Diocese of Fall River
F riday , May 11, 2012
Moms blessed, remembered by St. Pius X award winners By Dave Jolivet, Editor
NORTH ATTLEBORO — Blessed Mother Teresa, extolling the virtues of motherhood, once said, “The woman is at the heart of the home. Let us pray that we women realize the reason for our existence: to love and be loved and through this love become instruments of peace in the world.” Emulating the shining example of the Blessed Mother, mothers leave an indelible mark on their children, blessings from God. This Mother’s Day, Rosemary Ducharme, a parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in North Attleboro, will be doubly blessed. Durcharme’s twin daughters, 18-year-old Emily and Rachel Ducharme, will receive the Diocese of Fall River’s St. Pius X Youth Award from Bishop George W. Coleman at ceremonies at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Tuesday
night at 7 p.m. A record 61 young men and women will receive the award this year, evoking feelings of joy and pride from mothers across the diocese ... as well as from dads, siblings, grandparents, pastors, and friends. “It is with great pleasure and admiration that for the first time, we are honoring more than 60 young men and women at this year’s Pope Pius X Awards,” said Crystal-Lynn Medeiros, assistant director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the diocesan Office of Faith Formation. “As the years pass by, I have noticed more and more teens being empowered in their parish communities for various leadership roles. This is a true witness to our teen-agers that, yes, there is a place for you in the Church and your gifts Turn to page 14
Msgr. John J. Perry
Msgr. Stephen J. Avila
Msgr. Edmund J. Fitzgerald
Msgr. John F. Moore
Msgr. Ronald A. Tosti
Papal Honors conferred on six diocesan priests
FALL RIVER — Pope Benedict XVI has conferred papal honors on six priests of the Fall River Diocese. Bishop George W. Coleman was informed of the honors through the offices of the Apostolic Nuncio — or papal representative — to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. Msgr. John A. Perry, the vicar general of the Fall River Diocese, has been named a Protonotary Apostolic. It is the highest honorary title that is awarded to a priest. Five priests have been named Prelates of Honor to His Holiness. They are Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, Msgr. Edmund J. Fitzgerald, Msgr. John F. Moore, Msgr. Ronald A. Tosti, and Father Barry W. Wall, who will now have the title of Reverend Monsignor. In a letter to all priests of the diocese announcing the papal honors, Bishop Coleman said that, “The Holy Father, through these honors, has recognized the dedicated pastoral work that these brother priests have carried out in fidelity to the mission of the Church. In a very real sense, these honors recognize also the contributions of all priests of our presbyterate in giving wit-
Msgr. Barry W. Wall
ness to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.” To the newly-honored, the bishop offered his “prayers and heartfelt congratulations.” For the first five of the honorees, who were named Chaplains to His Holiness by Pope John Paul II in 1999 with the title of reverend monsignor, this recent recognition represents an elevation within the ranks of papal honors in the Church. Those designated with papal honors are entitled to wear distinctive vesture that is specific to each rank. In the fall, at a date to be announced, the honors will be publicly bestowed in the context of prayer at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. Msgr. Perry has been vicar general and moderator of the curia of the Fall River Diocese since 2003. As such, he assists the bishop as his deputy in the administration of the diocese. He is also pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Falmouth. He was born in Pawtucket, R.I., and grew up in Attleboro. He was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 2, 1963 by Bishop James L. Connolly. In the early years Turn to page 15
Fairhaven priest to follow St. Damien’s footsteps to Hawaii
By Becky Aubut Anchor Staff
FAIRHAVEN — As parishes across the diocese celebrated
yesterday the feast day of St. Damien of Molokai, Father Patrick Killilea of St. Mary’s Parish in Fairhaven was preparing to
RUNNING THE GOOD RACE — Twin sisters Emily, left, and Rachel Ducharme, parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish in North Attleboro will receive the St. Pius X Youth Award on May 15 at St. Mary’s Cathedral along with 59 other young men and women.
2012 Catholic Charities Appeal update — page 18
HALLOWED GROUND – Father Patrick Killilea stands next to the replica of St. Damien’s altar located in St. Philomena’s Parish in Kalaupapa, Hawaii. The island of Molokai was the site of St. Damien’s ministry to those exiled from the island suffering from leprosy.
follow in St. Damien’s spiritual footsteps more literally, as he prepares to settle into his new assignment at Kalaupapa, Hawaii in July. Located on the island of Molokai, Kalaupapa is the location of the community of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) patients served by St. Damien up until his death on April 15, 1889. In 1977, Pope Paul VI declared Father Damien to be venerable; Pope John Paul II declared Damien blessed on June 4, 1995, granting Damien a memorial feast day to be celebrated on May 10; and Pope Benedict XVI canonized St. Damien on Oct. 11, 2009. Father Killilea went for a short visit to Kalaupapa in 2004. “I was asked to offer Mass at the main church, which is St. Francis,” said Father Killilea, of the church located at the heart of the settlement. “During that Mass, I Turn to page 18
News From the Vatican
May 11, 2012
Closeness to God gives strength to withstand everything, pope says VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Church’s first martyr found the strength to face his accusers because of his close relationship with God, Pope Benedict XVI said. St. Stephen, who was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death, upheld the faith and gave witness to Christ as the righteous One proclaimed by the prophets, the pope said during the general audience in St. Peter’s Square May 2. Continuing his catechesis on Christian prayer, the pope focused on St. Stephen, who was “accused of saying that Jesus would destroy the temple and the customs handed down by Moses.” The saint told his accusers the body of Jesus is the new temple of God; it is in Jesus that God and humanity are in true contact, which makes real communion with God and transformation possible, the pope said. The saint explained how God does not dwell in places made by human hands; the “new true temple where God dwells is in His Son,” who gathers and unites all people in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, the pope said. Today’s Christians can draw inspiration from St. Stephen, who found strength during his martyrdom in his relationship with God and by meditating on the history of salvation. “Our prayer, too, must be nourished by listening to the word of God in communion with Jesus and His Church,” he said. In Christ, people can make real contact with God “with the trust and abandon of children who turn to a father who loves them infinitely,” he said. Of the more than 20,000 pilgrims from all over the world who attended the general audience, an altar-server from the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas,
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had the privilege of meeting Pope Benedict. Armando Sanchez, 17, came to Rome thanks to the Make-AWish Foundation. “When they told me that I had this opportunity to go wherever I wanted and meet whomever I wanted, I did think about celebrities, but I said no,” Sanchez said in an interview with The Valley Catholic, newspaper of the Brownsville diocese. At the end of the audience, Sanchez and his mother, Maria de la Luz Sanchez, greeted the pope. The pope shook their hands and blessed the teen. Sanchez has been a cancer patient for 16 years and has multiple tumors in his heart, brain and optical tracts, according to The Valley Catholic. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been fulfilling the wishes of hundreds of thousands of children and teens with life-threatening illnesses since its founding in 1980. “Many young people would rather go to Disney — he chose Rome,” Oblate Father Michael Amesse told The Valley Catholic. “That speaks volumes. He loves God so much,” said Father Amesse, who is rector of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, where Armando is an altar server. The teen’s mother told The Valley Catholic that “Armando is an example for the whole world. He doesn’t need or want anyone’s help. He takes care of himself. He is very strong.” The teen said he plans on pursuing a career in pathology after high school graduation and that is also discerning the priesthood. While he briefly went through a period of being angry about his condition, today he said he has accepted it. “Some people have stressful jobs or pressures at home, this is my cross to carry,” he said. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 56, No. 19
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special guest speaker — Pope Benedict XVI speaks at Rome’s Sacred Heart University recently. The pope spoke to hundreds of people, including Italian government officials, gathered in the square outside the auditorium of the university’s Department of Medicine and Surgery. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
Progress brings problems when detached from truth, faith, pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Excluding truth and the transcendent from scientific debate and research has impoverished modern thought and weakened the intellect’s ability to understand reality, Pope Benedict XVI said. True intellectual and scientific progress requires an openness to dialogue with opposing views, rather than settling with the “mere repetition” of what one already knows, he added. The pope made his remarks May 3 in an address to faculty, doctors and students at Rome’s Sacred Heart University, one of the biggest Catholic universities in the world. The pope spoke to hundreds of people, including Italian government officials, gathered in the square outside the auditorium of the university’s Agostino Gemelli Department of Medicine and Surgery. His visit marked the 50th anniversary of the faculty’s founding. The pope praised the scientific and technological discoveries that have been made in modern times, saying they rightly are a source of pride. However, the “breakneck” speed of innovation sometimes has brought with it “disturbing consequences.” Lurking behind the optimism about all the new possibilities now open to humanity is “the shadow of a crisis of thought,” he said. Mankind has a plethora of new tools and means but often lacks noble ends because the prevailing culture of “reductionism and relativism” has led to the disappearance of the true meaning of things, he said. “Almost blinded by technical potency, (humanity) forgets the fundamental question of meaning, thereby banishing the transcendental dimension to irrelevance,” he said. In this kind of environment, the pope said, intellectual thought “becomes weak” and is based on impoverished ethical foundations,
which “clouds valuable normative points of reference.” “A mentality that is basically techno-practical creates a risky imbalance between what is technically possible and what is morally good, with unforeseeable consequences,” he said. Therefore, it is critical that modern culture rediscover the meaning and role of the transcendent, he said. Scientific inquiry and the search for meaning both share the same source — the “logos” or creative rationality of God Himself, Pope Benedict said. In fact, the search for truth and for the absolute has been part of what fuels the desire to deepen scientific enquiry and all areas of human knowledge, he said. The very same motivation behind scientific discovery “originates in the longing for God that dwells in the human heart: essentially scientists aim — often unconsciously — to obtain that truth that can give meaning to life.” Science and faith have a mutually enriching relationship, the pope said, and reflect an “almost complementary requirement” for discerning reality. “Yet paradoxically, a positivistic culture, which excludes the question of God from scientific debate, leads to the decline of thought and the weakening of the intellect’s ability” to understand reality, he said. Christianity doesn’t drive faith into the realm of the irrational, rather it shines light on the dizzying maze of options and alternatives in the world, and guides people toward the right path of “the way, the truth and the light” in Jesus Christ. When it is carried out correctly, “research is illuminated by science and faith and draws its impetus and enthusiasm from these two ‘wings’ without ever losing the accordant humility and sense of limits,” he said.
Thus, “the search for God becomes fruitful for the intellect, a leaven of culture, a promoter of true humanism and a quest that doesn’t stop at the surface,” he said. Sacred Heart’s teaching hospital — usually referred to as the Gemelli Hospital and known for treating popes — has always known that healing isn’t a job, but a mission, the pope said. Research, teaching and study come together so that the institution reaches its full innovative potential, he said. “No progress, let alone in the cultural sphere, feeds on mere repetition, but requires an ever new beginning” that demands an “openness to comparison and dialogue, which broadens the intellect and gives witness to the rich, prolific nature of the heritage of the faith.” A strong, well-formed Christian identity will influence everything one does and can be expressed by top-notch professionalism, he said. Catholic universities have a particular tie to the Church and are called to be “exemplary institutions” that don’t reduce their vision to what is the most pragmatic, productive or economically advantageous or necessary. Rather, they enlarge their horizons to use human wisdom to explore and develop the gifts of creation, he added. Merging scientific research with unconditional service to life is what defines the university’s department of medicine because faith is being used as an inner resource and guide that does not overpower or oppose professional research and avid learning, he said. The pope encouraged the university to continue its work protecting human dignity and protecting life at all its stages. Love for the human person, especially the weak, helpless and suffering must be at the core of medicine and research because “without love, science, too, loses its nobility. Only love guarantees the humanity of research,” he said.
The International Church Nature of Chen’s dissent stems from opposition to forced abortion
May 11, 2012
TORONTO (CNS) — As Chinese and U.S. diplomats sought a resolution to the diplomatic crisis surrounding Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, many Chinese-Americans turned their attention to the nature of Chen’s dissent. Without challenging any fundamental tenet of China’s constitution or its 1949 revolution, Chen has focused attention to the country’s forced abortion and sterilization practices, leading to a crackdown by the government on his movement and prohibitions on contact with foreigners and the media. The prominence of the selftaught, blind lawyer rose when he escaped from house arrest in Shandong province April 22 and arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing several days later. As Chen went from the embassy to a hospital, the U.S. sought assurances that he would be released from house arrest and that he and his family would not be harmed. Chen told reporters police were in his home waving clubs in front of his wife. China has accused the U.S. of meddling in the country’s internal affairs. “Chen Guangcheng is not just a dissident. In fact, he did not even advocate against the central government. He is a folk hero in China,” Chai Ling, founder and president of All Girls Allowed, told a U.S. Congressional hear-
ing in Washington May 3. “He’s a defender of women, children and the poor. Chen has worked tirelessly on behalf of women who face forced abortion and sterilization at the hands of officials who should be protecting their citizens’ rights,” said Chai, whose organization campaigns to defend women facing forced abortions in China. In 2005, Chen organized a class-action lawsuit that accused city officials in Linyi, Shandong province, of illegally forcing women to undergo abortions as a means of enforcing China’s onechild policy. Chen was arrested after filing the lawsuit. He eventually served four years in prison for “damaging property and organizing a mob to disturb traffic” during a demonstration against the practice. When his sentence ended in 2010, Chinese officials considered him unrepentant and likely to reoffend, so they kept him under soft arrest, a system of intense police scrutiny that kept him trapped in his house and away from the media and foreigners. Chen still represents an intolerable threat to China’s government, said Jesuit Father John Meehan, an expert on China and a faculty member at Campion College at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. “By calling attention to the abortion practices of the Chinese
regime, Chen has embarrassed Chinese officials in the eyes of the nation and the world,” Father Meehan said in an email to The Catholic Register, a national Catholic weekly based in Toronto. “At this stage, Chinese officials are unlikely to let him go free.” Many Chinese have begun to question the necessity and wisdom of the one-child policy, he said. “The one-child policy has been undermined in recent years by various forces,” Father Meehan explained. “For one, it was not fully applied to rural areas or ethnic minorities. But as China develops, it is beginning to demonstrate low birth rates as found in most developed countries. As China’s birth rate declines, the regime may no longer use the one-child policy to curb population growth. Moreover, China will begin to face a rapidly aging population, much like developed Asian nations.” The policy amounts to a kind of war on baby girls, according to Chai, a Boston-area entrepreneur who first came to prominence as a student leader during Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Her organization claims one out of every six Chinese girls is aborted, killed or abandoned at birth because of Chinese cultural preference for male children. Chai also claimed as many as 35,000 women in China are
coerced into abortion every day. The practice amounts to “brutal control over women and children and the whole nation,” she said. “He (Chen) is one of the few people who has the courage to stand up and speak for the women and children. They (govern-
ment officials) don’t want their authority, their brutal policy to be challenged,” Chai added. “It’s a shame for the rest of the world to have ignored this policy for this long,” she said. “It’s a shame for world leaders to have tolerated this policy for so long.”
speaking his mind — U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, holds the hand of blind activist Chen Guangcheng as they talk in Beijing May 2. Chen has focused attention to the country’s forced abortion and sterilization practices, leading to a crackdown by the government on his movement and prohibitions on contact with foreigners and the media. (CNS photo/U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office handout via Reuters)
The Church in the U.S.
