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July 21, 2006

The Catholic News & Herald 1

Around the Diocese

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Students fundraise for classmate; youths study leadership, tolerance | Pages 4-5, 6

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI July 21, 2006

Struck by the sea Indonesian Catholics work to help victims of July 17 tsunami by


Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte

Days of destruction


no. 36

A continuing mission

Church leaders pray for peace, dialogue as Mideast violence escalates by


JAKARTA, Indonesia — As the death toll from a mid-July earthquake and tsunami increased, Indonesian Catholics worked to provide aid to the victims. Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Tasikmalaya has a mission station in Pangandaran, a resort town in the worsthit area of West Java province. Father Andreas Sudarman,

JERUSALEM — Catholic leaders prayed for peace and dialogue as Mideast violence escalated, and churches and local government buildings opened their doors to the displaced. Father Michael McGarry, rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theo-

See SEA, page 12

See MIDEAST, page 13

catholic news service

‘Caring for God’s Program offers cultural perspectives on topical issues by


Above: Bishop Peter J. Jugis celebrates a bilingual Mass for the 40th anniversary of St. Frances of Rome Church in Sparta July 9. Below: Church members enjoy food and fun after the Mass.


CULLOWHEE — Caring for God’s creation doesn’t always happen. To learn more about “Caring for God’s Creation,” some 20 people from parishes throughout the Smoky Mountain Vicariate gathered in Western Carolina University’s (WCU) Catholic Center June 17. The program, sponsored by the Smoky Mountain Vicariate, sought “to bring together adults from diverse cultures to learn about other cultures and to reflect on Catholic social teaching on caring for God’s creation.” “The Bible says that man will have dominion over the See CARING, page 10

Photos by Kevin E. Murray

Many gather for Sparta church’s 40th anniversary

Photo by Joanita M. Nellenbach

Freeman Owle, Cherokee elder in residence at Western Carolina University, plays a drum as he sings “Amazing Grace” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” during the “Caring for God’s Creation” at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee June 17.

40 years,” said Bishop Jugis during his homily. “But there are greater challenges ahead. We are not here just to celebrate the last 40 years, but to continue the church’s mission,” he said. Recalling his homily at the Eucharistic Conference in Asheville June 24, Bishop Jugis said the Catholic Church is on a journey through history, and the Eucharist is “our nourishment for that journey.” “In the 40 years here, Mass has been celebrated as food for our journey with the Lord Jesus nourishing us,” said the bishop. As Catholics travel this



SPARTA — From humble beginnings to a thriving c o mmunity, the mission church of St. Frances of Rome has come a long way in its 40-year history. Hundreds crowded inside and outside of the small Sparta church as Bishop Peter J. Jugis celebrated a bilingual Mass commemorating its 40th anniversary June 9. “There has been tremendous growth in faith and in numbers over the last See SPARTA, page 7

Culture Watch

Respect Life


St. Francis Xavier film; EWTN anniversary

Embryonic stem-cell research ‘disservice’; fighting abortion

Prayer made joyful; rising to the challenges

| Pages 14-15

| Pages 16-17

| Pages 18-19

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July 21, 2006

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

All children owed health care, says CHA head on behalf of campaign WASHINGTON (CNS) — Concern for children’s health “goes beyond the bounds of religious belief or political persuasion,” said the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity and former CEO of Providence Hospital in Washington, spoke at the July 11 launch of a new campaign on behalf of the nation’s 9 million uninsured children. Sister Keehan said she had seen firsthand “how being uninsured directly affects individuals and families. The principles on which our country was founded compel us to care enough about people and communities to assure that everyone — but especially children — have health care. “As a nation of compassionate and caring people, this should be an obvious choice,” she said. CHA was one of more than three dozen groups, including other Catholic organizations, joining in the new Cam-

The gift of life

Diocesan planner CNS photo by Shirley Henderson, Gulf Pine Catholic

Father Ken Ramon-Landry, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Hattiesburg, Miss., and parishioner Patricia Sanchez are pictured in the parish office June 29, just a week before the priest donated a kidney to Sanchez. By talking about the transplant operation, the pair hopes to raise awareness of the need for kidney donors.

Priest donates kidney to parishioner HATTIESBURG, Miss. (CNS) — The scenario could give a Hallmark card commercial a run for its money: A parish priest donates a kidney to a parishioner who is his friend’s wife and the mother of four. “This is the gift of life for me,” said Patricia Sanchez, who July 6 received a kidney from her pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Father Ken Ramon-Landry. “Neither of us wants notoriety,” Father Ramon-Landry said. “Both of us think it is a worthy cause to raise awareness to the fact that within some of our bodies we carry life for others — even us men — by offering a kidney, a lung. “Perhaps this is why God gave us two to see if we would share and take seriously what his Son did for us ... laying down our lives freely,” he said. Father Ramon-Landry and Sanchez are continuing education instructors in the Diocese of Biloxi, but the priest also works with Sanchez’s husband, Rafael, in diocesan Hispanic ministry. Pat Sanchez, 60, a Scripture scholar and writer of homilies and Scripture commentaries, was first diagnosed with kidney disease 12 years ago. The damage leads to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a transplant. Rafael Sanchez confided to the priest about his wife’s deteriorating health and that there were no prospects of a kidney

donor. “Well, I have two kidneys; she can have one of mine,” Father RamonLandry told him. Both Pat Sanchez and Father RamonLandry have B-positive blood type. While she qualified for a transplant, he began a donor screening process. Both had to undergo a battery of medical, physical and psychological tests. “We were so compatible, the lab personnel suspected that we were siblings,” the priest said. Some parishioners asked why he would risk surgery. “I guess what kind of inspired me to donate is that, if my mother or my sister needed a kidney, I would want someone to step up,” he said. And if something did happen to the priest’s remaining kidney, he “would go to the top of the recipient list,” Pat Sanchez said. Sanchez has endured peritoneal dialysis daily since April 2005. At one time she was taking 14 medications daily. Now she is down to only seven prescriptions a day. “My family is grateful to Father Ken,” Pat Sanchez said. Both Father Ramon-Landry and Sanchez said they were struck by the way everything evolved and fell into place. “God clears the way, if it is meant to be,” the priest said.

ASHEVILLE VICARIATE ASHEVILLE — The St. Martin de Porres Dominican Laity Chapter meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the rectory building at the Basilica of St. Lawrence, 97 Haywood St. Inquirers are welcome. For more information, contact Beverly Reid at (423) 638-4744 or HENDERSONVILLE — The St. Francis of the Hills Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order meets the fourth Sunday of each month, 2:30-4:30 p.m., at Immaculate Conception Church, 208 7th Ave. West. Visitors and inquirers are welcome. For more information, contact Joanita Nellenbach, SFO, (828) 627-9209 or BOONE VICARIATE SPARTA — St. Frances of Rome Church, Hendrix and Highlands Rds., sponsors the Oratory of Divine Love Prayer Group in the parish house the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 1 p.m. Call (336) 372-8846 for more information. CHARLOTTE VICARIATE CHARLOTTE — A Rosary and Benediction will follow the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Rd. East, Aug. 5. The rosary will be offered for an end to abortion and all the culture of death. CHARLOTTE — The Vietnamese Cursillo invites all Cursillistas to an ultreya, Mass and picnic Aug. 20 at Reedy Creek Park. The day’s events will begin at 10 a.m. and end

paign for Children’s Health Care, aimed at making expanded health coverage for children a national priority. “Evidence and common sense tell us that healthy children are better learners,” said Antonia Cortese, executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. “Children with untreated health conditions have more trouble concentrating in class and have higher absenteeism than children with access to good health care,” she said. The new campaign is built around an online petition asking Congress and President George W. Bush “to begin work immediately on legislation that will provide comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health coverage for all children.” The petition is to be presented to Bush and members of Congress during a Washington lobby day in February, when Congress is expected to be considering reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

with Mass at 4 p.m. RSVP by Aug. 13 to Nam Le at (704) 549-1525. CHARLOTTE — St. Matthew Church will host a Christian Coffeehouse Aug. 26, 7:309:30 p.m. at Roof with a View in the Cedar Hill Building, 800 W. Hill St. in uptown Charlotte. Single and married adults are invited for an evening of contemporary Christian music, food and fellowship. For more information, call Kathy Bartlett at (704) 400-2213. CHARLOTTE — The Young Adult Faith Reflection group meets at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 6828 Old Reid Rd., the first and third Mondays of each month. The group will read “The Faith Explained,” 3rd edition, by Leo J. Trese and a chapter will be covered at every meeting. For more information, call Jordan at (704) 737-1964 or Ryan at (704) 377-1328. HUNTERSVILLE — A Mass to Honor Deceased Loved Ones is celebrated the last Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. St. Mark Church, 14740 Stumptown Rd. For more information, call Pam Schneider at (704) 875-0201. CHARLOTTE — A Support Group for Caregivers of a Family Member with Memory Loss meet the last Monday of each month, 10-11:30 a.m., at St. Gabriel Church, 3016 Providence Rd. For more information, contact Suzanne Bach at (704) 376-4135. CHARLOTTE — The St. Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order gathers the first Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Church, 2301 Statesville Ave. Those interested in learning more about the SFO and the Franciscan way of life are invited to attend. For more information, call Tom O’Loughlin at (704) 947-7235. HUNTERSVILLE — New Creation Monastery

JULY 21, 2006 Volume 15 • Number 36

Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Editor: Kevin E. Murray Staff Writer: Karen A. Evans Graphic DESIGNER: Tim Faragher Advertising MANAGER: Cindi Feerick Secretary: Deborah Hiles 1123 South Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203 Mail: P.O. Box 37267, Charlotte, NC 28237 Phone: (704) 370-3333 FAX: (704) 370-3382 E-MAIL:

