January 29, 2010
The Catholic News & Herald 1
Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte
Perspectives Raising our poverty awareness; Why abortion breaks all the commandments
Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI
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january 29, 2010
Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte
Walking with the women saints
Taking it to the streets
JANNEKE PIETERS correspondent
See RETREAT, page 5
NC Catholics march for dignity of all human life SUEANN HOWELL Special to The Catholic News & Herald
Singer, songwriter leads retreat HICKORY — Singer, songwriter and woman of faith Sarah Hart treated nearly 150 women to a day-long immersion in the lives of eight women saints at St. Aloysius Church in Hickory Jan. 23. The spiritual and catechetical retreat, called “Sisters in Christ: Walking with the Women Saints,” wove together music, art, humor, personal testimony, and love for the saints and the faith. “We are taking inspiration from the lives of these women and learning about them in a three-dimensional way,” shared Chris Cicotello of St. Eugene Church in Asheville. Event organizer and St. Aloysius parishioner Kathy Succop said the retreat’s registration filled up quickly with attendees from as far away as Charlotte, Raleigh and South Carolina. After a welcome from Father Bob Ferris, pastor of St. Aloysius Church, Hart began the retreat with a litany of the women saints, around which the day was structured. Some were familiar — such as saints Martha and Mary, Mary Magdalene, Monica, Elizabeth Ann Seton and Therese of Lisieux. Others were perhaps less well-known: St. Lydia, Blessed Julian of
photo by sueann howell
Tom and Heather Martin (center), parishioners of St. Mark Church in Huntersville, march up Constitution Avenue with their children and other members of the Diocese of Charlotte during the March for Life on Friday, Jan. 22.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – If two is company, than more than 300,000 is most certainly a crowd. Politicians, D.C. residents and people around the world watching live coverage via television and the Internet saw firsthand the power of the U.S. pro-life movement on Friday, Jan. 22. This day marked the 37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. Nearly half a million people gathered on the National Mall, lined Constitution Avenue and marched up Capitol Hill past the Supreme Court Building to unite for the dignity of all human life. See MARCH, page 8
Liturgies mark day of penance, hope for future
Local bishops concelebrate Masses in nation’s capital SUEANN HOWELL Special to The Catholic News & Herald
photo by jack sheedy, the catholic transcript
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, newly appointed chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Jan. 21.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was standing room only as Catholics from North Carolina and around the U.S. arrived by the busloads Thursday, Jan. 21 to participate in the opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life in the largest Roman Catholic church in North America. His Eminence Daniel
Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was the principal celebrant and homilist of Thursday evening’s opening Mass. The entrance procession ran 40 minutes as Cardinal DiNardo was joined by 44 cardinals and bishops, 350 See MASSES, page 9
Around the diocese
In The News
Father’s quest to save children leads to movie; Pope asks priests to get online; Abortion survivor reflects
An interview with Father Robert Ferris; Seminarian meets Pope
A majority call abortion ‘morally wrong’; Pope praises response to Haiti victims
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January 29, 2010
2 The Catholic News & Herald
Current and upcoming topics from around the world to your own backyard
Immigration restrictions eased for Haitians, including orphans WASHINGTON (CNS) — With Haitians who survived the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake beginning to look for new places to live, the U.S. is easing immigration restrictions for some Haitians, including those who were here illegally before the quake and orphans. Meanwhile, aid agencies are beginning to look at how to handle the potential movement of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of displaced people who may try to settle in other countries in the region. The crisis prompted Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to grant temporary protected status to Haitians who are in the United States, enabling those who qualify to legally remain in the U.S. and work here, even if they previously were in the country illegally. Napolitano also announced Jan. 17 a policy that will allow some orphaned Haitian children to more easily
cns photo by adam hunger, reuters
Republican Scott Brown, newly elected U.S. senator from Massachusetts, waves to supporters during a rally in Boston Jan. 19 after he defeated Democrat Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, in a special election. Brown will serve the remainder of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s term.
Hope for health reform even after Brown election WASHINGTON (CNS) — The election of Republican Scott Brown to fill the U.S. Senate seat held since 1962 by Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts does not mean Catholic leaders will abandon efforts to achieve much-needed health reform. That was the message from the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association and the director of the Office of Domestic Social Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops the day after Brown, a state senator in Massachusetts, defeated state Attorney General Martha Coakley, 52 percent to 47 percent, in a special election Jan. 19. Once Brown is seated in the Senate, Democrats will lose the 60-seat supermajority that had allowed them to cut off GOP filibustering on health reform legislation. Brown has said he would vote against the current Senate health reform plan. “The important thing to remember is that even if they throw the bills away and abandon the effort to achieve health reform, that still leaves a lot of people hurting,” said Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who is the CHA’s top executive. “The bishops are not abandoning the health reform effort,” said Kathy Saile of the USCCB. “But it clearly needs to be done in a different way (than the current bills) and we are very much interested in being a part of that conversation.”
The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate has been working to reconcile the health reform bills passed by both chambers, but the likelihood of a Senate filibuster once Brown is seated means a bill that includes some of the House provisions probably would not come to a vote in the Senate. One possible strategy is for the House to approve the Senate version without changes. But the bishops — who have called the Senate bill “deficient” in its treatment of abortion, conscience protection, immigrants and affordability — would strongly oppose such a move, Saile said. “The bishops have consistently said health reform is both a moral imperative and a national priority,” she said. “That is still the case.” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said in a Jan. 19 statement that Brown’s election “represents several simple facts about the current state of American politics.” One is that “pendulums swing,” he said. “The American people, no matter what their political affiliation, are not comfortable with any one party holding supermajorities in Washington.” Another lesson is the importance of elections, Father Pavone said. “Whether the issue is health care, abortion or anything else, when the people feel powerless to change the minds of those in power, they change those in power,” he added.
Diocesan planner For more events taking place in the Diocese of Charlotte, visit www.charlottediocese. org/calendarofevents-cn. CHARLOTTE VICARIATE CHARLOTTE — St. Gabriel Church will host four educational seminars for senior citizens that address legal and end of life issues, plus the latest on Medicare, Medicaid and community services. Each seminar will take place on four consecutive Wednesday mornings from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The seminars will be held on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10 and 17 at St. Gabriel Church Ministry Center. For more information, call Suzanne Bach at (704) 335-0253. CHARLOTTE — Back to Basics at St. Matthew Church meets every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. and Monday at 7:00 p.m. in New Life Center room 203. They are studying the Old Testament. Babysitting is available for this class. Please call at least 48 hours in advance to reserve your child or children’s spot, (704) 543-7677 x 1011. CHARLOTTE — Spiritual Conversations, an important form of group prayer using Scripture, will be held once a month at St. Matthew Church. Their prime purpose of their sharing will be to listen to one another. They will meet Tuesdays, February 2, March 2, April 13,
be resettled in the U.S. Within a day of the magnitude 7 earthquake, as images of the destruction of the capital city Port-auPrince dominated the news, Napolitano announced that deportations to Haiti were being suspended. By the end of the week, she had authorized temporary protected status, which will enable between 100,000 and 200,000 Haitians who are currently in the U.S. illegally to remain here and legally hold jobs. Archbishop John C. Favalora of Miami, which has a large Haitian population, was among those calling on President Barack Obama to grant such status to all Haitians in the United States. Teresa Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami, told Catholic News Service Jan. 19 that the new orphan resettlement program, being called Pierre Pan, was expected to be approved by the U.S. government soon.
