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March 16, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 1

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

In the News Archbishop opposes moves to ‘bleach out God’ from public life | Page 4

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI march 16, 2007

From waste to miracles

Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte

A Mass for all people

no. 22

Mass reveals the abilities of the disabled by

More federal funding urged for umbilical cord-blood collection

KAREN A. EVANS staff writer

CHARLOTTE — Brian Johnson performed a song he co-wrote and accompanied the Joy Class of Providence United Methodist Church. Beth Kennedy read from Exodus and Corinthians. Kennedy, Johnson and the Joy Class were among the young people with mental or physical disabilities who participated in the Mass at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte March 11 as part of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Sabbath/Sunday. Developmental Disabilities Awareness Sabbath/Sunday provides an opportunity for religious organizations to recognize the needs and abilities of people with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities and their families. The Mass was coordinated by St. Gabriel Church

by AGOSTINO BONO catholic news service

WASHINGTON — Lack of federal funding could jeopardize therapeutic advances made in using umbilical cord blood for curing diseases, said Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Doerflinger told Catholic News Service that the bishops supported the 2005 law which authorized funds for collecting and storing cord blood and for the establishment of a National Cord Blood Inventory which would enable doctors to match patients with compatible donors through a centralized computer data bank. Although the 2005 law authorizes $15 million per year from 2007 through 2010, See CORD BLOOD, page 7


Photo by Karen A. Evans

Father Ed Sheridan, pastor, gives his homily during the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Sunday Mass at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte March 11.

A plan for peace Catholic groups join call to bring peace to Iraq by MARK PATTISON catholic news service

CNS photo by Ali Jarekji, Reuters

Catholics offer prayers for peace in Iraq during a special Mass in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 23. The church is the first point of reference for Christian Iraqi refugees when they arrive in Jordan. In a March 7 statement, 35 prominent religious and social justice organizations asked for support from members of Congress to strengthen U.S. efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq.

WASHINGTON — A new consortium of organizations — including several with Catholic roots — have proposed a $590 million plan to bring “proven strategies of peacebuilding, humanitarian relief and responsible economic development” to Iraq. “Two-and-a-half days worth of funding the military

could get you all of this for a year. Not bad, huh?” said Sister Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service who is head of Network, the Catholic socialjustice lobby which is one of the backers of the proposal. The plan would include: — $290 million to respond to the needs of an estimated See PEACE, page 9

See DISABLED, page 5

A journey of faith

Tens of thousands prepare to enter church at Easter by JERRY FILTEAU catholic news service

WASHINGTON — In dioceses across the country at the beginning of Lent, tens of thousands of Americans began the final stages of their journey toward baptism or entering into full communion with the See RCIA, page 6

Iraq War

In our Schools


Chaplain urges troop support

Science award winners; youth rugby tournament

Post-abortion trauma; Stations of the Cross

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March 16, 2007

2 The Catholic News & Herald


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

English-speaking liturgists design multimedia education project ROME (CNS) — Although a new translation of the Mass is a couple years away from parish use, a group of liturgy specialists is designing a multimedia package to help Catholics prepare. Msgr. James P. Moroney, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for the Liturgy, said the liturgy offices of other English-speaking bishops’ conferences will be invited to participate in the education project, which could be ready by late 2008. He said the project flowed from discussions about how little was done to prepare people for the Mass in English after the Second Vatican Council; many people felt efforts to get the original English Mass into use were “very hurried.” As the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) continues to prepare new English translations of the Mass prayers and as bishops’ conferences await Vatican permission to

Labor of love

Diocesan planner CNS photo by Dan McWilliams, East Tennessee Catholic


John Irwin (right) of Farragut, Tenn., stands outside his local grocery store with his pastor, Father John Dowling of St. John Neumann Church. Irwin is a 74-year-old retired engineer who in spring 2005 took a job stocking shelves and unloading trucks at the store until he could earn $25,000, his pledge toward the building fund for the Farragut parish’s new $7.4 million church.

ARDEN — The St. Martin De Porres Dominican Laity Chapter meets the fourth Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, 564 Long Shoals Rd. Inquirers are welcome. For more information contact Joe Kraft at (828) 6481036 or

Retiree, 74, returns to work, donates earnings to church fund

HENDERSONVILLE — The St. Francis of the Hills Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order meets the fourth Sunday of each month, 2:30-4:30 p.m., at Immaculate Conception Church, 208 7th Ave. West. Visitors and inquirers are welcome. For more information, contact Joanita Nellenbach, SFO, (828) 6279209 or

FARRAGUT, Tenn. (CNS) — An east Tennessee retiree has returned to work — stocking shelves and unloading trucks at a supermarket — as part of a three-year pledge to help his parish build a new church. John Irwin, 74, of St. John Neumann Church in Farragut, retired from his engineering career two decades ago but returned to the workforce in spring 2005 at his local supermarket. The store keeps him busy 35 hours a week. He is more than halfway toward completing a promise to his pastor, Father John Dowling. “I told Father Dowling that I would work for three years, and he could have whatever I make,” Irwin said. “After taxes it’ll be something a little over $25,000. It’s about $700 a month that I give.” In February, Irwin made the 21st of his planned 36 monthly contributions to the parish’s Growing in Faith Together campaign, which is funding the $7.4 million building project. Father Dowling said he was “as close as I’ve ever been to feeling guilty” over receiving a contribution when he learned of Irwin’s labor of love. “It was just amazing. Many people in and outside of our parish have given tremendous amounts of time, talent and treasure to make the building of our church possible and also our new great room, kitchen, office space and various

other multipurpose rooms,” said the priest. “But his sacrificial gift is something I think a lot of people would be in awe of,” he said. Irwin lives on his retirement savings and could not afford to withdraw some of the money to make the donation he desired to the parish’s funding campaign. “So I prayed about it, and I went in to the store one day, and here’s this big sign: ‘Help Wanted.’ I thought, ‘Maybe that sign is a sign.’” His hiring may have been one of the quickest in the store’s history. “They had me start to go through their application. I’ve had the good fortune to have a lot of education, and I got about halfway through and they said, ‘You’re fine.’ I never did fill out the whole application.” said Irwin. Irwin does not consider his job a tremendous sacrifice since he had been retired 20 years at the time he started. “It’s good exercise, and it’s a lot more physically demanding than I thought it would be, but that’s a plus side — I don’t have to belong to the gym anymore,” he said. St. John Neumann Church broke ground for its new church Sept. 24, 2006. Foundation work is nearly finished on the new building and the project is on track for completion by the end of this year.

BOONE VICARIATE NORTH WILKESBORO — A Catholic Scripture Study group meets at St. John Baptiste de La Salle Church, 275 CC Wright School Rd. Visit for more information. Classes meet Wednesdays, 12-1:30 p.m. and 6:45-8:15 p.m. Please call Rob Hicks at (336) 957-7193 for more information or if you plan to attend. SPRUCE PINE — A Rosary of Intercession for Priests is recited each Friday at St. Lucien Church, 695 Summit St., before the 9 a.m. Mass. Prayers are offered for bishops, priests and deacons, and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood. For more information, call the church office at (828) 765-2224.