May 11, 2012
Religious freedom expert faults President Obama’s prayer proclamation
Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) — A legal expert in religious freedom believes that President Barack Obama’s recent prayer proclamation reflects a wider problem of viewing constitutional protections for religious liberty as being limited to “mere belief.” “I don’t know that the president intentionally wrote it in this fashion,” said Robert Tyler, general counsel for the non-profit legal group Advocates for Faith and Freedom. However, he explained to CNA on May 2, the wording of the proclamation “reflects a real problem” in the understanding of religious freedom. On May 1, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring May 3 as a National Day of Prayer in the United States. Since 1952, every U.S. president has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation calling on Americans to give thanks for their blessings and seek divine guidance for the future. In his proclamation, Obama offered thanks for a “democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience.” Religious freedom has become a hotlydebated issue after the Obama Administration issued a mandate that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and drugs that can cause early abortions, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs. Critics of the mandate argue that the Obama Administration is failing to respect the right to religious freedom, treating it as though it is merely a right to worship, but not to live out one’s beliefs. Tyler explained that the American founders “absolutely” intended for the First Amendment’s religion freedom protections to apply to actions as well as beliefs. This view was carried down throughout most of America’s history, he said.
However, in 1990, the Supreme Court held in Employment Division v. Smith that laws which burden religion are acceptable as long as they are “neutral and generally applicable,” he said. This ruling “has created quite a problem for the free exercise of religion in America today,” explained Tyler, observing that it has led to the idea that religious freedom merely means “believing whatever you want to believe” and does not extend to cover conduct. As a result, he said, there have been increasing attempts in recent years to burden the free exercise of religion. But for two centuries before prior to the ruling “basically everybody understood” religious freedom as a broad liberty that extends to actions as well as beliefs. This view is illustrated in the 1963 Sherbert v. Verner case, in which the Supreme Court held that laws imposing a burden on the free exercise of religion are subject to the highest level of scrutiny, he said. This previous understanding, which was present throughout the vast majority of American history, is “much more consistent” with what the American founders meant, Tyler explained. He observed that the First Amendment was written to provide a “really vast” protection for religious freedom. Tyler also asserted that several members of the Supreme Court — including Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith — probably did not intend for the decision to be used in the way it has been. He believes that if given the chance, the Supreme Court would likely attempt to “curtail the impact” of the 1990 case. Obama’s National Day of Prayer proclamation, he said, reflects the “errant decision” of the Supreme Court in 1990, which should be abandoned in favor of a fuller and more accurate understanding of the First Amendment.
catholic student — Graduate Lola Yellico of Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y., prays during the school’s commencement Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre in this file photo. Pope Benedict XVI called on America’s Catholic colleges and universities to reaffirm their Catholic identity by ensuring orthodoxy in theological studies and accepting the oversight of bishops. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)
Pope tells American colleges to strengthen Catholic identity
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI called on America’s Catholic colleges and universities to reaffirm their Catholic identity by ensuring orthodoxy in theological studies and accepting the oversight of bishops. The pope made his remarks to U.S. bishops from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming, who were making their periodic “ad limina” visits to the Vatican. While he acknowledged recent efforts by America’s Catholic institutions of higher education to “reaffirm their distinctive identity in fidelity to their founding ideals and the Church’s mission,” Pope Benedict said that “much remains to be done.” The pope emphasized the need for compliance with canon law in the appointment of theology instructors, who are required to possess a “mandate” from the “competent ecclesiastical authority,” ordinarily the local bishop. The requirement for a mandate was underscored in 1990 by Blessed John Paul II in his apostolic constitution “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” but many Catholic theology departments in the U.S. have yet to comply. Pope Benedict said that the need for a mandate was especially clear in light of the “confusion created by instances of apparent dissidence between some representatives of Catholic institutions and the Church’s pastoral leadership.” “Such discord harms the Church’s witness and, as experience has shown, can easily be exploited to compromise her authority and her freedom,” the pope said. U.S. bishops have clashed with the administrations of Catholic colleges and universities on a number of occasions in recent years, with some of the most prominent cases involving invited speakers who dissent from Catholic moral teaching. In March, Anna Maria University in Worcester, retracted its invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, to speak at the university’s commencement, after Bishop Robert J. McManus objected to Victoria Kennedy’s support for legalized abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage. On May 4, Jesuit-run Georgetown Uni-
versity announced that Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, will give the commencement speech at the university’s public policy institute on May 18. Sebelius, a Catholic, is currently at odds with U.S. bishops over the Obama Administration’s plan to require that the private health insurance plans of most Catholic institutions cover surgical sterilization procedures and artificial birth control. Chieko Noguchi, director of communications for Washington’s Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, said the cardinal had no comment on Georgetown’s announcement. In his speech to U.S. bishops, Pope Benedict said that preservation of a university’s Catholic identity “entails much more than the teaching of religion or the mere presence of a chaplaincy on campus.” “In every aspect of their education, students need to be encouraged to articulate a vision of the harmony of faith and reason capable of guiding a life-long pursuit of knowledge and virtue,” the pope said. The pope contrasted the Catholic ideal of education with a current trend toward academic overspecialization. “Faith’s recognition of the essential unity of all knowledge provides a bulwark against the alienation and fragmentation which occurs when the use of reason is detached from the pursuit of truth and virtue,” he said. “In this sense, Catholic institutions have a specific role to play in helping to overcome the crisis of universities today.” Pope Benedict said that reaffirming Catholic identity in education is part of a broader effort to build a distinctively Catholic “intellectual culture” in the U.S., and a “society ever more solidly grounded in an authentic humanism inspired by the gospel.” Although his remarks principally concerned higher education, the pope also praised the “generous commitment, often accompanied by personal sacrifice” of teachers and administrators in America’s Catholic elementary and high schools. Pope Benedict acknowledged the schools’ efforts to ensure that Catholic education “remains within the reach of all families, whatever their financial status.”
May 11, 2012
The Church in the U.S.
miracle cure — Caroline Villa, a first-grader at St. Stephen Elementary School in Worcester, gives flowers to Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, a member of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood, during a recent visit. The French nun’s cure from Parkinson’s disease was accepted as the miracle that paved the way for Blessed John Paul II’s beatification. (CNS photo/Tanya Connor, Catholic Free Press)
Nuns who experienced JPII miracle bring message of hope, victory
WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) — Nuns who experienced the miracle that led to Blessed John Paul II’s beatification brought a message of hope and victory through surrender to the Catholics of Worcester. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, healed of Parkinson’s disease in 2005, and Sister Marie Thomas Fabre, then her superior and now mother general of the Little Sisters of Catholic Maternity in France, were visiting the United States for the first time. They came at the invitation of Father Kazimierz Chwalek, provincial for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in the U.S. and Argentina, and Marie Romagnano, founder of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, to speak at a May 1-2 conference on medicine, bioethics and spirituality at the College of the Holy Cross. The Sisters, who speak only in French, also gave talks at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, St. Paul Cathedral in Worcester, St. Joseph Elementary School in Webster and St. Stephen Elementary School in Worcester. Among children crowding around them at St. Stephen’s was first-grader Caroline Villa, named for Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), who showed off her statue of the pontiff. “I think that it was an amazing experience because I don’t know how many people get to meet or listen to somebody that’s received a miracle,” said enthusiastic eighth-
grader Michaela Lavoie. “I found it interesting to be in the same room with someone who has experienced a miraculous cure, and the one who lived through it with her,” said Pauline Ludwig after the Sisters spoke at the health care conference. She is pastoral associate at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Webster and a nurse in Catholic Charities’ home care program. “I underlined this,” Ludwig said of something Sister Thomas said of Sister Simon-Pierre: She embraced “her sickness and did not run away from it. The disease may evolve and advance, but the person has the capability to recover interiorly. The periods of desolation can mysteriously become the beginning of inner joy.” Sister Thomas said she believed this healing grace was Sister Simon-Pierre’s first victory, before her physical healing. Sister Simon-Pierre was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in June 2001, when she was 40. It was hard for her to watch Pope John Paul on television, because his Parkinson’s revealed her future. After the pope’s death on April 2, 2005, Sister Simon-Pierre’s symptoms worsened. When Pope Benedict XVI opened the way, on May 13, 2005, for his predecessor’s beatification, the superior general asked the congregation to seek his intercession, so their sick sister could continue her nursing work. “On June 1, I had reached the end,” Sister Simon-Pierre said.
“The pain was unbearable, and the tremors were growing much worse.” On June 2, she told Sister Thomas she needed to be replaced in the maternity ward and that she accepted eventual wheelchair con-
finement. Sister Simon-Pierre said she could no longer write, and Sister Thomas, without reflecting on it, asked her to write John Paul II’s name. “Unconsciously, I wanted to verify that she could still write, it was not the end, and that she should not give up,” she said. “I remember praying and thinking at this moment that we had tried everything and that we had reached the end. ‘Lord, the only thing left is a miracle!’ That’s how I expressed my thoughts before she left: ‘John Paul II has not said his last word.’” That night, Sister Simon-Pierre said, she felt compelled to write, and wrote legibly. The next morning she was not stiff. She went to the chapel to thank God. She told Sister Thomas that afternoon that she was healed through Pope John Paul II’s intercession and showed her her handwriting. “It was really hers, but I had not seen it in years,” Sister Thomas said. Later she surprised the Sisters
5 by spontaneously invoking “St. John Paul II” as they prayed the Rosary. After the neurologist was shocked to find no more signs of Parkinson’s June 7, the congregation began a novena of thanksgiving to Pope John Paul II. A letter was sent to the postulator for his cause and the investigation began. On Jan. 14, 2011, Pope Benedict recognized her healing as a miracle. “I am aware that this unexplained healing is a pure merciful grace and that miracles are not daily occurrences,” Sister Thomas told the medical professionals. But, she said, “I sincerely believe that accompanying a patient with mercy in your heart, as you are doing, is already within itself, in our dehumanized society, a miracle of faith, hope, and charity.” Sister Simon-Pierre said she happily continues nursing. “Nothing is the same anymore,” she said. “A friend has gone far away from this earth while remaining so close to my heart.”
