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February 19, 2010

The Catholic News & Herald 1

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Perspectives Called to freedom: Dominican nuns image the Church on ‘Oprah’ | Page 14

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI February 19, 2010

IHM gift is largest ever for diocese

Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte

“These students are a gift to us all.”

See IHM, page 5

no. 14

Extraordinary program to expand in Catholic schools

— Linda Cherry, diocesan schools superintendent

Special needs students head to Holy Trinity Middle this fall

PATRICIA GUILFOYLE Editor HIGH POINT — A High Point businessman and his wife have pledged $2 million — the largest single gift ever to the Diocese of Charlotte — to Immaculate Heart of Mary Church’s $10 million campaign to build a new school and parish life center. Mark Norcross, president of Mark David Furniture and one of the leading furniture and hospitality executives in North Carolina, and his wife Rena are both parishioners at IHM, and their charitable foundation emphasizes spirituality and education. “The IHM project dovetails perfectly with our core values and we are blessed to be a part of this project,” Mark Norcross said in a statement. The effort to build the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Life and Mark and Rena Norcross Education Center, under way for about a year, is at 80 percent of its goal because of this gift. The 73,000-square-foot center will nearly double the capacity of the school, and bring all of the parish’s activities together on one campus, said IHM’s pastor, Father John Kelly. The campus has been split since the new church was built in 2001 at Johnson Street and Skeet Club Road, while the school remained near downtown at Montlieu Avenue and Centennial Street. The parish has more than doubled


SUEANN HOWELL Special to The Catholic News & Herald

photo by SueAnn


CHARLOTTE — The Learning Language Stimulation Program at St. Ann School is a gift for parents and their special needs children. For these children, it’s the first time they have felt comfortable in school. They are learning, talking and smiling, making eye contact and interacting with fellow students at lunch, recess, Mass and class. They get the opportunity to just be kids. It all began when a handful of Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools’ students, teachers and volunteers started the pilot program at St. Ann School in 2007. It has been so successful that now some of those students are ready to move up, and the program is set to expand this fall to Holy Trinity Middle School.

Susan Gordon, a Language Learning Stimulation Program teacher at St. Ann School, talks with her student, Marilyn Deas-Penman. Marilyn will participate in the new Holy Trinity Middle School LLSP next year.

See PROGRAM, page 16

Students match wits at Academic Games

21 local Catholic students will compete in national championship SUEANN HOWELL Special to The Catholic News & Herald CHARLOTTE — Bring a room full of “thinking kids” together and what do you get? Students competing for spots on the MACS Academic Games National Team and a chance to go to the Academic Games League of America National Championship Tournament. The Academic Games Leagues of America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing “Thinking Kids” of character, excellence and

integrity. Competitions are held throughout the nation, culminating in a National Championship Tournament. On Feb. 5 and 12, 33 students from St. Patrick, St. Gabriel, Our Lady of the Assumption and Holy Trinity Middle schools and additional students from Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy competed in the MACS Academic Games and MRSA Academic Games Regional Tournament, hosted at Our Lady of the Assumption School. Twenty-one students See GAMES, page 16

And the 2010 MACS Academic Games National Team winners are… Elementary Division (grades 4-6)

Middle School Division (grades 7-8)

Uwa Akhere, St. Gabriel Drew Allison, Holy Trinity Middle Christopher Anderson, Holy Trinity Middle Anthony Calderone, Holy Trinity Middle Luke Dorrian, St. Patrick Mary Littlejohn, St. Patrick Michael Marcoux, Holy Trinity Middle Adam Phan, Holy Trinity Middle Victoria Pratt, St. Patrick Luke Santschi, Our Lady of the Assumption Justin Williams, Holy Trinity Middle

Anthony Charlonis, Holy Trinity Middle Kathleen Cona, Holy Trinity Middle Sumner Dudick, Holy Trinity Middle Erin Lisi, Holy Trinity Middle Casey Margerum, Holy Trinity Middle Angeline-Marie Morales, Holy Trinity Middle Robert Morgan, Holy Trinity Middle Meghan Santschi, Holy Trinity Middle Joe Scibelli, Holy Trinity Middle Jonathan Wilson, Holy Trinity Middle

Around the Diocese

Culture Watch

Coming next week

Controversial Roe v. Wade wording removed from draft social studies curriculum after flood of e-mails

Oakland A’s prospect trades uniform for seminary

Catholic Colleges Week will be Feb. 21-27. Look for our coverage in next week’s edition.

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February 19, 2010

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Current and upcoming topics from around the world to your own backyard

Christianity is a relationship, not rules, pope tells seminarians ROME (CNS) — Christianity is not a set of moral rules, but a path to a relationship with God, who is love, Pope Benedict XVI told 190 seminarians studying at seminaries run by the Diocese of Rome. Christians are not so much called to obedience as to accepting God’s love in Jesus and acting in a way that demonstrates how God’s love has transformed them, the pope said Feb. 12 during his evening visit to Rome’s major seminary. Pope Benedict led the students from five seminaries in “lectio divina,” a prayerful reading of a Gospel passage. Without using a prepared text, the pope offered the students a long meditation on the passage from the Gospel of John, and then he joined them for dinner. When Jesus told his disciples that they were not his servants, but his friends, the pope said, he was highlighting the fact that they were not called to a blind

Diocesan planner For more events taking place in the Diocese of Charlotte, visit www.charlottediocese. org/calendarofevents-cn. cns photo by Paul


A tall crucifix and candles are seen on the altar as Pope Benedict XVI elevates the Eucharist during Mass marking World Day of the Sick in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 11. Under Pope Benedict’s pontificate, the crucifix has been placed at the center of the altar as a manifestation of the tradition of praying while facing east, or symbolically facing the Lord.

Pope: Church’s care for sick and infirm an invaluable gift VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The pastoral care of the sick and infirm is a priceless gift the church offers to those who suffer, to their families and to the world, Pope Benedict XVI said. Accepting and offering up one’s suffering along with sincerely and selflessly participating in the suffering of others are all “miracles of love” — signs of God’s love operating within the church, “performing great things through humble and simple people,” the pope said Feb. 11 as he marked World Day of the Sick on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Meeting and blessing sick people and their caregivers during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope said another miracle at work was the presence of God’s grace in the many people who care for those who suffer, offering them the courage to face pain and illness “with just the strength of faith and of hope in the Lord.” “We live a joy that does not forget suffering, but understands it,” he said in his homily. “In this way the ill and those who suffer are, within the church, not just the recipients of care and concern,

but first and foremost protagonists in the pilgrimage of faith and hope” embarked upon by all Christians, he added. Before the Mass, a few hundred people — including many using wheelchairs — processed down the broad boulevard leading to St. Peter’s Basilica. Led by flag twirlers in medieval costume, the procession followed a truck carrying the relics of St. Bernadette Soubirous — the 19th-Century saint who witnessed a number of apparitions of Mary at a grotto outside Lourdes, France. The relics were carried by ushers up the main aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica and placed in front of the altar. The Mass was broadcast live to pilgrims gathered at several Marian shrines around the world, including Lourdes, Fatima in Portugal, and Czestochowa in Poland. The Mass also marked the 25th anniversary of the institution of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry. Pope Benedict said the council was created to help promote “a world better capable of welcoming and healing the sick as people” whose dignity must be respected.

ASHEVILLE VICARIATE ASHEVILLE — The Basilica of St. Lawrence presents Catholics in Western North Carolina, an exhibit at Pack Place Museum Front Art Gallery. This exhibit will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 to March 5. It will be closed Monday. A reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 28. The exhibit will include photos, models and information about the parishes, schools, social service agencies and their influence on western North Carolina. CHARLOTTE VICARIATE MINT HILL — Lenten Seminars with Sister Veronica Grover, St. Luke Church, Family Life Center, 13700 Lawyers Road, 3 to 4:30 p.m Feb. 20, Mar. 6, Mar. 20. Sign up in the brick area or by email to CHARLOTTE — Adult Catechism, St. Patrick Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Road East, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 21. Discussion on intercessory prayer to the Saints and how to have a fruitful Lent. For more information, contact Renee O’Brien at CHARLOTTE — The solemn vespers of Lent, St. Patrick Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Road East, 6 p.m. every Sunday during Lent. Vespers will include a reflection on the seven last words of Christ.

obedience of rules, but to a relationship in which his will would become their will and his love their love. “For us human beings, power is always identified with the ability to destroy, to do evil. But the real meaning of omnipotence, which appears in Christ, is exactly the opposite,” the pope said. In Christ, people see that God loved his human creatures to the point of suffering for them. Jesus also promised his disciples that whatever they asked of God, they would obtain, the pope said. The normal human reaction is “but, no, Lord, that’s not true,” he said, and people can point to the prayers of a mother for a dying child, who dies despite the prayers, or all sorts of sincere requests for good things that don’t appear to be answered. The one thing God always gives in response to a prayer is his love and his joy, the pope said.

