Diocese of Fall River
F riday , January 7, 2011
Anchor website adds online inventory of back issues By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
FALL RIVER — In a continuing effort to use digital and computer technology to spread the good news, The Anchor has heralded 2011 with the launch of an entire archive of back issues via its website, www.anchornews.org. Starting this month, readers will have online access to complete, searchable portable document files (PDFs) of each and every edition The Anchor has published since its debut April 11, 1957 issue. The archives can be found via the convenient “Back Issues” link on The Anchor website’s homepage. From there, every year — or volume — is categorized by publication date. “We’ve been working on this project for a few months now and we’re really excited to launch it with the new year,” said staff re-
porter Kenneth J. Souza, who also maintains The Anchor website. Father Roger J. Landry, executive editor of The Anchor, expressed that he has long sought to have the newspaper’s archives online. “The Anchor archives provide a rich chronicle of the last 52 years of diocesan history, but this chronicle has remained inaccessible to the vast majority of faithful, priests and religious who have contributed to that history,” he said. “Now that we’re putting all of our issues online, I hope that everyone, from parishioners and teachers preparing for major parochial anniversaries, to scholars doing historical research, to priests remembering their ordinations, transfers, or articles, to faithful wanting to see the foundations for the faith we still profess, to those just wanting to take a trip down memory lane will find them Turn to page 18
PRESERVING THE PAST — A double-page view of the December 31, 1970 edition of The Anchor now available as part of the new “Back Issues” section on the newspaper’s website at www. anchornews.org.
Family advocates react to Pew marriage survey
By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent
BOSTON — Family advocates see hope in a report that found that only five percent of Americans un-
der the age of 30 have no intention of tying the knot. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said in a stateTurn to page 17
“it’s good to be home” — Jean Revil, a teacher and campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth and an Anchor columnist, addresses the student body upon her return to the school after being exonerated by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office of claims of inappropriate sexual behavior with a former student. (Photo by Dave Jolivet)
Bishop Stang teacher, campus minister Jean Revil is totally exonerated By Dave Jolivet, Editor
NORTH DARTMOUTH — On January 3, speaking to the entire Bishop Stang High School student body, faculty and staff at the first prayer service of the new year, Principal Peter Shaughnessy said, “Let us welcome back Ms. Jean Revil as a teacher and minister where she rightfully belongs.” The gymnasium resounded in applause as all in attendance rose to their feet for a lengthy standing ovation. Revil returned to her position at Stang following a nightmare that lasted nearly three months, when on Oct. 7, 2010, the Diocese of Fall River placed her on administrative leave based on a report alleging inappropriate sexual conduct with a female student in 1994. At the onset of the investigation by the Bristol County district attorney, Revil said, “I am stunned by the allegation. I’ve worked with young people for more than 30 years and I’ve always tried to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve. I
would never do anything to violate that dignity. I am praying for the person who made the allegation and for a speedy resolution to the situation. God knows the truth and I am confident that the truth will come out.” The situation did come to a conclusion on Christmas Eve, when the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office completed its investigation and stated that they, with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police and other investigators, “have determined that there is insufficient evidence with which to proceed with criminal charges.” Shortly after receiving word of her exoneration, Revil said, “It is still hard for me to believe that one person can cause so much damage to so many people by reporting a false allegation. I don’t believe that my life will ever be the same. I am still trying to process the emotional toll this has taken on me. My family and friends have suffered greatly, and the entire Stang community
has been affected.” Revil added, “St. Paul tells us ‘in everything, give thanks.’ And I do give thanks to God for all of it. I thank God for the gift of faith that was able to carry me through this, for the sea of prayer offered by so many people that I have been able to float on for these past 80 days. ... I thank God for all of the support that has been given to me by so many people, some of whom I don’t even know.” A statement released by the diocese on December 30, stated, “We are grateful for the patience by all involved while this difficult matter was handled. We realize how trying these past months must have been, particularly for Ms. Revil. She has been a part of Bishop Stang High School for over 30 years. She will return to her position there on a date to be determined [January 3] by her and the school administration. We offer Ms. Revil and the entire Bishop Stang High School Turn to page 15
‘Year For Priests’ was highlight of 2010 B y D ave Jolivet, Editor
FALL RIVER — Diocesan parishes, schools and ministries had a full slate of activities and worship services in 2010, enhancing and strengthening the faith lives of thousands of Catholics from the Attleboros to Cape Cod and the Islands. While many of the happenings of 2010 were important in their respective faith communities, some stand out as affecting most members of
the diocesan community. One of the most memorable events of the past year was the culmination of the Year For Priests, which finished June 11, 2010. The pope asked Catholics worldwide to pray for priests serving God’s people today to keep them strong and steadfast in their duties in leading the faithful to the Father. Father Marcel H. Bouchard was coordinator Turn to page 13
News From the Vatican
January 7, 2011
Pope signs new measures to guarantee financial transparency in Vatican By John Thavis Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has instituted a new agency to monitor all Vatican financial operations and make sure they meet international norms against moneylaundering and the financing of terrorism. The pope issued an apostolic letter December 30 that established the Financial Information Authority as an independent agency to oversee the monetary and commercial activities of all Vatican-related institutions, including the Vatican bank.
At the same time, the Vatican promulgated a detailed new law that defined financial crimes and established penalties — including possible jail time — for their violation. The list of transgressions includes corruption, market manipulation, fraud and virtually any activity that facilitates or provides funding to acts of terrorism. The new law, which reflects the latest European Union regulations, takes effect April 1. The pope’s brief apostolic letter said the Vatican fully supported the international community’s efforts to coordinate
a response to financial crimes, which often involve more than one country. “In our age of increasing globalization, peace is unfortunately threatened by many factors, including an improper use of the market and the economy, and the terrible and destructive violence perpetrated by terrorism, which causes death, suffering, hatred and social instability,” the pope said. The creation of such an oversight agency is unprecedented at the Vatican, where several departments have operated with some degree of financial inde-
pendence for decades or centuries. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, described the move as a courageous step that reflects the moral requirement of “transparency, honesty and responsibility” in the Vatican’s operations. “Vatican organizations will be less vulnerable in the face of the continuous risks that inevitably arise in the handling of money. Those errors which so quickly become the cause of ‘scandal’ for public opinion and the faithful will be avoided,” Father Lombardi said. “In the final analysis, the Church will be more credible before the members of the international community, and this is of vital importance for her evangelical mission,” he said. The move came several months after Italian treasury police, in a money-laundering probe, seized 23 million euros (US$30 million) that the Vatican bank had deposited in a Rome bank account. The Vatican criticized the confiscation, saying the deposit was legitimate and that the Vatican bank was committed to “full transparency” in its operations. The Vatican has been working for some time with Italian and international authorities to comply with procedures that ensure funds are not used for terrorism or money-laundering. The new documents represent the fruit of those efforts. In addition, the Vatican announced three new laws aimed at curbing counterfeiting of euros and currency fraud. The Financial Information Authority will operate with full autonomy and monitor all Vatican agencies that have financial dealings or commercial transactions. That includes major institutions like the Vatican City State, the Vatican bank, the Vatican’s investment agency (APSA) and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and smaller agencies
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like the Vatican pharmacy, supermarket and the Vatican museums. The authority will be headed by a president and a council of four other people, all appointed by the pope. The president will name a director and additional staff. The appointments were expected to be announced in early 2011. In addition to investigating reports of suspicious activity, the authority is obligated to examine any new business relationships by Vatican agencies and any single transaction involving more than 15,000 euros ($20,000). The authority has access to all financial and administrative records of the agencies; Vatican officials and employees are required to furnish all such information, an exception to the normal rules of secrecy in Vatican institutions. All Vatican agencies are now required to verify the standing of any potential business partners, keep detailed records of all transactions and report any suspicious transactions. Anyone entering or leaving Vatican City with 10,000 euros or more in cash must now declare it in writing. If the Financial Information Authority investigates and discovers evidence of financial impropriety, it is to report its findings to the Vatican’s judicial system for prosecution. If a conviction results in a prison sentence, it would presumably be served in Italy, in accordance with an agreement between the Vatican and the Italian government. The Vatican bank handles accounts of religious orders and other Catholic institutions. It was involved in a major Italian banking scandal in the 1980s, when fraud led to the collapse of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano. Although denying wrongdoing, Vatican bank officials made what they called a “good-will payment” of about $240 million to the failed bank’s creditors. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 55, No. 01
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Published weekly except for two weeks in the summer and the week after Christmas by the Catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall River, 887 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720, Telephone 508-675-7151 — FAX 508-675-7048, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscription price by mail, postpaid $20.00 per year, for U.S. addresses. Send address changes to P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA, call or use email address
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January 7, 2011
The Church in the U.S.
Bishop Olmsted revokes Phoenix hospital’s status as Catholic facility By J.D. Long-Garcia Catholic News Service
PHOENIX — St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix can no longer identify itself as “Catholic,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted announced during a recent news conference in Phoenix at the Diocesan Pastoral Center. The Phoenix bishop issued a decree revoking the 115-year-old hospital’s affiliation with the Catholic Church. In the decree, the bishop wrote that he could not verify that the hospital provides health care consistent with “authentic Catholic moral teaching.” He said it was his duty to strip St. Joseph’s Hospital of its Catholic identity because its leadership, as well as that of its parent organization, San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West, is not committed to “following the teachings of the Catholic Church.” To demonstrate that the hospital is no longer Catholic, Bishop Olmsted is prohibiting the celebration of Mass on the hospital’s campus and will have the Blessed Sacrament removed from the hospital’s chapel. Linda Hunt, president of St. Joseph’s, said in a statement after the bishop’s news conference that the hospital was “deeply disappointed” by the action but would “continue through our words and deeds to carry out the healing ministry of Jesus.” In May, officials at St. Joseph’s publicly acknowledged that an abortion occurred at the hospital in late 2009. “Consistent with our values of dignity and justice, if we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients,” Hunt said in her statement. “If that is not possible, we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case. “We continue to stand by the decision, which was made in collaboration with the patient, her family, her caregivers and our ethics committee,” she added. “Morally, ethically and legally we simply cannot stand by and let someone die whose life we might be able to save.” Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who is president and CEO of the Washington-based Catholic Health Association, also defended the hospital’s action as a “heartbreaking situation” and said personnel there “carefully evaluated the patient’s situation and correctly applied” the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” to which all Catholics hospitals in the United States are required to adhere. She said Catholic Healthcare West has a “long and stellar history in the protection of life at all stages.” But Bishop Olmsted said in an
interview with his diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sun, that his action also was related to the hospital’s participation in the Mercy Care Plan, which provides health care through Arizona’s Medicaid program, and to the fact that Chandler Regional Hospital, also affiliated with Catholic Healthcare West, has not complied with the directives for many years. “I have continued to insist that this scandalous situation needed to change,” the bishop said. “Sadly, over the course of these years, CHW has chosen not to comply.” Through its involvement in the Mercy Care Plan, the bishop said Catholic Healthcare West has been responsible for a litany of practices in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. These include: contraceptive counseling, provision of various forms of contraception, voluntary sterilization and abortions “due to the mental or physical health of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.” “One could say that some of the administrators sincerely did not know what was in the government contracts with Mercy Care Plan,” he told The Catholic Sun. “However, they have an obligation to know. They would not sign a contract in which they were unclear about finances or some other dimension. They have an obligation with anything dealing with such delicate matters as life and death.”
Bishop Olmsted said Catholics “are free to seek care or to offer care at St. Joseph’s Hospital. But I cannot guarantee that the care provided will be in full accord with the teachings of the Church.” Hunt said at a news conference that the hospital is required by state law to “provide family planning benefits.” “But since the very beginning, these have been administered by third-party administrators,” she added. “We do not have any type of billing or any type of process that we get involved in with that. So it’s a different set of providers, a different entity that takes care of that for us.” Bishop Olmsted, explaining his authority to revoke the Catholic identity of St. Joseph’s Hospital, cited Canon 216, which states: “No undertaking is to claim the name Catholic without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.” “I have hoped and prayed that this day would not come,” the bishop said. “However, the faithful of the diocese have a right to know whether institutions of this importance are indeed Catholic in identity and practice.” “I don’t think anyone could fairly say that I rushed judgment,” he told The Catholic Sun. “It’s not something I wanted to happen. The opposite is what I wanted. I wanted to have rigorous Catholic health care that’s in accord with the Church’s teaching. That requires
cooperation and a desire to be in full communion with the Church. That was never guaranteed to me.” After learning about the abortion earlier in the year, Bishop Olmsted met with hospital officials to learn more about the particular case, he said at the news conference. “It became clear that, in their decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld,” he said. The baby “was directly killed,” which is a violation of the ethical and religious directives. Throughout the process, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Catholic Healthcare West have maintained that the intention was to save “the only life that could be saved,” the mother’s, according to the hospital. The bishop responded to the claim in a May 14 statement, reiterating that “the direct killing of an unborn child is always immoral, no matter the circumstances, and it cannot be permitted in any institution that claims to be authentically Catholic.” The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine also weighed in on the issue with a June 23 statement. “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,” the committee said. The Archdiocese of San Francisco said in a December 21 statement that Bishop Olmsted has authority over Catholic hospitals in his diocese, but “some questions have been raised about the implementation” of the directives by the San Francisco-based Catholic health system. Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco “intends to initiate a dialogue” with the Catholic Healthcare West leadership regarding those questions, the statement said. The withdrawal of a hospital’s Catholic identification is not without precedent. Bishop Robert F. Vasa of Baker, Ore., announced in February that St. Charles Medical Center in Bend had “gradually moved away” from the Church’s ethical directives and can no longer be called Catholic. As a result of that decision, Mass is no longer celebrated in the hospital’s chapel and all items considered Catholic were removed from the hospital and returned to the Church. The hospital retained the St. Charles name and a cross remains atop the building.