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The Anchor Genuine Catholic colleges and universities
The recent controversy over the decision of Anna Maria College to rescind its invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy to give its May 19 commencement address and receive an honorary degree concerns far more than a high profile public figure and a small college in Paxton. It touches on what Catholic education is, what it honors, and what values it seeks to promote among students. Anna Maria College officials withdrew the invitation after Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus had notified them that he thought Mrs. Kennedy was an inappropriate honoree and speaker because of her public statements in support of abortion, same-sex marriage and certain organizations opposed to fundamental Church teaching. He said in an interview that his primary difficulty was not with Mrs. Kennedy, but with the college’s choosing to honor her with a degree and the privilege of addressing its graduates. That, he believed, would “undercut the Catholic identity and mission of the school” and give the impression that someone holding and promoting positions contrary to fundamental Church teaching should nevertheless be honored and proposed as a model for graduating students. Bishop McManus’ intervention and Anna Maria’s reluctant recission went unappreciated in many sectors. Saying the bishop was “politicizing the Church,” two fundamentally political organizations, Catholic Democrats and Faithful America, led a petition drive to try to persuade him to change course and ask the college to renew the invitation. Admirers of Mrs. Kennedy were shocked and disappointed. Some asked whether a “witch hunt” was going on. The college itself eventually decided to have two students give the commencement address and — in an unfortunate display of a lack of appreciation for the apostolicity of the Catholic faith — seniors requested that administrators ask Bishop McManus not to attend, a request he said he would honor. Some of those opposing the decision tried to argue that Mrs. Kennedy had never taken public stands on controversial issues and that she was being treated as guilty by association with some of the positions and actions of her late husband, Senator Edward Kennedy, particularly in favor of abortion. Mrs. Kennedy, however, has indeed taken public stands against Church teaching. She wrote a 2004 Washington Post op-ed defending a pro-choice position on abortion, stating with admiration, “the United States is a diverse, pluralistic society where a woman has the constitutional right to make a decision based upon her own conscience, religious beliefs and medical needs.” Likewise, in 2010, she publicly endorsed the cause of gay marriage, saying she shared her husband’s desire that gays and lesbians would have “the right to live free, to marry and to raise a family.” Others, knowing her public stands, tried to deflect the issue by saying that whatever her positions, they did not rise to the gravity of something that would require the embarrassing withdrawal of an invitation. But this manifests that the apologists don’t take abortion and marriage as seriously as the Church does. If a prominent person were advocating a pro-choice position on slavery or on child abuse or pushing for legalization of child marriages, not only would no Catholic university — or public one for that matter — extend an invitation to address graduates and receive an honorary degree but, if one did, people would be praising a bishop who pressured the college to rescind the invitation and threatened not to attend. The whole controversy at Anna Maria College is about the importance of abortion and marriage in Catholic educational institutions. The Church believes that the deliberate choice to kill an innocent human being is an evil at least as grave as slavery and child abuse and that the institution of marriage deserves our promotion and defense at least as much as we defend the institutions of our Catholic schools and hospitals. As institutions of higher learning, Catholic colleges and universities will occasionally invite people for debates and speeches who disagree with Church teaching in various areas, but that is something fundamentally different than honoring the people who hold those ideas. If Yeshiva University invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a debate and discussion, it might even be a sign of magnanimity, peacemaking and institutional self-confidence. But if Yeshiva were to ask him to speak to the graduates at commencement and give him an honorary degree, everyone would wonder whether it had lost its identity, not to mention marbles. Similarly, Catholic colleges and universities may learn much from those who don’t agree with the Church even on fundamental issues of faith and morals, but when there is a profound disagreement on issues of fundamental morality, those who hold them should not be honored and given a prominent platform, because these honors bring with them an implicit endorsement of the person and of the general line of the person’s ideas and work. There’s a reason why Howard University never invited — and never would have considered inviting — Strom Thurmond for an honorary doctorate. Even if in all other parts of his life he were a consummate gentleman, even if he had done many other things for many other people through public service, he would still not be invited because of the strident support of racism in his political ascent. Catholic institutions of higher learning should have as high standards with regard to potential honorees’ positions on abortion and marriage and other fundamental issues of the Catholic faith as historically black institutions have had with regard to racism. In his fourth of five ad limina addresses to visiting U.S. bishops, Pope Benedict on Saturday spoke about Catholic colleges and universities and their need to live by the high standards of the Gospel in harmony with the faith of the Church. He spoke candidly about the harm to “ecclesial communion and solidarity in the Church’s educational apostolate” that has come from “the confusion created by instances of apparent dissidence between some representatives of Catholic institutions and the Church’s pastoral leadership,” a discord that “harms the Church’s witness” and “can easily be exploited to compromise her authority and her freedom.” The pope was referring to attempts to divide and conquer the Church by trying to create alternative magisteria — whether particular Catholic universities, hospital chains, associations of female religious orders, even Catholic politicians — so as to confuse the faithful and undermine the Church’s witness to certain fundamental moral truths. The young are often the most vulnerable to this confusion. That’s why Pope Benedict said that “providing young people with a sound education in the faith represents the most urgent internal challenge facing the Catholic community in your country.” This sound education involves not just “passing on knowledge” but also “shaping hearts,” communicating “effectively, attractively and integrally, the richness of the Church’s faith.” The young, he said, “have a right to encounter the faith in all its beauty, its intellectual richness and its radical demands.” Catholic colleges and universities are meant to provide a “genuinely Catholic” culture for this sound, beautiful integral education to occur. Catholic identity, he said, “entails much more than the teaching of religion or the mere presence of a chaplaincy on campus,” implying that in many places this is how it has been understood and promoted. Many Catholic schools and colleges, he lamented, “have failed to challenge students to reappropriate their faith” and make it their own, to discover a “harmony of faith and reason capable of guiding a life-long pursuit of knowledge and virtue.” Instead, many Catholic students go to Catholic universities and lose the faith or have it severely weakened by separating faith from life. This is because they haven’t been challenged, Pope Benedict says, to the “constant and all-embracing conversion to the fullness of truth in Christ,” to connect the “pursuit of truth” in all spheres of learning to the “pursuit of virtue,” and to bind the “intellect’s passionate desire to know and the will’s yearning for fulfillment in love.” For this to occur, however, Catholic educational institutions “must be convinced, and desirous of convincing others, that no aspect of reality remains alien to, or untouched by, the mystery of the Redemption and the risen Lord’s dominion over all creation.” Catholic universities and colleges ought to be distinguished by preparing students not just for life but eternal life, not just for work but for mission, not just for LSATs, MCATs, and GREs but for the eschatological final exam. The choices that a Catholic college or university makes — selecting administrators and faculty members, allocating resources, determining admissions standards, and even choosing commencement speakers — should always be in harmony with the faith and reflect these genuinely Catholic priorities.
May 11, 2012
Vocations: Everybody’s business
hen he was still our bishop, are not involved enough in the life of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, the Church or familiar enough with the Cap., now Archbishop of Boston, wrote teaching of the Gospel to be able to identify a pastoral letter on vocations entitled, a call or to respond. This reality confronts “Vocations: Everybody’s Business.” I us with one of the greatest challenges of think Cardinal Sean’s reflections are just the Church today: how to be more present as important today as they were when he to young Catholics and to involve them in wrote them in 2000. the life of the community.” In his letter, the cardinal explained that “The overwhelming response to World the work of promoting priestly vocations Youth Days indicates that many young is not only the job of the vocation director people are experiencing a hunger for God or even of the parish priest; rather, every and are turning to the Church for answers,” member of the Church is responsible Cardinal Sean explained. “The Holy Father for promoting priestly vocations, each is teaching us that we must love young according to one’s own capacity. people and invite them to be a part of our I think that some of Cardinal Sean’s spiritual family. Sometimes Church leaders points could certainly help us in our task feel put off by modern culture or by a fear of promoting vocations here in our diocese of being rejected by young Catholics.” today, because I think that we are still Referencing the World Youth Day dealing with many of the same challenges gathering in Rome for the jubilee year, in the Church and in the world. Cardinal Sean highlighted the fact that more As I referenced our Holy Father’s 2012 than two million young Catholics gathered vocations letter last week, I would like to around Pope John Paul II. “It was the largest reflect upon gathering of Cardinal Sean’s youth in the this week. history of Putting Into “What is Europe (which the problem? the Deep is a long Is God calling history). No fewer people?,” political leader, By Father the cardinal rock star, super Jay Mello asked. “I model, athlete, think not,’” he scientist, or replied. “God philosopher is still calling, but many are not heeding the could accomplish such a thing.” call, like the rich young man in the Gospel “As the Holy Father said at the opening whom Jesus invited to discipleship, but of that celebration, those young people who declined because he was very rich and came to Rome seeking Christ in the city very attached to his wealth. The Gospel hallowed by the blood of SS. Peter and says that Christ looked on the man with Paul and generations of martyrs. The love when He called him, but the story Holy Father’s love for the young and his goes on to say that the man went away sad, ministry to them should encourage all of ‘because his possessions were many.’” us in the Church to look for ways to allow Cardinal Sean used the biblical story our young Catholics to find their place in of the rich young man to explain that Christ’s Church.” a vocation can be lost or rejected, that One of the most interesting points that someone can choose to do something the cardinal made was in reference to how other than that for which God has created the military would do recruiting. He wrote, them. Often this happens because someone “During times of war, recruiting posters becomes so attached to the things of depicted Uncle Sam pointing a menacing this world that they stand in the way of finger and the caption declared: ‘Uncle Sam following the Lord’s call. wants you!’ Many young people felt a need “When a vocation goes unanswered,” to respond to the challenge, ‘to make the Cardinal O’Malley explained, “it is not world safe for democracy,’ or ‘to defend our only a sadness for the one who declines shores from the threat of invasion.’ Anyone God’s call, but also a sadness for the entire who could not respond to the call had to Catholic community who has just lost make an examination of conscience and another priest. When I hear this Gospel question why he was not responding.” about the rich young man, I wish I could There are many similarities between have been there to say to him, ‘Not so fast, entering the armed services to defend give God a chance, trust Him, don’t go one’s country and entering the seminary away sad — embrace your vocation and to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It find true happiness.’ Unable to reach the comes down to being part of something, rich young man of the Gospel, I want to try namely, being part of a mission that is to reach out to today’s ‘rich young man’ greater than any individual member. whom Christ is calling to be a priest; and Certainly in both we see a great deal of I want to appeal to my fellow Catholics service and the fundamental idea of laying to join me in this campaign to identify the down one’s life for another. young people God is calling.” Perhaps our vocation recruitment Cardinal Sean asked each of us to posters could read something like, “Christ do our part in encouraging young men wants you!” “The Church needs you!” to consider a possible vocation to the “God’s people need you!” Cardinal Sean priesthood. Without this encouragement, also pointed out that “sometimes the there may be more young men who are Holy Spirit’s promptings are very clear being called but never answer that call in a person’s mind and heart; but more because they are too distracted or attached often than not, the Holy Spirit relies on to the things of this world. And here is the help of other people to encourage and where Cardinal Sean makes an appeal for promote vocations. This is why promoting our help in this important work. vocations is ‘everybody’s business.’” “We have many young people today Father Mello is a parochial vicar at St. who lead good and generous lives, but Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth.
May 11, 2012
Powerlessness, or the hidden power in our suffering?
n a 1999 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients with serious illness were asked to identify what was most important to them during the dying process. Many indicated they wanted to achieve a “sense of control.” This is understandable. Most of us fear our powerlessness in the face of illness and death. We would like to retain an element of control, even though we realize that dying often involves the very opposite: a total loss of control, over our muscles, our emotions, our minds, our bowels and our very lives, as our human framework succumbs to powerful disintegrative forces. Even when those disintegrative forces become extreme and our suffering may seem overwhelming, however, a singularly important spiritual journey always remains open for us. This path is a “road less traveled,” a path that, unexpectedly, enables us to achieve genuine control in the face of death. The hallmark of this path is the personal decision to accept our sufferings, actively laying down our life on behalf of others by embracing the particular kind of death God has ordained for us, patterning
ne of the disappointments of the post-Vatican II period has been the glacial pace of the growth in Catholic biblical literacy the council hoped to inspire. Why the slow-down? Several reasons suggest themselves. The hegemony of the historical-critical method of biblical study has taught two generations of Catholics that the Bible is too complicated for ordinary people to understand: so why read what only savants can grasp? Inept preaching, dissecting the biblical text with historical-critical scalpels or reducing Scripture to a psychology manual, has also been a turn-off to Bible-study. Then there is the clunkiness of the New American Bible, the pedestrian translation to which U.S. Catholics are subjected in the Liturgy: there is little beauty here, and the beauty of God’s Word ought to be one of its most attractive attributes. But it was not until I read “Our Babel of Bibles” by Baylor University’s David Lyle Jeffrey, published in the March/April 2012 issue of Touchstone, that I began to understand that the proliferation of modern biblical translations and editions is also part of the problem. Not only are there a plethora of different translations from which to choose; as
our choice on the choice condesigns. This oblation of radisciously made by Jesus Christ. cally embracing our particular When asked about the “why” path to death, actively offered of human suffering, Pope John on behalf of others and in union Paul II once stated, with piercwith Christ, manifests our ing simplicity, that the answer concern for the spiritual welfare has “been given by God to man of others, especially our friends in the cross of Jesus Christ.” and those closest to us. We are He stressed that Jesus went toward His own suffering, “aware of its saving power.” The pope also observed that in some way, each of us is called to “share in By Father Tad that suffering through Pacholczyk which the redemption was accomplished.” He concluded that through His only-begotten Son, inwardly marked by a profound God “has confirmed His desire need to sacrifice and give of to act especially through sufourselves, a need that manifests fering, which is man’s weakour inner capacity to love and be ness and emptying of self, and loved. He wishes to make His power As no one had ever done known precisely in this weakbefore, Jesus charted the path ness and emptying of self.” The of love-driven sacrifice, choosHoly Father echoes St. Paul’s ing to lay down His life for His famous passage: “My grace is friends. He was no mere victim in sufficient for you, for My power the sense of being a passive and is made perfect in weakness.” unwilling participant in His own The greatest possibility we suffering and death. He was in have for achieving control, control. He emphasized, with oththen, is to align ourselves in erworldly authority, that, “nobody our suffering and weakness takes My life from Me: I lay it with God and His redemptive down, and I take it up again.”
Making Sense Out of Bioethics
Yet we see that His life was, in fact, taken from Him by those various individuals and groups who plotted His death and sought His execution. His life was taken from Him by evil men, even though, paradoxically, nobody took His life from Him, because nobody had power over His being, unless granted from above. We experience a similar paradox in our own deaths: while it may seem that our life is being taken from us through the evil of a particular ailment or the ravages of a particular disease, we can reply that nothing takes away our life, because nothing has power over our being, except what is ordained from above. In His providence and omniscience, years before the fact, God already knows and foresees that unique confluence of events that will constitute our death, whether it be by stroke or cardiac arrest, liver failure or Alzheimers, or any other means. By spiritually embracing in God that specific path to death, our freedom is elevated to new heights; indeed, we “achieve control” in the most important way possible,
Biblical illiteracy and Bible babel
Dr. Jeffrey points out, there are important point about the use of now “niche” Bibles: sacral vocabulary, noting that “If you are tired of your Venerable Bede and the other mother’s old Bible, which printed first translators of the Bible into the words of Jesus in red, you can Anglo-Saxon understood the choose a more trendy green Bible, with all the eco-sensitive passages printed in green ink. If you are a feisty woman unfazed by possibly misdirected allusions, By George Weigel then maybe you would like the Woman Thou Art Loosed edition of the NKJB [New King James Bible]. If you should be a highlimits of their own vernacular end of the TV-channel charisand borrowed words from Latin matic, there are ‘prophecy Bibles’ to express what the biblical text coded in several colors to justify meant. A minor point? Not really, your eschatology of choice.” because these words came into And that’s before we get to English that way: alms, altar, anthe super-trendy editions like the gel, anthem, Apostle, ark, canticle, Common English Bible, which chalice, creed, deacon, demon, renders Psalm 122.1 (“I was glad disciple, epistle, hymn, manna, when they said unto me/Let us go martyr, priest, prophet, psalm, to the Lord’s house”) as “Let’s go Psalter, rule, Sabbath, shrift, and to the Lord’s house.” This is not temple. Later in the process of just dumb; as Dr. Jeffrey points making English English, more out, is also “verges on a grotesque words entered our language via secularism at the level of ‘Let’s go the Vulgate: absolution, Baptism, to Joe’s place — he has the bigBeatitude, charity, Communion, gest TV.’” And lest you think JefConfession, contrition, creator, frey exaggerates, please note that crucifixion, devotion, faith, homthe CEB renders “Son of Man” as ily, mercy, miracle, obedience, “the Human One.” Yuck. passion, pastor, Penance, religion, Dr. Jeffrey’s dissection of Sacrament, saint, sanctuary, Savour Bible Babel also makes an ior, temptation, theology, Trinity,
The Catholic Difference
virgin, and virtue. All of which is an answer to those who fretted that Anglophone Catholics couldn’t handle “consubstantial” in the new translations of the Roman Missal. As Dr. Jeffrey writes, “What would have happened if someone had said, in that time and place, ‘We just have to find dynamic equivalents in Anglo-Saxon?’ There weren’t any. Appropriately, the first translators were not intimidated by the prospect of teaching people the meaning of biblical and sacral
through willed surrender and radical gift in our innermost depths. Jesus foresaw that His greatest work lay ahead as He ascended Calvary to embrace His own powerlessness and self-emptying. Although we may feel condemned to our powerlessness as we receive help from others in our sickness, and although we may feel supremely useless as we are “nailed” to our hospital bed, our active, inward embrace of the cross unleashes important graces for ourselves and others, and reveals a refulgent light beyond the obscurity of every suffering. Jesus’ radical embracing of His Passion — and our radical embracing of our own — marks the supreme moment of a person who achieves control over his or her destiny through immersion into the hope-filled and redemptive designs of God. Father Pacholczyk earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, and serves as the director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.ncbcenter.org.
