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October 16, 2009

The Catholic News & Herald 

www.charlottediocese.org

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Perspectives What it means to be completely pro-life; The man who fed the world

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI october 16, 2009

Faith in the line of duty

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

An ambassador’s plea

Seven questions for Charlotte’s chief of police by

HEATHER BELLEMORE interim editor

CHARLOTTE — Willy Gaa, Philippine Ambassador to the United States, flew into Charlotte Oct. 11 and met with area Catholics to galvanize aid efforts for disaster survivors in the Philippines. Ambassador Gaa and his wife Erlinda Concepcion met with more than 20 leaders and officers of the Filipino American Community of the Carolinas in a Sunday breakfast meeting at the University Hilton Hotel. Ambassador Gaa also

staff writer

See CHIEF, page 6

no. 43

Charlotte Catholics act immediately for disaster relief by

KATIE MOORE

CHARLOTTE — Maintaining a balance between faith and work can sometimes be a challenge. But for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, who leads the largest municipal police department in the state of North Carolina, faith is the key to balancing out the pressures of work. Monroe, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the law enforcement profession, was appointed police chief of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department June 16, 2008. He is a Catholic convert and a parishioner at Our Lady of Consolation Church in

vOLUME 18

See AMBASSADOR, page 5

Photo by Cris Villapando

Willy Gaa (center), Philippine ambassador to the United States, sits next to his wife, Erlinda (left) at a breakfast meeting Oct. 11. Gaa addressed more than twenty leaders of the Filipino Community of the Carolinas regarding the urgent need for disaster assistance.

photo by Joanita

Nellenbach

Jean Vizgirda of St. Barnabas Church in Arden, and Gregory Savold and Diane Salkewicz of Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville (all shown left to right), renewed their Aug. 22 vows as secular Franciscans at Immaculate Conception Church Oct. 3. Standing with them is the fraternity’s formation director, secular Franciscan Patricia Cowan of Sacred Heart Church in Brevard.

HENDERSONVILLE — Franciscans throughout the world observed the Transitus, St. Francis’ passing from the end of his life in this world to the beginning of his life in paradise, at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville Oct. 3. This nearly 800-year-old

HEATHER BELLEMORE interim editor

tradition also marks individual new beginnings, as Capuchin Franciscan Father John Salvas told the Transitus gathering. “Sisters and brothers in Christ,” said Father Salvas, “it is customary for us on this most holy night to renew our commitment to the Lord.” He continued, “We pray that like Francis, in being faithful to the poor and humble

CHARLOTTE — In the bustling Campus Union building of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, students did a double take when they saw the tiny size of unborn model babies. The group of college students also saw signs stating “I regret my abortion,” heard personal testimonies of the consequences of abortion, and thumbed through brochures documenting resources available for pregnant and post-abortive women.

See FRANCISCANS, page 7

See SILENCE, page 9

Secular Franciscans renew vows correspondent

Group speaks on abortion from personal experience by

In a saint’s footsteps by JOANITA NELLENBACH

Breaking the silence

Culture Watch

Around the diocese

Month of the rosary

Hawaiians offer pope painting of St. Damien; Vatican Museums’ astronomy exhibit

Greetings from Granada; Sowers of seed; Korean catechists

Celebrations from around the diocese; “Living Rosary”

| Pages 10-11

| Page 4

| Page 8


October 16, 2009

 The Catholic News & Herald

InBrief

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

USCCB congratulates Obama on Nobel Peace Prize Says U.S. president ‘changed the international conversation’ WASHINGTON (CNS) — Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize Oct. 9. “As he has graciously said, much of the work of realizing a more peaceful and just world for all persons and nations remains to be done; but the prize was given because, as president of the United States, he has already changed the international conversation,” Cardinal George said in a statement released by the USCCB Oct. 12. “The rich diversity of United States society is now more surely anchored in a national unity that is better able to foster the peace we all are challenged to pursue. Our prayer is that almighty God

cns photo by Paul

Haring

Miguel Diaz, the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, accompanied by his wife Marian, right, arrives for the canonization Mass of five new saints in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 11. Diaz led the delegation appointed by Obama to represent the United States at the canonization as part of his duties to build bridges between the U.S. administration and the Holy See.

Diocesan planner

‘Obama-era’ and the Vatican

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

Ambassador Diaz seeks common ground ROME (CNS) — The new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Miguel Diaz, said he is convinced there is wide potential for cooperation between the Vatican and the administration of President Barack Obama, particularly in areas of intercultural and interreligious dialogue. To kick things off, the U.S. embassy to the Holy See and Caritas Internationalis co-sponsored an international conference in Rome on pediatric HIV/AIDS in mid-October. Diaz said he has already begun exploring additional collaborative possibilities with other Vatican agencies. “As ambassador, I know there are areas where the Holy See and the United States are not in complete agreement. But I seek to be a bridge-builder, and to underscore that we can work together in multiple areas,” Diaz said in an interview with Catholic News Service Oct. 7. The ambassador said he was heartened when the pope, in a welcoming speech, expressed his confidence that U.S.-Vatican relations would continue to be marked by cooperation in promoting human rights and human dignity. The Oct. 14-16 conference on pediatric HIV/AIDS featured key Vatican participants as well as medical experts and church workers in the field. “I think this is precisely an example that shows that, while there may not be total agreement on all points regarding a specific issue, there are possibilities for people of good will to come together for the sake of, in this case, children,” Diaz said. In his speech to the new ambassador, Pope Benedict underlined the church’s

will bless the president and his family,” he added. In remarks at the White House the day the prize was announced, Obama said he was “surprised and deeply humbled” by the honor. “Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” he said. The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the U.S. president was chosen “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” it said Oct. 9.

teaching on respect for life, from the moment of conception to natural death — a teaching that has relevance in the current debate over health care reform in the United States. Diaz, a Catholic theologian, said the health care debate touched on very important issues. But he cautioned against assuming that he would be entering into that debate on a diplomatic level, or acting as a spokesperson for the church’s positions. “There are a number of domestic issues that are very important, but I think my role as U.S. ambassador is to represent the United States on the level of policy,” Diaz said. “When differences emerge relative to those policies, then it is my role to engage in the kind of bridge-building that is necessary in diplomacy.” Diaz said that as ambassador he naturally would give primary attention to what the Vatican’s senior diplomats, like Cardinal Bertone, have to say about policy questions. But he said he would not ignore the voices of other Vatican officials, a few of whom have been sharply critical of the Obama administration. “I think it’s important that we listen to those perspectives,” he said. Asked what has impressed him most during his short time in Rome and at the Vatican, Diaz said he has been touched most by the hospitality he has been shown at every turn. “I guess I’ve really experienced the ‘catholicity,’ to use a theological term, and the good will of the people I’ve encountered,” he said.

CHARLOTTE VICARIATE CHARLOTTE — An Ignatian Retreat for Women will be offered at St. Peter Church, 507 S. Tryon St., Oct. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Biss Hall. The theme for the retreat is “Choices.” Consider setting aside some time for personal reflection, prayer and silence. The retreat will conclude with Mass. Parking is free in The Green parking garage next to the church. To register, call the church office at (704) 332-2901 or e-mail www. retreat4women@gmail.com. CHARLOTTE — “Guiding Youth Toward Making Healthy Choices,” a presentation by Susie Vanderlip and the Legacy of Hope will take place at St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Oct. 21 and 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Vanderlip, a national speaker and writer on prevention, youth and family issues, will convey a message of resiliency and hope in the midst of life’s ups and downs. The Tuesday night program will focus on the high school age range and the Wednesday session is geared toward middle school. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the church office at (704) 543-7677. CHARLOTTE — Join Fr. Patrick Hoare for Encyclical Tuesdays in November from 7-9 p.m. in the education wing at St. John Neumann Church, 8451 Idlewild Rd., as he explores Pope

Benedict’s third encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate.” This encyclical calls us to see the relationship between human and environmental ecologies while linking charity and truth to the pursuit of justice, the common good and authentic human development. Materials will be provided for this series of workshops. To reserve a space, call (704) 535-4197. CHARLOTTE — The 2009 Blanket Banquet will be held on the front steps of St. Peter Church, 507 S. Tryon St., Oct. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. Catholics from various Charlotte area parishes are invited to help keep the homeless warm this winter by contributing extra blankets, sleeping bags, gently used coats and backpacks as well as new undergarments and socks for both men and women. All are invited to come to the fellowship reception to distribute the items and share refreshments with brothers and sisters in need. For more information, call Linda Flynn at (704) 366-9889. CHARLOTTE — A solemn prayer service including a blessing with the relic of St. Peregrine for those suffering from cancer or other incurable diseases will take place at St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. St. Peregrine has been called the “wonder worker” for his intercession on behalf of those living with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. He is the patron saint of all who are afflicted by cancer, leg ailments, or any incurable diseases, as well as the patron saint of youth at risk. A healing prayer service is offered on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. For more information, call the church office at (704) 543-7677. CHARLOTTE — Catholic evangelist Steve Ray will visit St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 1400 Suther Rd., for three inspiring presentations Oct. 30-31. The first session, “Steve’s Conversion Story,” will take place Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.; the second session, “The Life of St. Paul,” will be held Oct. 31 at 10 a.m.; and the final session, “The Mystery of the Eucharist,” will be held Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m. Admission for all three sessions is free. For more information, call the parish office at (704) 549-1607.

