Diocese of Fall River
F riday , April 20, 2012
Doctor-prescribed death bill defeated in Vermont
By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent
BOSTON — On April 12, Vermont senators killed a bill, 18-11, that would have legalized physician-assisted suicide in the state. Opponents of a similar Massachusetts measure hope their state will follow suit. “We’re obviously elated that the senate in Vermont did the right thing, not only to defeat this onerous bill but also to defeat the political shenanigans that were going on to try to get this bill passed. The whole thing was politics at its worst,” said Kristian Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute. First introduced in 2011, Vermont’s “Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life,” failed to make it out of committee by the 2012 legislative deadline. In what Mineau described as a “last ditch, desperate effort,” the Health and Welfare Committee attached the bill to an anti-tanning bill. That bill was defeated after two hours of debate about doctor-prescribed death.
Mineau warned that the battle in Massachusetts will be tougher than the one in Vermont since here the measure will almost certainly appear on the November ballot. Last month, Public Policy Polling released results that 43 percent of Massachusetts voters are in favor while 37 percent are opposed. A Boston Magazine article titled, “Massachusetts Voters Want Their Parents to Die with Dignity,” highlighted the fact that 44 percent of those 65 and older oppose the measure, while their children, those aged 46 to 65, “were the highest segment in favor with 49 percent supporting the bill.” The legislation, euphemistically called the Death with Dignity Act, is a citizens’ initiative petition that is expected to appear on the ballot this year. Proponents claim 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 Turn to page 18
labor of love — Youth in St. Rose of Lima Parish in Guaimaca, Honduras, a mission of the Fall River Diocese, prepare the church for Holy Week observances. (Photo courtesy of Father Craig A. Pregana)
Holy Week in Guaimaca: Passion for the Passion of Christ
By Dave Jolivet, Editor
GUAIMACA, Honduras — Holy Week observances, rites and celebrations provide Catholic faithful worldwide with inspiration and gratitude to the Almighty Father for His great love
for us. While the holiest time in the Church season is marked by all, the methods are as unique as the many ethnicities that make up the universal Church. In the poor villages and towns in the mountainous areas of
Guaimaca, Honduras, the faithful of the Fall River diocesan mission look forward to Holy Week celebrations all year. “I asked a few of the young people here what they would Turn to page 15
his arriving in 2008, Rodrigues made a case to start data collation online in the hopes of getting firmer data to share. “It helps us look for the outlay for the future,” explained Rodrigues, especially for cities like Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River
and New Bedford, which are growing smaller. “The predominant ethnic groups are getting smaller, getting older and passing on. We see this across the country, this movement from cities into towns. That produces a Turn to page 18
Pastoral Planning: Finding faith within the numbers
By Becky Aubut Anchor Staff
welcome to the church — At the Easter Vigil at Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich, RCIA candidates Serenity Silva-Drinkwater and Janell Carme brought up the gifts with RCIA instructor Charlotte LeBlanc.
FALL RIVER — Gathering data is a rather meticulous job but someone has to do it, and for Douglas Rodrigues, director of the Pastoral Planning Office of the Fall River Diocese, gathering that data is only the beginning of his job. “Basically we’re about promoting and advocating consultative processes and shared responsibility for the clergy and the faithful in the diocese,” said Rodrigues. In laymen’s terms, Rodrigues and associate director Diane Rinkacs spend a bulk of their time collecting research and working in tandem with Bishop George W. Coleman, breaking the data down into bite-sized pieces that can be easily digested by pastors, parish councils and other members of the diocesan community. Within a year of
observing trends — Douglas Rodrigues, right, director of the diocesan Pastoral Planning Office, reviews statistical information with his assistant, Diane Rinkacs, in their office in Fall River. (Photo by Becky Aubut)
Holy Mass is encounter with risen Jesus, pope says
Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) — Holy Mass is more than a historical re-enactment, Pope Benedict XVI said on April 15, Divine Mercy Sunday. “Christian worship is not just a commemoration of past events, or even a particular mystical, interior experience, but essentially an encounter with the Risen Lord,” he told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square prior to the midday recitation of the Regina Coeli prayer. For while Christ now “lives in the dimension of God, beyond space and time” He is still truly present in the midst of His creation as “He speaks to us in Scripture and breaks for us the bread of eternal life.” Pope Benedict reflected upon Sunday’s Gospel reading in which Christ appears twice to his disciples after the Resurrection. In the Mass, the pope said, we live what the same experience as the disciples did in “seeing Jesus at the same time as not recognizing Him — touching His Body, a real Body, yet free from earthly ties.” He noted that Christ first appears on the Jewish Sabbath and then again eight days later. The fact that this second encounter took place on a Sunday, he explained, is “very strong proof of the Resurrection of Christ” because only an “extraordinary and disturbing event” could induce the early Christians to start worshipping on a day other than the Jewish Sabbath.
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The pope also noted how Christ repeatedly greeted the disciplines with the words “Peace be with you.” This renders a traditional Jewish greeting into “the gift of peace that only Jesus can give, because it is the fruit of His radical victory over evil.” This “peace” that Jesus offers to His friends is “the fruit of the love of God that led Him to die on the cross, to pour out all of His Blood in payment, as the meek and humble Lamb, ‘full of grace and truth,’” he said. Pope Benedict explained this was why Blessed John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday in 2003. John Paul II had in mind an icon of “the pierced side of Christ, from which flows blood and water,” Pope Benedict explained, referring to the eyewitness testimony of the Apostle John. This icon was also the vision of the Divine Mercy of Christ revealed to the young Polish nun Sister Faustina Kowalska, on Feb. 22, 1931. “But now Christ is risen,” said the pope, “and from the Living Christ spring the Easter Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. Those who approach them with faith receive the gift of eternal life.” “Dear brothers and sisters,” he concluded, “let us welcome the gift of peace that the risen Jesus offers us, let us fill our hearts with His mercy!” OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 56, No. 16
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April 20, 2012
horn section — Alpine horn players from the German states of Bavaria and Baden Wurttemburg play during Pope Benedict XVI’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Encounter the risen Lord in the Scriptures, Eucharist, pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With Easter flowers and blossoming trees still decorating St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI held his weekly general audience and encouraged Catholics to let the risen Lord into their hearts and to share His peace with the world. As he did with the disciples after Easter, “even today the risen Lord can enter into our homes and hearts even if, sometimes, the doors are closed,” the pope said April 11. “He alone can roll back the burial stone that man often puts over his feelings, relationships and behavior; stones that sanction death, division, hatred, anger, jealousy, mistrust, indifference,” Pope Benedict said. Despite dark skies and a forecast of heavy rain, the au-
dience was held outdoors because about 25,000 people had requested free tickets to the audience. The rain held off, but as the pope was finishing his popemobile ride through the crowd, the wind began to blow, causing the bishops and cardinals present to put their hands to their heads in order to keep their zucchettos in place. A few plants and guard rails blew over, and the Vatican aides who announced the groups present were challenged to keep hold of their papers. Focusing his audience talk on the disciples’ encounters with the risen Jesus, Pope Benedict looked particularly at the story of Jesus meeting the disciples on the road to Emmaus as they were leaving Jerusalem saddened and dejected
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Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, April 22, 11:00 a.m.
Celebrant is Father Edward J. Healey, Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich
after his death. As Jesus walks with them and explains the Scriptures to them, the pope said, the “meaning of everything — the law, the Scriptures, the Psalms— unexpectedly opens and becomes clear before their eyes.” But they don’t recognize Jesus until He blesses and breaks the bread for them. “This episode indicates the two privileged places where we can encounter the risen Lord, who transforms our lives: in listening to the word in communion with Christ and in the breaking of the bread — two places profoundly united because word and Eucharist belong so intimately to each other that one cannot be understood without the other. The word of God becomes sacramental flesh in the eucharistic event,” he said. Pope Benedict told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square that the Easter period is a time to rediscover the joy of the faith and to undertake a journey similar to that of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, allowing Jesus to open their eyes to the meaning of Scripture and to recognize His real presence in the Eucharist. Meeting the disciples after Easter, Jesus repeatedly says to them, “Peace be with you.” Although it was a common greeting, the pope said, it took on new meaning when the risen Lord said it because the peace He gives is the peace of salvation. “It is not a greeting, but a gift,” the pope said. And it is a gift Jesus’ disciples of all time are called to share with the world.
BREAK TIME — Students from Stonehill College volunteered for the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition in California as part of the school’s annual HOPE Alternative Spring Break program recently. The organization builds houses for low-income farm workers and migrants in the Coachella Valley area. (Photo courtesy of Randy Jose)
Stonehill College students devote spring break to helping others
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
EASTON — While the majority of college students spend their coveted spring breaks enjoying fun in the sun and doing little more than meeting their own selfish needs, nearly 200 students from Stonehill College devoted their vacation to helping make a difference in impoverished or disasterstricken areas. It’s all part of the school’s annual HOPE Alternative Spring Break Program — now in its 15th year — during which students volunteer to do various community service projects here in the U.S. and abroad. Initiated at Stonehill College in 1997, HOPE — whose acronym represents the four tenets of Honoring our neighbor, Organizing for justice, Practicing peace, and Encountering God — began with visits to a few select sites here in the U.S. that were linked to Holy Cross ministries and eventually expanded to 11 national and international sites this year that were served by 175 student leaders and volunteers. “Trips like this across the country are growing in popularity,” said Joe Miller, Campus Minister for HOPE at Stonehill College. “There are more and more students who are wanting to go and do this sort of thing at least one or two of the years while they are in school.” Explaining that all the destinations chosen are a combination of community service work and learning about whatever social injustice is prevalent in the area, Miller said students are given the opportunity to sign up for the program during an information session in the fall. “But we’ve gotten to the point where so many students are interested that I think we’re going to
April 20, 2012
have to have several information sessions to accommodate them next year,” he said. “There’s an application they complete and it asks for the top preferences of where they’d like to go. They also have to complete a short answer essay listing their previous service work activities and why they picked a certain location.” HOPE is not just a week-long trip, either. Students go through a five-month process in which they form community with each other; learn about the culture, history and social justice issues in their receiving communities; have an opportunity to experience this firsthand over spring break; and then continue to pursue justice after their return. One of the first international HOPE trips was made to assist the people of the St. Rose of Lima Parish in Guaimaca, Honduras — a mission of the Fall River Diocese that Stonehill College students continue to support every year. “Our students are engaged in all the ministries that the Fall River Diocese helps out with there,” Miller said. “Some students worked at the school, others worked at the clinic. I know one student was an EMT and he helped the Sisters during his time there at the clinic, which I know they appreciated very much. The pastor, Father Craig Pregana, also took some of the students with him to visit the outlying villages there.” Stonehill senior Holly Boyle, who made her third HOPE trip last month, was among the group that traveled to Guaimaca this year. “I assisted with multiple projects, including building a house, helping the staff at the clinic, working at the farm, and painting at the school,” she said. “Although we did multiple projects, the most im-
portant part of this experience was bonding with the community we served. We definitely made a lot of great friends while we were there.” Boyle, who spent her spring break in the Dominican Republic in 2010 and Peru in 2011, said she was struck by the love and appreciation she experienced from the villagers in Honduras, especially while celebrating Mass each night. “Every single night we were there, a great portion of the congregation would actually walk up to our group to give us the sign of peace, or ‘la paz,’” she said. “By the end of the week, our entire group turned really Honduran and walked around the church to give others la paz as well.” Of all her experiences with the HOPE program over the last three years, Boyle said the one thing that will stay with her was the experience of helping out at the medical clinic in Honduras this year. “They only had one nurse practitioner there, and they could use all the help they could get,” she said. “They even asked everyone in our group with medical experience to assist at the clinic and actually see patients. They were so shortstaffed that we did everything that a doctor would essentially do, and we always reported all of our findings to the nurse practitioner before we did anything to help the patient.” Having just been accepted into medical school, Boyle said she learned valuable life lessons during the trip. “The experiences I had there reaffirmed that I truly want to be a physician,” she said. Another three-time HOPE participant, Randy Jose, said he first learned about the alternative spring
break program after several friends attended during his freshman year. “A lot of them came back and said how much of a life-changing experience it was for them — how they met a great group of people — and so it struck me as something that I would like to do,” he said. Jose worked to help with the relief effort in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina during his sophomore year, then did community service work in rural West Virginia last year. This year he took on the role of student leader and led a group of students to work at the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition in California. “It was actually the best trip I’ve ever been on,” Jose said. “It was a wonderful experience, working to help migrant farm workers build homes and help the community over there.” Noting that on every trip he’s been able to meet some amazing and interesting members of the communities he’s served, Jose said there was one 13-year-old girl he met this year who made an indelible impression on him. “Her name is Maria … and she has really big dreams,” he said. “She knows when she graduates from high school she wants to go on to UCLA and either Harvard or Yale to study prenatal care. Seeing the passion within her, considering the conditions she’s living in, is just unbelievable.” In addition to Honduras and California, Stonehill students this year also traveled to New Orleans to continue disaster relief work in the Gulf Coast region along with members of Habitat for Humanity; the Sunset Gap Community Center in Cosby, Tenn.; the Mercy Center in the South Bronx, N.Y.; rural West Virginia to assist with
housing rehabilitation and environmental issues; the André House, a ministry of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, in Phoenix, Ariz.; the Romero Center in Camden, N.J. to assist with homeless shelters and food banks in the area; La Romana in the Dominican Republic to work at Hogar Del Niño, a center that seeks to offer necessary services to children in need; Nicaragua to help with building homes and interacting with local children; and to Peru, where they worked at Fe y Alegría, a local school, and Yancana Huasay, a rehabilitation center and school that caters primarily to children with mental and physical disabilities. Noting that this year they had an impressive 290 students apply for 175 slots, Miller said they will have to find ways to better accommodate everyone over the course of their four years at Stonehill. “Interest has grown so much that … in future years students may be limited to one or two years unless they take a leadership role in the program,” he said. And based on the response of recent HOPE spring break trip attendees, Miller is likely to see interest in the program continue to grow. “I’ve come to realize that no matter how much I do for the communities I serve, I always come back with so much more than I could ever give,” Boyle said. “I heard some students coming back from spring break after going to Cancun or Hawaii and saying what a great time they had, but for me personally there’s no greater feeling than spending some time to go help out and serve other members of your community,” Jose agreed. “I don’t regret it at all, I would go back every year and do it again if I could.”
in convention mode — Preparing for the upcoming the third annual Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention are, from left: Virginia Wade, president; convention cochairman and vice president Gina Desmarais; cochairman and past president Adrienne Lemieux, and Mary Mitchell, president-elect. The convention will take place May 5 at St. John of God Parish in Somerset. The keynote speaker will be Beth Mahoney, mission director for Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton. Mahoney has extensive background in retreat work and public speaking relating to family prayer, family life and pastoral care concerns,
The Church in the U.S.