terms not to be found anywhere in their ordinary language. They gratefully borrowed the language of Scripture as they found it in another tongue.” What to do today? My suggestion is to get yourself the Ignatius Press edition of the Revised Standard Version, and read it over and over again until its language works its way into the crevices of your mind and the texture of your prayer. Maybe, some day, we can hear that translation at Mass. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
May 11, 2012
Mother’s Day: More than cards, flowers, or painful reminders
other’s Day: For some, it is a day of flowers and sentimental greeting cards. For others, it is perhaps the one day of the year when a mother may actually be granted a rest from the continuous demands of family and chores. A day free of those three endearing words, “What’s for supper?” For some, it is a painful reminder. A day to recall that motherhood was an accident and, perhaps, not a welcome one; or that biological motherhood is not possible; or that our own mothers were not all that nice. With such polarized responses, why do we bother with Mother’s Day at all? Because, for all its stumbling blocks, pitfalls and broken dreams, for all the soiled diapers, crayon colored walls and messed up plans, we are celebrating a beautiful ideal, a natural part of God’s creative plan to bring love and caring to light. Mother’s Day has its roots in the turmoil and the suffering of the American Civil War. The years prior to, during and following that war were a time of dislocation of families and alienation caused by conflicting systemic forces in American society. The lives of many people and families had been disrupted and even destroyed by the violence that resulted from differing attitudes and understandings derived from politics, economics, moral
viewpoints and ways of life. the ability of every person to In response, a woman by the become someone who truly name of Anna Reese Jarnurtures and gives life to vis began a struggle to find others. a point of unity that could Perhaps we do have within transcend those divisions. us something of an underShe believed that her goal standing that God made all could be achieved through of us to care for and to be the establishment of a national holiday honoring mothers. She Homily of the Week hoped that that would Sixth Sunday help to bring about of Easter healing and reuniting of families thus creatBy Deacon Arthur L. ing a more loving and LaChance Jr. more just society for everyone. Until her death in 1905, Mrs. Jarvis worked sources of hope and peace toward accomplishing that for one another. We come to goal. She was not successful. spring, we come to May, we Inspired by their mother’s come to Mother’s Day with dedication, however, Mrs. hearts a bit more open to beJarvis’ daughters took up her ing the loving children that cause, and on May 7, 1914, God made us to be. President Woodrow Wilson In many ways, this week’s designated the second Sunreadings are good images for day of May as a national day Mother’s Day. “Beloved, let honoring the mothers of our us love one another, because nation. love is of God” (1 John 4:7). May is the perfect month This opening line in this for such a celebration. May is week’s second reading is a spring. It is a time of nurturperfect introduction to the ing and growth. It is a time Gospel reading that starts of warmth and beauty. It is with one of the most amazgentle and it is new life. In ing verses in the Bible. “As our Catholic tradition, May is the Father loves Me, so I also the month we honor Mary as love you” (John 15:9). The the mother of us all. readings serve to remind us Perhaps that’s why that just as God offers loving Mother’s Day has the power care to all of us, so do mothto touch hearts in ways that ers to their children. Jesus’ other holidays may not. Perfinal instruction, however, haps there does lie within us takes that even further — a persistent hope and faith in “This I command you: love
one another” (15:17). The Lord’s command reminds us that all of us are to do that for everyone. It teaches us that God made this world to be filled with love that nurtures the fullest potential of everyone and every thing. Jesus calls us create the sort of society in which our relationships have their basis in justice. In the Christian sense, this love is not primarily an emotion, but an act of the will. Jesus clarifies the nature of this love when He tells His disciples, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). When Jesus commands us to, “Love one another,” He is not telling us to love someone in the sense of responding to them with a cozy emotional feeling. On the contrary, He is telling us to love others in the sense of being willing to work for their well-being even if it means sacrificing our own well-being to that end. That is our call and we understand that call in the context of what our Lord taught us — that the radical, remarkable and often ignored truth is that justice has its essence in love. From its beginnings, Mother’s Day has always been about the sort of hope that can lead us to a love that forms the foundation of
a just society. It is not about the love of romantic idealism or pious unreality. It is about love with roots in hope and in compassion, the love of a mother for her child, the love of God for His children. If today we honor our own mothers we will dedicate ourselves to that hope for everyone. Then Mother’s Day will have meaning beyond the cards, the flowers, or the painful reminders. It will become something that helps us to be better people. Christ asks us to open our hearts and our minds so that we might share in each other’s lives and so that we might find with each other the compassion, understanding and hope that can heal. If we can grow in that, then, just as the month of May bursts forth each year out of the cold of winter to new life, so will our own lives. If we offer our nurturing love to each other — first in our families and then in all the other places of our lives we will come to see new light and promise growing everywhere. We will become, in fulfillment of Jesus’ command and every mother’s prayer of the heart, one people of peace and of love. We will become both gently and lovingly the family that God intends us to be. And that will indeed be a day worth celebrating. Happy Mother’s Day. Deacon LaChance serves at Corpus Christi Parish in East Sandwich.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. May 12, Acts 16:1-10; Ps 100:2,3,5; Jn 15:18-21. Sun. May 13, Sixth Sunday of Easter, Acts 10:25-26,34-35,44-48; Ps 98:1-4; 1 Jn 4:710; Jn 15:9-17. Mon. May 14, Acts 1:15-17,20-26; Ps 113:1-8; Jn 15:9-17. Tues. May 15, Acts 16:22-34; Ps 138:1-3,7c-8; Jn 16:5-11. Wed. May 16, Acts 17:15,22—18:1; Ps 148:1-2,11-14; Jn 16:12-15. Thurs. May 17, The Ascension of the Lord, Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47:2-3,6-9; Eph 1:17-23 or Eph 4:1-13 or 4:1-7,11-13; Mk 16:15-20. Fri. May 18, Acts 18:9-18; Ps 47:2-7; Jn 16:20-23a.
joyous occasion — A Jubilee Celebration for Sister Catherine Mary O’Brien, O.P. was held recently at Catholic Memorial Home to celebrate 70 years of her entrance to the Dominican Sisters. Sister O’Brien is a native of Fall River and entered the Dominican Sisters in 1942 from St. Anne’s Parish. She served in the Fall River Diocese all of her religious life and for many years was a teacher at Dominican Academy, Fall River. Sisters of Hope gathered around Sister O’Brien, front, center, at the end of a celebration Mass.
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May 11, 2012
A funny thing happened on the way to Confirmation
Saturday 5 May 2012 — at Road in New Bedford. At the the church on Three Mile River time, it was a basement church, — Full Flower Moon his time of year, dear readers, many parishes throughout the Reflections of a Diocese are involved Parish Priest with preparations for the celebration of the By Father Tim Sacrament of ConfirGoldrick mation. Confirmation is a big day for our young people and for the faith communities to which small and cramped. The day they belong. I remember very of my Confirmation, the place little about my own Confirmawas packed. Like all the other tion. What I remember can be young men, I was wearing a summed up in one word — heavy red robe (the lighter “hot.” robes we use today had not yet I received the Sacrament of been invented). I remember Confirmation at the original St. being very, very hot. So hot, in Mary’s Church on Tarkiln Hill fact, that I passed out during
The Ship’s Log
the ceremony. Two men carried me down the center aisle and into the hallway. They began fanning me with a piece of cardboard. Perhaps I returned to the church for the rest of the ceremony, but perhaps not. I don’t remember. I’m not even sure I actually received the Sacrament of Confirmation. I must have, though. It was recorded in the parish sacramental register. I may remember little of my own Confirmation, but I will never forget my first Confirmation ceremony as a young priest. Ordained less than a year, I was what was then called a “curate.” In the parish
Motherhood in bloom
lap, and this May the third of he flowering trees have our six children will graduate been so spectacular this from high school and head out spring that I have been driving into the world to spread her around town with my mouth unique joy and beauty, as have gaping open and my camera at her two older siblings before the ready. Oh, how it lifts my her. Oh, and did I mention that spirits to see that much color our fifth son will also graduate and brightness splashed across from eighth grade, closing a a landscape which had for nearly 14-year-long chapter of too long worn the bleak and my life called home schooling? barren shawl of winter. How Fortunately, he will be attendcould I not take a photograph of that magnificent magnolia tree glowing in the morning sun? Or at least try to capture those resplendent weeping cherry trees reflecting in the river? By Heidi Bratton Each of these trees, gloriously laden with blossoms, seem to ing a Catholic high school near me to be a mama tree, and our house, but in letting him go without my even wanting it, I am also losing an entire way a sentimental joy creeps into of living family life, a way my heart when I drive around that I have loved dearly. My a curve in the road and see a pride in each of my children new one full of flowers. Each is greater than I can put into reminds me of years gone by words, and I know they will do when “having my hands full” well out there in the big world, wasn’t metaphorical. Those but honestly? I don’t really like were the years of having five the season of letting go. I just of our six children nearly simiss them. multaneously; of being hugely As I prayed for the spiritual pregnant while having babies and emotional strength to be filling my arms and toddlers able to paradoxically celebrate spilling out of my lap. It was two graduations and then a crazy kind of joy, like trying Mother’s Day on the same to hold a Miss America-sized weekend this May, I came bouquet of flowers while upon this verse from the Book simultaneously pushing five of Jeremiah: “But blessed is young children on only two the man who trusts in the Lord, swings in a city park. whose confidence is in Him. As my mind wanders He will be like a tree planted back to those exhausting, but by the water that sends out its satisfying years, and again, roots by the stream. It does without my even wanting it, not fear when heat comes; its a sentimental sorrow also tipleaves are always green. It has toes into my heart, sits down, no worries in a year of drought and wraps a bittersweet arm and never fails to bear fruit” around my joy. I have only (Jer 17:7-8). As I read this, my one preschooler left to fill my
personification of a flowering tree as a pregnant mother grew into the much more inclusive image of a tree in all seasons representing motherhood in its many seasons. Friends with grandchildren have shared that I have no idea what joy the next generation will bring into our family life, and I am sure that they are quite right. Maybe spring is just the most obviously motherly season of the year, what with its showy flowers and all, but Scripture reminds me that it is not the only motherly season. Once the blossoms have dropped from that enormous magnolia tree, it is still going to provide hours of entertainment for my neighbor’s children as they glide through the air on a tire swing hung from its lowest limb. Even in the winter the vast branches of the weeping cherry trees by the river provide shelter for birds and squirrels. Although the emotional letdown feels overwhelming, all will not be lost when our children have all grown. If we mothers will root our lives in Jesus Christ, if we will trust in Him, be confident in Him, and seek to nourish ourselves from the Living Water, then our motherhood will be a gift in every season not only for our own children, whether they are living at home or not, but for generations to come as well. Heidi is an author, photographer, and mother of six children. Her newest book, “Homegrown Faith; Nurturing Your Catholic Family,” is available from Servant Books.
to which I was assigned, Confirmation had customarily been celebrated in the ninth grade. However, the year before my arrival in the parish, Confirmation had for some reason been administered to eighth- and ninth-grade students combined. This meant that we had no candidates for Confirmation that year. Unfortunately, the pastor checked the wrong box on the chancery’s Confirmation request form. This proves once again that you should carefully read any forms you fill out. As a result, Confirmation was scheduled in our parish even though we had no candidates. I learned of it by reading the announcement in The Anchor. Bishop Gerrard was coming, it said. Now what? I scoured the city for Confirmation candidates and scrambled to prepare them. I was anxious that it would all turn out for the best. In the end, it was a small class, but Confirmation did take place as announced. The day itself was not without incident, however. I was a wreck by the time of the ceremony. The morning of Confirmation, the pastor and I were sitting in the rectory parlor reading the newspaper. That’s when the wallpaper began to slip silently to the floor. Come to find out, a pipe in the ceiling had let go. The soggy wallpaper was coming unglued and curling off in sheets. A plumber was called to repair the leak. It meant tearing out a good chunk of the parlor ceiling. The plumber was able to fix the pipe, but now a plasterer was needed to repair the gaping hole. None could be found on such short notice. Later that night, Bishop Gerrard tactfully made no mention of either the wayward wallpaper or the hole in the ceiling above his head. Always the perfect gentleman, he pretended not to notice. Meanwhile, the housekeeper,
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Mrs. Silva, was stomping up and down on top of the dining room table. Now what? It seems the pastor had sold the leaves of the table at the parish flea market. They had been purchased by a neighbor, who stored them in his damp basement. The leaves were quickly retrieved and returned to the rectory dining room, but they no longer fit properly. They were warped. The housekeeper had climbed up on the table and was trying to force the leaves into place. It didn’t work. She ended up covering it with a nice tablecloth and hoping no one would notice the big bumps. Then she set out the rectory’s best china and proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon preparing an elaborate sit-down dinner for 12. It was all to no avail. There had been another unfortunate oversight. No guests had been invited. There was only Bishop Gerrard, and he had already eaten. Poor Mrs. Silva, God rest her soul. Confirmations now are much less stressful for all concerned. Instead of spending hours pouring over dusty martyrologies, students search for Confirmation names on the Internet. This year, the kids Googled such obscure saints as Alena, Alexandra, Quenton and Codratus. Parishes with an insufficient number of candidates simply join with other parishes. The formal post-event meal is likely to be replaced by soup and sandwiches. Best of all, with so many churches air-conditioned these days, the number of fainting candidates is greatly reduced. Even so, funny things will always happen on the way to the altar. This is due in large part to the fact that we are only human. God, I’m sure, understands. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
May 11, 2012
At 96, Blessed John XXIII’s secretary tells tales of his famous boss
SOTTO IL MONTE GIOVANNI XXIII, Italy (CNS) — When the freshly-named patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo G. Roncalli, chose 37-yearold Father Loris F. Capovilla as his personal secretary in 1953, a skeptical adviser told the cardinal that the priest looked too sickly to bear the strain of his new job. “Then he’ll die as my secretary,” replied the future pope, now known as Blessed John XXIII. Today, at age 96, now-Archbishop Capovilla has outlived his employer by nearly half a century, but remains an indefatigable custodian of his legacy. Here in Blessed John’s birthplace, about 25 miles northeast of Milan, the archbishop pursues a highly active retirement that includes running a museum dedicated to the small town’s most famous native son. While keeping up with current events, Archbishop Capovilla draws on his remarkable memory to recount vividly detailed and revealing stories of his years with one of the most consequential figures in modern Catholic history. The archbishop was privy to some of the pope’s first remarks, only a few days after his election in 1958, about what would become the Second Vatican Council.
