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Diocese of Fall River, Mass.

F riday , December 13, 2013

Local program collects record number of coats for needy kids By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff

FALL RIVER — While some kids may light up at the sight of a new video game system or a sparkling new electronic gadget, there are others who cherish the simple things we all take for granted. Diane C. McDonald learned that first-hand last week when she delivered a batch of coats to needy children at a city elementary school. As she handed a coat to a little boy, he clutched it close to his chest. “I can bring this home? This is my coat?” he asked, incredulously. “I told him: ‘Yes, honey, this is your coat,’” McDonald told The Anchor. Informing her that he had been sharing a coat with his brother, he added: “To-

day is Wednesday and my brother has the coat but tomorrow was my day to have it.” After assuring him that the coat was indeed his to keep, he asked for her help to write his name in it. “Stories like that just melt your heart,” McDonald said. “You should have seen the smile on that little boy’s face.” Thanks to the combined efforts of a local St. Vincent de Paul Society, a Knights of Columbus council, and several parishes and diocesan schools this year, hundreds of children will be able to claim a coat of their own this winter as part of the successful Coats for Kids program. Now in its 11th year, the program managed to collect and distribute a record-number of new and used coats durTurn to page 14

Bishop George W. Coleman was the main celebrant of a recent Mass celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, held at the Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel in Dennisport. Deacon John Foley is assisting the bishop. Story on page 20. (Photo by Barbara Foley)

Jesuit priest leads retreat for area faithful serving in parish ministries By Becky Aubut Anchor Staff

From left, Bishop George W. Coleman arrives with his secretary, Father Karl Bissinger, as First Friday Club members Andy Bissinger, Jim Gibney and Kevin Fitzpatrick — donned in top hats and white gloves — greet him during last week’s special Celebration of Priesthood dinner held in the school hall of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. The event was attended by 15 retired and active priests of the Fall River Diocese and was preceded by Mass in the cathedral chapel. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)

Fall River First Friday Club celebrates diocesan priests By Kenneth J. Souza Anchor Staff

FALL RIVER — It began with the formal celebration of the Lord’s Supper inside Our Lady’s Chapel of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River and concluded with a less formal hot meal served inside the school hall across the street. But was what evident throughout the evening was the camaraderie between a group of brother priests from the diocese and the members of the long-running First Friday Club who banded together to celebrate their spiritual fathers. Held on December 6, it was the first

time in the 66-year history of the First Friday Club that no guest speaker was on the agenda; instead, the evening was dedicated to honoring and celebrating the many diocesan priests who have impacted the members’ lives over the years. With 15 active and retired priests present, the night began with a Mass celebrated by Bishop George W. Coleman inside the cozy confines of the cathedral chapel. “Normal protocol would have been to celebrate the Mass in the cathedral and even have an organist because of the Turn to page 19

NEW BEDFORD — Amid the Christmas decorations in the hall of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford, Jesuit Father John Spencer led a retreat that challenged lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, directors of Religious Education and others who serve in their parish ministries to think about how the gift of God’s Son empowers them, how each person defines the Church and offered educational models to keep each person thinking about their Church “identity.” Father Spencer has been a Jesuit for about 50 years and a priest for 35 years, and is currently the director of campus ministry, and vice president at Emmanuel College in Boston. He shared some memories of his time early on in his priesthood, and how the gift of the Son of God, the Christ Child, “empowers us in caring for others as we care for the Child Jesus,” he said. “What does God give us when He gives us His Son? We are Mary; Mary is everything and we have been given this Child. We hold this Child, nurse this Child, bathe the Child; wrap this Child in our arms. We take care of this Child and in taking care of this Child, we become like Mary more and more.” Extending on the thought of how

taking care of the Child Jesus helps those in parish ministry take care of others, he said, “There are different ways of looking at the Church. Theologically, we can say we are all the Church, that the four walls of the building don’t make up the Church, we do.” As he continued with his retreat, Turn to page 15

Jesuit Father John Spencer led a day-long retreat at the hall of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford that was attended by those who serve in parish ministries. (Photo by Becky Aubut)

News From the Vatican


December 13, 2013

Vatican launches new commission for the protection of minors

Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) — Pope Francis recently accepted the proposal for a new commission which will advise him on the protection of children from abuse, as well as how to offer help to those who are already victims. “Accepting a proposal that has been presented by the Council of Cardinals, the Holy Father has decided to establish a very specific commission for the protection of children,” Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap. told journalists in a press conference announcing the new initiative. Cardinal O’Malley is the archbishop of Boston, and is a member of the Council of Eight Cardinals which was formed by Pope Francis earlier this year to advise him on matters of Church reform and governance. “The commission,” noted Cardinal O’Malley, “will be able to advise the Holy Father about the protection of children and the pastoral care for victims of abuse.” “Among the responsibilities of the commission will be to study the present programs in place for protection of children and to come up with suggestions or new initiatives on the part of the curia in collaboration with the bishops and the episcopal conferences.” Cardinal O’Malley emphasized that the goal of the commission is not to take over the role of the individual bishop in determining policies for their dioceses, stating that for this, the “competence

lies with bishops.” Their hope, he expressed, is that the work of the commission will be a “model” for practices which provide an “adequate, pastoral response” to situations of abuse. When asked if the commission would deal directly with situations where there is a lack of accountability on the part of the bishop in reporting cases of abuse in their dioceses, Cardinal O’Malley stated that it is yet to be determined if it will be the commission or the National Bishop’s Conference. Although there is not yet a number for how many will be part of the commission, the cardinal revealed that it will be composed of “international experts” in various fields regarding the protection of minors, including that of psychology. There is no date set for when the commission will officially begin their work, Cardinal O’Malley explained that Pope Francis will soon release a document including new details. This announcement came in the midst of the second set of meetings of the Council of Eight that was held December 3-5 at Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, following an initial meeting held October 1-3. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi affirmed in the press conference that the council’s next set of meetings will also last for three days, and is slated to take place February 17-19 of next year.

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Saints on the colonnade are pictured as the sun sets at the Vatican recently. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Cardinal: For pope, Church reform is spiritual exercise, not a project

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For Pope Francis, the reform of the Catholic Church and its structures “isn’t a project, but an exercise of the Spirit” that will take time, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa. The cardinal, coordinator of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, which is working on the reform of the Roman Curia and advising him on Church governance, spoke about the pope and his approach during a recent book presentation at the Vatican. Other cardinals on the council were in attendance as well for the presentation of Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro’s book, “La Mia Porta ‘E Sempre Aperta” (“My Door is Always Open”), an expanded version of the interview with Pope Francis published in Jesuit periodicals around the world in September. Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga said the title of the book could well be the main theme of Pope Francis’ pontificate. “The theme of open doors is central to the preaching of Pope Francis,” he said, and signifies an attitude of trusting and welcoming others, but also — as far as Church doors go — refers to the pope’s insistence that parishes welcome people in and let the Gospel out into the world. The cardinal said Father Spadaro’s interview and the book, which gives more details about their conversation, explains what the priest found on entering the pope’s house: “First of all, that which he brings as a Jesuit,” including his focus on mission, community and discipline. The pope, he said, “defines his role as being a guardian, like St. Joseph,” watching over the Church “not as a policeman, but as a father.” “A pillar of the pope’s spirituality is discernment,” a frequent topic in the writings of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola and one which aims at a prayerful reading of reality and gathering opinions before making a decision,

the cardinal said. It is an instrument “for knowing the Lord better and following Him more closely.” Jokingly insisting that the Council of Cardinals is not Pope Francis’ “G-8” group, but his “C-8” cardinals, he told the audience that “discernment takes time.” “Many, for example, think changes and reforms can happen quickly” in the Church — “that’s what they’re expecting of us” — but, as the pope told Father Spadaro: “We always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment.” Pope Francis, Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga said, is open and always scanning the horizon, prayerfully considering how he can follow Christ more closely and encourage others to do the same. “In this context, you can understand his reform of the Church, which isn’t a project, but an exercise of the Spirit,” he said. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis’ new secretary of state, also attended the presentation and spoke briefly with reporters afterward about the pope’s reform efforts. “I truly hope that it is a reform of the Spirit,” the archbishop said. “Certainly, the structures need to be reformed to allow greater transparency for the Gospel and to be more efficient in the concrete exercise of the service they are called to give, but it’s important that, as the pope has asked, all of us join in this dimension of personal renewal (and) continual conversion.” With the election of Pope Francis and his teaching over the past eight months, he said he believes Catholics really are hoping that the Gospel will reach all people. “This is beautiful and it is the dominating theme of ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ (the pope’s exhortation, ‘The Joy of the Gospel’). The Gospel is joy and we are called to help the world rejoice by bringing this Good News.”