CHARLOTTE — St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., will host a

use the translations they have approved, the group met in Rome in late February to continue outlining what members believe an education package should include. The participants decided to produce a DVD, which would include the history of the liturgy, liturgical spirituality and language and how to preside at the liturgy. “Ministry guides” and bulletin inserts also would be part of the package they hope would get “massive distribution in the English-speaking world,” Msgr. Moroney said. He said the materials would include suggestions “to help priests effectively proclaim the (new) texts, but a discussion about translations is only a very small part of the project.” Msgr. Moroney said the group was not convoked by the Vatican or by the ICEL, although ICEL chairman Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, England, and its executive director, Msgr. Bruce Harbert, are involved. Christian Coffeehouse March 17, 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Banquet Room of the New Life Center. Msgr. John McSweeney will speak on the Trinity. Single and married adults are invited for an evening of contemporary Christian music, food and fellowship. For more information, call Kathy Bartlett at (704) 400-2213. CHARLOTTE — St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Church will have an informational meeting on the Eastern Rite at Charlotte Catholic High School, 7702 Pineville-Matthews Rd., March 18 at 10 a.m. Mass will follow at 11 a.m. The Mass is open to anyone who would like to attend. For more information, please contact Father Deacon Mark Shuey at or call (919) 7797246. CHARLOTTE — The South Charlotte Cursillo movement welcomes all to join us for faith, fellowship, and food at our Weekend Ultreya in the family room of St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., March 18, 12-2 p.m. Lisa Wilson will give an inspirational talk on “Practicing Holiness in Everyday Life.” There will be a potluck lunch. Babysitting will be available with early reservations. For more information, call Paul Mitchell at (704) 841-9441. CHARLOTTE — Father Peter Pham, priest in residence at St. Joseph Vietnamese Church, will celebrate Mass in Vietnamese for the Lenten season at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 4207 Shamrock Dr., March 25 at 1 p.m. Reconciliation will be offered at 12:30 p.m. For more information, call the church office at (704) 535-9965. CHARLOTTE — Father Fred Pompei will present a Parish Mission at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1400 Suther Rd., March 19-21 at 7 p.m. The retreat mission will focus on our Catholic Identity, what the soul, heart and uniqueness of being a Catholic Christian is. For more information, call the church office at (704) 549-1607. CHARLOTTE — St. Peter Church, 507 S. Tryon St. will have Eucharistic Adoration Fridays during

MARCH 16, 2007 Volume 16 • Number 22 Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Editor: Kevin E. Murray Staff Writer: Karen A. Evans Graphic DESIGNER: Tim Faragher Advertising MANAGER: Cindi Feerick Secretary: Deborah Hiles 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.

March 16, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 3


Vatican official says Catholics must repent for not sharing good news VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholics, and Catholic communicators must ask forgiveness for the times they have failed to share God’s love and compassion, said U.S. Archbishop John P. Foley March 5. “Certainly, it is necessary to identify the evils in society and warn people against them, but our major effort should be in proclaiming the knowledge and love of our merciful savior, Jesus Christ,” said the archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Archbishop Foley asked council members to examine the ways they have failed to use modern media to spread the good news as well as ways they may have contributed to a public view of the church as a body that speaks mainly to condemn. The archbishop said Pope Benedict XVI “has justly counseled us not to be seen as always saying ‘no,’ but to reflect — and to be seen to reflect — in our use of the media the mercy and compassion

Lent following the 7:30 a.m. Mass until 12 p.m. Benediction will follow with Mass at 12:10 p.m. and Stations of the Cross at 12:45 p.m. A sign-up book will be available in the Church narthex. Call (803) 517-2600 with questions.


GREENSBORO — The Reemployment Support Group of St. Paul the Apostle Church will meet March 22, 7:30-9 p.m., in Room 8 of the Parish Life Center, 2715 Horse Pen Creek Rd. If you are currently out of work or looking to make a career change, join us for encouragement, support and informative topics to help you in your job search. For more information, call Colleen Assal at (336) 294-4696, ext. 226. GREENSBORO — If you have a special need for prayers, or would like to offer your time in prayer for others’ needs, please call the Prayer Chain at Our Lady of Grace Church. The Prayer Chain is a sizable group committed to praying for your needs and the needs of your family and friends on a daily basis. To request a prayer or to participate in the Prayer Chain, call the church office at (336) 274-6520, ext. 10 and leave your name, address and phone number. GUILFORD COUNTY — The Ancient Order of Hibernians Guilford County Division, the oldest and largest order of Irish Catholic men, is looking for more Irish Catholic men to join them for meetings, educational seminars and social events. Contact Michael Slane at (336) 665-9264 for time and location.


SALISBURY — Elizabeth Ministry is a peer ministry comprised of Sacred Heart Church parishioners who have lost babies before or shortly after birth. Confidential peer ministry, information and spiritual materials are offered at no cost or obligation to anyone who has experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn. For details, call Renee Washington at (704) 6370472 or Sharon Burges at (704) 633-0591.



of Jesus Christ.” The good news and the good deeds undertaken by the church out of love for God and for other people need to be shared every bit as much as the church warnings about evil, he said. The media are used successfully “to sell soap and automobiles and clothing and vacation experiences,” he said. But Christians, “who have the responsibility to proclaim the most important message in the history of the human race, have often lacked the imagination and the dedication to use the media well in making known the good news of Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said. Archbishop Foley prayed that Christian communicators would renew their commitment not only to share the good news of Christ through their programs and publications, “but may we also be perceived as being loving and merciful, following his example and, indeed, his mandate.” SMOKY MOUNTAIN VICARIATE

MURPHY — Rev. Gary Litchfield, pastor of Andrews Presbyterian Church, will lead the reflection for the Ecumenical Lenten Service at St. William Church, 765 Andrews Rd., March 21, 12-12:30 p.m. Rev. James Johnson, rector of Episcopal Church of the Messiah, will lead the reflection March 28. This series is designed to strengthen ecumenical bonds within the community. For more information, call Joan Kennedy at (828) 837-8519.


WINSTON-SALEM — The Spirit of Assisi hosts a Wednesday Lunch & Speaker Series each Wednesday, 12:30-1:15 p.m., at the Fatima Chapel, 211 W. Third St. Rick Appel will speak on “Spirituality of Henri Nouwen: Return of the Prodigal Son” at the March 21 program. The sacrament of reconciliation will be offered at 12 p.m. in the chapel. For more information and to RSVP, call Sister Kathy Ganiel at (336) 6241971 or e-mail Walk-ins are welcome.

Pope, Russian president discuss Catholic-Orthodox relations VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI and Russian President Vladimir Putin spent 25 minutes speaking privately March 13, discussing Catholic-Orthodox relations and ways to strengthen the relationship between the Vatican and the Russian government. A Vatican statement said the pope’s meeting with Putin and the meeting held simultaneously by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, “took place in a very positive atmosphere.” While officials of the Russian Orthodox Church continue to insist relations have not improved enough to permit a meeting between Pope Benedict and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, the Vatican’s nuncio in Russia said there are signs of progress, especially in relations between bishops of the two churches. Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the nuncio, told Vatican Radio March 10 that a Russian Catholic-Orthodox commission has been working to investigate and resolve conflicts and tensions, usually involving Orthodox claims that Catholics have been trying to proselytize Orthodox believers. The work is going well, the archbishop said, and the members are working in “an optimum climate of friendship and understanding.” Archbishop Mennini said the Vatican hoped a meeting between the pope and patriarch could be organized soon, “because it would be a very important

thing, not just for the Christian world, but also precisely for safeguarding common values” in Europe. The Vatican statement about the March 13 meetings said the two delegations expressed a desire to further develop their official relations, particularly through cultural exchanges. Putin presented Pope Benedict with a 1663 lithograph of St. Peter’s Square featuring a third arm of its colonnade. The pope told Putin the third set of columns was never built and an aide explained that the Vatican ran out of money before it could be erected. Putin gave Pope Benedict an icon of St. Nicholas of Myra, explaining that it was made in 2006 strictly following the traditional Russian method of painting on a gold-covered piece of wood. Cardinal Bertone presented the Russian delegation with a first-edition copy of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church in Russian. In addition to Catholic-Orthodox relations, the Vatican said, the Pope Benedict and Putin also discussed international affairs, particularly regarding tensions in the Middle East as well as “the problems of extremism and intolerance, which are serious threats to civil coexistence among nations.” The pope and the president, the statement said, emphasized their belief in “the need to preserve peace and promote the negotiated and peaceful resolution of conflicts.”

A ministry of love

CLEMMONS — Holy Family Church, 4820 Kinnamon Rd., has Eucharistic Adoration each Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. For more details, call Donna at (336)940-2558 or Carole at (336) 766-4530. CLEMMONS — A Charismatic Prayer Group meets Mondays at 7:15 p.m. in the eucharistic chapel of Holy Family Church, 4820 Kinnamon Rd. Join us for praise music, witness, teaching, prayers and petition. For more details, call Jim Passero at (336) 998-7503.

