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September 5, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 1

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Perspectives Finding your vocation; the price of life; proud to be Catholic; Pope Speaks

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI September 5, 2008

Making disciples

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

Following Christ leads to grace-filled life, priest says at annual revival by



SYLVA — E for Evangelization. E for Enthusiasm. Eighteen attendees from the Smoky Mountain and Asheville vicariates looked at aspects of evangelization during “Spreading the Good News: How Catholics Share Our Faith.” Frank Villaronga, director of evangelization and ministry formation for the Diocese of Charlotte, presented the workshop at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva Aug. 23. Villaronga began his presentation with Matthew 28: 16-20, in which Jesus’ last See SHARE, page 7

by PETER FINNEY JR. catholic news service

NEW ORLEANS — Though it appeared Sept. 2 that the Archdiocese of New Orleans sustained minimal damage to its buildings and operations from Hurricane Gustav, New Orleans Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes feared the Diocese of HoumaThibodaux was battered the hardest of Louisiana’s seven dioceses during the Labor Dayweekend storm. See GUSTAV, page 5



One Louisiana diocese hit hardest by hurricane

no. 37

‘An amazing ride when God is the guide’

Workshop examines ways to foster faithful enthusiasm

Grappling with Gustav


Photo by Kevin E. Murray

Father Norman Fischer gestures during his preaching at the Revival of the Spirit at St. Helen Mission in Spencer Mountain Aug. 23. The annual event was held at several locations around the Diocese of Charlotte this year.

SPENCER MOUNTAIN — Catholics must show determination and use their “faith imagination” to follow God’s call. “Our faith imagination is something that is overlooked in daily life,” said Father Norman Fischer, a priest of the Diocese of Lexington, Ky. “Life today is so sciencebased. We need to look back at the stories of our ancestors in faith,” he said. “When their stories are alive in our hearts, we’ll see what God has in store for our lives.” See REVIVAL, page 9

Sister, ‘start your engine’ Nun takes to the track for charity race, proves she can handle the turns by

KATIE MOORE staff writer

STANLEY — Mercy Sister Patricia Ann Pepitone revved the engine of her four-cylinder stock car from her place at the pole position on East Lincoln Speedway Saturday. This was Sister Pepitone’s first year participating in the Aug. 23 “Clash of the Clergy,” the annual fundraiser benefiting East Lincoln Christian Ministry,

but judging from the size of her cheering section it probably won’t be her last. It was the fourth year for the event, in which clergy and representatives from 20 area churches race stock cars around a three-eighth mile dirt track. Sister Pepitone represented Holy Spirit Church in Denver, where she serves See RACE, page 8

Photo by Kevin E. Murray

Mercy Sister Patricia Ann Pepitone, pastoral associate at Holy Spirit Church in Denver, waves from a stock car while awaiting the start of the “Clash of the Clergy” final race at East Lincoln Speedway Aug. 23.

Around the Diocese

Culture Watch

Convents blessed; Sisters elect new leadership team

Priest’s horror stories in book; nun beauty pageant scrapped

| Page 4

| Pages 10-11

28 days until the

Eucharistic Congress

Oct. 3-4.

See back page and visit

September 5, 2008

2 The Catholic News & Herald


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

Churches responding to crime crisis

CNS photo by Karen Callaway, Catholic New World

Police officer Angel Cintron carries a box of weapons from the rectory at St. Agatha Church in Chicago July 26. More than 6,800 weapons were turned in at 25 church locations in the city during the fourth annual Don’t Kill A Dream, Save A Life event. Those turning in guns and other deadly weapons received a $100 gift card in the effort designed to get firearms off the streets.

As Chicago experiences violent summer, Catholic communities respond CHICAGO (CNS) — It started in April, when headlines screamed “36 shootings, nine homicides” over the course of one weekend in Chicago. Since then, the violence has continued, with news of shootings nearly every day. The violence has touched the Catholic community, with Catholic school students and adult Catholics among the victims, and violence occurring near and sometimes even on church property. On June 30, a 15-year-old student at St. Francis de Sales High School was shot and wounded while walking home with friends. An 11-year-old girl who was part of the group also was shot. Police said they don’t think either young person was the intended target of the shooting. On July 1, another 15-year-old was shot, apparently the victim of an armed robbery, in the rectory basement at St. Margaret of Scotland Church. Two other teens, with whom he was playing dice, have been charged in the crime. On July 2, Chicago police officer Richard Francis was shot and killed during a disturbance across the street from police headquarters. A 45-year-old woman was charged with killing him. Francis, 60, was laid to rest at St. Monica Church July 7. In response to the violence, parishes have sponsored anti-violence marches; offered opportunities for young people to get off the streets and into activities, such as playing basketball at a church’s gym; and helped people find employ-

ment by holding job training and mentoring programs. The church is called to respond to violence by praying, but it has to do more than that, said Nicholas Lund-Molfese, director of the Chicago archdiocesan Office for Peace and Justice, just as it must do something to feed people who are hungry, in addition to praying for them. To that end, the office recently hired Meghan Mayo, a graduate student in social justice at Loyola University Chicago, to help parishes find effective ways to respond to and prevent violence. Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis used a July 12 march at St. Agatha Church to release Chicago crime statistics for June 2008. Overall, murders were up almost 13 percent from 2007. About 40 percent of the murders were classified as gangrelated, and in most of the rest the victims knew their attackers, he said. Nearly 90 percent of the people charged in homicide cases had prior criminal records; so did more than 70 percent of the victims. St. Agatha Church also was one of five Catholic parishes that participated in a July 26 gun-turn-in program organized by the Chicago police. The effort brought in more than 6,800 weapons overall. At St. Monica Church, the two-hour funeral Mass for Francis, a 27-year veteran of the police force, was celebrated by Father Thomas Nangle, chaplain to the Chicago Police Department, who also delivered the homily.

Indian priest describes mob ordeal ‘like being tortured for Christ’ BANGALORE, India (CNS) — Father Thomas Chellen, undergoing treatment at a Catholic hospital in Bhubaneswar, India, said he was grateful to be alive after a Hindu mob nearly set him on fire. “They had poured kerosene on my head, and one held a matchbox in his hands to light the fire. But thanks to divine providence, in the end, they did not do that,” the 55-year-old priest, director of the pastoral center at Konjamendi in the Indian state of Orissa, said in an interview from his hospital bed Aug. 28. Following the Aug. 23 murder of a Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, by Maoist extremists, Father Chellen said Hindu mobs started attacking Christian centers in Kandhamal, the district where the slain leader was based. When a Hindu mob of 500 people broke into the pastoral center Aug. 24, Father Chellen fled with another priest and a nun as the center was vandalized

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

CHARLOTTE VICARIATE CHARLOTTE — “Social Teachings and our Public Policies” will be presented by Social Service Sister Simone Campbell, national director of NETWORK, Sept. 6, 9-11:30 a.m. in Bliss Hall at St. Peter Church, 507 South Tryon St., and 7 p.m. in the New Life Center Banquet Room of St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy. These events are free and open to the public. Come enjoy refreshments and hear Sister Simone discuss the complex issues that will affect the November election. For more information on the event at St. Matthew Church, contact Terri Jarina at (704) 243-4431 or For St. Peter Church, contact Dee Grano at (704) 333-9755 or CHARLOTTE — Theology on Tap, a dynamic speaker series designed to provide adults 18-40 with the opportunity to discover more about their faith in a relaxed open environment, will take place at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, 911 East Morehead St.,

and burned to the ground. They fled and Father Chellen and the nun took shelter in the house of a Hindu friend. However, Hindu mobs tracked them down and dragged them outside. “They began our crucifixion parade,” said Father Chellen. The gang of about 50 armed Hindus “beat us up and led us like culprits along the road.” They were stripped and beaten repeatedly, and the nun was raped, all while police watched, according to Father Chellen. “The four-hour ordeal ended when a senior police officer arrived in the evening,” said Father Chellen. Father Chellen was admitted to the hospital Aug. 27, while the traumatized nun was taken to a convent. Asked about the how the nun coped with the trauma, Father Chellen said: “We had no option and were simply following their commands. We resisted as much as we could. This is like being tortured for Christ.”