December 13, 2013

The International Church

South African cardinal says iconic Mandela had rare touch of humanity

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle to replace South Africa’s apartheid regime with a multiracial democracy, died December 5 at his home in Johannesburg. Mandela, 95, became the country’s first black president in 1994. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. One of the world’s most revered statesmen, Mandela had a touch of humanity rarely seen in political leaders, said Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa in an interview with Catholic News Service earlier this year. Cardinal Napier represent-

still imprisoned. The late Archbishop Denis Hurley of Durban told Catholic News Service at the time that he was “astonished” to hear that the notoriously intransigent former President P.W. Botha had approached Mandela to discuss negotiating an end to the armed struggle against apartheid. The negotiations were fraught with difficulties, and Mandela frequently called on the country’s Church leaders to help overcome the deadlocks, Cardinal Napier said. “When there was a problem, Mandela would say exactly how he saw the problem,” he said, noting that the South African leader

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is pictured in a 2008 file photo. The 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero died December 5 at his home in Johannesburg. (CNS photo/Mike Hutchings, Reuters)

ed the South African Catholic Church in discussions between Mandela and Church leaders beginning in 1990, following Mandela’s release after 27 years in prison, until he retired from public life in 2004. Cardinal Napier said he came to treasure Mandela through regular meetings Church leaders had with his African National Congress in the transition from apartheid to democracy. “I always felt we should introduce ourselves to him again, but it was never necessary,” said the cardinal, who was president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 1994. Mandela “remembered names and faces and always gave us a hearty welcome,” he said. “I came to realize that if he had met someone he had no trouble remembering their names or where they were from. To him, people mattered because of who they were, not the position they held,” he said. “That’s what I really treasure about the man.” Negotiations between Mandela and South Africa’s apartheid regime began in 1989 while he was

was a “direct man and it was easy to engage with him.” Mandela’s humility and selfdeprecating sense of humor were other qualities Cardinal Napier said he valued. In February 2001, when Cardinal Napier was inducted into the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II, Mandela was in Mozambique. “He tracked me down to St. Peter’s to congratulate me. He said, ‘Archbishop Napier, how wonderful that you’ve been promoted to this esteemed position and you still have time for all of us back home.’ I called him Mr. Mandela and he said, ‘No, it’s Madiba.’ He wished me luck and asked me to pass on his greetings to everyone there.” Mandela, who was born in 1918 into the Xhosa-speaking Thembu people in a village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, was often called by his clan name ‘Madiba.’ Cardinal Napier recalled a 1991 meeting at retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Cape Town office, where Church leaders and liberation movement leaders were introducing them-

selves to each other. “I could see Mandela quite clearly from where I was seated, and when the Methodist bishop’s turn came to introduce himself Mandela said, ‘That’s my bishop.’ He’s the only political leader I’ve known who’s allowed himself to be defined in terms of his faith, not just in terms of political allegiance,” the cardinal said. After serving one term in office, Mandela became a high-profile ambassador for South Africa and helped with peace negotiations in other African countries. Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 and, three years later, at the age of 85, retired from public life. He made rare public appearances after that, but helped to secure South Africa’s right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. After his official retirement, his public appearances were primarily connected with the work of the Mandela Foundation, a charitable fund he founded. On July 18, 2007, his 89th birthday, Mandela formed The Elders, a council that aims to tackle global problems. In 2009 he U.S. and 192 other U.N. member states created Nelson Mandela International Day to honor the African leader through acts of community service. Every July 18, people around the world take up Mandela’s call for citizens to “take responsibility to change the world into a better place” by donating 67 minutes of their time — one minute for each year of Mandela’s struggle against white-minority rule — to helping others. The parishioners of Regina Mundi Church in Soweto are among thousands of South Africans who have heeded the call, said Oblate Father Benedict Mahlangu, a priest at the parish. The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Diocese of Providence, offered the following statement regarding the death of Nelson Mandela. “Many people around the world and in our own nation are mourning the loss of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Indeed there is much to admire in Mandela’s long life and public service, particularly his personal courage and his stalwart defense of human rights. “There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa. In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the

‘Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill’ that, according to the New York Times, ‘replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.’ “While we pray for the peace-

3 ful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children.”


December 13, 2013 The Church in the U.S. ‘No sense’ in ACLU suit against bishops, law professor says

Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) — A lawsuit against the U.S. bishops for teaching Catholic hospitals not to perform direct abortions ignores religious freedom protections and laws, a legal expert has said (see story on page 12 for more information). “The ACLU’s idea that the courts should hold religious institutions liable for their religious teachings on abortion makes no sense,” Professor Mark Rienzi of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law said recently. He emphasized that the U.S. Constitution “unequivocally protects the right of religious leaders to teach that abortion is wrong.” “The Catholic Church holds the view that a doctor treating a pregnant woman has two patients to care for, and most pregnant women probably agree with that view,” Rienzi told CNA. “The ACLU is allowed to disagree, but it should not be allowed to force that view on all healthcare providers.”

Rienzi’s comments follow the American Civil Liberties Union’s November 29 filing of a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of a Michigan woman named Tamesha Means. Means was treated at Mercy Health Muskegon, a Catholic hospital in Michigan, in 2010 when she was 18 weeks pregnant and her water broke. The ACLU claims that hospital was negligent because it did not tell Means that an abortion was “an option” and allegedly “the safest course for her condition.” The legal group said the woman was in “excruciating pain” and the pregnancy posed “significant risks to her health.” She also suffered “extreme distress” and an infection that can cause infertility, the organization said. The ACLU lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan, claims that because the U.S. bishops’ conference approved the ethical directives governing Catholic hospitals, the conference is “ultimately responsible” for the “unnecessary trauma and

harm” that Means and other pregnant women allegedly experienced at these hospitals. Rienzi, who teaches constitutional law and religious liberty law, was critical of the lawsuit. “It is no surprise that the ACLU thinks abortion is good medicine,” he said. “But federal and state law protect the right of religious providers to think otherwise, and to refrain from providing or referring for abortions.” Rienzi characterized the ACLU lawsuit as “an effort to drive people with different views out of the health care field.” The lawsuit’s success would mean “a lot fewer health care providers,” the law professor continued, saying “millions” of Americans rely on religious health care providers. CNA contacted the ACLU for comment but did not receive a response by deadline. The ACLU’s contention that an abortion was medically necessary to help Means has also been questioned. “Abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother,”

said Dr. Brian C. Calhoun, a professor and vice-chairman in the obstetrics and gynecology department at West Virginia University-Charleston. “Abortion is not medicine. It is something else entirely,” Calhoun, who specializes in highrisk pregnancies, told CNA. He noted that in a later-term abortion, a doctor usually kills the unborn baby “by surgical dismemberment.” An unborn baby at 18 weeks is “essentially fully formed,” he added. At this age, the unborn baby is about five-and-a-half inches long and seven ounces in weight, with a small human profile. The baby can make sucking motions with his or her mouth and can begin to hear, the Mayo Clinic website says. The mother can sometimes feel the baby’s movement. The U.S. bishops’ ethical and religious directives for Catholic health care services, most recently updated in 2009, seek to affirm the life of all parties involved in a medical situation. They allow operations, treatments and medications for a pregnant woman to treat a

“proportionately serious pathological condition” if these procedures and treatments cannot be postponed, “even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.” However, Catholic ethics bar the direct and intentional killing of an unborn baby through abortion. The American Civil Liberties Union has long backed legal sanctions against Catholic institutions that refuse to recognize what it considers “reproductive rights.” It has called for federal investigations of Catholic hospitals that refuse to perform abortions. It has also advocated restrictions on the ability of Catholic hospitals and other institutions to refuse to perform procedures they find objectionable, including sterilizations or abortions. The ACLU is also a vocal defender of the federal HHS mandate that requires many employers to provide health insurance plans covering sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause early abortions, in their employee health plans.

December 13, 2013

The Church in the U.S.


Smith also charged that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has failed to provide “any” information about abortion coverage in the federal health plans sold in dozens of U.S. states. He is currently sponsoring legislation to require disclosure of abortion coverage in a health care plan on the federal insurance exchanges and to require that

any abortion surcharge be “prominently displayed.” The Charlotte Lozier Institute, an education and research affiliate of the Susan B. Anthony List, has released a study that says federal premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion in the health care legislation could heavily subsidize as many as 111,500 additional abortions each year.

