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June / July ’10

Bishop James S. Wall,

v oice S o u t h w e s t OF THE

Fidelity and Ser vice to our Church, the Faithful, and Christ

Newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup

New Chancellor


Sacred Spaces

Bishop Wall

Young Men’s

Places of Reflection

Appoints Chancellor

Discernment Retreat

and Prayer at Home

page 3

page 5

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VOL. 50 NO. 3

Solitude in a Busy World: Building Our Lady of the Deser t “The monastery itself ought to be built so as to contain all necessities within it…so that nuns shall have no need to wonder abroad, as this is not helpful for their souls.” - Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia, Italy (5th Century) by Lindsey Bright In medieval times, stonecutters, woodcutters, and blacksmiths all worked together as a large team of masterbuilders. That tradition continues today into the 21st Century with modern equipment such as backhoes, cranes, chain saws, electric drills, and also prefabricated modular buildings. Constructing a monastery requires a tremendous amount of work and faith, which poses a great challenge, especially for a small group of Benedictine nuns living in Gobernador, New Mexico—a rural area in northern New Mexico—where they are raising up the Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert with the help of the surrounding community. In Gobernador, the oil field workers are no longer the lone sound makers. There are hammers, saws, and nail guns, all roaring upward with monastic chants. A road was built, and the land was leveled. A water well was successfully drilled during a Novena to Saint Joseph. Electricity and gas were installed, along with a septic system. A brand new modular building from Homes Direct was custom made, purchased,

and delivered. Two modular buildings were donated and with the generous help of new and old friends of the monastery painting, laying linoleum, putting in a new roof, and tearing out partitions to enlarge rooms, the modulars were transformed into a small lovely chapel and kitchen and refectory with two guestrooms. During this phase, the sisters continued their prayers seven times a day, coming together to chant the Divine Office—the official prayer of the Church. In between this, they cooked for the workers and learned a lot of “how-to’s,” such as maneuvering a backhoe and sheetrocking. As the first snows of winter began, the portals that covered the walkways were completed, allowing the sisters to walk from one building to another during one of the worst winters in 20 years. Each sister was assigned a section of the concrete walkway to sweep and shovel each hour to keep the walkways from freezing. In the spring, students from Saint Francis Catholic School in Lumberton and two forest rangers from Chama volunteered their time to plant 100 trees and shrubs. “Building Our Lady” continues on page 12 >

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Best Secret

40th Anniversary

Br. Maynard Shurley Serves Diocese

Fr. O’Keefe Celebrates Jubilee

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New Principal Q&A with Barbara Kozeliski

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v o ic e S o u t h w e s t OF THE OF THE

Local Church

Saint Anthony Mission Celebrates 75 Years Saint Anthony Mission in Naschitti, New Mexico, was the scene of a very exciting celebration of 75 years. The mission was built by the Franciscans. Father Quenten Hauer, OFM, was the supervisor of the building project and the dedication was presided over by Archbishop Rudolf Gerken of Santa Fe on June 11, 1935. Bishop James Wall arrived for the 11:30 a.m. Mass to celebrate the jubilee. He was assisted by the present pastor at Tohatchi, New Mexico (the mother church), Father John Mittelstadt, OFM. Two Navajo deacons from the

parish—Marcellino Morris and Sherman Manuelito— flanked the bishop. Deacon Marcellino is a native of Naschitti and Deacon Sherman is a native of Tohatchi (he now serves at Saint Paul’s in Crownpoint, New Mexico). The master of ceremonies was Deacon James Hoy. The church was full and very lively. Father Bob Ross, SJ, sacramental minister at Naschitti, was also present. Medicine man Roy Joe opened the dinner in the hall with Navajo prayer. The ladies of the parish cooked outside the hall and brought in mutton stew, fry bread, mut-

Father Matthew Keller Appointed Chancellor From 2002 to 2006, he was assigned in the Diocese Bishop James S. Wall has appointed Father Matthew of Gallup as parochial vicar in the Cibola Deanery in Keller chancellor of the Diocese of Gallup. New Mexico, which includes Grants, Milan, San Father Matthew Keller was born in GanaRafael, and San Mateo. In 2006, he was assigned do, Arizona, attended high school in Bloomas pastor of the Catron County, New Mexico, field, New Mexico, and San Juan College in parishes in Quemado, Datil, Reserve, Aragon, Farmington, New Mexico, where he began and Glennwood. studies toward a degree in business adminisFather Keller was in residence at the Sacred tration. Heart Cathedral in Gallup, New Mexico, from From 1985 to 1988, Father Keller at2008 to 2009. He was assigned in 2008 as the tended Fort Lewis College located in Durango, diocese’s vocations director—and as chancellor Colorado, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree pro-tem in 2009, when he was also assigned as in business administration. He attended Saint Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, PennsylFr. Matthew Keller director of the Cure of Ars House of Discernment in Gallup. Father Keller, as chancellor, will vania, from 1996 to 2000. Father Keller then continue his duties as director of vocations and the house attended Saint John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, of discernment—and as the spiritual director of the Galfrom 2000 to 2002, earning a master’s of divinity degree. Father Keller was ordained a priest on September 21, lup Serra Club. 2002.


ton ribs, blue corn meal and many other Navajo favorites. Master of ceremonies Randy Roberts remarked, “That’s what they ate 75 years ago.” The hall was also filled with parishioners from Coyote Canyon, Tohatchi, and Naschitti. Area councilmen Herman Morris and Peterson Yazzie gave brief speeches of congratulation. Navajo youth and children sang native songs and chants and provided entertainment for the people. They also spoke in fluent Navajo their appreciation and joy. Bishop Wall was a little late for the hall festivities because he wanted to help the ladies cook fry bread and mutton. He was a big hit with the people when they found out what he was doing. He reminded the Navajo people that he was born on the Navajo Reservation at Ganado and was very happy to “come home.” The Navajo people presented him with a Pendleton robe.

Happy Endings Start Here.


voice S o u t h w e s t OF THE

Local Church

June / July 2010

Pretend Not to Know or Admit Not to Care by Fr. Frank Pavone National Director, Priests for Life

I forget what movie it is, but I remember the scene. Two friends were arguing with each other and one was saying, “But you don’t get it, you killed someone!” And the friend responded, “No, you don’t get it—I don’t care.” Abortion advocates either deny that the baby is a baby, or they say they just don’t care that abortion kills that baby. More and more over the past decade have been taking the latter approach. And in some ways, they have less and less choice in the matter. Not only has science indisputably confirmed fertilization as the starting point of each unique human life, but the law is catching up with the science. A law was passed in South Dakota in 2005—and subsequently upheld in federal court—that actually requires the abortionist to tell the woman who comes for an abortion that the procedure destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.” North Dakota has passed the same law. A couple other states have also introduced such legislation. This is a tremendous victory for the pro-life movement and a wonderful triumph of truth over an industry based on the denial of truth. The truth about who unborn children are, after all, has come to light more in the time since the law deprived those children of protection than it did from the beginning of human history. It’s only in recent decades that we have developed ultrasound and other visualization techniques, as well as fetal therapy and surgery—not to mention amazing advances in genetics. While considering this law, the court concluded that evidence like this, presented by the state, “suggests that the biological sense in which the embryo or fetus is whole, separate, unique, and living should be clear in context to a physician and Planned Parenthood submitted no evidence to oppose that conclusion.” One of the things that abortion advocates complained about through the process was that the state should not be allowed to force a doctor to convey an ideological message (like pro-life). But, the eigth circuit court pointed out that there’s a difference between that and requiring the doctor to provide truthful and accurate information about the abortion. The fact that such information may lead the person to choose life over abortion does not—the court said—make it unconstitutional to require doctors to provide such information. So, there you have it: abortionists being required to admit that the abortion destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.” The law and courts are awakening from an almost 40-year slumber induced by the assertion made by Roe v. Wade that “we need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” Laws and court decisions like the ones coming out of South Dakota, declaring, “Yes, we do need to resolve that question, and yes already have resolved it.” So, abortion advocates must decide: will they pretend not to know, or will they admit that they just don’t care?

