Diocese of Fall River
F riday , November 6, 2009
Donor restores WWII chaplain’s gravestone
By Deacon James N. Dunbar
FALL RIVER — To say that U.S. Army chaplain Father Arthur C. Lenaghan, who at the age of 37 was killed in action in Italy in 1944 during World War II, currently has a special guardian angel in Washington, D.C., might seem preposterous. But when the weathered 61-year-old granite headstone in St. Patrick’s Cemetery marking the final resting place of the former Fall River diocesan priest who grew up in this city took on a new luster in September, Paul Haley, director of Planned Giving for the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation in Washington, became the
“usual suspect” once again. In a telephone chat last week, Haley, who hails from Brockton, admitted that after visiting Father Lenaghan’s gravestone a few months ago, “I was inspired to get it cleaned. It does come even as we commemorate All Saints Day and Father Lenaghan who gave his life while serving as a chaplain under fire, as one of them.” “The headstone is under a tree and sap and dirt had badly discolored it, but now it’s as clean as your first Communion suit,” reported Douglas Machado Sr., owner of Rogers Memorials in Fall River, in a note sent to HaTurn to page 14
JUDGED TO BE DEDICATED — At the recent Red Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Judge Elizabeth O’Neilll LaSaiti receives the St. Thomas More Award which recognizes members of the legal community for dedicated service. (Photo by Eric Rodrigues)
The urgency of conscience protection
By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent
PRISTINE CONDITION — The gravestone of Father Arthur C. Lenaghan received a recent makeover at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Fall River. (Photo by Jim Dunbar)
Bishop Coleman issues directives for flu season
FALL RIVER — In order to prevent the spread of H1N1 influenza through various liturgical practices, Bishop George W. Coleman has issued the following directives for all places of worship in the Diocese of Fall River, effective the weekend of October 31-November 1, 2009. 1. The sharing of the Precious
Blood during Mass for the faithful is to be suspended (with the exception of those who, for medical reasons, are unable to receive the host.) 2. It is preferred that the invitation to offer the sign of peace during the Communion rite be suspended, including the exchange of Turn to page 18
FALL RIVER — One of the clearest illustrations of the urgency of conscience protection in the health care reform debate involves the dispensing of potentially abortion-inducing drugs in emergency rooms. The law in Massachusetts presently forces Catholic hospitals to violate either Church teaching or state law and face the possibility of losing their licenses. In order to be in compliance with Massachusetts law Chapter
91, Section 4 in the Acts of 2005, hospitals must provide emergency contraception to any rape victim who requests the drug. The United States bishops have said dispensing the drug without appropriate testing is “not permissible.” In 2007, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health sent out a letter to remind hospitals of their obligation to offer emergency contraception to “each female rape victim of childbearing age.” “The provision of a prescription for emergency contraceptive
pills does not constitute compliance,” the memo stated. “To ensure that particular hospital staff’s values or beliefs do not interfere with compliance with the law, the hospital must institute systems to ensure that all female rape victims of childbearing age are promptly provided medically and factually accurate information about emergency contraception, are promptly offered emergency contraception, and emergency contraception is initiated upon her request.” Turn to page 18
U.S. bishops send urgent nationwide alert on health care reform — ‘Action needed now’
WASHINGTON — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including Fall River Bishop George W. Coleman, has launched a nationwide alert on healthcare reform, warning that abortion mandates are being proposed, reporting that efforts so far to remove those mandates have not succeeded, and asking Catholics to get involved directly in contacting their Senators and Congressmen to support amendments to eliminate abortion mandates in health care reform. The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate will be debating health care reform in November. Each diocese will be communicating with its parishes directly. Congress is preparing to debate health care reform legislation on the House and Senate floors. Genuine health care reform should protect the life and dignity of all people from the moment of conception until natural death. The U.S. bishops’ conference has concluded that all committee-approved bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them.
Our nation is at a crossroads. Policies adopted in health care reform will have an impact for good or ill for years to come. None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care. In a recent letter to all priests in the Diocese of Fall River, Bishop Coleman stated, “For many years, the U.S. bishops have supported decent health care for all, based on our teaching that health care is essential for human life and dignity and on our community’s experience in providing health care and assisting those without coverage. “We have always insisted that health care reform must protect life, not threaten it and that it cannot be used as a vehicle to advance abortion. Specifically, we have clearly required that longstanding federal protections that restrict abortion funding and mandates and that protect conscience rights must be reflected in health reform legislation. In addition, we have also focused on efforts to insure that coverage is affordable and that immigrants have better health care as a result Turn to page 15
News From the Vatican
November 6, 2009
Pope calls for more attentive, prayerful listening to Gospel
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI invited all Catholics to listen more carefully and prayerfully to the Gospel readings, especially during Sunday Mass, and to set aside a bit of time every day to meditate on the word of God. “A purely theoretical, profane reading is not enough in order to reach the heart of sacred Scripture. One must read it in the spirit in which it was written and created,” he said during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square October 28. The pope began a new cycle of talks by dedicating his catechesis to the renewal of theology during the 12th century. Two basic models of or approaches to theology emerged at the time: monastic and scholastic theology, he said. “Monastic theology grew out of the prayerful contemplation of the Scriptures and the texts of the Church fathers, stressing their interior unity and spiritual meaning centered on the mystery of Christ,” he said. For example, he said the practice of “lectio divina,” a form of prayerful meditation on the word of God, was a fundamental part of the life of monastic theologians because “for them the simple reading of sacred texts was not enough for perceiving the deep sense, inner unity and transcendent message” present in the texts. This form of theology was characterized by meditation, prayer and songs of praise and led to “a sincere conversion,” the pope said. The spiritual heritage of these early monastic theologians rep-
resents “an invitation also for us to nourish our existence with the word of God,” he said. One way to do this, he said, is by “listening more attentively to the Gospel readings, especially during Sunday Mass.” “It’s important to set aside a certain amount of time every day for a meditation on the Bible so that the word of God becomes a lamp that lights our daily journey,” he added. But one must be motivated by a desire to know and love God, “who comes to meet us through his word,” Pope Benedict said. That desire will lead Christians to try to deepen their understanding of the Bible “in all of its dimensions.” God’s word is there to be welcomed, meditated upon and practiced in everyday life, he said. Unlike monastic theology, “scholastic theology sought to clarify the understanding of the faith by studying the sources and the use of logic,” he said. The teacher, representing authority, and the student, representing inquiry, engaged in a form of debate where the aim was to arrive at a deeper understanding of God’s word through both authority and reason, he said. Applying reason to one’s approach to sacred Scripture “creates a faith that is deep, more personal and, therefore, also more concrete in a person’s life,” he said. “Even today this confidence in the harmony of faith and reason inspires us to account for the hope within us and to show that faith liberates reason, enabling the human spirit to rise to the loving contemplation of that fullness of truth which is God himself,” said the pope.
ROME — The head of the Knights of Columbus has been awarded Rome’s “Lupa Capitolina” prize in recognition of the work and service the organization has carried out in the Italian capital for nearly a century. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson was given the award by Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, during a ceremony in the city hall recently. In a written statement, Anderson said he was honored to receive the award from the city of Rome. “As both the ‘Eternal City’ and the center of the Catholic Church, Rome has a special place in the hearts of the Knights of Columbus, and we look forward to another 90 years of service in
this great city,” he said. Since the 1920s, the Knights have run several sports centers in Rome that young people can use for free. The Knights have also covered the costs for numerous renovations and repairs inside and outside St. Peter’s Basilica, including restoring the basilica’s facade. The Knights pay for the satellite uplink for major international telecasts from the Vatican, such as the pope’s Christmas Mass. The Knights of Columbus is a 1.7 million-member fraternal organization. Last year members donated more than $150 million to charity and 68 million hours of their time to charitable service, according to the Knights’ press release.
Head of Knights of Columbus honored by city of Rome
BLESSING FROM PAPA — Pope Benedict XVI blesses a child as he arrives for the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops for Africa in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican recently. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Synod message decries corruption, appeals for cooperation in Africa
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The greed, corruption and unjust economic structures fomenting conflict and poverty in Africa must be overcome through the united cooperation of all people of good will, said the Synod of Bishops for Africa. In their final message to the world, the 275 members of the synod also said condoms will not alleviate the scourge of HIV and AIDS and insisted on respect for religious freedom in predominantly Muslim communities. Poverty, misery, war and chaos are most often caused by the decisions and actions of “people who have no regard for the common good” and who often take advantage of “a tragic complicity and criminal conspiracy of local leaders and foreign interests,” said the synod’s message. The bishops praised those who have used their role in public office for the common good. But the bishops criticized the “many Catholics in high office (who) have fallen woefully short in their performance in office.” The bishops called on these leaders to repent or resign from political office “and stop causing havoc to the people and giving the Catholic Church a bad name.” The synod urged local churches to intensify their efforts to offer spiritual care and chaplaincies for Catholic politicians as well as in evangelizing policymakers. Africa needs “saintly politicians who will clean the continent of corruption, work for the good of the people and know how to galvanize other men and women of good will from outside the Church to join hands against the common evils that beset our nations,” said the message. The bishops called for “a new and just world order” in which poor nations are freed from the burden of debt, “which literally kills children.”
International corporations operating in Africa must stop “their criminal devastation of the environment in their greedy exploitation of natural resources,” the synod said. The bishops lamented that no international body or world leader has come forth to stop “these crimes against humanity” that “foment wars in order to make fast gains from chaos at the cost of human lives and blood.” The Church’s valuable work in fighting HIV and AIDS and caring for those affected must continue to receive support, said the message. The synod said that it agreed with Pope Benedict XVI that condoms would not beat the pandemic. It called on people to recognize the success obtained by prevention programs advocating abstinence and fidelity within marriage. Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, president of the synod’s messagedrafting committee told reporters that the Church is “second to none” in helping people affected by HIV and AIDS and that its contribution deserves more recognition. “We hope that the whole question of HIV-AIDS can be handled in such a way that it doesn’t become always a battle over whether you believe in condoms or not,” he said,
adding that people’s energies and resources are better spent on helping those suffering and urgently in need of care. The synod’s final message hailed interreligious dialogue and cooperation with Muslims, saying such efforts have proven successful and effective. While the synod praised the predominantly Islamic governments that allow Catholics the freedom to worship, it said that was not enough. “Freedom of religion includes also freedom to share one’s faith, to propose, not impose it, to accept and welcome converts,” said the message. “We need to make room for every faith to contribute fully to the good of humanity,” said the bishops. The synod said it sees hope for the future and is not discouraged by the enormity of problems in Africa. The synod called on the continent’s bishops, priests, religious and laity to become more united and conform their lives more closely to the Gospel. The laity, especially Catholic leaders, must become more knowledgeable about Christian culture, the Bible and church teaching, said the synod. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 53, No. 42
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November 6, 2009
The International Church
Cardinal Levada: No ‘celibacy issue’ exists in reception of Anglicans into Church
HOPEFUL MEETINGS — Africans mingle in St. Peter’s Square after the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops for Africa at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
At synod closing Mass, pope urges stronger evangelization in Africa
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At a Mass to close the Synod of Bishops for Africa, Pope Benedict XVI urged the Church to be a model of unity and a force of reconciliation throughout the African continent. To accomplish this goal, Catholics must preach Christ as the one savior and, like him, walk the “path of service” toward the suffering populations in Africa, the pope said during the liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica October 25. “The Church is the family of God in which there can be no divisions based on ethnic, language or cultural groups,” he said. “The reconciled Church is the potent leaven of reconciliation in each country and in the whole African continent,” the pope said. With the Holy Spirit, Catholics can help transform the hearts of “victims and persecutors” wherever social injustice occurs, he said. The Mass closing the threeweek-long synod was concelebrated by more than 200 African bishops, and the liturgy combined Roman and African elements. A Nigerian choir, backed by a restrained drum and percussion section, sang a processional hymn in the Igbo language as the pope, dressed in gold vestments, entered the basilica. The prayer of the faithful — for the intentions of peace, the ministry of the pope and Church leaders, and the enlightenment of African political and civil authorities — was recited in French and the African
languages of Swahili, Kigongo, Malagasy and Igbo. The day before, after accepting the synod’s 57 “propositions” or final proposals, the pope lunched with the African bishops and gave them a gift: the green and gold chasubles they wore at the closing Mass, which bore the pope’s coat of arms. In his homily, Pope Benedict said the Church is called upon to deliver, in word and deed, Christianity’s perennial message of hope, which “the Lord of history never tires of renewing for the oppressed and overwhelmed humanity of every era and every land.” “Get up, Church in Africa, family of God,” he said. “Set out on the path of a new evangelization with the courage that comes from the Holy Spirit.” God’s plan does not change, he said, and it is always aimed at the kingdom of liberty and peace for all. This implies his preference for those deprived of peace and freedom, and those violated in their dignity, he said. “We think in particular of our brothers and sisters who in Africa suffer poverty, diseases, injustice, wars and violence, and forced migration,” he said. The pope said the Church must operate by combining evangelization and the promotion of social justice. Its method of “living the Gospel in the first person” seems to be the only one capable of helping
Africa emerge from “the slavery of hunger and sickness,” he said. He said globalization, in particular, needs to be steered by the Church toward a more inclusive economic model that benefits all people and not only the wealthy. The Church must work to “ensure that no African should be deprived of his or her daily bread,” he said. The pope asked the bishops to take his blessing to their communities throughout the continent, and transmit to all Africans the synod’s appeal for justice, peace and reconciliation. The liturgy ended with an “Ave Maria” sung in Igbo by the Nigerian choir, and a liturgical chant in Ge’ez, a liturgical language of Ethiopia, invoking the “path of truth.” Speaking at his noon blessing after the Mass, the pope said the synod had underlined the dynamism of the Church in Africa, which “continues to grow in quantity and quality.” The pope, who presided over the synod’s sessions, said the assembly had also highlighted new threats to the family coming from outside ideologies. Young Africans, he said, are especially exposed to this type of pressure, and are “influenced by models of thought and behavior that contrast with the human and Christian values” of African populations. Addressing pilgrims in English, the pope asked them to pray for “our brothers and sisters in Africa.”
