Diocese of Fall River
F riday , March 16, 2012
Physician-assisted suicide hearing rallies opponents By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent
BOSTON — More than 50 opponents of physician-assisted suicide testified at a committee hearing at the statehouse March 6. The group included doctors, nurses, activists with disabilities as well as Pro-Life and pro-family advocates. “Opponents of the bill vastly outnumbered the advocates of the bill. Our voices were heard loud and clear,” Kristian Mineau, president of Massachusetts Family Institute told The Anchor. Mineau added that he would be “shocked” if the proposed legislation comes out of committee. “I cannot imagine the legislature wanting to vote on a bill this controversial with an election coming, so it makes all the sense in the world that they’re going to punt and just let it go to the ballot.” If the legislature fails to act on the bill, proponents would need to gather nearly 11,500 certified signatures in order to put the measure before voters in November. Mineau and others expect the
measure to appear on the ballot in the fall. The legislation, called the Death with Dignity Act, is a citizens’ initiative petition that has garnered more than the required number of signatures. Proponents say the measure would give patients greater peace of mind, choice and control in their final days of life. The legislation permits individuals who are given six months or fewer to live to receive life-ending drugs. The law would require that two doctors verify the mental competence of patients and that there be a 15-day waiting period between the request for and writing of the prescription. In his testimony, Mineau told legislators, “Deliberately ending a human life as one would a suffering animal is utilitarian and degrading, contrary to the special dignity and unique value of every human being recognized in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.” “I have accompanied and supported several family members Turn to page 14
St. John’s Parish in New Bedford to join with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish
NEW BEDFORD — In October 2009, Bishop George W. Coleman approved the recommendation of the Parish Pastoral and Finance councils of St. John the Baptist Parish in New Bedford to begin a process to determine the viability of the parish in the face of a significant decline in parishioners, mounting debt and an aging church in need of repair. It was agreed that the process would have specific goals to measure if the parish could continue in a sustainable way into the future: an increase in membership; an increase in Mass at-
tendance; the development of a plan to retire debt; and sponsorship of a capital campaign for critical building repairs. In recent weeks, Father John J. Oliveira, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, and Diocesan Pastoral Planning Office staff met with Bishop Coleman to review the results of an evaluation of the process that had been undertaken by them in November with members of St. John the Baptist Parish Pastoral and Finance councils. That evaluation was based on data reported by the parish through Turn to page 14
LIFE-CHANGING WORK — Marian Desrosiers, Jocelyn Trindade and Jean Arsenault put their hearts in their hands as they look through files at the Pro-Life Apostolate Office. As director of the apostolate for 20 years, Desrosiers said that her office brings the passion and compassion to Pro-Life issues. (Photo by Becky Aubut)
Pro-Life Office: Making the message more than just words By Becky Aubut Anchor Staff
FALL RIVER — As the Church nears the celebration of the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 26 this year, the diocesan Pro-Life Apostolate is busier than usual preparing for the diocesan Pro-Life
Mass. The Mass is held around the feast of the Annunciation, on which Jesus began His saving life as a precious one-cell embryo in Mary’s womb. Fostering respect for human life at all stages while at the same time tackling controversial issues that
include abortion, the Health and Human Service mandate and physician-assisted suicide, the office is a beehive of energy. “My day begins at home, when I check my emails in the morning,” said Marian Desrosiers, director for Turn to page 18
By Dave Jolivet, Editor
their brothers and sisters 1,500 miles to the south. Little Children of Mary began as a prayer group started by Vineyard native Margaret Penicaud who felt the call to live out Our Lady’s call for prayer, monthly Confession, receiving the Eucharist and fasting. “I know some don’t yet know what to think about Our Lady’s monthly apparitions in Medjugorje, but I believe in the messages coming from there,” Penicaud told The Anchor. “Following the steps of prayer, reconciliation, Eucharist, and fasting, I’ve grown closer to God, and I wanted to share that with others.” Penicaud met a Sister of the Daughters of Mary Queen ImTurn to page 15
Living the Gospel message — From island to island
hope — The Little Children of Mary group from Martha’s Vineyard is bringing this Haitian girl to the U.S. for needed surgery.
MARTHA’S VINEYARD — The islands grace the same ocean, but in a sense they are worlds apart. Martha’s Vineyard, just off Cape Cod’s southern coast, is picturesque year-round and a summer hot spot for tourists, including vacationing presidents and entertainers. Haiti, on the other hand, is a tiny island country southeast of Cuba with many of its inhabitants living in abject poverty, magnified by a devastating earthquake that rocked the area in January of 2010. One of the common denominators linking the islands is a bond between a small group on Martha’s Vineyard living out the Gospel message by working hard to help meet the needs of
Catholics using new media tools to enrich faith — Page 10
News From the Vatican
March 16, 2012
Church must better explain teaching on sexuality, pope tells U.S. bishops
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Permissive attitudes toward sex, cohabitation before marriage and acceptance of same-sex marriage can damage individuals and are harmful for society, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of U.S. bishops at the Vatican. “It is in fact increasingly evident that a weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage covenant, and the widespread rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in the practice of chastity, have led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost,” the pope said. Meeting the bishops of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, who were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses, the pope said ignorance of or challenges to Church teaching on marriage and sexuality were part of the “intellectual and ethical challenges” to evangelization in the United States today. The pope did not focus on current tensions between the U.S. bishops and the Obama Administration, particularly over health care coverage of contraception and other practices that violate Church teaching. But at the beginning of his speech, Pope Benedict reiterated his concern about “threats to freedom of conscience, religion and worship which need to be addressed urgently so that all men and women of faith, and the institutions they inspire, can act in accordance with their deepest moral convictions.” Concentrating his remarks on the need to promote and explain Church teaching on sexuality, the pope said the Church’s key concern is “the good of children, who have a fundamental right to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships.” Acknowledging the clerical sexual abuse scandal, the pope said, “It is my hope that the Church in the United States, however chastened by the events of the past decade, will persevere in its historic mission of educating the young and thus contribute to the consolidation of that sound family life, which is the surest guarantee of intergenerational solidarity and the health of society as a whole.” The moral virtues espoused in the Church’s teaching on sexuality are “the key to human fulfillment,” he said, because they promote sexuality as “a source of genuine freedom, happiness and the fulfillment of our fundamental and innate human vocation to love.” “The richness of this vision is more sound and appealing than the permissive ideologies exalted in some quarters,” which are “powerful and destructive,” he said. One of the first steps, he said, must be to help Catholics “recov-
er an appreciation of the virtue of chastity,” which forms the human heart to love in the most authentic way. Pope Benedict told the bishops he was aware of “the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage” so that it would include same-sex couples. “The Church’s conscientious effort to resist this pressure calls for a reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution,” which is “rooted in the complementarity of the sexes and oriented to procreation,” he said. “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage,” the pope said. Defending traditional marriage is not simply a matter of Church teaching, he said; it is a matter of “justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.” Pope Benedict praised the U.S. bishops’ 2009 letter, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” and he asked them to continue reviewing and strengthening both religious education materials and marriage preparation programs. In conversations with the bishops during the “ad limina” visits, he said, some of the bishops have expressed concern about how difficult it is to communicate the Church’s teaching effectively and some have told the pope there are decreasing numbers of young people in their dioceses asking to be married in the Church. “We cannot overlook the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation, often by couples who seem unaware that it is gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society,” Pope Benedict said. The pope said that in responding to situations in which many engaged couples already are living together, there must be “clear pastoral and liturgical norms for the worthy celebration of matrimony which embody an unambiguous witness to the objective demands of Christian morality, while showing sensitivity and concern for young couples.” Pope Benedict did not suggest specific norms or provide guidance on how insistent priests should be that cohabitating couples live separately before a Church wedding. The Church itself “must acknowledge deficiencies in the catechesis of recent decades, which failed at times to communicate the rich heritage of Catholic teaching on marriage as a natural institution elevated by Christ to the dignity of a Sacrament, the vocation of Christian spouses in society and in the Church, and the practice of marital chastity,” he said.
art lover — Pope Benedict XVI looks at a book of drawings done by young people during a visit to the Church of St. John Baptist de la Salle in Rome recently. (CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)
Eucharistic congress won’t ignore abuse scandal, Vatican official says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin will be characterized by humility, moderation and a renewed focus on the Eucharist as the source and nourishment of unity in the Church, said the president of the Vatican committee charged with overseeing the gathering. Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, said the congress June 1017 will reflect that this year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but also that Catholics in the host country, Ireland, are still reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal and are engaged in a process of repentance and reform. The archbishop spoke to Catholic News Service March 7 after presenting the Italian edition of “The Eucharist: Womb of the Church,” a series of theological and pastoral reflections published in preparation for the congress. The Dublin congress will have “two very positive aspects, in my opinion: the lack of triumphalism — and, so, a congress based on interiority, on moderation, also because of the difficult economic situation. The other aspect is the focus on the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that Communion is the center of the Eucharist, its primary aim.” The theme of the 2012 congress, which is expected to bring together more than 80,000 Catholics from around the world, is: “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with One Another.” The eucharistic Liturgy brings individuals into communion with Christ and creates communion among them, said Archbishop Marini. “Christ comes to transform us into Himself,” into the Body of Christ, he said. “Communion is needed within the Church, where we fight with one another, but also outside the
Church, for our witness in the world, our witness for a more just, more tolerant world where people are more respectful of one another and of nature,” he said. Archbishop Marini, a liturgical scholar, began serving at the Vatican in 1965, working in the office charged with implementing the council’s liturgical renewal. In 1987, he was named master of papal liturgical ceremonies, serving Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI until October 2007 when he was named president of the Eucharist congresses committee. The international congresses, which began in the late 1800s, accompanied and encouraged the liturgical, biblical, patristic and ecumenical movements that were developing in the Church at the same time, Archbishop Marini said. “The eucharistic congresses were the place the movements were most manifest” until the 1960s, when their scholarly and pastoral foundations were deepened and they were accepted by the Second Vatican Council. Up until the 1960 International Eucharistic Congress in Munich, though, the congresses still were centered around eucharistic processions, adoration and the reception
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of Communion outside the Mass, he said. “The procession was considered a show of strength, a demonstration that Christians were present in society, which stemmed from the congress’ origins in France when Catholics felt a need to say publicly, ‘We are here.’ With the liturgical movement, there came a need to adjust the triumphalist aspect to draw closer to the truth” that the eucharistic celebration forms the Church and transforms its members, so they can transform the world, Archbishop Marini said. Since the Second Vatican Council, he said, the congresses have been centered around the daily celebration of Mass, although the processions and eucharistic adoration are still present and valued as expressions of a piety that flows from the Mass and leads people back to it. At the book presentation, he encouraged the mainly Italian audience to travel to Dublin for the eucharistic congress, not only for their own spiritual enrichment, but also as a sign “of solidarity with the Christians of Ireland” and a demonstration to the world that the Mass creates bonds of communion and charity among peoples. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 56, No. 11
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March 16, 2012
Caritas Lebanon seeks shelter for refugees fleeing Syrian violence
horrific memories — A young man and his grandmother pray for the victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Miyako, Japan. A year after one of the most devastating Japanese natural disasters in history, Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga of Osaka called on Catholics to pray for those who died in the earthquake and tsunami and for the reconstruction of the country. (CNS photo file photo)
On disaster’s first anniversary, Japanese Catholics turn to prayer
Tokyo, Japan (CNA/EWTN News) — A year after one of the most devastating Japanese natural disasters in history, Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga of Osaka called on Catholics to pray for those who died in the earthquake and tsunami and for the reconstruction of the country. “What happened on March 11, 2011 will never be forgotten in our lifetime,” Archbishop Ikenaga said in a letter to Japanese Catholics. Archbishop Ikenaga urged the faithful to pray not only that the disaster areas will be reconstructed, but also that those who died as a result of the disaster “will be given eternal repose in the hands of God.” To mark the first anniversary, bishops from all over Japan celebrated Masses in their dioceses. Archbishop Ikenaga said it was his hope that these Masses would allow people to pray together “across the nation.” Despite the horror of the earthquake and tsunami, which left the Japanese “deeply shocked,” Archbishop Ikenaga said he was able to “recognize how wonderful it is for people to support each other” by the generous donations and support of volunteers all over the world. Koreans showed their support by holding up signs in front of news cameras that said, “We love Japan. Japan will overcome the hardship!” The archbishop recalled how Japan received donations from “all over the world,” nuclear specialists from overseas offered “generous support,” and locals from “all over Japan” volunteered in the clean up. “Facing unreasonable and cruel realities, we are largely
impressed and encouraged by numerous people at home and abroad who are making every effort to help the affected persons,” Archbishop Ikenaga said. On February 15, all of the active Japanese bishops offered Mass at Tokyo’s Sekiguchu Cathedral in anticipation of the first anniversary of the disaster that killed an estimated 20,000 people. Approximately 400 people attended the Mass, which was dedicated to the memory of the disaster victims. In his homily, Bishop Tetsuo Hiraga of Sendai — whose diocese is home to the crippled Fukushima Dai’ichi power plant — offered his thanks to the volunteers who came from Japan and abroad. Volunteer efforts, mostly being organized by Caritas Japan and the Diocese of Sendai, are now focused on reconstruction and “will be carried on for many years to come.” “The word ‘unimaginable’ has become a regular part of my vocabulary in the past year,” Bishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Niigata and president of Caritas Japan said in a recent letter to donors. Less than a week after the March 11 earthquake, Caritas Japan sent staff to Sendai to work with the local diocese to provide relief and assist in the rebuilding process. Caritas Japan opened its first relief base in Shiogama, a major fishing and fish processing city, to help clean up homes that were badly damaged but still salvageable. After shoveling mud and debris out of the homes, volunteers drank tea and spoke with residents, giving survivors a “sense of solidarity in rebuilding
their lives.” Ishinomaki, the second largest community in the Miyagi Prefecture, lost 4,000 residents to the tsunami that followed the earthquake. Many survivors were left homeless, but were able to find shelter at Kadonowaki Junior High School, one of Caritas Japan’s largest evacuation centers. In the town of Shizugawa, a fishing town in the MinamiSanriku district, Caritas Japan opened a cafe-style distribution center “where listening to survivors facilitated relationships.” Since the establishment of temporary housing, Caritas Japan has created “mobile cafes” to distribute supplies and continue “its service of listening.”