April 20, 2012
Virginia Catholics hail law that protects conscience in adoption
RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) — Virginia Catholics hailed the signing of a law that protects faithbased organizations from being forced to violate their religious tenets when placing children for adoption or foster care. It also protects agencies from being punished for following those tenets. Virginia became the second state in the nation to enact such a law. North Dakota was the first. Gov. Bob McDonnell, himself a Catholic, signed the bill into law April 9. The bill was introduced as a response to debate last year as Virginia’s Board of Social Services weighed regulations that would have forced agencies to disregard such factors as sexual orientation and family status when making child placements. The board ultimately rejected the regulations, and instead adopted rules that affirmed the agencies’ freedom of conscience. But the Virginia Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s dioceses of Richmond and Arlington, sought the law to head off potential future conflicts. In 2011, Virginia’s three Catholic Charities agencies placed 137 children up for adoption, and provided 307 foster care placements for children. “Private, religious-based adoption agencies are a major asset to our communities as they work diligently to find loving, caring, stable homes for children in need of care,’’ said McDonnell in an April 11 statement. “This legislation will help ensure that these adoption agencies remain active in finding homes for these children, without being mandated by government to violate the tenets of their deeply held religious beliefs in the process,”
the governor added. “This is a bill that reaffirms religious liberty and freedom, a hallmark of this great nation.” Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, said in a statement that passage of the bill was “a tremendous victory for our first freedom, religious liberty” and expressed gratitude “to all who supported this effort and helped bring it to a successful conclusion.” “Prospective parents who come to faith-based child placement agencies such as Catholic Charities do so at their own choosing, and most do so because they share the beliefs and values espoused by organizations such as ours,” said Neil McNulty, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, in a statement. “To force faith-based adoption agencies to violate their core beliefs is not only questionable in the constitutional area, but also hurts the public good by removing the freedom for such couples to select only those organizations which share their beliefs. This legislation protects those families and agencies.” “This move strengthens First Amendment protections and safeguards our ability to assist those many families who seek and depend on our help,” said an April 11 statement by Art Bennett, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. Joanne Nattrass, executive director of Commonwealth Catholic Charities, said in a statement, “The law allows all agencies, including faith-based agencies such as ours, the opportunity to continue to support the initiatives of the commonwealth — as well as the Church’s own interest — in building and strengthening families through adoption and foster care.”
education wonderland — Religious Sisters walk amid exhibitors April 12 at the National Catholic Educational Association’s annual convention in Boston. The exhibitors offer a wide variety of products and services of interest to Catholic educators. (CNS photo/Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot)
More than 10,000 educators attend annual NCEA convention in Boston
BOSTON (CNS) — A national and international crowd of Catholic educators converged on Boston April 11 to kick off the National Catholic Educational Association 2012 Convention and Expo. According to organizers, more than 10,000 participants registered for the three-day event at the John B. Hynes Convention Center. The NCEA provided attendees more than 400 workshops on topics relevant to Catholic education, an exhibit hall showcasing 267 educationrelated venders, and a list of nationally-recognized keynote speakers. Oblate Father Ronald Rolheiser, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, gave the opening keynote address titled “It’s a Big Enough Church.” He focused the talk on delivering a message of tolerance among the faithful, enemies and even political rivals. He addressed the danger of becoming bitter and responding to attacks with attacks, anger with anger, and intolerance with intolerance. “There is just no virtue in that, you are simply giving back the energy received and we are hardwired for that. We are not hardwired for forgiveness,” Father Rolheiser said. He said the faithful need to be influenced by the writings of the Gospel, and particularly the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. Father Rolheiser used the image of Jesus removing His outer garment as revealing His true self. “He took off His outer garment and He was able to then reach across in ways we cannot reach across when we have our ‘outer garments on.’” After the keynote, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the convention’s opening Mass in the nearly filled Veteran
Memorial Auditorium, which seats 3,000. Before beginning the Mass, the cardinal greeted the crowd with a message of support for the importance of the mission of Catholic education. “We are so grateful to all of you for the goal that you have in Catholic education, one of the most important ministries of our Church,” the cardinal said. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta joined bishops and archbishops from all over New England and the country on the altar with the cardinal. In his homily, the cardinal again touched on the mission of Catholic schools in the Catholic Church. “Academic excellence is important, but we must be convinced that we have something greater to give our students. We can help them to rise and walk in newness of life,” the cardinal said. The Archdiocese of Boston brought together a combined chorus from high schools in Massachusetts to provide the music as the cardinal celebrated the Mass. “They have been the all-stars of the convention so far,” said Mary Grassa O’Neill, secretary for Catholic education and superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. The convention marked the sixth time that Boston hosted the NCEA convention since 1909; the city last hosted it 2004. The Boston Archdiocese ranks ninth among U.S. dioceses in enrollment of Catholic school students, with 122 schools serving 41,964 students. O’Neill noted that the entire region of New England hosted the convention, which she said the Archdiocese of Boston could not have accomplished alone. “We are especially proud to partner with our fellow New
England dioceses, bishops and education colleagues to showcase for the country the exceptional and inspiring story of Catholic education in the United States,” she said. The Catholic dioceses of New England including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont co-hosted the convention with the Boston Archdiocese. Combined, those dioceses encompass more than 1,324 parishes serving more than 14 million people and they have 420 elementary and secondary schools enrolling 119,804 students. The annual convocation of the National Association of Parish Coordinators and Directors of Religious Education and the Catholic Library Association held convocations and conventions concurrently with the NCEA convention. Parish catechetical leaders and coordinators of religious education participated in Liturgies, workshops, networking and prayer with Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, Maine, and Joe Paprocki, consultant for faith formation for Loyola Press in Chicago, who gave opening and keynote addresses. “One of the things NCEA does best is to convene people, to gather them together from all aspects of Catholic education to share ideas and to learn from each other. Our annual convention does just that and we are looking forward to this year’s meeting,” NCEA President Karen Ristau said. “You can tell our members like Boston conventions because we keep coming back. In addition to the wonderful programs NCEA plans, Boston offers so many opportunities for our participants to gather and socialize informally after convention hours,” she said.
April 20, 2012
The Church in the U.S.
Leader of 40 Days for Life criticizes mock prayer effort for abortion
Fredericksburg, Va. (CNA/ EWTN News) — A California clergy group linked to Planned Parenthood has organized a 40-day prayer campaign for abortion rights, drawing criticism from Shawn Carney, head of the successful 40 Days for Life campaign. “They’re using prayer basically to pray for more abortions and pray that women will have abortions,” said Carney, who charged that the effort ignores the reality of abortion and the real needs of women. The group’s prayers “avoid the actual issue at hand: every single abortion ends the life of an innocent human being, made in the image and likeness of God,” he told CNA. “We have to pray for things that are good. We have to pray for things that are going to give life, not take it away.” The Humboldt County Clergy for Choice, a committee of Six Rivers Planned Parenthood in Eureka, Calif., organized a “40 Days of Prayer and Contemplation” event from March 18 to April 27 to support “women and reproductive justice.” The event uses a “40 Days of Prayer” series from the Missouri-based pro-abortion rights group Faith Aloud. The pamphlet includes prayers for abortion providers and for medical students who want to perform abortions. It prays for an end to violence against women and against abortion providers. It also prays for politicians who support “a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions.” The pamphlet stresses the “dignity and autonomy of women” and prays that women who have had abor-
tions may “stand tall and refuse shame.” The first day of prayer says “we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices.” The Day 36 prayer reads “Today we pray for the families we’ve chosen. May they know the blessing of choice.” “Today we give thanks and celebrate that abortion is still safe and legal,” the Day 40 entry says. Carney said he thinks the pamphlet is inspired by the 40 Days for Life campaign, which recently ended its organized springtime effort of Pro-Life outreach. Participants reportedly helped save 804 babies and witnessed the conversion of several abortion clinic workers. “Imitation is always the best form of flattery,” Carney said. “We’ve seen Planned Parenthood at different spots across the country try to mock the 40 Days for Life campaign in many ways. Usually they call it 40 Days of Harassment or 40 Days of Bigotry.” He also saw the pamphlet as a reminder of the humanity of those who support and perform abortions. “The abortion industry is full of people who have minds and hearts and souls,” Carney said. “That’s why we’ve seen 69 abortion workers have conversions and leave their jobs.” He characterized the prayers as an effort to “rationalize abortion” that speaks in “vague terms.” In Carney’s view, abortion opponents “look at the truth and the reality” of the procedures. “There are a lot of sincere people who at one point supported abortion, for what-
Fredericksburg, Va. (CNA/EWTN News) — The 40 Days for Life spring campaign of Pro-Life advocacy, prayer and community outreach ended on April 1 after saving hundreds of babies from abortion. “This was the largest number of ‘saves’ that we’ve ever had in the 40 Days for Life campaign,” director Shawn Carney told CNA. With local reports still being compiled, the Pro-Life group says that participants convinced the mothers of 804 babies not to have abortions. “We’re giving God the glory for that,” Carney said. “We saw five abortion clinic workers have conversions and leave their jobs. We are still working with a number of abortion workers who are also considering leaving their jobs,” he added. “We saw two abortion facilities close their doors forever.”
The 40 Days for Life campaign, which began in fall of 2007, gathers volunteers to pray, fast, perform Pro-Life outreach and hold peaceful vigils outside of abortion clinics. This spring witnessed events in 258 cities. Carney said the events are having cumulative effects. “A lot of these abortion facilities are having their fourth, fifth, sixth 40 Days for Life campaign in front of them. It’s wearing on the community, it’s certainly wearing on the consciences of those who work in the industry,” he said. He noted the example of Sue Thayer, a former director of the Storm Lake, Iowa Planned Parenthood who had a “conversion” and left the industry after 17 years in 2008. She decided to lead the 40 Days for Life campaign in front of her former clinic, which closed on March 1.
Pro-Life campaign saves more than 800 babies during Lenten outreach
ever reason, and are now in the Pro-Life movement,” he noted. “The Pro-Life movement is made up of people who used to support abortion, of women who have had abortions, of doctors and nurses who worked in the abortion industry.” While opponents of the Pro-Life movement have characterized its participants as against choice, Carney contended that Pro-Life advocates like 40 Days for Life participants give women options they would not otherwise have. “Without people out praying in front of these abortion facilities, there is no choice,” he said. “There really is no choice unless you have somebody who, despite the heat or cold or rain, is willing to go out and offer a last-minute helping hand.” Nearly 6,000 women have chosen life for their babies with the help of the Pro-Life campaign. “So many of them have told us they woke up that morning praying that God would send them a sign as they were going into the abortion facility,” Carney said. Pro-Life advocates “have been that sign.” Carney also rejected the pamphlet’s in-
sinuation that Pro-Life advocates shame women. “The people out on the front lines are the last hope for the baby, but they’re also the first line of mercy. There isn’t a follow-up appointment when you have an abortion. The abortion industry shames women themselves when they sell them an abortion and then they’re done with them. “If you struggle emotionally, spiritually, physically, oftentimes after an abortion, they’re just not there to help.” He stressed the desire of 40 Days for Life to help women. “The Pro-Life movement isn’t there to shame anyone, it’s quite the opposite. The loneliest spot in our nation is where a woman walks from the abortion clinic to her car. It’s a basic obligation to be out there with her in her loneliness and offer help and offer support.”