CHARLOTTE — Lenten Mission, “Discipleship: A Courageous Step Forward,” presented by Capuchin Father Vincent Fortunato, St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1400 Suther Road, 7 p.m. Feb. 22, 23 and 24. Child care available. Light refreshments following in Aquinas Hall. CHARLOTTE — “Walking on Water,” a talk by Father Patrick Winslow, 7 p.m. Feb. 25, St. Patrick Cathedral, Great Hall, 1621 Dilworth Road East. Father Winslow is the pastor of St. John the Baptist in Tryon and noted lecturer for Catholic Scripture Study. Light refreshments and fellowship following the lecture. The lecture is sponsored by Catholics United for the Faith. For more information, contact Elizabeth Keating at or Mary Sample at or 704-341-9292. CHARLOTTE — Members of CharlotteMecklenburg Police Department present “Reduce Internet Victimization,” St. John Neumann Church, Parish Hall, 8451 Idlewild Road, 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 25. They will educate parents and caregivers about the challenges facing youths on the Internet. For more information, call Shannon Cutler at 704-536-6520. CHARLOTTE — St. Peregrine Healing Prayer Service, St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25. CHARLOTTE — Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Mass hosted by the disABILITY Ministry, St. Gabriel Church, 3016 Providence Road, 5 p.m. Feb. 27. Guests of honor will provide music, share Scripture readings, serve as greeters and assist ushers. For more information, call Mary Kennedy at 704-364-6964. CHARLOTTE — Spiritual Conversations, an important form of group prayer using Scripture, St. Matthew Church, New Life Center 234-235, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 2, April 13, May 4 and June 1. CHARLOTTE — Forty Hours Devotion, “Food for our Journey: Eucharistic stories of faith,” presented by Monsignor John McSweeney, St. John Neumann Church, 8451 Idlewild Road, 7 p.m. March 3 and ending at 7 p.m. March 5. For more information, call 704-536-6520.

february 19, 2010 Volume 19 • Number 14

Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Editor: Patricia Guilfoyle 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:

The Catholic News & Herald, USPC 007-393, is published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, 1123 South Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203, 44 times a year, weekly except for Christmas week and Easter week and every two weeks during June, July and August for $15 per year for enrollees in parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte and $23 per year for all other subscribers. The Catholic News & Herald reserves the right to reject or cancel advertising for any reason deemed appropriate. We do not recommend or guarantee any product, service or benefit claimed by our advertisers. Second-class postage paid at Charlotte NC and other cities. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to The Catholic News & Herald, P.O. Box 37267, Charlotte, NC 28237.

February 19, 2010

The Catholic News & Herald 3

Survey finds signs of hope, challenges among younger Catholics WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNS) — American Catholic adults under 30 share the commitment of older generations to philanthropy and volunteerism, but are more likely to believe that morals “are relative,” according to a new survey commissioned by the Knights of Columbus. The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., conducted the survey Dec. 23-Jan. 4 among 2,243 Americans, including an oversample of 1,006 “millennials” — those aged 18 to 29. The survey asked a wide range of questions about ideology, religious practices and beliefs, life goals and feelings about the nation’s future, comparing the answers across generations and among Catholics in general, practicing Catholics who attend

CHARLOTTE — Support the Unemployed meetings, St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Aquinas Hall, 1400 Suther Road, 10 a.m. Mondays. For more information, contact Brother Doug Soik at 704-549-1607 or GASTONIA VICARIATE BELMONT — Whole community catechesis for adults, Queen of the Apostles Church, MAK Center, 503 N. Main St., 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. March 7 and 14. For details, contact Dennis Teall-Fleming at 704-825-9600, ext. 26, or GASTONIA — Movie showing: The 13th Day, St. Michael Church, 708 St. Michael’s Lane, 6:30 p.m. March 13. GREENSBORO VICARIATE HIGH POINT — Lenten Simplicity Meals of soup and bread, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Gathering Space, 4145 Johnson St., 7:30 p.m. Feb 19, 26, Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26, to share prayer, fasting and almsgiving, with an opportunity to make a donation to the poor and the Stations of the Cross. GREENSBORO — Connect Coffee Fellowship and talk, “Your Marriage: A Marriage Transformed by Grace,” Our Lady of Grace Church, 2205 West Market St., Feb. 24. RSVP to Christine Montes de Oca at GREENSBORO — A matter of balance: managing concerns about falls, St. Pius X Church, Kloster Center, 220 State St., 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays and Fridays Feb. 24 to March 19. Program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels of older adults. Space is limited. For more information, call 336-272-4681. GREENSBORO — A parent’s guide to childhood obesity: what your family needs to know, St. Pius X Church, Kloster Center, 220 State St., 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25. Childcare provided. GREENSBORO — Teen 30-Hour Famine, St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2715 Horse Pen Creek Road, Feb. 27 and 28. Registration forms are available outside the Office of Youth Ministry. (Adult chaperones are needed for this event.)


services at least once a month and Americans in general. Among the survey’s positive findings: — When asked to choose among five long-term life goals, 31 percent of millennials chose “to be spiritual or close to God” as their top goal, the highest among any generation. — Two-thirds (67 percent) of millennials and 71 percent of Catholic millennials said they had volunteered their time in the past 12 months, roughly equal to the percentages among other generations. — A majority of millennials (56 percent)and Catholic millennials (52 percent) had donated money to a charity in the past year. Although the percentages were higher at 67 percent for both Americans in general and American

GREENSBORO — Habitat/Catholic Partnership Workdays, St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2715 Horse Pen Creek Road, 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 25 (interior paint), Feb. 27 (flooring), and March 11 (cabinets). To register, or get more information, contact Trudy Menzzentto at 336-510-1015 or GREENSBORO — St. Pius X School is accepting applications for the 2010-’11 school year. Limited openings available for grades K to eight. For more information, or to schedule a tour, contact Jean Navarro at 336-273-9865, ext. 101, or jnavarro@ HICKORY VICARIATE HICKORY — Charismatic Mass, St. Aloysius Church, Sebastian Chapel, 921 Second St. N.E., 7 p.m. March 4 (English). For more information, call Joan Moran at 828-994-0880. SALISBURY VICARIATE MOORESVILLE — Meet and Greet Social, St. Therese Church, Parish Life Center, 217 Brawley School Road, 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 28. RSVP by 2/22 to Jackie Wazny at 704-660-5297 or jackiewaz@ SMOKY MOUNTAIN VICARIATE MURPHY — Ecumenical Lenten worship, St. William Church, 765 Andrews Road, noon to 12:30 p.m. each Wednesday during Lent. The reflection will be given by a local preacher and an offering will be taken for a local charity. A soup and sandwich luncheon will be served following the service. For more information, call Joan Kennedy at 828-837-8519.

Is your parish or school sponsoring a free event open to the public? Deadline for all submissions for the Diocesan Planner is 10 days prior to desired publication date. Submit in writing to or fax to 704-370-3382.

Catholics overall, the difference could be attributed to the fact that the younger people have lower incomes. — Well over half of millennials (61 percent) and Catholic millennials (65 percent) were very or somewhat interested in learning more about their faith. Among practicing Catholics, 84 percent said they were very or somewhat interested. But the survey also had some negative findings: — Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of millennials in general and 82 percent of Catholic millennials agreed with the statement that “morals are relative; that is, there is no definite right or wrong for everybody.” A majority in every category except practicing Catholics (46 percent) agreed with that statement. — Only 33 percent of millennials and 25 percent of Catholic millennials said they attended religious services at least once a month. — Nearly two-thirds of Catholic millennials (64 percent) described themselves as at least somewhat more “spiritual” than “religious,” about the same as millennials in general (66 percent) and Americans in general (63 percent). — Sixty-one percent of Catholic millennials said they believe it is OK for people of their religion to practice more than one religion, compared to 54 percent of Americans in general and 43 percent of practicing Catholics. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 2 percentage points for Americans and plus or minus 3 percentage points for millennials. “There is much good news for the church in this survey, especially when we consider that two in three Catholic young people want to learn more about the faith,” said Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus.

February 21 – 2:00 p.m. Rite of Election Holy Family Catholic Church, Clemmons February 27 – 10:30 a.m. Rite of Election St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Charlotte

February 28 – 4:00 p.m. Rite of Election St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, Candler March 2 – 1:30 p.m. Diocesan Building Commission Meeting Pastoral Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNS) — Although they are more likely to describe themselves as liberal, the youngest American Catholic adults believe almost as strongly as other generations that the nation’s moral values are headed in the wrong direction. The “millennial” generation of Catholics, aged 18-29, also are more likely than those of “Generation X” (aged 30-44) or the “baby-boom generation” (aged 4564) to say that commitment to marriage is not valued enough in this country. Eighty-two percent of Catholic millennials said marital commitment is not valued enough, exceeded only by the 89 percent of the “greatest generation,” those over 65, who said so. Seventy-nine percent of Generation X Catholics and 77 percent of baby boomers agreed. Those were among the results of a survey recently commissioned by the Knights of Columbus. Asked whether “moral values in this country are headed in the right direction or the wrong direction,” 67 percent of Americans said they were headed down the wrong path. The percentage of those who felt that way increased with age; 72 percent of those 65 and older and 60 percent of the millennial generation saw a decline in moral values. The Generation X and baby-boomer respondents were at 65 percent and 69 percent, respectively. Respondents also were asked whether each of 12 “social virtues” was “generally valued or not valued enough.” The only virtue that at least 77 percent of every generation said was undervalued was commitment to marriage. The social virtue seen as undervalued by the smallest percentage of each generation of Catholics was religious observance. Only 43 percent of millennials, 47 percent of Generation X, 51 percent of baby boomers and 52 percent of the greatest generation said religious observance was not valued enough.

Catholic Millennials Some religious attitudes of Catholics age 18-29 THOSE WHO SAY… religion is important or somewhat important in their lives


abortion is morally wrong


they are interested in learning more about their faith


it is ok for a Catholic to practice more than one religion


religious values should influence business decisions


top priority in life is getting married



Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following events:

Survey: Catholics of all ages see U.S. moral values on decline

Source: Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll

©2010 CNS

4 The Catholic News & Herald


Year for Priests Interviews with priests around the diocese

February 19, 2010

Controversial Roe v. Wade wording removed from social studies curriculum N.C. Bishops issued alert that prompted flood of more than 1,800 e-mails DAVID HAINS Director of Communication


FATHER BENJAMIN ROBERTS Parochial Vicar St. Paul the Apostle Church Greensboro Greensboro Vicariate Place of Birth & Home Parish – Charlotte, NC; St. Philip the Apostle in Statesville, NC – I converted to Catholicism there in 1999 High School – Lancaster High School College/University – Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC; graduated from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY Seminary – St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, PA Date of Ordination – June 6, 2009

What assignments have you had since ordination? I am in my first assignment now. What have been some of the greatest joys for you as a priest? I think attending to the sick and helping people return to the sacraments have been my greatest joys. Who influenced you most to consider the vocation to priesthood? My college pastor was very influential and many of my friends encouraged me to consider it. What was your background before you entered seminary? I was planning to be a Lutheran minister, and after I became a Catholic I

worked in retail sales and volunteered in a soup kitchen in inner city Chicago. What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m a big fan of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts comic strip. What are some of your hobbies? I like reading and visiting with friends. What are some of your favorite books/ spiritual reading/magazines? Christ the Ideal of the Priest by Blessed Columba Marmion, Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD. I probably read more blogs than magazines. Who is a hero to you? I have a few. St. Ignatius of Antioch; two wonderful priests of our diocese, Father Conrad Kimbrough and Father Kurt Fohn; and my father, the wisest man I know. What are some ways that we can help all people/families understand their role in promoting and supporting vocations? First and foremost, pray. That is the most important thing. What advice would you give a young man who is contemplating a vocation to the priesthood? Place everything in the hands of Mary. Our Mother, who loves us, will only lead you closer to her Son and His plan for your life.

curriculum in all subjects taught in North Carolina. The DPI Web site describes ACRE as, “the most important and significant work of the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction in a generation.” When she confirmed deletion of the Roe v. Wade reference, Jeter said the curriculum is not in final form and that another round of public feedback would be requested in April.