VATICAN CITY (CNA) — In an extensive clarification released Saturday by the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi made clear, on behalf of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Levada, that there is no “celibacy issue” delaying the publication of the Constitution that will establish the procedure for Anglicans to be received into the Catholic Church. The Vatican analyst suggested that the delay in the publication of the Apostolic Constitution on Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church is due to “more than ‘technical’ reasons.” “According to this speculation, there is a serious substantial issue at the root of the delay, namely, disagreement about whether celibacy will be the norm for the future clergy of the Provision,” Father Lombardi’s said. Responding to other claims that the rule of celibacy for Latin rite clergy would be open to discussion, Father Lombardi offered the official comments of Cardinal Levada. “Had I been asked I would happily have clarified any doubt about my remarks at the press conference. There is no substance to such speculation. No one at the Vatican has mentioned any such issue to me.” According to Cardinal Levada, Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Constitution will be ready “by the end of the first week of November” and its delay “is purely technical in the sense of ensuring consistency in canonical language and references.” The Prefect of the Congregation also explained that “the drafts prepared by the working group, and submitted for study and approval through the usual process followed by his congregation, have all included the following statement, which is
currently Article VI of the Constitution: “1. Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for holy orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement ‘In June’ are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of Code of Canon Law 277, §1. 2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.” Cardinal Levada further explains that “this article is to be understood as consistent with the current practice of the Church, in which married former Anglican ministers may be admitted to priestly ministry in the Catholic Church on a case by case basis.” With regard to future seminarians, the cardinal explains that “it was considered purely speculative whether there might be some cases in which a dispensation from the celibacy rule might be petitioned.” “Objective criteria about any such possibilities (e.g. married seminarians already in preparation) are to be developed jointly by the Personal Ordinariate and the Episcopal Conference, and submitted for approval of the Holy See,” Cardinal Levada said.
The Church in the U.S.
November 6, 2009
Cardinal Foley says Israel’s wall raises human rights concerns
WASHINGTON (CNS) — While Israel has a right to protect its citizens, the security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian territories and checkpoints along the barrier raise human rights concerns, said a U.S. cardinal. “The most tragic thing I have seen is the miles-long wall that separates Jerusalem from Bethlehem and separates families and keeps farmers from the land that has been in their families for generations. It is humiliating and distressing,” Cardinal John P. Foley, grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, told participants at the 11th international conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation. “I appreciate the Israeli government’s concern for security” and respect it, he said. “But many of these measures raise serious human rights issues that they refuse to acknowledge and address.” The wall the cardinal referenced is a series of barbed-wire fences, security roads and looming cement slabs that, if completed as planned, would stretch 400 miles through the West Bank and restrict the movement of 38 percent of the residents of the West Bank. Cardinal Foley said the barrier already limits many Palestinians, who cannot find work or keep their jobs because they are never sure they will be allowed through the checkpoints or how long they will have to wait to get through them. It also affects students, “eager to learn, who are unable to get to school regularly,” because they are unable to cross the barrier, he said. “I visited the Catholic seminary over the Christmas holidays last year and was saddened and inspired by the many
seminarians who had not gone home because they were afraid that they would not be allowed to cross over the border between Jordan and Israel or through the (barrier’s) checkpoints and get back to the seminary,” Cardinal Foley said. He said since Israel was established as a Jewish state in 1948 the Christian population in Israel has decreased “from 18 percent to less than two percent.” “This is a result of both significant immigration of Jews to Israel and the great increase among Muslims and, at the same time, an exodus of Christians from there,” he said. Christians and Muslims are often the oppressed groups in the area, Cardinal Foley said. “We believe that Jews, Christians and Muslims — all of whom place high importance (on) Jerusalem and, indeed, all of Israel ... can and should live together in peace,” Cardinal Foley said. The cardinal was the keynote speaker at the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation conference and received the Living Stones Solidarity Award, which honors those who have made “a sustained and extraordinary effort to love, support and stand in solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land.” Other award recipients were Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States; Samir Abu-Ghazaleh, a member of the foundation’s advisory board; and Mary E. Beahn, a foundation volunteer from Derwood, Md. The conference was held at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center and included discussions of current developments in the quest for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how faith can be effective in resolving conflict.
SPECIAL DESIGNATION — This is an overview of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, Conn. Pope Benedict XVI announced recently that the church has been elevated to a minor basilica. (CNS photo/John R. Glover, courtesy Diocese of Bridgeport)
Connecticut church raised to status of minor basilica
STAMFORD, Conn. (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has elevated St. John the Evangelist Church in downtown Stamford in the Bridgeport Diocese to the status of minor basilica. Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport said in a statement he was grateful to the pope “for this great blessing on our diocese.” “As a minor basilica, St. John’s now enjoys a special relationship with the Holy Father,” he said. “It becomes the pope’s church and a center for the promotion of the teachings of the Holy Father and the Catholic Church’s magisterium, as well as a center for a deeper devotion to the pope as the successor of St. Peter.” Founded in 1847 to meet the needs of a growing Catholic population, St. John is known as the “mother church of Stamford.” Twenty-three churches and missions in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan and Darien trace their roots to St. John. The first wooden clapboard church was dedicated in 1851. The current church, completed in 1886, was the largest stone building in the state at the time. St. John continues to be the spiritual center of downtown Stamford and southwestern Fairfield County, with 1,500 registered families. Thousands of commuters visit the church weekly to light a candle, pray, join in the public devotions, go to confession or attend one of two daily Masses. “We are profoundly humbled by this papal recognition,” Msgr. Stephen DiGiovanni, the pastor, said in a statement. “This is not only a tribute to our Catholic ancestors who literally built the church by hand — it honors our many parishioners who contribute so much to the life of the parish, making St. John’s the heart and soul of Stamford. We can all take great pride in this honor.” The formal application process to have the Vatican consider naming the Stamford
church a minor basilica began earlier this year. With Bishop Lori’s permission, Msgr. DiGiovanni spearheaded the process, which entailed filling out a detailed questionnaire; giving a complete history of the parish and its liturgical, spiritual and educational life; providing a detailed description of the interior and exterior of the church; and submitting photographs of “every nook and cranny.” The materials, bound together in book form, received approval from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington and were sent to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Minor basilicas, which often become pilgrimage destinations, have special rights and privileges. Plenary indulgences can be granted to Catholics on certain days, such as the anniversary of the dedication of the basilica, which for St. John is May 30. Basilicas also are allowed to display the papal symbol of crossed keys on the parish bulletin and on its seal, stationery, banners and furnishings. They also can display the “umbraculum,” or large umbrella, which was once used to shield the pope, and a bell, or “tintinabulum,” which once sounded the pope’s arrival. St. John’s new designation “underscores the unique nature of the Catholic Church,” established by Jesus Christ, who sent the Twelve Apostles “to preach the truth and to establish the one Church wherever they went,” Msgr. DiGiovanni explained. “The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist is a dramatic sign that, while the church building was created by local Catholics more than 150 years ago, the faith, the Gospel, the sacraments and the life of grace were not started by some ordinary ‘guy’ from scratch here in Connecticut,” he said. “Nor can we change the Church at whim, as some people think they can.”
November 6, 2009
The Church in the U.S.
Making Pro-Life centers list services not provided is called ‘harassment’
THE COACH WITH A COLLAR — After a play during a recent football game, Father John Hollowell coaches a player on the Cardinal Ritter Junior/Senior High School’s varsity football team in Indianapolis. The 30-year-old priest, who is a teacher, chaplain and assistant football coach at the school, encourages his players to play with passion and at the same time to enjoy the game. (CNS photo/ John Shaughnessy, The Criterion)
Special needs children deserve chance at life, Archbishop Chaput says
PHOENIX (CNS) — Children with special needs deserve a chance at the full range of what life has to offer, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver told the Phoenix Catholic Physicians Guild. “Studies show that more than 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome now get terminated in the womb. They’re killed because of a flaw in one of their chromosomes — a flaw that’s neither fatal nor contagious, but merely undesirable,” he said in a late October address to the group. While some doctors deliver the news of “an increased likelihood” of Down syndrome “with sensitivity and great support” for the woman, he added, “too many others seem more concerned about avoiding lawsuits, or managing costs, or even, in a few ugly cases, cleaning up the gene pool.” He focused on the situation of children with Down syndrome as a way, he said, to talk about “the kind of people we’re becoming” and the “struggle within the American soul.” Archbishop Chaput said, “In practice, medical professionals can now steer an expectant mother toward abortion simply by hinting at a list of the child’s possible defects. And the most debased thing about that kind of pressure is that doctors know better than anyone else how vulnerable a woman can be in hearing potentially tragic news about her unborn baby.” The archbishop said prenatal testing can detect up to 95 per-
cent of the pregnancies with a strong risk of Down syndrome, although no “firm” conclusion about an individual pregnancy can be given. There also is the risk of “false positives” in which an unborn child may be wrongly diagnosed in the womb with Down syndrome, he said. Still, “raising a child with Down syndrome can be hard,” Archbishop Chaput said. “None of us is perfect. No child is perfect. “The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is between love and unlove; between courage and cowardice; between trust and fear,” he continued. “That’s the choice we face as a society in deciding which human lives we will treat as valuable, and which we will not.” As a result, “we’re witnessing a kind of schizophrenia in our culture’s conscience,” Archbishop Chaput said. According to the archbishop, approximately 5,000 U.S. children are born with Down syndrome each year, and there are about 400,000 people in the United States with Down syndrome. “That population may soon dwindle,” Archbishop Chaput said. “And the reason why it may decline,” he added, alluding to abortion, “illustrates, in a vivid way, a struggle within the American soul. That struggle will shape the character of our society in the decades to come.” He said, “I’m not suggesting that doctors should hold back vital knowledge from parents. Nor should they paint an implausibly
upbeat picture of life with a child who has a disability. Facts and resources are crucial in helping adult persons prepare themselves for difficult challenges.” But pediatricians who have treated children with disabilities, parents of children with special needs, and special education teachers and therapists “often have a hugely life-affirming perspective,” Archbishop Chaput said. Doctors, counselors and medical school professors, he added, should have these people “on staff — or at least on speed dial.” “Just as some people resent the imperfection, the inconvenience and the expense of persons with disabilities, others see in them an invitation to be healed of their own sins and failures by learning how to love,” he said. How society treats these people — “whether we revere them and welcome them, or throw them away in distaste” — shows what individuals and the nation as a whole “really believe about human dignity.” Archbishop Chaput said Catholic public officials “who take God seriously cannot support laws that attack human dignity without lying to themselves, misleading others and abusing the faith of their fellow Catholics.” He said Catholic doctors “who take God seriously cannot do procedures, prescribe drugs or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly; or that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family.”
BALTIMORE (CNS) — A proposal requiring Baltimore pregnancy support centers to post a disclaimer telling clients they do not provide abortion or contraceptive services is harassment of the ProLife centers, say Catholic leaders. Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien and other critics of the measure said abortion clinics are not being similarly required to list all the services they don’t provide, such as infant clothes, formula and parenting classes. The president of the Baltimore City Council, Stephanie RawlingsBlake, and 10 other members are sponsoring the bill, which if passed would levy a fine of $500 per day on centers that do not comply with the requirement. In a letter to Rawlings-Blake, Archbishop O’Brien said the bill targets nonprofit organizations whose mission is to help women carry pregnancies to term. He said it is “well-known” that pregnancy support centers are exclusively focused on assisting women in their choice for childbirth, and do not provide abortions or contraception. “To fine a center $500 for not posting a sign that states as much is nothing short of harassment,” Archbishop O’Brien said, “especially when nothing in a pregnancy support center’s Yellow-Page advertisements or web pages would lead a woman to believe these centers provide abortions or abortionrelated services.” Ryan O’Doherty, RawlingsBlake’s director of policy and communications, said the City Council president was unavailable for an interview with The Catholic Review, Baltimore’s archdiocesan newspaper. He provided a copy of Rawlings-Blake’s October 16 letter responding to the archbishop. “I believe this measure is needed to secure women’s access to accurate and safe medical information,”
Nov. 7 - (Sat.) 10am-3pm
Rawlings-Blake wrote, adding that “simple compliance” with the ordinance ensures no penalties or fines. “Of course, I support efforts by nonprofit organizations to assist future mothers,” she said. “This ordinance does nothing to hamper those efforts.” In his letter, however, Archbishop O’Brien said the legislation unfairly singles out Pro-Life centers. “The bill does not on the other hand seek to fine abortion clinics for not posting a list of services they do not provide (e.g., parenting classes, maternity and infant clothes, formula),” he said. The archbishop said the Archdiocese of Baltimore provides $100,000 annually to pregnancy resource centers “because we believe pregnant women seeking the assistance they provide should get it, and because we feel the help they provide these women will lead to safer pregnancies and healthier babies. This legislation threatens both of these goals.” The Baltimore bill is similar to one promoted by Planned Parenthood in the 2008 session of the Maryland General Assembly. That bill, which never made it out of committee, would have required crisis pregnancy centers to state that they are not required to give “factual information.” Nancy Paltell, associate director for the respect-life office of the Maryland Catholic Conference, said Planned Parenthood also is behind the effort. She believes the bill is a steppingstone to passing even more onerous measures against crisis pregnancy centers. Paltell noted that pregnancy resource centers are regulated by all the laws which govern charities, including anti-fraud measures. Paltell and Archbishop O’Brien said local government agencies, churches and community organizations refer women to the centers.