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

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July 21, 2006


Despite papal transition, Vatican shows $12 million surplus for VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Despite the $8.9 million of extraordinary expenses related to the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican closed its 2005 budget with a surplus of more than $12 million, officials said. Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, presented the 2005 consolidated budget figures at a July 12 press conference. The cardinal did not provide figures for total Vatican income and total Vatican expenses at the press conference, but promised to provide the figures later. Improved exchange rates and higher interest on Vatican investments helped give the Vatican its healthiest bottom line in eight years, the cardinal said. He said the Vatican’s investment sector closed

with a profit of $55 million compared to a profit of only $7.7 million in 2004. Listed under “other income and expenses” in the 2005 budget were the $8.9 million in “costs sustained” during the papal transition. Cardinal Sebastiani said a large part of the expense was the traditional extra pay given to Vatican employees on the occasion of a pope’s death and again after the election of a new pope. In addition, the expenses included extra security, employee overtime and temporary modifications of the Sistine Chapel for the conclave. However, he said, because of the millions of extra visitors, the papal transition had a positive impact on the budgets of the Vatican bookstore and printing press, the Vatican stamp and coin office and the Vatican Museums.


invites you to a day of silence and solitude in the presence of Almighty God. The monastery offers private spiritual retreats for lay people. Write to Father John Vianney Hoover at New Creation Monastery, 17009-D Northstar Dr., Huntersville, N.C., 28078, stating why you want to go on retreat and when. For more information, call (704) 609-9011.

MURPHY — A Charismatic Prayer Group meets Fridays at 3:30 p.m. in the Glenmary House of St. William Church, 765 Andrews Rd. join us for praise music, witness, teaching, prayers and laying on of hands for those in need. For more details, call Gery Dashner at (828) 494-2683.



NEWTON — Fostering Justice Worldwide, sponsored by the diocesan Office of Justice and Peace, will share Catholic Relief Services (CRS) stories. This free event will take place at St. Joseph Church, 720 West 13th St., St., Sept. 9, 1:30-5 p.m. The program will provide an overview of Catholic social teaching, CRSrelated work in the Diocese of Charlotte, CRS work in Africa, presentations on effective advocacy and more. This event will be repeated in Stoneville Nov. 4. For specific details about the Saturday afternoon events please call the Office of Justice and Peace at (704) 370-3234 or (704) 370-3225, or e-mail justicepeace@

KERNERSVILLE — Catholic recording artist Michael John Poirier will perform a free concert Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Church, 616 S. Cherry St. For information on the musician or to listen to his music, visit For more information about the concert, contact Dr. Martha Shuping at (336) 659-1342.

SALISBURY VICARIATE MOCKSVILLE — An outdoor Christian Concert will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 862 Yadkinville Rd., July 29, 7-9 p.m. For more information, call the church office at (336) 751-2973. SALISBURY — Catholic recording artist Michael John Poirier will perform a free concert Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 128 North Fulton St. For information on the musician or to listen to his music, visit www. For more information about the concert, contact Dr. Martha Shuping at (336) 659-1342.



VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the theme for the 2007 World Peace Day, Pope Benedict XVI has chosen: “The Human Person: The Heart of Peace.” The theme reflects the pope’s “conviction that respect for the dignity of the human person is an essential condition for peace in the human family,” said a July 13 Vatican announcement. World Peace Day is celebrated Jan. 1 each year. The pope’s message for the celebration is released in early December and sent to heads of state around the world. The Vatican statement on the pope’s chosen theme said human dignity is being “threatened by aberrant ideologies, attacked by a distorted use of science and technology, (and) contradicted by widespread incongruent lifestyles.” Human dignity must be promoted and defended, it said, because human dignity “is the seal of God,” who created men and women in his likeness; it is “the sign of the common destiny of humanity

(and) the foundation of love for God and for one’s neighbor.” Peace is threatened when technology makes human life a commodity or “lifestyles that are disordered or contrary to human dignity” lead people to deny that the traditional family is the foundation of a strong society, it said. “The church’s mission is to announce ‘The Gospel of Life,’ the centrality of the human person in the universe and the love of God for humanity,” it said, referring to Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical. The church’s mission includes proclaiming the dignity of each person, the obligation to work for the common good and the need for individual human actions to correspond to “the order impressed by God on the universe,” the statement said. Every offense against a person “is a threat to peace,” it said. “Every threat to peace is an offense against the truth of the person and of God. The human person is the heart of peace.”

Prayerfully opposed

CLEMMONS — The Knitting Ministry of Holy Family Church, 4820 Kinnamon Rd., meets Monday evenings, 6:30-8 p.m., to pray, learn to knit, reflect on life’s lessons and reach out to others in our community. Opportunities exist for the beginner to the experienced as we knit and purl Prayer Shawls, Preemie Blankets or Squares for Survivors. Please contact Rosemary at (336) 766-2315 or Carmel (336) 766-0650 for more information.

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

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

Aug. 4 — 2:30 p.m. Installation Mass of Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh.

Vatican announces World Peace Day theme with focus on human dignity

CNS photo by Jessica Rinaldi, Reuters

Franciscan nuns pray outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston July 12 in opposition to gay marriage. The same day lawmakers ended debate on proposed state constitutional amendments including one that would ban same-sex marriage. They are recessed now until Nov. 9, which puts off any decision on the gay marriage issue until after the general election.

At U.N. hearing Catholic migration group calls human rights central

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — Human rights are key to resolving international migration problems, a Catholic official said July 12 at a U.N. General Assembly hearing on international migration and development. “Rights are not the ‘opposite’ of practical. In fact rights solve problems,” said John Bingham, head of advocacy of the International Catholic Migration Commission. Bingham listed five human rights especially important to migration:

“The right to life; the right to work and to be paid a fair wage; the right to movement, including out of and back to one’s own country; the right to stay in one’s own country — closely related to the right to development; and ... the right to participate actively in decisions that affect one’s life, family and community.” He said protection of rights reduces the need for migration, since lack of rights in their home country is often a factor that leads people to emigrate.

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around the diocese

Aiding an ‘angel of mercy’

July 21, 2006

Expanding young

Courtesy Photo

Grand Knight Lance Cancro of Knights of Columbus Council 8509 presents an $1,835 check June 28 to Cheryl Gilreath, a parishioner of Holy Cross Church in Kernersville and a Columbiette who is hoping to enter the religious life.

Knights assist woman’s call to religious life

KERNERSVILLE — Helping those in need is what parishioners of Holy Cross Church in Kernersville are all about. To help fellow parishioner and Columbiette Cheryl Gilreath pursue her dream of helping others, the parish’s Knights of Columbus, Council 8509, donated $1,835 toward her training. Only June 28, Grand Knight Lance Cancro presented a check to Gilreath, who is hoping to enter the religious life. “One of our charter goals is to spiritually and financially support young people who are studying to become priests or nuns,” said Cancro. “Usually we support seminarians, but when we heard of Cheryl’s plans, we were excited to step up and help,” he said. Gilreath’s interest in the religious life grew while attending Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Currently she is in Sabinov, Slovakia, as part of a mission trip to assist the poor in other countries. She was interested in assisting in the Sudan. The Knights’ donation is to help cover her travel costs, supplies and other

expenses to assist Gilreath in her overseas mission work. According to Cancro, one of the religious orders Gilreath is considering is Missionaries of Charity, who were founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and work with the poor around the world. Cancro described Gilreath as a “very special and blessed young woman.” “Besides acting as an angel of mercy, she is also an inspiration to us all to

Courtesy Photo

Members of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Guilford County Division 1 present 12 books on Irish heritage and folklore to the library at St. Pius X School in Greensboro in March. The donated books were part of the LAOH’s efforts to promote educational support for area elementary schools. Pictured are Principal Mark Akerman; Mary Giff, LAOH president; school librarian Christina Foley; and students (from left) Marcos Hernandez, Tera Thompson, Carol Lian, Reid D’Antonio and Alexandria Errington.

July 21, 2006

The Catholic News & Herald 5

around the diocese

Learning to serve faithfully

A penny saved

St. Matthew School students collect funds for classmate by

KAREN A. EVANS staff writer

Courtesy Photo

Youths and adults from the dioceses of Charlotte and Raleigh gather for a group photo in front of Rutland Chapel at Ridgecrest LifeWay Conference Center. The group was attending the annual Faithful Servant Institute.

Institute gathers N.C. youths for leadership education This formation event places youths in the roles of leaders and adults in the roles of co-learners. Participants came from parishes throughout the state, from Waynesville to New Bern and communities in between. Presentations were comprised of specific skill sets as well as Catholic theology. Topics included Catholic identity, the call to Christian leadership, pastoral care, group dynamics, community, evangelization, the Eucharist and the potential of Christian leader-


KAREN A. EVANS staff writer

RIDGECREST, N.C. — More than 50 youths and adults gathered recently near Asheville in the North Carolina mountains to learn and practice the skills of a Christian leader. The 2006 Faithful Servant Institute was held at Ridgecrest LifeWay Conference Center June 18-23. Faithful Servant is an annual effort cosponsored by the Raleigh and Charlotte diocesan offices for youth ministry.