BEIRUT (CNS) — Church aid workers scrambled to find housing for hundreds of Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring Lebanon because of ongoing violence between Syrian forces and armed rebels. About 200 families — more than 1,000 people overall — made their way to the border town of Qaa in the Bekaa Valley in northern Lebanon March 5 and were struggling in the region’s nearfreezing temperatures. Father Simon Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon, told Catholic News Service that “women and children and the elderly are coming out in the cold, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, to seek safety.” “It’s very cold, and they have nothing,” he said. The U.N. refugee agency said that as many as 2,000 Syrians crossed into Lebanon March 5-6 to escape the violence that has claimed hundreds of lives. Father Faddoul said most of the refugees arrived on foot from areas near Homs, a city that has been under siege since early February as government forces almost continuously shelled rebel strongholds. “They are leaving the young men behind in Syria to guard their houses” from attack, Father Faddoul said. “These are people fleeing from war, their homes under bombard-
ment. Things are getting out of hand,” he added. Before the latest surge, about 100 families had fled to Lebanon in recent weeks and were receiving assistance from Caritas, the priest said. Faddoul estimated that about 40 of the newly-arrived families were Christian, while the rest were Muslim. “This has nothing to do with religion. Whenever there is suffering, we have to be there with them and to help them,” he said. Caritas has deployed two social workers and about 15 volunteers in Qaa. They have distributed 300 blankets and personal hygiene kits. Father Faddoul said the availability of adequate housing in the poverty-ravaged town of Qaa is limited. About 30-35 refugees are crammed into rooms that are about 126 square feet in size. Caritas is collaborating with municipal officials to locate homes that three or four families could share. Caritas Lebanon has had a regular presence in the Bekaa Valley, with coordinating programs in agriculture, farming and irrigation to address the region’s poverty in the region. “Now we have so many concerns, how to find shelters, especially if the situation (in Syria) drags on,” Faddoul said.
March 16, 2012
Bishops urge Congress to remember poor in budget-making decisions
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Congress should base all federal budget decisions on how they provide for those in need, whether they protect or threaten human life and dignity, and if they promote the common good of “workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times,” said the chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees in a letter to Congress. “In the past year, Congress and the administration have taken significant action to reduce the federal deficit, while attempting to protect programs that serve poor and vulnerable people,” said Bishops Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa. The letter was released March 7. Bishop Blaire is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Pates is chairman of their Committee on International Justice and Peace. “Congress will continue to face difficult choices about how to allocate burdens and sacrifices and balance resources and needs,” the bishops said. “We fear the pressure to cut vital programs that protect the lives and dignity of the poor and vulnerable will increase. As Catholic bishops, we have tried to remind Congress that these choices are economic, political, and moral.” The bishops said they joined other Christian leaders in calling for a “circle of protection” around the poor and vulnerable, both “at home and abroad,” as members of Congress craft and debate a budget resolution and spending bills for the next fiscal year. The bishops said access to “affordable, life-affirming health care that respects religious freedom” is an urgent national priority and warned against shifting rising health care costs to vulnerable se-
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niors, people with disabilities and the poor. They voiced support for programs that help low-income people such as Pell grants, offered to needy college students to defray tuition expenses at the college of their choice, and improved workforce training and development. They also pushed for efforts to restore funding cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, and to make permanent an expansion of low-income tax credits. Bishops Blaire and Pate said they opposed steps that negatively impact poor families such as increasing the minimum rent that can be charged to families receiving housing assistance and a proposal to eliminate funding for a school voucher program called the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The bishops also made the case for protecting programs that help the poor internationally. “As pastors, we see every day the human consequences of budget choices. Our Catholic community defends the unborn, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, educates the young, and cares for the sick, at home and abroad,” they said. “We help poor families rise above crushing poverty, resettle refugees fleeing conflict and persecution, and reach out to communities devastated by wars, natural disasters and famines,” the bishops wrote. They noted that the “moral measure of this budget debate” is not about political parties or prevailing powerful interests “but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated.” “Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciences and our common resources,” they said.
nature’s fury — Residents salvage items from the debris of St. Luke Catholic Church in Salyersville, Ky., March 3. Six buildings — the church, the rectory, an outreach ministry, a storage building, grotto and picnic shelter were destroyed by a tornado. More than 40 people died in the storms, as survivors continue to pick up the pieces. (CNS photo/courtesy of Catholic Charities)
Tornado damage widespread; churches become centers for aid, prayer
HENRYVILLE, Ind. (CNS) — As one of the few buildings in town to come through intense storms March 2 nearly intact, St. Francis Xavier Church has become a natural staging area for relief efforts, community organizing and prayer. Four days after a devastating tornado hit, volunteers and professionals used St. Xavier, the nearby Henryville Community Church and a community center as bases for people trying to put their lives back together. The town of about 1,600 was one of several in the region to be largely destroyed by a wave of storms that created dozens of tornadoes across 11 states March 2 and 3. At least 39 people were killed, including one in Clark County, where Henryville and nearby Marysville took direct hits. Deaths also were reported in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio. Substantial damage dotted those states as well as Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi, Virginia and South Carolina. Tracy Guernsey, the staff nurse at Henryville’s public school complex, was among about 40 people still in the building when the tornado hit. She told Catholic News Service in a phone interview that if classes hadn’t been dismissed early in the face of the advancing storm, the death toll in Henryville would have been dramatic. She said she and about 15 other people emerged from her office to find the whole second floor of the school had been ripped off. Inside, the papers on her desk were undisturbed. The tornado hit at the normal dismissal time of 3 p.m., Guernsey said. “The bus drivers were the heroes here. If they hadn’t sent the buses out early, it would’ve been a different story.”
Also reeling were parishioners of St. Luke Catholic Church in Salyersville, Ky., which was destroyed by another tornado in the same weather front. There, parishioner Helen Pennington was working in the church basement as the twister approached. Two carfuls of people passing through the area asked to seek shelter and joined her in safety while the structure above was flattened. Six buildings — the church, the rectory, an outreach ministry, a storage building, grotto and picnic shelter — previously stood on the parish grounds. After the storm, only the locked door of office manager Benedictine Sister Jan Barthel’s office and its adjoining wall were left standing atop the church’s basement foundation. Father Bob Damron, pastor of St. Luke in Salyersville and St. Martha Church in Prestonsburg, reminded his parishioners as they gathered for Mass on the weekend that the Church is a community of people, not a building. He said St. Luke parishioners will meet for Mass in one another’s homes until a new church is built. Catholics from neighboring parishes gathered Saturday morning and afternoon to salvage what they could. Amazingly, the tabernacle was found with the Eucharist safely enclosed in the ciborium, even though the tabernacle was lying face down with its door open. Similarly, all the vessels of sacred oils were found upright and unbroken. At Sunday Mass at St. Francis Xavier March 4, Father Steven Schaftlein, pastor, said the church was “spared to be a symbol of hope and also to walk the talk. We’re praying here. That’s our first work. But underneath is the food, the clothing that will help sustain the
community in the months ahead.” News video of the Mass showed the back pews of the small church filled with cases of food and other supplies. By the next day, the entire building was filled with donated materials, reported The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, which includes Henryville. Just 24 hours after Tom Nolot and a crew of volunteers stopped preparing for a Friday night fish fry to take shelter from the approaching tornado, Nolot and his wife, Joyce, were back — frying up the fish to feed rescue workers and crews from the Indiana National Guard, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and other rescue workers and volunteers. Elsewhere in the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., Prince of Peace Church in hard-hit West Liberty lost the roofs of both the rectory and the church, reported Thomas F. Shaughnessy, diocesan communications director and editor of Crossroads, its newspaper. Just a few days earlier, another wave of tornadoes left 13 people dead in Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee and a trail of wreckage that appeared to be the most substantial in Branson, Mo., and in Harrisburg and Ridgway, Ill., where the storm destroyed the entire town, including St. Joseph Church. “We have so much to be thankful for today. I’m so glad to see all of you here, and safe,” Father Steven Beatty told the congregation at Mass at St. Mary Church in Shawneetown, Ill. He offered prayers for six Harrisburg residents who died in the tornado. The priest is administrator of four parishes in southern Illinois, including St. Mary and St. Joseph, where Mass was to have been celebrated.
March 16, 2012
The Church in the U.S.
U.S. bishops urge diplomacy with Iran versus military action
Washington D.C. (CNA/ EWTN News) — The U.S. bishops are calling for diplomatic efforts rather than military action in addressing concerns over the possible development of nuclear weapons in Iran. “In Catholic teaching, the use of force must always be a last resort,” said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. He urged the U.S. government to “explore all available options to resolve the conflict with Iran through diplomatic, rather than military, means.” In a March 2 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bishop Pates expressed “profound concerns” about Iran’s “lack of transparency” and refusal to allow international inspectors to access its nuclear facilities. This behavior, along with the country’s failure to acknowledge its obligations under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, raises suspicions that it may be developing its nuclear capabilities for the production of weapons rather than merely energy, he said. Noting an “alarming escalation in rhetoric and tensions,” the bishop said that he is particularly troubled by recent speculation on the use of force against Iran, including a possible Israeli pre-emptive strike on
Iran’s nuclear facilities. Due to the lack of immediate threat against the U.S. or our allies, current military action “would constitute an act of preventive war,” he cautioned. He explained that the Church teaches that engaging in a preventive war without “clear proof” of an imminent attack raises “serious” moral questions. Although there are reasons for concern in Iran, military action cannot be justified before exhausting all alternatives, he said. These alternatives include “effective and targeted sanctions” in addition to the ones that are currently in place and “incentives for Iran to engage in diplomacy” and cooperate with international inspectors. Bishop Pates said that the suggestion of military action “is unwise and may be counterproductive.” Even the perceived threat of a military strike will likely strengthen the current regime in Iran and isolate those who wish to cooperate with international standards, he said. The bishop recalled the recent statement by Iran’s supreme leader that the country is not pursuing nuclear weapons because it considers the possession of them a sin and believes holding such weapons would be “useless, harmful and dangerous.” He called on Iran to back these words up with actions
by allowing international inspectors to access the country’s nuclear facilities. Observing that Iran poses a “significant threat” to global security, Bishop Pates said that the situation should be viewed in light of the broader goal of “a just and peaceful world built on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.” “A morally responsible nonproliferation strategy must be tied to a clear strategy for reducing and ultimately ending the reliance on nuclear weapons by any country,” he said. The bishops believe that nuclear weapons violate just war principles of “proportionality and discrimination in the use of force,” he explained, adding that the U.S. bishops’ conference has previously voiced objections to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, believing that it would destabilize the already fragile region and hinder nonproliferation efforts. Bishop Pates pointed to the pope’s call for “tireless efforts” towards a “negotiated solution” in Iran that satisfies both “the legitimate demands of the country and of the international community.” He called on the Obama administration to focus on engaging Iran in ways “that reduce the threat of nuclear non-proliferation while maintaining stability in the Middle East.”
HHS mandate threatens Little Sisters of the Poor’s elder care
Baltimore, Md. (CNA) — The Little Sisters of the Poor say the HHS contraception and sterilization mandate threatens their continued ministry to the impoverished elderly. They are “strongly objecting” to the federal rule and say it should be repealed as soon as possible. “Because the Little Sisters of the Poor cannot in conscience directly provide or collaborate in the provision of services that conflict with Church teaching, we find ourselves in the irreconcilable situation of being forced to either stop serving and employing people of all faiths in our ministry — so that we will fall under the narrow exemption — or to stop providing health care coverage to our employees,” the order said. “Either path threatens to end our service to the elderly in America. The Little Sisters are fervently praying that this issue will be resolved before we are forced to take concrete action in response to this unjust mandate.” Their order serves 13,000 needy elderly of all faiths in 31 countries around the world. In the U.S., it has 30 homes for the elderly, ac-
commodating 2,500 low-income seniors. The Department of Health and Human Services mandate requires employers to provide coverage for “preventive health.” It defines this coverage to include sterilization and contraception, including some abortion-causing drugs. The Obama administration’s proposed compromise would mandate that insurance companies, not employers, provide this coverage. The mandate’s religious exemption applies only to employers who primarily serve and employ their coreligionists and have the inculcation of religious values as their primary purpose. The Sisters said that even the indirect subsidizing of such benefits is “unconscionable to us.” Their longstanding health insurance has always explicitly excluded sterilization, contraception and abortion from covered services and this policy has “never been a matter of controversy in our homes.” The Sisters warned that the successful implementation of the federal rule could set a precedent for “further intrusion of government
into health care.” They have done their best to comply with all applicable government regulations and are not prone to making statements on politics or public policy, but they “cannot refrain from speaking out” about the mandate, the Sisters said. “If the federal government succeeds in enforcing this rule, what is to stop it from rationing health care to seniors or including euthanizing procedures on the list of required ‘preventive services’ as a way of eliminating the costs associated with caring for our aging population?” they asked. “Would health care providers like the Little Sisters of the Poor then be forced to cooperate in such practices?” “We wish to affirm that the HHS mandate is an unjust and dangerous infringement upon the natural and constitutional rights of Americans and that the only just solution is to rescind it. The Little Sisters of the Poor call upon Congress and the Executive Branch to reverse this decision as soon as possible and we pledge our prayers and sacrifices for the true good of our beloved country,” the order said.