Diocese of Fall River
His Excellency, the Most Reverend George W. Coleman, Bishop of Fall River, has announced the following appointments: Rev. Richard E. Degagne, sabbatical at the Institute of Continuing Theological Education at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Rev. Rodney E. Thibault to Parochial Administrator of St. John Neumann Parish, East Freetown. Effective January 3, 2011 His Excellency, the Most Reverend George W. Coleman, Bishop of Fall River, has accepted the nomination of the Very Reverend Primo P. Piscitello, OFM, Minister Provincial of the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception, and has made the following appointment: Rev. Thomas Washburn, OFM to Pastor of St. Margaret Parish, Buzzards Bay. Effective December 15, 2010 His Excellency, the Most Reverend George W. Coleman, Bishop of Fall River, has accepted the nomination of the Very Reverend James McCurry, OFM Conventual, Minister Provincial of the Franciscan Friars of the Conventual Franciscan Friars of St. Anthony of Padua Province, USA, and has made the following appointment: Rev. Conrad Salach, OFM Conv. to Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, New Bedford. Effective January 14, 2011
Rev. Msgr. John J. Oliveira, V.E. • 106 Illinois St. New Bedford, MA 02745 ANCH. 01/07/10
Vocation Awareness Week — January 9-15
January 7, 2011
Editor’s note: The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, January 9-15. The week begins on the Church’s celebration of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on Sunday. The feast marks the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry. During these days families and the parish community are urged to nurture the faith of their children to prepare them to respond to whatever God’s call is for them. To support efforts during Vocations week, a special prayer card and suggested prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes, are available from the USCCB vocations website: ForYourVocation.org or PorTuVocacion.org. On the following two pages are reflections on vocations by five seminarians of the Fall River Diocese.
ne misunderstanding about discerning a vocation to the priesthood is that it is done on one’s own. Although a young man may have a priestly vocation, discernment does not happen just in private prayer. Discerning a priestly vocation requires a young man to be in prayerful dialogue with God and with the Church. Discernment is the way in which one identifies God’s will within his life. Most people know God’s will in general because it has been revealed to them through the teachings and life of Jesus. However, it is not always clear what God’s will is in particular. In search of his will, it is necessary to seek God’s help. Discernment is an active process that begins when one’s desire is to
very sacrament involves an element of mystery. The sacrament of holy orders is no exception. By mystery, I don’t mean that it’s some vague thing that happens that we don’t understand. The Church explains in the “Catechism” that the sacrament of holy orders is “the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time” (1536). This
Discerning God’s voice
do God’s will and when one shows us how to respond to a enters into a personal prayervocation; and getting involved ful relationship with Jesus. with one’s parish, where one Seeking God’s will in prayer can grow in love of God and is an indispensable element to others. Giving God more the process of discernment. time in these ways helps us There are many practical to distinguish the different helps for prayerfully discerning God’s will: attending daily Mass where one hears God’s word and receives within the world’s greatest treasure; By Jason Brilhante frequently receiving the sacrament of penance, where one gets to know oneself better thoughts, feelings, and desires and see concretely the areas one has with regard to God’s where he needs God’s help to will. grow in holiness; spending Active dialogue with partime with Jesus in eucharistic ish priests is also a great help adoration, giving the Lord the in the discernment process. opportunity to reveal himself As one begins to pray about to us; growing in devotion a vocation to the priesthood, to the Blessed Mother, who it is good to meet regularly
with a priest who is trained in spiritual direction to discuss one’s spiritual life. A spiritual director can also help with discerning the authenticity of a priestly vocation. Attending discernment programs with others — like a weekend retreat at a seminary or joining a discussion group with other young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood — is another way to hear God’s voice. Minimally, hearing from others and sharing one’s story with them help to eliminate any fears in seeking God’s will. It’s also useful to meet with priestly vocation directors to obtain more information about seminary formation and priestly life to weigh in conversation with God. Voca-
tion directors are often also experts in helping young men to discern properly. The goal of discernment is first to hear what God is calling one to do. But that’s not the end: proper discernment leads one to take action, to make a choice to seek to do what God is asking. All of the means that are helpful in the initial stages of prayerful discernment are still very beneficial in helping a young man prayerfully to respond. I invite any young man considering a priestly vocation to take the first step, to speak with the Lord in prayer and then to begin a dialogue with his parish priest. Jason Brilhante is a seminarian for the Diocese of Fall River in third theology at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
sacrament gives a mission to certain men, chosen to be ministers of the Church, in order to carry on in a special way Christ’s work of teaching, governing, and sanctifying in the world. The mystery that I refer to, though, is multifaceted — not only the way in which God calls certain men and not others for this ministry, but also the way
have already experienced this: to have the words of Christ on my lips as I proclaim the Gospel, to be able to give his saving message to his people through preaching, to kneel at the side of the priest as the bread and wine are transformed by the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of Christ. Knowing the facts of what is happening at this time is but a hint of an explanation as to how God’s grace is working in the hearts of the faithful at these times, in ways invisible to us: how something I do is, unknown to myself, used by God to bring others closer to him. As I move closer to ordina-
tion to the priesthood, I find that although I have spent sevenand-a-half years of studies for this, I now realize that I know less than I ever did about what this is really all about, simply because now I realize more than ever the sublime and hidden workings of God through his ministers. While there are certainly times when I do feel some trepidation about that into which I am about to enter, the knowledge of the working of God’s grace — however shrouded in mystery it might be, and that it is God’s work that I shall be accomplishing — gives me the confidence I need to continue. Part of the ordination rite involves the candidate’s being called by name, stepping forward and answering, “present.” While we do not add, “by the grace of God,” to that, we nonetheless know how true that is. Deacon Riley Williams is a seminarian for the Diocese of Fall River in fourth theology at the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican.
Vocation Awareness Week
The mysterious reality of holy orders in which he works through them once ordained.
Vocation Awareness Week By Deacon Riley Williams
Having been ordained to the diaconate a few months ago, I
January 7, 2011
Vocation Awareness Week — January 9-15 Toward communion with God and one another
looked in the mirror with disbelief, as I clothed myself in clerical clothes for the first time. I was being summoned to a more profound conformity to Jesus Christ by the black clothes and white priestly collar. Entering the chapel for Sunday Mass, my heart was filled with hope for the Church as I beheld the men preparing for priesthood at St. John’s Seminary. Two great gifts from God have marked my transition to seminary life. First, I have been given a deep sense of companionship with Jesus Christ as I seek to be conformed to him through the sacrament of holy orders. Second, the friendships I share
eminary formation focuses on four pillars: academic, spiritual, pastoral, and human. While these cannot be separated — because they are meant to be integrated in the unity of the person — one of the major and perhaps more obvious areas of seminary formation is the academic pillar. Academic formation is quite a lengthy process, taking between four to six years after a man graduates from college. When I speak with others about the length of time it requires to become a priest, they almost always comment in surprise that that’s at least or more than the amount of time it takes to become a doctor. In many ways, however, a
ery often people ask me, “As a seminarian, what do you do?” They don’t necessarily want to know my class schedule or what I do around the seminary. Rather, there is an interest in what assignment I have, where I’ve been, and what experiences I’ve had. While pastoral formation deals a lot with the day-to-day encounters of seminarians and members of God’s faithful whom they are dedicated to serve, it is most heavily rooted in the encounter with God himself. Pastoral assignments are near fruitless if the work is not rooted in prayer. When I was attending St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, we were regularly reminded of the approach that St. Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphian herself, took towards pastoral
with my brother seminarians preparation to become an reveal the strength of the felordained image of the love lowship of heaven. of Christ, I know I must first As I begin my formation to encounter the immense love the priesthood, the Lord fills of the Sacred Heart for me. In me with zeal for the Kingdom my time of prayer before the of God. I desire to be a companion of Jesus Christ in his work of salvation. Since I expressed this heartfelt longing to my spiritual director, he has encouraged me to enter into By Jack Schrader the loving life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and embrace a call to love with Trinitarian Blessed Sacrament, Jesus has Divine Love. been my companion, changThe priesthood, as St. ing my heart to be like his and John Vianney used to say, is granting me consolation in his the love of the Sacred Heart presence. Rooted in this evof Jesus. As I am beginning erlasting love of God, I have
Vocation Awareness Week
hope that I can be a radical priest of the new evangelization. The joy of God’s proximity to me sustains me. As my companionship with the Lord is strengthened by prayer, the friendships I hold with my brother seminarians are also being strengthened and provide a glimpse of the communion of saints in the Church. The men who surround me at St. John’s Seminary show signs of deep dedication to holiness and virtue. They want to be worthy ministers of the sacraments of the Church. We often talk about the best ways to bring Jesus to a world that is very hungry for God.
Medical school for the soul
priest is analogous to a doctor. Thomas Aquinas, to St. Peter One of the key identities of the Damian, have described phidiocesan priest is a sacramenlosophy as the “handmaiden tal configuration to Christ, the of theology” because philosodivine physician. In the sacraphy gives us the tools essenments of healing, confession, tial to an understanding of and anointing of the sick, he is an instrument of God’s mercy. Just as the medical doctor heals the body, the priest brings God’s healing grace to the By John Piertruszka soul. Academic formation in the seminary covers two major areas, the theology. Philosophy teaches first serving as a foundation us to be “precise and concise” for the second. Initially the in our expression. The study seminarian studies philosophy. of philosophy takes between Many of the greatest minds in two and four years. In general, the Church’s history, from St. a seminarian with a bachelor’s Clement of Alexandria, to St. degree in a topic other than
Vocation Awareness Week
philosophy studies it for two years, while one coming right out of high school would study philosophy (with other college subjects) for four years. Following the years of philosophical preparation, the seminarian generally continues to study theology for another four years, at the end of which time he receives an advanced degree, a master’s or its ecclesiastical equivalent. Both the philosophy and theology studies are comprehensive and designed especially to prepare a young man for priesthood. As with any other academic pursuit, the courses build on each other.
The training of a priestly heart
work. Although St. Katherine in the seminary I have worked is most known for her work with special-needs children, with Native Americans and visited residents in a nursAfrican-Americans — founding home, taught in a paring schools, orphanages, and ish grammar school, visited a women’s religious order — homebound parishioners with most people overlook her spir- the Blessed Sacrament, and itual roots. Her Sisters were called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and no work was to be done apart from time spent in adoraBy Christopher tion. We can only give Peschel what we have, and we can’t give Jesus to others if we haven’t first received him in prayer and the prepared college students to sacraments. be received into the CathoSeminarian pastoral forlic Church. These are just a mation is similarly based in small sampling of assignments time spent in prayer which that seminarians could have. overflows into active work Seminarians also can be aswith the community. Seminarsigned to hospitals, prisons, ians receive many and varied inner-city parishes, homeless assignments. In my four years shelters, and parish faith-
Vocation Awareness Week
formation programs. The goal of a seminary pastoral formation program is to diversify the experiences of a seminarian, so that he becomes well aware of the diversity of work that is expected of a priest, and do this work with the heart of Christ. Pastoral formation in the seminary tries to reduce the number of experiences and situations that will come as a surprise to a future priest. Although several years of pastoral placements couldn’t possibly expose me to every experience I could have as a priest, the diversity of assignments gives a fairly comprehensive picture of priestly work. The various supervised assignments have also given me a chance to see where my strengths and weak-
Together, we are zealously urging each other toward sainthood. This brotherhood of men dedicated to God above all things urges me to give myself over God more ardently. At the beginning of my time in the seminary, I am exceedingly grateful to God that he has led me to the foundation what I hope will become a holy and fruitful priesthood, through an intimate companionship with Christ and a God-centered friendship with other men in preparation for priesthood. Jack Schrader is a seminarian of the Diocese of Fall River in his second pre-theology year at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
Many seminarians at first find the academic formation a little intimidating, but as one going through that formation, I can affirm that there are plenty of opportunities for support from brother seminarians and the faculty, all of whom want to see a seminarian succeed in all pillars of formation. If you’re a young man contemplating the priesthood, always keep this in mind, especially in difficult times: your brother seminarians and the faculty are your fifth pillar, a pillar of support. John Piertruszka is a seminarian for the Diocese of Fall River in his first theology year at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
nesses in ministry are. It gives me the chance to work on the things I’m uncomfortable or need help with. It also helps me to learn some areas where God has given me particular talents so that I can know where there are gifts to offer should I be called to priestly ministry. Pastoral formation is never over, even after a man is ordained a priest. I am grateful for the assignments I’ve had in seminary and I look forward to future assignments and the chance to meet more people, where I can share Jesus with them and gain pastoral wisdom and experience by receiving him from them. Christopher Peschel is a seminarian for the Diocese of Fall River in first theology at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
When Catholic hospitals lose their identity and way
Before Christmas, as the Christian world was preparing to celebrate the birth of the child Jesus, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix had to deal with a Catholic hospital that carried out a decision to kill a child made in Jesus’ image and likeness. After months of conversation with the administrators of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix and its parent network Catholic Healthcare West, in which Bishop Olmsted sought and failed to get the hospital and its network to admit that it carried out abortion and commit never to do it again — and in which it became apparent that the abortion was only one of many violations of the U.S. bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) — Bishop Olmsted courageously stripped the hospital of its Catholic status on December 21 (see story on page three). He said it was the result of his conclusion that he “cannot verify that this health care organization will provide health care consistent with Catholic moral teaching.” Just as individual Catholics can lose their way, so can Catholic institutions when their administrators begin to depart from Catholic faith and morals. Over the past few decades, the Church has had to deal with Catholic colleges and universities that have seriously deviated from the teaching and practice of the Catholic faith. The term Catholic is not supposed to be a weak adjective referring to an institution’s having been founded by Catholics once upon a time or that still features a few priests or religious on a board of governors; it’s meant to describe a place where the Catholic faith is institutionally believed, taught and practiced. Catholics have a need and a right to know that there will be truth in advertising when an institution promotes itself with a Catholic label. When Catholics go to a Catholic hospital, they have a legitimate expectation that the health care they receive will be authentically Catholic. They have a right to expect that, when doctors and ethics boards give them counsel during medical dilemmas, the advice will be trustworthily in line with Catholic principles. When a hospital fails to commit to being Catholic in practice rather than just in name, the bishops have a duty and a right to act in such a way that all the faithful will know ahead of time that sadly they have no guarantee of receiving authentically Catholic care. That’s what Bishop Olmsted did in Phoenix. That’s what Bishop Robert Vasa had to do in Baker, Ore., with the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, when the hospital refused to stop doing tubal ligations. That’s what it seems other bishops are unfortunately going to have to do in the future if administrators at Catholic hospitals fail to act by the Church’s ERDs, which apply Catholic moral principles to the typical ethical situations that come up in hospitals. Bishop Olmsted revoked the Catholic identity of St. Joseph’s Hospital not merely because of the November 2009 abortion, but also because other violations in Catholic Healthcare West facilities in his diocese, such as the provision of contraception, sterilizations and abortions of babies who “endanger the physical or mental health of the mother” or who are conceived through rape and incest. But because the 2009 abortion has received much press attention, it is important to examine it more carefully. St. Joseph’s Hospital, citing privacy concerns, has not released all the information about the 2009 abortion, but from what has been released, we know that a 27-year-old woman, who was in her 11th week of pregnancy, developed pulmonary hypertension and doctors thought that she would die if the pregnancy continued. They consulted the hospital’s ethics board, chaired by Sister Margaret McBride, RSM, which gave the go-ahead for the child to be aborted. After the doctors and ethicists spoke to the mother, the abortion took place. Once Bishop Olmsted became aware of the abortion a few months later, he investigated and declared Sister McBride automatically excommunicated for her having been a necessary accomplice and formal cooperator in a direct abortion. The hospital maintained not only that it had done nothing wrong, but that it had followed ERD 47, which 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.” This directive refers to situations like ectopic pregnancies or cancerous uteruses in which, in order to save the mother’s life, a medical intervention removes a diseased organ while foreseeing, but not intending or directly causing, the child’s death. In these cases we’re not dealing with an “abortion to save the life of the mother.” Abortion is always wrong and can never be justified. What we’re dealing with is the removal of a fallopian tube or a hysterectomy in which a developing child within that diseased organ is not killed, but simply cannot survive on his own and is allowed to die. In the case of the abortion at St. Joseph’s, however, the child was not removed as a foreseen side-effect of the extraction of a diseased organ and indirectly allowed to die, but instead was treated as if he were the diseased organ and directly killed. The hospital has not released how the surgical abortion was done, but the vast majority of surgical abortions are either through suction, meaning they basically siphon out the boy or girl in a powerful vacuum cleaner, generally in parts; or dilation-and-curettage, in which the child is dismembered in the womb and pulled out limb by limb. Bishop Olmsted has always insisted that in the incredibly difficult case of the mother and child at St. Joseph’s, the lives of both needed to be given full respect and neither killed. If we were dealing with a situation in which the hospital, in order to save the child’s life, directly killed the mother, and killed her by dismembering her, there would have been just and universal outrage; everyone would now be saying that, despite the good intention of saving the child’s life, the hospital had committed murder in directly and intentionally killing the mother. We cannot do evil so that good will result. A good end never justifies an intrinsically evil means. The fact that most people are not outraged at the killing of her unborn child — and the fact that ethics personnel and administrators at a hospital claiming to be Catholic permitted and continue to justify the direct killing of one of the two whose lives were at stake — shows just how far the pro-abortion mentality has pervaded our culture. What should have occurred in this tragic situation? Should the Catholic hospital and doctors have done nothing and allowed both mother and child to die? Let’s first look at analogous cases to get perspective. If two people are in a circumstance in which it is likely that both will die, is it permitted for one to be killed so that the other live? Can doctors morally kill one Siamese twin to save the other? Can one of two people dying of starvation awaiting rescue morally kill and cannibalize the other to survive? The answer is no. If one of the famished pair dies, then it is licit to consume his flesh in a desperate circumstance, but it is never morally justified to kill him for food. Likewise, if one twin dies, the doctors can obviously seek to separate his body from the surviving brother; and if one dies as a result of separation surgery in which the doctors were seeking to save both, there is nothing morally awry. But it is always evil to kill one in order to save the other. It’s morally better for both tragically to die than for one to survive through the murder of the other. So in the case of the mother and child in St. Joseph’s Hospital, the moral response is that we cannot directly murder either to save the other. In such a heart-rending circumstance, doctors should treat her pulmonary hypertension while praying for a miracle and hoping that child and mother will survive until the child is viable. As we all know, there is unfortunately not always a medical solution to every medical dilemma. Someone with kidney failure sometimes sadly dies awaiting a kidney transplant, but our desire to save that person can never justify doing evil to save him, by killing someone else to extract a kidney. The first principle of medical ethics is “primum, non nocere,” “first, do no harm.” This is a principle that should be followed by all hospitals, but when Catholic hospitals do not follow it and justify that failure, they do not merit to be called Catholic.
