this Friend took on our humanity and experienced all that we do except for sin. Does He know what it is like to be rejected? Isaiah 53: He was despised and rejected by men. Does He know the broken heart of a mother whose children have abandoned the faith? Matthew 23:37: How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Does He know the pain of anxiety and fear? Mark 14:33: He began to be greatly distressed and troubled. Dare I say He loves us because of our weaknesses and struggles? He Who came to seek out sinners and who fell three times on the Via Dolorosa wants us to be bold in believing so. Christ knows the depths of our hearts and every fiber of pain and joy that runs through them. To Him we can safely turn and plead, “Search me, O God and know me,” because He truly loves us. Sister Mary Raphael of the Divine Physician is professed with the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration St. Joseph Monastery in Charlotte. This is part of a monthly commentary by the Poor Clares to focus on topics of faith and to address questions about religious life. Learn more about the community and subscribe to their newsletter by going online to

20 | March 11, 2011 CATHOLIC NEWS HERALD 





your own words. Before lunch, spend one minute praying for wisdom, that you can make good use of your limited time and energy during the afternoon to serve God and neighbor. On the way home, ask the Holy Spirit to help you learn the lesson that God was trying to teach that day. At bedtime, pray for peace, for your family and for the world. One minute of prayer four times a day can transform your life! You may also consider fasting and abstaining from cell phones, tv, and eating meat on Mondays and Wednesdays as well as the Fridays in Lent. Offer your sacrifice each time for a particular person or situation in need of God’s blessing. This is a real consciousness-raiser that can clear out space in our hearts and souls, not just in our stomachs, for God and other people. Finally, make the Stations of the Cross once during Lent. There are 14 stations, so perhaps pray two of them each week during Lent, one on Wednesdays and the other on Fridays. Gather as a family and take your time being with Jesus, meditating on His holy mysteries. Read the Scriptures, sit in silence together and truly listen to that silence. Share your awareness with each other and sing a verse of the Stabat Mater. With Our Lady and St. John, let us stand faithfully at the foot of the Cross of Christ this Lent! Father John Vianney Hoover serves at New Creation Monastery in Charlotte.

The idolatry of goods, on the other hand, not only causes us to drift away from others, but divests man, making him unhappy, deceiving him, deluding him without fulfilling its promises, since it puts materialistic goods in the place of God, the only source of life. How can we understand God’s paternal goodness if our heart is full of egoism and our own projects, deceiving us that our future is guaranteed? The practice of almsgiving is a reminder of God’s primacy and turns our attention towards others, so that we may rediscover how good our Father is, and receive His mercy.” On the practice of almsgiving, our Holy Father reminds us of what Our Lord mentioned in the recent Gospel message: we need not have excessive worry and anxiety over our lives. Why? Because our heavenly Father is good and generous and merciful to His sons and daughters. He will provide for our needs. The more we divest ourselves of our goods and resources to help those who have none, the more we not

only turn our attention towards our neighbors, but we also make room for the providence of God to unfold in our lives. We create a space in which the Father can prove His love for us by providing for us as we help to provide the needs of our neighbor. In the practices of both fasting and almsgiving, we recognize how Pope Benedict deliberately shifts our attention away from ourselves to our neighbors. In the practice of prayer, we shift our attention away from ourselves to God: “By attentively listening to God, who continues to speak to our hearts, we nourish the itinerary of faith initiated on the day of our baptism. Prayer also allows us to gain a new concept of time: without the perspective of eternity and transcendence, in fact, time simply directs our steps towards a horizon without a future. Instead, when we pray, we find time for God, to understand that His ‘words will not pass away,’ to enter into that intimate communion with Him ‘that no one shall take from you,’ opening us to the hope that does not disappoint, eternal life.” To summarize, Pope Benedict reminds us that fasting encourages us to become more aware of the hunger and thirst in our neighbors; almsgiving provides for the needs of our neighbors, while we rely more upon God for His

providential care; finally, prayer directs our perspective beyond the present moment to hope for eternal life with God. He concludes his reflections by reminding us that “the Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us ‘the pattern of (the Lord’s) death, so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives.” Conversion involves change; change involves sacrifice; sacrifice involves the death of lesser loves in our lives so that greater loves may rise. I learned this lesson years ago when I began to sacrifice the love of food so that I could lose weight. This lesson applies to every relationship, especially the relationship with God. Lent is the time for sacrifice, to prove our love for God and improve our love for Him. And so as we approach this Lent, consider that if we make the same sacrifices that we always make year after year, we can expect to get the same results. Nothing will change. But if we desire real conversion, real growth in the spiritual life, then we must be willing to make serious sacrifices to allow our selfish loves to die, so that our love for Him will rise on Easter morning. Father Matthew Buettner is pastor of St. Dorothy Church in Lincolnton.

March 11, 2011  

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