The Anchor Diocese of Fall River
F riday , November 9, 2012
Acushnet parish launches Year of Faith speaker series By Becky Aubut Anchor Staff
ACUSHNET — St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet launched its yearlong Year of Faith speaker series with Sister M. Johanna Paruch, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. Currently a professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, Sister Paruch holds a doctoral degree in catechetics from the Maryvale Institute of Birmingham, England and was recently appointed a member of the national advisory council to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “I just want to talk to you about
what this year is all about, and what Pope Benedict has in mind,” said Sister Paruch. “The changes you can expect and how we can gain more energy in lots of ways to help our faith.” She then went on to read a part of Pope Benedict’s “Porta Fidei,” the pope’s apostolic letter launching the Year of Faith: “We want this year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.” We say many prayers inside and outside of church, like the Rosary, “but what happens when you say things so often?” asked Sister PaTurn to page 18
WHEN IN ROME — Retired Cape Cod nurse Marylee J. Meehan was privileged to attend the world Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization held at the Vatican last month. As the immediate past president of the International Catholic Committee of Catholic Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants, Meehan was one of the 49 observers, or auditors, at the synod. She is pictured with Dr. José-Maria Simon, left, International President of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, center, Archbishop of New York.
West Yarmouth woman attends historic Synod of Bishops By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff
MESSENGER OF FAITH — Sister M. Johanna Paruch was the featured speaker of the Year of Faith presentation series at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet. (Photo by Becky Aubut)
40 Days for Life closes fall campaign
By Christine M. Williams Anchor Correspondent
ATTLEBORO — While many Massachusetts residents spent October 29 indoors, some working from home or having the day off, Ron Larose kept his usual routine. Winds picked up and showers began before he left home. Hurricane Sandy was definitely on the way, but she did not dampen Larose’s spirits. Larose, coordinator of the 40 Days for Life campaign, headed for Four Women Health Services in Attleboro, the only abortion clinic in the Diocese of Fall River. He went for opening prayer, held every day of the campaign at 6 a.m. When speaking with The Anchor he seemed to regard his dedication as ordinary. The rain and 20 mph winds apparently made little impact. “It’s part of the sacrifice,” he
said. “We want to change people’s hearts.” Steve Marcotte, also a 40 Days Attleboro coordinator, praised the fortitude of the campaign’s many volunteers who serve as witnesses — rain or shine. He called the early birds “our faithful morning crew” and said he was not surprised that the inclement weather left some undeterred. That speaks to the importance of their mission in praying for women and the unborn, who deserve to be protected. “As long as the battle is going on, we need to continue to be present,” he said. As Sandy, then a post-tropical cyclone, crept closer, the national 40 Days campaign advised local coordinators that, for the sake of vigilers’ safety, operations should be closed until the strongest winds passed. The interruption lasted a Turn to page 14
WEST YARMOUTH — When Marylee J. Meehan, a retired nurse living in West Yarmouth, received an invitation to attend the historic world assembly of bishops in Rome last month, she almost threw it out fearing it was “junk mail.” “It just had my address on the front — it didn’t have a return address and it didn’t say confidential or private,” Meehan told The Anchor. “I opened it up and in the corner it had the pope’s coat of arms and it said this was absolutely top secret and I could not share this information with anyone; if I did, I could be taken to court. Now I thought someone was playing a joke on me.” But the official invitation was neither junk nor a joke. As the immediate past president of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and MedicoSocial Assistants, popularly known by its French acronym CICIAMS, Meehan had been selected to be among an elite group of lay people to attend and
participate in the three-week Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization held October 7-28 at the Vatican. Meehan was personally nominated by Pope Benedict XVI as one of the 49 observers, or auditors, to attend the historic convocation and one of a record-number 29 lay women ever to participate in a world Synod of Bishops. “I was aware that it would be basically men, along with women who had high positions in the work place,” Meehan said. “It wasn’t so much that I was a woman — for some people, that’s a big deal — but I was just another person who was called by God to be there, that’s how I look at it.” Inaugurated by the pope to coincide with the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the purpose of this 30th Synod of Bishops was to give the Church an opportunity to reaffirm its beliefs and rediscover its faith in Jesus Christ through evangelization and proper catechesis. Turn to page 18
Obama wins White House Question #2 ‘no’ votes hold slight edge
Warren wins Mass. Senate race
FALL RIVER — As The Anchor was going to press this week, the election results were just coming in. In next week’s edition,
we will have local, national, and international news stories related to these and other important election results.
News From the Vatican
November 9, 2012
Pope prays for Sandy victims, explains bond of Tradition
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy and encouraged all those working to rebuild from the disaster. “Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding,” he said at the end of a recent weekly general audience. Nearly 1,000 miles wide, Sandy’s strong gales reached to the Great Lakes. According to CNN, by November 4, it had caused at least 179 deaths in the U.S., Caribbean Sea and Canada and left millions without power from the Carolinas to Ohio. In the Caribbean government officials put the death toll across the islands at 69, with more than 50 in Haiti, where widespread flooding devastated parts of the already impoverished country. After reciting the Angelus, the pope called for prayers and concrete help for the people of Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, where, he said, the hurricane struck “with particular violence.” During his main audience talk, the pope underlined the importance of the Church in preserving and passing on the faith across generations and throughout history. Some 10,000 people gathered under the rain in St. Peter’s Square to hear the pope’s catechesis. Though finding Christ is an intensely personal experience that transforms one’s own heart, mind and individual existence, “faith is given in and through the community of the Church,” the pope said. The Creed and one’s beliefs are not built upon a “private dialogue with Jesus,” but are the result of a dialogue and a listening that shatter individualism and open one up to God’s love and to others, he said. “Faith comes to me given as a gift from God through a community of believers, which is the Church,” he said. People discover through Baptism that they are not only united to Jesus, “but also to all those who walked and are walking the same path” toward holiness. “Our faith is truly personal only if it is communal: It can be my faith only if it lives
and moves in the ‘we’ of the Church, only if it is our faith, the common faith of the one Church,” the pope said. It is important to remember that faith is born in the Church and leads people to the Church, he said; “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as mother.” Tradition is “an uninterrupted chain of the life of the Church, the proclamation of the Word of God and the celebration of the Sacraments that reaches us” from the past, he said. Tradition is what “gives us the guarantee that that which we believe in is the original message of Christ, preached by the Apostles,” he said. This way, every man and woman from every generation and every continent can have access to the “immense resources” of sacred Scripture and the faith, and “enrich themselves from the treasures of grace” given to humanity by God, the pope said. In fact, the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, “Lumen Gentium,” reminded people that God doesn’t seek to make people “holy and save them merely as individuals, without bond or link between one another. Rather it has pleased Him to bring men together as one people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness.” By radiating the truth of the Church, each person becomes a point of reference for others by passing on the person of Jesus and His message, Pope Benedict said. Only by “letting oneself be guided and molded by the faith of the Church,” Christians, who despite their weakness, limits and difficulties, become “like an open window” that lets God’s light shine on the world. Keeping one’s faith closed up inside oneself contradicts the very nature of faith, the pope said. “We need a Church in order to have confirmation of our faith and to experience the gifts of God: His Word, the Sacraments, the support of grace and the witness of love,” he said. In a world of rampant individualism which only weakens human relations, “faith calls us to be Church, carriers of love and of the communion of God for all humanity,” he said.
wedding reception — Newly-married couples wait under umbrellas before Pope Benedict XVI’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican recently. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Second Vatican stem cell conference set for 2013
Vatican City (CNA/ EWTN News — Next year the Pontifical Council for Culture and an adult stem-cell research foundation will host the second international Vatican conference to discuss regenerative medicine and its implications for culture, ethics and faith. Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, head of the Science and Faith department at the Pontifical Council for Culture, said it is the council’s mission to explore the cultural impact of new research. It aims to “offer the best tools for pastoral care” and “encourage understanding of changing culture.” Dr. Robin Smith, president of the U.S.-based Stem for Life Foundation, said recently that the conference will educate people of all backgrounds on the potential of adult stem cells to treat chronic disease. It will generate “truly international dialogue” on regenerative medicine and explore the connections between scientific breakthroughs, faith, culture and ethics. The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference’s theme is “Regenerative Medicine — A Fundamental Shift in Science and Culture.” It will take place at the Vatican from April 11-13, 2013. The conference aims to foster dialogue among researchers, physicians, philanthropists, faith leaders and policy-makers to identify unmet medical needs that can benefit from the development of stem-cell therapies. It also strives to raise awareness about present opportunities in existing therapies and reduce misunderstandings about the field. Conference speakers include leading adult stem-cell scientists and clinicians and
thought leaders in faith, ethics, culture and business. Various countries’ health ministers, Holy See ambassadors and regulatory officials will also speak. Moderators for the event include prominent journalists and commentators like NBC News’ Meredith Vieira, Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal and Dr. Max Gomez of WCBS-TV. Researchers and clinicians will present the state of adult stem-cell research, including the results of investigations into growing replacements for damaged and diseased organs, restoring heart function after heart attacks and growing new skin for burn victims. Adult stem cell advances in cancer therapy, treating traumatic brain injuries and chronic diseases will also be discussed. Some patients who have undergone adult stem-cell therapies will speak about how the research has reduced their suffering. The conference also aims to lay the foundation for a network of scientists, educators and patrons interested in the potential
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of adult stem cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are not derived from the destruction of human embryos. Msgr. Trafny said the developments in regenerative medicine are “of great interest.” They also cause “deep cultural transformations” in health care, the economy, new technologies and legal issues. “Thus, topics that apparently seem to be circumscribed only to strictly scientific discussions or theoretical ones, in fact modify our understanding of social dynamics, relationships and, in the ultimate analysis, our understanding of the human being,” he said. The Stem for Life Foundation, a conference co-sponsor, is the foundation of the international bio-pharmaceutical company NeoStem Inc. The Pontifical Council for Culture is sponsoring the event through its foundation STOQ International, whose name is an acronym for Science Theology and the Ontological Quest. The conference website is www.adultstemcellconference. org. OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER Vol. 56, No. 43
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November 9, 2012
The International Church
Cuban recovery from Hurricane Sandy will take years, agency reports
senseless act — A gaping hole is seen on St. Rita’s Catholic Church following an attack in the northern city of Kaduna, Nigeria, recently. A suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into the church during Sunday Mass. Several people were killed and dozens injured in the attack. (CNS photo/Reuters)
After Catholic church bombing, Nigerians call for security
Abuja, Nigeria (CNA) — Following the deadly suicide bombing on a Catholic Church in north Nigeria, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has said local Catholics are showing “apprehension and consternation” at the apparent government failure to provide security and capture the perpetrators. “We as pastors have reached a state of near desperation — seeing children, women and men bombed out of existence,” Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria told Aid to the Church in Need recently. “Attacks continue to be visited on our people with very little sign that the concerned political and security officials are able to arrest the situation.” On October 28 a suicide bomber attacked St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Kaduna, killing himself and four others. The attack wounded 134, including the parish priest. Of the wounded parishioners, 75 suffered critical injuries. The attacker was denied entrance at the church gate, but he then reversed his explosives-filled car and rammed it into the church’s perimeter wall. “This Sunday attack was totally unexpected. The degree
of barbarism that comes with each attack is baffling,” Archbishop Kaigama said. “The suicide bomber came as a respectable person, welldressed and in a big car ready to kill and he did kill and injure many.” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to redouble efforts to combat terrorism, while the president of the Nigerian Assembly, a Muslim, has condemned the attack. Archbishop Kaigama said there is a “spontaneous outburst of anger” among Christians and young people are tempted to commit reprisal attacks. There have been some reports of Christian reprisals. However, the clergy are trying to prevent further violence. Archbishop Matthew Man-Oso-Ndagoso of Kaduna held a press conference immediately after the attack asking that youth not retaliate. “Our message to our people has been consistent: no aggression and no retaliation. This is a test of our Christian faith; a time to be Christ-like,” Archbishop Kaigama said. He warned that Christians may not be able to endure further violence without retaliating.
Be sure to visit the Diocese of Fall River website at fallriverdiocese.org The site includes links to parishes, diocesan offices and national sites.
The archbishop asked for prayers for an end to violence. “We pray a lot, hoping the evil-doers will have a change of heart,” he said. Many believe that Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group opposed to Western education, is responsible for the attack. The group seeks to overthrow the government and impose Shariah law throughout the country. It has claimed responsibility for many attacks on Christians. Northern Nigeria is primarily Muslim, while the south is predominantly Christian and traditional animist. The Archdiocese of Kaduna’s 2011 population was only 9.2 percent Catholic.
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba (CNA/EWTN News) — The secretary general of Caritas Cuba said it will take years for the eastern section of the country to recover from Hurricane Sandy but that the local Church is bringing relief to thousands of victims. Maritza Sanchez told CNA that the situation in Cuba “remains very difficult, especially in the city of Santiago, because the damage has been so severe.” “The hurricane practically devastated the city and nearby towns,” she said. “It also damaged towns in the provinces of Guantanamo and Holguin.” In addition to the large number of homes that were damaged, coffee and plantain fields, as well as phone and power lines and other infrastructure were also destroyed. “The military is helping with the cleanup on many roads. It will take time to recover despite the efforts. The recovery will take years,” Sanchez said, adding that 90 percent of the churches in the Archdiocese of Santiago, as well as numerous
convents and rectories were also damaged in the storm. “Caritas is trying to help, but the truth is that the damage is overwhelming. However, the Church must always do whatever possible to try to alleviate suffering and give hope to the people, and that is objective of our work right now,” Sanchez said. While the Cuban government plays the key role in providing assistance, she continued, the Church is helping wherever possible and is seeking “to officially collaborate with the structures of the State in order to broaden our efforts.” She said priests in hardest hit areas are identifying the families that have been most affected and are helping to distribute the food and water provided by Caritas. In some areas make-shift soup kitchens have been set up to help those whose needs are critical. Sanchez noted that Caritas Cuba has already received financial assistance from the United States and Switzerland and Germany.
