Diocese of Fall River
F riday , March 6, 2009
Following Christ all the way through Lenten tradition B y Kenneth J. Souza A nchor Staff
FALL RIVER — Barbara Medeiros solemnly led a group of about 25 people around the downstairs shrine at St. Anne’s Church, stopping before each of the sculptured, three-dimensional Stations of the Cross to offer a brief meditation and prayer during the first Friday of Lent. “Jesus, as you accepted your cross, you knew you would carry it to your death on Calvary,” Medeiros said. “You knew it wouldn’t be easy, but you accepted and carried it just the same.” The group responded in turn: “We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you; because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.” After reciting the Lord’s Prayer, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be to the Father, the group moved on to the next of the 14 stations, following Christ’s footsteps along the road to
Calvary. Expressing joy at the number of people who turned out for the shrine’s first Stations of the Cross devotion this Lenten season, Medeiros asked those in attendance not only to return, but also invite others to join them for future services. “I’m happy to see such a good turnout and I hope to see you all back with more people next week,” she said. The most popular of all Lenten devotions, the Stations of the Cross — also known as the Way of the Cross — is a thumbnail sketch of Jesus’ passion and death, highlighting the key points of his journey on Good Friday to his crucifixion on Golgotha. The tradition originated in ancient Jerusalem. Pilgrims would eventually travel along Jerusalem’s socalled Via Dolorosa, Latin for “Way of Sorrows,” to follow in Jesus’ path from the house of Turn to page 15
BE RECONCILED TO GOD — This is a screen shot of the Web page for the diocesan Reconciliation Weekend, www.bereconciledtoGod.com.
Diocese utilizes Web, YouTube video, radio ads to promote Reconciliation Weekend By Dave Jolivet, Editor
NEW BEDFORD — They will be there waiting for you. Whether you utilize the blessings of the sacrament of reconciliation on a regular basis, or if you haven’t been in years or decades for that matter, they will be there waiting for you — with the open arms of Christ. “They” are the priests of the Diocese of Fall River who have
graciously and enthusiastically agreed to spend extended time in confessionals across the diocese the weekend of March 20-21 as part of a special Reconciliation Weekend. Entitled “Be Reconciled to God,” the concept originated when priests of the New Bedford Deanery unanimously proposed the idea to Bishop George W. Coleman and the Presbyteral Council. The pro-
posal was eagerly accepted. The Be Reconciled to God Weekend takes place on March 20 from 7-9 p.m. and on March 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in all diocesan parishes. As mentioned earlier, they will be there waiting for you, but it should be noted that diocesan priests are available for the sacraTurn to page 18
Sacred Hearts Fathers ready for Blessed Damien’s canonization
A pilgrimage to take interested to the ceremonies in Rome is planned By Deacon James N. Dunbar
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHRIST — Barbara Medeiros leads a group of faithful followers through the 14 Stations of the Cross at St. Anne’s Shrine in Fall River on the first Friday in Lent. The Lenten devotion, which is being observed at churches throughout the diocese, is held every Friday during Lent at the shrine at 11 a.m. just before the 11:30 a.m. daily Mass. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
FAIRHAVEN — The announced October 11 canonization of the Blessed Damien de Veuster, a Belgian-born missionary priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who served patients with Hansen’s disease on the Hawaiian island of Molokai more than a century ago, is great news to his congregation and to the world. “We’ve been waiting about 150 years for this,” said a jubilant Father William F. Petrie, the provincial, at the congregation’s provincial house. “I am elated, and it has bonded our congregation in a new way.” At the same time “It is a prayer answered because declaring Father Damien a saint is good news for so many, not just those afflicted with leprosy — and there are still many in parts of the world — as well as their caregivers, but for
all who put their faith and hopes in Blessed Damien as an intercessor,” Father Petrie added. “The forthcoming canoniza-
tion is being heard with great interest not only by Christians … but by Muslims and millions of Turn to page 20
GLAD TIDINGS — Basking in the sunshine in St. Peter’s Square following the February 21 consistory that set October 11 for the canonization of Blessed Damien de Veuster, are, from left, members of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary: Father Alfred Bell, general postulator; Father Radek Ziezio, general councilor; Sister Brigid Falahee, vicar general; Father Richard McNally, vicar general; Father Felipe Lazcano, general councilor; Father Javier Alvarez-Ossorio, superior general; Bishop Larry Silva, bishop of Honolulu; Sister Rosa Maria Ferreiro, superior general; Father Frans Gorissen, provincial of the Congregation’s Belgian Province; and Father Eduardo Perez-Cotapos, general councilor. (Photo courtesy of Father William F. Petrie SSCC)
News From the Vatican
March 6, 2009
Vatican joins protest over Israeli TV show’s satire of Christianity
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican protested what it called a “blasphemous” satire of Christianity on an Israeli TV network. The late-night program broadcast in mid-February included joking suggestions that Mary was impregnated by a school friend at the age of 15 and that Jesus died at a young age because he was fat. A Vatican statement said the program had “ridiculed — with blasphemous words and images — the Lord Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.” It expressed support for Christians and Catholic leaders in the Holy Land who had denounced the broadcast. “Such a vulgar and offensive act of intolerance toward the religious sentiments of believers in Christ must be deplored,” the Vatican statement said. It noted that the religious figures satirized, Jesus and Mary, were themselves “children of Israel.” The Vatican said its nuncio in Jerusalem, Archbishop Antonio Franco, had received assurances from the Israeli government that it would take steps to prevent such programs in the future and would try to obtain a public apology from the television network. In an earlier statement, the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land condemned the segments, calling them “horrible offenses” and asking the authorities to investigate the incident and “take the necessary actions in order to put an end to such horrible desecration of our faith.” The bishops said the segments were a symptom of problems plaguing Israeli society such as intolerance, lack of respect and inherent hatred. “It is unconceivable that such incidents have to occur in Israel, which hosts some of the holiest shrines of Christianity and which relies to a great extent on pilgrim-
age from Christian countries,” they said. “Such programs have nothing to do with freedom of expression, art and entertainment. They can only work against national integration and harmony in our society.” A group of Christian lawyers began an online petition urging Pope Benedict XVI not to visit the Holy Land in May. “The pope should not come to a nation which does not respect Christianity,” said Salim Kubti, a lawyer and chairman of an umbrella organization representing Christian courts. Lior Shlein, host of the TV show, said the segments were in retaliation for the statements by ultratraditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X and other Christian clerics denying the Holocaust. “If they deny the Holocaust, we will deny Christianity,” Shlein said in a preface to the first segment that depicted Jesus as an obese man who could not have walked on water. The second segment described Mary as a promiscuous teen-ager and showed an extremely pregnant woman in pink underwear patting her exposed belly. The only Christian member of the Israeli parliament, Hana Sweid, then filed a complaint with the legal adviser of the government, charging Shlein with violating an Israeli law that prohibits offending religious sensibilities. Shlein apologized on his recent program. Kubti said the apology was not sufficient and lawyers were waiting to see the reaction to Sweid’s complaint before deciding on their next step. He said they had been approached privately by the television station and Shlein regarding compensation and were negotiating for an educational program or series about Christianity, Islam and Judaism to be aired to promote religious tolerance.
VATICAN CITY — Following weeks of controversy involving two of his decisions, Pope Benedict XVI has twice cautioned against destructive polemics inside the Church. The pope, speaking in German asked for prayers to St. Peter so that “disturbances and storms do not shake the Church” and that Catholics remain united in faith and love. Two days earlier, addressing students at Rome’s diocesan seminary, the pope recalled St. Paul’s admonition to Galatian Christians not to “go on biting and devouring one another” but instead to be guided by the Spirit.
“St. Paul refers here to the polemics that emerge where faith degenerates into intellectualism and humility is replaced by the arrogance of being better than the other,” the pope said. “We see clearly that today, too, there are similar situations where, instead of joining in communion with Christ, in the body of Christ which is the Church, each one wants to be superior to the other and with intellectual arrogance maintains that he is better,” he said. “And in this way arise polemics that are destructive, and there arises a caricature of the Church, which should have a single soul and a single heart,” he said.
Pope cautions against destructive polemics occurring inside Church
ON THE ROAD TO EASTER — Pope Benedict XVI places ashes on the head of Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. (CNS photo/ Vincenzo Pinto, Reuters)
God will forgive, bless those who are seeking conversion, pope says
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
ROME — If people act on God’s call to conversion, he will forgive them everything and bless them, Pope Benedict XVI said just before receiving ashes and distributing ashes to mark the beginning of Lent. “As we prepare to receive the ashes on our foreheads as a sign of conversion and repentance, let us open our hearts to the life-giving action of the word of God,” the pope told people gathered in Rome’s Basilica of St. Sabina. The Ash Wednesday evening Mass was preceded by a penitential procession from the nearby Church of St. Anselm. In his homily, Pope Benedict said the readings chosen by the Church for Ash Wednesday are meant to give guidance to Christians for the 40 days of Lent and to provide them with encouragement to follow the Lenten journey of conversion with courage. The call to conversion is loud and clear in each part of the Ash Wednesday Mass from the opening prayer to the readings and hymns, he said. “The promise of God is clear: If we listen to his invitation to convert, God will make his mercy triumph and his friends will be filled with innumerable blessings,” the pope said. The Gospel reading from Matthew, he said, puts Christians on guard against “ostentation and hypocrisy, superficiality and self-satisfaction, reaffirming the need to nourish an uprightness of heart.” At the same time, the Gospel explains that the way to grow in
the purity of heart is to cultivate a closer relationship with God the Father, he said. Pope Benedict said that during the year of St. Paul, marking the 2,000th anniversary of the apostle’s birth, he wanted to focus in a special way on Paul’s writings and conversion story. “Paul experienced in an extraordinary way the power of the grace of God,” which is also the grace of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he said. Catholics do not pretend during Lent that they do not already know that Jesus rose from the dead, the pope said, but as they prepare for Easter they are “already enlightened by the brightness of the paschal mystery” of Jesus’ death and resurrection. A Christian’s Lenten journey of conversion must be, like St. Paul’s, a call from the risen Christ to change, to accept the forgiveness won by Jesus on the cross and to dedicate one’s life to following him, the pope said. St. Paul’s call to refuse to allow sin to reign in one’s life is an
affirmation that while salvation is a free gift of God an individual must take the step of accepting that gift, he said. “On the one hand, this affirms the victory of Christ over sin once and for all with his death and resurrection,” he said, and on the other hand, Christians are exhorted to not let sin re-enter their lives. “So that Christ may reign fully in him, the baptized person must faithfully follow his teachings; he must never let down his guard so as to ensure the adversary cannot win back any territory,” Pope Benedict said. The Lenten emphasis on prayer, almsgiving and fasting highlights the three most effective defenses against evil, he said. The pope prayed that a more frequent reading of the Bible, more intense prayer and “an austere and penitential style of life will be a stimulus to conversion and sincere love toward our brothers and sisters, especially the poorest and neediest.” OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 53, No. 9
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March 6, 2009
The International Church
Since ’94, Africa has seen tremendous changes, but some major issues remain
By Bronwen Dachs Catholic News Service
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The African continent and the Catholic Church there have undergone tremendous changes since the 1994 Synod of Bishops on Africa, yet poverty, justice and reconciliation remain major issues for this October’s synod. The 1994 synod “opened with the tremendous tragedy of Rwanda and ended with the miracle of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as president of South Africa,” said Jesuit Father Peter Henriot, director of the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. This October’s special Synod of Bishops for Africa will focus on “service, peace and reconciliation and look at the challenges we need to pay attention to,” he said. Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to present the synod’s working document March 19 in Cameroon, on a trip that also includes a visit to Angola. Bishops planning the October synod have emphasized the need to find concrete ways to apply results of their 1994 meeting “to an Africa thirsting for reconciliation and seeking justice and peace.” In interviews with Catholic News Service, Church leaders spoke of how Africa has changed
since 1994 and the challenges that remain. U.S.-born Father Henriot, who has lived in Zambia since the late 1980s, said poor African countries “have become more entwined with globalization” since 1994. “We have become more influenced by the economic and military concerns of other countries,” Father Henriot said. For example, a structural adjustment program imposed on Zambia by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund “might have made the economy more efficient, but it has no social face,” he said. “We have lower literacy levels, a high AIDS rate and other health concerns,” Father Henriot said, noting that such programs led to “curtailed budgets that had a negative impact on hospitals and schools.” “With the global economic crisis, the poor are becoming poorer with factors such as the price of basic foods in African countries being affected by skyrocketing prices in First World countries,” he said. “To gain credibility internationally as a democratic continent,” African leaders need “to hold each other accountable,” said Jesuit Father Anthony Egan, a member of South Africa’s Jesuit Institute who specializes in
Obama’s visit to Canada gets mixed reviews from Catholic analysts
OTTAWA (CNS) — U.S. President Barack Obama’s first visit to Canada struck some positive notes on the environment and on trade, said Catholic observers, but the Campaign Life Coalition focused on the one issue that was not on the agenda of the recent working visit: abortion. In a statement, coalition president Jim Hughes urged America’s first black president to “help save the lives of 4,000 African-American babies who die by abortion every day in the United States.” African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, but 37 percent of aborted babies are black, Hughes said. “In the last 36 years over 17 million African-American babies have died by abortion alone,” he said. Obama, who as an Illinois senator voted against a bill that would have made medical care mandatory for babies born alive as the result of botched abortions, has promised to support the Freedom of Choice Act, which would override state laws that regulate abortion, including laws that regulate parental consent for minors. Though Obama said during his campaign he wanted abortion
to be rare, one of his first acts as president was to sign an executive order to free funds to finance abortions in developing countries, Hughes noted. Obama’s visit to Ottawa focused on trade, the environment, open borders, national security and the war in Afghanistan. At a joint news conference Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Obama announced the establishment of a Clean Energy Dialog that Harper said would commit “senior officials from both countries to collaborate on the development of clean energy, science and technologies.” Joe Gunn, executive director of Citizens for Public Justice, called the establishment of the dialogue a “step forward.” “Polling has shown that Canadians want action on the environment, and the Canadian government has not provided the leadership it should,” Gunn said. Economist Richard Bastien, who represents the Catholic Civil Rights League for the Ottawa region, called the visit “a bit of (a) success” because it dealt with free trade, a concern to Canada because of “protectionist sentiments in (the U.S.) Congress.”
history and ethics. Although African leaders “have failed in terms of calling (Zimbabwean President Robert) Mugabe to order,” there are signs that this reluctance “to be seen attacking a fellow African leader” is changing, he said. South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, one of three papally appointed presidents of the October synod, said Catholic leaders in many African countries have been coming to South Africa for help with setting up effective justice and peace structures. Countries such as Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, Ethiopia and Malawi are looking to Catholics in South Africa to show how they recovered from the years of the strict racial segregation system of apartheid. Cardinal Napier told CNS the Pretoria-based Denis Hurley Peace Institute was set up in 2005 to enable the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference to “respond to continental demands.” On the continent, interreligious dialogue, especially between Christians and Muslims, “has improved enormously,” the cardinal said. The political landscape in many countries has changed, too. Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which an estimated 937,000 people were
killed, the country has undergone a “gradual democratization,” he said. In 2002 Angola ended a 27year civil war in which more than 1.5 million people were killed and, today, relations between the Church and state are good, said Father Belmiro Chissengueti, who heads the justice and peace
3 department of the bishops’ conference of Angola and Sao Tome. He said Church officials are “pleased that the Angolan president has committed himself” to the process of drafting a new constitution. “For the first time church and civil society will have a chance to participate in the process,” he said.