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

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

March 17 — 5 p.m. Sacrament of Confirmation St. John Baptiste de la Salle Church, North Wilkesboro March 18 — 10:30 a.m. Sacrament of Confirmation Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Lexington

March 24 — 5 p.m. Boy Scout Camporee Mass Clear Creek Scout Camp, Midland March 25 — 2 p.m. Youth Pilgrimage Belmont Abbey College

CNS photo by Anto Akkara

WARANGAL, India (CNS) — An HIV-positive wife feeds her dying husband at the Catholic AIDS hospice Karunalayam (Home of Love) near Warangal, India, Feb. 7 as Sister Bessy Sebastian, a Missionary of Mary Mediatrix, looks on. The Warangal Diocese’s home-based care program is supported by Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and aid agency.

4 The Catholic News & Herald

in the news

March 16, 2007

Resist moves to ‘bleach out God’ from public life, archbishop says by

MARK ZIMMERMANN catholic news service

WASHINGTON — America must “look again at the place of religion and Gospel values in our efforts to build the common good,” Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl said March 8 in a talk for the Presidential Leadership Lecture Series sponsored by Mount St. Mary’s University. The lecture series, held at the University Club of Washington, explores the concept of leadership in today’s society. Speaking on “Religious Faith and American Political Life” to a luncheon crowd that included Mount St. Mary’s officials, alumni and guests, Archbishop Wuerl expressed concern about the “current effort to bleach out God from our public life.” He noted that “until very recently in our public civil life, mention of God was taken for granted and prayer inspired by belief in God was a routine part of public, government-sponsored programs and activities.” Now, he said, many consider such things unacceptable, and that poses a great risk for society. “Without some transcendent reference point that binds all of us, moral value is reduced to personal opinion and a simple majority of voters,” he said. “Without a value system rooted in morality and ethical integrity, there is the very real danger that human choices will be motivated solely by personal convenience and gain,” he added. “Law can become a matter of might, who has more power, rather than right, what we know we ought to do.” The Washington archbishop said it should be seen as a “blessing, rather than a cause for concern,” that moral principles are “proclaimed by the religious faith of the majority of people in the country.” “To speak out against racial discrimination, social injustice or threats to the dignity of human life is not to force values upon our society but rather to call it to its own, long-accepted moral principles and commitment to defend basic human rights,” he said. Archbishop Wuerl said the belief that “we are a free people who recognize the sovereignty of God and God’s law

in our personal and societal life ... has long been a cornerstone of the American experience.” The Mayflower Compact in 1620 recognized that freedom in the new land would be guided by “the law of God and the common good,” the archbishop said. Documents such as the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787 reflected a similar understanding, he added. “One is struck,” he said, “by how comfortable the framers of the foundational documents for the United States were with the recognition of their relationship with God as an integral part of their personal and political experience and the existence and role of a natural moral order that necessarily made an impact on and was normative for civil law.” Today, the archbishop said, society faces a challenge from secularism that tries to divorce faith from public life. That view, increasingly promoted by the media, is artificial and wrong, he said. Secular humanism cannot provide the “moral guidance we as society so desperately need,” the archbishop said. He also noted that science and technology can enable people to accomplish great things but cannot help people answer questions like “Is what we can do always what we ought to do?” He said popes and bishops have written important documents on questions of war and peace, economic justice and the rights of workers, and the church likewise today has important insights to offer on issues such as “embryonic stem-cell research, partial-birth abortion, physician-assisted suicide and migration involving Asian, Pacific Rim and Latin American people.” Archbishop Wuerl called on people of faith and on religious institutions to reclaim their place in the public square. On questions of medical and bioethical decisions, for example, there is a need “for a clearer articulation of the rationale of our moral and ethical positions,” he said. “We need to be able to communicate not only at the level of scientific journal and intellectual elite, but also at the level of the masses, the participants in the consumer society.”

CNS photo by Paul Haring

Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington celebrates the Eucharist at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington during his 2006 installation. America must “look again at the place of religion and Gospel values in our efforts to build,” Archbishop Wuerl said in a March 8 lecture in Washington.

March 16, 2007

Annual Mass highlights abilities of disabled DISABLED, from page 1

disABILITY Ministry, established in 1995 to encourage those people with physical or mental disabilities to participate fully in parish life. “Our main goal is to encourage participation in activities from worship services to study groups to recreational activities,” said Mary Kennedy, a member of the disABILITY Ministry and Beth’s mother. Through financial assistance from St. Gabriel Church, a grant from the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities, memorials and other donations, the disABILITY Ministry was able to improve St. Gabriel Church and other campus buildings to be more handicapaccessible. When the ministry was established in 1995, there were 50 to 60 people with various disabilities participating in the ministry’s activities. Today, about 160 people are involved. The ministry also sponsors social events, including dances and bingo

from the cover

games, throughout the year for those with developmental disabilities. Approximately 20 people with disabilities actively participated in the Mass, including the musical performances, readings, assisting ushers and presenting the gifts. Among the congregation were many people with disabilities attending the Mass with their families or group-home housemates. “We want people with mental or physical disabilities to be a part of our church family,” said Kennedy. “For a church the size of St. Gabriel, there has been very little participation by our own members with disabilities, and we cannot explain that. We are just prayerful that through this Mass and the activities we offer, they will feel welcomed and led to participate.” The Mass also serves to demonstrate the talents of those with disabilities, Kennedy said. “The response from the parish has been terrific,” Kennedy said. “The parishioners understand and welcome these people.” In the future, Kennedy said she hopes that the Diocese of Charlotte will be able to provide more housing opportunities

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Photo by Karen A. Evans

Members of the Joy Class of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte sing during the Developmental Disabilities Awareness Sunday Mass at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte March 11. for the disabled. St. Gabriel Church was recently joined by St. Matthew Church in Charlotte in offering programs designed especially for persons with developmental

disabilities. In 2006, St. Matthew Church implemented Special Religious Development (SPRED), a program of religious education specifically designed to meet the spiritual needs of persons with developmental disabilities. SPRED is a network of services that assists those people with developmental disabilities to realize their own giftedness and dignity and become more integrated into their parishes. St. Matthew Church is hoping to establish a support group for parents, family members and friends of persons with disabilities. It will be an opportunity to hear special education experts, obtain valuable information on community resources and share ideas. Contact Staff Writer Karen A. Evans by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail WANT MORE INFO? For more information about St. Gabriel Church’s disABILITY Ministry, call Mary Kennedy at (704) 364-6964. For more information about St. Matthew Church’s SPRED program, call Jan Clemens at (704) 341-8978.

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Tens of thousands prepare to enter church at Easter RCIA, from page 1

Catholic Church at Easter. For catechumens — people not yet baptized — the final part of the journey began with a Rite of Election on or near the first Sunday of Lent. For candidates, who are already baptized Christians, the start of Lent meant participating in a Call to Continuing Conversion. Many candidates were raised in a different faith. Some were baptized Catholic but never received first Communion as children or were not confirmed. Catechumens will receive baptism, confirmation and first Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Candidates will enter full communion with the church by receiving confirmation and first Eucharist. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults spells out the formation of

catechumens and the steps of their preparation for the three sacraments of initiation. For candidates, because they are already baptized, the program of formation and preparation is distinct, although there are often parallels with the RCIA and members of both groups often meet together in their parish formation programs. By the numbers In the Diocese of Charlotte, about 800 catechumens and candidates participated in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, held at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte Feb. 25, the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville March 3 and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point March 4. In the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., there were 580 catechumens and candidates. In Arlington, Va., there were 623, while in Brooklyn, N.Y., there were 902 catechumens and candidates.

Photo by Deacon Gerald Potkay

Deacon Edwin Rodriguez and Bishop Peter J. Jugis watch as catechumens and their sponsors gather around the altar during the Rite of Election at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point March 4. The rite acknowledges the readiness of catechumens preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist — at the Easter Vigil.

