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April 11, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 1

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Perspectives A magnificent eucatastrophe; healing after abortion; confession frequency

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI april 11, 2008

Ascending the mountain

Catechists explore sacraments, prayer at workshop

| Pages 14-15 Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte

Not your typical spring break Youths build houses for Hurricane Katrina victims



Courtesy Photo

CHARLOTTE — While many of their classmates were working on their tans, 39 students from Charlotte Catholic High School spent their spring break doing work of a different sort. Instead of flip flops and bathing suits, these students donned work boots and overalls for a week of service in Braithwaite, La. “I didn’t want a typical spring break. I wanted to actually do something more than watch TV,” said senior Michaeline Nichols. The trip, which took place from March 24-29,

Students from Charlotte Catholic High School build a house for Hurricane Katrina victims during their spring break, March 24-29. The students spent the week doing service projects in Braithwaite, La.

See MISSION, page 9

‘An important clarification’

‘A work for eternity’

Scribes give pope volume of illustrated Bible

Vatican: Revised prayer does not reverse Vatican II teaching on Jews

By CAROL GLATZ catholic news service

by CINDY WOODEN catholic news service

See PRAYER, page 13

KATIE MOORE staff writer

SYLVA — In the midst of the Smoky Mountains, more than 80 people accepted the invitation to “Ascend the Mountain of the Lord,” an adult faith formation and catechetical workshop. The Diocese of Charlotte’s Office of Faith Formation sponsored the program at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva April 5. Presentations by various speakers were given on morality, skills and theory, the Lord’s Prayer and sacraments. “The use of symbols in the sacraments helps bring us closer to each other, to Jesus Christ and to God the

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s revised prayer for the Jews for use in the Good Friday liturgy of the extraordinary form of the Mass does not indicate any form of stepping back from the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, the Vatican said.

no. 23

Framing the future


See WORKSHOP, page 4


CNS photo courtesy of Liturgical Press

Master calligrapher Donald Jackson looks over an edition of The Saint John’s Bible in this undated photo. Jackson and a team of scribes spent 10 years creating the illustrated Bible using quills and handmade inks on calfskin vellum.

VATICAN CITY — It’s being called the Sistine Chapel of calligraphy. The Saint John’s Bible will be the first handwritten and illuminated Bible penned with ancient methods since the invention of the printing press, according to its creators. This Biblical work of art will contain some 160 illuminations woven into text covering 1,100 pages of calfskin vellum sheets.

A team of scribes led by a master calligrapher, Donald Jackson, has spent the last 10 years silently scratching out Biblical verses with turkey, goose and swan quills dipped in handmade inks. They and other artists also use hand-ground pigments and gold and silver leaf to illustrate and add contrasting colors to the texts. The huge manuscripts will See BIBLE, page 5

Knights of Columbus

Culture Watch

In Memorium

Councils welcome members, donate funds, more

General’s spiritual journey; performing for a pope

Msgr. William Pharr remembered

| Pages 6-7

| Pages 10-11

| Page 12

April 11, 2008

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

MADISON, Wis. (CNS) — Although a Wisconsin judge upheld the official reprimand of a Catholic pharmacist who refused to dispense a contraceptive drug to a college student or transfer the prescription to another pharmacy, debate on the issue of conscience rights was continuing in the state. In a March 24 decision, 3rd District Court Judge Michael Hoover rejected pharmacist Neil Noesen’s appeal of sanctions imposed on him by the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board in 2005. However, an official of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference said the judge nevertheless acknowledged that conscience rights under the state constitution are even broader than those granted by the U.S. Constitution. K i m Wa d a s , t h e C a t h o l i c conference’s associate director for education and health care, said Hoover’s affirmation of conscience rights was a step

Faithfully dedicated

CNS photo by Ed Foster Jr.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., makes the sign of the cross with sacred chrism on the interior wall of the Ave Maria Oratory during the dedication ceremony of the new building in the town of Ave Maria, Fla., March 31. The church sits in the center of the Catholic university community conceived by Tom Monaghan, Domino’s Pizza founder and chairman of the Ave Maria Foundation.

Bishop dedicates Ave Maria Oratory, focal point of new university NAPLES, Fla. (CNS) — The towering, $24 million Ave Maria Oratory that is the focal point of Ave Maria University and the town being built around it was dedicated March 31 as a quasi-parish to provide pastoral care for students, faculty, staff and residents. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice was main celebrant for a Mass and dedication of the 1,100-seat landmark church building that’s 104 feet tall and topped with a 10-foot Celtic cross. Ave Maria is one of the first Catholic universities to open in the United States in 40 years. Multimillionaire Tom Monaghan, who founded the Domino’s Pizza chain, announced plans in 2002 for Ave Maria University and a town of the same name on 5,000 acres east of Naples, about 30 miles from the Gulf Coast. He’s now university chancellor. According to its Web site: “Ave Maria is known for faithfulness to the magisterium of the Catholic Church, a caring faculty and staff, and a unique educational philosophy that strives to develop the whole person.” Classes began on the permanent campus this past fall, and construction of the Ave Maria Oratory was completed early this year. The town’s planned 11,000 homes and commercial development are expected to be built over the next decade or more. “As the faithful of this new quasiparish, the students, faculty and residents of the town will have a place of worship, not only to participate in the holy

Conscience questions remain after Catholic pharmacist loses appeal

Eucharist, but to receive all other sacraments and enrich their spiritual life, including the moral values of faith and devotions,” Bishop Dewane wrote in a statement announcing the dedication. Father Robert Tatman, a priest of the Venice Diocese, has been named administrator of the church. Canon law indicates “a quasi-parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful in a particular church, entrusted to a priest as its proper pastor but not yet erected as a parish because of particular circumstances.”

Diocesan planner For more events taking place in the Diocese of Charlotte, visit www.charlottediocese. org/calendarofevents-cn. ALBEMARLE VICARIATE

MONROE — A holy hour is held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 725 Deese St., until December 2008 in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes. The holy hour consists of evening prayer, recitation of the rosary and Benediction. The celebration is open to all. For more information, contact the parish office at (704) 289-2773.


ARDEN — The St. Martin de Porres Dominican Laity Chapter meets the fourth Monday of every month at Debra Mattison’s house, 4 Brook Meadows Lane, 7 p.m. Inquirers are welcome. For more information contact Joe Kraft at (828) 648-1036 or


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.

in the right direction. “We were excited to see some of that language, which continued to recognize that pharmacists have a right of conscience,” Wadas said. “This is something we advocate for on behalf of health professionals, especially Catholic health professionals.” The Noesen case dates to 2002, when he refused to dispense FE 1/20, a hormonal contraceptive, to Amanda Phiede, who was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Stout. Hoover’s ruling upheld the state pharmacy board’s reprimand and limited Noesen’s pharmacy license so that he would be required to notify a potential employer of his inability to distribute certain drugs and detail in writing how he would ensure the patient’s access to those drugs. Noesen’s lawyer said he would appeal the decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


CHARLOTTE — A rosary is prayed every Wednesday at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 4207 Shamrock Dr., at 6:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 7 p.m. All are welcome to participate in this sacred tradition. For more information, call Juanita Thompson at (704) 536-0784. CHARLOTTE — “Dealing with Loss in the Years that Follow,” a grief education event, will be held at St. Gabriel Church, 3016 Providence Rd. Thursday, April 17, 7 p.m. in the St. Gabriel Ministry Center. Presenter will be Janice Olive of Hospice and Palliative Care. For more information, call BJ at (704) 362-5047, ext. 212. CHARLOTTE — The Christian Coffeehouse at St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., will take place Saturday, April 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Parish Center gym. All adults are invited to join us for energizing spiritual messages with live Christian contemporary music, snacks and drinks, all served in a candlelit atmosphere. There is no charge to attend the event. CHARLOTTE — Ultreya will be held at St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Sunday April 20, 12-2 p.m. in rooms 125/132 in the New Life Center — please note this is a change. There will be no pot luck this month. Babysitting is available, but you must contact Vickie Torres at (704) 543-7677 ext. 1011 to reserve a spot for your children. Guest speaker this month will be Sister Jeanne Marie Kienast. All Cursillistas are encouraged to attend. For more information, call Lisa or Todd Wilson at (704) 543-9764.


DENVER — The Senior Group of Holy Spirit Church meets once a month for fun and fellowship. All seniors are invited to join. For more information on upcoming events, contact Irene Brunner at (704) 483-1210.

april 11, 2008 Volume 17 • Number 23

CNS photo by Ed Foster Jr.

Father Rober t Tatman (second from right) processes out of the newly dedicated Ave Maria Oratory in the town of Ave Maria, Fla., after the dedication ceremony March 31.

Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Editor: Kevin E. Murray STAFF WRITER: Katie Moore 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.

April 11, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 3


Grandparents are precious resource for families, pope says VAT I C A N C I T Y ( C N S ) — Grandparents are a precious resource for families, the church and society, Pope Benedict XVI said. “So-called new models of the family and rampant relativism” have weakened the core values of traditional families, and such societal ills need an urgent response, the pope said. In order to overcome the crises and threats today’s families are facing, people could start by turning to “the presence and witness of their grandparents” whose visions and values have more solid foundations, he said. The pope made his comments April 5 during an audience with participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The April 3-5 meeting discussed “Grandparents: Their Testimony and Presence in the Family.” The pope said current economic and social conditions have relegated the elderly to the sidelines, when in the past

grandparents played a more important role in the life and growth of the family, including sharing their memories and wisdom with others. But today, many elderly find themselves left in a sort of “parking lot,” he said, while others may feel they are too much of a burden for their families and so choose to live alone or in a nursing home. People must band together to prevent the alienation of the elderly and to help them be more integrated in society and the family, he said, because if people really do believe grandparents are a precious resource then more must be done to better show their worth. The pope asked that “grandparents continue to be witnesses of unity (and) values based on loyalty to a single love that generates faith and the joy of life.” Grandparents should never be excluded from families as they represent “a treasure that we cannot snatch from the newer generations,” he added.