CHILD LABOR — Boys pan for gold on a riverside at Iga Barriere in the resource-rich Ituri region of eastern Congo recently. (CNS photo/Finbarr O’Reilly, Reuters)
The Church in the U.S.
March 6, 2009
Archbishop Chaput says he’s glad pope stressed Pro-Life teaching to Pelosi
DENVER — Pope Benedict XVI’s mid-February meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was a “gracious act,” said Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. The archbishop, speaking about the meeting during a segment of a show hosted by Neil Cavuto on cable’s Fox News Channel in late February, said he was glad the pope “took the occasion” of the official visit to stress the value of human life. According to a statement from the Vatican, the pope spoke to Pelosi about the “requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.” He stressed that all Catholics, especially those who are lawmakers, must work to protect human life at every stage. As a publicly practicing Catholic and a public opponent of efforts to make abortion illegal, Pelosi has come under sharp criticism by some bishops and other Catholics who believe that a politician who supports legalized abortion should not be allowed to receive Communion. When asked during the television interview if he would give Communion to Pelosi, Archbishop Chaput said he would want to speak to her if she planned to attend Mass in the Denver Archdiocese. “I’d say to her what I’d say to anyone,” he said. “If you don’t accept what the Church teaches, you shouldn’t present yourself for Communion because Communion means you’re in agreement with what the Church teaches.”
The archbishop added that “politicians are required to be both good Americans and good Catholics at the same time and to be convincing when they present the position of the community on basic human rights.” Pelosi’s 15-minute private meeting with Pope Benedict took place in a small room in the Vatican audience hall after the pope’s weekly general audience. She was on an official visit to Italy to meet members of the U.S. military stationed in the country and to discuss common security concerns with Italian government leaders. Ten days prior to her meeting with the pope, Pelosi met privately with San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer. Archdiocesan spokesman Maurice Healy told Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newspaper based in Huntington, Ind., that he only learned of the meeting February 17. “I have no details and I have not spoken to the archbishop about the meeting, which had been envisioned as a private and pastoral meeting since it was first proposed in an invitation to the speaker,” Healy told the newspaper in an email. He said the archbishop would not be able to comment on the meeting because he was on retreat that week. Brendan Daly, press spokesman for Pelosi, said the meeting between the House speaker and the archbishop “went well” and the two had agreed to meet again. Pelosi angered many bishops and other Catholics last August when she told the television program “Meet the Press” that Church leaders for centuries had not been able to agree on when life begins.
ARMED FOR ALMS — A young girl puts together an Operation Rice Bowl at her home in Centreville, Va., just prior to Lent. The cardboard donation bowl sits in the center of her family’s table each year during Lent. Coordinated by Catholic Relief Services, Operation Rice Bowl encourages participants to learn about hunger and poverty around the globe and then to make donations to help those most in need. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)
Catholic tradition of almsgiving gets special emphasis in Lent By Chaz Muth Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON — Almsgiving is a practice in generosity expected from all Catholics, but the focus of it is even stronger during the season of Lent. Mary Schultz of Exeter, N.H., told Catholic News Service she began to give a portion of her allowance to charitable causes from the time she was 10, and her parents increased her weekly fee for chores from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday so that she could donate even more money during Lent. “I was told by my parents, my teachers and the priest at our church that it was even more important to give to the needy during Lent, because we were honoring the fact that Jesus sacrificed so much for us,” said the 38-year-old mother of two young children. “That has stayed with me all of these years and I think it’s an important virtue and a way of celebrating our Catholicism,” she said. “I’m teaching these same values to my children.” The Catholic Encyclopedia says almsgiving implies a material service rendered to the poor for Christ’s sake. Promoting almsgiving in the current economic climate, however, creates a challenge, but the need for charitable giving couldn’t be greater this Lenten season, said Father William A. Moorby, pastor of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick’s parishes in Owego, N.Y. “Lent is a time for self-sacrifice and to be more aware of the poverty that exists in the world, so I’m hoping our parishioners will remember that during this year of economic turmoil, when so many people are in need,” Father Moorby said. To drive that point home, both his parishes in the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., participate in Operation Rice Bowl, Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services’ annual Lenten program.
Now in it’s 34th year, Operation Rice Bowl allows Catholics in the U.S. to focus on almsgiving, self-sacrifice and people living in poverty all over the world, said Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services and a parishioner of St. Louis Church in Clarksville, Md. In 2008, Catholics raised more than $7 million through Operation Rice Bowl, 75 percent of which was used to address hunger in 40 countries, he said. The remaining 25 percent was given to U.S. dioceses to support programs — like parish food pantries — that help feed Americans affected by rising food prices, Hackett said. “We’ve seen the need for that 25 percent arise in our community in the past year,” Father Moorby said. “I’m hoping our parishioners recognize that this year when they participate in the program. It’s not only almsgiving for people in foreign lands. It’s going to help their neighbors in need too.” According to Creighton University’s Online Ministries program, “Praying Lent 2009,” practicing generosity is an important element of the 40-day season. “Almsgiving has always been an important part of Lent,” said the Website of the university in Omaha, Neb., especially when it is mixed with the self-sacrifice that is prescribed for Catholics on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays leading up to Holy Saturday. “It is important to give ourselves the experience of fasting from being ungenerous,” the site said. “Generosity is not simply giving my excess clothes to a place where poor people might purchase them. It’s not even writing a ‘generous’ check at the time a collection is taken up for a cause that benefits the poor. These are wonderful practices. Generosity is an attitude. It is a sense that no matter how much I have, all that I have is a gift and given to me to be shared.”
The Church in the U.S.
March 6, 2009
Church’s investment losses mirror rest of nation, according to financier By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service
that we handle more Catholic dioceses and archdioceses than any firm in the country. And as a portion of our business, it is our largest niche and would be approximately 50 percent of the firm’s business.” Schott said his clients, Church and nonchurch alike, have generally performed a bit better than the rest of the market. Schott added that following Church guidelines
guidelines for socially responsible investing, which were revised WASHINGTON — The losses in 2003. “We have endeavored incurred by Catholic institutions (to) create a list that we believe is in the stock market since last aucompatible that our clients use for tumn are roughly the same as the social restrictions,” Schott said. hits taken by other investors, acThe purpose of the bishops’ cording to a financier who estiguidelines is to help the U.S. mates he gives investment advice Conference of Catholic Bishops to more U.S. dioceses than any and other Catholic entities avoid other firm. investments in companies and orLosses of about 25 percent in ganizations that engage in activian investment portfolio ties contrary to Catholic e are biased to protect capital, teaching. “would certainly have and be defensive,” Schott said. been in the ballpark” for The bishops’ guide“Catholic foundations, His aim is for Catholic institutions, he added, lines cover embryonic endowments and pension to “make sure there’s enough liquidity for op- stem-cell research, huplans, but also corporate erations and expenditures for the next three man cloning, land-mine and public endowment production, biotechnical plans” across the coun- years, while at the same time we’re balancing research, labor sweattry, said Steve Schott, a portfolios to maintain investment exposure.” shops, human rights, managing principal at predatory lending, porCapTrust in Miami. on socially responsible investing nography and other areas. Schott, in a recent telephone has not hurt the bottom line of “We have found that the reinterview with Catholic News anyone’s portfolio. sults of the restricted list versus Service from Miami, offered a “When I started in this busi- the unrestricted benchmark, for guarded prognosis for Church- ness back in the early 1980s, example in the S&P (Standard based investors in 2009. Catholic clients asked me to find & Poor’s, one of the leading U.S. He acknowledged that nobody investment managers that would financial rating firms), actually in had a crystal ball to see that the invest consistent with Catholic the last five years has had a slight bottom would drop out of the values. When I asked managers if positive effect,” he added. financial markets at the end of they did this, their first response “We are not suggesting that the 2008, and repeated a familiar was yes,” Schott told CNS. “As I restriction list will have a positive mantra that the outlook “may get delved into their process, I found effect long term,” he said. “We do worse before it gets better” this they did not have an understand- believe that over time the dispariyear. ing of the concerns of the Catho- ty will even out and probably (be) “We are biased to protect lic Church.” negligible in terms of the return capital, and be defensive,” Schott As a result, he said, he exam- difference between the restricted said. His aim is for Catholic insti- ined the U.S. Catholic bishops’ and the unrestricted (lists).” tutions, he added, to “make sure there’s enough liquidity for opPILGRIMAGE TO erations and expenditures for the next three years, while at the same “PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA” time we’re balancing portfolios to Spiritual Director: Fr. Joseph P. McDermott, Pastor maintain investment exposure. Immaculate Conception Church “The risk of not participating when the market turns (around) is 122 Canton Street, Stoughton, MA 02072 just as big as not being in there,” he said. Schott, a Knight of St. Gregory and a trustee of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, rates Church investors well. “These are viable institutions. The Church has a long-term time horizon. Clearly it’s been around 2,000 years,” he said. “The time horizon of the Church is signifiJUNE 24 - JULY 2, 2009 cantly longer than what it will 9 Days/8 Nights for $1,485.00** take for the turnaround. (per person - double occupancy) “We do think that 2009 will be ** (effective until May 15, 2009) challenging and may get worse before it gets better, in the marIncludes Airfare, Ground Transportation & Lodging kets as well as the economy,” he with a FREE Continental Breakfast each morning. said. The name Schott is a familiar Also, we are planning side trips to the GRAND CANYON, one in Church investment circles. SEDONA, MONTEZUMA’S CASTLE, the PETRIFIED At age 47, he has been counselFOREST, the PAINTED DESERT, ST. MARIA GORETTI’S ing Catholic dioceses, religious in Scottsdale, ST. TIMOTHY’S in Mesa, & in PHOENIX, we orders and organizations for 23 will visit CANAAN IN THE DESERT, the garden of Jesus’ years. The Archdiocese of Miami Suffering & Resurrection, as well as other side trips. was his first client. Today, by his estimation, “we For further information you may contact oversee several billion (dollars) in Catholic money. We understand Margaret Oliverio @ 781-762-2029 or 781-344-2073
FEEDING THE BODY AND THE SOUL — Franciscan Father Kevin Tortorelli distributes ashes to a man standing in the St. Francis Breadline outside St. Francis Church in Manhattan February 25. The bread line serves coffee and sandwiches to approximately 200 people every morning. It’s been in operation since 1929. (CNS photo/Octavio Duran)
Rev. Msgr. John J. Oliveira, V.E. 106 Illinois St., New Bedford, MA 02745 ANCH. 03/06/09
The Anchor Reading and responding to the signs of the times
There’s a necessarily prophetic dimension to the proclamation of the faith. While the Gospel is fundamentally, supremely and not merely etymologically “good news” — a jubilant “yes” to the revelation of the love of God for us incarnate in Jesus Christ — it can only be understood in its fullness by contrast to the darkness it illuminates, to the evil it defeats and redeems. This contrast between the positive and the negative, between the good and bad, was the subject of Jesus’ first homily, which echoes on the lips of priests every Ash Wednesday as they impose ashes on Catholic foreheads. First, Jesus announces the good news: “The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand.” Then he presents without nuance what response that must provoke in others: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus’ whole ministry shows this balance between the comforting beauty of his words in the parable of the Prodigal Son and his bitter castigations of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, between the tenderness with which he treated the woman caught in adultery and the ferocity with which he drove the money-changers from the temple. Jesus’ balance — which, while not being “50-50,” proportionately involves both blessings and censures — resonates in his body the Church, which was constituted by him to welcome everyone, but call everyone to conversion and the fullness of life. It’s not surprising that many believers prefer to focus on the more comforting and less challenging aspects of Jesus’ words and deeds, but it’s important to remember that Jesus was not schizophrenic: the same redeeming love he showed in his interactions with Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, and the good thief was still at work when he called Pharisees “whitewashed sepulchers,” challenged the rich young man to treasure him more than his possessions, and told each of us that unless we deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow him, we cannot be his disciple. Similarly, the Church’s maternal nature is shown not just in the compassionate works of the vast network of hospitals and schools and the provision of the nourishment of God’s word and the sacraments. It is also shown when she provides the loving discipline — in words and in deeds — without which we could not be true disciples. This is the context in which properly to interpret the recent prophetic statements and actions of Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver and Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton on the issue of abortion. In the last few years, they have earned the reputation for being two of the boldest and most outspoken prelates in the country in defense of those who have no voice. In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com last week, Archbishop Chaput described that while the Church’s proclamation of the Gospel of Life often falls on deaf ears — including some who have been baptized Catholic — he said that the Church must continue to be faithful in calling our culture to repentance and warning of the personal and cultural consequences of continued ignorance of that prophetic call. “It seems human history has been a series of times of us not taking the warning signs seriously,” Archbishop Chaput stated, and cited the story of Noah and the flood. “They were eating and drinking and carrying on and the flood came. They just weren’t willing to take the warnings that God sends us and I think it is true about our time that we are not taking the situation concerning the Church and the world seriously now. … We need to be persistent in our preaching and in our continuing to give the warning and that God bring fruit from that if he chooses. We shouldn’t give up.” He said that part of the problem is that it’s harder to change people’s minds than form them correctly in the first place. “I don’t know how clearer the bishops, at least as a body, can be speaking about these matters beginning with the Holy Father,” but he acknowledged that this has become a process of reformation rather than formation. “I don’t know if it’s because we’ve let it go on for such a long time and haven’t challenged it before now, but this attitude of being comfortable with being pro-choice and Catholic at the same time seems to be deeply set in the lives of these folks. Either someone taught them that or they’ve arrived at it themselves and weren’t challenged on it, … but they seem so firmly set in the course they’ve taken. … I’m not aware of a single case of a Catholic politician who is pro-choice who has changed his or her mind.” That points first, he said, to a “very bad period of catechesis” in the last 40 years in our country — not merely with respect to the laity but also the clergy — that is “bearing bad fruit in our time.” This situation requires more decisive action on the part of clergy today to remedy the confusion. “It’s very important for clergy to advise political leaders of the great scandal that they might be part of because this can lead not only to the death of the unborn but it can also lead to the spiritual death of the political leaders who vote that way.” This catechesis ought to begin with the simple truth of what happens in abortion, that an innocent human being is slaughtered in a grotesquely inhuman way. “We need to reinvigorate the Church’s understanding of the horror of abortion,” Archbishop Chaput stressed, saying we need to be as horrified by abortion as we are about genocide and slavery. “It seems that we have become deadened to the horror of abortion. If we can reinvigorate our understanding of that, become more sensitive to great evil that abortion is, then we can make a difference.” Once the Catholic Church achieves that reinvigoration of the evil of abortion, then many of the other scandals associated with the abortion issue would likely take care of themselves, such as the ignominy of Catholic politicians who support abortion, the shame Catholics who support them, and the sacrilege of those who are not in communion with the Church’s teachings on abortion receiving holy Communion. Because we don’t yet understand sufficiently the horror of abortion, Archbishop Chaput declares, “we can put up with people who are pro-choice or pro-abortion and not challenge their Catholic identity. … Of course, we hope they will come back to the faith and to the truth, so we don’t want to chase them away from the Church but … Communion means not only union with the Lord but also union with his Church which is his Body.” That is the reason why the Church has consistently taught that those who are not in communion with the Church’s teaching on abortion should not present themselves for holy Communion at Mass. Since various Catholic politicians have ignored that consistent message just as they’ve disregarded the Church’s teachings on life, Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino last week upped the ante, instructing all the ministers of holy Communion, clerics and lay, to refuse the sacrament to those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin,” in accordance with the Church’s code of canon law. The purpose of the decree, he said, is “to prevent sacrilege and to prevent the Catholic in question from committing further grave sin through unworthy reception.” He cited the protocol described in a 2004 letter of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to U.S. bishops that said that when a person consistently campaigns and votes for permissive abortion laws, his pastor should meet with him to instruct him on the Church’s teaching, inform him that he is not to present himself for holy Communion until he repents, and, that, if he fails to repent and continues to present himself for Communion, he will be denied. No bishop would ever look forward to such actions, but they are consistent with the balance inherent in his prophetic, sanctifying and shepherding duties of his office. Let us all pray and hope it brings the offenders to repentance and to embrace the whole Gospel, including the Gospel of Life.