CHARLOTTE — Students from St. Matthew School recently took a break from the pool and the playground to collect money for a fellow student in need. About 30 students and adults spent July  14 distributing 50 large piggy banks to businesses at Ballantyne, Stonecrest and Matthews Festival shopping centers. The money raised will help pay the medical expenses of Ross Minor, 8, who authorities say was shot in the head by his father, Mark Minor, June 14. Ross’ brother, Ryan, 10, was also shot and died the next day. After shooting the boys, Mark Minor killed himself, police said. Ross, who was left blind as a result of the shooting, has been released from

ship. For first-time participant Lindsay Ruebens, the institute taught her the importance that leaders practice service to others, not just lead and expect others to follow. But it was the workshop on the Eucharist that she found most meaningful. “The workshop ‘Holy Eucharist: Food, Medicine and Comfort’ embodied the meaning of the institute,” said Lindsay, a rising senior at Charlotte Catholic High School. Each participant was assigned to

the hospital and is recovering at his grandparents’ home. The piggy bank collection kicked off a fundraiser in Ballantyne Village July 21-22. The fundraiser included a silent auction, autograph sessions by Panthers and Bobcats players, music and children’s activities. Also, restaurants in the shopping center will donate a portion of their weekend proceeds. Contact Staff Writer Karen A. Evans by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail Want to Help? For more information, or to have a piggy bank placed at your business, call (704) 814-7014.

a small group that discussed the topic, utilized the skills and planned specific activities and prayer experiences. “The week flew by, with strong bonds formed and difficult skills practiced,” said Peg Ruble, assistant director for youth ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte The 2007 institute will be held in Smithfield at the Short Journey Center June 17-22. Contact Staff Writer Karen A. Evans by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail kae-

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Divine images

Randell paints unique look at icons, Christian faith

ASHEVILLE — Parishioners of the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville recently gathered to view the work of icon painter Elizabeth Randell. Formerly an art teacher and portrait painter, Randell studied the art of painting icons with icon artists in the United States and iconographers in St. Petersburg, Russia. It began when a Russian Orthodox priest asked her to paint an icon, which turned out to be “a spiritual journey.” Icons were originally used to explain church teachings to the uneducated. They are not art for art’s sake, said Randell, but are meant to “enhance a worshipper’s spiritual life through imitation of the person in the icon.” In this way, icons are similar to statues of Catholic saints, she said. “They draw us in and up to God to worship him; a window to heaven,” said Randell. Icons also allow the faithful to “see” God. “Church history says that God was the first to make an icon when he created man — Adam, in his own image,” said Randell. “Jesus was the second image.” “Before the Incarnation, no one could draw God, who was invisible,” she said. “Now, united in the image of man and God, he is circumscribable.”

Photo by Carole McGrotty

Elizabeth Randell discusses her icon paintings at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville.


CAROLE McGROTTY correspondent

July 21, 2006

Marianist priests celebrate jubilees in North Carolina CHARLOTTE — Two Marianist priests with ties to the Diocese of Charlotte are celebrating jubilees this year. Marianist Father Richard Kuhn celebrates 60 years as a priest this month. Marianist Father George Onida celebrated 25 years as a priest in May. Father Kuhn was ordained in July 1958. In addition to teaching at Charlotte Catholic High School, he also served as a teacher and chaplain at high schools in Florida, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1985, he began ministering at retreat centers and currently resides at the Marianist community in Topsail Beach, N.C. Father Onida was ordained in May 1986 and served as a pastor or assistant pastor in Puerto Rico, Peru and New York. Father Onida, who now resides at the San Juan Diego Marianist community in Charlotte, is assisting with Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Charlotte. The Society of Mary (Marianists) is an international Catholic religious order of priests and brothers with more than 600 serving in the United States, India, Eastern Africa and Mexico. In the United States, the Marianists sponsor three universities, 18 high schools, 12 parishes and several retreat centers. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade founded the Society of Mary in France in 1817. The order has been present in the United States since 1849.

Glenmary Father Richard Kuhn

Glenmary Father George Onida Also residing in Charlotte are Marianist Brother Gerard Sullivan, who is retired,  and Brother Tobias Ferrer, who is in formation.

July 21, 2006

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Many gather, rejoice for Sparta church’s 40th SPARTA, from page 1

and C. Morris Boyd were a few of the pastors to serve Sparta Catholics after the Glenmary priests. Father Patrick Winslow served the church from July 2004 until July 2006. Church member Betsy Dillon remembers those early Masses in homes and the shoe factory. “We’ve grown so much. We now have a large Hispanic community and a Spanish-language Mass,” she said. “We’ve become an established church in the mountains.” “I’m extremely proud to see what it has become,” said Father Lewis. “Bishop Waters and the Darrs had a vision that is being fulfilled. It’s a tremendously wonderful feeling.” “It feels great to celebrate 40 years not just of the building, but the Catholic community here that has grown and shows the Catholic faith to people here in the mountains,” said Father Dinh. “A mustard seed was sown here that has grown into a large plant of God’s love and faith,” he said. “Alleghany County will be a better place because the Catholic Church is here,” said Bishop Jugis. Contact Editor Kevin E. Murray by

journey, they are meant to “be blessings to others and share our Gospel values in the community,” said Bishop Jugis. “Our mission is to bring this area to Christ, and it begins right here at this altar,” he said. “Here is where our faith grows ... and we are propelled out to share our faith and be a blessing to all those around us.” Father Joseph Dinh, who was appointed pastor in July, concelebrated the Mass, along with Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin; Msgr. Mauricio W. West, vice chancellor and vicar general of the Diocese of Charlotte; and a number of former pastors, several of whom served the mission church before the diocese was founded in January 1972. “There were only four Catholics attending Mass here in 1961,” said Msgr. Gerald Lewis, who served the church at various times in the 1960s. “To come back now and see the overflow crowd is unbelievable,” he said. Before the early 1960s, Catholics in Alleghany County traveled to Elkin or to North Wilkesboro to attend Mass. It was in 1961 that priests from North Wilkesboro began traveling to Sparta, just four miles from the Virginia border, to celebrate Mass. Back then, Mass was celebrated in the Sparta Community Center, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, the homes of area Catholics and in the cafeteria of a shoe factory.

Photo by Kevin E. Murray

Transitional Deacon Fred Werth, Bishop Peter J. Jugis, Deacon Jesus Tosco, Father Christopher Roux and others pray during the blessing of a Sacred Heart of Jesus statue at St. Frances of Rome Church in Sparta June 9, part of the church’s 40th anniversary celebration.

Though small in number, the Catholic population was determined to spiritually reinforce its presence by building a church. In 1965, a grant from the Catholic Church Extension Society and the Darr family helped pave the way for construction to begin. “The Darrs were tremendous parishioners and helped support the church in the early years,” said Father Lewis. “Their generosity allowed us to grow into this wonderful community.” Bishop Vincent S. Waters of Raleigh dedicated St. Frances of Rome Church in May 1966 in memory of Frances Payne Darr, mother of Ed Darr, one of the original members. The church continued to be staffed by priests from North Wilkesboro until 1976. During that year, St. Francis of Assisi Church in Jefferson assumed

pastoral care of the Sparta church. Priests of the Glenmary Home Missioners also arrived to serve at the churches in Alleghany and Ashe counties. In the mid-1980s, the St. Frances of Rome family began a fundraising drive to build a multipurpose education building. After again turning to the Catholic Church Extension Society for assistance, the Catholic community in Sparta oversaw the building’s construction. Then-Bishop John F. Donoghue of Charlotte blessed and dedicated the structure in October 1986 at a Mass attended by more than 200 Catholics, friends and clergy, including then-pastor Glenmary Father John Otterbacher. Glenmary priests served the mission church until 1998, when diocesan priests assumed pastoral care. Fathers Ronald Marecki, Wilbur Thomas, Mark Lawlor

Teen’s garden remembers deceased family, others by


SPARTA — During the 40th anniversary of St. Frances of Rome Church in Sparta, Bishop Jugis blessed a Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in the church’s Life Garden of Divine Mercy. The statue was donated by Ruth Stevenson, one of the church’s original members, in honor of the anniversary. The beautifully landscaped garden was a project of Elizabeth Flattery, 18, who was inspired to create it after recently losing family members and friends to suicide. “With (then-pastor) Father Patrick Winslow’s inspiration, prayers and advice, she took it a step further and dedicated it to all babies lost to abortion and miscarriage,” said Pat Flattery, Elizabeth’s mother.

Elizabeth Flattery raised more than $1,500 to complete the project and, with advice by a landscape architect, performed all of the work — including moving dirt, dead trees and debris; creating and placing steps, rocks and benches, and planting flowers. Some of her work was done at night by lantern light, as well as during a snowstorm. Flattery, who will attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the fall, was ranked fifth in her class at Alleghany High School. She was yearbook editor, student council officer, Beta Club officer and played volleyball, basketball and softball. “She is a high achiever, highly motivated and works hard to accomplish her goals,” said Pat Flattery.

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Broadening minds and hearts

Courtesy Photo

Gaston Commissioners’ School of Excellence students learn the value of “giving back” at Holy Angels in June. They helped to clean up PUSH Place, an outdoor facility for Holy Angels’ residents.