Pittsburgh had 748. Dodge City, Kan., had 190. Louisville, Ky., had 567. Manchester, N.H., had 415. There were more than 1,500 in Los Angeles, more than 300 in Peoria, Ill., more than 500 in Boston and nearly 900 in Portland, Ore. In many places, candidates outnumbered catechumens. The Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., for example, had 144 candidates and 72 catechumens. The Diocese of Albany, N.Y., had 142 candidates and 87 catechumens. Harrisburg, Pa., had 398 and 207. Sioux City, Iowa, had 120 and 46. Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., had 199 and 114. Lincoln, Neb., had 89 and 31. New York had 645 and 375. San Francisco had 214 and 162. Camden, N.J., had 274 and 163. Toledo, Ohio, had 398 and 217. Detroit had 793 candidates and 550 catechumens at archdiocesan services but reported that “several hundred more” participated in ceremonies in their home parishes. Atlanta reported 769 candidates and 457 catechumens participating in archdiocesan ceremonies, but the archdiocesan worship office said that 300 to 500 more participated in such services in their own parishes. In Salt Lake City the 321 catechumens outnumbered the 257 candidates. Some dioceses hold separate liturgies for candidates and catechumens, often a day or week apart, to help emphasize that the process of a baptized person entering into full communion with the church is not the same thing as the RCIA. The RCIA was established in the church in 1972 specifically as a modern revival of the catechumenate in the early church, a period of time combining formation and ritual through which non-Christians were prepared for their sacramental initiation into the church. In the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., a Feb. 25 Rite of Election service was held for the diocese’s 200 catechumens. In a separate service three months earlier,

March 16, 2007

291 candidates answered the Call to Continuing Conversion. The Diocese of Trenton, N.J., welcomed 150 catechumens Feb. 25, but since last year the Call to Continuing Conversion for candidates has been celebrated at the parish level rather than in a diocesan ceremony. The Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alberta, which welcomed 215 catechumens Feb. 24, has also adopted that approach. This year was the first in which the service was for catechumens alone and did not include the Call to Continuing Conversion with candidates. A heavy snow in the District of Columbia forced the Washington Archdiocese to postpone its Feb. 25 ceremony. In two services March 4, the archdiocese welcomed 1,129 catechumens and candidates. Snowstorms in the Midwest caused several other cancellations or postponements. Growing faith Since 1993, when the Official Catholic Directory began recording separate statistics on adult baptisms and entries into full communion in the church in the United States and U.S. territories, the combined total of adults welcomed into the church has generally been running in the range of 154,000 to 162,000 a year. There were three above-average years: about 171,000 each year in 1999 and 2000, and more than 178,000 in 2001. In most years receptions into full communion have outnumbered adult baptisms by a few thousand nationwide, but the baptisms outnumbered the receptions by 1,400 in 2003 and by more than 7,000 in 2005, according to the directory. Figures for 2006 will not be available until the 2007 directory is published later this year. The Diocese of Charlotte normally welcomes 800 new Catholics each year. Editor Kevin E. Murray was among more than 20 contributors to this story.

March 16, 2007

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More federal funding urged for umbilical cord-blood collection CORD BLOOD, from page 1

Congress has to approve the funding each year. For fiscal year 2008, which begins in October, the Bush administration budget proposes only $2 million in funding. “We were active in supporting the underlying legislation and we are in favor of full funding,” Doerflinger said March 7 after attending a briefing organized by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the main sponsor of the 2005 law. Smith called on his congressional colleagues to approve the $15 million permitted by law. Doctors and cord-blood bank officials at the briefing said that stem cells from cord blood that were transplanted into patients have been successful in curing people with brain, heart and blood diseases. They also provide an alternative to the ethical problems involving embryonic stem cells. Human embryos are destroyed to extract the stem cells. Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and the placenta discharged by the mother during childbirth. Stem cells are basic cells that are capable of reproducing as stem cells or as other types of specialized cells, offering promise that they can help cure numerous diseases. Noting that placentas are discarded after childbirth, Smith said that fully funding the cord-blood program “enables us to turn medical waste into medical miracles.” Smith said that that cord-blood stem cells have resulted in treatments for 70 diseases, including leukemia, sickle cell anemia and some forms of mental retardation. Full federal funding would provide

seed money to allow the cord-blood banks to collect, store and catalog 150,000 units of blood, including units from different racial and ethnic groups so that more people can use the therapies, he said. Experts at the briefing said that collecting units from different ethnic and racial groups is important because compatible genetic material in the cord blood is more likely when donors and patients are from the same racial and ethnic group. Without a certain amount of genetic compatibility, the patient’s body can reject the donor cells, they said. Smith said that the 150,000 units is the minimum amount needed to serve the wide-ranging needs of patients and to permit the blood banks to become economically self-sufficient. Experts said that current cost for collecting and storing a unit is $2,000, putting the cost of collecting and storing 150,000 units at $300 million. They added that future funding would come from hospitals and insurance companies paying for the use of the blood units in treatments. They added that stem cells from cord blood are easier to match with patients than stem cells from bone marrow and are starting to replace bone marrow in some treatments. Doerflinger told CNS that for compatibility in bone marrow transplants six of six genetic factors have to be compatible while for cord-blood stem cells, four of four factors need to be compatible. Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, a pioneer in using cord blood in cures for children, said that there is something, yet to be discovered, in the cord blood cells that reduces the likelihood that they will be rejected once transferred to a patient. The evidence that something special

Displayed is frozen umbilical-cord blood at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., in this photo from July 2006. A lack of federal funding could jeopardize therapeutic advances made in using umbilical cord blood for curing diseases.

CNS photo by David V. Kamba, Catholic New World

exists in cord blood is that although half of the genetic material of a fetus comes from the father, the mother does not reject the fetus, said Kurtzberg. She is program director for both the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program and the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank for Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center. The cord-blood transplant procedure is similar to a blood transfusion with the units introduced intravenously in the arm of the patient, she said. There is no need to introduce the cord blood directly to the part of the body needing the therapy because “the cells seem to know how to get to the organ

where they are needed,” she said. Kurtzberg, who began using cord blood on sick children in 1988, said there is medical evidence that cord blood has been responsible for successful therapies. This includes the fact that regenerative cells with female genetic characteristics have appeared in the repaired organs of boys who have received female cord blood, she said. Science still does not know whether the cures come from the blood cells themselves or from other cells carried in the blood, she said. “We need five to 10 years still to work out what cells do what,” she said.

Pennsylvania is latest state to approve ‘Choose Life’ license plates PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Pennsylvania has become the latest state to approve the use of a “Choose Life” specialty license plate. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation receives $20 for each plate ordered, and another $20 is an annual membership fee in Pennsylvania Choose Life. Every year, when people renew their registration, they will receive a reminder from the pro-life organization to renew their annual $20 membership. Pennsylvania Choose Life will administer the funds it collects, using the money to support women in crisis pregnancies. The project began several years ago, but it stalled until the Legislature decided that the Department of Transportation would give the approval, not the Legislature. “All we had to do was prove we were a charitable organization and provide information about what our homes do for women in crisis pregnancies,” Wurtz said. “In Florida, we sold 8,000 plates

in our first five months,” said Russell Amerling, national publicity coordinator of Choose Life Inc., in Ocala, Fla., where the idea for the plates originated. The success of the program depends on getting the word out that “Choose Life” plates are available. In states such as Florida, where the plates have become popular, monthly revenues generated by the plate sales can be as high as $65,000. In only two years, more than $2.5 million has been raised for adoption services in that state. In his 10 years of work, Amerling has seen groups that support keeping abortion legal initiate lawsuits to block their sale where a state’s legislature has to approve the plates. Amerling has found that in states that offer both pro-life and pro-choice plates, sales of pro-life plates are far more successful. “In Hawaii, where we have a ‘Choose Life’ plate,” he said, “Planned Parenthood got a ‘Respect Choice’ plate, and we’re outselling them 5-to-1. In Montana, we’re outselling them 8-to-1.”

8 The Catholic News & Herald


CNS photo courtesy Father Iasiello

Franciscan Father Louis Iasiello (right), the president of Washington Theological Union, is pictured praying with Navy Special Forces in Fallujah, Iraq, in this undated photo. Father John Hannigan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a military chaplain, says more priests are needed in Iraq to boost the spiritual drive of the U.S. servicemen.