March 6, 2009
uring my seminary years, my parents gregation God used her to found have come back would come to Rome to visit each Feb- to me at the beginning of this month of March. ruary when plane fares would drop to as low Earlier this week, on March 3, we celebrated as $300 round-trip. I would always arrange for the bicentennial of her birth in Genoa. Next them to stay across the street from the North Wednesday we will celebrate the 25th anniverAmerican College in a pensione called Casa sary of her canonization by Pope John Paul II. In Fatima, run by the Sisters of St. Dorothy. Like August, we will mark the 175th anniversary of many of the religious communities in the eter- her founding the Dorotheans. Without a doubt, nal city, the Dorothean Sisters had converted the 2009 is a special year for the Dorotheans and for unused portions of their Generalate House to that reason a time of rejoicing for all of us who welcome guests and earn a little bit of money. know and love them. My parents loved it there. St. Paula’s life is an inspiring story of coopMy mother enjoyed having early morning eration with grace in the midst of hardship. She access to their beautiful chapel, where I would was the middle child, and only girl, of a family eventually preach for the first time, the day af- with five children. She was, for rather obvious ter my diaconal ordination. My father loved the reasons, very close to her mother, whose exviews from the sunroom on the top of the resi- ample taught her the beauty of Christian virtue. dence. There were clean rooms, comfortable beds When Paula was nine, her mother Angela died, and private baths. The price absolutely could not and Paula turned to her other mother, the one be beaten: in 1996, it cost about $25 per per- Jesus gave her from the cross, for solace and son, including breakfast and a hearty lunch or guidance. One of Paula’s aunts moved in to be dinner. And even though my parents could not a maternal presence in the home, but she, too, speak Italian and therefore communicate eas- died after three years, leaving Paula, at the age ily with any of the Sisters except one English- of 12, responsible to be the homemaker at a time speaking Sister from Malta, they grew quickly of strictly-defined gender roles. to love all the Sisters by name and their love was Because of her endless duties in the home, reciprocated. In later years I began to wonder she was not able to attend school, which was a whether my folks great loss for her. were coming to But God’s ways see me or to visit are not our ways: with their friends little would anyacross the street. one have predictI had two ed that, despite great surprises these odds, she in store that first would become By Father year when I visa great educator Roger J. Landry ited my parents and found an edat their Roman ucational order. “home away from Each night her home.” The first occurred when I asked one of brothers, all of whom went on to become priests, the Sisters whether the Dorotheans were pres- would pass along the lessons they learned at ent and active in the United States. The sister school. She ended up receiving through their responded, “Si!,” and said that they were active help an excellent education. Because she was in two dioceses. The first, she stated, was “Prov- not attending school, moreover, she was able videnza,” which I interpreted accurately to mean to attend Mass daily and learn how to pray her our mother-diocese in the Isle of Rhode. The work. second startled me. “Una diocesi che si chiama Listening to her older brother Joseph speak ‘Falla River.’” When I blurted out that that was of his vocation ignited in her a desire to follow “my” diocese, another Sister was summoned God more closely, but her father discouraged who had more detailed knowledge of their work her, wondering who would take care of him if in the United States. She described that the Con- she were not there. But again, God intervened in gregation has a convent in Taunton where it runs a surprising way. At 20, Paula developed respiraVilla Fatima Pre-School, but that Sisters used to tory problems and her father thought it wise for administer a parochial school in New Bedford her recovery to send her to live with her brother and help the Portuguese communities in many Joseph who was a parish priest in the “good air” other ways as well. of the seaside village of Quinto. Because there The second surprise was greater. An aunt were so many young girls in the parish without who had traveled with my parents started to ask an education, Father Giuseppe opened a parome various questions about the “body” she saw chial school in 1834 and placed Paula in charge. exposed underneath the altar in one of the cha- Soon six other young women joined her in the pels in another part of the complex. There were communal apostolate they called the “Daughters Italian signs presumably explaining who the of the Faith.” A year later, one of her brother’s person was, she said, but she couldn’t decipher priest friends from Bergamo asked her to take them. I had no idea what she was talking about, over the “Pious Work of St. Dorothy,” which he but I was intrigued. had founded to evangelize and educate the poorIn Italy and in various other parts of Chris- est and youngest children. The new Congregatian Europe, it is common to place the bodies tion, called the Sisters of St. Dorothy, began to of saints underneath altars. The tradition be- grow, as new vocations made it possible to open gan with the martyrs; since they had shared in houses in Genoa and Rome and later in Naples, Christ’s suffering and death through martyr- Bologna and Recanati. In 1866, the Dorotheans dom, it was deemed fitting to build altars and went abroad to Brazil and Portugal and eventualin fact whole churches on top of their remains. ly spread to Spain, Malta, England, Switzerland, Later, when Christianity was legalized and mar- Albania, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Antyrs were fewer, altars and churches began to gola, Mozambique, Cameroon, the Philippines, be built on top of the mortal remains of saints, Taiwan and the U.S. Through schools, catechetiwho through their holy lives shared intimately cal programs, retreats, spiritual direction and in Christ’s life and death which are made pres- other means, the Dorotheans continue to exerent for us each Mass on the altar. This tradition cise a special and fruitful apostolate with young continues still today with the placing of the rel- people, the poor and women. ics of saints within altars. St. Paula died at the age of 73. Her last words Because of my love for saints, and also to were directed toward Mary, on whose maternal answer my aunt’s question, we scampered off love and intercession she had long depended: to see the chapel she described. Underneath “My mother, remember that I am your child.” the altar, I discovered, were the remains of St. When she was canonized in 1984, Pope John Paula Frassinetti, whom I soon learned was the Paul II said that we see in her a “reminder of foundress of the Sisters of St. Dorothy. What the true values of a woman, an expression of the was totally unforgettable, though, was the fact most refined feminine gifts, an affirmation of the that her remains, although desiccated, were in- identity and dignity of women.” St. Paula shows corrupt, more than a century after her death. St. us all the beauty and importance of spiritual maPaula is one of the rare group of incorrupt saints ternity, a motherhood she learned from her own whose bodies God miraculously preserves from mothers Angela and Mary, and passed on with bodily corruption as a sign of their purity and a tenderness to all her Dorothean daughters. witness to the resurrection of the dead. Father Landry is pastor of St. Anthony of These memories of St. Paula and of the Con- Padua Parish in New Bedford.
Putting Into the Deep
The children were not on the menu
hen visitors come to the chance to visit a remote the Mission, they have village. When we arrived in a chance to visit some of the villages where we celebrate Mass. Some villages are close, within a 30-minute ride, while others are a few By Father hours distant. The road Craig A. Pregana is not always good and the weather sometimes prevents travel to distant the two trucks, which in itself villages. was a sight for the village, the Recently, a group of students children were overwhelmed to visited the Mission and had
see so many “strangers.” They couldn’t take their eyes off the students, many of whom were much taller, and far more pale, in comparison to the people in the village. Before Mass began I asked the students to present themselves, in Spanish, to the community. The children continued to stare in amazement as the students spoke their language. One of the students had
Orthodoxy and Catholic Unity: A Final Word
March 6, 2009
uch has been said here we saw with regard to the divinabout the closeness beity of Christ and his two natures. tween the Catholic and Orthodox Like any great idea, the truths of Churches. The late Father Richard revelation live and grow, and beJohn Neuhaus quipped that because of the guidance of the Holy tween the two Churches the only Spirit, this growth and expression thing lacking for full communion is always in line with the original is full communion. There are, idea. For centuries, there has been by my lights, two (but only two) no significant outgrowth of earlier reasons for identifying Catholidoctrines in Orthodoxy such as cism rather than Orthodoxy as the Catholicism has known; rather, fullness of the truth that Christ’s Orthodox theology seems stuck in one Church has been given to a debilitating reactionary mode. guard and teach. Such bluntness might be taken First, the Orthodox Church as condescension but for the fact lacks the divinely willed, visible that many Orthodox acknowledge center of unity that is the papacy. and even celebrate this lack of The preeminence of the Roman Church and her bishop, the pope, is based on a variety of hisThe Fullness torical considerations. In of the Truth times of persecution, the Church of Rome exhibBy Father ited exceptional fidelity Thomas M. Kocik and doctrinal purity. The Apostles Peter and Paul were martyred at Rome. To this must be added the growing continuous development; for when persuasion, beginning sporadically they look westward they see what in the third century and constantly appears to them a Church distorted from the fourth, that in Matthew 16 by innovation and error. our Lord gave St. Peter jurisdicWhere do we go from here? tion and teaching authority in Since the Second Vatican Council the entire Church; Luke 22 and (1962-65), the Catholic Church has John 21 also clearly accent Peter. continued to emphasize the papacy Throughout the first millennium, as a visible center of unity while siboth Latin and Greek theologians multaneously ascribing greater imacknowledged the transmission of portance to the role of bishops than Peter’s ministry to the bishops of was previously customary. AccordRome, whose judgments were held ing to the Vatican II constitution as authoritative. By reducing the on the Church, Lumen Gentium, pope’s primacy to a mere “primacy individual bishops are “the visible of honor” (which means practisource and foundation of unity cally nothing), Orthodoxy has in their own particular churches.” forsaken the tradition of the unThis increased attention to the divided Church. A fully adequate ministry of bishops, advanced by understanding of Christ’s Church John Paul II and Benedict XVI, demands an adequate account of counterbalances the doctrine of the the role of Peter and the Petrine First Vatican Council (1869-70), ministry of the Bishop of Rome. which so exalted the papal office The second reason has to do that all other bishops were made with Christ’s promise, in John 16, to seem like branch managers of to guide his Church into all truth Rome rather than vicars of Christ by the help of the Holy Spirit. Our in their own right. Whatever else Lord bequeathed the Gospel to he is, the pope is a bishop among his Apostles, through whom it bebishops; his universal pastorate came the apostolic Tradition of the needn’t derogate from the dignity infant Church. As certain revealed of the other patriarchs and bishops. truths impressed themselves more The Orthodox are understandand more deeply on the Church’s ably gratified to hear the Roman consciousness, their meaning Church describe her primacy as the and implications were fleshed servant of communion, within a out more fully. Many doctrinal framework of genuine interdependefinitions were formulated at the dence between the pope and his Church’s ecumenical councils, as brother bishops.
Were East and West to reunite, Rome could again serve as the final court of appeal in disputes among bishops and Churches. Papal leadership might offer the Orthodox world a partial antidote to its fragmentation, which is driven chiefly by extreme nationalism. The Ecumenical Patriarch is powerless to stop this because he lacks any true authority outside his own small community and is seen as the representative of one of the ethnic factions, the Greeks. Papal authority enables the Church to function as an authentically catholic or universal body. Since the 16th century, segments of the various Orthodox Churches have come into union with Rome while maintaining all their traditions, except those that would conflict with Catholic doctrine. These communities retain the name of the Church from which they derive, but are also referred to as “Greek Catholic” because of the Greek origin of the Byzantine rite. And so we have, for example, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which adheres to the Byzantine liturgical, theological, and spiritual tradition. Therefore, we mustn’t identify Catholicism exclusively with the Catholic Church of the West, the Church of the Latin rite. The existence of these Eastern Catholic Churches within traditionally Orthodox lands is an ongoing source of tension between Rome and the Orthodox. In striving to be loyal both to the pope and to their native religious heritage, Eastern Catholics often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, trying to be Catholic in a way most Catholics aren’t aware of or don’t understand, while trying to be Eastern in a way their Orthodox mother Churches deem traitorous. By expanding our vision of Catholicism beyond the limits of our own Western tradition, by discovering and esteeming the spiritual treasures of the East, we can help Eastern Catholics fulfill their difficult vocation; and they, in turn, can show us new ways of living the fullness of Christian faith. Father Kocik is a parochial vicar at Santo Christo Parish in Fall River.
