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Pope visits soup kitchen Pope Benedict XVI touches the face of a child during a Dec. 27 visit to a soup kitchen and language school run by the Sant’Egidio Community in Rome. The pontiff brought a carload of gifts for the children and expressed his love for those the center assists. page 8

THE EAST TENNESSEE

Volume 19 • Number 9 • January 10, 2010

The

N E W S PA P E R

of the D I O C E S E of K N O X V I L L E www.dioceseofknoxville.org

CNS PHOTO/PAUL HARING

New gym for St. Joseph School Bishop Stika dedicates the Knoxville school’s facility and encourages students to ‘build church.’ By Mary C. Weaver t. Joseph School celebrated a milestone on Dec. 18, with the dedication of its new gymnasium. For the first time, the Knoxville elementary school, built in 1962, has a regulation-size basketball court and a generous space for the performing arts. During morning Mass before the dedication ceremony, Bishop Richard F. Stika exhorted students, teachers, staff, and dozens of adult patrons and friends to be like St. Joseph, the carpenter, in building up the church. “Today is very special for St. Joseph School, and it’s special for me because St. Joseph is one of my favorite saints,” the bishop said. “He was a carpenter. What do carpenters do? They make things, like the people of Blaine Construction [of Knoxville, who built the structure].” The architect for the project was

Pope: the key to peace is respect for humanity and all of creation BY CINDY WOODEN

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—The keys to peace and a better future are having respect for every human being and all of creation as God’s handiwork and trusting in God’s overwhelming love, Pope Benedict XVI said. Marking the new year with the celebration Jan. 1 of the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and World Peace Day—and with Angelus recitations Jan. 1 and 3—Pope Benedict reminded Christians that God’s promises require a response. “The divine plan is not accomplished automatically because it New year continued on page 2

Please pray for our priests Dear Lord: We pray that the Blessed Mother will wrap her mantle around your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry. We pray that Mary will guide your priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse. May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross. May your priests be holy and filled with the fire of your love, seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls. Amen. St. John Vianney, pray for us. ■

Robert Krusenklaus of Rlk Architecture in Knoxville. But Christians can be builders even without doing manual work, the bishop said. “I like that sign [on

the wall here]: ‘All I do today, dear Lord, I offer up to you.’ In some ways, that’s like building things. It’s called building church.” That occurs when we have Jesus in our

life, the bishop said, and Jesus in turn “invites us to come together like a family.” The 13,000-squarefoot, $1.4 million facility will serve not only as a gym but also the site of plays, mu-

sical performances, the annual Advent–Christmas program and Mardi Gras fundraiser, dinners, and other activities. Ground was broken on Nov. 21, 2008. St. Joseph continued on page 3

Field-house addition completes KCHS capital campaign School donors and parents John and Sondra Faris attend as Bishop Stika dedicates an expansion of the All Sports Complex named for them. BY DAN MCWILLIAMS

he dedication last month of the Faris Field House at Knoxville Catholic High School, an

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expansion of the existing All Sports Complex, honored a couple who have long supported KCHS and

sent all four of their children to the school. Bishop Richard F. Stika blessed the field house Dec.

Knoxville Catholic High School principal Dickie Sompayrac reads during the blessing ceremony for the Faris Field House on Dec. 13 as Bishop Richard F. Stika looks on. The expansion of the field house, which adds a locker room, weight room, and training room, totals more than 8,000 square feet. Mr. Sompayrac said athletes and non-athletes alike are using the roomier new facility.

BUILDING BLESSING

Download prayers and a rosary booklet: bit.ly/priestprayers.

St. Joseph students, teachers, and staff listen to Bishop Richard F. Stika shortly before he blesses the Knoxville school’s new gymnasium and performing-arts center on Dec. 18. Seen in the background are (from left) Dr. Sherry Morgan, superintendent of Catholic Schools, Father John Orr of Holy Ghost Parish, and Father Joe Ciccone, CSP, of Immaculate Conception Parish. Monsignor Xavier Mankel, Holy Ghost pastor, is partly hidden. SPECIAL DAY

DAN MCWILLIAMS

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for recitation of the Angelus prayer at the Vatican Jan. 1.

NEW YEAR’S DAY

MARY C. WEAVER

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13 with John and Sondra Faris in attendance. Also on hand were John Faris Jr. of the KCHS class of 2004 and his younger brothers Jay (’06), Jeffrey (’08), and Jake (’10). Others present included KCHS principal Dickie Sompayrac, football head coach Scott Meadows, booster-club members, and school parents, students, donors, and staffers. The $950,000 field-house addition, which includes a new locker room, weight room, and training room, completes the third and final phase of the school’s Living Our Mission Through Growth capital campaign. The expansion added more than 8,000 square feet to the athletic facilities. Before the campaign more than 420 student athletes were sharing locker rooms designed to serve 100. The senior Faris thanked the bishop for blessing the building and recalled how far the high school has come in the way of facilities since moving west to its Field house continued on page 3


letters to the

EDITOR

Bishop Sheen would tackle issues ‘head on’

Bishop Fulton Sheen’s television talks were always on in our house as we grew into young adults. We were better Catholics because of his explanations of our faith in nonthreatening terms. With his piercing eyes and quick smile, he possessed self-deprecating humor and a seemingly endless knowledge of Scripture. When asked, he once said his TV script writers were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He looked magnificent in the flowing robes of a bishop but never talked down to his audience. Here was a Catholic prelate: entertaining, teaching, and inspiring all people within the sound of his voice. His fan mail revealed his viewers were Jews, Protestants, and Catholics. The revelations of clerical abuse in Dublin, Ireland, as described recently in The East Tennessee Catholic inspired the question, “How would Bishop Sheen have solved it?” We believe he would have addressed it head on. He would be forthright and reveal what should be revealed, attack what was wrong, compensate and support the victims, testify to the authorities, and devise suitable punishment for the guilty. He would, most likely, as a preventative measure form a support group for troubled clerics and pedophiles and perhaps establish a place for treatment and psychological counseling before abuse occurs. We expect a trained cleric to control urges and develop prayerful habits to reinforce celibacy. The seduction or abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult is a crime and a sin. The faithful have a right to rest in the certain knowledge that their clergy can be trusted. This is a responsibility the ordained take on when they answer the call of their vocation and again when they accept appointment to the hierarchy. We are concerned that some of our good priests will feel guilt by association. Perhaps they have never been guilty of anything except struggling with the vow of obedience. Let’s reassure them and tell them how much we appreciate what they do for us. Our clerics work diligently for us. We must at the very least pray for them and encourage and support them in their ministry. ■ —Harry Hogan Knoxville We welcome letters to the editor and carefully consider all submissions. Letters should be 350 words or less and will be edited for grammar, style, clarity, and length. Submit them by e-mail, mail, or fax: mweaver@dioknox.org, 805 Northshore Drive Southwest, Knoxville, TN 37919, 865-584-8124. Letters to the editor reflect the opinions of their authors and not those of the editorial staff or the publisher.

Renew workshops scheduled he sixth season of the Renew: Why Catholic? program begins this month with a workshop on the church’s social-justice teachings, led by Father Abraham Orapankal, Ph.D., a member of the Renew International service team. Father Orapankal will lead the workshop in all four deaneries. Everyone is welcome to attend. There is no charge for the program, and refreshments will be provided. Call the parishes listed for details. The workshop will include discussion of the principles of social justice, including human life and dignity, the Christian’s rights and responsibilities, the dignity of work and workers’ rights, the preferential option for the poor, and care for creation. The schedule for the sessions is as follows: ■ St. Mary Church, Johnson City, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 ■ Holy Spirit Church, Soddy-Daisy, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 ■ Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville, 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23 ■ St. Alphonsus Church, Crossville, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23 ■ All Saints, Knoxville, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Father Orapankal has visited the East Tennessee several times to offer faith-enrichment workshops since the diocese’s Why Catholic? program launched in fall 2007. Renew: Why Catholic? is a comprehensive adult-faith-formation program that is solidly based on Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It offers a concrete approach that helps adults deepen their faith and connect its teachings to everyday life. ■

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Diocese of Knoxville procedure for reporting sexual abuse Anyone who has actual knowledge of or who has reasonable cause to suspect an incident of sexual abuse should report such information to the appropriate civil authorities first, then to the bishop’s office, 865-584-3307, or the diocesan victims’ assistance coordinator, Marla Lenihan, 865-482-1388.

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JANUARY 10, 2010

living the

READINGS

BY FATHER JOSEPH BRANDO

Continuing Christmas The season will last ‘until the whole world accepts the grace of God.’