Holy Angels welcomes Commissioners’ School of Excellence BELMONT — Classes let out for the summer in Gaston County in early June, but education continued for 62 rising 10th graders at Holy Angels in Belmont. The students participated in the Gaston County Board of Commissioners’ School of Excellence Program June 19-22. The program, funded by the Gaston County commissioners and operated by the Gaston County school system in cooperation with local colleges, focuses on developing the students’ problemsolving techniques and leadership skills. Students are selected to attend the summertime program based on their academic achievements, leadership skills and extracurricular activities. Holy Angels was chosen as the location of the program’s service project this year. Bryan Denton, a teacher with the program, says the partnership has been very worthwhile. “We wanted to restart our community service projects and thought that Holy Angels would be the perfect partner,” said Bryan Denton, a teacher with the program. “Our students have learned more about the ministry of Holy Angels and the services they provide, as well as the importance of giving back to the community,” he said. Founded in 1956 by the Sisters of Mercy, Holy Angels is a private, nonprofit corporation providing residential services and programs for children and adults with varying degrees of mental retardation and physical disabilities.

Students participated in empathy training exercises geared toward teaching them about people with disabilities and what it might be like to have a disability. Service projects included weeding PUSH Place, an outdoor location at Holy Angels for residents, family and staff. Students also cleaned out and re-organized art supply rooms at three intermediate care group homes and assisted with cleaning out additional storage areas. “Our students learned the value of hard work and how much of a difference, even the simplest of tasks can make,” said Denton. “This was a wonderful experience for Commissioners’ School that we hope had a very positive impact for Holy Angels.” WANT MORE INFO? For more information on Holy Angels, visit

July 21, 2006

Girl Scout earns Gold Award for special-needs project BELMONT — Holy Angels now has a new “Snoezelen room,” thanks to one motivated Girl Scout. Virginia Boyce, 17, chose Holy Angels as the focus of her project for her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts. Her project, creating the Polking Snoezelen Room, was showcased during a May 11 reception organized by Boyce at Holy Angels. Invited guests included Holy Angels residents and staff, Boyce’s family members and Girl Scout leaders. Holy Angels made a lasting impression upon Boyce during her first visit several years ago. Working with Holy Angels staff, she began designing a snoezelen room. The Snoezelen concept originated in Holland in the 1970s and uses primary senses in learning and relaxation activities. The room is filled with moving bright lights and equipment that stimulates hearing, touch and smell. Holy Angels currently has two other Snoezelen rooms and has been a pioneer of the concept in the Southeast. Boyce’s project included writing a draft proposal with layout, design and fundraising goals for the new room. Working closely with staff members, Boyce attended planning meetings and assisted in selection the various sensory materials. After months of planning and more than 70 hours of hands-on work, the Polking Snoezelen Room was completed. “Virginia is a highly creative and wonderful young lady whose hard work has resulted in a state-of-the-art

Courtesy Photo

Girl Scout Virginia Boyce holds a plaque of gratitude from Holy Angels for her Gold Award project at the Belmont facility. educational and relaxation room that our residents will enjoy for years to come,” said Regina Moody, president and CEO of Holy Angels. “We were so pleased to have been selected as her Gold Award focus project,” said Moody. The Snoezelen room was named in honor of longtime Holy Angels supporter and board member Paul Polking. Boyce, a Belmont South Point High School graduate who will major in English at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., held a 5.0 grade point average and was president of the Beta Club. In addition to her Gold Award, she also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and an Albert G. Myers Scholarship to Georgetown.

July 21, 2006

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Gathering the masses

Hispanic youths discuss future at inaugural meeting by

cardinal said. “Love them with the love of God. Look at them with the eyes of God the Father, the one who respects life. Accompany them with humility, putting yourself at the service of others,” he said. “What I liked the most is to see so many young people respond to the challenge (and) to see their many talents, and their willingness to go on this mission,” said Paola Sebastian, a parishioner at St. Joseph Church in Asheboro. “What impacted me the most was the trust and responsibility that Cardinal Rodriguez placed in us, and seeing all those needs, which can be addressed if we trust in God,” said Guillermo Razo of Lexington.

Courtesy Photo

Representatives from the Diocese of Charlotte join more than 2,000 Hispanic young adults, bishops, diocesan coordinators and parish leaders from across the country as they gather June 8 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana for the first National Encuentro for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry. The goal of the June 8-11 gathering was to call Hispanic young adults to more active participation in the life and mission of the Catholic Church.

The new disciples San Antonio Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, in a June 8 talk, said that Hispanic youths must become “a new generation of disciples.” “We realize that many young people are losing faith. … We must be apostles to the people around us,” the archbishop said. “God loves us, and he has asked us to proclaim his Gospel. And I think we can,” said Sebastian. Archbishop Gomez described the contentious national debate over immigration as a “complicated issue” but one that calls Hispanics to be leaders who raise their voices for justice. Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange, Calif., told the youths that they have important roles to play in the increasingly multicultural U.S. church. Hispanics’ culture and ethnic makeup “should make us better appreciate the possibility to live in communion” and to help shape “the new mix cultures and people” in the United States, he said. “At the same time, we must recognize that there are certain barriers and walls that we have raised against other members of the church,” Bishop Soto said. “Even many of our Catholic brothers and sisters often forget the need to welcome the stranger. We have to remind them that we are all children of God. We need to fight for laws that respect the dignity of human beings,” Bishop Soto said. Contributing to this story were Staff Writer Karen A. Evans and Jodi Magallanes of Catholic News Service.


NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Some 2,000 Hispanic youths, young adults and diocesan and parish leaders gathered for the June 8-11 National Encuentro for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the University of Notre Dame. The “encuentro,” Spanish for “gathering,” focused on their needs, aspirations and contributions relative to the church. It was the first national meeting of its kind and its theme was “Weaving Together the Future.” Thirty representatives from the Diocese of Charlotte traveled to Indiana for the gathering. The goal was to develop a common vision and pastoral principles, which will be presented to the U.S. bishops. Some 20 bishops attended the events. The bilingual event was organized by the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (of Hispanic Youth Ministry). It was co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Hispanic Affairs, the USCCB Subcommittee on Youth and Young Adults and the University of Notre Dame. Leading the way In his June 10 keynote talk, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras stressed the contributions of Hispanics to U.S. society and challenged young Hispanics to respond to the plight of newly arriving immigrants. “How interesting that at a time when the doors to free trade are being opened the international borders are being closed to immigrants,” said Cardinal Rodriguez. “We can’t allow ourselves to forget that in the face of every immigrant there is a history.” It is a history complicated by the humiliation and family disintegration suffered by those who choose to migrate to the United States, he said in Spanish. Young Hispanic Catholics have one of the best chances to build the United States and the church because they are open to new ways of doing things, to new cultures and to dialogue, he said. They “have a unique capacity to make new relationships,” he said, challenging his listeners to begin by forging relationships with new Hispanic immigrants. The Hispanic immigrant arriving today needs a partner who will walk with him on the journey of his new life, the

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From the cover

Photo by Joanita M. Nellenbach

Judy Ross of St. Mary Church in Sylva washes her hands during the Mass’s penitential rite as Gloria Schweizer, campus minister at Western Carolina University, holds the towel during the “Caring for God’s Creation” program June 17.

Program explores ‘Caring for God’s Creation’ CARING, from page 1

dignity of work and the rights of workers. Jarina chose to focus on the other three: options for the poor; solidarity; and caring for God’s creation. “We have really become a society of ‘now’; (indiscriminately) using resources — if it doesn’t work, toss it; not taking the time to recycle,” she said. Temperance is needed: prudence, justice, avoiding excessive use of resources. “In a consumerism society, it’s about having things,” Jarina said. “That disparity is something we have to constantly address. Your choices in the store have an effect on many, many people and will affect us us for many years to come.” And, she said, “Caring for the poor and exploited must be our goal. Can we love the Creator without celebrating and caring for the creation?” Contact Correspondent Joanita M.

Paton, who speaks little Spanish, often attends Immaculate Conception Church’s weekly Spanish-language Mass. She said that Franciscan Father John Salvas, parochial vicar at the church, tells her it’s a “wonderful witness.” “They have so enriched my life,” said Ross of the Cuban children to whom she taught music for years without ever learning more than a few basic Spanish words. “We have much more in common with others than differences. If we recognize that, it’s easier to approach people,” said speaker Terri Jarina, program director for parish social ministry for Catholic Social Service’s Office of Justice and Peace in the Diocese of Charlotte. The office, along with a grant from the Diocesan Foundation, helped cosponsor the program. Jarina’s presentation was on Catholic social teaching. “We are one human family, whether we live here in Cullowhee or in Charlotte or somewhere else,” said Jarina. Four principles of Catholic social teaching are: life and dignity of the human person; call to family and community; human rights and responsibilities; and

earth,” speaker Freeman Owle said. “What kind of dominion have we taken: mountain tops sliding away, trees dying.” Owle, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and elder in residence at WCU, told Cherokee legends to show how “balance is very important to the Cherokee.” One legend related how the animals captured fire: Some of the larger animals tried to get fire from the other side of the world. They failed. But the tiny water spider made a clay pot, put it on her back, swam to the fire and gathered the coals into the pot, which she carried to the animals. This story shows how “we keep the balance,” Owle said. “Not only the big people in the village can do things, little people can too.” Humans have lost balance by not properly caring for God’s creation, he said. In the early days, when everything was unspoiled, he said, “Cherokee would go into the river each morning, splash water over themselves, and pray, ‘Father who art in heaven, grant us peace and take away anything that keeps me from being closer to you.” “Can you imagine wading into the Tuckasegee River when it was clean, making that prayer and coming out at the start of your day?” Owle asked. For the Cherokee, a terrible unbalance happened when thousands of them were forced to walk the Trail of Tears from places like North Carolina and Georgia to Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died on the trek. “They say 15,000 people walked the Trail of Tears,” Owle said, “but I maintain there were 15,001 because they took their Bibles. Jesus was with them. They knew the balance would be achieved again.” It’s important to take time to achieve balance, to “slow down” and “see the gifts God has given us: nature’s beauty, children, grandchildren.” “Go to Brevard or Highlands,” Owle added. “Go down to the waterfalls, take off your shoes. If you’re worried about what other people will think, push it