May 4 and June 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the New Life Center 234-235. CHARLOTTE — The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick at St. Thomas Aquinas will be offered during the 9:00 Saturday morning Mass four times this year. The first time this Mass will be offered will be on February 6. If you or any Catholic you know is suffering from a serious or chronic illness, or preparing for surgery, come to this special liturgy and receive God’s healing grace. If you need transportation, contact email@example.com. CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group is having its next monthly Reflection on February 1 at St. Vincent de Paul Church. Mass begins at 9:00 a.m. followed by the talk beginning at 10:00 a.m. Father Matthew Buettner, pastor of St. Dorothy Church in Lincolnton, will present his talk, Prayer: From Beginner to Mystic. Reconciliation will be available. For more information, contact Molly Beckert at (704) 243-3252 or mvbeckert@ carolina.rr.com. GREENSBORO VICARIATE GREENSBORO — The next Men’s Evening of Reflection at Our Lady of Grace Church will be on Wednesday, February 3. This topic will be quite timely as we are moving quickly into Lent: the capital sins. Father James will present and break them down, preparing the group for Lent with the proper understanding of each. Join the group for pizza at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria and from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the talk in the church. GREENSBORO — The Ladies Ancient Order of Hiberians will meet at 7 p.m. on February 4 in the Kloster Center at St. Pius X Church, 2210 N. Elm St. For more information, call Alice Schmidt at (336) 288-0983. HIGH POINT — Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School will hold a floating open house
January 29, 2010 Volume 19 • Number 11
Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Interim Editor: Heather Bellemore Graphic DESIGNER: Tim Faragher Advertising MANAGER: Cindi Feerick Communications assistant: Denise Onativia 1123 South Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203 Mail: P.O. Box 37267, Charlotte, NC 28237 Phone: (704) 370-3333 FAX: (704) 370-3382 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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January 29, 2010
The Catholic News & Herald 3
FROM THE VATICAN
Pope convenes Irish bishops
Discusses priestly sex abuse VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has convened Ireland’s bishops for a two-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the ongoing fallout from the priestly sex abuse scandal in the country. The meeting will take place Feb. 15-16, and was expected to include the heads of major Vatican agencies. The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting, but did not specify what would be on the agenda. According to sources in Ireland, the meeting is expected to produce some concrete proposals, with final reflections by the pope. Each bishop is then to return to his diocese for Ash Wednesday liturgies Feb. 17, addressing Catholics on how the church intends to move forward. The Vatican meeting was announced
as the pope was preparing a special pastoral letter to Irish Catholics on the sex abuse cases and the damage it has inflicted on the church. Bishops said they expected the papal letter to outline several initiatives, including public services of repentance for Irish bishops and priests. Last November, a report caused widespread indignation among the Irish faithful and criticism of church leadership, as well as calls for the resignation of some bishops. In a statement afterward, the Vatican said the pope shared “the outrage, betrayal and shame” felt by Irish Catholics over the sexual abuse cases and announced his intention to write a pastoral letter. Since then, four Irish bishops who were named in the Murphy report have offered their resignations.
on February 9 from 9 a.m. to noon for parents and students interested in learning more about kindergarten though 8th grade at IHM. The open house will be held on the school campus at the corner of Montlieu Ave. and Centennial St. Also, on February 11, a floating open house will be held for IHM’s kindergarten-readiness program, the Eagles Nest, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This open house will be held in the childcare wing of IHM Church on the corner of Johnson St. and Skeet Club Rd. For more information, please contact Carrie Vest, admissions, at (336) 887-2613. GREENSBORO — A Resume Overhaul Workshop will be held at St. Pius X Church. Meredith Gubler and Kathleen Martinek of Right Management, Inc. have some strategies to help you increase your edge in this competitive job market. You’re invited to the workshop on February 9 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Kloster Center. Workshop format will be presentation and small group work. Bring your best resume to the event and get feedback. Please pre-register by calling the parish office at (336) 272-4681. HICKORY VICARIATE HICKORY — St. Aloysius Church offers a monthly Charismatic Mass on the first Thursday of every month. The Mass is in Spanish every other month. February’s Mass will be in Spanish and will take place on February 4 in the Sebastian Chapel at 7 p.m. at 921 Second Street NE. For more information call Joan Moran at (828) 994-0880. SALISBURY VICARIATE MOORESVILLE — The Holy Spirit Prayer Group at St. Therese Church will host the Catholic Update’s “Scripture from Scratch Series” on Monday nights starting February 8 at 7:30 p.m. in room 16. The DVD series lasts sixteen weeks. Scripture from Scratch is an experience of God’s word for all Catholic adults who want to know more about the Bible but don’t
know where to begin. No previous Bible study experience is required or expected. MOORESVILLE — The Guest Speaker Series at St. Therese Church presents Bishop William G. Curlin in “My Friend, Mother Teresa” on February 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Family room. MOORESVILLE — Beginning February 3, St. Therese Church will offer to all women a ten week NEWcomers class which will provide encouragement for women going through the transition and adjustment of moving. This is an opportunity to meet others, exchange insights, and find the courage to put down roots all over again. Sessions will start at 10:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. For further information contact Sophia McNiff at (704) 660-1965 or email@example.com. WINSTON SALEM VICARIATE WINSTON-SALEM — Our Lady of Mercy School will be hosting an Open House on Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Our Lady of Mercy is SACS accredited and enrollment is available for grades Pre-K to 8 for the 2010/2011 school year. for a student-led tour, or for more information, call (336) 722-7204 or visit our website at www.ourladyofmercyschool.org.
Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following events:
February 3 – 10:15 a.m. Catholic Schools Week Mass Bishop McGuinness High School, Kernersville
Is your parish or school sponsoring a free event open to the general public? Deadline for all submissions for the Diocesan Planner is 10 days prior to desired publication date. Submit in writing to catholicnews@charlottediocese. org or fax to (704) 370-3382.
February 5 – 10:00 a.m. Catholic Schools Week Mass Sacred Heart Catholic School, Salisbury February 6 – 7:15 a.m. Mass for Candidates in Deacon Formation Program Catholic Conference Center, Hickory February 13 – 10:30 a.m. Sacrament of Confirmation St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Charlotte
Raleigh priest suspended DAVID HAINS Director of Communications RALEIGH — A retired priest who served in the Charlotte area 40 years ago has been suspended from priestly ministry by the Diocese of Raleigh. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, announced Jan. 19 that he has suspended the priestly faculties of the Reverend Kenneth R. Parker. The action is the result of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor that dates back to 1982. Father Parker, 73, was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Raleigh on May 25, 1965. The Diocese of Charlotte was created from the Diocese of Raleigh in 1972. At that time, priests who were serving in the eastern part of the state remained with the Diocese of Raleigh while those in the western half became a part of the Diocese of Charlotte. Father Parker began his service in the Charlotte area but was moved to Tarboro, in the Diocese of Raleigh, in 1970. Father Parker retired in 1993. Father Parker was informed of the allegation on Monday, November 16, 2009. He denied the claim. The Diocese of Raleigh immediately
began the preliminary investigation in response to the allegation and in faithfulness to the obligations expressed in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Upon completion of the preliminary investigation, the findings were presented to the Raleigh Diocesan Review Board on Jan. 15. The Review Board has the responsibility of evaluating results of the preliminary investigation and making a recommendation to the bishop. On Jan. 19, after receiving and accepting a recommendation from the Review Board, Bishop Burbidge informed Father Parker that his public priestly faculties were suspended. In his retirement, Father Parker has provided temporary assistance to parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh during periods when pastors were on vacation. Father Parker’s pastoral assignments in what later became the Diocese of Charlotte were: • June 10, 1965 - Missionary Apostolate, St. John Neumann, North Wilkesboro • June 5, 1966 - Assistant Pastor, Our Lady of Grace Parish, Greensboro • April 24, 1968 - Assistant Pastor, St. Patrick Parish, Charlotte • May 8, 1968 - Administrator, St. Peter Parish, Charlotte
cns photo by akintunde akinleye, reuters
A girl cries at a camp for internally displaced people in Nigeria’s central city of Jos Jan. 20.
‘More political than religious’ VAT I C A N C I T Y ( C N S ) — A Nigerian archbishop said the cause of recent violence between Muslims and Christians in the African country was more ethnic and political than religious. More than 200 people were believed dead after clashes in mid-January in the central Nigerian city of Jos, where similar riots in 2008 killed about 300. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos
said the origin of the current conflicts, like those of 2008, was a struggle for political control of the city between the Hausa people, who are predominantly Muslim, and the indigenous residents, who are mostly Christians. “The spread of false information incites the people and increases the violence,” he said, adding that authorities need to be impartial and honest in presenting data on casualties and damage.