By now almost every store in the country has put away anything that had to do with Christmas. It’s been replaced with white sales and whatever comes after that. For the merchants, Christmas is only one gimmick for selling goods. But for God, Christmas is not a passing season. Jesus’ birth was not only the culmination of centuries of preparation but also the beginning of an age wherein Christ’s presence in the world grows ever stronger. In actuality, the Christmas season will not end until the whole world experiences and accepts the grace of God. Today’s Gospel relates one

of the subsequent movements of Christmas. Jesus had been born and spent the first 30 or so years of his life listening. He listened to Mary and Joseph and was obedient to them. Here, Luke narrates the start of his public ministry. God’s presence becomes stronger, even to the point of becoming visible and audible. Luke asserts that “the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven.” That was a profound moment. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity had been on Earth for more than 30 years, and the people thought someone else, namely John, was the Messiah. Jesus came on the scene gently—even, one could say, humbly. That was according to the plan made known 700 years earlier by Isaiah. In the first reading we hear the prophet say,

“Comfort, give comfort to my people . . . speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her service is at an end.” Then Isaiah describes the Baptist’s role by ordering every valley to be filled in and the mountains and hills made low. Only after that preparation will it be time to cry out at the top of your voice, “Here is your God!” That is what today is about. God is in our midst. Christmas continues through Jesus’ public ministry and his death, resurrection, and ascension, until we reach the point where we are right now. Christ can be seen in this world in the form of the church. That means us. And we don’t go away. The Christmas sales and commercials and music may have disappeared, but we are here. You and I are here to keep Christ’s message and spirit and body alive and growing. ■ Jan. 10, the Baptism of the Lord Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10 Titus 2:11-14, and 3:4-7 Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The land and the bride Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit ‘makes us, the spouse of Christ, fertile.’

he beautiful rolling hills of Eastern France are now what they have been from the time of the Roman Empire. They are laden with vineyards, producing the most desired

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wines on earth and cheering people’s hearts in every corner of the world. But that land, less than 100 years ago, was reduced to quagmires of mud pockmarked with hundreds of

thousands of craters formed by the impact of artillery shells aimed at destroying entrenched armies on both sides of “no man’s land.” Israel’s land, after the Babylonians con-

quered it, was no better off than France at the end of World War I. It was desolate. To many, the land was dead and beyond redemption. Isaiah, Readings continued on page 6

Jan. 17, second Sunday of ordinary time Isaiah 62:1-5 Psalm 96:1-3, 7-10 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 John 2:1-11

WEEKDAY READINGS Monday, Jan. 11: 1 Samuel 1:1-8; Psalm 116:12-19; Mark 1:14-20 Tuesday, Jan. 12: 1 Samuel 1:9-20; 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8; Mark 1:21-28 Wednesday, Jan. 13: 1 Samuel 3:110, 19-20; Psalm 40:2, 5, 7-10; Mark 1:29-39 Thursday, Jan. 14: 1 Samuel 4:111; Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25; Mark 1:40-45 Friday, Jan. 15: 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-

22; Psalm 89:16-19; Mark 2:1-12 Saturday, Jan. 16: 1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19 and 10:1; Psalm 21:2-7; Mark 2:13-17 Monday, Jan. 18: 1 Samuel 15:1623; Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23; Mark 2:18-22 Tuesday, Jan. 19: 1 Samuel 16:113; Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28; Mark 2:23-28 Wednesday, Jan. 20: 1 Samuel

17:32-33, 37, 40-51; Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10; Mark 3:1-6 Thursday, Jan. 21: Memorial, Agnes, virgin, martyr, 1 Samuel 18:69 and 19:1-7; Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13; Mark 3:7-12 Friday, Jan. 22: 1 Samuel 24:3-21; Psalm 57:2-4, 6, 11; Mark 3:13-19 Saturday, Jan. 23: 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27; Psalm 80:2-3, 5-7; Mark 3:20-21 ■

personal responsibility Jan. 1, commenting on the theme he chose for World Peace Day 2010: “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation.” The resources of the earth must be used with justice and wisdom, he said during his Angelus address Jan. 1. “I want to underline the importance that the choices of individuals, families, and local administrations have in protecting the environment,” he said. In educating people to respect creation, the pope said, they must be helped to recognize that the human beings God created in his own image and likeness require special respect and protection. “If we must take care of the creatures around us, how much more care must we have for

people—our brothers and sisters,” he said. “On the first day of the year, I want to appeal to the conscience of those who are part of any kind of armed group. To each and every one I say: Stop, reflect, and abandon the path of violence.” In his homily during the morning Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Jan. 1, Pope Benedict said people will respect the environment only to the extent that they respect themselves and others because true respect for creation means seeing all creation as a reflection of God, the creator. Teaching people to respect others must begin early in childhood, he said. “From the time they are small, it is important to educate

New year continued from page 1

is a plan of love, and love generates freedom and asks for freedom,” he said during his Angelus address Jan. 3. Although God’s kingdom of peace and justice is already being realized on earth, he said, “every man and woman is responsible for welcoming it into his or her own life day by day. So 2010 will be better or worse to the extent that people, accepting their own responsibility, learn to collaborate with the grace of God.” “There are problems in the church and in the world, as well as in the daily lives of families, but thanks to God, our hope does not depend on improbable prognostications and even less on economic forecasts. Our hope is in God,” he said. The pope also spoke about

Bishop Richard F. Stika Publisher Mary C. Weaver Editor Dan McWilliams Assistant editor

THE EAST TENNESSEE

805 Northshore Drive S.W.

New year continued on page 8

Margaret Hunt Administrative assistant Toni Pacitti Intern

Knoxville, TN 37919-7551

The East Tennessee Catholic (USPS 007211) is published twice monthly by the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, 805 Northshore Drive S.W., Knoxville, TN 37919-7551. Periodicals-class postage paid at Knoxville, Tenn. Printed on recycled paper by the Knoxville News Sentinel Postmaster: Send address changes to The East Tennessee Catholic, P.O. Box 11127, Knoxville, TN 37939-1127 How to reach us:

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THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC


guest

COLUMN

BY MONSIGNOR XAVIER MANKEL, VG

Meetings are a must They can become tiresome, unless we ‘make them great, holy, and grand.’

One of the many traits that my mother (98 years old Jan. 8!) has passed on to me is her hatred for meetings. The late great Bishop Francis R. Shea said of one particular type of meeting, “I used to hate meetings; now I loathe them.” With due respect, however, meetings, especially where hearts and minds come together to promote the honor and glory of God and the growth toward God of his human family, are a great gift to us all. The Last Supper was a meeting— look at the outcome. The Council of Nicea as well as all the councils of our church were meetings—with profound results. Since the year 325 we have had a pretty fair idea of the relationship in the Blessed Trinity and especially the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ within himself—one divine person, two natures: one human, one divine. Some of the world’s best meetings developed peace treaties. Meetings seem to solve more problems than guns. My mother, again, was as hard a worker as any parent

of schoolchildren could be, but she successfully avoided most meetings. As president of the parent group at Knoxville Catholic High School in the early 1950s, she finally had to attend meetings and sometimes preside at them. The Second Vatican Council came upon us from 1962 through 1965. It was a grand meeting, to say the least. The fallout—implementation—has caused more meetings to occur than perhaps any other social phenomenon in the history of our world. How many parish-council meetings were held between Pentecost and 1965? How many since? I suppose the best way to conserve God’s gift of time is to make our meetings moments of quality and moments of brevity. We priests are duty bound to an extraordinary number of meetings— some occur weekly, others biweekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or once a year. One of my New Year’s resolutions has been to try to pray more before meetings begin, to prepare balanced agendas, and to participate with enthusiasm. Meetings that I particularly enjoy because of their potential to promote the kingdom of God are those of the parish council, liturgy committee, education committee, school board, Ladies of Chari-

ty, Knights of Columbus, and ministerial association, as well as deanery priest and general priest meetings. Even though, like my mom, I hate meetings as a matter of training, I can enjoy the ones listed because they have the potential to do so much good—to effect so much change. And then there’s the meeting, the holy sacrifice of the Mass. In the Liturgy of the Word we listen as the Lord has his say. We dialogue with responses and petitions, and then we sort of settle holy matters by offering sacrifice. Yes, meetings we must have. Let’s make them great, holy, and grand. ■ BISHOP STIKA’S SCHEDULE These are some of Bishop Stika’s appointments: Jan. 11: Community meeting with parents, followed by dinner with Chattanooga Deanery priests, Notre Dame High School, Chattanooga Jan. 12: 11 a.m., general priest meeting, Chancery Jan. 14: 6 p.m., clergy-appreciation dinner, St. John Neumann School, Farragut Jan. 15: 8 a.m., Mass with schoolchildren, Sacred Heart Cathedral; 6 p.m., dinner with Knights of Columbus, Lenoir City Jan. 16: 10 a.m., public rosary with priests, deacons, and the faithful across the street from abortion clinic at 313 Concord St., Knoxville Jan. 17: 10 a.m., installation of Father William Oruko, AJ, as pastor, St. Mary Church, Athens; 6 p.m., evening prayer and investiture of Monsignor T. Allen Humbrecht, Sacred Heart Cathedral Jan. 20: depart for Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life ■