Monday evenings during September. Join us on Mondays, Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 6:30 p.m. We will explore important modern issues in today’s society. RSVP to For more information, go online to CHARLOTTE — The quarterly Blood GiveIn will be held at St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Sunday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Parish Center Family Room. Sign-ups will be held in the narthex on Sept. 6 and 7. A picture ID is required at registration the day of the blood drive. Walk-ins will be taken as time permits. For more information, contact the church office at (704) 543-7677. CHARLOTTE — To honor the 50th Anniversary of St. Gabriel School, there will be a picnic supper held Saturday, Sept. 27, after the 5 p.m. Mass at the St. Gabriel School athletic fields. All alumni are invited to share photos, yearbooks and mementos and to take part in the celebration. RSVP by Sept. 15 to Sally McArdle at (704) 541-1756 or, or contact Mary Ann Thomas at (704) 366-6985 or 3thomas4@ GREENSBORO VICARIATE GREENSBORO — The Men’s Early Morning Bible Study Group meets Tuesdays, 6:307:30 a.m. in the library at St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2715 Horse Pen Creek Rd. The group will start a six-week program on St. Paul beginning Sept. 2. Topics will include St. Paul’s teachings on faith and works, marriage and chastity, the church and sacraments, the Jews and the rapture. For more information, contact Gus Magrinat at, or contact John Malmfelt at

September 5, 2008 Volume 17 • Number 37

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

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

September 5, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 3


Economic gap requires response by Christians, says Vatican official VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Poverty, particularly the growing gap between the world’s rich and poor, is one of the most dramatic situations the world is facing and requires a response by Christians as well as by governments, said Cardinal Renato Martino. The cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, announced that his office is preparing a document on “poverty in the age of globalization.” He made his announcement during an August visit to Tanzania, where he hosted a continentwide presentation on the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. “The commitment to organizing and structuring society in such a way as to ensure one’s neighbor does not find himself in poverty is an indispensable act of charity,” said the cardinal. The obligation to work for the eradication of poverty is especially

binding, he said, “when a boundless number of people and even whole populations” are sinking further into poverty while the world’s wealthiest people get richer. He said the situation has assumed “the proportions of a truly global social question. Poverty — especially the growing inequality between regions, between continents and between countries and within countries — constitutes the most dramatic problem facing the world.” Cardinal Martino said the Gospel calls Christians to imitate Jesus and “give preference to the poor, addressing our energy and resources to the poor, and to contemplating the renewal of society beginning with the needs of the poor.” He said the document would “indicate a Gospel approach to combating poverty” and raise Catholics’ consciousness about poverty, especially the fact that women and children form the biggest portion of the extremely poor people in the world.

HIGH POINT — Free Spanish classes will be offered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 4145 Johnson St., Thursdays 7-8:30 p.m. beginning Sept 18. For information or to register, call Nancy at (336) 884-0522, or e-mail Larry at

with Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries. Shuping will cover various pro-life topics and will encourage attendance at the upcoming 40 Days for Life. There is no charge to attend this event. For more information, contact Donna at (336) 940-2558. WINSTON-SALEM — In an effort to give practical help to married and engaged couples to live out the teaching of the Catholic Church, a course on natural family planning will begin Sept. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the Bishop Begley Parish Center at  St. Leo the Great Church, 335 Springdale Ave. Come learn how to build your marriage relationship with better communication skills and enhanced intimacy by sharing the responsibility for birth regulation. For more information, contact Todd and Stephanie Brown at (336) 765-2909. WINSTON-SALEM — The national 40 Days for Life campaign will be held Sept. 24 through Nov. 2. In addition to 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion in America, consider volunteering to pray outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility at 3000 Maplewood Ave. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day during the 40 days. For more information or to volunteer, contact Donna Dyer at (336) 940-2558 or Toni Buckler at (336) 782-6062, or go online to

SMOKY MOUNTAIN VICARIATE BRYSON CITY — “Stewardship: A Way of Life” will be presented by Barbara Gaddy, associate director of the Office of Development for the Diocese of Charlotte, Sept. 10 at St. Joseph Church, 316 Main St., following the 4 p.m. Mass and a covered dish supper. The presentation will include background on stewardship from Scripture and traditions in the church; ways of promoting stewardship activities in the parish; and the fruits of a parish stewardship effort. For more information, e-mail Mary Herr at or call (828) 497-9498.  WINSTON-SALEM VICARIATE CLEMMONS — Holy Family Church, 4820 Kinnamon Rd., will conduct an ongoing series called “Catholics Returning Home” on six consecutive Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 9. These sessions are for nonpracticing Catholics who are interested in returning to the church. There will be informal sharing and an update on the Catholic faith. For more details, call Sean or Kelly Hines at (336) 940-6053 or e-mail hinesnc@ CLEMMONS — Dr. Martha Shuping will deliver a pro-life message entitled “The Burden of Choice and the Steps to Healing” in the Parish Center of Holy Family Church, 4820 Kinnamon Rd., Sept. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Shuping has spoken extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad on postabortion healing; she has organized and presented workshops for Concerned Women for America at the United Nations; she is an author, a practicing psychiatrist and a volunteer



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

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

Sept. 6 (7:15 a.m.) Mass for aspirants in permanent diaconate formation program Catholic Conference Center, Hickory Sept. 7 (9 a.m.) Pastor installation of Father Fred Werth St. Andrew the Apostle Church, Mars Hill

Sept. 10 (6:30 p.m.) Seventh annual MACS Circle of Celebration Charlotte Sept. 11 (5 p.m.) Opening Mass for Catholic Leadership Conference St. Peter Church, Charlotte

Solar panels on Vatican hall first of several projects, says engineer VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican will begin installing some 2,400 solar panels in late September, the first of several projects aimed at exploiting renewable energy resources in the tiny city-state. The solar modules, which are being donated by a German company, will be fitted atop the roof of the Paul VI audience hall and will produce some 300,000 kilowatt-hours of power each year, said Mauro Villarini, the Vatican engineer coordinating the project. Construction of the solar-energy system will continue through October, while Pope Benedict XVI and some 250 bishops meet inside the audience hall for a synod on the Bible. Villarini said another solar-panel system would be installed this fall above the Vatican’s employee cafeteria, providing 60 percent to 70 percent of the power needed to heat and cool the building. Both solar-energy systems are expected to be operating by the end of the year, Villarini said. In addition, he said, Vatican experts

were studying other “green” projects that may be particularly suited to Vatican City and its properties outside Rome, including the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo. They include the possibility of small windmills, as well as treatment plants that would break down biodegradable material to produce methane and biogas, he said. Villarini said the solar panels atop the audience hall would furnish enough power to meet the annual energy needs of about 100 families. Even so, he said, the system will not come close to meeting the energy demands of the huge building, which uses some 2 million kilowatt-hours of power every year. The important thing, he said, is that it is a first, major step toward energy self-sufficiency. Villarini said the Vatican’s ecological initiatives were born out of a series of talks given by Pope Benedict, who said at the beginning of 2007 that humanity cannot continue its present patterns of exploiting natural resources.