october 16, 2009 Volume 18 • Number 43

Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Interim Editor: Heather Bellemore 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: catholicnews@charlottediocese.org

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October 16, 2009

The Catholic News & Herald 

FROM THE VATICAN

Bishops call on Catholics to be main agents of change in Africa VAT I C A N C I T Y ( C N S ) — African Catholics must become the main forces to ending the continent’s wars, promoting reconciliation, fighting corruption, safeguarding the family and protecting Africa’s natural resources, said members of the special Synod of Bishops for Africa. In the first week of the Oct. 4-25 synod, members of the assembly listened to almost 200 speeches on ways the church can be a force for reconciliation, justice and peace on the continent. The need to overcome lingering ethnic tensions was a predominant theme of the assembly, followed by concern for the family, the importance of protecting the environment, a recognition of the dignity and contributions of women, and the need for dialogue with the continent’s Muslim communities. Bishops denounced the exploitation of tribal differences by politicians and

by multinational corporations seeking control of minerals and oil. But many bishops also urged an examination of conscience by Catholics, saying they have not always acted like members of one family. Another major theme in synod speeches was the importance of the family in African culture. Bishops warned that families are threatened by wars, disease and ideas about divorce, abortion, sexuality and homosexuality i m p o r t e d b y We s t e r n m e d i a o r promoted by Western organizations promising aid in exchange for a forum for spreading their views on family life and sexuality. Archbishop Marcel Madila Basanguka of Kananga, Congo, told the synod that the traditional family is Africa’s main force for peace and reconciliation but it is under almost constant attack.

HUNTERSVILLE — A Health Fair will take place at St Mark Church, 14740 Stumptown Rd., Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Approximately 20 organizations will be present giving information of the services and resources they have available for the community. There will be free cholesterol screening, glucose screening, blood Pressure / BMI (Body Mass Index). Free teeth screening for children. Presentations on various health topics will be offered in English and Spanish. For more information, call the church office at (704) 948-0231.

know has been away from the Catholic Church but might want to come back, HOSEA is a small group setting where one can ask questions, get answers and find out what is new since they have been away. For information, call Jan Hitch at (336) 884-5097.

GASTONIA VICARIATE GASTONIA — St. Michael the Archangel Church, 708 St. Michael’s Lane, will host Father Scott Daniels from Priests for Life Oct. 24-25. Father Daniels will be the celebrant and homilist for the 5 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 and 10 a.m. Sunday Masses. He will also speak between the two Sunday Masses (8:45 to 9:45 a.m.) in the Parish Center. A pot luck lunch followed by a talk to the youth and adults concerning chastity and modesty will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Parishioners are also invited to join Father Daniels for prayer outside the abortion facility at 3220 Latrobe Dr., Charlotte, Oct. 24. We will meet at the church at 8 a.m. and return at 1 p.m. For information, contact Deacon Art or Rosemary Kingsley at (828) 713-4341. GREENSBORO VICARIATE GREENSBORO — A public rosary crusade to honor Our Lady of Fatima and pray for our nation will take place every Saturday in October at the corner of Hwy. 68 and Skeet Club Rd. at 11:45 a.m. St. Louis de Montfort said “Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down his mercy, and holy mother church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering.” Parking is available in the Big Lots parking lot. For more information, contact Ann Keefe at (336) 434 -4174. HIGH POINT — A fall session of HOSEA (Hope of Seeing Everyone Again) will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 4145 Johnson St., Wednesdays from 7:15 to 9 p.m. beginning Oct. 21 and running for six weeks. If you or someone you

Episcopal

calendar

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg, South Africa, said that Africa’s traditional cultural values “are threatened by the new global ethic which aggressively seeks to persuade African governments and communities to accept new and different meanings of the concepts of family, marriage and human sexuality.” On a cultural level, “Africa faces a second wave of colonization, both subtle and ruthless at the same time,” he said. A Tanzanian prelate also asked the bishops to reconsider their often too accepting approach to blessing the marriages of couples who do not belong to the same church. Bishop Almachius Rweyongeza of Kayanga said that too often the result is family tensions over the religious education of children or the total neglect of religious education in order to keep peace in the family. “Mixed marriages can easily be like building faith on sand, whereby it

will be hard to produce fruits of love, reconciliation, justice and peace,” the bishop said. As in other parts of the world, the majority of parish members and active participants in Africa are women and their rights and needs also were repeated topics of concern at the synod. Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu of Lusaka, Zambia, told the synod that “the dignity of women, their giftedness to humanity (and) their potential massively huge contribution to the church” are not recognized, utilized or “sufficiently celebrated.” Several North African bishops urged the synod to replace fear of the Muslim community with real efforts to understand and learn from Islam and to collaborate with Muslim leaders to promote development and peace on the continent. “We all know that fear is a bad counselor,” Bishop Maroun Lahham of Tunis, Tunisia, told the synod.

A celebration of saints

GREENSBORO — Laure Hoffman from LifeSteward Ministries will speak on the topic, “What’s Going On Outside the Church with Abstinence, Abortion & Crisis Pregnancy,” at the Oct. 25th session of Coffee Talk at St. Pius X Church, 2210 North Elm St., at 10:15 a.m. For more information, call the church office at (336) 272-4681. SMOKY MOUNTAIN VICARIATE MURPHY — A weekend of healing for divorced Catholics sponsored by St. William Church and Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission will be held Oct. 30-31. The Friday session will take place at St. William Church, 765 Andrews Rd., at 5:45 p.m. and the Saturday session will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission, US Hwy. 64 W., Hayesville, at 12 p.m. The program, facilitated by Dave Tilly, will deal with common misconceptions regarding marriage issues and the Catholic Church. For more information, call (828) 837-2000. WINSTON-SALEM VICARIATE WINSTON-SALEM — St. Leo the Great Church, 335 Springdale Ave., will be holding a free seminar on “How to Find the Hidden Job Market” Oct. 27. There is no charge for the seminar and dinner is included. This outreach effort is designed to meet the needs of the unemployed/under-employed throughout the Diocese of Charlotte. For more information, contact the church office at (336) 724-0561. 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 catholicnews@charlottediocese. org or fax to (704) 370-3382.

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

Oct. 19 (6 p.m.) Red Mass St. Patrick Cathedral, Charlotte

Oct. 22 (7 p.m.) Room at the Inn banquet Charlotte Convention Center

Oct. 21 (6:30 p.m.) MACS Circle of Celebration Cedarwood Country Club, Charlotte

Oct. 24 (10 a.m.) Sacrament of confirmation St. James Church, Concord

cns photo by Paul

Haring

Tapestries depicting new saints are displayed on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica as Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus prayer following a canonization ceremony at the Vatican Oct. 11. Depicted in the tapestries are St. Zygmunt Felinski and St. Damien de Veuster.

Pope canonizes five models of Christian love VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Calling them “shining examples” of Christian love, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed five new saints, including Father Damien de Veuster, the 19th-century Belgian missionary who ministered to people with leprosy in Hawaii before dying of the disease. At a Mass Oct. 11 overflowing with pilgrims from around the world, the pope also canonized Sister Jeanne Jugan, a French nun whose Little Sisters of the Poor continue to assist the

elderly in the United States and more than 30 other countries. The pope pronounced a solemn decree of canonization and proclaimed them models of holiness for the whole church. The other new saints included a Pole and two Spaniards: St. Zygmunt Felinski, intercessor for all who are persecuted; St. Francisco Coll Guitart, famed for his evangelical preaching; and St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron, a great mystic.


 The Catholic News & Herald

Around the diocese

October 16, 2009

Greetings from Granada Father Sergio Hernandez, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Granada, Nicaragua (right) stands with students at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro Sept. 17. The two parishes have adopted a “sister� relationship and pray for each other daily. Father Hernandez thanked the students for funds they raised to pay tuition for two students in Nicaragua and the gently used clothes they collected and sent to children at the sister parish (below). He asked Our Lady of Grace School students to continue to keep his parish in their prayers and encouraged them to learn Spanish and visit Nicaragua.

photo by Gary Gelo

Sowers of seed

Korean catechists

courtesy photo

Father Jaehee Lee, pastor of St. John Lee Korean Church in Charlotte, commissioned 25 of his parishioners as catechists at the church Oct. 11. The ceremony took place after only six weeks of an intensive training program organized by area faith formation leaders and Cris Villapando, diocesan director of programs for faith formation. This is the first community in the Diocese of Charlotte to produce so many commissioned catechists in such shor t span of time. This is especially remarkable for this parish that has only 150 registered households. In order for a catechist to be commissioned, the individual has to complete six modules, which include the call to be a catechist, skills and theory, sacraments, sacred scripture, the creed, and morality. Each module lasts around two hours. As the only Catholic Church of approximately 13 Korean churches in the area, this community is well aware of its mission to evangelize and catechize.

photo by Cris Villapando

Father Carmen Malacari, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Denver, gives the keynote speech for the Sowers of Seed conference at his church Oct. 10. Standing to his left is Cuautehmoc Gonzalez, who served as translator and presenter. The Sowers of Seed conference is a collaborative catechist formation program organized by the Central Region Leadership Team in the Diocese of Charlotte. The team made several presentations in both English and Spanish to more than 60 participants about the six modules (classes) required to be commissioned as a catechist.