January 7, 2011
St. Joseph — Man of virtue!
hroughout the weeks leading up wasn’t just asking him to be a better to Christmas we heard quite a person, to pray more or to do random bit about the Blessed Virgin Mary and acts of kindness, but was asking for toJohn the Baptist, but one of the often tal trust. St. Joseph doesn’t question or forgotten figures of Advent is the earthly ponder how to respond, he just does it. father of our Lord, St. Joseph. Here we see St. Joseph embracing what Someone recently asked me about Jesus would teach many years later; why we hear so little about St. Joseph “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, nowadays, especially about seeking Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, his intercession. I couldn’t agree more. but only the one who does the will of It seems that the only time we hear my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). anything about praying to St. Joseph The final thing that St. Joseph teachis when one is trying to sell a house by es us is how to embrace “grace under burying a statue of him in their yard. pressure.” Just think about the stressful There is so much that St. Joseph situations in which St. Joseph finds himteaches us about how we are to respond self: his betrothed wife is found to be to the will of God in our own lives. pregnant and he knows that he is not the Joseph is the virtuous man who was father; as his wife is about to give birth chosen to be the most chaste spouse of they are called to travel a long distance Mary and the earthly father of God’s to Bethlehem; early in Jesus’ life, they only Son. are told to flee to Egypt; and let’s not In the biblical passage about the forget that he and Mary lost God’s only conception of our Lord in the womb of Son for three whole days when he was the Virgin Mary we hear that Joseph, only 12 years old. In all of these situaupon finding that Mary was pregnant, tions, we see that Joseph, a simple cardecided to leave her quietly, that is, until penter, relied on God’s grace to handle the angel of difficulty and God comes to challenges him in a dream with firm trust Putting Into and reveals and faith in the Deep God’s plan to God. him. Joseph As we abandoned begin this By Father the thought of new year let Jay Mello leaving Mary us look to to do what was St. Joseph as right — trusting in God’s divine plan. a model of how we are to be faithful In a recent Sunday address, Pope to Christ and how we are to live out Benedict explained that St. Joseph is that faith, trusting in God’s will for “certain of doing the right thing.” In our lives and always being open to his following the directives of God, said grace. the pope said, “Joseph joins the ranks Pope Benedict XVI explained, “In of the humble and faithful servants, Joseph, faith is not separated from aclike the angels, prophets, martyrs and tion. His faith had a decisive effect on Apostles.” his actions. The life of St. Joseph, lived I think that St. Joseph could be in obedience to God’s word, is an eloportrayed as one of those “behind the quent sign for all the disciples of Jesus. scenes” sort of guys. He is one of those His example helps us to understand that biblical figures that doesn’t get much it is only by complete submission to praise or acknowledgement, but one the will of God that we become effecwho is essential and irreplaceable in tive workers in the service of his plan God’s plan. His entire role in the Gospel to gather together all mankind into one is to protect and watch over God’s only family” (March 18, 2009). Son and his mother, Mary. In 1889, Pope Leo XIII said, “It is A recent article I read pointed out fitting and most worthy of Joseph’s three things that we can learn from dignity that, in the same way that he St. Joseph. The first is the “treasure of once kept unceasing watch over the silence.” How many words of St. Joholy family of Nazareth, so now does seph, the man closest to Jesus, are there he protect and defend with his heavrecorded in the Bible? Not a single one. enly patronage the Church of Christ.” But it is in his silence that God speaks to We look to St. Joseph, a simple and us. We hear in the psalms, “Be still and ordinary man, and from his saintly know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). We example we learn how to respond are all busy and know how much noise virtuously in faith to the many chalthere is in our lives. St. Joseph teaches lenges that we face in our everyday us to be quiet and listen to God in the lives. silence of our hearts. It is from this perspective that I will The second point is that “actions use this column to explain the “virtues” speak louder than words.” When God in the following weeks. I will begin wanted to communicate something with the “theological virtues” of faith, to St. Joseph, he spoke to him in his hope and love followed by the “cardinal dreams. Most of us would say that there virtues” of prudence, justice, fortitude is only so much credibility that one can and temperance. Through God’s grace place on dreams, but for St. Joseph, and the intercession of St. Joseph, may he was certain that it was God’s will. we all strive to live holy and virtuous Sacred Scripture tells us that when he lives. awoke, “he did as the angel of the Lord Father Mello is a parochial vicar at commanded him” (Matt 1:24). God St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth.
January 7, 2011
Unauthorized baptism (plus questionable baptism?)
Q: A woman explained that her son was Catholic, though not a practicing one, who married a Jewish girl and they never had their baby baptized. This woman dearly wanted the child baptized. One day, after Mass, on the way out she stopped at the holy water font, took some holy water and sprinkled it over the baby’s head saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” She wanted to know if that was all right to do and sufficient for the child’s baptism. — C.C., Fall River, Mass. A: The question must be answered on two levels: If baptizing the child was the right thing to do; if the woman’s actions constituted a valid baptism. The first question is rather delicate because although the grandmother deeply desired the child’s baptism, the education of children usually falls upon the parents who are called to be the primary educators of children.
alker Percy’s critically acclaimed 1961 novel “The Moviegoer” opens with a quote from Soren Kierkegaard: “The specific character of despair is precisely this: it is unaware of being despair.” Percy, like another southern, Catholic writer we’ve discussed here, Flannery O’Connor, writes about grace in negative space, depicting characters that yearn for a redemption that somehow eludes them. Key to both Percy’s and O’Connor’s characters is their spiritual blindness, continually tripping and falling into the pit of their own sinfulness. Their fallenness can be seen in any number of misdeeds: sexual misbehavior, lack of charity, vanity, pride. All of their sins, however, seem to dangle from one central sin: despair. The existential despair in these novels is like a silent, asymptomatic cancer creeping along inside a dreary everydayness, illustrating that despair is rarely a dramatic and romantic melancholy. More often, it is a barely detectable mood leading us into a thousand venial sins and vices, excused by the suffering we secretly believe will never be redeemed. Percy was a trained physician and like his influence Fyodor Dostoyevsky (a physician’s son), he sees this widespread, malignant despair as if he sampled human soul tissue and looked at it under a
Canon law (Canon 868) been done without the parents’ also requires that for an infant consent. to be baptized licitly: Also, only the priest and “1. The parents or at least deacons are ordinary ministers one of them or the person who of the sacrament of baptism legitimately takes their place and can perform all of the must consent. rites. In some extreme condi“2. There must be a foundtions where there are no ored hope that the infant will dained ministers available, lay be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after By Father the parents have been Edward McNamara advised about the reason.” At the same time the canon specifies, “An infant people have been authorized of Catholic parents or even to perform the essential rites. of non-Catholic parents is An unauthorized lay person baptized licitly in danger of should not perform a baptism death even against the will of except in cases of imminent the parents.” danger of death or other dire Even though there are clear situations where not even historical examples of grandan authorized lay minister is mothers who secretly baptized available. children under atheistic comWith respect to the second munist regimes, this does not question regarding the validappear to be the present case. ity of the baptism: As we have The baptism should not have seen, the grandmother, no mat-
ter how sincere her motives, acted against Church law and should not be imitated. From the description of what she did, however, it would appear to have been a valid baptism and the child is truly baptized. All the same, in order to be certain, it would be necessary for her to give a detailed description of what she did to a priest in case she committed an error regarding matter or form that would cast doubt on the baptism’s validity. What to do? It depends on many factors, but sooner or later the parents should be informed. The grandmother could perhaps avoid having to reveal what she has done by asking permission from the parents to allow her to have the child baptized in a private ceremony, with just herself and the priest, and then take charge of its religious upbringing. If the parents consent, then she could have a priest or deacon complete the baptismal rites
Donning the armor of light
microscope. On being a spiridemocratic civilizations the tual diagnostician he once said world has known, Percy said: in an interview: “The criterion became what “Some people think that the you hear so often now — the two vocations, the two profesquality of life. If the quality of sions, couldn’t be more differlife is not good, why not get ent — being first, a physician, rid of it, which is reasonable, then ending up as a novelist. I quite reasonable, absent the find it very useful to use the same stance — the stance of the physician is that of a diagnostician. His premise, his presumption is when he sees in a patient By Jennifer Pierce something’s wrong. Something’s wrong: the question is what’s gone wrong, and how do you find out Judeo-Christian ethic. If one to make a diagnosis. I find that can dispense with the scandalextremely useful in dealing with ous Christian proposition that the present age. Something’s each human being is created by clearly wrong.” God and accordingly sacred, What was wrong, accordliterally sacred ... one can get ing to our novelist-physician? rid of malformed children, then The despair of a scientific age get rid of anybody, old people, that led us not only to false using the criteria of quality of idols, but to an altered state of life. If the quality of life is bad, consciousness that makes us what is wrong with terminating unaware of our deepest malady. it for the benefit of his family In the same interview as above, who’s going through a lot of Percy discussed “The Thanatos trouble, for the benefit of the Syndrome,” a book about the state because it’s extremely evils committed in the name of expensive?” utopia, he identified the culture Regular readers of this of death in the clearest terms, column will not be surprised showing how it takes root and to learn that Percy was another grows, before we’ve even had convert, converting in 1946. a chance to detect it. Speaking His Catholicism was the physiof the Nazis, and reminding us cian’s cure for despair, and it that they arose from the Weicame to him, not in a cerebral mar Republic, one of the most brain storm or an overwhelming
On Great Catholic Writers
epiphany but in the simple form of witness: his roommate in college got up early every morning and went to Mass. Maybe this humble example is why Percy himself practiced a quiet form of belief. He extended an invitation to conversion that was equally quiet and equally persuasive. He realized that the good news was not something that could be shouted into the ear, or placed in the mind, since it is already there. It must be coaxed out from within, understanding as the protagonist of “The Moviegoer,” Binx Bolling, does: little else closes the heart toward authentic conversion than Pharisaical proselytizing. “When I hear the name of God,” says Binx, “a curtain goes down in my brain.” The danger of the age is precisely this — we are jaded, deadened, trained to hear the
and formally register the baptism. If this were not possible, then the parish priest should duly register the baptism while noting the special circumstances. If the parents are very much opposed, then there is little to be done other than to await a suitable moment to inform them that their child is already baptized. As a last resort, she can mention it in her will, in order to avoid a possible future invalid baptismal ceremony of a person who is already a member of Christ’s mystical body. In all cases she should do all in her power to transmit the faith to the child, above all through her living witness to the Catholic faith. Father Edward McNamara is a Legionary of Christ and professor of Liturgy at Regina Apostolorum University in Rome. His column appears weekly at zenit.org. To submit questions, email liturgy@ zenit.org. Please put the word “Liturgy” in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city and state.