‘Happy Birthday Mother’

CNS photo by Parth Sanyal, Reuters

A Missionaries of Charity nun prays beside the tomb of Blessed Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, Aug. 26, the late nun’s birthday. Bishop Peter J. Jugis recently blessed a new facility for the Missionaries of Charity in Charlotte. See page 6 for more details.

Betancourt: Meeting pope was ‘dream come true’ ROME (CNS) — Former Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt said it was “a dream come true” to meet the pope. After meeting Pope Benedict XVI Sept. 1, Betancourt said she was fairly certain she broke Vatican protocol “because as soon as I went in, I hugged the pope and maybe I wasn’t supposed to do that.” Betancourt, a former presidential candidate in Colombia, was freed by Colombian rebels in early July after more than six years as a hostage. Immediately after her release she had said she wanted to meet Pope Benedict to thank him for his prayers and public

appeals for her release. Along with her mother, sister, her sister’s children and a cousin, Betancourt spent 25 minutes with the pope at his summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. She spoke afterward at a press conference in Rome. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the climate of the meeting was “very emotional.” “Her period as a prisoner was a time of great spiritual experience, of prayer, and so she really wanted to tell the Holy Father about the importance faith played in sustaining her during that very difficult period,” Father Lombardi said.

4 The Catholic News & Herald

Cornerstone of faith

around the diocese

September 5, 2008

Convent of Charity

Bishop Jugis blesses cornerstone of new convent in High Point by


HIGH POINT — The Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul will soon have a new home from which to serve. Bishop Peter J. Jugis blessed the cornerstone of the new convent to be built in High Point Aug. 16. The cornerstone is symbolic in that it represents the cornerstone of the universal Catholic Church — Jesus. Ken Hughes, a parishioner of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point, donated to the Sisters of Charity the 16.5 acres on which to build the convent. Other parishioners are helping acquire the funds and resources needed for construction. “Parishioners old and new, as well as the local community, are contributing to get the Sisters their own convent,” said parishioner David Long. “We want to make it, we want to build it,” said parishioner Luis Sanchez. “There are many hard challenges here. There is a long way before we finish, but we can do it,” he said. The enthusiasm for the Sisters is out of gratitude for their tireless service to the church and the community. “We had no ambition to do anything but what God wanted us to do,” said Sister Archana, superior of the Sisters of Charity in High Point. “We never thought of building our own convent, but God showed us the way.” The Sisters of Charity’s mission in High Point began in 2000, when 10 members of the congregation came to Christ the King Church at the request of Father Philip Kollithanath, pastor. Father Kollithanath, who arrived from India in 1994, was overseeing a growing multicultural parish and invited the Sisters of Charity to conduct the religious education program and other ministerial work, including operation of the parish day care center. The Sisters, who currently reside in a small house a few miles from the church, also have worked at Maryfield nursing home and a High Point hospital.

“When the Sisters arrived, they, together with Father Philip, really started turning the parish around. And the parish grew in numbers and activities,” said Long. “They have done amazing things with the large Hispanic and the Englishlanguage faith formation programs.” The Sisters manage the parish Hispanic center, which was founded in 1999 to serve area Hispanics through various programs and services. The De Paul Academy offers bilingual preschool and afterschool programs for Hispanics and other minority children, and teaches parents how to help their children in school. “The coming of the Sisters has been a tremendous help,” said parishioner Austine Nwokolo. “With the love and encouragement of Father Philip and the Sisters, the parishioners are doing whatever it takes to get the parish moving forward.” “The priest, the Sisters and the people are all willing to contribute time and energy to the growth of the church,” said Mary Wardell, who is among the parishioners to have assisted the Sisters in their work. Like Sister Archana, Father Kollithanath credits God for all the good that has transpired. “God’s blessings are everywhere,” said Father Kollithanath. “And it is God alone who brings forth the support and efforts of the good people of the community.” “It is a sign of God’s will that we are doing this (building the convent),” said Sister Archana. “As far as finances are concerned, we leave it in God’s hands. He has already had 16.5 acres donated for the convent. And we have already planted an apple and fig orchard.” “The Sisters of Charity are doing great work in High Point,” said Bishop Jugis. “They bring the love of Christ to the poor, the sick and the immigrants through their various ministries, and they do it with such a joyful spirit,” he said. “I look forward to the day when we will celebrate the blessing of their new convent,” said the bishop.

Photo by Deacon Gerald Potkay

Sister Archana, superior of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, watches Aug. 16 as Bishop Peter J. Jugis blesses the cornerstone of the Sisters’ future convent to be constructed in High Point. Also pictured (from left) are seminarian Josh Bradford, Michael Hellickson and Brian Hairston.

Photo by Katie Moore

Bishop Peter J. Jugis blesses the chapel of the new convent of the Missionaries of Charity in Charlotte Aug. 22. The facility also will function as a short-term maternity home for homeless pregnant women 18 years of age and older. Also pictured is Deacon Brian McNulty, seminarian Josh Bradford and guests invited to the blessing ceremony.

Courtesy Photo

Members of the new Sisters of Mercy South Central Community Leadership Team are pictured during the 2008 Assembly of Elections at Xavier University in Cincinnati July 10-12. They are (from left) Mercy Sister Kathy Green (president), Mercy Sister Paulette Williams, Mercy Sister Barbara Wheeley, Mercy Sister Mary Angela Perez, Mercy Sister Jane Hotstream (vice president) and Mercy Sister Marie Chin.

Sisters of Mercy South Central Community elect inaugural leaders BELMONT — The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Community have elected their inaugural leadership team. Mercy Sister Kathy Green of Cincinnati was elected to be the community’s first president by more than 430 Sisters of Mercy from 18 states, Guam and Jamaica who attended the 2008 Assembly of Elections at Xavier University in Cincinnati July 10-12. Others elected to serve on the first South Central Community Leadership Team included Mercy Sister Paulette Williams of Belmont, N.C. The leadership team, which will be based in Belmont, assumed office Sept. 2. The election culminated a process that began in 2002, when the Sisters of Mercy of the regional communities of Baltimore, Cincinnati, North Carolina and St. Louis — along with the affiliated regions of Guam and Jamaica — began exploring a collaborative organizational model. During the past six years, leadership teams, task forces and committees from the regional communities laid the groundwork for creating a new community to support their life and mission. “Our desire to reshape and reform

the community grew from our call as Sisters of Mercy to reach out with courage and love to the needy of our time,” said Sister Green. “As apostolic women religious in the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, we have a new community that is not simply a merger, but a new creation.” The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Community includes about 748 sisters, 619 associates and one companion in Mercy. The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is an international community of women religious vowed to serve people who suffer from poverty, sickness and lack of education, with a special concern for women and children. In addition to the South Central Community, the institute is comprised of five other communities with more than 4,200 Sisters who serve in North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines. More than 3,000 Mercy associates, several companions in Mercy, more than 600 Mercy Volunteer Corps alumni and hundreds of co-workers in Sisters of Mercy-sponsored programs and institutions also share in its mission.

September 5, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 5

from the cover

Houma-Thibodaux feared Louisiana diocese hit worst by hurricane GUSTAV, from page 1

CNS photo by Lee Celano, Reuters

Mitch Gaudet picks up yard debris near a statue of Mary in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans Sept. 2. The center of Hurricane Gustav came ashore as a Category 2 hurricane near Cocodrie, La., Sept. 1.