Defending and promoting our first, most cherished liberty
Last Thursday, the U.S. Bishops’ Ad-Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty published a powerful statement on religious liberty in which they gave an “urgent summons” to Catholics and all Americans “to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both home and abroad.” We printed the statement in its entirety on pages 12-14 of this edition. Pope Benedict, in a January meeting with visiting American bishops, expressed his own alarm at the “attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.” He said he was distressed that “concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices” and that some elements were trying to “reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship.” In order to combat these worrying tendencies, the Holy Father said there was a pressing need for an “engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism that would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.” The U.S. bishops’ statement, entitled, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” is an attempt to provide especially the laity with this strong critical sense needed to become “engaged and articulate” in insisting that Catholic Americans should not have to choose between being good disciples and good citizens. The bishops intended to “speak frankly,” and they certainly did. It’s a statement that all readers of The Anchor should not just read in its entirety, but study and assimilate so as to be able to bring their powerful arguments to the public square. The document is broken down into eight parts. In the introductory section, the bishops focus on how, according not just to our faith but to the Constitution, our distinct allegiances as Catholics and Americans “need not be contradictory and should instead be complementary.” Religious freedom is a “special inheritance,” they said, obtained at great price, and we’re all called to be good stewards in defending it. The bishops then describe how religious freedom is under threat by much more than the outrageous HHS mandate, showing that recent attacks on religious freedom are not isolated occurrences, but part of a pattern in which freedom of religion and freedom of conscience are being abused in various ways by municipal, state and federal agencies. Next they emphasize that religious freedom is more than freedom to worship, because the life of faith is more than prayer. “Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home,” the bishops state. “It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?” When religious freedom is reduced to a right to pray, “all Americans suffer,” because they will be deprived of religious believers’ contributions in education, health care, work with the poor and in so many other needed ways. Such reductions — like the Justice Department’s argument that Churches have no right to hire only people of their own religion except exclusively for preaching and teaching, or the HHS mandate that pretends that Catholic institutions that serve non-Catholics are not sufficiently religious — are not just a salvo against religious freedom, but also an “attack on civil society and the American genius for voluntary associations,” the bishops assert. Fourth, the statement gives a brief history of religious liberty in the United States, referencing not only the vigorous defenses of freedom of conscience made by Washington, Jefferson and Madison, but also the protections given much earlier in Maryland’s 1649 Act Concerning Religion. They cite the recent unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming the importance of religious freedom in which Chief Justice John Roberts traced the duty of government to protect religious liberty back to the Magna Carta and beyond. Religious freedom, the bishops summarize, “is our American heritage, our most cherished freedom. It is the first freedom because if we are not free in our conscience and our practice of religion, all other freedoms are fragile. If citizens are not free in their own consciences, how can they be free in relation to others, or to the state?” They go even further, arguing that if religious freedom is no longer protected here, the whole fiber of America changes: “If our obligations and duties to God are impeded, or even worse, contradicted by the government, then we can no longer claim to be a land of the free, and a beacon of hope for the world.” The next section describes the Christian teaching on religious freedom. The bishops reference not papal documents but a recent, non-Catholic, American hero: Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his famous 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” stated that the “goal of America is freedom” and described how an “unjust law” — a law that does not “square with the moral law or the law of God” — is “no law at all.” That’s what gave him and the Civil Rights movement the courage to resist the unjust Jim Crow laws. The bishops boldly call Catholic Americans to the same type of courageous resistance. “It is a sobering thing,” they write, “to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices,” like — they were too charitable to note — the president sought to do in February with regard to the HHS mandate. In a robust, clear summons indicative of the seriousness of the issue and its consequences, they state, “If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them.” They stress, “No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.” The bishops then describe that religious liberty in many other parts of the world, where Christians are being imprisoned and killed, is in “much greater peril” than here, but added the somewhat obvious point, “If religious liberty is eroded here at home, American defense of religious liberty abroad is less credible.” Seventh, the bishops call the entire Catholic community in the United States to action. The goal, they say, “nothing more than that our God-given right to religious liberty be respected, nothing less than that the Constitution and laws of the United States, which recognize that right, be respected.” They call on an engaged and articulate laity to “impress” upon elected representatives the importance of continued protection of religious liberty; on public officials to note that protecting religious liberty “ought not to be a partisan issue,” and that “great non-partisan effort” is needed to protect it; on Catholics in Catholic social institutions to “hold first, stand fast, and to insist upon what belongs to you by right as Catholics and Americans” if the government seeks to get them to betray their conscience and faith; on priests to have the “courage and zeal” to give a suitable catechesis on religious liberty; on those who drive the culture to “use their skills and talents in defense of our first freedom”; and on bishops to be “bold, clear, and insistent in warning against threats to the rights of our people.” In short, they are trying to raise up “all the energies the Catholic community can muster.” They conclude by turning to the first response faithful Catholics should have to any crisis: prayer. The bishops urge all Catholic Americans to an “intensification of your prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country.” And they propose a “fortnight of freedom,” two weeks of urgent prayer for religious liberty, beginning on June 21, the vigil of the feast of the great heroes of conscience, SS. Thomas More and John Fisher, and extending through Independence Day, a day on which we all remember and thank God for our basic, inalienable freedoms. They envision this fortnight as a “great hymn of prayer for our country,” a “special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action” that will “constitute a great national campaign of witness for religious liberty.” By their document on “our first, most cherished liberty,” the bishops have already gotten this period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action off to a good start.
April 20, 2012
Praying for vocations
his past Sunday was Divine Mer- want to go into the seminary.” We must cy Sunday. Catholics around the pray that the young men of our diocese world gathered in their homes and parish have the fortitude to discern whether or churches to pray the Divine Mercy Chap- not God might be calling them to serve let, which was revealed to St. Faustina as a priest here in our diocese and, if so, by our Lord, Who desired the devotion to respond. spread throughout the Church. During Many of these young men can fear his pontificate, Blessed Pope John Paul what others will think or say to them if II made the Sunday after Easter, Divine they acknowledge that God may be callMercy Sunday. ing them to be priests. Will people think For this year’s celebration, Catholics that they are weird for choosing the from around our diocese gathered with celibate priesthood over married life? Bishop George W. Coleman at St. Mary’s Will their family members and friends Cathedral in Fall River to pray for an discourage them because of the false increase in vocations here in our diocese. perception that one who chooses this In adoration before our eucharistic Lord, life can’t be truly happy or fulfilled? We we begged the Lord of the Harvest to have to pray that God may give them send more laborers into His vineyard. We courage to respond to His call, even and prayed for more priests to serve our dioespecially if it meets with misundercese as ministers of God’s divine mercy standing! and forgiveness. We also must pray for those who have I had the great honor of being able already answered the Lord’s call to priestto give the ly service. reflection for We should this euchapray for our Putting Into ristic holy Holy Father. the Deep hour. In doing We need to so, I tried to pray that God explain what might give our By Father specifically pope the grace Jay Mello we should be that he needs praying for. to fulfill his It is one thing to pray for vocations in ministry as the successor of St. Peter and general, but I asked those gathered there universal pastor of the Church, especially to pray for specific things. as he advances in years. The first thing that we need to pray for We should pray also for our own is that the young men of our diocese will bishop, Bishop George W. Coleman, hear God’s call. We must pray specifical- that God might pour out many graces ly that God will call the young men from and blessings upon him, giving him the our diocesan parishes, from those in Fall strength and wisdom necessary to guide River and New Bedford, from Attleboro our local Church here in the Diocese of and Taunton and from all over Cape Cod. Fall River. We must pray specifically that God will We need also to pray for our priests call young men from our diocesan grade and deacons serving in our parishes. schools and high schools, where so many They are the ones on the front lines of the of our present priests heard our Lord call- Church, each day working with God’s ing them. people trying to bring them closer to We pray that young men might be Him. Each day, they celebrate the Sacraable to hear that call; because there is ments with and for God’s people. so much noise in their lives, young men We should also pray for our diocesan struggle to hear the voice of God calling seminarians, those who are preparing to them to follow His will. give their lives to Christ and His Church. The world we live in today is not It may seem odd to ask prayers for the always conducive to hearing the gentle pope, bishop, priests, deacons and semiwhisper of Jesus Christ who says, “Come narians; after all, aren’t they the ones follow Me and I will make you fishers of who should be praying for us? Well, we men.” He doesn’t always send an angel should all be praying for one another. By to communicate His will. Sometimes, virtue of our Baptism, we are all in this and most often, His call is much more together and all need prayers. subtle. The priesthood is a wonderful life. Our lives are busy, they are fast paced It is a happy life. It is a very fulfilling and they are consumed with the latest life. But like married life and single life, technological gadgets. We have hundreds it isn’t always an easy life. There is so of television channels, radio stations much in our world that does not support and Internet games and videos that can those who have chosen to give their lives consume our lives. How do we expect to Christ. So we continually need God’s our young people easily to hear the Lord grace to remain faithful to the mission of amidst all that? So we must pray first that Christ and His Church. our young people will be able to hear The diocesan Vocation Office is God calling amidst all that noise. happy to host holy hours in any of the The second thing that we must pray parishes throughout the diocese. Please for is that our young people will have contact one of the vocation directors the courage to respond to God’s call with or visit our diocesan website (www. faithful and generous hearts. I don’t think FallRiverVocations.org) or Facebook that we can fully comprehend how chalpage (Fall River Vocation Office) for lenging it must be for a young man today more information. to say to his family and friends, “I think Father Mello is a parochial vicar at that God wants me to be a priest,” or “I St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth. ,
April 20, 2012
The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the modern world
ec. 7, 1965, the day before the solemn closing of Vatican II, saw the final approval and proclamation of Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. This constitution is called “pastoral” because, while resting on doctrinal principles, it seeks to express the relation of the Church to various aspects of modern life and human society. Its 93 articles are divided mainly into two parts. The first part (11-45) develops the Church’s teaching on man and his relations to his fellow man. Part two (46-93) gives special consideration to those issues of special urgency: “marriage and the family, human progress, life in its economic, social and political dimensions, the bonds between the family of nations, and peace” (46). The council placed the Church’s engagement with the world within an explicitly evangelical context: the Church must scrutinize “the signs of the times” and interpret them “in the light of the Gospel” (4) — a Gospel that has much to say about human nature and human relations. Of course, the Church has always grasped the social relevance of Christ’s way. We need only to read the first pages of the Acts of the Apostles, or to note that from the medieval Church came the first hospitals, orphanages and universities. Even so,
his is the time of year when our Liturgy and nature line up to herald the dawn of something new. While trees bud and flowers bloom, our faith in the Resurrection is renewed and our desire to spread this Good News is re-energized. Just as the Apostles spread the living water of Christ’s message to a parched society, we too must attend to the signs of the times and be ready to seize the moment when opportunity avails itself for evangelization. One sign of hope that the veneer of secularization is peeling at the edges was revealed through the thoughtful musings of an atheist philosopher. In January 2012, philosopher Alain de Botton published “Religion for Atheists,” in which he suggests that religions have some good ideas and practices that agnostics and atheists should observe and accommodate as their own. This is necessary because de Botton believes that secular institutions of higher learning, once bastions of wisdom and culture, have lost their edge in preparing adults for life and fail to impart any sense of spirituality or moral certitude. Alain de Botton now believes that secular society can learn from ancient religions
a tendency had arisen among goodness, and beauty,” thereby Catholics and other Christians to drawing the human spirit “to the overemphasize the otherworldly worship and contemplation of the aspect of Christianity, to stress Creator” (57). While there is a the transient quality of earthly sin of worldliness, it is also true life and therefore to deprive it of that Christ loved the world and real significance — and along sought to purify and elevate it. with it, the secular concerns of So should we. man, his work, art, politics, litLike Lumen Gentium, the erature and intellectual life. This tendency often took the form of an Vatican II at 50: individualistic piety that Fulfilling the was punctilious about external observances Promise and private virtue but, By Father at times, undisturbed about such social evils Thomas M. Kocik as racial prejudice, the antagonism between nations and social classes, pastoral constitution describes the economic exploitations of the Church as “the universal laissez-faire capitalism, and the Sacrament of salvation” (45), material poverty of millions. As simultaneously manifesting and Gaudium et Spes reminds us, exercising the mystery of God’s the pursuit of personal holiness love for the whole human race. does not necessitate contempt The Church is distinguished from for the secular, for “when man the world, to the extent that she develops the earth by the work reveals and makes present God’s of his hands or with the aid of salvation through Christ in the technology ... he carries out the Holy Spirit. At the same time, design of God manifested at she is part of the world, to the the beginning of time, that he extent that she eagerly awaits should subdue the earth, perfect the revelation of the children of creation and develop himself” God (see Rom. 8:19) and, until (57). Philosophical inquiry, the then, “always has great need of cultivation of the arts, and the the ripening which comes from progress of the sciences can “elthe experience of the centuries” evate the human family to a more (43). Because there is an authensublime understanding of truth, tic development or “ripening”
A sign of hope
those practices that have given sol- concepts about immaterial deities ace to generations. As de Botton or letting go entirely of a host of put it: “Religions are in the end consoling, subtle or just charmtoo complex, wise and fascinating ing rituals for which we struggle to be abandoned simply to those to find equivalents in secular who happen actually to believe in society.” them.” While we watch a generation In case we have grown complacent about our faith, we should view it through the eyes of the unbeliever. De Botton praised religions for their ability to build By Claire McManus a sense of community, make relationships last, learn to cope with loss, and spend a lifetime reflecting disregard the practice of attending on the meaning of our existence. Mass, de Botton gave a ringing While some of us may have beendorsement to our belief in the come lukewarm toward our rituals eucharistic meal, seeing the value and practices, de Botton laments of combining spirituality and eatthe fact that atheists “loathe the ing. He thinks that atheists would concept of a codified morality, and benefit from “agape restaurants” bridle at the thought of hearing where people could sit at coma sermon. Atheists flee from the munal tables with guidebooks idea that art should be uplifting or that contain thoughts and queshave an ethical mission. We don’t tions about life issues. They could go on pilgrimages. We can’t build then discuss with one another the temples. We have no mechanisms answers to life’s eternal questions for expressing gratitude. We resist that have been posed by and to mental exercises. Strangers rarely religious thinkers for eons, such sing together. We are presented as, “Whom can you not forgive?” with an unpleasant choice between or “What do you fear?” either committing to peculiar Many of de Botton’s ideas ad-
The Great Commission
that takes place, some Catholic teaching on social or political issues is liable to change. For example, the growth of a capitalistic economy brought about considerable corrections to the formerly accepted moral principle that money never multiplies and therefore may not be loaned with interest. The pope and bishops at Vatican II were not oblivious to the problem of atheism, which they ranked “among the most serious problems of this age.” They cited various causes of unbelief: the assumption that science is the only window onto reality, false ideas of God, protest against evil in this world, engrossment in material affairs. The constitution challenges unbelievers to question their own presuppositions and to be less hardhearted. Those who “willfully shut out God from their hearts and try to dodge religious questions” are not blameless, yet the bad example of believers themselves “can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism” (19). Since Jesus Christ is “the key, the focal point and the goal of man, as well as of all human history” (10), it is only in Him that the mystery of man — his dignity and his supreme
calling, the riddles of sorrow and death — takes on light (22). In sum, Gaudium et Spes broadens the scope of Christian social consciousness by pointing out the Gospel’s implications not only for the individual but also for the whole human family. We are responsible for the effects of social forces, the orientation of the mass media, the structure and institutions of society. The Church has to be seen as standing forward at the extreme point of man’s spiritual progress, the point where man’s desire for God coincides with God’s grace. This entails no forgetfulness of her supernatural origin, nature and mission. On the contrary, it locates the Church in the only context where her origin, nature and mission make sense: the pastoral care of God’s children living in “this world,” God’s world — men and women to whom, without exception, the Holy Spirit offers the possibility of being associated with the mystery of Christ, the new Adam, the unique Savior Who died for all (22). Father Kocik is a parochial vicar at Santo Christo Parish in Fall River, is editor of “Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal,” author of two liturgy-related books, and contributor to “T&T Clark Companion to Liturgical Studies.”