The Church in the U.S.
November 9, 2012
‘Catechism’s’ benefits explained for Year of Faith
Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) — To encourage believers during the Year of Faith, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a reflection on the “Catechism” as a faith resource that is universal in nature, as well as a call to prayer. “‘The Catechism of the Catholic Church’ is the first book of its kind in 450 years,” said Alissa Thorell, catechism specialist for the conference’s Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis. She described the “Catechism” as “an effort by the world’s bishops to convey the content of the Catholic faith to the whole Church and the whole world.” After the Second Vatican Council, which was held from 1962-65, “it was important for the Church to present its teachings for Catholics living in the modern world,” she said. On October 31, the U.S. bishops’ conference released reflections by Thorell on “Five Things Catholics Should Know About the ‘Catechism’” in order to better understand their faith. Pope Benedict XVI has called on Catholics to study the “Catechism” during the ongoing Year of Faith, which runs from Oct. 11, 2012 - Nov. 24, 2013. The year — which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the “Catechism” — is an opportunity for Catholics to grow in their own faith so that they may witness to others. The “Catechism” is universal in scope and content, Thorell explained. It “compiles
the living tradition of the Catholic Church,” which is divided into four sections on beliefs, worship and Sacraments, morality and prayer. “The contents of these four parts are interwoven, providing an organic presentation of the faith,” she said. Thorell also noted that the “Catechism” is “a resource for education” and “an invitation (to) prayer.” “The main goal of the ‘Catechism’ is to help bishops, pastors, catechists, parents and all who teach the faith,” she said. “It provides a foundation that encourages dioceses to draw their own teaching materials from it.” At the same time, it “draws from the richness of Catholic tradition, including the lives of the saints, the teaching documents of the Church and Scripture.” “This makes it not only useful for learning about the Catholic faith, but for growing in one’s faith through meditation and prayer,” Thorell explained. And despite its length — 700 pages — the “Catechism” is “for Catholics of all ages,” she said. Besides the helpful summaries at the end of each section, Thorell recommended the “Compendium of the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’” — a much shorter document — which makes the “Catechism” “even more accessible to readers.” “Learning and living the faith is an ongoing process throughout a person’s entire life, and the ‘Catechism’ can help Catholics come to know and love Christ,” Thorell stressed.
old and new — This is an exterior view of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Church in Limerick Township, Pa. The church contains artistic and architectural elements of five closed regional Catholic churches and a Catholic hospital. (CNS photo/Sarah Webb, Catholic Standard and Times)
Project sends spiritual relief to the frontlines
Washington D.C. (CNA) — For more than two years, the Frontline Faith Project has worked to send MP3 players with Catholic content to U.S. troops, who may not be have regular access to a chaplain or religious services. “The whole idea was to bring the Catholic Church to those troops who don’t have a chaplain available to them,” said Cheri Lomonte, founder of the Frontline Faith Project. The project was initially founded in response to a shortage of Catholic chaplains in the military. Working as the co-host of Mary’s Touch radio program, Lomonte received a prayer request for a listener’s son who had been in Afghanistan for nine months without seeing a Catholic chaplain. “I had to do something about this,” she told CNA in a recent interview, adding that she “knew right then it was the Holy Spirit.” Lomonte had previously been involved in efforts to give MP3 players with recorded stories to the homeless in Austin, Texas, and decided to apply this idea to the military to “make sure that they can hear a Mass and a Rosary,” even if they cannot access a chaplain. “If we can’t bring them the Catholic Church, we have to bring them something,” she said. She began to look for material and ask for permission to use it. She eventually assembled more than seven hours of material, including a presentation that Archbishop Fulton Sheen gave at West Point, an examination of conscience, a recording of a Mass celebrated by Military Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio and a recitation of the Rosary. The MP3 player also includes Church music, children reading letters that they wrote to members of the armed forces and inspiring military stories. Soon, she said, Protestant chaplains were calling her to request a non-denominational Christian version. The result was a second set of recordings, with talks, stories, songs, reflections and letters, but without distinctively Catholic features such as the Mass and Rosary. Since 2010, the Frontline Faith Project has sent out some 30,000 MP3 players, and Lomonte said they are “just getting started.” The organization focuses on sending the players to those who are deployed, soon to be deployed or are wounded and in a veteran’s
hospital. Unlike a book, she explained, the MP3 players do not require light to use, they are not bulky or heavy to carry around and they use technology that many members of the military are already familiar with. In her work to assemble the recordings, Lomonte also talked to numerous military wives and saw the “huge sacrifice” made by all the members of a military family. This sparked an idea to make something for military families and eventually led to the creation of a 2-CD set entitled, “On the Home Front.” “The responses have been pretty amazing,” she said, pointing to notes of gratitude from soldiers and family members. Chaplains have also given Lomonte their thanks, with one referring to the MP3 player as “the best weapon they’ve ever had.” Lomonte does not charge to send the players to the troops but instead collects money through online fund-raising at the Frontline Faith Project website. Each MP3 player costs about 24 dollars to send. In the last eight months, donations have dropped because people think the war in Afghanistan is over, she noted. However, troops are still being deployed and “we have military all over the world,” she said, explaining that chaplains have requested hundreds of MP3 players for U.S. troops being deployed in December. As a result, Lomonte reported that the group has “more orders than we can fill,” and “when we can’t fill them, it hurts.” She explained that “we have these military putting their lives on the line for us. I think as Americans, we have a responsibility to them. They make sure we have our freedoms and we are safe.” For Veteran’s Day, which is observed on November 11, the Frontline Faith Project is asking Americans to join in “An American Moment,” pausing at noon local time for a moment of silent prayer — giving thanks for veterans, remembering those who have been killed in combat and praying for those who are alive. The current Year of Faith is a good time to come together in love for God and country, said Lomonte, adding that after the bitter divisions of this election season, she hopes the effort can help “bring us all back together.” To help bring the Church to our troops, visit www.frontlinefaithproject.org.
November 9, 2012
The Church in the U.S.
November a month to remember the dead, also celebrate life, says priest
devastation — A statue of Mary stands amid the remains of homes destroyed by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Breezy Point section of the New York borough of Queens. More than 80 homes were destroyed in the beachfront neighborhood. (CNS photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)
After Sandy, ‘people need everything,’ says Catholic Charities official
NEW YORK (CNS) — The damage from the wind, rain and flooding brought by Hurricane Sandy “is almost overwhelming,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. “We’re reaching out to parishes and getting them to directly assist those in critical need — they know their own people and their neighborhoods,” he told Catholic News Service. Several Catholic agencies and religious communities have stepped forward to address the greatest needs of victims of the super storm. “Reaching out to parishes and other communities and neighborhoods is imperative at this point,” Msgr. Sullivan explained. “The response on the parish level has been tremendous. We’re also working very, very closely with several municipal, state and private agencies, including Red Cross, to figure out the best way to respond to this disaster.” When New York state and New York City were preparing for Sandy’s unprecedented onslaught, emergency responders had met with Msgr. Sullivan and Catholic Charities to plan how to best utilize its resources and personnel after the storm. “We’ve been in conversation with dozens of governmental agencies and made sure we put our staff in place. We have a lot of social work case managers who are trained to deal with emergencies like this,” the priest said. “They know how to get greater access to available services to those in need,” he said. “Many people suffering through disasters fall through the gaps. Our staff is in place to make sure that doesn’t happen. We found this is the best way to work with victims in this situation.” Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey October 29, caused flooding, power outages, downed trees and other calamities over a large swath of the East Coast and into the Midwest.
Cleanup and repair in New York City were going forward after the storm, but only so much could be done with more than 500,000 New Yorkers living without electricity and without the use of the nation’s largest subway system. Msgr. Sullivan said, “The power outages and lack of transportation are compounding the already bad situation. These people need everything — food, shelter, clothing, communications, medical care, legal assistance — every conceivable need. We’re doing our best.” A chief concern for Catholic Charities is making sure that services to the people it already serves on a daily basis continues unabated especially its year-round services to the homeless, children, the poor, the elderly, infirmed and disabled. “Those who needed it were evacuated to shelters to better care for them. Sometimes there were public facilities and sometimes our own in areas unaffected by Sandy,” the priest said. “Those who are most vulnerable need the most care especially those with physical and emotional challenges. Where necessary, they are evacuated to safer situations.” “We are coordinating by parishes, but the Holy Spirit is doing most of the coordinating,” Msgr. Sullivan said with a chuckle. In addition to the assistance Catholic Charities is providing, he urged lay Catholics to “reach out to their neighbors on a one-to-one basis. We are grateful for all our parishioners who are reaching out to those in need, driving neighbors to shelters and just checking up on people.” “If they’re capable, they should volunteer at shelters. They can make contributions and, above all, they can pray. There’s a lot of need. There are a lot of people who are hurting especially because of the power outages.” Msgr. Sullivan said Catholics “are concerned and those who are capable of lending a hand are doing so.” He told of a parishioner at St. Augustine in Ossining in Westchester County, north of New York
City, “who is organizing other parishioners in going door-to-door to check up on their neighbors and the elderly in the town making sure they have everything they need.” “Our staff has already visited 17 of Staten Island’s 35 parishes,” the priest said. “There’s tremendous need out there and throughout New York City. In fact, we’re working closely with United Jewish Appeal and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies in making sure those in need are served.” In addition to Catholic Charities, other Catholic organizations are offering disaster relief to storm victims, including the Knights of Malta. The Knights have “traditionally offered emergency aid, assistance, relief to those in need. We usually assist in Africa and other impoverished areas around the world just like Red Cross does,” said police Sgt. Angelo A. Sedacca, 41, a Knight of Malta since 2006. “Now we’re needed here in New York City in the aftermath of Sandy.” Father Michael McManus, chancellor and moderator of the curia of the Diocese of Fall River, wrote to pastors this week, “Bishop Coleman is aware of the great need not only in New Jersey and New York, but also in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, the other countries impacted by this devastating hurricane. “Bishop Coleman has granted permission for pastors to take up a collection if they are able to do so and send the proceeds here. Half of what is collected will be sent to Catholic Charities USA to assist the victims in New Jersey and New York, and half to Catholic Relief Services to assist the victims in the other three countries.” If a parish is not doing a special collection, people can still give money to their parishes, earmarked for “Sandy” and the money will be sent to the diocesan office, from which it will be disbursed, according to the “half and half” plan explained above.
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CNS) — Death does not mean the end. “Life is changed, not ended,” said Father Gregory Labus, coordinator of the Office of Liturgy and Worship for the Diocese of Brownsville. November, he pointed out, is the month dedicated to remembering the dead. On All Saints’ Day, November 1, Catholics honor the saints, and on All Souls’ Day, November 2, Catholics not only remember those who have died but they also celebrate life, said the priest, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Edinburg. In the Rio Grande Valley area of south Texas, one tradition to mark All Souls’ Day — Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) — is experiencing a resurgence. It involves making an altar in memory of family and friends who have died. “Undoubtedly, this is a custom that is growing. It awakens once again that consciousness that was getting lost,” Father Ignacio Luna, pastor at St. Benedict Church in San Benito, told The Valley Catholic, Brownsville’s diocesan newspaper. “It makes people think about the future, about death and not just about the material world, but about how we live our lives and treat others,” he added. Each year at his parish, Father Luna sets up an altar for the dead so that parishioners may bring photos of their loved ones and place their “ofrendas,” items the deceased liked, such as flowers, food or candy. Father Jorge Gomez, diocesan chancellor and pastor of Holy Family Church in Brownsville, said the tradition goes back to the Aztecs and the Mayans. “For God, no one is dead, everyone is alive, and we celebrate their lives,” he said. “It’s a way to commemorate and remember people we love. As long as we remember, they’re still alive in our hearts and minds.”
Father Luna, who grew up in Mexico, remembers elaborate Day of the Dead preparations from his childhood that continue in many parts of Mexico. He said the bright colors used — vivid oranges, greens, purples, yellows and reds — “manifest the joy because there is no sadness, no mourning, no use of black. There is simply joy and happiness because their souls are already in God’s hands.” “Es una fiesta no para llorar, sino para gozar,” he said. In English: “It is not a feast for crying, it is one to enjoy.” “It’s a cultural way of looking at death. ... ‘La muerte no triunfa.’ We celebrate life, not death. We are not afraid of death because death does not have the final word in this life,” Father Gomez said. Sister Norma Pimentel, a Missionary of Jesus, who is diocesan director of Catholic Charities, said that creating an altar to remember the dead can help in the healing process of dealing with the death of a loved one. “It helps us accept and recognize that we are born of the earth and return to it.” “We celebrate death and elevate them (loved ones) to God. We accept every aspect of our lives,” she added. One aspect of All Souls’ Day that tends to get lost in the United States is “the doctrine of Purgatory,” which “has been overshadowed,” Father Labus said. Since the Second Vatican Council, he noted, “there has not been as much emphasis for prayer for the dead.” The liturgical readings during this time of year shift to the end of times when God comes in glory and calls His people home, he said. “The Gospel readings focus on the idea that we must always be prepared and ask us to reflect on the question: Have we lived our lives according to the Gospels?” “It’s all tied together,” Father Labus said. “On All Souls’ Day we pray and remember the dead, and we are reminded that we will follow and should live the Gospel now.”