voice of pseudo-science and spiritual sophistry, and to feel cold when we hear the only true philosophy that ever was. That is the contemporary disease. The cure, for Percy, is not in having all the answers; that’s simply what scientism and political rhetoric offers as false idols to contemporary man. The darkness is part of our natures, following us, making us believe this nighttime means we should sleep. That is the sickness. The cure is waking up and though it is dark, casting aside the deeds of darkness and donning the armor of light (Rom 13:11-12). Jennifer Pierce is a parishioner of Corpus Christi in East Sandwich, where she lives with her husband Jim and two daughters. This is the last article in this series on Great Catholic Writers. She is taking a brief hiatus as she awaits the birth of her third child. She will be beginning another series in March.
ecently, I was looking at some old photographs from the family album with my mother. The one I want to tell you about is of my baptism as an infant. You can clearly see my mom, my Aunt Edna and Uncle Wally, who are my godparents, and Father Robert Sevigny, OMI, gathered around the font inside the old Notre Dame Church in Fall River. (My father must have been taking the picture.) I am in my godmother’s arms; and, the priest, wearing a purple stole, is pouring water over my forehead. Reminiscing about this photo, the thought occurred to me that no one there that day, about a month after I was born, could have predicted that I would grow up to be a priest. Yet, I have discovered that this is my vocation. It all started at my baptism. In our Gospel this Sunday, we hear the story of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan
January 7, 2011
Baptism and vocation
River by John. We celebrate Following the baptism, this mystery in our liturgies the Spirit leads Jesus into this weekend. Our Lord was the desert for 40 days to fast baptized as an adult, not as a and to be tempted. Upon little baby. St. Matthew dehis return, he calls disciples scribes the scene: “After Jeto follow him. He starts his sus was baptized, he came up preaching and healing minisfrom the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, Homily of the Week and he saw the Spirit The Baptism of God descending of the Lord like a dove and coming upon him” (cf. By Karl C. Bissinger Mt 3:16). We give Jesus a title; we call him “Christ” (Christós). try. He comes to free people This means “anointed one” in from their sins and from the Greek. This is a translation of darkness of evil. In a way, we the Hebrew word “messiah” could say that the Baptism is (māshiach). The Messiah where our Lord receives his comes as a long-hoped-for vocation. deliverer and king; and, kings Today begins “National are always anointed with oil Vocation Awareness” week. in the Bible. Jesus is anointed We take this opportunity to at his baptism, however, not remind ourselves about the with oil, but with the Holy importance of discerning Spirit. Further, this baptism is God’s will in our lives and where Christ’s public minisof following his call. There try all began.
from day to day. are many possible vocational As we begin “National paths one may take: marVocation Awareness” week, riage, priesthood, religious I ask you to pray. Pray that or consecrated life, or simply God will give you the help to remaining single. Each of stay faithful to your vocation. these represents a different Pray also that others, mode of commitment and serespecially young people, will vice — commitment know and have the grace to to the Christian life live their vocation. Pray that and service to God more men and women will and neighbor. Young hear God’s call to follow people especially Christ, to serve him and the need to become Church as priests and reliaware of these posgious. Finally, pray for the sibilities. They need strengthening of marriage guidance and help and family life. As we celto hear God calling ebrate the Lord’s baptism this them to follow a parSunday, we can become more ticular path. They also need aware that at the most basic encouragement and support level our lives find fulfillment to answer their call. when lived not according to To whichever state of constantly changing impulses life God calls a person, the or fashions, but according to Christian life always begins the personal gift of vocation with baptism. Baptism is the that God offers each one of gateway to all the other sacus. raments. Baptism gives us the Father Bissinger is secbasic vocational call of every retary to Bishop George W. Christian: to live a holy life Coleman and diocesan direcand to find our way to God tor of Vocations. and to heaven as we journey Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Jan 8, 1 Jn 5:14-21; Ps 149:1-6a,9b; Jn 3:22-30. Sun. Jan. 9, The Baptism of the Lord, Is 42:1-4,6-7; Ps 29:1-2,3-4,9-10; Acts 10:34-38; Mt 3:13-17. Mon. Jan 10, Heb 1:1-6; Ps 97:1,2b,6,7c,9; Mk 1:14-20. Tues. Jan. 11, Heb 2:5-12; Ps 8:2ab,5-9; Mk 1:21-28. Wed. Jan. 12, Heb 2:14-18; Ps 105:1-4,6-9; Mk 1:29-39. Thur. Jan. 13, Heb 3:7-14; Ps 95:6-11; Mk 1:40-45. Fri. Jan. 14, Heb 3:7-14; Ps 95:6-11; Mk 1:40-45.
hroughout his recently completed three-year term as president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, gently but firmly led his brother bishops through a reflection on their duties as defenders of the integrity of the Catholic “brand.” A deeper commitment on the bishops’ part to being the stewards of Catholic identity in their dioceses was, one may speculate, one factor in the election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York — a robust defender of Catholic truth — as Cardinal George’s successor in the president’s chair at the USCCB. Not everything that is labeled “Catholic” warrants that label,
Reaffirming Catholic identity
lure of government dollars. On the bishops have come to that new front in the campaign understand; and if anyone is to to reaffirm Catholic identity, do something about that, the Bishop Thomas Olmsted of bishops are going to have to be Phoenix has become an importhe principal agents of change. tant leader. The debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions of higher education has been underway for decades, and may well take some interesting turns in the years ahead. At the moment, howBy George Weigel ever, the hottest of hot buttons on this front involve health care Bishop Olmsted inherited institutions that call themselves a terrible situation in Phoe“Catholic” but which have acnix: the previous bishop had quiesced to practices approved been disgraced; the local legal by an increasingly aggressive authorities had stated publicly secular culture — and to the that they could not trust the Church to police its own house in matters of sexual abuse, and proposed to take over that function themselves. Bishop Olmsted didn’t squawk, nor did he deny that serious problems existed. Rather, he quietly and decisively set about fixing what needed fixing, so that the public authorities were soon content to revert to a more normal Church/state relationship. Then, in 2009, a “therapeutic” abortion was performed at Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, a part of the Catholic Healthcare West system. When Bishop
The Catholic Difference
Olmsted wrote the president of CHW, asking what on earth was going on, CHW attempted to justify what had happened through arguments advanced by M. Therese Lysaught, who teaches theology at Marquette University. Bishop Olmsted was not impressed and informed CHW that it was his duty, as the local bishop, to be the authoritative interpreter of the moral law in his diocese and the authoritative interpreter of the hospital guidelines adopted by the USCCB. And the bishop went on to state that he would declare that St. Joseph’s Hospital is no longer to be considered a Catholic institution unless CHW admits that the 2009 abortion that happened there violated the U.S. bishops’ norms and unless CHW pledges that such an abomination will not happen again. However the Phoenix/CHW situation eventually sorts out, an important marker has been laid down by a bishop known for his integrity and his personal sanctity. Bishop Olmsted will undoubtedly be criticized by those for whom “dialogue” is the holy grail of Catholic life. But in our current cultural situation (and given the pressures
that the Obama administration and unsympathetic state governments are likely to increase on Catholic health care facilities), the call for “dialogue” too often amounts to a prescription for slow-motion surrender, with the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions being slowly whittled away while the “dialogue” partners carry on. The Catholic integrity of Catholic educational and health care institutions was at stake when those institutions were segregated in the 1950s and early 1960s; brave bishops like Joseph Ritter in St. Louis, Joseph Rummel in New Orleans, and Lawrence Shehan in Baltimore took a lot of heat, but did what they had to do to bring the conduct of Catholic institutions into sync with the Church’s teaching on human dignity. No less ought to be expected of the Church’s ordained leaders today, when the stakes are just as high, although the issues have changed. So full marks to Cardinal George for putting the issue of Catholic identity on the bishops’ plates, and full marks to Bishop Olmsted for giving that new commitment real teeth. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Let us play
Friday 7 January 2011 — sunrise of Christmas mornMerrie Old England (in my ing. Need I say that hackin is a mind) — Christmas, still kind of linguica? If you failed edieval calendars overflowed with feasts and festivals, holidays and Reflections of a holy days but never Parish Priest more so than at Christmas. This made it By Father Tim easier to endure primiGoldrick tive living conditions, long work hours, wars, famines, and plagues. Our at your culinary responsibilancestors had a really, really ity, you would be carried by Merry Christmas. No politiyour elbows through the town cally correct “happy holidays” square, much to the amuseor “season’s greetings” for ment of your friends and them. They went for the gusto. neighbors. Hilarious. They knew how to play. Nor After your Christmas meal, were they in any hurry to end your family would gather at their Christmas fun before the swing in the back yard. January 6. The person on the swing had You surely know, dear read- to shout out, “Ei mi tu chal!,” ers, that in Scotland, you had which is Scottish for, “I will to have your hackin boiling by kill your cabbage.” Your
January 7, 2011
The Ship’s Log
family members must reply, “Cha ni mu cal,” meaning, of course, “You shall not kill my cabbage!” Doesn’t that sound like fun? Later on Christmas Day, if it happened to snow, you could run outside, rub your hands together, and then promptly go to bed. This determined whether or not the harvest would be bountiful. Don’t ask me how. Anyway, after all the excitement, you would probably welcome the opportunity of turning in early. In Merrie Old England, you had several fun options on the day following Christmas, St. Steven’s Day. You could raid the rectory and abscond with your pastor’s food. On second thought, let’s not encourage that one. Rectory refrigerators
Darkness and light
liturgy, not to mention the hile many complex larger crisis that has shocked factors contribute to the wider world. the fluctuation of death rates With this in mind, Benearound the calendar year, dict recently quoted the it is clear that as winter’s words of Hildegard of darkness descends, mortality Bingen, who in the year rises. Certainly the sustained 1170 was given a vision of cold is difficult for those the Church: “Her face was whose strength is waning, stained with dust, her robe but perceptive souls can was ripped down the right intuit that discouragement side, her cloak had lost its and loneliness also play their sheen of beauty and her shoes part. In particular, the arrival had been blackened.” Surely, of the holidays rattles many the current straights have prowho might otherwise weather vided another dark chapter in the spiritual chills, for at such times the palpable lack of family warmth becomes more painful — even overwhelming for some. This year, such a drama played itself out nearby in a By Genevieve Kineke poignant way, highlighting the need for vigilance on the part the Church’s history, despite of every Christian. In this the myriad saints who live in case, a woman who had sufevery generation. fered from a long bout with We must keep in mind, cancer was discharged to die though, that despite the failin peace — not in the sterile ings of some priests, even atmosphere of an institution, where the Church’s minisbut within the familiar comters have held firmly to the forts of a caring family. standard of love — which And yet one comfort was requires self-control and missing — the embrace of sacrifice — there are those Holy Mother Church, which lay members who refuse to was long held at arms’ length be constrained by duty, who for the sake of an angry huswill not consider the needs band. The why’s and whereof neighbors above their fore’s are unknown. Admitown. Ultimately, between tedly, there is much to cause the defects of clergy and the consternation at present — short-comings of the laity, years of spiritual neglect in it is natural that our path to some parishes, generations of holiness is at times a torturshoddy catechesis in others, ous journey. still more who have allowed With this in mind, this irregularities to creep into the
The Feminine Genius
lovely Christmas story of a holy death is a welcome reminder of the size and shape of our vocation. Here, an attentive neighbor who cared for this individual soul intervened after months of prayer and prudent conversations with family members. She chose a trusted friend to talk lovingly but firmly with the husband, encouraged the dying woman and brought in the local priest who had ardently hoped for an invitation. It ended very, very well. Whether the light is ebbing and flowing in any given year — or in the culture at large — is much beyond our powers. So, too, are all the events that have flowed past in the lives of our loved ones. What matters is that we bear a torch in our immediate circle so that the light of the world might be known beyond the torn skirts and dirty face that may have been otherwise manifest. In the end, the sacraments are what matter, and no tawdry masquerade created by a given generation should hide the true beauty of Christ’s bride through whom they come. Surely, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but he stands ready to receive every soul who turns to him. Let us stand on guard in this new year, ready to provide the necessary light when called. Mrs. Kineke is the author of “The Authentic Catholic Woman,” and serves as an editor at catholicexhange.com.