St. Joseph continued from page 1

Bishop Stika asked the students in the congregation to remember the day—“because maybe 50 years from today, you will be visiting the school with your grandchildren, and you might look around and think of all the wonderful things you learned here.” Near the end of Mass, the bishop reminded the schoolchildren of a young boy who attended St. Joseph School years ago. The boy thought of becoming an engineer, the bishop said, but then decided he wanted to be a priest. “Then one day he got a phone call from some guy who had an Italian accent. I got the same phone call. On the other end was a guy named Pietro Sambi [apostolic nuncio to the United States], and he said, ‘Father Johnston, the Holy Father has named you a bishop of the church.’” St. Joseph School alumnus Bishop James Vann Johnston Jr. is now head of the Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau, Mo. “The reason I bring this up is that you never know what God is going to invite you to

be,” said Bishop Stika. He explained that the priests and deacon present for the Mass—Fathers Joe Ciccone and Chris Riehl of Immaculate Conception, Knoxville; Monsignor Xavier Mankel and Father John Orr of Holy Ghost, Knoxville; Father Chris Michelson of St. Albert the Great, Knoxville; and Deacon Sean Smith, diocesan chancellor—were all “a part of something called holy orders.” “God invited them to be a priest or deacon, and they said yes.” “I would like you [boys] to think about being a priest,” he said, “and I’d like the girls to think about being a sister, like the Sisters of Mercy.” The bishop expressed special thanks to Monsignor Mankel, who, he said, “has a love of this school, and he loves each and every one of you, like the other priests, like Dr. [Aurelia] Montgomery, and all your teachers.” Dr. Montgomery has been principal of St. Joseph School since 2005. In a telephone interview the

principal said that the children’s reaction to the new facility “told the whole story.” Dr. Montgomery said she had taken all the students, in three groups, for a brief tour of the new building before the official dedication. “When they hit the door of the gym, every group just said ‘Oh!’ They started hollering and running around, and they just kept saying, ‘Thank you, thank you so much.’ “The happiness and the awe in the children’s faces and in their voices—that’s something I will always remember.” Dr. Montgomery spoke of her deep gratitude to all who made the building possible: parents, donors from Holy Ghost, Immaculate Conception, and other parishes, the Diocesan Finance Council and Bishop Stika “for having enough faith in us to take on this project,” Monsignor Mankel, and the people of Blaine Construction. “I can’t say enough about [them] and about Dorman Blaine and the men [Henry Sutton and Matt Mitchell] who were there every day.” ■

tended the dedication then of the Johnny Stallings Training Room. The coach’s son, who had Down syndrome, died in August 2008. KCHS parents Tim and Robin Harris, who have a son who played football at Alabama, made the donation to establish the Stallings room. The field house’s LoCascio Family Conference Room is named for Dr. Steven and Christl LoCascio, parents of one current and one future KCHS student. The building’s weight room is sponsored by Mercy Health Partners. The Faris Field House is not meant only for KCHS student athletes. Mr. Sompayrac said that the facility is “great for athletics and our football program, but I’m not sure

everybody understands how many kids who are non-athletes are using this All-Sports Complex on a daily basis through weight-training classes and other things we’ve got going on.” Bishop Stika, a St. Louis native and Cardinals baseball fan, said he now knows two families for whom sports facilities have been named. “You know, my life is complete now. I was friends with members of the Busch family, so we have Busch Stadium, and now with the Faris family we have the Faris Field House.” The bishop said the field house is not a lesser component of the school but rather an equal one. “This whole building fulfills

Field house continued from page 1

current site a decade ago. “I also want to thank Dickie Sompayrac for his foresight in two things: letting me raise money and taking my check for the building,” he added. The field house also honors three additional families. Rooms are named for the Fox family, in honor of Bob and Jean Fox; John Mark Stallings, in memory of the son of former Alabama football head coach Gene Stallings; and the LoCascio family. The Fox Family Head Coach’s Office recognizes donors Dr. Daniel and Terry Fox (’79). The Foxes have five children who are attending or have graduated from KCHS. Mr. Stallings spoke at the high school in May and atTHE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC

Field house continued on page 7

www.dioceseofknoxville.org

Jan. 17 papal-honors ceremony set for Monsignor Humbrecht apal honors will be conferred on Monsignor T. Allen Humbrecht during a Vespers service at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Monsignor Humbrecht has been named a named Prelate of Honor to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, thus receiving the title Monsignor. Monsignor Humbrecht is the cathedral pastor and has twice served as diocesan administrator when the Diocese of Knoxville was without a bishop. Everyone is invited to attend. ■

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Two diocesan positions open he Diocese of Knoxville seeks a full-time director of the Office of Stewardship and Planned Giving. The director is responsible for overall stewardship education and fund development for the diocese; educating parishioners and donors on the needs of the diocese; and developing new time, talent, and financial resources to meet present and future needs of the diocese and its parishes. Candidates must have a baccalaureate degree in an area related to finance and fund development, and an advanced degree is preferred. In addition, candidates must have five to 10 years’ experience as a stewardship and development professional with demonstrated success in fundraising. Required knowledge, skills, and abilities are as follows: demonstrated success with major gift solicitation and planned-giving programs; demonstrated ability to articulate the philosophy and objectives of the Catholic Church, including the theology of stewardship, and to produce creative development and stewardship strategies; excellent written and verbal communication skills; and proven supervisory and managerial skills. Candidates must be active members of a Catholic parish. Application deadline is Jan. 28. Send resume to Search Committee—Director of Stewardship and Planned Giving, c/o Very Rev. David A. Boettner, VE, Episcopal Vicar and Moderator of the Curia, Diocese of Knoxville, 805 Northshore Drive Southwest, Knoxville, TN 37919, or dboettner@dioknox.org.

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THE DIOCESE OF KNOXVILLE SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR THE

position of controller. This employee is responsible for the accounting operations of the Diocese of Knoxville, including the production of periodic financial reports, maintenance of a system of accounting records, and a comprehensive set of controls designed to mitigate risk and enhance the accuracy of the diocese’s reported financial results. This employee oversees paid and volunteer staff. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business administration, with a concentration in accounting. A master’s degree in accounting or business administration is preferred, as well as 10-plus years of progressively responsible experience in accounting. Preference will be given to candidates with the Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designations. Candidates must be active members of a Catholic parish. Send resume to Very Rev. David A. Boettner, VE, Episcopal Vicar and Moderator of the Curia, Diocese of Knoxville, 805 Northshore Drive Southwest, Knoxville, TN 37919, or dboettner@ dioknox.org. ■

Want to try online delivery? he East Tennessee Catholic is now offering online delivery for those who would prefer to read a digital copy and to discontinue the print edition. If you would rather read the ETC online, visit http://eepurl.com/cafC to sign up. If you decide online delivery isn’t for you, you can return to a print subscription at any time. If you have questions, e-mail mweaver@dioknox.org. ■

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Faith-formation classes set for ’10 he 2010 series of adult faith-formation classes begins this month, with additional classes scheduled throughout the year and in locations around the diocese. Classes are offered at no charge to all interested adults in the diocese. Sessions take place on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 7 p.m. and end at 9. Online registration is available at dioknox.org/ events/event-calendar/.

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Sacraments, taught by Amy Roberts. Explores the foundations of what we celebrate as Catholics. The class examines how we encounter the living Christ through each of the church’s seven sacraments. ■ Tuesday, Jan. 12, St. John Neumann Church, Farragut ■ Tuesday, Feb. 16, Holy Family Church, Seymour Faith formation continued on page 6

JANUARY 10, 2010

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BY TONI PACITTI

OLPH, Chattanooga ■ Tyler Enos, a sixth-grade student at

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, was the top finisher among 10-11year-old boys in the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick competition held at the Tennessee Titans’ home game Nov. 29 in Nashville. Tyler’s punt, pass, and kick totaled 254 feet, 1 inch, placing him 13th nationally in his age group. He had earlier won local and sectional competitions in Chattanooga. ■ First- and second-grade classes at OLPH School attended a production of Madeline’s Christmas at the Chattanooga Theatre Center. Parishioner Elizabeth Case performed in the program. ■ Christopher Coles, an eighth-grader at OLPH, recently won the school geography bee. Classmate Shakayla Dews was runner up. ■ Eighth-grader Mary Rebman and seventh-grader Anthony Smith qualified for the Lower Southeast Tennessee Junior Clinic Band. Mary made seventh-chair clarinet in the Red Band, and Anthony made first-chair tuba in the seventh-grade band.

St. Augustine, Signal Mountain ■ Six to eight volunteers per shift are needed to sort, hang, and price clothing for resale at The Clothes House. Call Sheila at 423-886-3460 for information. ■ Monthly donations of canned fruit are needed for The Food Pantry, which serves more than 30 families per month. Place canned fruit in the grocery cart near the parish life center. The parish offers the donations through its partnership with Signal Mountain Social Services. ■ Senior Neighbors, an Alexian Brothers ministry, will host an AARP refresher course on driver safety from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors building in downtown Chattanooga. Attendees are asked to bring a bag lunch. Costs are $12 for members and $14 for nonmembers. Call 755-6100 to register.

St. Catherine Labouré, Copperhill ■ An Epiphany party was held Jan. 3.

A Chinese auction was included in the event. ■ Newcomers: Migel and Anne Corco, Vera and Henry Zielinski

St. Jude, Chattanooga ■ Father Miguel Vélez prepared a traditional Colombian meal for an Epiphany dinner served Jan. 5 in Siener Hall. Parish youth provided music and entertainment. ■ Members of the youth group provided snacks for the Memorial North Park Hospital emergency room in November.

