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March 17, 2006

The Catholic News & Herald 1

www.charlottediocese.org

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Parish Profile

St. Therese Church serves thousands in Iredell County | Page 16

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI march 17, 2006

Eucharistic Conference coming to Asheville

Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte

System needs reform, say Catholic leaders Opposing bills restrict, relax immigration laws

DAVID HAINS

by

ASHEVILLE — Catholics in the western part of the Diocese of Charlotte will have an opportunity to participate in an important eucharistic event this summer. A Eucharistic Conference is planned for Asheville June 24. The conference will be a regional preparation for the diocesan Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte in October. At the Basilica of St. LawSee EUCHARIST, page 12

Pontiff responds on topics of women, youth, family life by CINDY WOODEN catholic news service

VATICAN CITY — While insisting women cannot be ordained priests, Pope Benedict XVI said it is right to discuss how women can be more involved in church decisionmaking. Meeting March 2 with the priests of the Diocese of Rome, Pope Benedict spent two hours See POPE, page 13

KAREN A. EVANS staff writer

special to the catholic news herald

Pope: It’s right to discuss women’s role in church decision-making

no. 23

Rallying for immigrants’ rights

Event will include procession, adoration, speakers by

vOLUME 15

CNS photo by Paul Haring

Maritza Santa Cruz holds a child during an immigration rally at the Capitol in Washington March 7. The crowd was protesting a House-passed immigration bill that they contend would allow law enforcement authorities to prosecute social service workers and other professionals who help illegal immigrants.

CHARLOTTE — America needs immigrants, and it needs to make it easier for immigrants to come to this country legally, said an official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “When the faith community looks at the current state of our immigration system and the effect that current laws have on immigrants and our society at large, we conclude they are woefully inadequate and in need of significant reform,” said Mark Franken, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services. Franken spoke on the topSee REFORM, page 8

Katrina’s aftermath Catholic health care groups to run medical clinic outside New Orleans by

CAROL ZIMMERMANN catholic news service

CHALMETTE, La. — Six months after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard’s Parish, a civil entity just east of New Orleans, looked as if the hurricane just occurred. There was no longer standing water, but the businesses, homes and shopping centers in the small

towns and neighborhoods were completely in shambles. Houses, moved by the 20 feet of water that submerged the area after storm surges toppled the levees, sat at odd angles in the streets. What were once yards contained piles of debris or uprooted trees. Shopping centers with See KATRINA, page 5

CNS photo by Nancy Wiechec

Homes moved off their foundations by flood waters still sit on a sidewalk March 5 east of New Orleans. An area health clinic will be taken over by two Catholic health care systems in the near future.

Youths in Action

Culture Watch

Perspectives

Painting refugee apartment; joining Junior Catholic Daughters

Sacrifice theme of Virginia Catholic’s novel; decoding Jesus Web site

Beatitudes as a part of Lent; faith alone is not enough

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2 The Catholic News & Herald

InBrief

March 17, 2006

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

Bush urges groups to bid for funding for faith-based initiatives WA S H I N G T O N ( C N S ) — President George W. Bush urged faithbased charities to bid competitively for federal funding March 9. In a speech at a daylong National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Bush said progress has been made but much more needs to be done to give faith-based social service programs equal footing with secular nonprofits in federal, state and corporate grant-making. “It used to be that groups were prohibited from receiving any federal funding whatsoever because they had a cross or a star or a crescent on the wall,” Bush said. “And that’s changed for the better.” He called faith-based service organizations America’s “armies of compassion.” White House figures indicated that last fiscal year 10.9 percent of the federal funding for social services from seven government departments went to faith-based

Quilting more than it seams

Diocesan planner CNS photo by Fabvienen Taylor, Mississippi Catholic

Quilter Virginia Thompson (left) helps Mary Ann Willis look over one of Thompson’s quilts before it is tagged for sale at the Tutwiler Community Education Center in Tutwiler, Miss., in February. Thompson is one of 20 women who make up the Tutwiler Quilters, who organized in 1988.

Growing number of fans thinks quilters’ work is anything but sewTUTWILER, Miss. (CNS) — Virginia Thompson, 78, is grateful for the income she makes as one of the Tutwiler Quilters, but a deeper seam runs through her participation in a local quilt-making group. “It’s more than just a job, seems more like family to me,” said Thompson as she sat quilting in her home. Quilter Janice Mitchell, 39, said she lays out pieces of cloth for a special-order quilt, and then waits for the material to “speak to her.” “The fabric pretty much tells you what it wants to be,” said Mitchell, who quilts full time. “From these pieces, I can see that red and yellow are going to have to give life to the rest of the fabric.” Thompson and Mitchell are two of the 20 women who make up the Tutwiler Quilters, organized in 1988. It is a program of the local Catholic-run education center. Currently, the group’s work, which gained national attention in 1990 when members appeared on the CBS news program “60 Minutes,” was being featured in a special showing at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colo. The exhibit, “Improvisation: An African-American Tradition,” features 20 pieces including quilts, wall hangings and table runners. “People are thrilled with it,” said Paula Pahl, the museum’s executive director. “And they have been very supportive of the organization as well.” In the exhibit, Pahl said the African-

American designs in the quilts, passed down from generation to generation, are emphasized. “They are not traditional and not contemporary art quilts; it is sort of a blending of the two,” she said. Dominican Sister Joann Blomme, who works part time with the quilters, and Mary Ann Willis, assistant to the director of the education center, do quality control for the quilting program. “I inspect the quilts and other items for the quality of sewing, the size, things like that,” said Sister Blomme. “I try never to judge the design because it’s that person’s own artistry.” Many quilters don’t consider themselves artists, said Pahl. “But quilting is a very artistic, creative expression. They (quilters) don’t think about what design elements they are using, what composition elements they are using, like a professionally trained artist does,” she said. “Yet, that is exactly what they are doing.” The Colorado exhibit is not the first one for the Tutwiler Quilters, according to Sister Maureen Delaney, a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, who helped start the quilting group back in 1988. She is the director of the education center. Getting their work out to people is so important, said Mitchell. “I can’t keep my work. It has to go to a home in order to be really appreciated,” she said. “I want someone to love it when they get it home.”

ASHEVILLE VICARIATE ASHEVILLE — Fostering Justice Worldwide, sponsored by the diocesan Office of Justice and Peace, will share Catholic Relief Services (CRS) stories. This free event will take place at St. Eugene Church, 72 Culvern St., April 8, 1:15-4:45 p.m. The program will provide an overview of Catholic social teaching, CRSrelated work in the Diocese of Charlotte, CRS work in Africa, presentations on effective advocacy and more. This event will be repeated in Charlotte June 24, in Newton Sept. 9 and in Stoneville Nov. 4. For specific details about the Saturday afternoon events please call the Office of Justice and Peace at (704) 370-3234 or (704) 370-3225, or e-mail justicepeace@ charlottediocese.org. ASHEVILLE — The St. Martin de Porres Dominican Laity Chapter meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the rectory building at the Basilica of St. Lawrence, 97 Haywood St. Inquirers are welcome. For more information, contact Beverly Reid at (423) 638-4744 or bebereid@ adelphia.net. 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) 627-9209 or jnell@dnet.net. CHARLOTTE VICARIATE CHARLOTTE — A free Natural Family Planning Refresher Course will take place April 2, 2-4 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul

organizations. Grants to such organizations amounted to more than $2.1 billion out of nearly $20 billion in total grants. Bush highlighted two other areas where his administration is trying to end funding discrimination against faithbased organizations: state and local government, and corporate philanthropy. The president said his administration has been encouraging state and local governments to rethink their approach to social service funding, and now about 30 governors and more than 100 mayors around the country have offices handling the funding of services provided by faithbased organizations. Bush also announced that he had just signed an executive order creating a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the Department of Homeland Security. The center is to coordinate the department’s efforts to remove regulatory, contracting and other obstacles to the participation of faithbased and community organizations in Church, 6828 Old Reid Rd. Please register by March 31. Generally, Couple to Couple League encourages class attendance by the couple together. However, since this is simply a refresher class for people already familiar with the method, feel free to come without your spouse. For more information, call Kelly Schiffiano at (704)845-1435 or e-mail kbs1299@ alltel.net.  CHARLOTTE — A Support Group for Caregivers of a Family Member with Memory Loss meet the last Monday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m., at St. Gabriel Church, 3016 Providence Rd. For more information, contact Suzanne Bach at (704) 376-4135. GASTONIA VICARIATE GASTONIA — An Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace will take place at St. Michael Church, 708 St. Michael Lane, March 20 at 7 p.m. For more information, call the church office at (704) 867-6212, or Dennis Teall-Fleming, director of faith formation at Queen of the Apostles Church, at (704) 825-9600, ext. 26. BELMONT — Queen of the Apostles Church, 503 N. Main St., offers a ministry for Catholics who are inactive in their own church and wish to find a safe place to return. Catholics Returning Home will meet April 26, May 3, 10 and 17, 7-8:30 p.m., in the Kovacic Center. For more information, call Dennis Teall-Fleming at (704) 868-9392 or e-mail teallfleming@yahoo.com. GREENSBORO VICARIATE GREENSBORO — A Lenten mission, “Hope Against Despair” led by Oblate Father Jim Greenfield will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2715 Horse Pen Creek Road, March 19-21 at 7 p.m. The sessions will also be repeated the following morning after the 9 a.m. Mass. There will be time for fellowship and light refreshments after each evening’s session.