The Anchor It comes down to free will
As this edition of The Anchor went to press the vote on physician-assisted suicide appeared to be going in favor of the position backed by the Catholic Church, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and many other people of good will. We thank everyone who made an effort to explain why this referendum was proposing something which would be a threat to the true dignity of each human being in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Given that polls several months ago had shown a considerable majority of the public would vote in favor of the proposed law, it truly is a credit to the hard work of so many people that Question 2 ultimately went down to defeat. This shows what persistent effort, combined with an argument that is understandable and reasonable, can bring about, even in our state. Of course, we must not forget to give credit to God, to Whom all credit should be given ultimately. It is God Who is the author of truth and reason, so even our atheist allies were guided by Him (not that they knew that). It is God, Who is love, Who moved people to act out of love to protect the lives of the terminally-ill and the depressed. It is God, Who is love, who motivates so many good people to give of their time to be of assistance to the sick, whether in the health care professions, or as volunteers, or just as good relatives and friends. God works through all of these people. They are a special presence of God and they perceive God’s presence in the people that they serve. As we are thanking God and other people (we must thank the voters themselves) for the victory on Question 2, we also ask ourselves why in so many other fields the positions of the Catholic Church so often come down to defeat. To defeat “death with dignity” (a true misnomer, if there ever was one), the Church and its allies were very strategic in their approach, both addressing the issue via public forum (e.g., spokespeople from the medical community or from families of sick people who made themselves available to appear on a variety of television and radio programs) and in internal events (such as Bishop Coleman’s audio message the weekend before the election). In some ways this was “easier” than addressing other issues, such as abortion or Marriage, since positions had not hardened on physician-assisted suicide as they had on those issues. Also, some leaders from the political left (be it newspapers or politicians) joined in the opposition to Question 2, so the Church’s position did not seem as “partisan” to critics as our other positions do. Given that, there was less of a risk of a backlash against the Church (be it in Mass attendance or in contributions to the weekly collection) for our stand on assisted suicide, than when the Church forcefully comes out against abortion or same-sex marriage or in favor of immigration reform (true, this last issue is not a “non-negotiable” issue, as are the other three, but the Church’s position has caused it to risk losing followers, or at least their money). What are we to do? Trust in Christ. Cling only to Jesus, not to the things of this passing world. We were able to persuade people of our position because they could see that it was both reasonable (as Father Tad Pacholczyk wrote a few weeks back in The Anchor, having physician-assisted suicide make as much sense as having police-assisted or lifeguard-assisted suicide) and backed up by loving support for people who find themselves in terminal illnesses (especially through Catholic health care institutions, which have taken a lead in offering palliative care, which eases the pain and discomfort of the sick). Christ, whose dialogue with Pontius Pilate in the Preatorium we will hear a few weeks from now on the feast of Christ the King, is the only Person Who can truly change hearts. And yet, Christ didn’t change Pontius Pilate’s heart on Good Friday. He hasn’t changed people’s hearts about abortion or Marriage or some many other things. Why? Asking that is like asking Jesus why He allowed Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union to arise or (to make it closer to home) why He allowed Native Americans to have their land stolen from them and have their population decimated by disease, the reservation system and war. Some of these evils did completely come to an end (Nazi Germany); some to a partial end (communism in Eastern Europe ended, but more than a billion people still live under communist governments); some still have not had true justice rendered to them (the casino system has just been an odd practice of using one societal ill to try in part to remedy an earlier one). Ultimately, it all comes down to free will. But we can influence people to come over to “our side” if they can see that we are reasonable and that we truly hold these positions out of Christ-like love for our neighbor. In the abortion debate, although we have setbacks, statistically the Pro-Life position is growing in this country, as people see (often thanks to scientific advances) that the baby in the womb truly is a human being. They can also see the loving care that so many Pro-Lifers provide to mothers in need before and after birth (although abortion proponents continue with the canard that we only care about life until birth). In the debate about Marriage, our task is more difficult, since we have less scientific allies providing us with data (although some do provide us with studies, that is harder to use to convince someone than an ultrasound picture can in the abortion debate) and people often accuse of us being bigots (which does not happen usually in regards to abortion, save for the claim that we were part of some “war on women”). The Church’s true love for people with same-sex attractions is rarely the topic of news stories in the mainstream media, which only likes to focus on condemnations or clerical hypocrisy. And so, we thank God and the voters for the victory against physician-assisted suicide and ask God to help us in the other issues of concern. As was stated in this place last week, we Catholics now have to work together to promote our issues, even with candidates who opposed us before the election. May God guide us to reflect His love and His truth as we work for a just and peaceful society for all people, whatever their situation in life.
November 9, 2012
The sign of victory
t’s not often, especially for us in the United considered even more miraculous than the States with our relatively brief history, sign itself. Maxentius, spurred on it seems by that we have a chance to celebrate a 1,700th a pagan prophecy that on his anniversary of anniversary. becoming emperor the enemies of the Romans When we look back millennia, we can would perish, decided to leave the security of normally pinpoint years when momentous the impregnable walls of Rome and accompany events occurred, but it’s a very rare thing when his troops toward Saxa Rubra, where they we’re able to specify an actual day on which crossed the Tiber River at the Milvian Bridge. A something happened. That points, however, to fierce battled ensued. Eventually Constantine’s the special significance of what took place on cavalry and soldiers began to have the upper Oct. 28, 312: the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, hand. Maxentius sought to flee via the Milvian one of the most important battles in world hisBridge, but because previously he had the tory and an event of particular significance for bridge partially destroyed to prevent ConstanChristians. tine from crossing the Tiber, he didn’t make Since the time I became a guide to the it. He and many of his retreating soldiers were Vatican necropolis and St. Peter’s Basilica as killed in the Tiber. Surrounded by his ebullient a seminarian, and needed to tell the story of troops, Constantine entered the city of Rome the battle as background for the building of the and was acclaimed emperor of the West. basilica, the date has always been special for Constantine wanted to thank the Christian me. I had Oct. 28, 2012 circled on my calendar God who had given him the miraculous sign for more than 15 years! and led him to a previously inconceivable In 312, the Roman Empire was basically di- military victory. vided into four parts, but the dominant emperors The first thing he decided to do — the least were Constantine in the northern and western he could do! — was to eliminate the law that parts and Maxentius in Rome. Even though made it a crime punishable by death for ChrisConstantine tians to worship was married the God Who to Maxentius’ had given him sister, Fausta, that wondrous Constantine sign in the heavand Maxentius ens. He did it were not able to with his famous By Father coexist amicably Edict of Milan and eventually the following Roger J. Landry hostility grew year, in which to such a degree he extended that they declared war on each other. religious freedom to the Christians and ended a Constantine and his armies started the march period of 250 years of persecution and martyrtoward Rome, annihilating Maxentius’ gardom. Christianity wouldn’t become the official risons in the north and central parts of Italy. But religion of the Roman empire until the end of Constantine was too brilliant a military strategist the fourth century, but it now became possible not to realize that in order to defeat Maxentius, to practice the faith freely. he needed to take Rome — and he could not see The second thing he did — now that Chrishow that would be possible. tianity was legal and Christians were coming in Forty years before, Rome had been surgreat numbers to the holy places without fear rounded by impregnable city walls the likes of — was to build basilicas in which Christians which the ancient world had never seen. Not could worship adequately. He sent his mother, only was there no way at the time to penetrate St. Helen, to the Holy Land where, with the them, but they also enclosed so much farmland imperial building crews, she had churches and so many underground aquifers that there built where Jesus was born, where He died and really was no way to siege Rome. Two famous rose again, and where He ascended. In Rome, military generals had already tried and failed. Constantine had five churches built, over the Maxentius was happy to remain within the city tombs of St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Agnes, at the walls for as long as it took, and Constantine Catacombs, and in the Lateran, where he condidn’t have anyone on the inside whom he structed a cathedral and a palace for the pope could somehow get to open the gates. over the place where Maxentius had formerly But then something miraculous happened. housed his equestrian stables. On October 27, as Constantine and his troops Constantine would also help out the Church were about six miles north of the center of in another way, convening the first ecumenical Rome near a place called Saxa Rubra (“Red Council in Nicaea (Turkey) in 325, in order to Rocks”), he and his soldiers looked into the sky combat and eliminate the Arian heresy that was and saw an image. disputing Christ’s Divinity and dividing the Two contemporary historians, the Latin Church. Lactantius and the Greek Eusebius, present But all of this began 1,700 years ago with the image in slightly different ways, but, taken a sign in the heavens — the sign of the Cross totogether, what was seen was what would look gether with the name Christ and an expression, in our alphabet as a capital P with a horizontal “by this (sign), victory” — that led to a totally bar cutting across the stem of the P about half unexpected triumph. way up. Lactantius focused on the sign being As we ponder Tuesday’s election results, it’s in the form of a Cross. Eusebius said it was the important for us to do so with not only the eyes first two letters of the title Christ in Greek, the of faith that Christ and the Cross leads to vicletter Chi (the CH in Greek, which looks like an tory, but also with an historical consciousness of X, formed by the intersection of the vertical and what has happened before us. The Church, after horizontal bars) and a Rho (the Greek letter “R,” 250 years of brutal on-and-off-again persecuwhich looks like a capital P in our alphabet, tion, after 250 years of regular crucifixion, seen at the top of the vertical bar). Underneath experienced liberation and resurrection by the this sign, Eusebius tells us, Constantine saw sign of Christ and His Cross. the expression, En touto nika, which translated Let’s mark, not our military standards and from the Greek means, “In this, victory.” shields, but our minds and hearts with this Constantine was not a Christian at this point sign of victory and march on with confidence and wondered what the apparition meant. In a and serenity, knowing, with gratitude, that the dream later that night, he was instructed to place same Christ Who took on our human nature that sign on the shields and standards of his and entered our history in Palestine, the same army, which he did the following day. Eusebius Lord Who intervened 1,700 years ago in the candidly admits that if he hadn’t heard the story heavens and on the ground, remains with us directly from Constantine’s own lips, it would still. By the same sign, with Him, we will have been hard for him to believe it. This adds conquer, too. to the historical reliability of the accounts. Father Landry is Pastor of St. Bernadette Something then occurred that Constantine Parish in Fall River.
Putting Into the Deep
November 9, 2012
Thinking clearly about consciousness and abortion
magine a deadly scenario like this: a successful businessman is rendered unconscious by medical professionals to help him heal after a serious car accident, using powerful pharmaceutical agents to cause a medically-induced coma. A few days later, a business competitor, wanting him dead, enters the hospital and kills the comatose patient. During his trial, when questioned about the murder, the competitor tries to argue, with an unnecessarily detailed explanation, that, “the medically-induced coma rendered him quite incapable of feeling any pain, because those parts of his brain involved in sensory processing and pain perception were clearly decoupled from consciousness. So killing those who are unconscious, at least on the grounds that they might feel pain, should not be seen as problematic nor should it be restricted as a personal choice.” Anyone would appreciate the absurdity of such an argument, much as they ought to recognize the unreasonableness of a
similar conclusion reached by least until very late in pregnanneuroscientist Dr. Daniel Bor cy. This evidence has heavily in a recent piece in The Dallas influenced my views here, and Morning News: consequently I am very much “The evidence is clear that a fetus can respond to sights, sounds and smells, and it can even react to these by producing facial expresBy Father Tad sions. The evidence is Pacholczyk equally clear, however, that these responses are generated by the most primitive parts of the brain, which are unconpro-choice.” nected to consciousness, and As a neuroscientist and an therefore these actions don’t in ethicist myself, it’s clear how any way imply that the fetus is Dr. Bor’s conclusion does not aware. Furthermore, the fetus is follow from his premises. He deliberately sedated by a series seeks forcibly to crown conof chemicals produced by the sciousness as king, turning it placenta, so even if it had the into the highest good, elevating capacity for consciousness, there it above life itself. Consequentis almost no chance it could ever ly, he misses the deeper truth be conscious in the womb. Con- that human consciousness (and sequently, it can’t consciously particularly self-consciousness) feel pain. There are therefore no is a feature of certain kinds of scientific reasons for restricting beings, namely human beabortion on the grounds that the ings, who are valuable in and fetus will experience pain, at of themselves. Our humanity
Grenoble, France — Father André Patenaude — better known to those in the diocese as “Father Pat,” the singing priest — was rushed to the hospital in Grenoble, France on August 10 as a result of a severe infection of the pancreas. He was working at the La Salette Shrine in France when he fell ill. After an induced coma and two minor surgeries to remove fluids and relieve pressure, Father Pat is now on the road to
recovery and his condition continues to improve. On October 24 Father Pat was transferred by ambulance to a Rehab Center in Annecy, France and he is now walking without the need of a walker. Father Richard Landry, M.S., has been visiting Father Pat on a regular basis and has spent some time with the recovering priest. Father Pat recently spent time in his room at the Rehab Center opening the dozens of cards
Making Sense Out of Bioethics
Father Pat’s condition continues to improve
GETTING BETTER — Father André “Pat” Patenaude, the wellknown “signing priest” from La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, was recently transferred to a Rehab Center in Annecy, France after falling ill with a pancreatic infection in August. He’s seen here opening some of the many cards that he’s received from wellwishers in the United States.
that he continues to receive and greatly appreciates. Father Landry brought him many cards from the United States. Although Father Pat is getting better and looks quite well, he remains very weak. He speaks clearly but his voice is also weak. He will remain at the rehab facility for at least three to four weeks. He is expected to return to the hospital on November 20 for a series of tests that will probably determine when he can return home to the U.S. Father Pat is extremely grateful for all the support he has received and continues to receive during this difficult time. He greatly appreciates visits from Father Landry and his sister, Rita, who continues to be by his side along with her friend, Lorraine. All are asked to continue to pray for Father Pat’s complete recovery — a process that may take a long time. May the Lord also bless Father Pat with the gift of patience during his rehabilitation and recovery. The entire La Salette Community is also most grateful to the members of the La Salette Community in La Tronche and its superior, Father Hervé Bougeard, for the care they have given to Father Pat for the past two months. Those interested in sending cards, notes or letters to Father Pat can mail them to: Father Pat, c/o Missionnaires de La Salette, B.P. 62, 38702 La Tronche Cedex, France.