After receiving more than 1,800 e-mails through Catholic Voice North Carolina, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has dropped a controversial reference to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision from the draft social studies curriculum. The proposed social studies curriculum review drew the attention of North Carolina’s Catholic bishops, who issued an alert through Catholic Voice NC, STAY INFORMED www.CatholicVoiceNC. org, the non-partisan Web Visit to stay informed site that gives Catholics an about the proposed state social studies organized voice in public curriculum, expected to be approved by the policy. state board of education this year. At issue was a proposal regarding how a Supreme Court case would be taught Catholic Voice NC lobbyist Monto middle school students. The DPI signor Michael Clay of Clayton said, document had read, “Using … Roe v. “Catholic Voice will continue to monitor Wade … as support, explain how the the development of the curriculum and U.S. Supreme Court has upheld rights will not hesitate to issue another alert if against oppressive government?” warranted.” In their letter to the Catholic Voice The state board of education will NC participants, Bishop Peter J. Jugis of have the final say on the contents of the Charlotte and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge social studies curriculum. of Raleigh said, “The implication of Jeter anticipates review and approval this proposed text is that opposition to before the end of this year. Textbook Roe v. Wade is wrong…. As a voice revisions reflecting all of the curriculum united on behalf of the unborn who have changes would not take place before a right to life, a fundamental human 2013. right, we oppose this draft statement.” Said Jeter, “It is heartening to know Response to the bishops’ alert that so many people care so deeply about through Catholic Voice NC was swift and what is taught in social studies. We are strong. Within 24 hours more than 1,000 working to get people to care as deeply people had sent e-mails to a feedback about math.” address set up by the DPI. By Feb. 17, when the curriculum was changed, the number of senders stood at 1,827. All of the e-mail writers sent the same message: asking the DPI to delete the reference to Roe v. Wade. Dr. David Six, a research scientist who is a member of Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, wrote, “The case of Roe v. Wade has provoked more public backlash and disagreement than any other case in memory as evidenced by hundreds of thousands of protesters each year on its anniversary. A majority of the country disagrees with the end result of Roe v. Wade – unlimited abortion – in part because science clearly shows the humanity of the unborn child. In that sense, Roe v. Wade sanctioned oppressive government to legalize and pay for the deaths of tens of millions of unborn children.” Vanessa Jeter, DPI spokesperson, said the curriculum review is a part of the Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort – also known as ACRE, a long-term effort to improve the

February 19, 2010

The Catholic News & Herald 5

around the diocese

Permanent deacon at St. James the Greater dies The Rev. Mr. Joseph Daniel Carl, permanent deacon at St. James the Greater Church in Concord, died Friday, Feb. 12, 2010. Deacon Carl had been a permanent deacon at St. James the Greater since 1988 and managed Cooperative Christian Ministry’s homeless shelter. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte Housing Corporation and with the Marriage Tribunal. A funeral Mass was celebrated at the church Feb. 16. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cooperative Christian Ministry, 246 Country Club Drive N.E., Concord, N.C. 28025, or to the American Lung Association of North

Ash Wednesday marks start of Lent


Carolina, 3801 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 190, Raleigh, N.C. 27607. Online condolences may be sent to


Father Timothy Reid, pastor of St. Ann Church in Charlotte, and Craig Lewis, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, distribute ashes to students of St. Ann School and parishioners Feb 17. A cross is traced on a penitent’s forehead as a sign of repentance at the beginning of the 40-day Lenten observance. See page 15 for Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks during his Ash Wednesday general audience.

Campaign continues

“You feel Pennybyrn’s unique right away.”


~ From left, Pennybyrn residents Bill Horney and Ben Leach in the community’s Irish Pub, with Wait Captain Ahmed Ennissay. ~


IHM, from page 1

Ben Leach tirelessly researched retirement communities before deciding upon Pennybyrn. “It’s new, so easy to make friends, great dining, wonderful pool and fitness center, and then there’s the unique spirit. Sister Lucy genuinely strives to make everyone feel comfortable, and it prevails throughout the community.” And of course, Ben enjoys an occasional snack in the Irish Pub. “I’ve met so many people with interesting life stories; it’s easy to enjoy yourself. Pennybyrn is an exceptional choice.” You too can choose the best. Call (336) 821-4050 or toll-free (866) 627-9343. 109 Penny Road, High Point, NC 27260 Located less than a mile from downtown Jamestown and only 10 minutes from Greensboro.

PB 322 pub_7.625x9_CNH.indd 1

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to 1,700 families since the church relocated. At the new school, student capacity will grow from 275 to 400 for prekindergarten through eighth grades. The school will house a high-tech media center and library for teaching science, language, music and art, as well as a gymnasium and athletics fields. The new center will house parish programs such as Mobile Meals, Senior Wheels and Boy Scouts, as well as meeting space for up to 500 people. Construction will start as soon as the capital campaign reaches its goal. “Despite incredible challenging economic times, our community has been most generous with their pledges made so far,” said Joe Hughes, chairman of the capital campaign committee. “We are so grateful to Rena and Mark Norcross for their continued commitment to the mission and ministries of the Church,” said Jim Kelley, diocesan director of development. “Perhaps most significant, we are closer to completing the IHM Parish Life and Education Center plan, and thousands of people’s lives will be changed in positive and meaningful ways through the use of those facilities.”

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February 19, 2010



Priests, Nuns Carry Burden of Haiti’s Recovery — Need Support from US Catholics Father Marc Boisvert has served the poor of Haiti for more than 10 years, but never under the kind of pressures and demands the nation’s recent earthquake unleashed. “Haiti’s Catholic missionaries now describe their lives in terms of ‘preearthquake’ and ‘post-earthquake’. Ask them when they did a certain thing or started a certain program, and they’ll say something like, ‘that was a pre-quake project’ or ‘these orphans were added after the quake.’ That is how profound this disaster has been for us,” Father Marc said. “It has changed our lives dramatically, and it will impact us for many years to come.” The priest described the days following the earthquake as “tragic,” “heart breaking” and “tumultuous.” “Our program for orphans is located in Les Cayes, some distance away from the capital of Port-au-Prince. We were lucky. We felt it, but the shaking didn’t bring down all the buildings here,” he explained. “That said, the earthquake did have a huge emotional and economic impact in us, and within 48 hours we were dealing with the hardships. We had shortages of food, problems obtaining fuel and the needs of victims to contend with. Almost immediately, a stream of refugees

Marc — looking for ways to help him, both in terms of supplying the orphanage and in terms of supporting any work he was doing for the earthquake victims that were pouring in to his area,” recalled Jim Cavnar, the president of Cross International Catholic Outreach. “One of the first things Father Marc did was to take in additional children who had been orphaned by the disaster. He knew the crisis would be a major problem for his own program too, but he didn’t focus on that. Instead, he made sacrifices to help the refugees. He put their needs first.” All over Haiti, this kind of selfless reaction was repeated over and over, as priests and nuns throughout the crippled nation scrambled to launch new outreaches that would help earthquake victims. Their lives — already difficult — became even more challenging, but they never backed down or faltered. “These Catholic programs are sharing food. Their clinics are welcoming volunteer doctors and their facilities are available for emergency surgeries. In almost every case, the priests and nuns have set aside their own goals so they can pursue the ‘greater good’ — doing whatever is asked of them for the benefit of the earthquake victims,” Cavnar said.

A young man walks through a landscape scarred by earthquake debris. Many travelers use masks to lessen the smell of decaying bodies and to protect from diseases that the aftermath may bring.