Gates Scholar Noemy Sandoval was recently awarded a prestigious Gates Scholarship and graduated from Gallup Catholic High School with a 3.8 GPA and as one of the most decorated female athletes at the state level that the school has ever had. (See “Gates Scholars” on page 19.)

v o ic e S o u t h w e s t OF THE

Local Church

Young Men’s Discernment Retreat August 13 -15

Ordinarily, ones vocation is revealed as the result of deliberation according to the principles of reason and faith. Or, in extraordinary cases, by supernatural light so abundantly shed upon the soul as to render deliberation unnecessary. There are two signs of vocation: the one negative, the absence of impediment; the other positive, a firm resolution by the help of God to serve Him in the ecclesiastical or religious state. Whether ones vocation is to the married life or to the religious life, discernment requires time for reflection and prayer. On August 13 to 15, the Gallup Serra Club—in coordination with the director of vocations for the Diocese of Gallup, and with the support of Bishop Wall—will be hosting a retreat for high school and college-aged men. This retreat will provide a unique opportunity for formation and reflection. For more information on the retreat or on vocations in the Diocese of Gallup, go to

Friday Evening 6:00 pm Check-In at Curé of Ars House (1507 Walnut Circle, Gallup, NM) 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 pm Dinner 7:30 p.m. Vespers and Benediction 8:45 p.m. Fraternal Hour 10:00 p.m. Compline

2:00 p.m. Work with Little Sisters of the Poor 4:00 p.m. Clean up for dinner 5:30 p.m. Vespers 6:00 p.m. Dinner 7:30 p.m. Bishop’s panel/talk 9:00 p.m. Bonfire 10:30 p.m. Night prayer

Saturday 7:30 a.m. Mass 8:30 a.m. Short Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Leave for Pyramid Peak 10:00 a.m. Begin hike of Pyramid Peak 11:00 a.m. Lunch and “Sermon on the Mount”

Sunday 9:00 a.m. Mass 10:00 a.m. Full Breakfast Confession is available before each Mass, and at anytime upon request.

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Martinez Religious Articles 231 West Coal Avenue Gallup, New Mexico 87301 505.722.5217




voice S o u t h w e s t OF THE

June / July 2010

Common Questions Catholic Answers “Why do you Catholics call your priests ‘Father,’ when Jesus clearly commands us in Matthew 23:9 to ‘call no man your father on Earth’? Aren’t you being unbiblical?” by Jim Burnham


Answer: When I first heard this objection, I was taken aback. I checked the verse and there it was, plain as day: “call no man father” and yet we call our priests “Father.” It looked pretty cut and dry . Was I really contradicting Scripture? But like many non-Catholic objections, this one falls apart upon closer inspection. Four chapters earlier, Jesus tells the rich young man: “honor your father and mother” (Matthew 19:19). He didn’t say “Honor your parental units.” And what are we supposed to call our male parent? (Remember: dad, daddy, pa, papa, and pops all come from pater, Latin for father.) In this same passage, Matthew 23:1-12, Jesus also says call no one “teacher” or “master”: “But you are not to be called rabbi [teacher], for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on Earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.” Yet these same non-Catholics have no problem calling people teacher or calling men “mister,” derived from “master.” They commonly use the word “doctor,” which is Latin for “teacher.” Why do they seize on “call no man father” but strangely overlook “call no one teacher or master”? Are they more concerned about being consistent or finding “gotcha” verses to beat Catholics over the

tells us to call no man “father,” “teacher,” or “master,” He

2:11, 1 Timothy 1:2, and Titus 1:4). The celibate Saint

is us­ing deliberate exaggeration to emphasize that all

Paul be­came the spiritual father of the Corinthians

legitimate au­thority and truth comes from God. Jesus is

because he cooper­ated with God in giving them spiri­tual

saying don’t put human fathers and teachers above the

life, just as biological fathers cooper­ate with God in giv-

ultimate Father and Teacher—God. We must realize that

ing physical life.

We cannot take Matthew 23:1-12 literally. When Jesus

the heavenly Father is the source of all earthly father-

Jesus through the Gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me” (1 Corinthians 4:14-15; also see 1 Thessalonians

Saint Paul concludes by telling the Corinthians to

hood. Jesus is basically restating the first commandment:

imitate him. This includes imitating the way he equates

“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

spiritual fatherhood in Christ through the Gospel with

He is not forbidding calling any man “father.”

the apostolic ministry of bishops and priests in the

Throughout the Bible, men are called fathers and teachers. More than 120 times in the New Testament, men are called “father.” Jesus calls men “father” many

Church. This also includes calling our apostolic ministers what Saint Paul called himself: “father.” Catholics call their priests “Father” be­cause, like Saint

times, including Luke 11:11, 12:53, 14:26, and 16:24. In

Paul, priests cooperate with God in bringing spiri­tual life

Romans 4:12, Saint Paul calls Abraham, obviously a man,

to their flock by preaching the Gospel and administering

“our father Abraham.” In Acts 7:2, Saint Stephen calls the

the sacraments. Like human fathers, spiritual fathers are

Jewish religious leaders “fathers.” It’s worth noting that

called to serve under the authority of the heavenly Father

Saint Stephen was speaking under the inspiration of the

and to proclaim His truth. For sharing in God’s holy

Holy Spirit (Acts 6:10 and 7:55). The Holy Spirit wouldn’t

work, priests are honored to share in God’s holy name:

have inspired Saint Stephen to use this word if Jesus had


forbidden calling any man “father.” In Acts 22:1, Saint Paul likewise addresses the Jews as “brothers and fathers.” Saint Paul zeroes in on the reason Catholics call their

Jim Burnham is director of the New Mexico Roman Catholic apologetics group, San Juan

priests “Father.” In his letter to the Corinthians, Saint

Catholic Seminars. He gives semi-

Paul admonishes them “as my beloved chil­dren. For

nars throughout the country on

though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ

defending the Catholic faith. Visit www.catholicapologetics. com for more info.

Most Catholics can’t. But you don’t have to be tongue-tied the next time your non-Catholic friend asks tough questions like these. Learn how to explain your faith clearly, defend it charitably, and share it confidently with the enormously popular Beginning Apologetics booklet series. These handbooks are crash-courses to help you answer the most common objections about your faith. Discover how easy it is to show the biblical basis for the Eucharist, the papacy, Confession, Mary, purgatory, prayer to the saints, and many other Catholic doctrines. For more information, visit


v o ic e S o u t h w e s t OF THE

The New Evangelization Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

body” (2 Cor. 4:8-10).

Bishop James S. Wall As the old saying goes “actions speak louder than words.” So it was with Saint Francis of Assisi. He is credited with the famous evangelization statement: “I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I use words when necessary.” This is a very clear reminder to all believers that what we preach in words we must match with our actions. If we consistently teach on the necessity of Christ in one’s life—but live lives that are not in conformity with this Gospel message—then we run the risk of driving others away from the faith. Lives of faithful service to Christ are beacons of hope to the world.