GREENSBORO —Area Catholics meet each Saturday at 8 a.m. for prayer at the abortion clinic, ‘A Woman’s Choice,’ 201 Pomona Dr. A rosary and a divine mercy chaplet are prayed. If you are interested in participating, contact Carolyn Dominick at (336) 292-3612. GREENSBORO — The Men’s Early Morning Bible Study Group at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2715 Horse Pen Creek Rd., meets Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30 a.m. in the Parish Life Center. The group will be studying Colossians during the month of April. For more information, contact Gus Magrinat at or John Malmfelt at


NEWTON — The Secular Franciscans will hold an ecumenical day of reflection at St. Joseph Church, 720 W. 13th St., Saturday, April 19. Presenter will be Rev. Fred Thompson, retired pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Newton. The theme is “I Pray That They May All Be One.” Reflection will take place 10 a.m.-12 p.m., followed by lunch 12-1 p.m. There is no charge. To register, call (828) 464-8363 or (828) 459-7918.


MOORESVILLE — St. Therese Church Senior Fun & Games meets the second Saturday of every month at 6:30 p.m. for those 50 and older. A potluck supper is followed by board and card games. Call Barbara Daigler at (704) 662-9572 for more information. 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 ( 7 0 4 ) 6 3 7 - 0 4 7 2 o r S h a r o n B u rg e s a t (704) 633-0591.



WAYNESVILLE — Adult education classes are held the first three Wednesday evenings of each month beginning at 6:15 p.m. in the St. John the Evangelist Church Social Hall, 234 Church St. For more information, call Charles Luce at (828) 648-7369 or e-mail WAYNESVILLE — The Catholic Women’s Circle of St. John the Evangelist Church, 234 Church St., meets the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the church hall. For more information, call the church office at (828) 456-6707.

Pope says he wants to bring message of hope to U.S., U.N. VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a videotaped message, Pope Benedict XVI said he wants to bring a message of Christian hope to all Americans and to the United Nations when he visits in Washington and New York April 15-20. “I shall come to the United States as pope for the first time to proclaim this great truth: Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture and social condition,” the pope said. He said he intends to reach out spiritually to U.S. Catholics and show fraternity and friendship to other Christians, to followers of other religions and to all people of good will. The text of the papal message, released April 8, was designed to set the thematic stage for the pope’s April 15-20 visit to Washington and New York. Rather than focus on specific events, the pope spoke about the theme of his visit, “Christ Our Hope.” Those three words express the church’s belief that Christ is the face of God in human history and gives fullness to people’s lives, he said. “I know how deeply rooted this

Gospel message is in your country. I am coming to share it with you, in a series of celebrations and gatherings,” he said. He thanked people for their prayers for the success of his visit, saying that “prayer is the most important element of all.” Without intimate union with the Lord, he said, human endeavors would mean very little. The pope said his message of Christian hope had particular relevance to the United Nations, at a time when the world needs hope more than ever before — hope for peace, justice and freedom. But he said this hope can never be fulfilled without obedience to the law of God, which Christ expressed in the commandment to love one another. The pope said that although his itinerary will take him only to two cities, his visit aims to reach out to everyone, especially those in need. WANT THE TEXT? The text of the papal message can be found online at data/stories/cns/0801882.htm.

Cut out to be pope


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. WINSTON-SALEM — Franciscan Sister Kathy Ganiel will present “Dignity of the Human Person” April 20, 3-5 p.m., as part of a series of free talks offering an exploration into some of the major contributions of Franciscan men and women of faith. The talk will take place at the Fatima Chapel, 211 W. Third St. For more information and registration, call (336) 723-1092 or e-mail

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

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

April 14 (7 p.m.) Sacrament of Confirmation St. Joseph Church, Asheboro

April 19 (4 p.m.) Stewardship conference Mass Embassy Suites Hotel, Concord

April 15-18 Papal Mass and meeting Washington, D.C.

April 21 (7 p.m.) Sacrament of Confirmation Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, High Point

CNS photo by Nancy Wiechec

Father Ray Wadas poses with a life-size cutout image of Pope Benedict XVI outside the gift shop at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington April 6. The pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Takoma Park, Md., said he wanted to have his photo taken with the cutout because it was “as close as I’m going to get” to the pope.

Speakers at memorial Mass recall Buckley’s deep faith, lasting impact NEW YORK (CNS) — Mourners remembered William F. Buckley Jr. at an April 4 memorial Mass as a man of deep faith and unfailing confidence in the Catholic Church who brought people to believe in God and inspired vocations to the priesthood. “His tongue was the pen of a ready writer” and his “words were strong enough to help crack the walls of an evil empire,” according to Father George W. Rutler, celebrant at the memorial Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

“His categories were not right and left but right and wrong,” Father Rutler said. “What graces he had to change a century came by his belief in Christ, who has changed all centuries.” Buckley, the erudite spokesman for the conservative political movement in the United States, died in Stamford, Conn., Feb. 27 at 82. He was the founder of the National Review magazine, hosted the weekly “Firing Line” television program for 33 years and wrote more than 50 books.

4 The Catholic News & Herald

around the diocese

April 11, 2008

Catechists explore sacraments, Weathering the challenges prayer at workshop WORKSHOP, from page 1

Father,” said Father John Denny, pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley, during his presentation on sacraments. Human beings communicate through signs, symbols, and rituals. Sacraments are “efficacious symbols”; that is, they bring about the desired effect. A stop sign communicates — it tells you to stop — but it isn’t efficacious: it can’t reach out and stop you. According to the catechism, sacraments “are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work; it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies.” “Sacramental life is a constant invitation from God to live in relationship with him,” Father Denny said. In “Response to the Call According to States of Life,” Father Matthew Kauth, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Franklin, also spoke of the invitation to be in relationship with Christ. In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, calls his first disciples, who immediately follow him. “Jesus doesn’t command; he invites,” Father Kauth said. That invitation, he said, “captures [the disciples] immediately. Their lives are going to change radically. Following Christ, you have to move. It’s not stagnant.” Like Jesus’ first disciples, Father Kauth said, we are moving. “You’re on a pilgrimage — that image has a lot of merit,” Father Kauth said. “You are climbing up or you are sliding down. You cannot absorb the spiritual life by osmosis, and you cannot get home (to heaven) by standing still.” “You’re going to be asked by Christ to give yourself away,” Father Kauth said. “God promises little when he calls, but then requires more and more. You settle down to the real work of giving yourself and in that you are sanctified.” Living the Lord’s Prayer In his presentation on the Lord’s Prayer, Jim Greer, pastoral associate at St. Joan of Arc Church in Candler, talked about giving oneself away, or losing oneself, and in that giving or losing we find resurrection as new persons. “We’ve all experienced having things wrenched away from us,” Greer said. When Jesus gave his life away at age 33, he said, it was “in a very degrading and humiliating way.” Giving his life on Good Friday led to Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. It’s the same for us, Greer said. We’ve all lost something or someone important to us, but, “We’ve all experienced resurrection,” he said. People spoke of their own resurrection moments, which led to intimacy with God: caring for an ill husband, loss of a friend or relative, returning to the practice of the Catholic faith, being with both parents as they died.

Courtesy Photo Photo by Joanita M. Nellenbach

Exchanging blessings are Victor Lopez (left), a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Franklin, and Eduardo Bernal, Smoky Mountain Vicariate Hispanic ministry coordinator, during a workshop at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva April 5. “We are the Lord’s Prayer,” he said. “It’s not ‘pray this way,’ it’s ‘be this way.’” To pray the Our Father more intimately, Greer asked all present to close their eyes. After he said each word, they repeated that word softly and appreciated it before the next word was said. For catechists wanting presentations in Spanish, Jesuit Father Bill Ameche offered “The Call to be a Catechist” in the morning and “Skills and Theory” in the afternoon. Father Ameche helps with Hispanic ministry in the Asheville Vicariate and in other vicariates as needed. For all present, “what I gave them was a different way of looking at catechesis,” Father Ameche said later. “Many times, catechesis in the United States is a class, and then you graduate.” He favors catechesis through ongoing, lived experience, such as seeing God’s love in the ordinary experiences of everyday life, in the things we take for granted. In helping people experience the gift of faith, we can be impediments or helpers. An important part of catechesis involves helping people see God’s gifts and God’s love. “God shows love for us through his gifts to us,” Father Ameche said. “When we experience those gifts, we know that God has given us love.” The person experiences God’s love through experiencing others’ love for him or her. During his 30 years of working in Mexico, Father Ameche said, “The best catechist I ever worked with when I lived in Chihuahua couldn’t read or write. She had very deep faith, she was very loving, and the children knew that.” She combined her love with asking those who could read to share their book knowledge. Father Ameche said “a good catechist has an open heart.” “What can we do with our gifts?” he asked. “We can accept God’s invitation.”

Beatrice Thompson, news and public affairs director of WBAV-FM radio and 2008 honorary walk chairperson, listens to former House of Mercy resident Michael Hardesty speak to walk participants during House of Mercy’s 15th annual Walk for AIDS in Belmont April 5. More than 100 people braved rain and slick streets to help raise more than $32,000 and awareness for House of Mercy, established in 1991 by the Sisters of Mercy to provide compassionate nursing care to persons living with advanced AIDS. Hardesty shared how House of Mercy transformed his life during a challenging crisis with AIDS.