installation day — Seminarians at the Pontifical North America College attend a Mass at which they were installed as acolytes in Rome recently. U.S. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis installed 55 new acolytes. (CNS photo/ Paul Haring)
The Anchor What we’ve been learning, Part II
Last week we began our examination of what we’ve been learning as a result of the Obama Administration’s decision to force objecting religious institutions, one way or the other, to pay for abortioncausing pills, sterilizations and contraception. We learned that this is not an isolated infraction, but part of a multivalent coordinated effort to compel the Church and other religious institutions to cooperate, whether they want to or not, with the sexual revolution’s agenda of sex without responsibility and its radical transvaluation, through the pedagogical power of governmental policy and law, of abortion, contraception, sex, marriage, and family. We learned that, in stark contrast to some of his predecessors like President Clinton, President Obama and his administration seem to be willing to jettison the enormous social goods flowing from the Church’s charitable work — in hospitals, schools, and so many programs for the poor and needy — unless the Church capitulates to the secularist agenda and begins to fund and facilitate radical programs against its religious teaching. We learned that even though the Church didn’t ask for this fight, it’s a fight it cannot flee, for not only is the Church’s charitable work as a whole in jeopardy but also the Church’s constitutionally-protected right to religious freedom and believers’ right to freedom of conscience. There are many other lessons we have been learning. First, the administration and many of its sympathizers in the media are trying to pretend that the issue is really about Catholic teaching on contraception, but it’s about the administration’s designs to infringe on constitutionally-protected religious freedom. As one blogger wrote, the issue is no more about contraception than the Boston Tea Party was about tea. The issue is not about access to contraception, sterilization and abortifacient morning after pills — these are all available — but about compelling those who object to them to pay for them, directly or indirectly, so that those who want to use them can obtain them for free. There is no compelling government justification for why religious Sisters, for example, should be forced to subsidize Sandra Fluke’s sex life and other women’s voluntary tubal ligations, birth control and abortion-inducing pills. There is no constitutional right to free sterilizations — not to mention to force other people to make them free — while there is a constitutional protection of religious freedom. The issue isn’t about birth control, but government control. Second, there seems to be no possibility of working cooperatively with the Obama Administration to resolve this in a way that respects religious freedom. That’s not because a true accommodation would be impossible — there would be other ways by which the government could provide free access to these items if it wanted to do so— but because the administration seems determined not to take the Church’s conscientious objection and religious freedom claims seriously. As Cardinal Dolan wrote in a March 2 letter to his brother bishops, “There was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom, or of modifying the HHS’ attempt to define the how and who of our ministry. … The president invited us to ‘work out the wrinkles.’ We have accepted that invitation. Unfortunately, … the White House Press Secretary … informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli. … At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom — that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption — are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for ‘working out the wrinkles.’” All of this, he said, “doesn’t bode well for their getting a truly acceptable ‘accommodation.’” Third, there doesn’t seem to be a realistic path to immediate redress on Capitol Hill. The failure of the Senate on March 1 to pass the Blunt Amendment and enshrine the Respect of Rights of Conscience Act showed that prospects for help from Congress won’t come as long as there is a majority of senators who agree with the policy of the administration. Even though the amendment narrowly failed 51-48, in order to become law, it would require a two-thirds majority to bypass a promised veto from the president. Fourth, the failure of the Blunt Amendment taught us two other lessons. Democrats voted against the Respect of Rights of Conscience Act 48-3, while Republicans voted in favor of it 45-1. (Two independents voted against the amendment and one Republican supporter was absent.) An objective conclusion for those worried about respect for conscience and freedom of religion is that Republicans on Capitol Hill seem to be overwhelmingly supportive of religious freedom and conscience concerns whereas Democrats are overwhelmingly supportive of the administration’s efforts to deny such protections. This is not a partisan observation; it’s a fact. The other thing we learned about the Senate’s failure to pass the Blunt Amendment is that 13 Roman Catholic senators, including Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, voted against it. When faced with a situation in which every single U.S. bishop wrote a letter decrying the consequences of the HHS mandate on Catholic and other religious institutions, these Catholic senators — many of whom who have routinely cited their “conscience” to vote for bills in favor of abortion —still voted against the Church’s being compelled, as the legislation stipulated, to “provide, participate in, or refer for a specific item or service contrary to the provider’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Such a betrayal would probably even make Judas blush. Fifth, the controversy over the HHS mandate has revealed one of the most serious problems with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It gives unheard of authority to unelected officials and bureaucrats. This attack on religious freedom came, essentially, from a determination of Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS secretary. It was she alone who was given by the act the ability to define what constitutes “preventive care” and, after a recommendation from a faux medical advisory board stacked with those involved in the abortion business, she took it upon herself alone to determine that abortion-causing pills, sterilizations and contraception constituted “preventive care” that must be covered with no co-pay. It was she alone who determined what the definition of religious institution is. It was she who alone determined the criteria on which persons or institutions should be exempted. This problem — and the danger it brings — is not isolated. Those who have examined the text of the PPACA have noted that it contains 700 references to the secretary “shall,” another 200 to the secretary “may” and 139 to the secretary “determines.” The HHS secretary has not only been given unprecedented power over what amounts to be one-sixth of the U.S. economy, but the authority to determine all sorts of things that no unelected official should have. That leads to a sixth point. Just as with the HHS mandate, so with the PPACA as a whole, there are way too many problems associated with it to get sucked into the weeds of trying to fix the details. As presently written, the HHS Secretary has the authority to do even more damage than Secretary Sebelius has been trying to do up until now against the conscience rights of religious institutions and individuals. If she can determine on her own today what the definition of a religious group is and force them to pay for people to have access to the abortion-causing morning after pill, ella, what’s to stop her from narrowing the definition of a religious group even further tomorrow and compelling everyone to pay for RU-486 down the road? If she can compel people to subsidize chemical abortions, why not surgical abortions, President Obama’s flimsy signing statement notwithstanding? We’ve been learning that the only way to stop the PPACA from being used to advance a radical secularist agenda against religious freedom is to get it overturned and start from scratch to seek another, less hazardous means to provide basic health care. Seventh and lastly, religious believers have been learning that there are, sadly, many elected officials who simply do not respect religious freedom and who will use the coercive power of government to try to take away their rights and force them against their conscience to pay for and do what they believe is wrong. This is something that all religious citizens must ponder over the course of the next eight months. If a candidate for office will not defend our religious freedom, but rather trample on it, then Catholic citizens need to ask whether that candidate adequately represent our values. If not, that candidate should never be in a position where he or she can use the coercive power of government to violate our rights. In a free country, we ultimately get the leaders we deserve. We should never elect people who would use their office to take our rights away and get us to fund other’s newly-invented secularist pseudo-rights. As citizens, we have the power to correct these abuses, but we need to rise up and use that power. These are all lessons that, unfortunately, we’ve been learning the hard way.
March 16, 2012
Called to serve
t the lower level of the hierar- just as a step on the way to becoming chy are to be found deacons, a priest. This “permanent” diaconate, who receive the imposition of hands which can be conferred on married men, not unto the priesthood, but unto the constitutes an important enrichment for ministry. At an ordination to the diacon- the Church’s mission (CCC 1571). ate only the bishop lays hands on the While the council reinstituted the candidate, thus signifying the deacon’s permanent diaconate, the transitional special attachment to the bishop in the diaconate was still maintained. As the tasks of his ‘diakonia’” (CCC 1569). name suggests, this is not a permanent In this last article on the Sacrament state, it is one that is intended for one of Holy Orders we reflect upon the in final stages of his preparation before identity and mission of the deacon in the being ordained a priest. After being inlife of the Church. As we have seen with stituted as a “lector” and then as an “acthe episcopate and the presbyterate, the olyte” a man is first ordained a deacon history of the diaconate can be traced and serves in that role generally for six back to the New Testament. In the Acts months to a year before being ordained of the Apostles we read: a priest. A transitional deacon must take “At that time, as the number of the promise of life long celibacy. disciples continued to grow, the Twelve A permanent deacon on the other called together the community of the hand, again as the name suggests, is a disciples and said, ‘It is not right for us permanent state and the one ordained to neglect the Word of God to serve at is not preparing to going onto priestly table. Brothers, select from among you ordination. It refers to men, who may be seven reputable men, filled with the married and have children and secular Spirit and wiscareers, who dom, whom are ordained we shall apdeacons for Putting Into point to this life. In this task, whereas sense, the the Deep we shall dedeacon is vote ourselves ordained and By Father to prayer and in the world Jay Mello to the minat the same istry of the time, providword.’” They ing a unique presented these men to the Apostles who role and advantage for ministry and prayed and laid hands on them (Acts evangelization. 6:1-6). Recently, the Bishop of Marquette, Because it was primarily the role Mich., Alexander Sample, wrote a of the Apostles to minister in terms of pastoral letter on the role of the deacon preaching and celebrating the Sacrain the life of the Church that provides ments for the community, and in light of great insight. “The deacon is above all the fact that they did not want to neglect called to be a minister of charity. Theirs the material needs of widows, orphans is not a role of leadership, administraand the sick, they selected seven men of tion or presiding over community in great faith and devotion and ordained the way a bishop or priest does, but one them to serve. of charitable service. It is essential to It is in this idea of “service” that we understand that the diaconate is first and find the establishment of the role of the foremost completely about service to deacon. The word “deacon” actually the people of God. That is why there are comes from the Greek word, “diakonia” special ministries that are particularly which means service. suited to the deacon as servant. These But while the deacons were sent forth include ministry and service to the poor, to care for the material welfare of those to the imprisoned, to the sick and to in need, this was not their only function. those who are abandoned and lonely, the They, like all members of the Church, modern day ‘widows and orphans.’” are called to give witness to the Gospel It is in this role of “minister of charby the example of their lives, and in ity” that we find the primary identity of some cases teaching or proclaiming the the deacon. Yes, all of the baptized are Gospel. This was certainly the case with called to be charitable and care for those St. Stephen, the first deacon who was who are less fortunate or are in need, martyred because of his tremendous but the deacon does so in a formal sense witness to the Gospel. because he was ordained to assist the The role of the deacon had a very bishop in this particular task. significant role in the early Church, The “Catechism” explains why these especially as the Church began to grow men are ordained for such service: throughout the world. Throughout the “Indeed it is appropriate and useful history of the Church, however, the role that men who carry out a truly diaconal of the deacon became strictly understood ministry in the Church, whether in its in terms of liturgical service, or as a liturgical and pastoral life or whether in preparatory step for those preparing to its social and charitable works, should be priests, called “transitional” deacons. “be strengthened by the imposition of Many factors contributed to a chain of hands which has come down from the events that resulted in the diaconate’s Apostles. They would be more closely being understood merely as a transibound to the altar and their ministry tional step toward the priesthood in the would be made more fruitful through Latin Church by the beginning of the the sacramental grace of the diaconate” ninth century. The permanent diaconate (CCC 1571). was formally restored by Pope Paul VI This concludes my reflection on in 1967, and it has grown steadily ever the Sacrament of Holy Orders. In next since. week’s article I will say a final word The Second Vatican Council restored about the Sacraments and the grace to the more historical or early Church which we have access in them. image and function of the deacon as a Father Mello is a parochial vicar at particular role in and of itself, and not St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth. ,
March 16, 2012
ocial media: to use or not to use, that is the question. It has been more than a year since Pope Benedict XVI issued the message “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age,” exhorting the faithful to embrace social media as a means to evangelize: “I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life.” Unfortunately, the faithful have either dismissed the use of social media because of concerns about its safety, or have missed the opportunity to use it as an effective tool for evangelization. True, there are indeed risks involved with social media, particularly when used by school-age children and youth. Social media has been used to bully, harass and send lewd messages. There are privacy concerns, and there is worry about the inability to protect children from third-party
The potential of social media advertisement groups. It is no There are many websites wonder that many parishes and that offer online retreats, dioceses shy away from this spiritual exercises, and even form of communication. an app for examining one’s There is also concern about conscience before going to over-use of social media by Confession. youth, leading to a condition known as “Facebook depression” that results from an addiction to the web. Apparently this is also a problem for young By Claire McManus adults, as evidenced by the many Mardi gras posts that proclaimed farewell to their friends until Easter as While all of these websites they vowed to give up Faceand apps are great ways to book for Lent! connect people to a variety of Most parishes that don’t spiritual resources, Pope Beneconsider Facebook and Twitdict is suggesting that we go ter to be a disaster waiting to one step further. He is asking happen have found ways to us to seek out the young adults make good use of the media. planted in cyberspace. They use the more controlled Young people of every environment of the “Facebook generation have sought the page” which controls the visitruth. This is why the pope’s tors to the site and the mesmessage to the world about sages that are posted. Other social media contains the parishes have used networkwords “truth” and “authenticing tools that enhance their ity.” When we use our Facecatechetical programs, bearing book and Twitter forums to names like YouTube, Godspread Gospel values, we can Tube, Busted Halo, blogs, and transform social media into a other such cyberspeak. powerful force for engaging
The Great Commission
Noisy world is enemy of prayer, says Pope Benedict
Vatican City (CNA/ EWTN News) — The constant noise that accompanies modern life is an enemy of God’s word being heard in prayer, Pope Benedict XVI said. “Interior and exterior silence are necessary in order to hear that Word,” and yet, “our age does not, in fact, favor reflection and contemplation,” the pope said recently. On the contrary, “it seems that people are afraid to detach themselves, even for an instant, from the spate of words and images which mark and fill our days.” The pope was addressing more than 10,000 pilgrims who gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Wednesday general audience. This was the first audience of the year held in the open air. It was also the last in the pope’s series of catecheses on the personal prayer of Jesus. Today, his particular focus was on Christ’s silence on the cross, as well as the need for silence in our own prayer. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is repeatedly “withdrawing alone to a place far from the crowds, even from His own disciples, where He can pray
in silence,” he observed. The “great patristic tradition,” the pope said, also teaches Christians that “the mysteries of Christ are linked to silence, and only in silence can the Word find a place to dwell within us.” He then explained to the pilgrims that this “principle” of silence “holds true for individual prayer” and for Catholic Liturgies, which, “to facilitate authentic listening, must also be rich in moments of silence and of non verbal acceptance.” Silence has “the capacity to open a space in our inner being, a space in which God can dwell, which can ensure that His word remains within us, and that love for Him is rooted in our minds and hearts, and animates our lives,” taught the pope. Even when people feel “a sense of abandonment” in the silence of prayer, and they worry that “God does not listen and does not respond,” Pope Benedict said that they should be reassured that “this silence, as happened to Jesus, does not signify absence.” “Christians know that the Lord is present and listens,”
the pope assured, “even in moments of darkness and pain, of rejection and solitude.” This is why the prayer of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, “is a reminder that we need to stop, to experience moments of intimacy with God, ‘detaching ourselves’ from the turmoil of daily life in order to listen.” In doing so, we return “to the ‘root’ which nourishes and sustains our existence.” Pope Benedict then quoted from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” as he reflected on Jesus’ silent prayer reaching its apex during His passion and death on Golgotha. During that time of suffering, when “His cry to the Father from the cross encapsulated ‘all the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word,’” he said. “Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising His Son,” he concluded. “Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation.”
young adults at a critical moment in their quest. To become agents of change in their world we have to do some soul searching ourselves. We must be willing to embrace authentic discipleship and engage in real and active dialogue about our faith through the use of social media. If Christ has transformed us, then post it unabashedly to that collection of cyberfollowers whom we call friends. Christianity, communal by nature, fits neatly in the realm of social media. The generation that eschews communal religion embraces virtual community; this is the paradox of the social media phenomenon in the young adult culture. Young adults have surpassed us in their ability to interact with the world. We may never in our lifetime have the opportunity to have an audience with the pope, but young adults are following him on his Twitter account, @ pope2you, where he “tweets” Lenten messages to them. Pope Benedict is engaging youth in a way that could never have
happened in the pre-Internet era. We may not be very good at street corner proselytizing, but there is no reason why we can’t become cyber-evangelizers. We need to cleanse our posts of the polemical discourse that drains the charity out of fraternal correction, and engage in respectful dialogue that creates an environment that promotes true friendship. This is how we can use social media to spread Christ’s message of love and care for our neighbor, His abundant mercy, and His desire to be in a real, not virtual, relationship with us. St. Ignatius of Loyola taught us to find God in all things, natural and created. Social media is part of the world into which God has placed us, and if we condemn it and leave it to the worldly culture, it will become a vacuous space posing as community. Social media is a field that is in need of preparation for the seeds of hope. We either take on the task of fertilizing it or we lose another harvest. Claire McManus is the director of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
March 16, 2012
ehind this vast and seemingly impersonal universe, is there a God who is on our side? Does He really know and — what is more important — does He really care what happens to you and me? In today’s Gospel, Jesus answered that question. “Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” Notice that He talks about God’s love as general and specific. “God so loved the world.” That takes in all of the billions of people who populate this planet. Then He said: “whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” God not only loves all people collectively, but each person individually. This is a wonderful truth. But let’s be honest, it isn’t easy to believe. So many things seem to argue against it. There are so many people that it is hard to believe anyone, not even God, could love them all. Another is the size of the universe. The earth is actually one tiny planet, in one tiny solar system, way out on the edge of a medium-sized galaxy. Scientists tell us that there are at least 200 billion other galaxies, many of them much larger
God so loved the world ...