A Day of Healing: “Seeing Yourself Thru God’s Eyes!!!” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Jer. 1:5. Healing Your Self-Worth and Self-Esteem.” Presenter: Jacqueline M. Sitte, RN, CARN, LADC I, LRC
Nov. 18 - Praise and Worship: Presenter: Father Tom (Wed.) 10am-3pm DiLorenzo Nov. 21 - (Sat.) 10am-3pm
A Time For Healing: “Lord Jesus Heal Me To Maintain My Self-worth When I Have Failed You, Others, And/Or Myself.” Dan. 10:15-19 & Heb. 13:5-6. Presenter: Dr. Hugh Boyle Jr., Ed.D., Christian Psychologist
For required registration for each event and for further information please call 1-508-947-4704
Prayerfully confronting and overcoming the difficulties
We discussed last week the very positive development of Pope Benedict’s decision to establish personal ordinariates for Anglican faithful and clergy seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict’s magnanimous gesture was understandably welcomed with joy and hope by those Anglicans who had approached Rome asking for a structure by which they could be received. Resolving messy situations is never easy, however, and it comes as no surprise that various issues, concerns and potential obstacles have been raised by Anglicans and Catholics alike that — after the initial euphoria has worn off — need to be confronted. Several are of sufficient seriousness that they might tempt away from full communion even some of those who had originally petitioned Pope Benedict for a bridge and whose initial reaction to the upcoming Apostolic Constitution was exultation that it had exceed their highest expectations. Perhaps the biggest issue, especially for Anglican clergymen seeking full communion, concerns the validity of Anglican orders. As Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, announced on October 20, Anglican bishops and priests desiring to enter the Church and to serve as Catholic priests will need to be ordained as Catholic priests. This signifies the consistent practice and position of the Catholic Church since the Anglican split in the 1500s that, as Pope Leo III wrote in his 1896 Bull “Apostolicae Curae,” Anglican orders are “absolutely null and void.” Without getting into too much detail and history, there are three reasons for this conclusion of the Church, based on three of the things that are necessary for a valid ordination: the ordination ceremony must be celebrated by a validly ordained bishop with a valid intention according to a valid rite. When Thomas Cranmer rewrote the Catholic liturgical books in 1552 to form the Edwardine Ordinal, he changed the words of presbyteral and episcopal ordination rites in such a way that there was no longer the necessary specificity of what the imposition of hands was intended to do, rendering those ordinations invalid. Even though in 1642 the words of the rite were improved upon to add this specificity, every Anglican bishop alive in 1642 had been ordained invalidly according to the Edwardine rite and hence was not capable of validly ordaining other bishops or priests; therefore, all of the ordinations that occurred subsequently were invalid. Finally, in Cranmer’s revisions, it was explicitly stated that the intention of the rite was not to do what Catholics believe ordination to do — to change the male ordinand ontologically — but merely commission him to a particular type of service. For all three of these reasons, Anglican orders have always been considered invalid by the Church. This is why Anglican clergy seeking to enter the Church and be ordained as Catholic priests have needed to receive valid ordination from a Catholic bishop. Some Anglican clergy are objecting to this condition in Benedict’s Apostolic Constitution because their participation would demonstrate or at least imply that their ordination as Anglican priests was invalid and, therefore, since they were not valid priests, their celebration of the sacraments of the Eucharist, penance, and anointing of the sick would also have been invalid. To accept ordination as a Catholic priest would be to admit, they say, that, despite their good intentions and their subjective conviction, bread and wine never changed into Christ’s Body and Blood in their hands, the Lord was never worshiped in eucharistic adoration, and sins were never forgiven at their words of absolution, because they had no sacramental power to do any of these things. It’s obvious why this would be such a difficulty for them, because presumably they would never have been doing what they’ve been doing since they became Anglican clergy unless they believed that what they were doing was valid. A few high-ranking Anglican clergy who are very grateful overall for the pope’s creating a bridge for them have stated that they desire to enter the Church “provided that” what they have done up until now be recognized as valid. Ultimately the crucial issue for all involved is one of the objective validity of priestly ordination, not the subjective sincerity of individuals in having believed themselves ordained and having acted in good faith. The objective validity is crucially important to the Church not just to make an historical point, but to ensure that the sacraments celebrated by priests be indisputably valid, since the salvation of others may be at stake. The second issue involves what to do with many of the married Anglican priests and bishops who have been among those petitioning the pope for a means to enter the Church. Last Saturday, Cardinal Levada released the draft text of a section of the Apostolic Constitution, which said that “those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for holy orders in the Catholic Church.” He added that, consistent with the practice of the Catholic Church since the 1980s, the admission of married men to the order of priest will still be an exception to the general rule of priestly celibacy and will be considered “on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.” The difficulty will be found in the details of many of the cases. For example, one of the principal Anglican bishops who has been petitioning the Holy See was originally a Catholic priest who left the Church to get married, got divorced and remarried, and now has several children from the second wife. In his case, his ordination as a priest is valid because he was ordained a Catholic priest, but both of his marriages are likely invalid on account of his previous priestly ordination; even if he had received a dispensation to marry, his “second” marriage to his present wife may likely be invalid anyway on account of his previous bond. Should he wish to serve as a Catholic priest again, the issues involved in these marriages will need to be addressed. Moreover, several other Anglican clergymen have likewise been in multiple marriages and, therefore, prior to any serious discussion of their being ordained priests, there will need to be investigations of which (if any) of their marriages would be valid. If their “first” marriage were valid, for example, their “second” marriage would be invalid and hence they would not be granted an exception to be ordained as a Catholic priest as long as they were in an invalid marriage. This raises a question, of course, not just about their readiness to receive the sacrament of holy orders but their readiness to receive the other sacraments for which someone cannot be in an invalid marriage. Finally, there are a slew of practical issues that will confront those seeking full communion. For Anglican parishes and dioceses, there will be many legal wranglings with regard to the title of the property in which they now worship, whether it belongs to the parishioners or to the Anglican dioceses. For Anglican clergymen seeking ordination as Catholic priests, especially those who are married and have children, there will doubtless be some financial uncertainty on account of the status of the endowments of their parishes, how many of their parishioners come with them, and whether their pay scale will remain the same in the new ordinariate. It would be inconceivable that a formerly Anglican Catholic priest who is married with children would be able to support that family on the compensation that Catholic priests normally receive in the United States. For all of these reasons, those crossing the Tiber will be carrying some various crosses. All Catholics need to pray insistently for those whom the Lord is drawing across that bridge, so that they carry those crosses with faith and hope, knowing that, by doing the Lord’s will, the Lord will draw enormous good even out of the heaviest crosses.
November 6, 2009
Preaching about confession today
Last week we examined how St. John Vian- well worth re-reading in this Year For Priests. Its ney used his pulpit to draw people to God in the examination and advice are still as relevant today confessional. Through his homilies at Mass and as they were 25 years ago. his catechetical lessons for kids and adults, he Pope John Paul II said that preaching and catpreached most of the time on the beauty of God’s echesis are the “first means to be used” in trying to mercy, our need for forgiveness, and God’s lov- get people back to the sacrament. In paragraph 26, ing wisdom in establishing the sacrament of pen- he specifies 10 different catechetical themes that ance to envelope us in that mercy. On occasion, are needed to eradicate the various weeds choking however, when his people were not persuaded to the growth of the word of God in people’s hearts confess their sins out of love for God (what the today as well as to help nourish any seeds that Church traditionally calls “perfect contrition”), he have taken root. did not hesitate literally to try to “scare the hell The first is about reconciliation, which he deout of them,” by helping them achieve a sorrow fines as the “need to rebuild the covenant with God for sins based on the fear of the personal conse- in Christ, the Redeemer and Reconciler … and quences of sin, especially the ultimate terror of with one’s brethren.” He suggests this catechesis an eternity in hell apart from God (“imperfect be based on Jesus’ many homilies on reconciliacontrition”). tion with God and others in the Gospel. Even when he had to resort to the latter to perThe second is on penance, which “literally suade inveterate impenitents, however, he could means to allow the spirit to be overturned in ornot keep up a fire-and-brimstone style for long. der to make it turn toward God.” There can be He would break down in the pulpit, weeping al- no reconciliation with God and others unless it most uncontrollably over the fate of the damned. is preceded by conversion and repentance, which His tears were probably his most eloquent and are not just superficial feelings but a crucifixion persuasive homily on the reality of hell, the sad- of the “old man” so that the “new” can be born ness we should have as a result of sin, and the by the power of Christ. This catechesis is all the tragedy of failing to take advantage of the gift of more needed, John Paul II says, because contemGod’s mercy while we still have time. porary man “finds it harder than ever to recognize It took about his mistakes” and a decade in his say he’s sorry. tiny parish of 230, Third, there but eventually his needs to be a regular, versatile catechesis on and bold preachconscience and ing about how its formation, bemuch we need the cause if the consacrament of penscience is poorly By Father ance got through formed, it will Roger J. Landry to his parishioners turn into “a force and they began that is destructo come in great tive of the true numbers. St. John Vianney would eventually set humanity of the person” rather than serve as aside a few hours on Saturdays to hear the confes- the “holy place where God reveals to him his true sions of his own people, so that they would not good.” have to wait in line for days with those coming Fourth, there must be a teaching on the sense from all over France. of sin, which has become “considerably weakAs Pope Benedict mentioned in his letter to ened in our world.” If we don’t recognize that sin begin the Year For Priests, St. John Vianney’s is poison of the soul and that sins are particular success in preaching people into the confessional spiritual toxins, we’ll never sense our need to go should inspire and encourage all priests today. to the doctor. “Priests ought never to be resigned to empty Fifth, there’s a need for catechesis on temptaconfessionals or the apparent indifference of the tion and temptations, and how to respond to them faithful to this sacrament. In France, at the time of with faith and the power of God. the Curé of Ars, confession was no more easy or The sixth and seventh parts of the catechesis frequent than in our own day, since the upheaval focus on fasting and almsgiving, respectively. caused by the revolution had long inhibited the These are not merely “signs” of conversion, repractice of religion. Yet he sought in every way, pentance, mortification and charity, but “means” by his preaching and his powers of persuasion, to by which we can become configured with Christ help his parishioners to rediscover the meaning who himself fasted and gave all. and beauty of the sacrament of penance, presentThe eighth and ninth aspects John Paul II ing it as an inherent demand of the eucharistic describes concern the “concrete circumstances presence.” in which reconciliation has to be achieved” — Still, it is the experience of many priests to- namely, the family, civil community, and social day who try “in every way, by [their] preaching structures, and the like — as well as the “four and powers of persuasion” to help people return reconciliations” that remedy the four fundamental to the sacrament that — no matter how often rifts caused by sin: with God, oneself, others and they preach about it or what their tone — many the whole of creation. Catholics don’t seem to respond to any message Lastly — and as we begin the month of Noand treat the sacrament as if it’s an optional part vember, this point takes on added significance of Catholic life. A 2005 Gallup survey showed — there’s a need for a “constant catechesis” on that of Catholics who go to Mass each Sunday, the four last things: death, judgment, hell and 42 percent say they never go to confession, 30 heaven. “In a culture which tends to imprison percent say they rarely go, and just 26 percent man in the earthly life at which he is more or say they are faithful to the precept of the Church less successful,” John Paul II explains, pastors to go at least once a year. Only one out of 50 must “provide a catechesis that will reveal and practicing Catholics reports going to confession illustrate with the certainties of faith what comes once a month or more. If we were to factor in the after the present life. … Only in this eschatologifrequency of those Catholics who don’t come to cal vision can one realize the exact nature of sin Mass every Sunday and who are probably in even and feel decisively moved to penance and recgreater need of God’s mercy, the low numbers onciliation.” would be much more alarming still. This 10-part preaching and catechetical stratFaced with this phenomenon as well as the egy John Paul II recommended adequately revarious types of deeply-embedded “darnel” that sponds to the most common and serious questions, have been sown among Catholics with respect misunderstandings, and doubts modern man has to the sacrament of penance, many priests do with regard to the sacrament. He says that “pastors not know where to begin in trying to help their who are zealous and creative” will never lack oppeople, practicing and un-practicing, to return. portunities to impart these points to their people. Where should their preaching and catechesis He specifically mentions homilies, Bible studies, start? lectures, Religious Education curricula and espeThe most detailed and helpful answer to this cially “old style popular missions.” question came in Pope John Paul II’s 1984 aposThis last point is particularly one for the tolic exhortation “Reconciliation and Penance,” Church to ponder today. Is it merely a coincidence which he wrote after he and bishops from across that the throngs started to come to St. John Vianthe world spent a month studying how to respond ney’s confessional only after he had participated to the crisis of the sacrament of penance. It is the in such “old style” popular missions? greatest document published in the history of the Father Landry is pastor of St. Anthony’s Parmagisterium on the subject of confession and it’s ish in New Bedford.