October 16, 2009

from the cover

The Catholic News & Herald 

Charlotte Catholics respond to Philippine ambassador AMBASSADOR, from page 1

addressed the 350 participants of the Filipino American Community of the Carolinas during a gala Oct. 11 to describe the dire situation on the ground and the need for help. The speeches were intended to stir up support for community efforts to assist flood and landslide victims through social outreach groups, church groups and private donors. The majority of the people who met with Ambassador Gaa were Catholics known for their service work, like Wally Penilla, who coordinates members of St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte to serve the homeless shelter of uptown Charlotte. Several of those present had already initiated fundraising efforts to benefit the disaster survivors in the Philippines. Steve Mirman coordinated a raffle with the Filipino American Community of the Carolinas that raised $1,000. An informal gathering of Filipinos last week at the Asian Chamber Library raised $2,000. “One benefit of community fundraising is zero expense for administration, unlike government funding, which can only do so much,” said Cris Villapando, director of programs for faith formation in the Diocese of Charlotte. “A major distinction I see between calamity recovery in the U.S. and the Philippines is this: the U.S. has insurance companies softening the blow on victims; the majority of people in the Philippines do not have insurance and (are) totally dependent on people’s compassion,” said Villapando. Citing the recent comparison of the Typhoon Ketsana to Hurricane Katrina, Villapando pointed out that while rainfall from Katrina in New Orleans was 10 inches, Typhoon Ketsana hit Manila with 18.5 inches of rain in 24 hours.

“The majority of people in the Philippines do not have insurance and (are) totally dependent on people’s compassion.” — Cris Villapando Typhoons Ketsana and Parma struck within days of each other early this month. Ambassador Gaa said the devastation wrought by the back-to-back tyhoons displaced 750,000 people and killed more than 500. He added that the total of 4 million people directly affected by the typhoons does not count “silent” casualties that are now brought about by disease, hunger, and exposure to the elements. Ambassador Gaa’s urgent request for disaster relief to the Charlotteans is the latest challenge in a varied and distinguished diplomatic career. He served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (AEP) of the Republic of the Philippines to the People’s Republic of China from 2003 until 2006. He has served in various capacities in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Manila, and has represented the Philippines in various United Nations conferences, as well as multilateral and regional meetings, seminars and training. As a result of the plea delivered by Ambassador Gaa, the more than $4,000 raised six months ago for a Philippine home-building project is being redirected to benefit Filipino disaster victims. Golf tournaments are also being planned for disaster aid fundraising. Strategic planning meetings to be held in October include a plea to the participants of the Rosary Fiesta, an annual celebration attended by the six Charlotte-area Rosary groups, held Oct. 17.

cns photo by Erik de Castro, Reuters

Residents cross a flooded highway in Rosales, Philippines, Oct. 9. A new wave of flooding, brought on by the second tropical storm to hit the Philippines within 10 days, left thousands of people homeless and at least 18 villages underwater, Catholic Relief Services officials reported.

New flooding in Philippines Catholic Relief Services assessing needs WASHINGTON (CNS) — A new wave of flooding, brought on by the second tropical storm to hit the Philippines within 10 days, has left thousands of people homeless and at least 18 villages underwater, Catholic Relief Services officials reported. Flooding in the provinces of Pangasinan and Benguet, about 120 miles from the capital Manila, began Oct. 8 after one dam collapsed and officials released water to save another dam from being breached as Parma, downgraded to a tropical depression, continued its onslaught of the island nation. Pat Johns, director of emergency operations for CRS in the Philippines, told Catholic News Service by phone Oct. 9 that the region underwater was already saturated after Typhoon Ketsana swept through the country Sept. 26, dumping more than a month’s worth of rain in 12 hours.

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Johns was planning to visit the region Oct. 10 with representatives of Caritas in the Philippines to assess the extent of the flooding and determine exactly how many people were forced to flee when waters rose rapidly after the dam along the Agno River failed. CRS, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency, is part of the Caritas Internationalis charitable network. Philippine authorities said 60 percent of Pangasinan was flooded, and more than 1 million people were forced to flee to higher ground. In addition to the displaced people, government emergency management officials reported hundreds of people died in landslides caused by downpours from Parma as the storm lingered off the northeastern coast. “We’ve talked to our diocesan counterparts and it sounds like it’s pretty devastating,” Johns said. “You’ve got people who are up on their rooftops because of the flooding that has occurred. They’re just waiting for people to reach them. “This is a new area (for flooding),” he added. “This area was not an area we were too worried about until that last 24 hours.” Debbie DeVoe, regional information officer for CRS in Manila, told CNS that flooding reached the second story of buildings in the Urdaneta Diocese. In the nearby Alaminos Diocese, she was aware of at least 100 families who were forced to leave the coastal area. In the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese, DeVoe reported, at least 18 towns had water that reached the rooftops of homes. “At least 20 houses, riverside houses, were washed away by water (released) from the San Roque Dam,” she said. Since Ketsana hit the country Sept. 26, CRS and Caritas in the Philippines have aided more than 30,000 people around Manila, she said. “I think we’re already inundated by need,” she said.


 The Catholic News & Herald

Around the diocese

Seven questions for Charlotte’s chief of police

October 16, 2009

Saintly skit

Faith keeps Chief Monroe balanced, grounded CHIEF, from page 1

Charlotte. In an interview with The Catholic News & Herald he talked about his faith and the role it plays in his profession. His answers have been edited for brevity. Have you always been Catholic? I’m a convert. It has been about 15 years. My wife was Catholic. I took the CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes prior to getting married and our kids were brought up Catholic. I was Baptist. At some point (while living) in D.C., I had a priest that was one of our (police) chaplains. I just had so much admiration and respect for Father Sal. I opted to learn more about the Catholic faith through him. How does your faith contribute to your role as Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief? I think it helps to balance things. It helps me know that it is never about me. It is never based on what is in Rodney Monroe’s best interest, but more so the people that I serve — the citizens of Charlotte as well as the men and women of the organization. My faith helps keep that grounded in me. Did you always want to be a police officer? Since I was a little kid — I never wanted to be the robber, never wanted to be the bad guy. I always wanted to be the good guy, always wanted to be the cop. Since moving to Charlotte in 2008 you have found your parish home at Our Lady of Consolation Church. What do you like most about your parish community? In Richmond we belonged to a parish that was very upbeat, very diverse and had Gospel singing. It had to have Gospel singing. Our Lady of Consolation just fit that wonderfully. During one of his sermons at this year’s Revival of the Spirit, guest

courtesy photo

Members of the parish youth group of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte portray St. Vincent at sea with the ship’s crew during a skit presented in honor of the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul Sept. 27.

Courtesy photo CMPD

For Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, faith is the key to balancing out the pressures of work. He is a Catholic convert and a parishioner at Our Lady of Consolation Church in Charlotte.

revivalist Father Maurice Nutt mentioned that you were a close friend. How did the two of you become friends? I met him probably about six years ago. He has been in the law enforcement field. We just hit it off. He’s just a great person that really understands some of the workings of law enforcement and somebody that I can relate to quite easily.

Events began with a procession of a statue of the saint through the church by Knights of Columbus. Later that evening, a small crowd of parishioners gathered in the Msgr. Pharr Activity Center for a pot luck supper followed by a showing of the award-winning movie “Monsieur Vincent.” The youth group skit depicted the highlights of the life of the holy French priest. In just two weeks, members of the youth group wrote the skit and completed casting and rehearsals. The scene when St. Vincent de Paul was attacked by pirates amused attendees, but also touched them through the portrayal of the heroic and humble life of the great saint. This event was so successful that youth organizer Ruben Tamayo declared: “Next year we are going to do it again but with music, as an opera!”