April 11, 2008

from the cover

The Catholic News & Herald 5

Scribe gives pope volume of illustrated Bible BIBLE, from page 1

be bound into seven volumes that measure two feet tall and, when open, three feet wide. Five of those volumes are now complete. U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and president of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, called the project “one of those special moments in the life of biblical art.” He was part of a delegation that met with Pope Benedict XVI April 4 to present him with a high-quality, rare reproduction of the first volume of The Saint John’s Bible. The pope, a great lover of books and sacred Scripture, was awed — his eyes glistening “with great joy” as he said, “‘This is a great work of art,’” the cardinal said at a press conference soon after. Jackson said the pope told him, “This is a work for eternity,” to which the artist said he replied, “It certainly feels like it sometimes.” Writing from the heart At the press conference, Jackson asked the question most people might pose: “Why do it? I mean it’s a crazy idea to turn the clock back 500 years” in this day and age of computers and laser-jet printers. But he said the tools of the old medieval scribes “enable you to write the words of God from the heart.” And by creating such a hefty, richly illustrated book whose pages look and even feel special, the reader is being told to “slow down, set this volume down carefully” and meditate over each and every word; it is not something to flip through casually, Jackson said. In fact, one of the aims of this project, commissioned in 1998 by the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., is to glorify the word of God. Jackson said modern technology has “solved the problem of dissemination. Every hotel room has a choice of one, if not two, Bibles in the nightstand.” But often mass-produced Bibles are

The pope said, “This is a work for eternity.”

— Donald Jackson, master calligrapher printed with small, cramped type on cheap “onion-skin” thin paper and put what should be thought-provoking passages of God’s word “in a straitjacket,” he said. The Bible needs to also reach out to the human senses, not just the intellect, he said. The Saint John’s Bible, with its large pages and creatively arranged text, “invites one to linger over phrases, words and even letters” and “presents the word of God as something special,” said one of the project’s many press releases. Even the artwork, which ranges from Byzantine icons to modern styles and botanically correct renderings of insects and plants, is meant to invite the reader toward greater reflection. Jackson said he and his scribes have had “to let go of modern conceptions of perfection” and of creating a flawlessly copied text. They cannot, after all, hit the delete button or use correction fluid to cover up mistakes. Small errors can be scraped away with a sharp knife-edge, he said, but a more common “occupational hazard” of accidentally omitting a line is not so simply corrected. But with the help of their artists they have been able to turn “what was a disaster into something charming,” Jackson said. For example, an artist has drawn a small bird grasping a rope that holds a banner upon which is written the missing verse. The bird is pointing its beak to where the line should go while appearing to be hoisting the forgotten line back where it belongs. A chubby bumblebee does the same thing in another volume, only she is using a pulley system copied from one of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks. Rediscovering the importance A limited number of high-quality,

CNS photos courtesy of Liturgical Press

Above: The “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” illustrates pages from the Book of Wisdom in The Saint John’s Bible. Master calligrapher Donald Jackson and a team of scribes spent 10 years creating the Bible. Below: The image “Christ our Light” is seen on a page from The Saint John’s Bible. full-size, fine art reproductions have been produced for special benefactors. The pope’s rare copy was a gift from St. John’s University and Abbey purchased on behalf of a trustee from the U.S.based Papal Foundation. The gift and its publicity come the same year the world Synod of Bishops is gathering at the Vatican this fall to discuss the importance of sacred Scripture. Synod leaders have said they hope the meeting can address what is seen as a lack of appreciation and understanding of the Bible among Catholics. Pope Benedict has said the Bible “requires special veneration and obedience” by all Christians, and he said he hoped the synod process would help Catholics “rediscover the importance of the Word of God in the life of every Christian.” The Saint John’s Bible uses the New Revised Standard Version and, when completed in 2009, will include volumes that include Gospels and Acts, Psalms, Pentateuch, Historical Books, Prophets, Wisdom Literature, and Letters and Revelation. The finished original manuscript crafted by Jackson and his team will reside at a special museum on the St. John’s University campus. It is not the first time Jackson brought a piece of his “Sistine Chapel”

to the Vatican; he also gave Pope John Paul II a limited-edition prototype of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles at the Vatican in 2004. While unique, these papal copies of The Saint John’s Bible are not the only rare specimens of sacred Scripture to grace the Vatican’s bookshelves. The Vatican Library has a fourthcentury Codex B manuscript — a complete text of the Bible in Greek — as well as two copies of the Gutenberg Bible. This Bible was one of the first books printed by the movable type process invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1455, and only about 60 copies remain.

6 The Catholic News & Herald

knights of columbus

Pope: Take Gospel to those who’ve divorced, had abortions

April 11, 2008

Leading the procession

Knights co-sponsor international conference on ‘destructive forces’ by JOHN THAVIS catholic news service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said the church must bring the “Gospel of mercy” to those involved in abortion and divorce, showing sensitivity to the inner burdens they bear. He made the remarks April 5 in a meeting with participants of an international conference on the aftermath of abortion and divorce. The Rome conference, themed “Oil on the Wounds: A Response to the Aftermath of Divorce and Abortion,” was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. “As an organization organized to protect families, we think it is absolutely necessary for society to take note of the effects of divorce and abortion, two things that do the most damage to the integrity of families in our society,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who moderated the opening session of the conference. “It is our hope that this conference will spur a greater ministry within the Catholic Church to these children whose stable family structure has been shattered, and to these parents, who grieve the abortion of their unborn child — often in isolation and silence,” he said. Speakers came from eight countries, including several from Italy and the United States. “Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have often spoken of the importance of the family as the cornerstone of society, and both divorce and abortion strike at the heart of that cornerstone,” said Msgr. Livio Melina, president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family headquartered at the Vatican. “We are here to discuss how the church can help heal the wounds left by these two destructive forces,” he said. During the conference, Pope Benedict said both abortion and divorce had created much suffering in modern society, particularly among innocent victims, leaving wounds that affect people’s lives permanently. He said abortion in particular produces “devastating consequences” for the woman involved, for the family and for society, helping promote a materialistic mentality that shows contempt for life. “How much selfish complicity often lies at the root of the painful decision that so many women have had to make alone and whose unhealed wound they carry in their souls,” he said. To women who have had an abortion, the pope urged them not to be overwhelmed by discouragement and hopelessness and to open themselves to repentance. The pope said the church’s ethical teachings about abortion and divorce are well known. Although they are of a different nature, both acts are considered grave offenses to human dignity and an

offense to God, he said. In addition, he said, both abortion and divorce create innocent victims: “the child recently conceived and still unborn and the children affected by the breakup of family ties.” He said one of the church’s pastoral priorities should be to help children of divorced parents, as much as is possible, to maintain ties with both parents and to be aware of their family origins. At the same time, the pope said, the church recognizes that such decisions are often made in dramatic and difficult circumstances and that they also bring suffering to those who commit them. “Following the example of the divine teacher, the church always takes an interest in the concrete person,” he said. Many of the men and women involved in abortion and divorce are troubled by guilt and “are looking for peace and the possibility of recovery,” and the church must approach them with love and sensitivity, he said. “Yes, the Gospel of love and life is also always the Gospel of mercy, offered to the real and sinful people that we are, to raise them from any failing and repair any wound,” he said. The pope quoted Pope John Paul II to emphasize that by showing mercy, the church demonstrates its faith in the human being and in human freedom. Although public opinion is often focused on the church’s “no’s” in matters of morality, its teachings are really “a great ‘yes’ to the human person, to his life and his capacity to love,” he said. The pope said the public debate over issues like abortion and divorce is often purely ideological, neglecting the real needs of those directly involved. This is where the church is called upon to offer an attitude of merciful love, he said.

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Members of Knights of Columbus St. Gregory Council 6700 lead a procession to St. Michael Church in Gastonia on Palm Sunday, March 16.

April 11, 2008

knights of columbus

The Catholic News & Herald 7

New Knights in Charlotte St. Joseph celebration Council conducts new member ceremony in honor of pope’s upcoming visit CHARLOTTE — Knights of Columbus Council 10852 at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte conducted a first degree ceremony for five new members at the South Charlotte Banquet Center Feb. 16. In honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal visit to the United States in April, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson decreed that all first degree ceremonies conducted through June 30 should be in the pope’s honor. As such, special commemorative certificates were given to the new members to mark the occasion.

“Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States certainly is cause for celebration and the Knights of Columbus, like all Catholics, eagerly anticipate the occasion,” said Grand Knight Richard White of council 10852. “Inducting members into the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal brotherhood dedicated to charitable works, is always momentous and the Feb. 16 ceremony was no exception,” he said. “We are humbled to have the opportunity to honor the pope and the blessing of his upcoming visit through our first degree ceremony,” said White.

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Msgr. Anthony Kovacic, a retired priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, and Benedictine Father Kieran Neilson, a monk of Belmont Abbey, are pictured with members of Knights of Columbus William Gaston Assembly 2531 at St. Joseph Church in Mount Holly March 15. The priests celebrated the annual Mass at the church in honor of the feast of St. Joseph (March 19).

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Members of Knights of Columbus Council 10852 at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte are pictured during a first degree ceremony Feb. 16. Pictured (from left): Grand Knight Richard White, Charles Muller (holding the commemorative certificate), District Deputy Ed Switzer, Dwight Crawford, Aaron Kamenick, Scott Minick, Paul Steward and Deputy Grand Knight Bob Desch.

Built by Irish immigrants in 1843, St. Joseph Church is the second oldest Catholic church in North Carolina. For more information or for a tour of the grounds, call Queen of the Apostles Church in Belmont at (704) 825-9600.