“Thanks to the support we’ve already received from donors in the U.S., Cross Catholic was able to provide more than $50 million in aid within the first few weeks of the earthquake, and the priests and nuns who benefited were very grateful. They had asked for food, medicines, fuel for vehicles and assistance providing shelter to those left homeless. We were able to accomplish all of those things, and Catholic donors in America made that possible,” he said. Still, there is one concern — donor fatigue. “Donor fatigue is a phrase coined by the media to describe people who get tired of

“Their lives — already difficult — became even more challenging, but they never backed down or faltered.” Jim Cavnar, President of Cross International Catholic Outreach

The children in Father Marc’s orphanage gather to pray. They thank God that their own buildings did not collapase and they ask for mercy on behalf of the children who were not as fortunate.

began flooding into our area, and we became part of the outreach to help them.” Back in the United States, one of Father Marc’s supportive partners, Cross International Catholic Outreach, was also racing to respond to the crisis and to the unexpected hardships it was producing for the priest and nuns serving in Haiti. Some were struggling with “front line” efforts to save lives and supply food within Port-au-Prince. Others, like Father Marc, were mobilizing to help refugees and preparing for the difficult challenges that the recovery stage would bring. “As long-time supporters of Father Marc’s orphanage, Pwoje Espwa (Hope Village), we realized immediately how devastating this disaster would be for the priests and nuns working with the poor. Within hours of the quake, we were in contact with Father

“Knowing how difficult life in Haiti is for everyone now, I can’t help but be proud of the Church and the individual priests and nuns who have redoubled their efforts to help during this disaster,” he added. “As a Catholic, I have always appreciated the dedication of the clergy, but this crisis has produced a level of commitment even I didn’t expect. The earthquake’s aftermath represents a mammoth burden — one no one should have to bear — and yet these priests and nuns accept the hardships in faith, giving everything they have to serve the people in need.” Cavnar is also confident that American Catholics will rise to the occasion as they have so far by contributing generously for the work Cross International Catholic Outreach is organizing in Haiti.

hearing about a disaster or social problem and turn their backs on the issue,” Cavnar explained. “Every time I hear that term, I cringe — not because I don’t believe it happens, but because I wonder how people like Father Marc must feel about it. He has cared for hundreds of orphans in Haiti for years, and he is opening his doors to more in response to the earthquake. Imagine if he said, ‘Sorry, I have giving fatigue, so I’m not interested in taking these children. In fact, I’m closing this whole program down because I’m tired of helping.’ Thank God he would never do that, but imagine how he feels when donors say that kind of thing after dealing with a problem for just a few months. That must be unbelievably discouraging for him and the other priests and nuns serving there in Haiti.” Fortunately, Cross International Catholic Outreach has no intention of slowing its efforts in Haiti or its support of the priests and nuns working in the trenches there. And Cavnar said he believes that Cross Catholic’s donors will support that decision

with their prayers and gifts. “American Catholics have strong ties to the priests and nuns working in Haiti and they’re very familiar with the challenges of international mission work. They don’t see the Church’s mission as just another humanitarian effort. They consider these priests and nuns champions of the faith — special people called by God to serve,” Cavnar said. “For that reason, I don’t believe they will reject the pleas of the clergy serving in Haiti. They will stand with these priests and nuns for as long as it takes to respond to the crisis.” With food and medical emergencies in Haiti finally beginning to wane, Cross International Catholic Outreach is beginning to plan for the long-term recovery stages of their outreach. This will concentrate on housing, reestablishing educational systems and other community stabilizing projects. “Thousands are homeless and the entire school system has been disrupted,” he said. “These are more complicated and costly issues than our food and medical relief has been, but we fully intend to address those problems with our donors’ help.” One feels compelled to ask the question — isn’t Cross International Catholic Outreach tired and discouraged on some level by that daunting task? Cavnar answers quickly and with a renewed strength of purpose in his voice. “God’s hand is in this work, and we will all draw from his strength and unending compassion,” he said. “Whenever I am tempted to think otherwise, I remember the words one missionary shared with me just days after the earthquake: ‘We trust in our heavenly father to raise up a New Haiti — to bestow on us a crown of beauty, instead of ashes; the oil of gladness, instead of mourning; and a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair. We will be called Oaks of Righteousness; a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.’ How can you wilt in the face of that kind of faith?” To make a tax-deductible contribution to Cross International Catholic Outreach and its outreach overseas, use either the enclosed postage-paid brochure or send donations to: Cross International Catholic Outreach, Dept. AC00621, 490 White Pond Drive, PO Box 63, Akron, OH 44309-0063.

February 19, 2010


The Catholic News & Herald 7



Fighting Hunger On The Front Lines

Catholic missionaries rely on faith and Cross Catholic in their fight against hunger in Latin America Two-year-old Alba’s screams cut through the early morning air. “She has been crying for hours,” her mother, Carmon Garcia, explains. “She’s hungry.” The toddler’s tears flow down pale, patchy cheeks. Skin hangs from her arms and neck, and her ribs and collarbones protrude as if there is no skin covering them at all. Though empty, her small belly is bloated — a telltale sign of malnutrition. At 2, Alba weighs just 12 pounds, which is half the normal weight for a child her age. “We hardly have any food,” says Carmon, a mother of eight. Her husband works in a factory making $3 a day, but he has to spend $1.25 a day taking the bus to work, cutting the family’s income nearly in half. “We can’t even afford milk,” she says. There are tens of thousands of poor families in Latin America facing this same situation. Hunger and malnutrition have become the deadliest killers there, claiming the lives of thousands each day. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization recently estimated that 1.02 billion people don’t have enough to eat — that is one in every six people in the world. With national attention focused on Haiti recently after the devastating earthquake that demolished most of Port-au-Prince, the intense poverty plaguing the rest of the region has gone virtually unnoticed — but it is staggering. A millennium study by the World Bank found that nearly 40 percent of the 569 million people living in Latin America live below the poverty line. Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Guatemala are often cited among the poorest countries in the world. “Though our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters in Haiti, we cannot forget their poor neighbors in places like Nicaragua and Guatemala,” says Jim Cavnar, president of Cross International Catholic Outreach (Cross Catholic), whose ministry supports several feeding programs in Latin America and Haiti. “There are children literally starving to death. By providing meals, we can save their lives.” Sister Edna runs St. Joseph’s, a rescue and nutrition center for severely malnourished children in Guatemala. She has seen firsthand the impact just a few meals can make. Each day she cares for more than 30 malnourished children, some brought in by desperately poor parents like Carmon Garcia and others who were abandoned in the streets. With love, intensive care, and nutritional meals, she nurses them back to health. “Serving these children who have no one and nothing brings me closer to God,” Sr. Edna says. “In caring for these little ones, I have to trust that Jesus will give me strength. With him, I am able to face the sadness — and through him, I find light where there is so much darkness.” Sr. Edna isn’t always able to save all of the children who are brought to the rescue center, which makes her work heart-wrenching, but she is thankful for the many little ones she does save. Children like like Oscar Molina. Though he was almost 1 year old, Oscar weighed only seven pounds when he was brought to St. Joseph’s — about the size of a healthy newborn. His skin clung to his

Children are often weak and frail when discovered (above), but Sr. Edna nurses them back to health (below). Hundreds of children need this help.

bones, his hair was falling out, and he suffered frequent and intense fevers. He had respiratory and intestinal infections and was so weak and unsteady that he couldn’t sit up. He was even too weak to cry. Now, Oscar is a healthy, happy toddler, who smiles easily and giggles when Sr. Edna bounces him in her lap. “When I feed and care for a child like Oscar, I see a child, helpless and hungry, but I also see Jesus,” she says. It is this faith that keeps many heroic Catholic missionaries going as they work to fight hunger and poverty in Latin America. Fr. John Halligan, the founder of a feeding and education program for street children in Quito, Ecuador, admits that at times it is difficult to witness what these poor children go through. “When you visit their ‘homes,’ it really turns your stomach to see how they live in such squalor,” he says. “Still, God gives us the strength to push on and continue helping these precious children. I am compelled by my faith to help them, and it brings me joy to see them doing better, knowing we’ve made an impact on their lives.” Sr. Edna and Fr. Halligan are just two of several dedicated Catholic missionaries in Latin America being supported by Cross Catholic. With cash grants raised through its U.S. donors, Cross Catholic is able to partner with Catholic ministries in the field who are running great programs but don’t have the funds to sustain them. “I continue to be amazed by the generosity of our benefactors. Even when the U.S. economy is down, they are still giving to help the poor around the world,” says Cavnar, president of Cross Catholic. “They show great faith, and we are seeing the positive returns of that faith in the lives of the poor.” Those positive returns are especially visible in the fight against world hunger.

With monthly financial support from Cross Catholic, Las Mercedes Nutrition Center in Honduras is able to feed more than a hundred poor, malnourished children who they find abandoned in garbage dumps and in the streets. “Hunger is the most extreme form of poverty. In essence, it is a state where families cannot afford to meet even their most basic need: food,” Cavnar says. “By supporting programs that provide daily meals, we are

ministering to the poorest of the poor.” Cavnar says he is continually humbled by the example of the Catholic brothers and sisters his ministry supports and is grateful to aid in their important work. “The poor have unbelievable faith, as do these Catholic missionaries who are in the field helping them each day. We count it a privilege to help them and, in doing so, live out our faith.”

How to Help: Your help is needed for Cross International Catholic Outreach to bring Christ’s mercy to the poorest of the poor. Use the enclosed postage-paid brochure to mail your gift or send it to Cross International Catholic Outreach, Dept. AC00621, 490 White Pond Drive, PO Box 63, Akron, OH 44309-0063.

8 The Catholic News & Herald

February 19, 2010

AROUND from the THE cover DIOCESE

Celebrating the lunar new year Stocking the food pantry

photos by Ann Kilkelly

Donations of canned goods and paper products to the Food Pantry at the Pastoral Center in Charlotte are always welcome, and some local young people are doing their part to help. Above, Brendan O’Connor unloads a “treasure chest” of food that he received for his fourth birthday. He had invited his friends to bring treasures of food for the CSS pantry instead of presents to his pirate-themed party Feb. 6. Brendan attends preschool at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte. Below, some of the 69 second-graders from St. Patrick School stock the shelves with dozens of bags of food that they collected earlier this month.

photos by Patricia Guilfoyle

Members of the Montagnard community and other Southeast Asian Catholics gathered at St. Joseph Church in Kannapolis Feb. 14 to celebrate Mass in their native tongues and mark the start of the lunar new year. Father Vang C. Tran of St. James Church in Concord welcomed more than 200 people to the Mass, which he said was the first of its kind in the diocese. Pictured above is Jackson Niebrit-arul, 8, receiving “lucky money” during Father Tran’s homily on the new year being a traditional time to pray for prosperity and generosity, longevity, freedom and the “restoration of our human dignity.” Jackson and his family attend Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point. Also pictured below are members of the choir singing a song of thanksgiving and playing an assembly gong, traditionally used at special community events. As Pope Benedict XVI also welcomed the start of the lunar new year, he praised the spiritual and moral values of the Asian people who celebrate it. “These are festive days, celebrated by these populations as a privileged opportunity to strengthen family and generational bonds,” the pope said at his noon blessing on Monday. “I hope that all will maintain and build up the rich heritage of spiritual and moral values that are solidly rooted in the culture of these peoples.” The lunar new year is an important holiday that calls for feasting, spending time with family and giving gifts. This is the Year of the Tiger, the third in the 12year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, representing year 4708 on the calendar used by Asian countries.