Archbishop Hughes, who rode out Hurricane Gustav at the St. Louis Cathedral rectory after helping hundreds of residents evacuate the city on buses, said he spoke briefly late Sept. 1 with Houma-Thibodaux Bishop Sam G. Jacobs at the St. Joseph CoCathedral in Thibodaux. Though Bishop Jacobs did not have any confirmed reports of damage to areas in the low-lying Terrebonne and Lafourche civil parishes, Archbishop Hughes said Bishop Jacobs feared the damage would be significant. Bishop Jacobs spent the evening at the co-cathedral rectory in Thibodaux. The Archdiocese of New Orleans assigned Aaron Portier of Catholic Charities of New Orleans to serve as a liaison to the Houma-Thibodaux area. Catholic Charities USA’s disaster response team has been on the ground in the Gulf Coast since before the storm hit, helping the local Catholic Charities agencies implement their disaster response plans, said spokeswoman Shelley Borysiewicz. Catholic Charities’ initial recovery work will focus on directing critical resources and supplies to hurricane victims, Borysiewicz said. Local Catholic Charities agencies plan to open community resource sites throughout the impacted region where families can access food, water, toiletries, cleanup supplies and other resources provided by partner agencies. In addition, response teams will make damage assessments and identify communities’ unmet needs, she said. Baton Rouge Bishop Robert W. Muench told Archbishop Hughes that the gymnasium at St. Anthony of Padua Church in North Baton Rouge, which

sheltered a number of Vietnamese refugees, sustained major roof damage. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Archbishop Hughes said the worst damage in the Archdiocese of New Orleans was expected to be in the Lafitte area, which is always subject to flooding, and in lower Plaquemines Parish on the banks of the Mississippi River. St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans appeared to suffer only minor damage. The winds dislodged several slates from the cathedral roof, Archbishop Hughes said, but there was no flooding. The rectory lost power for about 11 hours. After the worst winds subsided, New Orleans police officers gave Archbishop Hughes a tour of the city. Compared to Hurricane Katrina three years ago, there was little flooding or visible damage to archdiocesan facilities, he said. New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Roger P. Morin and Father Jose Lavastida, Notre Dame Seminary rector, rode out the storm at the seminary with power supplied by a generator. Schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans were expected to be closed for the remainder of the week. The archdiocese will follow the reopening timetable set by the local public school systems. Lake Charles Bishop Glen J. Provost was scheduled to take a damageassessment tour of his southwest Louisiana diocese Sept. 2. Lake Charles was badly damaged by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Alexandria Bishop Ronald P. Herzog did not expect much damage in his diocese, located in the geographic center of Louisiana. Archbishop Hughes praised local officials for learning the hard lessons from Katrina on how to properly evacuate thousands of residents in advance of a major hurricane. “The evacuation was extraordinarily orderly and smooth,” he said.

6 The Catholic News & Herald

around the diocese

September 5, 2008

Continuing a tradition of faith

Ancient order invests six new members in Diocese of Charlotte by

KATIE MOORE staff writer

CHARLOTTE — Six new members were invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem during the order’s annual Scroll Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte Aug. 3. Bishop Peter J. Jugis, a member of the order, celebrated the Mass and presented the scrolls to the new members. The scrolls are significant in welcoming and honoring members in the long-standing order. John Piunno, lieutenant of the order’s Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy, assisted Bishop Jugis in presenting the scrolls from Rome, which confirm admission to John Thomas Bateson, Angela Mary Labermaier Eggelston, Deborah Elizabeth Burns Kane, William Robert Kane and Thomas Edmund McGahey. New member Lawrence Gilliam Sr. was in absentia. Promoted to the rank of Lady

Commander with Star was Rose Marie Bell. Promoted to Knight Commander with Star was James Bell. The order, which dates back to the 11th century, is dedicated to preserving Christ’s tomb in Jerusalem as well as supporting Catholic schools, hospitals, orphanages and churches in the Holy Land. Members, who are invited to join, are invested during a centuries-old ceremony and each receives a scroll imprinted with the seals of the Vatican secretary of state and the cardinal grand master. On the local level, members lend their presence in support of their bishop by participating in ceremonies of the diocese. The goal of each knight and lady is to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, for which they are awarded the prized Pilgrim’s Shell by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Contact Staff Writer Katie Moore by calling (704) 370-3354, or e-mail

Courtesy Photo

Bishop Peter J. Jugis stands with members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem after the order’s annual Scroll Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte Aug. 3.

Photo by Deacon Gerald Potkay

Bishop Peter J. Jugis blesses the interior of a building at Pennybyrn at Maryfield retirement community in High Point Aug. 15. Also pictured (from left) are seminarians Josh Bradford and Josh Voitus, and transitional Deacon Ben Roberts.

Bishop, deacons bless Pennybyrn by


HIGH POINT — Bishop Peter J. Jugis blessed the buildings and grounds of the new Pennybyrn at Maryfield campus in High Point Aug. 15. Also assisting with the blessing of buildings and grounds were Deacons Ron Steinkamp, David King and Fred Scarletto. The blessings were part of the

continuing care retirement community’s grand opening festivities Aug. 14-15. Pennybyrn at Maryfield is sponsored by the Sisters of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. The campus also offers spiritual retreats, reflection days, daily celebration of the Eucharist and an onsite perpetual adoration chapel. Contact Correspondent Deacon Gerald Potkay by calling (336) 4278218, or e-mail

September 5, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 7

from the cover

Workshop examines ways to foster faithful enthusiasm SHARE, from page 1

Photo by Joanita M. Nellenbach

Discussing issues during an evangelization workshop at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva Aug. 23 are (from left) Evie Byrnes and Heidi Shull of Our Lady of the Mountains Mission in Highlands; and Cathie Tilly, Mary Herr, and David Tilly of St. Joseph Church in Bryson City.

words to his disciples are, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” “It’s important to hear that, because evangelization begins with Jesus,” Villaronga said, adding later that, “Christ’s whole mission was to evangelize. We flow out of that reality. Evangelization is the transformation of humanity.” It’s not primarily about knocking on doors. “People have thought of evangelization as what you do to get them into RCIA, to get them into the Catholic Church, and then the church takes over,” Villaronga said. First, we must ourselves be evangelized. This, Villaronga said, is not “just preaching the Gospel; it’s about allowing the power of the Gospel to transform humanity … encountering the reality (of the Gospel) in such a way that you want to and do transform your life.” “It’s about us opening ourselves to the power of the Gospel,” he said. Then, transformed by that power, we evangelize others by really living our faith, he said. Villaronga cited the U.S. bishops’ “Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States,” first published in 1992 and reissued in 2002. The document states that evangelization goals are to bring about in all Catholics an enthusiasm for their faith; to invite others to hear Jesus’ message of salvation and join the Catholic Church; to foster Gospel values in society and to promote human dignity, family and the common good.