‘Making headway’

Chaplain says people in U.S. must keep up support for troops in Iraq by PAUL STORER catholic news service

FRANKFORT, Ill. — Support from people in the United States is important to the nation’s troops who are serving in Iraq and must continue, especially for soldiers “in harm’s way,” a military chaplain told a congregation in the Diocese of Joliet. Father John Hannigan, a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese, has been on leave from active duty since January, but before that he had been stationed in Iraq since the early days of the war. He would travel every day in convoys with U.S. soldiers along desert roads, dodging bullets and roadside bombs with his comrades while evading rocket-propelled grenades. The priest’s mission was to boost the spiritual drive of the infantry Marines stationed within a 30,000-square-mile region stretching across Baghdad and Fallujah to the borders of Syria and Jordan. The U.S. Navy commander who is a Marine Corps chaplain relied on donations from people stateside — including members of St. Anthony Church in Frankfort — to secure rosaries, Bibles, medals and other religious items for the troops. He paid a visit to the parish in midFebruary to express his thanks. With regard to the situation in the volatile Middle East, Father Hannigan believes that the plan to send 21,500 additional soldiers to Iraq is needed, as American troops are training Iraqi police officials and soldiers while fighting off insurgents. “We are winning there. We’re making headway. Those aren’t just empty words. The American public needs to hear that. And, the Iraqi people really appreciate

our presence there,” he said. Ordained in 1976, Father Hannigan served as an associate pastor at three parishes in the Chicago Archdiocese before beginning his career as a military chaplain in 1990. The 56-year-old clergyman said that for as long as he could remember he always had the desire to be a Catholic priest and, at the same time, he wanted to be in the military. Being a military chaplain seemed like an appropriate fit, he said. Father Hannigan explained that military chaplains are responsible for strengthening the morale of the troops and are stationed across battle lines. Enemy forces understand the positive impact chaplains have on the lives of the soldiers, he said, so chaplains are targets along with combat commanders, communication officers and physicians. “I’ve had six close calls,” he said. He noted that there are 75 percent fewer Catholic priest chaplains than Protestant chaplains serving the Marines. Those numbers are similar in the other branches of the military, he said. “We really need priests out there,” the chaplain said, noting that it was impossible for him to adequately serve all the Catholics in his assigned perimeter in Iraq. “The bishops have been very supportive, but they just don’t have enough priests,” he said, referring to the priest shortage in the United States. Priests serve the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services as chaplains with permission from their bishops. When he reports back to active duty sometime in March, Father Hannigan has been assigned to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

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March 16, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 9


Catholic groups join call to bring peace to Iraq PEACE, from page 1

3.7 million Iraqis displaced in and outside their own country, including an estimated 712,000 displaced since the a Shiite mosque in Samarra was bombed in February 2006. — $100 million to restore full funding of the Community Action Program and an Iraqi war victims’ fund commonly known as the “Marla Fund.” — $100 million to support Iraqi civil society, conflict resolution and peacebuilding strategies, and the advancement of human rights and rule of law. — $100 million to rebuild 143 Iraqi state-owned industries with the potential to employ 150,000 Iraqis, which would reverse the decline in U.S. economic assistance — a recommendation found in the Iraq Study Group’s report. The money would be included in a supplemental appropriations bill, the groups said in their March 7 statement. “These are unexpected bedfellows working together,” Sister Campbell told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from St. Louis, referring to the broad base of organizations behind the proposal. She pointed to “the fact that we’ve got Mercy Corps and Amnesty

CNS photo by Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters

U.S. soldiers patrol a Shiite neighborhood in the village of Alwardah, south of Baghdad, Iraq, March 6. In a March 7 statement, Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, and 34 other prominent religious and social justice organizations asked for support from members of Congress to strengthen U.S. efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq. (International), and endorsements from the peace community, which is also supporting this as part of their message,

getting this engaged. We’re also getting a lot of support from the NGOs (nongovernmental organizations).” A similar effort by such varied groups “might have happened before, but not in my memory,” she said. Catholic groups behind the plan also include the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Pax Christi USA, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and the Holy Name Province

of the Franciscan Friars. Nine other religious denominations are backing the initiative. Major NGOs supporting the plan include the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, the International Human Rights Law Institute, the International Medical Corps, International Relief and Development, Refugees International, Relief International and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Copies of the proposal were distributed in early March to members of Congress. “We understand that Murtha’s (Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.) office has seen it, is interested in it, but whether it will make it to the markup, we don’t know,” Sister Campbell told CNS. “There’s a lot of interest in trying to find alternative ways of talking about this whole situation that exists there” in Iraq, Sister Campbell said, “and when even the president starts talking about the need for development, it’s beginning to gain some traction.” Ideas are being bandied about over what to do next in Iraq. Murtha, a Vietnam War veteran now regarded as one of Congress’ leading doves on Iraq, has advocated a bill with troop-deployment restrictions, a counter to President George W. Bush’s “surge” of 21,500 additional U.S. soldiers. Other Democrats call for defunding the war effort. Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, in a confidential recommendation reported March 8 by The New York Times, called for the post-surge troop level of 180,000 to be sustained through next February, and to take steps to halt a decline in numbers expected to start in August. The AFL-CIO, which in 2005 called for “rapid withdrawal” of U.S. forces, said March 8: “It is time to bring our military involvement in Iraq to an end,” recommending reconsideration of the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations, and for Congress to “insist on a timetable for disengagement. If the president refuses to act, Congress must use its powers under the Constitution and act.” The Department of Defense had identified 3,171 U.S. troop deaths since the war began nearly four years ago. “If you have development, then you can’t have such a dependence on the troops and you can draw down,” Sister Campbell said. “Our Iraqi friends who are left in Iraq are still pretty terrified about a withdrawal. They don’t believe in a surge, but they believe that a presence at some level is necessary to keep the lid on,” she said. “We (Network) haven’t taken a position on the (number of) troops because of this.”

March 16, 2007

10 The Catholic News & Herald

Culture Watch

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

Extension Magazine marks centenary with great cover art of past CHICAGO (CNS) — For 100 years Extension Magazine, monthly publication of the Catholic Church Extension Society, has entered the homes of Catholics, many of whom sent in donations to help the church’s home missions. For those old enough to remember, many of Extension’s covers in the 1940s and ‘50s, painted by some of the leading artists in the heyday of magazine illustration, were celebrations of Catholic Americana done in a style reminiscent of the Norman Rockwell classics that graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post. The first issue of Extension Magazine was dated April 1906, just a year after the society was founded. At its peak it was one of the nation’s largest Catholic family magazines, with a circulation of nearly 600,000. To mark its centenary year, the magazine is reproducing some of the best of those mid-century covers. Extension Magazine started reproducing the selected classic covers with its January 2006 issue and is continuing up to its April 2007 issue, when the centenary year ends. Five of the revived covers are by Robert Abbett, who also produced promotional art for major movie studios, including paintings of film stars such as Marlon Brando and Jimmy Stewart, as well as illustrations for books by major novelists. “Extension was a great learning ground for me,” said Abbett, now 80. He is still painting — though now he does most of his work on natural wildlife scenes, splitting his time between homes in Connecticut and Arizona. One of Abbett’s covers features two nuns in full habits teaching a young boy how to kick a football. Another shows a pastor digging his car out of a snow bank on his way to a mission for Mass. Another shows a pastor basting the Thanksgiving turkey as a reproachful housekeeper looks on. “This was an era of Americana art that’s been lost, so it’s been a big hit with many of our readers, young and old,” said Extension editor Bradley Collins.