CORRECTION On page 5 of the last issue, dated Jan. 22, the article titled “National Vocation Awareness Week” incorrectly identified the location of Our Lady of Grace School as Winston-Salem. The school is located in Greensboro.
4 The Catholic News & Herald
AROUND THE DIOCESE
Year for Priests Interviews with priests around the diocese
January 29, 2010
Charlotte seminarian greets Holy Father
FATHER ROBERT FERRIS
FATHER ROBERT FERRIS Pastor, St. Aloysius Church in Hickory Place of Birth & Home Parish – Born in Omaha, Neb.; St. Michael Church in Cary High School – Creighton Prep High School College/University – Nebraska School of Medicine, Duke University Postdoctoral in Neurosciences Seminary – Blessed John XXIII National Seminary Date of Ordination – June 2, 2001
What assignments have you had since ordination? I was parochial vicar at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte for one year; administrator at St. Benedict in Greensboro for two years; pastor at St. Aloysius in Hickory since 2004. What have been some of the greatest joys for you as a priest? Celebrating the sacraments, particularly the Mass; to baptize my grandchildren and to concelebrate at the first Communion and confirmation Masses; to preside at my sons’ weddings; to bring an individual back into the church after years of absence. Who influenced you most to consider the vocation to priesthood? I really felt the call to priesthood while in prayer about six months or so after my wife died.
What was your background before you entered seminary? I was a research scientist. My specialty was to attempt to discover drugs useful in the treatment of mental diseases, particularly depression. What would people be surprised to know about you? I was married at one time. What are some of your hobbies? Photography, reading, music, hiking. What are some of your favorite books/ spiritual reading/magazines? First Things, This Rock, Catholic Answers Who is a hero to you? Pope John Paul II, St. John Marie Vianney, St. Maximilian Kolbe What are some ways that we can help all people/families understand their role in promoting and supporting vocations? Pray for vocations. Teach your children that the priesthood or religious life is an admirable profession to pursue if they feel God is calling them. What advice would you give a young man who is contemplating a vocation to the priesthood? Pray to God to direct you to the vocation that He intended for you. Read about priesthood and what it offers to a young man as a way of life. Talk to priests about their lives and what it has meant to them.
Jason Christian, seminarian of the Diocese of Charlotte, kisses the ring of Pope Benedict XVI in Rome recently. The Holy Father took part in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Pontifical North American College. Seminarians from the United States live at the North American College while pursuing their studies for the priesthood at one of several universities in Rome. Originally housed in a villa near the famous Trevi Fountain, the North American College is now located within Vatican City.
January 29, 2010
The Catholic News & Herald 5
from the cover
photos by janneke pieters
(Left) Sarah Hart leads women in a spiritual song at St. Aloysius Church in Hickory Jan. 23. The day-long spiritual and catechetical retreat, called “Sisters in Christ: Walking with the Women Saints,” immersed the 150 participants in the lives of eight women saints. (Above) Sarah Hart smiles with retreat participant Natalie Burt.
Sharing stories, laughter and tears on a faith journey RETREAT, from page 1
Norwich, and St. Catherine of Siena. Hart emphasized that all these women were true servants of Christ and leaders of the church. In Hart’s reflection on St. Mary and St. Martha, she showed an image of Jan Vermeer’s painting of Mary at the feet of Christ while Martha serves him food. Hart then shared warm and humorous stories of her own mother during the Christmas holidays, rushing around to get things done but not allowing anyone to help, and then realizing later that she had missed out on just spending time
with her children. Women today often feel like Martha as they try to balance so many tasks. They are challenged to remember that time with Christ is the “main course” of life, Hart said. “Jesus refers to himself as the main meal,” or the Eucharist, Hart said. Attendees then shared together whether they identified more with Mary or Martha, and where Eucharistic adoration fit into their lives. Hart ended the reflection with her song, “Give Us Your Peace.” As women contemplate their roles as leaders in the church, Hart said “many women get tripped up over the question of whether they can be priests. I think that’s a mistake. Our question should be: ‘How can I serve the Lord?’” One saint who illustrated this with her life was St. Lydia Purpuraria (the name means a seller of purple dye). St. Lydia, mentioned in Acts 16:15, was the first European Christian convert, a wealthy, single businesswoman and a
founding leader of the church at Philippi. Hart pointed out that although St. Paul often voiced severe admonishments to various churches, in his letter to the Philippians St. Paul held up that church as an example for the others. He described it as his “joy and crown” (Phil 4:1). Hart said the remarks reflected on St. Lydia’s leadership, especially in terms of hospitality and a spirit of service to others for Christ’s sake. Another example of service brought up during the retreat was St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine and patron of married women and difficult marriages. She “never gave up hope that she could mend the brokenness of others,” said Hart, adding that she is a “witness to the power of prayer, patience and love.” Several other saints were presented as witnesses to Christ’s deep and steadfast love. Blessed Julian of Norwich, a 14th-century anchoress, lived in a tiny cell next to her parish church. There
she spent her entire life praying for souls and counseling those who sought spiritual help. In her book titled “Revelations of Divine Love,” Blessed Julian described her visions of Christ, who told her that love is who He is in all things. Prayers to Blessed Julian are usually made for those who suffer from anxiety. The first American-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, truly allowed God to lead her, said Hart. In spite of incredible difficulties, including the bankruptcy of her family’s business and the deaths of her husband and two daughters, St. Elizabeth trusted God would guide her. She eventually started the Sisters of Charity and opened numerous Catholic schools, leaving an enormous legacy for Catholic education. “As women, we have a great fear of losing our children or not leading them right,” said Hart. She described her efforts to guide her daughters on the right path as similar to God’s own hand leading us along the path He has marked out for us. “Women are hungry; women long for fellowship,” Hart said. “Everywhere we go, parishes expect maybe 50 women to show up to a retreat. Instead, 150 or 300 people show up.” “So many women expressed gratitude for having it (the retreat)” said Succop. “It made us very much aware of how there is a need for this type of event.” Kate Wedrychowicz of St. Aloysius said, “We really enjoyed the camaraderie, meeting new faces, talking about saints and digging deeper as we talked.” “The language of women is different than men,” said Hart. “We need to come together and share stories, laughter, and tears on our faith journeys.”
6 The Catholic News & Herald
In THe News
January 29, 2010
A majority of Americans called abortion ‘morally wrong’
cns photo by leslie e. kossoff-nordby
Nellie Gray, 84, a pro-life leader who founded the March for Life in 1974, addresses the crowd during the annual rally on the National Mall in Washington Jan. 22. It was the 37th March for Life marking the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
At 84, pro-life leader Nellie Gray marches on FALL RIVER, Mass. (CNS) — Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley once said some consider Nellie J. Gray the “(Rev.) Martin Luther King Jr. of the prolife civil rights movement.” “But to me,” he added, “she’s ... the Joan of Arc of the Gospel of life.” There are many other words to describe this 84-year-old champion of the unborn, but none are more accurate than “mother of the March for Life.” For more than 35 years, Texas native Nellie J. Gray has been working unceasingly to end the slaughter of unborn children in the United States. Gray served as a corporal in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s in economics. She was an employee of the federal government for 28 years, working for the State Department and the Department of Labor. While working, Gray attended Georgetown University Law School and found herself practicing law before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a telephone interview with The Anchor, newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, Gray said as a young woman she encountered a priest who brought to light what the Catholic Church was about. He tutored her until she joined the church. Gray said that in 1973 when the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand, “I knew abortion was wrong, but I really didn’t pay much attention to the ruling. ... I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously.” Eventually Gray realized the ruling was being taken very seriously. She then helped found and later became president of the March for Life in the nation’s capital, first held Jan. 22, 1974.