Cardinals and bishops had presented the new pontiff with a litany of challenges before the Church — “not doctrinal but pastoral problems,” the archbishop notes — in areas that in-
secretary. “What’s really necessary is a council.” Though the pope mentioned the idea more than once, his secretary refused to comment. Finally the pope gave his inter-
own telling, who persuaded a reluctant and tired Blessed John to step to a window and bless the crowd in St. Peter’s Square on the night of Oct. 11, 1962, following the council’s first day. In
famous boss — Msgr. Loris Capovilla assists Pope John XXIII during a meeting with ambassadors at the Vatican in this undated photo. Archbishop Capovilla, now 96, was the pope’s personal secretary. (CNS photo/courtesy of Archbishop Loris Capovilla)
cluded the Liturgy, diplomacy, and the education and discipline of priests. “My desk is piling up with problems, questions, requests, hopes,” Blessed John told his
pretation of the priest’s silence. “You think I am old,” Blessed John told him. “You think I’ll make a mess out of this enormous task, that I don’t have time. But that’s not how you think with faith. If one can only begin with the preparatory commission, that will be of great merit. If one dies, another will come. It is a great honor even to begin.” Whatever doubts he may have had at the outset, Archbishop Capovilla came to appreciate the council’s historic importance and to play a part in it behind the scenes. It was the archbishop, in his
now-famous remarks, the pope went on to bid the people: “Now go back home and give your little children a kiss — tell them it is from Pope John.” Blessed John, who had earlier represented the Holy See as a diplomat in both Orthodox and Muslim lands, had a special appreciation of the Church’s global character and responsibilities, Archbishop Capovilla says. The pope greatly admired the United States, especially for its racial and cultural diversity, and explicitly looked to the American-sponsored United Nations as a source of inspiration for
Vatican II, Archbishop Capovilla says. The archbishop also recalls that Blessed John received a letter from the Anglo-American poet Thomas Merton, then a Trappist monk in Kentucky, urging the pope to include an ecumenical dimension in the council. In fact, Vatican II would be the first council of the Church to include Protestants as guests. The pope was a master of modern communication in a personal, popular style that broke with papal tradition just in time for the television age. When a cardinal complained that due to a recent rise in Vatican salaries a mere usher earned as much as he did, Blessed John remarked: “That usher has 10 children; I hope the cardinal doesn’t.” The pope’s ebullience was evident even in moments ordinarily governed by the strictest protocol. Receiving Queen Elizabeth II of England, with whom he conversed in French, the pope asked her to say her children’s names aloud, “because children’s names acquire a particular sweetness on a mother’s lips.” The pope gave his secretary a lesson in communication when commenting on a speech by then-Cardinal Giovanni Montini of Milan, who would eventually succeed him as Pope Paul VI. “He’s used to speaking to intellectuals, he doesn’t look at who’s in front of him,” the pope said. “Remember when you speak, if there are children present, as soon as you see the children start to swing their legs, it means they’re tired. And adults are children, too; they listen for a quarter-hour or 20 minutes, that’s it.” For all the changes that Blessed John ushered into the Church, and notwithstanding arguments that his reign marked a radical break with the past, Archbishop Capovilla says that the pope saw himself as acting in full continuity with Catholicism’s millennial teachings and traditions. “Precisely because he was a great conservative,” the archbishop says, “he was able to bring the world a message of love, of hope and of faith.”
May 11, 2012
Fenway becomes field of dreams for Catholic school student By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
FALL RIVER — While Friday the 13th may be a bad omen for some people, it turned out to be one lucky day for seven-year-old Justin Taylor Jr., a diehard Boston Red Sox fan and first-grade student at SS. Peter and Paul School in Fall River. With another baseball season kicking into gear, Justin and his dad, Justin Sr., headed into Boston along with his friend Codie Whitney and little sister Isabella to catch the April 13 Red Sox home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays at
Fenway Park. Although they didn’t have tickets to the game, they were hoping to maybe buy some cheap seats in the bleachers. “I’ve loved the Red Sox my whole life,” Taylor said. “Me and my dad have been to a lot of games.” Having attended several games before, they also decided to arrive early to gather in the players’ parking lot for the usual ritual as team members arrived. “We just went to get autographs and my dad wanted to see if he could get tickets if they weren’t too
much money,” Taylor said. Taylor was excited when he caught the attention of outfielder Ryan Sweeney and pitchers Alfredo Aceves and Scott Atchison — all of whom signed various Red Sox memorabilia for him. But it was Red Sox co-owner John Henry who really made his day when he walked over to ask the young fan if he was looking forward to the big opening game. Taylor admitted they didn’t have tickets, which surprised Henry. “When John Henry learned we didn’t have tickets, he came back and gave us four tickets in the own-
ers’ box next to the dugout,” Taylor said. “I was so surprised and my dad was crying with tears of joy.” In what must have seemed like a blur to the excited young Red Sox fan, Taylor remembered being treated like royalty and having the best time during the game. Henry later joined them for a few innings and took pictures with them and even paid for the food and refreshments they enjoyed. The icing on the cake for the fledgling Fenway fan was getting additional autographs from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and his favorite player, Dustin Pedroia, during the game. “I asked Dustin Pedroia if he could take a picture with my sister and he signed a baseball for me,” Taylor said. Taylor also learned there’s a religious connection to baseball during his adventure. Apparently the number of stitches on his two signed official Major League baseballs — 108 to be exact — is based on the sacred number 108 and what was once the total number of beads contained on a 10-decade Catholic Rosary (since
streamlined to 59, or five decades). While nothing is likely to top Taylor’s memory of that opening day game — during which the Red Sox handily defeated the Rays, 12-2 — he has since returned to Fenway Park with his father for the open house commemorating the ballpark’s 100th anniversary and they were also given a rare opportunity to tour the historic venue. “I got to walk on the grass, I got to go on the pitcher’s mound with my dad and we walked over home plate,” Taylor said. “I thought we could play catch, but we couldn’t because they were doing an interview near the Green Monster.” Taylor also recently worked his love for the Red Sox into a school project — a poster decorated with glued-on bits of Cheerios celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, a field where some of his dreams have already come true. But there may be even bigger dreams in Taylor’s future. “I want to play baseball so I can just crack the baseball open,” Taylor said, gesturing with an invisible bat.
FENWAY FAN — Seven-year-old Justin Taylor Jr., a first-grade student at SS. Peter and Paul School in Fall River, was recently the unexpected recipient of a once-in-a-lifetime treat from Boston Red Sox owner John Henry when he, his friend and family were given seats in the owners’ box at Fenway Park for the home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
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May 11, 2012
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service. “Marvel’s The Avengers” (Disney) Seemingly destined to haul in wads of cash at the box office, this ensemble adventure will not disappoint fans of the comic books on which it’s based, but may prove problematic for the parents of some excited youngsters anxious to ride the juggernaut. Writer-director Joss Whedon’s script juggles no fewer than six superheroes: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Guided by their eye-patched, grizzled leader (Samuel L. Jackson) this dream team confronts a mischievous demigod (Tom Hiddleston) who believes freedom is overrated. Despite the (relatively mild) adult elements listed below, the film may possibly be suitable for older adolescents. Intense but largely bloodless violence, a few mature references, including to suicide and drug use, and a handful of crass terms. The Catholic
News Service classification is AIII — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. “Safe” (Lionsgate) Wildly violent action flick charting the efforts of a downtrodden cage fighter (Jason Statham) to protect a 12-year-old Chinese math prodigy (Catherine Chan). Her ability to memorize long sequences of numbers, specifically the elaborately disguised combination to the titular lockbox, makes her the target in a three-way struggle among the Triads (led by James Hong), the Russian mafia (bossed by Sandor Tecsy) and corrupt elements of the New York City Police Department (commanded by Robert John Burke). A potentially touching story about the young stranger’s random but redeeming presence in the fighter’s life gets trampled underfoot as writerdirector Boaz Yakin rushes from one bone-cracking, windpipecrushing brawl to the next. Excessive graphic violence, brief gruesome images, about a halfdozen uses of profanity, twice that number of rough terms, frequent crude and crass language, and adult references, including to homosexuality. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Be sure to visit the Diocese of Fall River website at fallriverdiocese.org The site includes links to parishes, diocesan offices and national sites.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, May 13, 11:00 a.m.
Celebrant is Father Andrew Johnson, Chaplain at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River
New book asks: Is U.S. a ‘nation of heretics?’
New York City (CNA) — Are Americans actually trading in faith for a more secular outlook? Or is the country’s religious center merely shifting — toward an array of sects, visionaries, charismatic leaders and unorthodox doctrines? In his new book “Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics” (Free Press), New York Times author and Catholic convert Ross Douthat argues that churches, and society as a whole, are imperiled by belief systems that draw from the Christian Gospel while seriously distorting it. “I use the term ‘heresy’ because the reality I’m trying to capture is a country, the United States, that is still more influenced by Christianity than by any other religious tradition, and that is certainly still in many ways as ‘religious’ as ever,” Douthat told CNA in a recent interview. “I look at the United States and I don’t think it makes sense to call us a secular country, or even a ‘postChristian’ country. The controlling religious narrative of American life is still, in some sense, the Christian narrative.” From the success of “The Da Vinci Code,” to the publicity over alleged “lost Gospels,” Americans are “still fascinated by Jesus,” Douthat said. “But at the same time, we are a culture where traditional Christianity is weaker than ever before, both Catholic and Protestant.” A “nation of heretics” is Douthat’s term for a country that is “somewhere in between” — having “drifted away from things that are essential to Christian faith,” while maintaining select portions of a Christian cultural inheritance. Rather than denying God outright, the new “heresies” detailed in “Bad Religion” radically reinterpret His relationship to human beings. God becomes the guarantor of “health and wealth” promised by some televangelists — or the permissive inner voice of those who are “spiritual, not religious.” In Douthat’s “nation of heretics,” Jesus remains at the center of attention, but no longer as the divinehuman Redeemer described in the Nicene Creed. Instead, he may be a political icon of “American exceptionalism,” or a teacher of wisdom Who takes His place alongside the founders of other religions. Historically, America’s lack of an established state religion has always made it a fertile ground for sectarians and fringe denominations. But Douthat says contemporary America faces problems not seen before. “What’s distinctive about our era,” he explained, “is the weakness of an institutional alternative to people just taking some Christian ideas and running with them in whatever direction they want.” The first part of “Bad Religion” looks back to the post-World War II period in the United States, a time when Christian institutions had greater cultural clout and were more reliably orthodox. Figures like Billy Graham, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Martin Luther
King Jr. made important contributions to American life from a Christian perspective. But factors like globalization and the 1960s sexual revolution shattered this religious and cultural consensus. Mainline Protestantism largely surrendered to the changing culture, while Catholics spent decades embroiled in battles over the Church’s teaching authority. Where mainstream religious institutions withdrew and weakened, heresies stepped in to fill the vacuum. The result is today’s plethora of prosperity-preachers, political saviors, Jesus-revisionists, and New Age proponents of the “god within.” In the tradition of writers like G.K. Chesterton, Douthat suggests that these heretical beliefs take particular aspects of Church teaching — like Jesus’ mercy toward sinners, or God’s presence in nature — and sever them from other doctrines that provide nuance and balance. “The core of Christian faith has always emphasized the importance of mystery and paradox, and of being willing to say ‘both/and’ rather than ‘either/or’ — that God is three and one, that Jesus is God and man, and so on,” he explained. “One of the characteristics of Christian heresy is that it basically tries to be a little more ‘logical.’ It says, ‘Let’s clean up this mystery a little bit.’ Instead of saying Jesus is fully God and fully man, we’ll say He was a ‘man Who was particularly favored by God.’” Modern heresies, Douthat says, take the same reductive route. Where Christian orthodoxy accepts the legitimacy of patriotism in the service of the common good, heresy hints at a religious covenant between the Founding Fathers and God. Where the Church stresses God’s providential care for believers, the “prosperity Gospel” invents a God who promises real estate gains in exchange for faith. “The heresies I talk about are less likely to focus on the identity of Jesus Himself or the nature of the Trinity,” Douthat noted, drawing a distinction with history’s betterknown religious errors. “They’re more likely to focus on ideas about sex, money, and what God wants of us in this life.” In a February 2012 lecture at the Archdiocese of Denver, Douthat drew on theology and sociology in a critical analysis of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir “Eat Pray Love.” Traditional Christians, he said, should not simply dismiss such books, but should seek to grasp the appeal and premises of the “heresies” they promote. “I think it’s very important to take ‘pop spirituality’ seriously,” he told CNA. “Whatever you think of it, I think it’s the most important form of religious expression in the United States today, and has the most influence over how people think about God and their relationships with one another.” “It’s also worth taking seriously because there are powerful theological ideas at the root of even what
seems like the shallowest and most glib treatment of religion — whether it’s Joel Osteen or Oprah Winfrey.” Such figures “aren’t just sort of making vague appeals,” Douthat observed. “They are making, implicitly or explicitly, theological arguments — about who is God, and what does He want from us — that people find appealing.” Douthat’s fellow Catholics, and other historically-rooted Christians, will likely agree with the diagnoses of doctrinal error in “Bad Religion.” But the New York Times writer is not merely preaching to the choir. He also wants to engage secular audiences, by arguing that Christian orthodoxy offers important benefits for culture and the common good. Likewise, Douthat maintains that heresy harms not only souls, but also families, communities, and society at large. “If Christian anthropology is true — the Christian view of what human beings are, what we’re here on earth for, what our relationships should be to one another — then a more robust and culturally-influential Christian faith will make people, in some sense, ‘happier,’” he said. This kind of happiness, he qualifies, is not personal self-gratification, but authentic and shared “human flourishing.” While Douthat upholds Christian orthodoxy as an end in itself, he also argues for its contribution to the “ordinary forms of human stability and well-being.” “A flourishing society is a society that is recognizably successful — not just on a ‘macro’ level of achieving high growth rates, but in the sense of having robust institutions that people feel confident in, (or) having children growing up with a mother and a father,” he explained. Douthat asserted that if “you go back to the Roman Empire, and the early spread of Christianity, part of the reason the early Christians were such an appealing group is because they did, I think, manifest this reality.” “Christians were more likely to take care of each other than pagan Romans, were more likely to seem charitable and look out for one another when a plague struck the city, and so on. They were happier in their marriages; they weren’t asking women to expose their infants (to death).” “There are some definitions of human happiness and success that secular people and Christians can agree on,” Douthat said, summing up his appeal to skeptics and doubters. While “Bad Religion” helps believers read the signs of the times, it is also meant to spark a new kind of conversation about Christianity’s social role, and the problems posed by a “nation of heretics.” “Even with the secular readers, I’m saying: ‘Look, here are some of the social benefits associated with institutional Christianity that even secular people should be able to recognize. And here are trends that have been going on, concurrent with the decline of institutional Christianity, that even secular people should be worried about.”