Sunday Scripture Readings: March 25, 2007

March 25, Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle C Readings: 1) Isaiah 43:16-21 Psalm 126:1-6 2) Philippians 3:8-14 3) Gospel: John 8:1-11

Christ taught us to sympathize with, not condemn, sinners by DAN LUBY catholic news service

CNS photo courtesy of Extension

This is the 100th anniversary issue of Extension magazine. Extension, published by the Catholic Church Extension Society in Chicago, is celebrating 100 years of bringing Catholics the stories of the church in rural mission areas across the United States. Extension communications director Mark Andel said copies of the anniversary issues were still available and the covers can be viewed on the society’s Web site, Anyone interested can also order a full year of Extension Magazine free of charge by signing up on the Web site; by telephoning (800) 842-7804; or by writing to Catholic Extension, 150 S. Wacker Drive, 20th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606. In the past century the Catholic Church Extension Society has distributed more than $400 million in support of the home missions. Its activities included funding for the building of 12,000 parishes and parish centers as well as contributions to the training of countless priests and catechists, funding for religious education and salaries for missionaries.

Righteous indignation is the fuel that makes scandals burn so hot. Ironically, the person most often burned is the one who lights the fire. Despite that, high dudgeon seems hard to resist, especially for people who have been successful at religion. After all, who hasn’t, on discovering people caught in a major public offense, felt the pleasurable desire to savor the sinner’s fall from grace? Who among us hasn’t, from time to time at least, been tempted by the corrosive allure of watching someone receive a richly deserved comeuppance? When we have given ourselves over to rigorously following all the rules and regulations, when we’ve suffered patiently the loss of freedom required by strict adherence to the law, when we’ve

triumphed over our own weakness at great personal cost, then it’s all the more infuriating to see someone get away with flouting the very laws we have followed so diligently. It’s hard not to want to see such scoffers punished, shamed. In the story in Sunday’s Gospel, the revelation of adultery provides the religious elite of Jesus’ time a double helping of righteous indignation. Capturing the adulterous woman gives them the chance to denounce publicly someone of demonstrably lower moral standards than themselves — always its own pleasure — and at the same time to put Jesus, their most irritatingly peaceful and clever opponent, in the hot seat. Jesus slips out of their trap with an elegance that belies the strength of his confrontation. “Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone,” he says, and slowly, starting with the eldest, they drop their weapons and slink away. To the extent that we recognize ourselves in the self-righteous accusers, it is a story that invites sober reflection in these remaining Lenten days. To the extent that we see ourselves in the forgiven sinner, it’s cause for great rejoicing. QUESTIONS: What stones of condemnation might my hands be holding, and how can I let go of them? Who in my life has given me second chances after failures? How might I express gratitude for that gift?

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE Scripture for the week of March 18-24 Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Joshua 5:9-12, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32; Monday (St. Joseph), 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Luke 2:41-51; Tuesday (Lenten Weekday), Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, John 5:1-16; Wednesday (Lenten Weekday), Isaiah 49:8-15, John 5:17-30; Thursday (Lenten Weekday), Exodus 32:7-14, John 5:31-47; Friday (Lenten Weekday, St. Toribio), Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30; Saturday (Lenten Weekday), Jeremiah 11:18-20, John 7:40-53. Scripture for the week of March 25-31 Sunday (Fifth Sunday of Lent), Isaiah 43:16-21, Philippians 3:8-14, John 8:1-11; Monday (The Annunciation of the Lord), Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38; Tuesday (Lenten Weekday), Numbers 21:4-9, John 8:21-30; Wednesday (Lenten Weekday), Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95 Daniel 3:52-56, John 8:31-42; Thursday (Lenten Weekday), Genesis 17:3-9, John 8:51-59; Friday (Lenten Weekday), Jeremiah 20:10-13 John 10:31-42; Saturday (Lenten Weekday), Ezekiel 37:21-28, John 11:45-56.

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March 16, 2007

Kansas monks record compact disc as fundraiser for Benedictine abbey by

TAMMY DODDERIDGE catholic news service

CNS photo courtesy of St. Benedict’s Abbey

The monastic schola, or core choir, of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kan., has recorded a new CD, called “On a Musical Journey,” to benefit the abbey’s capital campaign. The schola is comprised of (from left) Abbot Barnabas Senecal, Brother Luke Baker, Father Matthew Habiger, Father James Albers and Brother Ambrose Nelson. The monks are pictured singing during a practice session at the monastery.

ATCHISON, Kan. — Benedictine Abbot Barnabas Senecal — known as “the singing abbot” — is renowned throughout the Kansas City Archdiocese for his rich tenor and his a cappella renditions at Masses, weddings, confirmations and other liturgies. To the delight of his longtime fans, his singing has been captured on a compact disc that also features the musical talents of other members of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison. The CD of liturgical music, “On a Musical Journey,” celebrates 150 years of monastic life in Kansas. The varied collection features the monastic schola, the core choir of any Benedictine monastery. Father Blaine Schultz, another monk of the abbey, is the organist and choirmaster for the recording, with Brother Ambrose Nelson directing. “We sing every day in our common

prayer and not very many people are witnesses to that,” Abbot Senecal said. “This CD gives them a touch of the way we do choral prayer, both in Latin and in English.” The CD is more than an expression of faith. It is also a fundraiser for capital improvements to the church, monastery and guesthouse. The three-phase project, to be carried out over five years, includes the replacement of the 75-year-old monastery roof and 885 windows, as well as improvements to the abbey’s accessibility. “The church was built in 1957, and the structure reflects the times,” Abbot Senecal said. “Every entrance has steps.” The abbey church has been serving students and visitors in Atchison and the surrounding area for 50 years. People frequent the abbey for Mass, to receive spiritual direction, and to attend retreats and concerts. It serves the community, said the abbot, and the monks would like to ensure that it remains a welcoming refuge. Mary Easterday, a member of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence, described the CD as “just beautiful,” and she is especially fond of Abbot Senecal’s rendition of “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman.” Mary Sayers, of Cure of Ars Parish in Leawood, concurs. “I have listened to the CD many, many times since I got it,” she said. “The whole CD is beautiful, but ‘Hail Mary’ is the best.” Both women have been fans and friends of the abbot for years and have enjoyed his singing at church events. They have been encouraging him for years to record some of his songs. Now, they say, they can listen to him at their leisure. Along with five solos by Abbot Senecal there are three original compositions by Father Schultz. One, an all-organ piece composed four years ago, features an abbey organ with a tale to tell. When the church was built in the 1950s, said Father Schultz, only part of the original design of the organ was completed because of a lack of funds. “The idea was that they would finish it in a few years, but that didn’t happen,” he said. “So more than 40 years later, we finally were able to finish it.” The upgrade included adding wooden pipes in five different locations, resulting in a better distribution of sound. “When you pull out all the stops, it has such a wonderful sound,” said Father Schultz, “not only because of the instrument that it is, but also because of the acoustics of the room.” Father Schultz is pleased as well with the range of selections featured on the CD. “The CD represents a mixture of the old and the new — Gregorian chants that are over 1,000 years old, plus new pieces,” he said.

12 The Catholic News & Herald

Students sweep science awards CHARLOTTE — Students from three Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools recently racked up an array of science awards. Students from Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Patrick schools in Charlotte and St. Mark School in Huntersville participated in the 2007 Regional Science Fair at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Feb. 24. Joseph Joyce, a fifth-grader at Our Lady of the Assumption School, won first place in the elementary division of the biological science category. Joseph will represent the school at the N.C. State Science Fair at Meredith College in Raleigh March 24. Also participating from Our Lady of the Assumption School were thirdgraders Sofia Montilla and Angeline Morales and fourth-grader Meghan Santschi. Maria Shea and Will Larsen, fifthgraders at St. Patrick School, won first place in the elementary division of the technology category. Third-graders Megan Almon and Madison Demmit won third place in the elementary division of the earth sciences category. Ten sixth-grade students from St. Mark School participated in the fair. Billy Lech took first place in the junior technology division and will represent the school at the state science fair in Raleigh. Maegan Habedl placed third in the junior technology division, Sean Dougherty placed third in the junior physical science division and Kaitlin Magliocco placed third in the junior

March 16, 2007

in our schools

biological science division. Special awards were given to Kaitlin and Billy for the Discovery Channel’s Young Scientist Challenge, a science and engineering competition for fifththrough-eighth-graders. Also participating from St. Mark School were Colleen Buck, Lauren Ducey, Kevin Kirchmer, Paul Modzelewski, Lucia Ahrensdorf and Alex Rouse. Courtesy Photo

Sixth-graders from St. Mark School in Huntersville are pictured at the 2007 Regional Science Fair at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Feb. 24. Pictured are (front row, from left) Colleen Buck, Lauren Ducey, Kaitlin Magliocco, Sean Doughtery, (back row, from left) Maegan Habedl,  Kevin Kirchmer, Paul Modzelewski, Lucia Ahrensdorf, Billy Lech and Alex Rouse.