The desire on the part of the early Church was not to Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recently established a new pontifical council, whose primary focus is preach themselves, rather it was to preach and teach about the one who saves, Jesus Christ. They were couthe New Evangelization. We notice our world becomrageous in preaching, knowing that what happened to ing more and more secularized, and find ourselves our Lord could very well happen to them. Despite the living in a “post-Christian society.” It is imperative suffering and punishment they endured, they—by the that the members of the Church take to heart the grace of God—continued to preach the Good News of command of our Lord to evangelize all nations. Pope Jesus Christ. Benedict XVI stated: “There are regions in the world that still wait for a first evangelization; others that received it but need more profound work; others still in which the Gospel put down We must be mindful of the state of life to roots a long time ago, giving place to a true Christian tradition, but where in the which God has called us; whether it’s as clerlast centuries—with complex dynamics— gy, religious, or laity. We must allow God’s the process of secularization has produced a grave crisis of the sense of the Christian word in all its richness to speak to our hearts. faith and of belonging to the Church.”

There is a great need for the Light of Christ to shine on our society—a society that is engulfed in much chaos, uncertainty, and darkness. It is the light of Christ that dispels this darkness, which in turn allows members of our society to “have life to the full.” Our Holy Father emphasized the need for a concerted effort of evangelization as he said, “In this perspective, I have decided to create a new organism, in the form of a pontifical council, with the specific task of promoting a renewed evangelization in countries where the first proclamation of the faith already resounded, and where Churches are present of ancient foundation, but which are going through a progressive secularization of society and a sort of ‘eclipse of the sense of God,’ which constitutes a challenge to find the appropriate means to propose again the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ.”

Early Church

As with the early Church fathers—who had a great desire to evangelize all nations—we must imitate their example. Of the 12 Apostles who were called by Christ, 10 suffered a martyr’s death, one was imprisoned and suffered cruel punishment, and one betrayed him. The 11 faithful apostles are to us an example of how we are to live out our baptismal call. The idea of preaching the Gospel of Christ was so much a part of who they were that it consumed their lives. As Saint Paul wrote: “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our

Saint Paul, who was the apostle to the gentiles, would spend a good portion of his life evangelizing in the name of Christ. Following his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, he knew it was imperative that the gospel of Christ be preached in all nations. Rather than preach himself or draw the masses to follow him, Saint Paul stressed that it was Christ who saves, therefore it must be Christ who is preached. “If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it” (1 Cor. 9:16). So in his many journeys, the Crucified One was always on his heart, on his mind, and at the center of his prophetic message.

Franciscan Missionaries

The history of the Diocese of Gallup is very Franciscan. The friars were the first to come to this region and preach of Jesus Christ and His Church. As we are well aware, it was not an easy task. At times the message was welcomed, but at other times the Gospel of Christ caused them much hardship. In spite of the difficulties the friars experienced, they were well aware that there was something much more important than their own personal comfort—namely the salvation of souls. In the Acts of the Apostles 4:12 we read: “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” This was the mission of the friars, to introduce the people of this region to the One who saves, Jesus Christ.


Not Just the Clergy

The duty of evangelization is not simply for the clergy, as Pope Paul VI wrote in Evangelii Nuntiandi. He stressed that by virtue of their baptism, the laity are to participate in the activity of evangelization as well.

“Lay people, whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most varied temporal tasks, must for this very reason exercise a very special form of evangelization…. Their own field of evangelizing activity is the vast and complicated world of politics, society and economics, but also the world of culture, of the sciences and the arts, of international life, of the mass media….The more Gospel-inspired lay people there are engaged in these realities, clearly involved in them, competent to promote them, and conscious that they must exercise to the full their Christian powers which are often buried and suffocated, the more these realities will be at the service of the kingdom of God and therefore of salvation in Jesus Christ….” The laity, in a similar manner as that of the apostles, are called by God and sent to give witness to Christ in the world. To be witnesses of the love and mercy of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus. We must be mindful of the state of life to which God has called us. Whether it is as clergy, as consecrated religious, or as laity. We must allow God’s word in all its richness to speak to our hearts. May His word inspire us to live in the world as faithful Catholics. As we live our faith, may we have a desire to courageously preach of the One who saves, Jesus Christ. Blessings and God’s peace be with you and your loved ones. In Christ, +Bishop Wall


voice S o u t h w e s t OF THE

Local Church

June / July 2010

Cactus Catechism

One of the Franciscans’ Biggest Secrets Brother Maynard Shurley, OFM, serves diocese—caring for and loving people who are marginalized by Father John Mittelstadt, OFM

Brother Maynard Shurley, OFM, never sits in places of honor. He does not like the limelight, and he barely gave me the ok to write this column. As our only Franciscan brother who happens to be Navajo, he is living up to the gentle culture of the Navajos—non aggressive, mostly quiet, very reflective, and full of inherited wisdom from his mother, especially. Brother Maynard has lived with me here in Tohatchi for over three years. He works mostly in Gallup as a case-worker for AIDS patients. From the little I can get out of him about his job, he is extremely professional, caring, and loving toward these people on the margin. It reminds me of the story of how Saint Francis embraced the leper when he was young, beginning the process of his conversion. Many times, Brother Maynard asked me if he could use our Franciscan poverty fund to help someone in great need—the electricity about the be turned off, transportation to a treatment center for substance abuse, food for the hungry and desperate. I can indirectly read his spirit through these observations. And it is a good spirit. It is easier for me to read his spirit here at home as I see him in action with the people, especially those at

Coyote Canyon and Tohatchi. I call upon him to say a prayer in Navajo or English to speak to the people after my homily. His words are usually better than mine. He knows how to spiritualize the Navajo traditions and stories, the wisdom that goes back a thousand years. How it dovetails or actually parallels the teaching of Jesus Christ and the apostles. All of this is sprinkled with a sense of humor that only the Navajos can do with such utter effectiveness, pinpointing truth thereby. Our best times together are usually early in the morning before Mass and his departure for work. We indulge in Franciscan gossip, things going on in the diocese, family affairs—just about everything important and unimportant that a family who takes the time needs to share. And there are plenty of laughs. That means we really get along. We can even laugh at each other. It means we are brothers. I often consult him on business matters of the Church. He has held some very responsible jobs in the Order and can point me to the right direction when I am a bit lost. He is taking courses for three years now on parish administration and a host of other things with our diocese so that he can be more up to date than me. We have a dozen or so groups of young people here

for a week’s service in the spring and summer. One of their high points is the talk he gives them on Monday nights about how the Navajo way and the Catholic way come together. I have a couple of conclusions: First, encourage young Navajos to become priests, deacons, religious. My impression over the years is that they didn’t think they could. Second, appreciate our Navajo deacons, brothers and sisters. It took a great deal of courage for them to step up to the plate. And they are hitting home runs all over the place. What a privilege it is for me to live and work with Brother Maynard Shurley!