than our own. In a universe God so loved the world? The like that, can one person on previous verse of our reading one tiny planet have any real says: “Just as Moses lifted up significance? the serpent in the desert, so Compounding the problem must the Son of Man be lifted is the abundance of human up.” What does that mean? misery. If God is love, why is Well, it was His way of anthere so much pain? We can nouncing His own impending blame some of it on sin. Condeath on a cross. He knew that sider the Holocaust. Neither He was going to be crucified. God nor nature had anything to do with that. It was conceived Homily of the Week and launched by human hands. A great Fourth Sunday deal of suffering is of Lent attributable to human By Deacon ignorance, sin, and Richard Zeich stupidity. But there are other sources of human suffering for which we ourselves are not He could see it coming. And responsible. They are simply even in the face of that horrible given in the structure of the prospect, Jesus dared to speak universe. They simply happen. of God’s great love for the And sometimes they cause whole world. incredible suffering. We can be grateful for that. In the face of such realities, It brings Jesus a little closer to can we really believe that God home and makes Him all the loves us individually and colmore one of us. We admire, lectively? Jesus did. How did and sometimes envy, the strong Jesus come to possess and manfaith that shaped and sustained age to hold that awareness? His life. But His kind of faith One thing we can say with seems out of reach for ordinary certainty: Jesus’ awareness people like us. Hardly a day was not the product of an easy goes by that we do not encounand comfortable life. Do you ter some piece of evidence recall what Jesus said just prior that mocks the very idea of a to His famous declaration that loving God. The headlines of
almost every newspaper tell us that we are only fooling ourselves. How can we possibly believe in a loving God in this kind of world? The New Testament gives no pat answer. But it does offer encouragement. Jesus faced those same barriers. Jesus read those same headlines. And this is the conclusion that He reached: “God so loved the world.” That faith was not easy for Him, and it isn’t easy for us. But His experience does demonstrate its possibility. And that brings us back to the prior question: How did Jesus come to possess this kind of awareness? If not from an easy and comfortable life, how did He get it? Where did it come from? My guess is that, according to His humanity, He started with human love. That is the beginning for all of us. Until someone has loved us, we have no concept of what it means. Before we can love, before we can even know the meaning of the word, we must first be loved. And in this regard, Jesus was fortunate. For all the tragedy of His later years, He was loved as a child. And the little we know about
His boyhood home suggests that He saw love demonstrated on a daily basis. Can there be any doubt that these early experiences laid the foundation on which He would later build His understanding of God the Father? You and I can start in that same place. Our early years may not have been as fortunate as His. But we have been loved, and we have seen love. However it came to be, love is here. At our worst, we human beings can be indescribably selfish and cruel. But at our best, we can, and do, perform heroic deeds of kindness and generosity. Love is a fact of life. What does it mean? Is it only an accident of nature, or is it a revelation of ultimate reality? Jesus saw it as the latter. He often argued from the human to the divine. To Him, the love He saw in people was but a dim reflection of a higher and greater love at the very heart of the universe. This, of course, doesn’t prove anything. We started with a question, and we end with that same question: Is there a loving God? We know how Jesus answered it. He said: “Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” Deacon Zeich currently serves at Saint Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Mar. 17, Hos 6:1-6; Ps 51:3-4,18-21b; Lk 18:9-14. Sun. Mar. 18, Fourth Sunday of Lent, 2 Chr 36:14-16,19-23; Ps 137:1-6; Eph 2:4-10; Jn 3:14-21. Mon. Mar. 19, 2 Sm 7:4-5a,12-14a,16; Ps 89:2-5,27,29; Rom 4:13,16-18,22; Mt 1:16,18-21,24a or Lk 2:41-51a. Tues. Mar. 20, Ez 47:1-9,12; Ps 46:23,5-6,8-9; Jn 5:1-16. Wed. Mar. 21, Is 49:8-15; Ps 145:8-9,13c-14,17-18; Jn 5:17-30. Thurs. Mar. 22, Ex 32:7-14; Ps 106:19-23; Jn 5:31-47. Fri. Mar. 23, Wis 2:1a,12-22; Ps 34:17-21,23; Jn 7:1-2,10,25-30.
Religious freedom: It’s not just Pakistan and China
hirty-some years ago, I spent a fair amount of time on religious freedom issues: which meant, in those simpler days, trying to pry Lithuanian priests and nuns out of Perm Camp 36 and other GULAG islands. Had you told me in 1982 that one of my “clients,” the Jesuit Sigitas Tamkevicius, would be archbishop of Kaunas in a free Lithuania in 2012, I would have thought you a bit optimistic. If you had also told me, back then, that there would eventually be serious religious freedom problems in the United States, I would have thought you a bit mad. But you would have been right on both counts. To be sure, Americans of conviction and conscience are not under the same threats that made a martyr of Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan a year ago. American believers in biblical religion and its moral teachings do not face the relentless pressure visited upon Chinese Christians who refuse to concede that the Church is a subdivision of the state. But religious
freedom is, nonetheless, under ceptives, sterilizations, and abortiassault in these United States. The facient drugs like Plan B and ella assault is both cultural and legal. to their employees — is an effort It is shameful that the present to bend religious convictions to administration underwrites the the government’s will. Under the former while being a major actor mandate, the federal government in the latter. will impose its understanding of I try to unravel some of the cultural aspects of the problem — the attempt to erect an empty “shrine” at the heart of western democracy — in the Spring 2012 issue of “National Affairs,” By George Weigel in an article whose title is taken from the Book of Daniel: “The Handwriting on the Wall.” (The article “preventive health care” on all is available online, after March of American society. And if that 21, at www.nationalaffairs.com.) tramples the right of religious As for the administration’s legal freedom enshrined in the First assault on religious freedom, Amendment and the provisions of consider the following: the Religious Freedom Restora1) The recent HHS mandate — tion Act, then too bad — or, as the which requires that all employers administration seems to believe, (including religious institutions all the better. The administration with moral objections and private- is likely to lose this battle, legally, sector employers with religiously- but the underlying intent to erode informed moral objections) religious freedom is all too clear. facilitate the provision of contra2) The gross overreach of the
The Catholic Difference
HHS mandate is of a piece with other administration policies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s remarkable claim that the First Amendment’s religion clauses offer no protection against EEOC’s reach into the hiring practices of religious institutions. In January, the Supreme Court batted that claim down 9-0; thus the constitutional firewall held. But the administration’s intent to break it down was, again, unmistakable. 3) The Justice Department has refused to do its constitutional duty and defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in the federal courts. Why? One can reasonably conclude that the refusal to do what the law requires the administration to do is based on the administration’s agreement with the claim of DOMA’s critics: that genuine support of traditional marriage (as distinguished from the president’s ever-meeker lip service to it) is irrational bigotry
— a slander the administration seems willing to see applied to American citizens who once marched on Washington to support civil rights and thus make the election of an African-American president possible. 4) Then there is the State Department, which now refers to “freedom of worship” rather than “religious freedom” in discussing U.S. international human rights policy. This dumbing-down is bad enough in its abandonment of men and women of conscience around the world. But it now seems to have seeped back into domestic policy: for aren’t the cases cited above efforts by the administration to hollow out religious freedom and reduce it to a privacy right that accommodates certain weekend recreational activities? These questions should be at the center of the conversation between now and Election Day. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
March 9, 2012
It’s Howdy Doody time!
Sunday 11 March 2012 — a Howdy Doody marionette at home on the Taunton River one Christmas. I wonder how — Daylight Saving Time he knew. begins would sit staring at the smallscreened TV in the Reflections of a bulky wooden box Parish Priest until Buffalo Bob appeared and asked By Father Tim the question every Goldrick child of that era could easily answer, “Say, kids, what time is it?” “It’s In centuries past, everyone Howdy Doody time!” was the knew what time it was. Time correct response. Then we was based on the observable would all break into a rousposition of the sun in whating chorus of the theme song. ever place you happened to I was a big Howdy Doody be. When the sun appeared fan. Santa even brought me highest in the sky, it was
The Ship’s Log
noon. Back then, all time was local time. Our bodies are still synchronized to these natural rhythms. Our modern way of telling time however, tracks a mathematical model of a fictitious sun over Greenwich, a village outside of London. It is “mean” or uniform time — Greenwich Mean Time. The imaginary sun may not reflect the position of the actual sun in the sky. And now it’s Daylight Saving Time. It, too, is artificial. It arrived on the second Sunday of March at exactly
Engaging teen-agers in the faith — Part III
pulpit, perhaps, lost sight of Jen the first two parts of this sus amid a fog of institutional series on teen-agers and initiatives or social concerns? the Catholic faith, I focused on Are we adults in the Church, what we parents could do to perhaps, behaving as hypocritihelp our teen-agers move from cally as our teen-agers somea feeling-driven to a faith-drivtimes accuse, sending them to en relationship with God. Now church but not going ourI would like to suggest that selves? Or, equally off-putting, we parents need help, too. We do we sometimes march off to need help in the form of other the Church program du jour faith-filled adults in the Church who are willing to be role models and mentors for our teen-agers. Across the country we have parishes that are healthy and robust, overflowing with By Heidi Bratton energy and initiatives for our youth. Unfortunately we also have like “noisy gongs” or “clangparishes that are somewhat ing cymbals,” without love emaciated, scraping by with for Jesus and the magisterial the bare minimum of preparateachings of the Church (1 Cor. tion for the Sacraments. Most 13:1)? If the spiritual vision of parishes are somewhere in a parish has gotten clouded, we between, but in every parish may need to do something to there is room to become more rekindle the faith of the adults teen-friendly on both the theoin the parish in tandem with logical and the practical levels. our efforts to spark the faith of Here I’ll focus on the theologiour teen-agers. cal level. Learning to trust our teenOn this level, a saving faith agers is another indispensable, in Jesus Christ is our “prodtheological reality of becoming uct,” that one thing that our a more teen-friendly parish. Of Church family is uniquely course this is not easy. Teen“in business” to provide. In agers are notoriously driven by the new book, “A People of peer influence, hormones, and Hope,” Cardinal Timothy feelings that are only quasiDolan expresses his concern logical. Because of this, a parthat we may have forgotten ish often hesitates to give them this indispensable reality. any true responsibilities. But “I worry that we’ve beJesus showed us in the Gospels come a glorified Rotary Club,” that trust is vital to a strong speculates Cardinal Dolan. and maturing faith life. “We’re so stumbling over For example, Jesus chose the how of Catholic life that Simon Peter to be the leader I think we’ve lost the Who, of the Christian Church in its meaning Jesus. I know how infancy. Having seen earlier in that sounds, and I know it’s the Gospels just how emotiontough to define, but we had it ally-driven and quasi-logical once upon a time, didn’t we?” Simon Peter’s decision making Put bluntly, have we Cathoabilities could be, I have to say lics in the pew as well as in the
that handing him the keys to the Church, the keys to the salvation of all humankind, was a crazily trusting move on Jesus’ part. On the scale of trusting, I’d say it was at the level of handing a newly-licensed 16-year-old kid the keys to a 15 passenger van full of babies and telling him to drive them to the pool for swimming lessons. Yikes! But what were the results of Jesus’ trust in Peter? Well, if St. Peter had really been at the wheel of that van, we could easily say that based on the influence of the Catholic Church over the last two centuries, St. Peter not only kept those infants alive, but also successfully groomed the entire van load into a gold-medalwinning Olympic swim team! As unsophisticated as the analogy may seem, perhaps we can best understand the kind of theological support a parish needs to give its teen-agers and their families by considering Popeye the Sailor Man. All that the bumbling Popeye needed to be able to thwart bad guys and perform feats of physical strength was a true love for Olive Oyl and a can of spinach. Likewise, perhaps all our teen-agers need to be able to thwart bad influences and perform feats of spiritual strength is a true love for Jesus and an empowering dose of our trust. In the next column I will explore a few practical ways for a parish to put into practice the ideas presented here. Heidi is an author, photographer, and mother of six children. Her newest book, “Homegrown Faith; Nurturing Your Catholic Family,” is available from Servant Books.