precedes our consciousness, and affords the necessary basis for it, with our value and inviolability flowing not from what we might be capable of doing (manifesting consciousness or awareness) but from who we intrinsically are (human beings and members of the human family). Regardless of whether we might or might not be able to manifest consciousness at a particular moment (as when we are asleep, under anesthesia, in a coma, or growing at early timepoints in utero), our humanity is still present and deserving of unconditional respect. Those who lack consciousness or awareness are still human, and should be cherished and protected as much as anyone else with limitations or disabilities. Some might reply that a sleeping or comatose person’s consciousness is merely dormant. If they wake up, they will have memories, awareness, etc. For a very early human embryo, on the other hand, no consciousness exists yet, since the brain has not developed, or may not have developed sufficiently. Until that development occurs, the argument continues, there is “nobody home,” and therefore nothing important can be stripped away by abortion. But it would be false to conclude that “nobody is home.” As that embryonic human continues to grow up, she will develop a brain, as well as memories,
awareness, and consciousness. Such carefully choreographed and remarkable embryonic development will occur precisely in virtue of the kind of being she already is, namely, a very small human being. All of us, in fact, are embryos who have grown up. The human embryo is special because of her humanity, not because of her consciousness, which will invariably arise as long as she is afforded even the smallest chance at life. We actively deny her the right to manifest her future personality, her individuality, her consciousness and her genius by selecting her for termination. Hence, we should appreciate an argument like Dr. Bor’s for what it really is, namely, an attempt to carve out a subclass of human beings (those deemed weaker than the rest of us due to their diminished personal consciousness) so that they can be singled out for death by abortion. This move constitutes an unjust form of discrimination against a voiceless class of humans, cloaked in a specious intellectual construct that misconstrues the essential character of being human and the essential moral obligations we have towards each other. Father Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, and serves as the director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.ncbcenter.org.
esus sacrificed His own life as an offering for our sins. Through His death and resurrection, we have been given an opportunity for eternal life. Now, He is asking us to offer our lives for His mission of salvation. This weekend’s readings give us an image of this offering. Although the widow from Zarephath from the first reading possesses only a small amount of flour and oil, Elijah urges her to share it with him. He quotes the words of God: “The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.” She believes and her supplies are unending. In the Gospel, Jesus gives a teaching on being gener-
November 9, 2012
Real giving must be sacrificial
ous in love. He warns His they also make us squirm. disciples against acting like They gave all they had. What the Pharisees in their need will they live on? We may for glory. Jesus tells them to never be asked to give everyobserve the poor widow, who gave two small copper coins worth about a cent, for the sake of Homily of the Week her faith. Unlike the Thirty-second Sunday others who had given in Ordinary Time out of their surplus, By Deacon the widow gave everything she had. Leo W. Racine These two widows are inspiring in their total gift of self. They remind us of the elderly and thing we own away, but our widowed of our churches. spirit needs to be willing to They are faithful to the give whatever the Lord asks seemingly small things of the of us. Church, but in essence they The second reading tells are the backbone of the faith us of the generosity of God. community today. He provided an eternal high The widows are inspiring priest, Christ Jesus, Who died in their total gift of self, but for the total remission of sin,
once for all. Jesus empowers us to move beyond our selfish interests. This is the reason why we have men who sacrifice their life to perpetuate Christ’s priesthood for the sake of the Kingdom. Our total self-sacrifice to God is to obey His Commandments, attend weekly Sunday Mass, frequent the Sacrament of Confession and contribute to the well-being of the Church. He vows, in return to supply the graces which will enable us to serve Him and His Kingdom. The widows reflected the total love of Christ, Who sacrificed Himself for the sake of His people. Now, He is
asking us for great faith and great generosity. He is asking us to serve without counting the cost of our time of leisure or our embarrassment to invite our unchurched family members and neighbors to return to the Lord and to contribute generously in faith. Accustomed to depending upon ourselves and taking precautions to make sure our futures are secure, we should question how much we should give. Let us ask the Lord for a generous heart that sees beyond our own needs and reaches out in love to others, trusting the Lord to take care of us. Deacon Racine is a retired deacon and a parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford.
Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Nov. 10, Phil 4:10-19; Ps 112:1-2,5-6,8-9; Lk 16:9-15. Sun. Nov. 11, Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 1 Kgs 17:10-16; Ps 146:7-10; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44 or 12:41-44. Mon. Nov. 12, Ti 1:1-9; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 17:1-6. Tues. Nov. 13, Ti 2:1-8,11-14; Ps 37:34,18,23,27,29; Lk 17:7-10. Wed. Nov. 14, Ti 3:1-7; Ps 23:1-6; Lk 17:11-19. Thurs. Nov. 15, Phlm 7-20; Ps 146:7-10; Lk 17:20-25. Fri. Nov. 16, 2 Jn 4-9; Ps 119:1-2,10-11,17-18; Lk 17:26-37.
iblical translation is an inexact science: a truth of which I was reminded on a recent visit to the American Bible Society’s Museum of Biblical Art in New York, where I enjoyed a brisk walk through a fine exhibit, “More Precious than Fine Gold: The English Bible in the Gilded Age.” The curator, Dr. Liana Lupas, pointed out the Modern American Bible, a New Testament translation by Frank S. Ballentine, published as the 19th century was drawing to a close. One suspects that Ballentine’s labors were influenced by a commitment to Prohibition, then a hot cause among many American Protestants; his translation of Luke 5:30 has the Pharisees inveighing against Jesus’s eating with “saloon-keepers and prostitutes,” where the original Greek clearly in-
The ‘Word of the Lord’ in English, please
dicates “tax collectors and case you’re lost, King James’s sinners.” committeemen translated, Then there was the transla- “Better is a dinner of herbs tion by Julia Evelina Smith where love is, then a stalled (1792-1886), the only woman ox and hatred therewith.”) ever to have translated the U.S. Catholics are unhapentire Bible by herself. Smith pily familiar with unappealwas unhappy with the King James Bible (which strikes me as the only great work of art ever produced by a committee); to her mind, the Authorized By George Weigel Version did not hew closely enough to the original Hebrew and Greek, a putative fault she ing biblical translations, for intended to repair in her own we are regularly subjected Bible. That her literal, wordat Mass to the supremely for-word translation was clunky vocabulary, syntax, not altogether successful is and cadences of the Resuggested by her rendering vised New American Bible of Proverbs 15:17: “Good a (RNAB), as further gelded ration of herbs and love there, to satisfy the more perfervid above an ox of the stall and American Catholic femihatred with it.” (Which, in nists. The results of the latter
The Catholic Difference
preoccupation are clear in the butchery of 1 Corinthians 13:1, where what the Revised Standard Version (RSV) renders euphonically (“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels”), the RNAB Lectionary renders as if its primary audience were the editors of the neo-bolshevik Chicago “Manual of Style”: “If I speak with human and angelic tongues.” The RNAB is also striking for its ability to drain the Bible of the poetry evident even in its historical books. Take two examples from the 21st Sunday of the Year: RSV: “And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” [Josh 24:15]. RNAB: “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Or: RSV: “Many of His disciples, when they heard it, said,
‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’ But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, said to them, ‘Do you take offense at this?’” [Jn 6:60]. RNAB: “Then many of His disciples who were listening said, ‘This saying is hard; who can accept it?’ Since Jesus knew that His disciples were murmuring about this, He said to them, ‘Does this shock you?’” A new and thorough revision of the RNAB is promised by the U.S. bishops’ conference (which holds the copyright, and thus enjoys the royalty income, from the RNAB’s mandated monopoly as a liturgical text). But while that lengthy process is underway, the bishops should authorize the use of the beautifully printed and bound RSV-Catholic Edition Lectionary published by Ignatius Press, which is read in many Anglophone countries. The effect of the RSV Lectionary on the RNAB revision could be similar to the effect that familiarity with the 1962 Missal should have on the celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass: drawing out the shrapnel, so that ugly wounds are healed. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
November 9, 2012
Cape Cod woman elected president of Church Women United
B y Kenneth J. Souza A nchor Staff
HYANNIS — Church Women United recently announced that Marilyn Lariviere had been elected as its national president by the CWU Common Council. As president, Lariviere will serve as liaison between the CWU Board of Directors and the Executive Staff as well as presiding officer for meetings of the Common Council. A parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis, Lariviere has also served on the World Day of Prayer USA National Committee; as president of CWU Cape Cod; as state president for the Massa-
chusetts/Rhode Island CWU; as chairman for the National Ecumenical Celebrations for CWU; on the National Homeless Memorial Committee on Cape Cod; and on the Committee for Tree of Life Conference. Nominated as an Anchor “Person of the Week” in July 2010, Lariviere has remained active in Church-related activities since joining her Hyannis parish in 1971. Over the years she’s been involved with the Cursillo and ECHO retreat programs on Cape Cod; she directed the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults at her home parish for more than 17 years;
and she’s been involved with countless youth ministry programs.
Take heart, get up
unpleasant and ugly. When e have often heard I look to Bartimaeus, I find the expressions myself relating to his story. In “Can’t see the forest for the my own faith journey, there trees,” or “It’s a matter of have been moments when I perspective,” but what does have doubted, when I could this all mean? So often we not understand, when I would are so wrapped up in what we not open my eyes, refusing to are doing that we miss the big see. It was when I was willing picture. to allow God to lead me, to Recently I spent the day turn myself over to Him, to in New York City and all around me were the sights and sounds of a city that claims to never sleep. Yet in the early hours of the morning, this mecca is quiet and peaceful. By Rose Mary As we walked the wide Saraiva sideways, rode the uncrowded subways, and trust that I was being healed took in all that the city offers, and given an understanding there was a wonderful hush. of what I needed to do, that I, But yet, behind the façade lies too, was seeing again. so much that remains unseen. Looking further into the As we continued to venture Gospel we find Bartimaeus through the streets of New casting his cloak aside. What York, we began to see the is our cloak, what burden ordinary people who make do we carry? What prevents up this and many other cities us from seeing with eyes of like this. We encountered faith? For me, life gets in the street vendors and beggars, way; it becomes the cloak or we stepped around people veil that prevents me from sleeping in the streets, and we seeing clearly. Like Bartisearched out the crowds for a maeus, I find myself calling celebrity sighting or two. We out to Jesus, shouting for His watched as the world slowly attention, begging Him for awoke from its slumber. His mercy, anything. Hoping In that Sunday’s Gospel, that I am being heard, that I we heard Mark’s account of am not simply someone to be the healing of Bartimaeus. quieted by the crowd or being Here was a man who had admonished for wanting more: been born with sight, but had for wanting to see, for wantbecome blind later in life. ing to cast my cloak aside, for When asked by Jesus what he wanting what only Christ can wants, he says “to see again.” give me. How often do we become so Through the gift of sight, unaware of our own inability true sight, I have gained so to see, to look beyond what much; I have learned to see lies in front of us? with eyes that look beyond the In my own life, I have ofsurface. When we are gifted ten chosen to see what I wish with true sight, we begin to to see, avoiding what seemed
In the Palm of His Hands
recognize Christ all around us. We begin to see as Christ sees; we begin to grasp the true meaning of what faith can do for us, what it truly means and how it can transform us. It is by faith that I not only see the forest, but recognize the trees as well. It is faith that has given me a new perspective on life, an ability to step back and take in the entire picture. It has been my willingness to allow my eyes to be opened, to allow God’s light to filter in, that has given me insight, the ability to recognize the Christ residing within me. But it does not stop here; we are all reminded that we need to carry this light to others, to become the hope, the guides for those who do not yet see, letting our faith become the beacon drawing others in. In choosing to follow Jesus as Bartimaeus did, we invite others to do the same. They watch us get up, cast aside our cloaks, rejoice in our newly-gained sight, and begin to follow, wanting to comprehend what is happening to us. Wanting what we have, seeking to understand; hoping for a glimpse of what we see. And when the crowd finally quiets down, hopefully they too will hear them say, “Take heart, get up, He is calling you.” Rose Mary lives in Fall River and is a parishioner of St. Michael’s Parish, and she is the Events Coordinator and Bereavement Ministry for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation. She is married with three children and two grandchildren. email@example.com.
“I’ve always been interested in working with young people and I actually went back to school as an adult learner and got a degree in Religious Education,” she told The Anchor. “My first job, actually, was at the North Falmouth Congregational Church. I went there to practice interviewing and they hired me. I was there for six years.” A native of Cape Cod, Lariviere has focused the bulk of her energy in ministering to youth and young adults in the community. She is currently the director of Christian Education at the Federated Church of Hyannis. She has also held similar positions at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Pocasset and at the North Falmouth Congregational Church. She received her bachelor’s degree in Religion/Education from Skidmore College. Lariviere’s continuing interests include working with her husband, Edward, in a prison ministry and coordinating the Youth Street Reach program, which she founded. Youth Street Reach creates the opportunity for youth to interact with the poor and homeless in their community. “That was started through Church Women United,” Lariviere said. “City Reach in Boston is a program where
teen-agers come and sleep overnight in church, meet the homeless, and provide them with breakfast. We wanted to do something similar on the Cape. It was a huge undertaking but our kids said they really wanted to do it.” Another key program that Lariviere helped jump-start was Residents Encounter Christ — a prison ministry effort at the Barnstable County House of Corrections. “I’ve been involved with that for quite a few years,” she told The Anchor. “It involves people going into the prison to put on a retreat for inmates. The thing about prison ministry is you don’t have to have any talent — you just need to show up. That is the most important thing. People are so impressed that you take time to go there. It’s just good to show them there’s a God Who loves them and they can turn their lives around if they want to.” Church Women United is a national ecumenical movement of Christian women whose purpose is witnessing to their unity and faith in Jesus Christ through worship, study, action, celebration and global relationships. “We grow when we pray and act together,” Lariviere said.