Putting Into the Deep
November 6, 2009
My vocation is not over
ver the years, people have asked me many questions about the priesthood. There is one question that I have been asked so many times that I have developed a kind of stock answer. People ask all the time, “When did you know that you wanted to be a priest?” “That’s simple,” I say. “fifth grade, ninth and 10th grades, sophomore year of college, and by Christmas in my second year of teaching public junior high school general music.” I respond that way because it is very clear to me now that it was never a single event that triggered my thinking about priesthood. Each of those years is marked by significant events and new insights into my spiritual life, my faith, and my Church. In the fifth grade, I moved from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts. I encountered a group of men, scout leaders and parish priests, who opened up a new world for me. I remember these four laymen, Vic Boucher, “Sonny” Lizotte, Maurice Provost, and Rene Tremblay, teaching us not only camping and the lore of the woods, but sharing with us a profound respect for creation. Around the night-time campfire, there were eye-opening stories. To mark our advancement through the Scouting ranks, there were elaborate Native Americanthemed ceremonies that rivaled
into the adult choir at St. Anne’s. the most complex liturgy I have ever experienced as an altar boy. In a few short weeks before Christmas that year, my voice The campfire circle was called plummeted from a high soprano “holy ground” and only those to bass-baritone. I had already charged with the duty of firebeen part of music and worship building could enter it in the daytime. They created a sense of at church since I joined the boys’ choir in grade four, but now I wonder and awe. was learning a liturgical tradition I remember Father James Donovan, O.P., who would come that has endured my whole life. Music was my life then and the to Camp Noquochoke to celebrate Mass for the troop on our weekend camping Year For Priests trips. I remember helping to construct an altar with Vocational Reflection logs and stones under the forest canopy of our camp-site, the Brayton By Father Grove — acres of white Richard E. Degagne pine 80 feet high planted in rows with their lessons, both musical and liturgibranches arching overhead like cal, taught by Normand Gingras the vault of an expansive gothic are still important to me now space. I remember Father’s tellas a pastor. Being active in my ing us how God is as much in parish was critical for me at this this “cathedral” as he is among time because of the trauma of the great arches of our parish moving from St. Anne’s School church, St. Anne’s in Fall River. to the public junior high school. Thoughts of priesthood were powerful then because of lessons (Durfee High School was only grades 10-12 back then). I look that were nothing less than transcendent. Later, I would remem- back on that year in ninth grade with great pain. Classmates ber those days so clearly when found out I was thinking about I began Old Testament studies the priesthood and they were at the seminary and realized merciless, ridiculing me with the that our whole biblical tradition begins with a psalm of praise for phrase, “the padre.” I hope I was more merciful some years later all of creation. “Praise God in when a few of them became my the firmament and in the sanctuparishioners. ary!” (Ps 150). My years in college were In ninth grade, I moved up
a time of great growth in my faith. Involvement in campus ministry allowed me to explore my faith more deeply. I began attending daily Mass where often only the priest and I were there. Retreats with “Chi-Rho,” the young adult’s ministry in the Archdiocese of Boston, helped my faith in Jesus to mature. I began to reflect on the relationship between the Jesus of the Gospel and daily life. Even though I was studying music, thoughts of priesthood returned. In my sophomore year, I came very close to withdrawing from Lowell State College to apply to the seminary. But it was friends there and especially Dr. Robert White who convinced me to finish what I had started — a degree in music. “If you are meant to be a priest, it will happen someday,” he said. On my ordination day, this trusted mentor said to me, “I always knew you’d get here.” After graduating from college, I began teaching in the public schools in Fall River. I also returned to be very active in my home parish of St. Anne. Liturgical music, Religious Education, and a wonderful parishbased retreat program, the St. Anne Fellowship, gave me the opportunity to use the faith that had grown so much during my
college years. It became clear to me by the end of my first year of teaching public school music this would not be how I would spend my life. Parishioners, friends, and my pastor, the late Father Gabriel Blain, O.P., constantly said to me, “You should be a priest.” The thoughts of many years came flooding back until I realized that there was only one way to find out if this calling was real — enroll in the seminary and begin that time of discernment. Looking back on these events is important for me. It helps me realize that God speaks through many seemingly unrelated events. God’s call is almost never a once-and-for-all event, but rather the succession of blessed time when significant people and events speak to us both in mysterious and in obvious ways. This process is not only important to identify where vocation comes from; it is also necessary in order to discern where God is leading. I know that even now there are people I’ve not met, events yet to experience, opportunities still to seize, and insights to contemplate. These are the realities that will continue to reveal God’s life-giving call to me. The call continues. My vocation is not over. Father Degagne is pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in East Freetown.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CNS) — Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., has accepted an invitation from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence to engage in a discussion about the issue of health care reform. The bishop issued the invitation following the legislator’s sharp criticism about the U.S. Catholic bishops’ role in the debate. According to an Associated Press story, no date has been set yet for the meeting. Bishop Tobin told Kennedy in an October 27 letter that, as Congress “nears agreement on a final bill, I believe it is important that you are provided with specific facts about the Catholic Church’s position on this critical issue.” The bishop sent his letter in response to Kennedy’s October 22 interview with Cybercast News Service in which the congressman said the bishops were fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” by insisting that health reform not include abortion funding. “I can’t understand for the life of me how the Catholic Church could be against the biggest social justice issue of our time, where the
very dignity of the human person is being respected by the fact that we’re caring and giving health care” to the millions of people who are currently uninsured, Kennedy said in the CNSNews.com interview. “You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life-saving health care?” he added. “I thought they were Pro-Life. If the Church is Pro-Life, then they ought to be for health care reform because it’s going to provide health care that is going to keep people alive.” In his letter Bishop Tobin wrote: “For many years, the Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in its support of comprehensive health care reform, support that continues to this day.” “In light of your comments, I would like to extend an invitation to you to discuss the Catholic Church’s longtime support of comprehensive health care legislation and measures that protect and defend life,” he said. “Please contact my office at your earliest convenience so that we can schedule a meeting to
health care for a long, long time. “All we ask is that it be just that — universal — meaning that it includes the helpless baby in the womb, the immigrant and grandma in the hospice, and that it protects a health care provider’s right to follow his/her own conscience,” Archbishop Dolan said. In the Providence Diocese, Carol Owens, coordinator for the diocesan Respect Life Office, said Kennedy’s statement was unwarranted and unjust. “If he had his facts together, he would have know that the U.S. bishops are in favor of a national health care reform but one that supports the life and dignity of all, a plan that assures decent health care from the moment of conception to natural death,” she told the Rhode Island Catholic, the diocesan newspaper. “Abortion is not health care,” said Father Robert Forcier, Human Life Guild chaplain and assistant pastor of Holy Apostles Church in Cranston. “Once again, Congressman Kennedy has misled and failed to represent the overwhelming ma-
jority of his constituents who object to use of public funds to pay for abortion,” he said.
Kennedy says he’ll meet with Providence Bishop Tobin on health care reform discuss this important matter that affects all Rhode Islanders, regardless of their religious beliefs,” he said. In an earlier statement about Kennedy’s comments, Bishop Tobin called them “irresponsible and ignorant of the facts” and said the congressman “owes us an apology.” “The bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years,” the bishop said October 23. “But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals.” In other reaction, New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan called Kennedy’s remarks “sad, uncalled for and inaccurate.” “The Catholic community in the United States hardly needs to be lectured to about just health care,” he added in an October 26 posting on his blog at www. ny-archdiocese.org. “We bishops have been advocating for universal
DIOCESAN TRIBUNAL FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS Decree of Citation Sincehispresentdomicileis unknown,inaccordwiththeprovision of Canon 1509.1, we hereby cite JoseA.Cisnerostoappearinperson before theTribunal of the Diocese of Fall River (887 Highland Avenue in Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts)onNovember17,2009 at 2:30 PM to give his testimony regarding the question: IS THE RIVERA-CISNEROS MARRIAGE NULL ACCORDING TO CHURCH LAW? Anyone who has knowledge of the domicile of Jose A. Cisneros is hereby required to inform him of this citation. Given at the offices of the Diocesan Tribunal in Fall River, Bristol County,MassachusettsonOctober 27, 2009. (Rev.)PaulF.Robinson,O.Carm., J.C.D. Judicial Vicar (Mrs.) Denise D. Berube Ecclesiastical Notary
his Sunday’s Scripture touches on three seemingly unrelated points. Both the first reading and the Gospel depict widows who gave everything they had to God, trusting that he would provide for their needs. The widow who fed Elijah with her last drop of food had enough to eat for another year. The poor widow in the Gospel puts but a few pennies in the collection, but is exalted by Jesus because she gave all that she had. In stark contrast, Jesus warns about the Scribes who try to look pious and important yet steal from widows. The third point is found in the second reading as Paul explains that Jesus died so that sins could be forgiven. In 1973 I made a Cursillo (Spanish for short course in Christianity) retreat and, for the first time in my life, I realized that God loved me. Not us, but
November 6, 2009
The motivation for true Christian generosity me. I always knew that God green coat. loved the world, but I didn’t I finally brought it to my think that he loved me because spiritual director. After listenof the sins I had committed. One ing to my story he asked me: of the speakers that weekend “Where do you get the money made a statement that changed my life. He said: “If you were the Homily of the Week only person in the world Thirty-second Sunday Jesus would have said in Ordinary Time yes to the cross for you.” By Deacon Richard That is how much he J. Murphy Sr. loves you personally. This was to be the first of many lessons. At the time I was commuting that you give to this man?” to work in Boston. One of the “From my job,” I replied. homeless men that hung around “Do you make good money?” South Station wore an old “Yes.” Marine Corps overcoat. Because “Why do you make good I had been in the Marines, I was money?” partial to him and would give “Because I work hard and am him a handout. What started technically gifted.” out as a once-in-a-while event “Who gave you those gifts?” became daily and then twice a “God.” day. I grew resentful and was “Then God is the reason you starting to avoid my friend in the have the money to give?”
“Yes.” Point made. The funny part about that event was that I never saw that man again. Now that many years have passed and the God who loves me has taught me many such lessons, I know that my friend in the Marine Corps overcoat was put into my life so that I might learn to let go of my dependence on material possessions. I have learned that when I am willing to give away what God has given me then and only then do I find the love that I so desperately need. I’m sure it’s obvious that I’ve touched on two of the three points of today’s readings. Did Jesus die for you so that your sins are forgiven? Are you the widow who gives everything to God? But the third remains: what about the Scribes?
In a way each of us is a scribe who wears a sign on our backs that says, “Follow me.” Whether we like it or not, we are teaching people to trust God or not to trust him. No matter how much we want to be good witnesses and want to give him everything we have, we will fail if I do not let him love us. It is the power of his love that gives us the courage to trust. The more we let him love us, the more we trust; the more we trust, the more we give; the more we give, the more we know that he loves us. Praise God. Deacon Murphy has been a deacon for 27 years. For 18 years was chaplain at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility. He and his wife Joan have been married for 50 years and have four children and three grandchildren. He is assigned to St. Francis Xavier in Hyannis.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Nov. 7, Rom 16:3-9,16,22-27; Ps 145:2-5,10-11; Lk 16:9-15. Sun. Nov. 8, Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 1Kgs 17:10-16; Ps 146:7-10; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44 or 12:41-44. Mon. Nov. 9, The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Ez 47:1-2,8-9,12; Ps 46:2-3,5-6,8-9; 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17; Jn 2:13-22. Tues. Nov. 10, Wis 2:23-3:9; Ps 34:2-3,16-19; Lk 17:7-10. Wed. Nov. 11, Wis 6:1-11; Ps 82:3-4,6-7; Lk 17:11-19. Thur. Nov. 12, Wis 7:22b-8:1; Ps 119:89-91, 130,135, 175; Jn 17:20-26. Fri. Nov. 13, Wis 13:1-9; Ps 19:2-5; Lk 17:26-37.
uring the brutally hot summer of 2003, thousands of French vacationers remained on holiday rather than returning home to bury their recently deceased parents, who had died from the extraordinary heat and were being stashed in air-conditioned storage lockers. Those acts of filial impiety cast into sharp relief the October canonization of Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Born during the virulently anti-Catholic French Revolution, Jeanne Jugan learned early in her life that fidelity to Christ and his Church could be costly. A history
St. Jeanne Jugan
have fallen through the cracks of of the period of her childhood society’s net of solidarity can feel. sums things up neatly: “In spite She declined an offer of marriage of the persecution, the people of because, as she put it, “God ... is Cancale kept the faith. During dark nights, in an attic or a barn, or even in the middle of the countryside, the faithful gathered together, and there in the silence of the night, the priest would offer the By George Weigel Eucharist and baptize the children. But this happiness was rare. There were keeping me for a work which is so many dangers.” not yet known, for a work which Jeanne Jugan knew povis not yet founded.” That work erty as well as persecution, and came into clear focus when, at developed a marked sensitivity age 47, she met an elderly, blind to the humiliation that those who and sick woman, whom she took into her care; from that seemingly random encounter was born a tremendous work of charity. The congregation of women religious she founded dedicated itself to the care of the poor and elderly — and supported itself by begging, with the foundress, Jeanne Jugan, as chief beggar. The Little Sisters of the Poor spread rapidly throughout Europe, America and
The Catholic Difference
Africa, but the going was never easy for Jeanne Jugan. In 1843, Jeanne Jugan’s reelection as superior was quashed by the community’s priest-advisor, Father Augustin Marie Le Pailleur. Refusing to contest what others would have deemed an injustice (but which she thought to be the will of God), Jeanne Jugan accepted this curious decision and went on the road, supporting her Sisters by begging. For the last 27 years of her life, she lived at the order’s motherhouse in retirement, again according to the orders of Father Le Pailleur; her role as foundress was never acknowledged during her lifetime. Yet the novelist Charles Dickens could write, after meeting Jeanne Jugan, that “there is in this woman something so calm, and so holy, that in seeing her I know myself to be in the presence of a superior being. Her words went straight to my heart, so that my eyes, I know not how, filled with tears.” To enter a house of the Little Sisters of the Poor today is to recapture what Dickens experi-
enced. Elderly men and women with no one else to care for them are given exquisite attention; the dignity of every patient is honored, no matter how difficult that dignity may be to discern amidst the trials of senility and disease. The Little Sisters of the Poor and their patients are living reminders that there are no disposable human beings; that everyone is a someone for whom the Son of God entered the world, suffered and died; and that we read others out of the human family at our moral and political peril. Yet that is the temptation facing the United States, and every other affluent society confronting a graying population, longer life expectancies, and spiraling medical costs. Where this temptation can lead is brutally displayed in the Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal for years; and as the late Father Richard John Neuhaus said of such travesties as the Dutch “death with dignity” laws, what is permitted will soon become mandatory. That is precisely what has happened in Holland and indeed wherever euthanasia is legally permitted. St. Jeanne Jugan, Sister Marie of the Cross in her religious life, is thus a powerful — and badly needed — intercessor for all who would defend the gift of life from conception until natural death. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Live long and prosper
Thursday 28 October 2009 surrounded by others who care — Dominican Sisters’ Provincial about them. Maybe it’s because House, Dighton — on the Taunreligious Sisters live lives of strict ton River routine. They know where they ere’s a question, dear are supposed to be, doing what, readers, for your consideration. Of all the professions in all the world, which is the Reflections of a longest lived? The corParish Priest rect answer is religious Sisters. Why this is so, I By Father can only guess. Perhaps Tim Goldrick it’s because religious Sisters have a purposeful life. They are dedicated to and when. This includes time for God. They know who they are prayer and meditation. and whose they are. Then again, This morning, I concelebrated religious Sisters often live in a funeral Mass for Sister Macommunity. They are constantly rie Emilia Gauthier. She was a
November 6, 2009
The Ship’s Log
Dominican Sister of the Presentation. The Provincial House is located here in the parish of St. Nicholas. These are the Sisters who staff Saint Anne’s Hospital, Marie’s Place, Marian Manor, and the Parish Nurse Center. They keep themselves busy. Sister Emilia died just three weeks shy of her 95th birthday. As Sister Thomas More said in her words of remembrance, “Sister Emilia, you may have been a very small person, put you packed a great deal into a very long life.” Sister Emilia was born and raised in the City of Fall River.