July 21, 2006

away. You’re not too old to have some childlikeness. “Sit quietly, 15 minutes, think about the water, think about God. You will have rested,” he said. Caring for God’s creation also involves caring for those who have been displaced because of war and economic conditions. Speaker Eduardo Bernal, Hispanic ministry coordinator for the Smoky Mountain Vicariate, spoke about trying to escape El Salvador’s civil war to join his mother and sister in the United States. He tried twice to emigrate in 1989. The first time, he was arrested and held for three days with 70 other men in one room with no bathroom, then deported. He tried again and nearly drowned swimming the Rio Grande. He spent a month in jail with 800 other men. This time, because of the civil war in El Salvador, he wasn’t deported, but made it to Flushing, N.Y., where he was reunited with his mother, whom he hadn’t seen in seven years. Bernal is now working to become a U.S. citizen, but the process is difficult. “To get a visa to come from El Salvador, you have to have half a million dollars in the bank and own your own business,” he said. “So they make sure nobody comes here except for tourism.” Bernal minced no words about caring for Hispanic immigrants, most of whom are Catholics. “We are a Christian community, a Catholic community; jails are not the answer,” he said. “We, as Catholics, should be the first advocates. When we come here, the first thing we di is look for a church to thank God we made it.” Bernal said people should welcome the newcomers, regardless of whether or not they speak English. “If you have neighbors, try to meet them. Bake some cookies and go to meet them,” he said. Language isn’t a barrier for Patricia Paton, a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville, and Judy Ross of St. Mary Church in Sylva.

July 21, 2006


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in the news

July 21, 2006

Indonesian Catholics help tsunami victims SEA, from page 1

pastor of Sacred Heart Church, said his assistant pastor and four laypeople would travel to the mission area to assess the needs of the victims and open an aid center to distribute goods such as medicine, food and blankets that parishioners in Tasikmalaya have contributed. “Meanwhile, we are collecting other things from this parish as well as from Bandung Diocese and Jakarta Archdiocese to be sent together with a bigger team after the first team reports its observations,” Father Sudarman added. The Indonesian bishops’ crisis center also was sending aid. A magnitude-7.7 earthquake triggered a tsunami on the southern coast of Java Island July 17, killing at least 550 people, displacing 54,000 and leaving hundreds missing, the Indonesian Health Ministry said July 18. In Pangandaran, about 165 miles southwest of Jakarta, the tsunami damaged about 500 hotels, restaurants and houses, including Sea Star Home, owned by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. “The waves did not kill any Catholics there, but they caused a woman working at Sea Star Home to fracture a leg, and two of her children were also injured,” Father Sudarman told UCA News.

Vera Venny Soemarwi, secretary of the bishops’ crisis center, told UCA News June 18 that the center’s coordinator, Jesuit Father Ignatius Ismartono, traveled to the affected areas just after the quake and tsunami hit. “Besides visiting the location, he will open a communication network and ask Bandung and Purwokerto dioceses for permission to open aid stations,” Soemarwi said. She added that her center had prepared funds to buy blankets, food, medicine and other items to be distributed. A day after the tsunami, many refugees in Pangandaran Village Hall still had nothing to eat, she said. Ambrossius Darso, a 55-year-old parishioner of the church in Kroya, reported that four families took refuge in his house. “When I was cultivating my field, one kilometer (.62 miles) from the coast,” he said, “I saw the water higher than the dome of the mosque. It came after me, and I had to run as fast as I could to reach my house, two kilometers from the coast.” Sister Adriana Tentrem Sujatmi, a Precious Blood of Christ nun, told UCA News that many people of Karangmangu village were still panic-stricken and were staying at her convent in Kroya. “Just after the quake and tsunami, I allowed about 30 people to stay in our parish kindergarten and we distributed mats, drinks and instant noodles to

CNS photo by Dadang Tri, Reuters

Children stand in the ruins of a house destroyed when a tsunami hit in Pangandaran, Indonesia. The tsunami was triggered by a strong undersea earthquake off the coast of Java Island July 17. The surge killed at least 550 people and displaced thousands from their homes.

July 21, 2006

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The Catholic News & Herald 13

Church leaders pray for peace in Mideast MIDEAST, from page 1

logical Studies in Jerusalem, said he did not know why the radical Shiite militia Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and was firing rockets on Israel, but he said the force of Israel’s retaliation was “not appropriate.” “I think Israel has to react. They can’t tolerate the taking of soldiers, the Katyushas,” said Father McGarry, referring to the rockets Hezbollah has been firing into Israel. “They have to do something in response, but killing civilians is not appropriate,” he said. Lebanese officials said the number of civilian deaths had passed 200 by early July 18, while Israeli officials reported 12 civilian deaths since the cross-border attacks began July 12. Vacationing in the Alps July 16, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of his “serious concern” for the escalating violence and said that “neither terrorist acts nor reprisals can be justified, especially when there are tragic consequences for the civilian population.” The United States considers Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, a terrorist organization. However, the Lebanese government regards Hezbollah as a legitimate resistance movement fighting Israeli occupation of Lebanese territories. Israel withdrew from South Lebanon in May 2000, but it did not relinquish the disputed “Shebaa Farms” border area, where the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria converge, so Hezbollah kept up the resistance. In Beirut, Lebanon, July 14, the Middle East Council of Churches urged

regional powers to pressure all sides to stop the violence and start dialogue. The council “raises high its voice, calling on the international community, especially on the (U.N.) Security Council and international powers, for an immediate intervention to cease fire,” it said in a statement. Lebanese Cardinal Nasrallah P. Sfeir, patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, was visiting the United States as the attacks began. Speaking July 16 at a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Brooklyn, N.Y., he said, “We (Lebonese) have had enough. We need the help and support of all our friends in the world, especially the United States. We are determined to work together through dialogue for peace and justice in the region.” On July 18 he was scheduled to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the White House to discuss the situation in Lebanon. Fleeing the bombs Israel blockaded Lebanese ports, repeatedly bombed the Beirut airport and hit cities it considered Hezbollah strongholds. It also bombed major roads and bridges. At a church rectory in Sidon, Lebanon, a man who asked not to be identified said all Catholic churches were opening their doors to people who needed refuge, but that church officials did not know how long they could hold out. Rosie Akl, an American married to a Lebanese, e-mailed from Lebanon to let her American family and friends know that her family members were safe but the situation was “extremely serious and critical.”

CNS photo by Ronen Zvulun, Reuters

Israeli soldiers pray July 17 near a mobile artillery unit firing into southern Lebanon from its position near the town of Kiryat Shmona, Israel. She spoke of long lines for food and groceries and said the Lebanese were moving en masse from the south and from parts of Beirut up into the mountains to seek some semblance of safety. “The Lebanese have nowhere to go,” she wrote. “Soon there will be no fuel. The damage to the roads will prevent food supplies being delivered. “The Lebanese army is a joke and everyone knows it,” she said. “After the (1989) Taif accord,” which ended Lebanon’s civil war, “they were not allowed to rearm. They have no warplanes. “The Israelis have the latest F-16s. They have nuclear warheads. They have military satellite capabilities. Lebanon has nothing. What does the Lebanese army have? A few U.S.-built helicopters from the Vietnam era,” she said. Confusion and carnage Hezbollah sent rockets into Israel, particularly targeting the port city of Haifa July 16 and 17. The attacks sent residents of northern Israel streaming along roads heading south.

On July 17, Hezbollah rockets also hit areas around Nazareth. Eisam Abu Nasser, a Catholic lawyer from Nazareth, said residents had their eyes glued to the TV and ears glued to the radio. “There is war and destruction everywhere, and there are innocent civilians (on both sides). The religion and nationality of the person isn’t important. We worry about humans,” he said. The Melkite Catholic village of Mi’ilya in Upper Galilee was under a state of emergency. Regional council head Fathi Assaf said the village shelters were ready in case they were needed, and people were told to stay in their homes. In Washington, Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem to express concern about escalating Holy Land violence. “The cycle of violence must be broken in order to open up the path to justice and peace in the Holy Land,” Bishop Skylstad said. Contributing to this story were Cindy Wooden at the Vatican and Doreen

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July 21, 2006

Culture Watch

Documentary on St. Francis Xavier has New York premiere Filmmakers’ ‘labor of love’ finally by JULIE BOURBON catholic news service

WASHINGTON — St. Francis Xavier never made it to mainland China. But then again, neither did the two Jesuits who recently finished a film about him. St. Francis Xavier considered himself a failure for not reaching China. The missionary, who preached in several places in Asia, died on an island off the coast of China before he could fulfill his desire to preach there, too. The filmmakers, Jeff Johnson and Jeremy Zipple, traveled from Europe to India to Macau on a whirlwind labor of love to complete the film for the 2006 jubilee year of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits declared the year to remember three of the order’s original members. Jubilee celebrations mark the 450th anniversary of the death of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and the 500th anniversary of the births of two of his closest companions, St. Francis Xavier and Blessed Peter Faber. T h e d o c u m e n t a r y, “ X a v i e r, ” premiered this spring at Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York with more than 300 people in attendance. “His letters provided the best information on Asia since Marco Polo,” said Johnson, who wrote the script. “There’s something about him that lends itself to an exciting film.” Johnson and co-creator Zipple are regents of the Jesuits’ New Orleans province. Regency is a stage in the formation process to become a Jesuit priest. The two said they never even considered St. Ignatius or Blessed Peter Faber as possible subjects; they knew they had their man all along and followed his footsteps, from the place of his birth almost to the place of his death. “While there is some good historical scholarship on Xavier, there are not a lot of background stories,” said Johnson, an amateur historian who teaches English at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla. “We’re trying to tell them,” he said. The film is not intended just for a Jesuit audience, although a DVD of the film will be distributed to each Jesuit high school, college and university before the fall semester begins. Johnson hopes that PBS or cable’s History Channel would be interested in picking the film up for distribution, allowing a wider audience to come to know the peripatetic saint. Placing St. Francis Xavier in historical context required much research, interviewing and travel. The crew followed an intense shooting schedule that was condensed into about