Villaronga asked people to gather in groups to discuss issues in their local communities. “When we talk about going into the world to make disciples, we need to know what the world looks like,” he said. In the “world” of western North Carolina, according to those in the workshop, issues include healthcare; youth concerns, such as lack of youth activities; lack of family values; drought and climate change; economic issues; immigration reform; cost of living; spouse and child abuse; family turmoil resulting from a lack of vision and hope; individualism; aging population; lack of involvement in church and community; and fear of talking to others about faith. “The Gospel message has to resonate with all this, within this reality in a way that people hear it so that transformation takes place,” Villaronga said. “Go and Make Disciples” offers various strategies. Villaronga asked each group to choose one of the document’s goals and suggest ways to implement that goal. Every group chose goal No. 1, about creating enthusiasm for the faith. “What I like about this plan is that it allows you to flesh out what you’re going to do,” Villaronga said. “Look at this plan and see what you’re doing; you’re probably doing a lot. Now look at what you’re not doing, so you can fill in the gaps.” WANT MORE INFO? Documents on evangelization, go to and click on “Documents” to find: — Pope Paul VI’s apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi” (“On Evangelization in the Modern World”) — “Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States”

8 The Catholic News & Herald

from the cover

September 5, 2008

Nun takes to track for charity race RACE, from page 1

as pastoral associate. Father Carmen Malacari, pastor, opted out of driving in the race but attended to cheer on Sister Pepitone. “I don’t have the guts for this,” he said with a laugh. But Sister Pepitone was up for the challenge. “I wanted the Catholic Church to be represented,” she said. “These other churches need to know we exist.” Sister Pepitone sold the most advance tickets — 208 in all — earning her the starting place from the pole position in both the main race and the inaugural “powder puff” (all-female) race, which she won. “For a first-time racer, she did awesome,” said Gary Peterson, parishioner of Holy Spirit Church and member of Knights of Columbus Council 10389. “She wasn’t afraid of the turns.” But that’s not to say that fear wasn’t a factor. “It was scary,” said Sister Pepitone. “Here you are driving and the mud is flicking at you, and it feels like when

Photo by Kevin E. Murray

Helmet in hand, Mercy Sister Patricia Ann Pepitone accepts an award after her “Clash of the Clergy” race at East Lincoln Speedway Aug. 23.

“You’re sliding and slipping, and you know that if you’re not careful and you lose control, you can crash and get hurt.” — Mercy Sister Patricia Ann Pepitone you make the turns on the bend that you’re sliding on ice. You’re sliding and slipping, and you know that if you’re not careful and you lose control, you can crash and get hurt,” she said. “My instinct was I wanted to win, but I didn’t want an accident,” she added. Parishioners of Holy Spirit Church came out in droves to show their support. “She’s the main attraction,” said Peterson. “She’s part of our church family,” said Bob Ladousier, parishioner and fellow Knight. Sister Pepitone was very appreciative of that support, especially for East Lincoln Christian Ministry. The event raised $7,810 for the organization. “Holy Spirit Church is very supportive when it comes to needs of the people in the town,” she said. “They are very supportive in helping the poor and the homeless.” But that’s not to say she won’t have to put up with her fair share of grief back at the church. “The parish is teasing me,” she said. “They’re calling me ‘the flying nun.’” When asked if she’ll still be allowed to drive the church van, Father Malacari replied, “Absolutely.” And, when asked if she’ll participate again next year, Sister Pepitone said, “I have to. I have to defend my title.” Contact Staff Writer Katie Moore by calling (704) 370-3354, or e-mail

Photo by Kevin E. Murray

Mercy Sister Patricia Ann Pepitone (in the car at right), pastoral associate at Holy Spirit Church in Denver, races during the “Clash of the Clergy” competition at East Lincoln Speedway Aug. 23.

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September 5, 2008

from the cover

The Catholic News & Herald 9

Following Christ leads to grace-filled life, says revivalist REVIVAL, from page 1

Father Fischer was the featured revivalist for the annual Revival of the Spirit, sponsored by the diocesan African American Affairs Ministry. “The purpose and intent of the Revival of the Spirit is to bring together people from all over the diocese for a ‘revival experience’ strongly rooted in the heritage and culture of the black church,” said Sandy Murdock, African American Affairs Ministry director. “It is a spirit-filled time to renew one’s faith and awaken one’s mind and soul to the awesome glory of the love of Jesus Christ,” she said. “It is filled with preaching, singing, rejoicing, ecumenism, unity in spirit and witnessing many of our blessings.” This year’s event was a “roaming revival” held at three different locations Aug. 21-24 — two nights at St. Mary Church in Greensboro, one night at St. Helen Mission in Spencer Mountain and two Sunday Masses at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte. As the revival has been traditionally held in Charlotte, this year’s roaming revival was to allow more people to

attend from around the Diocese of Charlotte. “We reached folk who were not Catholic, but had an interest in being a part of a Catholic revival,” said Angella Brown, African American Affairs Ministry board member and parishioner of St. Benedict the Moor Church in Winston-Salem. “This year we were able to reach more people in our diocese than ever before. There was more participation from those with physical disabilities, limited transportation and those outside of the Catholic Church,” said Catherine Gomez, board member and parishioner of Our Lady of Consolation Church. Following in faith Father Fischer, sacramental minister at St. Peter Claver Church in Lexington and chaplain of Lexington Catholic High School, uses storytelling, humor, song, rap and art in his preaching and evangelization workshops throughout the country. Topics of his talks during the Revival of the Spirit included the healing power of the Eucharist, the beatitudes, sowing seeds for God and discipleship. To be disciples of God, Catholics must be obedient — from the Latin “to listen,” he said — and show determination. Nature is an example of the kind of determination needed by Catholics, he said. “All of nature reminds us to be determined, because nature always does what it needs to do,” said Father Fischer during his talk at St. Helen Mission Aug. 23. “Nature and creation speaks volumes about how we are called to be who we are.” And so does God, he said. “To be fully alive is to recognize we are born in his image and likeness,” he said. “We are a gift, a child of God, whose destinies unfold every day. God is at work and speaking to us every day.” For those who might wonder if God loves them with all their faults, Father Fischer said not to worry. “Does God accept us? No matter what we experience or do, God looks at us through the eyes of his Son … he looks at us from the viewpoint of Christ on the cross,” he said. “Jesus didn’t die for angels or saints. He died for us,” said Father Fischer. “That’s how loved you are.”

Photos by Kevin E. Murray

Above: A choir sings during the Revival of the Spirit at St. Helen Church in Spencer Mountain Aug. 23. Below: Father Norman Fischer sings during his presentation at St. Helen Church.

But Catholics have choices to make in their daily lives, he said. “A lot of times, we forget how powerful we are,” said Father Fischer. “We can bring peace or violence, reach out a hand or shove someone down, bless someone or curse someone.” “God wants to live in us, but often we don’t realize it,” he said. “We’re stuck in the past … we’re stuck in the funk of dysfunction. We have to let go of the funk. We can choose to live right here, right now, or live in the past.” That is the power of choice, he said. “Every day we can choose to listen and speak to God. He wants us to know we can choose to live in the blessedness of who and what we are,” said Father Fischer. Catholics need to use their faith imaginations and spend time with Jesus, he said. “With Jesus, there is more grace, hope and opportunity,” said Father

Fischer. “We can be poor as a church mouse, but rich in the Spirit, if we take up our cross and follow Jesus.” If we follow our Lord, he will show us the right way, said Father Fischer. “We all get lost, but God wants to guide us if we listen to him,” he said. “Do we let God guide and direct us? It’s an amazing ride when God is the guide.” WANT MORE INFO? To learn more about the diocesan African American Affairs Ministry, call (704) 370-3267 or go online to WANT MORE PHOTOS? More photos of the 2008 Revival of the Spirit are available online at

September 5, 2008

10 The Catholic News & Herald

Culture Watch

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

Priest’s stories treat horrors with heartbreaking normalcy (CNS) — Father Uwem Akpan, a Nigerian Jesuit, writes of religious intolerance and ethnic conflict, and of unspeakable deprivation, with a preternatural calm — as if one who has really seen it doesn’t need to wave his arms wildly or shout about it. Father Akpan’s communities are roiling with hideous enmities, with Muslim, Christian, pagan, Tutsi and Hutu neighbors and even families pitted against one another. Yet there is no judgment in his voice. Considering the atrocities and casualties that drive the narratives of his collected short stories in “Say You’re One of Them,” this is an admirable, even remarkable feat. Bigotry, violence, hunger, betrayal and abandonment settle into his stories with a heartbreaking normalcy. Children navigate through unimaginable horrors without stopping to question why such things are happening. They are too busy dealing with reality to quarrel with their fate. Moments of powerful and startling beauty do emerge — but they are few. In “My Parents’ Bedroom,” a young girl says of her mother that “the sequins on her dress glitter in the candlelight as if her heart were on fire.”