Bring on the season of traditions
set in our calendars to support n our house the holiday the celebration of a great event; season begins with apple a 50th wedding anniversary, picking in September and ends Thanksgiving, or the birth of with our third daughter’s Christ. Therefore, no matter birthday in mid-January. It is how delightful, traditions that no the most wonderful time of longer assist us in celebrating a the year, packed with five of great event are essentially beauour eight birthdays, All Saints’ tiful relics. Like the elaborate Day, Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Corinthian columns of ancient Nicholas’ Day, Christmas, and Roman ruins, I had to admit that New Year’s Eve. Our traditional some of our traditions, although ways of celebrating these events include simple things like hiking quite lovely, had become elaboand leaf peeping in the mountains, hosting family for Thanksgiving, lighting an Advent wreath nightly, and my favorite, the making and delivering of Christmas cookies on By Heidi Bratton St. Lucy’s Day. The only trouble with this span of rate, stand-a-lone rituals that no months is that, as the parent longer helped us to celebrate responsible for producing the the great events for which they “magic” of all these traditions, I were first created. As a Catholic, sometimes get overwhelmed by I knew that all our traditions the details. Like a tiny jewelry should result in a building up of box resting on a table crowded with wrapping paper and ribbon, our relationship with God and each other, so it is those relic it can be easy for the event betraditions — things like cooking celebrated to get lost amid ing everything from scratch on a calendar crowded with many Thanksgiving or caroling in the beautiful traditions. When this neighborhood — that I now tradition congestion occurs, my put on the chopping block first joy and wonder quickly get lost, when holiday pandemonium too, and all that’s left is an oversets in, and the crabby me rears tired, crabby shell of a mom. In her tired head. an effort to increase the joy and As I considered my second decrease the stress of the season, goal — making all of our tradiI took some time to re-examine tions more Christ-centered — I our traditions. My first goal was found myself thinking about to clarify the purposes of our each tradition as if it were a traditions, and the second was to single act in a larger theatrical see if I could make those tradiproduction. In order to position tions I kept even more ChristJesus on center stage of all our centered. traditions, it seemed most expeAt the outset of my tradidient to begin by sweeping our tion makeover, it struck me seasonal stage — or calendar that traditions were not created — clean of everything except to be stand-alone events. Like activities that helped us focus on the interior columns of a great Jesus. Once the stage was empty cathedral are set in place to supof all but Jesus, I could then port the building, traditions are
Home Grown Faith
begin to purposefully choose between a wide variety of decorations, foods, guests, and cultural activities that would assist us in maintaining our focus on Jesus rather than distracting us from him, just as a set designer might purposefully choose between a variety of backdrops, lighting options, colors, and props in order to help the audience focus on the main character of a play. Here again, those props that don’t help us focus on the main character of our lives, Jesus, are the first to go when this mom gets overworked and overwhelmed. Important considerations for me in keeping or letting go of purely secular traditions — like birthday celebrations — were the magnitude of wonder, anticipation, visual excitement, and relationship-building opportunities that they added to the event. Practically speaking, I also sought to keep all our traditions as inexpensive and as easily reproduced as possible, so that repeating them yearly didn’t become an economic burden or energy drain. For me the worst holiday season is the one where at the end all I can think is, “Thank God that bedlam is over.” Better understanding the purpose of traditions has helped me to see that it’s OK to let go of or to change those that don’t support and bring focus to my relationship with God and with those I love. It has helped me triumph over the bedlam and reclaim the joy of the season. So, here we go; bring on the season of traditions. Heidi is an author, photographer, and full-time mother. She and her husband raise their six children in Falmouth. email@example.com.
She graduated from St. Anne’s School of Nursing. Two years thereafter, she decided to enter the convent and began her novitiate studies at the Dominican Sisters’ Mother House in France. I don’t remember 1939, simply because I was not yet born. I know, however, that while Sister Emilia was busy making her novitiate, the film “Gone with the Wind” was released and Nazi Germany invaded Poland. There was talk of world war. Sister Emilia made her religious profession as a Dominican nun in 1941. I was still not born. When World War II broke out, young Sister Emilia was stranded in Europe. Making the best of a very bad situation, she spent the war years nursing the sick and wounded in the hospitals of Nazioccupied France. She was finally able to return to the United States in 1946. That was the year I was born. Back home in Fall River, Sister Emilia served at Saint Anne’s Hospital for 16 years. Then she was assigned to Marian Manor in Taunton, which had just opened its doors. I was then a schoolboy. Sister Emilia’s longest assignment was 20 years on the nursing staff of Madonna Manor in North Attleboro. Those who worked with her say she was an excellent nurse and compassionate human being, always ready to respond to the needs of others. Sister Emilia retired to the Dominican Provincial House in Dighton in 1986. Her assignment in the convent was to set and clear the tables in the refectory, a humble task for such a well-educated, world-traveled woman, but she did it pleasantly and meticulously. She was also in charge of aluminum cans. She washed and dried each one, preparing it for recycling. I’m told Sister Emilia could heft a large plastic bag and tell you exactly how many cans were in the bag. She would then
go to the recycling center and announce to the clerk how much refund she was owed. The clerk would never question Sister’s word, of course. Her unassuming work netted some $1,000 a year for Dominican charities. She also, by the way, saved aluminum pulltabs for the children at Shriners’ Burn Hospital. She did this for 23 years, up to and including the week she died. The wake and vigil service was held in the beautiful chapel of the Provincial House — one of my favorite sacred places. Sister Emilia’s body lay in state before the altar at which she had joined her Sisters in worship and prayer. The chapel was simply yet elegantly prepared for the Funeral Mass. The full altar cloth, pall, and vestments were a matching set of creamy white fabric trimmed in fine gold damask. Two tasteful autumnthemed flower arrangements flanked the sanctuary. On one side of the center aisle was seated the Community of the Sisters and on the other, relatives and friends. Father Paul Bernier, rector of the Cathedral Church in Fall River, presided. Father Bernier is Sister Emilia’s grandnephew. At the end of Mass, all of the Sisters filed out behind the casket, some walking with the assistance of canes. I observed Father Jose dos Santos give a silent blessing over the body of Sister Emilia as it passed. He didn’t think anyone noticed his personal act of piety. I did. I don’t miss anything. “Good-bye, Sister. We love you,” whispered Sister Thomas More. The life of a religious Sister in not easy, but there is a reason religious such as Sister Emilia live long and prosper: in life and in death, they are wrapped in love. Father Goldrick is pastor of St. Nicholas of Myra Parish in North Dighton.
few years ago, Denise, Emilie and I were blessed to be able to spend several days in a Disney World resort hotel. Thanks only to a family member employee discount. Believe me when I say this Mickey Mouse resort was no mickey mouse resort. It had everything. (Too much, in fact, for what I’m used to.) The hotel was on the shores of a lagoon and waterway system that connected several resorts, attractions, restaurants, and shops. The boat ride alone was a treat in itself, the shores lined with magnificent build-
If not for you
ings, palm trees, wildlife, and white sand. One day we were basking in the sun in the boat’s stern, when a couple boarded at one of the docks. They sat next to us. The gentleman had a red T-shirt with “USMC” emblazoned across the front. I said to the man, “ExMarine?” He looked at me and the smile disappeared from his face. His chest pumped up and he answered, “There’s no such thing as an ex-Marine, sir.” I sensed he was waiting for a wise-acre response from me, and he was ready. I did
November 6, 2009 who never had the chance to become old men and women. There are young men and women who have seen, heard, felt, and tasted things that they will never be able to share with many people — if anyone at all. There are memories that they will take to their graves. Memories that rear their ugly heads far
a 360-degree glance around the boat and said to him, “We wouldn’t have any of this if it weren’t for you.” With a vicelike grip, he shook my hand and said, “Thank you sir.” “No,” I replied, “thank you, Marine.” I had no intention of starting a conversation with the stranger. I simply wanted to send a message, a message I’d like to repeat to every U.S. military veteran in this world and the next — By Dave Jolivet Thank you. From the Revolutionary War through every conflict since, U.S. military per- too often, and will only dissolve when that soldier finds the peace sonnel have risked their lives to of God in the next life. I know keep our way of life status quo. some of these people. Many of us will never see Thanks to our veterans we the indelible atrocities of battle; can choose which Mass we want we’ll never smell the stench of to attend each weekend; we can battle; we’ll never hear the horgo to sporting events, concerts, rors of battle; and we’ll never plays, movies, dances; attend the taste the bitterness of battle — school of our choice; choose a thanks to those who have. career; buy a house; raise a famThere are young men and ily; watch TV; and even protest women throughout U.S. history
My View From the Stands
military actions in other parts of the world through our freedom of speech — in other words — live. I’m not sure why, but I have never taken these freedoms for granted. I often think about how fortunate we are in this country, and I always associate those blessings with our military. This Jolivet would like to acknowledge our military vets. Whenever I have the chance, I say a simple “Thank you,” to our vets. I implore others to do the same. To all Marines I say Semper Fidelis (Semper Fi, Always Faithful); to Army vets, This We’ll Defend; to Navy vets, Non Sibi Sed Patriae (Not For Self, But Country); To Air Force Vets, Uno Ab Alto (roughly translated, One Over All); and to Coast Guard vets, Semper Paratus (Always Ready). Some are official mottos, others not, but there should be one official civilian motto to our veteran heroes — Thank you.
November 6, 2009
Texas Planned Parenthood director has change of heart, becomes Pro-Life
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (CNA) — A director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Texas has resigned after eight years with the organization because watching an ultrasound of an abortion triggered a “massive” change of heart. “I just thought I can’t do this anymore, and it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that’s it,” said Abby Johnson, who resigned from Bryan Planned Parenthood October 6. Johnson said Planned Parenthood was struggling in the tough economy and was changing its business model from one that advocated prevention to one that focused on abortion. “It seemed like maybe that’s not what a lot of people were believing any more because that’s not where the money was. The money wasn’t in family planning, the money wasn’t in prevention, the money was in abortion and so I had a problem with that,” Johnson told KBTX. She said she was told to bring in more women who wanted abortions. “I feel so pure in heart [since leaving]. I don’t have this guilt, I don’t have this burden on me anymore that’s how I know this conversion was a spiritual conversion,” remarked Johnson, a churchgoing Episcopalian. She has now given her support to the Coalition For Life, a Pro-Life group with a building down the street from Planned Parenthood. According to the Coalition’s website, Johnson’s decision to resign occurred during its sixth 40 Days for Life campaign. “This is by far the most amazing thing that has happened to the Coalition for Life throughout its entire history ... we thank God,” the site says. The Coalition’s volunteers regularly pray on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Johnson has been meeting with Coalition executive director Shawn Carney and has prayed with volunteers outside of Planned Parenthood. In an email to supporters, Carney said Johnson experienced a “massive change of heart” after witnessing an abortion on an ultrasound machine. “I have been working with Abby over the last few weeks and she has even prayed outside of the clinic she once directed,” he reported. “I have known Abby
‘through the fence’ since getting involved and working for the Coalition for Life. We have always been on the sidewalk to pray for everyone involved in abortion, especially those who work in this industry and it has been a blessing to see this happen over the last few weeks.” Carney reports that Johnson
left Planned Parenthood “on good terms.” The organization offered Johnson her job back with more money, but she refused on moral grounds. “Abby believes in the power of prayer and she thanks all of you for your peaceful presence outside of her former workplace all of these years,” Car-
ney’s message concluded, asking for continued prayers for Johnson. According to KBTX, Johnson and the Coalition for Life were issued temporary restraining orders filed by Planned Parenthood. “We regret being forced to turn to the courts to protect the
safety and confidentiality of our clients and staff, however, in this instance it is absolutely necessary,” said Rochelle Tafolla, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson. The organization contends that it would be irreparably harmed by the disclosure of certain information.
November 6, 2009
Saints’ relics seen giving Catholics connection to Church’s heroes By Laura Kilgus Catholic News Service
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — St. Francis of Assisi’s tunic, St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s skull and St. Anthony’s tongue and lower jaw. All are relics, personal objects of religious importance thoughtfully cared for and venerated as a physical gateway to the saints and God. Tracy Giliberto, co-creator of the website FishEaters, a comprehensive repository of information about the Catholic faith and instructions on the Church’s traditions, explained the place of relics in modern society. “It’s funny to me how a culture that is filled with autograph hounds and those who clamor to be around those glittered with stardust can consider the Catholic veneration of relics as a joke,” Giliberto told the Rhode Island Catholic, newspaper of the Providence Diocese. “A lovely dish is just a lovely dish, but one owned by your greatgrandmother is a treasure. We pay $20,000 for a $200 jacket worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, faint at Beatles concerts, engage in riotous behavior to get our hands on one of Elvis’ scarves, but when a relic of St. Catherine is mentioned, people snicker,” she said. Giliberto explained that she helped to create the FishEaters website — www.fisheaters.com — not only to help lifelong Catholics deepen their understanding of the faith, but also to help converts and those curious understand how and why Catholics worship in ways they do. “The traditional ways can be pretty daunting — when to stand, kneel, bow, cross yourself,” said Giliberto. “What’s a novena and how do you pray one or the deal with burying statues of St. Joseph when selling a house? “There are so many nooks and crannies to all the sacramentals, rituals and customs, and it’s all so beautiful and fascinating. They’re precious and lovely because they’re also rooted in truth,” she added. Father Jay Finelli, pastor at Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton, explained that relics are found in many world religions, not just Catholicism.