Why I’m Catholic by Brother John Hotstream

I was raised a Catholic, rode my bike four city block to serve 6 a.m. Mass, could recite all the Latin responses from heart, got out of class to serve at weddings, funerals, and walked in May crownings. In short, grew accustomed to the face of Catholicism. This impulse lifted me into my teaching ministry as a brother of the Sacred Heart. But to get back to the question, which is in the present tense, why I am a Catholic still. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But each stage of life has it own questions and answers. I am still a Catholic because I find in the Church remarkable companions for the journey, my own Catholic siblings, who carry on what I call the first Church, the family; the many Brothers of the Sacred Heart, giants of faith, who gave ample testimony by the lived faith of their lives, some Jesuits who taught me, some Franciscans who befriended me, some bishops who called me by my first name, and many nuns who have been true sisters to me—all believers. What companions for the journey! We were never made to walk through life alone, and in the Catholic faith, I find marvelous companions for the pilgrimage. Not to mention the One who always walks with us.

w w w. m a d r i dw y d 2 0 1 1 . c o m

v o ic e S o u t h w e s t OF THE

Year for Priests 2009-2010


Fr. Blonski Goes to Rome Fr. Joe Blonski, pastor of Saint Rita Parish in Show Low, Arizona, travels to Rome to attend closing of Year for Priests. Voice > Wow! What made you decide to venture to Rome for the Year for Priests Closing Mass with the Holy Father? Fr. Blonski > Somehow I have gotten on the e-mail list for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. So I get various e-mails from them with messages from the prefect, Cardinal Hummes, and information about upcoming events. When I heard about the plans for closing the Year for Priests with an international meeting for Priests and Mass with the Holy Father in Saint Peter’s Square, I got interested. I talked about it with my friend, Father Bill Day, and we decided to go, with an added pilgrimage to the Holy Land after the event in Rome. It so happened that Father Bill was unable to attend, but—despite many obstacles—including a volcano and an airline strike, I decided to go anyway. I met up with some friends in Rome, and made a lot of new priest friends while there. Voice > Tell us about the experience! Fr. Blonski > What especially stands out in my mind were the Vigil with the Holy Father on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on Thursday. It was a beautiful and cool evening. The Holy Father spoke very well, as always, very wise yet very gentle. But his words are powerful. As a priest, I found them enlightening and encouraging. He answered thoughtful questions from priests from five different continents. Indeed, there were priests from all over the world there, mostly from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. Many European priests joined us for the Mass closing the Year for Priests in Saint Peter’s Square the next day. In fact, the Mass had 15,000 priests concelebrating with the Holy Father, the largest number of concelebrants at a Mass in all history! It was awesome to say that I was part of that. Voice > As a priest, why do you think the “Year for Priests” was an important celebration for the Church? Fr. Blonski > The Year for Priests was important because it focused our attention on the importance of priests for the Church, reminded us of Saint John Vianney—the exemplary patron for all priests—and encouraged all to pray for priests and vocations to the priesthood. We were reminded that the priesthood is God’s idea, not our idea. The priesthood is God’s chosen way of interacting with human beings, of being close to them, and of teaching and nourishing them. It is a high calling, and we need to pray for the grace, courage, and humility to live up to such a high calling. In an age when the priesthood is being torn down by some within the Church and many outside of it, the Year for Priests was a reaffirmation of the dignity of the priesthood, and a reminder that the vast majority of priests are good and exemplary men, who lay down their lives for Christ’s flock.

Father Blonski’s Vocation Story I was fortunate to be born into a Catholic family. My mother and father sent me to Catholic schools through high school. In those days, classes were taught by nuns, and I had the Jesuit fathers in high school. This was a big influence on me, as was the good example set by my parents and grandparents with regard to practicing the faith. As I look back, the call to the priesthood was there even at an early age, but it took me a long while to act upon it. Toward the end of my college days, I discovered the vocation of religious brother. This fascinated me, and I joined up with a group of young men in Philadelphia who wanted to be brothers. This didn’t happen, but one of the men heard about Bishop Jerome Hastrich wanting to start a brotherhood in the Diocese of Gallup. I was somewhat interested and came to visit him in 1974 and have basically been in the diocese ever since. In 1977, I became a postulant for Bishop Hastrich’s community, the Brothers of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and stayed with them till I entered the seminary in 1988. As a brother, I taught in the Catholic schools in Gallup, St. Michaels, and Thoreau. In 1985, I was named projects director for the Southwest Indian Foundation. That was good work, but I kind of sensed that it wasn’t forever, and so I started

praying in earnest to know my vocation. On a train to Empalme, Sonora, Mexico, I worked up the nerve to ask Bishop Hastrich about the possibility of my entering the seminary. He said, without hesitation, where do you want to go: New York (Saint Joseph’s Seminary), Philadelphia (Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary), or Boston (Pope John XXIII National Seminary)? I chose Boston because I am a New Englander by birth. The rest is history! As a priest, I have served as pastoral associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Holbrook, AZ (19921995) and Sacred Heart Parish in Farmington, NM (1995-1997). I was administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Waterflow, NM and the San Juan Catholic Center in Kirtland from 1997-1999. In 1999, I became pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Aztec, NM and Holy Trinity Parish in Flora Vista, NM. From 2008 to the present, I am pastor of Saint Rita Parish in Show Low, AZ. Service to the Church as both brother and priest has been exciting and rewarding for me. It is not without work, difficulties, and stresses. Hopefully, with the grace of God, I will get better at my priestly ministry. I thank all those who have helped me along the way.

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Year for Priests 2009-2010

June / July 2010

Diocese of Gallup Concludes

Year for Priests In this Year for Priests, we buried a bishop and one of our sisters. We welcomed two new seminarians and prayed for more. We celebrated the tradition of our mission diocese while giving thanks to the priests—past and present—whose service, dedication, and commitment to Christ has made us the beautiful, expansive, diocese we are today. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to serve in his name.

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Year for Priests 2009-2010


Fr. O’Keefe Celebrates 40 Years of Priesthood

I have been graced with being able to celebrate my 40th anniversary as a priest with my family—the “natural” family I have through blood and through marriage and the “spiritual” family made up of the parishioners of Sacred Heart Cathedral as well as those of the parishes in which I have served in past years. Even though the actual day of my ordination is on June 11, we celebrated on July 4 because this was the time when the whole family, both natural and spiritual, could come together. Much has happened in our world and Church since the day I was ordained a priest. On June 11, 1970, Richard Nixon was president, Pope Paul VI was completing the seventh year of his 15-year pontificate, and Jerome Hastrich had been bishop of Gallup for seven months. The cathedral was preparing to mark only the 15th year of its dedication. Opposition to Vietnam had come to a boiling point, the “age of aquarius” was being proclaimed, and the “flower children” were flocking to San Francisco. The United States had landed a man on the moon just a year before. With the Church, the “age of Vatican II” was in full swing. The year 1970, and the years following, were an exciting time—full of all sorts of challenges, promises, and uncertainties! As a newly ordained priest in 1970, I had barely heard of “parish councils” or “lay lectors.” A “minister” was a protestant clergyman, and I had never heard of such a thing as an “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” or a “permanent” deacon! I knew nothing of R.C.I.A, Cursillo, or SEARCH—or the Life Teen programs for teenagers or Engaged Encounter weekends. I never thought that I would devote years of my life to the study and practice of canon law, much less that I would end up as president of the Canon Law Society of America. I did not dream that we would ever have a nonItalian pope or that most of my 40 years as a priest would coincide with the third longest pontificate in the entire history of the Church (Pope John Paul II 1978-2005)! Most certainly, it never occured to me that my Church

would ever be subjected to the terrible agony of innocent children being abused by clergy in any way, or that I would have to bury a bishop younger than I. In 1970, there were many things I didn’t know. What I did know—after years of hesitation and reflection and prayer—was that God had called me to share in and incarnate the priesthood of Jesus Christ in the Diocese of Gallup for however many years He chose to grant me. In those days, even after years of seminary training, I did not know too much about being a parish priest, especially being one in the missionary territories of the southwest! I came, however, with a great personal faith in God’s providence, knowing that He would equip me, step-bystep, to be able to accomplish whatever work He would call me to do. I also came with a deep-seated conviction that God’s graces to me over the years would be mediated through the support and prayers of the Catholic people I was called to serve. That faith and conviction have proven to be so true over the course of 40 years. I have now spent most of my life as a priest of the Diocese of Gallup, and I say in all candor that I would not trade those years for all the money in the world! I have been given the greatest of all possessions: The assurance in my mind and heart that my life has meaning and that I am doing what God put me in this world to do! And that is the

most precious gift of all. I have said so many times that the easiest decision I ever made in my life was the initial decision that God was calling me to the priesthood. I came to that conviction while on a retreat weekend with my father. It took me 10 years to iron out all the details and to present myself for ordination. But, on that weekend in June 1960—50 years ago—I bought a little wooden statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and made the intention that I would dedicate my priesthood to the Sacred Heart. What a wonderful providence that I am able to celebrate my 40th anniversary Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral. That small statue—bought by an 18-year-old youth so many years ago—was on the altar on July 4 as an “old man” celebrated his 40th anniversary!