“I received a call from the Knights of Columbus,” she recalled. “ About 30 people gathered … and they asked if I could help get speakers for the event since I knew Capitol Hill well.” An estimated 20,000 people joined in that first March for Life. Since then, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates have descended on Washington for the event. The March for Life was incorporated in 1974. “It was then that we established the life principles that would guide the movement,” said Gray. Set in the context of the Declaration of Independence, the life principles demand equal care for the unborn child and the mother, with “no exceptions, no compromise.” Gray, who has attended each of the 37 marches, has seen the number of pro-life supporters grow, particularly with young people. “Many young people don’t know that one-third of their generation, that’s 50 million people, have been killed through the evil of abortion,” she said. Larry Cirignano, former executive director of Catholic Citizenship, a grass-roots education organization in Massachusetts, has been working closely with Gray for more than a year. “Many priests cite the March for Life as the reason for their choice of vocation,” he told The Anchor. “Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life says the march was what inspired him to join the priesthood and make the life issue his calling.” Cirignano also credits Gray’s efforts for inspiring other pro-life leaders, such as Judie Brown, president and founder of American Life League, and “every person who has ever prayed outside an abortion mill or worked in a center and saved a baby.”
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CNS) — A poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and released Jan. 21 said that a majority of Americans called abortion “morally wrong.” Americans in all age groups made that judgment in the poll, conducted by Marist College. The Knights paid the greatest attention in an announcement of the poll results to the “millennial” age group, those ages 18-29, because they were intentionally oversampled in the survey. Of the 2,243 Americans polled, 1,006 of them were millennial. And 58 percent of the millennials called abortion morally wrong. More than 60 percent of seniors ages 65 and up called abortion morally wrong, as did 60 percent of those from Generation X (ages 30-44) and 51 percent of baby boomers (ages 45-64). By comparison, 19 percent of all those polled — and 20 percent of the millennials — said abortion was “morally acceptable.” The overall margin of error was plus or minus 2 percent, and plus or minus 3 percent for the millennials. Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, based in New Haven, said the poll results mirror a survey conducted last July that indicated 86 percent of Americans wish to significantly restrict abortion, and an October 2008 poll that found that 71 percent of those who described themselves as “pro-choice” would
restrict abortion. Coupled with similar findings in Pew and Gallup polls last year, “we think that’s pretty significant,” Anderson said in a Jan. 22 telephone interview with Catholic News Service from New York. Anderson pointed to two factors he said are at least partly responsible for the shift in public opinion. “The more pregnant women are able to see their children with 3-D ultrasound, the rate of women who do that and then have abortions is really very small,” he said. According to Anderson, now “people know people who have had abortions and the consequences are not good. Obviously the consequences are not good for the child, but for the mother and the father emotional consequences pop up.” Anderson said the Knights of Columbus have an initiative in which “we’re paying for an ultrasound machine for crisis pregnancy centers. If we can get hundreds of ultrasound machines into those centers and women can see what’s happening inside them, they’ll abandon abortion.” Also, the Knights are helping to fund the Project Rachel post-abortion ministry “and also open this up to the men,” Anderson said. Some are “really conflicted with guilt because they were involved with supporting the abortion,” he added, while others need support “because the abortion occurred over their objection.”
January 29, 2010
Prayer for Haiti
In THe News
The Catholic News & Herald 7
Pope praises response to victims in Haiti
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI praised the rapid and generous response from the international community toward the people of Haiti and the bravery of all those who engaged in on-the-ground rescue efforts. He also pledged that the Catholic Church would continue to help those in need build a brighter future. The pope’s comments came in two telegrams sent Jan. 16 in the wake of the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, Jan. 12, leaving at least 100,000 dead and an estimated 3 million people injured or homeless. The Vatican published the telegrams Jan. 25. In a telegram addressed to Archbishop Louis Kebreau of CapHaitien, president of the Haitian bishops’ conference, the pope praised “the extremely rapid mobilization of the international community” and the church in response to the crisis. The church was going to continue to bring emergency relief to those in need and help “patiently rebuild devastated areas,” he wrote. The telegram also included the pope’s condolences and “deep sadness” for the death of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince, who died when
the impact of the quake hurled him from a balcony. The pope prayed for all those who lost their lives, including men and women religious, priests and seminarians. He asked that in this “moment of darkness” Mary would guide everyone to overcome any sense of “isolation and ‘every man for himself’ with solidarity.” In a telegram to Haitian President Rene Preval, Pope Benedict assured all those struck by “this frightening catastrophe” of his prayers. He expressed his hopes that the generosity being shown toward Haiti would continue and would reach and offer relief to those in need. May those affected by the quake “find comfort in knowing the entire international community is concretely taking care of them,” he wrote. “I deeply appreciate the commitment by all those, from Haiti and abroad, who are doing everything possible to look for and help survivors, sometimes putting their own lives at risk,” the pope wrote. He assured Preval that the Catholic Church, through its various organizations and institutions, “will remain at the side of the people struck by this adversity” and will help them rediscover the possibility of a better future.
Fourth-graders at St. Leo School in Winston-Salem were studying the Psalms recently when the subject of Haiti came up. Soon the students were writing prayers for Haiti that combined petition, thanksgiving and praise. One prayerful example is included above.
cns photo by shann on stapleton, reuters
Children wait in line to receive meals being distributed by a Sikh humanitarian group in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 24. The Haitian government said as many as 1.5 million people were left homeless by the catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake.
8 The Catholic News & Herald
from the cover
Marching for the dignity of all human life MARCH, from page 1
Another 75,000 people joined the Virtual March for Life, an online initiative sponsored by the Americans United for Life Action. Most of the people who participated in the March for Life in the nation’s capital weren’t born before 1973 when abortion was legalized in the U.S. Many of them can’t vote right now. Yet, as they marched from the National Mall up Capitol Hill they made their voices heard. Youth groups and parishioners from churches around the Diocese of Charlotte were among those speaking out for the unborn. One group made the sixteen-hour round trip on a bus sponsored by the Baby Bottle fundraiser of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte. Alberto Castro, a teen from the St. Vincent de Paul youth group, was returning to the national march for the second time. “I believe that abortion is wrong…it is wrong killing a life. I stand for life, not against it….(Abortionists) are killing a baby and they (babies) have no voice…it should be illegal, especially in America, one of the best countries in the world,” Castro said. Ruben Tamayo, youth minister at St. Vincent de Paul Church, hopes the youth from his parish get “a feeling of solidarity with their fellow Catholics to realize that they are part of something very beautiful, very right and much bigger than any one of us.” Youth ministries from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury, Annunciation Church in Albemarle and the Cathedral
January 29, 2010
of St. Patrick brought teens and chaperones. Paul McNulty, a seminarian for the Diocese of Charlotte who is in the process of completing his pastoral year at Sacred Heart Church, also accompanied the group. “This is my fifth year attending the March for Life,” said McNulty. He served the altar at two pro-life masses at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; the opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life and the Mass for the Day of Penance offered by North Carolina Bishops, The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte and The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh. Chris Beal, director of religious education and youth minister for Sacred Heart Church, led the group of 47 teens, 32 of them from his parish, for the tenth straight year. “I don’t think a lot of them get the opportunity to experience something on this large a scale, so we bring them up here to see how many people abortion affects so they can see that they can physically do something about it. They can pray, they can join forces with people all over the U.S., they can do something about it,” Beal said. Megan Mastro, a teen from Sacred Heart Church, said she came to the march for the third year because “aborting babies is evil and we want to try to stop that….There is no point in having an abortion.” Churches from the Smoky Mountain vicariate participated as well. “In our group, we had people from St. Francis of Assisi Church in Franklin; Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva; and St. John the Evangelist Church in Waynesville,” said Julie Tastinger, coordinator for St. Francis of Assisi Respect Life committee. “We range in
age from 1 to 81, with 19 people 18 years or younger.” One group of youth along C o n s t i t u t i o n Av e n u e c h a n t e d enthusiastically, “We love babies, yes we do. We love babies, how ‘bout you?!” Others aiming a personal message at President Barak Obama chanted, “Obama! Obama! Your mama chose life!” Colorful signs, banners, scarves, hats and stickers promoting a “culture of life” were everywhere. Seizing the opportunity to address the current health care debate, which is marked by issues surrounding the federal funding of abortions, many signs in the crowd read, “Abortion is not health care.” Bill Muccio, a parishioner of St. Therese Church in Mooresville, brought a 7-foot banner that read, “Pray To End Abortion,” a 40 Days for Life slogan which he and Ron Fischer, a parishioner of St. Ann Church in Charlotte, carried in the March for Life. The group accompanying them from the Diocese of Charlotte wore yellow scarves to show solidarity and prayed the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary as they marched up Constitution Avenue. To m a n d H e a t h e r M a r t i n , parishioners of St. Mark Church in Huntersville, brought their seven children to the march. Their eldest son, Zachary, 15, helped lead the rosary and Hannah, 6, carried a sign that read “Protect the Unborn.” Grandparents Allen and Gini Bond, also parishioners of St. Mark Church, brought the six eldest of their 16 grandchildren to participate in the March for Life events. “We came with our own children many, many years ago, and now we are coming with their children….I am sad to think we have been doing this for 30 years,” said Gini Bond. “If anything, what we are doing, we are raising a generation who believes in the sanctity of life. When I started out, young people were not strong in understanding the sanctity of life….