May 11, 2012
Marian devotion flourishes through A Day With Mary
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
MOTHER AND SON — A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is enshrined next to the exposed Blessed Sacrament during A Day With Mary held last weekend at Holy Family Parish in East Taunton. The monthly Marian devotion has grown in popularity within the Fall River Diocese over the past few years and takes place on the First Saturday at various parishes. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)
Missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in New Bedford area in May
NEW BEDFORD — The missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be visiting parishes in the New Bedford area beginning at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church this evening with a bilingual Mass celebrated by Father Richard Wilson at 6 p.m. Father Wilson will also give a talk. The other visits include: — Tomorrow, a 3:30 p.m. procession beginning and ending at St. Kilian’s Church in New Bedford, followed by Mass there at 4:30 p.m. The image will also be there at the Sunday Masses at 9 and 11 a.m. — May 14 at St. Patrick’s
Church in Wareham at 7 p.m., including exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a talk, prayer, and veneration of the image. — May 15 at St. Lawrence Martyr Church, New Bedford, including exposition, prayer, veneration, and a talk by Father Herbert Nichols. — May 16 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Acushnet. Following evening prayer at 6:30 p.m., there will be a talk, prayer, and veneration. — May 18 at Holy Name Church in Fall River at 6 p.m. with exposition, a talk, Benediction, and veneration.
TAUNTON — While oncecommon Marian devotions such as the Pilgrim Virgin statue that traveled from house to house every week and apostolates like the Blue Army have waned in popularity in recent years, there’s a new Marian devotion based on the message of Our Lady of Fatima that has been steadily growing in the Fall River Diocese of late. Thanks to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate based at Our Lady’s Chapel in downtown New Bedford and the lay people who support them, a daylong devotion known as A Day With Mary has become a monthly occurrence at parishes throughout the diocese on the first Saturday of the month. “It’s a day that’s devoted to Our Lady and the message of Fatima,” said Maggie Sweeney, a Franciscan Tertiary of the Immaculate and parishioner at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet. “I think the world really doesn’t know Mary that well — we need to get back to her. She’s the quickest way to Jesus. Having devotion to her, she takes care of everyone as a mother. It’s an honor to be an instrument for her.” Sweeney worked as a volunteer at the midday bookstore during the most recent Day With Mary held at Holy Family Parish in East Taunton last weekend. “It’s really everything Catholic: the holy Mass, the procession in with the Blessed Mother, the crowning ceremony, the Rosary,” she said. “The morning is really Marian, and then the afternoon focuses on the Eucharist.” A Day With Mary was initiated about 25 years ago in London, England by Claudio LoSterzo, who said he was inspired after learning about the message of Our Lady of Fatima given to three shepherd children in Portugal in 1917.
“Claudio had the inspiration that Our Lady wanted him to do this, to promote the message of Fatima,” said Martha McCormick, a Franciscan Tertiary of the Immaculate and member of St. Joseph Parish in Fairhaven. “It has since spread throughout the world.” McCormick noted that A Day With Mary has been adopted as an apostolate of the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix, which is part of the Third Order of Franciscans. Wherever there is a Third Order, like the one based in New Bedford, they sponsor A Day With Mary. “Some places do it once a week, but here we do it once a month on the first Saturday,” she said. According to Franciscan Father Louis Maximilian Mary, the Father Guardian of Our Lady’s Chapel, the Friars provide spiritual direction and support for A Day With Mary, but it is really the more than 50 lay Franciscan Tertiaries of the Immaculate who have been organizing and sustaining the apostolate here in the diocese since 2004. “It has worked out quite well,” Father Louis said. “The message is one of prayer, penance and reparation. We’ve had many people who have been reconciled to God through A Day With Mary, which is a powerful reason for us to support it.” Formatted like a condensed day-long retreat, A Day With Mary includes the Mass, Scripture readings, recitation of the Rosary, meditations on the Passion, eucharistic adoration and Benediction, processions of the Blessed Sacrament and of Our Lady, an Act of Consecration, theological instructions, hymns, talks about the story of Fatima and periods of rest with refreshments. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also readily available, along with a bookstore and the opportunity to enroll in the Brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal. “A Day With Mary is antithetical to what we’re accustomed to; we’re always thinking about ourselves,” said Franciscan Father Martin Mary Fonde in his talk after the midday lunch break at Holy Family Parish. “A Day With Mary pushes us to think about her and Our Lord — it’s kind of purifying. It’s a way for us to get back to holiness. “You can see the relevance of Mary’s message at Fatima today: she invited us to return
back to God. Number one, she asked for prayer. Second, she asked for penance. Third, she asked us to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. We have lost that sense of sacred in our lives. How many people today pray the Rosary as a family?” Father Martin drew interesting parallels between the period when Our Lady appeared to Lucia, Jacinto and Francisco at the Cova da Iria in 1917 and today, saying that the so-called “age of enlightenment” just after the turn of the century spurred an increase in secularization — a trend that seems to be repeating itself a century later. “It only boils down to one thing: that all these branches of knowledge led society in general to what I call secularization, which means that we are removing the presence of God in our lives,” he said. Father Kevin Cook, pastor of Holy Family Parish, said he was honored to host the most recent A Day With Mary and was pleased with the turnout. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for prayer and reflection,” Father Cook said. “I know many people have a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother, and this is a great way to express that faith.” McCormick, who also volunteers for the monthly A Day With Mary, said it’s a beautiful sacrifice to make once a month. “If we get 10 people or 100 people, it really doesn’t matter because every sacrifice that you make is enough to save souls,” she said. “The message of Fatima is to inspire other people to save souls. That’s why we’re here — for our own salvation and to pray for others’ souls. I believe that I’m standing here right now because someone else was praying for me.” Having grown up in a Portuguese household, McCormick said she’s always had a deep love and affection for Our Lady of Fatima, and A Day With Mary helps her to continue that devotion. “I was brought up going to the processions and devotions, so it definitely enhances my love for Our Lady,” she said. “I’ve had a devotion to Mary all my life — this is just my way of living it,” agreed Sweeney. “Her message of purity, joy and beauty is wonderful.” For more information about A Day With Mary or scheduling one for your parish, call the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate at 508-996-8274.
2012 St. Pius X Youth Award Winners
Attleboro Deanery St. Mary St. Mary St. John the Evangelist St. Mary St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Sacred Heart Our Lady of Mt. Carmel St. Mark
No. Attleboro Mansfield Attleboro Norton Attleboro Attleboro Seekonk Attleboro Falls
Sarah E. Leary Jeffrey Edward Vogel Jonathan Kirby Emily Ann Burgess Chad Jonathan Benoit Rachel Irene and Emily Mary Ducharme Courtney M. Gareau Madelyn Clare Sweet
Cape Cod & the Islands Deanery St. Francis Xavier St. Margaret Christ the King Our Lady of the Cape Our Lady of the Assumption St. Pius X St. Patrick Holy Redeemer Holy Trinity St. Elizabeth Seton St. Mary-Our Lady of the Isle Corpus Christi St. John the Evangelist Our Lady of Victory St. Joan of Arc
Hyannis Buzzards Bay Mashpee Brewster Osterville So. Yarmouth Falmouth Chatham W. Harwich No. Falmouth Nantucket Sandwich Pocasset Centerville Orleans
Davis Hartnett Rachel Carlowiz Christopher Hughes James McLeod David Christopher Panora Sean Carison-Nee Caroline Ellen Egan Siobhan Mary Alice Hurley-DelVecchio Kate Pendleton Sarah Jane Bouchie Shane Patrick Hanlon Kristen Lora Isabelle Savine Manduca Conor O’Brien Heather Rosato
Fall River Deanery St. Anne St. John the Baptist Immaculate Conception Notre Dame de Lourdes Holy Trinity Sacred Heart Santo Christo St. Joseph St. Louis de France St. Michael Holy Name St. Stanislaus St. John of God St. Bernard St. Dominic St. Francis of Assisi St. Thomas More SS. Peter and Paul
Fall River Westport Fall River Fall River Fall River Fall River Fall River Fall River Swansea Fall River Fall River Fall River Somerset Assonet Swansea Swansea Somerset Fall River
Lucas Manuel Canto Haley Ketschke Allison Pereira Kyle Sirois Sydnie Bradley Zania Gouevia Patrick Alexander Medeiros Ryan James Amaral Danielle Caron Shawn Ferreira Jay Mota Daniel Joseph Paiva Caitlin Sousa Naomi Gayle Zachary Stephanie Brodeur Lyndsey Beth Ferreira Brian Johnson Peter Edward Reney
New Bedford Deanery St. Lawrence Martyr St. Mary St. Francis Xavier St. Mary St. Joseph Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James St. Mary St. Julie Billiart St. Patrick Our Lady of the Assumption St. Anthony of Padua St. John Neumann Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
New Bedford S. Dartmouth Acushnet Fairhaven Fairhaven New Bedford New Bedford No. Dartmouth Wareham New Bedford New Bedford E. Freetown New Bedford
Jason S. Beauregard Zane Furtado Andrew Hamel Christian Plaud Sarah Rose Dupont Gail Erin Medeiros Alexandra Borges Jillian McHenry Drew David Sylvia Rachel Roderick Rafael Fernandes Kerri Souza Adam Bolieiro
Taunton Deanery St. Nicholas of Myra Holy Family Annunciation of the Lord Holy Cross Immaculate Conception St. Ann
N. Dighton E. Taunton Taunton So. Easton N. Easton Raynham
Emily Pauline Cerce Jonathan Cooper Kirby Sessums Michael Wood Jeremy M. Berry Joshua McCarthy
May 11, 2012
Moms blessed, remembered by area teens continued from page one
and talents to share. I hope and pray that in the not-too-distant future every parish in our diocese will select a young person to receive this award.” The award is named after Pope St. Pius X, founder of the Fall River Diocese in 1904, who had a great deal of devotion to the youth of the Church and all they had to offer. The award is a medal bearing an image of St. Pius X with his motto, “Restore all things in Christ,” recognizes the commitment and selfishness of teens towards Christ, His Church, and local parish communities. Recipients are nominated by their pastors, must be confirmed, at least a sophomore in high school, and no older than 19 years old. A list of this year’s recipients appears on this page. “Words can’t explain what a blessing it is to have Emily and Rachel as daughters,” Rosemary told The Anchor. “They are so loving and so giving. As a mom, I’m extremely honored and proud of them and all my children.” Rosemary and her husband Normand have five children, and two of their sons are previous St. Pius X Award winner as well. “I’m full of joy with all of them,” she added. Emily and Rachel are very active in the parish, having been altar servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, ushers, and aides in the Faith Formation program. “The girls are always there when you need them,” said pastor Father David A. Costa. “Their attitudes are, ‘Well, that’s what we do.’ The whole family is so valuable to the parish.” The girls are seniors at North Attleboro High School and plan on attending college to eventually work in early education for special needs children. “They love working with kids and they want to devote their lives to giving to children,” said Rosemary. “It takes my breath away with the work they do, all without having been asked.” “It’s an honor to receive this award, and it means a lot,” said Emily. “I have grown up at Sacred Heart Parish and I was brought up and taught that when you volunteer your time, it is not a job but something you enjoy and learn to live by.” “After seeing two of my older brothers receive the award, I look up to them and now I have the honor to receive this award,” said Rachel. “I enjoy being able to dedicate my time and talent to help people and the Church.” James McLeod, 18, is the recipient from Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster. “James is a dependable and se-
rious about his faith,” said pastor Father Bernard Baris, M.S. “He’s worked with the Confirmation class of our Religious Education program for the past two years and he is a lector. Unfortunately when some teens make their Confirmation, we never see them again. But not with James. He’s very committed to the faith.” “As a mom, I am very happy that James has kept Christ in his life and continues to participate actively in the Church,” said James’ mother Nancy McLeod. “He is the salutatorian of his senior class and a three-sport varsity athlete, and throughout he has maintained a strong faith. He is a faith role model for his younger brother Connor and to the parish. As a Catholic parent I believe that we owe it to our children to raise them with faith in God and encourage them to be strong Christians in the Catholic Church. My husband Stephen and I are very honored and proud of James for receiving the award.” “My participation in my parish is something that brings a sense of calm and peacefulness to my otherwise hectic, standard teenage life, with school, sports and so forth,” James told The Anchor. “I feel lucky to be a part of my parish community let alone be recognized for my participation. That just makes it all the more meaningful.” Peter Reney, 17, will receive the award from St. Peter and Paul Parish at Holy Cross Church in Fall River. Reney’s mother, Debbie Reney, a part-time secretary at the parish, died last February after a long battle with cancer. “Debbie would be very proud,” said Father Stephen Salvador, pastor. “She would be happy that Peter is continuing to serve the Church and parish she so dearly loved, with continued zeal. Peter has helped the parish in many ways, including helping to train the altar servers and also filling in in a pinch. He’s always been very comfortable and secure around the altar at church.” As part of a school project, Peter has also redesigned the parish bulletin, in memory of his mom. “I think this award would mean a lot to my mom because she could say all three of her kids got the award and she didn’t force any of them to do anything for the Church,” Reney told The Anchor. “My brother and sister won the award and they deserved it,” he added. “My mom was so proud. Now it’s my turn, following in their footsteps. I know she is proud of me for receiving this. She was a great person, Catholic, woman, and mother, and if I grow up to be half the Catholic she was, I think I would be a pretty good Catholic.”