In “What Language Is That?” there is even a sly and sweet rewriting of the rules when two young friends, separated by religious intolerance, find a way to communicate. Much of the dialogue in Father Akpan’s stories presents a challenge. In “Fattening for Gabon” and “Luxurious Hearses,” particularly, the unfamiliar language may hold a reader at bay. Unfamiliar words pour from his characters. In exchange for dialectic authenticity, readers may have to work harder than usual to keep up. There is almost an Old Testament feel to the violence of the stories. While reading, I was reminded of a quote from the writings of the Rev. William Sloane Coffin: “Almost every square inch of the earth’s surface is soaked with the tears and blood of the innocent, and it’s not God’s doing. It’s our doing. ... When they see the innocent suffering, every time they lift their eyes to heaven and say, ‘God, how could you let this happen?’ “It’s well to remember that exactly at that moment God is asking exactly the same question of us: ‘How could you let this happen?’” Father Akpan doesn’t overtly pose this question. He doesn’t have to. It is there, lurking in each page of every one of his painful stories.


Sunday Scripture Readings: SEPT. 14, 2008

Sept. 14, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Cycle A Readings: 1) Numbers 21:4b-9 Psalm 78: 1bc-2, 34-38 2) Philippians 2:6-11 Gospel: John 3:13-17

Admitting sins, faults leads to God’s grace by JEAN DENTON catholic news service

Thirty-five years ago, Sister Beth responded to her religious community’s call to go “live on the margins,” as she described it, with the Appalachian poor in southwestern Virginia. Since then, she has thrived in ministry there, gaining a reputation among the struggling people of the region as a tough social justice advocate and gentle, compassionate counselor. Although her ministry has addressed a wide range of concerns, her greatest contributions have been in treating victims of substance abuse and establishing an addiction education center. Sister Beth has a great gift for working with victims of addiction. But that gift came not through her education or training. Nor did it come through her religious vows. It came when she humbled herself,

“becoming obedient to God to the point of death,” a real experience parallel to the example in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Here’s how it happened: When she moved to Appalachia, Sister Beth had already been a nun for more than a decade, serving as a teacher and administrator in a Connecticut Catholic high school. When she arrived she was excited, inspired and committed. She also was an alcoholic. She hid the fact for the first few years, but it came out when she was arrested for DUI and tossed in jail. “That was when I got on my knees and admitted total powerlessness,” she said. Just as in the passage from Numbers where the Israelites had to face their sinfulness, this was a moment of selfrecognition for Sister Beth, a necessary one that would raise her to new life through reliance on God. “What a place I had come to. I thought I was nothing,” she remembered. “But after these many years and what I have experienced here, I’ve learned that what I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me turned out to be my greatest gift.” Today’s Gospel explains, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” Sister Beth’s experience shows how God deals with us and our poor choices if we humble ourselves, admit powerlessness and open our lives to his mercy and strength.

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE Scripture for the week of Sept. 7-13 Sunday (Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time), Ezekiel 33:7-9, Romans 13:8-10, Matthew 18:15-20; Monday (The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), Romans 8:28-30, Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23; Tuesday (St. Peter Claver), 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, Luke 6:12-19; Wednesday, 1 Corinthians 7:25-31, Luke 6:20-26; Thursday, 1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13, Luke 6:27-38; Friday (Most Holy Name of Mary), 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-27, Luke 6:39-42; Saturday (St. John Chrysostom), 1 Corinthians 10:14-22, Luke 6:43-49. Scripture for the week of Sept. 14-20 Sunday (The Exaltation of the Holy Cross), Numbers 21:4-9, Philippians 2:6-11, John 3:13-17; Monday (Our Lady of Sorrows), 1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33, John 19:25-27;Tuesday (Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian), 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31, Luke 7:11-17; Wednesday (St. Robert Bellarmine), 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13, Luke 7:31-35; Thursday, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Luke 7:36-50; Friday (St. Januarius), 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, Luke 8:1-3; Saturday (St. Andrew Kim Taegon, St. Paul Chong Hasang and Companions), 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49, Luke 8:4-15.

The Catholic News & Herald 11

September 5, 2008

Italian priest scraps plan for online beauty pageant for nuns Contest called off due to criticism from church leaders, confusion about intentions by JOHN THAVIS catholic news service

ROME — An Italian priest has scrapped his plan to stage an online beauty pageant for nuns after the idea drew criticism from church leaders. Passionist Father Antonio Rungi canceled the Miss Sister Italy contest and closed his blog Aug. 26 after superiors of his order intervened, informed sources said. Father Rungi said he was calling off the pageant because it had caused widespread confusion. He said some media had deliberately misrepresented his initiative. A few days earlier, the priest had announced on his blog that he would host an online contest to determine “the most beautiful sister in Italy.” He made it clear that this pageant would be highlighting nuns who were “beautiful in spirit,” by publicizing their lives and work. But he said it would also serve to let people know that many of today’s sisters were physically beautiful. In contrast to stereotypes, he said, modern nuns are not unattractive and sad

women who have been “disappointed by life and unfulfilled in marriage.” He invited applicants between the ages of 18 and 40 to send photos that could demonstrate their beauty “on an aesthetic and spiritual level.” The winner of the contest, he said, would be chosen by visitors to his Web site. As publicity about the contest grew, Father Rungi was forced to explain, among other things, that the sisters would not be parading in bathing suits and that the pageant was not a parallel to the Miss Italy contest, which was being staged at the same time. Among those criticizing the idea was Alberto Giannino, president of an Italian association of Catholic teachers, who said the pageant belittled the real mission of sisters and held the church up to ridicule. Father Rungi said he was shutting down the contest and his blog in order to protect himself and the sisters from further misunderstanding. He said it was a shame that he had to cancel the pageant, because he had already received a great number of applicants.

12 The Catholic News & Herald

around the diocese

Archival Anecdota For the month of September, here are some historical facts about Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury.

Archive Photo

Pictured is the original Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury, which was dedicated in November 1882. Significant Dates • 1838: Richard and Eliza Roueche arrived at Mansion House Hotel in Salisbury, where they resided for two years. Richard Roueche was the only Catholic in Salisbury at the time, although his wife would later convert. The same year, Father T.J. Cronin celebrated Mass at the hotel while visiting the Roueches. This was the first time Mass was celebrated in Salisbury. • July 5, 1846: Frances Christine Fisher was born in Salisbury. She converted to Catholicism, became a well-known author and was a benefactor of the church in Salisbury. She was the principal donor for the construction of the first Sacred Heart Church, and donated the lot on which it stood. • Nov. 19, 1882: Bishop Henry Northrop, vicar apostolic of North Carolina, dedicated Sacred Heart Church. • 1892: Sacred Heart Church received its first resident pastor, Benedictine Father Joseph Mueller. • 1910: Sacred Heart Convent is built for the Sisters of Mercy and they take over operation of Sacred Heart School. (A Catholic school for children in Salisbury periodically existed from the 1880s.) • June 11, 1933: In Sacred Heart Church, Bishop William Hafey ordained John Roeuche, Richard and Eliza Roueche’s grandson. This was the first ordination in Salisbury, and Father (later-Msgr.) Roueche was the first Salisbury native to be ordained.

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• Nov. 3, 1940: Bishop Eugene McGuinness dedicated the current Sacred Heart Church. • 1965: A new Sacred Heart School was constructed and opened. • Sept. 1, 2007: Bishop Peter J. Jugis blessed the parish cemetery. • June 29, 2008: Bishop Jugis blessed the groundbreaking for the future Sacred Heart Church.