A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

five weeks of rigorous travel, “which was insane,” said Zipple, laughing at the memory. “I don’t recommend it,” he said. The production entailed moving enormous amounts of equipment literally around the world. It was their cameras that kept them out of China. Once authorities realized how much equipment they were bringing with them, they were prohibited from entering the mainland as well as the island of Sancian, where St. Francis Xavier died in 1552. The island is now a large naval base. Instead, they shot in and around the Macau region, where St. Francis Xavier landed. “In a way it was a pilgrimage, too,” Zipple said. That pilgrimage brought them full circle, from Navarre, Spain, the saint’s birthplace, to the Far East. Although they shared St. Francis Xavier’s disappointment at not getting into China, it turned out to be a blessing for these Jesuits, in part because it brought them into contact with so many members of the worldwide Society of Jesus. It was “a grace-filled part of the experience,” said Zipple, to hear their subject’s story from Jesuits around the world. For him, it all added up to a deeper knowledge of and love for St. Francis Xavier. “I came to understand him in a personal, intimate way. I really felt his presence in a profound way. It really changed our experience of the film,” he said.

Sunday Scripture Readings: July 30, 2006

July 30, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B Readings: 1) 2 Kings 4:42-44 Psalms 145:10-11, 15-16, 17-18 2) Ephesians 4:1-6 3) Gospel: John 6:1-15

God supplies all that we need by

SHARON K. PERKINS catholic news service

For the past five years, my extended family — consisting of my parents, four adult siblings, spouses and eight grandchildren ranging from 12 to 22 — have rented a house and gathered for several days in early July to enjoy water, sun and each other’s relaxed company. Of course, part of the fun is preparing and eating our favorite foods in massive quantities. This obviously implies grocery shopping on a large scale, so each year during our preliminary stocking up on brisket, vegetables, staples and beverages of various kinds, the question arises, “Have we bought enough food?” (With five teenage boys thrown into the mix, it’s a legitimate question!)

Yet, despite the angst over sufficient quantity, we always wind up carting home leftovers. You would think we would have learned by now that there is always enough for everyone and that we’re never far from a store if we do run out of something important. Nevertheless, there is something about human nature that fears lack and expends a considerable amount of energy ensuring that it doesn’t happen. Perhaps it takes the form of acquiring more than is really needed or selfishly protecting one’s possessions against the possibility of someone else depleting or damaging them. Sometimes it’s simply the fear that “there won’t be enough left over for me if I share what I have.” Any way you look at it, these grasping and egocentric attitudes reveal a lack of trust in God’s ability to provide all that we truly need. Both the first reading and the Gospel teach the opposite: that fear of lack is always rooted in self-centeredness, that God is generous in ways we can’t imagine and that God wants to lead us to that same generosity of spirit. This is the sort of attitude that St. Paul speaks of as “preserving the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” When one recognizes that God, with hands wide open, is the source of all that we need, we need not fear lack. There’s always more than enough.

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE Scripture for the week of July 23-29 Sunday (Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Jeremiah 23:1-6, Ephesians 2:13-18, Mark 6:3034; Monday (St. Sharbel Makhluf), Micah 6:1-4, 6-8, Matthew 12:38-42; Tuesday (St. James), 2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Matthew 20:20-28; Wednesday (Sts. Joachim and Anne), Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10, Matthew 13:1-9; Thursday, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13, Matthew 13:10-17; Friday, Jeremiah 3:1417, Jeremiah 31:10-13, Matthew 13:18-23; Saturday (St. Martha), Jeremiah 7:1-11, John 11:19-27. Scripture for the week of July 30-Aug. 5 Sunday (Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time), 2 Kings 4:42-44, Ephesians 4:1-6, John 6:115; Monday (St. Ignatius Loyola), Jeremiah 13:1-11, Deuteronomy 32:18-21, Matthew 13:31-35; Tuesday (St. Alphonsus Liguori), Jeremiah 14:17-22, Matthew 13:36-43; Wednesday (St. Eusebius, St. Peter Julian Eymard), Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21, Matthew 13:44-46; Thursday, Jeremiah 18:1-6, Matthew 13:47-53; Friday (St. John Mary Vianney), Jeremiah 26:1-9, Matthew 13:54-58; Saturday (Dedication of St. Mary Major), Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24, Matthew 14:1-12. Scripture for the week of Aug. 6-12 Sunday (Transfiguration of the Lord), Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, 2 Peter 1:16-19, Mark 9:2-10; Monday (St. Cajetan, St. Sixtus II and Companions), Jeremiah 28:1-17, Matthew 14:13-21; Tuesday (St. Dominic), Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22, Matthew 14:22-36; Wednesday (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), Jeremiah 31:1-7, Jeremiah 31:10-13, Matthew 15:21-28; Thursday (St. Lawrence), 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, John 12:24-26; Friday (St. Clare), Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7, Deuteronomy 32:35-36, 39,41, Matthew 16:24-28; Saturday, Habakkuk 1:12—2:4, Matthew 17:14-20.

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July 21, 2006

‘Monster House’ worth a visit

CNS photo by Columbia

Animated characters Chowder (left) and DJ are pictured in “Monster House,” a macabre computer-animated fairy tale about a trio of suburban kids who set out to investigate the haunted happenings of an eerie old house that comes to life to terrorize their neighborhood. The film, which is full of wildly imaginative visuals, is a smart and scary thrill ride that, though darker in tone than most children’s fare and therefore inappropriate for very young tykes, is more fun than fright. Some frightening images and sequences, minor crude and suggestive humor and innuendo, theft, and mildly crude language.The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

EWTN anniversary celebration in Philadelphia draws 4,000 PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Father Richard John Neuhaus, a speaker at a Philadelphia celebration for the 25th anniversary of the Eternal Word Television Network, called the event a “remarkable occasion” marking a milestone for “a most improbable adventure.” The priest, who is editor of the monthly magazine First Things, called the founding of EWTN by Mother Angelica “a high adventure,” and said the nun made herself “a vessel of what God can do beyond our imagination.” The June 24-25 celebration drew more than 4,000 people from the Philadelphia region and from around

the country to the Liacouras Center at Temple University. EWTN was started in the garage of a Birmingham, Ala., monastery 25 years ago by Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration. It is now seen in 125 million homes and 144 countries, and its radio and Internet service reaches at least 200 million more. The network, which was built solely from donations, carries programming 24 hours a day and has extensive live coverage of Catholic events worldwide. EWTN has held anniversary events in five cities over the past year to mark its silver anniversary. One final celebration is planned in Birmingham. In his address Father Neuhaus talked about what it means to be a Catholic in a world full of scandals, dissension and leadership problems. In the face of all that, he held out to the crowd the invitation of Pope John Paul II: “Settle for nothing less than moral and spiritual greatness.” “EWTN bespeaks the joy of the high adventure of being fully Catholic — not of being a ‘good enough’ Catholic, but rather understanding that what it really means to be Catholic is an audacious invitation to adventure,” he said. Mother Angelica, who personifies what Father Neuhaus called “the holiness of feistiness,” was not at the celebration, but she continues to do well, living a life of quiet contemplation in the cloister. In September 2001, Mother Angelica, now 83, suffered a stroke and in December of that year suffered a second stroke, which partially paralyzed the right side of her body. Now she spends most of her time praying and resting quietly in her room.

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Senate passage of embryonic stemcell expansion called ‘a disservice’ by

NANCY FRAZIER O’BRIEN catholic news service

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s July 18 vote to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research does “a disservice to human life and to the cause of medical progress,” said the head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life office. “No technical achievement is ‘progress’ if it takes us backward in respect for human life,” said Gail Quinn of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, following the 63-37 vote on the Stem-Cell Research Enhancement Act. Quinn expressed confidence, however, that President George W. Bush would follow through with a promise to veto the legislation, approved last year by the House of Representatives, and that he would sign two other bills on stem-cell research “that respect the claims of both science and ethics.” The two bills — the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006, prohibiting “the solicitation or acceptance of tissue gestated for research purposes,” and the Alternative Pluripotent Stem-Cell Therapies Enhancement Act, which would increase federal funding of research into ways to derive pluripotent stem cells without destroying embryos — each passed unanimously in the Senate July 18. The Stem-Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would permit federally funded embryonic stem-cell research using embryos discarded after in vitro fertilization attempts, takes the focus away from “effective and morally acceptable treatments using adult and umbilical-cord stem cells, which have already begun to treat patients with dozens of illnesses,” she said.