Prayerful weekend

Knightly donations W I N S TO N - S A L E M — F o u r Knights of Columbus councils in Forsyth County hosted a dinner, at which they dispersed donations to county schools and agencies, at St. Leo the Great Church in Winston-Salem March 13. The councils — 2829, 8509, 9499 and 10504 — raised the funds through their annual Tootsie Roll sales outside

area stores as part of their Operation L.A.M.B. (Least Among My Brethren) campaign. John Gouldie, Knights state deputy, and Greg Kent, Knights state treasurer, were in attendance at the dinner, as well as a number of Forsyth County schools and agencies that provide services to children with mental disabilities.

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Members of Knights of Columbus Council 9499 at Holy Family Church in Clemmons are pictured during their fifth annual Lenten council retreat at Camp Hanes in King March 8-9. Father Kenneth Parker, a retired priest from the Diocese of Raleigh, led the retreat, which featured a number of speakers focusing on prayer. “The Mass and the talks by all the presenters were times of special grace for us all,” said Father Parker. “The Lord’s holy presence throughout the weekend flooded all with his love and peace.”

Attention Readers! Have a Story to Share? Courtesy Photo

Members of Forsyth County schools and agencies hold a giant check during a dinner hosted by four Knights of Columbus councils at St. Leo the Great Church in Winston-Salem March 13.

Do you have a story to share with The Catholic News & Herald? Do you know of people who are living the tenets of their faith? Do you have photos of a parish- or ministry-based event? If so, please share them with us. Contact Staff Writer Katie Moore at (704) 370-3354 or

8 The Catholic News & Herald

April 11, 2008

mission work

A month in Africa

Resettling Refugees How do you teach a refugee to speak English and adapt to life in the United States?

CSS employee gains insight into lives of refugees by

KATIE MOORE staff writer

CHARLOTTE — For Jennifer Girard, a trip to Africa meant a month away from the office, but it didn’t mean a vacation from work. Girard, who works as the English as a second language (ESL) coordinator for Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte, spent the month of February in Burundi, a country located in central Africa on the southern border of Rwanda. There she worked as a volunteer with Lutheran World Federation (LWF). LWF is a nongovernmental, faithbased organization whose mission is to “uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed,” according to its Web site. Over the past 15 years, conflict in Burundi has resulted in the displacement of more than 100,000 people. A civil war between Hutu and Tutsi factions broke out in 1993 following the assassination of Burundi’s first democratically elected president. Although a ceasefire was issued in 2006, conditions in Burundi remain unstable. Girard spent her time working at the LWF office in Burundi, traveling to several project intervention sites in rural Burundi and visiting a refugee camp in

neighboring Tanzania. The trip to Africa gave her a better understanding of the interconnected nature of the world. “How we choose to live affects other people on the other side of the world,” said Girard, who works in Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Resettlement Office in Charlotte. “You don’t realize what you take for granted until you don’t have ready access to it,” she said as she recalled having limited access to power, water and food in Burundi. “There was one place that only had electricity for certain hours of the day,” she said. “I have met several Burundian Hutu families who came to Charlotte as refugees in July 2007,” she said, “They were part of the small group in Tanzanian refugee camps allowed to come to the U.S.” As the ESL coordinator, it is her job to help refugees learn English and adjust to life in the United States. Girard said one reason for wanting to go to Africa was “to gain a better understanding into the lives of refugees overseas.” She said she hoped the experience would allow her to provide “a greater foundation from which to serve them here.”

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CSS employee Jennifer Girard gets a lesson in basket weaving in Cendajuru, Africa, a mountain village located near the Tanzanian border. Girard spent the month of February volunteering in Africa with Lutheran World Federation. “When I went over there, I had all these questions that I thought I would ask the people,” she said. “What are your hopes for the future? What are your dreams? But then I realized it’s all about survival. Everyone is living on the edge of life and death.” One of the most visible signs of hope she witnessed was the overwhelming turnout at a 7 a.m. Mass one Sunday. More than 1,000 people packed the pews of the community church. “We had to get there early because it was standing room only,” said Girard who recalled the streams of people coming from all directions by foot. There is a strong sense of faith among the refugees. “Their hope is in God. They sense that very keenly and it’s very real to them,” said Girard.

• Refugees undergo individual interviews and assessments to determine their English speaking ability and educational background. • Refugees are enrolled in English classes sponsored by CSS. Classes are offered at various times and locations for the refugees’ convenience. • Classes cover survival skills and basic topics such as housing, community locations, driving, money and food. • Teachers use visuals — pictures, videos and skits — to portray different scenarios. • Refugees typically attend classes for a minimum of six months, but some continue taking classes for years. • Once they get past the basic level, refugees can take classes on specialized topics such as math or vocational training. • CSS also offers citizenship classes for those wishing to acquire U.S. citizenship. WANT MORE INFO? For more information on Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Resettlement Office, call (704) 370–3277 or go online to

April 11, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 9

mission work

“Seeing a person with tears of gratitude was worth the whole trip.”

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Charlotte Catholic High School students install insulation during a spring break mission trip to Braithwaite, La., March 24-29.

Youths build homes for Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana MISSION, from page 1

was arranged by Global Outreach, an international mission sending agency. Braithwaite, located about 20 minutes from New Orleans on the southeastern side of the Mississippi River, was one of the locations hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. Most of the homes in the area were totally destroyed. “It was a great opportunity to educate our students on the devastation that continues to exist in the area and

how they can make a difference even if it is just one week — one house at a time,” said Mary Jane Dawson, campus minister at Charlotte Catholic High School. The students, who were accompanied by five teachers and one parent, stayed at the Living Cornerstone Church and Retreat Center. During the days they sorted through food at a warehouse, installed insulation in two houses, put up drywall in other houses and completed demolition on a historic home. In the evenings, they gathered for prayer and group reflection. “Leaving Braithwaite, I took away values and memories that I could have

never attained by lying on a beach over spring break,” said junior Anna Berger. “Through helping others, I helped myself realize the true meaning of being a Christian, something we all speak of but seldom act upon,” she said. In preparation for the trip, the students raised $2,000 to pay for supplies. Rev. Rustin Treadaway, pastor of Living Cornerstone Church in Braithwaite, was so impressed with the students’ work that he asked them to come back and build a youth center for the community. “It was incredible to be a part of the energy, spirit and faith that were shared by our youths and adults,” said Dawson. “They were the hands and feet of Christ that week. It was very inspiring.”    The students hope to return to Braithwaite sometime in the fall to work on the youth center. In the meantime, they are working on raising funds for the project. “Seeing a person with tears of gratitude was worth the whole trip,” said Nichols. “This experience was life-changing in the fullest sense of the word.”

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Students help with the construction of a house in Braithwaite, La., during spring break in March.

April 11, 2008

10 The Catholic News & Herald

Culture Watch

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

‘A General’s Spiritual Journey’ Book is glimpse into faith of retired Army officer known for heroism by LARRY WAHL catholic news service

MOBILE, Ala. — “A General’s Spiritual Journey” gives a rare glimpse into the mind, heart and soul of a battlefield warrior and faith-filled American hero, retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore. It’s a story of the courage, compassion, faith and servant leadership of a man whose heroism goes beyond the battlefield and points to the ultimate goal — eternal life — or, as Moore puts it, “the final cut.” “My principal hope is that a reader of this small booklet will derive some comfort as well as an urge and desire to become closer to God, whatever his or her religion,” Moore, who is now 86, said. A longtime resident of Auburn and a daily communicant at St. Michael Church, Moore is well known for his heroic actions in the battle of Ia Drang, the first major U.S. military confrontation in the Vietnam War. The battle was Nov. 14-16, 1965, and was led by then-Lt. Col. Moore, of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. He and Joe Galloway, the only journalist on the ground during the battle, co-wrote the 1992 New York Times’ best-selling autobiographical recollection, “We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young,” which detailed the battle through interviews of those who fought there. The best-seller later became an award-winning movie directed by R a n d a l l Wa l l a c e a n d s t a r r i n g Mel Gibson. For his actions at Ia Drang, Moore was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest military decoration after the Medal of Honor. He and his 450 men were dropped by helicopter in a clearing in the Ia Drang Valley and were immediately surrounded by 2,000 enemy soldiers. The casualties were many, but under his command, his men’s defense of their position resulted in a 4-to-1 ratio of North Vietnamese casualties to U.S. casualties. “A General’s Spiritual Journey” is finding its way into the hands of U.S. troops currently serving in battle in hostile regions or deployed overseas for other duty. Written by his personal driver, the book is a collection of Moore’s memories and reflections on the most pivotal moments of his life, covering his childhood, his foundational religious experiences, his early years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., his battlefield experiences and his devotion to his wife,


Sunday Scripture Readings: April 20, 2008

April 20, Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle A Readings: 1) Acts 6:1-7 Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19 2) 1 Peter 2:4-9 Gospel: John 14:1-12

Jesus reveals himself in many ways, if we’re willing to see him by JEFF HEDGLEN catholic news service

Julie, now deceased. It has a message for anyone who has struggled with loss, conflict, guilt, forgiveness and life’s ultimate questions. Copies of the 60-page book have been sent to the troops through an effort called Operation Gratitude. The California-based, nonprofit, all-volunteer organization sends care packages to American troops. Its founder, Carolyn Blashek, recently requested 70,000 copies of “A General’s Spiritual Journey,” which were donated by the publisher, Wild Goose Ministries of Vail, Colo. “This book is less about my life than the different spiritual journeys each of us will travel — and the people we can learn from along the way,” Moore said in a press release about the book. “If just one soul is influenced through the reading of it, then it will have accomplished its deepest purpose,” he said. Still going strong, Moore travels frequently to honor a long list of engagements, his devotion to duty and personal convictions driving him to still find ways to serve his country. He is the founder of the National Endowment for the Public Trust, dedicated to preserving and promoting core American and religious values such as servant leadership and selfless character development. He was asked what he sees as the United States’ greatest threats, challenges and hopes. “The greatest threat I see is the growth of bad example, the growth of negative messages and influence being imparted to America’s youth and to the world through the entertainment industry,” he said. “The greatest challenge is to reverse that trend and the best thing we can do is to deploy parental guidance and set the example,” he said. “(We should) ask ourselves two important questions: What are we doing that we shouldn’t be doing? And what are we not doing that we should be doing?” he said.