Confirmation celebration

Do you have a spiritual mentor or someone who has influenced you greatly when it comes to your faith? Father Nutt. He has been somebody that I can just pick up the phone and talk to. He calls me periodically, just to check up on me. How do you spend your free time? Golf. That’s my biggest release. I can spend hours at a driving range or playing golf. It just gives you time to be by yourself and it takes so much concentration that it takes your mind off of most things.

courtesy photo

Newly confirmed parishioners smile with Bishop Peter J. Jugis at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley Sept. 18. Newly confirmed members in the front row include (from left) Carly Egan, Sierra Franklin, Thomas Graham, Neil Peterson, Amanda Guest, Lucy Henry, Mary Cioffi, Maddy Pipitone, Michaela Pipitone, and Hannah McLeod. In the back row stand (from left) Dennis Chapman, assistant teacher; Betsy McLeod, faith formation coordinator; Augustinian Father John Denny, pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Church; Bishop Peter J. Jugis; and Vincent Cioffi, teacher.


October 16, 2009

From the Cover

The Catholic News & Herald 

Secular Franciscans renew Feast day of St. Francis vows of daily conversion of Assisi FRANCISCANS, from page 1

like Christ in this life, we may share his glory in the life to come.” Local Capuchins Father Nick Mormando, Father Salvas (known in the parish as Brother John) and Brother Michael Molloy renewed their vows first. Then the Secular Franciscans of St. Francis of the Hills Fraternity renewed their permanent commitments to the Gospel life. It was the first renewal for Diane Salkewicz and Gregory Savold, who had made permanent professions only six weeks before. The renewal of commitment repeats the promises made at profession, including the declaration “In my secular state, I promise to live all the days of my life the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Secular Franciscan Order by observing its rule of life.” “That was exciting,” Savold said. “I’ve been to the Transitus before, but now I was really a player.” He continued, “It was very emotionally moving and uplifting, especially when Brother John stood up and talked about renewing our commitment.” “It was so emotional,” said Salkewicz. “I said it with such joy. I have no more doubts. I don’t fear any more. I know this is what I’m called to do.” Discovering a new path Savold, 77, began his quest to give more of his life to the church after the death of his wife, Joan, several years ago. When talking with Randy Hair, a member of St. Francis of the Hills, he learned of the Secular Franciscan Order. Savold attended several monthly meetings and decided to begin formation. Salkewicz, 62, began her journey toward the Secular Franciscan Order nine years ago when she began detaching herself from possessions. For both Savold and Salkewicz, the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare

were important influences. Savold was impressed that upon hearing St. Francis preach, 18-year old St. Clare left her family of nobility to embrace St. Francis’ life of poverty. “Clare lived a life of caring for others, even before she entered the convent,” Salkewicz said. “She was so (far) ahead in her thinking.” The work of St. Francis came alive for both Salkewicz and Savold as they watched the play “Il Poverello,” written by Father Salvas and performed for several years at Immaculate Conception Church. Savold became involved in the annual production and even played Pope Innocent III one year. He was drawn to St. Francis’ decisions, such as his embrace of poverty and care for the poor, and his determination to continue his way of life despite obstacles. Living radical interior change “I thought (the Secular Franciscan Order) would be a way to live a more spiritual life,” Salkewicz said. “I never knew it was about conversion.” Article seven of the Secular Franciscan Order rule says, in part, “Let them conform their thoughts and deeds to those of Christ by means of that radical interior change which the Gospel itself calls ‘conversion.’ Human frailty makes it necessary that this conversion be carried out daily.” Indeed, Salkewicz has surrendered her time and her will. “I really understand what daily conversion is now,” she said. While in initial formation, she started caring for her mother and her motherin-law, who had begun to suffer from dementia. Salkewicz fell and sustained a concussion. A detached and torn retina required surgery and months of painful convalescence. Salkewicz’s doctor said that her other retina had begun to tear and she would probably need surgery on Aug. 22, the date of her profession. Distressed, Salkewicz began to pray. Her prayers were joined by members from multiple groups in the Secular Franciscan Order. A re-evaluation

courtesy photo by Frank

Hogan

Father Paul Dechant, an oblate of St. Francis de Sales and pastor of Holy Cross Church in Kernersville, blessed animals on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi Oct. 4. The ceremony was held outdoors at a statue of Mary on the grounds of Holy Cross Church. Approximately 125 parishioners brought dogs of all sizes, two horses, and one very small boa constrictor. Father Dechant’s dog Shadow exemplified great behavior and remained in the spot designated by the pastor throughout the entire service. The animals were first blessed as a group, after which they received individual blessings. Father Dechant carried a bowl of pet food with him for the individual blessings.

of Salkewicz’s eye determined that she did not need immediate surgery, so she was able to proceed with her formation. A community of faith Like other members, Salkewicz participated in monthly fraternity meetings, helped with the fraternity apostolate, prepared for and attended monthly formation sessions required for those not yet “professed,” and maintained her prayer life while taking care of her family and work responsibilities. Profession, a step on the journey, takes place after a recommendation by the formation director and the fraternity council’s approval. For Savold, a former engineer, going through most of formation without knowing the exact profession date was challenging. “I lived all my life with tic marks on a page,” he said. “Target dates were very important.” In their individual journeys, Salkewicz and Savold found the fraternity’s support invaluable, “the way all the fraternity members help each other,” as Salkewicz said. “I could not have done it without the help of the fraternity.” When her challenges became especially difficult, she said fellow candidates told her, “We’re not going through this without you.”

Salkewicz said, “I was sustained by fraternal love and prayer.” That supportive, fraternal r e l a t i o n s h i p is “irreplaceable,” said Savold. Salkewicz also credits her husband’s support: “He never let me down. He has been there every step of the way — enthusiastically.” “I want to live this life fully,” she said. “It’s who I am. It’s not a big change for me to be ‘professed.’ I’ve been living this life for four years.” Since starting with the Secular Franciscan Order, Savold said his life has simplified. “If I don’t use something, or haven’t used it in a year, it’s gone. I think twice before I buy,” he said. He reads the Bible more often, said he’s “lost” if he doesn’t pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and looks at nature with more reverence. Savold is a member of the Knights of Columbus and volunteers at free clinics and a few other places, but if there’s a conflict, such as where to spend time, the Secular Franciscan Order is his choice. “That’s my life,” he said. “The Secular Franciscan Order is above and beyond anything else, other than family.” Contact correspondent Joanita Nellenbach by calling (828) 627-9209 or e-mail jnell@dnet.net.


 The Catholic News & Herald

October 16, 2009

Around the Diocese

Rosary revelations

‘Living rosary’

courtesy photo by Gary Gelo

courtesy photo

Kable Young, an eighth-grade student at Our Lady of Grace School in Greensboro, carries a cross along a path of students who hold flowers representing the beads of a “Living Rosary” Oct. 7. The annual event is held to honor Mary during October, the month of the rosary. Catherine Rusch, a middle school teacher, organized the special prayer service, which was held in the school gym due to inclement weather. A student from each grade level participated as prayer leaders while the rest of the children recited the joyful mysteries of the rosary.

Father Albert Gondek, oblate of St. Francis de Sales and pastor of Our Lady of The Rosary Church in Lexington, explains the importance of praying the rosary Oct. 11. Faith Formation students from Our Lady of the Rosary Church were captivated during this special bi-lingual Mass. The group enjoyed a luncheon and fellowship afterwards.

Many faces, one ‘living rosary’

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courtesy photo

Students from Immaculate Heart of Mary School in High Point formed a “Living Rosary” in the courtyard of the school to celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary, Oct. 7.

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October 16, 2009

The Catholic News & Herald 

from the cover

Group speaks on abortion from personal experience

College students gather for pro-life information SILENCE, from page 1

The event was hosted by the regional Silent No More Awareness group Oct. 14. “College students are still the number one group for abortions across the country,” said Katherine Hearns, a Silent No More regional co-founder. “So it’s amazing the number of students stopping by.” “It’s a blessing from God,” added Kristen Giesler, student at UNCCharlotte and president of the Students for Life organization that sponsored the table. Andrea Hines, parishioner of St. Matthew Church in Charlotte and regional coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, remarked that those who support pro-life issues on college campuses are not usually so obvious. The Silent No More group holds gatherings like these in different cities to educate the public about the devastation abortion brings to men, women, and families, said Hines. “People say thank you for giving your witness,” she said. “They don’t realize the aftermath of the physical and emotional destruction left by an abortion.” Hines listed infertility, scars, placenta previa, miscarriage, and premature deliveries in future pregnancies as common problems. She also said that alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity and higher suicide rates are all part of documented consequences for women who undergo abortions. “It affects every part of life,” said Hines, noting that the list of consequences does not stop with the abortion of a child’s life. Gesturing to the group gathered around the table, Hearns added, “We want to give out information on alternatives to abortion and information leading to healing and reconciliation.” “What we want these students to know,” she continued, “is that there is help, hope and a safe place” for women considering abortions. Hines gave away a button reading “I regret lost fatherhood” to a student who said his girlfriend had an abortion when they were in high school, and included information on Rachel’s Vineyard, a program promoting healing after abortion. “One young man took information for his girlfriend, who thinks she is pregnant,” said Hines. “We’ve had different people coming up all day,” she said. “But reaching even just one person makes it all worth it.”

photo by

Heather Bellemore

Katherine Hearns, co-founder of the Silent No More regional pro-life group, hands out support information to students on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Oct. 14.