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November 9, 2012
Pope marks 500th anniversary of Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Standing in the Sistine Chapel under Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes, people are reminded that the world was created by God in a supreme act of love, Pope Benedict XVI said. “With a unique expressive intensity,” the pope said, Michelangelo depicted the power and majesty of God the Creator in a way that pro-
claimed “the world is not the product of darkness, chaos or absurdity, but derives from intelligence, freedom, a supreme act of love.” Pope Benedict made his remarks during a recent evening prayer service marking the 500th anniversary of the prayer service led by Pope Julius II in 1512 to celebrate Michelangelo’s completion of the ceiling paintings.
Up to 20,000 people visit the Sistine Chapel each day as part of their tour of the Vatican Museums, but, “the chapel contemplated in prayer is even more beautiful, more authentic; it reveals all its richness,” the pope said. With a small group of cardinals, Vatican employees and guests joining him for the prayer service, the pope asked them to try to imagine
what it must have been like 500 years ago to look up and see those famous paintings for the first time. The ceiling, measuring 134 feet by 43 feet, has nine principal illustrations of events recounted in the Book of Genesis, including the various stages of Creation and the great flood. The most famous of all the scenes is God creating Adam and transmitting life to him through an outstretched finger. All of the chapel’s paintings recount stages in the history of salvation, the pope said, but “in that encounter of the finger of God and the finger of man, we perceive a contact between Heaven and earth. In Adam, God entered into a new relationship with His creation,” a relationship in which a creature is created in God’s image and called
into a direct relationship with God. Pope Benedict noted that, 20 years after Michelangelo finished the ceiling, he concluded work on the massive wall fresco, the “Last Judgment.” Illustrating humanity’s origin on the ceiling and its ultimate destiny in the “Last Judgment,” Michelangelo painted “the great parable of the journey of humanity,” which leads to “the definitive encounter with Christ, the Judge of the living and the dead,” the pope said. “Praying this evening in the Sistine Chapel — surrounded by the story of God’s journey with humanity, marvelously represented in the frescoes above us and around us — is an invitation to praise,” he said.
history and beauty — A portion of Michelangelo’s depiction of the “Last Judgment” is seen on the wall of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. (CNS photo)
November 9, 2012
Catholic music label to release Benedictine nuns’ album for Advent
Denver, Colo. (CNA) — Kevin and Monica Fitzgibbons left lucrative positions in the entertainment industry to found a company that helps unique new artists — and their De Montfort Music label will soon release an album by contemplative Benedictine nuns. “We want to be able to bring these beautiful hymns across the ages, and chant and polyphony, and the Benedictines of Mary are extremely talented,” Monica Fitzgibbons recently told CNA. “When we heard their music, we knew that there was something really special going on there musically that would fit in with our mission for the label.” Monica and Kevin met through the entertainment industry, where Kevin worked at Columbia and Sony and she was part of DreamWorks. Both grew up as Catholics, but during their careers they experienced a kind of conversion or “completion” of their faith. “After we got married and started to have kids, we both realized how do we reconcile this and what our identity is going to be as married people with these children?” Monica said. She credited God for this interior transformation, Who she said worked through religious and laity to encourage them in the deepening of their faith. With “truth in charity, those little seeds were planted and it helped us realize that we did want to be part of music and entertainment and film, and to help bring that out in the world.” She said that in the entertainment industry, “every now and then there would be something that was new, and it would always have a deeper, spiritual underpinning to it.” From that basis, the Fitzgibbons founded Aim Higher Media in 2007, to “help encourage artists to listen to that inner voice.” Out of that grew De Montfort Music in 2012. “We really wanted to have something that could be for religious communities to put their music out where it would be a nice, purer place for just that genre” of sacred music, Monica said. “We could be the bridge between the global entertainment industry, so their music could get out but that the world would not be getting in.” The couple’s latest produced album, “Advent at Ephesus,” is by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. An order of cloistered, con-
singing nuns — Nuns of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles community record their Advent album. (Photo by De Montfort Music)
templative Benedictine nuns in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, they are “so faithful” to the magisterium and the pope, Monica noted. The Sisters’ life is marked by obedience, stability, and what they call conversion or “continually turning” towards God. They have Mass daily according to the extraordinary form and chant the psalms six times a day from the 1962 Monastic Office. They also support themselves by producing made-to-order vestments. Between the Sisters’ obedience and the beauty of their chant, Monica said that “it’s like a slice of Heaven when you’re around them.” After hearing the Sisters’ self-released CD, the Fitzgibbons were inspired to contact them about releasing a new album. With a distribution deal through Decca Records, the largest international distributor of classical music, De Montfort Music enlisted a Grammy-award winning producer and engineer to “essentially build a recording studio in the Sisters’ chapel.” In three days of recording, the Benedictine nuns laid down 16 tracks for the release, all of them music for the Advent season. “Maybe that’s what this whole thing is about” said Monica, “shining the light on Advent through this beautiful music.” Monica pointed out the importance of beauty in music, and the centrality of that in De Montfort Music’s mission. “If there is a high bar of musical quality to the projects we put out, we believe that will draw in all kinds of people, whether they’re faith-based or not, seeking the faith or not.” “We want to project to the world what’s true and beautiful, especially when done in magnifying God.” The Benedictines’ CD, “Advent at Ephesus,” will be in stores November 20, but is available now for pre-order at www.demontfortmusic. com. The Sisters also have their own website, benedictinesofmary.org.
November 9, 2012
Bishops to consider document on preaching at fall meeting
WASHINGTON (CNS) — “My dad used to say, ‘I know what happened 2,000 years ago. I need to know how to live my life today.’” These words, from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, get to the heart of a new proposed document on preaching to be considered by the U.S. bishops at the fall general meeting in November. The document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily,” encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives. Archbishop Carlson, as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, shepherded the writing of the document, which he said had reviews by eight other USCCB committees. “Everyone gets a chance to put their oar in the water. That’s what makes it a better document,” he told Catholic News Service in a recent telephone interview from St. Louis. Although the full text of the proposed document has not yet been made public, a recent USCCB press release highlighted excerpts from it. “The homily is intended to establish a ‘dialogue’ between the sacred biblical text and the Christian life of the hearer,” the proposed document says. “Preachers should be aware, in an appropriate way, of what their people are watching on television, what kind of music they are listening to, which websites they find appealing, and which films they find compelling,” it adds. “References to the most popular cultural expressions — which at times can be surprisingly replete with religious motifs — can be an effective way to engage the interest of those on the edge of faith.” It has been 30 years since the bishops last addressed preaching, in a document called “Fulfilled in Your Hearing.” Archbishop Carlson said the intent to write a new document first surfaced six years ago, although the work of drafting “Preaching the Mystery of Faith” took place over the past year and a half. New traction on the document came after Pope Benedict XVI issued the apostolic exhortation “Verbum Domini” (“The Word of the Lord”) two years ago, and “Preaching the Mystery of Faith,” the archbishop said, is rooted in “Verbum Domini.” With so much time between documents, “I think we really had to take a look at preaching in this country and to the students in the seminary who are preparing to become priests,” Archbishop Carlson said, adding bishops were concerned over “the whole question of catechetical preaching.”
“Following the Second Vatican Council and ‘Fulfilled in Your Hearing,’ there is a whole focus on being faithful to the Scripture. At the same time we have to pass on the deposit of the faith,” he said. Catholics in the pews, according to Archbishop Carlson, deliver a mixed verdict on the effectiveness of their own preachers. “There are places where the preaching is considered excellent,” he said, and there are others who “wish their homilies were not presented better necessarily, but (that) they were more in touch with their lives.” With fewer priests, is there more pressure on them? “Yes, priests are stretched, but this is a significant opportunity for priests to meet the people of their parish on a regular basis. So this is very important,” Archbishop Carlson told CNS. “If you just look at it as I have to get this task done and that task done, it can be challenging for the priest and the people,” he added. “It’s not something you can do just on Saturday afternoon and expect it to last a week.” Homily aids get a mixed review from Archbishop Carlson. “The most important word is homily ‘aid,’ because it is not meant “to supplant the preparation of the homily,” he said. “I think homily aids can be as good as the person who uses them.” He recalled a pastor he had years ago who “took the homily aid into the pulpit” and would tell the joke it included, “even if the joke was set in New York.” Jokes and ideas may have their place, he added, but the most effective homilies allow the hearer to “experience the Word in the context of my own faith experience, relate it to the faith experience of the people.” The draft of “Preaching the Mystery of Faith” says: “The ultimate goal of proclaiming the Gospel is to lead people into a loving and intimate relationship with the Lord, a relationship that forms the character of their persons and guides them in living out their faith. By highlighting His humanity, His poverty, His compassion, His forthrightness, and His suffering and death, an effective homily would show the faithful just how much the Son of God loved them in taking our human flesh upon Himself.” In his own ministry, “I always used to say, ‘I can drink coffee and talk,’ so that was a beginning,” the archbishop said. He added he used to save the homilies he had written for repeated use when those Lectionary readings cycled through again, but “the homilies I used my first years a priest, I threw them away. I was embarrassed. We have to constantly be growing in our relationship with the Lord.”
CHERRY PICKING — Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, is seen with other animated characters in the movie “Wreck-It Ralph.” For a brief review of this film, see CNS Movie Capsules below. (CNS photo/ Disney)
CNS Movie Capsules NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by Catholic News Service. “Flight” (Paramount) Morally ambiguous drama about an airplane crash and the emotional impact it has on the survivors. Despite being an alcoholic and a cocaine addict, the pilot (Denzel Washington) of a doomed airliner becomes a hero after miraculously landing his craft with only a small loss of life. When the accident investigation reveals his impaired and illegal condition, however, he faces manslaughter charges and a prison sentence. While one of his buddies (John Goodman) continues to enable the swaggering flyboy by supplying him with drugs, a fellow addict (Kelly Reilly) — the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold — tries to persuade him to join her on the path to reform and redemption. Director Robert Zemeckis’ film dwells far too much on its protagonist’s failings, filling the screen (often gratuitously) with sex, drugs and booze, as well as with “friends” who condone his bad behavior. It also ridicules organized religion, cynically making light of survivors who thank God
for the gift of life. Disdainful treatment of religious faith, intense disaster scenes, full nudity, a nonmarital situation, drug and abusive alcohol use, frequent profane and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. “Wreck-It Ralph” (Disney) This clever 3-D animated adventure, directed by Rich Moore, ponders the meaning of life inside a video arcade machine once the “Game Over” message appears. The perennial bad guy (voice of John C. Reilly) of the
title wants to be just like his good-guy opponent (voice of Jack McBrayer). So he abandons his game for others in search of fame and glory. Along the way he encounters a violent warrior (voice of Jane Lynch) and an outcast (voice of Sarah Silverman) from a racing game with whom he bonds. The pair unites to overcome prejudice and embrace their differences, offering a positive lesson in self-esteem for young viewers. Mild cartoonish violence, some rude humor. The Catholic News Service 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.
Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, November 11, 11:00 a.m. Celebrant is Father Craig A. Pregana, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church in New Bedford
November 9, 2012
Respect and difference: interreligious dialogue since Vatican II
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council launched a new Catholic commitment to interreligious dialogue, work continues on clarifying the Church’s attitudes toward other religions. While some Catholics still look on other religions with disdain, other Catholics seem to believe Vatican II taught that all religions were equally valid paths to God and to the fullness of truth. The new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently said both extremes are wrong. Archbishop Gerhard Muller, the Vatican’s doctrinal chief, gave a speech in Assisi in late October in which he tried to explain the differences between Catholic respect for every religion’s honest search for God and the error of thinking Christianity has nothing essential to add. Saying that all religions basically are similar actually means “negating or doubting the possibility of real communication between God and
human beings,” Archbishop Muller said, because the truths of Judeo-Christian faith are not human inventions, but the result of God’s revelation. Not believing that Christ’s death and resurrection make Christianity unique among religions is, in essence, the equivalent of denying that God became human in Christ or of saying that Christ’s Divinity is “a poetic metaphor, beautiful but unreal,” the archbishop said. For decades, popes and Vatican officials have taught that the aim of interreligious dialogue is not to come to some sort of agreement on religious or even moral principles that everyone in the world can accept. For Catholic leaders, the goal of such dialogue is for people firmly rooted in different faith traditions to explain their beliefs to one another, grow in knowledge of and respect for one another, and help one another move closer to the truth about God and what it means to be human. A societal consequence of such a dialogue should be re-
spect for each individual’s conscience, more social peace and joint efforts to defend human dignity and help those in need. Among Church leaders, concerns for dialogue are not simply academic, and the obstacles to dialogue are not simply erroneous theological positions. For instance, several members of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, held at the Vatican in October, described on-the-ground Catholic-Muslim relations in terms that ranged from true friendship and collaboration to efforts to restrict the freedom of Christian minorities or to exert strong pressure on people from Muslim families not to convert to Christianity. Synod members responded with a formal resolution asking Christians “to persevere and to intensify their relations with Muslims according to the teaching of the declaration ‘Nostra Aetate,’” the Vatican II document that expressed “esteem” for Muslims, particularly because of their belief in
INSTALLATION DAY — Bishop George W. Coleman recently visited St. Mary’s Church in South Dartmouth to officially install Father Rodney E. Thibault as pastor of the parish. This is Father Thibault’s first pastorship. He is also diocesan director of Pastoral Care of the Sick and a chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. The church was filled with parishioners and friends. Helping Father Thibault celebrate his appointment were, from left: Father Karl C. Bissinger, secretary to the bishop; Father Marcel H. Bouchard; Deacon Frank Fantasia; Msgr. Daniel F. Hoye; the bishop; Deacon Thomas P. Palanza; Father Thibault; and Father Edward J. Healey. (Photo by Judy Warren)
the One God, and their devotion to submitting themselves completely to His will. In his recent talk in Assisi, Archbishop Muller said Christians enter into dialogue with members of other religions precisely because of the respect Christianity has for “the natural religious sensibility” and the intellectual desire for truth that all human beings share. The human person is religious by nature, the archbishop said; all people, at some time in their lives, wonder about the creation of the world and their place in it, and — particularly in times of trial — seek solace from some form of providential being or power. In addition, he said, the human intellect naturally tries to seek truth. In dialogue, he said, Christians must recognize the challenge of taking the search for truth seriously. Too many people, Archbishop Muller said, seek comfort from their vague religiosity without feeling obliged to act on the truths that faith and reason require. The Catholic Church’s commitment to interreligious dialogue and its affirmation of things that are good and holy in other religions does not mean the Church looks upon the world’s religions with rose-colored glasses. In an essay published the eve of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict XVI wrote about the ongoing importance of “Nostra Aetate” for Catholics in increasingly multireligious societies. “A weakness of this other-
wise extraordinary text has gradually emerged: It speaks of religion solely in a positive way and it disregards the sick and distorted forms of religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance,” and which explain why Christians for centuries had been mostly critical of other religions. Archbishop Muller, in his Assisi speech, said that “to respect the religious conscience of humanity, in fact, does not mean forgetting that historical religions also present obstacles, as well as sick and disturbed forms of religion.” “In a religion that gives prevalence, in an unquestioning way, to the letter of its texts and does not leave room” for questions that seek deeper understanding, the value of the individual conscience is diminished, he said. And where a religion is imposed, violently or not, personal dignity is wounded. Recognition that faith is a gift of God and that Christianity is based on a freely chosen, personal relationship with Christ excludes any attempt by Christians to pressure or coerce another to embrace Christianity, Archbishop Muller said. However, because dialogue presumes that participants, in an atmosphere of respect for others, are sharing who they are and what they believe, he said, interreligious dialogue can “create a context where it also is possible to witness to faith in Jesus Christ.” “It would be lying,” he said, to hide one’s faith in Jesus “in the name of a ‘politically correct’ dialogue.”
40 Days for Life concludes fall campaign continued from page one
day. The first 40 Days for Life was conducted in College Station, Texas in 2004. Reports from previous campaigns document 5,928 lives that have been spared from abortion, 69 abortion workers have quit their jobs and 24 clinics have closed their doors. This fall marked the 11th nationally-coordinated campaign. Vigils were held at 316 locations in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Spain and — for the first time — Uganda. Five Massachusetts locations — Attleboro, Haverhill, Lynn, Springfield and Worcester — participated. As of press time, 559 babies had been saved this fall. The Attleboro vigil began in fall 2008, and the most recent campaign, held from September 26 to November 4, is the ninth. Marcotte said that Pro-Life concerns related to the 2012 election have brought new participants to 40 Days. Particularly, Question 2 to legalize physician-assisted suicide has raised Pro-Life awareness. Each 40 Days campaign brings new and familiar faces, he said. The vigilers gather at Angel Park, located between divided state highway Route 118 and across the street from the clinic. The location is far from the clinic doors, which makes confirming a life saved difficult. The campaign’s coordinators do not get too wrapped up in the numbers. “The campaign is based on faith, prayer and trust,” Marcotte said. That said, saves have been documented and other fruits have
been made visible. The campaign continues to raise awareness about the location of the abortion clinic. Each campaign informs someone new about the clinic, and many of those people become involved. An increasing number of drivers acknowledge appreciation for those praying. The supporters now outnumber detractors four to one, Larose said. The campaign is also partially responsible for the founding of Abundant Hope Pregnancy Resource Center in Attleboro, which serves women in crisis pregnancies for no charge. Individual and group participation has steadily increased. More parishes commit to full days of prayer than ever before. In addition, email updates now find their way to more than 400 inboxes, Larose said. The involvement of young people has also grown. More and more youth have participated in each local campaign, and the numbers were greatly enhanced by the Diocese of Fall River’s first Pro-Life Boot Camp, held July 2011. “We are seeing more and more people involved,” Larose said, adding that the effects are certainly greater than what the eye can see. Even when the positive effects of the spiritual campaign are not visible, the coordinators know intangible effects exist. “The steps are small, but we are in it for the duration. It’s what ProLifers have always done,” he said. “We never get discouraged.” For more information, visit www.40daysforlife.com/attleboro.
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November 9, 2012
Giving a spiritual ‘bouquet’
’ve devoted a number of week. We can utilize the Sacracolumns over the last dozen ments almost at will. And most years to thanking our military of us don’t even give it a second veterans for their being a vital thought. It’s like breathing. cog in the machine that is the But it’s far different for our United States of America. troops. The Frontline Faith We non-veteran citizens can Project is doing something about never fully repay these fine men it. They have produced an MP3 and women for what they have player containing a presentation done for us. by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, But this Veteran’s Day, I’d like and examination of conscience, to concentrate on those men and a recording of a Mass celebrated women veterans who are still in by Military Archbishop Timothy active duty, keeping us safe and Broglio, a recitation of the Roprotected, no matter what one’s sary, and religious music. political affiliation is. And while we can never fully repay these fine folks either, we can make a difference in their lives ... a difference that is more valuable than By Dave Jolivet gold. On page four of this week’s Anchor is a story of a group called FrontThe hope is to send out 6,000 line Faith Project. What these of these MP3 players to soldiers remarkable people are doing is across the globe ... at no cost to bringing the Church community them. To date nearly 2,500 have to those in parts of the world been sent. where Christianity is frowned The idea has gone over very upon, even considered evil. well so far. Since 2010 more While our troops have been than 30,000 players have been steadily streaming out of Iraq, distributed. Protestant chaplains there are still U.S. soldiers there have asked for a non-denominaand in Afghanistan, where they tional version, which has been must remain vigilant against an produced. enemy they can’t often identify. Most of us will never know the We may not be officially at war, spiritual desert these soldiers feel. but these men and women can’t This can help immensely. One really see the difference. chaplain was quoted as saying Many of our men and women the MP3 player was, “The best don’t have access to a Cathoweapon they’ve ever had.” lic chaplain, or a chaplain of Christmas is coming, and any faith for that matter. Some many of us will take part in a gift haven’t seen one in more than exchange or Secret Santa type nine months. of ritual. Why can’t we include I dare say that you and I can’t our troops in this? Why can’t we even fathom what that is like. provide them with a spiritual care Most of us can pop into a church package? just about any time we like. We The cost to send an MP3 can attend Mass any day of the player to a soldier is $24. I’m go-
My View From the Stands
This week in
ing to include this in my Christmas giving list. I’m shamelessly asking others to do the same. To send one of our brave men and women a spiritual “bouquet” of sorts, visit www. frontlinefaithproject.org to make a donation. And I’m not waiting until Christmas. There’s really no reason to wait. It’s too important. Along the lines of not giving something a second thought, Hurricane Sandy made many of us sit up and realize what we have, and what we should be thankful for. I hope that people will also remember and help the people devastated by this killer storm. But not just the ones shown on the national news, like the folks on Wall Street and those with million-dollar homes on the beach. There are those whose stories will never be told and who will never recover from this tragedy ... the folks in Haiti and Cuba who get hit several times a year and have not yet recovered from one storm when another comes along. And the folks in N.Y., N.J., Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Appalachians who don’t have milliondollar homes, or insurance, or TV exposure. They, too, need our prayers and our generosity. It’s up to us to remember and help the “little guys” too. Lend a hand in the collection basket if one comes your way. I know this column sounds a little “preachy,” but sometimes a preachy sermon is good for all. We’ll soon be enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas. Others won’t. Lastly, I’d like to wish my son David a happy 16th birthday. It still hurts not having you with us, dude. But it’s a comfort to keep your memory alive.
50 years ago — Members of the New Bedford area Catholic Youth Organization marked the close of Catholic Youth Week with a holy hour at St. Anthony of Padua Church in New Bedford.
10 years ago — Sister Anna Marie Kane, S.S.J., a Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield, was named Retreat Ministry Coordinator at La Salette Shrine’s Center for Christian Living in Attleboro.
25 years ago — Hundreds of PolishAmericans gathered at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River to celebrate Polish Heritage Month with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel A. Cronin.
One year ago — Bishop George W. Coleman, along with other bishops from New England, traveled to Rome for his second ad limina visit with the Vatican. The visits are regularly required of every diocesan bishop and apostolic vicar and include consultations with appropriate Vatican officials and an audience with the Holy Father.
November 9, 2012
parish nurses. We hope to have special days that folks can experience breakout sessions and discuss what is near to them.” She added that lay people have a crucial role in helping out parish pastors and priests. “So many of our priests have administrative worries that take up a lot of time,” she said. “Our hope is to be of help to them to let them minister to people. We’re all people of God. We have to step in to help and be on fire with the message.” Gannon feels the living room is the perfect setting for providing a comfortable and cozy environment for people to pray and dialogue together. “Everyone is welcome to the Living Room Dialogues,” she
added. The next session is scheduled for November 12 at 7 p.m. at 157 Stevenson Street in New Bedford. Moderators will be Michael and Kathy Sites of St. Rita’s Parish in Marion and St. Anthony’s Parish in Mattapoisett, and the pastor, Father Paul Caron. “We hope in the future to have ‘Roncalli on the Road,’ at other homes and also to host retreats and other special days,” said Gannon. For updates on the Roncalli Center and future Living Room Dialogues, visit roncallicenter. org, where Gannon and others will post blogs about past dialogues. You can also visit the center on Facebook and Twitter.
dishes and dialogue — Fifteen area faithful attended the inaugural Living Room Dialogue session hosted by the Roncalli Center recently in New Bedford. The gatherings hope to keep alive the mission that came forth from the Second Vatican Council. (Photos courtesy of Denise Morency Gannon)
In Spirit of Vatican II, area faithful hold Living Room Dialogues to fan the flames of the faith By Dave Jolivet, Editor
NEW BEDFORD — Fifty years ago the Catholic Church fathers, under the guidance of Pope John XXIII, who was prompted by the Holy Spirit, met to fan into flames the spark of the Spirit to breathe new life into Christ’s Church on earth. Those who attended the sessions of Vatican II engaged in dialogue, prayer and participation, all with the hope of better leading Christ’s flock through the 20th century and beyond. From those discussions came a number of important decrees and documents that still guide Catholic faithful today, five decades later. One of the offshoots of those writings was the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” Pope Benedict XVI recently ushered in a Year of Faith for all Catholics, asking them to look further into and understand better the fruits of Vatican II and the “Catechism.” Heeding the call of the Holy Father, Denise Morency Gannon a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford, recently acted on an idea she’s been cultivating for nearly 20 years. With the help of Holy Cross Father Tom Gaughan, Gannon initiated the Roncalli Center. Named for Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (Blessed Pope John XXIII), the endeavor has as its main thrust to “revisit what the Second Vatican Council envisioned.” Through Living Room Dialogues, participants will join their voices to the dialogues in the faith tradition of the early Church. “I believe, and I’m not alone, that people will only be full, active and conscious participants in anything when they feel their voice and
opinions are taken seriously and add weight to the conversation and its outcomes,” said Gannon. “In these turbulent times and with so many issues resting on how we think as a Christian community, Living Room Dialogues create an opportunity for open discussion and action within an environment of Christian prayer and hospitality.” The Roncalli Center’s first LRD took place at Gannon’s home on October 11 with 15 people, ranging in ages from 25 to 70, and from various backgrounds and occupations. Father Gaughan was the moderator. Father Gaughan is a New Bedford native and a Bishop Stang graduate. He is currently on sabbatical from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. One of his specialties is preaching, having received a doctorate of Ministry in Preaching from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. At the inaugural LRD, “Father Tom posed a question based on what prompted Pope John XXIII to call a council three months into his papacy,” Gannon said. “He asked, ‘Do we invoke the Holy Spirit when we pray?’” “The resulting conversations were lively and the evening ended with the question, ‘Where do we go from here?’” Gannon told The Anchor. Gannon said it’s good that ordained people and lay people alike go back and discuss what came out of the Vatican II sessions, decrees and documents. “It’s been 50 years,” she said. “People change, cultures change, and many of the voices of Vatican II have died over the years. But their message continues. It’s a passing of the torch to newer generations. The questions
we have to ask are, ‘How do we carry it on?’ The documents are alive and well, we just have to figure out where do we go from here.” Gannon added that people of her generation experienced and grew up with the freshness of Vatican II, but to the millennials and generation Xers, it’s history. Some younger people say they don’t see what Vatican II was all about. But what they don’t know is that they’re living it in the Masses they go to, the social services they perform, the Scriptures they read, and so on. “Some people got lazy after Vatican II,” Gannon told The Anchor. “We were supposed to pass the faith on to our children, but instead some held the opinion that they would let their children decide what to do with their faith when they got older. In many cases, the children did nothing with the faith.” Gannon hopes the LRDs can fan the spark back into a flame by reaching out to those Catholics who have lost the faith or never had it. “At the end of our Masses, we’re told to go out and spread the Good News,” she said. “The need for God never goes away. We are all wired for God, so we have to bring Him to others. It’s part of the our mission presented by the Second Vatican Council.” Gannon hopes future LRDs can be moderated by different people. “Father Tom is with us until January, but he will still be involved as a moderator at times, but also as a chaplain,” explained Gannon. “We hope, in the future to have special topics for people to discuss, like liturgical music, preaching, readers at Mass, parish hospitality, and
taking their faith seriously — These two younger members of the Church attended the first Living Room Dialogue session held recently in New Bedford. Millennials and generation Xers didn’t experience Vatican II as it happened, but are part of its mission 50 years later.