St. Mary, Athens ■ Anniversary: Bob and Merry May

Scott (57)

St. Stephen, Chattanooga ■ Anniversaries: Bettye and Hugh

Cotter (61), Mark and Roseanne Hutchings (40)

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Cleveland ■ The Music Makers presented their first big production, The Three Piggy Opera, on Dec. 13 in Breen Hall. ■ The parish gave 45 Thanksgiving boxes to families in need. Each box contained a complete holiday meal for six to eight people. Cumberland Mountain Deanery

All Saints, Knoxville ■ Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” classes will be offered in January. Cost is $99 per family. Call Alan Sieve at 865-982-4208 or Rita Carter at 6904739 for details. ■ A father-daughter dance will be held from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. Call Mark Clubb at 300-6662 pr Michael Gibson at 530-0588 to RSVP. ■ Women are needed to wash altar cloths throughout the year. Call Susan Lawlor at 531-8598.

Christ the King, Tazewell ■ The youth group wrapped Christ-

mas gifts for parishioners as a fundraiser in December.

OLPH, LaFollette ■ The parish needs several deep fryers for fish fries during Lent. Contact

4

JANUARY 10, 2010

Ken or Ronnie Nichols at 423-5624883 or ronandken@dishmail.net, or Charlie Ruth at 566-7387 or e-mail charliruth@aol.com.

COURTESY OF NANCY OBERST SOESBEE (2)

Chattanooga Deanery

St. Alphonsus, Crossville ■ The Rosary Ministry thanked

everyone who donated rosaries in 2009 for the Fort Portal, Uganda, Diocese. Father Adolf Busobozi took the second batch, which brought the total to more than 1,000, to Uganda on the Dec. 28. The ministry is ongoing. Send unwanted or broken rosaries to: Rosary Ministry, c/o Katie McLaird, 63 Cow Pen Road, Crossville, TN 38571.

St. Francis of Assisi, Fairfield Glade ■ The parish book club will meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the conference room to discuss Persepolis: Story of a Childhood (Pantheon, 2004) by Marjane Satrapi. ■ Another representative is needed for the Lifetime Learning Project, which meets once a month from March through November. Call Eileen Metzger at 931-456-8691 or Marilyn Garlick at 456-0819. ■ Anniversaries: Mike and Ethy Wilhelmi (62), John and Lois Chilenko (58), Tom and Carol Hayden (54) ■ Newcomers: Gil and Jean Bettez, Derek and Maria Graham

Parish sends cookies, Christmas stockings to soldiers The Church of the Good Shepherd in Newport has sent boxes of homemade cookies, as well as Christmas stockings stuffed with treats and messages, to soldiers stationed with two men who have relatives in the parish. Captain A. J. Ferrone, the nephew of Richard and Diane Schroeder, is a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, and Pfc. Marshel Cromuel, husband of Sheela Cromuel and the father of 10-month-old daughter Avani, is serving in Iraq. The stockings were stuffed Dec. 6 by (from left, front) Anna Hudson, Ian Soesbee, Katie Newell, Asiwisa Asterio, Ashley Newell, Good Shepherd pastor Father Bob Hofstetter, Pam Ball, Phil Ruch (coordinator of the annual remembrance of troops), and Mary Ann Baker; and (back) Jo Ann Preske, Ana Kaiser, Ed Nowak, Andy Goehl, Joanne Newell, Deacon Otto Preske, Mike Newell, Michele Sexton, and Mr. Schroeder. A recent beneficiary of Good Shepherd’s Christmas-stockings project was Lt. Col. Curt Hudson, who visited his mother, parishioner Anna Hudson, last spring before leaving for the 4th Battalion of the 353rd Infantry Regiment of Fort Polk, La. Brig. Gen. Keith Walker wrote parishioners that last year’s stockings “were part of home” for the soldiers.

St. John Neumann, Farragut ■ Three extraordinary ministers of

Holy Communion are needed to bring Communion to the new Parkwest assisted-living complex on Kingston Pike once a month. Call Audrey Barrowclough at 865-966-0981. ■ Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” class will begin with an information night at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, in the library. Class cost is $99 per family. Call John Sporsen at 228-9125 to register.

St. Mary, Oak Ridge ■ The parish thanked those who helped with the Green Valley project in 2009, which supplied 48 hats and scarves, 84 pairs of socks, two lap robes, 29 hats, and one scarf for the residents of the Green Valley Developmental Center. Mickey DiMeo, Joan Suggs, and Jane Durbin delivered the items Dec. 7.

St. Thomas the Apostle, Lenoir City ■ The parish hosted a Three Kings Christmas party on Epiphany Sunday, Jan. 3. ■ Bishop Richard F. Stika will be the guest speaker at the Knights of Columbus council’s 10th-anniversary celebration at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15. Cost is $25. Contact Dennis Preston at 865-458-9004 or ckncptmrgn@charter. net for tickets. ■ January is “Catholics Come Home Month” at St. Thomas the Apostle. The event, which encourages inactive Catholics to return to the faith, will end with a welcoming Mass and reception at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 31. Call Joan Panter at 865-856-8077. ■ The Knights collected $3,000 during the fall for their MR drive, including $502 on a recent Saturday in front of Food Lion. ■ The new parish website is www. sthomaslc.com.

FRANK BAKER

NOTES

Cumberland parishes team up to fill Christmas baskets Volunteers from the parishes of St. Alphonsus in Crossville and St. Francis of Assisi in Fairfield Glade, under the direction of Helen Davis and with the assistance of the St. Alphonsus youth group and Boy Scouts, assembled more than 200 Christmas baskets last month. The baskets were distributed to needy families in Cumberland County. All of the food was purchased with donations from both parishes.

FATHER PETER IORIO

parish

Five Rivers Deanery

Holy Trinity, Jefferson City ■ During the Christmas season the parish and nearby churches assisted 159 needy families with 4,720 coats, gloves, and hats, as well as 165 heaters and 200 blankets. ■ Newcomers: Joan Ferrence, Virginia Paskewitz

Notre Dame, Greeneville ■ An Epiphany dinner was served for parishioners Jan. 3. ■ Catechism 101, an adult faith-formation class, will begin in January.

St. Dominic, Kingsport ■ The Knights of Columbus sponsored a youth free-throw competition on Jan. 3.

St. Elizabeth, Elizabethton ■ About 70 brown grocery bags were filled during the Knights of Columbus council’s recent canned-food drive. Assistance Resource Ministries (ARM) received 45 bags and Food for the Multitude 25. ■ Angel-tree Christmas gifts donated Parish notes continued on page 5

Fond farewell to Father Kuzhupil, MSFS Father Joseph Kuzhupil of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales, who served at the Alexian Village in Signal Mountain for the last four years and four months, has returned to India both for a sabbatical and for the celebration of his 25th anniversary of priestly ordination Jan. 10. About 45 people from St. Augustine Parish in Signal Mountain attended a farewell and thank-you dinner for Father Kuzhupil on Dec. 27. The group sang “Happy Sabbatical to You” to him. From left are (front) Father Kuzhupil and Siena, Shaynna, and Klin Rodrigues, and (back) St. Augustine pastor Father Patrick Brownell, event coordinator Lisa Rodrigues, Eilish Flannery, and Helen Brell.

Concerts at All Saints to benefit Catholic Charities he choir and orchestra at All Saints Church in Knoxville, for the second year in a row, will present a Christmas cantata concert to benefit Catholic Charities. Two separate performances of Joseph M. Martin’s Journey of Promises will be given, at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10. Both performances will be held in the main church. All Saints choir director Sandy Seffernick and 100 members of the choir and orchestra will perform the piece under the direction of

T

www.dioceseofknoxville.org

parishioner Walt Otey. Last year’s concert played to about 1,500 people and raised more than $9,000 for Catholic Charities. The choir is hoping to double the attendance this year and dramatically increase the amount of money raised. The concerts do not have a set ticket price; those attending are encouraged to make a donation to Catholic Charities. Seating will begin a half-hour before each performance. For more information, call Mrs. Seffernick at 865-6751788 or Kathy Ely at 777-0696. ■ THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC


The national March for Life is set for Friday, Jan. 22, in Washington, D.C., and East Tennesseans are organizing transportation and hotels for those who wish to attend. A group will leave East Tennessee early on Thursday, Jan. 21, so participants can attend Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception that evening. Friday’s rally begins at noon, with a march down Pennsylvania Avenue. Afterward, attendees have the option of listening to “Silent No More” presentations in front of the Supreme Court and/or visiting elected officials. Participants will spend two nights at the new Residence Inn in Arlington, Va. The rate is $110, including taxes, per night. To reserve a room, contact Esther Golightly at 865310-0690 or egolightly@charter.net to obtain a group code and then make reservations online or by phone. Vans have been reserved for passengers and would cost approximately $60 per person. If enough people wish to go, a bus will be chartered, at a cost of about $100 per person. Deacon Mike Gouge is coordinating bus travel and can be reached at 865-966-9504. Mike Colicchio is coordinating vans and may be contacted at 865-397-5153 or bandsawmgc@bellsouth.net. This year Bishop Richard F. Stika will host three bilingual celebrations to honor married couples and their commitment to the sacrament of marriage. Each celebration will include Mass, an opportunity to renew wedding vows, and a luncheon for couples and their family and friends following the liturgy. Mass will begin at 11 a.m. The first celebration will be held Saturday, Jan. 9, at St. John Neumann Church in Farragut. The second is set for Saturday, Feb. 6, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga and the third at St. Dominic Church in Kingsport on Saturday, July 24. To attend one of the luncheons, RSVP to Marian Christiana of the diocesan Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment at 423892-2310 or mchristiana@dioknox.org or Karen Byrne at 865-584-3307 or kbyrne@dioknox.org. The annual Luck of the Irish Party to benefit Project Graduation for the Knoxville Catholic High School class of 2010 will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, in the KCHS gym. The event will feature food, drinks, a silent auction, and games that include roulette, blackjack, and bingo. All proceeds from the $20 ticket donation will help ensure a safe night of fun for the seniors on graduation night. Purchase tickets from any KCHS senior or at the door. To learn more or make a donation, call Kim Reynolds at 865-323-6133. You must be at least 21 years old to attend. St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Lenoir City will sponsor a six-week presentation on the history of the Catholic Church. The event will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, in the Deacon José Rivera Room in the parish life center. Morning sessions will begin at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 14. The talks, based on Anthony Gilles’s book, People of God: The History of Catholic Christianity (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2000), will be presented by Kathleen Mitchell. Call Jill St. Yves at 865-986-9885 for more information. St. Stephen Parish in Chattanooga will be hosting the “Real Love & Real Life” Family Honor program on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29 and 30. The program is designed for parents and their eighth-grade son or daughter. Family Honor Inc. is a nonprofit Catholic organization created in 1987 whose mission is to strengthen families by providing opportunities for parents and children to communicate effectively about important life values, with a special focus on the truth and goodness of God’s gift of human sexuality and the virtue of chastity. The program presents the Catholic understanding of sexuality, marriage, and family as revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated in documents such as “The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality” and Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body. Registration for the Family Honor program is limited to 40 families. For further information, contact Mary Pat Haywood at 706-2786391 or Jan O’Boyle at 226-9110. The Memorial Health Care System THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC

Foundation’s fifth annual Pink! gala will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Proceeds will go toward the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center satellite facility in Ooltewah, scheduled to open in mid-2010. Alexis and Barry Bogo are chairing the gala’s volunteer committee. The gala includes cocktails, dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, and dancing, with the Party on the Moon band providing the music. Tickets for Pink! are $200 and include cocktails and dinner. Patron tickets of $350 provide access to an exclusive party in addition to dinner, table-side bar service, valet parking, and premium seating at the gala. To purchase tickets or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, call the foundation at 423-495-PINK or visit www.memorial.org/pink. Search for Christian Maturity retreats, which are open to high school juniors and seniors, have been scheduled in Knoxville and in the Chattanooga and Five Rivers deaneries. ■ Search 88 has been set for the weekend of Jan. 15 through 17 at Knoxville Catholic High School. Students should see their youth minister for a registration form. For more information, contact Kristen Lehman at 865-689-7011 or kristen.lehman@satg knox.org, Annie Nassis at 531-0770 or annieatallsaints@yahoo.com, or Deacon Dan Hosford at 603-9682 or djh2@comcast.net. ■ Upcoming Chattanooga Deanery dates are Feb. 19 through 21 for Search 128 and March 19 through 21 for Search 129. To request a registration form or learn more, contact Donna Jones at 423-718-4387 or djones6029@ gmail.com. ■ In the Five Rivers Deanery, Search 40 is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 5 through 7. For forms or more details, contact Deacon Jim Fage at 423-7482836 or djim5rivers@charter.net.

COURTESY OF KAREN BYRNE

BY TONI PACITTI

St. John Neumann youth attend Tennessee Right to Life banquet Youth from St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut fill a table at the annual Celebrate Life Benefit Banquet sponsored by the Knox County chapter of Tennessee Right to Life. Clockwise from bottom left are Cathy Varga, Christian Lonnecker, Tommy Van Sickle, Molly Uphoff, Anthony Osorio, Freddy Ulmer, Brittany Combs, Ryan Seyer, Allie Tambornini, and Claire Wickenden. Mathew D. Staver of Liberty University was the keynote speaker at the recent event, held at Rothchild Catering & Conference Center in West Knoxville.

COURTESY OF CHIP HUBER

CALENDAR

Undefeated champions The Catholic Youth Football eighth-grade team (ages 14 and under) recently captured the Knox County championship with a 14-12 come-from-behind win over Fulton. The victory completed an 11-0 season for the team. Head coach Chip Huber’s assistant coaches include Knox County Juvenile Court Judge Tim Irwin, a parishioner of Sacred Heart Cathedral and a 14-year NFL veteran. CYF is the feeder program for Knoxville Catholic High School, and its roster represents all of the Catholic schools in the county. This year CYF fielded nine teams with almost 250 boys. Five of the teams made the playoffs in the 2009 season. Two of the squads were coached by KCHS principal Dickie Sompayrac. Mr. Sompayrac’s 9-year-old team won its league with a 9-0-1 record.

The Sevier County chapter of Tennessee Right to Life will sponsor its fifth annual march and rally Sunday, Jan. 10, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Pigeon Forge Community Center and continuing along the Pigeon Forge Parkway to the Country Tonite Theatre. A program will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and will include a play by the chapter’s youth board, interpretative dances, music by Kirk Tally, and a talk by inspirational speaker Marc Newman. Contact Terry Aparicio at 865-654-7685 or sevcrtl@bellsouth.net. The next “Picture of Love” engagedcouples retreat will begin with breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga. This one-day marriage-preparation retreat is a supplement to couples’ marriage formation with their parish priest and is designed to help couples gain a better understanding of the joys and challenges of living the sacrament of matrimony in their day-today lives. The day will include Mass and end with dinner at 6 p.m. Cost is $135 per couple. The retreat certificate is good for a $60 discount on a marriage license. To register or learn more, contact Marian Christiana at 423-892-2310 or mchristiana@dioceseofknoxville.org. A pilgrimage to Fatima and Ireland with Father Patrick Resen of St. Catherine Labouré in Copperhill, departing from New York City, is planned for April 12 through 21, 2010. The pilgrimage group will have a meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, in room 206 of Fatima Hall at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Alcoa. The cost from New York is $2,899. For more information, contact Dolores Maglione at 865-982-0090 or maglioned@bellsouth.net. The Serra Club of Knoxville is sponsoring an essay contest for grade school children, offered in memory of Serrans Paul and Katherine Murphy. The theme is “A Year for Priests.” Winning essays will be selected from two divisions: one for third, fourth, and fifth graders, with a maximum length of 150 words, and one for sixth- through eighth-graders, with a maximum length of 300 words. Firstplace finishers in each division will receive $50 and a plaque, and runners-up will be awarded $25 and a plaque. Submit essays to Catholic school teachers or CCD teachers. A parent must sign Calendar continued on page 6

COURTESY OF KATHIE ETHERTON

on the

Kendall celebrates Grandparents Day at St. Jude St. Jude School in Chattanooga celebrated Grandparents Day recently, with about 200 grandparents attending a brunch in the family-life center. Students participated in Mass and a special program for the visitors. Above, third-grader Kendall Mroz stands with grandparents (from left) Reva Mroz and Don and Kathy Mara.

Parish notes continued from page 4

by parishioners were distributed to 50 needy children from Harold McCormick School in Elizabethton. ■ The outside statues of Jesus and Mary have been placed on new concrete pedestals on the north side of the education building. Linda Muraski and Bill Pate assisted in giving the statues facelifts. ■ Anniversaries: Jim and Pat Dobes (35), Bill and Linda Cox (5) ■ Baptisms: Brady Ledbetter, Benjamin Shutko ■ Newcomers: Bill, Angela, Cameron, Donavan, and Emily Brown

■ An appreciation party for volunteers and lay ministers will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, at the L & N Station. Bring a covered dish, and contact Carol O’Farrell at 865-6917392 or carolgerry@bellsouth.net to let her know what dish you are bringing.

Smoky Mountain Deanery

St. Albert the Great, Knoxville

Holy Ghost, Knoxville ■ Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace”

classes will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, in the Pope John Paul II Room and run for 13 weeks. Cost is $55. Call Carol Lougheed at 865-689-7708 for details.

Immaculate Conception, Knoxville ■ A new Paulist Bible study, “Jesus

and the Gospels,” will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, and continue on second and fourth Wednesdays. Participants should bring a Bible. All other materials will be provided.

www.dioceseofknoxville.org

Our Lady of Fatima, Alcoa ■ A music board has been formed to facilitate various musical programs in the parish. The board will also raise money to purchase a new organ. Call Jennifer Henderson at 865-202-6582 for more information.

■ Father Chris Michelson thanked parishioners, whose generosity helped St. Albert the Great distribute about $17,000 to needy families over the holidays. ■ Seven Stations of the Cross have been purchased. The stands are under construction and should arrive at the parish in January.