are mostly empty these days, anyway. Instead, dress up as bizarrely as possible, find a wren, and then go door to door singing loudly and intimidating your neighbors into giving you treats so that you will just go away. How exciting is that? Spend December 27 in the kitchen baking loaves of St. John’s Bread. The bread might come in handy, since St. John (who once escaped poisoning) will assure that you yourself will not be poisoned (by some curmudgeonly neighbor?). On December 28, or the feast of the Holy Innocents, even more fun awaits you. Get up early, sneak into the bedrooms of your sleeping children, and scare the living daylights out of them. What a hoot! On December 29, go hodening. Find a horse’s skull, with a jaw you can open and shut. Bedeck yourself with lots of bells. Go around annoying your neighbors again. This time, though, you may only speak in rhyme and your neighbor must respond in rhyme. Whoever gets in the last word, wins. And you thought rapping was a modern phenomenon. On December 31st, expect children dressed in white sheets to show up at your door chanting, “Hogmany! Troll Olay! Gie’s o’your white bread and nane o’your grey.” Scottish kids were very healthconscious. On New Year’s Day, expect visitors. If the first person through your door is a flatfooted, dark-haired stranger carrying coins, coal, iron, and a bottle of Scotch, you are in for good luck. If your “firstfooter” is a little red-haired girl, you’re going to have the worst year of your life. Oh,
wait. This explains a lot. My sister Mary has red hair and many years ago, she was a little girl. Where was she on New Year’s Eve? January 4 is “Plough Monday” in Britain, no matter on what day of the week it falls. Today, all able-bodied men go back to work. Women can now breathe a sigh of relief. The Christmas season is winding down. But don’t get caught off guard, since the following day is “Distaff Day,” when women go back to their daily chores. This is the day men sneak up on you and douse you with a bucket of cold water. It’s a guy thing. On January 6, prepare the “Three Kings Cake.” Hide two small tokens in the cake so that whoever finds them can be crowned king and queen of your Epiphany festivities. I would highly recommend reviewing the proper administration of the Heimlich maneuver beforehand. So went the Christmas season in the good old days. I am not making any of this up. Sounds like lots of fun, doesn’t it? I’m beginning to understand why in 1659 the General Court of Massachusetts banned all Christmas traditions. Christmas Day didn’t become a legal holiday in Massachusetts until 1856. Those old Puritan preachers were no fun at all. Fortunately, in the current Church calendar, you still have three more days for your traditional Christmas revels. If you should miss out on Christmas fun, take heart. Soon begins the Mardi Gras celebrations — the masques, the parties, the horribles parades. Having fun yet? Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
Our Lady’s Monthly Message From Medjugorje December 25, 2010
“Dear children! Today, I and my Son desire to give you an abundance of joy and peace so that each of you may be a joyful carrier and witness of peace and joy in the places where you live. Little children, be a blessing and be peace. “Thank you for having responded to my call.” Spiritual Life Center of Marian Community One Marian Way Medway, MA 02053 • Tel. 508-533-5377 Paid advertisement
January 7, 2011
Mattapoisett man cares for parochial ‘place of rest’
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
MATTAPOISETT — The irony that the name of his hometown is derived from an old Native American phrase meaning “place of rest” isn’t lost on Robert A. Gingras. The devoted and lifelong parishioner at St. Anthony’s Parish has voluntarily served as the primary caretaker of one of the town’s final resting places — the diocesan-owned parochial cemetery of the same name. “This is a peaceful place,” he said, looking over the newlyexpanded section of the Catholic cemetery off North Street. For the past 35 years Gingras has done everything at St. Anthony’s Cemetery from mowing the lawn to digging graves, earning the distinction of being The Anchor’s Person of the Week. “I think we started in 1975,” Gingras said. “It all started by accident. My aunt died and the gravedigger back then was sick. I asked the pastor at that time if I could dig my aunt’s grave … and that’s how it all started.” While he is paid a nominal fee for opening new gravesites, everything else he’s done at the
cemetery for more than three de- Gingras added, looking over the ing to expand further. About cades has been strictly voluntary. latter half of the cemetery. “The 200 feet beyond the cemetery is “I did a lot in my spare time,” section behind that is already a already owned by the diocese, he said. “When I’d come and the land adjacent to here to dig a new grave, the cemetery is owned by I’d take care of whatever the Mahoney Family and was necessary. My wife they’ve agreed to turn it Elizabeth would also take over to us.” care of all the records and Gingras is proud that paperwork and handle the his little parish cemetery fees for the parish.” has grown into a sprawlIndeed, the day-to-day ing piece of real estate operations at St. Anthoand that he’s been able to ny’s Cemetery evolved maintain it all these years. into something of a famContent with its success, ily affair for the Gingras he decided to retire as clan — with his wife hancaretaker a few months dling the record-keeping ago, turning the duties and his two sons, David over to another Mattaand Robert Jr., assisting poisett native, Gary Bowhim with maintenance man. and grave-digging. “I used to come out When the cemetery here in all kinds of weathreached its capacity a few er,” he said. “You don’t years ago, it was Gingras get a holiday off, even if and his wife who put toit’s snowing.” gether a plan to expand For now, Gingras the site. seems content with keep“We both sat down ing up with the rental Anchor Person of the Week — Robert A. at our kitchen table and properties he owns in Gingras. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza) mapped out the plans for town and living a faiththe new section of the filled life rooted in his cemetery here,” Elizabeth Gin- third of the way developed. All parish. gras said. the graves in the back section “Many years ago I was on the “This back section is all new,” have been sold and we’re look- building committee when they
built the new church back in the 1970s,” he said. “I’ve been involved in other things over the years. My wife and I have been involved with the Catholic Charities Appeal as well. But I used to be a contractor, so taking care of the cemetery came easy to me. I like to keep busy.” Even in retirement, Gingras continues to help out the new cemetery caretaker as needed. “I still have property to take care of and apartments that I rent,” he said. “I keep busy everyday. I would get bored if I didn’t have anything to do.” When asked why he freely gave so much of his time to his parish, he paused for a bit and then answered. “The parish needs people to remain active,” he said. “I’ve always maintained a good religious background and my faith is very important to me. I would encourage more people to get involved with their parish. I know it’s been a great thing for me.” To submit a Person of the Week nominee, send an email with information to fatherrogerlandry@anchornews. org.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A presumed miracle needed for the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II reportedly has reached the final stages of approval. The miracle — involving a French nun said to have been cured of Parkinson’s disease — has been approved by a Vatican medical board and a group of theologians and is now awaiting judgment from the members of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, according to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli. If the congregation accepts the healing as a miracle attributable to the late pope’s intercession, then Pope Benedict XVI still would have to sign a decree formally recognizing it before a beatification
ceremony can be scheduled. Tornielli, who covers the Vatican for the newspaper Il Giornale, wrote January 4 that the process is so far advanced that Pope John Paul could be beatified sometime in 2011. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Service January 4 that the final step before beatification requires the pope’s approval and that the pope is free to make his own decision on the matter. According to Tornielli, at the end of 2010, the presumed miracle passed the first three stages in a five-step process that involves medical experts, a medical board, theological consultants, the members of the congregation and, finally, Pope Benedict. In 2005, Pope Benedict set Pope John Paul on the fast track to beatification by waiving the normal five-year waiting period for the introduction of his sainthood cause. The initial diocesan phase of the cause was completed in April 2007. After a team of theological consultants to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes studied the 2,000-page “positio,” the document that makes the case for beatification, Pope Benedict formally decreed in December 2009 that Pope John Paul had heroically lived the Christian virtues and was venerable.
Report says Pope John Paul miracle nears final recognition
January 7, 2011
Baptism and its many blessings By Rebecca Aubut Anchor Staff
NORTH ATTLEBORO — When Jesus submitted himself humbly to the hands of St. John the Baptist, he provided an illustration for the rest of us; though he had no need of a baptism, Jesus created a model to follow that frees us from the darkness of sin and incorporates us into the Church. As we celebrate this year’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord, parents continue to follow in Christ’s footsteps and welcome their children into their faith. Baptismal preparation classes are a mandatory requirement for all Catholics and at Sacred Heart Parish in North Attleboro, Deacon Joseph Regali and his wife Joanne eagerly lead parents through the history and the significance of this important first sacrament. “We want to engage them, get them thinking about the sacrament and how it will affect their life,” said Deacon Regali. The sacrament of baptism sets the foundation for each family, said Deacon Regali, and the four symbols of water, oil, the white garment and light are the cornerstones of the “excursion” through the Church, on which he leads the couples on during the class. “I talk to them about the history and the significance of the symbols,” said Deacon Regali. “When I talk about the light, I always allude to our Easter vigil and relate it to the significance of the paschal candle being brought in at the Easter vigil; we light from the paschal candle all of those small taper candles. It’s powerful. All the baptismal candles are lit from that candle.” For some parents, baptism is often the culmination of a journey marked with struggles and heartbreak. When Anchor editor Dave Jolivet and his wife Denise held their fourth child, David Joseph, initially all seemed well. “Things appeared normal at first,” said Jolivet, “but as time passed, some potential and serious problems began to appear.”
As a precaution, Fall River’s Charlton Memorial Hospital chaplain at that time, Father Mark R. Hession, baptized little David before the baby was transferred to Women and Infants Hospital in Providence later that night. “The rite performed by Father Hession was beautiful and gave us peace and hope,” recalled Jolivet. When little David was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Boston, Jolivet and his wife were able to be by their son’s side. “We were told to go home and get some rest,” said Jolivet, who resides an hour away from Boston. “However, things went dramatically downhill, and we received a call from the hospital at 1 a.m., asking us to get there as soon as possible.” As the Jolivets raced to the hospital, the nurses noticed on little David’s chart that the family was Roman Catholic and, without realizing he had already been baptized, went out of their way to make sure
the baby was baptized. Little David passed away as his parents arrived at the hospital. At a moment of true heartbreak, Jolivet said the act of kindness from people he didn’t know, reaffirmed his faith. “At such a low moment in our lives, Denise and I were buoyed by the fact that the nurses in a secular hospital, knew how important Catholics hold baptism, and made certain little David received the sacrament,” said Jolivet. “Weeks later, we wrote to the staff in Boston to thank them for their kindness, compassion, and insight into our faith. I’ve never forgotten that, and encourage all parents of newborns to enlist their child into God’s family as early as possible.” While God chose to take little David into his arms shortly after his birth and spiritual rebirth, Michelle and Christopher Germain were unsure if God would decide to take one of their twins before Michelle could even hold her. Turn to page 18
precious gift — Baptized recently at the Sacred Heart Parish in North Attleboro, the family of Christopher Germain and his twin sister Samantha (not pictured) celebrated the sacramental milestone with happy hearts. Told that their daughter would not survive, both babies spent 88 days in the NICU at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center before being discharged. In the center are the godparents holding little Christopher, and flanking them are his parents, Michelle and Christopher Germain.
January 7, 2011
Whose ‘net’ is it anyway? FCC neutrality rules receives heat from both sides
WASHINGTON (CNS) — When the Federal Communications Commission issued rules December 21 governing network neutrality — the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated the same — the commission got heat from both sides of the issue. Opponents contend that net neutrality rules will stifle innovation and place the United States at a technological and competitive disadvantage. Supporters of net neutrality counter that the wide-open Internet that Americans have grown to appreciate over the past 15 or so years is what has spurred the innovations enjoyed on a wide scale today. The FCC rules require transparency on the part of Internet providers about services offered to consumers. They prohibit blocking of lawful content and “unreasonable discrimination” in transmitting lawful traffic over a consumer’s Internet service. Opponents say net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem. Backers say that without net neutrality in place, Internet service providers could charge computer users extra fees to get equal access to the Web, or charge websites a fee if they wanted their sites to be accessed at a higher speed, or block content altogether — especially if the Internet service provider started offering competing content. But advocates have another bone to pick with the FCC: The new rules are only for “wireline” communications, such as home computers. The rules do not affect wireless communications. And that’s where the FCC fell short, they say. Racial and ethnic minorities depend on wireless Internet service more than whites do — although Americans are increasingly turning to wireless as at least an option, if not as their primary Internet source. And if the FCC’s net neutrality policy gives wireless Internet providers carte blanche to discriminate with regard to what kind of traffic can be carried over their systems, it could, some fear, lead to the end of the Internet as we know it. “Preserve a free and open Internet” is the final sentence of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ communications policy document. So how well did the FCC do in that regard? “It’s unfortunate that on the net neutrality vote, to treat wireless differently from any other Internet access could have unfortunate consequences,” said Helen Osman, USCCB secretary for communications, recalling what happened to Catholic Relief Services. Osman was referring to an incident last January in which CRS sent text messages to Sprint telephone users, asking them to make a donation for Haitian earthquake relief. But three days into the initiative, Sprint told CRS, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency, to shut down its text-to-call operation or risk losing access to all Sprint users. Osman likened the Internet to other public goods. “Even things such as public transportation, public roadways, all of that, we need to make sure that access is available to everybody regardless of their race, creed, whatever — that they’re not able to differentiate those
who can guarantee larger bandwidth or guarantee more money,” Osman said. “The Internet is no longer a secondary means of communications. For churches, schools and other nonproifts, it becomes the primary means of reaching people. It is more and more becoming the primary access point for citizens,” she added. “It is necessary for a wholesome democracy. It is too important for it not to be regulated.” Another denominational voice on communications policy issues is the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ. Cheryl Leanza, who oversees the office, said of the FCC’s vote, “The characterization of a lost opportunity is a good one. We did make some progress. ... But certainly there were a number of things the FCC could have done better.” Leanza pointed to a potential shortcoming in the way the FCC reached its decision. “The FCC’s going to be very vulnerable in court as it moves ahead on any broadband regulation” in the future, she said. The FCC’s path toward regulation, Leanza added, is akin to the one it took in its unsuccessful court challenge to Comcast’s decision to block certain file-sharing traffic through BitTorrent. In August 2008, the FCC ruled against Comcast for blocking traffic, but a federal appeals court vacated the FCC ruling two years later. Should Comcast purchase a majority stake in NBC Universal — the FCC has been reviewing Comcast’s bid for a year because of antitrust concerns — “Comcast is going to have a much greater incentive after the merger to favor certain content or promote certain content over other content,” Leanza said. “After the merger, Comcast is going to be much more interested than in the past that certain video programming, certain TV programming looks superior to its competition” — and that favored TV and video programming, she added, is going to come from NBC and other networks under its control. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., an opponent of the Comcast-NBC merger, called the FCC net neutrality rules “worse than nothing.” “Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason,” said Franken. Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, a policy group advocating an open Internet, said: “Instead of strong, firm rules providing clear protections, the commission created a vague and shifting landscape open to interpretation.” Republicans in Congress and on the FCC have said any regulation of the Internet is harmful. Robert McDowell, one of the FCC’s two Republicans, said in an op-ed article in the December 20 Wall Street Journal, “Nothing is broken that needs fixing.” Michael Copps, a Catholic and one of three Democrats on the fivemember FCC, had threatened to vote against the regulations if they were not made stronger. In the end, he and his two Democratic colleagues voted for the rules. However, Copps said in a December 21 statement that “in my book, today’s action could, and should, have gone further.”
a bit out of place — Jack Black stars in a scene from the movie “Gulliver’s Travels.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/Fox)
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service. “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) At the behest of her ballet company’s artistic director (Vincent Cassel), a shy, inhibited dancer (Natalie Portman) rebels against her overprotective mother (Barbara Hershey) and seeks to imitate a passionate rival (Mila Kunis) by embracing a hedonistic lifestyle in order to fit her for the major role in Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” an onstage embodiment of guile and sensuality. Though Portman turns in a striking performance, director Darren Aronofsky’s nightmarish, morally muddled drama plays on the extremes of sexual repression and debauched license and, whether read as insisting on the necessity of indiscriminate experience or as a cautionary tale, presents its heroine’s experimentation with voyeuristic excess. Strong sexual content, including graphic lesbian and nonmarital heterosexual activity, drug use, a few instances of profanity, much rough and some crude language and numerous sexual references. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. “Gulliver’s Travels” (Fox) Mediocre effort attempting to cash in on the elusive comic abilities of Jack Black, who plays a modern riff on the traveler Lemuel Gulliver, hero of
Jonathan Swift’s classic 18thcentury novel. A lazy mailroom clerk who dreams of becoming a travel writer to impress the editor (Amanda Peet) for whom he has fallen, Gulliver cheats his way to a seaborne assignment, only to find himself transported to Lilliput, a vaguely British island populated by a race of people only four inches tall. Although marketed to children and families, director Rob Letterman’s sour, slapped-together project features a flagrantly overplayed gross-out gag and carries a noxiously cynical message: You can plagiarize and lie without penalty and still end up with the girl — and the job — of your dreams. Skewed moral values, graphic scatological humor and some intense action scenes. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance sug-
gested. Some material may not be suitable for children. “Tron: Legacy” (Disney) The briskly entertaining, unpretentious and prescient 1982 cult classic has been loudly updated and turned into a bloated, stultifying 3-D bore by director Joseph Kosinski, with the proceedings barely propped up by some still-enjoyable gadgetry. As the son (Garrett Hedlund) of a computer programming genius (Jeff Bridges, reprising his role in the original), searches for his mysteriously vanished father, the trail leads into the electronic alternate universe Dad created in the first outing. Scenes of intense action and some images of severed limbs. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, January 9 at 11:00 a.m.