brought some candy with her and she wanted to offer it to the children. However most of them were too timid to approach her. I explained to the children that these young people were from another country, not from another planet. “They don’t eat children,” I said trying to lighten the situation. The student with the candy thought it was the prime moment to offer the candy again to a little girl seated next to her. However her Spanish was not perfect. She attempted to say, “¿Tienes hambre?” (Are you hungry?), but instead she got close to the child’s face and, looking at her, said, “¡Tengo hambre!” (which translates as, “I’m hungry!”) The little girl and all the kids around her jumped back with eyes wideopen, thinking they were on the menu. After a few nervous moments for the kids, they all began to laugh and enjoy the candy that the students had brought. The interaction between visitors and the villagers is a graced moment because the villagers
are able to see with their own eyes that brothers and sisters from the diocese have come to walk with them, sharing their faith and customs. In addition, our visitors are able to see firsthand the work of the Mission and the way that the diocese is helping the poorest of the poor. A number of college groups visit the Mission during the winter break and during the spring semester. Instead of taking vacations to sunny beaches, they spend a week working to improve the living conditions of the poor, or offering medical help to the sick. The students invest their time and energy and reap a dividend without price: helping those in need. Some visitors experience within themselves a call to serve in the Mission, and others are invited by friends who have gone. All of them experience the Mission and return enriched by their experience. However, the call to serve the poor is part of the life of all the disciples of Christ. It is how we put into practice the faith we share. www.FallRiverMissions.com
WORKING BREAK — Some students from Bridgewater State and Fitchburg State colleges, above, working on the addition to the clinic in the Diocesan Mission in Guaimaca, Honduras. Below, recent visitors from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Seekonk pose for a group shot. (Photos courtesy of Father Craig A. Pregana)
n today’s Gospel we hear St. Mark’s intriguing story about Jesus’ taking his apostles Peter, John and James up the mountain to pray. And much to the astonishment of the Apostles, they not only see Moses and Elijah conversing with Jesus but also see Jesus transfigured in all his glory. They get to experience the divinity of Jesus up close and in person. What a truly awesome experience this must have been. In addition — and this is very significant — they hear the voice of God the Father proclaim; “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” What this Gospel passage does is put the biblical story of salvation into clear perspective. On that mountain, at the same time and in the same place, we have Moses, Elijah and Jesus. What is the significance of these three biblical characters coming together at that particular time? If we
March 6, 2009
Jesus’ transfiguration and ours
look at biblical history we of Moses and Elijah may know that Moses traditionhave been, we hear the voice ally represents the law, while of God say; “This is my Elijah represents the prophets. beloved Son. Listen to him.” Their appearance with Jesus Certainly the Apostles could confirms that Jesus is the fulhave focused entirely on the fillment of the Old Testament transfiguration — signifying law given by Moses and also the fulfillment of the Old Testament Homily of the Week prophecies represented Second Sunday by Elijah. In short, Jein Lent sus is the Messiah; the fulfillment of divine By Deacon revelation. The presFrank D. Fantasia ence of Jesus with Moses and Elijah closes the loop in the history of salvation. Taken together, the divinity of Jesus — or the law, the prophets and the on the presence of Moses Messiah give us the road map and Elijah. But no, there is for the salvation of mankind, more: God says, “This is my the key to eternal life. beloved Son. Listen to him.” But there is something We can apply that directive else going on in this scene to our own prayer life. Most on the mountain. As aweof us think of prayer as talksome as the transfiguraing to God. We talk to God tion may have been and as for a while but we tend to mysterious as the appearance run out of words or we keep
repeating ourselves. Most prayer consists of petitions for help, petitions for forgiveness or petitions for the benefit of someone we love. And there is nothing wrong with petitioning God. But constant petitioning can become rote or routine. Perhaps we can come at our prayer life from another perspective. Instead of doing all the talking perhaps we should devote more time to listening, allowing God time to speak to us. Instead of having a mind-set of, “Here I am, Lord; listen to me,” we can turn the tables and say, “Speak to me, Lord; your servant is listening. It is important that we open our hearts and minds to listen attentively to what God has to say to us. It is not always easy because we all have a lot of distractions in our lives. It’s
not easy to block out these distractions and make time to listen attentively to what God has to say to us. It takes practice. It takes commitment. It takes faith and understanding. But most of all it takes grace — the grace given to us in the sacraments. On this second Sunday of Lent, as we think about the transfiguration of Jesus, we might want to consider how we can become better listeners in our prayer life. By listening to God we allow for our own spiritual transfiguration, a gradual change of heart that allows us to become the person we really want to be, the person God wants us to be. “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Deacon Fantasia is the assistant director of Formation for the diocesan permanent diaconal program and is assigned to Christ the King Parish in Mashpee.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Mar. 7, Dt 26:16-19; Ps 119:1-2,4-5, 7-8; Mt 5:43-48. Sun. Mar. 8, Second Sunday of Lent, Gn 22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18; Ps 116:10,15-19; Rom 8:31b-34; Mk 9:2-10. Mon. Mar. 9, Dn 9:4b-10; Ps 79:8-9,11,13; Lk 6:36-38. Tues. Mar. 10, Is 1:10,16-20; Ps 50:8-9,16bc-17,21,23; Mt 23:1-12. Wed. Mar. 11, Jer 18:18-20; Ps 31:5-6,14-16; Mt 20:17-28. Thu. Mar. 12, Jer 17:5-10; Ps 1:1-4,6; Lk 16:19-31. Fri. Mar. 13, Gn 37:3-4,12-13a, 17b-28a; Ps 105:16-21; Mt 21:33-34,45-46.
t a Tampa press conference on February 17, Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez was asked whether his use of steroids for three seasons constituted “cheating.” “That is not for me to determine,” Rodriguez responded. OK, you asked for it. Memo to A-Rod: You cheated. To which the fallen superstar might answer, “Well, everyone was doing ’roids, including the pitchers I was trying to hit” — and if everyone is cheating, it isn’t cheating. To which the answers are: First, not everyone
The mighty, fallen
was doing it (including some listening to sports-talk radio, minor leaguers who missed which I justify professionally their chance at The Show and because it’s a good way to get the big money because they had a fix on the moral confusions too much respect for the game, their health, their integrity, or perhaps all three). And second, if there’s a fifth-grade conspiracy to cheat on the math test and everyone’s in on it, it’s still By George Weigel cheating. A-Rod is not the only confused camper in this sorry mess. I spend of contemporary American far too much time in my car culture. Wasn’t Andy Pettitte’s use of steroids — which is to say, Andy Pettitte’s cheating — less odious than A-Rod’s, because Pettitte came cleaner sooner and gave a better press conference? (Answer: Pettitte may be more mature, today, than A-Rod — which is perhaps damning with faint praise. But cheating is cheating, period, and any assessment of Pettitte’s career must reckon with that.) Shouldn’t Barry Bonds be in the Hall of Fame, despite his deliberate decision to juice himself in order to out-slug Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa? (Answer: None of them should be in the Hall of Fame, because the Hall ballot instructs voters to measure character as well as statistics, and they all disrespected the game by breaking the rules — the implicit moral rules, as well as the
The Catholic Difference
legal and professional rules.) Yet what ought to be fairly obvious moral calls are slicedand-diced all over the airwaves, and the debate is not terribly edifying. Immaturity, racial animosities, cultural differences, economic pressures — all are trotted out, if not as vindications, then as excuses for better-baseball-throughchemistry. None of them makes the slightest degree of moral sense, for cheating is cheating, no matter what one’s age, race, national origin, or income-level. Yet the moral confusions of the steroids debate are nothing new, for today’s excuse-making was previewed in the debate over whether Pete Rose — an admittedly stellar player — should be in the Hall of Fame despite betting on games. To which the proper answer is: absolutely not, for every professional baseball player from the lowest minors on is told, and in no uncertain terms, that gambling on games gets you a lifetime ban from the sport, period. Pete Rose bet on games; the Hall, rightly understood, is an integral part of the sport; therefore, no Pete Rose plaque at Cooperstown, no matter how many confessions Rose eventually makes. That’s what Catholics used to call “temporal
punishment due to sin.” The sin may be forgiven, but it leaves a residue that requires purification. Purgatory in this case means “No Cooperstown.” Baseball’s steroid era is a national disgrace in which both management and labor played despicable roles: the arrogant players’ union, by ignoring its members’ health and protecting outrageous salaries at grave moral and possibly physical cost; the blockhead owners, by sacrificing the game’s integrity to a chemically induced slugfest they believed would restore the sport’s popular appeal after The Strike killed the World Series. There are few heroes here, save the guys who didn’t cheat. Is there any point in railing about this? Yes. Cultural critic Jacques Barzun, an immigrant to these shores, was right when he said that anyone who wanted to understand America had better understand baseball, the mirror of our national culture. If the Jackie Robinson/Pee Wee Reese Dodgers (or, in my case, the Frank Robinson/ Brooks Robinson Orioles) embody America at its best, the steroid era holds up a mirror to an America in moral trouble. Both images bear considerable reflection. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Believe you me
Ben and Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia” Sunday 1 March 2009 — ice cream (their specialty), think Port-O-Call: Boston — World of the brain surgeon who operDay of Prayer ates only on the left frontal lobe met a surgeon who only operated on children under the age of 12 and only on the left frontal lobe of the brain. Reflections of a I knew there were speParish Priest cialists, but I had no idea specialization had beBy Father Tim come so specialized. He Goldrick was exactly the doctor my nephew Danny Pelof children under 12. letier needed at the time, being A priest is called upon to seven years of age and requiring know about many things. Brain surgery on the left frontal lobe. Dan did just fine, by the way. surgery is not one of them. I did once receive an illustrated brain He is now married and living in surgery manual in the mail. I upstate New York. Dan runs a often send away for books, but specialized dairy farm that sells I didn’t remember ordering exclusively to one ice cream company. The next time you eat “Brain Surgery for Dummies.”
March 6, 2009
The Ship’s Log
As it turned out, the book had been delivered to the wrong address. It was the draft of a manual written by a brain surgeon living just a few doors away. I walked down the street and brought the man his book. I was relieved that brain surgery had not been added to the list of skills required of parish priests, but you never know what you will be asked to do these days. Priests cannot be equated with brain surgeons, or even with general practitioners, for that matter. Although GP’s are expected to be eclectic in their knowledge, at least it’s all medically related. True, the length of the formal schooling of GP’s
Look good, feel great: Lenten makeover, part 1
garments that might have been s we continue to circommon in the time of St. cumnavigate our way Paul. Therefore, in order to around the liturgical calendar, grasp the extent of spiritual rewe find ourselves in the season newal that St. Paul was alludof Lent, the perfect time of year ing to here, we have to imagine to be renewed in our Catholic our way back to his time, faith. In the book of Ephesians, an age when even kings and we read the following instrucqueens did not change clothes, tions from St. Paul to help us much less bathe, every day. get started; “You were taught, Of course I’m sure this age with regard to your former way would sound like a dream to a of life, to put off your old self, few nameless children in my which is being corrupted by its family and yours who loathe deceitful desires; to be made to bathe, and even when they new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (verses 4:22-23). To me this passage seems to be an analogy By Heidi Bratton comparing the process of spiritual renewal to the process of putting do, have been known to put the on a new garment, a process same soiled, yet favorite, item which takes place in three, easof clothing back on afterward. ily remembered steps: In order for our children 1. The first step is to take off and us to fully appreciate the our old garment or, spiritually garment-to-self analogy in speaking, our old self. Ephesians, we need to ap2. The second step is to be preciate that most people in without anything so that we St. Paul’s day only had one might get washed up or made garment, and that authentic new. dirt was probably the least 3. The third step is to put on offensive thing found on a our new garment, or our new person’s clothing in the ancient self. world. Grimy substances like At first read, there doesn’t decaying foodstuff, animal and appear to be anything parhuman waste, sweat, and vomit ticularly revolutionary about would have all ripened on a taking off dirty clothes, hopperson’s single garment over ping in a shower, and putting the years, making it so repugon clean clothes. We do it nant that it would be burned practically every day, which is rather than cleaned once the exactly why St. Paul’s exceedwearer was fortunate enough ingly rich, visual lesson might to get a new garment. This is be lost on us 21st-century the putrid piece of cloth we Americans. need to envision when reading Most of us have neither St. Paul’s reference to our old seen nor smelled, much less self, the self that he implores worn, the truly filth-encrusted
Home Grown Faith
us to put off. Or, in our increasingly health-conscious, modern world, a health-to-self analogy for spiritual renewal might be more immediately understood. Someone who has suffered a heart attack or a stroke, or who has been diagnosed with diabetes, knows that there is a nutritional component to the illness. Avoiding certain types of food, and establishing new eating habits will be essential to regaining health, or maybe simply staying alive, for someone diagnosed with one of these illnesses. If such people do not “put off” their old eating habits, then they willingly flirt with physical death. In an analogous way, if we, being sick with sin, do not put off our sinful ways of life, as described by St. Paul, then we willingly flirt with spiritual death. This is the spiritual reality of St. Paul’s plea in Ephesians; if we will not put off our unhealthy, sin-encrusted behaviors and attitudes, then we cannot experience new life in Christ Jesus. But can we stop with the putting off of our old selves, or must we also continue on to steps two and three in order to know this new life? For the answer to that question consider the unworkable, actually unlivable, state of stopping after step one in either the garment or the health analogies, and stay tuned for the next column. Heidi is an author, photographer, and full-time mother. She and her husband raise their six children in Falmouth. email@example.com.
and parish priests is about the same. True, the daily grind of a medical doctor is intense, but then most doctors somehow find time to sail Narragansett Bay or play a round of golf or vacation in Tahiti. (Why am I so obsessed with Tahiti?) Moreover, doctors don’t live at work. Priests do. Attend an ordination if you ever get the chance. A priest’s role is clearly defined in the Rite of Ordination. The ordaining bishop publically questions the candidate on his understanding of the role of a priest. This includes being a co-worker in the bishop’s pastoral ministry of caring for the flock; the faithful celebration of the Mysteries of Christ (the sacraments); preaching; teaching; and a prayerful life consecrated to God for the salvation of God’s people. The bishop advises the candidate, “Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate….” Is that all, Your Excellency? That’s quite enough, don’t you think? In fact, that’s more than any individual can accomplish without divine intervention. “Are you resolved?” asks the bishop. “I am, with the help of God,” responds the candidate. It is unacceptable to add, “How else could I do this, Your Excellency, except with God’s help?” You must stick to the written text. The primary role of a parish priest, then, is to teach, to preach, and to lead God’s people in the way of salvation. He is to be the spiritual guide of a faith community. A medium-sized community today means about 1,500 households (not individuals.) Our larger diocesan parishes are the equivalent of the so-called Evangelical megachurches. Teaching comes easily to me. Educators tell me I have natural teaching skills. If so, these are a gift from God. Preaching
also comes easily, but it hasn’t always. It took lots of practice. I have finally learned to work fairly well with words, thanks be to God. I don’t need to spend a whole week in preparation for one homily, but I do have to carefully prepare my “spontaneous comments” in advance. I’m also, by personality type, attuned to symbol and ritual. I do need continuing development in the “prayer department,” especially since this is the primary expectation Catholics have of their priest. At my ordination, perhaps the master of ceremonies forgot to turn the page in the prayer book, but the bishop neglected to mention a priest also needs to oversee parish business management; to know about counseling; about building and grounds maintenance; about planning; about communication; about technology; about group dynamics; and about dealing with difficult parishioners, among other things. Kathy Kleinlein of the Diocese of Venice, Fla., categorizes difficult people as: — the Sherman Tanks (always on the attack); — the Snipers (shoot from undercover); — the Know-it-Alls (“My way or no way”); — the Constantly Agreeables (“You’re always right, Father”); — the Unresponsives (comatose); — the Negativists (nothing is ever going to turn out right); — the Exploders (given to spontaneous human combustion); — the Constant Complainers (find fault with everything). My job is to serve as priest. Your job is to pray for priests. Priests need all the prayers we can get. Believe you me. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
A giant among us
aking on the persona of my column mug shot each week, I like to look around the two pages I can see from this vantage point. Much like the opening of the “Brady Bunch,” my mug shot looks up, down, to the left and to the right, just to catch a glimpse of what and who is around me. To my right is just wide open space. To my left is Lorraine Gagne. Hello Lorraine. I rubber neck to see what’s happening on
My View From the Stands By Dave Jolivet page 11. Nice. The good folks from St. Julie Billiart Parish are showing their true colors, fighting for life, and I see the pope will be visiting the Holy Land. Let’s see, what else is there ... what’s that? What is that at the bottom of the page? ESPN? The worldwide leader in sports? Advertising with us? Welcome aboard ESPN. The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network has been a major part of my life since its inception in 1979. It was then that the fledgling cable sports channel began airing on a limited basis. Then in 1980 the station went
on the air 24/7. A sports fanatic’s dream come true. I honestly can’t even begin to calculate the hours I’ve spent watching just about every sport imaginable on that dream channel. When ESPN started, local cable TV remotes were actually connected to the cable boxes with a cable. How archaic. But through the years cable technology evolved ... wireless remotes ... and ESPN evolved. With the addition of pro baseball, football, hockey, college basketball, the college baseball world series and up-to-theminute sports news, ESPN soon became a broadcast giant. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t hit ESPN for a least a quick update — even when on the road. When ESPN took off in 1979 some doubted whether it would catch on. Today we have ESPN; ESPN2; ESPN Classic; ESPNews; ESPN HD; ESPN Interactive; ESPN International; ESPN Original Entertainment; ESPN Outdoors; ESPN-U; ESPN The Magazine; ESPN Radio; ESPN. com; and ESPN Deportes. Thanks ESPN for all those times when you kept me company when it was my turn for my kiddies’ late-night feedings. Welcome aboard. It’s like seeing an old friend over there on page 11.