I was 19 when my cousin came to live with my family. He was just out of the Marines. He was not doing very well and was lost in many ways. When we were children we had been close, but it had been a few years since we had seen each other, and trying to re-establish our friendship was hard. To complicate things, my faith was becoming very important to me, and he rarely darkened the door of a church. I took this in stride though. We had many conversations about the meaning of life, God, and faith in general. He had a lot of opinions, but he was not ready to believe that God existed, much less believe that God loved him and wanted a relationship with him. Try as I might, I could not get him to budge. One night while we were lying in our bunk beds talking about life and faith, almost arguing, he finally said in an exasperated tone, “I’m not going to believe in God unless he comes down

here and shakes my hand.” I had no idea what to say to that. I simply stared at the bottom of the top mattress with my mouth open and my mind empty. I realize now that my cousin was no different from the first disciples. They had been with Jesus for three years and still did not completely understand who he was. At the Last Supper Philip said to Jesus: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus responds rather incredulously, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Twenty-five years ago, lying in that bunk bed, I felt the same way. Didn’t my cousin know Jesus had already come and revealed himself? He grew up Catholic and had heard all the same readings I had heard. What was I to say to this lack of belief? No words came, so I did the only thing I could think of; I silently asked God to come down and shake his hand. I wish I could say that the next day he experienced a divine handshake, but though the hand of God was continually offered to him, it would be many years before he grabbed hold. Questions: How would you have responded to the challenge, “I’m not going to believe in God unless he comes down here and shakes my hand”? How does Jesus reveal the Father to us? Scripture to be Illustrated: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8).

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE Scripture for the week of April 20-26 Sunday (Fifth Sunday of Easter), Acts 6:1-7, 1 Peter 2:4-9, John 14:1-12; Monday (St. Anselm), Acts 14:5-18, John 14:21-26; Tuesday, Acts 14:19-28, John 14:27-31; Wednesday (St. George, St. Adalbert), Acts 15:1-6, John 15:1-8; Thursday (St. Fidelis), Acts 15:7-21, John 15:9-11; Friday (St. Mark), 1 Peter 5:5-14, Mark 16:15-20; Saturday, Acts 16:1-10, John 15:18-21. Scripture for the week of April 27-May 3 Sunday (Sixth Sunday of Easter), Acts 8:5-8, 14-17, 1 Peter 3:15-18, John 14:15-21; Monday (St. Peter Channel, St. Louis de Montfort), Acts 16:11-15, John 15:26-16:4; Tuesday (St. Catherine of Siena), Acts 16:22-34, John 16:5-1; Wednesday (St. Pius V), Acts 17:15, 22--18:1, John 16:12-15; Thursday (Ascension of the Lord), Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians 1:17-23, Matthew 28:16-20; Friday (St. Athanasius), Acts 18:9-18, John 16:20-23; Saturday (Sts. Philip and James), 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, John 14:6-14.

The Catholic News & Herald 11

April 11, 2008

In the spotlight

Singers who will perform for pope consider it a singular experience by BETH GRIFFIN catholic news service

NEW YORK — Performing for a papal event is not just another gig, even for those whose names are usually rendered in boldface type. Headline entertainers who will sing for the crowds assembled to greet the pope at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers and at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx spoke of the opportunity as a singular experience and one they are eagerly anticipating. Kelly Clarkson, 25, a pop singer who gained national attention by winning the inaugural “American Idol” competition in 2002, will sing several of her standards for the youths awaiting the pope in Yonkers April 19. When the pope arrives, she will sing “Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert. Through her publicist, she said, “I was so excited to be asked to sing for the pope! I grew up singing church music, and it’s always been a dream of mine to perform ‘Ave Maria.’ To have that dream come true on such a special occasion is truly a blessing.” Clarkson, who was raised Baptist, will return from a European performance tour as the pope arrives in the United States. At Yankee Stadium April 20, guitar virtuoso Jose Feliciano will sing “Lean

on Me,” “Que Sera, Sera” and “God Bless the USA.” In an interview with Catholic News Service, Feliciano’s wife, Susan Feliciano, said: “This is a great gift, the opportunity of a lifetime, to be able to participate in something so special.” She said the family attends the Church of the Assumption in Westport. Metropolitan Opera tenor Marcello Giordani will sing before and during the Mass at Yankee Stadium. In the early afternoon, he will perform the Giacomo Puccini aria “Nessun Dorma” from the opera “Turandot.” At Mass, he will sing “Panis Angelicus.” Giordani, who has sung at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, was invited to sing by New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan. Giordani told CNS that he, his wife and their two children attend St. Patrick’s during the months they live in New York. “It’s a great honor for me to sing for the pope. It’s my first experience and I’m real excited,” he said. Asked if he might be nervous performing for Pope Benedict and 55,000 Massgoers, the tenor said, “I will close my eyes and sing.” The Irish singer Dana will also perform at the stadium. She has sung at papal events in the past, including World Youth Day in 1993, 1997 and 2002. She also sang at the Superdome in New Orleans when Pope John Paul II visited there in 1987. Jazz singer Harry Connick Jr. will perform two pieces he is composing for the event. Connick attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans. Salvatore Licitra, a tenor with the Metropolitan Opera, will sing at the pope’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral April 19. He will perform “Domine Deus,” from “Messe Petit Solennelle” by Gioachino Rossini.

CNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz

Members of the Cathedral of St. Patrick Young Singers rehearse at St. Malachy’s Church in New York April 1. The 17-voice choir will sing for Pope Benedict XVI when he meets with children with disabilities at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., April 19 during his visit to the United States. In Washington, tenor Placido Domingo and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves will sing at the Mass at Nationals Park April 17. Domingo, general director of the Washington National Opera, will sing “Panis Angelicus” at Communion, and Graves will sing “We Are One in the Spirit” just before the processional. Stig Edgren is the producer for the entertainment portions of the New York events. He performed a similar role for Pope John Paul’s visits to Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1987 and Central Park in New York in 1995. Edgren told CNS that each of the New York events will have its own flow. He said that the two-hour Yankee Stadium program will be marked by “pageantry and an orchestral, classical feel.” He said that Benoit Jutras, principal composer for Cirque Du Soleil has written a piece for the processional of the standard-bearers for Mass. “I gave a list to Cardinal Egan and I asked Harry Connick Jr. to write opening and closing pieces” for the pre-Mass program, he said. The musical program includes well-known entertainers in addition to choirs and orchestras assembled from

throughout the Archdiocese of New York. The choirs include the Harlem Gospel Choir and the West Point Cadet Choir, from the U.S. Military Academy. Edgren said, “I wanted to stick with the orchestral feel and not make this a parade of stars.” The four-hour program in Yonkers, he said, “will have more of a festive atmosphere” than Yankee Stadium. He said he wanted to “keep it young” and is using alternative rock, Christian rock bands and closing the show with Clarkson. He booked Clarkson as soon as he took the assignment. “I was looking for an artist who was a good role model, a success, with no scandals,” he said. The program will showcase more than two dozen entertainers, many of whom are drawn from the schools and parishes of the Archdiocese of New York. Comparing the papal entertainment programs with ones he has previously produced, Edgren said, “There’s a different setting, a different pope ... but it all works. I base my part of the program — the pre-Mass events — on the venue.” He added that the Mass is not his area of responsibility — and deals with an even higher authority.

Staffers at Catholic Channel say they’re excited to cover pope NEW YORK (CNS) — The Catholic Channel of Sirius Satellite Radio may be a new kid on the block in the world of Catholic media, but it is taking a grown-up approach to covering Pope Benedict XVI’s April 15-20 visit to the United States. The channel, a joint effort of Sirius and the Archdiocese of New York, plans to provide listeners with uninterrupted live coverage of the pope’s appearances at liturgies and other major events in Washington and New York. Masses at Yankee Stadium in New York and Nationals Stadium in Washington will be broadcast live. Sirius plans to add two channels for the trip: one that will repeat full coverage of the day’s events on a looping schedule, and another that will offer historic speeches and other archival material from previous papal visits to the United States. “Everyone is having a lot of fun getting ready,” said Joe Zwilling, archdiocesan director of communications

and general manager of the Catholic Channel. “It’s a new approach to covering a pope. We’ve never had an outlet like this, to enable us to do all these things.” Rob Astorino, station manager and program director, said: “We’re wellprepared and excited. We can’t wait for the trip to begin.” Astorino noted that each of the station’s program hosts would be assigned to one or more of the major papal venues in either Washington or New York. When describing the tone that the Catholic Channel would seek to bring to its coverage of the visit, he used words like comprehensive, respectful and interesting. “People will get a sense of being at an event even if they are in their car,” he said. A Catholic Channel host, Father Paul Keenan, was in Central Park in October 1995 when Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass for more than 100,000 people. For the visit of Pope Benedict, Father

Keenan will be pulling triple duty. Along with hosting his regular nightly show, “As You Think,” April 14-17, the New York archdiocesan priest will anchor the channel’s broadcast of the papal Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral April 19 and share commentator duties at the Mass in Yankee Stadium April 20 with Resurrection Sister Marie Pappas, archdiocesan superintendent of schools and another program host. Father Keenan also be doing voice work for the papal archives channel. The trick to announcing a Mass on the radio, papal or otherwise, is knowing how to say enough but not too much, he said. “You want people who are listening to feel that they are there,” Father Keenan said. “They want to hear the Mass. You’re there to help them to see the things they can’t see.” The Catholic Channel, Sirius 159, is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation that began broadcasting in December 2006.