March 17, 2006 Volume 15 • Number 23

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: catholicnews@charlottediocese.org

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.


The Catholic News & Herald 3

March 17, 2006

FROM THE VATICAN

Pope, Egyptian president discuss nuclear arms, religious tolerance VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak March 13 to discuss the situation in the Middle East, tensions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and religious tolerance in Egypt, the Vatican said. Mubarak returned to Rome specifically to meet the pope at the end of a March 9-13 series of visits with European leaders. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Pope Benedict and Mubarak spent about half an hour together and began their meeting by discussing “the good relations between the Holy See and the Arab Republic of Egypt and the situation of interreligious relations in the country.” The two spoke English and spent about 20 minutes together without aides present. “The meeting allowed them to review themes relative to the pros-

pects for a stable peace in the Middle East,” Navarro-Valls said. “There was a profound exchange of ideas about the situation in Iraq and also a look at issues regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Neither the Vatican nor the Egyptian government provided more information. Meeting March 11 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mubarak called for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, including Israel. “We need to take steps to prevent the spread of atomic weapons,” he said. Throughout his European trip, Mubarak also urged the European Union to continue giving financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and he asked European leaders to try to convince Israel to recognize the authority’s new Hamas leadership. Hamas, he said, also must recognize Israel’s right to exist and pledge to participate in the peace process.

For more information, call the church office at (336) 294-4696. GREENSBORO — Theology on Tap, a speaker series for Catholics in their 20s, 30s and 40s, will meet at Coopers Ale House, 5340 West Market St., April 19 and 26, May 3 and 10 at 7 p.m. Theology on Tap is a casual forum where people gather to learn and discuss the teachings of the Catholic Church. A service project will take place May 13 at Mary’s House in Greensboro. For more information, visit www.triadcatholics.org or call Deb at (336) 286-3687. GREENSBORO — All Irish-Catholic women are invited to participate in the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, a social, cultural and charitable group for an ongoing series of fun and informative activities. LAOH will meet April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Kloster Center of St. Pius X Church, 2210 N. Elm St. A representative from New Garden Nursery will discuss “Planting in Containers.” Please join us for refreshments and to learn more about our group. Any questions can be directed to Mary Giff at (336) 855-7014. HICKORY VICARIATE

WINSTON-SALEM — Spirit of Assisi, a Franciscan Center, 221 W. Third St., will host Lenten Faith Sharing “brown-bag” gatherings March 22, 29 and April 5, 12-12:45 p.m. We will spend time looking ahead to the weekend Lenten readings to prepare our hearts for the Word of God to take root. Bring your own lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided. For more information, call (336) 624-1971 or e-mail portiuncula@bellsouth.net. WINSTON-SALEM — Spirit of Assisi, a Franciscan Center, 221 W. Third St., will host a book discussion on “Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective” by Ilia Delio, O.S.F. This book deals with the theology of divine humility and God’s relationship to the world, while at the same time tackling some tough questions. The group will meet March 20 and 27; April 3 and 24; and May 1, 8 and 15, 6-7:30 p.m. For more info, call (336) 6241971 or e-mail portiuncula@bellsouth.net. WINSTON-SALEM — Take time to explore the need for personal reflection and prayer. Franciscan Father Jude DeAngelo will present An Out of the Way Place, a program for professional caregivers, clergy and counselors. The program will take place conclude March 23, 7:15-8:15 p.m., at Spirit of Assisi, a Franciscan Center, 221 W. Third St. For more information, call (336) 6241971 or e-mail portiuncula@bellsouth.net.

NEWTON — The Little Flowers Catholic Girls’ Group is for all Catholic girls ages 5 and up. The group meets the fourth Monday of each month at St. Joseph Church, 720 West 13th St., at 4 p.m. in the Holy Family Hall. For more details, call Debbie Vickers at (828) 495-2039. SMOKY MOUNTAIN VICARIATE SYLVA — The Lay Carmelite Community of St. Mary Church will begin a new series of inquiry classes on the fourth Saturday of each month following the 9 a.m. Mass. The first class, on March 25, will cover the lay orders in general, the particular call of a Lay Carmelite, and the process of formation. The meeting will be from 9:30-11:30 am. For more information, call Linda Knauer at (828) 586-9496. WINSTON-SALEM VICARIATE

Episcopal

calendar

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

March 21 — 10:30 a.m. Celebration in honor of St. Benedict Belmont Abbey, Belmont March 25 — 11 a.m. Sacrament of Confirmation Good Shepherd Church, King April 2 — 3 p.m.

Is your parish or school sponsoring a free event open to the general public? Please submit notices for the Diocesan Planner at least 7 days prior to desired publication date (Fridays) in writing to Karen A. Evans at kaevans@ charlottediocese.org or fax to (704) 370-3382.

Youth Pilgrimage Belmont Abbey, Belmont April 4 — 7 p.m. Sacrament of Confirmation St. Benedict the Moor Church, WinstonSalem

Pope says every Christian must share love of God with others VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The first obligation of every Christian is to share with others the love of God and his promise of salvation in Jesus Christ, Pope Benedict XVI said. The pope met March 11 with people from about 100 countries attending a conference on the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the church’s missionary obligation. Pope Benedict said the Vatican II document gave new energy to the church’s missionary work, outlined the theological foundations of missionary activity and emphasized its “value and relevance in the face of global transformations and the challenges that modernity poses for preaching the Gospel.” T h e d o c u m e n t reminded all Catholics that in every age they are called help others hear “the truth of the Gospel message and, in that way, open for them the way of salvation,” the pope said. The Christian vocation, he said, always includes a missionary obligation. “The proclamation and witness of the Gospel is the first service Christians can give to each person and to all humankind, called as they are to communicate to all the love of God which was manifested fully in the one redeemer of

the world, Jesus Christ.” Through Christ, “who died and rose, the provident tenderness of the Father reaches every man and woman in forms and ways that he alone knows,” the pope said. While each Christian is called to share the good news through their words and actions, he said, it is the Holy Spirit who makes Christian witness effective by transforming their lives, freeing them from sin and helping them show the world that God is love. Pope Benedict said the church has felt it necessary in the last few years to reaffirm its belief that preaching salvation in Christ is essential because missionary activity seems to have slowed down. The pope said it also is clear that missionary activity cannot be focused only on people in far-away lands who never have heard of Christ, but also must try to reach people who live nearby, but far from the Gospel. The task is not easy, Pope Benedict said. It requires “patience, farsightedness, courage and humility, listening to God and carefully discerning the ‘signs of the times.’” Catholics must give what they can of their time and resources, but must recognize that the one who accomplishes everything is the Lord, he said.

For the love of reading

Courtesy Photo

Students at Our Lady of Mercy School in Winston-Salem participate in the National Education Association’s Read Across America, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that celebrates reading on or around Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2. Student activities included students attending talks on books at a local bookstore and library, a schoolwide reading time and a “bookmark contest.” Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born in 1904 and authored and illustrated popular children’s literature, including “The Cat in the Hat” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Former Polish communist regime official fined for insulting late pope WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — Poland’s former communist regime spokesman has been fined for insulting Pope John Paul II in a 2002 newspaper article, in the first binding court judgment of its kind. In a March 7 ruling, the Warsaw Appeal Court rejected a claim by former spokesman Jerzy Urban that he acted “within the bounds of free criticism” in writing the article, in which he described the late pope as a “hoary idol” and “living corpse.” The court said Polish law did

not permit free speech to be cited for “violating the honor of public figures.” Urban, who gained notoriety in the 1980s as spokesman for the regime of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, published the front-page article, “Mobile SadoMasochist,” in his satirical weekly, Nie (No), on the first day of Pope John Paul’s August 2002 visit; he urged the then 82-year-old to “die and save us all embarrassment.” In his article, the spokesman urged “all sensible people” to write to the pope, advising him to “go to bed” and “stop


4 The Catholic News & Herald

around the diocese

Perpetuating the faith

March 17, 2006

Winning words

Courtesy Photo

Grand Knight Lance Cancro of Council 8509 at Holy Cross Church in Kernersville presents a scholarship award to Elizabeth Ann Lawrence March 3. Also pictured are Elizabeth’s parents, Deborah and Paul.