This Message Sponsored by the Following Business Concern in the Diocese of Fall River Gilbert C. Oliveira Insurance Agency
hawaiian celebration — Students at Holy Family-Holy Name School in New Bedford recently attended a prayer service with a PowerPoint presentation on the life of St. Damien. Father Paul Zaconie SS.CC., blessed the students with a first-class relic of St. Damien. Pictured with Father Zaconie is Sister Muriel Ann, SS.CC., the St. Damien Honor Guard, and the girls who presented symbolic gifts during the ceremony.
November 9, 2012
by the book — Kindergarten students at St. Mary’s School in Mansfield attend their weekly library session where they participate in activities, read books aloud and check seasonal books out to bring home for the week.
pumpkin patches — The fifth-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton recently assisted preschoolers in the construction and painting of papier-mâché pumpkins.
music makers — The St. Pius X South Yarmouth Marching Band, led by Roger Gamache and represented by fourth- and fifth-grade students, recently participated in the town’s Seaside Festival Parade.
community prayer — Students, faculty and family members of St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro recently attended a school Mass celebrated by Father Richard Wilson.
model citizen — Bishop Feehan High School Attleboro senior Andrea Luongo was named this year’s recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award. These awards are given to outstanding high school seniors for their contributions to their communities and schools. Luongo was chosen for this award by demonstrating qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism.
November 9, 2012
oes guilt weigh you down to the point it “paralyzes” you? Some of us live day to day with a burden of guilt that consumes our every thought and action. Whether it’s because of failing someone or even yourself, we need to shake off that guilt, pick ourselves up and continue on our way. Working in ministry I have recognized that young people are always excited about doing new things. There’s a renewed energy about them when they accept a new challenge. One thing I try to share with them as they begin work on their new task is that they will encounter some obstacles and what they need to overcome them. These apparent roadblocks can be discouraging and often prevent youth from completing their challenge. The question I pose to them is, “What paralyzes you from completing your goal?” Let’s
Pick up your mat
take a look at the Gospel of “Your sins are forgiven,” or to Luke 5:17-25 for the answer. say, “Rise and walk”? But that “One day Jesus was teachyou may know that the Son of ing and the power of the Lord Man has authority on earth to was with Him for healing. forgive sins’ — He said to the And some men brought on a man who was paralyzed, ‘I say mat a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in His presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up By Ozzie Pacheco on the roof and lowered him on the mat through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. to you, rise, pick up your mat, When He saw their faith, He and go home.’ He stood up imsaid, “‘As for you, your sins mediately before them, picked are forgiven.’ Then the scribes up what he had been lying on, and Pharisees began to ask and went home, glorifying themselves, ‘Who is this Who God.” speaks blasphemies? Who but You need to understand two God alone can forgive sins?’ things in this Gospel event. Jesus knew their thoughts and First, the paralyzed man must said to them in reply, ‘What have believed that Jesus could are you thinking in your heal him (that’s the kind of hearts? Which is easier, to say, faith we all need). Second, in
Be Not Afraid
Jesus’ view, the man’s main problem was not his paralysis, but a broken relationship with God. Jesus forgives his sins. And He could have stopped it there, for that was all the man really needed. But, Jesus went on and healed the man’s body. Isn’t it often true that the guilt that paralyzes us is our own sins? How can we possibly pick up our mat and walk when we are so heavily burdened? I believe Jesus’ intention is to heal the soul, first. Then, with a renewed spirit and energy our bodies become stronger and then we can continue our way to the finish line. What guilt paralyzes you today? Are you content with having more knowledge, but guilty of having less judgment? Are you satisfied with all your possessions, but guilty of how your
values have reduced? Do you pride yourself on lots of talk, but are guilty of loving too seldom and hating too often? Are you happy about your leisure, but guilty of having less fun? Do you enjoy more kinds of food, but guilty because it gives you less nutrition? Are you happy that you have a big fancy house, but guilty of a broken home? Have faith and listen to Jesus. Allow Him to heal you of your paralysis. God’s generous grace can direct you to “pick up your mat” of worries, repent of your sins, guilt and everything else that paralyzes you so that you can get on with your life and reach the finish line. If you do this, you’ll notice that the mat you now carry will be one of loving forgiveness, hope and peace. Pick up your mat and glorify God. God bless! Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.
Cardinal Bergoglio tells children to encounter Christ through reading the Gospel
rosary rally — During October, the month of the Rosary, the third-graders at Holy Name School in Fall River assembled booklets that portray the five events in each of the mysteries of the Rosary. The booklets were used in their daily prayer. Here Greg Bettencourt, Holy Name’s Middle School Religion teacher, speaks to students.
Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNA/EWTN News) — Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires told thousands of children gathered in the Argentinean capital to “encounter Jesus” in the poor, Holy Communion and in the frequent reading of the Gospel. Cardinal Bergoglio recently celebrated the traditional Archdiocesan Mass for Children at the Parque Roca Stadium in Buenos Aires. During his homily, he encouraged children to “seek after Jesus” and to find Him by “opening your hearts,” par-
ticipating in the Sacrament of Holy Communion and seeing Him in those in need. “Who told us that we can find Jesus in those most in need?” the cardinal asked. “Mother Teresa,” the children shouted in response. “And what did Mother Teresa have in her arms? A crucifix? No. A child in need. So, we can find Jesus in each person who is in need,” he said. After noting that very few children raised their hands when asked if they read the Gospel, Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged the children to say to their priests,
“Father, teach me the Gospel.” He also reminded them that the strength for encountering Jesus “is in the family, in mom and dad.” The cardinal then invited the children to stand up and give “a big round of applause to the Virgin Mary.” At the conclusion of the Mass, Cardinal Bergoglio thanked the children for attending and those who made the Mass possible, as well as catechists and parents. He also expressed gratitude to Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Garcia of Buenos Aires, who has helped organize the Mass for 25 years.
having a costume ball — The faculty, staff and students of St. James-St. John School in New Bedford recently celebrated Halloween with a parade and party.
November 9, 2012
Acushnet parish launches YOF series
West Yarmouth woman attends historic Synod of Bishops
ruch. “You don’t pay attention to what you’re saying anymore.” The pope wants us to look and pay attention. She made a note of the lingering scent of incense left over from Benediction that was wafting through the church, saying things like incense “should remind us of God and that our prayers will rise up to Heaven.” Adding that the pope picked the Year of Faith to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Council, she challenged those in attendance to list what the universal theme of the council was when it convened 50 years ago: “A universal call to holiness,” she said. There wasn’t just one group of people in the Church addressed, it was laity, priests, religious; “It was everyone,” she said. “That is what our Holy Father wants to bring us to again, that we can look at our faith and because of that, become holier. We have to convert. We have to change our hearts. We have to become holier and better people.” In order to move forward, one must look back at what the council asked us to do, she said, breaking down what she felt were the four main constitutions. In no specific order, she started with “Divine Revelation,” and explored how God would reveal Himself — “pull back the veil” — and create personal connections and help people understand Him more. “The Old Testament was a cycle” of people who loved Him, and then years would pass and people would “forget about Him.” Then people would worship again, and then stray again. When He finally sent His Son, “God became flesh” and offered a personal interaction with Him. “In all this preparation, what God is doing is revealing Himself and asking for a response,” said Sister Paruch. “The revelation was a response of faith. To have a response, Jesus gave us His mother; she’s the ultimate model of the revelation and response of faith” when the angel revealed to her that she would carry the Son of God, and she said yes. The second constitution is the Liturgy, made more accessible by the council, and has made Mass
“The thrust of the synod during this Year of Faith was to gather together the conference of bishops from each country at the Vatican to discuss issues they are most concerned about,” Meehan said. “That was our theme and what we were to work on.” Meehan said she was honored and humbled to be in the presence of the 261 bishops, archbishops and cardinals who met with the Holy Father to discuss and examine timely issues that are crucial to the Church. “I just kept saying to myself: ‘How did you get here?’” she said. “But it was a thrill to personally experience what a beautiful Church I belong to. All of these people care about us and want us to meet our God in eternal life. It’s amazing how they approach everything so systemically and so organized. It was just an incredible experience.” While Meehan is not at liberty to reveal specifics that were discussed during the three-week synod — key material that will be formally released and published by the Vatican at a later date — she said she was involved in several smaller sessions and was able to make some formal presentations before the synod when asked for her input. “We were basically there as observers, however we could do a presentation that was four minutes or less if there was deemed to be enough time by the moderators,” she said. “Not everyone was able to make a presentation, but all of them are going to be published.” Meehan was also involved in one of 12 smaller groups — divided by vernacular language — during which she was able to offer her input on certain issues. “I did have an opportunity to speak a couple of times and I was asked for some input as well,” she said. During her three-week stay Meehan said they worked essentially six days a week, with most of those spent inside the elaborate synod hall at the Vatican. “The synod hall is a huge amphitheater that holds approximately 300 people,” she said. “Every person who received an invitation and said they were coming was given a seat assignment. The bishops and the cardinals sat in one section. They had roll call everyday and they had an electronic device that they pressed during roll call. If they had to give you information during the synod, they would know where you were sitting and could get it to you. It was very well organized and there were seminarians serving as helpers. “In the lobby of the synod hall
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“participation important.” Everything that happens in the Liturgy shows God is speaking to us, “and that everything we say in the Liturgy is a Creed,” she said. When we take Holy Communion and say, “Amen,” we believe it. “We have to take the Liturgy seriously, know we are participating and mean what we say,” said Sister Paruch. The third constitution is focused on the Church, “our Mother, our teacher.” We accept and love the Church for what she is, even if she may have “warts and wrinkles,” she said. “We all sin. The Church is still Divine, it’s the people who have messed up.” She acknowledged that the Church is far from perfect and has survived for 2,000 years; that while a few horrible priests may have tarnished its reputation, they haven’t driven the Church’s message into the ground. “We don’t have to be defensive of the Church, but to love the Church enough to be able to explain things to people,” she said. “There are sinners in the Church, but there are sinners everywhere. We still have to respect the priests and pray for priests and vocations. The Church is what keeps us united as a body.” The fourth constitution she focused on was the Church of the Modern World. We should never pull what we want from the Bible to fit in our context of life. She told a story about a professor who quoted from Scripture, “Judas went and hung himself.” The professor then went on to quote another passage, “Go and do the same.” Both are in the Scripture, “but when you pull them out of context,” you can see what happens. “If you don’t know the context, you’re missing the point,” she said. Catholics cannot give up or get discouraged. The Year of Faith is an opportunity to embrace not just your faith, but be a living witness to those around you. It’s what the pope wants and what God wants Sister Paruch told her listeners. “It’s all about Jesus in the end,” said Sister Paruch. “Be ready to give reasons for our faith, be gentle with people and be reverent. God will give us the grace to persevere.”
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there was a Vatican post office and a whole wall of what they called pigeon holes and we each had a mailbox there,” she said. “We were told to check the mailbox several times a day because a lot of information would go there. There was also a Vatican bank and an area where we had refreshments along with computers for people to access the Internet. Only Vatican reporters and photographers were allowed inside the building and they also had access to the Vatican library there.” Since Pope Benedict XVI attended the synod on a daily basis, Meehan said security was “extremely tight.” The synod convened every morning from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., then resumed from 4:30 to 7 p.m. each night, with time earmarked in between for lunch and for smaller group sessions. At the start of each day, Meehan was given written reports of the previous day’s discussions, translated into English and placed inside her personal mailbox outside the synod hall. At night, Meehan said they would have dinner between 8 and 9 p.m. and would often attend other special events such as movie screenings or receptions. “Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York invited all of us from the United States to a reception one night,” Meehan said. “He’s a very confident person. He’s very personable, very caring and was just a delight to meet. He just made everyone feel very comfortable being there and he made an effort to speak to everyone.” Meehan also attended a huge outdoor celebration in St. Peter’s Square one night at the invitation of the president for a group called Italians for Catholic Action. “They had a vigil marching with candles and the whole square was lit up,” she said. “The pope came out to his window and dropped his beautiful tapestry in front of him and spoke to them.” Her one regret from the trip was not being able to attend all of the special events and receptions. “There was just about something to attend every night,” she said. Meehan was also privileged to attend three Masses celebrated by the pope during her stay in Rome. The first was the opening Mass for the synod, celebrated on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, during which St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen were elevated as doctors of the Church. “I also attended the Mass for the canonization of the new saints,” she said. “It was absolutely wonderful when it came
time to canonize St. Marianne Cope. As you know, she worked with the lepers along with St. Damien (in Hawaii) and when the bishop finished reading her bio, he called her a ‘great Catholic nurse’ and I almost jumped up and yelled ‘hallelujah.’ Catholic nurses never get that kind of recognition and I was sitting there and just wanted to cry. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard. It was such an honor to be there to hear those words.” Meehan also attended the closing Mass of the synod and said it was very moving to see the bishops and cardinals, all dressed in green with white miters as they filed in for the Liturgy. She also attended an invitational lunch with Pope Benedict XVI. “We had lunch in the synod hall where the pope has large audiences,” Meehan said. “They set up this beautiful dining area for about 300 people. I sat next to Philippine Archbishop Luis Tagle of Manila and before we left they announced him as one of the new cardinals appointed by the pope.” In one of her smaller groups, Meehan also met and worked with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai, who visited the Fall River Diocese last year and was also named a new cardinal during the synod. “I congratulated him and when he was coming back I stopped him and had to apologize for not calling him ‘your eminence,’” she said. “They had to keep it a secret — there were a lot of secrets there; we all had to keep quiet.” Meehan said the entire experience was uplifting and encouraging and she left with a renewed sense of affection for her Church and those chosen by God to lead it. “Everything was so efficient and it was such an honor to applaud the pope every time he entered the room,” she said. “The pope must have been exhausted, but he never showed any signs of being tired. He’s very intense — he was reading every word in every single paper that was being presented. We need to continue to pray for the pope and our bishops as they guide us through our struggles. They are working hard to strengthen and enrich our faith.” And in this Year of Faith, Meehan said evangelization and catechesis remain two key topics the bishops kept emphasizing. “Catechesis doesn’t end with Confirmation and we need to have more structure in adult education in the Church,” she said. “We need to evangelize, but we need to evangelize ourselves, too.”