2 a.m. (local time) and not at midnight. This is to minimize confusion. Otherwise, as the change gradually unfolded in various time zones across the United States, it could be not only a different hour but a different day. To complicate matters, Arizona and Hawaii (not to mention American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, among others) do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all. To complicate matters still further, the Navaho tribe in Arizona does observe it but not the Hopi, whose territory completely surrounds that of the Navaho. Worldwide, the matter is more convoluted than in the United States. Notice, dear readers, that the official title does not include an “s” at the end of the word “saving.”A still more accurate phrase would be Daylight-saving Time, with a hyphen. Few pay any attention to this, however, perhaps not even the astute proofreaders in The Anchor office. It was Benjamin Franklin who came up with this idea. It’s been controversial ever since. Basically, you take an hour of daylight from the morning and move it to the evening. Even with purported safety benefits and energy efficiency, the truth is that Daylight Saving Time exists simply so that people can enjoy summer sunlight longer. No time is saved, just moved. How can there be less than 24 hours in a day? Maybe Daylight Shifting Time would be more accurate. Like most Americans last Saturday night, I went around the house changing the clocks ahead an hour before I went to bed. No matter what I do, I know a handful of people will show up an hour early for Mass the next day. When we worship, we worship not in clock time but in God’s time. In prayer, clock time is suspended. God doesn’t wear a wristwatch. This can be a problem for us. My cell phone tells me what time it is. My computer has
a clock in the bottom right hand corner. There’s a clock on the table beside me and another on the mantel across the room. The average sustained attention span of a mature person is 20 minutes, tops. The younger we are, the shorter our attention span. The attention span of a toddler is less than five minutes. Of course, it’s variable. It all depends on where our interest is focused. Stress, hunger, noise, unfamiliarity, and fatigue have also been scientifically proven to shorten our attention span. In addition, modern attention spans are growing shorter with increased television and Internet use. We all know the term “channel surfing,” meaning the habit of hitting the remote control button in rapid succession. When it comes to the Internet, the average time spent on a webpage is about a minute. Soon, we may all have the attention span of a hummingbird. On the other hand, attention can be sustained longer if the focus of our attention is uplifting and fulfilling and if the person puts importance on what he or she is doing. “Paying attention” is an acquired skill. A person engaged in heartfelt prayer and worship often doesn’t have to know what time it is and really shouldn’t care. In prayer, time stands still. In some prayer traditions, there is need for a timekeeper. When the allotted time is up, the community timekeeper sounds the gong or rings the bell. In my own experience, with all the comings and goings of the average assembly during Mass, I haven’t found this necessary. People know they are already late for their next activity. Even with Daylight Saving, there never seems to be enough time for prayer. Lent would be a good time to recalculate. It’s about time. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
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March 16, 2012
Priests and faithful using new media tools to enrich their faith
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
NORTH DIGHTON — With the proliferation of modern technological tools used by Catholics today to minister and evangelize, Father Timothy J. Goldrick, pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton, finds it a bit ironic given his formative years in the seminary beginning in 1964. “Back then, I was forbidden to have any media contact at all,” Father Goldrick said. “There were no such things as cell phones or laptops or computers, you couldn’t use a land line without the written permission of three people, you could not subscribe to any magazines or newspapers, you were forbidden to have a radio in your room, and no one had televisions, either. If you were caught with even a small transistor radio, it was grounds for expulsion.” Father Goldrick recalled how seminarians were only allowed to watch a few minutes of the evening news in the community room each night. “The prefect — a student who was in charge — would stand next to the television and when the first set of commercials came on, he’d shut it off,” he said. By sharp contrast today, Father Goldrick finds himself using every new gadget at his disposal in his ministry — from Internet websites to smart phones to PowerPoint presentations for teen retreats. “I use a Lectio Divina app on my smart phone and also have a complete Bible app,” he said. “The Busted Halo website is also a terrific source of spirituality. It’s succinct, it’s well-presented, but it’s very substantial.” While compact discs are no longer a cutting-edge technology, Father Goldrick also uses them to
listen to his favorite contemporary Christian music and to even experience a retreat within the comfortable confines of his rectory. “I don’t listen to the radio very much, but I have CDs that I listen to in my car when I’m driving around, and I often pray along with them,” he said. “I took a retreat on CD recently; it was all there for me. I listened to the spiritual conferences given by the retreat master.” For Father Daniel W. Lacroix, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis, his iPhone and iPad — along with all their “wonderful apps” — have become useful tools in his daily ministry. “I use the iBreviary app to pray the Divine Office,” Father Lacroix said. “I have the Catholic TV app along with the Roman Catholic Calendar, which gives me all the information about the Saint of the Day and readings for Masses. A lot of these apps also give me access to information and knowledge. I have a link to The Pilot in Boston, so I’m able to read Cardinal Séan O’Malley’s blog; I’ve recently been reading updates on the HHS/Blunt amendment.” “Apps for smart phones are a huge tool right now,” agreed Father David C. Frederici, chaplain at UMass Dartmouth and Cape Cod Community College. “I have one app I created to collect all my podcast homilies. I know with college students they sometimes get homesick and will listen to the homily from back home to help with that. So I turned the podcast site into an app for the iPhone, iPad and Android phones.” Like Father Lacroix, Father Frederici also uses the iBreviary app along with the more comprehensive Divine Office app. “It costs a few bucks, but it also has an audio option with mu-
sic that I use to pray and meditate,” he said. “It reminds me that I’m not alone at that moment. I noticed, particularly with evening prayer, it forces me to slow down and concentrate instead of just reciting the Breviary.” Two other apps that Father Frederici relies on are iMissal, which offers complete Scripture readings and updated text of the revised Roman Missal, and the catch-all iPieta app. “I love that app,” Father Frederici said. “Part of my prayer routine includes reading little sections from that; it has spiritual classics, writings from saints, it’s very accessible.” Although some apps range in cost anywhere from 99 cents to $20, Father Frederici said the vast majority are available to consumers free-of-charge. “What’s amazing is so much of this stuff is free,” he said. “I think there’s been a noticeable increase in the quality of Catholic websites out there, too.” Father George C. Bellenoit, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth, said he uses the Internet on a regular basis and his smart phone contains everything from his daily liturgical calendar to his various appointments and contacts. “It has everything I need,” he said. “There’s an interesting app I’m using now which offers Lenten reflections from Bishop Robert F. Morneau — it’s a smart phone application called ‘Not By Bread Alone.’” Father Lacroix will also frequently tune into the Boston-based Catholic TV network or the Global Catholic Television Network, better known as EWTN, for Churchrelated news and programming. “The fact that we’re able to get Catholic TV and EWTN here in
friends in deed — The Friends of Saint Anne’s Hospital presented St. Vincent’s Home in Fall River with a check for sensory integration and youth trauma treatment. From left: Friends of Saint Anne’s gift shop manager Janis Karam, Friends of Saint Anne’s volunteer Lisa Van Regenmorter, St. Vincent’s Senior Program director Rita Capotosto, and Friends of Saint Anne’s volunteers Terry Costa, Rita Tetrault, and Valerie Griego.
our area is a great benefit,” Father Lacroix said. “They both stream a lot of their content online as well. We can learn about events coming out of Rome — like the recent consistory of cardinals — or messages from the Holy Father. It’s an easy way of making immediate communication.” Although he hasn’t yet delved into social network resources like Facebook and Twitter, Father Lacroix said many of his younger counterparts have fully embraced these outlets. “I know many of my fellow priests use Facebook to post daily meditations, virtual reflections or notices about upcoming parish events,” he said. “I use Twitter and Facebook to read updates from various priests and bishops,” Father Frederici said. “I try to put my message for a daily homily up there as well.” And while it’s true that many of the younger, college-aged students he’s ministering to are a bit more computer-savvy than their elders, Father Frederici said he’s seeing a growing trend where older Catholics are using social media sites as well. “On Facebook, I’ll get a diverse group of comments and questions from people ages 18 to 83,” he said. “There are certainly older people who use Facebook, Twitter and Skype. I think grandparents are using Skype on a regular basis more than the college students I know. You don’t have to be an Suggested Internet Websites for Catholics … • Busted Halo — http:// bustedhalo.com/ • Cardinal Séan P. O’Malley’s Blog — http://www. cardinalseansblog.org/ • Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s Blog — http://blog.archny.org/ • Catholic Tech Talk — http://catholictechtalk.com/ • The Deacon’s Bench Blog — http://www.patheos.com/ blogs/deaconsbench/ • Faith GPS (Live Blog) — http://www.faith-gps.com/ • iCatholic (Catholic TV) — http://www.icatholic.com/ • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — http://usccb.org/ • Whispers in the Loggia Blog — http:// whispersintheloggia.blogspot. com/ • Word on Fire — http:// www.wordonfire.org/ Suggested Smart Phone Apps for Catholics … • Catholic Homilies — http://itunes.apple.com/ us/app/catholic-homilies/ id459515611?mt=8 • Catholic Meditations for Lent — http://valent.co/ meditationsforlent/ • Confession: A Roman Catholic App — http://www. littleiapps.com/confession/
expert to use these tools anymore.” Father Bellenoit agreed that many of his older parishioners are using the Internet and email more frequently. “I know my parishioners use our website on a regular basis and I get a lot of communication from senior adults in the parish via email,” he said. Indeed, it’s not uncommon today to see priests and deacons toting smart phones or computer tablets with them to services in lieu of prayer books. “As a Church, we’re discovering a lot of these technological advancements aren’t a fad anymore — they are here to stay,” Father Frederici said. The once technology-deprived Father Goldrick recently witnessed a 180-degree turnaround at a diocesan priest retreat. “It was time for evening prayer and I noticed there was a stack of ‘The Order of Worship’ that many of the younger priests went by and didn’t bother picking up,” he said. “I thought they must have their own big, heavy prayer books with them; but that wasn’t it at all. When it came time to start the prayers, there was this sudden glow of light inside the chapel. They were all reading along on their smart phones. They all had the iBreviary app, so they didn’t have to walk around with prayer books. I thought to myself how times have certainly changed.” • Divine Office and Liturgy of the Hours — http:// divineoffice.org/ • iBreviary — http://www. ibreviary.com/new/ • iMissal — http://www. imissal.com/ • iPieta — http://www.ipieta. com/ • iRosary — http://www. opicury.com/ • Magnificat — http:// www.magnificat.com/english/ iphoneweb.asp • Pope 2 You — http:// pope2you.net/ • Prayer (2,000-plus Catholic prayers) — http://divine-office. com/apps/prayer-app/ Catholic Radio and TV Stations … • Catholic TV, Boston — http://www.catholictv.com/ • Emmanuel Radio, Worcester — http://1230radio. com/ • EWTN — http://www. ewtn.com/ • K-LOVE — http://www. klove.com/ • Radio CorMariae, New Bedford — http:// radiocormariae.com/ • Relevant Radio — http:// relevantradio.com/index.php • Telecare TV — http://www. telecaretv.org/ • WQOM (The Station of the Cross), Boston — http://www. wqom.org/index.php
March 16, 2012
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March 16, 2012
pro-life message — Jason Burkey and Rachel Hendrix star in a scene from the movie “October Baby.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/Samuel Goldwyn Films)
“John Carter” (Disney) Ambitious and largely successful 3-D adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first novel propels a 19th-century American (Taylor Kitsch) to the planet Mars, where he becomes embroiled in a war between two city-states and falls in love with a princess (Lynn Collins). Despite an unwieldy and illogical mash-up of now-familiar sci-fi tropes, director Andrew Stanton nicely brings the narrative together in the end. Obstacles along the way include a rather bland star, a protracted running time, and lessthan-scintillating dialogue. Yet the epic marries the appeal of a pulp
serial with cutting-edge filmmaking techniques. Likely best for older teens and up. Considerable, sometimes intense, action violence, scenes of cruelty, fleeting toilet humor, at least one use of profanity and several instances of crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. “October Baby” (Provident/ Samuel Goldwyn) A college freshman (Rachel Hendrix) plagued by chronic medical problems learns from her devoted parents (Jennifer Price and John Schneider) that they adopted her as an infant after she had survived an attempted abortion. Devastated and bewildered by the revelation, she sets out in search of her birth mother (Shari
Rigby), accompanied on her journey by her best friend since childhood (Jason Burkey). In their feature debut, brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin helm a strongly ProLife message movie whose theme viewers dedicated to the dignity of all human beings will welcome unanimously. Opinions about the aesthetic package in which they wrap their point may be more divided. But adeptly shot bucolic settings and a strong performance by Jasmine Guy as a retired nurse who once worked in the abortion mill where the young heroine was almost killed are undeniable assets. Mature subject matter, potentially disturbing references. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict’s trip to Mexico and Cuba March 23-28 will be a relatively brief one, consisting of a little more than two days in each country. Yet his visit is bound to highlight a wide range of prominent issues affecting an entire continent of crucial importance to the Catholic Church. The pope arrives in Leon, in central Mexico, late afternoon local time March 23. His first full day’s schedule will be light, no doubt reflecting concerns for the health of the pope, who turns 85 April
16. Pope Benedict’s flight will have taken him across eight time zones, to a city 6,000 feet above sea level (compared to only 70 in Rome). On the evening of March 24, the pope will meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who has served as head of state since December 2006. His administration has been marked by a violent struggle between the military and the country’s drug cartels, a topic that will presumably arise in discussions between the two men. The next day, Pope Benedict will address bishops from Mex-
ico and across Latin America at a vespers service in Leon’s Cathedral of Our Most Holy Mother of Light. Here he is likely to touch on some of the issues that he raised on his only other Latin American trip, in 2007, when he spoke to the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida, Brazil. At that time, the pope urged Church leaders to struggle against poverty and oppression but to shun direct involvement in partisan politics — an echo of his long-standing critique of the liberation theology movement, which grew from Latin American roots. Pope Benedict also warned then against the danger of syncretism, or the blending of religions, by those who adopt elements of indigenous traditions in their Catholic devotions — a practice that the pope also denounced on his trip in November to the West African country of Benin. The context and timing of this year’s speech will likely affect the content of Pope Benedict’s message to the Latin American bishops.
CNS Movie Capsules
In Mexico, Cuba, papal trip to highlight local issues
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, March 18, 11:00 a.m.