photo by sueann howell
Father Patrick Winslow, pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Tryon, NC, holds his nephew, Jack, during the March for Life Jan. 22. Now, look at all the young people…. So now what we are doing is raising them to understand that only God gives life and no one else can take it away,” Bond added. Her grandson, AJ Ohlhaut, 12, a parishioner of St. Ann Church in Charlotte, illustrated her point. “Abortion is the worst evil in America today, and we want to show the government that not everyone in America wants abortion….If people are pro-life, they ought to show it.” Prior to the march, Maggi Nadol, director of the respect life program of the Diocese of Charlotte, handed out stickers that read, “All Life Is Precious.” Bishop Peter Jugis, who was also present at the march commented, “I was happy to see the Diocese of Charlotte so well represented in Washington again this year. It is essential for all of us to continue to be a visible, public witness to the sanctity of human life. We all must work to bring about the fullest protection of the law for the child in the womb.” To see more images from the March for Life events in Washington, D.C., visit www.charlottediocese.org and select “event photos.”
photos by sueann howell
(From left) Teens rest in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother in the lower level of the Basilica of the National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception where they spent the night before the March for Life; St. Vincent de Paul Church youth group members march up Constitution Avenue Jan. 22.
January 29, 2010
from the cover
Local bishops concelebrate Masses in nation’s capital MASSES, from page 1
priests, 65 deacons, more than 550 seminarians, and 50 altar servers. “Sisters and brothers, we are gathered by Christ in this magnificent Marian basilica to keep vigil, as on every January 21st we pray and focus our expectations on tomorrow’s march, an event that has brought us together for many years,” said Cardinal DiNardo in his homily. Looking out over the crowd of 11,000 people, the majority of whom were youth, Cardinal DiNardo continued, “So many young people….What an acclamation of grace…a sure mark of infectious joy…a sign of life.” Addressing the common problems faced in today’s society he stated, “There are some in our culture and even in our country of cultural elites who think that human civil institutions or some given human subject bestow the right to life. No, not any of us bestow the right to life. We can only recognize the right to life, uphold it, defend it and cherish its beauty.” Citing Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas In Veritate,” Cardinal DiNardo shared that the Holy Father “has written that openness to life is at the center of true human development
for individuals, for peoples and nations. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for our genuine human good.” Listening to Cardinal DiNardo’s homily were religious communities of women and men, some of whom were seated in a special section on the steps at the foot of the main altar just below him as he delivered his remarks. Sister Donatella and Sister Mary Attila of the Handmaids of Reparation from Nativity Church in the Diocese of Arlington, Va. were in attendance and have been coming to the vigil Mass and the March for Life for 20 years. “We just love to come here because this is tremendous witness we experience, especially with the young people,” said Sister Donatella. “Just to see so many young people here…there is a hope for the future, a hope for the Church. Their values are there because they come from a pro-life view,” she added. Also packed into the basilica, fourpeople deep in every aisle and crammed into every nook of the church, were the laity – men, women and children of what seemed to be every age and race, gathered to bear witness to the sanctity of life. Molly Rusciolelli, 13, a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Charlotte gave her reason for attending
the Mass and the march and why she wanted to be a witness for the sanctity of life. “I hope that (people) change their hearts and realize that people are killing babies, and babies are humans, no matter how small they are.” The following day, Jan. 22, multiple Masses were celebrated at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to mark the Day of Penance for violations to the dignity of the human person and the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S . The Mass for North Carolina was celebrated by The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte and concelebrated by The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh on the main altar for more than 3,000 worshipers. Father Christopher Roux, rector of the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Charlotte, served as the master of ceremonies. Priests from around both dioceses concelebrated the Mass, with deacons and seminarians from both dioceses also participating. Father Patrick Winslow, pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Tryon, brought seven of his parish youth to serve for the North Carolina Mass and gave them a tour of the basilica beforehand. “I spent summers here studying canon law,” said Father Winslow. “It’s fun to show them around to see where I was.…I also spent six years here back in the ‘90s…I’ve spent a good deal of my life here at the Catholic
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University of America.” More than 3,000 people attended the Mass. During the North Carolina Mass Bishop Burbidge addressed the crowd in his homily: “On this anniversary of the fatal decision legalizing abortion in our country, we can almost hear the voice of many children in the womb crying out ‘We need help, we need prayers.’ They make this plea because their lives are not protected since the matter of welcoming a child into the world can legally be reduced to a choice. This extremely sad reality has resulted in millions and millions of abortions here in our own country.” “Today in a special way we respond. We gather as God’s children to pray for, to witness on behalf of the unborn. We march together with Jesus leading us with his truth and with his peace so we can clearly and boldly say, ‘The evil of abortion must end!’” He then encouraged all present to make this witness to life a daily calling. Bishop Jugis commented, “Our coming together at Mass strengthens our resolve to be a witness to the Gospel of Life. We draw courage from our communion with Jesus to speak up for the innocent, weak and vulnerable little ones.” At the conclusion of the Mass, thousands of North Carolinians loaded on buses and headed to the National Mall to join the March for Life, which was estimated to number more than 300,000 voices defending the right to life.
photos by sueann howell
(From top left) Transitional deacon Lucas Rossi of the Diocese of Charlotte during the opening Mass procession; Sister Donatella and Nancy Gogokevitch from the Diocese of Arlington, Va. at the vigil Mass in the basilica; (bottom) Bishop Peter Jugis elevates the Eucharist during the North Carolina Mass on Jan. 22.
January 29, 2010
10 The Catholic News & Herald
A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more
cns photos courtesy of harpercollins
Geeta Anand, pictured in an undated photo, is the author of “The Cure” (shown right), the book on which the motion picture “Extraordinary Measures” is based.