Celebrant is Father Karl C. Bissinger, secretary to Bishop George W. Coleman and diocesan director of Vocations.
January 7, 2011
Culmination of ‘Year For Priests’ highlighted 2010 continued from page one
for Year For Priests activities in the Fall River Diocese. At the conclusion of the year-long celebration, Father Bouchard told The Anchor, “This past year was a great opportunity to reflect on the gift of the priesthood for myself and my brother priests. I found that faithful Catholics across the diocese responded so positively this past year to the good priests who give so much to serve them.” Two key avenues of communication for the local Year For Priests celebration were the video presentations by diocesan priests on the diocesan website, and the personal reflections of priests in a weekly column series on the priesthood in The Anchor. Several priests, including Bishop George W. Coleman, shared video reflections on their vocations on the website. Other events included holy hours for priests and future vocations to the priesthood, parish celebrations of their priests, and the scores of notes and messages of thanks and encouragement sent by the lay faithful to priests. Another diocesan highlight was the overwhelming response by diocesan faithful to the call for help for thousands affected by the horrendous 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. The diocese was quick to organize special collections for the victims. Msgr. John J. Oliveira, pastor of St.
Mary’s Parish in New Bedford, and diocesan director of the Propagation of the Faith told The Anchor, “Even before the collections, people were asking what they could do to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Witnessing what the Haitian people were facing, the parishioners sacrificed from what they had to help. In fact, I told people that if they couldn’t afford to give that they could forget our parish collection for one week and give to the Haitian collection. Their need was greater than ours.” Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster was in immediate contact with its “sister parish” of St. Clare in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and provided support anyway they could. Father Bernard Baris, MS, pastor, made a trip to the desolated island in April. For the second consecutive year, diocesan priests spent many extra hours in the confessional, providing scores of parishioners the opportunity to reconcile with the Father during a Reconciliation Weekend in March. The weekend took place during the year marking the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, whose reputation of spending countless hours hearing the confessions of people from all over the region near Ars, France is legendary. St. Vianney ardently spoke of the need for people to reconcile with God through the sacrament of penance,
warm thanks — Sister Catherine Donovan, R.S.M., diocesan episcopal representative for Religious extended a warm “thank you” to all who responded to this year’s collection for retired religious. “On behalf of women and men religious throughout the country, I offer heartfelt thanks to the faithful of the diocese for your donation to the Retirement Fund for Religious. Your gift makes a tangible difference in the lives of thousands of senior Catholic Brothers and Sisters, and religious order priests. The Holy Cross Fathers, including Father Al Croce (pictured above), represent the many religious who will benefit from your generosity because you have ‘shared in their care’ once again. May God bless you abundantly in the new year.”
and to repent and change their sinful ways. Several parishes across the diocese reported that the extra confession times were very well attended. Friends and supporters of the Diocese of Fall River’s Honduran Mission in Guaimaca, Honduras, gathered in August at St. Julie Billiart Parish in North Dartmouth with Father Craig A. Pregana, pastor of the Honduran mission, and Msgr. Oliveira to celebrate a 10th anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving, marking one decade of the diocese’s presence in the poor country, providing spiritual and physical support. “The 10th anniversary allows us to pause for a moment and look at all the mission has accomplished,” Father Pregana told the congregation. “However, there is still much to be done. The poor still come looking for food, the children still work on the farms rather than go to school, and there are still homes without running water or electricity.” In September, three years to the day after Laura Hope Smith died during an abortion at the Women’s Health Center on Camp Street in Hyannis, Dr. Rapin Osathanondh was sentenced to six months in jail, followed by nine months of home confinement and three years of probation for pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The only abortion facility on Cape Cod where the death occurred has been closed since 2008.
13 However, after serving only half his six-month sentence, Osathanondh was released to serve the rest of his threeyear parole at his million-dollar home on the Cape. St. Vincent’s Home, an institution older the Diocese of Fall River itself, marked its 125th anniversary focusing on the welfare of children and their families. Several events marking the anniversary were held throughout the year. On October 17, Brother André Bessette, a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, was canonized. St. André made several trips to the Fall River Diocese during his lifetime, and several diocesan faithful had encounters with the holy, humble Brother during his stays here. Members of the Congregation of Holy Cross Fathers, Brothers and Sisters from Stonehill College in Easton made the trip to St. Peter’s Square in Rome to witness the event. In December, the Bishop Stang High School Community received a very special Christmas present when it was learned that the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office announced that Stang teacher and campus minister, Jean Revil, was completely exonerated of inappropriate sexual conduct with a female student in 1994. Revil was allowed to return to her positions at Stang and will also continue her monthly youth column in The Anchor in 2011.
January 7, 2011
A ‘routine’ year: Pope’s 2011 calendar holds full slate of events By John Thavis Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — For Pope Benedict XVI, the 2011 calendar already holds a full slate of meetings, liturgies and foreign trips. What’s not on the calendar — at least so far — is a special “year of” or a “year for.” In 2008-2009, the pope declared a Year of St. Paul. He designated 20092010 the Year For Priests. Perhaps 2011 will mark the Year of Business as Usual for the German pontiff, who turns 84 in April. Unlike the past three years, there’s no Synod of Bishops on the horizon in 2011. Most people are not expecting a consistory this year, either, and there is no sign that the pope plans to convene the world’s cardinals at the Vatican for other reasons. What many people don’t appreciate is that the papacy is not just about commemorative years and cardinal summits. “Business as usual” for the pope means a steady series of events that begins with a New Year’s Mass to mark World Peace Day and ends with a “te deum” prayer service of thanksgiving December 31. In between are hundreds of papal encounters with individuals and groups, ranging from heads of state to schoolchildren. The first half of January is typical. After the New Year’s Mass, the pope presides over a liturgy to mark the feast of the
Epiphany January 6. Then he celebrates the feast of the Baptism of the Lord January 9 in the Sistine Chapel, personally baptizing more than 10 infants. The next day, the pope shifts gears and delivers his annual “state of the world” address to the diplomatic corps at the Vatican. He’s expected to underline his concern over recent acts of violence and discrimination against Christian minorities around the world, which was a main theme of the World Peace Day message this year. And with that, Pope Benedict will be off and running. In 2010, the pope presided over more than 50 major liturgies. Similar celebrations are already penned into the 2011 calendar, at home and abroad. They range from one-hour prayer services to threehour ordination Masses and normally include at least two liturgies to proclaim new saints, one in the spring and one in the fall. Already on the probable saints list for 2011 is the founder of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers, Blessed Guido Conforti. Easter arrives very late in 2011 — April 24 — and with it comes the heaviest week of liturgies and public appearances by the pope. Ahead of Easter, the Vatican plans to publish Pope Benedict’s new volume in his series on the life of Christ. Titled, “Jesus of Nazareth: Part Two, Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the
Resurrection,” it picks up where the bestselling first volume left off. For U.S. bishops, 2011 will bring the start of a series of encounters with the pope and his aides, the weeklong “ad limina” visits that begin in November. Bishops from Region I in the Northeast will be the first group to arrive at the Vatican November 7, followed by Region II (New York) November 24 and Region III (New Jersey, Pennsylvania) December 1. The last time U.S. bishops came through Rome on “ad limina” visits was 2004, so for many of them it will be their first major meeting with Pope Benedict. Throughout the year, the pope will hold “ad limina” meetings with bishops from other countries: the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Australia, Angola, New Zealand and the Pacific Ocean area. The pope will break away from the Vatican on four foreign trips: June 4-5 in Croatia; August 18-21 in Madrid for World Youth Day; September 22-25 in Germany, including the capital of Berlin; and November 18-20 in the West African country of Benin. He’ll also make a twoday visit to Venice in May and three other trips in Italy during the year. At the Vatican, the pope resumes his
weekly audiences every Wednesday, where he has been sketching brief biographies of early Church saints, writers and mystics. He normally makes at least one other public appearance each week, greeting pilgrims from his apartment window at midday on Sundays. In addition to his World Peace Day message, the pope generally furnishes messages or letters to mark a whole slew of other annual events — for migrants and refugees, for the sick, for religious, for priestly vocations, for missionaries, for young people, for the hungry and for communicators. Although Pope Benedict is widely seen as less prolific than Pope John Paul II, his verbal output each year is impressive: about 300 speeches and talks, more than 50 homilies and nearly 100 other missives of varying length and importance. In his recent book-length interview, Pope Benedict said the day-in, day-out schedule of the papacy was pretty taxing for someone his age. He spoke openly about his diminishing energy, and even left open the possibility of eventual papal retirement — but as his 2011 calendar makes clear, he’s not ready for that yet.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In times of trouble, doubt or deep spiritual crisis, never let go of believing in God, because he will help lead people out of darkness, Pope Benedict XVI said. “Let us always be led by God, carry out his will every day even if often it doesn’t correspond to our plans, and trust in his providence that he never leaves us on our own,” he said during a recent weekly general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. In his catechesis, the pope described the life of St. Catherine of Bologna, an abbess of the Poor Clares and “a woman of great wisdom and culture” who lived in the 15th century. Despite the many centuries that separate her time and today, St. Catherine still speaks to modern men and women, said the pope. “Like us, she suffered from many temptations — the temptations of disbelief and sensuality, she suffered from a difficult spiritual battle, she felt abandoned by God and she found herself in the darkness” of doubting her faith, he said. However, throughout all of her struggles, St. Catherine “always held onto the Lord’s hand,” he said. Because she never let go of trusting in God’s will and let herself always be guided by him, “she went along the right path and found the road leading to the light,” he said. “In this way, she is also telling us ‘Have courage’ even when struggling with one’s faith or when feeling doubt” or uncertainty, he added. “Don’t let go of the Lord’s hand, believe in God’s goodness and that way we will go along the right road,” said the
pope. St. Catherine of Bologna wrote the “Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons” in which she describes “the many graces she received and lists the most effective means of resisting the temptations of the devil,” he said. The pope said her treatise showed how to fight temptations and deceptions, which cause doubt and uncertainty about one’s faith and vocation; her writing represents “a beautiful spiritual program for every one of us even today.” The pope listed the seven spiritual weapons as the following: — Take great care to always work for the good. — Know that nothing truly good can ever be done by oneself. — Trust in God and never be afraid of the battle against evil either in the world or inside oneself. — Reflect often on the words and life of Jesus, especially on his passion and death. — Remember that everyone must die. — Keep firmly in mind the rewards of paradise. — Be familiar with sacred Scripture so that it can guide all thoughts and actions. The pope praised the way St. Catherine led a life of humility and obedience to God. “She saw all disobedience as a sign of that spiritual pride which destroys all virtue,” he said. Her humility showed she preferred a life of service over power. “She wanted to serve, carry out God’s will, be at the service of others and for that reason she was credible” in her position of authority, said the pope. “You could see that, for her, authority was serving others,” he said.