12 The Catholic News & Herald

Msgr. William N. Pharr, 1931-2008

Priest remembered for humble, prayerful life of service by


CHARLOTTE — To many, he was considered an inspiration, a confidant, a man of deep faith and a good friend. By many, he will be dearly missed. Msgr. William Neal Pharr, a retired priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, died at Sharon Towers retirement community in Charlotte April 5, 2008. He was 77. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated by Bishop Peter J. Jugis at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte April 10. Msgr. Pharr was born in Charlotte Feb. 24, 1931, the son of the late William Neal Pharr and Anne McLaughlin Heath Pharr. Born into a Protestant family, Msgr. Pharr first became interested in Catholicism while a student at Belmont Abbey Prep School in the late 1940s. His interest deepened and he became a Catholic in 1952 while a student at Davidson College. After graduation in 1953, he began studies for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary in St. Bonaventure, N.Y. Then-Bishop

April 11, 2008

in memorium

Msgr. William Neal Pharr Vincent S. Waters of Raleigh ordained him a priest at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Charlotte May 26, 1960. Then-Father Pharr spent his first year as a priest with the Missionary Fathers Apostolate as an assistant at St. John Baptiste de la Salle Church in North Wilkesboro. It was the beginning of a life of humble, priestly service that would affect and inspire countless people at parishes across the Diocese of Raleigh and then, after its establishment in 1972, the Diocese of Charlotte. “St. Paul said a good man of faith is strong, loving and wise. Bill Pharr was

true to that and more,” said Father Frank O’Rourke, pastor of St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte. “He’s been a wonderful companion to so many throughout our diocese on their journeys in lives of faith. I’ve always felt privileged to be counted among his close friends.” During his homily April 6, Father O’Rourke recalled his years of friendship with Msgr. Pharr. Like many who knew him, Father O’Rourke said Msgr. Pharr’s life wasn’t about “fluff.” Msgr. Pharr’s lifestyle at Sharon Towers after his retirement in July 2001 reflected his long-standing approach to life and ministry. His apartment was modestly furnished. He happily remarked how he and all his neighbors were on a first-name basis — no titles, no pretenses; all were equals. “His personal and priestly life was modeled on one of his favorite lines: ‘No fluff, just the stuff,’” said Msgr. John McSweeney, pastor of St. Matthew Church in Charlotte and a friend for more than 30 years. “He had a deep sense of spirituality,” said Msgr. McSweeney. “I considered him a friend, a spiritual mentor and a true confidant.” Msgr. Pharr once said a priest’s relationship with Christ was top priority, and a trust in God was a vital part of priestly ministry. During a 1993 gathering of diocesan priests in Hickory, Msgr. Pharr encouraged his fellow priests to “let God be God” — to let him use them as he wished and not as they desired. “If we do our best, he will take care of the rest. Our finite minds bow to his infinite wisdom,” he said. “He (Msgr. Pharr) was a great model of a servant who put his gifts generously at the service of all,” said Father O’Rourke. Then-Father Pharr served as an assistant pastor at St. Leo the Great Church in Winston-Salem from June 1961 until July 1962, when he became temporary administrator of St. Charles Church in Ahoskie. From November 1963 until June 1965, he served as assistant pastor at St. Eugene Church in Asheville. He then became pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Monroe and Sacred Heart Mission in Wadesboro. He became pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Church and Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Winston-Salem in June 1969 and pastor of St. James the Greater Church in Concord in August 1971. Four days after the Diocese of Charlotte was established in 1972,

then-Bishop Michael J. Begley named him pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville, where he was to remain for five years. During that time, he served also as chaplain and director of Our Lady of the Hills Camp near Hendersonville, vicar for religious of the diocese and director of the diocesan planning council. The late Pope Paul VI appointed him a Prelate of Honor with the title of monsignor in October 1976. Msgr. Pharr was appointed pastor of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro in February 1977 and, in July 1979, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro and vicar forane of the Greensboro Vicariate. Bishop Begley named him to the diocesan Seminarian Formation Committee in November 1979. Bishop John F. Donoghue, who succeeded Bishop Begley in 1984, reappointed him to the committee in March 1985. Msgr. Pharr became pastor of Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte in July 1986 and pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte in July 1991. After his retirement in 2001, Msgr. Pharr continued to assist in various parishes and ministries in the Diocese of Charlotte. When asked in 2003 what he looked forward to in retirement, he replied: “Traveling, listening, learning and assisting.” And in September 2004, he took on yet a new role — that of model for a poster and brochure promoting the Diocese of Charlotte’s annual Priests’ Retirement and Benefits Collection. Despite the summer heat of the outdoor photo shoot, Msgr. Pharr never lost his sense of humor and later mused about his new “modeling career.” In addition to his life of service, Msgr. Pharr wanted to continue giving to the church he loved, as he put it, long after he was “gone.” He designated the Foundation for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte as a recipient of his assets. “This is a means of saying thanks to the Lord for his gifts of the Catholic faith and my vocation to the priesthood,” said Msgr. Pharr in a 2006 interview with The Catholic News & Herald. “Through ongoing stewardship, my prayer is that many others will experience these same blessings,” he said. Memorials may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Church Building Fund, 6828 Old Reid Rd., Charlotte, NC 28210.

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April 11, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 13

in the news

No reversal on Vatican II teaching on Jews PRAYER, from page 1

Addition of two U.S. meetings shows pope’s concern for Jews by JOHN THAVIS catholic news service

“The Holy See wishes to reassure that the new formulation of the prayer, which modifies certain expressions of the 1962 Missal, in no way intends to indicate a change in the Catholic Church’s regard for the Jews, which has evolved from the basis of the Second Vatican Council,” said an April 4 statement from the Vatican press office. In early February, the Vatican published Pope Benedict’s revision of the Good Friday prayer, which is used only in the liturgy celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal, or extraordinary form of the Mass. The extraordinary form is no longer widely used by Catholics but may be used by some church communities under recently revised norms. The new prayer removed language referring to the “blindness” of the Jews, but it prays that Jews will recognize Jesus, the savior, and that “all Israel may be saved.” The April 4 statement said some members of the Jewish community felt the new prayer was “not in harmony with the official declarations and statements of the Holy See regarding the Jewish people and their faith which have marked the progress of friendly relations between the Jews and the Catholic Church over the last 40 years.” In particular, some Jews, as well as some Catholics, felt the prayer contained an explicit call to attempt to convert Jews to Christianity. Cardinal Walter Kasper said that on the basis of a long history of compulsory catechesis and forced conversion, “many Jews consider a mission to the Jews as a threat to their existence.” “The Catholic Church has no organized or institutionalized mission to the Jews,” said the cardinal, who is president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. That statement of fact, he said, is backed up with a theological position in the revised 1962 prayer’s second line: “Almighty and everlasting God, you who want all men to be saved and to reach the awareness of the truth, graciously grant that, as the full number of the Gentiles comes into your church, all Israel may be saved.” The second line echoes the teaching of St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans that

CNS photo by Gregory A. Shemitz

A Star of David tops the facade of the Park East Synagogue in New York April 5. Pope Benedict XVI is to make a visit to the synagogue April 18. God’s promise of salvation to his chosen people has not been revoked and that once all the nations are gathered under Christ, the Jewish people will be saved, Cardinal Kasper said. “So one can say: God will bring about the salvation of Israel in the end, not on the basis of a mission to the Jews, but on the basis of the mission to the Gentiles, when the fullness of the Gentiles has entered” into Christ. At the same time, Cardinal Kasper said, Christians do believe in the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ and no one should be surprised that Christians pray for the salvation of all people and that “tactfully and respectfully” they give witness to their faith in Jesus. The Vatican’s April 4 statement did not mention missionary activity or attempts to convert Jews. Rabbi David Rosen, director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, told Catholic News Service April 4 that the Vatican statement was “an important clarification.” “I think it contains a very important implicit statement — which I would have been happier to see made explicit — that if one accepts (the Vatican II document) ‘Nostra Aetate,’ then they must demonstrate esteem for Judaism, which precludes proselytism,” he said. The rabbi said the April 4 statement does not contain all of the elements he had been told in early March would be included in a clarification from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state. A Vatican official said that by releasing the statement from the Vatican Secretariat of State it made clear the fact that it reflects the official position of the Vatican and not simply the position of an individual cardinal.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s addition of two meetings with Jews in the United States underlined the pope’s continuing interest in improving Catholic-Jewish relations. It’s a relationship that is extremely important to the German pope, but which has had its ups and downs since he was elected three years ago. The pope has pleased many Jewish leaders by emphasizing that Jews have a special place in salvation history. He has visited a synagogue and the Auschwitz death camp, suspended the sainthood cause of a priest suspected of anti-Semitism and expressed full support for the new relationship with Judaism launched by the Second Vatican Council. But the comments he made at Auschwitz in 2006 prompted some Jewish representatives to ask why he didn’t explore the roots of anti-Semitism and the responsibility of Christians — including those in his native country. Perhaps the most sensitive issue is the question of conversion, and it has come to the fore in recent weeks. After the pope relaxed restrictions on the extraordinary form of the Mass in 2007, Jews objected to the restoration of the old Roman Missal’s Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews, which spoke of the Jews’ “blindness.” In February, the pope took the unusual step of personally rewriting the prayer. But although he removed the offensive language, the revised text’s reference to the salvation of the Jews left many fearing it called for their conversion. The prayer, which is only used by a small number of Catholic communities, now begins: “Let us pray for the Jews. May the Lord our God enlighten their hearts so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.” Cardinal Walter Kasper, who coordinates Catholic dialogue with the Jews, emphasized that the prayer is eschatological in nature, referring to the end of time, and is not a call for a missionary effort among the Jews. But Jewish leaders continued to press for clarification of the new text. In response, the Vatican published a statement April 4 saying the newly formulated prayer “in no way intends to indicate a change in the Catholic Church’s regard for the Jews.” The Vatican underlined the bonds of “esteem, dialogue, love, solidarity and collaboration between Catholics and Jews.” The Vatican’s explanation, it is hoped, will help ensure the success of the two U.S. meetings, a brief encounter with Jews in Washington and a visit to the Park East Synagogue in New York. Advancing efforts, dialogue From the moment of Pope Benedict’s election, some wondered how the Jewish community would react to a German pope who had been forced to enroll in the Hitler Youth during the Nazi era. In fact, many Jewish leaders praised the new pope as a thoughtful dialogue partner and rejected the idea that he was in any way a sympathizer with Nazism.