Youth receives Knights’ scholarship award KERNERSVILLE — Knights of Columbus Council 8509 at Holy Cross Church in Kernersville recently presented a scholarship to a young member of the parish. The Staddon-Cain Scholarship Award was presented to Elizabeth Ann Lawrence, a junior at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, during a fish fry fundraising dinner March 3. Grand Knight Lance Cancro presented this year’s $500 award. The scholarship fund is to perpetuate the education of young individuals in the Catholic faith. Candidates are considered based

on their academic achievements as well as community- and church-related accomplishments. Elizabeth’s activities include volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics and the Columbiettes, the Knights’ sister organization. She is also an active member of Holy Cross Church’s youth group. The Staddon-Cain scholarship is named after John Staddon and Frank Cain, two men who married Catholic wives and supported the Catholic Church and its teachings. The annual award was first presented by the Knights in 1987.

Sisters of St. Francis vote to conserve farmland

Decisions, leadership established during

During the assembly at the motherhouse in Tiffin, Ohio Feb. 5-11, the sisters voted to place 396 acres of their property’s farm and woodland into a land conservation easement. After nearly six years of study and community dialogue, the Sisters decided to protect the land originally purchased between 1869 and 1879 by the congregation’s co-founder, Father Joseph Bihn. “Our community began in 1869 out of a need at that time to care for the elderly and the orphans in the area around Tiffin,” said Franciscan Sister Andrea Inkrott, director of Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Charlotte. Sister Inkrott and Franciscan Sister Joan Ann Gilsdorf, who works at the Franciscan discernment house in Charlotte, attended the assembly from the Diocese of Charlotte. Under the land conservation easement, the land will continue to be farmed and the woodlands and wetlands will be preserved from significant building projects. The farm was established in 2005 to grow and sell vegetables free of chemicals. The land conservation was one of several decisions made during the assembly, including electing new leadership to serve until 2010.

TIFFIN, Ohio — Sisters of St. Francis from the Diocese of Charlotte recently participated in their congregation’s general assembly.

Courtesy Photo

Connor Spillane and Caitlyn Carmean, seventh-graders at St. Pius X School in Greensboro, recently won a Knights of Columbus writing contest. The contest, sponsored by Knights of Columbus St. Pius X Council 11101, was open to middle school-age students at both St. Pius X School and St. Pius X Church. Connor won in the essay division with his essay, “Catholics Give Back to the World by Actions of Love and Compassion.” Caitlyn won in the poetry division with her poem, “How Catholics Help Others.” Gift certificates for $50 were given to both Connor and Caitlyn.


March 17, 2006

AFTER kATRINA

The Catholic News & Herald 5

‘A magnet of

Dominicans anchor French Quarter back so quickly and so well” after the hurricane, said Father William Maestri, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. “It served as a magnet of hope for the city.” Families won’t return to a city without the assurance that their children can be enrolled in school, so “infrastructure begins to develop when schools reopen,” Father Maestri said. Cathedral Academy serves a predominantly African-American population; many of the students come from poor or broken homes. Since Katrina, Cathedral Academy has nearly doubled in size, from 125 to 250 students, and nearly all pay drastically reduced tuition. While the racial makeup of the student body is basically the same, most of the students who started school last August have resettled elsewhere. The students now enrolled at Cathedral Academy have come from all over the city, and about one-quarter of them are from public schools. Many families are still living on cruise ships or in hotels or trailers. Some students are having an especially difficult time adjusting to life in temporary housing or to being in their own home with extra family members around. Some children, shuffled around after the hurricane to as many as six schools in four months, are at Cathedral Academy because their own school was destroyed or has yet to reopen. Sister Mary Cecilia tries to keep an open dialogue with students about their Katrina experiences, and sometimes uses the storm as a springboard for religion class. While the sisters “grieve for the kids who evacuated and had to leave us,” their mission is to “live in the spirit of the present moment” and serve the people

by

THERESA LAURENCE catholic news service

NEW ORLEANS — Nestled in the heart of the famously rowdy French Quarter of New Orleans is an oasis of learning and discipline, run by Dominican nuns from a congregation based in Nashville, Tenn., and catering to some of the city’s most at-risk children. Cathedral Academy is a spiritual presence in an area struggling to be reborn in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The sisters, in their black-and-white habits, “don’t have to say a word to proclaim God,” said Sister Mary Rose Bingham, principal of Cathedral Academy, the parish school of St. Louis Cathedral. Several years ago the sisters were recruited to run the elementary school, not only for their teaching skills but particularly for the prayerful witness they give to people, said Sister Mary Rose. “Maybe every city needs it,” she said, and maybe none as much as the fragile city of New Orleans. While certain neighborhoods, such as the French Quarter, are tentatively coming back to life, others remain in shambles. Homeowners are confused about when or if they will be able to rebuild; many of the city’s residents are growing frustrated with feeling like transients in their hometown. The Dominicans are working hard to provide these displaced and disheartened families of New Orleans with some stability in their lives. Following the storm Cathedral Academy was the first school, public or private, to reopen in Orleans Parish, a civil entity, and it welcomed anyone. “The parents were so desperate and so relieved,” said Sister Mary Rose. “It’s hard to overestimate the importance of that school coming

CNS photo by Theresa Laurence, Tennessee Register

Dominican Sisters walk along Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter in mid-January. The nuns staff Cathedral Academy and are a strong presence in the city.

Catholic groups to run KATRINA, from page 1

FEMA will not provide funds to run the facility because the parish did not qualify for long-term assistance since it did not have public health care before Katrina. Committed to care The new clinic site, still under construction, was one of several visited by nearly three dozen members of the Catholic Charities USA board of trustees who toured the Gulf region March 4 for an update of post-Katrina recovery efforts. “There is a huge need, and we’re trying to meet that need,” said Michael Pisciotta, clinical administrator for the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, who will be the operating manager for the Chalmette clinic. “We are committed to the health care recovery of the St. Bernard community,” he said, adding that the health care systems will continue to run the clinic “as long as we need to be there.” Pisciotta, whose own home was flooded with 3 feet of water, noted that the Chalmette area was 75 percent Catholic prior to Katrina and that the Catholic health systems’ sponsorship of the clinic was an “incredible opportunity for a Catholic organization” to help the local community. On March 1, the first Catholic school reopened in St. Bernard Parish for 30 students. The school, Our Lady of Prompt Succor Central, is located on the grounds of the church where eight parishes are being consolidated into one. Despite the devastation around him, Pisciotta was optimistic about the region’s eventual recovery. “We will come back. I believe it,” he said.

boarded-up storefront windows were closed. Fast-food restaurants appeared to have collapsed and their metal signs remained twisted. Ten percent, or 7,000 residents, have returned to an area with almost no electricity or running water. Services for these residents were still extremely limited, existing primarily in temporary disaster relief centers dotting the main roads. Still in need On Saturday afternoon March 4, the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Chalmette was as packed as it may have been in its pre-Katrina days, but no one was there to shop. Instead, they were there to get free lunches from a charity-run food tent, consult officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or insurance workers in trailers on-site, or receive health care at a triple-wide trailer run by three local doctors with financing and staffing assistance from the U.S. Public Health Service. At the entrance to the health clinic was a spray-painted sign on a piece of plywood that read: “No knives No weapons.” The federal contract for the clinic, which has been seeing about 150 patients a day, is about to run out, which would leave the area without a health care facility since Hurricane Katrina destroyed all of them, including its only hospital, Chalmette Medical Center. Thirty-five doctors offices that had been in the area are now closed. Two Catholic health care systems — Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System based in Baton Rouge and Ascension Health in St. Louis — have stepped in and are planning to run the clinic in the near future. FEMA is setting up a 22,000-square-foot metal building on the parking lot to handle more patients and emergency care.


6 The Catholic News & Herald

YOUTHS IN ACTION

March 17, 2006

Jamming for God

A group effort Youths paint apartment for refugee services various others came from Vietnam, Sudan, Cuba, Somalia (Bantu), Eritrea and the Soviet Union. Refugees are provided with housing and stocked refrigerators of their ethnic food upon arrival. CSS also connects them with schools, health and banking services, and assists with employment training and placement. CSS seeks volunteers to help provide tutoring in English, transportation and housing preparations. Household items and furniture, except appliances, are a continuous need. CSS will pick up large furniture pieces. WANT TO HELP? To volunteer or request a furniture pick-up, call (704) 370-3283.