Actors dressed for a Nativity scene are pictured during a prayer in front of the Supreme Court in Washington recently. The group “Faith and Action” held its annual live Nativity to exercise their First Amendment rights. (CNS photo/Jason Reed, Reuters)

D.C. health plans accused of illegally funding abortion

Washington D.C. “Only nine plans offered a promise and an executive (CNA/EWTN News) — The exclude elective abortion,” he order from the White House Obama Administration is be- said, adding that this infor- that taxpayer dollars would ing accused of violating fed- mation became available only not be used to fund elective eral law by directing members in response to public pres- abortion,” she said. “Promises as well as laws have now been of Congress and congressio- sure. nal staff to more than 100 The deadline for eligible broken.” Rep. Smith pointed to health insurance plans that federal employees to sign up pay for elective abortions. for the employer-sponsored the executive order as well as President Obama’s stateRep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) plans was December 9. said the abortion-providing Marjorie Dannenfelser, ment that “no federal dollars will be used to health care plans show that Presibamacare was forced through only fund abortion.” He dent Obama’s 2010 after Pro-Life Democrats naively said the new revelations mean the health care legisaccepted a promise and an executive order president’s promises lation is an “abortion mandate” that from the White House that taxpayer dollars “ring hollow.” “Abortion isn’t “violates federal law would not be used to fund elective abortion. health care — it and makes taxpayers Promises as well as laws have now been kills babies and complicit in the cul- broken.” harms women,” he ture of death.” stressed. “We live “This is not reform,” he recently said. president of the Pro-Life Su- in an age of ultrasound imagSmith is the author of a san B. Anthony List, said the ing — the ultimate window 1983 amendment that bars abortion-providing health to the womb and the child abortion funding from the plans are “clearly breaking who resides there. We are in Federal Employees Health long-standing federal law” the midst of a fetal health Benefits Program. The and show how the legislation care revolution, an explosion amendment also bars the “expands taxpayer funding of of benign interventions designed to diagnose, treat and Office of Personnel Man- abortion.” agement from funding or She said the health plans cure the youngest patients.” engaging in administrative call into question the agreeactivities in connection with ment then-Rep. Bart Stupak, any health plan that includes a Michigan Democrat, and abortion, Smith’s office said. other Pro-Life Democrats However, the congress- made with President Obama. man charged that that elec- The elected officials agreed to tive abortion coverage is vote for the Affordable Care included in 103 of the 112 Act in exchange for an execuinsurance plans in the Wash- tive order intended to apply ington, D.C. insurance ex- federal abortion funding rechanges that members of strictions to the health insurCongress and congressional ance exchanges. staff are being advised to use “Obamacare was forced under the Affordable Care through only after Pro-Life Act. Democrats naively accepted


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December 13, 2013

Anchor Editorial

Nelson Mandela and the Catholic Church

On Tuesday, the day of the multitudinous memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, The Boston Globe ran a front page article contrasting the reaction of Pope Francis to the death with that of Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., implying that there is a true divergence of values between the two Churchmen. On page three of this Anchor you can read Bishop Tobin’s statement. Although Pope Francis did not bring up the topic of abortion in his telegram, he did write, “In commending the soul of the deceased to the infinite mercy of Almighty God, I ask the Lord to console and strengthen all who mourn his loss.” In other words, the pope did not canonize Mandela — he said that he was praying for his soul, like he does for other people, so that should they be in purgatory, God will be merciful to them. The Boston Globe (and other secular media) would like people to think that Pope Francis is coming from one line of thought, while his predecessors, especially Blessed John Paul II (who appointed Bishop Tobin) and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI are of a different line. However, let us look at what the earlier popes had to say about Mandela. In 2009 Pope Benedict said to the new South African ambassador to the Holy See, “South Africa’s rapid and peaceful transition to democratic rule has been widely acclaimed and the Holy See has followed with interest and encouragement this historic period of change. None can doubt that much credit for the progress achieved is due to the outstanding political maturity and human qualities of former President Nelson Mandela. He has been a promoter of forgiveness and reconciliation, and enjoys great respect in your country and in the international community. I would ask you kindly to convey to him my personal good wishes for his health and well-being. I also wish to recognize the contribution of all those many ordinary men and women whose integrity, reflected in their honest approach to work, has also helped to lay the foundations for a future of peace and prosperity for all.” Pope Benedict did not say that Mandela was perfect, but did give him credit, with many other people in South Africa, in having a much more peaceful transition to democracy than has been seen in many other countries. He reminded the ambassador of many challenges his government needed to face in making his land a more just one (popes normally do this in speeches to ambassadors) and said, “The Catholic Church contributes to the moral fibre of society by advocating integrity, justice and peace, and by teaching respect for life from conception until natural death. In particular, the Church takes seriously her part in the campaign against the spread of HIV/ AIDS by emphasizing fidelity within Marriage and abstinence outside of it. At the same time she already offers much assistance on a practical level to people suffering from this affliction on your continent and throughout the world.” Thirteen years earlier, in December 1996 (the year that Mandela had signed into law abor-

tion-on-demand), Blessed John Paul addressed the new ambassador from South Africa for that year. “In fact, the whole of human society is deeply rooted in the family and any weakening of the family cannot but be a potential source of tragedy. In this light, life itself must never be undervalued or neglected. Respect for the life of every human being — not excluding the unborn, the elderly and the infirm — remains the true measure of any society’s greatness. The right to life in fact is the foundation of all other human rights, and is the essential factor in upholding and promoting the value and dignity of the human person, in strengthening the social fabric and in ensuring that the priorities of peoples and nations are set in proper order.” A year earlier Blessed John Paul had visited South Africa and said at Johannesburg Airport, “Today my journey brings me to South Africa, to the new South Africa, a nation firmly set on the course of reconciliation and harmony among all its citizens. At the beginning of my visit, I wish to pay tribute to you, Mr. President, who, after being a silent and suffering ‘witness’ of your people’s yearning for true liberation, now shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction. I remember our meeting at the Vatican in June 1990, shortly after your release from prison. In your kind words of welcome today I recognize the same spirit which sustained you then in the ideal of achieving a better life for the peoples of this nation. To you and to former President F. W. de Klerk, joint recipients of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, we must all be grateful that you acted with wisdom and courage.” Mandela himself repeatedly said that he was not a saint and admitted to being an imperfect man, who made plenty of mistakes. It is a painful shame that he did participate in making laws which caused the deaths of millions of unborn children and supported other policies which are against our teachings. That is not to say that a continuation of the apartheid government of South Africa would have somehow been better than him (nor is that what Bishop Tobin was saying). To argue that is similar to those who say that we should look back fondly on U.S. Chief Justice Roger Taney (the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision) because he was a devout Catholic, while denouncing the abolitionists (because some were anti-Catholic Protestants). In trying to divide Catholics between Bishop Tobin and Pope Francis, the media ignores that Pope Francis himself wrote in “Evangelii Gaudium” that “It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound ‘decentralization.’” The Holy Father would point out that Bishop Tobin is in Providence, not himself, and that the bishop is to present the teachings of Christ according to the given situation. Bishop Tobin felt the need in this time of hagiography about Mandela to remind us of some of the imperfections of his rule (and of our need to pray for him and for his country), while also acknowledging his accomplishments. As Jesus said, “The truth will set you free” ( Jn 8:32).

Pope Francis’ weekly Angelus address and prayer

Dear brothers and sisters, hello. This second Sunday of Advent falls on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and so our gaze is drawn to the beauty of the Mother of Jesus, our mother! With great joy the Church contemplates the one who is “full of grace” (Lk 1:28), and beginning with these words let us all greet her together: “Full of grace.” Let us say “Full of grace!” three times. Everybody: Full of grace! Full of grace! Full of grace! And this is how God saw her from the very beginning in His plan of love. He saw her as beautiful, full of

grace. Our mother is beautiful! Mary helps us on our journey toward Christmas, because she teaches us how to live this season of Advent in expectation of the Lord, because this season of Advent is one in which we wait for the Lord, Who will visit us all on that feast but Who will also visit everyone in His heart. The Lord is coming! Let us await Him! The Gospel of St. Luke presents Mary, a girl of Nazareth, a little place in Galilee, at the margins of the Roman Empire and at the margins of Israel, a small town. And yet upon her, that girl of that disOFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER

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tant little town, upon her, the Lord’s gaze fell. He had chosen her beforehand to be the mother of His Son. In view of this maternity Mary was preserved from original sin, that is, from that fracture in communion with God, with others and with creation that wounds every human being deep down. But this fracture was healed beforehand in the mother of He Who has come to free us from the slavery of sin. Mary the Immaculate is inscribed in God’s plan; she is the fruit of the love of God that saves the world. And Our Lady never distanced herself from that love: her whole life, her whole being is a “yes” to that love, it is a “yes” to God. But it certainly was not easy for her! When the angel called her “full of grace” (Lk 1:28), she was “very disturbed,” because in her humility she feels that she is nothing before God. The angel comforts her: “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you will conceive a Son ... and you will call Him Jesus” (1:30). This announcement upsets her all the more, also because she was not yet

married to Joseph; but the angel adds: “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you ... because He Who will be born will be holy called Son of God” (1:35). Mary listens, obeys interiorly and answers: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to Your Word” (1:38). The mystery of this girl of Nazareth, which is in the heart of God, is not foreign to us. She is not there while we are here. No, we are bound together. In fact, God looks with love upon every man and woman! With a first and last name. He looks with love upon each one of us. The Apostle Paul says that God “chose us before the creation of the world to be holy and immaculate” (Eph 1:4). We, too, have always been chosen by God to live a holy life, free of sin. It is a plan of love that God renews every time we come to Him, especially in the Sacraments. On this feast, then, contemplating our beautiful Immaculate Mother, we also recognize our truest destiny, our deepest vocation: being loved, being transformed by love, being transformed by the beauty

of God. Let us look at her, our mother, and let her look at us, because she is our mother and she loves us very much; let her look at us so that we can learn how to be more humble, and more courageous, too, in following the Word of God, in welcoming the tender embrace of Jesus His Son, an embrace that gives us life, hope and peace. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by work of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary ... Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy Word. Hail Mary ... And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary ... Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