dress the same issues that organized religions deem necessary for a stable society, like his suggestion that there be college courses on how to choose one’s mate. We have enshrined within sacred Scripture God’s answer to every human emotional need, but de Botton has a suggestion for atheists. He has a vision of museums that are organized by topics rather than eras, so that there might be a Gallery of Fear or a Gallery of Compassion. The greatest contribution of this philosophical wish list may be that it has brought Christian apologetics into the public arena. Some of the commentaries on this book found within such secular citadels as the New York Times and the Boston Globe have done as much to promote religious thought as any Christian media outlet. David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, criticized “Religion for Atheists” when he wrote; “There’s something at stake in these accounts, a person’s whole destiny and soul. The process de Botton is recommending is more like going on one of those self-improving vacations. If all his advice were faithfully
followed, we’d be a collection of autonomous individuals seeking a string of vaguely uplifting experiences that might perhaps leave a sediment of some sort of spiritual improvement. Many of us would rather live frustrated in the company of the believers than fulfilled in this flatland of the atheists. The atheists know what they don’t believe in, but they don’t seem to know what they don’t feel. This is a gap that has existed for centuries, and de Botton doesn’t fill it.” For those in search of the meaning of life, Brooks pointed them in the direction of Augustine’s “Confessions,” or C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity.” We can’t buy advertising like this! Even if some of his ideas are not feasible, it does show that Alain de Botton has been observing, perhaps longingly, the outcomes of the believers. Isn’t this the beginning of the questions that lead to the truth? St. Peter and the Apostles were charged up and ready to boast of their hope after the Resurrection. The opportunity for us to do the same is upon us — seize the moment! Claire McManus is the director of the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
April 20, 2012
wonder how many of us have been disappointed when our expectations of an evert or gift were so high that when everything fell apart, we hit rock bottom. This is what the Apostles experienced when Jesus died on the cross. Our Gospel story begins with the disappointed disciples hiding in a meeting place when two other disciples came in from Emmaus and began to relate their encounter with Jesus, how they did not recognize Him at all until they sat and broke bread together. They immediately went back to Jerusalem to tell them that they had walked and eaten with Jesus and that He was alive. While they were telling the story, Jesus appeared in their midst and greeted them, “Peace be with you.” Peace? The story continues that they were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. After a short time Jesus spoke and ate with them. Finally after they had calmed down, their fear and disappointment changed into great joy and peace. Jesus then commissioned and enabled them to become bold witnesses regarding their
Happy to conquer the world
experience to anyone who of the world — onto and into would listen and to convince Himself without complaint. He those who had doubts about who held them, internalized them and He really was. He responded with the words, Today we are called to wit“Father forgive them, for they ness to the fact that Jesus is do not know what they do.” still with us. We attend Mass every week, some of us more often, Homily of the Week which is indeed being a witness to His presence Third Sunday by our faith response. of Easter Yet, it is not always By Deacon evident in our actions or Robert D. Lemay words that we are living up to God’s expectations of us as the Body of Christ. Oh sure, we receive What He did was to turn the blessing at the end of Mass all of this sinfulness into love, and are dismissed to go forth God’s love for His creation and to announce the Good News to all humanity. What was seen as others, but do we? the worst thing humanity could A couple of weeks ago we do to the Son of God became the celebrated Good Friday, the day most wonderful thing to happen on which Jesus withstood the to the whole human race. lying, the mocking, the spitting, Now, if the Resurrection had the crowning with thorns, the not occurred after the crucifixflagellation, the humiliation, the ion, we would not be a Church beating with sticks, the nametoday. What does it all mean? calling, the cursing from byIt means that this is the Good standers, the frustration, the pain News, and we are all commisthe thirst, the total helplessness, sioned to go out and spread it. the nailing of His hands and Many of us do not go out to feet and finally the crucifixion. spread the Word. I think what Jesus took all of this — the sins makes us shy about talking
about religion or even politics is that we have been instructed not to talk about either, because some believe it will only cause arguments and hostility. Depending on one’s attitude, a person can talk about politics and give his opinion, and that is OK, because this will cause one to think about the subject matter and decide whether or not something that is in or out of his or her personal control. It is still an opinion and not necessarily the answer regarding the particular issue. On the other hand, when we are talking about our faith in Jesus and our Catholic faith, we have 2,000 years of history to fall back on. So if the basic message is to love God with our whole mind, heart, and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves, then we possess something that is totally transformative when we are open to it. Therefore our task as the living Body of Christ is to bring the Good News to all we meet by our words and our actions, because our eternity is at stake
— and if you didn’t get the word yet, God wants us all to be with Him forever in Heaven. As followers of Jesus, we are sent with a message of peace through the promise of forgiveness. We often try to hide our mistakes or our sinfulness; at least we hope that no one will notice our weakness. Peter’s speech in the first reading tells us that no one can hide from the Lord. No matter what, when we fail to act out of ignorance in our actions or inactions, Jesus is there to forgive us and give us a chance to change our ways. After all, if Christ can forgive that Good Friday crowd, He can certainly forgive everyone else. So why are we so terrified about bringing the Good News to whomever we meet? Everyone is invited to grow in His love, peace and joy. So what are we waiting for? There is no longer any disappointment. Jesus is right here, right now. So like I heard someone say a long time ago, “Don’t keep the faith, spread it!” Now, that is courage. Deacon Lemay serves at Christ the King Parish in Mashpee.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. April 21, Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-2,4-5,18-19; Jn 6:16-21. Sun. April 22, Third Sunday of Easter, Acts 3:13-15,17-19; Ps 4:2,4,7-9; 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Lk 24:35-48. Mon. April 23, Acts 6:8-15; Ps 119:23-24,26-27,29-30; Jn 6:22-29. Tues. April 24, Acts 7:51—8:1a; Ps 31:3cd-4,6ab,7b,8a,17,21ab; Jn 6:30-35. Wed. April 25, 1 Pt 5:5b-14; Ps 89:2-3,6-7,16-17; Mk 16:15-20. Thurs. April 26, Acts 8:26-40; Ps 66:8-9,16-17,20; Jn 6:44-51. Fri. April 27, Acts 9:1-20; Ps 117:1-2; Jn 6:52-59.
Philip II, China and the great Catholic what-if
istory being linear, “What if?” is an unanswerable question — but always a fascinating one. What if George Washington had failed in New York in the early days of the American Revolution and the rebellion had been crushed? What if Lee had heeded Longstreet, won Gettysburg, and then taken Washington, thus ending the Civil War and achieving Confederate independence? What if Charles Lindbergh had been the Republican candidate in 1940 and had defeated FDR? What if Bush vs. Gore had been decided differently in 2000? “What if? questions involve more than politics, of course. What if the Apostles had turned right rather than left on leaving the Holy Land, so that Christianity was first “inculturated” in a civilization (India) lacking the Greek principle of non-contradiction: Could the Church have developed a doctrinal architecture if Christianity had first been planted in a culture where something could both “be” and “not be”?
Then there is the great cooled to the idea. “What if?” involving ChristiTrue to the original Iganity and China, of which I’ve natian charism, the fires of only become aware, thanks to evangelical (and political) a November 2011 lecture by ambition were rekindled by a the distinguished historian, Jesuit, Alonso Sanchez, who Hugh Thomas, published in went to China in 1582 and the March 2012 issue of the British journal Standpoint. According to Lord Thomas, a combination of Spanish conquistadors and missionaries, led by By George Weigel a remarkable character named Lopez de Legazpi, proposed to use the new Spanish colony returned to the Philippines of the Philippines as the determined to revive la emlaunch-pad for a Spanish and presa de China. It would not Christian takeover of China be a walkover, Father Sanchez — an ambition they styled la conceded; but he thought empresa de China, “the China 8,000 men and 12 galleons Project.” The “‘project” fired could do the job. the imaginations of Legazpi’s And what a job it would be. successors, who pressed the For Sanchez and his supportSpanish monarch, Philip II, ers imagined a China filled for permission to bring China with Christian universities and under Spanish control. Philip, monasteries as well as Spanwhom Hugh Thomas styles ish forts, a China in which the “the Great Procrastinator,” Spaniards would intermarry dithered, being preoccupied with Chinese women (“seriwith rebellion in the Spanish ous, honest, retiring … and Netherlands, and eventually usually of great grace, beauty
The Catholic Difference
and discretion”) to form a new mestizo race that would be thoroughly Catholic, and from whose numbers the Gospel would then come (along with Spanish hegemony, of course) to India, Southeast Asia, Borneo, the Moluccas and Sumatra. Yet the Great Procrastinator in the Escorial continued to, well, procrastinate, and the defeat of the Invincible Armada by Howard and Drake in 1588 gave Philip II even more reason to dither about schemes of conquest and conversion in the Far East. Eventually, as Lord Thomas concludes, “nothing was done.” The plan was never explicitly rejected. Philip II simply let it die of inattention, as consummate bureaucrats know how to do. But what if Philip had forged ahead — and succeeded? In the 1990 encyclical, Redemptoris Missio (The Mission of the Redeemer), John Paul II, noting that the great failure of Christian mis-
sion in the first two millennia had been in East Asia, urged that the mission ad gentes (the mission to the nations) be focused on Asia in the third millennium. But what if China had been evangelized in the 17th century and had subsequently developed a vibrant form of Catholicism that blended the best of European and Chinese talents and personalities? Might the mission ad gentes, in the third millennium, be one in which this Euro-Asian Catholicism re-evangelized the religiously arid societies of Old Europe? Might we be speculating about a Chinese pope, not as something fantastic, but as something obvious? Hugh Thomas is old-fashioned enough to lament a lost religious, cultural and geopolitical opportunity: “Christianity did not, alas, become the dominant religion of China as it had become in New Spain.” “What if” it had, merits a moment’s speculation. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
April 20, 2012
Puppyhood — The sequel
Wednesday 18 April 2012 disposition to leg injury. How — at the church on Three Mile old is he human years? Well, River — pet owners’ Indepen- in January my dog Transit dence Day eople often ask how many dogs I now have. They ask Reflections of a because the number Parish Priest tends to fluctuate. The answer is that I curBy Father Tim rently have one greyGoldrick hound, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (“Transit” for short). He was born (or turned 77 years old — but whelped, in technical termirecently he’s grown younger. nology) on Jan 10, 2001. He Please be advised, dear raced at the former Raynham readers that, as a result of the Dog Track. He retired early latest scientific research, one from sports due to a genetic dog year no longer equals sev-
The Ship’s Log
en human years. It now seems that in dogs, the length of a year can vary greatly. Dogs age much more rapidly in their early years and then the aging process slows down. For example, when your dog is one year old, he’s already 12 in human terms. When the dog turns two, his age doubles to 24 years by human counting. Then in the next 12 months, he ages four years, not seven. The rate continues to run at about four canine years to every human year thereafter.