CHARLOTTE — Youth group members from St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte recently painted an apartment to be used by refugees. Jordan Raniszeski, youth group leader, guided 28 youths armed with painting equipment as they washed, primed and painted the Charlotte apartment Feb. 25. A local home supply store donated the paint. The apartment had served as an English as a Second Language classroom for refugees. Currently 251 refugees are enrolled in ESL classes provided by the Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Resettlement Office. In 2005, CSS resettled 387 refugees. December was the busiest month with 89 arrivals: 64 Montagnards came from the Central Highlands of Vietnam, and

Courtesy Photo by Mary Wade

Youths from St. Barnabas Church in Arden and St. Joseph Church in Asheboro play guitars at a “jam session” during the “On Our Hearts” youth retreat at St. Michael Church in Gastonia Feb. 24-26. The musicians led more than 30 youths attending the retreat in song prior to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Other activities during the retreat included talks, group activities, evening prayer and Mass. The retreat was sponsored by the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, which is one of the ministries supported by contributions to the Diocesan Support Appeal.

Courtesy Photo by Ann Kilkelly

Youth group members from St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte paint an apartment for Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Resettlement Office Feb. 25.


March 17, 2006

Growing in the faith

youths in action

The Catholic News & Herald 7

Catholic Daughters welcome junior court in Sylva by

Court St. Mary Mother of God, founded in 2004, has 47 members. They help the parish with such things as fundraising events, including one that provided money to help the Catholic Center at Western Carolina University. They also assist with receptions after funerals. During Lent last year, the Catholic Daughters were in charge of a 24-hour period of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and plan to do that again this year. They also sponsored a WRAP project, encouraging people to Wear a white Ribbon Against Pornography. The JCDA court is planning its first project, a vocations exhibit to foster interest in religious vocations. Contact Correspondent Joanita M. Nellenbach by calling (828) 627-9209 or e-mail jnell@dnet.net. DID YOU KNOW? The Catholic Daughters has nearly 95,000 members in 1,400 courts in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guam, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands, the Web site notes. The Catholic Daughters and JCDA promote the development of the whole person through programs of self-identity and personal growth; serve the parish and community; encourage spiritual growth; and encourage programming that is open and creative to meet current needs and concerns. There are currently seven Catholic Daughters courts in the Diocese of Charlotte

JOANITA M. NELLENBACH correspondent

SYLVA — Good example inspired Stormy DeLucia to become a founding member of the Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas (JCDA) court at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva. DeLucia, 14, was impressed with the members of Court St. Mary, Mother of God No. 2534 of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. “I was attracted because I noticed that the ladies who were in the Catholic Daughters were very active in the church,” DeLucia said. “It just seemed like they really knew why they were Catholic and what they stood for.” “I think (JCDA) will help me understand my faith more and to appreciate my church and everyone who’s involved in it,” she said. Catholic Daughters, the largest organization of Catholic women in the Americas, is open to Catholic women 18 and older. JCDA serves girls ages 6 through 17. Chapters are called “courts.” The local Catholic Daughters wanted to sponsor a JCDA court “to stimulate the young people to get them interested in projects that are of value to the Church,” said Rita Goffinet, the court’s recording secretary. On Feb. 12, the JCDA worldwide celebrated its 80th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, Court St. Mary, Mother of God sponsored a JCDA court, the first in the Diocese of Charlotte. Father Ray Williams, pastor of St. Mary, Mother of God Church and the

Courtesy Photo by Vicki Dorsey

A Junior Catholic Daughters of America court was recently instituted at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva Feb. 12. Pictured (from left): Jane Sullivan, Rita Goffinet, Sandra Beauchemin, Arianna Holt, MaryAnn Grabasky, Kristin Geier, Father Walter Williams, Camille Ensley, Sara Freeman, Kaitlyn Karcher, Sheila Storey, Kathryn Hayes, Gwen Parris and Susan Karcher. sponsoring court’s chaplain, celebrated the installation Mass at the church Feb. 12. Maryann Grabasky, Catholic Daughters state regent (president); Sheila Storey, first state vice regent; and Sandy Beauchemin, local court regent, presided at the installation ceremony. They received five girls into the JCDA court: Kathryn Hayes, president, Camille Ensley, Kristin Geier, Arianna Holt and Kaitlyn Karcher. “I’ve always liked participating in the church and helping out in the community,” said Kathryn, 16, who is an altar server at St. Mary, Mother of God Church and has volunteered with the Harris Regional Medical Center auxiliary and at a daycare center. At a post-Mass reception, Father Williams read the national JCDA’s anniversary proclamation. Inclement weather prevented seven other potential JCDA members from

attending the Feb. 12 ceremony, but they were received into the court March 4 during the JCDA’s first official meeting. Gwen Parris, the sponsoring court’s first vice regent, installed Stormy as vice president; Ana Maria Balta as secretary; and Mary Jo Cope as treasurer. Sara Freeman, JCDA facilitator and chairman of the local Catholic Daughters youth committee, installed Madeleine Franzen, Emily Gonzalez, Anna Pierce and Regina Stanton. The girls’ mothers were invited to join them to celebrate the occasion at a luncheon after the meeting. Knights of Columbus founded the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (originally called the National Order of the Daughters of Isabella) in Utica, N.Y., in 1903. According to its Web site, Catholic Daughters’ purpose is to participate in the Catholic Church’s “religious, charitable and educational apostolates.”


8 The Catholic News & Herald

immigration reform

Thousands rally at Capitol to protest House-passed immigration bill by MARK PATTISON catholic news service

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people, many of them Spanish-speaking immigrants, loudly voiced their displeasure about a House-passed immigration bill with a large rally outside the Capitol March 7. The bill would stiffen penalties for undocumented immigrants and their employers, and Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles has said church and charitable organizations would be subject to prosecution if they aid immigrants. The Senate is considering its own versions of immigration legislation. Father Jose Hoyos, head of the Spanish apostolate for the Diocese of Arlington, Va., drew cheers from the crowd when, at an interfaith prayer service that was part of the rally, he said, “I want to pray for all the representatives and the senators and the president of the United States, because they have become atheists — because if they were Christians they would not pass this kind of law.” The bill, the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act, sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., passed the House Dec. 16 by a vote of 239-182. The day of the rally the Senate Judiciary Committee began consideration of an immigration bill drafted by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., committee chairman. It includes provisions to criminalize violations of immigration law, including the act of providing aid to illegal immigrants; would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens; and would penalize state and local governments that do not pointedly enforce immigration laws, currently only a responsibility of federal agencies. It would eliminate a visa lottery program that allows up to 50,000 people a year from certain countries to enter the United States legally and would build 700 miles of new fence along the 2,000mile border with Mexico. The bill also would expand the employment authorization verification program, but not replace what many say is a flawed database currently used by employers for checking documents. The National Capital Immigra-

tion Coalition, sponsors of the rally, said they were expecting 20,000 to attend. No crowd estimate was offered by U.S. Park Police. Among the 44 coalition members are the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Justice and Service, Catholic Charities of the Arlington Diocese and the Catholic social justice lobby Network. “Neither Sensenbrenner’s bill nor Specter’s markup is a solution to our immigration problem,” said coalition chairman Jaime Contreras. “In fact, their proposal will only create more problems instead of fixing them.” “What we need is real, comprehensive immigration reform,” he said, touting the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, co-sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., as the preferred alternative. The McCain-Kennedy bill includes provisions for border security, temporary worker visas and family reunification. It would require efforts by foreign countries to help control the flow of emigrants, cover the costs borne by hospitals that provide emergency care for undocumented immigrants, promote citizenship, and take various steps to prevent fraud. The Catholic bishops of Arizona stated their support of the bill last year, saying it took “a comprehensive approach to a complex issue.” Eduardo Castro, 35, came to the rally from a Catholic church in Baltimore. Castro, who owns a small construction firm, said he came to the United States in 1988 to flee the civil war in his native El Salvador. He said the reaction he gets from people in America about immigration is far removed from the language in the Sensenbrenner bill. “Most people I talk to about the bill, they look at me and say, ‘Oh, my God! Is this true?’ ... It’s like they’re trying to build the perfect race, like in Germany,” he said.