March 6, 2009
Somerset woman invests a positive spirit and gets a healthy return on investment By Michael Pare Anchor Correspondent
again laughing. “Why isn’t he here to help fix the car? But I keep going. That’s what you do.” SOMERSET — If it is a Friday afternoon, Gagne has three grown children and three you can bet that Lorraine Gagne, a parishioner at grandchildren, ages 22, 26, and 33. Family means St. Louis de France Parish in Swansea, is up for a so much to her. As does her community. Gagne card game. “Hi-lo-jack” is her game of choice. has long dedicated hours to the local historical But Gagne doesn’t head to Foxwoods, Mohe- society and the library. gan Sun, or some dark, smoke-filled hall to feed But there has also always been her parish. this vice. Instead, she heads to the home of a She doesn’t push herself into things, but when shut-in from her parish, a neighborhood woman she is asked to help, she answers. Gagne goes to who just can’t get out anymore. They are usually Mass every day. In addition to making home visjoined by another parishioner. The three women its, she is a lector and helps to count the budget enjoy a spirited game, and a spirited conversa- envelopes. She is also a member of the parish’s tion. Women’s Ministry. she helps make blankets with And while it may lack the bright lights and the DCCW, and she assists with the weekly Relisharp sounds of one of gious Education classes. the aforementioned ca“I’ve always enjoyed sinos and there aren’t children,” she says. “I any waitresses pushwas a Girl Scout leader ing drinks, it is serious when I was younger. cards. There’s money I enjoy being with the involved. children.” “I seldom win, but You’ve heard of it’s the idea of playing,” someone who can “light says Gagne. “In fact, up a room.” Well, that’s I’m always losing. But Gagne. She carries with I never bring more than her, always, a positive $2. Where else could I spirit. It is infectious. go for $2 in the after“She’s a dynamic noon and have so much woman,” says Father fun?” Richard R. Gendreau, Gagne figures her pastor at St. Louis de foray into the world of France. high-stakes gambling is To Father Gendreau, OK with God. It’s not as Gagne is a positive force. if she gets him involved It is why he turns to her. in the game. Gagne is one of those “I don’t pray to him parishioners he can alto win,” she says with a ways count on, whether laugh. “I don’t believe it be to lector at a funeral in that.” on a weekday morning, Although Gagne usuor to lead the congregaally ends her Friday af- ANCHOR PERSON OF THE WEEK — Lor- tion in the rosary before ternoons $2 poorer than raine Gagne. daily Mass. when they began, she “She does anyalways comes out of them a richer person. Be- thing we ask of her for the parish,” says Father cause it is not really about whether Gagne makes Gendreau. “Whenever there is a need for someher three-bid or allows her opponent to come in one to visit someone who is sick, she will go. She with an ace high. No, it’s the conversation, the is the type of person who doesn’t just talk her laughs, and the very idea of connecting to some- faith, she walks it. She doesn’t hold back when one else. the need is there.” Gagne’s efforts to reach out to St. Louis de Father Gendreau pauses, searching for just France shut-ins are not limited to her Friday af- the right words to describe this parishioner who ternoon card games. Throughout the week, she gives so much of herself. He settles on the idea visits others. And wherever Gagne goes, she that Gagne’s faith is tangible, it is real, and it is brings with her an unbridled sense of enthusiasm something as easily felt as it is seen. and a true demonstration of her Catholicism. It’s “She finds her faith as important lived out as simple, really. She enjoys spending time with it is talked about,” says Father Gendreau. “That’s others. She enjoys giving of herself. And in giv- her style … she puts a lot of life into things.” In ing, she so clearly receives. her humble way, Gagne is quick to point out that “I may spend an hour or so with someone, just she gets something out of what she gives. She’s a talking,” says Gagne. I am happy to see every- bit uncomfortable with the idea that she should be one. I don’t give it a second thought. The people recognized for any of this. When she does someI visit are so kind to me. They really appreciate thing for her parish, she says, she feels better. the visit and I feel good about it.” Everybody wins. And that’s how she likes it. A Somerset resident, Gagne has been a part of “When I am doing something at church, I go St. Louis de France since the 1940s. in with a smile and I get a smile back,” she says. “I’m an old timer,” she says. “That makes me happy.” She has been a widow for 19 years now, since Happier than being dealt an ace, a deuce, and Roger D. Gagne, the love of her life, passed a jack? away. She misses him something awful. He is She’s not saying. always in her thoughts. To nominate a Person of the Week, send an “When something goes wrong with my car, I email message to FatherRogerLandry@Anlook at his picture and I give him heck,” she says, chorNews.org.
March 6, 2009
Pope confirms he plans to visit the Holy Land in May
VATICAN CITY — Meeting American Jewish leaders who were on their way to Israel, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he, too, was preparing to visit the Holy Land. The pope told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, “I, too, am preparing to visit Israel, a land which is holy for Christians as well as Jews, since the roots of
A MESSAGE TO CONVEY — Members of St. Julie Billiart Parish in North Dartmouth participated in a peaceful vigil in support of the 40 Days for Life campaign outside the church on Slocum Road on the morning of Ash Wednesday. The parishioners plan to continue the vigil every Wednesday morning and afternoon and every Saturday morning during Lent. St. Julie’s will also sponsor a carpool caravan to the Four Women Abortion Clinic in Attleboro every Saturday at 1 p.m. during Lent to participate in a prayerful vigil outside the facility. Pictured, from left: Jane Brightman, Cindy Pimental, Paula Raposo, Katherine Vera, Bob Comtois, Madeline Brona, Father Greg Mathias, Anita Latulip, Terry Leblanc, Bob Santos, and Barbara Pietrcyk. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
Please visit us at: www.CarmelTerrace.org or 508 788 8000 933 Central St. Framingham, MA 01701 On the campus of St. Patrick's Manor
our faith are to be found there.” Alan Solow, chairman of the conference, told the pope during the audience: “We welcome and appreciate Your Holiness’ planned visit to Israel. The people and leaders of Israel are anxiously looking forward to it, as are we.” “In my own personal exchange with Pope Benedict XVI today, I said that I’m looking forward to
seeing him in Jerusalem and he said, ‘I am looking forward very much to coming and I hope that my visit will be a sign of peace ... and would help peace in the region,” said Rabbi David Rosen, director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee and a consultant on interreligious affairs for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
March 6, 2009
Death of an Apostle
n his last talk on St. Paul at the Acts of Paul, written toward the end midday audience, the Holy Father of the second century. They report asks us to consider his death and his that Nero condemned him to death by heritage. How did he die? What has he beheading, carried out immediately passed on to us as a legacy? afterward (9:5) not in the Via Ostiense Although the New Testament but in the Via Acque Salvie, where contains nothing about Paul’s death, there has been a Cistercian monastery we have a short text of foreboding in since the 12th century. The date of his 2 Timothy: “For I am at the point of death varies according to the ancient being poured out like a libation, and sources, which place it between the the time of my departure is at hand” persecution unleashed by Nero himself (4:6). But that is all we have. The Acts after the burning of Rome in July of of the Apostles closes with the story 64 and the last year of his reign, in 68. of his house arrest in Rome, not his Some of the accounts make us smile a martyrdom. Yet all the early Christian bit. One tells us that when he was put witnesses unite in telling us that he to death, his head bounced three times, died a martyr in Rome. The first exat about 10-foot intervals. Where the plicit testimony comes to us from the ground was struck there appeared middle of the 90s of the first century, three springs: one hot, one cold and and therefore more than 30 years after one lukewarm. From this wondrous his death. occurrence, the monastery takes its We find it in the letter that the name: Tre Fontane, the Three Springs. Church of Rome, by the hand of its Paul’s legacy and influence is bishop, Pope monumental, Clement I, of course: wrote to the from the writLiving the Church of ings of Origen Pauline Year Corinth. He and Chrysosdiscusses the tom in the East By Father Andrew martyrdom to Augustine of Peter, and in the West, Johnson, OCSO then goes on whose conto speak of version came Paul’s: “Arrested seven times, exiled, about through his reading of St. Paul, stoned, he was the herald of Christ to St. Thomas Aquinas and his comin the East and in the West, and for mentary on the Pauline letters, down his faith, obtained a pure glory. After to Luther and his radical reading of having preached justice in the whole Romans 1:17, which caused the Counworld, and after having arrived at the cil of Trent, in response, to ponder so furthest corners of the West, he acdeeply the issues the Reformers had cepted martyrdom before the goverraised, and to resynthesize Catholic nors; thus he parted from this world thought on justification. Nineteenthand arrived at the holy place, having and 20th-century scholarship on Paul thus become the greatest model of has actually been fruitful for a healthy patience” (1 Clement 5,2). ecumenism, as Catholic and Protestant Some have surmised that the refertheologians come to agree on Paul’s ence to the “furthest corners of the central theme, the Paschal Mystery of West” means he actually reached Jesus and its importance as a valid and Spain, as he had hoped (Romans faithful re-presentation of Jesus’ own 15:24), but there is no real consensus great theme, the Kingdom of God. In on this. The next witness to Paul’s Paul’s thought, the Kingdom is fulfilled death in Rome still extant is the and made concrete, present, and operafourth-century Church historian Eusetive in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. bius of Caesarea, who wrote, “During The Holy Father then makes menNero’s reign, Paul was beheaded in tion of St. Paul’s influence in recent Rome and Peter was there crucified. centuries, especially on the religious The report is confirmed by the names orders inspired by him: the Barnabites, of Peter and of Paul, which even today the Paulists, and the Pauline Societies are conserved in their sepulchers in founded by Blessed James Alberione. this city” (Eccl. History 2,25,5). In the How to end all these weeks of same work, Eusebius also makes refer- catechesis on St. Paul? Benedict does ence to a certain presbyter or priest it very simply and characteristically, named Gaius whom he reports to have in a short sentence that touches on his said, “I can show you the trophies of two passions: Christian identity and the Apostles. If you go to the Vatican Church renewal: “To tend towards or the Via Ostiense, there you will Paul and learn from him, as much find the trophies of the founders of the by his example as by his doctrine, Church” (2,25,6-7). He was no doubt would be therefore a stimulus, if not referring to the monumental tombs a guarantee, in the strengthening of (“trophies”) which were the Vatican the Christian identity of each one of Basilica and St. Paul’s-Outside-theus and in the renewal of the whole Walls. To this day, St. Paul is veneratChurch.” That could be the matter ed at that church on the Via Ostiense, for a beautiful prayer throughout the built by the Emperor Constantine in season of Lent. the fourth century, enlarged by others, Father Johnson is diocesan direcand rebuilt after the fire of 1823. tor of the Pauline Year and parochial Other accounts come down to us vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish in from apocryphal works such as the Hyannis.
BROTHER ACT — Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas star in a scene from the movie “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience.” For a brief review of this movie see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/Disney)
NEW YORK (CNS) — The following is a capsule review of a movie recently reviewed by the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience” (Disney)
Upbeat concert film capturing performances during the popular boy band’s 2008 “Burnin’ Up” tour, interspersed with some behind-the-scenes footage of real-life siblings Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas’ life on the road and a lavish music video set in New York’s Central Park. While the target audience of tween girls may be in danger of hyperventilating, accompanying adults will find director Bruce Hendricks’ energetic bubblegum-rock documentary, like the group itself, reassuringly wholesome and familyfriendly. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G — general audiences. All ages admitted.
NEW YORK (CNS) -- Though geographically the world’s smallest independent city-state — with an area of only 110 acres — Vatican City exerts a spiritual, moral and geopolitical influence far beyond its Lilliputian proportions. A comprehensive look at this long-established headquarters of the papacy is provided by Polish filmmakers Pawel Pitera and Krzysztof Talczewski’s handsome hourlong documentary, “Discovering Secrets of the Vatican,” distributed by PBS affiliate WTVS in Detroit and airing on PBS stations throughout the network’s March pledge drive (check local listings). Based on the highlight reel available for review, the special ventures to some of the territory’s less frequented areas, such as the 800-year-old Vatican Gardens and the papal printing house, and offers lush images of such highly trafficked sites as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Most interestingly, the program also profiles the day-today, behind-the-scenes work of the Vatican’s broadcasters, postal officials and tapestry and art restorers. The discovery of St. Peter’s tomb — an extraordinary vindication of church tradition that resulted from secret excavations under the basilica begun in 1939 — is chronicled in detail here, as is the colorful history of the
Swiss Guard, the papal equivalent of the U.S. Secret Service and the oldest military unit in the world. Though highly informative, the narration is at times somewhat awkward in its English rendering of the Polish original. Church officials interviewed include U.S. Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, formerly archbishop of Detroit and more recently head of the Vatican City’s government administration; French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, retired prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The last two reminisce about their part in the 2005 conclave. National Catholic Reporter’s senior correspondent John Allen Jr., who covers Rome for the paper, characterizes the conclave, which saw the elevation of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy as Pope Benedict XVI, as “the election of the prime minister of the human conscience.” A greatly expanded version of the program will be released on a five-DVD set in April. That set includes an interview with Father Michael Collins, author of the recently published tie-in book, “The Vatican: Secrets and Treasures of the Holy City.”