May 11, 2012
The Anchor Papal Honors conferred on six diocesan priests continued from page one
mission minded — Msgr. John J. Oliveira, director of the diocesan Propagation of the Faith Office, recently attended the Pontifical Mission Society annual meeting in Miami.
Msgr. Oliveira attends Pontifical Mission Society annual meeting MIAMI, Fla. — The Pontifical Mission Societies in the Unites States recently held its annual meeting in Miami. It was the first meeting led by the new director for the U.S., Father Andrew Small, OMI, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate who previously worked at the Bishops’ Conference in Washington, D.C. He succeeded Father John Kozar, the national director for more than 10 years and who now serves as director of the Catholic Near East Society. The meeting’s format contained a number of workshops along with different main presentations regarding the work of the missions. It also included a financial report of the Societies’ income and expenses for the fiscal year. Father Small instituted a number of new initiatives seeking to increase the exposure of the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies and to raise much-needed revenue. The workshops included: Spirituality/Mission Theology; Development/Stewardship; Communication/Education; and other presentations. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami was the celebrant and homilist at the opening Liturgy. Father Small gave the presentation at the formal dinner entitled “Pauline’s Legacy in Today’s Context” affirming the relevance of Pauline Marie Jaricot, founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
Cardinal Francis George, OMI spoke on “Mission in the Year of Faith” and hosted a “Conversation with the Cardinal” following his presentation. His talk, and responses to the questions from those gathered, showed the deep faith and intellectual prowess of this archbishop. Cardinal George was celebrant and homilist for the Liturgy of the Mass that evening. Scripture scholar Father Ron Rohleiser, OMI addressed the gathering on “Dialogue and Conversion: The Synod on New Evangelization.” As always, he was entertaining as well as deeply spiritual and scriptural. Msgr. John J. Oliveira, director of the Diocese of Fall River’s Pontifical Mission Societies, also attended. He stated he was pleased to meet the new director and renew acquaintances with many of the directors he has met over the years. “In particular it is good to meet the directors from the New England dioceses, where as a region, efforts are made to collaborate in our ministry,” said Msgr. Oliveira. He noted how good it is to attend these meeting when possible, not only to receive some new ideas and approaches to mission animation, but to be renewed in the work of the missions. He also noted how grateful he was to all who support this work of the Church in the Diocese of Fall River.
of his priesthood, he served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, Oak Bluffs; St. Peter the Apostle, Provincetown; St. Mary, New Bedford; and St. Julie Billiart, North Dartmouth. While at St. Julie’s, he was also chaplain at UMassDartmouth and Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth. He was named pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville in 1980, serving there until 1995 when he was appointed pastor of St. John Neumann Parish, East Freetown. In 2000, he began his pastorate at St. Patrick Parish, Falmouth. Through the years, he has been a member of the diocesan College of Consultors and was diocesan secretary for Ministerial Personnel and dean of the Cape Cod and Islands Deanery. Msgr. Avila is pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Mansfield. He is also director of the diocesan Office for Worship and of the diocesan Television Apostolate and is dean of the Attleboro Deanery. A New Bedford native, Msgr. Avila was ordained a priest on July 18, 1981 by Bishop Daniel A. Cronin. He served as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, New Bedford; St. Mary Parish, Mansfield; St. Julie Billiart Parish, North Dartmouth; and as chaplain at Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth. In 1994 he was appointed secretary to then-Bishop Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap. While secretary, he also served at different intervals as assistant at St. Stanislaus Parish, Fall River, administrator at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Fall River, and was chairman for the weeklong diocesan Eucharistic Congress in 2000. He became pastor of St. John Neumann Parish, East Freetown, in 2000, and pastor of St. Mary’s, Mansfield, in 2006. Msgr. Fitzgerald is pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Somerset and has since 1988 been director of Diocesan Health Facilities, which oversees the five diocesan nursing homes. He is also dean of the Fall River Deanery. Born and raised in Taunton, he was ordained a priest May 18, 1968 by Bishop Connolly and was assigned as parochial vicar at Holy Name Parish, Fall River. In 1974, he was appointed director of the Pastoral Care Department at Saint Anne’s Hospital, Fall River, and three years later director of the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care for the Sick. He served as pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Westport from 1988 to 2006, at which time he began his current pastorate at St. Thomas More Parish. Msgr. Moore retired from full time ministry in 2009. A native of New Bedford, he was ordained a priest on Jan. 30, 1960 by Bishop Connolly. He served as a parochial vicar at Holy Name, Fall River;
St. Joseph, Taunton; and SS. Peter and Paul, Fall River; and assisted at St. Mary’s Cathedral while in residence there. In 1980, he began a 15-year pastorate at St. Mary’s Parish, New Bedford, during which time he supervised the building of a new church and rectory complex along with modifications to the former church to serve as added space for the parish school. From 1995 until his retirement, he was pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in North Falmouth. He now serves part-time, primarily assisting at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville. Along with parish ministry, Msgr. Moore served the Church over the years in a number of diocesan assignments as well, most of them simultaneously. He spent 38 years with the diocesan newsweekly, The Anchor, 28 years of them as editor and then executive editor, and was director of the Diocesan Office of Communications for eight years. In 1976 he was appointed first director of the Permanent Diaconate program in the Fall River Diocese, remaining in that post until 2002 and overseeing the formation process of six classes of men for diaconal ordination. Msgr. Tosti, who is retired, was born and raised in Taunton. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 11, 1962 by Bishop Connolly and subsequently served as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Osterville; Sacred Heart Parish, Fall River; and SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Fall River. In 1977, he was named pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New Bedford. In 1984, he became founding pastor of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee and oversaw the building of the large parish complex
including a church, chapel, educational facilities, offices, and rectory, all under one roof. He retired from there in 2006. Since then, he assists with the celebration of Masses at different parishes on Cape Cod. He was appointed to serve in a number of other capacities throughout the years, among them diocesan director of CCD.; diocesan director of Family Ministry and the Family Life Center in North Dartmouth from 1978 to 1988; coordinator of the year-long diocesan 75th jubilee, and diocesan director of Pastoral Planning from 1999 to 2005. Msgr. Wall is retired from parish ministry. A New Bedford native, he was ordained a priest on Feb. 2, 1962 by Bishop Connolly. He served as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Taunton, and then at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River. He became pastor in 1979 of Sacred Heart Parish in Fall River. In 1986, he returned to St. Mary’s Cathedral, this time as its rector, serving there for two years. He was also dean of the Fall River Deanery. In 1988, he was appointed pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Mattapoisett and in 1999 became pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, Fall River, from which he retired in 2008. In retirement he continues to serve as Diocesan Archivist, a position he has held since 1999. Drawing on his lifelong interest in diocesan history and his detailed knowledge of the local Church, he authored the book, “Bearing Fruit by Streams of Water: A History of the Diocese of Fall River” for its 2004 centennial celebration. He also continues in his 40-plus years of ministry as diocesan spiritual director of the Legion of Mary and helps out at various parishes.
spirit-filled — Eighteen young men and women from Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich and seven from Holy Redeemer Parish in Chatham recently received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Our Lady of Annunciation Chapel in Dennisport with Bishop George W. Coleman presiding and Father Edward Healey, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, and Father George Scales, pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish. (Photo by Virginia Sutherland)
May 11, 2012
BFFs — Graduates of St. Mary's School in Taunton from years past were in attendance for the popular reunion luncheon recently. Now part of the 100-year tradition that is Coyle and Cassidy Memorial High School, area St. Mary's alums faithfully attend this event in order to reconnect with friends and former classmates.
hail to the chiefs — The fourth-graders at St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro recently presented the annual President's Presentation. Each student dressed up as a particular president and gave a two-minute speech about the importance of their presidency. In addition, the students rapped to a special song that included all the presidents.
the end of the rainbow — St. Mary’s School in Mansfield recently participated in the 2012 Pot of Gold Tournament at Mercymount Day School in Cumberland, R.I. The grade-six and -seven boys and grade-five boys (pictured) won the tournament for their individual division. Eighth-grader Kevin Crowley was awarded the Sportsmanship Award for the eighth-grade division.
pennies from Heaven — Holy Family-Holy Name School in New Bedford recently held its 20th anniversary Penny Sale at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. Ann Cafferty and Marsha Gushue were chairmen of the event that benefits the school.
May 11, 2012
PLANTING IT FORWARD — A blue sky and bright sun helped highlight the hard work done by the youth group of St. Mary’s Parish in Fairhaven as they got their hands dirty and did some gardening at The Atria, an assisted-living home in Fairhaven. Here the youth get busy planting a lilac bush in the backyard. From left to right: Cameron Garde, Luke McGraw, Zachary Garde, Hayleigh Aubut, and Roy McGraw.
Famished for ‘The Hunger Games’
atniss Everdeen. Peeta will be set for life — never wantMellark. “May the odds ing for clothes or food — and be ever in your favor.” his or her district becomes the Until a few months ago, I had beneficiary of extra food for an no idea what these two names or entire year. The games are used that particular phrase referenced. as televised entertainment for the For all those who do, yes, apparelite members and used as a tool ently I lived under a rock and for to keep the other district members those readers who were like me and did not and still do not know, thank you for keeping me company under said rock. I first heard about “The Hunger Games” when I flipped through a magaBy Crystal Medeiros zine with my sister only a few short months ago. When I saw the ad for the book and read the description, in their “proper place” with The Capitol. she proceeded to tell me it was What clearly comes across in a trilogy and that there would be these books and the film is the a movie out soon. I asked her if oppression felt by most of the disthey were popular and she said tricts. The people lack hope and everyone was reading them and there is nothing to put their faith asked if I had been living under into. So when Katniss Everdeen a rock. and Peeta Mellark are chosen Apparently so. from district 12, without giving In that short amount of time, I have discovered that “The Hunger anything away, they find a reason to hope. Games” series is the new Harry But as I read the books and Potter. So in trying to keep up watched the film I could not help with what is trending with our but notice that there was someyoung people, I saw the film thing lacking in this futuristic when it was released and read all North America. There truly was three books. I could not put them not anything for these people to down. Without giving too much away put their faith into. Religion, of any kind, was lacking. God is to my fellow rock dwellers who may be reading this, “The Hunger never mentioned and thus prayers Games” is a competition designed were never offered. Panem lacked any type of faith by the elite class of a future North and belief in a Higher Power. America renamed Panem that is Could this be the reason, aside separated into 12 districts. Each from greed and power, that in a year one male and one female futuristic world that should be from each of the districts who are progressive and advanced, that between 12 and 18 are selected society has essentially reverted from a lottery to participate in back to the human sacrifices of said games. These young people old? One cannot help but draw compete to the death. The winner
Be Not Afraid
parallels between “The Hunger Games” Arena to the Roman Coliseum — at least it was all I could think about when I watched the film — young people fighting to the death for the amusement of others. Would this have been a viable option if people still held a belief in God — a belief in Christ? Although religion, God and faith are not explicitly mentioned, Katniss and Peeta become that symbol of hope. Father Robert Barron of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries says it this way: “The actions of the couple [Katniss and Peeta] operate out of a more Christian approach and don’t play the games.” They are the first to defy the rules. Our belief in Christ, in His Gospel teachings, in the Beatitudes, in the greatest Commandment helps us relate to each other — to relate to our fellow brothers and sisters. Jesus’ message teaches us to respect human life, to care for others. Father Barron closes his commentary on “The Hunger Games” with this statement, “What keeps human sacrifice at bay is none other than Christianity, this great religion that says no to scapegoating violence.” “The Hunger Games” is fictional. Jesus is real. Our faith unites us as one human family under God. With our belief, love and reverence to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the odds will always be in our favor. Crystal is assistant director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autism both a challenge and a blessing, family says
DENVER (CNS) — Damien O’Connor believes his 10-year-old daughter, Mary Rose, is the happiest child he’s ever met. She loves to dance in the backyard with her favorite stuffed animals. And when she prays the Rosary, she doesn’t say it, she sings it. When Mary Rose was a year and a half old, literally overnight she stopped responding in ways she had previously. Three psychologists confirmed she had an autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. “We were devastated,” said O’Connor, of the diagnosis revealed to him and his wife, Monica. About nine months later, threeyear-old Damien Jr. began acting unusually. “We never dreamed it would be the same diagnosis,” he said. But it was. Two of the couple’s three children are autistic. Mary Rose also has a twin sister, Ana Theresa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one in 88 children have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. “Nobody wants this for their children,” said O’Connor, whose family resides in Milford, Conn. “I think the hardest thing for parents is you have to mourn the fact that they’re not going to be who you thought they were going to be.” Through their Catholic faith, and support from doctors, the Milford School District, and their parish, St. Michael Church in New Haven, Conn., they can see their children’s disabilities not only as challenges, but blessings. “(Though) our family situation is nowhere near perfect,” he said. “I love and adore (my children) for who they are.” He described Mary Rose and Damien Jr. as high-functioning. Spectrum disorders affect each person differently, with symptoms ranging from very mild to severe. Their children have received
their First Communion and are otherwise being catechized in the Catholic faith. Damien Jr., now 12, is an altar server at the parish. “Parents can be paranoid; it can be hard to bring children with autism to Mass, not knowing when they might have an outburst,” he said. Their family was welcomed unconditionally at the parish. “We felt welcome — and boy, does that go a long way!” he said. “If parishes can make families feel welcome, and just start with that, God takes care of the rest.” O’Connor is working to help find ways to effectively catechize children with autism spectrum disorders in his role as director of pastoral services for the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. “I realize full well how difficult it can be, but it’s so worth it,” he said. “These children have a right to receive the Sacraments.” The Diocese of Bridgeport is in the process of developing two mobile applications to be released by the end of May: the Sacraments of Initiation app, and a guided tour through the Mass. The Sacraments of Initiation app will help prepare children for Baptism, Communion and Confirmation; while the latter will break Mass down into 27 parts with voiceover explanations. “We take every symbol you see in a Catholic Church — altar, alb, candles, vestment colors — and explain it,” he said. The apps were inspired by an Oct. 23, 2011, segment on the CBS news program “60 Minutes” called “Apps for Autism.” In the segment correspondent Lesley Stahl reported that touch-screen apps designed for tablet computers, such as an iPad, can provide some people with autism a new way to express themselves. Teachers and parents have hailed the technology. “We hope it’s a powerful tool,” said O’Connor, “and helps people keep their hearts open and think ‘outside the box.’”