Council 3863/St. Teresa of Avila in Grants, NM

For more information and to join, contact: Joe Chavez, Grand Knight 505.290.7702 Ivan Marquez, Membership 505.350.6885

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Solitude in a Busy World:

June / July 2010

Building Our Lady of the Desert

Continued from cover > Many factors have played into building. Just as in medieval times, there are also various forms of volunteer and some paid workers. Friends, both close and afar, are the greatest asset for the six sisters, as they provide financial donations, supplies, use of tools and equipment the sisters would not otherwise have access to. The construction phase is a Journey of Trust, which began 20 years ago, and every step has taught the sisters a deeper reliance on faith. Each site, they hoped would be the home of their monastery. When plans—as they are known to do—fell through, the sisters humbly continued to pray and walk on in faith. They knew the Lord would provide. In 1997, the monks of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert invited the sisters to join them on their property in the Chama Canyon. By July 11, 2007, the sisters were gifted with 40 acres of beautiful mesa property in Gobernador, New Mexico, through the generosity of Jose and Florence Florez. Residing at the Saint Rose of Lima parish in Blanco for one and a half years, Phase I was being built. And so, with prayer and occasionally with hammers, the sisters follow the dream of Saint Benedict to live in community. Who are these women? They are six nuns who come from ordinary backgrounds and three countries who feel called by God to a life of prayer and have found that monastic life enables them to live that call and to share that experience of God. Sister Elizabeth from Vietnam, Sister Hilda from Guatemala, and four from the USA: Mother

Julianne, their retired prioress, who is from Texas; Sister Mary from upstate New York; and Sister Kateri and Mother Benedicta are from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mother Benedicta’s parents, Rachel and Johnny Serna, were from San Rafael and Grants. So for Mother Benedicta, founding a monastery here in the Gallup Diocese is a coming back to her roots. Each sister has a unique background such as Sister Mary who traveled the world before deciding to settle down to monastic life. Sister Kateri was married, has two grown children, had a successful career, but as a result of a visit to the monastery discovered God was calling her

to monastic life. Mother Benedicta practiced as a nurse for 13 years at Presbyterian in Albuquerque and did not feel called to the monastic life until she was 37 years old. Mother Julianne, Sister Hilda, and Sister Elizabeth came from active communities and felt called to a more contemplative life. As Benedictine nuns, they want to offer hospitality to those seeking God, which includes a guesthouse—a place where men and women can come to join them for a time of prayer, renewal, refreshment, and silence and solitude. With all the construction taking place, the “quiet” is put on a temporary hold now and then. Fundraising for this project has proved to be a challenge at times, but they continue to forge ahead, balancing their prayer life with fundraising and building—their Journey of Trust. Mother Benedicta Serna is pleased to announce that more than half of the needed $90,000 for the guesthouse has been raised with the help of many supporters who desire to see the monastery grow and succeed. If you would like to help build the Monastery in any way, please visit their website at www. for more information or write to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert, PO Box 556, Blanco, NM 87412-0556. The nuns invite you to join them for Sunday Mass at 10 a.m. Directions are on the website. If you have a particular prayer or Mass request, please let them know. The sisters will continue to pray for the needs of all those in the Gallup Diocese.

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Promise to Protect

Bishops Welcome Updated Norms on Sexual Abuse Updated Norms continue the Church’s priority of protecting minors and vulnerable adults. The Diocese of Gallup remains fully compliant with the Charter. WASHINGTON - Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Protection of Children and Young People, welcomed the Vatican’s update of its 2001 norms dealing with clergy sexual abuse of minors in a July 15 statement. The new norms include the abuse of a mentally disabled adult and the downloading of child pornography in the same category as abusing a minor and also extend the Vatican’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse to 20 years after the victim turned 18. The full text of Bishop Cupich’s statement follows: The Vatican action is a welcome step forward as we deal with the terrible crime and sin of sexual abuse by a cleric. What we read today from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is heartening. The bishops in this country felt the support of the Holy See in 2002 with the establishment of the Essential Norms and we are strengthened even more as the measures outlined in this document build on and go beyond what has been

particular law for the Church in the United States since then. The seriousness with which the Church views sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric cannot be understated. By putting child sexual abuse by clergy in the same context as the safeguarding of the sacraments, the Church is making it clear that such misconduct violates the core values of our faith and worship. Today, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith notes that the abuse of the mentally impaired, no matter what the person’s age, is horrific. Abuse of someone who cannot defend himself or herself is craven, cowardly behavior. Welcome, too, is the recognition that the crime of child pornography damages not just those who pursue it, but any child degraded in the making of it. Child pornography is a degradation of any child of God. A priest’s involvement with it is particularly offensive. The document makes law of measures that have

already been in use by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to facilitate handling of cases brought to the Vatican. This is an important step in the continuing effort to achieve justice for innocent people whose trust in a cleric was violated. The adoption of these modifications to the original norms of the Apostolic Letter, The Safeguarding of the Sanctity of the Sacraments (Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela) issued in April 2001, furthers our strong resolve to do all that is possible to see that children are protected and safe, especially in the Church. We apologize to those who have been hurt in the past. We are doing everything possible to prevent such harm in the future. For more information on the charter, go to: For more information on all the Catholic Church in the United States has done to respond to clergy sexual abuse of minors, go to:

Creating Sacred Spaces at Home

For Camilla and Roger Maestas, having sacred spaces in their Bloomfield, New Mexico, home is a tradition that is deeply rooted in their Polish and Spanish family histories— dating back generations. From artwork to a full home chapel, the Maestas have created sacred living spaces with religious articles accumulated over the years from their ancestors, trips overseas to various countries, and items they’ve made for their chapel over the years. “Most families of Spanish or Polish descent have a corner of their home where they have religious articles,” explains Roger Maestas. “We wouldn’t think of not having a place of worship and prayer in our home.” Their home chapel is a designated space of prayer located just off the garage.

When the couple married six years ago—after both having had lost their spouses—they moved into a new home and began building their chapel. “Camilla’s son, Fr. Matt Keller, had been an ordained priest about one year after our marriage. We knew we had to have a place for our son to say Mass when he came home for visits,” says Maestas. “After many starts and stops, we finally picked a corner of our garage that was most accessible from inside our home.” Camilla and Roger go on to say that having a chapel inside their home and a patio outside conducive to prayer provides quiet places for meditation and to gather together. “It’s a comfort to know that in troubled times that either from inside or outside our home, we have a place to reflect and seek comfort,” they add. “Our chapel strengthens our spiritual life. Every time we get in our cars, we pass the

chapel.” One of the most important functions of their chapel, they say, is the Sacrifice of Mass offered by Fr. Keller or other priests who have made themselves available. When asked how others could get started on creating sacred spaces in their home, Camilla and Roger suggest first picking a quiet, reflective space and begin bringing in items that have meaning to the family and spiritual value. “It doesn’t have to cost a fortune,” they say. “Use family heirlooms and things with meaning such as a family bible and items collected on trips.” Creating a sacred space for reflection and prayer has been a family tradition for generations for the Maestas’— and it has great value in the lives of any Catholic family.