St. Joseph the Worker, Madisonville ■ Father P. J. McGinnity celebrated an extraordinary-form (“traditional Latin”) Mass on Christmas day at St. Joseph the Worker. ■ JANUARY 10, 2010

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Faith formation continued from page 3

Spirituality, taught by Father Michael Woods. Explores the foundations of how our faith is expressed and deepened through prayer and spirituality. The class will examine the concept of spiritual development and how intimate communion with God is available to all people. ■ Tuesday, Feb. 9, Sacred Heart Cathedral ■ Tuesday, March 9, St. Alphonsus Church, Crossville ■ Tuesday, April 20, location TBD ■ Tuesday, May 11, Notre Dame Church, Greeneville Personal morality, taught by Father Michael Sweeney. Explores the foundations of what we believe as Catholics and why we believe it. How do we know the church’s position on moral issues is correct? How do we live as faithful Catholics in a world that seemingly rejects the church’s teachings at every turn? This session will examine the concepts of human dignity, freedom, law, sin, virtue, and conscience as well as current moral issues. It will also provide insight into how we may explain the church’s position to those who are searching for answers in a confusing world. ■ Tuesday, March 2, St. Dominic Church, Kingsport ■ Tuesday, Oct. 5, St. Stephen Church, Chattanooga ■ Thursday, Nov. 4, location TBD What we believe, taught by Deacon David Lucheon. Explores the foundations of what we profess as Catholics. The class will examine the principal truths of the faith as expressed in the creeds of the church. ■ Tuesday, April 20, location TBD ■ Thursday, Oct. 14, location TBD ■ Tuesday, Nov. 9, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Chattanooga

Catechist orientation The diocese’s catechetical formation program for adults also continues in 2010, with three catechetical days and one catechist-orientation session. The program, presented in collaboration with Aquinas College in Nashville, is intended for parish catechists, teachers in Catholic schools, ministry leaders, and other interested adults. Each catechetical-formation session will take place on a Saturday and will include hourlong modules on the Creed, the sacraments, morality, prayer, and methods. All sessions are offered free of charge. The orientation session will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 27, at St. Mary Church in Oak Ridge. Those who have taken part in an orientation session need not attend. Catechetical days, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (choose one) ■ March 6, St. John Neumann Church, Farragut ■ March 20, Notre Dame Church, Greeneville ■ March 27, St. Jude Church, Chattanooga For further details about both programs, contact Father Richard Armstrong at rarmstrong@ dioknox.org or 865-584-3307. ■

Readings continued from page 2

speaking for God, addressed that attitude. The land of Israel is like a virgin waiting for a bridegroom. When the marriage takes place, she will make him rejoice with many children. Thus, the land of Israel will be fertile when the captives return from Babylon. They will be filled with the bountiful produce of the land. Jesus invoked the same theme when he blessed the couple at Cana with an abundance of choice wine, even as people were noticing the wine had run out. Yes, the wine of the Old Covenant was growing weak, until all that was left was water fit only for washing. Jesus was bringing in the New Covenant. In comparison to the water that was left, Jesus brought in choice vintage wine. In the present age of Christ’s New Covenant his finest and greatest gift to us is the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who makes us, the land and the spouse of Christ, fertile. In the second reading Paul reminds us that we are all beneficiaries of Christ and therefore receivers of the Spirit’s gifts. Each of us receives spiritual gifts that are particularly suited to our state in life. From our own perspective we can rejoice in what we have become and thank God. If we had a view from heaven, gazing on the church, however, we would see a marvelous sight. It could be described as a lush, fruitful countryside. Or it could be called a beautiful bride dressed and ready to meet her husband. The whole world rejoices in the new life that ensues. ■ Father Brando is a retired priest of the diocese.

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JANUARY 10, 2010

called to

FOLLOW

BY SUZANNE ERPENBACH

A year for stewardship New opportunities to share time, talent, and treasure await us in 2010.

I write this mid-Advent 2009, but you read it in 2010. You will have already celebrated Christmas, New Year’s Day, and the arrival of the Magi and may be thinking about taking down Christmas decorations and looking ahead to Super Bowl Sunday. Throughout Advent we look for the light of Christ, coming in Jesus’ birth at Christmas. Our life experiences help us to relate to the patience needed in advance of a precious baby’s birth. The arrival of an infant, especially the Christ Child, fosters great hope in us for a future of shared relationships and love. Winter months are dark, but they keep us focused on the greater intensity and warmth that spring light will bring. The darkness also reminds us that we need a guiding light to lead us. What is sometimes forgotten is that God is always present as our light of night and day, in every season, and throughout all creation. His presence is so obvious yet often becomes so

obsessions

routine to us that we may ignore or forget it. Christmas is a time of year known for generosity. Keeping a caring heart and spirit is a challenge the rest of the year. We can continually reflect the real meaning and spirit of Christmas in the attitude and offerings we extend to God and others in our daily living. Each person can portray the face of Jesus to others through prayer, the dedication of time, the use of talents, and generosity with treasure, financial and other. As we each seek and allow Christ to come into our life, we change in our relationships with God and humanity. We view daily living with broader vision. We become increasingly inspired to express our appreciation to God for the love and gifts he so abundantly gives. Our eyes sparkle, our smiles reveal acceptance of Christ’s invitation to follow as a disciple and good steward, and we live with clear direction and purpose. Stewardship then becomes a way of living, having an influence on how we read, watch television, shop, worship, vacation, pay bills, eat, sleep, care for ourselves and others, and apply our gifts. We care for ourselves and others dif-

BY GINGER HUTTON

Father Keating diverges He mistakenly likens a Buddhist ritual to the eucharistic celebration.

Recently several people asked my opinion of Father Thomas Keating, OCSO, and centering prayer. Although I had read many of his books with great interest 10 years ago, I hadn’t thought about him or that technique in years. Their questions inspired me to reconnect with Father Keating by watching some recent videos of him. To my sorrow, I discovered that he appears to be going in a different direction from the Magisterium these days. A comparison of the video Father Thomas Keating: Oneness and the Heart of the World (available for viewing on YouTube) with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s “Letter to the Bish-

ops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation” illustrates this divergence. The document clearly criticizes those who “do not hesitate to place that absolute without image or concepts, which is proper to Buddhist theory, on the same level as the majesty of God revealed in Christ, which towers above finite reality.” In the video Father Keating tells a long story in which the Buddha calls together monks and nuns and elevates in their presence a lotus flower—a Buddhist symbol of human transformation. The monks “lost themselves in the deepest silence of communion with the absolute.” Father Keating describes this elevation of the lotus as “somewhat like a eucharistic celebration.” There’s no real similarity between the Eucharist and this elevation of the lotus. The lotus is presented as a symbol. The Eucharist is not merely a

ferently, accepting a greater level of responsibility for our gifts and their use. We view creation with a broader perspective, evaluate our choices and decisions more carefully, and show justice and charity in our relationships. Real stewardship is integral and essential to true Christianity as Jesus intended it. As we begin a new year, we have fresh opportunities to build on the love and graces shared in the birth of the Christ Child. Jesus’ birth was part of God’s plan. Born in humble surroundings, the Christ Child came with a destiny to die on a cross and rise to redeem the world. God has a plan for us too. We don’t know how God will call us or what his plan may be. God works through humble servants, such as Mary, who respond with love and acceptance to his calls. We show our love for God and others through our readiness to answer when needed. Though we now return to “ordinary time” in the church year, stewardship can never be forgotten. God redeems the world through those who follow. He brings light and love to our relationships and expressions. Let Christ be our light, guiding each of us to eternal life. May 2010 be everyone’s best stewardship year yet. God bless you. ■ Mrs. Erpenbach directs the diocesan Stewardship and Development Office. symbol but Christ present. The point of the story is that the Buddha teaches that this act of elevation is not in itself sacred, that no human act is sacred, but only the experience of the divine. How very confused and confusing is it to equate this action—which is not sacred—with the Eucharist, the direct experience of the Divine. Although Father Keating does affirm the Real Presence in his other writings and videos, he tends to present it merely as a Christian assertion rather than the absolute reality it is. Ecumenical and inter-religious sensitivity ceases to be laudable—and becomes religious indifferentism—when the essential difference and distance between the Eucharist and the rites and symbols of other religious systems are not made clear. The Congregation’s “Letter” further tells us we must bear in mind “that man is essentially a creature, and remains such for eternity, so that an absorbing of the human self into the divine self is never possible, not even in the highest states of grace.” We are made in the image and likeness of God, and Christ shares Hutton continued on page 7

Calendar continued from page 5

the entries of homeschooled students. Essays, with the entrant’s name, grade, address, and telephone number on the first page, should be mailed to Colette Seitz, 3630 S. Creek Road, Knoxville, TN 37920. The deadline for entries is Friday, Jan. 15.

O’Connell at 865-256-4880.

Charismatic Masses will be celebrated in 2010 at 5 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 24, April 25, Aug. 29, Oct. 24, at Holy Spirit Church in Soddy-Daisy. Father Dan Whitman of Holy Trinity Parish in Jefferson City will be the celebrant. Call Dee Leigh at 423-842-2305.

Mass in the extraordinary form (“traditional Latin”) is celebrated at 1:30 p.m. each Sunday at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville and at 3 p.m. on first and third Sundays at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church in Cleveland. Visit www.knoxlatin mass.net for details.