Celebrant is Father Leonard P. Hindsley, Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Westport
March 16, 2012
HHS mandate vs. freedom of religion Obamacare’s mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forcing religious employers, private health plans and/or agent insurance companies to pay for procedures the Church finds morally objectionable is an unconstitutional trespass on the free exercise of religion. President Obama’s lack of respect for constitutional rights should not surprise anyone who heard him ridicule people in Pennsylvania and the Midwest who (he said) cling to their guns and religion. Perhaps the president should be reminded of the words of John Adams who said that our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. Obamacare operates by broad dictation from Washington showing no respect for the judgment, needs, or rights of states or individuals. It opens the door to endless federal government intrusion into our lives such as forcing you to buy something against your will. This health care law cannot stand in a religious and moral society and every citizen ought to help repeal it. Otherwise, all our freedoms are at risk. A government that dictates may backtrack to get reelected but could move ahead with its agenda once in a second term. We need to remember this always, but especially in November. John Eaton Stoneham, Mass. The erosion of religious freedom The article by your guest columnist, James T. Grady, appearing in the February 24, 2012 edition of The Anchor was outstanding. With the skill and persuasion of a careful and accomplished lawyer, Mr. Grady cogently laid out the case for the erosion of our religious freedom by the Obama Administration. I hope that all of your readers will be moved, as I was, to realize the danger posed by piecemeal incremental steps towards encroachment of the fundamental rights the free exercise of our religious beliefs arising from the natural law and recognized by the First Amendment to our Constitution. As history teaches us, the road to tyranny is often traveled in incremental steps. A backward glance at Germany in the 1920s portray a picture of a populace asleep while the Nazi party developed a strong organization that came to fruition in
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1933. As someone far wiser and more eloquent than I observed, the only thing evil needs to succeed is the silence of good people. Mr. Grady paints a compelling picture. I urge that the column be given as wide a dissemination as possible. Hon. Robert A. Welsh, Jr. (Ret.) Dennis Power Struggle The dispute between the U.S. Government through its cabinet office, the Department of Health and Human Services and the various religious associations including the Catholic Church is nothing more than a struggle for power. The government insists that it has a duty to guarantee to women the availability of free contraceptive services freely on the backs of employers. The religious organizations claim that such is not the function of government and to do so is a violation of freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The dispute is not over the use, popularity, benefits or dangers of contraception. It is about compelling employers, including religious ones, to pay for them. This is not a minor issue. Religious societies, including the Catholic Church, are one of the largest employers in the United States, and one way or another they would be the party charged with the compliance of this law. The Catholic Church, employees, religious associations and others as expected revolted upon such mandatory abridgement of their freedom — particularly the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guaranteed freedom of religion against interference by the government. The government through a cabinet agency cannot get away with skirting around the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. To guarantee freedom of religion is much more important than politically created mandates during an election year. An accommodation on this issue to the rights of all may be very difficult but not impossible. But it requires “good faith” on the part of government, religious societies, insurance companies and all others involved to overcome the massive problems caused by this legislation. Christ himself has already given us the way to resolve it. The Bible tells us that once a
“denarius” or coin was shown to Jesus to resolve a controversy between parties with the question whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. Christ’s answer was, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render to God the things that are God’s.” As soon as this answer is accepted in good faith by politicians and those at the Department of Health and Human Services, we will be well on our way to a solution to this controversy. The Hon. William H. Carey Retired Justice, Mass. Superior Court Knight of St. Gregory Dartmouth
The effect of Obamacare The attack by the current administration on Catholic beliefs, by forcing Catholic institutions to provide healthcare that supports contraception and abortion, is only the tip of the iceberg. If the government can ignore the Catholic Church’s First Amendment rights, it is only a matter of time until other rights (some that may affect you more directly) will be usurped at its discretion. If you are not familiar with Obamacare, section 1311, this is already primed to happen. This new healthcare legislation gives the U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and her appointees (government employees, not doctors) the right to decide your healthcare. You and your doctor will no longer be in charge of how you are treated. Section 1003 prohibits excessive health care insurance coverage. It prohibits what people are allowed to pay for medical treatment. Government price controls, if fact, prevent access to life-saving medical treatment that costs more to supply than the price set by the government. Obamacare is bad policy. It is stripping away constitutional rights and is horrible based on what the civic population will lose based on big intrusive government. As our Founding Fathers feared, the government is becoming too powerful. It is out of control, treating our constitutional rights as government privileges rather than inalienable rights from our Creator. The government of the people for the people and by the people is being replaced by big government that takes everything away from the people. If the president is willing to do this in a tough election year, what will he do in a second term, implementing the remainder of Obamacare when he has
nothing to lose? What a sad state of affairs this world is coming to, when a group fighting for its constitutional rights and for life, from conception to natural death, is mandated by the government to support a culture of death. This would not be a problem, if the president were as sensitive with Catholics and other faith-based groups as he is with Islam. Pat Powell Berkley Use only helpful words I write concerning the column of George Weigel entitled “Clerical narcissism and Lent.” (2/24) Mr. Weigel describes the celebrant of a Mass he attended recently as being unprepared and inattentive to the new directives and the new translation of the Roman Missal and speaks of clerical narcissism. I found Mr. Weigel’s comments unhelpful and unfair to many priests. I have been privileged to celebrate Sunday Mass in seven parishes in the Fall River area since the beginning of Advent. Like Mr. Weigel I have found the people responding actively and positively to the changes. To me this means they have been wellprepared by their parish priests. Furthermore in talking with many priests I find them trying faithfully to follow the Church’s instruction. At the same time
they are struggling to deal with the awkward sentence structure and unfamiliar words of the new translation while trying to prayerfully lead the community in the eucharistic celebration which is the heart and center of their own lives. Mr. Weigel goes on to suggest some Lenten resolutions for celebrants of the Liturgy. I respectfully recommend to him prayerful consideration of St. Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians (4:29) “Use only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” Father Barry W. Wall Fall River Praying for national conversion My mother recently reminded me that, prior to 1965, prayers for the conversion of Russia were offered at the end of Mass. She told me that this prayer was offered in every church in America after every low Mass. Mom stated that she thought it was time that we pray for another conversion. Our very own country is in desperate need of conversion. I am taking mom’s idea and planting it as a mustard seed in the soil of all the readers of The Anchor. Paul L’Heureux Westport
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St. John’s Parish to join with Our Lady of Mount Carmel continued from page one
the end of September 2011. After careful consideration of the information, Bishop Coleman has written to parishioners of St. John the Baptist to inform them that while some progress has been made, the process has fallen short of its goals. The letter was read to parishioners at all Masses last weekend. “It has been everyone’s hope that the parish would continue well into the future,” Bishop Coleman wrote. “After hearing the evidence presented, I realize that the goals established in 2009 have not been met. As we stated
in October 2009, if that were the case St. John the Baptist would have to close and parishioners will be welcomed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.” Our Lady of Mount Carmel is located 0.8 miles away and like St. John’s is designated to serve the Portuguese-American community in New Bedford. Father Oliveira has served as pastor of both parishes since November of 2009. The bishop has asked Father Oliveira to convene a task force of parishioners from both parishes to facilitate the transition with
mission of evangelization, however, remains unchanged amidst all that is changing around us. Most importantly, we know that the Lord is with us, especially in these transitions, and we must all rely ever more steadily upon Him and His grace to help us during this time,” he said. For well over a decade, the number of parishioners at St. John’s has been decreasing mirroring demographic shifts in that part of New Bedford. As a result, parish registrations, Mass attendance and sacramental statistics have been in decline and parish income has not kept pace with ordinary expenses leading to debt. Other than recent emergency spot repairs to the roof, building maintenance has been put off to a point where each successive storm brings additional interior water damage. Since October 2009, the parish
was able to increase its number of households by 52. Mass attendance in that same period however fell from an average total of 565 per weekend to a total of 488 in November 2011. In finances, the parish over the past two years was able to pay its monthly bills and somewhat reduce its obligations but it continues to carry significant debt. A goal of $750,000 was set for the capital campaign for church repair. By mid-2011 pledges of $300,000 were received with $129,000 collected; parishioner participation level was 17 percent. As stated in October 2009, all money raised in the capital campaign has been held in escrow and will be returned to donors. St. John the Baptist Parish was established in 1871. Its original church was destroyed by fire in 1908 and the present one dedicated in 1913 to replace it.
be present at the time of death. In testimony submitted to the committee, James F. Driscoll, executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the public policy arm for the four bishops of the Commonwealth, says that doctor proscribed death contradicts the fundamental right to life and violates a physician’s duty to do no harm. Those who request death are vulnerable and need care that supports them physically, emotionally and spiritually. Killing them is a form of neglect, he adds. “Terminally ill, dying patients do not need the so-called compassion that supports the patient in the false idea that he or she is better off dead,” he says. “It must never be forgotten that all suicide is a tragedy and we are all called to comfort the sick, not to help them end
their lives.” The testimony also warns that the proposed legislation does not have proper safeguards. Ninety percent of people who die of suicide have a “diagnosable and treatable mental disorder at the time of death.” Most of them suffer from a depressive illness. But the bill does not require that the patient seeking death speak with a psychiatric professional. End-of-life care should address pain management and not require treatments that are “ineffective or unduly burdensome.” It should also allow the dying to devote themselves to the unfinished business of their lives in order for them to make peace with God, their loved ones and themselves. “No one should dismiss this time as meaningless,” says the testimony submitted on behalf of the bishops.
few weeks ago, on a trying to harm one of the three standard weekday mornof us, she’ll be on the scene in a ing, my wife Denise had to leave flash, voicing her disapproval, and the house quickly because of a letting the perpetrator know such small emergency. When she left, she exhibited a small amount of stress that my pooch, Igor, quickly picked up on. My daughter Emilie was in her room, having By Dave Jolivet the day off from school. She heard Igor promptly began to howl. It wasn’t a pleasant “howl at the moon” call. It was a distress signal. actions won’t be tolerated. Igor, a border collie-Australian All of these are instincts. But cattle dog mix, and many other they’re instincts guided by an breeds have a built-in instinct to unconditional love for Denise, howl, hoping to gather the “pack” Emilie and me. We are her famto make it through a crisis together. ily, her pack. And she would do When we take Iggy for a walk, anything to protect us. she’ll run to either side of us, herdWith that being said, I would ing us. Again a natural instinct. love to vote for my dog Igor in Should she sense anyone is this November’s presidential,
senatorial and congressional elections. You see, this nation’s top dog is hardly one who is loyal to the pack. Instead of digging in and protecting his people, he ignores what the masses desire. Instead of defending the lives of his pack, he makes it easier to kill the smallest, oldest and most vulnerable members. The same can be said for scores of U.S. senators and congressmen. In fact there are plenty of local officials who fall into that category as well. Or, is it that maybe the American people aren’t part of their pack? Hmmm. Makes one wonder where the allegiances, in fact, lie. Give me Igor for president any day of the week. We would all be in much better paws.
assistance from diocesan Pastoral Planning staff. The exact date of closure of St. John’s will be determined by the group. In his letter, Bishop Coleman expressed his gratitude to Father Oliveira and to the members of the St. John the Baptist Parish Pastoral and Finance councils for their dedication and work throughout the evaluation process. He also wrote of his understanding of how hard this change will be for some parishioners. “I can imagine how difficult this change will be for some. We grow attached to communities and churches. When changes such as these arrive, based upon demographics and economics which are beyond our control, it becomes difficult to accept. Our commitment to the Church’s
Physician-assisted suicide hearing rallies opponents continued from page one
and friends through the terminal stages of their illnesses. They died with enormous human dignity. When needed, pain was humanely controlled with medications. Their patient acceptance and endurance, and the heroic concern for those they left behind, were a crown on lives well lived, and an inspiration,” he said. Mineau warned that legalizing doctor prescribed death invites all types of abuse. Patients in Oregon, where physician assisted suicide has been legal since 1997, have been steered toward suicide when the insurance company refused to cover life-saving care. Opponents of the measure worry also about abuse from those who would profit from a terminally ill patient’s demise. The legislation proposed in Massachusetts does not call for a disinterested party to
Igor for president
My View From the Stands
March 16, 2012
Living the Gospel message from island to island continued from page one
maculate, Sister Monique Cadet, who was on the Vineyard to recuperate from eye surgery at Mass. General Hospital. “Sister Monique’s ministry was in Haiti, and after meeting her, I knew the island would become a major part of my life,” said Penicaud. “Through Sister Monique I got to go to Haiti in January of 1998 to spend 10 days with the Sisters. It was my first time in a third-world country, and I was stunned by the abject poverty the people there were experiencing.” After Penicaud returned home, she was praying before the Blessed Sacrament and “the idea of fish farming came into my head.” Penicaud had heard of the fish farming concept in other poor countries and presented the idea to the Sisters in Haiti. Eventually a well and five fish ponds were built on property owned by the Sisters. Through the Martha’s Vineyard Fish Farm for Haiti Project, the Little Children of Mary helped the Haitian people raise talapia, a fish that grows large and has great nutritional value. “By living Mary’s message through the Little Children of Mary, I became very aware of the struggles of others,” said Penicaud. “Others in the group share the same desire to help the Haitian people and the group eventually was granted non-profit status.” Over the years, the Little Children of Mary has devoted many hours to raising funds for the fish farm and other projects
in Haiti. They started with a few fundraising concerts per year on the Vineyard; selling “Work of Human Hands” products; and running a store selling local craft and art projects. In addition to the fish farm, the Little Children assist the Sisters in planting and cultivating produce, and helped build one of the schools on the Sisters’ property that teaches young Haitian girls to cook and sew and learn means to make a living. The January 2010 earthquake devastated many parts of Haiti, including some buildings owned by the Sisters and a structural wall surrounding the fish farm. But it was the people who took the hardest hit from the quake, with many losing what little they had. Last November, Penicaud was part of a team that went to Haiti to deliver medical supplies to the Sisters. Penicaud heard about and ultimately met a seven-year-old Haitian girl, Jodeleine Pierre, who had lost her right leg in the earthquake. “Jodeleine had spent a night buried in the rubble of a collapsed building in Port-au-Prince,” said Penicaud. “She wasn’t rescued until the following morning. Beside her were the bodies of her pregnant mother and older and younger sisters. It was heartbreaking.” Pierre’s crushed right leg was amputated below the knee and she also sustained nerve damage to her left foot. Doctors in Haiti equipped her with a
prosthetic leg, but she has since grown out of it and there are no other prosthetics available to her on the island. Two of Penicaud’s colleagues documented Pierre’s case and forwarded it to Dr. Mark Lee, an orthopedic surgeon at Conn. Children’s Hospital. “Dr. Lee agreed to perform reconstructive surgery free of charge on Jodeleine’s leg,” explained Penicaud. “The surgery is necessary if she is to ever again wear a prosthetic and walk comfortably. Little Children of Mary has agreed to take on the responsibility for the costs of use of Conn. Children’s Hospital and any other expenses that incur for Jodeleine’s treatment.” Penicaud explained that Pierre was scheduled to fly to Connecticut in April, but the girl has since suffered complica-
food source — One of the fish ponds in Haiti created through the efforts of the Little Children of Mary on Martha’s Vineyard.
15 tions when the bone on her right leg broke through the skin. “She’s in a lot of pain, and we’re working on getting her here sooner,” said Penicaud. “We hope to have her get here around March 22. Sister Marie Verlain Cadet will accompany Jodeleine during her stay, and we have applied for travel assistance through American Airlines’ ‘Miles for Kids in Need’ program.” According to studies, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and the third hungriest in the world. Added to that is the tragedy of last year’s earthquake. Despite many relief efforts across the globe, help is still not reaching the people who need it most. But that doesn’t deter the members of the Little Children of Mary on Martha’s Vineyard. “When I fast, and I still struggle with fasting, I truly realize just how bad other people in the world have it,” said Penicaud. “By heeding Our Lady’s call, I can help ease some of that suffering.” Penicaud said some Little Children members are not there because they adhere to the messages emanating from Medjugorje, but they share a calling from God to help the poorest of the poor in one of the world’s poorest countries. For more information about the Little Children of the Mary’s Fish Farm for Haiti Project or any of the group’s projects, visit www.fishfarmhaiti.org. To donate to Jodeleine Pierre’s recovery; to sponsor a student; or any of the group’s projects, also visit the website or send to Little Children Mary, P.O. Box 1803, Vineyard Haven, Mass., 02568.