Historic Facts • Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury is the eighth oldest church in the diocese. • In 1941, Father Cletus Helfrich became the first diocesan priest of Raleigh to serve Sacred Heart Church. He remained pastor of the parish for 29 years. • Our Lady of Victories Mission was established in Salisbury to serve African-American Catholics in 1942. It merged with Sacred Heart Church in December 1969. • When the second Sacred Heart Chuch was under construction in 1940, a donation of $5,000 was accepted under the condition that the name of the church be changed. However, influenced by urgent pleas from the parishioners, the bishop kept the church under the patronage of the Sacred Heart and used the money elsewhere. Had the name change occurred, Catholics in Salisbury would now attend St. Madeline Sophie Church.

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September 5, 2008

Attention Readers! Have a Story to Share? The Catholic News & Herald is back on its regular, weekly publishing schedule. If you have a local story to share; know of people who are living the tenets of their faith; or have photos of a parish- or ministry-based event, please share them with us. Contact Staff Writer Katie Moore at (704) 370-3354 or

September 5, 2008


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Day of discernment

Clergy camaraderie

Courtesy Photo

Priests and seminarians of the Diocese of Charlotte gather at Bishop Peter J. Jugis’ residence in Charlotte for the annual priest and seminarian cookout Aug. 4. The event began in 2005, when the diocesan Presbyteral Council suggested a get-together to allow priests and seminarians to get to know each other. The men enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers cooked by Knights of Columbus from St. Mark Church in Huntersville.

Courtesy Photo

Father John Putnam, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury, chats with young men during the Diocese of Charlotte’s annual vocations day of discernment, held at St. Michael Church in Gastonia Aug. 6. Nearly 40 college, high school and middle school students gathered with Bishop Peter J. Jugis, Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin and 10 priests and 14 seminarians of the diocese for the event, which provided a chance for the students to discern what God is asking of their lives and to explore their possible callings to the priesthood. The day included Mass, prayer, eucharistic adoration, sports and a panel discussion with priests and seminarians about life in the priesthood and seminary. WANT MORE INFO? For more information about vocations to the priesthood, contact Father Christopher Gober, diocesan vocations director, at (704) 370-3353.

September 5, 2008

14 The Catholic News & Herald


A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

Not so pro-choice when it deals with freedom of conscience Being forced to do something against conscience is anti-choice A review of one recent week’s news found these headlines: “Catholic Bishops Support Choice.” “Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Oppose Choice.” Wait a minute! Are we still in the United States? Have we slept through a long Rip Van Winkle out-of-touch experience? Neither. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke in favor of proposed federal regulations that would protect the choice of health care workers not to participate in abortion and sterilization procedures. Planned Parenthood and NARAL denounced those same proposals, saying there should be no choice to opt out of such procedures. The 42-page rule would enforce conscience protections in three separate federal laws, the earliest of which dates to the 1970s. “These regulations are implementing long-standing laws on the books,” said Deirdre McQuade, an assistant director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of Pro-Life Activities. “They’re not expanding those laws, they’re not changing them, they’re not introducing new material except to raise awareness about their existence.” The proposed rules, which apply to institutions receiving government money, would require as many as 584,000 employers ranging from major hospitals to doctors’ offices and nursing homes to certify that they are complying with several existing federal laws that protect the conscience rights of health care workers. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said that health care professionals should not face retaliation from employers or from medical organizations because they object to abortion. “Freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree,” said Leavitt. “This nation was built on a foundation of free speech. The first principle of free speech is protected conscience.” Groups that support keeping abortion legal were quick to raise the specter of conscience protection decreasing the quality of health care. “The Bush administration’s proposed regulation poses a serious threat to women’s health care by limiting the

Consider This STEPHEN KENT cns columnist

rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health information and services,” said Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Women’s ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology,” she said. Let’s accept as fact that the rights of patients would be limited. The result would be no more than inconvenience as the patient sought another physician whose views are in concert with hers. But inconvenience resulting from limiting a right is a lesser evil than denial of a right of conscience. It seems fairly clear that being forced to do something against conscience is a serious breach of freedom. “Freedom of expression and action should not be surrendered upon the issuance of a health care degree,” Leavitt continued. “Nothing in the new regulation in any way changes the patient’s right to any legal procedure.” Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called it “an attack on women’s reproductive freedom.” Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood President and CEO Patricia McGeown said, “This administration believes that a woman’s access to health services should be limited by anyone’s and everyone’s religious or moral beliefs. It’s appalling how little regard the administration has for a woman’s conscience and moral conviction.” What’s more appalling are health care professionals being forced to act against their consciences. “Resisting these very basic commonsense-affirming regulations just shows how extreme the pro-abortion lobby has become,” said McQuade. “You’d think if they are pro-choice they are also prochoice in the choice of a doctor or nurse to be involved.”

Finding your vocation If God gives you a specialty, he means for you to use it Michael Phelps was born to swim. With long arms, powerful legs and giant feet, God made him to swim. It is a joy to watch him. It is his vocation. If he did not swim, he would not be happy. He would not be using his gifts. But even Michael Phelps had to respond to God’s call. It did not just happen. It was work. On the surface, Phelps has every excuse for failure. He has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a learning disability. He was a fidgety kid who could not concentrate. His mother was a single parent, trying to raise three children with little money or help. People would have understood if Michael had just drifted, but he didn’t. With the help of his mother, his coaches, his teachers, Phelps discovered his calling. He found out that his fidgety energy and gangly limbs and big feet were made for the pool. So he swam. God made him to be the greatest swimmer ever, and his swimming gives glory to God. I just love to see people find their callings. Be it humble or famous, it is their path to happiness because it is their call. People often come to me because they are searching for their call. Mostly they are young. Sometimes they are not. Sometimes they are completely lost. Most often they are just drifting. They are not doing badly, but not really doing anything. But God has a call for them. I tell them to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit in the ordinary circumstances of life. I suggest that they ask themselves some simple questions. First, what gifts and endowments did God give me? Did he give me big feet or a musical ear or the gift of words? Do I have a talent for relating to people? If God gives you something, he means for you to use it. If, like Michael Phelps, you have long arms and size 14 feet, maybe God wants you to praise him by swimming. If, like Stephen Hawking, God gives you a brilliant mind trapped in a paralyzed body, maybe God wants you to praise him by becoming

Parish Diary FATHER PETER DALY cns columnist

a physics professor. Second, what responsibilities do I have? If you are a parent or spouse, you have responsibilities to your family. If you are single, you have responsibilities to society. None of us is entirely free. We decide within a context. Third, where have I been planted? I think we are meant to bloom where we are. There is an old saying that sums it up well: “Do all you can, “With what you have, “In the time you have, “In the place you are.” No one is useless. No life is unwanted. Look at Lopez Lomong, the Olympic track star who carried the USA flag into the stadium in Beijing. He was one of the “lost boys of the Sudan.” He was a war refugee without home or family. But he was not “lost” to God. With the help of the church, Lomong came to America. He discovered that God made him to run. So he ran as a member of the U.S. Olympic team and became its flag bearer. He gave hope to all the “lost boys” in the world. Everyone, at every age, has a use to God. Young or old, sick or healthy, we each have a vocation. Our call may change as we grow older. Even Michael Phelps will have to move from swimming one day. But if we devote our lives to God’s call at each stage, we will find our happiness. St. Augustine said, “In his will is our peace.” If God made you to swim, swim like Michael Phelps.