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June / July 2010

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Marriage and Natural Family Planning...

Redeemed Sexuality Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning by Theresa Notare As Christians, we should be grateful beyond words for the gift of our redemption. We believe that Christ’s action on the cross has changed all things, for all time. We should seek to relate every aspect of our lives to how Christ has redeemed us and our world. When we consider the mystery and contemporary confusion—of human sexuality, it is even more urgent for Christians to ask, How has Christ redeemed human sexuality? Today, our media features topics that not long ago would have been labeled science fiction or pornography. Cloning, casual sex, getting pregnant by means of reproductive technologies, frozen embryos, adultery—the list goes on. Does anyone in the public square relate these issues to the spiritual? When those of us try to bring God into the equation, we are often told that individual morality must not be imposed on the public. But that should not deter the Christian. Christ’s work on the cross has restored all of human life, even human sexuality. That means that human sexuality is not tinged with sin, nor is it morally neutral. Although we can misuse even the best of God’s gifts, that does not change the fact that sex is God’s gift of life and love to us. Specifically, sexual intercourse was never meant to be directed to the individual. It’s not a sport or game to be enjoyed on its own. Sexual intercourse is a powerful event of interpersonal communion—it is a sacramental event. This makes more sense when we realize that Christian marriage is a sign of Christ’s presence in the world. As Christians, we accept on faith that human sexuality is caught up in Christ, uniting a man and woman in a union which reflects God’s love in the world and is directed to others. With that starting point, it makes excellent sense to keep sex in marriage. The redeemed nature of marriage was understood by the Church from our earliest history. Following up on Jesus own words on the indissolubility of marriage, Saint

Paul likened Christian marriage to Christ’s relationship with His Church. As Christ loved the Church . . . so the husband should love and cherish his wife as he cherishes his own body; for husband and wife are one body, as Christ and the Church are one body. This is a great mystery (Ephesians 5:21-33). Saint John Chrysostom (347-407) taught that the one flesh of the spouses is not an empty symbol. They have not become the image of anything on earth, but of God Himself (Homily 12). The love of spouses, says the Catechism, requires of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life (#1644). The root of this indissolubility is found in God Himself, who taught us of His fidelity through His covenant with Abraham. It is found finally in Christ, who united Himself with His Church. In this age of continuous assaults on God’s design for life and love, it would do the world good if Christians reclaimed our rich heritage. Before we can do this, we need to return to the mystery of our faith and meditate on who Jesus is, what He did for us, and how this has changed all life for all ages. __________________________ Theresa Notare, MA, is Assistant Director of the Diocesan Development Program for NFP, A program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Pro-Life Activities. This is an edited version of an article that was first printed as a Life Issues Forum column. It is reprinted here with permission.


16 v o i c e S o u t h w e s t Bishops Concerned Over Federal Court Rulings Rejecting Marriage as Between One man, One Woman OF THE

WASHINGTON (USCCB) —Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, expressed grave concern regarding recent rulings by a federal judge in Massachusetts rejecting the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. Archbishop Kurtz offered his remarks after two rulings on July 8 that held that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Section 3 provides that for purposes of federal statutes, regulations, and rulings, “marriage” means the legal union of one man and one woman. “Marriage—the union of one man and one woman—is a unique, irreplaceable institution. The very fabric of our society depends upon it. Nothing compares to the exclusive and permanent union of husband and wife. The state has a duty to employ the civil law to reinforce this vital institution of civil society. The reasons to support marriage by law are countless, not least to protect the unique place of husbands and wives, the indispensible role of fathers and mothers, and the rights of children, who are often the most vulnerable among us. And yet, a judge has decided that a marriage-reinforcing law like DOMA fails to serve even a single, minimally rational, government interest. On behalf of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, I express grave concern over these dangerous and disappointing rulings which ignore even the most apparent purposes of marriage and thus offend true justice,” he said. The court rulings were based on two separate lawsuits which had been filed in Massachusetts. One ruling states that section 3 of DOMA violates the equal protection principles of the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause (see Gill v. Office of Personnel Management). The other ruling holds that section 3 of DOMA violates the Tenth Amendment and the Spending Clause (see Commonwealth of Mass. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). In the Gill ruling, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro commented that, “as irrational prejudice plainly never constitutes a legitimate government interest,” section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional. “To claim that defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is somehow irrational, prejudiced, or even bigoted, is a great disservice not only to truth but to the good of our nation,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “Marriage exists prior to the state and is not open to redefinition by the state. The role of the state, instead, is to respect and reinforce marriage. Thursday’s decision, by contrast, uses the power of the state to attack the perennial definition of marriage, reducing it merely to the union of any two consenting adults. But only a man and a woman are capable of entering into the unique, life-giving bond of marriage, with all of its specific responsibilities. Protecting marriage as only the union of one man and one woman is not merely a legitimate, but a vital government interest.” The USCCB Office of General Counsel noted that the two court rulings are mistaken, both on the basis of the unique meaning of marriage, and because nothing in the Constitution forbids Congress from defining “marriage”—as that term is used in federal statutes, regulations, and rulings—as the union of one man and one woman.

National Church

June / July 2010

Peter’s Pence Special Collection Helps Needy People Around the World Peter’s Pence Special Collection will be taken up August 14-15 in parishes. The Peter’s Pence Collection will be taken up in the Diocese of Gallup the weekend of August 14-15. This year’s theme, “Cast the Love of Christ Upon the World,” focuses on the relationship between solidarity and love. The theme draws from Pope Benedict’s encyclical letter Caritas en Veritate (no. 78) where he says, “God’s us courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all.” Through this worldwide collection, the pope is able to exercise the ministry of charity on behalf of the entire Church. Offerings to this collection support church needs, humanitarian initiatives (such as aid to victims of war, oppression, and natural disasters) and other human promotion projects around the world. Assistance to seminaries and institutes of Christian formation in many developing countries, a village for HIV/AIDS orphans in Kenya, and the establishment of the Hospital of Saint Vincent de Paul in Bosnia are examples of assistance

provided by the pope thanks to the generosity of parishioners. Other works which have recently received assistance through the Peter’s Pence Collection include the Nazareth Boys Town in Mbare, Rwanda, that takes in abandoned orphans who are victims of genocide and civil war, and Casa di accoglienze Giovanni Paolo II Opera Don Orione, a residence that gives free shelter and specializes in helping special-needs pilgrims to travel to Rome. The house was refurbished through assistance provided by the collection. The Peter’s Pence Collection gives United States parishioners a chance to unite in solidarity with the Holy Father, the faithful worldwide, and those most in need of charitable love. Visit for more information about the Peter’s Pence Collection and the work it makes possible.

Bishops’ Committee Launches New Initiative Marriage: Unique for a Reason The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage has launched a new initiative for the protection of marriage, entitled Marriage: Unique for a Reason. The initiative is to help catechize and educate Catholics on the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The launch comes with the release of the first of five videos. The first video is called Made for Each Other and includes a viewer’s guide and resource booklet. It explores sexual difference and the complementarity between man and woman as husband and wife in marriage. Later videos will treat the good of children, the good of society and what constitutes discrimination, religious liberty, and issues particular to a Latino/a audience. “The committee’s efforts are grounded in the recognition that marriage, as the union of one man and one woman,

is at the heart of a flourishing society and culture,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the committee. “The truth of marriage lies at the very core of a true concern for justice and the common good. Promoting marriage is crucial to the New Evangelization. These initial materials seek to provide a key starting point, a compass, for assisting Catholics and all people of good will in understanding why marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.” The DVD, guide, and booklet are intended for use by priests, deacons, catechists, teachers and other leaders. Potential uses include instruction for young adult groups, adult faith formation, and seminary and diaconate education. Materials are online at and are available for purchase through www.