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October 16, 2009

10 The Catholic News & Herald

Culture Watch

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

WORD TO LIFE

Sunday Scripture Readings: OCT. 25, 2009

October 25, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sacred art

Cycle B Readings: 1) Jeremiah 31:7-9 Psalm 126:1-6 2) Hebrews 5:1-6 3) Gospel: Mark 10:46-52

Anticipating Advent; A hunger to see the face of Jesus by JEFF HENSLEY catholic news service cns photo by Anna

Weaver, Hawaii Catholic Herald

Kimi Chun, daughter-in-law of artist Peggy Chun, stands in the Peggy Chun Gallery in Honolulu with one of the late artist’s last works, “Father Damien of Molokai,” created in collaboration with Catholic school students.

Hawaiians offer pope painting of Damien by paralyzed artist HONOLULU (CNS) — A large and colorful painting, made by a paralyzed artist working with Catholic school students and depicting Blessed Damien de Veuster, arrived in Rome where students and teachers presented it to the pope at his Oct. 14 general audience. On Oct. 11 Pope Benedict XVI canonized the Belgian-born missionary priest along with four others. The 8-foot-by-4-foot “Father Damien of Molokai” was one of the final artistic efforts of Hawaiian painter Peggy Chun, who died last November of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Chun had wanted to do a large painting of Blessed Damien since 2002. But when ALS slowly paralyzed her body, it didn’t seem possible. To see her vision realized, Chun got the help of students at Holy Trinity School in Kuliouou in 2007. “They just got it,” said Kimi Chun, Chun’s daughter-in-law, of the students. “You could tell this project helped them feel so connected to her.” After her total paralysis, Peggy Chun could only move her eyes and used them to point at different letters and numbers on a “spell board” to form words and sentences. In that way she dictated color formulas to the Holy Trinity youngsters who painted 50,000 half-inch paper squares, mosaic pieces for the portrait. When most of the pieces were painted, a Polish artist and friend of Chun, Magdalena Hawajska, stepped in, following Chun’s carefully detailed instructions. The piece incorporates Hawajska’s restoration of Chun’s watercolor painting “Molokai” blended with an interpretation of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” that lightens into a blazing sunrise.

Father Damien is depicted holding an outstretched hand, an imprint of Peggy Chun’s own hand, and he is surrounded by dozens of other handprints. The entire sky and parts of the Molokai coastline are formed from the students’ mosaic pieces. “It was almost like Peggy went into Madga’s body and took it over,” Kimi Chun told the Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Honolulu Diocese. “Father Damien of Molokai” was unveiled at the Hawaii state capitol March 14, 2008. Before she died, Peggy Chun asked that the completed artwork be given to Pope Benedict XVI during Blessed Damien’s canonization events in Rome. Kimi Chun said her mother-in-law was known for her generosity and would give away everything from a painting to her own scarf if someone told her they liked it. “She was such a giver,” she said. “It just feels so right for the painting to be given as a gift.”

Pretty soon retailers will leapfrog over Halloween and Thanksgiving and add the familiar red and green of Christmas decorations. For Catholics, it’s just a reminder of the approach of the season of Advent, the season that sharpens our hunger for the coming of our Lord Jesus in the form of a child. That hunger, for me, is the fascinating part of this weekend’s Gospel reading. The blind man Bartimaeus cries out as Jesus passes by and is hushed by those around him, who rebuke him and tell him to be silent. But he persists, so great is his hunger. Jesus stops and has Bartimaeus brought to him from among the crowd. The blind man had been shouting to him, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” Once he is before him, Jesus asks this

man a rather remarkable question: “What do you want for me to do for you?” Bartimaeus’ reply is just as remarkable: “Master, I want to see.” He didn’t ask for sight simply to make his life better, but in order to see the one he had already identified as the son of David, correctly describing Jesus’ lineage as a proof that he was the Messiah. Jesus tells him in response, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Scripture tells us Bartimaeus immediately “received his sight and followed him on the way.” Advent is a time of hunger and a time to renew and re-form our faith with our sense of Jesus present in his world. Thousands in my own diocese are beginning the “Why Catholic?” program with the first six-week season corresponding, roughly, with the season of Advent. They will seek the face of Jesus in the Scriptures and teachings of the church, through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and in the workings of God in their own lives and the lives of the body of Christ represented in the people in their small study groups. Others will seek the face of Jesus through serving the poor, or by intensifying their love for their spouses and children, or by increasing their time in Scripture study and prayer. May we all take courage from the example of Bartimaeus, remembering the generous response of Jesus to all those who seek him in faith. Questions: Have you made a plan for spiritual renewal for Advent? If you haven’t, what local programs of study, service or worship might help you in personally seeking the face of Jesus?

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 18-24 Sunday (Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 4:14-16, Mark 10:35-45; Monday (St. John de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues and Companions), Romans 4:2025, Luke 1:69-75, Luke 12:13-21; Tuesday (St. Paul of the Cross), Romans 5:12, 15, 17-21, Luke 12:35-38; Wednesday, Romans 6:12-18, Luke 12:39-48; Thursday, Romans 6:19-23, Luke 12:49-53; Friday (St. John of Capistrano), Romans 7:18-25, Luke 12:54-59; Saturday (St. Anthony Mary Claret), Romans 8:1-11, Luke 13:1-9. SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 25-31 Sunday (Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Jeremiah 31:7-9, Hebrews 5:1-6, Mark 10:4652; Monday, Romans 8:12-17, Luke 13:10-17; Tuesday, Romans 8:18-21; Wednesday (Saints Simon and Jude), Ephesians 2:19-22, Luke 6:12-16; Thursday, Romans 8:31-39, Luke 13:31-35; Friday, Romans 9:1-5, Luke 14:1-6; Saturday, Romans 11:1-2, 11-12, 25-29, Luke 14:1, 7-11.


The Catholic News & Herald 11

October 16, 2009

U.S. geneticists named to Vatican sciences academy VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has named two prominent U.S. geneticists as members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Edward De Robertis, a professor of biological chemistry at the school of medicine of the University of California at Los Angeles, are the newly appointed members. The Vatican announced their appointments to the pontifical academy Oct. 10. Dr. Francis Collins Collins, 59, is the former director of the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute, which made a complete map of the human genome under his leadership. Collins’research led to the discoveries of a series of important genes, including the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis, and he also isolated genes linked to other diseases, the Vatican said. Collins, who had been regularly invited to speak at conferences of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, has long urged scientists not to divorce their work from their spirituality. He won a Christopher Award in 2007 for his book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.” After leaving the genome project in

Scientifically savvy

August 2008, Collins, who has said he became a Christian at age 27, founded the BioLogos Foundation in Washington, which says in its mission statement: “We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about God and creation.” Dr. Edward De Robertis De Robertis, 62, isolated the first gene responsible for controlling the development of vertebrates while he was a professor of cellular biology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. The Vatican said De Robertis’ research in development-controlling genes in the embryos of vertebrates led to the discovery that the molecular mechanisms for embryonic patterning are similar in all animal embryos. “Some fundamental tool kit creates the form and patterning of the embryo across the animal kingdom,” De Robertis has explained. The Vatican said his discoveries have spearheaded the creation of a new scientific field called evolutionary developmental biology. So-called “evodevo” compares the developmental processes of different plants and animals so the ancestral relationship between organisms can be determined. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which includes several Nobel Prize winners among its members, advises the Vatican on scientific issues.

cns photo by Paul

Haring

This 16th-century illustration by Gregor Reisch, showing a teacher holding an armillary sphere used to point to objects visible in the sky, is displayed in the “Astrum 2009” exhibit at the Vatican Museums Oct. 13.