Father’s quest to save children leads to movie
WASHINGTON (CNS) — When Wall Street Journal reporter Geeta Anand met John Crowley and his family in 2001 she felt a certain kinship. Anand’s daughters were close in age to two of the Crowleys’ three children. And the Crowley family, like Anand, is Catholic. But Megan and Patrick Crowley, the younger children of John and Aileen Crowley, had a rare illness called Pompe disease that was slowly killing them. The story of John Crowley’s obsession with finding a treatment that would keep his sick children alive became a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal and, in 2004, a book called “The Cure.” A movie based on the story, called “Extraordinary Measures,” premiered nationwide Jan. 22. “I just thought there was something so moving about a dad trying so hard,” said Anand in a telephone interview from Mumbai, India, where she is now based for the Journal. Although the film makes no reference to the family’s faith, Anand said John Crowley was “quite intensely” Catholic. “Even when the kids were sick he went to church every single day,” she said. “He drew a lot of inspiration from his parish priest,” who had been married before his ordination but “lost his whole family in a car accident,” she added. Crowley, portrayed in the movie
by Brendan Fraser, was a classic overachiever who attended the U.S. Naval Academy and Georgetown University as an undergraduate, then earned a law degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School. But when his daughter Megan, then almost 2, was near death from pneumonia in 1998, Crowley felt helpless. In the book Anand described him this way: “From his years as a devout Catholic, John looked in his heart for what he could hang on to now. He’d been an altar boy. He still had the second-grade CCD book he’d used in preparing for first Communion the year his dad had died. He’d kept his religious faith in the face of that monumental loss — or perhaps because of it. ... “Religion was how you lived that life you’d been randomly given,” Anand wrote of Crowley’s beliefs. “It was, he believed, about choosing to do things that are good, even when life delivers the worst.” Anand, who had not seen the movie at the time of the interview, had read the screenplay and found that although there were differences, “it stuck to the spirit of the story.” “I thought it was heroic of them not to make a real Hollywood ending,” she said.
Pope asks priests to get online, spread the Gospel VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a message embracing the evangelizing potential of digital media, Pope Benedict XVI asked priests around the world to use Web sites, videos and blogs as tools of pastoral ministry. “The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more St. Paul’s exclamation: ‘Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel,’” the pope said in his message for the 2010 celebration of World Communications Day. “Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word,” he said. The pope’s message, released at the Vatican Jan. 23, was tailored to the current Year for Priests, focusing on the theme: “The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: New media at the service of the Word.” World Communications Day will be celebrated May 16 in most dioceses. The pope said that while priests should not abandon traditional methods of pastoral interaction, they cannot afford to pass up the opportunities offered by digital media. He said “the recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry.” For priests to exercise their proper role as leaders in communities, they must learn to express themselves in the “digital marketplace,” the pope said. “Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, Web sites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and
catechesis,” he said. The pope emphasized, however, that the church’s role is not simply to fill up space on the Web. Its overriding aim is to express in the digital world “God’s loving care for people in Christ,” not just as an artifact from the past or a theory, but as something concrete and engaging, he said. Because digital media cross over religious and cultural boundaries, the church’s presence requires sensitivity “to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute,” he said. In order for priests to effectively use new media, formation programs should teach them how to use these technologies in a competent and appropriate way, the papal message said. This formation in digital media should be guided by sound theology and priestly spirituality, it said. “Priests present in the world of digital communications should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ,” the pope said. In this way, they help give a “soul” to the Web, he added. Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the message once again illustrated the pope’s mainly favorable view of new media. “The pope is aware of the limits of new technologies, but he wants to make the point that these new means of communication play a positive role, both in the wider society and in the church,” the archbishop said in a briefing with reporters. Archbishop Celli said the message doesn’t mean that the Vatican now expects every priest to open a blog or a Web site, but rather to make appropriate use as possibilities present themselves. He said that task will probably be easier for younger priests, who are already more involved in new media.
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January 29, 2010
Christians must unite, pope says ROME (CNS) — Divided Christians can and must be united in meeting the modern challenges of secularization, threats to human life, environmental destruction, war and injustice, Pope Benedict XVI said. “It is precisely the desire to proclaim Christ to others and bring the world his message of reconciliation that makes one experience the contradiction of Christian divisions,” the pope said Jan. 25 as he closed the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Leaders of Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant communities in Rome joined the pope for the annual prayer service at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, offering prayers and proclaiming the readings. The Week of Prayer 2010 focused on the common Christian vocation to witness to Christ in the world. The obvious question, the pope said, is: “How, in fact, can unbelievers accept the proclamation of the Gospel if Christians, while all referring to the same Christ, are in disagreement among themselves?” Unity is “a particularly important
condition for greater credibility and effectiveness,” the pope said. “While we are on the path toward full communion, we are called to offer a common witness in the face of the increasingly complex challenges of our time, such as secularization and indifference, relativism and hedonism, delicate ethical themes regarding the beginning and end of life, the limits of science and technology and dialogue with other religious traditions,” he said. The pope told the Christian leaders that they also must work more closely on “safeguarding creation, the promotion of the common good and peace, the defense of the centrality of the human person (and) the commitment to defeating the miseries of our time, such as hunger, poverty, illiteracy and the unequal distribution of goods.” Pope Benedict said working for Christian unity is not a specialty to which a few individuals or a few churches are called, but rather it is part of fulfilling Christ’s will for all those who follow him. Unity is something for which all Christians must work and pray, he said.
cns photo courtesy of melissa ohden
Melissa Ohden of Sioux City, Iowa, is pictured with her 2-year-old daughter, Olivia. Ohden survived a saline abortion her own mother obtained six months into her pregnancy with Melissa in 1977. Ohden, who said she recently forgave her mother for the failed abortion, spoke Jan. 17 at an annual pro-life rally at St. Joseph Middle School in Appleton, Wis.
Abortion survivor reflects
cns photo by paul haring
Pope Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate vespers closing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome Jan. 25.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (CNS) — It was 1977 when Melissa Ohden’s biological mother, a university student in Iowa, tried to end her six-month pregnancy by a saline abortion. The abortion failed and Ohden survived. She was soon adopted and, even though her pediatricians believed she would suffer lifelong complications from the abortion attempt, Ohden had no long-term effects. Today, a mother herself, she speaks about her experience, her biological parents and their families, her adoptive parents and her own daughter, to pro-life groups around the country. Ohden’s intent with her public speaking is to give a face and a voice to those children who experienced abortion, as she did, but did not survive. It’s something that resonates with her audiences. “Every time I go speak somewhere,” Ohden said, “I am so surprised by the number of people who line up to speak to me. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters, to tell me their story and tell me how much they are hurting because of an abortion — they are missing out on that person in their lives.” This is also why Ohden founded For Olivia’s Sake, a nonprofit organization that “seeks to peacefully raise awareness of the intergenerational impact of abortion on men, women, children, families and communities.” Olivia is her 2-year-old daughter’s name. The name came to Ohden when she was just a few days pregnant in August 2007. She was on Capitol Hill in Washington and preparing to speak when the name came to her. She was thinking about olive branches extended in peace. “Peace begins in the womb,” she said. Olivia was born in the very hospital
where Ohden’s life almost ended in abortion. It was a tough decision for Ohden, who almost ran out of the birthing classes there and who had always held her breath “every time I drove past the place.” But it was all part of God’s plan for her healing. Although anger and fear resurface at times, Ohden said she cannot remain angry with her birth parents. Nor can she judge them. “No matter what decision they made in regard to my life, they are my biological parents, and a part of me,” she said. “To reject them would be to reject myself, to hate them would be to hate myself. They are only human, and humans make some terrible mistakes, but it doesn’t necessarily make us terrible people.” In fact, through what she acknowledges as God’s grace and guidance, she has been able to feel sorrow for her biological parents. “I can only imagine the amount of pain and suffering that they went through in their lives as a result of this,” she said. “I believe that their hardships far overshadow my own.” And she adds that God’s grace continues to lead her, this time toward the Catholic Church. “I’m considering a conversion,” said Ohden, who was raised a Methodist. “I listen to Catholic radio and all I watch is Catholic TV. I feel that connection at a deep level.” Part of the connection goes back to the hospital where her life almost ended before it began. “There was a priest who prayed outside the hospital where I was to be aborted,” she said. “And I know he saved my life.”
12 The Catholic News & Herald
January 29, 2010
around the diocese
Knight of Malta honored Respect Life Mass â€“ Greensboro
Bishop Peter J. Jugis consecrates the Precious Blood during the Respect Life Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro Jan. 20. Bishop Jugis, priests of the Greensboro vicariate, deacons and laity gathered for the annual Mass to pray for the safe delivery of the unborn and an end to abortion on demand. courtesy photo
Harry Grim of Charlotte stands with Bishop Emeritus William Curlin after
A check for the homeless
receiving the Pro Merito Militenese by the Sovereign Council of the Knights of Malta. Grim was cited in the award for establishing the Knights of Malta in the Diocese of Charlotte. The knights have a twofold mission of defense of the Catholic faith and charity toward the poor. Grim, who spent his secular career as an attorney, helped establish a ministry for homeless men in Charlotte in 1996. He also served as chairman of the Mercy Hospital Foundation and was a member of the Charlotte Catholic High School Foundation. Grim also found time over the years to be a volunteer counselor on a suicide prevention hotline.