The last line of defense
an authentic retro television he larger political landseries to see how radically this scape seems like a vianti-smoking campaign has cious quagmire (which indeed changed our culture. Some it may be) but it also offers people still smoke, but they are valuable topics for discussion few and receive the requisite around the water cooler and hostile stares from their enin the car-pool line. While the lightened peers. HHS mandate is primarily an So if impressionable chilassault on religious liberties, dren can be insulated from those with courage and convicsmokers for their own benefit, tion can use the opening to why not music lyrics that glodiscuss the Catholic teaching rify gang violence, promiscuity on birth control and abortion, peddled through the entertainusing the dark predictions of Humanae Vitae brought to bear in every community in the country. Likewise, with Hilary Rosen’s disparaging remarks about Ann Romney and her ability to understand the By Genevieve Kineke economy, we can take the discussion to the next level: what is the ment and fashion industries, value of motherhood? and the emotional shredding This is more important than attached to broken families? the secondary questions of These influences aren’t decried whether women work outside for two simple reasons. First, the home — either out of there is a significant portion choice or necessity. The root of our population that simply issue concerns a mother’s doesn’t care about the impact place in society, and whether of those things; but there is or not we will value her a smaller but more insidious opinions on those topics that population that does care — will profoundly affect those but encourages them anyway entrusted to her care. for a variety of reasons. These Interestingly, the “progresare the Hilary Rosens of our sives” make our case for us landscape. when they insist on formSetting aside the first group ing our children; and thus who have decided that their if we roll their arguments private vice is paramount, backwards, we can find the we have to acknowledge the blueprint for how to proceed. power of the others, who have We can start with something been working intently for more as neutral as cigarettes — than 50 years to recreate our because it has been a cause culture into an individualistic célèbre to stop smoking among haven for all manner of wickthe young. Heaven and earth edness — and they know that were moved to eradicate the they must have access to other influences that made smoking people’s children to make attractive to children, from the this happen. That is why they ads they might see to the role despise motherhood. Mothmodels around them who were ers are the critical obstacle to puffing away. It only takes their scheme to fashion society one glance at an old movie or
The Feminine Genius
anew, to make the harmful look glamorous, and for virtue and common sense to be effectively dismissed. While it’s clever to use euphemisms about those concerns they believe too complex for stay-at-home mothers to understand, that is simply an effort to make an end run around the very women whose opinions are guided by their primary concern: the welfare of their children and families. Building structures that remove this motherly element have long been a priority for social engineers worldwide, who contrived the Russian collectives, the Israeli kibbutzes, and the sweeping culture campaigns in China. Even those who controlled the guns and the gulags knew who the real enemy was — the families in which women were the primary influence on their own children. Sneering contempt will not change the truth, which in Russia gave the last word to those faithful babushkas. This cannot be side-tracked by comparing women who work solely within the home with those who combine that vocation with paid employment. In our imperfect world we must remember the lasting value of motherhood itself. The woman who has the ability to remind her own children that they’re precious in the sight of God, that God’s law must prevail, and that financial questions pale in comparison to those of good and evil is truly a woman of substance — and is the very one whose opinions must help to shape our future. Mrs. Kineke is the author of “The Authentic Catholic Woman” (Servant Books) and blogs at feminine-genius.com.
Here’s one formula: 1 year = 12 years 9 years = 52 years 2 years = 24 years 11 years = 60 years 3 years = 28 years 13 years = 68 years 5 years = 36 years 15 years = 76 years 7 years = 44 years What this all means is that my dog Transit is no longer 77 but 60 years old in human years. But he doesn’t act even 60 years old anymore — not since I gave him a pill. Here’s the story. I brought greyhound Transit to the vets for his annual checkup. A standard blood test was done. The results showed that he had such an underactive thyroid that he was at least catatonic, if not completely flat-lined. This surprised me. He didn’t look or act any differently than he always has. I first met Transit briefly at a boarding kennel when he was a young adult. He ended up being adopted not by me but by a priest from the Diocese of Providence. Transit was already a middle-aged dog by the time he moved in with me, so I had no idea what he was like when he was younger. I noticed after I adopted him that he tended to sleep a lot, but that’s nothing unusual in a greyhound. The only time he got excited was at precisely 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Those are his feeding times. At any rate, to treat this recently-diagnosed thyroid condition, Transit was prescribed one small high-energy pill a day. The effect was immediate. I can’t believe the change in him. Now, he gets these crazy running jags and bolts around the second floor of the rectory like a madman. It sounds like a stampeding herd of elephants (he weighs 80 pounds). When I let him free in the fenced back yard, he dashes about like a banshee in the wind. Squirrels flee for their lives and birds at the feeder disappear in an instant. He has begun to play with
dog toys — something I have never before seen him do. For some reason unknown to me, he has also started sneaking off with my bedroom slippers and hiding them in the most obscure places. He thinks it’s funny. I can hear him snickering from his perch on the couch. At least he hasn’t chewed them up. They were a Christmas gift from my sister a couple of years ago. Maybe I should cut him back to half an energy pill before I no longer have slippers. Using the new dog year/ human year ratio, Transit dropped 17 human years. Now, with the new medication, he has miraculously reverted to puppyhood. My dog Transit has reversed the aging process. Too bad such a pill is not available to humans. The fifth major national study of the aging of the priesthood is scheduled to be published next month. It’s entitled “Same Call, Different Men,” and authored by researchers Mary Gautier, Paul Pearl, and Stephen Fichter. It reports that in the last 40 years, the median age of priests has increased by more than 30 percent. By comparison, the median age of doctors and lawyers has increased by only about four percent. This explains why doctors are looking younger and younger to me every day. Doctors and lawyers are aging in human years; we priests are aging in dog years. Maybe my greyhound Transit has inadvertently found the solution to the dilemma of the rapid aging of the Catholic clergy, but I doubt it. I suspect solving the problem of the aging of the priesthood will require something more than a high-energy pill. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton. PADRE PIO and DIVINE MERCY
Visit The Anchor online at http://www.anchornews.org
April 20, 2012
Paralyzed man seeks to share experience through online ministry By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
SOUTH DARTMOUTH — Even as he was lying in a hospital bed, paralyzed from the neck down with a severe spinal cord injury, former Dartmouth police officer Dave Mello wished he could have done something to help the man in the bed next to him. “I remember he would cry every night,” Mello said. “I wanted to say it’s OK and I wished I could just roll over and talk to him because he was afraid, he was lonely, and he didn’t know what was going on. I had some of those same feelings, but I guess I dealt with it a little better.” While most people probably would have considered Mello’s plight as dire as that of his roommate, he somehow not only found a way to overcome his own situation, but also felt the need to reach out to others. “It’s funny, I was never really mad at God,” Mello said. “I was mad that He allowed this to happen to me and I thought to myself, ‘I’ve always been religious, why did He let this happen?’ But over time, there have been a few good things that have come out
of it.” spiritual resource for others who One of those good things is are facing difficult situations simMello’s burning desire to con- ilar to his own. nect with people and share his own faith journey, which has inspired him to set up an online ministry for people like himself who have found themselves either bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. On the website www.runfordave. org, which was originally created as a fund-raising tool to help offset the costs of modifying his house for wheelchair accessibility, Mello has now established a way for people who are physically challenged to contact and talk with him about their problems and concerns. As a devout Roman Catholic who once aspired to become a deacon for his Church, Mello hopes to provide a Anchor Person of the week Mello. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza) “I want people to contact me and maybe I can help them overcome some of their fears, because I’ve been through it,” Mello said,
adding that all information shared online remains confidential. “I thought there had to be others out there who might be going through the same things I went through and they might want someone to talk to.” Mello’s own faith was put to the test nearly seven years ago when he was involved in a two-car crash on Nov. 26, 2005 at Russells Mills Road and George Street in Dartmouth. He had just finished working the overnight shift for the police department and was heading home to get some equipment before working a holiday detail at the Dartmouth Mall when his life was forever altered. “I got hit by a woman who accidentally went through a stop sign,” he said. — Dave “I received a break in my neck between my C2 and C3 vertebrae. I woke up in a hospital in Boston and all my friends were around me. The word was out that my station was already planning my
funeral because my doctor didn’t think I would survive the night.” Mello not only survived the night, but the following week as well and eventually was flown to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga. for spinal cord rehabilitation. “If it wasn’t for that place, I probably wouldn’t be alive today,” he said. “In fact, when I was down there I died approximately 10 times and they brought me back.” Although he admits to being initially very angry when he learned he might never walk again, Mello said he got through it all with the love and support of his wife, Maria, and his two children and his strong faith in God. “I had been stripped of everything,” he said. “They took my license away, my badge, my job — everything that I had worked for 27 years to attain.” After overcoming initial bouts of depression, Mello said a few of his close friends started wondering whether he had abandoned his faith. “I told them I wasn’t [losing my faith]; it was just difficult for me at the time,” Mello said. Soon the Holy Spirit intervened in the guise of Ken Sylvia, a fellow parishioner at St. Mary’s Parish in South Dartmouth, who began making regular pastoral visits to Mello’s home to bring him Holy Communion. “We got to be good friends,” Mello said. “He’s been like my spiritual advisor and psychiatrist. Slowly but surely, I started to come around.” As it turns out, Sylvia became not only a close friend, but also someone who helped organize fund-raisers to renovate and expand the family home to better accommodate better Mello’s needs and one of the guiding lights that helped Mello embark on his new ministry effort. “I’m convinced this wasn’t a coincidence, but a God-incidence,” Sylvia said of his friendship with Mello. “In the beginning I always thought if Dave and Maria could take this on as a ministry, they could help other people in the same situation.” Sylvia helped set up a laptop computer for Mello along with a Dragon Dictation software package that allows him to dictate messages and provide voice commands to access the website. “It can be controlled by Dave so he can read and reply to emails and interact with others online,” Sylvia said. “I told him if he couldn’t become a deacon, why didn’t he just be himself and be an instrument of hope to others?” Noting that he often prayed to St. Francis of Assisi for strength Turn to page 15
April 20, 2012
April 20, 2012
Our First, Most Cherished Liberty
A Statement on Religious Liberty by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together. Freedom is not only for Americans, but we think of it as something of our special inheritance, fought for at a great price, and a heritage to be guarded now. We are stewards of this gift, not only for ourselves but for all nations and peoples who yearn to be free. Catholics in America have discharged this duty of guarding freedom admirably for many generations. In 1887, when the archbishop of Baltimore, James Gibbons, was made the second American cardinal, he defended the American heritage of religious liberty during his visit to Rome to receive the red hat. Speaking of the great progress the Catholic Church had made in the United States, he attributed it to the “civil liberty we enjoy in our enlightened republic.” Indeed, he made a bolder claim, namely that “in the genial atmosphere of liberty [the Church] blossoms like a rose.” From well before Cardinal Gibbons, Catholics in America have been advocates for religious liberty, and the landmark teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty was influenced by the American experience. It is among the proudest boasts of the Church on these shores. We have been staunch defenders of religious liberty in the past. We have a solemn duty to discharge that duty today. We need, therefore, to speak frankly with each other when our freedoms are threatened.
Now is such a time. As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad. This has been noticed both near and far. Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke about his worry that religious liberty in the United States is being weakened. He called it the “most cherished of American freedoms” — and indeed it is. All the more reason to heed the warning of the Holy Father, a friend of America and an ally in the defense of freedom, in his recent address to American bishops: “Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.” Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society. Religious Liberty Under Attack — Concrete Examples Is our most cherished freedom truly under threat? Sadly, it is. This is not a theological or legal dispute without real world consequences. Consider the following: • HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. The mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services has received wide attention and has been met with our vigorous and united opposition. In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product
contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty. These features of the “preventive services” mandate amount to an unjust law. As Archbishop-designate William Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, testified to Congress: “This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the govern-
Cardinal James Gibbons in 1887 defended the American heritage of religious liberty in Rome as one of the proudest boats of the Church on these shores.