“The Greeks had relics; they held them in high esteem, so they kept their remains so they could go there and to honor them,” said Father Finelli. “The Muslims have relics; they have the swords of the prophets David and Mohammed, and they have the staff of Moses.” Father Finelli explained the Church requires that a wax seal be placed by a bishop on the back of any reliquary in which relics are kept to show that the relics are authentic. There are three classifications of relics, Father Finelli said. A firstclass relic is directly associated with the events of the life of Jesus himself, including the nails, crown of thorns or anything he came in contact with. A first-class relic also could be directly associated with a saint, such as a lock of hair, a bone fragment or a fingernail. “If we come in contact with a relic, it reminds us that we are in contact with Christ,” he said. A second-class relic is something that has been touched or worn by a saint. This is not directly from the body of the saint and could include a crucifix used by a saint or his or her personal journal. A thirdclass relic is an object that has been touched to a first-class relic. The Church treats these relics with great dignity, Father Finelli said. He added that there are other relics important to society that provide connections to people’s heroes. Relics are a way Christ reaches out to his people, he said. “God works through his vessels,” said Father Finelli. “Every time we venerate relics, we are not worshipping the saint, we are not praising the saint, we are thanking God for our brothers and sisters who have gone before us. Relics bring us back to our roots; they bring us back to Christ.” “Relics help nourish faith,” said Father Finelli. “They are also an external means of remembering that person, drawing us in deeper and inspiring that faith. Just like when we see a picture of a loved one who has passed away, it reminds us of how much we love them.”
PIECES OF CHURCH HISTORY — Father Jay Finelli, pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton, R.I., displays some saints’ relics. He says that relics are a way Christ reaches out to his people. (CNS photo/Laura Kilgus, The R.I. Catholic)
SAW LOSER — Tobin Bell stars in a scene from the movie “Saw VI.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/Lionsgate)
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” (Columbia) Posthumous documentary capturing the planning and rehearsals for the titular series of comeback concerts by the controversial “king of pop,” scheduled to begin in London in July, but forestalled by Jackson’s untimely death at age 50 the previous month. Using footage originally intended for other purposes, director Kenny Ortega, who was one of the singer’s principal collaborators in crafting the ill-fated live show, creates an energetic, largely unobjectionable tribute that, while casting little light on the eccentric — if not inscrutable — personality of an iconic entertainer, does provide insight into the talent, vision and discipline that lay behind his global professional success. Some skimpy costuming and suggestive dancing, and at least one vaguely crass term. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. “Paranormal Activity” (Paramount) Cohabiting San Diego yuppies (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) use a video camera to record disturbing phenomena they fear is being caused by a demonic spirit that has pursued
the young woman since childhood. Writer-director Oren Peli’s ostensibly fact-based feature debut is mostly gore-free, playing instead — subtly and quite effectively — on viewers’ primal fears of the unseen, but his script fails to show the same restraint with regard to language and sexual topics. Some sexual content, including a premarital situation, an off-screen encounter and a few jokes and references, a halfdozen uses of profanity, pervasive rough and crude terms, and at least two obscene gestures. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. “Saw VI” (Lionsgate) The blood flood continues in this predictably gruesome horror sequel as the sadistic lifeor-death games initiated by the now-deceased psychopath Jigsaw (Tobin Bell, seen in flashbacks) are secretly carried on by a police detective (Costas Mandylor) even as he pretends to investigate the crimes, his principal current
victim being a coldhearted health insurance executive (Peter Outerbridge). Neither its attempts at social relevance nor its twisted moral mutterings can disguise the fact that director Kevin Greutert’s needless extension of a noisome franchise is simply a 90-minute descent into gratuitous cruelty. Pervasive gory violence, including graphic torture and mutilation, a half-dozen profanities, at least 40 uses of the F-word, and some crude and crass language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Movies Online Can’t remember how a recent film was classified by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops? Want to know whether to let the kids go see it? You can look up film reviews on the Catholic News Service website. Visit catholicnews.com and click on “Movies,” under the “News Item” menu.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, November 8 at 11:00 a.m.
Celebrant is Sacred Hearts Father William Petrie, provincial of the Eastern United States Province of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Fairhaven
November 6, 2009
Community marks centennial of reception into Catholic Church
GARRISON, N.Y. (CNS) — One hundred years before Pope Benedict XVI captured headlines by establishing a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Catholic Church, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement became the first religious group to be received into the Church in its entirety. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Vatican ambassador to the United States, said the pope’s recent overture to the Anglicans could be seen as a fruit of 100 years of prayers offered for the unity of the Church by members of the Society of the Atonement. Archbishop Sambi spoke at Mass October 30 celebrating the centennial of the society’s reception into the Church. The Mass was concelebrated by New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan at Graymoor, the society’s headquarters. In remarks to some 400 people after the centennial Mass, Archbishop Sambi said, “Your charism is a charism of the future.” From its founding in 1900, the Society of the Atonement has dedicated itself to Christian unity. “The spirit of Jesus creates unity,” said Archbishop Sambi. “Where there is love and unity, there is God. Where there is unity, there is a spirit of family.” Father James Puglisi, minister general of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, said the Atonement founders Father Paul Watson and Mother Lurana White made a “prophetic and revolutionary decision” when they asked to be received into the Church. They did not consider their action “conversion, but rather coming home and completing their faith by being united around the chair of Peter,” he said. “They never felt or believed for one moment they had been outside of the Catholic faith.” The priests, sisters and lay members of the society were accepted into the Church Oct. 30, 1909, in a ceremony held at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Graymoor. Father Puglisi said it was the first time in Church history that “a group entered into communion with Rome keeping their original name, their original religious habit and their original mission. The founders were insistent on the corporate aspect because they felt the original division was corporate and so should be the reunion.” Father Puglisi said the founders “knew the cost of their decision to follow their hearts’ desire. This was the small price that they had to bear for following their consciences.” He said the cost was they were no longer in the Anglican Church, but they were not fully accepted in the Catholic Church. “It took a long time for them to be accepted.”
Pope Benedict’s special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage was announced October 20 by Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Father Puglisi said there were echoes of the Atonement experience in Cardinal Levada’s announcement. Archbishop Sambi and Father Puglisi stressed that the pope’s invitation to Anglicans was a pastoral one. “It is not, as some media have reported, that the Catholic Church is going fishing in the Anglican pond,” Archbishop Sambi said. “It is to make it easier for those who wish to go back to the Catholic Church to do so.” Father Puglisi said, “This was a response to a pastoral need. Many in the Anglican Church are anguished by certain things.” Anglican Bishop George Langberg, a guest at the Graymoor event, said the Atonement reception in 1909 was a precursor to the pope’s welcome announcement. He is an Anglican bishop who wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to express his group’s request for full communion with the Church. Bishop Langberg is the retired head of the Northeast diocese of
the Anglican Church in America, the U.S. branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion, which was formed in 1991 and opposes the ordination of women and sexually active homosexuals as priests and bishops. He told Catholic News Service that he and 29 other bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion wrote to the Holy See in October 2007 to ask how they might “bring to fruition” the unity envisioned in 1966 by Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey of Canterbury, England. “I hope I can be forgiven for seeing Cardinal Levada’s announcement first and foremost as Rome’s answer to that question,” the bishop said. He said the Vatican announcement was not directed specifically at the Traditional Anglican Communion, but did respond to the communion’s concerns and its “goal of unity in accordance with our Lord’s will for his Church.” He said the development is a small piece of the much bigger task of Christian unity. He said, “While the announced action is historic, it is a ‘baby step’ in a long and difficult journey.” Archbishop Dolan said, “The purpose of the Church is to welcome people in. For 100 years, the people of the Society of the Atonement have been welcoming people into the Church. Theirs is a beautiful ministry of hospitality.”
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November 6, 2009
Korean chaplain being considered for Medal of Honor
Chaplain’s Fall River gravestone restored
ing at West Point at the time, was also in the process of writing a book about prisoners of war in Korea. “I interviewed several Korean POWs,” Latham told The Anchor. “Many times Father Kapaun was mentioned in glowing terms.” Latham continued to research Father Kapaun. When the Medal of Honor recommendation was initially shot down, Latham, who was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry during the Desert Storm conflict, collected his research on Father Kapaun and sent it to the priest’s family, and that information was subsequently sent to Rep. Tiahrt, who in turn resubmitted the request. “I like to think that played a small part in the success so far,” added Latham, who currently teaches at the Command and Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. The Wichita Eagle recently reported that Tiahrt received a letter several weeks ago from Army Secretary Pete Geren who wrote “After giving this request careful, personal consideration, I have determined that Chaplain Kapaun’s actions in combat operations and as a prisoner of war in Korea warrant award of the Medal of Honor. “This brave soldier clearly distinguished himself by his courageous actions. The Army and our nation are forever grateful for his heroic service.” Bishop Francis X. Roque, a retired auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of the Military U.S.A., now living in his home diocese of Providence, R.I., met Father Kapaun while himself serving as an Army chaplain in Korea. “I got to know Father Kapaun in Korea and found him to be a wonderful man, a man dedicated to his comrades and to the Church,” Bishop Roque told The Anchor. “I am very happy that this has happened. All of us who knew him are very happy. This is of great value to acknowledge his wonderful work with his wounded comrades before his capture and his help in find-
ley’s office in the nation’s capital. “At Mr. Haley’s direction, my son Doug Jr., and I power washed the headstone and applied the acid cleaning on the granite that likely came from a quarry locally,” Machado told The Anchor. But while Haley is at the helm of the funding for the U.S. Naval Memorial, the $250-cost for cleaning Father Lenaghan’s gravestone came out of Haley’s own pocket. It’s not the first time Haley has spent time and money on behalf of the local priest who was the only chaplain from the diocese to be killed in action in World War II. A four-by-eight inch paver, inscribed with the message “Please Pray for Father Art Lenaghan Army Chaplain KIA 1/8/44 Italy” is among other commemorative bricks honoring Catholic veterans, military members and chaplains that comprise the walkway of the new headquarters of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, in Washington. It too is a gift from Haley. “It was something else I felt I had to do to make another remembrance of Father Lenaghan,” Haley explained during a visit to Fall River and The Anchor in 2008. Haley, who is a veteran, earlier that year become acquainted with the story of the chaplain after reading a story in The Anchor. Father Lenaghan, who grew up on Shawmut Street and was a member of the former St. Louis Parish, was ordained a priest in St. Mary’s Cathedral on May 30, 1932. With the approval of Bishop James E. Cassidy, he entered chaplain’s school in April, 1943. After serving in North Africa and Europe, he died from wounds received by incoming rounds of German artillery as he assisted stretcher bearers for the dead and wounded in Italy’s Liri Valley on the night of Jan. 8, 1944. Fifteen military chaplains cel-
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ing the missing — all with great self-sacrifice. “And that this happens in the Year For Priests adds to it. The role of a priest is to do his job quietly and lovingly, and that’s what Father Kapaun did, under very difficult circumstances. He was a loving, dedicated priest.” Lt. Col. Nathan M. Banks Sr. of the Media Relations Division, Department of the Army Public Affairs told The Anchor, “Army secretary, Pete Geren, wrote to Rep. Todd, saying he agreed that Kapaun was worthy of the honor. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has also endorsed Kapaun’s honor. “Congress must approve legislation sending Kapaun’s award to President Barack Obama for signature and approval.” Lt. Col. Banks went on to say, “The Medal of Honor Medal will only be presented by the President of the United States at a formal ceremony at the White House. Priest Kapaun’s living next of kin would be the recipient and the guest of the president.” “Having the Decoration Board in the Pentagon pass the recommendation is nine-tenths of the battle,” said Makkay. “I can’t see how Congress or the president could deny it.” It was Father Kapaun’s heroic actions in the battlefield that have caught the attention of the U.S. Army, but it was his actions behind the barbed-wire confines in North Korea that has spurred action in his sainthood cause. Bishop Roque did play a part in getting the ball rolling in Father Kapaun’s sainthood cause, although he will tell you it was a small part. Bishop Roque and Makkay have befriended several of Father Kapaun’s POW mates, and one of them was retired Col. Filmore A. McAbee, a Cummaquid resident. Prior to his death several years ago, McAbee sat down with The Anchor to share memories of Father Kapaun inside Camp No. 5. He recounted epi-
sodes of being tortured, starved and neglected by his captors. Starvation, exposure and dysentery were quite common among the inmates, yet Father Kapaun, while in a weakened state himself, tended to his fellow soldiers. “To survive Camp No. 5,” McAbee recounted, “you had to want to live. Those who didn’t or weren’t strong enough mentally just gave up and died. Father Kapaun worked to prevent that. The POWs needed encouragement and Father Kapaun provided it.” McAbee said that many of the men held captive with Father Kapaun weren’t Catholic, yet Father Kapaun was a rock to which all could cling. “We had Protestants, Catholics, Turkish Muslims, and all races and nationalities in our camp,” said McAbee, who was not a Catholic. “Yet Father Kapaun ministered to them all, and when he could say a Mass, they all wanted to be there. “The Chinese soldiers were afraid of him because he was a man of the cloth, and because all the men had tremendous respect for him. They didn’t want to kill him, but they did nothing for him when he fell ill. Father Kapaun could have survived with medicine and care, but his captors didn’t provide it.” Latham had interviewed McAbee and through him befriended Makkay and Bishop Roque. “This is great news,” said Latham. “Father Kapaun deserves the Medal of Honor, and any progress is good news. But it’s important to remember that there are many other service members who made incredible sacrifices and they will never be recognized with the Medal of Honor. The system isn’t perfect, but Father Kapaun is as deserving as any Medal of Honor recipient.” Lt. Col. Banks said that seven chaplains have previously received the Medal of Honor. In the 50s, the Army named Kapaun Air Station in Kaiserslautern, Germany after Father Kapaun. While Bishop Roque and Makkay are thrilled with recent Medal of Honor news, they would like to see the sainthood cause be successful. “It’s wonderful about the Medal of Honor,” said Bishop Roque, “but the big honor would be sainthood. Receiving awards and accolades are nice, but it’s serving God and our fellow man that is the important thing, and Father Kapaun was a great role model in those regards.” “Now we have to get him to sainthood,” said Makkay.
continued from page one
ebrated the Mass for their priest colleague and he was buried alongside other wartime chaplains and thousands of Allied soldiers in the U.S. Army Cemetery in Nettuno. After the priest’s body was returned home to Fall River on Sept. 18, 1948, another memorial Mass was celebrated at which Bishop James E. Cassidy, who had ordained him, was celebrant. Cardinal Francis J. Spellman of New York, the military vicar for the Armed Forces at the time, presided. Father Lenaghan was interred in the family plot in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, where a headstone was erected. His mother and surviving sisters chose to have a chalice and suspended Communion host etched into the stone dedicated to their young priest son and brother. With the passage of time and the surviving family, no official Veterans Administration marker identifying the grave of a war veteran, was ever obtained, and the process was forgotten. When that was brought to light in The Anchor, it wasn’t long before Haley took over. He contacted Thomas Kelly, Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Manuel DaPonte, newly arrived as Veterans Agents for the City of Fall River. Along with input from Congressional Medal of Honor winner Thomas J. Hudner Jr., also a native of Fall River, the marker was obtained, and set in place adjacent to the Lenaghan headstone, where on Nov. 13, 2008 it was blessed by Msgr. Thomas J. Harrington, a retired priest of the Fall River Diocese serving as a fire and police chaplain. “With the gravestone now cleaned the story of Father Lenaghan continues,” Haley said enthusiastically from Washington last week. “We have to do all we can to keep remembrance and tribute owed to those like Father Lenaghan ongoing.”