November 9, 2012
Eucharistic Adoration in the Diocese
Acushnet — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Evening prayer and Benediction is held Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ATTLEBORO — The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette holds Eucharistic Adoration in the Shrine Church every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. through November 17. Brewster — Eucharistic Adoration takes place in the La Salette Chapel in the lower level of Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road, on First Fridays beginning at noon until 7:45 a.m. First Saturday, concluding with Benediction and concluding with Mass at 8 a.m. buzzards Bay — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Margaret Church, 141 Main Street, every first Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass and ending the following day before the 8 a.m. Mass. East Freetown — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. John Neumann Church every Monday (excluding legal holidays) 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady, Mother of All Nations Chapel. (The base of the bell tower). East Sandwich — The Corpus Christi Parish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 324 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich. Use the Chapel entrance on the side of the church. EAST TAUNTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place in the chapel at Holy Family Parish Center, 438 Middleboro Avenue, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On First Fridays, Eucharistic Adoration takes place at Holy Family Church, 370 Middleboro Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. until 7:45 p.m. FAIRHAVEN — St. Mary’s Church, Main St., has Eucharistic Adoration every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Chapel of Reconciliation, with Benediction at noon. Also, there is a First Friday Mass each month at 7 p.m., followed by a Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration. Refreshments follow. Fall River — Espirito Santo Parish, 311 Alden Street, Fall River. Eucharistic Adoration on Mondays following the 8 a.m. Mass until Rosary and Benediction at 6:30 p.m. FALL RIVER — St. Bernadette’s Church, 529 Eastern Ave., has Eucharistic Adoration on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the chapel. FALL RIVER — St. Anthony of the Desert Church, 300 North Eastern Avenue, has Eucharistic Adoration Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. FALL RIVER — Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover Street, has Eucharistic Adoration Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Our Lady of Grace Chapel. FALL RIVER — Good Shepherd Parish has Eucharistic Adoration every Friday following the 8 a.m. Mass until 6 p.m. in the Daily Mass Chapel. There is a bilingual Holy Hour in English and Portuguese from 5-6 p.m. Park behind the church and enter the back door of the connector between the church and the rectory. Falmouth — St. Patrick’s Church has Eucharistic Adoration each First Friday, following the 9 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 4:30 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. HYANNIS — A Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration will take place each First Friday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 347 South Street, beginning immediately after the 12:10 p.m. Mass and ending with Adoration at 4 p.m. MASHPEE — Christ the King Parish, Route 151 and Job’s Fishing Road has 8:30 a.m. Mass every First Friday with special intentions for Respect Life, followed by 24 hours of Eucharistic Adoration in the Chapel, concluding with Benediction Saturday morning followed immediately by an 8:30 Mass. NEW BEDFORD — Eucharistic Adoration takes place 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 233 County Street, with night prayer and Benediction at 8:45 p.m., and Confessions offered during the evening. Please use the side entrance. NEW BEDFORD — There is a daily holy hour from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue. It includes Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the Rosary, and the opportunity for Confession. NEW BEDFORD — St. Lawrence Martyr Parish, 565 County Street, holds Eucharistic Adoration in the side chapel every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. NORTH DARTMOUTH — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Julie Billiart Church, 494 Slocum Road, every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m., ending with Benediction. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at this time. NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every First Friday at St. Nicholas of Myra Church, 499 Spring Street following the 8 a.m. Mass, ending with Benediction at 6 p.m. The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 8 a.m. OSTERVILLE — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 76 Wianno Avenue on First Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. SEEKONK — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish has Eucharistic Adoration seven days a week, 24 hours a day in the chapel at 984 Taunton Avenue. For information call 508-336-5549. Taunton — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every Tuesday at St. Anthony Church, 126 School Street, following the 8 a.m. Mass with prayers including the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for vocations, concluding at 6 p.m. with Chaplet of St. Anthony and Benediction. Recitation of the Rosary for peace is prayed Monday through Saturday at 7:30 a.m. prior to the 8 a.m. Mass. taunton — Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament takes place every First Friday at Annunciation of the Lord, 31 First Street. Expostition begins following the 8 a.m. Mass. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed, and Adoration will continue throughout the day. Confessions are heard from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Rosary and Benediction begin at 6:30 p.m. WAREHAM — Every First Friday, Eucharistic Adoration takes place from 8:30 a.m. through Benediction at 5:30 p.m. Morning prayer is prayed at 9; the Angelus at noon; the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m.; and Evening Prayer at 5 p.m. WEST HARWICH — Our Lady of Life Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Trinity Parish, 246 Main Street (Rte. 28), holds perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. We are a regional chapel serving all of the surrounding parishes. All from other parishes are invited to sign up to cover open hours. For open hours, or to sign up call 508-430-4716. WOODS HOLE — Eucharistic Adoration takes place at St. Joseph’s Church, 33 Millfield Street, year-round on weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No Adoration on Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. For information call 508-274-5435.
The Anchor Supreme Court declines to hear ‘personhood’ law case
WASHINGTON (CNS) — An Oklahoma ruling that stopped an attempt to amend the state constitution to define “personhood” in order to ban abortion will stand, after the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal. Without comment, the court rejected an appeal of the state Supreme Court’s order last spring that stopped a citizens’ initiative to put the Oklahoma Personhood Initiative on the November ballot. The initiative would have amended the state constitution to define a person as “any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death.” The organization Personhood Now, which promoted the measure, said on its website that the intention of the initiative was to make all abortions illegal. “The aim of state and federal personhood amendment is different from measures that try to regulate abortion such as waiting periods or parental consent bills,” the site said. “Personhood confronts abortion head on and says, ‘Stop it now!’ Personhood calls it like is: Every human being is a person, and you should never intentionally take the life of an innocent person.” The state court stopped the effort to put the measure on the ballot, ruling that it was an unconstitutional attempt to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings legalizing abortion. In a press release from Liberty Counsel, the law firm representing the personhood campaign, chairman Mat Staver said the court’s refusal to take the case “has no precedential value.”
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, CSC, 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 Nov. 16 Rev. John Brady, Former Pastor, Sandwich, New Bedford, Wareham, 1856
Around the Diocese 11/9
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish is holding its annual Holiday Fair at the church hall, Coyle Drive off Route 152 in Seekonk, today from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Raffles will include chances to win an HDTV, Apple iPad, famous “Baskets Galore,” and more. There will be hand-knitted items, jewelry, Christmas items, almost-new items, toys, and more! Home-baked goods and fudge, candy, and meat pies will also be available and Louise’s Cafe both days.
The Corpus Christi Parish Women’s Guild will host its annual Gifts Galore and More shopping event tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the parish center, 324 Quaker Meeting House Road in East Sandwich. The event will feature a variety of handmade crafts for sale, gift baskets, crocheted items, delicious baked goods and other homemade foods. The Guild Café will be open for coffee in the morning and a delicious lunch in the afternoon.
On Sunday the Holy Trinity Women’s Guild will be hosting a spectacular Fall Penny Sale at 1 p.m. in the Holy Trinity Church basement, 951 Stafford Road in Fall River. Admission is $1, which entitles you to 100 prizes on the grand table. Additional raffles will be offered for larger prizes including bicycles, food baskets, appliances, and more. Door prizes are free to participants in attendance. A luncheon menu will also be available including chow mein sandwiches, hot dogs, chouriço and peppers and an abundance of delicious pastries.
The next meeting of the Catholic Cancer Support Group will be held at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville on November 13 beginning with Mass and anointing of the sick at 6 p.m. in the church. Following Mass, the group will go the Faith Formation Center, Room M-1, where Dr. Molly Sullivan, a radiation oncologist at Cape Cod Hospital and a parishioner at Our Lady of Victory, will speak to the group. The group is faith-based, but all are welcome — cancer patients, survivors, family members and friends. Reservations are not needed. For more information call Mary Lees at 508-771-1106 or email email@example.com.
On November 14 legal staff from Catholic Social Services will assist with the N400 Application for Naturalization and provide information about the process of becoming a U.S. Citizen. The Naturalization Workshop will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 230 Bonney Street in New Bedford. For more information contact Alanna Keane at 508-674-4681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Healing Mass will be held November 15 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford. The Mass will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include Benediction and healing prayers. At 5:15 p.m. there will be a holy hour including the Rosary. For location or more information visit www.saintanthonynewbedford.com, or call 508993-1691.
St. Jude the Apostle Parish will be having its annual Penny Sale at the Church Hall, 249 Whittenton Street in Taunton, on November 17 beginning at 6 p.m., with doors open at 5 p.m. In addition to three regular series, there will be specials, roll-ups, refreshments, a raffle on 15 turkey dinner baskets, and a money raffle with a $1,000 first prize.
On November 18 St. Joseph-St. Therese Parish, Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford (across from Brooklawn Park), will host its seventh annual Craft/Vendor Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information call 508-9955235. An open house for prospective students will be held on November 18 at 1 p.m. at Bishop Connolly High School, 373 Elsbree Street in Fall River. All prospective students and their families are encouraged to attend this informative event. Students interested in the innovative eighth grade LEAP program for gifted students are also encouraged to attend. The placement exam will be held on December 1 at 8 a.m. For more information call 508-676-1071.
Courage, a welcoming support group for people wounded by same-sex attraction, will next meet on November 28 at 9 a.m. Please call Father Richard Wilson at 508-226-1115 for location and more information.
The placement exam for Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth is scheduled for either December 1 or December 8 beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 11:30 a.m. There is no pre-registration, and the testing fee is $20 payable the morning of the exam. The 10 students who take the placement exam at Bishop Stang and receive the highest scores will receive $1,000 each toward their freshman year tuition. The five students who take the placement exam at Bishop Stang and receive the highest scores on the exam will receive free new textbooks for their freshman year at Bishop Stang. For more information call 508-996-5602 extension 424.
The Catholic Women’s Club of Christ the King Parish located on The Commons in Mashpee will host its annual Christmas Bazaar on December 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature a boutique of hostess baskets, a greens table, a jewelry table, and a children’s room. For more information call the parish office at 508-477-7700.
On December 13 legal staff from Catholic Social Services will assist with the N400 Application for Naturalization and provide information about the process of becoming a U.S. Citizen. The Naturalization Workshop will be held at the offices of Catholic Social Services, 261 South Street in Hyannis. For more information contact Alanna Keane at 508-674-4681 or email email@example.com.
November 9, 2012
By virtue of Sacrament, Catholic spouses are missionaries, knight says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Sacrament of Matrimony makes Catholic spouses and their families public signs of God’s love and thus missionaries, said the head of the Knights of Columbus. The missionary power of the Catholic family goes beyond any specific commitment they make to a particular project of evangelization or social or political reform, Carl A. Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, told the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. Anderson was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be an observer at the synod, which ended October 28. Synod members asked the Church at large to show greater appreciation for the evangelization that happens in and through families and to increase programs to strengthen Catholic families. “Love, which the family has the task of living and communicating, is the driving force of evangelization,” Anderson told the synod. “It is what allows the proclamation of the Gospel to permeate and transform the whole temporal order. This love alone, when it is authentically lived in families, can be at the basis of a renewal of that genuinely human culture which Blessed John Paul II called a ‘civilization of love.’” Catholic couples need to understand just how seriously the Church views the Sacrament that binds them together, forming them into “an icon of God’s own communion” of love in the Holy Trinity, Anderson said.
Once Catholic families recognize their importance — even before they undertake any kind of outreach project — they can be “a place of healing and of humanity for the men and women of our time,” he said. Anderson also spoke to the synod of the Catholic faith as an agent of reconciliation in a sometimes-hostile cultural environment. Referring to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Anderson told the synod, “Five centuries ago, Mary appeared in our hemisphere during a great clash of civilizations. In her, the native peoples saw a true reflection of themselves and at the same time a perfect expression of a new inculturation of the Christian faith. Her message of reconciliation, unity and love brought forth the great evangelization of an entire hemisphere.” Today, too, he said, there are signs of “a great clash of civilizations made more troubling by an accelerating process of globalization,” so Catholics should invoke Our Lady of Guadalupe to help them renew a process of reconciliation, unity and love. Anderson also spoke about threats to the Church’s freedom in many parts of the world. “Whether these threats arise from a militant religious fundamentalism or a militant atheism,” he said, “the globalization of such threats, and the complicity of many governments with them, call us to a new solidarity in the defense of religious liberty as a condition of the New Evangelization.”
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Published on Nov 13, 2012