ment. Instead, it is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.” • State immigration laws. Several states have recently passed laws that forbid what the government deems “harboring” of undocumented immigrants — and what the Church deems Christian charity and pastoral care to those immigrants. Perhaps the most egregious of these is in Alabama, where the Catholic bishops, in cooperation with the Episcopal and Methodist bishops of Alabama, filed suit against the law: “It is with sadness that we brought this legal action but with a deep sense that we, as people of faith, have no choice but to defend the right to the free exercise of religion granted to us as citizens
of Alabama.... The law makes illegal the exercise of our Christian religion which we, as citizens of Alabama, have a right to follow. The law prohibits almost everything which would assist an undocumented immigrant or encourage an undocumented immigrant to live in Alabama. This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the Confession of, celebrate the Anointing of the Sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant. Nor can we encourage them to attend Mass or give them a ride to Mass. It is illegal to allow them to attend adult scripture study groups, or attend CCD or Sunday school classes. It is illegal for the clergy to counsel them in times of difficulty or in preparation for Marriage. It is illegal for them to come to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or other recovery groups at our churches.” • Altering Church structure and governance. In 2009, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut Legislature proposed a bill that would have forced Catholic parishes to be restructured according to a congregational model, recalling the trusteeism controversy of the early 19th century, and prefiguring the federal government’s attempts to redefine for the Church “religious minister” and “religious employer” in the years since. • Christian students on campus. In its more than 100year history, the University of California Hastings College of Law has denied student organization status to only one group, the Christian Legal Society, because it required its leaders to be Christian and to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. • Catholic foster care and adoption services. Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the state of Illinois have driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services — by revoking their licenses, by ending their government contracts, or both — because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit. • Discrimination against
small church congregations. New York City enacted a rule that barred the Bronx Household of Faith and 60 other churches from renting public schools on weekends for worship services even though nonreligious groups could rent the same schools for scores of other uses. While this would not frequently affect Catholic parishes, which generally own their own buildings, it would be devastating to many smaller congregations. It is a simple case of discrimination against religious believers. • Discrimination against Catholic humanitarian services. Notwithstanding years of excellent performance by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services in administering contract services for victims of human trafficking, the federal government changed its contract specifications to require us to provide or refer for contraceptive and abortion services in violation of Catholic teaching. Religious institutions should not be disqualified from a government contract based on religious belief, and they do not somehow lose their religious identity or liberty upon entering such contracts. And yet a federal court in Massachusetts, turning religious liberty on its head, has since declared that such a disqualification is required by the First Amendment — that the government somehow violates religious liberty by allowing Catholic organizations to participate in contracts in a manner consistent with their beliefs on contraception and abortion. Religious Liberty Is More Than Freedom of Worship Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day, both here at home and Continued on page 13
April 20, 2012
Our First, Most Cherished Liberty
A Statement on Religious Liberty by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty Continued from page 12
overseas. What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society — or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it. Religious believers are part of American civil society, which includes neighbors helping each other, community associations, fraternal service clubs, sports leagues, and youth groups. All these Americans make their contribution to our common life, and they do not need the permission of the government to do so. Restrictions on religious liberty are an attack on civil society and the American genius for voluntary associations. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued a statement about the administration’s contraception and sterilization mandate that captured exactly the danger that we face: “Most troubling, is the administration’s underlying rationale for its decision, which appears to be a view that if a religious entity is not insular, but engaged with broader society, it loses its “religious” character and liberties. Many faiths firmly believe in being open to and engaged with broader society and fellow citizens of other faiths. The administration’s ruling makes the price of such an outward approach the violation of an organization’s religious principles. This is deeply disappointing.” This is not a Catholic issue. This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon, or Muslim issue. It is an American issue. The Most Cherished of American Freedoms In 1634, a mix of Catholic and Protestant settlers arrived at St. Clement’s Island in Southern Maryland from England aboard the Ark and the Dove. They had come at the invitation of the Catholic Lord Baltimore, who had been granted Maryland by the Protestant King Charles I of England. While Catholics and Protestants were killing each other in Europe, Lord Baltimore imagined Maryland as a society where people of different faiths could live together
peacefully. This vision was soon codified in Maryland’s 1649 Act Concerning Religion (also called the “Toleration Act”), which was the first law in our nation’s history to protect an individual’s right to freedom of conscience. Maryland’s early history teaches us that, like any freedom, religious liberty requires constant vigilance and protection, or it will disappear. Maryland’s experiment in religious toleration ended within a few decades. The colony was placed under royal control, and the Church of England became the established religion. Discriminatory laws, including the loss of political rights, were enacted against those who refused to conform. Catholic chapels were closed, and Catholics were restricted to practicing their faith in their homes. The Catholic community lived under these conditions until the American Revolution. By the end of the 18th century, our nation’s founders embraced freedom of religion as an essential condition of a free and democratic society. James Madison, often called the Father of the Constitution, described conscience as “the most sacred of all property.” He wrote that “the Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” George Washington wrote that “the establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive that induced me to the field of battle.” Thomas Jefferson assured the Ursuline Sisters — who had been serving a mostly non-Catholic population by running a hospital, an orphanage, and schools in Louisiana since 1727—that the principles of the Constitution were a “sure guarantee” that their ministry would be free “to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules, without interference from the civil authority.” It is therefore fitting that when the Bill of Rights was ratified, religious freedom had the distinction of being the First Amendment. Religious liberty is indeed the first liberty. The First Amendment guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establish-
ment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Recently, in a unanimous Supreme Court judgment affirming the importance of that first freedom, the Chief Justice of the United States explained that religious liberty is not just the first freedom for Americans; rather it is the first in the history of democratic freedom, tracing its origins back the first clauses of the Magna Carta of 1215 and beyond. In a telling example, Chief Justice Roberts illustrated our history of religious liberty in light of a Catholic issue decided upon
St. Thomas More died in 1535 as “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” The “fortnight of freedom,” two weeks of prayer for religious freedom in our country, finishing on the 4th of July, begins on the eve of his Feast Day, June 21.
by James Madison, who guided the Bill of Rights through Congress and is known as the architect of the First Amendment: [In 1806] John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States, solicited the Executive’s opinion on who should be appointed to direct the affairs of the Catholic Church in the territory newly acquired by the Louisiana Purchase. After consulting with President Jefferson, then-Secretary of State James Madison responded that the selection of church “functionaries” was an “entirely ecclesiastical” matter left to the Church’s own judgment. The “scrupulous policy of the Constitution in guarding against a political interference with religious affairs,” Madison explained, prevented the government from rendering an opinion on the “selection of ecclesiastical individuals.” That is our American heritage, our most cherished free-
dom. It is the first freedom because if we are not free in our conscience and our practice of religion, all other freedoms are fragile. If citizens are not free in their own consciences, how can they be free in relation to others, or to the state? If our obligations and duties to God are impeded, or even worse, contradicted by the government, then we can no longer claim to be a land of the free, and a beacon of hope for the world. Our Christian Teaching During the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Americans shone the light of the Gospel on a dark history of slavery, segregation, and racial bigotry. The civil rights movement was an essentially religious movement, a call to awaken consciences, not only an appeal to the Constitution for America to honor its heritage of liberty. In his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. boldly said, “The goal of America is freedom.” As a Christian pastor, he argued that to call America to the full measure of that freedom was the specific contribution Christians are obliged to make. He rooted his legal and constitutional arguments about justice in the long Christian tradition: “I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’ Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.” It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them. No American desires this. No Catholic wel-
comes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith. It is essential to understand the distinction between conscientious objection and an unjust law. Conscientious objection permits some relief to those who object to a just law for reasons of conscience — conscription being the most wellknown example. An unjust law is “no law at all.” It cannot be obeyed, and therefore one does not seek relief from it, but rather its repeal. The Christian church does not ask for special treatment, simply the rights of religious freedom for all citizens. Rev. King also explained that the church is neither the master nor the servant of the state, but its conscience, guide, and critic. As Catholics, we know that our history has shadows too in terms of religious liberty, when we did not extend to others the proper respect for this first freedom. But the teaching of the Church is absolutely clear about religious liberty: “The human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that in matters religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs … whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.... This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed. Thus it is to become a civil right” (Vatican II, Dignitas Humanae, 2). As Catholics, we are obliged to defend the right to religious liberty for ourselves and for others. We are happily joined in this by our fellow Christians and believers of other faiths. A recent letter to President Obama from some 60 religious leaders, including Christians of many denominations and Jews, argued that “it is emphatically not only Catholics who deeply object to the requirement that health plans they purchase must provide coverage of contraceptives that include some Continued on page 14
April 20, 2012
Our First, Most Cherished Liberty
A Statement on Religious Liberty by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty Continued from page 13
that are abortifacients.” More comprehensively, a theologically rich and politically prudent declaration from Evangelicals and Catholics together made a powerful case for greater vigilance in defense of religious freedom, precisely as a united witness animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their declaration makes it clear that as Christians of various traditions we object to a “naked public square,” stripped of religious arguments and religious believers. We do not seek a “sacred public square” either, which gives special privileges and benefits to religious citizens. Rather, we seek a civil public square, where all citizens can make their contribution to the common good. At our best, we might call this an American public square. The Lord Jesus came to liberate us from the dominion of sin. Political liberties are one part of that liberation, and religious liberty is the first of those liberties. Together with our fellow Christians, joined by our Jewish brethren, and in partnership with Americans of other religious traditions, we affirm that our faith requires us to defend the religious liberty granted us by God, and protected in our Constitution. Martyrs Around the World In this statement, as bishops of the United States, we are addressing ourselves to the situation we find here at home. At the same time, we are sadly aware that religious liberty in many other parts of the world is in much greater peril. Our obligation at home is to defend religious liberty robustly, but we cannot overlook the much graver plight that religious believers, most of them Christian, face around the world. The age of martyrdom has not passed. Assassinations, bombings of churches, torching of orphanages — these are only the most violent attacks Christians have suffered because of their faith in Jesus Christ. More systematic denials of basic human rights are found in the laws of several countries, and also in acts of persecution by adherents of other faiths. If religious liberty is eroded here at home, American defense of religious liberty
abroad is less credible. And Rights. This ought not to be a alone. The Catholic Church one common threat, spanning partisan issue. The Constitu- in America is blessed with an both the international and do- tion is not for Democrats or immense number of writers, mestic arenas, is the tendency Republicans or Independents. producers, artists, publishto reduce the freedom of reli- It is for all of us, and a great ers, filmmakers, and bloggers gion to the mere freedom of nonpartisan effort should be employing all the means of worship. Therefore, it is our led by our elected representa- communications — both old task to strengthen religious lib- tives to ensure that it remains and new media — to expound erty at home, in this and other so. and teach the faith. They too We recognize that a spe- have a critical role in this great respects, so that we might defend it more vigorously abroad. cial responsibility belongs to struggle for religious liberty. To that end, American foreign those Catholics who are re- We call upon them to use their policy, as well as the vast in- sponsible for our impressive skills and talents in defense of ternational network of Catho- array of hospitals, clinics, uni- our first freedom. lic agencies, should make the versities, colleges, schools, Finally to our brother bishpromotion of religious liberty adoption agencies, overseas ops, let us exhort each other an ongoing and urgent priority. development projects, and so- with fraternal charity to be “All the Energies the Catho- cial service agencies that pro- bold, clear, and insistent in lic Community Can warning against threats Muster” to the rights of our peoWhat we ask is nothing ple. Let us attempt to be more than that our Godthe “conscience of the given right to religious state,” to use Rev. King’s liberty be respected. We words. In the aftermath ask nothing less than of the decision on contrathat the Constitution and ceptive and sterilization laws of the United States, mandates, many spoke which recognize that out forcefully. As one exright, be respected. ample, the words of one In insisting that our of our most senior brothliberties as Americans ers, Cardinal Roger Mabe respected, we know hony, 35 years a bishop as bishops that what our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King wrote his famous “Letter and recently retired after Holy Father said is true. from a Birmingham Jail” in 1963 boldly saying, “The 25 years as archbishop of This work belongs to “an goal of America is freedom.” Los Angeles, provide a engaged, articulate and model for us here: “I canwell-formed Catholic lanot imagine a more direct ity endowed with a strong crit- vide assistance to the poor, the and frontal attack on freedom ical sense vis-à-vis the domi- hungry, immigrants, and those of conscience than this ruling faced with crisis pregnan- today. This decision must be nant culture.” As bishops we seek to bring cies. You do the work that the fought against with all the enthe light of the Gospel to our Gospel mandates that we do. ergies the Catholic community public life, but the work of It is you who may be forced can muster.” politics is properly that of to choose between the good A Fortnight for Freedom committed and courageous lay works we do by faith, and fiIn particular, we recomCatholics. We exhort them to delity to that faith itself. We mend to our brother bishops be both engaged and articulate encourage you to hold firm, to that we focus “all the energies in insisting that as Catholics stand fast, and to insist upon the Catholic community can and as Americans we do not what belongs to you by right muster” in a special way this have to choose between the as Catholics and Americans. coming summer. As pastors of two. There is an urgent need Our country deserves the best the flock, our privileged task is for the lay faithful, in coop- we have to offer, including to lead the Christian faithful in eration with Christians, Jews, our resistance to violations of prayer. and others, to impress upon our first freedom. Both our civil year and liTo our priests, especially turgical year point us on variour elected representatives the importance of continued pro- those who have responsibility ous occasions to our heritage tection of religious liberty in a for parishes, university chap- of freedom. This year, we prolaincies, and high schools, we pose a special “fortnight for free society. We address a particular ask for a catechesis on reli- freedom,” in which bishops in word to those holding public gious liberty suited to the souls their own dioceses might aroffice. It is your noble task to in your care. As bishops we range special events to highgovern for the common good. can provide guidance to as- light the importance of deIt does not serve the common sist you, but the courage and fending our first freedom. Our good to treat the good works of zeal for this task cannot be ob- Catholic institutions also could religious believers as a threat tained from another — it must be encouraged to do the same, to our common life; to the con- be rooted in your own concern especially in cooperation with trary, they are essential to its for your flock and nourished other Christians, Jews, people proper functioning. It is also by the graces you received at of other faiths, and indeed, all your task to protect and de- your ordination. who wish to defend our most Catechesis on religious lib- cherished freedom. fend those fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Bill of erty is not the work of priests We suggest that the 14 days
from June 21 — the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More — to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom” — a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power — St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty. In addition to this summer’s observance, we also urge that the Solemnity of Christ the King — a feast born out of resistance to totalitarian incursions against religious liberty — be a day specifically employed by bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty, both here and abroad. To all our fellow Catholics, we urge an intensification of your prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country. We invite you to join us in an urgent prayer for religious liberty. Almighty God, Father of all nations, For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1). We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (This statement was published April 12, 2012).