March 17, 2006

Immigration system needs ref REFORM, from page 1

reforms will provide Americans with an immigration system that safeguards the homeland, restores the rule of law and maintains our ideals as a nation of immigrants,” Franken said. The U.S. bishops support the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, which was introduced to Congress in May 2005. The act would not increase immigration in the employment area, but legalize it, since immigrants are already entering and working without documentation. By legalizing the undocumented workforce, wages for all workers increase because the undocumented are better able to organize and assert their rights in the workplace. Undocumented immigrants have broken a civil law, not a criminal one, Franken said. “Have they broken the law, or has the law broken them?” The argument people use to protest immigration — they won’t adapt to American culture, they don’t learn English, they’re criminals — are the same arguments that were used a century ago against immigrants. “The facts don’t bear out that there is any greater criminal activity among today’s immigrants than there was in previous generations,” said Franken. “If we had a more rational immigration system, allowing fewer people to live on the margins of society, we could direct our resources to violent criminals.” “Cities with large percentages of foreign-born in their population are typically low-crime, not high-crime

ic, “Welcome the stranger among us — unity in diversity,” on the Sisters of Mercy campus in Belmont March 11. In a phone interview, Franken said Catholics have a responsibility to develop a “gospel attitude” toward immigrants, regardless of their legal status. “As people of faith, we look at how laws affect people from a moral perspective,” he said. “Are these laws humane? Do they uphold the God-given right to human dignity?” While the U.S. bishops’ don’t condone breaking any criminal or civil law, they do believe the current policies are morally unacceptable, Franken added. “We must look at why so many people are compelled to come here by illegal means,” he said. “These people leave their homes because of lack of opportunities.” “Many people in Central America live in conditions marked by poverty and exclusion,” said Terri Jarina, program director of the diocesan Office of Justice and Peace. “They face an increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and they have inadequate educational and public health systems.” Reforming the system While Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency, supports the right of the government to enforce the law and protect the national security interests, it also recognizes that the existing “complex and unworkable immigration system” has made it nearly impossible for many immigrants to achieve legal status, according to its Web site. “A comprehensive package of


March 17, 2006

immigration reform

The Catholic News & Herald 9

form, say Catholic leaders “We need to remember our own ancestors’ stories of how they came to the United States and why they came.” cities,” Stephen Moore wrote in his essay, “Immigration and the Rise and Decline of American Cities,” published by Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. “For example, the 17 cities with the most immigrants in 1990 had a 1991 crime rate of 8.7 per 1,000 population. The cities with the fewest immigrants had a crime rate 17 percent higher, or 10.5 per 1,000 persons,” he said. The cities with the most immigrants in 1980 also had lower crime rates on average (9.2 per 1,000) than the lowimmigration cities (11.1 per 1,000), according to Moore. “In sum, crime is more rampant in cities with few immigrants than in cities with many immigrants,” Moore said. “I do not condone breaking the law, but I am very much concerned that we do not seem to be asking ‘Why are people breaking the law?’” said Franciscan Sister Andrea Inkrott, director of diocesan Hispanic Ministry.

“I think Jesus would expect the Catholic Church to treat all people with love and compassion, as he did,” she said. “He saw persons with his heart and helped them in their need.” Stemming the flow Franken said it’s a myth that better security will stop illegal immigration. “It will make it more difficult, but will in no way stem the flow,” said Franken. “People will always risk their lives for a better way of life.” Franken is convinced tightened border security will result in increased tunnels, smuggling, organized crime and, eventually, boat people landing in California and in the Gulf Coast states. “We must ensure the best we can, that people are not coming here to do us harm,” Franken said. “Our nation’s trade, economic aid, debt relief and other types of economic and social policies should help to create conditions in which people are not compelled to leave their homes.” On Dec. 16, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act, which would stiffen penalties for undocumented immigrants and their employers. “We need to remember our own ancestors’ stories of how they came to the United States and why they came,” said Sister Inkrott. An economic necessity Jaime Contreras, National Capital Immigration Coalition chairman, said each year immigrant workers contrib-

CNS photo by Paul Haring

Magdalena Schwartz makes a statement with symbolic handcuffs during an immigration rally on the west lawn of the Capitol in Washington March 7. The crowd was protesting a House-passed immigration bill that they contend would allow law enforcement authorities to prosecute social service workers and others who help illegal immigrants. ute $90 billion in income taxes, up to $7 billion in Social Security taxes and receive only $5 billion in services. Contreras spoke at a March 7 rally in Washington protesting the border protection act. According to the U.S. bishops’ Web site, studies show that immigrant workers are employed in jobs in industries that do not attract sufficient U.S. workers. The U.S. Department of Labor has predicted that the United States will experience a labor shortage in many “unskilled job categories” by as early as 2008. More than 80 percent of agricultural workers are foreign-born, as are the

majority of laborers in the meatpacking and poultry industries. More than one-third of all dishwashers, janitors, maids and cooks are also foreign-born. “Our country has always been a country of immigrants, who bring with them many gifts as well as their hands to do the manual labor in our fields and factories,” said Sister Inkrott. “As Catholics they bring with them their faith and their values — gifts that the local Catholic community can benefit from in a mutual sharing of faith and values.” Contact Staff Writer Karen A. Evans by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail kaevans@charlottediocese.org.


1 0 The Catholic News & Herald

March 17, 2006

Culture Watch

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

Understanding sacrifice is theme of Virginia Catholic writer’s novel by JEAN DENTON catholic news service

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Killing spiders on Good Friday, building bonfires to burn Judas in effigy on Holy Saturday, draping purple cloths over crucifixes and holy pictures — welcome to Holy Week in the recollections of Catholic author Irma Silva-Barbeau. These memories also are found in the pages of her first novel, “A Sweet Oblation.” Silva-Barbeau, of Blacksburg, Va., explores the joy of loving sacrifice through the open heart of a child who is learning the meaning behind the religious and cultural practices of Lent and Easter. She places the story in the colorful culture of her native Cape Verde in the years before the Second Vatican Council. The country is a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the African country of Senegal. She takes the reader on a spiritual journey of discovery with her character, 12-year-old Isabel, as she probes the questions — and the answers — about self-denial and love of Jesus and the poor. Isabel learns that giving up something as small as a candy bar can help her detach herself from the things of the world so she can draw closer to God. “I wanted the sacrifice to be something small — a very simple gift for a child — a candy bar or Isabel just holding back in class at school to allow someone else to shine, to show that the littlest sacrifices can bring us close to God,” SilvaBarbeau said. The author’s story of Isabel, who is based largely on her own childhood and spiritual experiences — is told in the language of a mother explaining to her daughter the value of a penitential season and the difference between suffering in the context of love and simply suffering. Silva-Barbeau also celebrates some older Catholic practices — such as the veiling of crucifixes and sacred images and rigorous fasting — through the lens of post-Vatican II understanding. An active member of St. Mary’s Church in Blacksburg, Silva-Barbeau was 14 years old when she immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and siblings from Cape Verde, then still a Portuguese colony.

The family went to Massachusetts, which has a large population of Cape Verdeans. That connection was made in the early 19th century, when whaling ships from New Bedford, Mass., would stop periodically in the islands as they sailed their route. With a doctorate in international nutrition from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Silva-Barbeau has traveled extensively in developing countries in West Africa and South and Central America. She specializes in research and development projects in the field of hunger and malnutrition and has worked on numerous projects for organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency. She and her husband, Bill, a professor at Virginia Tech, a state university in Blacksburg, co-published a report on a successful project in Gambia in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin of the United Nations. She said she had never thought of the idea of writing as a vocation, but as she got older she became “more introspective” and realized she had some stories to tell. “I realized how blessed I’ve been with opportunities and education — I’ve worked with presidents and the lowliest farmers. I learned that for me, as I understand it is for many writers, the characters come to you,” she said. “As I remembered things from my own past, the story started writing itself.”