Holy Resurrection Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Mission has Divine Liturgy celebrations at 3:30 p.m. Sundays at Holy Ghost Church, 1041 N. Central St. in Knoxville. Call Father Thomas

A Seekers of Silence Contemplative Saturday Morning will be held Jan. 23 at John XXIII Catholic Center in Knoxville. Glenmary Father John S. Rausch will give a talk titled “The Preferential Option

The St. Thomas the Apostle Ukrainian Catholic Mission celebrates Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. Sundays in the chapel at the Chancery. Call Father Richard Armstrong at 865-584-3307.

www.dioceseofknoxville.org

for the Poor.” Coffee and tea will be served at 8:30 a.m.; the workshop will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Bring a bag lunch. RSVP to 865523-7931. Upcoming events for Catholic Singles of Greater Knoxville (40 and over) include the following: ■ Sunday, Jan. 10: Easy to moderate hike, site TBA. Meet at 9:30 a.m. in the All Saints Church parking lot near the pavilion. Call host Randy S. at 865-556-3681. ■ Wednesday, Jan. 13: Meet at Panera Bread on North Peters Road for hot coffee, hot chocolate, and/or hot soup. Call Randy S. (see above) for details. ■ Friday, Jan. 15: January birthday celebration and happy hour at Red Lobster on Kingston Pike, 6 p.m. RSVP to Nancy C. at 5885591 by Jan. 14. ■ THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC


washington

LETTER

from the

BY DENNIS SADOWSKI

More people struggle to make ends meet Because of the recession, 16.7 million households needed help providing food in 2008.

CNS PHOTO/WILLIAM RIETER

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Whenever Robert Carlisle leaves his modest apartment on Cleveland’s near west side, he turns off the heat so he can save a little money on his gas bill for a pair of shoes or a bus pass. He does the same at night when he climbs into bed under an extra blanket. Turning down the heat is an easy step to take, Carlisle said after breakfast Dec. 30 at the West Side Catholic Center, a few blocks from his home. It’s especially important, he said, when he’s “budgeting down to every penny.” What little money Carlisle earns from odd jobs is used for necessities, mainly rent and utilities, leaving little for food. So he visits the West Side Catholic Center for meals and even to shower. The money he saves on heating water and on a light breakfast or lunch can mean the difference between having a roof over his head or living in the streets. People like Carlisle—those with limited or reduced incomes—turned to places such as the West Side Catholic Center in increasing numbers in 2008, according to the U.S.

Ernest Marshall, 67, is a volunteer at West Side Catholic Center in Cleveland. He said he has seen more working poor turn to the center for assistance with food. People come for breakfast or lunch so they can stretch their limited budget to cover rent and utilities in order to avoid becoming homeless. STRETCHING DOLLARS

Department of Agriculture. They are experiencing what the department calls food insecurity. Barbara Taylor, center supervisor, told Catholic News Service just before the new year that people are seeking assistance not just for a meal but for clothing as well. She has seen more working people trying to stretch their

dollars for rent or mortgage payments. One man who comes almost every day for lunch is a part-time Regional Transit Authority bus driver, who, for now, is living in his van, she said. “He said with his divorce and child support and his parttime work, it’s the only way he can make ends meet,”

Johnson Architecture and J. A. Fielden General Contractors led the building team, along with Carson Branum and Living Our Mission Through Growth chair Father Chris Michelson. The capital campaign launched in November 2006 and raised $5 million toward a new academic wing, endowment growth, and the athletic facilities expansion. Diocesan administrator Father Al Humbrecht blessed Schaad Hall, the academic wing, in January 2008. The Farises have a science lab named for them

in Schaad Hall to honor their contributions to that project. A donation by the late Isabel Ashe Bonnyman (’39) helped the school complete the endowment-fund phase of the capital campaign. The school also thanked Monsignor Philip Thoni, who taught there in the 1950s, and St. Mary Parish in Gatlinburg for their support of KCHS. Monsignor Thoni was the St. Mary pastor before his recent retirement. “Monsignor Thoni is not here today, but he has helped every time I’ve said I need some help,” said Mr.

Taylor said. “His only request for me was to have a place to iron his uniform a few times a month so he can keep his job and work toward fulltime employment.” In a recent report the USDA said 16.7 million households—14.6 percent of all households— were food-insecure in 2008 as the recession escalated. That means at some point during the year those households lacked the resources to provide enough food for their members. To cope, they turned to emergency kitchens and food pantries. About one-third of the households were considered to have very low food security, meaning some people ate less or changed their eating patterns. The overall number of households facing food shortages jumped 11 percent in 2008 to the highest level recorded since such statistics were first compiled in 1995. In 2007, 13 million households were short of food. The highest need for food was in rural areas and large cities, whereas suburban areas fared better, the USDA reported. Pantries and food Hunger continued on page 8

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Faris. “He drives hours to come to the games. He’s always in our thoughts and prayers and has done a great job.” Mr. Faris said he hopes Knoxville Catholic’s current students will help support the school after they graduate. “We’ve been inspired and hope that as these boys and girls grow into young men and women that they’ll be inspired to give back, as we’ve encouraged our boys to do,” he said. “Bishop, thank you, and Dickie, thank you for your help and for giving us the opportunity to do it.” ■

DAN MCWILLIAMS

what we’re all about,” he said. “We’re mental persons and physical persons, and we’re spiritual and academic. With this new complex we can give a superior education to all the students who come. “Just think of all the lives that will be touched over the next decades: people who will build up their bodies, their minds, and a relationship daily, becoming closer and closer to God. It might seem insignificant—a gym, weights, a field house, or a football or baseball field—but they all contribute to the education and formation of young adults.” The Farises in addition were the principal donors for the school’s track. Mr. and Mrs. Faris, whose Faris Enterprises operates several area McDonald’s restaurants, also have supplied food for KCHS events and contributed their time as well as treasure, said Mr. Sompayrac. “John and Sondra Faris have given so much to our school through the years,” he said. “What a lot of folks don’t see are the things they do that go above and beyond the monetary gifts to the school.

Freshman Savannah Fox takes part in the blessing ceremony. With her is Father Christopher Riehl. The Fox Family Head Coach’s Office, the Johnny Stallings Training Room, and the LoCascio Family Conference Room are among the expanded Faris Field House’s new additions.

FIELD HOUSE GROWS

THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC

www.dioceseofknoxville.org

PARACLETE

BY VONNIE SPICER

Nourish the spirit s you compose your New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to include at least one for spiritual health. The Paraclete has a selection of dayby-day-formatted books that take only minutes to read but keep you centered in the Divine Presence. Day by Day With Followers of Francis and Clare (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1999, $8.95) provides short biographies of Franciscans through the ages. Some will be familiar, such as St. Anthony of Padua. Others may be unknown to you. Juan de Padilla, a Spanish missionary, followed Coronado in his search for the Seven Cities of Gold, which extended into what is now the southwestern United States. He established the first Christian mission in the present-day United States— Kansas—and later would become one of the first Christian martyrs in our country. St. Louis of Toulouse renounced his royal title to become a priest. St. Collette spent four years walled within a room anchored to a church before leaving to establish 17 monasteries. St. Benedict the African, the son of slaves transported to Sicily, became novice master of the Palermo friars. The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living: Excerpts From the Works of Father Thomas Keating, OCSO, Sacred Scripture, and other Spiritual Writings (Continuum, 2003, $21.95) begins each day with a prayer sentence, a reflection from a spiritual writer, and a Bible reference. Victor Parachin provides original inspirational narratives

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relating Scripture to everyday life, concluding with prayers from various historical and contemporary authors—Edith Stein, C. S. Lewis, St. Augustine—in his Daily Strength for Daily Needs: One Year of Biblical Inspiration (Liguouri, 1998, $15.95). Revelations of Divine Mercy: Daily Readings From the Diary of Blessed Faustina Kowalska focuses each month on a particular theme of St. Faustina’s diary—love, trust, humility, glory— while also providing background on her life (Servant Publications, 1996, $14.99). Ave Maria Press presents Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2010 (2009, $15.95), compiled from the website of the Jesuit Communication Centre in Ireland. The preface invites the reader “to make a sacred space in your day and spend 10 minutes praying”; the book provides a prayer guide and Scripture quote for each day. Grace in Every Season: Through the Year with Catherine Doherty (Madonna House, 1995, $14.95) graces us with reflections and prayers from a great pioneer of social justice and the founder of Madonna House, a Catholic community of laity and priests dedicated to loving and serving Jesus Christ in all aspects of everyday life. It takes only minutes to renew and refresh the spirit every day. Any of these recommendations can help make that possible. Happy resolutions! Happy New Year! ■ Call the store at 865588-0388 or 800-3332097.

Hutton continued from page 6

our nature through his Incarnation. Thus Christianity can reconcile otherness and unity “without the personal self or the nature of a creature being dissolved or disappearing into the sea of the Absolute.” Contrast that with Father Keating’s statement that “manifesting this infinite humility of God involves for us the total loss of self. Not just the false self but any attachment to an identity that is not God, and so if reincarnation really exists it’s not us [sic] who are being reincarnated but Christ or whatever term you have for God.” That statement is at odds not only with the present document but also with several others. The Vatican document Jesus Christ: Bearer of the Water of Life clearly reminds us that the Christian faith is certain that reincarnation does not exist; the document Dominus Iesus assures us that Christ is not equivalent to “whatever term you have for God.” Some might argue that these errors do not necessarily call into question centering prayer as a technique. That’s debatable, but the real question is, whom do you trust to provide solid instruction in prayer? I spent hours watching Father Thomas Keating videos from the last two years and comparing them with recent church documents. Although Father Keating is an engaging speaker, every video I watched was on some point significantly at odds with Dominus Iesus or the letter on Christian meditation. When those documents were published, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. I trust the pope. ■ Miss Hutton is a member of St. Mary Parish in Oak Ridge and a full-time godmother. JANUARY 10, 2010

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from the

WIRE

Pope celebrates Christmas with call for charity

An undated handout photo shows Italian-Swiss national Susanna Maiolo. Maiolo, 25, was arrested and taken to a medical facility after jumping a barricade in St Peter’s Basilica, lunging toward the pope, and knocking him down during the entrance procession at the Christmas Eve Mass. The Vatican said the pope was not injured in the incident.