April 20, 2012
Paralyzed man seeks to share experience in online ministry continued from page 10
during his convalescence, Mello said he selected the San Damiano Cross of St. Francis as a symbol of his new ministry. He also proudly wears a Miraculous Medal and a medal of St. Alyssa, a patron of paralyzed people, at all times. Nearby his motorized wheelchair and the humming ventilator that supplies healthy doses of oxygen at regular intervals are statues of Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Fatima. “The Blessed Mother has been an inspiration to me as well,” Mello said. “She’s had a real calming effect on me and my family. She’s helped keep me strong.” To honor her, Mello said he tries to pray the Rosary often and has even asked others to come over to recite it with him two or three times a week. His other saving grace has been Catholic television programming — especially EWTN — through which he is able to watch daily Mass and learn more about his faith. “EWTN has helped to reeducate me about my religion,” he said. “One good thing out of all this is I’ve gotten closer to my faith and learned more about it.” During one of Mello’s earlier hospital stints he said he was disappointed when his father died and he was unable to attend the funeral and during the same period his beloved Boston terrier,
Maximus, became ill with a brain tumor and subsequently died. But another Boston terrier recently arrived at the Mello household to fill the void: a friendly little soul named Bailey. “I prayed to St. Francis and asked him to guide us to a new dog,” Mello said. “My wife came home with Bailey, who has folded ears, different color brindle and a twisty tail. She’s unique and a great dog.” It’s little things like that that keep him going. “Everyday I have something to look forward to: Ken will come to visit me; I have a favorite TV show to watch; or I talk to my nurses or they help me with my computer,” he said. Mello said he’s thankful his wife has been so supportive during this difficult time and he realizes how lucky he is to have her by his side. “If it wasn’t for my wife, I’d be in a nursing home facility right now,” he said. “She gave up her whole life to take care of me. There are some people in this situation who have no family and nothing to look forward to but going to a facility to have other people look after them.” Looking back to those first dark days when he sometimes wished God would take him to ease the burden on his family, Mello now says he regrets thinking that way and is glad to be alive. “Even though I felt at times
like I wanted to die, I knew deep down it was against my beliefs,” he said. “I may be like this for the rest of my life, but I feel comfortable with it now.” Sylvia said having Mello in his life has been something of a gift in itself, and he’s amazed with not only his courage and positive attitude, but also his willingness to reach out and help others like him. “Dave wants to take that pain and suffering he went through to help others,” Sylvia said. “This website can become a support ministry for people who will probably never meet each other, but they can come together online and become friends because of the empathy they have for each other. And isn’t that God’s plan?” And despite that accident seven years ago that forever changed Mello’s life, he harbors no hatred or resentment for the woman who caused it; in fact, he’s forgiven her. “I think what we need more of in our society is forgiveness,” he said. “I don’t have any bad feelings toward the woman who hit me. I sent a message to her that I wasn’t mad and she could always come talk to me if she wanted, but she never responded. I realize she had no intention of hitting me — it just happened. It was an accident.” To submit a Person of the Week nominee, send information to fatherrogerlandry@anchornews. org.
Youth isn’t wasted on these young people
mentioned in my column a lap tops, smart phones, and mindfew weeks back how things numbing video games. What they at times, can get overwhelming do have is an appreciation for for Catholics: the HHS mandate God and all He does for us. issue, abortion, euthanasia, attacks Also on the cover is a photo of on religious afreedoms. two young women who became I also mentioned how God can be found in the little things in life; small reminders that “Hey, I’m still for you.” Well if you need a few more instances of the good things in this world, you By Dave Jolivet needn’t leave the pages of this week’s Anchor. I’m not a glass is half full kind of guy. As I’ve lamented members of the Catholic Church in the past, for me the glass is this past Easter Vigil. That’s somebroken. But instances of proacthing they chose to do. The want tive stances taken by our Catholic to be a Catholic drove them to that youth appear throughout this wonderful evening, and will lead edition. them through the rest of their lives. On the cover, a story about the On page three, we see how youth in our diocesan mission in students from Stonehill College Guaimaca, Honduras, explains elected to spend their spring break how our younger brothers and helping others instead of helping sisters there have “a passion for themselves on a beach in Florida. the Passion.” These fine young In fact there are so many stumen and women don’t have all dents who want to help, some are the “luxuries” like iPhones, iPads, turned away because there isn’t
My View From the Stands
yet space for them. How outstanding is that, and how outstanding is it that Stonehill is diligently working to make it possible for all the would-be missionaries? And on page 17, my good buddy Frank Lucca tells us of the outstanding leaders of tomorrow who will come out of today’s Christian Leadership Institutes. “Let no one look down upon you because you are young” indeed! What I see in today’s young people is a bright future for tomorrow’s Church. Our young people can see through phoniness and strive for the truth. Good for them. Great for us. What I also see is that someone is doing something right with these young ’ens: parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, and friends. These aren’t stories one finds in the news every day, but they happen every day, and knowing that, I realize the glass isn’t broken at all. It’s constantly being filled.
hosanna — A university student in Guaimaca, Honduras, portrays Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem during Palm Sunday festivities in the Fall River diocesan Mission. (Photo courtesy of Father Craig A. Pregana)
A passion for the Passion continued from page one
consider a hallmark of Holy Week, and their response was ‘passion,’” Father Craig A. Pregana told The Anchor. Father Pregana is pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Guaimaca, a mission of the Diocese of Fall River. “They have a passion for the events of Holy Week and they freely express it. Here, the youth motivate and animate our celebrations.” The celebration began on Palm Sunday. The youth requested that Father Pregana portray Christ and ride a donkey to the church. “I reluctantly agreed,” said Father Pregana, “but when I arrived I saw a very thin donkey, so one of the younger, thinner university students rode the donkey and led the procession.” Father Pregana said “It rained holy water on all who held palms. One could truly feel the excitement of the crowd to see Jesus passing on His way to enter Jerusalem.” Each night of Holy Week a different neighborhood group, called in Spanish a barrio, planned the Masses leading up to the Triduum. At the Chrism Mass in Tegucigalpa, the capital, a long line of priests, the bishop and the cardinal processed into the church amid sustained applause from the congregation. “The joy of the crowd makes one feel embraced by the love of the Lord and His Church,” said Father Pregana. “This is a people who love their priests.” The washing of the feet ceremony on Holy Thursday night had a Last Supper feel to it this year. “There was no power in the town and we had to celebrate by candlelight,” he added. “The soft light brought a sense of intimacy that the disciples must have felt celebrating the ‘Cena del Señor’ (Supper of the Lord).” After the Mass, the congregation moved to a park across the street for a reenactment of Jesus’ arrest, concluding with the “Procesión del Silencio,” to
commemorate the crowd marching Jesus to the house of the high priest. The youth again led the parish on Good Friday with a reenactment of the Passion, where they displayed their passion for Jesus. The day concluded with the burial of Jesus. That night all the women of the parish gathered for the “Procesión de la Dolorosa,” the Procession of Our Lady of Sorrow, remembering the seven sorrows of the Blessed Mother. On Holy Saturday the parish youth arrived to clean the church and begin decorating for the joyous Easter celebration. “Their presence is not to complete community service hours for Confirmation or some other commitment,” explained Father Pregana. “They understand that it’s their contribution and they do it with a desire to offer their best to the Lord. “The Easter celebrations are meant to animate us as we recall the life-saving event of the Passion, death and Resurrection of the Lord. It is done every place where the Church is, but it is a special blessing to celebrate it among the poor here at the diocesan mission where their passion for the faith is contagious.” Honduras is one of the world’s poorest countries and the luxuries enjoyed in the United States are something most there will never see. But the faith of the people, particularly the young people of St. Rose of Lima Parish, is a gift on which one can’t put a monetary value. They realize where their treasures truly lie. “There’s no way to predict the future of the mission parish but watching how the youth take their role so seriously, it is easy to guess that this parish has a bright future,” said their pastor. “Mothers and fathers bring their families to the celebrations but it is their sons and daughters who are paving the way for the next generation.”
holy week experience — Students at Holy Family-Holy Name School in New Bedford participated in many activities during Holy Week to prepare for the Easter season. The seventh-grade students presented live tableaus of the Stations of the Cross, while the preschool and kindergarten students participated in an agape service. The students in grades one to three followed the events of the Triduum during their celebration of the Easter experience. Here the students in grades four to eight took part in a traditional seder meal.
playing by the book — The fifth-grade reading class at St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro created a board game called “The Highway of Leigh Botts,” based on the book “Dear Mr. Henshaw.” The class was divided into groups of three to five students. Each group had to come up with the design and instructions of the game and then actually had to produce it. The book’s main theme is how everyone is different. Here Sam Choiniere, Ava Smith, James Lawrence and Meghan Maguire play their version of the game.
April 20, 2012
sweet gesture — Members of Bishop Feehan High School’s Pro-Life group organized the collection of more than 200 bags of candy to be distributed to children at Attleboro area soup kitchens during Easter. Sister Patricia Harrington commented, “They were so cute. They wanted to do something to support all stages of life. Next, they will be visiting nursing homes to deliver treats.” From left; Eileen Corkery, Caroline Gaughan, Courtney Gareau, Mike Avila, Kyle McGuire, and Meghan Butler.
scanning the shelves — Students in grades three and four from SS. Peter and Paul School toured the Fall River Public Library led by David Mello. Students learned how to locate a book, made bookmarks, went on a scavenger hunt, watched a movie, and won free books in a raffle.
great state of mind — Third-grade students at Holy Name School in Fall River, left, put the finishing touches on their Social Studies assessment project — Massachusetts Mobile. Each student created a map showing important places in Mass., then attached several state symbols to complete their creative design. Anna Elumba, right, a fourth-grade student was honored recently with other fourthgraders throughout the city whose essays were chosen to receive this year’s Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Fall River Dollars for Scholars American Dream Challenge Essay Awards.
April 20, 2012
Let no one look down upon you because you are young
ne of the great privileges that I have is working in various youth programs that are near and dear to my heart. One program that specifically is important to me not only helps young people develop their faith, but also leaves them with very important life skills. The Christian Leadership Institute helps young people develop his or her natural and supernatural selves. CLI seeks to foster the leadership potential of young men and women and to heighten each young person’s awareness of leadership and ministerial roles and responsibilities in the parish and high school and work settings. CLI daily sessions focus on the art of leadership, communication skills, leadership styles, group dynamics and planning skills. Other sessions explore various aspects of Catholic Christian discipleship, and how that is embodied through prayer and Liturgy, moral decisionmaking, sacramental living and service. CLI participants are challenged to use their skills and talents in planning sessions for specific portions of the daily program: morning wake-up, morning and night prayer, meal blessings, daily Liturgy and evening socials. Despite this full schedule, there is still time for relaxation and recreation on the grounds of the diocesan retreat facility, Cathedral Camp, East Freetown. CLI is a blast … in fact CLI has been rated by graduates as nearly a perfect 10 year after year! Many young people may feel that they are not ready for leadership. After all, they are too young to be an influence in their environments are they not? Nothing could be further from the truth! Young people have such an opportunity to shape and influence their work, school and Church communities. CLI seeks to give young people the skills to help them accomplish that. One of my favorite Bible passages that we use on CLI is the one in which we hear about St. Paul, who went from town to town sharing the message of Christ with everyone. Before he left each town, however, he always left behind a new teacher, someone whom he had enabled as a minister, an elder who was respected as a leader in the community. But in one town, he could not find such an elder, so he called a young man named Timothy. This young Timothy became the first youth leader of the New Testament. As St. Paul continued his ministry in other towns, he supported Timothy
through letters. Here is part woman, who became King of St. Paul’s message sent to Xerxes’ queen, called by God to Timothy, a message that is also plead to the king to save the Issent to us. “Let no one look down upon you because you are young, but be an example to all in speech and behavior, in love, faithfulness and purity. By Frank Lucca Devote your attention to the public reading of the Scriptures, to teaching and to prayer. Do not neglect the spiritual gifts raelites from death at the hands you possess, which was given of Haman. to you through the laying on of And there was Jeremiah, called hands by the elders as a body. to remind the Israelites of God’s Make these matters the most faithfulness to them at the very important things in your life, so time of their unfaithfulness to God. that your progress may be seen Many other young men and by all. Keep strong in them, women were called by God with a close watch on yourself to share the special message. and your teaching, for by doing Among these was a young so you will further your own woman named Mary, called to salvation and that of the people bear God’s own Son and bring who listen to you.” Him into this world. During the closing hours of All are living examples of CLI, the team shares with the what youth can accomplish with candidates a number of Bible God’s help. stories in which a young person Is there any doubt that all is called to a role of leadership. young people can be called to Here are a few examples: be leaders? The 15 adult leaders Remember David, of David that conduct the CLI experiand Goliath fame? Imagine ence believe that each and every David’s fear as he came face to young person can develop the face with this strong and power- skills that are necessary to make ful warrior, armed only with a a difference in this world. The slingshot and five stones. Yet, team has already begun prepaGod responded by giving David rations for the arrival of the courage and strength. David candidates to CLI this summer. slew Goliath, and saved God’s We can accept 50 or so candipeople from certain death at the dates and unfortunately over the hands of the Philistines. last few years we’ve had less There was Esther, a young than full capacity. We need to
Be Not Afraid
invest in our youth and I hope every parish will consider sending a candidate so that we will be at full capacity this year. Our young people deserve it. Our Church needs it. I would encourage all of you, whether a young person, or an adult, to take a look at CLI. CLI will be held on June 23-28, 2012 at Cathedral Camp. For more information, please visit http:// www.fallriverfaithformation.org/.
More than 1,000 young people have lived the CLI experience over the past 24 years. I hope to meet some of you this summer at CLI 2012. You are being called to Christian leadership. Respond! Frank Lucca is a youth minister at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea. He is chairman and director of the YES! Retreat and director of the Christian Leadership Institute (CLI). He is a husband and a father of two daughters. He may be reached at stdominicyouthministry@ comcast.net.