The Anchor is always pleased to run news and photos about our diocesan youth. If schools or parish Religious Education programs, have newsworthy stories and photos they would like to share with our readers, send them to: email@example.com
May 11, 2012
Fairhaven priest following St. Damien’s footsteps to Molokai continued from page one
had this feeling, ‘I think I’m going to be back here.’” As a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Father Killilea said that St. Damien, himself a Sacred Hearts priest, was “a legend in his own time.” “He influenced many of us in joining the Sacred Hearts,” said Father Killilea. “I didn’t know too much about him, though I had read about him while in high school. Even though I had never anticipated visiting Hawaii, never mind ministering to that settlement, Damien has always been part of my heart.” Father Killilea was afforded an opportunity to visit Kalaupapa a second time in 2006, this time staying for three months. During that visit he was able to minister to the small number of patients who continue to live in the settlement. Along with visiting St. Philomena’s Parish, also known as “Damien’s Church,” Father Killilea was able to explore the original site of the settlement at Kalawao, about a 15-minute drive from Kalaupapa and located on the other side of the island. About 8,000 people have been exiled to the island since 1865, when King Kamehameha V, who reigned as monarch of the kingdom of Hawaii from 1863 to 1872, instituted an “Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy” that forced people with leprosy or
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anyone suspected of having the disease to be secluded on land that was set apart. The law remained in effect until 1969, when admissions to Kalaupapa ended. When St. Damien arrived on the island on May 10, 1873 at the tender age of 33, he spent his first weeks sleeping under a tree near St. Philomena Parish. Back then the island was almost barren, and Father Killilea said that St. Damien faced obstacles that went beyond ministering to those suffering from disease. “He faced opposition with the government and even with our own religious community,” said Father Killilea. “He was a very stubborn man, thanks be to God.” Geographically the area is now lush and beautiful. The remaining patients at Kalaupapa, whose total number is now in the teens, are taken care of by the national park service as well as the health department of the state of Hawaii. Leprosy is no longer a threat, and though none of those currently living on the island met St. Damien, “he certainly lives in the minds, thoughts and hearts of the patients who still live there and make it their home,” said Father Killilea. Soon after his arrival there will be cause for celebration. Blessed Mother Marianne Cope of Molokai, who joined St. Damien and then succeeded him in overseeing the patients when he passed
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away, will be canonized by Pope Benedict on Oct. 21, 2012. This will enhance the spiritual legacy of which he will be both heir and transmitter. “It is spiritual because of its history and the tragedy of thousands of human beings afflicted with leprosy being confined there and the great ministry to them by Damien and Mother Marianne Cope, and all the other names that are now lost and forgotten,” said Father Killilea. “Not only have names of patients been lost but probably a lot of those who worked there, not just the ministers of the Gospel, but nurses and various people who have gone there to care.” When he left in 2006, Father Killilea said he hoped he would be able to return. Though he would have been happy to stay at St. Mary’s Parish until he retired, “the call” that Father Killilea said he felt towards Kalaupapa could not be ignored. “It’s a privilege and an honor. I’m sure there are those in my own community wondering why I am going there,” said Father Killilea. “It’s going to be a very slow pace, but at this stage of my age, I’m slower also.” A native of Ireland, Father Killilea will be moving farther from his family still living in his homeland. Traveling now will not be as easy, he said; “It was something I had to think about when I told my siblings.” During his last visit, he connected with two patients: Paul Harada, who drove Father Killilea “at a high rate of speed on a very rough road” during a sightseeing trip of the island; and Olivia Robello Breitha, whose autobiography, “My Life of Exile in Kalaupapa” provided an account of life as a Hansen’s disease patient on the island. Both have since passed away. With the numbers of those living in the settlement so low but with the ages of those living there so high — the youngest is in his early 70s — Father Killilea is in the unique position of seeing history being made on the island. “We don’t know what it will mean when all of the patients pass away because, in one sense, there will be less restriction,” said Father Killilea of the laws that limit the daily number of travelers; including the restriction that no one under 16 is allowed to visit. Father Killilea said he hopes his time there will be “spiritual, because it is a very spiritual place.” “I hope to bring a naturalness and understanding of the mission to the workers and the patients,” he said.
71st Catholic Charities Appeal campaign well under way
FALL RIVER — “The inclination to give is rooted in the depths of the human heart.” These words, spoken by Blessed Pope John Paul II, have proven true on so many occasions in the history of the annual Catholic Charities Appeal. The fact that so many parishioners from across the Diocese of Fall River (more than 31,000 last year) contributed the highest total in the 70-year history of the Appeal certainly attests to that fact. As the economy continues to struggle, as do the citizens of southeastern Massachusetts; Cape Cod and the Islands, the outpouring of generosity and concern for the well-being of others is truly what makes this springtime Appeal so unique. “We could never consider undertaking such a massive attempt at meeting the needs of literally tens of thousands of men, women, and children who turn to the Diocese of Fall River’s agencies for assistance each year were we not assured of the selfless attitude of the parishioners of our 90 parishes,” said Mike Donly, director of Development for the diocese. “We have ample evidence, spanning seven decades, of the tremendous compassion that exists within our parish communities for those who are experiencing hardship and discouragement due to numerous factors beyond their control,” he continued. Bishop George W. Coleman, in his letter to parishioners, mentions, “In the Gospels, we see Our Lord’s concern for the sick and suffering, the poor,
and anyone looking for a helping hand. As disciples of Jesus, we seek to imitate Him and so feel an obligation to come to the aid of those who find themselves in need of assistance with food, housing, and other basics of day-to-day survival. This annual Appeal is the only time the diocese asks you to come together to share what you have with those in need by helping to fund the agencies that minister to those in need of assistance.” As the Appeal began on May 1, the parishes had mobilized their committees of volunteers to spread the message to any and all who would listen that their generosity was needed now more than ever. “Our goal each year is to get every parishioner and friend of the needy to donate. If they realize that as Pope Benedict stated ‘The exercise of charity is the culmination and synthesis of the whole of Christian life,’ and that the diocese shows great respect for the donations of contributors by making certain that 94 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the agencies funded by the Appeal, then our goal of 100 percent participation doesn’t seem far fetched at all,” concluded Donly. The 71st annual Catholic Charities Appeal began on May 1, and will continue until June 21. Contributions to the Appeal can be sent to the Catholic Charities Appeal Office, P.O. Box 1470, Fall River, Mass. 02722; dropped off at any parish in the diocese; or made on the Appeal website: www. frdioc-catholiccharities.org.
May 11, 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 beginning at noon until 7:45 a.m. First Saturday, concluding with Benediction and concluding with Mass at 8 a.m. 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 — The Corpus Christi Parish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich. Use the Chapel entrance on the side of the church. 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. NEW BEDFORD — St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 565 County Street, holds eucharistic adoration in the side chapel every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 508-336-5549. 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.
I’m just the messenger
ur youngest son, David and Lauren. It’s nice to have that times when you guys are saying Joseph is 15 years old, communication with you. Ben the Rosary or the Divine Mercy but we only had three days with and Lauren are great people too, and Igor constantly disrupts the him. He’s greatly missed, but far again, largely because of your proceedings? That’s kind of befrom forgotten. A paintcause of me, and that is ing of the little dude dad’s influence on me. hangs prominently in our “I realize this mesliving room. sage is brief, but hey, I do wish we could I’m a 15-year-old boy, have done all the fatherwhat can you expect? son things that fathers Tell my brother and By Dave Jolivet and sons do, but I can’t sisters I said hi. And tell begin to imagine what a dad not to expect too hole still remains in Demuch from the Red Sox nise’s heart. So, if I could be so influence. I would love to have this year. I can’t say why, but ‘I bold, I’d like to express to her gotten to know them. know things.’ what her youngest son would “As I mentioned, I’m always “I love you mom. I’ll pray for tell her this Mother’s Day. with you, although you may not you guys, and I look forward to “Hi mom. First of all I love recognize it. You know those our chats. Happy Mother’s Day.” you, but you know that. And second of all, I know you miss me, but you know also, that I’m always with you. ECHO of Cape Cod is hosting its first annual dinner and auc“Thanks for taking such good tion to benefit the ECHO program tomorrow beginning at 5:30 care of me for the eight months p.m. at Christ the King Parish Hall, 3 Job’s Fishing Road in Mashpee. you carried me. It was a safe, secure environment, and I know A Living Rosary, hosted by the Immaculate Conception Women’s Guild, will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception you made sure I received only Church, Thomas Street in Fall River on May 14 at 7 p.m. All the best, despite what dad was are invited to participate. Refreshments will be served in the hall following the Rosary. eating and drinking. And I want you to know that I needed havPlease help plan the Cape Cod Stand Out for Religious Liberty effort by attending a meeting on May 16 at 7 p.m. at Coring you there during my brief pus Christi Parish Center, Quaker Meeting House Road in East stay. It meant a lot. Sandwich. Refreshments will be served. The effort to protest recent attacks on our religious freedom is scheduled for June 2 in Hyannis from 1 to 3 p.m. “I also want to tell you that you are doing a great job with Catholic Social Services’ legal staff assists clients with N-400 Applications for Naturalization and answers questions about Emilie and with dad. I know the process of becoming a U.S. Citizen. Upcoming workshops what a handful they can be, will be held on May 16 at St. Peter the Apostle Parish, 11 Prince Street in Provincetown and on May 22 at St. James-St. John School, 180 Orchard especially when they are partStreet in New Bedford. For more information contact Ashlee Reed at 508ners in crime. Emilie is a great 674-4681 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. young woman and that’s largely Courage, a welcoming support group for Catholics wounded by because of you. And dad, well, same-sex attraction who gather to seek God’s wisdom, mercy and love, will next meet on May 19 at 6 p.m. For location and dad is dad, and not many people further information, contact Father Richard Wilson at 508-992-9408. could handle him the way you A Memorial Mass has been arranged for Father Gilles Gendo. He wouldn’t be half the man est, M.S. on May 19 at 9 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Church he is without you. in Centerville. Father Genest was the spiritual director of the Cursillo Movement for many years. After the Mass there will be a gathering in “Thanks for having faith the center for refreshments and to share memories of a very special friend. in me when you send up your For more information call Mary Lees at 508-771-1106. requests to have me ask God to The Daughters of Isabella Hyacinth Circle will hold its annual take care of dad, Emilie, Ben Communal Breakfast on May 20. There will be a Mass at Holy
My View From the Stands
Around the Diocese 5/12 5/14 5/16 5/16
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks May 12 Rev. John F. deValles, DSC, U.S. Army Chaplain, 1920 Rev. Herve Jalbert, Retired Pastor, Blessed Sacrament, Fall River, 1986 May 13 Rev. Msgr. Osias Boucher, USA Retired, Pastor, Blessed Sacrament, Fall River, 1955 May 14 Rev. Robert E. McDonnell, CSC, 2006 May 16 Rev. William McDonald, SS., St. Patrick, Falmouth, 1941 Rev. Msgr. J. Joseph Sullivan, P.R., Pastor, Sacred Heart, 1960 Rev. Arthur dos Reis, Retired Pastor, Santo Christo, Fall River, 1981 May 17 Most Rev. James E. Cassidy, D.D., Third Bishop of Fall River, 1934-51, 1951 Rev. Albert Evans, SS.CC., 2003
Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, 121 Mt. Pleasant Street in New Bedford, and the breakfast will convene directly following in the parish center. All are welcome. R.S.V.P. to Terry Lewis at 508-993-5085 by May 16.
Father Roger J. Landry, executive editor of the The Anchor, will discuss “Religious Freedom: An issue of grave concern in the United States and within our own Catholic Church” on May 22 at 7 p.m. in the Corpus Christi Parish Center, Quaker Meeting House Road in East Sandwich. A question-and-answer session will follow. The program will be videotaped by the Cape Cod Family Life Alliance for airing on its cable TV time spots. For more information, call 508-385-7867 or e-mail bgailbowers@ comcast.net.
A Healing Mass will be celebrated at St. Anne’s Church, 818 Middle Street, Fall River, on May 24 beginning with recitation of the Rosary at 6 p.m. Benediction and healing prayers will follow the Mass.
Our Lady of the Cape Parish in Brewster will host its annual summer fair on July 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in at the Parish Center, 468 Stony Brook Road in Brewster. Come by for toys, crafts, jewelry, books, antiques, attic treasures, collectibles, art work, tools and baked goods along with kids’ face painting, cash raffle and silent auction, cafe goodies and outdoor barbecue. Admission is free.
LIFE LESSONS — Deacon Peter Cote of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River (top photo) proclaims the Gospel on May 2 during the annual Mass celebrated by Bishop George W. Coleman for more than 460 eighth-grade students from Catholic schools throughout the diocese. Father Paul Bernier, rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River (bottom photo), points out some of the historic features inside the Mother Church of the Fall River Diocese to students from Taunton Catholic Middle School during a tour that preceded the Mass. (Photos by Kenneth J. Souza)
May 11, 2012