First confession in Salisbury courtesy photo
Myla P. Erwin of the HOPE team receives a check from Vinny Cuomo of the Franciscan Helping Hands program in Guilford County on Jan. 21 in Greensboro. Erwinâ€™s HOPE team works to help homeless people be restored to safe, supportive housing. During the past year, the HOPE team has managed to help over 100 people in need of shelter.
Classifieds courtesy photo
Father John Putnam, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury, talks with students at a First Reconciliation service held Jan. 16 at the church. The 69 youths who have been attending preparation classes took part in the sacrament.
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January 29, 2010
in our schools
The Catholic News & Herald 13
Where in the world?
Seventh-grade student Dean Gamble, center, smiles recently with other finalists of the geography bee at St. Michael School in Gastonia. Students at the school competed in the bee on Jan. 20. The National Geographic Bee, an educational program of the National Geographic Society, is a nationwide geography competition designed to encourage the teaching and study of geography. Winners go on to state and national level competitions. Also pictured are Michael Purello, left, the third place finisher, and Jason Osemeka, the second place winner.
Join us and schools across the nation as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week
January 31February 6 This week, schools across America open their doors and join together in a special celebration of how Catholic schools pay “Dividends for Life.” Families and communities can count on Catholic schools to instill in students the faith, knowledge, morals, and discipline that will enable them to fulfill their future roles as committed citizens, productive employees and effective leaders.
We’d like to invite you to discover more about the special role our schools play in the positive growth of our children.
D IOCESE O F CHAR LOT TE C ATH O LIC SCH OO L S
For information on our schools, visit our website: www.charlottediocese.org/catholicschools
January 29, 2010
14 The Catholic News & Herald
A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints
Raising our poverty awareness Of the many adjectives that have been associated with poverty, one of the most appropriate ones is “complex.” To a c c u r a t e l y d e c o n s t r u c t poverty, we must first distinguish between situational poverty and generational poverty. Situational poverty occurs as a result of often unexpected circumstances such as job loss, disease, divorce, death, disasters, etc. Conversely, people living in generational poverty are those who are part of two or more generations living in poverty and who have adapted their lifestyles to accommodate all that goes with that legacy. The response to poverty in each of the two groups is markedly different. Individuals who have never experienced poverty before their unexpected crisis are often able to draw upon past experiences (e.g., job search skills), and relationships with family and friends not currently living in poverty who can provide various resources to assist in the reclaiming of their prior economic status. Generational poverty presents itself as a kind of trap where daily decisions and actions to just make it through this day or this week are repeated frequently. Moving out of generational poverty requires help and support. Perhaps a mentor intervenes with compassion and encouragement, or resources are made available that enable different choices. For example, self-help home ownership programs that foster asset development or micro-loan programs to assist the start of a small business may be just enough to begin the climb out of poverty. January, designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as “Poverty in America Awareness Month,” is an opportunity to bring attention to the fact that in our nation of great wealth, far too many people struggle against poverty. In this 2010 calendar year, Catholic Social Services (CSS), the Charlotte diocesan affiliate of the national Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) network, is joining with its co-affiliate CCUSA agencies around the nation to focus on how we Catholics can reduce and alleviate the effects of poverty in the U.S. This year is also CCUSA’s centennial anniversary. CSS offers a variety of programs to help individuals and families address the challenges of both situational and generational poverty. All CSS regional offices, for example, have large food assistance programs. Whether one is fighting poverty for a short time due to job loss or some other unexpected crisis or engaged in a life-long and desperate struggle to make ends meet, having access to food is critical. The USCCB’s anti-poverty program, the Catholic Campaign for Human
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C Readings: Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8 Psalm 138:1-5, 7-8 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Luke 5:1-11
Our sacred calling
MARY JANE BRUTON guest columnist
Development (CCHD), provides both local and national grants to community organizations that try to break the cycle of generational poverty. In the Diocese of Charlotte, through the CSS Office of Justice and Peace CCHD Program, eleven local grants were given in 2009 to organizations fighting poverty in the western half of our state. For example, the Neighborhood Good Samaritan Center, a 2009 CCHD grant recipient, works with refugees and legal immigrants facing lowincome challenges. It holds classes to train adults in job search and interview skills and canvassing the community for job openings. A testament to the Center ’s effectiveness is the fact that the Center’s Executive Director, Patrice Ognodo, was named by the Charlotte Observer newspaper as one of its ten “Heroes of 2009.” Poverty will always be a complex problem, but the U.S. Catholic Church’s extensive efforts to address poverty through its many CCUSA affiliates and through programs such as CCHD do make a difference in the lives of millions. As we go forward into this new year, let us pray for a deeper appreciation of the plight of those who are poor as well as for the good works of our Church that seek to ease that plight. Mary Jane Bruton, an employee of Catholic Social Services, is the Diocesan CCHD Director and Refugee Resettlement Office Community Relations Coordinator. Poverty* Rates - Usa & North Carolina For all ages, usa: 13.2 % (~39.1 million people) For all ages, NC: 14.6 % (~1.3 million people) For ages < 18, usa: 18.2% (~ 13.24 million children) For ages < 18, NC: 19.9%, (~ .44 million children) by region: Northeast: 11.6% Midwest: 12.4 % south: 14.3% West: 13.5% by Gender: Males: 12%
WORD TO LIFE Sunday Scripture Readings: feb. 7, 2010
For Native born usa Citizens: 12.6% Foreign born usa Citizens: 10.2% For Non-usa Citizens: 23.3% _____________________________ * Poverty designation is determined by the number of people who fall under family income threshold levels, with thresholds set by family size and age of family members. For example, the poverty income threshold for a family with 2 adults and 2 children is $22,570. Created by the Office of Justice Peace, CSS Source: 2008 US Census Bureau, American Community Survey and Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates
SHARON K. PERKINS cns columnist
I’ve never been in the presence of royalty, but I recall watching the television coverage some years ago of the marriage of Prince Charles of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer. The royal entourage alone was impressive, as was the sight of thousands of subjects lining the parade route for hours, waiting to catch a glimpse of the bridal party. By the time the carriage appeared, excitement was at a fever pitch. Although the parade came and went relatively quickly, no doubt the spectators excitedly recounted the experience to their family and friends for months afterward, as if their very presence at the parade imbued them with some share of the royal couple’s celebrity. The prophet Isaiah in today’s reading recounts a similar but far more extraordinary experience. In an ecstatic vision, he finds himself in the presence of the Lord of hosts, surrounded by a heavenly entourage of seraphim crying out in praise.
Isaiah is so awed by the sight that he immediately feels overcome by his own sinful inadequacy. But with one angelic touch of an ember to his lips, he is not only purged of his sin but empowered to offer himself as a divine messenger — a mission that has had tremendous and lasting importance for God’s people to this day. In today’s Gospel, Peter’s lack of faith and his experience of Jesus’ authority to overcome that failing are equally overwhelming — so much so that he, with his partners James and John, leaves everything to follow Jesus. St. Paul, the former persecutor, recognizes himself as undeserving of forgiveness, but “by the effective grace of God” he leaves behind his old life to preach the saving word of the Gospel of Christ to everyone within earshot. We , t h e d i s c i p l e s o f J e s u s today, are the beneficiaries of their Spirit-filled response. It’s one thing to stand around the office water cooler and recount one’s brush with celebrity. It is quite another to share one’s faith in Christ with courage and enthusiasm. (Pope John Paul II called this impulse in our age the “new evangelization.”) Yet we — touched by the embers of his holiness and empowered by the Holy Spirit — are given numerous opportunities to do so in the course of each day, whether to strangers whose names we will never know or to members of our own families. It is the legacy of the prophets and the apostles — and it is our sacred calling. Questions: What keeps you from being a courageous and enthusiastic evangelizer? How can you seek the divine ember of God’s touch to overcome this obstacle?