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National Church



The Distinction Between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures What’s myth and fact about the Church’s teaching on abortion and medical procedures. On November 5, 2009, medical personnel at Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, performed a procedure that caused the death of an unborn child. Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, the bishop of Phoenix, has judged that this procedure was in fact a direct abortion and so morally wrong. Some have argued that the procedure was an indirect abortion and therefore a legitimate medical procedure. Still others have said that even the direct killing of an unborn child is sometimes permitted by Catholic teaching, and that this position is supported by certain provisions of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services, a document issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops containing moral principles to be applied in such cases. The position that Church teaching supports the direct taking of unborn life has been widely reported at the national level by media outlets, which has caused some confusion among the faithful as to what the Church teaches regarding illegitimate and legitimate medical procedures used in cases where the mother’s health or even life is at risk during a pregnancy. In order to clarify doubt regarding the Church’s teaching on this important matter, the Committee on Doctrine, following its mandate to provide expertise and guidance concerning the theological issues that confront the Church in the United States, offers the following observations on the distinction between medical procedures that cause direct abortions and those that may indirectly result in the death of an unborn child. This distinction appears in nos. 45 and 47 of the Ethical and Religious Directive (ERD) for Catholic Healthcare Services. ERD Directive no. 45 states: “Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo.” Direct abortion is never morally permissible. One may never directly kill an innocent human being, no matter what the reason. By contrast, in some situations, it may be permissible to perform a medical procedure on a pregnant woman

that directly treats a serious health problem but that also has a secondary effect that leads to the death of the developing child. ERD Directive no. 47 states: “Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.” The difference can be seen in two different scenarios in which the unborn child is not yet old enough to survive outside the womb. In the first scenario, a pregnant woman is experiencing problems with one or more of her organs, apparently as a result of the added burden of pregnancy. The doctor recommends an abortion to protect the health of the woman. In the second scenario, a pregnant woman develops cancer in her uterus. The doctor recommends surgery to remove the cancerous uterus

“As the Church has said many times, direct abortion is never permissible because a good end cannot justify an evil means.” as the only way to prevent the spread of the cancer. Removing the uterus will also lead to the death of the unborn child, who cannot survive at this point outside the uterus. The first scenario describes a direct abortion. The surgery directly targets the life of the unborn child. It is the surgical instrument in the hands of the doctor that causes the child’s death. The surgery does not directly address the health problem of the woman, for example, by repairing the organ that is malfunctioning. The surgery is likely to improve the functioning of the organ or organs, but only in an indirect way, i.e., by lessening the overall demands placed upon the organ or organs, since the burden posed by the pregnancy will be removed. The abortion is the means by which a reduced strain upon the organ or organs is achieved. As the Church has said many times, direct abortion is never permissible because a good end cannot justify an evil means.

The second scenario describes a situation in which an urgently-needed medical procedure indirectly and unintentionally (although foreseeably) results in the death of an unborn child. In this case the surgery directly addresses the health problem of the woman, i.e., the organ that is malfunctioning (the cancerous uterus). The woman’s health benefits directly from the surgery because of the removal of the cancerous organ. The surgery does not directly target the life of the unborn child. The child will not be able to live long after the uterus is removed from the woman’s body, but the death of the child is an unintended and unavoidable side effect and not the aim of the surgery. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with surgery to remove a malfunctioning organ. It is morally justified when the continued presence of the organ causes problems for the rest of the body. Surgery to terminate the life of an innocent person, however, is intrinsically wrong. There are no situations in which it can be justified. Pope Pius XII summed up Catholic teaching when he stated: “As long as a man is not guilty, his life is untouchable, and therefore any act directly tending to destroy it is illicit, whether such destruction is intended as an end in itself or only as a means to an end, whether it is a question of life in the embryonic stage or in a stage of full development or already in its final stages.” Pope John Paul II acknowledged that women considering abortion often face very difficult situations. “It is true that the decision to have an abortion is often tragic and painful for the mother, insofar as the decision to rid herself of the fruit of conception is not made for purely selfish reasons or out of convenience, but out of a desire to protect certain important values such as her own health or a decent standard of living for the other members of the family. Sometimes it is feared that the child to be born would live in such conditions that it would be better if the birth did not take place. Nevertheless, these reasons and others like them, however serious and tragic, can never justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.” Nothing, therefore, can justify a direct abortion. “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”

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18 v o i c e S o u t h w e s t OF THE


June / July 2010

An Ideal Priest Is... Catholic students from throughout the diocese participate in writing contest describing what an ideal priest is to them.

by Gabe King, Grade 10 (First Place ~ Level I) Sacred Heart Parish / Farmington, NM An ideal priest has to be many things. Which, I suppose, is to be expected, considering that they are the shepherds of many people. Priests hold abilities that are absolutely necessary for our salvation. They can baptize us, absolve us of our sins, and, acting in the person of Christ, they are able to bring us the incomparable Manna from Heaven. (John 6:22-66) They live a consecrated life, helping us discern in our busy distracted lives. Priests certainly have to serve diligently, therefore, and know how to interact with their parishioners. They have to be masters of themselves or else risk seriously injuring the flock that God has entrusted to them. They must have a thorough knowledge of scripture and a fervent love of God and their children. The love, actually, has to come before all else (1st Corinthians 13). Love is the unifying factor in our lives. A mother must love, a father must love, and daughters, sons, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, and priests must love. Priests must love especially, for they are the salt of the earth. When you get down to the core of it, priests are like fathers. They are appointed to shield their children from danger and help them grow to full spiritual maturity. They should be open and honest with their children and with themselves, because if the father has no integrity, he will collapse like a faulty building, and bury those in his care. Just look at what has happened recently with the pedophilia scandals. Priests need to have a respect and consideration for their position. While at the same time, they absolutely need humility to avoid vainglory. If a priest seeks his own glory, he builds no treasure in Heaven. In fact, the odds are more likely you are tearing your Heavenly home down. But respect for their God-given authority is a necessity as well. They must consider the souls they

hold in their hands. We need priests, and for them to fail is for us to suffer or even die, spiritually. To paraphrase, priests must maintain confidence in the Lord’s providence, while being realistic toward the very real hazards that they confront, and possess a humble view toward themselves. Priests need to know how to chastise well. On the complacent side, they risk losing souls, while on the scrupulous side, they will risk losing souls. Priests have to know how to say what they need to and still stay compassionate. They need to know this especially when we are caught in mortal sin, as in the story of the prodigal son. As for me, the priests I have known have handled the issue extremely well. I am very lucky to have known the priests I have known. I have a feeling they have very intimate prayer lives. This is good, because prayer seems to me the recipe for a good priest—combined with love and good knowledge. The list of the holy virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit seem like a spiritual shopping list for priests. They need much, for they have much that they need to do. And, honestly, humans shouldn’t probably be able to handle what many priests do. However, they have God on their side, because a good priest is a servant of the masses, as Christ is. Luckily, in respect to that shopping list of spiritual needs, priests, or any of us, only need to ask the Father for what we need in prayer, and our loving God will be more eager to give than we are to receive.