IN TREATMENT

Papal secretary visits pope’s Christmas attacker BY CAROL GLATZ

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—Pope Benedict XVI’s personal secretary visited the woman responsible for knocking the pope down during Christmas Eve Mass. Monsignor Georg Ganswein, papal secretary, visited Susanna Maiolo at the psychiatric hospital in Subiaco, outside of Rome, where she was transferred Dec. 25. The papal secretary made the private visit to Maiolo “to show her the Holy Father’s interest in her situation,” the papal spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said in a written statement Jan. 3. Although the Vatican did not specify when the visit occurred, the Italian daily Il Giornale said Monsignor Ganswein met with Maiolo on Dec. 31. The newspaper said the monsignor brought her a rosary and told her the pope had forgiven her and believed she hadn’t meant any harm. It added that Maiolo, a dual Italian–Swiss citizen, had previously received extensive psychiatric care in Switzerland. A Vatican prosecutor was gathering information from doctors evaluating Maiolo’s mental state and from Vatican security reports. The prosecutor was to make a recommendation to the Vatican tribunal, which will then make the final ruling. She may be pardoned and acquitted of any crime, handed over to Italian or Swiss authorities, or handed down a sentence, Father Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office, told Catholic News Service Dec. 28. Maiolo, 25, jumped a security barrier at the start of the Dec. 24 liturgy as Pope Benedict processed into St. Peter’s Basilica. As Vatican guards tackled her, she grabbed the pope’s vestments, causing him to lose his balance and tumble to the floor. The woman, who was not armed, was taken away by papal guards. She showed signs of mental instability and was taken to a psychiatric hospital about 45 miles outside of Rome for what the Vatican called “mandatory clinical treatment.” The pope appeared unharmed after the Dec. 24 incident, but French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 87, suffered a broken hip and underwent hip replacement surgery Dec. 27. ■ Copyright 2010 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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children to respect others, even when they are different from us,” he said. Multiethnic children have an advantage, he said, because the faces of the children “are a prophecy of the humanity we are called to form: a family of families and peoples.” “The smaller these children are, the more they elicit from us tenderness and joy for an innocence and brotherhood that is evident: despite their differences, they cry and laugh in the same way, they have the same needs, they communicate spontaneously and play together,” he said. However, the pope said, the smiles of too many children are extinguished by suffering, and their hearts are poisoned by violence. In them one can see “faces lined by hunger and disease, faces disfigured by pain and desperation. The faces of these innocent little ones are a silent appeal to our responsibility,” the pope said. Recognizing their helplessness, “all the false justifications for war and violence fall away. We simply must convert to projects of peace, lay down weapons of every kind, and, all of us together, make a commitment to building a world more worthy of humanity.” ■ Copyright 2010 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

JANUARY 10, 2010

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Christmas with a call for unselfish charity and solidarity with the suffering, underlining the message two days later by lunching with the poor at a Rome soup kitchen. The pope’s Christmas was marred by a security scare on Christmas Eve, when a mentally unbalanced woman rushed the 82-year-old pontiff and knocked him to the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica. The pope was unharmed, but French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray suffered a broken hip when he fell in the confusion. The incident occurred as the pope processed into the basilica at the start of the 10 p.m. Mass. Amateur videos posted on YouTube showed a woman wearing a red sweatshirt leaping over the security barrier and grabbing the pope’s vestments, as Vatican security guards swarmed above them. The congregation inside the basilica broke into applause when the pope quickly rose to his feet and continued the procession down the main aisle, looking somewhat shaken. The liturgy proceeded without further incident. Vatican sources confirmed that the woman was the same person who attempted to rush the pope at Midnight Mass last year but was tackled by guards before she could reach the pontiff. The woman, 25year-old Susanna Maiolo, an Italian and Swiss citizen, was taken into custody for psychiatric evaluations. In his Christmas Eve homily the pope said conflict in the world stems from the fact that “we are locked into our own interests and our desires.” He said many people have become “religiously tonedeaf” and unable to

CNS PHOTO/L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO VIA REUTERS

CNS PHOTO/ITALIAN POLICE/REUTERS

‘Our own interests and desires’ lead to conflict in the world, Benedict says. By John Thavis

URBI ET ORBI Pope Benedict XVI delivers his Christmas blessing urbi et orbi—“to the city and to the world”—from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Dec. 25.

perceive God, absorbed by worldly affairs and professional occupations. “For most people, the things of God are not given priority. . . . And so the great majority of us tend to postpone them. First we do what seems urgent here and now. In the list of priorities God is often more or less at the end. We can always deal with that later, we tend to think,” he said. Despite this mentality, he said, a path for discovering and appreciating God exists for everyone. It is a path marked with signs, he said, and at Christmas God’s sign is that “he makes himself small; he becomes a child; he lets us touch him and he asks for our love.” On Christmas Day the pope delivered his message and blessing urbi et orbi (“to the city of Rome and to the world”) from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. He prayed for peace in trouble spots such as the Holy Land, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Europe and North America, he said, the church “urges people to leave behind the self-

ish and technicist mentality, to advance the common good, and to show respect for the persons who are the most defenseless, starting with the unborn.” The pope said the church began with Christ’s birth “in the lowly cave of Bethlehem” and through the centuries has become a light for humanity, most recently as it has experienced a “grave financial crisis” and a more general moral crisis. The pope then offered Christmas greetings in 65 languages, saying in English: “May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the savior has been born for us.” The pope’s Christmas message included a call for “an attitude of acceptance and welcome” for the millions of people who migrate from their homelands, driven by hunger, intolerance, or environmental degradation. On Dec. 27 the pope lunched with a mostly immigrant group at a Rome soup kitchen and language school run by the Sant’Egidio Com-

munity, a Catholic lay organization. The white-robed pontiff came with a carload of gifts that he presented to more than 30 children served by the center. The pope was cheered as he entered the dining room for a meal of lasagna, meatballs, and lentils, followed by cake and spumante. He listened during the meal to personal stories of persecution, arduous immigration routes, and homelessness. Among those seated at the pope’s table was Qorbanali Esmaili, a 34-year-old political refugee from Afghanistan; Roukia Daud Abdulle, a 63year-old Somali woman who came to Italy so her disabled son could receive care; and Boban Trajkovic, 24, who lives in a Gypsy camp on the outskirts of Rome. The event in the popular Rome quarter of Trastevere drew hundreds of residents, who cheered the pope when he arrived and watched video pictures of part of his visit on a giant TV screen outside. They applauded when the pontiff greeted 25-year-old Aniello Bosco, who gets around the neighborhood in a wheelchair; he was abandoned by his family because of a disability. “I am here to tell you that I am close to you and I love you and that your experiences are not far from my thoughts,” the pope said in a speech, before being serenaded with a Christmas carol. Outside the center the pope stopped to personally greet many of the residents who packed the adjacent street. Despite the Christmas Eve incident at the Vatican, no attempt was made to keep people at a distance from the pontiff. ■ Copyright 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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programs across the country have seen significant increases in requests for help. At Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, the number of people seeking emergency food assistance has doubled to nearly 100 families a day, five days a week. “People come to keep the house,” said Sharon Mann, community relations director at the agency. “Our clientele has changed. It used to be people who would come on foot or by bus, truly the working poor, those just getting by or not working. We’ve completely changed now. Because Las Vegas was so hard hit by foreclosures and people who’ve lost their jobs, we’re seeing husbands and wives coming. Some of our donors have be-

come clients. “It’s helping them keep under a roof,” she continued. “We are now seeing people who have never, never had to ask us for help.” Across the country at Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens in New York, Nina Valmonte said her program topped the one-millionmeal mark for the first time during the fiscal year ending in June. A normal year finds the program serving 600,000 to 700,000 meals. “Now we see more men on the pantry lines,” Valmonte told CNS. “They have traditionally been the major providers. Now the major provider has lost a job or has reduced hours. “It becomes a choice between paying the mortgage or the

www.dioceseofknoxville.org

rent or getting food,” she said. Seeing a growing need, Valmonte’s program initiated a grant program in 2008 to help parishes improve their emergency outreach. “Guess what? Most of them said they would use the money to start or expand a food pantry,” she said. Similar increases in food requests have been reported in places such as Dayton, Ohio; Austin, Texas; and Lake Charles, La., according to the most recent Catholic Charities USA quarterly survey of its agencies. Overall, the survey found 76 percent of Catholic Charities agencies reporting an increased demand for food. ■ Copyright 2009 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops THE EAST TENNESSEE CATHOLIC


Jan. 10, 2010, East Tennessee Catholic