Rabbi Israel Singer, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, met with Pope Benedict in 2005 and called him “an old friend in new white robes,” the man who “gave the theological underpinnings to the gestures of Pope John Paul.” What many Jewish leaders appreciated was the pope’s clear teaching that Christianity has a special relationship with Judaism. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he said several years ago: “It is evident that we come from the roots of Israel and that their Bible is our Bible and that Judaism is not just one of many religions but is the foundation, the root of our faith.” In one of his first acts as pontiff, Pope Benedict sent a message to Rome’s chief rabbi expressing his intent to advance dialogue with the Jewish community. Later in 2005, marking the 40th anniversary of “Nostra Aetate,” the Vatican II declaration on relations with non-Christians, the pope cited the shared spiritual roots of Catholics and Jews and called for a common witness on issues of life, human dignity, the family and peace. The pope showed sensitivity to Jewish concerns the same year when he effectively suspended the beatification cause of Father Leon Dehon, founder of the Sacred Heart of Jesus religious order, and formed a commission of church experts to study the priest’s writings for alleged anti-Semitism. On a sainthood cause with even greater potential impact, Pope Benedict late last year established a commission to study archival material about the papacy of Pope Pius XII and examine how his possible beatification would affect Catholic-Jewish relations. The move was not an abandonment of the sainthood cause, but it signaled that the pope would be looking very carefully at its wider consequences, including interreligious and diplomatic aspects. On his very first foreign trip in 2005, Pope Benedict visited a synagogue in Cologne, Germany, that had been destroyed in a 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom and rebuilt after the war. In a moving encounter, he recalled the Nazi persecution of the Jews as “the darkest period of German and European history.” A year later, however, when he visited Auschwitz in Poland, some Jewish leaders criticized the pope for not focusing enough on the Nazis’ Jewish victims and for not explicitly condemning anti-Semitism. The pope responded a few days later, telling a general audience in Rome that humanity must not give in to “the temptation of racial hatred, which is the origin of the worst forms of anti-Semitism.” One of the pope’s most intriguing “encounters” with Judaism came in his 2007 book, “Jesus of Nazareth.” The most quoted author in the pope’s book was Rabbi Jacob Neusner, a U.S. professor of religion and theology. Responding to Rabbi Neusner’s own book, “A Rabbi Talks With Jesus,” the pope praised him for taking the Gospel of Jesus seriously and for correctly grasping Jesus’ own understanding of his mission as the Son of God — even though, in the end, the rabbi could not accept Christ as savior.

April 11, 2008

14 The Catholic News & Herald


A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

Today’s sins may look different Christians must be formed to counter society that ignores God I have to admit that, like most young adult Catholics I know, it has been some time since I pulled out my copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and reviewed what exactly is a mortal sin. So while most media outlets have mocked the Vatican’s statement on new social sins — such as polluting the environment, drug trafficking, and genetic manipulation and other experiments conducted within the “greatest danger zone” of bioethics — I actually appreciated the reminder of what sin looks like today because not every young adult can make the cognitive jump between yesterday’s sins and modern immorality. For example, not until I read an incisive article by Christian author Kathleen Norris did I understand the grave sin known as sloth to be anything other than laziness. In her “Christian Century” piece, Norris writes: “Sloth is so much more than laziness. It is an inability to concentrate on serious matters, and profound weariness of soul.” As Evelyn Waugh once wrote, “The malice of sloth lies not merely in the neglect of duty (though that can be a symptom of it) but in the refusal of joy. It is allied to despair.” Yikes. Really? My soul is weary a lot, and these reflections made me think, which was exactly the intention of Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, when he described to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano how globalization impacts morality. “You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,” he said in the interview. Granted, most major newspapers and television networks have a ball with this kind of stuff, implying, “Those Catholics, they are so old-fashioned.” But the whole point of the Vatican’s statement was to communicate that sin isn’t old-fashioned. It is very real and organic in the decisions we make on a daily basis. My friend, Father James Martin, associate editor at America magazine, said this during a National Public Radio interview: “I think [Bishop Girotti] is reminding people that sins are not just individual ... that there are also social sins

Our Turn THERESE J. BORCHARD cns columnist

— sins that affect the community at large and sins that an institution can engage in.” Perhaps Bishop Girotti was merely articulating the same message that Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1979 apostolic exhortation, “On Catechesis in Our Time”: “Fashion changes, but a profound reality remains. Christians today must be formed to live in a world which largely ignores God or which, in religious matters, in place of an exacting and fraternal dialogue, stimulating for all, too often founders in a debasing indifferentism, if it does not remain in a scornful attitude of ‘suspicion’ in the name of the progress it has made in the field of scientific ‘explanations.’ “To ‘hold on’ in this world, to offer to all a ‘dialogue of salvation’ in which each person feels respected in his or her most basic dignity, the dignity of one who is seeking God, we need a catechesis which trains the young people and adults of our communities to remain clear and consistent in their faith, to affirm serenely their Christian and Catholic identity, to ‘see him who is invisible’ and to adhere so firmly to the absoluteness of God that they can be witnesses to him in a materialistic civilization that denies him.”

Don’t deny guns to all citizens In response to Moses Sandoval’s March 14 column (“Sacrifices to the gun, our leading idol”), it is true that almost anyone can become a criminal capable of murder. However, to take away the rights of all law-abiding citizens to own guns is wrong. Do all citizens deserve to lose the right to operate motor vehicles because of drunk drivers? Should we do away with knives and pointed sticks? Perhaps if Mr. Sandoval’s cousin had

The season after Easter: A magnificent eucatastrophe! Christ’s sacrifice ends with joy, if we open ourselves to it J.R.R. Tolkien was a famous British writer whom most know for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy recently popularized in film. But he also was a prominent Christian thinker and close acquaintance of C.S. Lewis. To l k i e n c o i n e d t h e w o r d “eucatastrophe,” which can help us — if we reflect upon it — to keep the spirit of Easter alive beyond the Sunday of overflowing church pews and new spring outfits. A eucatastrophe, said Tolkien, is “the joy in a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth.” Quite simply, a good ending not expected. Surely to the frightened apostles on Good Friday this was the meaning of the resurrection, and likewise for us the “good ending unexpected” of Easter ought not be shut away as one might save a basket for next year. To know the joy of the resurrection, we must hold fast to the significance of Christ’s death beyond the weeks we recite the Stations of the Cross. Christ’s death is not mere historical fact — the tale of a heroically good man standing up to the injustices of the world and being crushed for his trouble. This is a compelling and instructive story line, but it is also an incomplete accounting of the faith. To say that Jesus died because those in power ordered him killed does not reveal the great truth of his death. We come closer when we say that Jesus died for our sins and in fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation. But even this falls short, either because it is too glib or because it leaves us baffled how any father, let alone our Father, would give a son over to the profound suffering of the crucifixion. What’s more, our own mind revolts at the notion of an innocent man being punished for the transgressions of others. C.S. Lewis reminds us in “Mere Christianity” that Jesus was not being punished in a retributive sense but in

Letters to the Editor

a gun behind the counter, he could have protected himself and the other person. If you don’t want to protect yourself, fine. If you want to leave it to someone else to protect you, fine. But if only criminals have guns, we all have to be afraid. — Joseph Gaitan Hayesville

Faith & Precedent DOUGLAS W. KMIEC cns columnist

the sense of generously paying a debt or footing a bill — our bill — the debt we incur each time we assert that we belong to ourselves. This rebellion of spirit of course began with Adam and Eve, but it continues for each of us in every act of selfishness or self will. Our self-conceit is all the worse because it is made in the face of the infinite abundance of God’s gift of life and creation to which we have no entitlement. All humanity was greatly “in the hole,” as Lewis would say, with no way out. The debt that Jesus assumed for us was frankly beyond our capacities to fulfill. And if we think about it, were it not for the Incarnation, beyond God’s. It was not in God’s divine nature to spurn, as we spurned, unmerited gifts of love. He could do it only by assuming our nature and then by dying unto it. Only then would the debt be paid. So in these days after Easter, let us not understate the significance of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Most of all, let us not run up a new debt by putting undo emphasis upon the next success in material things, by constantly demanding to be entertained rather than accepting the day and the opportunities to do good that it brings. The Easter season continues. It does not end on Easter Sunday. It is a eucatastrophe! The resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the incarnation, a story in Christ Jesus that, as Tolkien observed, begins and ends with joy — if we open ourselves to it.