Italy’s celestial studies stars in Vatican Museums’ exhibit VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican and Italian observatories have teamed up to display for the first time numerous precious instruments and books documenting the birth and development of stargazing in Italy. The Vatican Observatory, the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics and the Vatican Museums have pooled their collections of antique telescopes, astrolabes, celestial globes and manuscripts, such as Galileo Galilei’s original handwritten notes detailing his observations of the moon. Many of the 130 items in the exhibit have never been displayed publicly. The exhibit, called “Astrum 2009,” runs at the Vatican Museums from Oct. 16 to Jan. 16, 2010, and commemorates the International Year of Astronomy. The United Nations declared the special year to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope to observe the cosmos. The exhibit’s curator, Ileana Chinnici, told journalists during a Vatican press conference Oct. 13 that Italy’s unique patrimony of astronomical instruments is the richest in the world. Popes and the divided Italian states all supported their own observatories and amassed a large number of historical instruments and valuable documentation, she said. Some of the unique and valuable objects on display include Galileo’s handwritten notes and his publication “Starry Messenger” from 1610, both of which detailed how he perfected the telescope to magnify distant objects 30 times the size they appear to the naked eye. There is also a replica of one of Galileo’s telescopes created by Massachusetts-based craftspeople Jim and Rhonda Morris. The original is in the

Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy. Also on display is the arithmometer, one of the first commercial calculating machines. Created in 1882, it helped scientists do complex additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions as well as extract square roots. A few sections of the 130-piece exhibit are dedicated to the Vatican’s history of astronomical research, including its participation in the 19thcentury international “Carte du Ciel” (Map of Heaven) project to catalog and make a map of the stars. Also on display for the first time are photographs of a papal expedition to Russia in 1887 to witness and document a total solar eclipse. Three Italian priests made the trip, which proved unsuccessful due to poor weather and viewing conditions. Missing from the exhibit is any mention of the church’s troubled history and dealings with Galileo. The Italian scientist was condemned for suspected heresy in 1633 for maintaining that the earth revolved around the sun. He was “rehabilitated” in 1992 by a special Vatican commission established by Pope John Paul II. The church has made significant overtures in recent decades to show that faith and science do not conflict. Galileo opened up a brand new way of doing science, which wasn’t accepted immediately, said Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the commission governing Vatican City in a written introduction to the exhibit’s catalog. These groundbreaking scientific discoveries help people better understand God’s creation, he wrote, and the exhibit shows how science “is an inescapable part” of the human spirit and the whole human experience.


12 The Catholic News & Herald

October 16, 2009

around the diocese

1924 – 2009

Benedictine Father John A. Oetgen

CROP Walk with class

Belmont Abbey monk and priest remembered for humor, intellect BELMONT — Benedictine Father John Oetgen, a monk and priest of Belmont Abbey, died peacefully Oct. 10. He was in the sixty-fifth year of his monastic profession, and the fifty-eighth year of his priestly ministry. He was born in Savannah, Ga., on Aug. 6, 1924, the son of H. Glenn Oetgen and Helen McCormick Oetgen, and was given the name Anthony. He grew up in Sacred Heart Parish and attended Benedictine Military School in Savannah, both of which were staffed at the time by the monks of Belmont Abbey. From there, it was a natural transition to Belmont Abbey Junior College. In the course of his college studies, he was admitted to the novitiate for Belmont Abbey, receiving the name John. He made his novitiate at St. Vincent Archabbey and celebrated his first profession of vows in 1944. He was solemnly professed in 1947 and ordained to the priesthood in his home parish of Sacred Heart in 1951. His education included studies at the Belmont Abbey Seminary with further studies in Rome, St. Benet’s Hall at Oxford University and the University of North Carolina. In recognition of his academic and scholarly interests, he was named a Lifetime Fellow of the American Benedictine Academy in 1998. Father Oetgen was tall, in both stature and importance at Belmont Abbey. He was esteemed and admired by his confreres, colleagues and students alike for his lively sense of humor, keen intellect and broad range of interests. He served as a trusted and beloved mentor to generations of Abbey students. In the monastic community he was consistently elected to the Senior Council, and represented the community as delegate to numerous sessions of the General Chapter. In the college, he is perhaps most affectionately remembered for initiating countless students into the richness of Shakespeare and the unique world of Southern Literature, and for serving as director, performer and patron to the Abbey Players. In addition to teaching English and

Speech, Father Oetgen was chaplain at St. Leo School, 1951-1952, and assistant dean of students, 1955-1956. He completed several terms on the board of trustees, and led the college as its president, 1960-1964. In recognition of his significant achievements, Belmont Abbey College awarded Father Oetgen the Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2006. One of Father Oetgen’s most important gifts to Belmont Abbey was a love of beauty. His affinity for the beauty of Benedictine monastic life and literature overflowed in his painting, gardening and friendships. Countless trees and the colorful flowers of his garden will keep him in mind for years to come. Father Oetgen is survived by the monks of Belmont Abbey, by his sister, Sister Pauline Oetgen, C.S.J. and by his niece and three nephews. His body was welcomed home to the abbey basilica Oct. 12. The Mass of Resurrection was celebrated with the monastic community, the Most Reverend Peter Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte, the Most Reverend William Curlin, Bishop Emeritus of Charlotte, priests of the diocese, the Sisters of Mercy, the Belmont Abbey College Community, and numerous alumni and friends. His body now rests with the monks in the abbey cemetery. Addressing Belmont Abbey C o l l e g e ’s Class of ’06 at their commencement exercises, Father Oetgen challenged them not only to seek excellence and satisfaction in their lives and careers, but also to want to be holy, to be saints. He told them, “Our wanting must be serious enough to understand that drawing close to Christ means drawing close, embracing the individual cross of our life.” Always the consummate teacher, Father Oetgen, in the final months of his illness, fulfilled by example the words of his instruction. The monks of Belmont Abbey said, “We trust that, having shared by patience in the sufferings of Christ, Father Oetgen now shares also in his glory, and we commend our dear confrere to you for the customary suffrages for the deceased monks of our congregation.”

courtesy photo

Third- grade students, parents and teachers of St. Matthew School in Charlotte smile during their own CROP Walk on Sept. 30. In addition to raising money, students fasted and offered up their snacks as a sacrifice for all the people in the community who often go hungry.

St. Leo the Great Catholic Church invites you to a FREE dinner and seminar —

“How to find the Hidden Job Market” Tuesday, October 27 — 6 - 9pm Our parishioner and seminar leader, Damian Birkel is a nationally certified Career Counselor and Life Coach. Founder of Professionals In Transition®, a non-profit organization based in Winston-Salem, Birkel regularly appears in both national and international media to discuss the many issues of unemployment and under-employment.

Seminar topics include: • emotional impact of job loss • finding the hidden job market • networking and resources available in our region Please call: (336) 724-0561 to register by noon on October 26. St. Leo the Great Catholic Church — 335 Springdale Avenue (Parish Center), Winston-Salem

Director of Music – Asheville, NC St. Eugene Catholic Church, a parish of over 1,000 families (English and Spanish), seeks to fill an immediate opening for a music minister who can balance between contemporary and traditional Catholic liturgical music. Responsibilities include weekend and holy day liturgies, funerals and weddings, directing adult and youth choirs, scheduling cantors and musicians. Keyboard skills and ability to work collaboratively with church organist are essential. Compensation and benefits are commensurate with experience. Send resume to Music Search Committee, St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern St., Asheville, N.C. 28804. Web site: www.steugene.org

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October 16, 2009

The Catholic News & Herald 13

around the diocese

Building community

! use 20 o H en Oct. p O 8& .1 Oct

New Oktoberfest brings together Hendersonville parish by

KATHLEEN HEALY SCHMIEDER correspondent

Educate the mind with academics. Educate the soul with faith. We invite you to MACS schoolwide Open House! All Elementary Schools

Oct. 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Oct. 20, 9-12 p.m. -Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School (PK-5)4225 Shamrock Drive • Charlotte -St. Ann Catholic School (TK-5)600 Hillside Avenue • Charlotte -St. Gabriel Catholic School (K-5)3028 Providence Road • Charlotte -St. Mark Catholic School (K-8)14750 Stumptown Road • Huntersville -St. Matthew Catholic School (TK-5)11525 Elm Lane • Charlotte -St. Patrick Catholic School (K-5)1125 Buchanan Street • Charlotte

HENDERSONVILLE — A swirl of music, games, and dancing signaled the arrival of the first annual Oktoberfest Carnival of Immaculata School in Hendersonville Oct. 9. The fun-filled event brought together the parish and school community and filled the auditorium and parking lot. Tammy McCurdy, PTO president and coordinator of the event, helped plan the inaugural fall festival around the Hendersonville Apple Festival, held at the beginning of the school year. “We wanted to do a carnival to welcome the kids back into school and (create) something that would be fun for everyone (and) help build the relationship between the parish and school,” said McCurdy. The aroma of traditional German bratwurst, sauerkraut and potato salad set the Oktoberfest mood. Children who attended enjoyed a carnival menu of cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs. Immaculata School was transformed into an Oktoberfest celebration with a full array of games and activities both indoors and out, including a cake walk, sale items for all ages, and music, food and fun provided by the school PTO. As the school erupted with fun and laughter, parishioners, school children, parents, friends and family enjoyed the atmosphere and became one community, just as organizers had hoped.

Proceeds from the event will be used to add new technology to the classrooms with the PTO hoping to raise enough funds to buy two Smart Boards. These boards will provide a white board with projector for use in the classrooms. The new equipment will enable presentations to be given to children without moving equipment between classrooms, freeing up time to focus on the lessons. “With everything usually coming at the end of the school year, we felt this fundraiser would be less stressful for the parents and exciting and fun for the kids as well,” noted McCurdy. “The whole PTO and the teachers have come together,” she continued. “It has been a team effort!” The team’s work was well rewarded with the large turnout for a night of fun for everyone with good food and wonderful fellowship.