December 13, 2013

Anchor Columnist


Pope Francis’ dream of the missionary transformation of the Church


our days before his election nine months ago today, the future Pope Francis addressed his brother cardinals and told them that the reform the Church most needed was not the extirpation of various forms of corruption in the Vatican. Rather it was to go from a sick and “worldly Church that lives within herself, of herself and for herself,” to “an evangelizing Church that comes out of herself.” Using words that would soon become his own job description, he emphasized that the next pope had to be a man who would “help the Church get out of herself and go to those on the outskirts of existence,” who would guide the Church on an exodus from ecclesial introversion and narcissistic self-preservation to bold, joy-filled evangelization. The cardinals not only accepted their Argentine colleague’s challenge to put mission above maintenance, but elected him as the one they believed most capable of bringing about that type of deep missionary reform. In his new apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), Pope Francis presents his systematic vision of ecclesial

reform and gives a compelling asserts each of us should be summons to all Catholics to able to say. To be a disciple take up their role in this misat all is to be a missionary sionary metamorphosis. disciple. The apostolate is not He first presents his vioptional or additional to our sion: “I dream of a ‘missionary faith but essential and constioption,’ that is, a missionary tutive. impulse capable of transform“If we have received the love ing everything, so that the that restores meaning to our Church’s customs, ways of lives, how can we fail to share doing things, times and schedules, language and structures, can be Putting Into suitably channeled for the Deep the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preserBy Father vation.” Roger J. Landry Next he gives the Christological underpinning for that vision: Jesus is that love with others?” he asks. the “first and greatest Evan“What kind of love would not gelizer” and with His valedicfeel the need to speak of the tory command, “Go and make Beloved, to point Him out, to disciples of all nations,” He has make Him known?” made us heirs of His own misWhat’s needed is for all of sion. The Church doesn’t just us throughout the Church to have a mission but is a misstop living “as if people who sion, and therefore missionary have not received the Gospel outreach Francis stresses, must did not exist.” become “paradigmatic for all The papacy, dioceses and the Church’s activity.” parishes all have to be reThen he makes that vision formed to advance the mission personal for each Christian: Christ has entrusted to the Just like the Church, none of Church, Pope Francis writes. us has a mission, but each of He reserves his most powerful us is a mission. “I am a mission exhortation, however, for the on this earth; this is the reason lay faithful, reminding them why I am here,” Pope Francis that Baptism has made each

Pope calls for action against scandal of hunger in a world of plenty

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — People must stand united against the scandal of hunger while avoiding food waste and irresponsible use of the world’s resources, Pope Francis said. People should “stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger firsthand,” he said in a video message December 9, launching a global campaign of prayer and action against hunger. Organized by Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities, a global “wave of prayer” began at noon December 10 on the South Pacific island of Samoa and head west across the world’s time zones. Pope Francis offered his blessing and support for the “One Human Family, Food For All” campaign in a video message released on the eve of the global launch. With about one billion people still suffering from hunger today, “we cannot look the

other way and pretend this does not exist,” he said in the message. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone, he said, but only “if there is the will” to respect the “God-given rights of everyone to have access to adequate food.” By sharing in Christian charity with those “who face numerous obstacles,” the pope said, “we promote an authentic cooperation with the poor so that, through the fruits of their and our work, they can live a dignified life.” Pope Francis invited all people to act “as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world.” The Caritas campaign is also a way to invite people to pay attention to their own food choices, “which often lead to waste and a poor use of the resources available to us,” the pope said. Caritas Internationalis invited its 164 member organiza-

tions and local churches to pray for an end to hunger and malnutrition, by acting on a local, national or global level against food waste and in favor of food access and security worldwide. Caritas urged Catholics to take a few moments at noon December 10 to join the world in praying against hunger, and to engage in long-term action through raising awareness, advocacy, charitable work or other efforts supporting food security. The right to food is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the “Food For All” launch-date of December 10 marked the U.N.’s Human Rights Day. The Caritas campaign is calling on the United Nations to hold a session on the right to food at its 2015 General Assembly and is asking governments to guarantee the right to food in national legislation. People can contact their local Caritas organization for more information or the campaign’s main site at

of them “without exception” a missionary disciple. “The New Evangelization calls for the personal involvement on the part of each of the Baptized,” he states, no matter what their level of instruction in the faith. On the one hand, he insists, there’s a need for better “formation” of the laity in general and “training” in evangelization in particular, especially at the level of parishes, so that people are equipped to share the faith more confidently and effectively at work, school and in their neighborhoods and social networks. At the same time, he adds, “Anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love!” A bigger obstacle, he says, is fear and selfishness. “At a time when we most need a missionary dynamism that will bring salt and light to the world, many lay people fear that they may be asked to undertake some apostolic work and they seek to avoid any responsibility that may take away from their free time,” whether as volunteer catechists, door-to-door evangelizers, or participants in the Church’s institutional charities. The biggest obstacle, however, is from a defective way of looking at the faith that leads to a lack of joy in living it. Many of us, he contends, live the faith like those who have “just come back from a funeral,” whose lives “seem like Lent without Easter,” because fundamentally we look at the faith as a litany of religious obliga-

tions rather than as a drama of Divine and human love. People, however, don’t hear the Gospel from those who are “dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious,” and seeking to spread their misery, but rather from those who “wish to share their joy, point to a horizon of beauty and invite others to a delicious banquet,”— those whose lives, in short, are transfigured by God’s presence and attract people to the Source of their love and joy. Francis warns us not to give in to the “tomb psychology” and pessimism of the “prophets of doom” who think that the faith is on an inexorable decline. Rather, he urges us to rely on the power of the same Holy Spirit Who helped Christians in generations before us spread the faith, even during the ages of persecution. Do you realize that if every Catholic in the United States were to try to bring just one Catholic back to Mass over each of the next two years, that by Christmas 2015, two-thirds of Catholics in the United States would be practicing each Sunday? Francis encourages each of us to set out on this missionary transformation with such achievable goals in mind. “Every person is worthy of our giving,” he affirms. “If I can help at least one person to have a better life, that already justifies the offering of my life!” That’s the type of missionary reform he’s trying to bring about in each of us. Anchor columnist Father Landry is pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Fall River. fatherlandry@catholicpreaching. com.



December 13, 2013

For us, two very special cousins share a dream

et us look at the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent as the story of cousins, two very special cousins, only a few months apart in age as we know from Mary’s visit in the sixth month of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Both have a parallel of the miraculous about their birth. Elizabeth and Zechariah were beyond the age for child-bearing yet born of them was St. John the Baptist. Mary as a virgin conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and became the fleshly entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into the world. Obviously something very special was happening here. In fact for this week we notice that the vestment color is rose and not purple. Why is this? Why not the more somber and penitent purple? Simply, the color change signifies that Christmas is closer, that the joyful promise of Salvation that Christ, with His dream for our lives, is upon us. Therefore it is fitting that we go from the dark and into the light of the morning rose colored dawn as the sun rises for a new and special day for us.