March 16, 2012
March Madness hits diocesan CYO hoops
NEW BEDFORD — The Annual Fall River Diocesan CYO Basketball All-Star tournaments recently took place in New Bedford and Taunton. The Junior Girls Tournament was held at the Taunton Catholic Middle School. In the opening game, the girls from Fall River outdistanced Taunton by the score of 46-26. Amber Silva and Hailey Alves led the Fall River girls while Jordan Wade and Nicole Bostick were outstanding for Taunton. In the second game, Fall River continued its winning ways with a 53-19 win over New Bedford. After a very close first half, which found Fall River leading 18 to 11, the Fall River team pulled away in the second half to win the championship. The All Tournament Team consisted of Abby Means from New Bedford, Jordan Wad and Nicole Bostick from Taunton and Hailey Alves and Hailey Oliveira from Fall River. Amber Silva from Fall River was named the Tournament MVP. In the Boys Tournament, held at the Kennedy CYO Center in New Bedford, Taunton and Fall River faced each other
in the first game. Fall River got off to an early lead but Taunton came back strong in the first half and trailed by only a few points at that time. Led by Isaiah Goodwin (16 points for the game), Fall River pulled away for a 38-22 victory, enabling them to face New Bedford for the championship. Nick Andrews led the Taunton All-Stars with nine points. In the second game, New Bedford pulled away from the start and defeated Fall River by the score of 55-36. Chris Farrington had an outstanding game for Fall River, scoring 21 points, while Greg Fernando led the New Bedford All-Stars with 18 points. The All Tournament Team consisted of Nick Andrews from Taunton, Chris Farrington and Trevor Reis from Fall River, with Max Miranda and Trevor Green from New Bedford. Greg Fernando from New Bedford was name the Tourney’s MVP. Teams from all areas are now in the playoff season with diocesan champions scheduled to be determined by late March.
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now you see ’em — Students at Holy Name School in Fall River recently experimented with survival traits of moths. The students had to quickly turn around, sit down, and see how many black or newspaper print moths they could pick up in 10 seconds against a newsprint background. They learned that the black moths were easier “prey” than the newspaper moths. The students learned that organisms must adapt to their environment or they might become extinct.
marsh madness — Fifth-grade science students from St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro built water filtration systems to model the water filtering abilities of a salt marsh. Since runoff water ends up in the ocean, the students learned that when coastal development destroys the salt marshes, the salt marshes can’t do their job of filtering the runoff water. Shown here is Sam Choiniere pouring water into his filter while Patrick Janicki observes.
it’s a job — Kindergarten students at St. James-St. John School in New Bedford recently celebrated Career Day.
March 16, 2012
e can all recite it. Protestants, Evangelicals, Non-Denominational Christians, even Catholics can quote it chapter and verse. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). We hear this verse over and over again and this Sunday we will hear it spoken at Mass. But what does it all mean? Twenty-six simple English words that explain it all. Twenty-six simple words that are so complex when strung together that theologians study and break them open for an entire lifetime. Twenty-six simple words that epitomize God’s unending love for all of us. Twenty-six simple words that sum up Jesus’ mission in
God so loves the world
135 characters — the perfect United Nations, or ChrisNew Testament Twitter update tian nations. The world and (yes, I checked!). everyone in it. We have lost Twenty-six simple words this concept somehow. Yes, that speak of a love so deep fingers can be pointed. Wars that we as humans can only in God’s name that have been attempt to fully grasp. fought, are being fought and It is that unending and merci- will be fought between Chrisful love of God that fulfills us and helps us to become better human beings to one another. Yet, when newspapers are read (or their corresponding computer apps) and soBy Crystal Medeiros cial media campaigns go viral like the “Kony 2012 — Make Kony Famous” YouTube campaign tians, Jews and Muslims. Then that went viral last week, it may there are wars fought between be difficult God’s love for us governments for different and nearly impossible to see the ideologies. All of this fighting love we should share for all our stems from some deep hatred brothers and sisters of this earth. of those who are, simply put, For God so loved the world different. What about the wars — not just the United States, within ourselves? If we take
Be Not Afraid
the time for a little self-evaluation and reflection, can we truly say with confidence and conviction that we so love the world and everyone in it? Unlikely. Look at the headlines. That He gave His only Son — God loves us so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He walked with us. He broke bread with us. He mourned with us. He laughed with us. He cried with us. He suffered for us. He died for us. But He also rose for us. God sent His Son to us so that we could come to know His love. So that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life — God sent His Son to us so that everyone could come to know Him, to love Him and to serve
Him by serving others. Is this article a little oversimplified? Perhaps. Is it rooted in a deep theological understanding of God? Perhaps not. It is merely a 500-plus-word reminder that God sent us His Son, Jesus Christ for all of us – not just a mere select few, but for all … each and every one of our human brothers and sisters, whether we like them or not. Whether we agree with them or not. For God so loves His children. For God so loves the world. And so should we love all our brothers and our sisters and our neighbors as ourselves. Crystal is assistant director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Campus programs tackling issues of alcohol abuse, binge drinking DETROIT (CNS) — Nicole vividly remembers the moment she got the results from the research survey showing she drank more than 90 percent of the women on the Loyola Marymount University campus. “I was shocked,” said the senior about that freshman-year experience at the school in Los Angeles. Her first drink was a shot of vodka at the college apartment she shared with some older students. That first year, she told Catholic News Service, there were many occasions where she drank three times a week, often having seven drinks. Seeing the survey results, “put a ton of things into perspective,” added Nicole, who asked that her real name not be used. Catholic colleges and universities across the country are working to address the issue of risky drinking practices, promote responsible alcohol behavior and help counsel students identified with drinking trouble. “The fact of the matter is young people drink, and people under 21 drink, and with the college lifestyle, I don’t think that will change anytime soon,” said Justin Hummer, assistant director of Heads UP Research Lab at Loyola Marymount University. “It’s part of the recognition that [alcohol] abstinence programs fail regularly, so we’re trying to meet students where they are, not being judgmental
and confrontational,” he said. “We try to engage them in a way you can deliver information that might be helpful in terms of how they make decisions. That’s key in a lot of ways.” “Binge drinking is a serious public health challenge, leading to injury and in some cases, death, for hundreds of thousands of college students each year,” said U.S Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She made her comment last spring when Dartmouth College announced the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking with 14 colleges and universities joining to address high-risk drinking on campuses. In December, the private Ivy League school announced it was turning to the problemsolving skills of engineering students to help in the research. A Centers for Disease Control study released in January said that among adults ages 18 and older, one in six report binge drinking, with an average of eight drinks consumed on a binge. It said the prevalence of binge drinking and its intensity (9.3 drinks) were highest among people ages 18-24. Among a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said that in 2009 nearly half of all substance abuse treatment admissions that involved college students — in the same 18-24 age group — were for “alcohol disorders.” The Heads UP Research
Lab, the umbrella for a number of ongoing prevention and intervention research projects, already has a 10-year history. It was founded by Jesuit Father Joe LaBrie in 2002 after 26 students were hospitalized for alcohol use following the Charter Ball, a university-wide dance party. All 26 students were eventually released from the hospital and the Charter Ball is no longer offered. The priest, special assistant to the president and associate professor of psychology, wanted to use empirically validated research to address alcohol use and other health risk behaviors to promote responsible drinking in the face of what was pretty widespread risky drinking behavior that was common on the campus, said Hummer. “We’ve been fortunate not to have had an alcohol-related death on campus as far as I know. I’d like to say Heads UP had some impact on that.” Since its inception, Father LaBrie has been the principal investigator on more than 10 privately and federally funded research grant projects on the campus, totaling more than $3.1 million. Loyola Marymount has collaborated with Loyola College in Baltimore, and a number of public universities for some of the studies. Hummer pointed out “that many other universities are building on the things we were doing here.” He estimated that 15,000 Loyola Marymount students have directly participated in
the research projects run by the lab, which includes five fulltime staff and one part-time staff member. He added that in each year, the majority of the 6,000-student body has been exposed to Heads UP initiatives such as the posters promoting responsible drinking designed by the graphics art students. Through small- and largegroup interventions involving incoming freshmen, those in sororities and fraternities, and those with mental health challenges, Hummer said, the campus culture has changed in how students view alcohol use. “There are movies like ‘Animal House’ that portray this widespread heavy use of alcohol,” so it was “very interesting for students to realize heavy drinking was not the norm and was not as widespread as they thought. Students if they did drink were more responsible with drinking than people thought.” Many campuses, such as Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, offer counseling for students with drinking problems or under-age students who have been reported for drinking. Cynthia Vaudrain, licensed professional clinical counselor at Franciscan, said having the full counseling center on campus keeps sessions affordable and available for all kinds of issues. In recent years, she said there have only been a few students with reported risky drinking behaviors at the 2,500-student university. AA is also offered
on campus. Second-hand problems are also discussed, said Vaudrain, including the fact that someone needs to take care of intoxicated students, students may miss class, and seeing someone who has had too much to drink “might traumatize some of the other students” who have not been exposed to that in the past, she said. Nicole, now 22, said because of being a part of the LoyolaMarymount’s ongoing research project, “along with the fact I’m more mature,” she drinks much less. And when she does, “I am a more responsible drinker. I now make sure to have a designated driver, drink water between drinks and usually drink with food.” Hummer said the Heads UP research coincides “with the Catholic identity and religious heritage of LMU. We’re focused on the Greek (sic) term ‘cura personalis,’ the cure of the whole person. We recognize that alcohol use is an inherent part of developmental transition into adulthood,” he said. “So we try and provide really stringent empirical research and effective harm-reduction approaches to understanding and preventing alcohol use and other behaviors that might negatively impact the students’ ability to become more fully alive,” Hummer said, “and hamper their development of their self, and their academic and professional development physically, socially, psychologically, morally, culturally.”
Pro-Life Office: Making the message more than words continued from page one
20 years. “I have to scan through the emails for such things as The National Committee for Human Life; they work very closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Sometimes they’re sending out action alerts, such as the HHS mandate — letting people know to contact Washington. That’s ongoing and that’s tying up a lot of my time.” Depending on what Pro-Life topics are bubbling to the surface, the currently ongoing 40 Days for Life has been sending updates. Desrosiers also receives direct communications from the USCCB office regarding events. When she arrives at the Pro-Life office, Desrosiers said she has “a whole different shift of phone calls and things that have to be done” and checks in with the only other full-time employee, Jean Arsenault, an assistant director for 11 years. Together they will discuss updates, general correspondence, coordinate meetings and go over upcoming events. The list of duties and issues never ends and changes on a regular basis, said both women. “You have to be flexible,” said Desrosiers. “Jean does a tremendous support role for me. We discuss things, come to conclusions; we pray and decide which way to go.” The direction of which way to go relies deeply on the current ProLife issues. Working heavily with the USCCB and other Church-approved sources, Arsenault is constantly scanning material to add to the newsletter that is sent out twice a year. Desrosiers gets updated through her serving on subcommittees that meet on a monthly basis, including the Mass. Catholic Conference and Family Life ProLife Committee. “I’m a physical presence here. If someone should need something or have a question and Marian’s not available, I usually know who to direct the person to,” said Arsenault. “My role as I see it, and as I think Marian sees it, is as a support role. She obviously can’t be in two places at the same time.” As Arsenault sits and works through the materials stacked all over her desk, Desrosiers can often be found on the road traveling to parishes and schools presenting her own talks on chastity, Theology of the Body and other Pro-Life topics, speaking to students from grades seven and up. “From September to April, basically a lot of my weekends are tied up with Faith Formation programs and presentations with parents,” said Desrosiers. “It could run into a Monday or Tuesday as well, depending on when the Faith Formation classes meet. I also travel extensively to different venues in the
diocese. I’m usually booked out the entire school year.” Having this type of outreach to the youth of the diocese is “extremely important,” said Desrosiers. “We know that it’s through education, showing the passion but also the compassion that we have for the people in all of these issues. As we clearly teach with our Project Rachel, we hate sin not sinners; we’re a ministry of compassion.” The Project Rachel line, answered within the office, is manned daily and is there to help counsel those women suffering from postabortion issues. Occasionally the two women will get a phone call on the Project Rachel line from a woman looking for an abortion. Desrosiers and Arsenault use that opportunity to explain what Project Rachel is: “That it’s post-abortion; that abortion not only injures the child but also the woman,” said Desrosiers. “Many times we’re able to keep her on the line and have her willing to accept help or contact information from Birthright and A Woman’s Concern.” Often women calling on the Project Rachel line are telling their story for the first time, said Desrosiers. The program offers psychological and/or spiritual counseling, and phone calls can last upwards of an hour or more, she said. Then there are the stories of women reaching out through the office’s regular line. Desrosiers, always keeping a professional front when speaking, found herself relating a personal story to a young woman who called; it was one of the first phone calls Desrosiers took shortly after being hired to work at the Pro-Life Office. “A woman contacted me, and she was about five or six months in her pregnancy and I was in the same month of pregnancy that she was. The doctors had told her that her fetus would have severe deformities and would not live, and gave her a terrible prognosis,” said Desrosiers, who, at that point, had already lost one child in infancy. “I always pray and was led by the Holy Spirit to share my story,” she said, of her loss. “I was talking about my child, my baby, and she was quiet until she finally said, ‘You’re the first one to call my fetus a child. No one has ever said that.’ And I reassured her she had a son or daughter. She certainly knew that we didn’t support abortion in any way, but this was no time to give her a lecture. I just wanted her to know the compassion we had for her, and that we would be there for her, no matter what.” A year or two later, Desrosiers was at her church during a Mother’s Day Mass and a family was sitting next to her. When a member got sick, Desrosiers offered to
hold the woman’s baby while she helped the sick family member. “So she passed me the baby,” said Desrosiers, and when the woman returned for her infant, the woman asked, “‘Are you Marian?’ And I said, ‘Yes, but I don’t think I know you.’ And the woman, ‘I recognize your voice.’” It was the woman who had been given the overwhelming diagnosis for her unborn child. She explained to Desrosiers that after they spoke, she found the strength to carry the baby to full-term, giving birth to a little boy. “She said that she and her husband spent an hour in the hospital, holding him just before he died,” said Desrosiers, who said the woman continued her story, “‘It gave me the courage to eventually go on and have this child that you’ve been holding in your arms during Mother’s Day.’” The story just reaffirmed how the Holy Spirit works to counter those misconceptions that people have towards those who are part of the Pro-Life movement. “People have a very strong reaction. I hesitate to say anything because I don’t want it to sound like an overreaction, but I think many see Pro-Life people as zealots. There’s nothing wrong with being a zealot if you’re coming from the right place, from love not hate,” said Arsenault. “That’s the misconception that people have — that we’re going to do ungodly things for a godly end, which is not true at all.” Proof that actions speak louder than words, the recent March for Life in Washington D.C. was a huge effort that paid off for the youth in the diocese. Three hundred students and chaperones participated and organizing the event was a lot of work, said Arsenault. “That’s quite a project, organizing that, because it’s multi-faceted. We have transportation to arrange, hotels, activities, trying to ensure medical personnel in case of a problem,” she said, of the January event. “It’s a big project.” And yet, seeing the youth spread the message makes her effort all worth it, said Arsenault. “For me, what has been very revealing is the depth of commitment that young people have to the ProLife message,” said Arsenault. “It seems to me that it’s much stronger than their parents’. They’re very interested in learning the truth and the kids who are committed, are very committed. It’s a very positive thing.” That positivity manifests itself in the volunteers who offer their assistance during mass mailings and other duties; but one volunteer has been donating her time on a weekly basis since 2006.