Write a Letter to the Editor The Catholic News & Herald welcomes letters from readers. We ask that letters be originals of 250 words or less, pertain to recent newspaper content or Catholic issues, and be in good taste. To be considered for publication, each letter must include the name, address and daytime phone number of the writer for purpose of verification. Letters may be condensed due to space limitations and edited for clarity, style and factual accuracy. Items submitted become the property of the newspaper and are subject to reuse. Send letters to Letters to the Editor, The C a t h o l i c N e w s & H e r a l d , P. O . B o x 37267, Charlotte, N.C. 28237, or e-mail

April 11, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 15

Hope and healing after abortion

Resources available to help overcome post-abortion symptoms The freedom to make choices means we bear the consequences of our decisions. For many people, the decision to choose abortion as the answer to an unplanned pregnancy carries with it pain and regret. While each person’s story is unique, there are many similarities common to those who have decided to terminate their pregnancies. Many felt overwhelmed with the reality of raising a child. And the strain of limited finances, the abandonment of parents or the baby’s father, or the challenges of completing school are some of the common struggles impacting the choice to end a pregnancy. But what may have seemed like a solution turns into deep feelings of guilt, shame and isolation. Many women later deal with symptoms of depression, eating disorders and drug and alcohol abuse. Many experience painful flashbacks of the abortions; many go on to have multiple abortions. Additionally, post-abortive men and women report having difficulty dealing with relationships and feel disconnected

from God, feeling they have committed an unforgivable sin. In his 1995 encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life:”), Pope John Paul II eloquently addresses the pain these men and women may be experiencing and he calls them to accept God’s grace: “I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. “The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give into discouragement and do not lose hope. Try, rather, to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not done so, give yourself over with humility and trust to repentance. “The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost, and you will also be

A question about the frequency of confession Q . I n a re c e n t c o l u m n y o u discussed a question from a lady concerned about confession without mortal sin. She was told that since she had no mortal sins to confess she was wasting the priest’s time. After that, she had been to confession only a few times over many years, and wondered about going to Communion. In your response you wrote, “Nothing in anything you said is a reason to forego receiving Communion.” Am I wrong that one of the commandments of the church is that we receive the sacrament of penance at least once a year, whether or not we are guilty of serious sin? We learned it is sinful to receive the Eucharist if we had not confessed within the prior year. Don’t the “six precepts of the church,” including yearly confession, exist any more? (Ohio) A. In the year 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council decreed that all Catholics should confess any serious sins once a year. In spite of the rather different wording you remember, which I too learned in school in the l930s, that has been the law of the church during the past 800 years. The old Baltimore Catechism No. 3 (St. Joseph Edition, Question 293), which for decades defined authoritative

beliefs and practice for American Catholics, says the obligation for annual confession binds “if we have a mortal sin to confess.” The present Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 1457) and current canon law (No. 989) say the same. It bears repeating again that the church does not recommend receiving this sacrament only once a year or only when one is conscious of a serious sin. It is simply the bare minimum required. As I indicated in the column to which you refer, most Catholics who wish to benefit spiritually from this sacrament would receive it more than once a year, mortal sin or not. As for the precepts of the church, current canon law describes the obligations and rights in general for all Catholics, and specifically for the laity, largely in canons 206-231. These regulations reflect what Catholic faith teaches about our common responsibility to cooperate in building and sanctifying the body of Christ. They can be briefly summarized as follows. 1. To lead a full sacramental life, especially to participate in the Mass on Sundays and holy days, share in holy Communion, and receive the sacrament of penance regularly, at appropriate times.

Guest Column MAGGI NADOL guest columnist

able to ask forgiveness from your child who is now living in the Lord. “With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life.” If you are struggling with an abortion in your past, or know of someone who is, there is hope and forgiveness with resources available to help begin the healing journey. As our Holy Father said: “Do not give into discouragement and do not lose hope.” The Diocese of Charlotte has resources available to help, from counseling to weekend healing retreats. For more information, contact the diocesan Respect Life Office at (704) 370-3229 or go online to www.cssnc. org/respectlife.html. Maggi Nadol is program director of the diocesan Respect Life Office.

Question Corner FATHER JAMES DIETZEN cns columnist

2. To provide proper religious education for oneself and one’s children, especially by use of Catholic schools and other education programs. 3. To observe the marriage laws of the church. 4. To strengthen and support the church, one’s own parish community and clergy, and the worldwide church. 5. To practice penance and selfdenial in the spirit of Christ, including fast and abstinence on days appointed by church leaders. 6. To share in the missionary spirit and apostolic work of the local and universal church. It is just coincidence that this group numbers six. But they cover essentially what the “precepts of the church” have been and are today. A free brochure answering questions Catholics ask about the sacrament of reconciliation is available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Box 3315, Peoria, IL 61612. Questions may be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address, or e-mail:

Pope: Europe must undergo ethical renewal to avoid repeating mistakes The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The future of Europe cannot rest solely on political and economic unity; the continent must also undergo an ethical and spiritual renewal if it is to avoid repeating its past mistakes, Pope Benedict XVI said. A crucial source for that renewal can be found in St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe, who is still the best teacher to show people “the art of living true humanism,” he said. The pope spoke about St. Benedict, the fifth-century father of Western monasticism and “patron saint of my pontificate,” during his April 9 general audience in St. Peter’s Square. Here is the Vatican text of the pope’s remarks in English. Dear Brothers and Sisters, Our catechesis today is concerned with St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism. The most important source of information on his life is the Second Book of the Dialogues of Pope St. Gregory the Great. Writing in a time of turmoil and moral decadence following the fall of the Roman Empire, Pope Gregory believed that the life and Rule of Benedict could be a light leading the people of Europe out of darkness. Benedict was born in 480 in the region of Nursia. He came to Rome to study but soon left the city so as to live in silence and to please God alone. He spent some time in a religious community before becoming a hermit in a cave. After struggling victoriously against the fundamental human temptations of pride, sensuality and anger, he decided to found a monastery at Subiaco. Years later he established a new community on a mountain, Montecassino, to symbolize the public role of a monastery called to be a light shining for the good of the church and society. Indeed, when he died in 547, St. Benedict left behind a thriving spiritual family and a rule, which invites us to search for God in prayer, obedience and humility while attending faithfully to daily duties and to those in need. In 1964, Pope Paul VI proclaimed St. Benedict patron of Europe, recognizing the role that his teaching and his disciples had played in shaping Europe’s spiritual life and culture. Let us continue to pray that Europe’s new unity may be enlightened and nourished by a religious and moral renewal drawn from its Christian roots.

April 11, 2008

in the news

The Catholic News & Herald 16

Caritas health center provides needed care in Muslim Somalia

Cooperating in the name of God


CNS photo by David Omwoyo, Caritas)

A staff member treats a child at the Caritas Somalia Health Dispensary in Baidoa, Somalia, in February. The clinic receives support from the Vatican and Catholic Relief Services.

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BAIDOA, Somalia — Before dawn each morning, large crowds line up outside the gates of the Caritas Somalia Health Dispensary in this southern town, which has been hit hard by drought, a recent cholera outbreak and nearly 20 years of violence between rival clans and armed factions. To be first in line for treatment, people sleep outside the gates of this outpatient facility that provides free health care. Sometimes the line is so long that not all patients can be seen. Hawo Adan, a 28-year-old mother of four, came to the center knowing that her child with leishmaniasis would be treated and fed. Leishmaniasis, also known as black fever, is an often-fatal disease transmitted by sand-fly bites. “A serious drought ravaged our land, so there is no food at home. But I knew at this clinic, even if my child’s treatment lasts a month, I will be given food for all that period,” Adan said. Another patient, Ibrahim Mohammed, walked more than 20 miles to the center. Through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican agency that promotes and coordinates Catholic charitable giving, Pope Benedict XVI donated to this medical center the 2007 collection from his Holy Thursday Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The center is run by Caritas Somalia, the local affiliate of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations working in more than 200 countries and territories. More than a year after the papal donation, the Baidoa center has increased its service to almost 170 patients a day. Davide Bernocchi, director of Caritas Somalia, said the center’s work shows that it is possible to meet Somalis’ basic needs with limited resources.

Many of its patients have traveled long distances from their villages, while others live in camps set up for those who have fled the conflict in Mogadishu, the nation’s capital. It is not unusual for people to travel 60 miles to receive care. For the past year, Ethiopian-backed Somali forces have fought Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu almost daily. The fighting has killed hundreds of civilians and forced tens of thousands to flee. The center works on a first-come, first-served basis, but anybody is served regardless of clan or social status. With support from nongovernmental organizations, including the U.S. bishops’ international aid agency Catholic Relief Services, the Baidoa center offers specialized treatment to many people, said Abdullahi Bernocchi, the center’s medical coordinator. Many people said it would be impossible for a Catholic organization to work in this violent environment, where people were unused to interacting with outsiders and where any non-Muslim religious presence was likely to be regarded with suspicion. “We needed to give the local people some hope that the ongoing national reconciliation process would eventually result in concrete positive outcomes in their daily life,” Bernocchi said. Maalin Nuno Abdulrahaman, the imam at a mosque next to the Caritas center, said, “I don’t know what life would have been without Caritas. ... The respect we have for this service can be seen by the distance people travel to come for medical care.” Shihab Babiker, Islamic Relief’s Somalia director, said the cooperation between his agency and Caritas Somalia is noteworthy. “When Christian and Muslim agencies cooperate in the name of God, it is placing the dignity of the human person before other differences,” he said.

April 11, 2008  

Catholic News Herald - Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina. The official newspaper of the Diocese of Charlotte...