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November 6, 2009
Bishops urge faithful’s action on health care continued from page one
SURROUNDED BY HEROES — An Afghan boy walks among U.S. Marines of the 8th Regiment, Second Battalion, during their patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers around Mian Poshtay, in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, recently. (CNS photo/Asmaa Waguih, Reuters)
Bishops advise U.S. on moral, humanitarian issues in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Long-term development and humanitarian assistance, protecting civilians and dealing with the root causes of terrorism should be among the guiding principles of how the United States deals with problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. In a recent letter, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., offered the advice to retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, as the administration reviews U.S. strategy in the region. Bishop Hubbard acknowledged that the U.S. bishops are not military experts, but, in light of the implications for regional and international security, he said they wanted to offer some principles of Catholic teaching and experience that might help inform policy choices. “In the face of terrorist threats, we know that our nation must respond to indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians in ways that combine a resolve to do what is necessary, the restraint to ensure that we act justly and the vision to focus on broader issues of poverty and injustice that are unscrupulously exploited by terrorists in gaining recruits,” Bishop Hubbard wrote. He directed Jones to the pastoral letter written by the bishops shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, which included criteria for moral discernment and a call to solidarity. “In that statement we warned,
‘Probability of success is particularly difficult to measure in dealing with an amorphous, global terrorist network. Therefore, special attention must be given to developing criteria for when it is appropriate to end military action in Afghanistan,’” he noted. Among the principles the bishops offered at that time were to: — “Restrain use of military force and ensure that civilians are not targeted.” — “Address the root causes of terrorism rather than relying solely on military means to avoid conflict.” — “Encourage international collaboration to provide humanitarian assistance and rebuild Afghanistan.” With some military leaders now voicing the view that the success of U.S. operations in Afghanistan cannot come from military measures alone, Bishop Hubbard said guidance from the earlier message seems applicable to the current situation. In particular, he urged the administration to consider: — Reviewing the use of military force — when force is necessary to protect the innocent and resist terrorism — to ensure it is proportionate. — Developing criteria for when it is appropriate to end military action. — Focusing more on diplomacy, humanitarian assistance and long-term development, particularly agricultural programs. — Strengthening local governance and local groups’ participa-
tion in planning their own development. — Encouraging international support to foster effective national and local governments. Bishop Hubbard cited the Church’s experience in Afghanistan, through the work of Catholic Relief Services on agriculture, water, income generation, education and health. “CRS’ ability to develop local partnerships, involving people in examining their needs and determining priorities, has meant that those communities have a greater commitment to their own development, as well as protecting CRS programs and staff,” he wrote. The approach of CRS, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency, “exemplifies how long-term efforts can lead to sustainable development and contribute to improved security,” he said. The bishops understand the demands of security while carrying out humanitarian aid and development projects, he said. “But too much development assistance appears to be directed to short-term security objectives or channeled through the military,” he noted. “These funds, often used for building projects with little community involvement, are less effective in building stable communities and meeting the legitimate needs of Afghan citizens,” Bishop Hubbard wrote. “Whenever possible, U.S. policy and funding should more clearly delineate and differentiate foreign assistance provided through military channels versus civilian channels.”
of reform. Bishop Coleman has encouraged diocesan priests to keep their parishioners informed and encourage them to pray that “Congress will act to insure that needed health care reform will truly protect the life, dignity and health care of all,” and to contact their representatives and senators immediately and urge them to “fix these bills with ProLife amendments.” As the U.S. bishops’ letter of October 8 states: “No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience. No current bill meets this test…. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously.” For the full text of this letter and more information on proposed legislation and the bishops’ advocacy for authentic health care reform, visit:www.usccb.org/healthcare. Congressional leaders are attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration. Please contact your Representative and Senators today and urge them to fix these bills with the Pro-Life amendments noted below. Otherwise much needed health care reform will have to be opposed.
Health care reform should be about saving lives, not destroying them. ACTION: Contact Members through email, phone calls or FAX letters. To send a pre-written, instant email to Congress go to www.usccb.org/action. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. Full contact info can be found on members’ websites at www. house.gov & www.senate.gov. MESSAGE to SENATE: “During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support an amendment to incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.” MESSAGE to HOUSE: “Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential Pro-Life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.” WHEN: Both House and Senate are preparing for floor votes now. Act today. Thank you. For further information go to the USCCB website at http://www. usccb.org/healthcare/.
BROWNIE POINTS — Four times a year the kitchen at St. Mary’s Church, Mansfield, is filled with volunteers who donate time and talent to cook a meal for the residents of The Pine Street Inn. Volunteers cook one day and deliver and serve the next. It is a wonderful ministry supported by parishioners and community groups. Each year, the girls of Brownie Troop 80875, who attend St. Mary’s School, support the effort by donating desserts. This year, the girls assembled 120 Halloween goodie bags. Front from left: Sarah Nagle, Grace Dizon, Lauren Salloum, Tori Cinelli, Rebecca Sarkisian, Theresa Riley, and Kaylee Lewis. Back: Ayla Killion, Cassandra Gloekner, Linnea Carchedi, and Lily Crowley.
THOUGHT FOR FOOD — Nancy Medeiros, MS, RD, LDN, a mom to a first-grader at St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro, as well as a licensed dietician and nutritionist, spoke to the children about healthy snack choices as well as portion size. Medeiros emphasized the importance of foods that contribute to the much-needed energy students require for their day. Here she addresses some of the younger students.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 6, 2009
PRE-K MEETS K9 — Pre-K students of Miss Jennifer Litaway pose for a photo with the St. Mary’s School, New Bedford, mascot, Babette.
SOMETHING’S FISHY — Grade five students at SS. Peter and Paul School, Fall River, got an up-close look at sea life during a recent field trip aboard the Enviro-Lab III. Based in Groton, Conn., the lab takes school groups out into Buzzards Bay for hands-on research detailing the characteristics of the ocean.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED — While the faculty and students of Coyle and Cassidy High School spend their weekends at home with their families, the halls of their otherwise busy weekday home are abuzz with children a bit younger than the average high school student. The Taunton school is currently home to the St. Andrew the Apostle Religious Education program. Dr. Mary Pat Tranter proposed this arrangement as one service that the greater Coyle and Cassidy community extends to the parishioners, neighbors and other residents of the city. From left: Dawn Caradonna, Brian McNulty (student), and Faith Formation Directors Joy and Joe Viveiros.
November 6, 2009
Give to God with the same intensity
our life, and everything you do in life, has a purpose — at least it should. When you challenge yourself to do something, you do so in the hope of reaching a predetermined goal. You’ll stop at nothing to get there; you’ll give it great concentration and all your energy and strength. If you’ve ever wanted something so much, you know what I’m talking about. When my journey began in youth ministry I met with our parish youth leaders to discuss the goal of youth ministry. “What is our hope for the young people of our Church?” After many discussions we felt that the real purpose of youth ministry is “to lead all people to the Eucharist.” Now that’s a challenge. We focused on three activities — social, service and spiritual — to help build a community of faith and love that would lead them to the Eucharist. Social activities are the icebreakers, get-to-know one another and build relationships. This leads to working together in service to
God’s people. One of the greatest people that fill our stadiums for sporting events, concerts, and the successes of our ministry has like. And I’m equally in awe at been the overwhelming particithe pre-game/concert events they pation of the youth in reaching plan, called tailgating parties. I out to their elderly brothers and think it’s a great and awesome sisters in nursing homes and experience. I always hope that helping to feed the poor, hungry and homeless. It is with this same our churches would be filled to capacity with that same energy energy, this same intensity, that the third activity is hopefully realized. Retreats, prayer services and reflections and Bible studies, to name a few, help youth to know God. But knowing God and his great and unconditional love for us can By Ozzie Pacheco truly be experienced in the main event — the Mass. This is where the mission begins, with the words, “Go and intensity. I am also fascinated with people who will wait in peace to love and serve the hours upon hours, sometimes Lord.” through rain, sleet and snow, When you go to Mass and to be one of the first to buy the look around and see many latest electronic gadgets or toys empty spaces, you may ask when the store opens — someyourself, “Where are my brothers and sisters? Are they not here times at midnight. I think to myself that these people really because they find Mass boring? know how to enjoy their life, Are they not here because they how they’ll stop at nothing to fulhave better things to do?” I am fill that enjoyment. I always hope always in awe at the number of
that people will be just as patient at spending an hour at Mass each week. I attended the diocesan youth convention last month and witnessed almost 500 energy-filled young people praising God and his wonders. Steve Angrisano, the keynote speaker, helped them to bring this energy to light. He spoke of this intensity and how God can give us so much if only we allow him to. My family and I once experienced a sunrise in Hawaii. We got up very early one morning, still very dark, and drove more than two hours to the top of Mount Haleakala, on the Island of Maui, to witness and experience this new morning light. We were above the clouds, more than 10,000 feet above sea level. We waited in the chilly morning air, and then the sun broke in the horizon. The light of the new day had come. I thought to myself, ‘How great, how awesome is God.’ I was filled with an energy I
hadn’t felt before. Steve spoke of this same intensity at the youth conventions saying, if only we could have that same intensity about God. You enjoy all that life has to offer because of your energy. You cheer on your favorite team and immerse yourself in the thrill of their victory, and, when necessary, console yourself, with dignity, in their defeat. You spend whatever time it takes to acquire or see that special something you’ve been craving. You learn much about those things you consider important. But do you give to God with that same intensity that with which you give all your other pleasures in life? Live the Mass and receive Jesus in the holy Eucharist. Understand the Mass and see how it can positively impact your life. Make that a weekly goal of yours, a weekly main event. You will discover quickly that the outcome of this “main event” is always a win. God bless. Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.
NEW BEDFORD — For members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in the south end of New Bedford, Christmas began in July. That is when individuals across the community began collecting items for children in countries suffering from natural disaster, poverty, disease, or war. Each month members collected a different type of gift such as personal care and necessity items, small
toys, school supplies, clothing, or hard candy to donate to the cause. It’s all part of the international program known as Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. On October 18 the parish family joined together to fill gift-wrapped shoe boxes and completed 185 boxes to be sent to children in one of 100 countries around the world. Many more shoe boxes are
dinator of the relay site. “A children’s book introducing the child to the love of Christ will be distributed with each shoe box gift. The book will be in the child’s own native language. God has blessed the children in our area. Please help to bring hope to those children who are less fortunate and help to bring Christ’s love and joy into
their lives.” For additional information on collection week, call 1-800-479-4876 or visit the Operation Christmas Child national website at www.samaritanspurse.org to learn about shoe box gifts. To contact Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church call 508-9929408.
Be Not Afraid
New Bedford parish gears up for Operation Christmas Child
PACKING ’EM IN — Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in New Bedford has been collecting items for several months and recently held a packing party to assemble shoe box gifts. More items remain to be packed in time for the Christmas season.
empty and still waiting to be filled. “The Christmas season is a time for reaching out in love, especially to those who are in need,” said Deacon Larry St. Onge of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. “Each shoe box gift received by a child in one of the countries that Operation Christmas Child reaches this year is a message to that child that there are people in the world who love and care about them.” Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week is November 16-23. Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Church will serve as a relay collection site in southeastern Massachusetts accepting giftfilled shoe boxes in the Hedwig Hall of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 233 County Street, New Bedford, during the following hours: November 1620, 6 – 8p.m.; November 21, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; and November 22, 9 a.m. – 12 noon. Operation Christmas Child seeks to send more than 8,000,000 shoe boxes this year to children facing illness, famine, or poverty in countries worldwide. There are still so many children yet to be reached. “All members of the diocese are invited to participate in the program,” said Jackie St. Onge, coor-
The urgency of conscience protection continued from page one
Emergency contraception, also called Plan B and the morning after pill, contains a high dose of the same synthetic hormones found in birth control pills. It is meant to be taken to prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse when no contraceptive was used or when it failed. The primary way in which the morning after pill works is to prevent ovulation, but a secondary effect of the drug is that it may thin the lining of the uterus, which could prevent an embryo from implanting, thus causing an abortion. Because the drug can act as an abortifacient, it is only morally licit to prescribe it to a sexual assault victim after appropriate testing shows she has not yet ovulated, according to Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, a priest in the Diocese of Fall River and director of education for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. The woman is entitled to protect herself from the attacker’s sperm, the continuing activity of which can be seen as an extension of the original assault. She does not have the right to end the life of an already conceived child, who is an “innocent bystander,” he said. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the document “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” wrote that a woman who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a “potential conception” from the sexual assault but may not interfere with implantation of an already conceived embryo. The four bishops in the Com-
monwealth opposed legislation that would mandate hospitals provide the morning after pill to rape victims. Offering abortifacients conflicts with the religious and ethical duty to do no harm, they said. In written testimony opposing the Massachusetts bill in 2005, the Massachusetts Catholic Conference warned that the new law would require that any conscientious refusal on the part of physicians and nurses be treated as malpractice. Catholic physicians who follow their conscience could face the loss of their license to practice medicine as well as a lawsuit for damages. Hospitals too could face the loss of their licenses, the MCC said. Marie Hilliard, a doctor and director of bioethics and public policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, said that Catholic hospitals cannot in good conscience dispense the morning after pill without appropriate testing. If a rape victim were to request the drug after it was determined that she had ovulated, the only licit course of action would be to transfer her records to another facility, she said. In addition to Massachusetts, 17 other states — Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin — also mandate hospitals provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault. The same is true in the District of Co-
lumbia. Last year, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts found two hospitals operated by Caritas Christi, the second largest Health Care System in the Commonwealth, not in compliance with the emergency contraception law. NARAL representatives alleged that St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton and Holy Family Hospital in Methuen refused to offer the drug. Five of the state’s nine Catholic hospitals made the drug readily available, their report said. In a statement issued to the State House News Service, Dr. Mark Pearlmutter, chair and vice president of network emergency services, said Caritas follows the law “in all cases.” “We conduct routine and extensive training of emergency department staff related to this and other emergency medical situations; in all cases, clinical staff follow established protocol while treating each patient with dignity and compassion,” he said. In 2000 the Pontifical Academy for Life released a statement on the morning after pill, which urged health care workers to protect life in all its stages. “We strongly urge everyone who works in this sector to make a firm objection of moral conscience, which will bear courageous and practical witness to the inalienable value of human life, especially in view of the new hidden forms of aggression against the weakest and most defenseless individuals, as is the case with a human embryo,” the statement said. The Pontifical Academy added that no Catholic should use or assist someone else in obtaining an abortifacient drug. “Consequently, from the ethical standpoint the same absolute unlawfulness of abortifacient procedures also applies to distributing, prescribing and taking the morning after pill. All who, whether sharing the intention or not, directly cooperate with this procedure are also morally responsible for it,” the statement said.