CNS Movie Capsules
‘Discovering Secrets of the Vatican,’ to air on various dates on PBS
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, March 8 at 11:00 a.m.
Scheduled celebrant is Father Rodney E. Thibault, chaplain of St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and in residence at St. John Neumann Parish in East Freetown
March 6, 2009
Court takes church-state case brought by Catholic challenging a cross WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a church-state case involving a cross erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in a national park in California. The case, Salazar v. Buono, has been in litigation since 1999 after Frank Buono, a retired National Park Service employee described in court papers as “a practicing Roman Catholic,” objected to the continued presence of the cross when a request by a third party to build a Buddhist shrine on the land was turned down. Arguments in the case will be heard sometime after the court begins its next term October 5. Buono, who was assistant superintendent of the Mojave National Preserve in California’s San Bernardino County, 1994-95, said the eight-foot-tall cross on the preserve’s Sunrise Rock violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment as a “governmental endorsement of Christianity.” Built in 1934 by the VFW, the cross has been used intermittently since 1935 and regularly since 1984 for Easter sunrise services. Aim of fasting during Lent is to draw people closer ‘to heart of God’ LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CNS) — The ultimate goal of fasting during Lent is to draw “us closer in a more regular way to the heart of God,” said Cackie Upchurch, director of the Little Rock Scripture Study. Fasting is an ancient custom that can be found in almost all religious traditions, she said in an interview with the Arkansas Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock. But “Jesus doesn’t want a typically religious practice just to be taken for granted,” Upchurch said. The important thing is “you do it from the heart,” she said. If the external act of fasting does not reflect “something internal in us” then it is not what God wants, she said. For Benedictine Abbot Jerome Kodell of Subiaco Abbey, in Subiaco, fasting is a way to gain freedom. This concept is rooted in the Benedictine tradition of the holy hermits of ancient Christianity known as the “desert fathers.” It acknowledges that “the human being is a complicated system, and we don’t always know our motives, and we are not always as free as we think we are.” St. Francis’ 400-year-old ‘Devout Life’ relevant today, says priest CENTER VALLEY, Pa. (CNS) — Four hundred years after its publication, “Introduction to the Devout Life” by St. Francis de Sales still offers a timely message about living a life of faith and devotion even in the midst of worldly pursuits, according Father Thomas Dailey. “There is a timeless wisdom and gentleness to this man who lived more than 400 years ago,” said the priest, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, who is director of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University in Center Valley. “Regardless of one’s current state in life, Francis’ words are universal and powerful because they offer encouragement, strength and wisdom for a gentle, happy, everyday life,” he added. The center and DeSales University, run by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, recently celebrated the 400th anniversary of St. Francis’ book during the school’s annual Heritage Week. Financial crisis may take heavy toll on children, Vatican official says VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The global financial crisis is likely to dramatically impact the world’s poor in coming months, depriving children of essential services in education and health care, a Vatican official said. The negative consequences of the economic crisis “exert a more dramatic impact on the developing world and on the most vulnerable groups in all societies,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to U.N. organizations in Geneva. He spoke at the 10th Special Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. His speech focused on the deeper causes of the economic crisis and its effect on people in developing countries. Archbishop Tomasi cited predictions that in 2009 the current crisis could push more than 50 million people below the threshold of $2 per day, in addition to the 130 million people pushed into poverty in 2008 by rising food and energy costs. The archbishop said low-income countries heavily depend on two methods of cash flow, foreign aid and remittance pay from citizens working abroad. Both are expected to decline in coming months, he said. Vietnamese Church officials welcome Vatican delegation THAI BINH, Vietnam (CNS) — Thousands of Catholics from two northern Vietnamese dioceses welcomed a Vatican delegation during its recent visit. During an annual working visit to Vietnam February 15-22, the three-member delegation led by Msgr. Pietro Parolin, Vatican undersecretary of state, met clergy, religious and lay Catholics in the northern Bui Chu and Thai Binh dioceses, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News. Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi and Bishop Cosme Hoang Van Dat of Bac Ninh, together with 20,000 Catholics, waved colorful flags as they welcomed the visitors to St. Dominic Cathedral in Nam Dinh province. “Today we are happy to welcome you here. Your presence is like the pope’s presence among us,” Bishop Joseph Hoang Van Tiem of Bui Chu told the delegates. “We are always close to the Church and the pope,” Bishop Tiem said, adding that in the past Vietnamese Catholics’ ancestors had expressed their loyalty to God and the Church by enduring religious persecution and dying for their faith.
AN INVITATION TO COME BACK HOME — Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl tapes a special YouTube message at a chapel in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The taping was part of the archdiocese’s Lenten campaign encouraging Catholics to invite family members, friends or neighbors who may have drifted away from the faith to return home to the Catholic Church. (CNS photo/Michael Hoyt, Catholic Standard)
Washington Lenten campaign invites fallen-away Catholics to come home
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Archdiocese of Washington has launched a Lenten campaign encouraging Catholics to personally invite a family member or friend who may have drifted from the faith to return home to the Catholic Church. In his new pastoral letter, “Belonging to God’s Family,” Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl said, “This Lent, across the archdiocese we will make a special effort to say to our family, our friends and our neighbors who no longer attend Mass, ‘We miss you. You used to be with us at Mass on Sunday. We invite you back to your home — your spiritual home.’” Approximately 50,000 invitations will be made available at all 140 parishes for people to give to loved ones and friends to invite them to come back to the Church. “The goal is to make this a person-to-person contact,” said Archbishop Wuerl in an interview with the Catholic Standard, the archdiocesan newspaper. The archbishop said he knows it can be hard for someone to ask a loved one or friend to return to church, so that is why the printed invitations are from the archbishop, and they say, “You are an important part of our family, and like any family, when one person is missing, the family does not feel complete.” Archbishop Wuerl said people can explain that the invitation is from the archbishop, and that, “at church they asked us to take these and give these to someone we care about, and I care a lot about you, so that’s why I’m giving you this invitation. The invitation is from the archbishop.” He said the effort is designed
to build on the success of “The Light Is On for You” campaigns from the past two Lents, which encouraged people to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, with all area Catholic churches having special hours on Wednesday evenings offering the sacrament. That campaign has been replicated across the country, the archbishop said. Just like the previous campaigns, the new archdiocesan Lenten campaign includes a multimedia promotional effort. There is a special Website, www.Maybe-its-God.org. The archbishop has a message on YouTube, And ads are being placed in 125 city buses and 220 subway trains, on radio and on a billboard. The new campaign’s theme — “Longing for Something? Maybe It’s God” — is especially timely today, the archbishop said. “God is the answer to our longings. God is the answer to most of our questions, and to the longings in our human heart. That message is valid for everyone,” he said. One of “the hallmarks of our age” is that secular society professes “to have all the answers,” the archbishop said, “but deep down in the hearts of people,” they know that “without God, we don’t have the answers to the great questions of life.”
“I think there’s a deep hunger in our culture for the spiritual. As St. Augustine said, that hunger can only be satisfied by God,” he added. A key part of the campaign is to invite people back to Mass. Archbishop Wuerl noted that all the Catholic sacraments offer people a special encounter with Christ, and “at the heart of all this is Sunday Mass, the Eucharist.” “A Catholic goes to church, not just because the music is good or because it’s a great sermon or homily, or everyone is very friendly,” he said. A Catholic goes to church to receive the Eucharist, because “in the Eucharist Jesus is present.” A link to Archbishop Wuerl’s Lenten message can be found on the diocesan Website, bereconciledtoGod.com. Click on “Maybe It’s God You’re Seeking.”
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Vatican official to attend Holocaust memorial rededication in Boston
BRAINTREE (CNS) — The Vatican’s top official on CatholicJewish relations will attend a March 25 rededication of a Holocaust memorial menorah that symbolizes the close relationship between the Catholic and Jewish communities in Boston. Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley invited Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews, to the March event a day after the U.S. prelate met with local Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors February 23. Cardinal O’Malley met with them to address their concerns generated by the pope’s decision in January to lift the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, a traditionalist bishop who has denied the Holocaust. The cardinal described the encounter as “a very good meeting that demonstrated the appreciation of the wonderful and close relationship that the Catholic and the Jewish communities have had in Boston since the time of Cardinal Cushing.” Cardinal Richard J. Cushing was archbishop of Boston from 1944 to 1970. “It was a very important opportunity for us to assure the Jewish community that the Catholic Church repudiates the Holocaust denial,” Cardinal O’Malley said. Regarding the upcoming rededication of the Holocaust memorial, he said Cardinal Kasper’s attendance will be significant because “he is the spokesperson for the Holy Father, for the Holy See, in matters pertaining to CatholicJewish relations.” “He is a man who is very versed in these issues and very committed to safeguarding the special relations the Catholic Church has with the Jewish community,” he added in a recent interview with The Pilot, Boston’s archdiocesan newspaper. The Yom Hashoah Menorah, which honors the victims of the Holocaust, was presented to the
archdiocese by Jewish leaders as a symbol of the warm relationship between the two faiths in September 2002. It was on the grounds of the former chancery in Brighton, dedicated by Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who was Boston’s archbishop from 1984 until December 2002. It depicts six men and women holding torches, a holy man clutching a prayer book in front of the statue and a cracked Star of David, inscribed with the years 1933-45. The first words of the kaddish, a Jewish prayer exulting God’s great name, are at its base. The Holocaust memorial will be rededicated after it is moved to the archdiocese’s pastoral center in Braintree. AccompanyingCardinalO’Malley to the meeting with the Jewish group was Father David Michael, archdiocesan liaison for interreligious relations. He said that as soon as news of Bishop Williamson’s remarks about the Holocaust came to light, the cardinal offered to visit with representatives of the Jewish community to convey the Church’s condemnation of those remarks. He also said the cardinal wanted to assure them that the advances made after the Second Vatican Council in Catholic-Jewish relations were not in jeopardy. Father Michael described the meeting as respectful and as an opportunity for the Jewish leaders to voice their concerns. “We were in listening mode, and they were in sharing mode” Father Michael said. Several Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors spoke at the meeting, relating their experiences and expressing their anguish at the denial of the Holocaust by someone whom they perceive to be a “high-ranking Catholic official, a bishop,” Father Michael said. Father Michael said the cardinal contextualized those remarks by pointing out that Bishop Williamson is a “renegade Catholic.” The excommunication of Bishop Williamson and three other tradi-
tionalist bishops was lifted but they are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. The bishops were ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican later published a statement saying that Bishop Williamson would not be welcomed into full communion unless he disavowed his remarks about the Holocaust and publicly apologized. Rob Leikind, director of the Boston chapter of the American Jewish Committee, who was present at the Boston meeting with Cardinal O’Malley called it “very valuable.” “It was clear there was an appreciation about why people were concerned,” he said. Since his excommunication, Bishop Williamson has issued two statements saying he regrets the remarks he made denying the extent of the Holocaust.
March 6, 2009
Taunton Deanery to hold Lenten Mission
TAUNTON — The Catholic churches in the Taunton area will be hosting their annual Lenten mission March 22 through March 25. Each evening the mission will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church, 126 School Street, Taunton. The mission will consist of the following: Sunday evening will have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament along with Evening Prayer and a reflection on “Conversion: An Experience of Disorientation.” Monday and Tuesday evenings will have Mass with the reflection, “Communion: Life in the Power of the Spirit” (on Monday) and “Cross: Mystery of Self-Emptying Love” (on Tuesday). It will conclude on Wednesday with a penance service and a reflection on “Church: Fellowship and Fullness of Life in the Body of Christ.” On Wednesday, after the penance service, refreshments will be provided in the hall of St. Anthony’s. The mission reflections will be given by Father Thomas P. Looney, a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who is currently the vice president for Mission at Stonehill College. Father Looney has given numerous retreats and has published more than 20 articles in theological journals and periodicals. All are welcomed to attend.
March 6, 2009
Weekly Stations of the Cross Services in the Fall River Diocese
Attleboro Deanery St. Mary’s Parish, 330 Pratt Street, Mansfield — Friday at 7 p.m. St. Mary’s Parish, 1 Power Street, Norton — Friday at 7 p.m.
Cape Cod Deanery Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street, West Harwich — Friday at 5:30 p.m.; Good Friday at 7 p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, 137 Fresh Brook Lane, Wellfleet — Friday at 3 p.m. Our Lady Star of the Sea, 22 Massasoit Avenue, Oak Bluffs — Friday at 7 p.m. Our Lady of Victory Parish, 230 South Main Street, Centerville — Friday at 7 p.m. St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, 481 Quaker Road, North Falmouth — Friday at 12 p.m. with Benediction St. Francis Xavier Parish, 357 South Street, Hyannis — Friday 7 p.m. St. John the Evangelist, 841 Shore Road, Pocasset — Friday at 3 p.m. with Benediction St. Joseph’s Parish, 33 Millfield Street, Woods Hole — Friday 4:30 p.m. with adoration and Benediction St. Patrick’s Parish, 511 Main Street, Falmouth — Friday at 4 p.m. St. Peter the Apostle Church, 11 Prince Street, Provincetown — Friday at 7 p.m. St. Pius the Tenth Parish, 5 Barbara Street, South Yarmouth — Friday at 6 p.m. Fall River Deanery Holy Trinity Parish, 951 Stafford Road, Fall River — Friday following 8:30 a.m. Mass and Friday at 6:30 p.m. Our Lady of Grace Parish, 569 Sanford Road, Westport — Friday at 3 p.m. with Benediction St. Anne’s Shrine, 818 Middle Street, Fall River — Friday at 11 a.m. St. Dominic’s Parish, 1277 Grand Army Highway, Swansea — Friday at 7 p.m. St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 530 Gardner’s Neck Road, Swansea — Wednesday after 9 a.m. Mass; Friday at 7 p.m. St. John of God Parish, 996 Brayton Avenue, Somerset — Friday at 7:45 a.m. St. Mary’s Cathedral, 327 Second Street, Fall River — Friday at 3 p.m. St. Patrick’s Parish, 306 South Street, Somerset — Friday at 6:30 p.m. New Bedford Deanery Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, 121 Mount Pleasant Street, New Bedford — Friday at 7 p.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Parish, 233 County Street, New Bedford — Friday at 7:40 p.m. (bilingual) Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, 230 Bonney Street, New Bedford — Friday at 11:30 a.m. with Benediction in Portuguese St. Anthony of Padua Parish, 1359 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford — Friday at 6 p.m. St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth — Friday at 7 p.m.; April 3 at 7 p.m.; Good Friday at 3 p.m. St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 565 County Street, New Bedford — Friday after 4 p.m. Mass St. Mary’s Parish, 783 Dartmouth Street, South Dartmouth — Wednesday at 4 p.m.; Good Friday at 3 p.m. St. Patrick’s Parish, 82 High Street, Wareham — Friday at 7 p.m. Taunton Deanery Holy Cross Parish, 225 Purchase Street, South Easton — Friday at 7 p.m. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, 80 Bay Street, Taunton — Friday at 7 p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes School, 52 First Street, Taunton — Friday at 12:30 p.m. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, 984 Taunton Avenue, Seekonk — Friday at 7 p.m. with Benediction St. Anthony’s Parish, 126 School Street, Taunton — Friday at 6 p.m. in English and Portuguese St. Jude the Apostle Parish, 249 Whittenton Street, Taunton — Friday at 7 p.m. St. Nicholas of Myra Parish, 499 Spring Street, North Dighton — Friday at 7 p.m.; Good Friday at 3 p.m.