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Award-winning N.C. author Frances O’Roark Dowell (seated left) autographs books for students at St. Pius X School in Greensboro Oct. 1. Pictured (from left) are fourth-grader Jenny Iruela, third-grader Andrew English, and fourth-graders Jillian and Emma Heard. Dowell’s book, “Chicken Boy,” is on the list for the 2009 N.C. Battle of the Books, a statewide reading competition. The author spoke with third- through eighthgrade students about the writing process and then discussed literature over lunch with the school’s Battle of the Books team.


October 16, 2009

14 The Catholic News & Herald

Perspectives

A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

The man who fed the world Norman Borlaug, who died at age 95 in mid-September, has been hailed in print since his death as “the man who fed the world,” “the man who defused the ‘population bomb’” and “arguably, the greatest American of the 20th century.” Borlaug is said to have saved more lives than anyone who has ever lived. He grew up on a farm and received his early education in a one-room schoolhouse in Cresco, Iowa. As a boy, he wondered why plants and grass grew better in some places than others. His boyhood curiosity led him eventually to pursue graduate studies in plant science and a career that helped teach the world how to feed itself. Borlaug’s contribution came by way of the power of intellect. He developed disease-resistant varieties of wheat and was responsible for major productivity advances in plant breeding. His work led to stunning increases in food production in Latin America and Asia, thus averting mass famines in the 1960s and 1970s. Because of him, food-deficit nations like Mexico and India became self-sufficient in producing cereal grains. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. In conferring that award, the Nobel committee expressed the hope that the provision of bread for a hungry world would also help to assure world peace. To the extent that we live in a world that is broken by unshared bread, the connection between bread and peace was surely worthy of recognition. That link needs to be remembered now by scientists and statesmen alike, as does the link between the life of the mind and the solution of other major problems confronting humankind. Tomorrow’s research scientists and political leaders are sitting in elementary school classrooms today. Someone has to encourage them to cultivate a sense of

Concerning climate change I was deeply disappointed in Father Matthew Buettner’s seeming dismissal of the ecological crisis (“Birth Control could help combat climate change”? on page 14 of the Oct. 2 issue). I would invite Father Buettner and every Catholic to read Pope John Paul II’s writings on the environment, especially “The Ecological Crisis.” Many American

Looking Around JESUIT FATHER WILLIAM J. BYRON cns columnist

wonder, apply themselves faithfully to their schoolwork and commit themselves to the task of engaging their intellects with the major problems of their times. I’d love to see “borlaug” become a verb that means connecting intellectual curiosity with a commitment to the common good. If we’re lucky, young people will “borlaug” their way to academic achievement. “Borlauging” might come to mean an exercise of creative imagination in purposeful engagement with challenging problems. There will, I hope, be research centers and institutes around the country named after him, perhaps at the University of Minnesota where he studied or at Texas A&M University, where he worked until rather recently. I hope even more that Borlaug’s spirit of inquiry and service will find its way into the psyche of many young Americans, the area between their brain and heart. From there, great things can emerge that will provide a lasting tribute to this great man. We literally cannot afford to forget Norman Borlaug. And we have to find a way to motivate our young to want to be like him. Jesuit Father Byron is university professor of business and society at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. Contact him at wbyron@sju.edu.

Letter to the Editor bishops collaborated on another timely document entitled “The Columbia River.” The Vatican takes a strong stance on the plight of the environment and I believe we all have a duty to do the same! — Jacqueline Messick Greensboro, NC

What it means to be completely pro-life What does it mean to be pro-life? This is an essential question for anyone seeking to live a genuinely Catholic Christian experience. And there is no better time to ask it than during October, Respect Life Month. Certainly, being pro-life means striving for the protection of every unborn human being. In the United States, where more than 3,500 unborn babies are murdered every single day, one cannot possibly claim to be pro-life without earnestly praying and working for an end to abortion. Nearly every Catholic knows this. But there is much more to being pro-life. Catholic social teaching insists that faithful daughters and sons of the church must also deeply concern themselves with humanity’s many miseries and the myriad threats to life after birth. The world’s bishops at the Second Vatican Council solemnly declared: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.” The church’s social doctrine challenges us to see the big picture of human suffering and to do everything possible to alleviate it. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warns us that our very salvation depends on how well we respond to those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick and imprisoned. Jesus didn’t say feeding the hungry is more important than welcoming the stranger, or that giving drink to the thirsty is greater than caring for the sick. No, instead our Lord commanded us to compassionately respond to human suffering in all the ways it presents itself. But many Catholics concern themselves only with one life issue, while largely ignoring the rest. They claim their cause trumps all the rest. Some work solely to end abortion,

Making a Difference TONY MAGLIANO cns columnist

while others strive to end war. There are those devoted to abolishing capital punishment and those laboring to end hunger. Being committed to any one of these issues, while commendable to a point, is simply not enough. This narrow perspective is only partially pro-life; it falls far short of a comprehensive respect for life. In the encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”), Pope John Paul II wrote, “As disciples of Jesus, we are called to become neighbors to everyone (see Lk 10:29-37) and to show special favor to those who are poorest, most alone and most in need. In helping the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned — as well as the child in the womb and the old person who is suffering or near death — we have the opportunity to serve Jesus. ... “Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination, for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation. ... “We need then to ‘show care’ for all life and for the life of everyone” (No. 87). Not just the unborn, not just the victims of war, not just the hungry, not just the poor, not just the sick, not just the undocumented, not just the sweatshop workers, not just the deathrow inmates and not just the homeless, but every suffering human being deserves our help. This is what it means to be completely pro-life!

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 catholicnews@charlottediocese.org.


October 16, 2009

The Catholic News & Herald 15

Pondering the meaning of hospitality “Hospitality is the act of the recklessly generous heart.” This great quote from Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister is my meditation for the week. Every word seems like a little gift to be unwrapped, and each word has a tag with my name on it. Hospitality, in the narrow sense of welcoming people into my home, has sometimes been challenging. Oh, I love to entertain, have a friend drop by for coffee or spend the night. But I also jealously guard my privacy and my quiet time. I’ve never been tempted, for instance, to host a foreign student for the year. I like my boundaries. In the first days of my marriage, my tiny newlywed home in Anchorage seemed to be a central way station as friends journeyed in and out of Alaska. We were all young and poor, adventuresome and fairly itinerant. Initially, it was great fun with dear friends. Yet the stream of visitors became overwhelming, and I chafed at the sleeping bags piled on the floor and the late-night calls from the airport. I silently and very guiltily began

to subscribe to the adage common to Alaskans: “Fish and guests go bad in three days.” No doubt our relatives thought the same thing as my family arrived with our phalanx of suitcases. Now my friends are all settled and their visits are indeed rare and worth savoring. And as my kids grew older, those summer trips grew fewer — and shorter. Our parents grew too old to visit and other relatives adopted a “been there, done that” attitude toward the big-ticket price of another foray into the 49th state. When a relative arrives now, it’s an uncommon treat. Of course, let’s expand hospitality: Hospitality clearly does not just involve our homes. I cultivate hospitality at church, at work or even at the supermarket. I extend hospitality when I comfort the sick, reach out to the frightened, visit the prisoner, make my child feel loved. B u t t h e n t h e r e ’s t h a t w o r d “recklessly.” According to what Sister Joan posted, hospitality is the act of a recklessly generous heart. When I’ve questioned my generosity, whether with my time, my checkbook or

For the Journey EFFIE CALDAROLA CNS Columnist

my home, I don’t think “reckless” was ever part of the test. But, honestly, wasn’t that the kind of generosity Jesus had? The image of Christ to which I often return is of Jesus making the decision to go up to Jerusalem a final time even though he knew the danger that awaited him. Now that’s reckless! And then there’s that word “heart.” Who had more heart than Jesus, giving when it seemed crazy to give? The words in Sister Joan’s post push up against my boundaries, my orderliness, my caution. They’re good fodder for prayer this week.

Surfing the emotional wave Part two of a three-part series For me, the hardest part of unemployment was the runaway emotional roller coaster. The highs were much higher and the lows much lower. It felt like I had been swamped by an emotional wave. Here is how the emotional wave works: First, you get the news that you’ve been terminated. The sudden change in your life casts you adrift in a turbulent ocean. As you tumble from wave to wave, you experience shock and denial, fear and panic, anger, bargaining, depression, and temporary acceptance. Just when you think you’ve reached the trough of the wave, you begin to climb back up to the crest. The cycle continues until you learn to positively channel, rather than avoid, your real feelings. Once you’re able to confront and manage your emotional wave you can navigate your way through the stormy waters and eventually safely reach the shore. Along with emotional issues, you are likely to encounter physical and behavioral symptoms of job-loss trauma. For example, many people report eating and sleeping disorders, forgetfulness, aching limbs, headaches, repetitive dreams, endless chattering, irritability, and hyperactivity while unemployed.