Courtesy photo

Maria Shea and Will Larsen, fifth-graders at St. Patrick School in Charlotte, are first place winners at the 2007 Regional Science Fair at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Feb. 24. Maria and Will won in the elementary division of the technology category.

Courtesy photo

Joseph Joyce, a fifth-grader at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Charlotte, holds his first place award in the elementary biological science category at the 2007 Regional Science Fair at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Feb. 24. Also pictured are Alisa Wickliff, assistant director of UNC-Charlotte’s Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, and Allana-Rae Ramkissoon, assistant principal at Our Lady of the Assumption School.

Classifieds Classified ads bring results! Over 135,000 readers! Over 50,000 homes! Rates: $.70/word per issue ($14 minimum per issue) Deadline: 12 noon Wednesday, 9 days before publication How to order: Ads may be E-mailed to, faxed to (704) 370-3382 or mailed to: Cindi Feerick, The Catholic News & Herald, 1123 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203. Payment: For information, call (704) 370-3332.

March 16, 2007

in our schools

The Catholic News & Herald 13

BMCHS senior awarded memorial scholarship KERNERSVILLE — Neil Thomas Goodman, a parishioner of Holy Cross Church in Kernersville, was recently awarded the Staddon-Cain Scholarship by Knights of Columbus Council 8509. Neil was presented with the $500 scholarship award during a Lenten fish fry at the parish March 2. The John R. Staddon and Frank L. Cain Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1986 to perpetuate the education of individuals in the Catholic faith. The fund was named for the two non-Catholics, who married into the

Catholic faith and encouraged their children to pursue Catholic education. Neil, a senior at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, maintains a 4.2 GPA, is a member of the Model United Nations club, and participated in the Harvard Model Congress debating competition at Harvard University in Massachusetts, where he earned an award of excellence. Neil will study engineering at the University of North Carolina in the fall. Neil was selected for the scholarship by the Staddon and Cain families. Courtesy Photo

The Charlotte Catholic High School rugby team (on right) prepares to engage the Greyhounds during the fourth annual Charlotte Youth Rugby Tournament March 10-11.

CCHS competes in tourney

Courtesy Photo

Grand Knight Lance Cancro (right) of Knights of Columbus Council 8509 presents Neil Goodman (second from left) with the Staddon-Cain Scholarship Award at Holy Cross Church in Kernersville March 2. Also pictured are Neil’s parents, Joseph and Bernadette.

CHARLOTTE — Two teams from Charlotte Catholic High School were among several girls’ and boys’ teams from the United States and Canada to participate in the fourth annual Charlotte Youth Rugby Tournament March 10-11. “(The tournament) involved constant examples of skill and energy, plus that certain glorious knowledge you’re doing something not many others would attempt, because players and spectators know this is a pretty rough sport,” said Glenn Shorkey, vice-president for membership for the St. Gabriel Church

Men’s Club. The Men’s Club prepared a banquet for 400 tournament participants and their families March 9. This was the third major community-dinner event the Men’s Club has sponsored in 2007. “This was a terrific outreach event for St. Gabriel, and awareness and potential membership was our pre-determined goal, though hopefully some fundraising accrued to the Charlotte Youth Rugby,” Shorkey said. Charlotte Catholic boys’ team ended the tournament 3-0-1.

March 16, 2007

14 The Catholic News & Herald


A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

The reality of post-abortion trauma Back in the late 1960s, when abortion was a headline topic for everyone from politicians to religious leaders, I was a reporter with The Long Island Catholic. As a Catholic mother of seven, I plunged deeply into reporting the pros and cons of this deeply important issue. I did extensive research on the effects of abortion in countries such as Sweden, Hungary, Romania and Japan, which had liberalized abortion laws. The picture was alarming. Prestigious publications like the World Medical Journal were reporting a rarely mentioned fact: the extensive “mental injury” experienced by women after abortion. “In the clamor for liberalization of abortion laws, ‘side effects’ of the procedure are sometimes overlooked,” said the World Medical Journal in 1966. “Both physical and mental injury may result from legal as well as illegal abortion.” The following year I interviewed Dr. Mary Calderone, then executive director of the Sex Education and Information Council of the United States. She was talking openly about the “mental condition of women post-abortion,” and told me, “Aside from the fact that abortion is the taking of a life, I am also mindful of what was brought out by our psychiatrists — that in almost every case abortion, whether legal or illegal, is a traumatic experience that may have severe consequences later on.” Now, exactly 40 years later in an era of legalized abortion, we still are debating the negative effects of abortion. The Jan. 21, 2007, issue of the New York Times magazine ran a hefty article that asked, “Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?” While the article maintained that abortion is not “at the root of women’s psychological ills,” it did focus on what is definitely a growing movement, the abortion-recovery ministry. While the Catholic Church “runs abortion-recovery ministries in at least 165 dioceses in the United States,” according to the article, “abortion-

The Bottom Line ANTOINETTE BOSCO cns columnist

recovery activists go one step further to make people aware of a simple truth: “Abortion doesn’t help women. It hurts them.” This is the same message I heard from the research I did four decades ago! Recently Cathy Trowbridge, an Illinois mother, sent me a copy of a manuscript she wrote that came from the depths of her own long-term pain following an abortion. Her book, she said, was “about my life in sin and return to our Lord.” Trowbridge was forthright in explaining that she had an abortion when she was a teenager in the wrong place at the wrong time. She turned away from her Catholic faith then. Now she is convinced that her “special angel” child has brought her back to God. Trowbridge wrote: “It has been a long journey ..., and I have scars that will remind me of my mistake, and although it is forgiven, it is not forgotten. ... I have now returned to the church with a hunger for knowledge about my faith, and I seek to deepen my relationship with our Lord.” I remember back in the 1950s when I was a young mother of four. I had gone to a restaurant with a friend. An older man and woman were at the next table. The woman accused, “You made me kill my baby.” She kept saying this. The man quietly countered, “That was 25 years ago.” But she didn’t stop, and so we left. Discarding a baby. Can that ever be forgotten? I had seen first-hand the everlasting trauma of abortion and never forgot it.

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Uniting with Jesus When Mother Teresa of Calcutta addressed a group of major religious superiors from all over the world, she made this salient point: “To be really united to Jesus we must all strive to be united with him in his passion. It is his passion to be intensely aware of the suffering of others. He unites with the suffering of the poorest of the poor and wants to help them. He wants to bring his love, peace and joy to them, and he needs us to do that. And that is why we must radiate joy!” Her emphasis on joy was striking! And her interpretation of Christ’s “passion” as “a yearning to help others” was enlightening. If his passion was to help the downtrodden, maybe the emphasis many of us put on Christ’s physical pain misses the point. Ultimately it was his love for the poor that led to Jesus’ crucifixion. He told the outcasts that they were blessed. The Pharisees told them that they were defiled, and the Pharisees became furious when Jesus defended the poor. According to Mother Teresa, being united with Jesus means entering fully into his passion to help others. To do this she asks us to radiate his joy, which is the “Joy” of the Blessed Trinity. Joy liberates us all from sorrow. At times suffering is unavoidable. When it comes it purifies the soul and wins us grace, but we do not need to increase our physical pain in order to grow closer to Jesus. All we need to do is unite with his passion for helping those in need. What the Lord wants us to communicate is his love and his joy. When I write about the importance of joy, some people think that I am watering down the faith. They think I should preach Christ crucified. But I do. Preaching Christ crucified does not mean focusing only on his physical

Spirituality for Today FATHER JOHN CATOIR cns columnist

suffering; it means being united to his passion. This involves the deepest level of love and self-surrender. The sacrifices we make in the name of love do not diminish us; rather, they serve to intensify our joy. Joy is the byproduct of love. If we are to bring “joy to the world,” as Jesus did, we must understand his mission. Helping others to triumph over their sorrow requires an abundance of love and joy on our part, and that is why Mother Teresa insists that we “radiate joy.” Christianity is not primarily about sadness and suffering. Quite the opposite! All Christians are called to the fullness of God’s joy. Mother Teresa continued, “We are called to be carriers of God’s peace, love and joy. ... You can’t give what you do not have, so it is important that we ask for God’s joy. We must pray to grow in joy.” Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit is “love, peace and joy.” The Lord loves us so much that he wants to liberate us from pain and suffering. He died that we might live. He plans a brighter tomorrow for all of us. The hope of heaven permeates our lives here and now. Jesus frees us from fear and self-pity. The demands of the modern world take a heavy toll on our bodies and our souls, but Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. ... I have told you this that your joy may be full.”