WEEKLY SCRIPTURE SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 6 Sunday (Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19, 1 Corinthians 12:31— 13:13, Luke 4:21-30; Monday, 2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30, 16:5-13, Mark 5:1-20; Tuesday (The Presentation of the Lord), Malachi 3:1-4, Hebrews 2:14-18, Luke 2:22-40; Wednesday (St. Blaise, St. Ansgar), 2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17, Mark 6:1-6; Thursday, 1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12, Mark 6:7-13; Friday, Sirach 47:2-11, Mark 6:14-29; Saturday (St. Paul Miki and Companions), 1 Kings 3:4-13, Mark 6:30-34. SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 7 – FEBRUARY 13 Sunday (Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Isaiah 6:1-8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 5:1-11; Monday (St. Jerome Emiliani, St. Josephine Bakhita), 1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13, Mark 6:53-56; Tuesday, 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Mark 7:1-13; Wednesday (St. Scholastica), 1 Kings 10:110, Mark 7:14-23; Thursday (Our Lady of Lourdes), 1 Kings 11:4-13, Mark 7:24-30; Friday, 1 Kings 11:29-32, Mark 7:31-37; Saturday, 1 Kings 12:26-32, 13:33-34, Mark 8:1-10.
January 29, 2010
The Catholic News & Herald 15
Why abortion breaks all the commandments Abortion does not only break the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” It breaks all the commandments. The First Commandment is “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides me.” Pope John Paul II once wrote that to think we are the ones who decide whether a child should be created is to say that God is not God. At the root of the contraceptive mentality, and at the root of the so-called “pro-choice” mentality, is idolatry. We place our choices before God’s choices. We break the first of all the commandments. The Second Commandment is “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Groups like the “Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” claim that God’s word allows abortion. This is a distortion of God’s word and an abuse of his name. We are called instead to honor the name of God by honoring the lives he creates. The Third Commandment requires us to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day. Scripture tells us the Lord rested on the seventh day. This was because he was foretelling the Sabbath day that Jesus would rest in the tomb after his work of offering the sacrifice of his passion and death. On that day the Lord bid the dead to come with him into life eternal. Keeping holy the Lord’s Day, then, reminds us that God is on the side of human life. The Fourth Commandment is “Honor your father and mother.” The Lord worked through our parents to bring us into being. This commandment points to the dignity of human procreation. It also points to the profound privilege and responsibility that parents have in being open to life and in being
ready to protect the lives that God entrusts to their care. Those who claim a right to abortion are violating the fourth commandment. No parent is the owner of his or her children. God alone owns and rules human life. The Fifth Commandment states, “You shall not kill.” The commandment against directly, deliberately killing a baby or any other innocent person is absolute. From this commandment comes the prohibition on abortion, at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason whatsoever. The Sixth Commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery.” This commandment prohibits us from abusing the gifts of human sexuality and marriage — and with good reason. When we speak to our nation about the tens of millions of children ripped apart by abortion, let’s challenge them to realize that one of the ways we arrived at that holocaust is that we ripped apart the very meaning and purpose of human sexuality. The Seventh Commandment declares, “You shall not steal.” Whenever we violate the right to life, we steal. We rob the person of what is his — the recognition of his rights, the protection of his life. The Eighth Commandment declares, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” The culture of death violates this commandment in a profound way. By allowing court decisions like Roe vs. Wade that says, “the word person…does not include the unborn,” society bears false witness against the unborn. It is a lie. Abortionists go even further and
Guest Column FATHER FRANK PAVONE guest columnist
call our unborn brothers and sisters names like “parasites,” or “products of conception” or “medical waste.” They bear false witness. The Ninth and Tenth Commandments forbid us to covet what belongs to our neighbor, whether it be his spouse or his possessions. This commandment, in other words, requires us to limit our desires by respecting the boundaries between what is ours and what isn’t. Some, for instance, will justify abortion because the mother has to get on with her life. But so does the child. Some will justify it because the mother has freedom not to be burdened. But so does the child. And in denying that the child has the same freedom she claims to have, she destroys the meaning and foundation of her own. God does not simply give us “rules and regulations.” He gives us himself. All his teachings and commandments reflect who he is, and for the same reason, they all hold together in an organic unity — like the body itself — and every commandment in some way includes every other commandment. James 2:10 states, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” In some way, then, abortion breaks all of the commandments. It violates love, which sums up the commandments. Father Frank Pavone is the National Director of Priests for Life.
A Christian response I burst into tears as I unfolded my newspaper. The earthquake in Haiti was on the front page. There was a heartbreaking photo of a little girl in a plaid skirt, probably her school uniform. Her lifeless body lay crushed under the rubble of a collapsed building. She was pinned between fallen concrete and what looked like a school desk. Next to her was boy, digging his way out of the rubble with a piece of rebar. He had been trying to rescue someone else. These innocent children were victims of a horrible earthquake. Later that day I heard televangelist Pat Robertson, host of “The 700 Club,” blame the Haitian people for their own suffering. They were not innocent victims in his mind but heirs of a “pact with the devil” that they made to free themselves from French slavery more than 200 years ago. “True story,” said Robertson. Excuse me? What did he say? How does he know such a thing? On what basis can he claim such an absurd statement to be “true”? This is not the first time that Robertson has blamed the victim. He
Parish Diary FATHER PETER J. DALY cns columnist
blamed Hurricane Katrina on America’s abortion policies. The real pact with the devil was made not by the slaves who threw off injustice; it was made by their owners who dragged them to Haiti in chains. Haiti is one of the most Christian nations on earth. Ninety-six percent identify themselves as Christians. Eighty percent are Catholics. Robertson’s statement was an affront to all real Christians. It was an affront to the God of Jesus. Most of all it was an affront to the innocent victims in Haiti like the little girl pictured on the front page of my newspaper. May she be welcomed into heaven by God who loves her!
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An ‘authentic giant of holiness’ The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Calling St. Francis of Assisi “an authentic giant of holiness,” Pope Benedict XVI said the 13th-century saint continues to be a model for living simply, respecting God’s creation and entering into dialogue with people of other religions. Continuing a series of talks about theologians and saints of the Middle Ages at his weekly general audience Jan. 27, the pope said St. Francis offers a clear demonstration that “the saints are the best interpreters of the Gospel” for people of every age. St. Francis dedicated himself to living the Gospel in a radical way, preaching its message far and wide and renewing the whole church, the pope said. In 1219, St. Francis went to Egypt and met with the Muslim leader, Sultan Malik al-Kamil. “I want to underline this episode in the life of St. Francis because of its great relevance. At a time when there was a conflict between Christianity and Islam, Francis — armed only with his faith and his personal meekness — successfully followed the path of dialogue,” the pope said. Among the participants at the audience was a delegation of 79 Jewish, Muslim and Christian students and teachers from the cross-border towns of Eliat, Israel, and Aqabat, Jordan, who were in Rome for a performance of dance and theater about dialogue. Another lesson St. Francis can teach Christians today, the pope said, is a proper attitude toward money and material comforts. Although born into a wealthy family, Francis’ conversion led him to understand how living the Gospel meant having “a sober lifestyle and a detachment from material goods,” the pope said. St. Francis’ continuing popularity also is due to his sensitivity to the work of God through creation, he said. “Love for other people and for all God’s creatures is born from love of Christ,” the pope said. St. Francis’ message is “very relevant today,” the pope said, because human interventions are sustainable “only if they respect creation and do not damage the environment.” “Francis reminds us that God’s wisdom and benevolence is displayed in creation; nature is a language which speaks to us of God and through which God speaks to us,” Pope Benedict said.
January 29, 2010
The Catholic News & Herald 16