During the early weeks of of a coming Savior. He, too, Advent we focus on our probdreamed of the time when lems, on our issues in trying to people would be able to take live our lives as people who love heart and find a path home to God. We recognize during this the Father, our Creator. The time the defects we are afflicted doubt that he exhibited while with and how, yes, we can be in prison with the sending of sinfully distracted from God his disciples to Jesus to be sure and His love for us. Now Gaudete SunHomily of the Week day brings us a change of thought. Our focus Third Sunday is more on our Lord of Advent being our Savior. This is not to say that we By Deacon forget about our need Lawrence St. Pierre to be saved and why. But now we can rejoice in the fact that there is He was the One, did not reflect a Savior and that He is the way a lack of faith in God’s promise to be saved and that soon on to us — rather a certainty that Christmas day He will be here! the promise would be fulfilled. With great joy now is the time For the question he had asked to make room for Him in our was “Are You the One Who is inns, that is, in our hearts, so to come, or should we look for that Christ’s dream for us can another?” come true in our lives. So, there was no doubt in This is what the Gospel John’s mind about there being a tells us; John the Baptist came Savior. In response to this questo announce, “Behold, I am tion Christ gave us the signs sending my messenger ahead about the blind seeing, the lame of you; he will prepare your walking and many others. This way before you.” John knew was the proof that He was the there was the joyful promise Messiah. He is now here to

make the dream of our lives to participate in the Heavenly banquet, come true. John Baptized in water to signify the cleansing that we desire so that we may be worthy of Heaven. Jesus Christ soon came after His slightly older cousin to purify us through His healing and strengthening of us by His Body and Blood. In this way our hunger for Heaven can be satisfied through the nourishment of Christ Himself in the Eucharist, the Communion in which we are all asked to share. This is the something more we know is missing in the ways of the world; the secular standards of success that leave us hungry for more. No matter how often we attempt to satisfy ourselves with them and no matter how good the things of the world may be, they do not fill us up. It is only Christ Himself Who can fill this hunger of our hearts which were given to us by our Maker for more than what the world offers, a very

special more, that of eternal life with Him. Pope Benedict spoke eloquently of this hopeful need of ours in his encyclical, “Spe Salvi.” “It becomes evident that man has need of a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for him, something that will always be more than he can ever attain. We need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day. But these are not enough without the great hope, which must surpass everything else. This great hope can only be God, Who encompasses the whole of reality and Who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain” (“Spe Salvi,” #30-31). This is what the story of these very special cousins would have us understand and take into our hearts. Let’s all give that some thought during this reflective time of Advent. Amen. Deacon St. Pierre was ordained as a permanent deacon this year. He ministers at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Attleboro.

Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Dec. 14, Sir 48:1-4,9-11; Mt 17:9a,10-13. Sun. Dec. 15, Third Sunday of Advent, Is 35:1-6a,10; Ps 146:6-10; Jas 5:710; Mt 11:2-11. Mon. Dec. 16, Nm 24:2-7,15-17a; Mt 21:23-27. Tues. Dec. 17, Gn 49:2,8-10; Mt 1:1-17. Wed. Dec. 18, Jer 23:5-8; Mt 1:18-25. Thurs. Dec. 19, Jgs 13:2-7,24-25a; Lk 1:5-25. Fri. Dec. 20, Is 7:10-14; Lk 1:26-38.


he flurry of instabooks published shortly after the election of Pope Francis didn’t shed much light on the formation, character and interests of Jorgé Mario Bergoglio or the likely trajectory of his pontificate. Now comes something serious and useful: “Pope Francis: Our Brother, Our Friend — Personal Recollections About the Man Who Became Pope,” edited by Alejandro Bermúdez and published by Ignatius Press. In 20 interviews, long-time friends and associates of the pope “from the ends of the earth” give readers real insight into the radical Christian disciple who is leading the Church “into the deep” of the New Evangelization, following the call of John Paul II in 2001. This coming July, the world will mark the centenary of the First World War, the seismic calamity that began the 20th century as an epoch and that, in another 100 years, may well be regarded as the sanguinary first act in the end of Europe as “Europe” had been known for more than a millennium. Three new books try to explain how this

Books for Christmas Waugh fans have long indulged civilizational disaster happened. friendly arguments about the Sean McMeekin’s “July 1914: master’s greatest work; a recent Countdown to War” (Basic re-reading of “The Sword of Books) lays primary blame on Honour Trilogy” (Everyman’s Austria-Hungary; Christopher Library) persuaded me (again) Clarke’s “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914” (Harper) and Max Hastings’ “Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War” (Knopf ) spread the responsibility around, with both Clarke and By George Weigel Hastings assigning Wilhelmine Germany the decisive role amidst that these three books easily a desperately inept performance stand with “A Handful of Dust” by the Great Powers. All three books are helpful antidotes to the and “Brideshead Revisited” at the summit of Waugh’s achieveconfusions created by Barbara ment, even as they brilliantly lay Tuchman’s eminently readable, bare the European cultural crisis but dubiously argued, 1960s bestseller “The Guns of August.” that was vastly accelerated by Evelyn Waugh was one of the World War I. The finest piece of Biblical supreme English prose stylexposition I’ve read recently is ists of the 20th century. Many C. Kavin Rowe’s “World Upside of his novels are profoundly Down: Reading Acts in the Catholic without being pious, Graeco-Roman Age” (Oxford cloying, or sentimental — literUniversity Press). This is theoary gems shaped by a Catholic logical exegesis at its finest: Sacramental imagination that informed by historical-critical is unyielding and redemptive.

The Catholic Difference

scholarship, but going far beyond the Biblical dissecting room to show how the experience of the Risen Christ both formed the Church and impelled it into mission. Rowe, a Duke Divinity School professor of New Testament who is not a Catholic, thus makes an important contribution to the evangelical Catholicism of the future by reinforcing the Biblical foundations of the New Evangelization. On several previous occasions I’ve noted that my friend Rémi Brague, who teaches at the Sorbonne and at the University of Munich, is one of the smartest (and funniest) Catholics in the world — his brilliance being recently recognized by the award of the Ratzinger Prize. In his most recently translated book, “On the God of the Christians (and on one or two others),” published by St. Augustine Press, Brague explores the God Who is Father but not male, the God Whose way of being One is to be Trinity, the God Who doesn’t

bestow goodness but Who is the Good, the God Who respects human freedom while inviting humanity into the tangled journey of a salvation history in which God Himself is an actor. Francis Rooney’s “The Global Vatican” (Rowman & Littlefield) is a timely reminder of the Holy See’s important roles in world politics. And perhaps I may be permitted to note two recent books of my own: “Roman Pilgrimage: The Stations Churches” (Basic Books), co-authored with Elizabeth Lev and my son Stephen, and “Practicing Catholic: Essays Historical, Literary, Sporting, and Elegiac” (Crossroad). I’ve never recommended an eBook before, but I’ll happily note that the glorious color in the eBook edition of “Roman Pilgrimage” may yet convert me to reading(at-least-some-books)-on-atablet, a confession this veteran paper guy never expected to make. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

December 13, 2013

Friday 13 December 2013 — at home on Falmouth Harbor — St. Lucy Day must admit, dear readers, I would never want to be a store greeter at this time of year (except perhaps at old Sam Walton’s market). At least there all you have to do is wear your blue smock, make eye-contact, smile, and say “Hello” or “Welcome to Wal-Mart” to all who pass within 10 feet of you. This is clearly stated in the training manual for Wal-Mart’s employees. But what about those businesses that are not so precise in training their customer service representatives and sales associates? What’s a poor greeter to do? Do you say “Happy Thanksgiving” or do you say “Happy Hanukkah?” This year, due to their confluence, the term “Happy Thanksgivukkah” was coined. Give me a break. When you meld two celebrations in this way you are asking for trouble. Fortunately, they say that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will not again coincide for another 70,000 years. By then, let’s hope we will have all forgotten that ridiculous term. Were I a greeter, I think I would go with the generic “happy



hen I was younger, each year when our Christmas decorations emerged from the basement and began to add their Christmas cheer to the house, my brother and I each had a Christmas calendar that hung from our closet knobs and counted down the days until Christmas. I think of this now because though we are approaching Christmas, we are now in Advent, and a similar concept accompanies this season: the Advent calendar. Advent, which celebrates the four weeks before Christmas as a preparation time for the coming of Jesus’ birth, is marked by numerous traditions. One such is the Advent calendar, on which is noted good deeds and acts of kindness that one can fulfill as they await the Christ. A second tradition is the Advent house, which is similar to my Christmas calendar. On the house are windows that are opened each day of Advent to reveal a depiction of the coming of Christ. Now, this year I have noticed that our society has seemed to blend the two together. In stores and online Advent houses are being sold that have calendar dates on each window that would reveal the different depictions of Christ, however now when you open

Anchor Columnists Happy Ventmas!

holiday.” Happy holiday fits all occasions. Then you can go on your merry way and celebrate whatever holiday that happens to suit your fancy. As for me, I prefer my holidays be more specific. I celebrate Thanksgiving and I celebrate Christmas. And as for you, you may celebrate whatever your merry heart desires — or not. It was a sweltering August afternoon. The air-conditioning was cranking. I was opening mail. There it was — an unsolicited catalogue boldly proclaiming on its cover “Last-minute Christmas gifts.” Really? In August? When I say “last-minute Christmas gifts,” I mean December 26. On that hot August day, I had a revelation. It occurred to me that there are actually two separate celebrations. One is a Holy Day and the other is a holy-day (read “holiday”). One is the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord and the other a consumer frenzy. They have nothing in common, although they do happen to overlap slightly in the calendar. Care must be taken not to combine these two distinct

observances into yet another variation of “Thanksgivukkah.” If the Christmas catalogue in August was a marketing ploy, it worked. It caught my eye. Usually, the commercial holiday sneaks into retail stores just after