WORD TO LIFE

Sunday Scripture Readings: MAR. 26, 2006

March 26, Fourth Sunday of Lent Cycle B Readings: 1) 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23 Psalm 137:1-6 2) Ephesians 2:4-10 3) Gospel: John 3:14-21

Jesus’ love is unconditional by BEVERLY CORZINE catholic news service

For weeks our evenings had been inundated with a deluge of prerecorded telephone calls urging us to vote for or against someone or something. Our latest strategy was not to answer if we didn’t recognize the number. Recently, on an evening of incessant ringing, my husband brought me the phone. I thought, “Why in the world did he answer it?” After being hammered with unwanted calls for days, I guess I had temporarily forgotten that sometimes we did want to talk to the person calling. However, I realized that this particular call was high priority when I hear the familiar salutation: “Hi Grandma. This is Olivia.” Olivia has a case of First Reconciliation butterflies. We had a conversation about what she might say when she visits with the priest and how God sent Jesus to let us know how much we are loved no matter what. We talked about her hopes of getting a priest she knows. Then she said, “Would you like to

hear me say the Our Father?” “Of course,” I replied. I listened to the words of this ancient prayer and heard the innocence in the voice I love so much. I told her she did a wonderful job and did not miss a word. She told me she would call back soon with the Hail Mary. The conversation ended with our declarations of love for each other. My husband asked, “What was that all about?” Glowing, I answered, “Olivia wanted me to hear her say the Lord’s Prayer.” I was struck with her confidence in Jesus. On this fourth Sunday of Lent, all the readings assure us that God has always loved us. However, that assurance may have been blocked by a lifetime of thinking that God is just waiting to zap the unsuspecting into oblivion. John’s Gospel says otherwise, especially in one of the most memorized verses in the Bible that illustrates the depth of that love — John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” As my granddaughter said, “Jesus loves us no matter what.” Questions: What experiences or conditions in your life make you tend to forget God’s unconditional love? What Lenten practice can help keep you conscious every day of that love? Scripture to Illustrate: “The light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were wicked. ... But he who acts in truth comes into the light” (Jn 3:19, 21).

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE Scripture for the week of March 19-25

Sunday (Third Sunday of Lent), Exodus 20:1-17, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:1325; Monday (St. Joseph), 2 Samuel 7:4-5,12-14, 16, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24; Tuesday (Lenten Weekday), Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Matthew 18:21-35; Wednesday (Lenten Weekday), Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Matthew 5:17-19; Thursday (St. Toribio de Mogrovejo), Jeremiah 7:23-28, Luke 11:14-23; Friday (Lenten Weekday), Hosea 14:2-10, Mark 12:28-34; Saturday (The Annunciation of the Lord), Isaiah 7:10-14, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38. Scripture for the week of March 26-April 1

Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23, Ephesians 2:4-10, John 3:14-21; Monday (Lenten Weekday), Isaiah 65:17-21, John 4:43-54; Tuesday (Lenten Weekday), Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, John 5:1-16; Wednesday (Lenten Weekday), Isaiah 49:815, John 5:17-30; Thursday (Lenten Weekday), Exodus 32:7-14, John 5:31-47; Friday (Lenten Weekday), Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, John 7:1-2, 10,25-30; Saturday (Lenten Weekday), Jeremiah 11:18-20, John 7:40-53.


The Catholic News & Herald 11

March 17, 2006

Decoding the truth

‘Jesus Decoded’ site launched to counter claims in ‘Da Vinci Code’ by

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON — A new Web site sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Communication Campaign has been established to provide accurate information about the life of Jesus, the origins of Christianity and Catholic teaching to counter claims made in the best-selling novel “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. The site, www.jesusdecoded.com, was launched March 9. A film version of the book is slated for nationwide release May 19. The site contains information that refutes claims made in the book about the nature of Jesus; his relationship with Mary Magdalene; the first four ecumenical councils of the early church and how they shaped today’s teaching about Jesus; contemporaneous accounts of Jesus’ life that were not selected for the New Testament; the role of women in the church throughout history; and the “Last Supper” paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and other artists of his era. Also found on the site is a column by John Thavis, Rome Bureau chief for Catholic News Service, on the level of Vatican reaction to the book and forthcoming movie. There is also an essay from the U.S. bishops’ Office for Film & Broadcasting on the marketing hype behind the movie; and a commentary, “What’s Wrong With ‘The Da Vinci Code’?”, written by Father John Wauck, a U.S. priest of Opus Dei, the personal prelature which figures prominently in the novel. The site also has production

information on the CCC’s “Jesus Decoded” TV special, including information on air dates and times in cities around the United States. The program, shot on location in Israel, Turkey and Italy, includes interviews with international scholars versed in art, history and Scripture who “help separate Catholic truth from popular fiction.” It has been offered to NBC affiliates, but each affiliate’s management makes the decision whether to air it. “Many of my students and myself included enjoy a good, fast-paced novel, and enjoyed ‘The Da Vinci Code’ on that level, as a tall tale of adventure,” said Alan Schreck, chairman of the theology department at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, who contributed an essay to the Web site on early church ecumenical councils. “There’s a level where this book is appealing to people,” Schreck told CNS. “That is what makes it dangerous to someone, if they believe it’s a historical representation or an accurate theological presentation.” Rather than cover up the truth about Jesus, as the novel suggests, the early church councils tried to uncover the truth, according to Schreck. In those councils, the participants “asked critical questions and had entertained different views of who Jesus was, his mission, and in this process saw the need to clarify the truth about Jesus that sprung from the most authentic and reliable sources about him,” Schreck said. “And there were many sources about him that were being promulgated,” he

Southern sounds in school

Courtesy Photo

David Holt (right), a four-time Grammy Award winner, historian and storyteller; and Josh Goforth (center), a native of Asheville and fellow traditional and acoustical musician, are pictured outside Our Lady of Grace School in Greensboro Feb. 27 with school librarian Doris Melson. Melson arranged the visit of Holt and Goforth, who delighted the students and guests with traditional American storytelling and folklore interwoven with their musical performance. Holt, who played a number of homemade acoustical instruments, reflected on Southern culture and ways of the craftsmen and musicians of the Southern mountains. “The day was a very special one, as it brought schoolchildren, their families, Our Lady of Grace parishioners and fellow librarians from across the country together for an inspirational and uplifting performance,” said Melson.

A worthwhile ‘Vendetta’ “V for Vendetta” is a provocative futuristic thriller based in London about a masked antihero (Hugo Weaving) who enlists the aid of a young office worker (Natalie Portman) to undermine a totalitarian government. That government is headed by an Orwellian dictator (John Hurt) and his cowering advisers (Stephen Rea, Rupert Graves, Tim Pigott-Smith). Director James McTeigue, working from a Wachowski Brothers adaptation of Alan Moore (uncredited by choice) and illustrator David Lloyd’s graphic novel, has crafted a reasonably intelligent political allegory, with emphasis on character development, ideas and even a bit of romance, rather than simple mindless violence. The performances are first rate, and the film’s theme of the individual’s

responsibility in standing up to tyranny — while questioning the moral limits of opposition — is worthy, and stops short of imparting a universal anti-authoritarian message. Some discreetly handled violence with bloodshed, a hanging, scattered profanity, rough and crude language and expressions, minor lesbian-themed flashback and implied gay male character, corrupt Anglican clergyman, attempted rape, sexual innuendo, drug use. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


1 2 The Catholic News & Herald

from the cover

Eucharistic Conference coming to EUCHARIST, from page

sources of spiritual strength and revival. “We know that making a trip to Charlotte poses a problem for many people in the western part of the diocese,” said Father Roger Arnsparger, pastor of St. Barnabas Church in Arden and Eucharistic Conference organizer. “We want everyone to have the experience of attending a Catholic family gathering centered on the holy Eucharist, and so the decision was made to hold this

event in Asheville,” he said. “Of course, we also encourage everyone to make the effort to participate in the upcoming diocesan Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte.” Details of the event, including speakers, are still being formulated. Information about the event and procession route can be found on the section of the diocesan Web site dedicated to the diocesan Eucharistic Congress. David Hains is director of communications for the Diocese of Charlotte.

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rence inAsheville, Bishop Peter J. Jugis will celebrate Mass, followed by a eucharistic procession through the streets to the Asheville Civic Center. Inside the Civic Center, the conference will feature a holy hour and speaker presentations. The event is open to all Catholics. Many who attended the diocese’s first Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte last year described the eucharistic procession, holy hour and speakers as

March 17, 2006 WANT MORE INFO? The Asheville Eucharistic Conference will take place Saturday, June 24, beginning with 9 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of St. Lawrence, followed by a eucharistic procession to the Asheville Civic Center. The conference will include a holy hour and speakers, and is expected to end at approximately 1 p.m. More details will be available at www. goeucharist.com.