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July 21, 2006

respect life

“Because it takes resources away from these effective avenues, the drive for embryonic stem-cell research actually threatens to harm patients themselves,” Quinn added. Before the votes, Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore had called on the Senate to reject expanded funding of embryonic stem-cell research and approve the two other bills. The cardinal, who chairs the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said the expansion of federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research “violates a decades-long policy against forcing taxpayers to support the destruction of early human life.” He also criticized the argument that embryos would be discarded by clinics anyway as “morally deficient.” “The fact that others may do harm to these nascent lives gives Congress no right to join in the killing, much less to make everyone else complicit in it through their tax dollars,” he wrote. But when morally acceptable alternatives might be available, “Congress has a responsibility to explore how such research may be advanced,” the cardinal said. White House spokesman Tony Snow said at a July 18 press briefing before the votes that Bush feels “honor-bound to veto” the Stem-Cell Research Enhancement Act, as he has long promised to do. “The president is not opposed to stem-cell research; he’s all for it,” the spokesman said. “But there is one kind of research, and that is that which involves the destruction of human life, that he does not think is appropriate for the federal government to finance.” “He’s been absolutely clear about that; there is no shading in it,” said Snow.

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‘Tomb of martyrs’

Former abortion clinic becomes a Catholic chapel BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS) — The site of a former abortion clinic in Williamsville, a Buffalo suburb, has been turned into the chapel of a Catholic radio station, according to a report in the July edition of Western New York Catholic, the Buffalo diocesan monthly newspaper. The paper said Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of Buffalo blessed and dedicated the Chapel of the Holy Innocents June 1 at the Station of the Cross, a four-station Catholic radio network based in Williamsville. Jim Wright, co-founder of Holy Family Communications, which owns the network, said he only recently learned from the previous owner of the building that the 330 square-foot chapel was being constructed in the space where

abortions were once performed. “In the tradition of the early church, pagan temples were turned into holy spaces,” Bishop Kmiec said. “We have done the same thing here today.” Joanne Wright, another co-founder of Holy Family Communications, called the new chapel “the tomb of martyrs.” For that reason, the chapel was dedicated in memory of all babies who have been aborted. The chapel is used for private reflection by radio station employees. It is also wired to allow for live broadcasts of the Mass on radio. The Station of the Cross network includes WLOF-FM radio in Buffalo, WHIC-AM in Rochester, and WQORAM and WITK-AM in the ScrantonWilkes Barre area in Pennsylvania.

July 21, 2006

respect life

The Catholic News & Herald 17

Student ‘walks the talk’ against abortion by

KATHRYNNE SKONICKI catholic news service

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — Jamie Racki, a junior at Benedictine University in Lisle, celebrated her 21st birthday July 5. Instead of celebrating, she continued her 11-week journey of professing her prolife beliefs by walking across the country. “I couldn’t think of a reason good enough not to do it,” she said about participating in the 2006 northern walk of Crossroads, a pro-life initiative started in 1994 by Steve Sanborn, then a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. On May 20, Racki started the walk in Seattle. During her July 15 interview, she was in Illinois, traveling along U.S. Route 14 from Mount Prospect to Des Plaines. She planned to continue her trek through Aug. 11. Each summer, college-age walkers spread the pro-life message as they pray at abortion clinics in cities and towns along their route, attend daily Mass, recite the rosary and pray for a change in culture to bring an end to abortion. Martha Nolan, national director of Crossroads, said the “physically and spiritually challenging” endeavor is attractive to young adults. Originally there was one walk with about a dozen participants but interest grew so much that a few years

ago organizers decided to put together three walks. This year a total of 36 young people are participating. The northern walk starts in Seattle and goes through Billings, Mont., Minneapolis and Cleveland among other places. The central walk begins in San Francisco and some of the cities on the route are Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Kan., and Indianapolis. The southern walk skirts the bottom of the country, originating in Los Angeles, and stops include Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta. All three walks were scheduled to merge Aug. 12 in Washington for a rally outside the U.S. Capitol. “ We k n o w o u r p r a y e r s a n d sacrifices in blisters and aches from walking make a difference in our culture. ... We might not get national media exposure, but we’ve seen thousands of people face to face,” Nolan said. In addition to rallying thousands of people to get behind the pro-life cause, the walkers say they have also inspired women to change their minds about undergoing an abortion. Racki, who has participated in national events such as the March for Life and local life chains, said, “I always wanted to do something big, and I didn’t think what I was doing was enough.” Parishioners of Our Lady of Peace and Notre Dame churches in Clarendon Hills, as well as a handful of students

CNS photo by Michael Hoyt

College students and a priest, who spent the summer traversing the country with a pro-life message, pray for an end to abortion at the Supreme Court in Washington in August 2002. Each year, Crossroads walkers begin in different states and converge thousands of miles later in Washington. and faculty at Benedictine University, eliminated Racki’s only roadblock to joining Crossroads — finances. She had planned on earning money for the next semester of college during the summer months and couldn’t afford to sacrifice her potential earnings. After she shared her ambitions with members of the two faith communities during weekend Masses, they donated close to $6,000 to Racki to pay for airfare and supplies and to supplement her lost income. Racki said her experience has

taught her a lot about the generosity and hospitality of Catholics, but she was also learning more about her own faith, the Bible and church teaching. “It’s a good way to spread the Gospel,” she said. Benedictine Brother Richard Poro, assistant campus minister at the Lisle university, said Racki’s Crossroads participation exemplifies her determination to fight abortion. “It certainly takes a special person to do something like that,” he said, adding that he hoped her experience will

1 8 The Catholic News & Herald

July 21, 2006


A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

All God’s people

Miracle of life is evident in those around

It was lost and now St. Anthony can help us discover many things

Guest Column RICO DE SILVA

“St. Anthony, St. Anthony, turn around, something is lost and can’t be found.” I remember when every Catholic old enough to lose his car keys knew this prayer by heart. These days, however, it seems most of us Catholics have forgotten about one of the greatest treasures of the Catholic faith: the communion of saints. The saints were men and women like us who were faithful to God and received his grace to live out the Gospel in their state of life. Since we Catholics are sometimes criticized for “worshipping Mary and the saints,” we have neglected our celestial friends from misunderstandings done in the name of ecumenism. Saints are excellent ecumenical examples of how to be a Christian. If devotion to the saints is not an integral part of your spirituality, or you just want to find meaningful lost items, consider establishing a friendship with St. Anthony of Padua as a good start. He listens. My own friendship with St. Anthony started almost 10 years ago, when on a business trip I lost a chain that held a silver crucifix and two medals that were dear to me. A devout Catholic friend of mine and “client” of the saint told me to “pray to good old St. Anthony and he will find it for you.” At the time, I didn’t know much about St. Anthony. My friend gave me the Franciscan saint’s holy card with his “unfailing” prayer. I said the prayer with deadpan enthusiasm, and put it away with no further thought. Three weeks later, while on a business trip to the same city, I decided to stay at the same hotel and, after checking in, called housekeeping to ask about my chain. One of the housekeepers had found it hanging on the bathroom door and returned it to her supervisor. That’s the day St. Anthony became my friend. Since then I discovered why St. Anthony has his much-publicized reputation as a lost-object finder. He had lost a book of Psalms, his most prized and only possession. He prayed fervently to God to return his book. A disgruntled novice had left the

guest columnist

Franciscans a few days prior and had taken the book from St. Anthony, but was moved to return it soon after. The saint understands grieving the loss of an object because he has been there himself. Besides lost objects, St. Anthony is the patron saint of expectant mothers, the poor and hungry, mail delivery and several other categories. St. Anthony performed many miracles while he lived on earth. Great crowds of people were drawn to him because he was an eloquent preacher. When he was exhumed 336 years after his death, his body had decayed, but his “holy tongue” was found incorrupt. His tongue is mounted in a reliquary at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, where hundreds of people venerate it daily. However, his reputation as a miracle worker, especially in the lost and found department, has dwindled tremendously, particularly in our country. He was proclaimed a saint in 1232, less than a year after his death. June 13 is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor of the church, one of the most famous and invoked saints in the history of Catholicism. Somebody mentioned to me once that we don’t choose our devotions to the saints, but that God appoints certain saints to intercede for us. If this is true, by the time we have a devotion to a certain saint, he or she has already been praying for us long before. In the case of St. Anthony, or any saint for that matter, remember that God is the one who performs the miracles; saints are just the conduits. If we lose sight of that, our saintly devotions would be nothing more than superstitious idolatry. I’m convinced that God chooses to manifest himself in our lives sometimes in small and large miracles. I believe he does this for the same reason he performed miracles in the person of Jesus Christ; to let us know that he listens and he is with us always. Now, if I could only find my keys. “St. Anthony, St. Anthony ....” Rico De Silva is a parishioner of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte.

Avenue. I felt I was in a land of wonderment. A well-dressed man occupied the bench next to me. As he sat and watched the hustle and bustle, he seemed lost in thought. My Italian grandfather would say he had “pensiero,” meaning something heavy weighing on the mind. Perhaps the many youthful people floating by reminded him of his youth, or perhaps they were a reminder of his own family. As I sat there enjoying the fresh breeze off Lake Michigan and feeling dazzled by the many artfully designed flower gardens, my thoughts turned to heaven. Will heaven have the peace and beauty I was drinking in? Suddenly I remembered a passage I had read by Trappist Father Thomas Merton, the spiritual writer. He, too, found himself people-watching — in New York. Suddenly it occurred to him that all these people were God’s people. When God first thought of them in eternity, they were created. No matter their size, shape, nationality, age or appearance, they all belonged to God. When I first read this, I didn’t find it too exciting. But as I sat in Millennium Park its impact finally hit me. What a magnificent way to look at people! When you see them as God’s people, you take a second look to find what might be that something extra special that reflects God. Perhaps it’s a beautiful smile or a peaceful continence. Perhaps it’s that an infirm person is carrying his or her cross majestically. Perhaps it is that they are caring parents or grandparents. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that the beauty of Christ is that he saw our life as a miracle. To see in those around us as this miracle is truly a miracle — a wonder that is wonderful!