Hold on tight to God during times of trouble, temptation, pope says
January 7, 2011
Jean Revil totally exonerated continued from page one
community our prayers as they move forward.” In addition to Revil’s return to Stang as a teacher and campus minister, she will resume her monthly Anchor youth column, “Be Not Afraid,” later this month. Anchor executive editor, Father Roger J. Landry said of Revil’s exoneration, “I’m thrilled, but not surprised, that the district attorney’s office in its painstakingly thorough truth-seeking investigation found what those of us who know Jean Revil knew was bound to be the outcome, that Jean Revil was totally innocent. Her full exoneration is a Christmas gift to all the students at Bishop Stang High School who are getting their superb campus minister and teacher back as well as to all Anchor readers, who will be reading her much-appreciated columns again later this month. “Jean’s deep trust in the Lord, who himself was the target of false accusations at his trial, is a model for all those who are victimized by a fictitious allegations. She taught us all to have faith that the truth will come out. She taught us all how to bear our crosses in union with the Lord and, like the Lord, to pray for those who truly didn’t know the evil they were doing in carrying out physical or verbal crucifixions. It’s somewhat easy to be a Christian when most people praise you for your selfless ministry; it’s much more challenging to walk the walk when people are falsely alleging that you’re a degenerate impostor. As much as students, parents, fellow teachers, Catholic faithful and priests justly admired Jean before the investigation for putting the Christian faith into action, we should all respect her even more, after her faith has been put into a crucible and come out even more refined.” In an interview with The Anchor just prior to her welcome back by the Stang community, Revil said, “I’ve changed through all of this, but I can’t even put into words what the change is. I can say that I’m more aware of my surroundings. Things will get better, but ‘normal’ for me will be a ‘new normal.’ I need to find out what that normal will be.” Revil said she was overwhelmed by the bombardment of prayers she received from so many individuals, including students, friends, family, and complete strangers. “I heard about students who fasted for me, who gave up Facebook for a day for me, and other forms of sacrifice,” Revil added. “There was a group of students who organized a prayer service on Facebook. They said, ‘If Ms. Revil taught us anything, it was to pray.’ They knew what to do.” Despite Revil’s horrific ordeal, she said it was her faith that kept
her going. “The Father uses everything as he sees fit,” she said. “If one soul entered heaven from purgatory through my suffering, or if one heart was softened on earth, then my suffering was not in vain. I believe in redemptive suffering. I pray for my accuser’s conversion as well.” In her address to students at the morning prayer service on her first day back at school, Revil made an impassioned plea. “Please don’t lie,” she implored. “Not a small lie. Not a big lie. Don’t lie, period. Lies take on a life of their own. Don’t gossip, don’t spread rumors, and don’t make false accusations. Make a pledge to yourselves today to tell the truth in all you do.” Revil also told the students that one of the most difficult parts of her ordeal was not what she was going through, but, “I was worried about you. Whom would you trust?” She said that all young Catholics need someone they trust to look up to and to teach them the faith. “I want you to know that you can trust me.” “Be constant in your prayer life,” Revil continued. “Our God who created us is completely on your side. I know he was with me. I know he had my back. I knew he knew the truth. It was a real challenge, but I never lost my faith in God. And through this, I also strengthened my relationship with the Blessed Mother, who was praying on my behalf. My faith has been strengthened.” Stang president, Theresa E. Dougall told The Anchor, “I’m so happy Jean is coming back. I knew all along that the accusations would be proved false. I’m just sorry it took so long.” Dougall said that each day during the nearly three-month ordeal, the students would pray for Revil and her accuser. “Jean taught the students to never underestimate the power of prayer, and they heeded that teaching. “She has been such an important part of what Stang and the school mission is all about. Her absence left a big hole in our hearts. I pray that she will have the strength to carry on from here. I know she’s eager to carry on at full speed.” Revil told The Anchor, “My identity has been stripped, and I now have to work to rebuild that identity, to reclaim that identity.” Revil’s final remark to the Stang student body that morning was, “It’s good to be home.” The students shared that sentiment, evidenced by the large banner in the school foyer that read, “Welcome back, Ms. Revil! We always know you were innocent!” Students stopped to write a note to Revil on the banner, that included a quote from 2 Corinthians 13:8, “For we cannot do anything against the truth.”
welcome home — Students at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth sign a welcome back banner for Jean Revil, a teacher and campus minister at the school who was cleared by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office of all charges against her. (Photo by Dave Jolivet)
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team work — Students were excited to play “Santa” for the evening as they recently formed a 120-yard-long toy brigade to transfer toys from one building to another for Bishop Feehan High School’s 15th annual Santa Shop. Students and staff collected more than 3,800 new items. Eight-hundred students assisted with gift selections, transporting, entertaining, wrapping, baby-sitting, and kept things running smoothly as 200 registered families from the area came to select toys for their children for Christmas.
cape cod elves — Grade eight students from St. Pius X School in South Yarmouth recently prepared to deliver Christmas gifts that were collected for needy families in the parish.
All Aboard — Pre-school children from St. Joseph School, Fairhaven enjoyed collecting their ticket and riding their own Polar Express train to the North Pole. They also enjoyed watching the movie “Polar Express,” sipping hot cocoa, decorating sugar cookies, and receiving a special bell.
January 7, 2011
home for christmas — Holy Name School in Fall River was blessed to receive a beautiful crèche from a parishioner and former student’s parent. Although the figures were delicate, their size was large enough to be displayed outside. James Sears, the school’s custodian, was able to construct a plexiglass frame to protect the manger from the winter weather. The entire student body gathered as Father Jay Maddock, pastor of Holy Name Parish and director of the school, blessed the manger.
a christmas story — During the Advent period leading up to Christmas, students at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton participated in a daily program, that included the reading of St. Luke’s Gospel, by the fifth-graders.
plant patrol — Some of the Faith Formation and Youth Ministry students from St. John’s the Evangelist Parish in Attleboro recently delivered poinsettias to homebound people in the parish. Back row, from left: Michael Marquez, grade 11; Ariana Nance, grade 10; Paige Wahlen and Lauren Marquez, grade nine. Front row: Bailey Nance and Emma Strode, grade five.
January 7, 2011
t is difficult to believe that another year has come and gone already. Where does the time go? As a child, I remember asking my parents why time seemed to go by so slowly. They’d chuckle and say, “Don’t worry, when you’re an adult it will go by much faster and you’ll wish you had more of it.” Wouldn’t you know they were right. Shhh … don’t tell them I admitted that. But as I look back on 2010, a year that personally I can’t wait to shelve with those untouched yearbooks of old, I can’t help but wonder how it is possible that 24 hours in a day do not last as long as they did when I was a teen. Life seems to just take hold of us by the scruff of our necks and pulls us along for 365 days and then come January 1 we look back on the year and wonder, “What on earth did
New year, new beginnings, old resolutions I accomplish this year? What them by January 31) and think good have I done?” outside of the box for 2011? For some, the answer to What would happen if we that question can be numerturned to Scripture for our ous and rewarding. For others, resolutions? What if we used it can be scarce and hopeour annual resolutions as part fully force us to recognize the of our baptismal call to be dischanges we should make in ciples of Jesus Christ? our own lives for the next 365 days. Perhaps that is why we make those clichéd New Year’s resolutions. Yes, we all know the typical New Year’s resolutions By Crystal Medeiros people tend to make such as lose weight, decrease our stress or stick to a budget. The list is In Matthew 25:31-46, we virtually endless. It is also hear about the judgment of deeply rooted in societal pres- the nations. Most of us are sures that we often place on familiar with the separation of ourselves hopefully to raise sheep and goats when the Son our self-esteem or self-worth. of Man comes in glory; sheep What would happen if we at his right hand and goats at were to set aside those resolu- his left. But then we seem to tions we make each year on lose sight of what comes next January 1 (and usually break in Jesus’ teachings.
“I was hungry and you gave me food. “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me. “I was naked and you gave me clothing. “I was sick and you took care of me. “I was in prison and you visited me” (from Mt 35-36). It is these simple yet profound gestures that truly are the essence of serving Christ for it is in serving others, particularly those less fortunate than ourselves that we truly serve him. It is in caring for them with respect and dignity that we show our love not only for Christ but also our brothers and sisters in Christ. When I think back to 2010, particularly the last four months since my dad had his
stroke, I am reminded of the roommates and other patients my family and I met while he was in the rehab facility. Too many are without visitors or family members, that something as simple as a “Hello” or “How are you today?” meant the world to them. You couldn’t help but see the joy in their eyes and through that joy, it became easy to see Christ in each and every one of them. So let’s think outside the box for our New Year resolutions and instead think inside The Bible. If we take it upon ourselves to adopt Jesus’ call to discipleship through serving others, imagine the possibilities 2011 would hold. Happy New Year. Crystal is assistant director for Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. She can be contacted at cmedeiros@ dfrcec.com.
those who attend religious services weekly say the new family arrangements are a bad thing. Only one-in-five (19 percent) of those who attend religious services less frequently share that opinion,” the report said. “The public’s response to changing marital norms and family forms reflects a mix of acceptance and unease,” the report said. While the majority (69 percent) said increased out-of-wedlock births are bad for society, only a minority (43 percent) said the same about increased cohabitation, unmarried couples raising children and samesex couples raising children. “Relatively few say any of these trends are good for society, but many say they make little difference,” the report said. The report, released on November 18, was a compilation of data taken from a nationwide survey of 2,691 adults conducted in October. Its authors also analyzed demographic and economic data since 1960. They found “striking differences,” noting that in 1960, 68 percent of all people in their 20s were married while in 2008 that amount had dropped to 26 percent. As the number of marriages has declined, cohabitation has become more widespread. In the survey, more than half of adults aged 3049 said they had cohabitated at some point in their lives. Most in that group, 64 percent said they viewed this living arrangement as a step toward marriage, not as a substitute for it. In addition, most respondents said they highly value their family. “The vast majority of adults consider their own family to be the most
crisis where people aren’t hearing the call to the priesthood and to the religious life, so too do we have a vocations crisis in marriage. People are clearly being called to this vocation and are not responding to the call,” she said. “Marriage in Massachusetts is declining at a much more rapid rate than it is on average in America, and it is declining in an especially serious way with Catholics.” In the 10-year period from 1995 to 2005, marriages in the United States dropped five percent, and in Massachusetts they dropped 10 percent. Catholic marriages in the United States decreased by 30 percent during the same time period, according to data provided by the Archdiocese of Boston. In the Diocese of Fall River, marriages declined by 25 percent in that decade, according to statistics provided by the diocese. “We have cause for hope but there’s definitely a lot of signs that
people are losing touch with what it is that marriage is all about. More and more marriage is becoming a name that we feel we can tack on to any relationship,” Franks said. “Marriage can change us for the better if we acknowledge that it’s a reality that’s bigger than us.” Claire McManus, director of Faith Formation for the diocese, told The Anchor that Bishop George W. Coleman gave marriage ministries to her office this summer in hopes that they could work on programs to catechize young people and families on the importance of marriage. “It is a challenge,” she said. “You can’t teach marriage. You basically witness marriage, and that’s why we’re trying to get the people who are involved with faith formation of children to have more opportunities where you have strong, faithful families and they witness to other families the importance of marriage.”
Be Not Afraid
Family advocates react to PEW marriage survey continued from page one
ment that the media’s bleak interpretation of the data is distorted. He attributed the decline in the percentage of adults who are married to the fact that people delay marriage, not because they plan to forgo wedding vows completely. “Two-thirds of Americans are ‘optimistic’ about the institutions of marriage and the family. Far fewer say that about schools, the economy, or ‘morals and ethics,’” he said, quoting the study. “This doesn’t sound like ‘the end of marriage,’ as some are claiming the survey indicates.” Perkins acknowledged that the report outlined concerning trends, such as the increase in the percentage of out-of-wedlock births from five percent in 1960 to 41 percent in 2008. The Pew Research Center report, “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families,” found that 39 percent of respondents said that marriage is obsolete. Those most likely to agree with that statement included people who are cohabitating but not married and “self-described conservatives.” The report noted that members of the latter group likely oppose what they perceive as the diminishing role of marriage in our nation. The survey found that young people were more inclined to view cohabitation and other new family forms, such as same-sex marriage, positively. But adults who attend religious services at least once a week were “more resistant to the newer arrangements” than are those who attended religious services less often or never. “Nearly half (45 percent) of
important, most satisfying element of their lives,” the report said. Acknowledging the challenges facing marriage today, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has made “strengthening marriage” the first in a list of the top five priorities for 2011. In addition to working for laws that recognize marriage as the union between one man and one woman, the bishops intend to increase the understanding of the sacrament of marriage among Catholics. The goal is to “inspire, challenge and help Catholics to witness to marriage as a natural institution founded by God and raised to the dignity of a Christian sacrament, and to the value of children and family life,” their website says. In a December 6 press release, New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan announced a statement signed by 25 other religious leaders to show their commitment to protect traditional marriage. “Today is the moment to stand for marriage and its unchangeable meaning,” USCCB president Archbishop Dolan, said. “People of any faith or no faith at all can recognize that when the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it legally binds a mother and father to each other and their children, reinforcing the foundational cell of human society.” Dr. Angela Franks — who with her husband David served as coordinator for The Future Depends on Love, the marriage initiative launched by the four bishops of Massachusetts in 2007 — told The Anchor that the Catholic Church is experiencing a marriage crisis. “Just as we have a vocations
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The blessings of baptisms continued from page 11
“At 18 weeks, we were told to only expect one baby,” said Michelle. “My daughter had restricted growth. They told us to start separating ourselves from her.” “When you hear that about your children,” said Christopher, “the only thing you have is your faith.” The couple prayed, cried and prayed some more, as the decision over what to do loomed over them. “The day we went into the doctor’s to decide whether to go fullterm or try to save both babies, my blood pressure was through the roof,” said Michelle. “I got put into the hospital and we now have two babies, who were born a few days later. Somebody upstairs made the decision for us and took it out of our hands.” The twins spent 88 days in the NICU at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and were recently baptized at the Sacred Heart Parish in North Attleboro. Now the parents of a bouncing baby boy and a girl, the Germains see their babies’ Baptism as a symbol of triumph over potential tragedy. “They are fully healthy, growing and doing very well,” said Michelle. “They are our little miracles.” It’s stories like that, said Deacon Regali, which help couples attain a deeper gratitude of their family and their faith. “Some mothers have had difficulties with their pregnancies,” said Deacon Regali. “So when you experience that, you really appreciate the fact that your baby is being baptized and becoming part
of the Catholic faith.” Baptisms can lead to frustration, though, said Deacon Regali, and some parents see Baptisms as a social event, where godparents are chosen simply for being “next in line” instead of practicing Catholics. “I think that we have dropped the ball on godparents,” said Deacon Regali, who said that while some parishes make it mandatory for godparents to attend classes, Sacred Heart Parish does not. “I would have no problem making it mandatory,” the deacon continued. “Some parents don’t know how to pick godparents. We’ve had a lot of couples select Protestant people or Jewish people, and a Jewish person cannot even be a Christian witness. I’ve not had a problem talking to people about that, they understand. If I have to, I will drop canon law on them, but I usually don’t have to do that.” Often there are unmarried parents sitting through the baptismal preparation classes, and Deacon Regali said that the Church does not deny them the sacrament provided that they are prepared to fulfill their commitment to raise them in the practice of the faith and the godparents meet the canonical requirements. At Sacred Heart Parish’s most recent baptismal class, however, none of the godparents met the requirement of having received all the sacraments of initiation, including confirmation, said Deacon Regali.