There’s often some interplay between the emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms of job loss. For example, recurring nightmares could heighten depression, or fear and panic might cause headaches or perspiring. While the actual physical and behavioral manifestations of unemployment vary widely from one person to another, the emotional wave typically unfolds in the context of at least some of these symptoms. Physical symptoms include loss of appetite, forgetfulness, problems falling asleep, lack of concentration, anxiety attacks and migraine headaches. Behavioral symptoms include dizziness, heart palpitations, aching limbs, repetitive dreams, irritability and hyperactivity. Once you understand the emotional wave you can predict how it might shape the weeks ahead of you and prepare yourself to deal effectively with each emotional stage, as you encounter it. The first time I lost my job, I thought I could do it on my own. The second time, I mailed out 500 resumes, got 50 responses and five interviews. So far so good. Unfortunately, none of the five interviews panned out. Guess what? I didn’t get a job and had to endure the shame, humiliation and anger that arrives with each rejection letter. I was tapped out. With no savings

Medieval abbot example of love, pope says

The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The ability of a 12th-century French abbot to unite love of God and neighbor with pragmatism in everyday life is a worthy quality for Christians today to strive for, Pope Benedict XVI said. At his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 14, Pope Benedict once again employed the example of an exceptional figure from the past to illustrate universal traits that contemporary Christians should cultivate. Peter the Venerable was born around 1094 in Auvergne, France, and died in his abbey on Christmas Day, 1156. “He’s a model for both monks and Christians of our time, which is characterized by frenetic rhythms and examples of intolerance, incommunicability, division and conflict,” the pope said. The pope said Peter was open not only to his own neighbors but also to other faiths, especially Judaism and Islam, and he stood out from his contemporaries by studying Islam from original sources and commissioning their translation. Here is the text of the pope’s audience remarks in English.

Professionals In Transition DAMIEN BIRKEL Guest Columnist

and time running out, I went to Mass. I can remember looking at the tabernacle and praying: “Dear Lord, I have been out here trying to find a job alone and without your help. I’m tired Lord and my world is caving in. If you will help me Lord, I promise to never forget what it was like to be unemployed.” It didn’t happen all at once, and there was no thunder or lightning moment. Instead, small things began to happen. Little by little, I realized that it was time to take my hands off the steering wheel of life, and let God do the driving. Damian Birkel is a nationally Certified Career Counselor. On Oct. 27, Birkel will speak “Finding the Hidden Job Market ” at St. Leo the Great Church in Winston-Salem. For more information, see the Diocesan Planner on page 3.

Our catechesis today considers an outstanding churchman of the early twelfth century, Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny. Despite his pressing responsibilities and frequent travels in the service of the Church, Peter maintained a contemplative spirit, deep inner tranquility, rigorous asceticism and a capacity for warm friendships. His ability to combine love of God with sincere love of neighbor found expression in a lively sense of the Church. He urged all the members of Christ’s Body to be concerned for the trials and difficulties of the universal Church, and he expressed an interest in those outside the Church, specifically Jews and Muslims, in ways which were remarkable for his day. Prayer stood at the heart of Peter’s theology and spirituality, which were nourished by the monastic liturgy and meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life. At Cluny he introduced the feast of the Transfiguration and composed its prayers, centered on the contemplation of the glorious face of Christ. By his ability to combine prayer and contemplation with love of neighbor and a commitment to the renewal of society, Peter the Venerable reflected the Benedictine ideal and serves as an example to Christians today in their efforts to live holy and integrated lives in our often stressful society.


October 16, 2009

In the news

The Catholic News & Herald 16

Archbishop Chaput rejects cardinal’s Archbishop Chaput praises Belmont Abbey College for defending ‘right to be Catholic’ upbeat appraisal of Obama speech ROME (CNS) — Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver has taken issue with a retired Vatican official’s positive assessment of President Barack Obama’s speech last May at the University of Notre Dame. In an essay published by the Italian newspaper Il Foglio Oct. 6, Archbishop Chaput said Swiss Cardinal Georges Cottier, the papal theologian under Pope John Paul II, had been overly generous in his appraisal of the president’s words. In his speech, Obama expressed commitment to reducing the number of abortions and guaranteeing conscientious objection rights for health workers. Cardinal Cottier said in July that the president had moved in the direction of finding “common ground” with the church, and that “his words go in the direction of diminishing the evil.” Archbishop Chaput, noting that many U.S. bishops had objected to the president’s appearance at the Indiana university, suggested that Cardinal Cottier might have deferred to the judgment of local pastors. “Regrettably and unintentionally, Cardinal Cottier’s articulate essay undervalues the gravity of what happened at Notre Dame. It also overvalues the consonance of President Obama’s

thinking with Catholic teaching,” Archbishop Chaput wrote. The English text of his article was published on the Web site of Il Foglio. Archbishop Chaput said Obama’s views on vital bioethical issues, including abortion, “differ sharply from Catholic teaching.” While many have pointed to Obama’s sympathy to the church’s social teaching, the archbishop said, “there is no ‘social justice’ if the youngest and weakest among us can be legally killed.” He said the strong opposition by many U.S. bishops to Notre Dame’s hosting and honoring the president was based not on partisan politics but on “serious issues of Catholic belief, identity and witness — triggered by Mr. Obama’s views — which Cardinal Cottier, writing from outside the American context, may have misunderstood.” Archbishop Chaput added that the president’s search for “common ground” with the church, praised by Cardinal Cottier, is not necessarily a good thing. “So-called ‘common ground’ abortion policies may actually attack the common good because they imply a false unity,” he said. “The common good is never served by tolerance for killing the weak — beginning with the unborn.”

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BELMONT (CNA) — Catholic lay leadership is essential in public life and can accomplish much that Catholic bishops cannot do, Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput has said. His Thursday speech at an awards banquet praised Belmont Abbey College for standing up for its “right to be Catholic,” while also warning that evil will certainly triumph if it is left unopposed. “There may be many times when a bishop or group of bishops needs to speak out publicly about the moral consequences of a public issue. But the main form of Catholic leadership in wider society — in the nation’s political, economic and social life — needs to be done by you, the Catholic lay faithful,” he said. The archbishop’s remarks came in his acceptance speech for the Envoy of the Year Award bestowed by Belmont Abbey College’s Envoy Institute. Archbishop Chaput emphasized the need to form Catholic lay leaders who know and love the teachings of the church and faithfully live them out. “But once those lay leaders exist, clergy cannot and should not interfere with the leadership that rightly belongs, by baptism, to their vocation as lay apostles,” he explained. The archbishop’s remarks touched upon topics such as the nature of the state, the nature of Catholics’ Christian faith and the nature of the lay vocation. He also reflected on patriotism, calling it a virtue for Christians. “Love for the best qualities in our homeland is a noble thing. This is why military service and public office are not just socially useful vocations, but — at their best — great and honorable ones,” the archbishop continued. While Jesus’ words about the distinction between “the things that are Caesar’s” and “the things that are God’s” acknowledges that Caesar, the state, has rights, these words also show that Caesar is not a god and has no rights over the things that are God’s. “ A n d u l t i m a t e l y, e v e r y t h i n g important about human life belongs not to Caesar, but to God: our intellect, our talents, our free will; the people we love; the beauty and goodness in the world; our soul, our moral integrity, our hope for eternal life. These are the things

that matter. These are the things worth fighting for. And none of them comes from the state.” Invoking the example of American Founding Father Charles Carroll, who suffered forms of anti-Catholic bigotry, he said that religious prejudice faced now has a different appearance. “Caesar wears a different suit. He has great media handlers. He bullies religion while he claims to respect it. He talks piously about the law and equality and tolerance and fairness. But he still confuses himself with God — and he still violates the rights of Catholic believers and institutions by intruding himself where he has no right to be.” The archbishop then referred to Belmont Abbey College’s dispute with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which reversed itself and declared that the Catholic college’s refusal to cover contraceptives is discriminatory against women. “It’s one of the great ironies of the moment that tiny Belmont Abbey would have the courage to challenge Caesar over its right to be faithfully Catholic in its policies, while so many other American Catholics seem eager to give Caesar honors.” “If you stand up to evil, you may lose. But if you don’t stand up, you will lose,” the archbishop continued, crediting Belmont Abbey for its defense of its “right to be Catholic.” He urged Catholic citizens to demand modesty of political leaders and to show love to others not in feeling alone but in deeds. “Working to defend the sanctity of human persons and the dignity of the human family is an obligation of Christian love. Therefore, the church can’t be silent in public life and be faithful to Jesus Christ at the same time,” he added. “Our God is a God of justice; a God who does not abandon his people and who rewards courage in the face of evil. So have courage, serve the truth, love the church, take confidence in the Lord, and stand up to witness for your faith,” Archbishop Chaput’s speech concluded. “We’ve got nothing to lose. We have everything to gain.” Reprinted with permission from Catholic News Agency

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cns photo courtesy Knights of Columbus

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver is pictured at a recent Knights of Columbus convention. At the Envoy Institute awards banquet held at Belmont Abbey College Oct. 8, Archbishop Chaput praised the commitment of the college to support the “right to be Catholic.”


Oct. 16, 2009