THE ORATORY 434 Charlotte Avenue, P.O. Box 11586 Rock Hill, SC 2973-1586

(803) 327-2097

HOLY WEEK AT THE ORATORY March 28 through April 4 Individuals and small groups are welcome to join in the prayer, silence, liturgies and hospitality at the Oratory during this Sacred Week. Spiritual directors are available on a limited basis and with advanced scheduling. Length of retreats determined by retreatant. Cost: $45 overnight (1 overnight and meals) $65 overnight (1 overnight, meals and spiritual direction)

February 19, 2010

AROUND from the THE cover DIOCESE

CSS fundraiser in Asheville

The Catholic News & Herald 9

AOH division makes donation

photo by Ann Kilkelly

Catholic Social Services Western Regional Office held its annual Gala for Hope Feb. 13 at the new Crowne Plaza Expo Center, Asheville. Between snowstorms, 360 supporters of CSS turned out for an evening of dinner, dancing and auctions. Jacquie Crombie, office director (center) shares a moment with main event sponsors Dennis and Jill Hulsing (right) and major sponsors Jane and Kerney McNeil (left). Not represented here are ImageSmith Communications and the Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Asheville, also major sponsors.

St. Pius X Knights help out

photo provided

The St. Brendan the Navigator division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, located in Huntersville, presented a check Jan. 11 to Room At The Inn, a maternity and after-care program in Charlotte. Pictured are AOH division President Joseph Dougherty and Room At The Inn treasurer Tom McGahey. This was the first donation made by the St. Brendan division, formed in April 2009. Funds were raised at the St. Mark Church Christmas bazaar in December. The division meets on the second Monday of each month at the Msgr. Joseph Kerin Center at St. Mark.

40 Days for Life campaign begins

photo provided

The Knights of Columbus Council 11101 of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro raised more than $7,500 in its 2009 LAMB (Least Among My Brethren) Campaign, best known as the “Tootsie Roll” campaign. These funds are collected by Knights at local supermarkets, restaurants, convenience stores and other locations that honor support of people with intellectual challenges. The Knights presented $1,500 to Sanctuary House, one of 10 beneficiary organizations because of that campaign.

photo provided

Missionaries of the Poor Brother Rodel D. Tabanao from Monroe, above, helped kick off the 40 Days for Life Charlotte Spring 2010 campaign Feb. 14 with a prayer and words of encouragement at the site of the campaign at A Preferred Women’s Health Center, 3220 Latrobe Dr., Charlotte. The campaign has three components: prayer and fasting; peaceful vigil; and community outreach. To find out more about how you can get involved, visit

February 19, 2010

10 The Catholic News & Herald

Culture Watch

Roots of abbey trace to 12thCentury France

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

Oakland A’s prospect trades uniform for seminary OAKLAND, Calif. (CNS) — When top Oakland A’s baseball prospect Grant Desme capped off a stellar minor league season by announcing his January retirement to join the priesthood, reporters across the country clamored to ask him why. The 23-year-old California native, who will enter St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado this August, has capitalized on the surprising attention. In numerous interviews with mostly secular media outlets, Desme has explained his calling to readers, viewers and listeners far beyond the ballpark. “It’s almost miraculous,” he said. “God has definitely used this more than I could imagine.” And his story is certainly compelling, given that the outfielder had just enjoyed a phenomenal comeback year after injuries benched him for much of the 2008 season. Among other accolades, he was voted the A’s No. 8 prospect by Baseball Magazine and was named most valuable player of the Arizona Fall League, batting .288 for the year. There was even speculation that he’d be invited to big league spring training with the Oakland team, also known as the Athletics. “But every time I prayed, I said ‘Is there something more, God, than just baseball?’” Desme said. “Even after I had a wonderful season — better than I ever could have expected — there still wasn’t a peace or really a sense of fulfillment,” he told The Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Oakland Diocese. Despite — and because of — the glare of attention, Desme said he feels peace now. “It has reinforced my decision because God has worked so much good through one little decision,” he said. Now he said he’s staying grounded with loved ones’ support. “And I still make sure I get up and go to Mass every

morning and try to get my ‘lectio divina’ and my rosary in,” he said. He also said it will be nice to drop from the public eye when he enters the abbey, a monastic community of Norbertine priests in the Orange Diocese. Desme was drawn to St. Michael’s Abbey by its austere lifestyle and emphasis on liturgy and living in community. It will take nine to 10 years of study and formation before he can be ordained. Desme said he had a devout upbringing in Bakersfield with his parents, younger brother and younger sister, who have been “extremely supportive” of his decision. He grew up serving Mass at San Clemente Mission Parish in his hometown, and the family began attending St. Francis Parish when the Latin Mass moved there. The Oakland A’s drafted him in 2007 after his junior year of college, but in 2008, Desme said, he began to feel the pull to serve God. His discernment about his vocational calling ramped up while he sat out most of the season with shoulder and wrist injuries. “Baseball ruled my life, so when that was taken away, that made me (think), why am I here on this earth if something that I love and have put so much effort into can end one day,” he said. Desme also took an impromptu pilgrimage to Rome to see the exhumed body of St. Padre Pio, his confirmation saint. “The whole experience of Rome was really edifying and helped me love my faith and the Church,” he said. The 6-foot-2 Desme said he grappled with walking away from his talents. “God has blessed me with skills and talent as an athlete, but there is a higher good. And I would consider the skills and talents to be on the lower end of the spectrum,” he said. As for suggestions that he stay in baseball to use the sport as a pulpit,

OAKLAND, Calif. (CNS) — St. Michael’s Abbey of the Norbertine Order, an autonomous, monastic community in the Orange Diocese, was established in 1961, but its roots go back to 1121 when St. Norbert of Xanten founded the order at Premontre in modern-day France. The abbey, located in Silverado, has been in the news since a top baseball prospect for the Oakland A’s, Grant Desme, announced he was putting the sport behind him to enter the abbey in August. “We’ve received people into our monastery from all different walks of life — from the university, from very successful careers, from simple work lives — and everyone arrives here the same,” Father Ambrose Criste, novice master and vocations director, told The Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Oakland Diocese. About half of the abbey’s confreres are from California, with the others coming from Canada, Mexico, Vietnam and the Philippines, he said. The abbey accepts men aged 18 through 30; the median age of current membership in the community is 42. “It’s a very young community,” said Father Ambrose, who left Oxford University before completing his Rhodes scholarship to enter the abbey. Members of the abbey live in community and devote themselves to the solemn celebration of the liturgy, including Mass and the Divine Office, he explained. “So we’re singing all day, every day.” Father Ambrose said there are 69 members, including both priests and seminarians, at the abbey. The order follows the Rule of St. Augustine. The Silverado abbey was founded by seven Hungarian refugees from the Abbey of St. Michael at Csorna, Hungary. They fled their country in 1950 and regrouped in California in 1957, opening a permanent monastic community and novitiate in 1961 on the current site of the abbey. In 1976, St. Michael’s became an independent Norbertine priory and was elevated to abbatial status by Rome in 1984.

photo by cns, courtesy of The Catholic Voice

Grant Desme, a top Oakland A’s prospect, announced last month that he’s leaving professional baseball to become a priest. He will enter St. Michael’s Abbey of the Norbertine Order, a monastic community in Silverado, Calif., in August. Desme said, “Maybe the perception is athletes can help, but really the prayers of other people and the sacraments that the priests give are what help sustain us.” He also rejected the option of playing for awhile before entering the priesthood. When Jesus called St. Peter and St. Andrew, he said, they “dropped their nets and left everything, right then. ... When God calls, you answer.” He will ease into abbey life by taking preparatory classes before he begins his four-month postulancy Aug. 27, the feast of St. Monica. For Desme, God’s call wasn’t a thunderclap, but a tug he felt during prayer and in everyday events. Anyone feeling that tug should investigate further, he said. “It doesn’t mean you have to be a nun or a priest or a brother,” he said. “Pray about it.” Desme said that just considering a religious vocation “is a grace from God.” And even if his pursuit of the priesthood falls short, he doesn’t anticipate any regrets. “In the end, going to the seminary would help me be a better father and husband anyway. Baseball wouldn’t (have done that),” he said. That’s not an indictment of the sport, Desme indicated, and described the support of his teammates and A’s management as “humbling.” Although his new uniform will be a little different, he feels the sports experience will help ease him into living in community, noting that he has “been on a team my entire life.”


“The Passion” You have seen the movie, now read what Jesus says about the meaning of His Passion as dictated to Catalina Rivas. This 48 page book has the “Imprimatur” and is recommended for meditation. Mrs. Rivas was featured in the recent FOX-TV special “Signs from God” that was broadcast worldwide.

To receive this book, send your name and address with $2 for shipping & handling to:

Love and Mercy Publications P O Box 1160 ~ Hampstead, NC 28443

The Catholic News & Herald 11

February 19, 2010

catholics urged to respond

Archbishop Sheen returns to Pope: Human dignity must television, 30 years after his death

be guiding light for science VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The natural law upholding the dignity of every human life must be the guiding principle in approaching bioethical questions, Pope Benedict XVI said. Addressing members of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican Feb. 13, the pope also warned that as technological and medical research advances, “Scientists should never think they are handling inanimate and easily manipulated material.” The pope said legislatures and other bodies are often called on to confront the increasingly complex ethical issues that regard the health and life of people and which open up “possible conflicts of interpretation.” Natural moral law, he said, should be the principle with which those issues are faced. “The recognition of human dignity, which in fact is an inalienable right, finds its foundations in that law that is not written by man but rather by God the creator in the heart of every man,” the pope said. “Without the founding principle of human dignity, it would be difficult to find a source for the rights of the person

and impossible to reach an ethical judgment regarding the advances of science that directly impact human life,” he said. The Pontifical Academy for Life studies and advises the pope on controversial subjects like euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, abortion and birth control. Those practices are strongly opposed by the church but are legal, in varying degrees, in many countries. The pope said that “history has shown how dangerous and harmful” a state can be when it makes laws “acting as though it were the source and foundation of ethics.” Natural and universal moral law, Pope Benedict said, “can prevent that danger and most of all offers a legislator the guarantee of genuine respect for the human person.” The pontifical academy is led by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who told the pope that the theme of the academy’s two-day meeting, “Bioethics and Natural Law,” was particularly urgent in the cultural, social and legislative context of today’s world.