My Ideal Priest Max Faz, Grade 6 (First Place ~ Level II) Gallup Catholic School / Gallup, NM

My ideal priest is a man that believes in the faith, is involved in the Mass, and truly believes that God is acting through him. Believing in the faith is very important for a priest. The priest should believe that he is our shepherd and must guide us. When we go ‘astray’, he must retrieve us and help our spiritual wounds. The priest should always do what Jesus or God might do. To truly be the “ideal priest”, he must be very involved in the Mass. He should encourage shy people to be brave and respond to questions and participate in the Mass. In the Mass, he should sing and put his heart

into the faith and Mass. He should especially be willing to give to the poor or travel to a home to give confession or bless a dying person. When a man really wants to be an ideal priest, he must truly believe that God is acting through him. When a priest gives confession he should listen to your sins and truly forgive you as God would. Also, when a priest is doing communion, he should believe with his whole being that he is turning the bread and wine into the real body and blood of Jesus Christ. To sum everything up, my ideal priest is a man who lives God’s creation, cares for the community, forgives everybody, believes in God with his whole being, and is very enthusiastically involved! Most importantly, he must be ready to bless anybody, listen to any question, and learn new things.

Essay Contest Winners Level I (Grade 8 to High School) First Place Gabe King Grade 10 Sacred Heart Parish, Farmington Second Place Stephanie Losoya Grade 10 Sacred Heart Parish, Farmington Third Place Jacelyn Sweeney Grade 8 Gallup Catholic High School, Gallup

Level II (Grade 3 to Grade 7) First Place Max Faz Grade 6 Gallup Catholic High School, Gallup Second Place Elyssa Chino Grade 5 St. Teresa’s Elementary School, Grants Third Place Alyssa Bahe Grade 6 Sacred Heart Parish, Farmington

v o ic e S o u t h w e s t OF THE


New Principal at Gallup Catholic


Barbara Kozeliski has been appointed as the new principal of Gallup Catholic School, taking over during a time of transition and as the school approaches its 100th anniversary in 2011. Voice > What is the value to parents and their students for choosing Gallup Catholic as their source of education?

Gallup Catholic, or even have a complaint about the school, I would invite them to visit with me. Voice > Next year, the school celebrates its 100th anniversary. As a community institution, how do you think Gallup Catholic contributes to the greater well-being of the city of Gallup?

Mrs. K > In a Catholic school, Catholic tradition and doctrine are infused throughout the day: in the academics, the extracurricular activities, and in the ways we interact with each other. Our motto is “Academic Excellence through Catholic Tradition.” We provide a strong basis for academics and offer a curriculum beyond the basics, but additionally we offer the tools to be successful in life: a faith foundation, moral judgment, a strong work ethic, respect for others, kindness, service to others—and the list goes on. We are available to a broad spectrum of academic abilities and only ask that the student and their family work with us in partnership. Voice > What do you see as the top priority or job of a Catholic school? Why? Mrs. K > I believe a Catholic school is in a joint venture with our families to raise children who have strong moral values, respect for themselves and others, and who have the character to be productive family members and citizens of our country. All of this sounds very nice and is easy to say, but in reality, to achieve these goals we must help our students to make value judgments, based on how God tells us to live and develop life skills and personal choices for themselves

Mrs. K > Oh, where would I start?! In organizing prior student records, we have come across, alumni after alumni who are leaders in the Church, the community, the state, and nationally. Not only are they leaders in their communities, they have strong family lives and are articulate and confident persons, good employees and employers. To me, this a sign of 100 years of growing adults with character and values. What an investment in a community! with self-confidence in their decisions. Voice > What would you say to a parent who has left Gallup Catholic and might consider returning?

Mrs. K > Molding a child takes time, patience and consistency to develop values, character, and confidence—and it takes the families and the school together. We believe we can make a difference in the life of a child. If parents are considering returning to

Voice > What are you most looking forward to during this upcoming school year? Mrs. K > Schools exist for the students, and I look forward to getting to know our students. I have always enjoyed being around kids and I like seeing them grow and mature. (Remind me of this second semester when student life becomes a challenge.) This is why teachers become teachers. I also look forward to getting to know the parents. They are our partners and they have been welcoming and helpful to me. Let us all pray for a good year together.

Two Students Receive Prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarships Noemy Sandoval / Gallup Catholic School

Noemy Sandoval, a senior at Gallup Catholic, has many talents. “People laugh when they see me with a power tool in my hand, but then I show them I know how to use it,” she said. From cabinet installation to academic achievements, she holds a straight flush. Sandoval is a team captain, salutatorian, student council president, and her newest addition: Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient. On April 16, a large package arrived, holding her academic future inside. The Gates Millennium Schol-

arship, awarded to prominent minority students, was given to Sandoval. She graduated from Gallup Catholic School on May 20 with a GPA of 3.8 and as one of the most decorated female athletes at the state level that the school has ever had. Although she does not boast about her gifts, she does know where she is headed in life. Two years ago, she took a psychology course at the UNM branch and knew at that time she wanted to pursue a career in psychology. With blessings and encouragement from her parents, Richelle and Robert, she will be attending Marquette—a Catholic university—in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to continue her education and follow her dreams. Gallup Catholic is pleased to know this young lady and wishes her the best in her future.

Nanibah Showa / St. Michael Indian School

The school’s highest graduation award, the St. Katharine Drexel Award, was presented to Nanibah Showa. A student at St. Michael Indian School since Kindergarten, Nanibah will attend the University of Washington in the Fall to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Nanibah is also one of the 1,000 high school seniors named to the 2010 cohort of Gates Millennium scholars. As a Gates scholar, Nanibah will receive a good-through-graduation scholarship. In addition to financial assistance, Gates Millennium scholars receive academic support, mentoring, and leadership training.

Piñon Hills Golf Course

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Catholic Peoples Foundation was excited to once again host the Bishop’s Classic at Piñon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, New Mexico—one of the premier municipal golf courses in the U.S. Bishop James Wall and golfers throughout the Diocese of Gallup came together to support the diocesan building fund for our parishes, missions, and Catholic schools. Please join us in thanking our sponsors: Eagle Sponsor

Drs. Lawrence and Aedra Andrade Bishop James S. Wall Si Senor Noel’s Inc.

Birdie Sponsor Tony Gonzales Andy’s Trading

Par Sponsor

Aztec Machine & Repair Inc.

Hole Sponsor

4 States Construction & Field Services Advanced Roofing Company 4102 Buena Vista Farmington Alsco Linen Service

Animas Credit Union Archunde Farms Auto Parts & Equipment Basin Well Logging Wireline Services Inc. Briones Law Firm, P.A. Casa de Abiquiu Christ the King Parish & Sacred Heart Parish Cold Steel Inc. (2 hole sponsor) Desert Hills Dental Care LLC Dr. deKay/Mesa Family Practice Employee Connections Inc. Four States Tire & Service Garden Spot Produce Inc. Gene’s Home Furnishing’s GEOMAT INC. Hiway Grill Holy Trinity Church Howard’s Cleaners, Farmington

Knights of Columbus Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney Outlaw Compressor Service Property Mgmt. & Consulting Inc. Sacred Heart Parish Solga & Jakino, P.A. St. Joseph Parish St. Mary’s Parish Bloomfield St. Mary’s Parish Farmington St. Rose of Lima Parish Trotter & Associates Waters Engineering, Inc.

Gift Certificates

Los Rios Café Omni Hair Design TJ’s Downtown Diner Four States Tire Service 505.726.8295

Voice of the Southwest June/July Edition  

Diocese of Gallup Voice of the Southwest June/July edition.

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