Following Christ through Lenten tradition continued from page one
Pontius Pilate — where Christ was condemned to death — to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which marks the site of his death and burial. As a spiritual meditation, the Stations of the Cross were first used as a chapel devotion by St. Francis of Assisi and became popular in the Roman Catholic Church during the medieval period. Like dramatic “Passion Play” recreations and the reading the passion narrative itself from the Gospels during Palm Sunday, devotion to the Stations of the Cross has become most closely associated with season of Lent. It’s interesting to note a newly-released “definitive edition” DVD and Blu-Ray of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” contains not only a documentary segment on the seven-mile Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, but also allows you to view the movie with optional pop-up subtitles with meditations on each of the 14 Stations of the Cross as they are depicted within the film proper. By meditating on each scene of Christ’s suffering and death, the faithful can make their own spiritual pilgrimage through prayer and share along in Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. “I think it just brings you closer to what Lent is all about if you concentrate on each station,” said Jean Warner, a parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Church in Westport who faithfully attends the devotion ev-
ery Friday during Lent. “We can get a lot out of it … and learn more about Jesus’ suffering.” Warner joined approximately 30 other parishioners at Our Lady of Grace Church for a meditation on the Stations of the Cross led by Father Horace Travassos on the first Friday of Lent. Like Medeiros at St. Anne’s Shrine, Father Travassos offered poignant reflections and comparisons between each stage of Jesus’ passion and our own daily trials and tribulations. “I beg you, by all you suffered in carrying your cross, to help me carry mine with your perfect peace and resignation,” Father Travassos prayed during the second station, “Jesus takes up his cross.” In addition to the traditional prayers recited at each, Father Travassos also led the congregation in singing verses from the moving “Stabat Mater,” the Latin hymn about the Blessed Mother’s sorrow over her son’s suffering, during the procession between each station. Concluding the service with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Father Travassos thanked everyone for coming and likewise encouraged others to find time for this prayerful Lenten devotion. “We’re off to a good start,” he said. “Hopefully this will bring others to the Stations of the Cross.”
March 6, 2009
Coyle art students ‘draw’ upon compassion for poor children
GETTING MAD — The PTO of St. Joseph School in Fairhaven recently sponsored a Mad Science Night for the children and their families during February school vacation week. A “mad” scientist performed a live stage show filled with experiments and audience participation. Here is pre-schooler Sophia Murray using a hair dryer to keep a ping-pong ball aloft.
TAUNTON —Art students from Coyle and Cassidy High School recently received a very special package in the mail. It contained artwork and letters from children in orphanages in Ecuador who had been matched with the high school students through an organization called the Memory Project. The Memory Project was founded in 2004 by Ben Schumaker, of Madison, Wisc. As a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Schumaker traveled to Guatemala hoping to make a difference. Overwhelmed by the plight of children living in orphanages there, growing up with no personal mementos of their childhood, he came up with the idea for the Memory Project. Children in orphanages around the world are photographed and matched with high school art students in the U.S. The portraits then become treasured keepsakes, and reminders to the children that someone who may be thousands of miles away cares about them. In exchange, the student artists develop an understanding of the wider world and are provided with the opportunity to connect with these children in a unique and meaning-
ful way. At this time the project has involved nearly 20,000 children and young people living in orphanages in more than 30 countries in Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. This is the third year students from Coyle and Cassidy have participated in the program, having created portraits for young people in Uganda, Honduras and this year, Ecuador. The portraits were completed before Christmas and delivered to the orphanages in January. Photos of the children receiving the portraits, as well as personal letters and drawings from them, were sent to Coyle and Cassidy last week. According to Carol Mecca, the head of the art department, this was the school’s most successful year for the project, with 15 students participating. “It is a wonderful opportunity for art students to see a broader purpose for their talents and to create something that has greater significance,” said Mecca. “The letters and the photos they receive back are a wonderful bonus. Students are already asking about participating in the project next year.”
LENTEN BEGINNING — Father David Costa signs St. Mary-Sacred Heart School, North Attleboro, fifth-grader Emma Cabral with ashes. Fifth-grader Brendan Patch waits for his ashes. LOOKS FAMILIAR — Memory Project artist Coyle and Cassidy Senior Adam Powers and his drawing with its young subject in Ecuador.
NO WRONG NUMBERS HERE — Members of the St. Joseph School, Fairhaven, National Junior Honor Society, under the direction of their faculty advisor, Adele Monticello, recently held a used cell phone collection drive. More than 60 used cell phones were collected and sent to a collection site to be reprogrammed, refurbished or recycled.
COMING OUT OF HIS SHELL — Students in grades kindergarten through four at St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro, were visited by “Officer Phil” who, in conjunction with the Attleboro Police Department, came to talk to the children about the importance of safety. Officer Phil is a ventriloquist and brought along his sidekick, Turbo the Turtle, who assisted in the show, which also included student participation.
March 6, 2009
y students recently finished papers on “The Snakebite Letters” by Peter Kreeft, a book inspired by C. S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters.” We have been talking about the reality of the devil and the subtle ways in which he works. There are many people today who would rather believe that there is no such thing as the devil; there is no such thing as hell. But Jesus tells us otherwise. Jesus met Satan in the desert, was tempted by him, and defeated him. Jesus rebuked and sent out the devil when he healed people who were possessed. Yes,
Youth Pages Slow fade
Satan is real. And hell has to exist slept in twin beds because having or free will can’t. If we are going a man and a woman in the same to have a choice, both options bed seemed inappropriate for TV. need to be there. Wow, have things changed. But it In her paper, one of my students quoted a song by Casting Crowns called “Slow Fade.” It fit our discussions perfectly. “It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away. It’s By Jean Revil a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray.” How true it is. I remember watching “I Love Lucy” didn’t happen overnight. Little by when I was a child. Even though little, television shows put a kiss in Desi and Lucy were married, they here, a touch in there, and today, on almost every prime time show, someone is in bed with someone The Anchor is always and they are almost never marpleased to run news and ried … at least not to each other. photos about our diocWhat’s worse is that the American public doesn’t seem to have a esan youth. If schools problem with it. We expect it. or parish Religious EdSex is in our magazine ads, our ucation programs have TV commercials, and on our billboards, and we just say “Oh, well. newsworthy stories and Sex sells.” The same media that photos they would like has desensitized us to misuse of to share with our readers, the gift of sex in the past has most recently focused on homosexualsend them to: schools@ ity. Over the past 10 years, we anchornews.org have reached the point that just
Be Not Afraid
17 about every show has a gay role. Some young people have come to believe that it’s “cool” to be gay, or have homosexual relationships, or, at the very least, have friends that are gay. If you point out the immorality of such relationships you are labeled as a bigot. How it is that homosexual marriage came to be legal in Massachusetts? The same thing has happened with our desensitization with violence. Knives, guns, killings, rapes, assaults, they are all part of our entertainment. What does that say about us? The effect of this violence and sex invading our lives is staggering. The news each night has real life stories of real life violence in our schools and on our streets. Children are killing people with knives and guns, 11-year-olds are being tried as adults, the average age of sexual activity is 16, which means there are kids a lot younger than 16 contributing to that average. Certainly this is not limited to the U.S. Just a few weeks ago, a 13-year-old in England fathered a child with
his 15-year-old neighbor. There is story after story of totally unacceptable behavior that doesn’t really shock or outrage us anymore. How did we get to this point? Let me repeat, Satan is real. “Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid when you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade.” It’s easy to get caught in the traps that are set. This season of Lent is a great opportunity to do a reality check. Are we able to see the influence that the media has in our lives? Are we able to distinguish the Truth of Christ from the lies of Satan? For Lent, I am limiting myself to one news broadcast and one TV show a night. For me, this is quite a sacrifice. Instead of turning on the TV, I’ve picked up Fulton Sheen’s “Life of Christ” as my spiritual reading. I want to fill myself with truth so that I am sharp enough to recognize the lie when it comes my way. What’s your plan? Jean Revil teaches spiritual theology and thanatology at Bishop Stang High School. Comments welcome at: jrevil@ bishopstang.com.
Diocese utilizes Web, radio ads to promote Reconciliation Weekend continued from page one
ment of reconciliation throughout the year. But on the March 20-21 weekend, they will spend an extra three two-hour sessions to give everyone the opportunity to gain the forgiveness and peace only reconciliation from Christ can give. “It’s not easy for a priest on a busy Lenten weekend to commit to sacrificing at least six additional hours of his sitting in a confessional,” said Father Roger J. Landry, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford. “But we wanted to demonstrate to people our commitment to the sacrament and to them.” The diocesan commitment to the faithful also includes the creation of a special Website, www.bereconciledtoGod.com, to encourage folks to “be reconciled with God,” this Lent. One of the highlights of the Website is a marvelous video entitled “Be Reconciled to God,” shot by Cape Cod resident Tom Swaida. The video is on the Internet YouTube site, but can be accessed through a link on the Be Reconciled Website. Three diocesan priests, Msgr.
Gerard P. O’Connor and Fathers Landry and Jay Mello offer thoughts and words of inspiration regarding Christ’s eagerness for all of us to be reconciled with the Father. Six lay people also offer their insights on the sacrament in the 10-minute video. Contributing were Joe Amaral, Cassandra Borges and Steven Guillotte from St. Anthony’s Parish in New Bedford; Scott Bothelo and Mary Cardoza from St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet; Jessica Grygiel, a member of the faculty at Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth; and Peter Bratton, a Stang student. The video offers a three-part presentation on “How to Make a Good Confession.” Part I stresses the importance of a good examination of conscience. “Ask God the Holy Spirit for help,” says Father Landry. “It’s important to understand how sin offends God and how sin breaks that communion with God,” offers Msgr. O’Connor. Part II keys on “Have True
Our Lady’s Monthly Message From Medjugorje
Sorrow For Your Sins.” “Our sins are what brought Christ to the cross,” says Father Mello. He continues by saying it’s impossible to look at the suffering Christ on the cross and not feel sorry for our sins. Part III offers “Have a Firm Purpose of Amendment.” “We can’t do it by ourselves,” Msgr. O’Connor says. “We can only do it by God’s grace and that comes by a good prayer life.” The video concludes with reflections on “The Effects of the Sacrament of Confession.” Thoughts offered in this installment include feeling confident our sins are forgiven in the sacrament; encountering Christ in the priest in the confessional; and forgiving other’s trespasses against us. Another reflection stressed the pressures of today’s society on young people and how they feel they have to face them alone. “They’re holding on to things that God is trying to take away from them in confession,” offered Bratton, a senior at Stang. Cardoza told The Anchor, “I was more than glad to participate in the video. I was very nervous, but if it’s going to help, then I want to be a part.” “I think this is a huge attempt to bring people back to the Church — for us to get cleansed.” She added, “It’s so remarkable that all the priests are taking part in the weekend. That’s what we need in our Church is unity, and the Church is trying to bring people back to the basics. “At age 44 I see a trend that people want to get their faith back. The sacrament of reconciliation will make us stronger as a Church. We must realize that we are sinners and we need
February 25, 2009
“Dear children! In this time of renunciation, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and permit it to change you. Convert little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you. “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
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March 6, 2009 to be saved — by the Savior.” Bratton found taking part in the video “an enjoyable experience.” “It’s interesting,” said Bratton, “I was prepared to explain why going to confession is so important, but this experience gave me the opportunity to stop and think about why I value the sacrament so much. It was great to hear the other participants and the priests.” Bratton told The Anchor he believes the Reconciliation Weekend and its promotion is very important for the diocese. “This effort will let people know that this important sacrament is there for them and the weekend will make it easier for them to go. “As far as the outreach goes, having the video on YouTube and the radio ads will help people my age come across this information.” Like Cardoza, Bratton is very impressed that every diocesan priest will be available that weekend. “That’s amazing, huge,” he said. “I don’t know of any priest who doesn’t have multiple jobs to do, and for them to be available for people to come to confession that weekend says a lot about our priests.” Steven Guillotte, a parishioner of St. Anthony’s in New Bedford told The Anchor, “I don’t like being on camera, but when I realized how important this weekend is and how it must be marketed, I was pleased to take part.” Guillotte, 44, indicated he thought Lent was the perfect time for this event to take place. “Lent is the best time to bring people back to the loving forgiveness of God. “The fact that all the priests will be involved shows the great love these Fathers have for their children. Being part of a marathon reconciliation demonstrates their commitment and love. Our priests know people are away from the Church and need to be reconciled with God, and bringing them to God is the primary role of a priest.” The reconciliation video, much like the annual Catholic Charities video, will be shown in many parishes at Mass on an
upcoming weekend. Diocesan faithful can also view the video by visiting the bereconciledtoGod.com Website and clicking on the YouTube video at the bottom of the homepage. In an effort to spread the word about the Reconciliation Weekend to as many people as possible, six one-minute radio sound bites have been recorded and can be heard on radio stations Cat Country, 98.1 FM (WCTK) and 1340 AM (WNBH) through March 21. The ads feature excerpts from the lay people as well as an invitation for all to be reconciled with the Father. Each ad features a specific reconciliation topic: The Joy of Confession; Why I Go to Confession; Don’t Be Afraid to Come Back; Coming Back to the Father; Back to the Fundamentals; and Our Second Chance. The bereconciledtoGod Website also provides links to a .pdf file listing questions for a good examination of conscience; frequently asked questions about confession; audio of the six radio ads; and other helpful sites outside the diocesan site. It’s fitting the Reconciliation Weekend is occurring during the year celebrating the Pauline Year. It was St. Paul who implored his fellow Christians to seek forgiveness of sins through the risen Christ: “For he rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (1 Cor 1:13-15). “Don’t be afraid to come back,” implores Father Landry at the conclusion of the video. “Take the opportunity of this Reconciliation Weekend to be reconciled with God,” adds Father Mello. On March 20 and 21 every priest in the Diocese of Fall River will be waiting for you with open arms, to reconcile with the Father. But they won’t be alone. Standing right beside them, with arms outstretched, will be Jesus Christ, from whom all good things come — especially the forgiveness and peace only he can give.