All are invited to join in the Lenten Mission

“Responding to God … Person to Person” Sunday, February 21 through Tuesday, February 23 St. Mark Catholic Church 14740 Stumptown Rd., Huntersville (exit 23 from I-77) Presented by Vinny Flynn, well known as “the man who sings the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN,” this mission will help lead you to a deeper personal relationship with God by experiencing Vinny’s gifts of music, teaching and prayer. Sunday, Feb 21: 7-8:30pm — “Saying Yes to the Father” focuses on God, not merely as Creator, but as a Father who wants to be personally involved with each of His children. (For a minimum donation, after the 5pm Mass, pizza will be served in the Parish Hall for those attending the Mission tonight.) Monday, Feb 22nd: 9-10:30am — (immediately following 9am Mass) -- For those unable to attend at night, this morning session will include insights from all 3 evening sessions. A light brunch will follow in the Parish Hall. Monday, Feb 22nd: 7- 8:00pm — “Meeting Jesus the Healer” focuses on the sacrament of Reconciliation as a profound healing encounter with the Person of Jesus Christ. Reconciliation will follow at 8pm. Tuesday, Feb 23rd: 7-8:00pm — “Becoming Transparent to God” focuses on the Eucharist and Our Blessed Lady. This evening will be based on the writings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, as well as Vinny’s book “7 Secrets of the Eucharist.” A healing procession with the Eucharist will follow, along with a reception in the Parish Hall.

Childcare (nights only) is available by reservation only – contact Colleen Siadak 704-987-7926 or Mission info: Donna Smith at or 704-948-1306 For info on Vinny Flynn, go to his Web site

WATERTOWN, Mass. (CNS) — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is back on television, 30 years after his death. Excerpts from his Emmy Awardwinning television program, “Life Is Worth Living,” began airing in January on CatholicTV, a national television network streaming a live feed 24 hours a day at “Life Is Worth Living” originally was broadcast from 1951 to 1957, attracting 30 million weekly viewers. Among the topics touched on by thenBishop Sheen were gloom and laughter, patriotism in America, the true meaning of caring, communism and angels. CatholicTV’s “Fulton Sheen” programs airs at 10:30 a.m. Mondays,

3:30 a.m. Tuesdays and 12:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Fridays (all times Eastern). Archbishop Sheen’s cause for canonization was formally opened by the Vatican in 2003. CatholicTV began broadcasting as the television station of the Archdiocese of Boston in January 1955, airing the Sunday Mass for those unable to leave their homes. It was the first diocesan station of its kind and now airs more than 60 programs, producing about 40 percent of them at its studio in Watertown. CatholicTV is available nationally on Sky Angel and its cable presence is primarily in the New England region on major carriers.

So, can you hear me now? Helping young men hear the call to priesthood ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CNS) — Allentown Bishop John O. Barres has taken a new approach to fostering vocations to the priesthood: making sure young men personally receive a call. One morning in late December, many college-age men received phone calls or voice mail messages from Bishop Barres or two other diocesan priests asking them to consider a vocation to the priesthood. “In this phase of the vocation initiative — ‘Hearing His Call’ — the focus has been on helping young men consider that the Lord might be calling them to this wonderful vocation,” said Father Andrew Gehringer, diocesan director of vocations. The priest, who also made the phone calls, told The A.D. Times, Allentown’s diocesan newspaper, that the bishop’s idea was inspired by New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, whom he heard made a personal call to a young man who was discerning a vocation to the priesthood. In response to the idea, Father Gehringer and Father Scott Ardinger, at the time a diocesan official who is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., composed a list of names and cell phone numbers of more than 35 young men. The priests listed those “who have either thought about the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or who just have the good qualities and natural goodness that we are looking for in

possible candidates for the priesthood,” Father Gehringer said. These young men were some of those presented to the diocesan Office of Vocations by various priests throughout the diocese or those whom Father Ardinger had known from his contacts with high school and youth ministry. Father Gehringer said the men were surprised when either he or Father Ardinger made the initial contact with them telling them Bishop Barres would like to speak to them. “A few of the men, naturally as college students, were actually sleeping at the time of the initial contact made by Father Ardinger or myself. However, some of the men actually expected the call,” he said. “But to get that one-on-one time with the bishop, who spoke to them about how their semester was going and how they were doing in their prayer life and discernment of their vocation, was the biggest surprise. “Men attending universities like Scranton, Drexel, Fordham and Penn State, as well as other universities, heard Bishop Barres’ sincere desire to encourage them to think about the possibility of being a priest.” Such personal contact “is crucial” in the bishop’s mind, he added. “To form a culture of vocations, we need to cultivate the soil of the minds and hearts of our young people with the knowledge that God has wonderful plans for them,” Father Gehringer said.

12 The Catholic News & Herald

February 19, 2010

in our schools

Award-winning principal

PRINCIPAL POSITION AVAILABLE Our Lady of Peace is a K3 to 8 Catholic school drawing students from the Central Savannah River Area, four counties in South Carolina and Georgia. The school is currently seeking a principal for next school year. The successful candidate must be a practicing Catholic, hold at least a master’s degree in educational administration or the equivalent, and have a minimum of five years’ teaching experience. A knowledge of Spanish would be helpful. Submit resume by March 15, 2010 to: Search Committee Our Lady of Peace P.O. Box 6605 North Augusta, SC 29861

Bringing to light the truth of the teachings of the Catholic Church and igniting in our hearts a love for our Faith photo by Patricia Guilfoyle

Donna Gilson (right), principal of Asheville Catholic Elementary School, has been awarded the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Principal Award for the Diocese of Charlotte. The award recognizes the dedication and enthusiasm of principals who guide children’s earliest educational experiences, and it holds them up as role models for other educators. Gilson received her award from Diocesan Schools

March 19-20, 2010 North Carolina State Fairgrounds Bring a friend and come hear these dynamic Catholic speakers

Superintendent Linda Cherry Feb. 11 at the Pastoral Center in Charlotte.

Pat McCaskey

Champion speller

Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Co-owner of the Chicago Bears “Faith & Sports” Author and Convert from the Anglican Priesthood “Priesthood – Promise and Providence”

John Martignoni

Apologist and Founder of the Bible Christian Society “Living the Word of God to Bring Justice and Peace”

Dr. John Bergsma

Associate Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville “My Journey to the Catholic Church”

Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak

Catholic Psychotherapist and Co-authors of Parenting with Grace “Marriage: For Better... Forever!”

FREE Friday evening workshop!

photo provided

Named the 2010 MACS Spelling Bee champion Feb. 8 was AngelineMarie Morales, 11, a seventh-grader at Holy Trinity Middle School in Charlotte. She won after correctly spelling the words “paramecium” and “anticoagulant.” Diocesan Schools Superintendent Linda Cherry, who was the pronouncer, is pictured congratulating her. Fourteen spellers in grades 4 through 8 competed in the event, sponsored by the MACS Foundation, at St. Matthew’s Parish Center. Morales will next compete against the other 24 N.C. school system champions March 15 at ImaginOn in Charlotte. That winner will go on to the national tournament May 31 in Washington, D.C.

“Discover the Catholic Church” 7-9:30pm No registration required Full Program Saturday including Lunch! 8:30am-6:30pm

Discounts for early registration!

Adults $35, Students $20, Groups of 5 or more $25

Vigil Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge Diocese of Raleigh, NC

For complete details and online registration, visit:

February 19, 2010

in our schools

The Catholic News & Herald 13

BMHS hosts Model U.N. teams

Wachovia Cup winners

photos provided

photo provided

Jeff Stoller, athletics director at Bishop McGuinness High School, and Linda Cherry, superintendent of diocesan schools representing Charlotte Catholic High School, are pictured shortly after being presented with the 1A and 3A N.C. High School Athletic Association State Wachovia Cups during a ceremony at halftime of the UNC-Chapel Hill vs. University of Miami football game at Keenan Stadium in Chapel Hill on Nov. 14. Bishop McGuinness and Charlotte Catholic high schools won the 1A and 3A Wachovia Cups, respectively, for best overall interscholastic sports programs at the state level.

Pastoral Associate – Roanoke, Virginia

Bishop McGuinness High School hosted 225 middle school students from the five schools of the Triad Area Catholic School System for a Middle School Model United Nations event Feb. 10. Participating schools included St. Pius X, Our Lady of Grace, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy and St. Leo the Great. They held Model U.N. debates moderated by the Bishop McGuinness Model U.N. international debate team, and debated topics such as the spread of the H1N1 virus and international piracy. Pictured are: (above) Our Lady of Grace students

St. Andrew’s Parish, an active Catholic faith community of 1700 households in Roanoke, Virginia, is seeking a Pastoral Associate who will work alongside the Pastor and staff in addressing a variety of ministerial needs requiring skills in pastoral presence, recruitment, organization and communications. A master’s degree in religious studies and previous related experience are desirable.

Pierce Barth and Bobby Mason holding their Model U.N. awards with

Full job descriptions are available by sending a resume to Kathy McDaniel at St. Andrew’s, 631 N. Jefferson St., Roanoke, VA 24016 or Please respond by March 15, 2010.