March 17, 2006

from the cover

Pope discusses women’s role in church decision-making, other POPE, from page 1

ects and develop new forms of piety, he said; they have had “a real and profound participation in the governance of the church.” “How could one imagine the governance of the church without this contribution, which sometimes has been quite visible, like when St. Hildegard criticized the bishops or when St. Brigid and St. Catherine of Siena admonished and obtained the return of the popes to Rome” from Avignon, France, the pope said.

listening to their concerns and responding to the questions posed by 15 of them. Father Marco Valentini asked the pope why the church does not recognize that women’s experience, wisdom and points of view would complement those of the men in decision-making positions. Pope Benedict said, “Everyone certainly has had this experience” that Father Valentini described of being assisted by women in growing in the faith. “The church owes a great debt of thanks to women,” the pope said. Women not only have exercised a charismatic function in the church, being prompted by the Holy Spirit to found religious orders, expand charitable proj-

The contribution of women, he said, “always has been a determining factor without which the church could not live.” Pope Benedict said priestly ministry is reserved to men, but “it is right to ask” if it would not be possible “to offer more space, more positions of responsibility to women.” Dealing with several subjects, the pope emphasized the importance of individuals recognizing they have been created by God, entering into a relationship with God and sharing that relationship with others. He quoted the Old Testament reading used March 2 at Mass: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life.” The decline of Christianity in the West, he said, too often is presented falsely as a choice for life. “It has been said — I’m thinking of Nietzsche, but also many others — that Christianity is a choice against life. With the cross, with all the commandments, with every ‘no’ it tells us, it closes the door to life,” he said. But true Christian faith teaches people that the abundance of life comes not from hoarding it, but from giving it, he said. “Human life is a relationship ... with the Creator, otherwise all relationships are fragile,” he said. “A world emptied of God, a world that has forgotten God, loses life and falls into a culture of death.” Pope Benedict said too many people in the West are afraid to have children because they think a child will diminish their lives. The pope said he personally wanted to thank Catholic mothers “because they have given life, because they want to

The Catholic News & Herald 13

help this life grow” and because they introduce their children to “friendship with Jesus.” The pope said a “great solitude” is the basic problem faced by young people. “Everyone lives in his own world. They are islands of thought and feelings; they never come together,” he said. Without a strong family life and strong faith, the pope said, people forget that they are all children of God and that they are called to live a life in community. Pope Benedict said too many people give value only to what is new and modern and forget what endures and what unites all people: having been created by God, loved by God and saved by his Son. Whether dealing with the problems of youth and family life or looking at the church, its liturgy and its relationship to the world, he said, people must remember that “in a moment of renewal and change, the element of the permanent becomes more important.” The church does not ignore or condemn all that is new, the pope said, but it knows it has a treasure of faith, piety and liturgy that has helped people for centuries and can still help them. Turning to the liturgy, the pope said he was “a bit upset” when the Second Vatican Council changed the liturgical readings for Lent, adopting the reading he had just cited about choosing life or death. “Today I see that these readings are very beautiful and express the program of Lent: to choose life, that is to renew one’s baptismal ‘yes,’ which is to choose life,” he said.


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March 17, 2006

Perspectives

A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

Make the Beatitudes your Lenten program God offers many great suggestions for Lent It’s Lent again. Every year we try to think of some new penance that will help us sing “Alleluia” at Easter and really mean it. Why not let Jesus set the agenda? He tells us straight out in Matthew’s Gospel how we can be happy. Why not follow his instructions in the Beatitudes? So here is the plan for a blessed Lent: — Happy are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Go on a shopping fast. Don’t spend money except for absolute necessities. I’ve decided the only things I will buy during Lent are necessities I can get at my local supermarket and gas station. (My supermarket also has a pharmacy and dry cleaner.) Most people spend too much money on stuff they don’t need. This is a good way to become detached from things and truly “poor in spirit.” — Happy are they who mourn. Go to the funerals at your parish church. Attend wakes of parishioners, even if you don’t know them. Pray for the dead. Better yet, volunteer to help with funerals. It is a great sign of what we mean by the “communion of saints,” a great way to show sympathy and solidarity. Maybe someday when you are mourning a stranger will come to support you. As the Lord says, “They shall be comforted.” — Happy are the meek. Lose arguments on purpose this Lent. Don’t defend yourself to family or friends when they disagree with you. Just say, “You may be right.” That will stop ’em cold. The odd thing is, they will start agreeing with you and concede, “You have a point, too.” Then the Lord’s prediction will come true, you will inherit the earth. Losing is how you really win. — Happy are those who hunger and thirst for justice. Go to a demonstration for a good cause. Support immigration rights or pro-life issues. Write a letter to your state assemblyman on an issue affecting the poor. Speak out at a community meeting on a local issue like low-cost housing or needs of the mentally ill. Jesus says it will be very satisfying. — Happy are the merciful. Forgive a debt. The bigger, the better. This is especially true for family members’ debts.

Parish Diary FATHER PETER J. DALY cns columnist

If somebody owes you money you can afford to live without, forgive the loan. If somebody needs a car and you can afford to give your old one, give it. They won’t forget your generosity. Someday they may show you some mercy, as Jesus says. — Happy are the clean of heart. Get rid of the things that pollute your life. If you have cable channels or magazines that bring temptations into your house, get rid of them. If you find yourself tempted by the Internet, get a filter. All we really need to see in the end is what the clean of heart will see: God. — Happy are the peacemakers. End an old argument. Settle a quarrel. If you can’t do it, what makes you think the Palestinians and Israelis should be able to do it? Call a truce to a longstanding feud in your family. Break the ice by saying, “I’m sorry if I ever caused you pain.” Then you will be one of God’s own children. — Happy are those who are persecuted and insulted because of me. When somebody criticizes your religious devotion or faith, let it go. Don’t fight, but don’t disappear. Let your life be the witness. Your reward will be great in heaven. That is a program for Lent. Thanks to the Lord for the suggestions.

‘The Mystery of Christ and his Church’ Pope says personal faith is essential, but so is church community by CINDY WOODEN catholic news service

VATICAN CITY — While personal faith in Jesus is essential in a Christian’s life, Jesus also came to gather his disciples into a new people of God, the community of the church, Pope Benedict XVI said. “A slogan in vogue a few years ago, ‘Jesus, yes; the church, no,’ is completely irreconcilable with the intention of Christ,” the pope said March 15 at his weekly general audience. The audience, held in St. Peter’s Square under bright, sunny skies, marked the beginning of a series of audience talks Pope Benedict planned on “The Mystery of Christ and his Church.” “In the catechesis that begins today, I want to demonstrate how the light of Christ’s face is reflected in the face of the church, despite the limits and shadows of our fragile and sinful humanity,” the pope said. Pope Benedict criticized the “individualistic interpretation” of Christ’s ministry espoused by “liberal theologians” such as the late German theologian Adolf von Harnack. The idea of von Harnack and others that Jesus’ mission is addressed only to individuals, he said, “is a typically modern” interpretation of relationships and does not fit in with the biblical description of God establishing a covenant with an entire people and sending Jesus to establish a new covenant and save all humanity. Setting aside his prepared text, the

Letter to the Guest column a timely reminder I commend Kevin Roeten for his guest column, “The miracle beyond reality” (Feb. 17). It was very timely, because we are not reminded enough of, and we tend to forget, the substantial real presence of Jesus in the holy Eucharist. “This is my body. This is my blood.” Surely it is! Amen. — Don Millard Charlotte

The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI

pope said, “this individualistic Jesus is a Jesus of fantasy. We cannot have Jesus without the reality (of the church) he created and through which he communicates himself.” Even if Jesus’ preaching “always was an appeal to personal conversion, he constantly aimed at the formation of the people of God which he came to gather, unify and save,” the pope said. Jesus founded the church by calling the Twelve Apostles, sharing his life and ministry with them and entrusting the continuing guidance of the new community to them, he said. “Having entrusted to them at the Last Supper before his Passion the task of celebrating his memorial, Jesus demonstrated that he wanted to transfer to the entire community — in the person of its leaders — the mandate of being the sign and instrument in history of the gathering he began,” the pope said. “The Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of the will of Christ regarding the existence and mission of his church, the guarantee that between Christ and his church there is no contradiction,” he said. Again speaking without notes, the pope said Jesus and the church “are inseparable despite the sins of the people who make up the church.” “Christ is present today among his people, especially through those who are the successors of the apostles,” he said. “And his continuing presence in the community is a motive for our joy.”

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March 17, 2006

‘Faith alone’ is not enough

Jesus said faith and action necessary for salvation heritage prepared for you ..., for when I was hungry you gave me to eat, and when I was thirsty you gave me to drink” (Mt 25:33, 34). We will be judged by our deeds as well as our faith. Jesus never said, “Faith alone saves.” Rather, he insisted that we are to believe in him and take care of our neighbor: “I tell you solemnly, insofar as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me. And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life” (Mt 25:46). The Catholic Church urges the people of God to live a life according to the teachings of Jesus, and this means a life of faith and charitable action. St. Paul spoke against the necessity of circumcising non-Jewish converts. In his letter to the Romans (3:28), he said that “a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the law tells him to do.” However, Paul never meant to cancel the Gospel teaching of Jesus, who called us perform good deeds with humility: “Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice. ...When you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you” (Mt 6:1, 2).