Pastoral Planning: Finding faith within the numbers continued from page one
whole new way of looking at the outlay of parishes and schools, and that’s hard because in many ways we have to make cases for change.” “We are invited into parishes to help them with a variety of things,” said Rinkacs, who came on board in 2009. “The data that we collect helps pastors makes decisions in the future of their parish. It’s always future planning, and future planning does not always mean a closure or merger — it could — but future planning is also working with councils and building mission statements and goals.” Every Tuesday, Rodrigues and Rinkacs meet to discuss what they both label as “project” driven schedules that include a lot of driving to face-to-face meetings with pastors and councils. Data has to be contextualized and explained so that it is properly understood, and just like Rodrigues’ and Rinkacs’ weekly schedule, data is fluid and always changing. From 2000-2010, two areas in the diocese saw marriages decrease by 50 percent — a “catastrophic” finding, said Rodrigues. Immigrants, once coming in waves and helping to feed parish populations, has dwindled and isn’t being replaced. The number of priests has dropped, as well as practicing Catholics attending Mass; and then there is an even more important question being asked. “Where’s our youth?” asked Rodrigues. “We have had cases where pastors have asked us to give them outlays of the general demographics of what is going on in their church and what they can do. What’s beginning to happen, unfortunately — and this isn’t a symptom of just this diocese, it’s happening throughout the northeast corridor and parts of the Midwest — is we’re getting at the point where we’re running almost a one-to-one relationship of children being baptized in the Church and people who are dying. These are the issues that keep Diane and me up
at night because we’re looking at that dreaded term ‘downsizing.’” Working with pastors to compile data means making sure all Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, deaths, marriages in the parish, as well as the number of households and estimated individual Catholics of a parish are as close to being accurate as possible. Rinkacs begins to compile the majority of that data from the 90 parishes in autumn, with parishes on Cape Cod submitting their numbers in January. Not only do the data help properly allocate resources within the diocese, it helps pastors guide their parish pastoral councils. “You have 12 people, who may or may not know each other, but all have a set of different expectations and a different history of the parish,” said Rinkacs. Both she and Rodrigues often attend and guide parish councils, helping members put the emphasis on the Church and its mission rather than on one individual’s personal agenda. Rinkacs is currently working with three pastors who have varying needs regarding their respective councils: “One wants some training,” she said. “One is going to the next phase of council so they want the best information to help choose the best council members, and the third is working on goals for his parish; his parish is unique because it has three different languageMasses. Presenting data isn’t always when there’s a merger or closing.” And yet sometimes a closing or a merger is unavoidable, as is the case with Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Fall River. A binder sits on Rodrigues’ desk stuffed with presentations and factual information gathered about the parishes, and is brought to every task force meeting for Rodrigues to continue to add his own notes on the process of the merger. “What you’re doing is making a case for change,” said Rodrigues, who said those involved understandably have intense emotional responses to the data being presented. “Part of our responsibility is to move people away from thinking on an emotional level to a cerebral level, and that’s hard. What we try to do is to encourage them to look at the situation by the facts, as hard as the facts are.” Even as emotions boil over, all present are reminded that each decision is rooted in prayer. This is done not to ignore or demean the emotions of those involved, but to remind those attending
April 20, 2012 ning; it’s hard for people to look beyond attending Mass in their favorite pew. Rodrigues has helped design and provide a template for people to inform them of what is exactly transpiring and how the mission of the Church cannot be lost in emotion. “We always try to maintain that optimism, that there is a future,” said Rinkacs. “If there wasn’t, we wouldn’t be doing this.” Rodrigues and Rinkacs are preparing for the end-of-year review, when they sit down with Bishop Coleman and present past data and discuss the plans for the upcoming year. Before that, Rodrigues will be packing
his bags to attend the national Pastoral Planners Convention in Chicago. As chairman of the planning committee, Rodrigues helped gather presenters to focus on this year’s theme of “Revitalizing our Mission as a Church: 50 Years since the Vatican Council.” “Our legacy isn’t brick and mortar,” said Rodrigues. “Our legacy is how we transmit the faith to our children and grandchildren. We have to look towards the future.” “We [the Church] don’t want to be so small that we’re not ready and able and willing to be open when people come back,” said Rinkacs. “That’s when we want to be welcoming.”
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. If the legislature fails to act on the bill by May 2, proponents would need to gather nearly 11,500 certified signatures in order to put the measure before voters in November. More than 50 opponents of physician-assisted suicide testified at a committee hearing at the statehouse March 6. They said the legislation lacks safeguards and could lead to elder abuse. They warned that the life expectancy estimates of terminally-ill patients are often incorrect. 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-prescribed 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.” 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.
Peter McNulty, the MCC’s associate director for policy and research, told The Anchor that the bishops hope the Massachusetts measure will go the way of the Vermont bill. “It is incredibly important that we hold the line in the northeast. Vermont has done a great job of doing that,” he said. “The northeast is really seen as a gateway to the rest of the country. We are an epicenter for medical thought and medical expertise. If one of the northeast states falls, I think it’s a signal to the rest of the country that we’re ripe for this sort of dangerous legislation to come through.” Mineau said supporters of doctor-prescribed death see Massachusetts as a bellwether for their “bad public policy.” “They see Vermont and Massachusetts as low hanging fruit, the easiest place for their next stepping stone in order to spread this thing across the nation. Ultimately, that’s their goal,” he said.
NEW BEDFORD — The Diocese of Fall River’s Interfaith Office is one of several area organizations working with the Holocaust Education and Memorial Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford on the Annual Holocaust Memorial in Observance, Yom HaShoah, taking place April 29 in New Bedford. Father Marc H. Bergeron, director of the diocesan Interfaith Office said this year’s event is in memory of Holy Name parishioner James Wilcox, a long-time friend of the area Jewish community, who passed away April 11. Yom HaShoah begins with a memorial service and candle-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Holocaust Monument in Buttonwood Park at the corner of Hawthorn Street and Rockdale Avenue.
The memorial program is at 7:30 p.m. at the Tifereth Israel Congregation, 145 Brownell Avenue, and is free and open to the public. The guest speaker is Leon Rubinstein, author of “As I Am Presently Known.” Rubinstein, 79, grew up in a small town in Eastern Poland during the 1930s, and lost his family and home to the Nazi regime. He hid in a potato field for years, was conscripted into the Russian Army as a teen, and was later smuggled into British Palestine before emigrating to the United States in the early 1950s. In 2002 his son Wade and he began to chronicle Leon’s life and the result is “As I Am Presently Known,” a powerful story of endurance, spirit and survival. Rubinstein was also an inventor and engineer. He is retired and resides
in Falmouth. A book-signing will follow the talk. The service will also include a performance by the student ensemble, “Dream Out Loud.” In addition to the Interfaith Office other coordinators include the City of New Bedford, Tifereth Israel Synagogue, Church Women United of Greater New Bedford, the National Council of Jewish Women New Bedford Section, No Place for Hate, the Jewish War Veterans Post 154, the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford, the Orthodox Chavurah Minyan of New Bedford, and the Center for Jewish Culture at UMass-Dartmouth. For more information contact the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford at 508-997-7471 or visit www.jewishnewbedford.org.
that Jesus never promised anyone an institution or particular parish. He just said that you have a job to do, said Rodrigues. “This office is here to help foster the Church’s message of evangelization. What are the two things Jesus said to His Apostles before His ascension? ‘Go and teach all nations’; that’s why we exist,” said Rodrigues. “That’s why the Church exists, why dioceses exist and why parishes exist. And the second thing He said to them is, ‘I am with you always.’ Isn’t that all we really need?” It’s not an end but a begin-
Doctor-prescribed death bill defeated in Vermont continued from page one
New Bedford Holocaust memorial is April 29
April 20, 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 Father John Mackey Fee, SS.CC.
NEW BEDFORD — Father John Mackey Fee, SS.CC., 86, a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Fairhaven, passed away at Sacred Heart Nursing Home in New Bedford April 11 after an extended illness. Father Fee was one of three sons born to Margaret (Sullivan) and John Fee in South River, N.J. He is survived by his brother James of Farmington Hills, Mich. and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother Joseph. Father Fee took his temporary vows in Fairhaven on Sept. 14, 1951 and professed final vows in Jaffrey, N.H. on Sept. 14, 1954. He was ordained a priest on June 8, 1956. After a six-year teaching assignment in California, in 1963 he served as assistant pastor at Holy Trinity in Harwich, Our Lady of Lourdes in Wellfleet and at St. Mary’s in Fairhaven, later assisting with Enthronement work in Washington, D.C. In 1988 he requested and was granted assignment to the Archdiocese of Detroit where he served for 23 years. In 2010 Father Fee retired to Damien Residence in Fairhaven. A Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church in Fairhaven on April 18, followed by burial in the Sacred Hearts Community Cemetery.
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks April 21 Rev. John O’Beirne, Pastor, St. Mary, Taunton Rev. Thomas Feeley, CSC, Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, 2004 April 22 Rev. James L. Smith, Pastor, Sacred Heart, Taunton, 1910 Rev. Thomas F. Fitzgerald, Pastor, St. Mary, Nantucket, 1954 April 23 Rev. John J. Murphy, Retired, Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River, 2007 April 25 Rev. John J. Wade, Assistant, Sacred Heart, Fall River, 1940 Rev. Raymond J. Lynch, Chaplain, Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River, 1955 April 26 Rev. Ubalde Deneault, Retired Pastor, St. Joseph, Attleboro, 1982 Rev. James F. Greene, Pastor, Our Lady of Fatima, New Bedford, 2002 April 27 Rev. Francis J. Bradley, D.D., Retired Rector, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River, 1925 Rev. Romeo D. Archambault, St. Anne, New Bedford, 1949 Rev. Edward F. O’Keefe, S.J., Retired, St. Francis Xavier, Boston, 1973
Around the Diocese 4/21
Courage, a welcoming support group for Catholics wounded by same-sex attraction who gather to seek God’s wisdom, mercy and love will meet tomorrow at 6 p.m. For location information, call Father Richard D. Wilson at 508-992-9408.
Students from Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth, as part of their The Faith In Action Together program, are hosting a used books/movies/cds sale at the school gym tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit the American Heart Association.
The Pro-Life Prayer Groups of Holy Trinity and Holy Redeemer parishes are hosting a holy hour April 25 beginning with a 9 a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich, followed by the Rosary, Pro-Life prayers and Benediction. Please come and pray for an end to abortion.
A healing Mass will take pace at St. Anne’s Church, 818 Middle Street, Fall River, April 26. The Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. followed by the Mass, Benediction, and healing prayers.
The diocesan Divorced and Separated Support Group will meet April 26 at St. Julie Billiart Parish Center, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth at 7 p.m. This will be an open meeting where one is free to discuss personal difficulties regarding separation and divorce. For information call 508-993-0589 or 508-673-2997.
A “Fire of Love” Youth Rally featuring music minister Martin Doman will be held April 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (including Mass) at St. Margaret’s Church in Buzzards Bay. The rally is open to all youth in grades eight to 12 and is perfect for Confirmation classes. To sign up, call 508-7597777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www. martindoman.com.
The Fall River Diocesan Council of Catholic Nurses is hosting a presentation about “Meditations for those who serve others,” by Father Thomas Costa Jr., chaplain at Cape Cod Hospital. The event will take place at Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River in the Nannery Conference Room on April 28 from 9-11:30 a.m. and will provide the opportunity to learn how to meditate and why it should be incorporated into one’s prayer life. Mass and lunch will follow. Registration deadline is April 20. For information contact Betty at 508-678-2373.
“Spring Into Health,” a fair presented by the parish nursing of St. Anthony Parish, East Falmouth; Our Lady of Victory Parish, Centerville; and Christ the King Parish, Mashpee, will be held April 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Christ the King Parish Hall in Mashpee. Come visit the health informational booths, health screenings and listen to talks on “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” “Congestive heart failure” and “Aromatherapy use in Hospice care.” Visit www.christthekingparish.com for directions or more information.
On April 29 visionary Ivan Dragicevic of Medjugorje will be at Corpus Christi Parish in East Sandwich for an evening of prayer and reflection with Our Lady, Queen of Peace. Reconciliation will be available from 5 p.m., followed by the Rosary at 6 p.m. and a time of silence at 6:40 p.m. Father George Harrison will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. and Ivan will speak from 8 to 9 p.m. All are welcome. For more information or directions, call Maureen at 508-8882740 or 508-326-8006.
The Lazarus Ministry of Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster is offering a six-week bereavement support program on Thursdays, called, “Come Walk With Me,” beginning May 3 through June 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the parish center. The program is designed for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one within the past year. Pre-registration is required with a small fee for materials. For information contact Happy Whitman at 508-385-3252 or Eileen Birch at 508-394-0616.
A Day with Mary will take place May 5 from 7:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Holy Family Parish, East Taunton, including a video presentation, procession, crowning of the Blessed Mother, Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and an opportunity for Reconciliation. Bookstore available during breaks. For more information call 508-996-8274.
The Knights of Columbus of St. Mary’s Parish in Mansfield will be hosting a pancake breakfast on May 6 to benefit and support diocesan seminarian Jack Schrader. For more information call 617-
April 20, 2012
Visit the Diocese of Fall River website at fallriverdiocese.org The site includes links to parishes, diocesan offices and national sites.
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