June, Bishop McGuinness will also host a Model U.N. summer camp.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Charleston, SC

The ideal candidate will be a practicing Catholic with a doctorate or master’s in education and/or educational administration and a minimum of 5 to 10 years’ previous administrative experience within the Catholic school ministry. The superintendent’s position is called to embrace and implement the common vision of the Catholic Church and advocate an academic program within a safe environment which cherishes a diverse and multicultural population. For consideration please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements to: Attn: Human Resources, 1662 Ingram Rd, Charleston, SC 29407, fax 843-402-5410 or apply online at

Bishop McGuinness student Mark Sowinski; and (below) Our Lady of Grace students Catherine Komsa and Daniella Johnathan, holding their Model U.N. awards with Bishop McGuinness student Jake McSwain. In

February 19, 2010

14 The Catholic News & Herald


A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

Called to freedom: Dominican nuns image the Church on ‘Oprah’ Editor ’s note: The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, Mich., were featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” Feb. 9, which also happened to be the 13th anniversary of their founding. According to the sisters’ Web site: “Oprah was interested in doing a show on religious life as a hidden way of life which many people never experience…. We accepted this invitation as an opportunity to share our life, and by extension, the Gospel, with an audience that we might not ever reach otherwise.” See the taped broadcast online at, search “Dominican Sisters Oprah.” It was a luminous report, burgeoning with respect, ripe with joy. It was a shot of glory between baking salmon fillets, disciplining a wayward 3-year-old, and folding a load of colors. Having previously abandoned Oprah Winfrey for her politics and new-ageism after years of following, I was a little anxious at the treatment our Dominican convent in Ann Arbor, Mich., might receive at the hands of reporter Lisa Ling and Oprah’s producers. But when, straight out of the chute, the convent was described as “thriving,” the young women “flocking” to it as they never had before, and the laughing, bright, freshfaced sisters proceeded to preach a full Catholic sermon simply by sharing their home and way of life, my apprehension turned to laugh-out-loud delight. The Ann Arbor Dominicans’ hospitality challenged conventional worldly wisdom in a forum that can only be characterized as miraculous and that represented Catholic women in the most refreshing way I have ever seen on TV. Because the convent is home to 100 sisters whose average age is 26, the feature communicated the vitality of a relationship with a living Christ in the most captivating way. What constitutes restriction and freedom, happiness and joy, contentment and emptiness? How can I find fulfillment when the fabulous job, the designer duds, the handsome, fascinating boyfriend, and all the comforts and ideologies of modern life are not enough? Where can I “give who I am”? Where does consumerism and “being skinny” cease to matter for women? These were the questions raised by the sisters’ testimonies of being called by God to religious life. “Did you hear an audible voice?” Oprah asked. “God wanted me here and made it very clear,” 22-year-old Sister Francis Mary answered. Those unexposed to Catholicism or religious life who might have expected inanity or “girliness” from a community of young women, were handed what

Guest Column Sonja Corbitt Guest columnist amounted to a Catholic treatise wrapped in pithy packaging by one of the professed sisters: “Everyone is on a journey in life. But we are on a more intimate journey.” Another went on to add that in the religious life people are “free to pursue God fully,” while admitting that such a life is not “for every woman,” only those in whom “noise gnaws at the human soul” and pleads for silence there. Those who imagined religious life requires rulers hidden in the recesses of religious habits or faces clouded by somber melancholy were shocked at the brightness, the transparency and the unrehearsed sincerity of the nuns’ answers and a look at their daily routine and experiences. One postulant expressed her recent willingness to abandon sex and physical motherhood for the greater intimacy of spiritual motherhood, in part, because she did not “want to be an object.” Speaking of most nuns and their “spiritual marriage” to Jesus, Sister Francis Mary admitted, to raucous laughter, that He is a “hard husband, because if something goes wrong in the relationship, I know it’s me.” The sisters were everything beautiful and truthful that the Church has to offer: they were Christ to Oprah and to a world in need of its meaning in Him. I felt as though (finally!) someone was speaking with my voice and my faith, and not by rejecting men, sex, society, or even necessarily material things, but by their acceptance of something inexplicably more holy and beautiful. It was real feminism at its best, and true spiritual motherhood, for who knows how many vocations will be inspired by this broadcast? In a world where religious brothers and sisters probably hold the seams of a morally teetering earth together with their invisible, fervent, ceaseless prayers for us all, the broadcast revealed the Church in all its glory through our religious brothers and sisters. Surely those sisters inspired Lisa Ling to investigate true freedom, for the last words about them before the end of the show were hers: “Their lives are much more liberating.” Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic Scripture teacher, author and speaker. Check out her blog at pursuingthesummit.blogspot. com. Reprinted with permission of Catholic Online,


Sunday Scripture Readings: FEB. 28, 2010

February 28, Second Sunday of Lent Cycle C Readings: 1) Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18 Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14 2) Philippians 3:17 to 4:1 Gospel: Luke 9:28b-36

Transformation is key to Christian life Jeff Hedglen Catholic News Service Years ago when Michael walked into the parish junior high school program, it quickly became clear that he was going to be a challenge for me as youth minister. He was a brilliant, fun-loving boy with a great sense of humor. The problem was that he was not only smart but also a smart aleck. He and I had a number of talks after class when he had been inappropriately disruptive. He always rolled his eyes when I would ask him to come see me. On one such occasion I told him that I liked him, I thought he was funny and I liked that he could make the other kids laugh. However, the problem, I explained, was that he did not know the right time to be funny and the right time

to hold his tongue. I also told him that when I was his age, I was the troublesome student in faith formation class. I always had a wisecrack to make that annoyed the teachers. I said that if he could learn when to be funny and when to be serious, we wouldn’t have any more problems. That was the last time I had to ask him to stay after class. Michael went on to become one of my best leaders. When he was in high school he was on the team that assisted with the junior high program, and he helped at staff retreats and other youth ministry events throughout college. Transformation is a key element of Christian life. This week’s readings reveal this in a powerful way. Abraham and Sarah, a childless elderly couple, are told they would be the parents of a great nation. St. Paul tells us that in heaven Jesus will “change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body.” And the Gospel tells of when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. Everywhere we look in the Scriptures and in Christian history, we see people’s lives being transformed by the power of God. This life-altering power is not reserved just for the saints and junior high boys; it is also available for all who are willing to embrace the promises of God that come to us in Christ Jesus. QUESTIONS: How have you experienced the power of God in your life? Has someone you know had a life-transforming experience?

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 21 – 27 Sunday (First Sunday of Lent), Deuteronomy 26:4-10, Roman 10:8-13, Luke 4:1-13; Monday (The Chair of St. Peter), 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19; Tuesday (St. Polycarp), Isaiah 55:10-11, Matthew 6:7-15; Wednesday, Jonah 3:1-10, Luke 11:29-32; Thursday, Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25 or 4:17 (Esther’s prayer), Matthew 7:7-12; Friday, Ezekiel 18:21-28, Matthew 5:20-26; Saturday, Deuteronomy 26:16-19, Matthew 5:43-48. SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 6 Sunday, (Second Sunday of Lent), Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18, Philippians 3:17-4:1, Luke 9:28-36; Monday, Daniel 9:4-10, Luke 6:36-38; Tuesday, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20, Matthew 23:112; Wednesday (St. Katherine Drexel), Jeremiah 18:18-20, Matthew 20:17-28; Thursday (St. Casimir), Jeremiah 17:5-10, Luke 16:19-31, Friday, Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46; Saturday, Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

February 19, 2010

The Catholic News & Herald 15

Counter disillusionment by remembering Christ’s mission The renowned writer F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “A new generation ... grown to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faith in man shaken.” His dark picture of life is a reminder that disillusionment is forever lurking around us. In the political world, it is common for political parties to plant seeds of disillusionment about the performance of opposing parties. No matter our state in life, a pall of discouragement is cast over us if even one person or institution that we trusted becomes questionable or fails. U n d e s i r a b l e s i d e e ff e c t s o f disillusionment range from distrust, skepticism and diminished zest to a laissez-faire disposition and depression. How might we keep our balance in light of this situation? The Bible is our best place to begin. If anyone should be disappointed with life, it should be God. Seldom does humankind fulfill His designs for them. And yet, God never loses patience. Patience is never allowing anything

to break our spirit. As frequently as humankind goes astray, God never gives up on us. Two lessons follow from this: 1. We must face the reality that humankind has failed miserably throughout history and will continue to do so. History does and will continue to repeat itself. 2. We need to imitate God and never give up on life or on ourselves. Disillusionment tends to make us see only the negative. Sir Philip Sidney once said, “They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts,” reminding us to immerse ourselves in wholesome, positive ideas and to avoid negative, destructive ideas that saturate our news and culture. Sidney’s wise saying prompts us to be forever on the lookout for healthful, constructive ideas that remind us of our dignity, self-respect and worth in the eyes of God. Theologian Father Romano Guardini adds to this principle, encouraging us to

2009: A busy year for Room At The Inn Services ministered to more than 200 women The year 2009 was filled with constant activity at Room At The Inn. With the downturn in the economy, there was (and remains) a significant increase in the demand for our services. This challenge brought more opportunities than ever to share the love of Christ by serving those in need. As the year unfolded, God continued to bless Room At The Inn through the generosity of its supporters and also by bringing new and widespread attention to the organization from all over the world. Here are just a few of the milestones we reached in 2009: Room At The Inn’s residential program housed seven women and eight children. These clients all received free, long-term housing in a supervised environment with weekly professional counseling, Bible studies twice a week, material support, life-skills classes, mentoring and so much more. The Outreach Center provided maternity and after care support to 196 women and 380 children. These clients received free bi-weekly professional counseling, food, clothing, baby items, spiritual support and personal case management. Of the more than 200 women who were served by Room At The Inn in 2009, 80 of them had actively considered abortion. We are honored to provide help and hope to these wonderful mothers and babies! Group counseling was made

available as a way to accommodate even more clients and to give women the opportunity to make new friends and receive peer support. Thanks to the rosary-making groups of St. Matthew and St. Mark parishes, more than 200 rosaries with prayer instructions in English and Spanish were given to clients. Room At The Inn coordinated opportunities for the sacrament of baptism, including a group baptism at St. Ann Catholic Church where six beautiful babies were baptized by Father Timothy Reid. New parenting and life skills curriculum were introduced to enhance the services of the Outreach Program. The curriculum includes new DVDs in English and Spanish with worksheets and reference material for the clients. Room At The Inn provided its College Outreach Program brochures and referral materials to seven local colleges. To date, six out of these seven colleges have students who became clients. Thousands of baby items were distributed directly from donors to clients. An unprecedented number of people sacrificed their own birthday or baby shower gifts to benefit Room At The Inn. In January, Room At The Inn co-hosted an event with Belmont Abbey and the Knights of Columbus called “In Celebration of Life.” The

The Human Side Father Eugene Hemrick Guest columnist reflect more deeply on the extraordinarily creative happenings we are presently experiencing, to always be searching for hopeful signs in the future and to feed our imaginations daily. When Christ died, we get the sense that the apostles were somewhat disillusioned. However, when they more fully realized Christ’s mission for His Church, they found the exuberance needed to overcome disillusionment. They were in a new light, and like a sunny day, they contained the power needed to lift spirits and to see the light that is beyond the tunnel. Many other means exist for countering disillusionment. Seek them out and you will find yourself in the best state of mind in these often disheartening times.