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January 7, 2011
Anchor back issues added to website He encouraged the entire group of young people to go through the classes to become confirmed. When asking the parents why they wanted their two children, an infant and a toddler, baptized, Joanne was heartened by the mother’s response. “She had a beautiful answer,” said Joanne. “She said, ‘I was baptized here and I went to CCD, and I learned that Jesus gave up so much and he died for us, and I want my children to learn that.’ I was pleased and like, thank you God. I feel sorry for them. They’re young and probably afraid. Something had gotten to her. She may have had something happen and she needs to turn to God — is trying to turn to God — and this is her first step.” Regardless of the parents’ background, said Joanne, baptism can be the beginning of a family’s journey back to faith. “For families who have gone away from the Church for so many years and want to get back,” said Joanne, “this is the perfect opportunity to get back and to begin to build a relationship with each other and their children, going towards God.”
continued from page one
a great resource.” While older issues of The Anchor were previously maintained in their print form in the diocesan newspaper’s offices on Highland Avenue and are also bound and collected in limited hardcover editions that are provided to several diocesan offices, this marks the first time that the weekly’s entire back catalog has been made available in digital form. “Years ago, the only reliable way to preserve newsprint was to have them converted to microfilm,” Souza said. “Today we can save everything to a disk or computer.” Although The Anchor launched its online presence last year at this time with a full year’s worth of previously-published material, it took considerable time and effort to scan and prepare all the printed back issues in its archives. According to Souza, the daunting task of physically scanning all those back issues, page-by-page, was undertaken by Recordsforce, Inc., a document management company based in Portsmouth, N.H. Once the editions were converted into searchable PDF files, they were then uploaded to The Anchor website via Issuu.com. Father Landry added that the
fact that the contents of the archive will now be readily searchable online is a great step forward. “Even when we at The Anchor are looking for something in our past, we often find ourselves flipping through bound volumes trying to find the time in a given year when something occurred,” he said. “Now we’ll be able to type key words into a search-engine and let modern technology do the rest.” Search engines will also help diocesan faithful trying to look up stories on relatives, parish priests and others as easy to find as a few keystrokes. The search engines as well will now make past Anchor articles searchable and discoverable by everyone looking for content covered in the informational or formational pieces. The process has helped preserve aging documents that were in danger of being lost forever. “When we first started going through the archives, we realized many of the oldest editions were beginning to disintegrate,” Souza said. “I think we were just in time to get these newspapers scanned and saved.” The direct link to the new Anchor back issues collection is http://www. anchornews.org/anchor_archives/.
“The afternoon will feature an extensive, delicious brunch buffet and a fun-filled family raffle with great prizes including ski tickets, restaurant gift certificates, children’s gifts and more,” she said. The buffet will include roasted meats, fish, chicken, eggs, bacon and sausage, vegetables, salad selections, pastries and desserts. Proceeds from the winter brunch support the St. Mary’s Education Fund, which provides need-based scholarships to students attending Catholic schools
in the Fall River diocese including those on Cape Cod. In the current school year, the fund is helping nearly 750 students with tuition aid assistance. Tickets for the winter brunch are $25 for adults, $14 for children seven and older. There is no charge for those under seven. Seating is limited and reservations must be made prior to the event. No tickets will be available at the door. Please contact Jane Robin at 508-759-3566 for tickets and further information.
January brunch on Cape Cod will benefit St. Mary’s Education Fund
FALMOUTH — The annual St. Mary’s Education Fund winter brunch on Cape Cod will take place on January 23 at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth, beginning at 12 noon. Mashpee resident Dorothy Hiltz, who is a member of Christ the King Parish, is chairing the committee planning the brunch and promises that the event will make for an enjoyable break in the middle of winter with plenty of food, raffle prizes and fun for the entire family.
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50 years ago — For the third straight year, the Associated Press named Pope John XXIII as the man of the year in religion. The annual poll had news editors from the Associated Press newspapers, radio and television stations throughout the country participate in the voting.
10 years ago — Under the direction of Msgr. Stephen Avila, then secretary to Bishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., and inspired by the theme ‘Open Wide the Doors to Christ,’ Catholics from across the Fall River Diocese pilgrimaged to 10 designated station churches as part of a year-long celebration of the 2000 25 years ago — As part of their continuing jubilee year of the Diocese of Fall River. formation program, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary based in Fall River and One year ago — Pope Benedict XVI forFairhaven attended a day of recollection in their mally recognized the miracle needed for the House of Prayer in Fall River. Intended to pre- canonization of Blessed André Bessette, a pare the Sisters for the new year, the eucharistic brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross liturgy was celebrated by Father Arthur T. DeM- and founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount ello, pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish of Fall River. Royal in Montreal.
January 7, 2011
Father Harvey, founder of Courage for celibate homosexuals, dies at 92
ELKTON, Md. (CNS) — Oblate Father John F. Harvey, who founded an organization for celibate Catholic homosexuals that now has more than 100 chapters worldwide, died December 27 at Union Hospital in Elkton. He was 92. His funeral Mass was December 31 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Del., followed by interment in the Oblate Cemetery in Elkton. An Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 73 years, Father Harvey founded Courage, a spiritual support group for homosexual men and women, in 1980 at the request of Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York and served as its national director until his death. Today, Courage has chapters in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Poland, Mexico, Slovakia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Philippines and New Zealand. There is a Courage Chapter in the Diocese of Fall River led by Father Richard Wilson in New Bedford. “Father Harvey’s commitment to pastoral care in the Church was tireless,” said Oblate Father James J. Greenfield, provincial of the Oblates’ Wilmington-Philadelphia
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Jan. 8 Rev. John Kelly, Founder, St. Patrick, Fall River, 1885 Rev. Alfred J. Carrier, Founder, St. Jacques, Taunton, 1940 Rev. Arthur C. Lenaghan, USA Chaplain, Killed in Action, 1944 Rev. Evaristo Tavares, Retired, Our Lady of the Angels, Fall River, 2000 Rev. Louis Joseph, U.S. Air Force, 2000 Jan. 9 Rev. William F. Morris, Pastor, Corpus Christi, East Sandwich, 1982 Jan. 10 Rev. Jourdain Charron, O.P., Dominican Priory, Fall River, 1919 Rev. George H. Flanagan, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Fall River, 1938 Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Sousa de Mello, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Taunton, 1977 Jan, 12 Rev. Thomas P. Grace, Pastor, St. Patrick, Fall River, 1918 Rev. Manuel C. Terra, Retired Pastor, St. Peter, Provincetown, 1930 Jan. 13 Rev. Emile Plante, M.S., La Salette Seminary, Attleboro, 1954 Rev. Ralph D. Tetreault, Retired Pastor, St. Patrick, Wareham, 2007 Rev. Joseph A. Richard, A.A., St. Francis Home, Worcester, 2008 Jan. 14 Rev. John J. Lawler, M.M., Maryknoll Missioner, 1977
province, in a statement. “Even in his later years, his travel would take him all over the country and world to offer a voice of compassion.” Father Harvey was instrumental in the founding of the De Sales Hall School of Theology in Washington, where he taught moral theology from 1949 to 1987 and was president from 1965 to 1977. The school closed in 1996. “His work in helping to found both the DeSales School of Theology and Courage were examples of his commitment to the Church that he loved so much,” Father Greenfield added. Born in Philadelphia in 1918, Father Harvey entered the Oblate novitiate after high school and made his first profession of vows on Sept. 8, 1937. He was
ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1944, at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia by Auxiliary Bishop Hugh Lamb of Philadelphia. After earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1941 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, Father Harvey continued his studies, earning graduate degrees in psychology and theology, and completing a doctorate in moral theology there 10 years later. He also taught moral theology at Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in Washington, 1948-73, and was a professor of medical and sexual ethics at De Sales University in Center Valley, Penn., 19872009. He retired to Annecy Hall in Childs, Md., in January 2010.
Around the Diocese 1/7
Dr. Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., will be speaking about his latest book, “Jesus Shock,” tonight beginning at 7 p.m. at Corpus Christi Parish, East Sandwich. Kreeft is an internationally-respected Catholic thinker and prolific author who has taught at Boston College for more than 45 years. Refreshments will be served and donations to support future programs will be accepted. For more information call 508-833-6545.
The first annual Bell Tower Concert to benefit the restoration of the church’s bell tower will be held tomorrow beginning at 7 p.m. at St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 565 County Street, New Bedford. The “Jesus Meets Jazz” event will feature several local jazz musicians. For more information call 508-525-0660 or email email@example.com.
“Awakening Faith,” a six-week program to help Catholics reconnect with their faith, will be held beginning January 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the conference center at St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth. Sessions will include “Spirituality: What’s the Buzz?” (January 11); “Who is Jesus?” (January 18); “Do We Need the Spirit?” (January 25); “Can I Accept God’s Mercy?” (February 1); “Can Mass Make My Life Meaningful?” (February 8); and “The Church and Me” (February 15). For more information call 508-993-2351, ext. 109 or visit www.saintjulies.org.
“Spirituality for Everyday Living,” a retreat program will be offered January 12 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sacred Hearts Retreat Center, 226 Great Neck Road, Wareham. For more information or to register, call 508-548-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Healing Mass will be held at St. Anne’s Church, 818 Middle Street, Fall River on January 20 at 6:30 p.m. preceded by the rosary at 6 p.m. and followed by Benediction and healing prayers
The Holy Union Sisters invite all former students, faculty members, colleagues and family members to join them to celebrate their 125th anniversary on April 3, beginning with a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Michael’s Parish, 189 Essex Street, Fall River, to be followed by a brunch at noon at Venus de Milo Restaurant, Swansea. For more information call Sister Eleanor MaNally at 508-674-1992, ext. 11 or visit www.holyunionsisters.org.
19 Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. ATTLEBORO — St. Joseph Church holds eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel located at the (south) side entrance at 208 South Main Street, Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to midnight, with overnight adoration on Friday and Saturday only. Brewster — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays following the 11 a.m. Mass until 7:45 a.m. on the First Saturday, concluding with Benediction and Mass. Buzzards Bay — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. East Freetown — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. John Neumann Church every Monday (excluding legal holidays) 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady, Mother of All Nations Chapel. (The base of the bell tower). East Sandwich — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at the Corpus Christi Parish Adoration Chapel, 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Also, 24-hour eucharistic adoration takes place on the First Friday of every month with Benediction at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place First Fridays at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, following the 8:30 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 8 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has eucharistic adoration every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Chapel of Reconciliation, with Benediction at noon. Also, there is a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has eucharistic adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. FALL RIVER — Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street, has eucharistic adoration Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady of Grace Chapel. FALL RIVER — Good Shepherd Parish has eucharistic adoration every Friday following the 8 a.m. Mass until 6 p.m. in the Daily Mass Chapel. There is a bilingual Holy Hour in English and Portuguese from 5-6 p.m. Park behind the church and enter the back door of the connector between the church and the rectory. Falmouth — St. Patrick’s Church has eucharistic adoration each First Friday, following the 9 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 4:30 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. HYANNIS — A Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration will take place each First Friday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 21 Cross Street, beginning at 4 p.m. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Mass every First Friday with special intentions for Respect Life, followed by 24 hours of eucharistic adoration in the Chapel, concluding with Benediction Saturday morning followed immediately by an 8:30 Mass. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and confessions offered during the evening. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the rosary, and the opportunity for confession. SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has eucharistic adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508-336-5549. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and every Friday from noon to 5 p.m., with Benediction at 5 p.m. Taunton — Eucharistic adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. WAREHAM — Adoration with opportunities for private and formal prayer is offered on the First Friday of each month from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, High Street. The Prayer Schedule is as follows: 7:30 a.m. the rosary; 8 a.m. Mass; 8:30 a.m. exposition and Morning Prayer; 12 p.m. the Angelus; 3 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet; 5:30 p.m. Evening Prayer; 7 p.m. sacrament of confession; 8 p.m. Benediction. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street (Rte. 28), holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. We are a regional chapel serving all of the surrounding parishes. All from other parishes are invited to sign up to cover open hours. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
had the great fortune of witnessing the birth of my four children in person. Let me add, for safety’s sake (mine), I’m the first to admit that I had the easy part. Watching the miracle of birth has to be one of the most incredible sights a human being can experience. So I must tread carefully here as I segue into this week’s column. In 2010, football fans in this corner of the country got to watch the birth of a bona fide Super Bowl contender. And I must admit, it’s been one of the great thrills of my life. Again, for safety’s sake (again, mine),
January 7, 2011
Witnessing the birth of champion?
it hasn’t matched the exhilaraThe team, and it’s rabid fan tion of watching Ben, Lauren, base had labor pains with which Emilie, and Davey draw their to endure. Several malcontents first breaths and expel their first were eliminated from the roster. wail. (I think I’ve covered my But with whom would they be back with the offspring, but I’m not so certain with the mother of my children. We’ll see.) When the 2010 New England Patriots season began last July, this team had no particular idenBy Dave Jolivet tity. No one quite knew what to expect from a squad that was so unceremoniously eliminated from the replaced? For the first time in previous season’s playoffs ... at quite a while, the Pats were a home, to make matters worse. team of youth and inexperience. We lost defensive standout Ty Warren before the season even To advertise in The Anchor, contact started. How would Wes Welker respond after knee surgery? Wayne Powers at 508-675-7151 or Would Lawrence Maroney finally have that “break-out” Email email@example.com season? Will the Randy MossTom Brady tandem continue to roll? As the season progressed,
My View From the Stands
Maroney and Moss were shipped elsewhere. The defense looked more like a college roster than professional. Devin McCourty, Brandon Spikes? Who? We lost stalwart running back Kevin Faulk for the season, and our key ball-carrier, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, had more names than a phone book. Welker came back just fine, but besides him, who would Tom Terrific throw to? More college kids? Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski? Who? Add to that the loss, for the season, of the best kicker in the pros, Stephen Gostkowski. Oh my, the pains were coming with greater frequency and intensity. But as the old saying goes, “No pain, no gain” (sorry Denise). Following a humiliating mid-season defeat to the Cleveland Browns and ex-offensive
coordinator Eric Mangini, this fledgeling New England Patriots team was born and began to grow and mature before our very eyes. Seemingly overnight, the youngsters were playing like seasoned veterans. Tom Brady was having the season of his life, better than his 50-touchdown season in 2007. The elite of the NFL fell prey to an ever-improving defense and a surprisingly potent and dangerous offense. When the smoke cleared on the 2010 regular season, the newborn New England Patriots were 14-2 — the best record in all of football. And there are no signs that there’s a letdown to come. We are just two home-field victories away from Super Bowl XLV. Watch out Dallas, Tex. In the first week of February, there’ll be a new kid in town. The 2010 New England Patriots.