Write a Letter to the Editor The Catholic News & Herald welcomes letters from readers. We ask that letters be originals of 250 words or fewer, pertain to recent newspaper content or Catholic issues, and be in good taste. To be considered for publication, each letter must include the name, address and daytime phone number of the writer for purpose of verification. Letters may be condensed due to space limitations and edited for clarity, style and factual accuracy. The Catholic News & Herald does not publish poetry, form letter or petitions. Items submitted to The Catholic News & Herald become the property of the newspaper and are subject to reuse, in whole or in part, in print, electronic formats and archives. Send letters to Letters to the Editor, The Catholic News & Herald, P.O. Box 37267, Charlotte, N.C. 28237, or e-mail

September 5, 2008

The Catholic News & Herald 15

Proud to be Catholic Despite media criticism, good work of church is quite astonishing The word “secular” means “not bound by religious restrictions.” In the world of the secular media, there is a constant effort to put down the Catholic Church for carrying forward the values that Christ preached, namely, the sacred character of the human person at every level of life and the sacred character of marriage and the family. The secular world insists that there are no unbreakable principles, no moral absolutes. Every violation of God’s will can be rationalized, explained away, justified. This attitude has been described time and again by Pope Benedict XVI as “relativism,” which is a fancy word for “everything goes.” Jesus said, “I have come to do the will of the Father,” and to that end he surrendered in a spirit of truth and humility: “Not my will but thine be done.” Life is a test. The reward is heaven. The stakes are high. Why do so many newspapers belittle and exploit the church for its human weaknesses? They believe that we hold others to the highest standard, but fail to be perfect ourselves. They enjoy putting down the church whenever the opportunity presents itself because they see us

as hypocrites. But the truth is that the church defined itself as the sinful people of God. The good that we do in spite of the wounded souls among us, however, is quite astonishing. Did you know that the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students every day at a savings of $18 billion for American taxpayers? Our graduates go on to college and graduate studies at the rate of 92 percent. The church has 230 colleges and universities in the United States with an enrollment of 700,000 students. It also has a nonprofit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people, not just Catholics, in the United States today. And yet the press continually focuses on the negative, denigrating the Catholic Church whenever it can. United with other religious bodies, the church is a moral force that stands against the immorality that is so widespread in the world today. Premarital sex is an epidemic, unwanted pregnancies and abortions abound, the divorce rate is over 50 percent, and broken homes and broken dreams flood society. The church stands against this tide

The price of life

Physician-assisted suicide devalues lives of suffering people Imagine if your state of residence put a price tag on your life. Though it sounds like something out of “The Twilight Zone,” that’s exactly what happened to Randy Stroup and Barbara Wagner, both cancer patients residing in Oregon, home of the nation’s only taxpayer-funded, doctor-assisted suicide option for the terminally ill. Uninsured and battling prostate cancer, Stroup applied to his statesponsored health insurance plan to fund his chemotherapy. He was shocked to receive a letter saying they would not cover his chemotherapy drug, but would cover the cost of physician-assisted suicide. “It dropped my chin to the floor,” said Stroup. “[How could they] not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?” The same offer to cover assisted suicide instead of treatment was made to Wagner, who is battling lung cancer. Their stories compel us to consider the effects of legislation like this, where it may lead us and how we should react. Physician-assisted suicide laws contribute to the overall devaluing of human life. Rather than recognizing the inestimable worth of every individual,

they promote the erroneous idea that life is a commodity up for cost analysis by the state. These laws perpetuate the idea that instead of protecting our citizens’ right to life, government should encourage and facilitate the eradication of those people deemed a financial burden to society. These stories reveal a zero sum mentality of rationing resources, instead of an attitude of abundance and generosity for our suffering brothers and sisters. With the exception of Oregon, all other attempts to legalize assisted suicide in states have failed, but efforts continue and may eventually succeed. Washington state voters will likely face such a ballot initiative this fall. If other states follow Oregon’s example, the “slippery slope” may expand our notion of who is falsely considered a burden to society. The Swiss group Exit International recently agreed on a resolution to vote in 2009 on expanding its criteria for assisted suicides from “terminally ill” to include those “being tired of old-age.” As bioethicist Wesley J. Smith has observed: “Once one accepts the premise that suicide is an acceptable answer to the problems of human suffering and ennui, there are no

Spirituality for Today FATHER JOHN CATOIR cns columnist

of failure, upholding marriage and the family at every turn. A small number of wayward priests who have been weeded out systematically have poisoned the image of the church and given cause for great scandal. Bleeding from these self-inflicted wounds, the church is in agony but not without hope or determination to right the wrongs of the past. More people attend Catholic Mass every Sunday to receive solace, comfort from their faith than all those who attend baseball, football, basketball, tennis and racing events for an entire year. Catholics are nourished by the Eucharist and love their church in spite of the outside climate of hostility. Jesus predicted that the secular world would hate the church, just as it hated him. So remember: The servant is not greater than the master. Walk tall with your head high. Be a proud member of the most important nongovernmental organization in America. Speak up for your faith with pride and reverence. Be proud that you are a Catholic.

Life Issues Forum MARY J. McCLUSKY guest columnist

boundaries that will hold for long.” In 2001, for example, soon after the Netherlands legalized euthanasia, the Dutch Minister of Health suggested suicide pills for elderly persons who are tired of living. We must resist the spread of legalizing assisted suicide. Stroup fought back and won coverage for his chemotherapy, and a pharmaceutical company will donate Wagner’s needed drugs, so we can see that there is hope in the fight. Learn what the Catholic Church teaches on end of life issues. Pray for increased respect for all human life. Stay alert for legislative efforts in your own state that threaten those who are elderly, sick or dying. We all are obligated to continue to spread the gospel of life and to teach that every life, regardless of age or condition of dependency, is a priceless gift. McClusky is special projects coordinator at the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

Like St. Paul, Christians must encounter Christ, pope says The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While St. Paul had a dramatic personal experience of the risen Christ and received a mission directly from him, he still had to be baptized and become part of the church community, Pope Benedict XVI said. “There is only one proclamation of the risen Lord because Christ is only one,” the pope said Sept. 3 at his weekly general audience. Returning from his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo just for the duration of the audience, the pope continued his series of audience talks about St. Paul as part of the year dedicated to the 2,000th anniversary of the apostle’s birth. “The Acts of the Apostles and the letters of St. Paul both say the risen Lord spoke to him, called him to the apostolate, made him a true apostle — a witness of the resurrection — with a specific mission to proclaim the Gospel to the pagans,” Pope Benedict said. But St. Paul still “had to enter into the communion of the church, he had to be baptized, he had to live in communion with the other apostles,” he said. Here is the text of the pope’s remarks in English. Today’s catechesis focuses on St. Paul’s conversion. In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke recounts for us the dramatic episode on the road to Damascus, which transformed Paul from a fierce persecutor of the church into a zealous evangelizer. In his own letters, Paul describes his experience not so much in terms of a conversion, but as a call to apostleship and a commission to preach the Gospel. In the first instance, this was an encounter not with concepts or ideas but with the person of Jesus himself. In fact, Paul met not only the historical Jesus of the past, but the living Christ who revealed himself as the one Savior and Lord. Similarly, the ultimate source of our own conversion lies neither in esoteric philosophical theories nor abstract moral codes, but in Christ and his Gospel. He alone defines our identity as Christians, since in him we discover the ultimate meaning of our lives. Paul, because Christ had made him his own (cf. Phil 3:12), could not help but preach the Good News he had received (cf. 1 Cor 9:16). So it is with us. Transfixed by the greatness of our Savior, we — like St. Paul — cannot help but speak of him to others. May we always do so with joyful conviction.

September 5, 2008


The Catholic News & Herald 16

Sept. 5, 2008  

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