November 6, 2009
Marriage seminar to look at ‘Making Happiness a Habit’
FALL RIVER — Fall River Diocesan Family Ministry invites married couples as well as those who are engaged to a marriage enrichment seminar for a look at “Making Happiness a Habit.” It will take place at 9:30 a.m. on November 14, at the St. Julie Billiart Parish Center, 494 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth. Veteran counseling psychologist Dr. Jim Healy will share his findings on “habits of the heart” that lead to joy and fulfillment in marriage. Healy has spent 25 years working with families and now heads the Center for Family Ministry for the Joliet, Ill. Diocese. He has spoken in some 70 dioceses on marriage and his marriage preparation and enrichment materials are in
use throughout the country. Family Ministry leaders said his seminar last year on “How to Be Married and Stay Engaged” was “so enthusiastically received that we were eager to bring him back to the diocese again for this latest topic.” Three presentations will make up this year’s seminar, which is expected to conclude at 12:30 p.m. There will be scheduled breaks and refreshments. There is no charge to participate, but a free-will donation may be made at the event to help defray costs. Interested couples are encouraged to pre-register. Call the Family Ministry Office at 508-9996420. Walk in registration will be accepted as space allows.
Bishop issues flu season directives continued from page one
peace between the celebrant and ministers. (For celebrants, after the words: The peace of the Lord be with you always, to which the people respond: And also with you, the Fraction Rite would immediately begin with the sung or said: Lamb of God.) If the celebrant should choose to invite the faithful to exchange the sign of peace, he should instruct the people to do so without making physical contact. 3. Care should be taken by those distributing holy Communion to avoid contact with a communicant’s tongue or hands. As advised by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship: Priests, deacons, and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion should be especially reminded of the need to practice good hygiene. Ministers of holy Communion should always wash their hands before Mass begins; a further precaution suggests using an alcohol-based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing holy Communion. 4. Holy Water fonts should be cleaned with a disinfecting soap and re-filled with newly blessed
Holy Water on a frequent basis. Holy Water from these fonts should be disposed of in the sacrarium. 5. Parishioners are reminded that if they suspect that they are ill, particularly with a contagious illness, they are not bound by the obligation to attend Sunday Mass or Mass on a holy day of obligation. They should remain at home, and, if possible, participate in the Mass on television, radio, or the Internet and return to church when they are well. These directives will remain in effect during the cold and flu season. They were forwarded to all diocesan parishes and entities on Oct. 29, 2009. Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, who is director of the Diocesan Worship Office, assisted Bishop Coleman in the formulation of the directives. He described them as “sensible measures to be taken during this time of heightened concern over transmission of the H1N1 or Swine Flu.” He added that liturgical practices suspended at this time will be reinstated when the flu season has passed.
Unexpected demand for diocesan directory creates first-ever sell out
By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
FALL RIVER — For the first time in Anchor Publishing’s history, the latest edition of its annual diocesan directory has completely sold out of the initial 1,000-copy press run. According to office manager Mary Chase, who processes all directory orders and ships out the 160-page books on a daily basis, it’s a nice problem to have. “There’s always been boxes of leftover copies every year — I’ve never sold out of books,” Chase said. “This is the first year that we’ve had such a great response and we’ve run out of directories.” Chase attributes the unanticipated demand this year to the fact that the 2009-2010 edition of the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Directory is much bigger and better organized than previous directories and contains a wealth of new features and important information. There was also a more concerted effort made to promote the new directory upon its release back in August through articles and advertisements in The Anchor, resulting in a steady stream of orders ever since, according to Chase. “It’s been unbelievable this year,” she said. “The sales volume has been incredible. To me,
In Your Prayers Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Nov. 11 Rev. A. Gomez da Silva Neves, Pastor, St. John the Baptist, New Bedford, 1910 Rev. Richard Sullivan, C.S.C., 2005
Nov. 12 Rev. James H. Looby, Pastor, Sacred Heart, Taunton, 1924 Rev. Bernard Boylan, Pastor, St. Joseph, Fall River, 1925 Nov. 13 Rev. Louis J. Deady, Founder, St. Louis, Fall River, 1924 Rev. William H. O’Reilly, Retired Pastor, Immaculate Conception, Taunton, 1992 Rev. Clarence J. d’Entremont, Retired Chaplain, Our Lady’s Haven, Fairhaven, 1998 Nov. 14 Rev. Francis J. Duffy, Founder, St. Mary, South Dartmouth, 1940 Rev. William A. Galvin, JCD, Retired Pastor, Sacred Heart, Taunton, 1977 Deacon John H. Schondek, 2001 Nov. 15 Rev. Thomas F. LaRoche, Assistant, Sacred Heart, Taunton, 1939 Rev. Daniel E. Doran, Pastor, Immaculate Conception, North Easton, 1943
November 6, 2009
I think word of mouth has helped, too. Once people see how much information it contains, they recommend it to others.” While orders for the directory are still coming in, Chase said Executive Editor Father Roger J. Landry has asked her to maintain a list of those requesting copies through November so he can determine whether a second printing is a feasible option at this point. “We’re just asking people to
be patient,” Chase said. “If they do send a check in, we can either hold it until we have enough orders for another press run, or we can just keep their name on a list — it’s up to them.” Those interested in getting a copy of the directory should submit their name and mailing address to The Anchor Publishing Company, P.O. Box 7, Fall River, Mass. 02722; via email at email@example.com; or by calling 508-675-7151.
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese
ACUSHNET — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays end with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays end with Benediction at 2:45 p.m. BREWSTER — Eucharistic adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays following the 11 a.m. Mass until 7:45 a.m. on the First Saturday of the month, concluding with Benediction and Mass. BUZZARDS BAY — Eucharistic adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place First Fridays at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, following the 8:30 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 8 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with eucharistic adoration. Refreshments follow.
Around the Diocese 11/6
The Fall River Area Men’s First Friday Club will meet tonight at the Parish of the Good Shepherd, 1598 South Main Street, Fall River. Following a 6 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Freddie Babiczuk, there will be a hot-meal in the church hall, followed by the guest speaker social worker John Rogers, who will speak about stress. Any gentleman wishing to attend may do so. for information call Norman Valiquette at 508-672-8174.
St. Stephen’s Parish, 683 South Main Street, Attleboro, will have its annual Holiday Bazaar today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event includes a raffle including a prize of Patriots’ tickets, booths, a kitchen, and photos with Santa.
A Day With Mary will take place at Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street, Fall River, tomorrow from 7:50 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include a video, instruction, a procession and crowning of Mary, Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. For information call 508984-1823.
The Women’s Guild of St. John Neumann Parish will sponsor its annual Christmas bazaar tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parish hall, located next to Cathedral Camp on Route 18 (Middleboro Road), East Freetown. Admission is free and a continental breakfast and lunch will be served.
Our Lady of Fatima Parish, 4256 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford, will hold a Harvest Fair Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be Ma’s donuts, hot soups and food, baked goods, crafts, raffles and more.
The Women’s Guild of St. Mary’s Parish, 14 Park Street, North Attleboro, will sponsor a concert by Father Pat November 10 at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. For information call 508-316-1544, 508699-2109, 508-699-7955, or 508-695-9478.
The Catholic Cancer Support Group of Our Lady of Victory Parish, Centerville, will host a 7 p.m. Mass in the church November 10 to be followed in the parish center by a speaker and social. The speaker is Kathy Budreski, an RN, a Certified Pastoral Counselor, and a cancer survivor, who will share her journey. All are welcome.
Father Dominic Legge, OP, will be leading a Theology on Tap presentation entitled, “Little White Lies: Can You Live Without Them?” at the Vineyard Restaurant, 809 Washington Street (Route 1), South Attleboro, November 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the dioceses of Fall River and Providence.
FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has eucharistic adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on the first Sunday of the month from noon to 4 p.m.
Pope John Paul II High School, 120 High School Road, Hyannis, will conduct an open house for prospective students and their families on November 12 at 7 p.m. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 508-862-6336, extension 104, or visit www.pjp2hs.org.
NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and confessions offered during the evening.
NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the rosary, and the opportunity for confession.
SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has eucharistic adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508336-5549. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The rosary is recited Monday through Friday at the church 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 following the 8 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 5 p.m. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed at 4:45 p.m.; on the third Friday of the month from 1 p.m. to Benediction at 5 p.m.; and for the Year For Priests, the second Thursday of the month from 1 p.m. to Benediction at 5 p.m. TAUNTON — Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord Church, 31 First Street, immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass and continues throughout the day. Confessions are heard from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., concluding with recitation of the rosary and Benediction at 6:30 p.m. TAUNTON — Eucharistic adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street, holds perpetual eucharistic adoration. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. 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.
An ECHO retreat weekend for students in grades 10, 11 and 12 will take place November 13-15 for girls, and December 11-13 for boys at the Craigville Conference Center in Centerville. For information and applications visit www.echoofcapecod.org. Crafters are wanted for the Holy Family-Holy Name Holiday Fair, 91 Summer Street, New Bedford, on November 14. For information call 508-993-3547.
A Liturgy Planning Workshop will be held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, 947 Park Street, Attleboro, November 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Father Thomas Kane, CSP, will be teaching on “The Structure and Theology of the Word” and Sharon Dickinson will be teaching on “Planning Children’s Liturgy of the Word.” For more information or to register, call 508-222-5410 or visit www.lasalette-shrine.org.
St. Mary’s School will host its fifth annual Christmas shopping extravaganza November 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the school gym, located behind St. Mary’s Church, 330 Pratt Street, Mansfield. For more information, call 508-339-4800 (extension 201) or visit www.stmarymansschool.org.
The placement exam for prospective students of Bishop Connolly High School, 373 Elsbree Street, Fall River, will take place November 21 at 8 a.m. A make-up test is scheduled for December 5 at 8 a.m. For more information, call Anthony Ciampanelli, director of admissions, at 508676-1071, extension 333.
November 6, 2009
Catholic chaplain, up for sainthood may now receive the Congressional Medal of Honor By Dave Jolivet, Editor
CAPE COD — How fitting it is in this Year For Priests, the U.S. Army Decorations Board recently approved the request for the Congressional Medal of Honor to a Catholic priest who served as an Army chaplain during the Korean War? The Diocese of Wichita, Kan., in 2008, also initiated a sainthood cause for Father Emil Kapaun, now Servant of God Father Kapaun. With All Saints Day having just passed and Veteran’s Day to be celebrated November 11, Father Kapaun’s remarkable life of service to his fellow man is still in the hearts and minds of the Church and the U.S. military, both of which he so proudly served. Father Emil Kapaun, who served in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment, 1st Calvary Division in Korea, was captured on Nov. 2, 1950, along with other men from his battalion and held captive at prisoner of war Camp No. 5 in Pyotktong, North Korea. Just prior to his capture, on All Saints Day, the 35-year-old priest from Pilsen, Kan., crisscrossed a perilous battlefield for nearly 24 hours to aid wounded American soldiers. In the six months that he survived in the POW camp, Father Kapaun, according to comrades who were held captive with him, consistently displayed extraordinary works of mercy and compassion.
CHURCH AND NATIONAL HERO — The Father Kapaun rosary, made in his home town in Pilsen, Kansas, has a cross depicting Christ’s crown of thorns resembling the barbed wire fencing around the priest’s prisoner of war camp in North Korea. The statue of Father Kapaun depicts him carrying a wounded soldier. The statue’s sculptor, Daniel Hunt, an assistant professor at Kansas State University, based the work on photographs of him aiding fellow soldiers. Both were gifts given to Anchor editor Dave Jolivet because of his keen interest and writings about Father Kapaun. (Photo by Dave Jolivet)
Army veteran Al Makkay Sr. of Centerville, despite recuperating from serious surgery, called The Anchor office shortly after learning about Father Kapaun’s Medal of Honor process moving forward. Makkay has met with several of Father Kapaun’s POW mates and for years has kept the priest hero’s memory alive and played a small part in initiat-
ing the sainthood and Medal of Honor causes. “I can’t believe it,” Makkay told The Anchor as he choked up. “This is fabulous news. The Church needs priest heroes, and Father Kapaun is just that. I pray that he does get the Medal of Honor, and that he eventually becomes a saint.” Approximately eight years ago, Makkay, Father John Hotze,
a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, and vice postulator of Father Kapaun’s sainthood cause, and others lauded the priest’s actions to Kan. Rep. Todd Tiahrt with hopes that he could begin the Medal of Honor process. According to the Wichita Eagle “Fellow prisoners of war have pleaded with the military for decades to give Kapaun the
Medal of Honor. As a result, Rep. Todd Tiahrt, as early as April 2001 asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to review Kapaun’s eligibility for the honor.” The request was initially kicked back by the Pentagon. William Latham, a retired Lt. Col. in the Army who was teachTurn to page 14