Guest Column Jeannie Wray Guest columnist event included a graveside service at the burial site of the Holy Innocents (located at Belmont Abbey cemetery) followed by a standing room only memorial Mass at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. The annual Links “FORE“ Life golf tournament in May raised more than $20,000 for Room At The Inn. June saw the National Right to Life convention come to Charlotte, where Room At The Inn hosted an information booth. Room At The Inn’s board of directors hosted a luncheon on Father’s Day for Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. In October the 15th annual fundraising banquet for Room At The Inn raised $250,000. In 2009, the capital campaign surpassed the halfway mark to its goal of $3 million. When this goal is reached, Room At The Inn will be able to break ground on the new collegebased maternity and aftercare residential facility, a first in the nation. Jeannie Wray is the executive director of Room At The Inn, based in Charlotte. The non-profit Room At The Inn is a safe haven and source of hope for pregnant women regardless of their economic, social, religious, racial or ethnic backgrounds. See their Web site at


Abandon superficiality in favor of complete conversion The Lenten season calls Christians to strip themselves of evil, superficiality and lukewarm morality and to turn themselves fully over to Jesus Christ, said Pope Benedict XVI in his Ash Wednesday general audience. “Conversion means to change the direction in life’s journey, not by making tiny adjustments, but by an authentic and real about-face,” he said. “The call for conversion strips bare and denounces the easy superficiality that very often characterizes our way of life. “Conversion is to go against the current where the current is a lifestyle that is superficial, inconsistent, disillusioned, and which often tramples us, reigns over us and makes us slaves to evil or, in any case, prisoners of mediocre morals.” Even when life seems exhausting and fraught with difficulties and failure, even when one is tempted to abandon the faith, the call is being made to recognize “our need to open ourselves up to God’s love in Christ and to live according to His logic of justice and love,” he said. The pope prayed that the rite of receiving ashes would renew people’s commitments to following Jesus and “to letting our old humanity – tied to sin – die and letting new humanity – transformed by God’s grace – be born.” Following are his full remarks: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Church’s Lenten journey towards Easter. Lent reminds us, as Saint Paul exhorts, “not to accept the grace of God in vain” (cf. 2 Cor 6:1), but to recognize that today the Lord calls us to penance and spiritual renewal. This call to conversion is expressed in the two formulas used in the rite of the imposition of ashes. The first formula – “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” – echoes Jesus’ words at the beginning of his public ministry (cf. Mk 1:15). It reminds us that conversion is meant to be a deep and lasting abandonment of our sinful ways in order to enter into a living relationship with Christ, who alone offers true freedom, happiness and fulfillment. The second, older formula – “Remember, man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return” – recalls the poverty and death which are the legacy of Adam’s sin, while pointing us to the resurrection, the new life and the freedom brought by Christ, the Second Adam. This Lent, through the practice of prayer and penance, and an ever more fruitful reception of the Church’s sacraments, may we make our way to Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of this special season.

February 19, 2010

The Catholic News & Herald 16


Language program expanding Local students to compete PROGRAM, from page 1

“I think we can all be grateful to the Diocese of Charlotte and Pat Murphy, director of diversity and government programs for Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools, for following through on figuring out what we needed to do to help special needs students … and to the people who helped fund this program initially,” said St. Ann’s principal, Peggy Mazzola. “A lot of the children who came into the program were experiencing failure in some areas, and they were feeling bad about themselves,” Mazzola added. “This program gives them an opportunity to build their confidence again.” The special curriculum is geared to each student’s particular needs. Class sizes are small – no more than seven students per teacher and an aide. Students learn reading, math, science, social studies, religion, art, music and physical education, as well as library and computer skills. There is a sensory gym where they can have fun, work on their motor skills, or just take a break. Their teachers have master’s degrees in special education. One of them is Susan Gordon, who instructs the older LLSP students.

“We let students work at their own pace. Some students in the program are above grade level, some are below,” Gordon said. “We push them to achieve as much as they can.” According to Gordon, being immersed in a traditional Catholic school means “the socialization with mainstream students and the role models they provide for our LLSP students.” “We are so close – we are a family – and this helps our students extend out of their comfort zones. The other students in the school learn compassion and understanding that other people have other needs,” she said. Susie Rhoads’ daughter Ire is in the LLSP program at St. Ann. “I can’t say enough about the teachers and the aides and the school,” Rhoads said. “My daughter is reading. She couldn’t read before. Her self-esteem has improved. She has really come out of her shell.” Kevin Parks, principal of Holy Trinity, is pleased the Learning Language Stimulation Program is being extended to his school this fall. “I think it is going to be a tremendous addition to Holy Trinity. It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” Parks said. “These students are a gift to us all,” said Superintendent of Diocesan Schools Linda Cherry, who has been an advocate of the program from the start.



sponsored by CSS Elder Ministry Are you ready for a day filled with


Two dates and locations to choose from! Tuesday, April 20 — St. Matthew Catholic Church, Charlotte 9:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Closing Mass with Msgr. John McSweeney Deadline for Registration: Wednesday, April 7th

Tuesday, May 11 — Catholic Conference Center, Hickory 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Closing Mass with Father Conrad Hoover Deadline for Registration: Tuesday, April 27th

Your day will be filled with group entertainment, bingo, yoga, healing touch, health and wellness activities, computer class, crafts, door prizes, Mass and so much more! Cost is $14 per person – includes lunch. Please make checks payable to Catholic Social Services.

You may register as a group or individually by sending your check and the name of your parish to: Catholic Social Services, 1123 S. Church Street Charlotte, NC 28203-4003; Attention: Sandra Breakfield.

For Additional Information: Contact Sandra Breakfield @ 704-370-3220 or Sherill Beason @ 704-370-3228.

GAMES, from page 1

won top honors and will be going to the National Championship Tournament April 23 – 27 in Cincinnati. Students in two divisions — grades 4-6 and grades 7-8 — competed in games of equations, presidents, propaganda, onsets, world events and linguistics. Sixteen students from Holy Trinity Middle made the national team, and Principal Kevin Parks said he is proud of their performance. “I am excited for them,” Parks said. “I know they work very hard. Any student who spends every Friday afternoon doing what they do — I know they are passionate about it. I am very proud of how they have done.”

Mary Morales, coordinator of the MACS Academic Games and head coach for the Regional and National Academic Games teams, will take the 21 National Team members to Ohio in April. One of those Morales will be taking is Jonathan Wilson, a seventh-grader at Holy Trinity Middle. Jonathan studied every Friday afternoon after school to prepare for the competition, and his hard work paid off. “Academic Games has helped me to further develop my work ethic. I can apply that at school to elevate my grades,” he said. “The games are really fun. I was on the national team last year. It was really fun.” “This tournament would not have been possible without the support of Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools, the MACS Foundation, the school PTOs, our coaches, assistants, parents and volunteers, “ Morales said.



with a special visit to Medjugorje

October 18-28, 2010

Bring family and friends to join with the Diocese of Charlotte as we experience Croatia – lying just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy! We’ll see breathtaking natural beauty, significant places of European history and 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites! Plus, a spiritual visit to Medjugorje -- making this trip a definite favorite for all!

Highlights of these 11 days include: • Zagreb, the capital city with rich cultural and governmental history, and Roman settlements from the 1st century • beautiful, old-world Bled, Slovenia – a “pletna boat” will glide us across glacial Lake Bled with the majestic, snow-tipped Julian Alps as the backdrop • a tour of the world-famous Lipizzaner horse farm where we’ll witness an actual training session of these magnificent Slovenian treasures! • charming seaside Opatija, nestled in beautiful woods with elegant villas and a seaside promenade to bring the Adriatic right up to your feet! • the spectacular, breathtaking phenomenon of Plitvice Lakes national park – 16 terraced lakes connected by magnificent waterfalls and free-flowing cascades. A lake cruise reveals the underwater life thriving in this natural wonderland! • the ancient seaside city of Split (once the most important Mediterranean port in then-Yugoslavia) where we’ll explore the Old City, the markets, Diocletian’s Roman Palace and much more of its charm and fascinating history • Medjugorje, the village which promises to inspire and enrich us as we learn about Our Lady’s appearances there since 1981 – personal time for prayer, reflection and Mass at beautiful St. James Church • exciting Dubrovnik offers us its fascinating Old City, world-famous Franciscan Monastery, exceptional architecture, seaside promenade and more! • unforgettable home visit and culinary feast with a Croatian countryside family sharing their culture and customs to enrich our total experience!

Unparalleled beauty, fascinating history and more await you on this trip! Check out these highlights on the Internet and you’ll see why Croatia is becoming a must-see destination, still unspoiled by “too many tourists.” Price per person (double occupancy) is only $3,379 and includes: roundtrip airfare from Charlotte; all hotels and transfers; most meals; fulltime professional Tour Manager; local guides. Not included are cancellation waiver/insurance ($200 per person) and air taxes/surcharges ($150).

For a brochure or questions, call Cindi Feerick at the diocese (704) 370-3332 or e-mail

Feb. 19, 2010  

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