March 16, 2012 “Christ was calling me to it,” said 21-year-old Jocelyn Trindade. “The way I look at it is, how can I not be involved? There have been millions of abortions and millions of women who have been affected, and the healing that they need to go through. If Christ has placed me in the environment where I can do something, how can I not be here? It brings me joy and fulfillment.” Her age helps bring a different perspective to the Pro-Life cause: “I try to bring the vision of the young people,” said Trindade. “Our generation is interesting. We’re addicted to technology and all these things that aren’t necessarily bad but at the same time, take our focus away. This is a great generation to grow up in because we want something more. There’s a desire, a hunger, and a lot of people recognized that.” Trindade has seen first-hand the desire and hunger of her generation when she returned from Texas last year after attending a training session for the Pro-Life Boot Camp. Desrosiers sent Trindade and another volunteer, Cassandra Borges, to learn about the retreat program that had its inaugural local gathering last year at Stonehill College in Easton. Last year the retreat had 50 participants and this year, because of the demand, was increased to 100 — a rapid growth that is not lost on Trindade. “What if I had said no? This was all just starting out, and I think about that a lot of times. One person’s yes — and I’m not saying that to brag or boast — it became important,” said Trindade, who has taken up the reins again for this year’s Boot Camp, skyping with Borges as the two work out the details. “It motivates me because a lot of times it’s not easy to do this. A lot of times you’re labeled the crazy Pro-Lifer. A lot of people don’t understand the whole picture. We’re called to spread the Gospel and Pro-Life message. I’m human; it’s nerve-wracking. Abortion is
not a popular topic; everyone stays away from it. It’s challenging.” The women have worked hard to find outstanding guest speakers for presentations that have focused on all areas of Pro-Life issues. Recently they put together a panel made up of an attorney, doctor, ethicist and priest to discuss the new physician-assisted suicide bill, a concern that will keep them busy until well into the fall. “We’re quite sure it will make the ballot in November,” said Desrosiers. “We know they have enough signatures and we don’t think that the legislatures are going to make a ruling; we think they’ll pass it on to be put up for a vote.” The annual diocesan Pro-Life Mass being held on March 22 and celebrated by Bishop George W. Coleman has become front and center in the whirlwind of presentations and Boot Camp registrations. Following the Mass, the Cardinal John O’Connor Pro-Life Award is given out to one youth and one adult and Pro-Life essay winners, two from elementary and two from high school, will also be recognized. There are rallies and walks, a recent dedication of a Pro-Life monument, presentations on a weekly basis, email notices on a daily basis and the constant on-call approach to anyone calling on either the Project Rachel line or regular Pro-Life office line. Somewhere in there, accounts are balanced, mailings are sent and office supplies are ordered. Asked how she finds time for a personal life, Desrosiers didn’t have a chance to answer before Arsenault jokingly called out from her office, “We don’t!,” causing everyone to break into laughter. “Jean and I have been very blessed with the gift of laughter, to keep our sanity when we’re dealing with such heavy situations,” said Desrosiers. “It’s more of a partnership,” said Arsenault. “I feel honored to work with her.”
March 16, 2012
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese
Acushnet — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Evening prayer and Benediction is held Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ATTLEBORO — The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette holds eucharistic adoration in the Shrine Church every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. through November 17. ATTLEBORO — St. Joseph Church holds eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel located at the (south) side entrance at 208 South Main Street, Sunday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Brewster — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays following the 11 a.m. Mass until 7:45 a.m. on the First Saturday, concluding with Benediction and Mass. buzzards Bay — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. East Freetown — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. John Neumann Church every Monday (excluding legal holidays) 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady, Mother of All Nations Chapel. (The base of the bell tower). East Sandwich — Eucharistic adoration takes place at the Corpus Christi Parish Adoration Chapel, 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Also, 24-hour eucharistic adoration takes place on the First Friday of every month. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the chapel at Holy Family Parish Center, 438 Middleboro Avenue, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On First Fridays, eucharistic adoration takes place at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. until 7:45 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has eucharistic adoration every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Chapel of Reconciliation, with Benediction at noon. Also, there is a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow. Fall River — SS. Peter and Paul Parish will have eucharistic adoration on March 30 in the parish chapel, 240 Dover Street, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
Fall River — Espirito Santo Parish, 311 Alden Street, Fall River. Eucharistic adoration on Mondays following the 8 a.m. Mass until Rosary and Benediction at 6:30 p.m. FALL RIVER — Notre Dame Church, 529 Eastern Ave., has eucharistic adoration on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the chapel. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has eucharistic adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. FALL RIVER — Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street, has eucharistic adoration Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady of Grace Chapel. FALL RIVER — Good Shepherd Parish has eucharistic adoration every Friday following the 8 a.m. Mass until 6 p.m. in the Daily Mass Chapel. There is a bilingual Holy Hour in English and Portuguese from 5-6 p.m. Park behind the church and enter the back door of the connector between the church and the rectory. Falmouth — St. Patrick’s Church has eucharistic adoration each First Friday, following the 9 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 4:30 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. HYANNIS — A Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration will take place each First Friday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 347 South Street, beginning immediately after the 12:10 p.m. Mass and ending with adoration at 4 p.m. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Mass every First Friday with special intentions for Respect Life, followed by 24 hours of eucharistic adoration in the Chapel, concluding with Benediction Saturday morning followed immediately by an 8:30 Mass. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and Confessions offered during the evening. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the Rosary, and the opportunity for Confession. NORTH DARTMOUTH — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Julie Billiart Church, 494 Slocum Road, every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m., ending with Benediction. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at this time. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m.
OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and every Friday from noon to 5 p.m., with Benediction at 5 p.m. SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has eucharistic adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508336-5549. Taunton — Eucharistic adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the Rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. WAREHAM — Every First Friday, eucharistic adoration takes place from 8:30 a.m. through Benediction at 5:30 p.m. Morning prayer is prayed at 9; the Angelus at noon; the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m.; and Evening Prayer at 5 p.m. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street (Rte. 28), holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. We are a regional chapel serving all of the surrounding parishes. All from other parishes are invited to sign up to cover open hours. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
The Anchor New evangelization also begins with Confession, pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Confession can help Catholics build lives filled with hope and holiness, which are needed for effective evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI said. “New evangelization, therefore, also starts from the confessional,” he told confessors and other participants attending a course sponsored by the Apostolic Penitentiary — a Vatican court that handles issues related to the absolution of sin. New evangelization “draws its life blood from the holiness of the children of the Church, from the daily journey of personal and communal conversion to adhere ever more deeply to Christ, he said in a recent address. There is a strong link between holiness and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he said. The true conversion of a person’s heart that has opened itself to God’s transformative power of renewal “is the driving force of every reform and it translates into a true evangelizing force,” the pope said. The Sacrament of Reconciliation reminds people of God’s limitless capacity to “transform, illuminate all the dark corners and continually open up new horizons,” he said. Through confession and God’s mercy, the repentant sinner becomes a new person who is “justified, pardoned and sanctified,” who can become a grace-filled and more authentic witness to God’s love, he said. “Only he who lets himself be deeply renewed by divine grace can carry in himself, and therefore proclaim, the Gospel news,” he said.
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks March 18 Rev. Robert D. Forand, C.P., West Hartford, Conn., 1989 March 19 Rev. John J. McQuaide, Assistant, St. Mary, Taunton, 1905 March 20 Rev. Francis A. Mrozinski, Pastor, St. Hedwig, New Bedford, 1951 March 22 Rev. Joseph A. Martins, Assistant, St. John the Baptist, New Bedford, 1940 Rev. James T. Keefe, SS.CC., Chaplain, U.S. Army, 2003 March 23 Rev. James F. Kelley, USN Retired, Archdiocese of Anchorage, Former Assistant, St. Mary’s, Mansfield, 2002
Around the Diocese 3/17
The Ladies Guild of St. Mary’s Parish in South Dartmouth will sponsor a Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner tomorrow beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the parish center. Entertainment will be provided by Voices in Time and seating is limited. For reservations or information, call 508-993-9441.
The fifth annual comedy night and Irish-themed dinner will take place tomorrow night beginning at 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory Parish, 230 South Main Street in Centerville. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and show at 8 p.m., featuring three professional comedians. For tickets or more information call 508-775-5744, extension 113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A St. Joseph’s Day Spaghetti Dinner will be held Sunday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, 327 Second Street in Fall River. An Easter egg hunt will be held at 3 p.m. and there will be face painting, egg decorating, a buffet-style dinner and an appearance from the Easter Bunny. For more information or tickets call 508-673-2833.
The Daughters of Isabella will reconvene for fellowship and fun on March 20 at 7 p.m. at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, 121 Mount Pleasant Street in New Bedford. The local chapter of Hyacinth Circle welcomes all past and present members to come and join them for a reflection night to discuss the old and welcome the new.
Catholic Social Services provides assistance in completing the N-400 Application for Naturalization and offers answers to questions on the citizenship process. Upcoming naturalization workshops will be held on March 21 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Snow Library in Orleans; April 9 from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. at the Attleboro Public Library in Attleboro; and April 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Holy Name School in Fall River. For more information, contact Lemuel Skidmore at 508-771-6771 (email: email@example.com) or Ashlee Reed at 508-674-4681 (email: areed@ cssdioc.org).
The Respect Life Ministry of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee will sponsor a Lenten program on end-of-life issues on March 23 at 11:30 a.m. in the parish hall. Father Michael Fitzpatrick, former chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and current parochial vicar at Corpus Christi, will speak on how to live fully, even at the end of life. A “poor man’s lunch” will be served prior to the talk. For reservations or more information call 508-759-2737.
The St. Mary’s Council of the Knights of Columbus will celebrate a special Mass for the Unborn Child on March 24 at 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 1 Power Street, Norton. In addition to the Mass, there will be a baby shower where people will have the opportunity to donate items for unwed mothers with infants. These can include clothing, diapers, lotions, furniture, and toys. The baby shower will extend to all the Masses on Sunday as well. All are invited to attend and donate.
The third meeting of the Fall River Diocesan Council of Catholic Women will be held March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Parish, East Falmouth. The meeting will be hosted by Cathy O’Connor, international concerns chairman. The guest speaker will be Laurie Stavrand from the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (a part of the United States Council of Refugees and Immigration). To help with the international concerns, bathroom items such as soaps, towels, face cloths, bath lotions, tissues and paper towels will be collected. Donations are greatly appreciated and all women of the diocese are cordially invited to attend.
The Pro-Life Prayer Groups of Holy Trinity and Holy Redeemer parishes are holding a holy hour March 28 following the 9 a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich, including the Rosary, Pro-Life prayers and Benediction. All are invited to come and pray for an end to abortion.
A Healing Mass will take place at St. Anne’s Church, 818 Middle Street, Fall River, on March 29. The evening begins with the Rosary at 6 p.m., followed by Mass, Benediction and healing prayers.
A three-part Lenten series entitled “I have come that they may have life ... abundantly” and led by Anna Rae-Kelly will begin April 1 at 4 p.m. in the Welcome Center at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, 947 Park Street in Attleboro. The series will resume on April 2 and 3 at 7:15 p.m. in the Reconciliation Chapel. All are welcome. For more information see www.annaprae.com.
The Divine Mercy Holy Hour will be sung at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich, beginning on April 9 and continue all week through April 14. There will be a Mercy Sunday (no Mass) celebration on April 15 at 2:45 p.m. No Confessions will be available on Divine Mercy Sunday. For more information call 508-430-0014.
Holy Trinity Women’s Guild will host a Spring Penny Sale on April 15 at 1 p.m. in the church basement on the corner of Tucker Street and Stafford Road in Fall River. There will be raffles, door prizes and a luncheon menu including Chow Mein, sandwiches, chourico and peppers, pastries and more. For information call 508-678-6941.
Registration is now open for Project Bread’s 20-mile Walk for Hunger on May 6 in Boston. The effort will help fund hunger relief through emergency programs, schools, community health centers, farmers’ markets, community suppers, home care organizations and other programs. For information or to register visit www.projectbread.org or call 617-723-5000.
The Taunton District of the St. Vincent de Paul Society has a new slate of officers in place to continue the organization’s charitable work in the Taunton area. The officers are President David Bisio; First Vice President Maria DeSouza; Second Vice President Paul Reindeau; Treasurer Thomas Quinn; and Secretary Paul Spearin. The SVDP operates at its facility located at 141 Washington Street in Taunton where volunteers continue to work together to provide services to people in need.
Adoption by Choice, a program of Catholic Social Services, provides confidential, free, supportive pregnancy counseling to individuals experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Their licensed counselors are available to meet with individuals and their families whenever they might need someone to share concerns with about an unplanned pregnancy and the future of the baby. If you or someone you know might want to explore the agency’s services, call 508-674-4681 or visit the CSS website at www.cssdioc.org.
March 16, 2012
Archbishop says Mary is with bishops during trials Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) — Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis exhorted his brother bishops to stay close to Mary, and recalled that when they became bishops they received both the crosier and the cross. “This mother, our mother, says to us, ‘Behold, I stand with you. I will never leave you. I will never run away from you. I have stood with my Son and my Savior even unto death and I will stand with you. I will never forget you,” he said recently in Rome. Archbishop Nienstedt was the main celebrant at a Mass in the Borghese Chapel of the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The liturgy marked the beginning of the “ad limina” visit for the bishops of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to Rome. Archbishop Nienstedt began his homily by singing the opening verses of the Stabat Mater, the traditional hymn recounting Mary’s sorrow at the foot of the cross. He then said it was good to be in “this magnificent church dedicated to the mother of God” who is also “mother of us, who are unworthy bishops.” He explained that Mary is the personification of how “communion with God” requires a willingness to “grow in communion with the cross.” For bishops, he said, this cross can come in the shape of “personnel issues,” “allegations of abuse,” “a schedule no longer our own” or a “sense of our own inadequacy and frailty.” Through all of these experiences, bishops “come to know that it was not only the crosier that was handed to us on our ordination day but it was also the cross.” Bishops should “never forget the presence of this loving mother” who has been given to them “out of the depths of Christ’s love.” She was His “final gift” before His death, such that “she is His final will and testament, a gift given to St. John, but a gift given to us as well.”