The Human Side FATHER

EUGENE HEMRICK cns columnist

I had five hours at my disposal in Chicago recently before boarding my plane back to Washington. I could think of no better place to do this than Millennium Park, which is bordered by Chicago’s magnificent Michigan Avenue and awesome Lake Michigan. An open bench a few feet from a young woman playing an accordion afforded me the perfect place to view Chicago’s life at its best. The tune she was playing bounced with joy, like an Italian tarantella. You just wanted to dance to it! Around me, husbands were negotiating with wives, wives with husbands, and children with parents on what to see next. At times, all seemed in harmony, and then there were moments when an all-out battle was about to happen. As one stroller after another passed, so did infants with pacifiers in their mouths, and smiling, laughing babies, and some who had “crashed” and were wailing. People of all sizes, shapes and ages mingled as one. Some spoke English, of course, but I heard many other languages as well. Taxies, public buses and tourist buses added a colorful backdrop to the sea of humanity swarming around the carnival atmosphere of Millennium Park. Added to this was some of the most artistic architecture along Michigan

Different perspective on World Cup prayers I need to reply to the negative feedback regarding the infant Jesus statue dressed in a Mexican national soccer team’s uniform (“Mexican Catholics pray for a World Cup,” June 23). There are big World Cup fans in my family; we see the soccer games as high entertainment. For the players the game is a livelihood, and for many cultures it is an expression of nationalism and patriotism. These things are meaningful and important to them, and everything in life is a matter for prayer to, conversation with and guidance from our Lord. While the outcome of the Cup is not significant in my daily existence, it is not necessarily offending God for someone else to consider it a matter for prayer. I think God is concerned about our hearts and what our intentions are. God is moved by every care of his children’s hearts, no matter how trivial they might be in the grand scheme of things. That is part of what makes our faith so priceless.

Letter to the Editor Maybe it would be more honoring to our Lord if we regarded the benign desires of our brothers and sisters over the World Cup with respect and gracious delicacy for the sake of our love for them in Christ, rather than sacrilege. We should assume the best of them — that their hearts are turned toward God to meet their needs and that their trust and hope are ultimately grounded in him for all things, even soccer. If some people are dressing the infant Jesus like a soccer player and asking God to help them do their best to win, then who should rightly forbid it or take offense?

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July 21, 2006

Prayer made joyful

Three basics for freshening prayer, experiencing God’s joy God lives in the present moment, not in the past or future. Do not let the past drag you down. Do not let your fear of the future upset you. Laugh at these distractions. Simply give yourself to God as best you can, and enjoy your time with the Lord. You may never be able to pray as well as you think you ought to pray, but that’s OK. As long as you accept your limitations, you will be praying as best you can, and that’s all the Lord asks. He accepts you just as you are. Thirdly, there is the notion of joy. St. Francis of Assisi used to say, “If you want to lead people to God, teach them how to be happy.” This applies all the more when it comes to prayer. After all, Jesus said, “I have told you all these things that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” He set the standard of joy for all of us. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to share God’s joy. Sanctifying grace gives you a share in his happiness right now. St. Catherine of Siena said, “All the way to heaven is heaven.” Learn how to freshen your prayer life with joy.

FATHER JOHN CATOIR cns columnist

My goal here is to help you freshen your prayer with joy. By simplifying your prayer life you will be better able to laugh at your distractions and overcome spiritual dryness. Prayer can be a pure joy, once you learn the basics. Some of the ideas that follow have been taken from Abbot John Chapman, a British Benedictine, who died in 1931. He was a biblical scholar and popular preacher. St. Francis of Assisi also influenced my thinking on prayer. First let’s discuss “pure prayer.” Abbot Chapman taught that pure prayer is not necessarily found in our lofty thoughts or our majestic words. Nor is it found in the intensity of our feelings. In fact, he says that when it comes

to prayer you should never force feelings of any kind. Abbot Chapman insisted that “pure prayer is found in the will, in the will to give yourself to God.” Since the will has only one function, to say “yes or no,” you can decide to say yes. It isn’t that difficult. Even if you feel dry as a bone when you pray or have wild distractions, it is still possible to pray well. Simply say, “Lord, I am here, and I give myself to you as best I can.” You can do this at the same time you’re saying the rosary, or meditating, or engaging in contemplation, wordless prayer. What really counts is your intention and sincerity. Next is the secret of sanctity and happiness. Jesuit Father John Pierre de Caussade, author of the spiritual classic “Abandonment to Divine Providence,” taught that “the secret of sanctity and happiness rests in one’s fidelity to the will of God as it is manifested in the duty of the present moment.” The key is striving to live in the present moment instead of worrying about the mistakes of the past or dangers ahead.

Making a difference from the

Rising to challenges is call for all Catholics

It takes about 20 hours and 10,000 miles to fly from North Carolina to Singapore, a thriving city-state in Southeast Asia. But despite the great span between us, Catholics in both places are closely connected in at least one important way: we are very much in the minority as believers. In North Carolina, Catholics account for just 4 percent of the state’s total population. In Singapore, where Buddhists and Muslims make up the majority of the country’s 4.4 million people, the percentage of Catholics is precisely the same. So, too, are some of the questions we face — particularly, how do we heed the Catholic Church’s call to evangelize our cultures when we find ourselves operating on the margins? During a recent business trip to Singapore, I turned to the historic Cathedral of the Good Shepherd for some clues. Opened in 1846 during a period of British colonization, the cathedral is the oldest Catholic church in Singapore. It looks the part. Its plaster walls are chipped and discolored in too many places to count. Rusted fans hang from the ceiling. It’s perpetually hot and humid in Singapore, where every day feels like summer in North Carolina. So even at the 7 a.m. Mass, with the windows and doors flung open and the fans spinning full tilt, the church’s interior is stifling, a throwback to the age before air

conditioning. Still, beauty abounds here. It’s apparent in the stained glass windows, the sparse wooden pews, the simple statue of the Virgin Mary holding vigil on a small patch of grass. The cathedral itself holds vigil, too. High-rise hotels and office buildings surround it, stell and glass symbols of Singapore’s transformation from a trading outpost to a global business hub. Walking along the street, it’s difficult to even see the cathedral until you’re almost upon it. Still, it is very much there, standing muscularly in the midst of Goliaths, battle-scarred and unbowed. The cathedral is simply too small, however, to stand out in any photographs of Singapore’s shimmering skyline. Likewise, the church communities there and in North Carolina, though growing steadily, do not seem destined for great things by earthly standards. They will probably not bring down an empire, as Catholics in Poland did by challenging the Soviet Union. They will probably not produce the martyrs that churches in Latin America have. Perhaps our communities have another calling instead — to make their mark on the world by doing smaller things and doing them well. And we have reason to take that role seriously: it was Jesus himself who reminded us that those who are faithful in little are also faithful in much. It is in rising to this challenge that

Guest Column STEPHEN MARTIN guest columnist

smaller Catholic communities are most intimately linked and most able to influence the world around them. My parish bulletin attests each week to the wonderful but quiet work being done there — Bible study sessions, meals for the elderly, help for the homeless. At the Church of the Good Shepherd, the bulletin told a similar story of youth programs, liturgical training and weekend retreats. Across the weeks and years and generations, these modest deeds multiply in power, casting sparks of holiness through our neighborhoods and towns. They shine not spectacularly like a skyscraper in the night but with a softer glow that, like the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, promises to endure long after the modern giants around it have gone dark. Stephen Martin is a member of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro.

Pope says being a disciple means having a relationship with

The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI by CINDY WOODEN catholic news service

VATICAN CITY — Being a disciple of Christ means having a personal relationship with him, being convinced of his love, and being an unshakable witness to faith in him, Pope Benedict XVI said. At his July 5 general audience, Pope Benedict spoke about the example of discipleship given by St. John, the apostle referred to in the Gospels as “the disciple Jesus loved.” The pope focused on the apostle’s close relationship with Jesus and his declaration of faith before the Sanhedrin after Jesus’ resurrection. “This frankness in confessing one’s faith remains an example and an admonition for all of us to be ready always to declare decisively our unshakable adhesion to Christ,” the pope said. Jesus’ relationship with John, he said, offers “an important lesson for our lives: The lord wants to make each of us a disciple who lives a personal friendship with him.” It was not enough for the apostles to accompany Jesus as he traveled and to listen to his words; rather, they had to live with him and live like him, the pope said. “That is possible only in the context of a relationship of great familiarity, pervaded by the warmth of total trust,” he said. “That is what happens between friends.” The audience with an estimated 20,000 people in St. Peter’s Square was the only general audience Pope Benedict had scheduled for July. He was to travel July 8-9 to Valencia, Spain, for the Fifth World Meeting of Families, return to the Vatican for two days, then head to the northern Italian Alps for a July 11-28 vacation. The general audiences are scheduled to begin again Aug. 2, probably with the pope traveling from Castel Gandolfo to the Vatican by helicopter. At the end of the July 5 audience, the pope reminded visitors in the square that July is traditionally dedicated to meditating on the blood of Christ shed for the salvation of humanity. “In the world innocent human blood continually is being shed,” he said. “In human hearts, instead of Gospel love, hatred frequently dwells; instead of care for others, there is disrespect and exploitation.” Pope Benedict asked people to pray that humanity would experience the power of “the blood of Christ shed on the cross for our salvation.”

July 21, 2006


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