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Bringing out the best in ourselves “Confessions will be heard in all parishes on Wednesday evenings during Lent.” Wi t h t h i s a n n o u n c e m e n t by Archbishop Donald Wuerl, the Archdiocese of Washington began a renewal in appreciating the sacrament of reconciliation. For people unfamiliar with the sacrament, the archdiocese is providing an updated understanding of it and a wallet-sized guideline to help them during confession. Not long ago, lines in front of the confessional were long and packed. This was especially true during Lent and Advent. Equally true was the fact that most people feared confession. Much has changed to make the sacrament of reconciliation cherished. Confession of sins still exists, but the emphasis is on reconciling oneself with God and self rather than emphasizing the need to be fearful and guilty. Penitents now have the option of face-to-face confession; this emphasizes reconciliation as a communal event. The priest is not there to judge another; he too is a repentant sinner working with the

penitent in exploring ways to improve his or her spiritual life. When the U.S. bishops’ conference conducted its first study of this sacrament in 1990, I fervently wished a renewal would occur then, like the one being undertaken by the Archdiocese of Washington. Why was I so desirous for this renewal? Because of the beautiful insights Pope John Paul II brought to the sacrament. In order to conduct the study, research on everything written on the topic of reconciliation was conducted. One of the documents researched was the apostolic exhortation of Pope John Paul II, “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia.” In it he wrote: “Since by sinning man refuses to submit to God, his internal balance is also destroyed and it is precisely within himself that contradictions and conflicts arise. Wounded in this way, man almost inevitably causes damage to the fabric of his relationship with others and with the created world. “This is an objective law and an objective reality, verified in so many

The Human Side FATHER EUGENE HEMRICK cns columnist

ways in the human psyche and in the spiritual life, where it is easy to see the signs and effects of internal disorder.” The pope is showing us that we are at our best and happiest when we are internally balanced. First and foremost, he sees God as one who desires for us an inner harmony because of the beauty, goodness and inner composure this creates. God desires our psychic health, peace of mind. This is a far cry from God depicted as a stern judge only interested in exacting a penalty for transgressing his laws. We now have an example of the renewal we had hoped for after the bishops’ study in 1990. Interestingly, it is being created in our nation’s capital. I hope it will spread throughout the nation and unite the hearts of all with a loving God who wants his peace to thrive within us.

Centuries-old devotion evolved during Middle Ages

A. No, they originated many centuries after Jesus lived and died. The Stations (or Way) of the Cross is one of many devotions that arose during the very late Middle Ages, generally in the 1200s or 1300s. Politically, culturally and religiously, those were chaotic and painful times for the majority of ordinary people. Practicing and passing on their faith was enormously difficult, and a variety of new devotional practices developed to help people live and learn what it meant to be a Christian. St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic and their followers were among those who helped popularize such expressions of faith as the Christmas crêche (Francis) and the rosary (Dominicans). The Stations were one of these, serving both as prayer and a sort of catechism about the sufferings and death of our Lord. Franciscan priests, brothers and sisters who already held

responsibility for the holy places in Jerusalem for Latin-rite Catholics did much to spread the devotion. At one time the Stations included seven falls under the cross. Another form included 43 separate stations. But the 14 as we know them became fairly stabilized by Pope Clement XII about 300 years ago. As you have possibly experienced, for some years now most publications of the Stations have included a 15th station or meditation calling to mind Christ’s victory over death in the resurrection. About 40 years after the death of Jesus, Roman armies leveled the city of Jerusalem, making the precise location of, for example, any falls on the way to Calvary nearly impossible to determine. The present markings of the 14 stations along the Via Dolorosa (Sorrowful Way) in old Jerusalem are comparatively recent. The accuracy and even historical validity of some of them are highly doubtful. Nevertheless, the Stations remain one of the richest ways in our tradition to reflect on our Lord’s suffering and death. As your friend has found, Protestant Christianity did not carry on many Catholic devotions such as the Stations for complicated reasons. Some Reformed churches mistrusted the use of pictures or other images in worship and prayer. This may be part of the answer.


Origins of the Stations of the Cross

Q. A Protestant friend happened to go with me to Lenten Stations of the Cross in our parish. She asked later where this practice came from. I couldn’t answer, except that I believe they mark different events when Jesus was crucified. She said she doesn’t think most of them are in the Bible, and I agree. Where did the Stations come from? Do they go back to the time of Christ? (Texas)

Faith in God’s oneness, church unity essential to Christianity, pope says

Question Corner FATHER JAMES DIETZEN cns columnist

Another could be, as you note, that the Stations have always included incidents which are found in Christian tradition but not in the Gospels. Our fourth station, for example, commemorates Jesus meeting his mother. Luke notes that Jesus stopped along the way to speak to “many women who mourned and lamented him,” but he doesn’t say Mary was among them. John places her at the foot of the cross but not on the road. With the Protestant emphasis on Scripture as the rule of faith, it is perhaps understandable that some of these popular devotions would not be picked up in their spirituality. The story of Veronica wiping the face of Jesus is also not in the Gospels. Questions may be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address, or e-mail:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Faith in the oneness of God and a commitment to the unity of the church are essential components of the Christian life, Pope Benedict XVI said March 14 at his weekly general audience. Pope Benedict said St. Ignatius of Antioch “is called the ‘doctor of unity,’” because his primary concerns were to preach the oneness of the triune God, the unity of Jesus’ humanity and divinity, and the importance of unity within the Christian community. St. Ignatius emphasized both its hierarchical structure and the fact that all the faithful are bound to one another through their baptism in Christ, the pope said. St. Ignatius is the first Christian writer to refer to the church as universal, the pope said, and he recognizes that the church in Rome is called to exercise “a type of primacy in love” over all Christian communities to foster their unity in supporting one another and maintaining fidelity to the faith. Pope Benedict repeated St. Ignatius’ plea that Christians “love one another with an undivided heart.” “Let us pray that the Lord will help us to find this unity ... because it is love that purifies souls,” the pope said. Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks in English at his weekly general audience March 14. Dear brothers and sisters, The subject of today’s catechesis is St. Ignatius of Antioch. He was the third bishop of Antioch in Syria, from the years 70-107. While traveling to Rome to face martyrdom, he urged the Christian communities, through preaching and letters, to be on their guard against emerging heresies, to remain faithful to the apostolic tradition and to maintain ecclesial harmony and cooperation. Among the Fathers of the Church, Ignatius is renowned for his intense desire for union with Christ, even pleading that his martyrdom come quickly in order to be with Jesus. Ignatius taught that unity is a prerogative of God, and so for Christians is an imitation of the divine. In his letters, he insists on communion among believers and with their bishops. Such harmony precludes any sense of opposition between ecclesial roles and instead echoes Christ’s prayer: “that they may be one” (cf. Jn 17). Little wonder that Ignatius is called the “doctor of unity.” His realism still prompts believers today to seek configuration to Christ and dedication to his church through communion with our bishops and generous service to our communities and the world. Let us beseech the Lord for the grace of unity, and strive to live the fullness of communion and mission!

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