March 6, 2009
Around the Diocese Eucharistic Adoration: Eucharistic Adoration ACUSHNET — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Church, 125 Main Street, Mondays from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., ending with evening prayer and Benediction. 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. NEW BEDFORD — Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place at St. Joseph-St. Therese Church, 51 Duncan Street, Mondays following the 8:30 a.m. Mass until 1:30 p.m. For more information call 508-995-2354. 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. TAUNTON — Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord Church, 31 First Street, immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass and continues throughout the day. Confessions are heard from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., concluding with recitation of the rosary and Benediction at 6:30 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. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street, holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. Miscellaneous: Miscellaneous ATTLEBORO — The 40 Days for Life Pro-Life campaign invites people throughout the diocese to join in 40 days of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion. A peaceful vigil will take place outside a local abortion clinic, 150 Emory Street through April 5. Those interested in participating or for further information can contact Steve Marcotte at 508-4061211 or visit www.40daysforlife.com/attleboro. EAST FREETOWN — The St. John Neumann Women’s Guild will sponsor its annual Antique and Collectible Sale at the St. John Neumann Parish Barn, Route 18 (Middleboro Road), next to Cathedral Camp, March 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Snow date is March 21. Admission is free. FALL RIVER — The Fall River Area Men’s First Friday Club will meet tonight at the Parish of the Good Shepherd, 1598 South Main Street. Following the 6 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Freddie Babiczuk, there will be a meal in the church hall. The guest speaker is Fire Fighter Mike Arruda, who will give a presentation about fire safety. FALL RIVER — The Teams of Our Lady for the Portuguese Community is holding a Reflection Day at St. Michael’s Church, 189 Essex Street, tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For registration or information, call 508-994-6395. HYANNIS — The Tridentine Mass formerly celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Chapel in Chatham is now Sundays at 1 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis. MASHPEE — A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be held in the parish hall of Christ the King Church, the Commons, March 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m. For information or reservations call 508-477-2837. MATTAPOISETT — A Day With Mary will take place tomorrow, 8:10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in St. Anthony’s Church, 22 Barstow Street. It will include a video, instruction, devotion, procession, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a crowning of Mary, an opportunity for the sacrament of penance, enrollment in the Brown Scapular and investiture in the Miraculous Medal. For more information call Mary Creedon at 508-984-1823. NEW BEDFORD — Father Martin Buote will offer a Bible Study, sponsored by St. Lawrence Martyr, Our Lady of the Assumption, St. John the Baptist, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James parishes. Classes begin tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. in Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Chapel at St. Anne. Please bring your Bible. NEW BEDFORD — St. Kilian’s Parish, 306 Ashley Boulevard, will be showing the following movies during Lent: “Horton Hears a Who” Sunday, “The Song of Bernadette” on March 15, “Bella” on March 22, “Padre Pio” on March 29, and “St. Rita” on April 5. All showings begin at 2:30 p.m., sponsored by the St. Kilian Youth Group. Admission is free. NORTH DARTMOUTH — The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick would like to invite the community to join them for Mass at St. Julie Billiart Parish, 494 Slocum Road, at 9 a.m. on March 14. Principle celebrant will be Father Brian Harrington and music will be provided at 8:30 a.m. by Sgt. Dan Clark and wife Mary Colarusso. For information, call 508-9995409. SOUTH ATTLEBORO — “The Beckoning,” a Lenten series, will take place each Wednesday during Lent through April 4 at 6 p.m. in St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church, 18 Baltic Street. Anna Rae-Kelly will lead participants in a recognition of God’s powerful “beckoning calls” to his people, the modern “anawim.” The series is free and open to the public and will be followed by Mass at 7 p.m. For more information call 508-761-8111 or visit www.annaprae.com. SWANSEA — St. Louis de France Parish, 56 Buffington Street, will host weekly Centering Prayer gatherings using a Lectio Divina format. The group will meet in the Family Room of the main church at 6:15 p.m., every Wednesday in Lent, through April 8. Prayer begins promptly at 6:30. For more information, contact Charles R. Demers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-264-5823. TAUNTON — The faith community of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, 261 Tremont Street, prays the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent at 6:30 p.m. All are invited to join this devotion. WAREHAM — The Cape and Islands Deanery Prayer Group will hold a Day of Recollection March 19 at 8:45 a.m. at the Sacred Hearts Retreat Center, 226 Great Neck Road. Father William F. Petrie, SSCC, provincial of the Congregation will be the presenter. The day will conclude with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Mass at 3 p.m. For information call 508-759-2737.
Pro-Life ATTLEBORO — Concerned faithful are needed to pray the rosary outside Four Women, Inc., an abortion clinic at 150 Emory Street, Thursdays from 3-4 p.m., or 4-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30-8:30 a.m. For information call 508-238-5743.
The Anchor Edward J. Healey Sr., father of Father Edward J. Healey Jr.
ATTLEBORO — Edward J. Healey Sr., 87, husband of the late Viola M. (Murray) Healey, and father of Father Edward J. Healey Jr., pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich, died February 25 at St. Anne’s Hospital, Fall River after a period of declining health. Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Attorney Thomas S. and Mary I. (McCaffrey) Healey. A long time resident of Attleboro, he was a graduate of Attleboro High School and president of the Class of 1939 who dedicated himself to keeping the class members united across the years through his correspondence and his efforts to organize their reunions. During the second World Edward J. War, he served Healey Sr. as a pharmacist’s mate in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre. Following his military service he completed his education at the then Babson Institute in Wellesley, graduating in 1946. In 1951, he married Viola M. Murray. She predeceased him in 1989. Beginning in 1954, he was elected to seven terms as city treasurer of Attleboro. He left public service when invited to become an officer of the former Attleboro Trust Company where he remained until his retirement. He was a part of the third generation of his family to be members of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Attleboro, where for many years he served as an usher at the early Masses on Sundays. While city treasurer, he was a member of the board of trustees of Sturdy Memorial Hospital and he was active in the Massachusetts Treasurers and Collectors Association serving a term as its president. He had been active in the Attleboro and North Attleboro Kiwanis Clubs and served as treasurer of the Attleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. He was an honorary life member of the Attleboro Lodge of Elks and the Gilbert Perry Post VFW of Attleboro. Throughout his active years, he was frequently called upon to be master of ceremonies and toastmaster at testimonials and banquets.
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks
March 9 Rev. Msgr. Henry J. Noon, V.G., Pastor, St. James, New Bedford; Vicar General, 1934-47, 1947 March 12 Rev. Aurelien L. Moreau, Pastor, St. Mathieu, Fall River, 1961 Rev. Adrien E. Bernier, Pastor, St. Mathieu, Fall River, 1989 Rev. George I. Saad, Retired Pastor, Our Lady of Purgatory, New Bedford, 1991
Besides his priest son, he leaves a daughter, Rosemary, of Attleboro; two brothers, Thomas S. Healey of Attleboro and Robert J. Healey of Attleboro Falls; a grandson; and nieces and nephews.
Father Healey celebrated the funeral Mass for his father on February 27 in St. John the Evangelist Church in Attleboro. Burial was February 28 in St. John’s Cemetery, also in Attleboro.
March 6, 2009
Sacred Hearts Fathers ready for Blessed Damien’s canonization Continued from page one
others Father Damien appeals to and who realize the work done by him and others like him who dedicate their lives to helping others,” he added. Although the Vatican recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Damien last July, clearing the way for his canonization, the dates for the ceremonies in Rome were announced at a consistory of Pope Benedict XVI and the College of Cardinals at the Vatican on February 21. Among locals attending the consistory were Sacred Hearts Father Richard McNally, a native of Fall River and vicar general for the congregation; as well as Father David Lavich, OCSO, originally from Spencer, who is general councilor of the Cistercians. Blessed Arnaiz Baron, a Spanish Cistercian, will be among others also canonized on October 11. “We’re so very happy because this comes at the right time in the 21st century when this message of great love and service needs to be heard throughout the world,” asserted Father Petrie, who will not only be heading to Rome for the canonization, but leading a pilgrimage from this area currently in the planning stages.” It made me recall that as a parochial grammar school student in the late 1930s, Father Damien, who had been dead just over 50 years, had already become wellknown and was a role model posed by the Mercy Sisters as worthy of imitation. However it wasn’t until years later when I saw dramatic photos of Father Damien showing him the final stages of the dreaded disease that has affected communities since Biblical times, that I would grasp the full extent of his dedicated ministry and obvious holiness of life. The pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization is expected to attract many because of the Sacred Hearts Fathers presence ministering in the Fall River Diocese since May 1905, and their continued work pastoring St. Joseph and St.
Mary parishes in Fairhaven. From the original Sacred Hearts Fathers pioneers to Fall River came the setting up of the American branch of the Congregation, which has expanded to California, Texas, and Washington, D.C.; as well as Japan, India, the Bahamas, Mozambique, Ireland and England. “In essence, it will be a sixnight pilgrimage,” reported Father Petrie. The plan is to leave Boston on October 8, arriving in Rome the following day. On October 10 a Mass will be celebrated launching three days of celebrations leading up to the canonization on October 11 at noon at St. Peter’s Basilica. The pilgrims would leave Rome on October 15. “We’re in the final stages of completing the details of the pilgrimage which will be announced soon,” he reported. He recalled for The Anchor how he met and lunched last July in Hawaii with Audrey Horner Toguichi, a native of Honolulu, whose 1999 miraculous healing, attributed to Father Damien, was a vital step in the cause for his canonization. “She had been diagnosed with cancer and had had surgery for removal of a tumor and had radiation treatments as well. But when new tumors were found on her lungs, she chose not the chemotherapy prescribed but rather by praying to Father Damien. The tumors on her lungs disappeared,” Father Petrie explained. Damien was born Josef de Veuster in Flemish Brabant in 1840, one of eight children of corn merchant Franz de Veuster and his wife Cato Wouters. After seminary studies he was sent as a missionary to Hawaii and ordained there as a priest of the Congregation on May 21, 1864. He began ministering to leprosy patients in the 1870s on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai Island, where approximately 8,000 people had been banished amid an epidemic.
He eventually contracted leprosy and died April 15, 1889 at the young age of 49. Kalaupapa has the original graves of Blessed Damien and Blessed Marianne Cope. She was a Franciscan Sister of Syracuse, who treated him in the final stages of his illness. In 1936 his body was removed to a more accessible site in Belgium; while her body was taken to New York. Kalaupapa is still home to approximately 25 Hansen’s disease patients, the youngest nearly 70 years old. By an agreement with the state of Hawaii, they are free to stay there for the rest of their lives. But Kalaupapa’s designation for more than 140 years as a community for those suffering from Hansen’s disease, will close when the last patient dies. Father Petrie said he intends to follow a news report that the National Park Service has already begun a process to decide the future of Kalupapa as a national park “to preserve and protect the human resources, the natural resources and the cultural resources.” A recent Catholic New Service story said a process was already underway to decide the future of Kalaupapa, as the epoch that began when Father Damien landed there in 1873, comes slowly to a close. But the island has spiritual value as a pilgrimage destination, and Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu, a friend of Father Petrie, has actively promoted that use. Because after his beatification in 1995, the remains of Father Damien’s right hand was interred in his original grave at Kalaupapa. St. Philomena’s Church in Kalawao, which was built mostly by Father Damien himself, also remains important in the planning. Father Damien has become the patron saint of not only those with Hansen’s disease, but more currently those with HIV and AIDS. His symbols are a tree and a dove. His designated memorial feast day is May 10.
HISTORIC SITE — St. Joseph’s Church in Kamalo, which was the second church built by Blessed Father Damien de Veuster on topside Molokai in 1876, as seen from the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts’ residence on the island. This tiny church is now a much-visited shrine. (Photo courtesy of Father Pat Killilea)
Walking in the footsteps of Father Damien
By Fr. Pat Killilea, SS.CC. Special to The Anchor
FAIRHAVEN — It was morning in Honolulu and I could see the green roof of St. Augustine by the Sea as we skirted Waikiki Beach. Soon we left Diamond Head behind and our 37-seat Island Air was cruising toward Molokai. The touchdown at Hoolehua Airport was smooth and we were soon in the little terminal building awaiting our bags. The airport did not look any different than it had three years before in the summer of 2006 when I would stop off there on my way to and from Kalaupapa. Neither did Brother Charles, who awaited me in his well-worn pickup truck, looking rather laidback as always. Soon we were on the road to our Sacred Hearts Sisters’ residence in Kawela, where we were welcomed and treated to breakfast by Sisters Herman, Christine and Jessie. We were joined by Deacon Mike and Leoda Shizuma. Then it was on to our Brothers’ residence at St. Joseph’s Church in Kamalo, some six miles east of Kawela. St. Joseph’s is the second church built by Father Damien on topside Molokai in 1876 and this tiny church is now a muchvisited shrine. A few miles further east on a very winding road is Our Lady of Sorrows Church built by Father Damien in 1874. Since it was Saturday, we left the house about 5 p.m. and drove the 11 miles to the main church on the island, St. Sophia, which is situated on Main Street in the middle of Kaunakakai, Molokai’s main town. There I celebrated the 6 p.m. Vigil Mass. The Catholic community of Molokai is currently raising funds to replace this church with a larger build-
ing which will better serve the spiritual needs of the island’s Catholic congregation. On Sunday morning at 7 a.m., I celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows in Kaluaaha on the east side. Then it was on to St. Sophia after a ride of 15 miles to Kaunakakai for Mass at 9 a.m. I celebrated my third Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Vincent in Maunaloa after a further ride of 15 miles to the high country. Each community was most welcoming and sang with great gusto and spirit. The following week was slow and relaxing in the spirit of Molokai. I usually awakened to hear the call of the rooster. Then after the 11-mile ride to Kaunakakai, I celebrated the 7 a.m. Mass at St. Sophia. Afterwards we shared breakfast with the Breakfast Club followed by morning prayers and adoration with our Sisters. The remainder of the day usually found me enjoying the peace and quiet of rural east side Molokai. At night I sometimes fell asleep with the sound of lowing cattle audible in neighboring pastures. It was like being back home in County Galway. The following weekend I again celebrated the Eucharist in the three island communities and afterwards said farewell to these beautiful, welcoming congregations. It was time for me to leave the friendly isle to return to Oahu and subsequently to Massachusetts. Sadly, I did not get to learn to dance the Hula on the island of its birth, nor did I get to see any of the Menehune, the little people of the mountains. Neither did I get to ride a mule down the Pali to Kalaupapa, but perhaps I will get to do these things the next time I touch down on the friendly isle.