Protestant theologian Karl Barth advised his followers not to be discouraged if they are having trouble believing all the claims of Christianity: “Those who have to contend with unbelief should be advised that they ought not take their own unbelief too seriously. Only faith is to be taken seriously, and if they have faith as tiny as a grain of mustard seed, that suffices for the devil to have lost his game.” I’ve always been uncomfortable with his oversimplification. Jesus did refer to faith and the mustard seed, but he said a great deal more. Jesus never said that faith alone saves. What he did say was that faith and action are necessary for salvation: “Believe in me,” and “keep my commandments”(Jn 14:12,15). I love our separated brethren. Many have great love for the Lord, but those who think that the Gospel only calls them to accept Jesus and then rest on their laurels have put themselves at some considerable risk. Some compound their error by saying that Catholics believe they are saved by their works. The church has never believed or taught that. In fact, the church condemned Pelagius, an English monk of the fifth

Just when you thought discrimination was gone ‘Others’ are friends we haven’t made yet I talked recently with two high school students attending a workshop on discrimination. Before the workshop they were convinced that no discrimination existed at their school. Nobody uttered racial epithets. The school was diverse, and students of all races played on sports teams together. They thought tolerance was a given until they looked a little closer. What about the learning-disabled boy in class, the one everybody called a “retard”? What about the time someone said that a friend had to be good at math “because she was Asian”? What about the names certain classmates used to describe gay and lesbian students? What about condescending attitudes some had toward certain other groups? For teens, discrimination isn’t always as clear-cut as some might imagine. While race can be a factor in some schools, it isn’t always about black and white, it’s about “us and them.” On the TV show “Lost,” the main characters were terrorized for a long time by “the Others,” people they hadn’t met. What made “the Others” frightening was what the castaways didn’t know about their appearance, their culture or their

motives. Who are “the Others” for people today? There are as many answers to this question as there are people in the world. Employers in the United States are bound by law not to discriminate in the hiring process against people based on their marital status, race, color, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry, age, disability, religion or creed. In a perfect world, this attitude would be epitomized on a personal level all the time. But people are only human; we all fight with preconceived notions about our “others” on a daily basis. It may range from thinking that girls just can’t play basketball as well as guys to voicing many of the negative characterizations of African Americans that still haunt our culture today. Most recently, this issue was crystallized by the furor in the Muslim world over satirical cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. It is tempting for many, seeing Arab protesters torching Western emblems, to draw the quick conclusion that the Islamic world is violent, that the Islamic world is “the other,” that they’re “not like us.” Do those conclusions really take into consideration the political realities of the countries where the rioting hap-

FATHER JOHN CATOIR cns columnist

Blessing of throats by lay Question Corner FATHER JOHN DIETZEN cns columnist

century, for teaching what we name Pelagianism. It is the belief that we save ourselves by our good deeds. The church flatly rejected this erroneous theory. Then exactly what did Jesus teach on this topic? Jesus proclaimed this message: “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness sins ..., and love one another.” In Chapter 25:40 of St. Matthew’s Gospel, he spells it out: “What you do for the least of my brethren you do for me.” He goes on to explain how our judgment will take place: “When the Son of Man comes ... he will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come blessed of my Father, take your

Coming of Age KAREN DIETLEIN OSBORNE cns columnist

pened or try to understand why, for many Muslims, demeaning Muhammad means demeaning all of Islam? Do these conclusions look beyond the surface? Not really. It does an injustice to both sides when we snap to a quick conclusion about “the others” and don’t reach out to discover the real people behind the stereotypes. In a culture where it was common to adopt discriminatory attitudes towards lepers, tax collectors, and prostitutes, Jesus made an effort to get to know “the other.” He invited them over for dinner, treated them like people and, as a result, made new friends of former strangers. More connects us to “the others” than divides us from them: life, love, friendship, faith and family. Ending discrimination in the world is a tall order. It is still pretty obvious that we have a long way to go. Perhaps breaking down discriminatory attitudes at home and at school is a place to start. That’s the plan of the two students I talked to, at least. They were going to get to know more about their “others,” whether they were Goth girls, the loud lacrosse team, the cheerleaders or anyone else they stereotyped. I think they’re on to something.

Rites designate how to perform blessing Q. On the feast of St. Blase, it is customary to have our throats blessed. We were surprised to see [lay] ministers giving the St. Blase blessing. Have they been mandated by the bishop to perform this blessing? (New York) A. According to the approved blessing of throats on the feast of St. Blase, “the blessing of throats may be given by a priest, deacon or lay minister who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.” During Mass, the blessing follows the reading of the Gospel, homily and the General Intercessions. Outside of Mass, within a prayer service, the blessing is made at an appropriate time. In either case, with crossed candles touched to the throat of each person, the priest, deacon or lay minister says, “Through the intercession of St. Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Priests and deacons make the sign of the cross over the person as the invocation is recited. Lay ministers say the same words, touching the throat of each person, but do not make the sign of the cross over the person receiving the blessing. Thus, what you experienced is entirely proper in the church’s regulations for the blessing of throats. A further regulation provides that if the blessing cannot appropriately be given individually, the priest, or whoever is leading the celebration, extends hands over the people and says the prayer of blessing for everyone at the same time. These rubrics are found in the Book of Blessings for the United States, confirmed by the Vatican in 1989. A free brochure on ecumenism, including questions on intercommunion and other ways of sharing worship, is available by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Box 5515, Peoria, IL 61612. Questions may be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address, or e-mail: jjdietzen@aol.com.


March 17, 2006

The Catholic News & Herald 16

PARISH PROFILE

St. Therese Church serves thousands of Catholics in south Iredell County MOORESVILLE — The Catholic community in Mooresville was born Jan. 6, 1946 as the St. Gerard Mission of St. Joseph Church in Kannapolis. Redemptorist priests celebrated the liturgy for about a dozen people in the Van Hoy family home. At the time, the Catholic population of western North Carolina was about 6,000. For a few months, Masses were celebrated in an upper room of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Mooresville. The church family adopted the name St. Therese, in honor of the late-1800s French Carmelite nun from Lisieux. With help from the Catholic Extension Society, a pre-World War II chapel was purchased from Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville and was relocated, piece by piece, to Mooresville. The town then had its first Catholic church. Redemptorist priests continued to serve Mooresville Catholics until August 1954, when diocesan priests assumed pastoral care of the Catholic community. St. Therese Church was granted parish status in 1956. In 1970, Consolata Society Father John Radaelli served as pastor for several months. Later that year, Jesuit priests began their pastorate at St. Therese Church, a presence that continues to this day. By 1981, about 100 families were worshipping at St. Therese Church each weekend. At this time, the parish took over the responsibility for Catholic campus ministry at Davidson College from St. James Church in Concord. In 1983, the parish purchased 25 acres of land, with plans to build a new church and parish center. Ground was broken at the new site July 20, 1986. Having sold the original church building, the parish accepted Central United Methodist Church’s invitation to

St. Therese Church 217 Brawley School Rd. Mooresville, N.C. 28117 (704) 664-3992 Vicariate: Salisbury Pastor: Jesuit Father Vincent Curtin Parochial Vicar: Jesuit Father Joseph Kappes In Residence: Jesuit Father James Keogh, Jesuit Father William Lynch Permanent Deacon: Deacon John Sims

Jesuit Father Vincent Curtin

Photo by George Cobb

Over the past 60 years, St. Therese Church in Mooresville has grown from a community of 12 Catholics to 1,900 families. share their facilities from October 1987 until moving into the new facility in January 1988. Then-Bishop John F. Donoghue celebrated the dedication Mass in January 1988. Membership had continued to climb, and the parish consisted of 310 families. By late 1992, the Catholic population of the Diocese of Charlotte had reached more than 75,000 people. St. Therese Church had 735 families and was the fastest growing parish in the diocese. In June 1997, St. Mark Church in Hunters-

The parish center has brought new life to the parish and allowed the expansion of ministries in both the parish and the community. More than 1,900 parish families now make up St. Therese Church, participating in more than 100 active ministries in the parish and the community. Contributing to this story was Staff

ville was formed by redrawing the parish boundaries for St. Therese Church. By March 1998, the parish population had returned to the same level it had been before the 1997 split. By spring 1999, nearly 1,100 families called St. Therese Church their spiritual home, and overcrowded facilities were insufficient to meet the parish’s needs. A capital campaign was begun to construct a parish life center to house the education and music ministries, and a social hall to accommodate parish-wide events, sports and holiday Masses. On Sept. 14, 2002, the Lewis Mack Parish Life Center, named for one of the church’s founding members, was dedicated and it was none too soon — more than 1,500 families, including almost 1,000 children in faith formation, made up the parish.


March 17, 2006