Halloween. It snaps into high gear the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). Then it slams to a screeching halt on December 26, just when the Church’s Christmas is beginning. The Church’s celebration of the Nativity of the Lord is part of the Advent/Christmas cycle. The word “advent” is generally used to signal the arrival of someone or something of extreme importance. For Christians, Who could be more important than Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? What could be more important than the arrival of the Kingdom of God in all its fullness? It’s


crucial that we observe Advent, waiting joyfully in the darkness while the light of Christ grows ever brighter. The darker it is, the clearer you see the light. This year Advent began at sunset on November 30 and will end on December 24 in the late afternoon. Following the Season of Advent, the celebration of Christmas (Christmas: from ChristMass) begins immediately. The Christmas Season ends with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. That will be Jan. 12, 2014. The commercial holidays, then, run from November 1 until the evening of Dec. 25, 2013 while the Church’s Advent/ Christmas cycle runs from Nov. 30, 2013 until Jan. 12, 2014. So there you have it — two celebrations observed at different times and for different reasons. I take no offense when someone wishes me a “happy holiday.” There’s no offense intended. The holidays I choose to keep, on the other hand, have proper names. They are called Advent and Christmas. Just don’t call it “Ventmas.” On the last day of November,

the local florist arrived at the church with this year’s Advent wreath. I placed the candles and all was good to go. After Mass, a parishioner asked me to explain the Advent wreath. I spoke of how, historically, it was preChristian in origin and how it had originally involved a wagon wheel, fresh evergreens, and white or red candles. I informed her of how it had been adapted by German Lutherans and how it had come to the United States, and how Catholics modified it with candles to match the colors of the Mass vestments (three weeks purple and one week rose). I spoke of the more recent tradition of adding a large candle at Christmas to represent the birth of the Messiah. She was most appreciative. But she was just curious, she said, to know why all four candles on the parish wreath were white this year. “Ah,” said I, “Yes, it’s all due to ancient tradition; also to the fact that I just can’t remember where I stashed those darn purple candles.” Anchor columnist Father Tim Goldrick is pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Falmouth. frxmas@aol. com.

been, well, left out. This leads me to why I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that one part of the priest’s homily. Faith does not stop developing when we are children, especially when the message is what it is today: about faith relying on material things to exist. While it may be where we gain the foundation, it is not where that faith journey ends, and by relation it is not where our desire to partake in these Sacred and meaningful traditions like the Advent calendar should end either. Perhaps we as adults need these things even more. We are constantly in the throes of the Paschal Mystery, with our faith and trust in Christ constantly ebbing and flowing with the complexities of life, and constantly faced with the material temptations of our world. We are in stages of development ourselves. And perhaps we turn away from something as simple as an Advent calendar because if we were to be confronted with it every day, with something we must do every day for someone else, we would be forced to face ourselves, our capabilities, and our faith. Maybe we would even find something we didn’t like. And that is why as adults, we don’t

persist in these traditions. It is simply easier to wait until Christmas, to skip the preparation and pretend we are ready all along. But we must search ourselves this Advent season. We must make the conscious effort to break the mold that we frequently create for ourselves. By doing this we show Jesus that we are willing to prepare our hearts for Him, we are ready to learn to love like Him and receive His love. We are willing to share it with the children who are only beginning to learn what a love so great can feel like. We will show that we are brave despite what we know to be our shortcomings. So after Mass and after this homily, I picked up a little blue book of daily Advent prayers in my own effort to participate in Advent this year rather than give it a passing glance and then regretfully look back around Christmastime and wish that I had prepared for such a wondrous arrival. This is a time for a transformation of hearts, and I pray that each of you will join with me as I look to prepare mine for Christ’s Christmas arrival. God bless. Anchor columnist Renee Bernier is a Stonehill College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

Merry Advent! them they reveal small trinkets, candy, and goodies. The homily I heard last week provides an interesting commentary to this observation. The priest spoke about how when he was a child his family upheld several Advent traditions, including the Advent calendar. Each person in the family would keep secret the name of another family member they had chosen at the beginning of Advent. They would then try to fulfill the tasks of the Advent calendar for their secret family member without them figuring out who it was that had done such a nice thing for them. I thought to myself, what a nice tradition, and what a nice way to lay a foundation of Christian love in your children. The priest then proceeded to talk about how meaningful these traditions are, and especially for children, because their faith is still developing. While I know he didn’t mean the alternative message to sound like Advent is less special to adults, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that one particular choice of words. Yes, when you are a child, the development of your faith is largely up to the example of those around you: the adults in your life,

your parents, the friends you go to church with, the teachers you have. You learn by their words, actions, and in this case, the traditions and emphasis surrounding the holidays and seasons of the Church. But we live in a different world today, a world where the true meaning of Advent calen-

Radiate Your Faith By Renee Bernier dars is getting lost somewhere next to the costume jewelry and temporary tattoos behind the flap-up windows of December 1 and December 2. Instead of a tradition more rooted in faith, designed to teach children the values of love and kindness to their neighbor, we are presented with a way to captivate children’s attention without fully explaining the importance. Today the random acts of kindness and good deeds for others are replaced with small trinkets or candies on each day of Advent. Today, it seems, the true meaning of the Advent calendar and the Advent season itself, has


December 13, 2013

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December 13, 2013

Dear Anchor friends, please note that The Anchor will not publish on December 27 and Jan. 3, 2014. The paper will return to your mailboxes with the Jan. 10, 2014 edition.

December 13, 2013 Anchor Columnists Ethical directives and the care of pregnant women in Catholic hospitals



t the beginning of December, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a sweeping federal lawsuit against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over its Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic hospitals, alleging that the directives, with their prohibition against direct abortion, resulted in negligent care of a pregnant woman named Tamesha Means. Means’ water broke at 18 weeks, leading to infection of the amniotic membranes, followed by spontaneous labor and delivery of her child. The child lived only a few hours (see story on page four for more information). During the course of these events, Means went to a Catholic hospital in Michigan several times and, according to the lawsuit, was sent home even as contractions were starting. The lawsuit not only suggests that she should have been given a drug to induce labor early on but claims this wasn’t possible precisely because the hospital was Catholic and bound by the directives. It further asserts that Catholic hospitals are not able to terminate a woman’s pregnancy by inducing premature labor “even if necessary for her health,” because to do so would be “prohibited” by the directives. In point of fact, however, the directives would not prevent the early induction of labor for these cases. Not infrequently, labor is induced in Catholic hospitals in complete conformity with the directives. Directive No. 47 (never mentioned in the lawsuit) is very clear:


’m not sure if it’s because Thanksgiving fell very late in November this year, but I’m noticing an ebb in Christmas spirit out there. Here, just two weeks shy of the Lord’s birthday, there’s a shortage, in my opinion, of outside Christmas decorations. The simple ones I mean. Not the Santas the size of Macy’s Parade balloons, or snow globes the size of the planet Mercury. I mean the subtle white lights, Nativity scenes, and angels on high. As I mentioned in a recent column, the airwaves are saturated with car giftgiving ideas, and other expensive ways to express one’s love. On Facebook there are a plethora of expressions of the Christmas season. Many are cute, pithy, quirky, funny and some down-right nasty. But there is one video flowing through the Internet that stopped me in my tracks, brought a tear to my eye, and a spark to my soul. It was shared by a dear Emmaus friend. I thanked her for it after I watched and listened ... for the first time. I’ve escaped into the video countless times since. It’s a four-minute rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy,” by a five-member a cappella group called Pentatonix. Before now I liked “The Little

“Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.” Deciding about whether to induce labor involves the recognition that there are two patients involved, the mother and her in utero child, and that the interests of the two can sometimes be in conflict. In certain situations — for example, when the child is very close to the point of viability and the pregnancy is at risk — it may be recommended to delay early induction of labor in the hope that the child can grow further and the pregnancy can be safely shuttled to a point beyond viability, allowing mother and child to be saved. Sometimes expectant management of this kind is not possible. Each case will require its own assessment of the risks, benefits, and likely outcomes before deciding whether it would be appropriate to induce labor. When a woman’s water breaks many weeks prior to viability and infection arises, long term expectant management

of a pregnancy is often not possible. In such cases, induction of labor becomes medically indicated in order to expel the infected membranes, and prevent the infection from spreading and causing maternal death. Early induction in these cases is carried out with the foreseen but unintended consequence that the child will die following delivery, due to his or her extreme prematurity. Such early induction of labor would be allowable because the act itself, i.e. the action of inducing labor, is a good act (expelling the infected amniotic membranes), and is not directed towards harming the body-person of the child, as it would be in the case of a direct abortion, when the child is targeted for saline injection or dismemberment. The medical intervention, in other words, is directed towards the body-person of the mother, using a drug to induce contractions in her uterus. One reluctantly tolerates the unintended loss of life that occurs secondary to the primary action of treating her life-threatening infection. On the other hand, direct killing of a human being through abortion, even if it were to provide benefit for the mother, cannot be construed as valid health care, but rather as a betrayal of the healing

purposes of medicine at its most fundamental level. Such an action invariably fails to respect the human dignity of the unborn patient and his or her human rights. It also gravely violates a mother’s innate desire and duty to protect her unborn baby. If she finds herself in the unfortunate situation of having a severe uterine infection during pregnancy, she, too, would appreciate the physician’s efforts to treat her without desiring to kill her child, even if the child may end up dying as an unintended consequence of treating the pathology. The application of Catholic moral teaching to this issue is therefore directed toward two important and specific ends: first, the complete avoidance of directly killing the child, and, second, the preservation of the lives of both mother and child to the extent possible under the circumstances. Based upon these ends, the Ethical and Religious Directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provide important ethical parameters for framing the appropriate treatment of mother and unborn child in high-risk pregnancies, while simultaneously safeguarding the fundamental integrity of medical practice in these complex obstetrical situations. Anchor columnist Father Pacholczyk earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, and serves as the director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.

They played their best for Him Drummer Boy,” but didn’t love it. It never touched my heart or my soul. For me, nothing can do that like “Silent Night.” I don’t know the last time I made it through “Silent Night” at Christmas Mass without having to stop and just listen. It’s tough to sing with a huge lump in your throat. But Pentatonix’s version By Dave Jolivet of “The Little Drummer Boy” brought me to that level. I’m a musician, a hacker as I may be, but a musician none-the-less. Music is in my blood. It’s in my heart and in my soul, and I’m a fan of most types of music, so I’m fully aware of what music can do to and for me. Pentatonix is comprised of five young singers who define the word singer. A pentatonic is a musical scale consisting of five notes per octave. Pentatonix is five voices in complete and natural harmony without need for instruments. There is one young woman and four young men. They are from varying ethnicities and races, which makes them

My View From the Stands

the perfect meld to sing the praises of the Baby Jesus Who came for all. The rendition itself is absolutely heart-warming. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be “soul.” The soul the Christ Child came to save. Yet the video only enhances the beauty of the song. The five singers are performing on a hill or mountain top, high above a large metropolis below. They’ve gone and told it on the mountain! Jesus Christ is born! The song starts slowly and quietly, with each member’s part melting into the other’s. There is one member, who I’m guessing is Jewish, who instantly made me think of what Jesus could well have looked like. As he sings, he consistently gazes Heavenward, inspiring awe and reverence. The young woman makes me think of the young Blessed Mother. I don’t know why, but I can’t watch the video and not think of the young Mary. Each member sings their part with passion, reverence, respect, humility,

love and soul. I know there are two ways to sing: with feeling and without. When someone sings with feeling it’s passed on to the listener. There’s no way to stop it. Pentatonix passes on the feeling of “playing their best,” for the Baby Jesus to anyone watching and listening who wants to receive it. The song builds in passion as it plays on. There’s no pretension in this rendition. It’s a heart-felt gift to the newborn King. I know nothing about these five singers. I don’t have to. They gave the Baby Jesus a Christmas gift beyond compare, and in doing so, gave me one as well. This is not a plug asking people to go out and buy Pentatonix CDs. This is me telling you that one young woman and four young men brought Christmas to me this year, when I couldn’t find it anywhere else in the secular world. And this is me telling you to give this video a gander, and maybe it’s just what you need right now as well. It can be viewed and heard on Youtube at results?search_query=pentatonix%20 little%20drummer%20boy&sm=1 Anchor columnist Dave Jolivet can be reached at davejolivet@anchornews. org.


December 13, 2013

CNS Movie Capsule

Luca Marinelli portrays Joseph and Alissa Jung as Mary in a scene from the movie “Mary of Nazareth.” Jung said her role was somewhat overwhelming but also fascinating because Mary faced “a huge conflict — to believe in something and lose your Son for this.” (CNS photo/courtesy of Ignatius Press)

Mary’s ‘way of loving, believing’ an example for all, says actress COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNS) — Preparing for the title role in “Mary of Nazareth” helped German actress Alissa Jung to realize that Mary was not only the mother of God but a real person. “Before doing this film, Mary was always the mother of Jesus, but I didn’t think of her as an interesting person,” Jung said. “I was really taken by her. Her way of loving, giving and believing is a big example, and she’s a wonderful person. I think I changed my perspective.” “Mary of Nazareth” is a European-made film shot largely in Tunisia that is being distributed by Ignatius Press in the United States. Jung has been acting in television shows and movies since she was 16 years old and currently resides in Berlin. When her agent first contacted her about auditioning for the role in “Mary of Nazareth,” she resisted because she was on the verge of leaving for a trip to Haiti, where she heads a nonprofit organization that sponsors schools. Her agent urged her to read the screenplay and submit a prerecorded audition anyway. “When they called me, I was sitting on my luggage waiting for my flight to Haiti,” Jung said. “In the end, to please my agent, I did this little videotape at home sitting in front of my computer.” Once she returned from Haiti, Jung not only got

called to Rome for an audition but she replaced another actress who had been initially chosen to play the role. At first, the thought of playing the mother of God was overwhelming, Jung said. An added challenge was that the movie was going to be filmed entirely in English. “The first two days I was a bit shocked. Then I calmed myself down and said, ‘First of all, you are interested in the human being, you are not interested in being an icon,’” Jung told The Colorado Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. From the point of view of an actress, the role presented a challenge because Jung had to simultaneously convey the joy of Mary’s motherhood and her sorrow in knowing Jesus would die. “That was really interesting to me as an actress, to have the possibility of having this huge conflict — to believe in something and lose your Son for this,” Jung said. Jung, who is not Catholic, said that filming the movie was also an enjoyable experience because the storyline prompted a lot of reflections about faith among the cast and crew. “We had a lot of discussions on set,” she said. “We had Germans, Tunisians and Muslims. There were a lot of discussions about religion. I liked it because I think it’s a way to understand other cultures and other people, to really understand their way of

believing.” Anthony Ryan, director of sales and marketing for San Francisco-based Ignatius Press, said that “Mary of Nazareth” will help Catholics and non-Catholics come to a deeper understanding of Mary’s life. “She had to be a woman of great faith and mystery,” Ryan said, adding that those who watch the film will understand why she is sometimes called Our Lady of Sorrows. Italian director Giacomo Campiotti has made a personal decision only to make films that are spiritually uplifting, Ryan said, adding that Campiotti chose actors from various countries in an effort to get the strongest cast possible for “Mary of Nazareth.” In Jung, “he saw something that captured his heart and mind,” Ryan said. Ignatius is working with Catholic organizations around the country, such as schools and Knights of Columbus councils, to set up screenings of the movie at commercial theaters. Organizations are using the movie as an opportunity to evangelize their local communities and also as a fund-raiser, he said. So far, roughly 120 showings have taken place, Ryan said, and Ignatius hopes to keep the movie in theaters through Easter. More information about “Mary of Nazareth” and a trailer of the film can be found at

NEW YORK (CNS) — The following is a capsule review of a movie recently reviewed by the Office for Film and Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (Weinstein) Handsome but flawed biographical profile of South African dissident-turned-president Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) who, after spending 27 years in prison for resisting apartheid, advocated peace and forgiveness and endeavored to steer his country away from violence toward reconciliation. Based on Mandela’s 1994 autobiography, the movie glows with admiration for its subject and is bent on demonstrating the historical significance of his personal journey, with second wife Winnie’s (Naomie Harris) vengeful reaction to the mistreatment she suffered serving as schematic counterpoint. Director Justin Chadwick’s glossy presentation has a static quality, as if he’s trying to preserve Mandela’s legacy in amber. But regardless of any cinematic or historical limitations, the picture rightly lauds a statesman whose greatest virtue was his ability to see beyond his personal circumstances and discern what was best for his nation as a whole. Considerable violence — including many gun

battles, bombings and an immolation — demeaning treatment of prisoners, a half-dozen premarital and adulterous sexual situations, though without nudity or explicit activity, some crude language and hate speech. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. “Philomena” (Weinstein) Compelling fact-based drama about a warmhearted Irish woman ( Judi Dench) who enlists the help of a cynical British reporter (Steve Coogan) in her search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption by the nuns who ran the oppressive facility for unwed mothers in which she lived as a teen (Sophie Kennedy Clark) after being abandoned by her family for becoming pregnant. Director Stephen Frears’ screen version of Martin Sixsmith’s book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” makes uncomfortable viewing for Catholic moviegoers since Church institutions are uniformly presented in a negative light. Yet, while illustrating the dangers that can result when appreciation for the virtue of chastity degenerates into puritanical repression, his film also implicitly makes the point that its protagonist’s enduring individual faith is the source of the enthusiasm for life, friendliness toward strangers and willingness to forgive that set her apart from the jaded journalist. Mature themes including premarital sex, out-of-wedlock pregnancy and homosexuality, a scene of painful childbirth, a couple of same-sex kisses, a few rough terms, a couple of crude expressions. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling.

Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, December 15, 11:00 a.m.

Celebrant is Father Jeffrey Cabral, JCL, diocesan Judicial Vicar and in residence at Holy Name Parish in Fall River


December 13, 2013

Members of the National Honor Society at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River recently helped gather and sort winter coats that were collected for needy school children as part of a diocesan-wide Coats for Kids Program. Pictured here, from left, are Connolly NHS members Jack Santoro, Danny Paiva, Michaela Deady, Sydnie Bradley and Marybeth Bishop, with Sister Lisa Palazio, guidance counselor and NHS advisor. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)

Local program collects record number of coats for needy kids continued from page one

ing its most recent drive. “We’ve collected more than 600 coats this year,” said Bill Bouchard, Grand Knight of Council No. 3669 based at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea. “That’s remarkable for us. It’s obviously the best year ever and we’re very pleased.” With increased parish and school involvement this year, Bouchard said they were able to easily surpass their goal, allowing them to provide coats for kids who would otherwise have gone without this winter. “I think it’s an important time to give, especially at Christmas,” Bouchard told The Anchor. “I think it’s important to bring us back down to earth a bit. We’re all living a life that’s running a million miles an hour, but we sometimes forget about those who are really in need.” The genesis for the program can be traced back to McDonald, who began a drive to collect hats,

gloves and mittens for needy children more than a decade ago in her parish CCD class. “I wanted to show the students what it felt like to help kids their own age who didn’t have what they did,” McDonald said. McDonald said they initially donated the gifts to housing projects in Fall River. After a few years, she approached some principals of area schools. “The principals know who the neediest children are,” she added. That initial effort soon evolved into a yearly drive that would encompass her fellow parishioners at St. Thomas More Parish in Swansea and the members of its St. Vincent de Paul Society; then expand to include other parishes like St. Anne’s and St. Joseph’s in Fall River; St. Dominic’s and St. Francis of Assisi in Swansea; St. George and Our Lady of Grace in Westport; and more recently St. Bernard’s in Assonet.

“Bins are now located in each of these churches, and we collect coats from November 1 through December 1, so we can make sure the coats are distributed to the children by the beginning of December,” McDonald explained. “If we have more, we can always find a place that needs coats or hats in the winter.” The program really kicked into high gear three years ago when the Knights of Columbus council joined the collection effort, and this year several Catholic schools also became dropsites for the donation bins. “Last year I heard they were doing the Coats for Kids Program and my kids go to St. Stanislaus School (in Fall River), so I offered to help collect coats at the school,” said Yvonne M. Borelli-Chace of St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea. “We put up flyers at the school and it was really successful, so I thought about (collecting) at the other

schools this year.” Borelli-Chace, who is also a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, was instrumental in getting permission from the Catholic Education Office to have collection bins placed at several schools this year. Those sites, all located in Fall River, included St. Stanislaus School, Espirito Santo School, Holy Name School, Holy Trinity School, St. Michael’s School, and Bishop Connolly High School. In addition, the non-diocesan Seton Academy was used as a collection site. Students in Bishop Connolly High School’s National Honor Society also got into the act by helping to gather the coats from the various schools’ collection bins to be cleaned, sorted and delivered. “Because the schools were located in Fall River and Bishop Connolly is right in the middle of everything, we thought it would be a good place to help because of the proximity,” Borelli-Chace said. “They made it a lot easier, because we wouldn’t have been able to go from school to school to pick up all those coats.” Sister Lisa Palazio, guidance counselor and advisor for the National Honor Society at Bishop Connolly, helped coordinate the students’ involvement. “I thought it was an excellent opportunity for the students to see the generosity of the people in the area to help children keep warm during the cold New England weathers,” Sister Lisa said. “It’s definitely uplifting to know that people do care about others, especially during the Christmas season,” agreed Connolly student Michaela Deady. “I didn’t expect us to collect so many coats from the different schools. It was a good turnout.” According to Bouchard, this year’s record haul was temporarily stored in his cellar and garage to be cleaned and sorted, with his wife Francine doing the bulk of the washing. Last week volunteers began delivering the coats to students at the Doran, Fonseca, Letourneau, and Viveiros schools in Fall River; Wilbur Elementary School in Somerset; Westport Elementary School in Westport; and the Barnum School in Taunton. “We also gave 75 coats to people at the Swansea Motor Inn about three weeks ago,” Bouchard said. “We were already collecting coats and they called us and said there were families (living there) who really needed some help. We went down and

got all their sizes and delivered 75 coats there.” “We have about 100 coats that we’ll be delivering to a housing project this weekend,” McDonald added. “There’s still a need there. There’s a big need everywhere you go.” Once specific requests and known needs have been fulfilled, any surplus clothing remaining will either be donated to Mary’s Place or a local homeless shelter. Calling this year’s collection “a tremendous success,” Bouchard said every year he’s amazed with the increased level of participation from parishioners and students alike. “The parishes this year have really been extremely generous — they’ve really opened up their hearts and wallets to us,” he said. “We had several big monetary donations which allowed us to go out and buy some additional coats as well, which was important.” Noting that it’s always difficult to predict what sizes will be most in need, Bouchard said they used the more than $1,000 in donations to buy additional coats. “We just came back from two schools and there were four or five kids who needed different sizes so we went out and bought them,” he said. “I’m bringing more coats to another school (today) because of that.” Bouchard said the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus has also been very supportive of the program. “The KOC allows us to buy coats in cases of 12 for boys and girls, in different colors and sizes,” he said. “And the state KOC council will match whatever we buy — we bought three cases and they gave us another three so we ended up with six cases of coats for the price of three.” Bouchard credits not only the spirit of the Christmas season for this burst of generosity, but also the clear call of our Holy Father to reach out to the poor and needy. “I think it’s even more important now with Pope Francis’ renewed message to help the poor,” he said. “We’re so lucky to have a pope right now who is encouraging us to seek out and help the poor and needy,” McDonald agreed. “I’m just overjoyed with this pope, because he’s a real man of the poor — just like St. Vincent de Paul. We are so blessed to have him. He’s what we need right now. We need to go back to the basics of helping each other — that’s why we’re on this earth.”


December 13, 2013

Columnist: Pope’s words rooted in Christ, not Marx

Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) — Columnist Kathleen Parker has said free market-supporting conservatives are wrong to attack Pope Francis as a Marxist, saying his comments on economics are a call to remember the excluded. “What is the Successor to St. Peter supposed to do when he sees so much suffering even in free-market societies? Quote Ayn Rand?” Parker wrote, citing the 20thcentury atheist writer who defended capitalism claiming that selfishness is a virtue. Parker’s recent USA Today column said that every commentator “seems to have his own special version of Pope Francis,” with liberals seeing him as “a crusader for social justice,” while conservatives “fear he just might be a commie.” She focused her remarks

on several conservative commentators who reacted to the pope’s comments on economics. Radio host Rush Limbaugh contended that the pope’s words about greed and inequality in his recent document “Evangelii Gaudium” were “pure Marxism” and “dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong.” Parker countered that communist thinker Karl Marx and Pope Francis were coming from very different perspectives. “Christianity is based on Christ, while Marxism advocates abolition of religion and acceptance of atheism. One receives grace and performs acts of charity; the other abjures grace and systematizes penury.” The columnist also criticized Adam Shaw, a Catholic and news editor for

Around the Diocese On December 15 at 3 p.m. the Spirit of St. Anthony Choir will celebrate this joyful season with its annual Christmas Concert and Caroling sing-along. Begin your Sunday afternoon of fun with a free trolley ride to St. Anthony of Padua Church from the Whale’s Tooth ferry parking lot in downtown New Bedford. Then enjoy the 50-voice choir directed by Cassandra Morgan, accompanied by Isleila Rodrigues on piano, and many star-quality soloist singers and musicians. For more information, call 508993-1691 or visit A Christmas concert of choral, solo, harp and organ music will take place on December 15 beginning at 4 p.m. at Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Road in Brewster. The concert is free and open to the public, with doors opening at 3:30 p.m. There is no reserve seating. Join St. Bernard’s Parish in Assonet for an evening prayer, Advent reflection and adoration entitled “The Annunciations of the Archangel Gabriel” on December 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Presented by Bud Miller, the reflection will explore the amazing things Gabriel revealed to Zachariah about his soon-tobe-born son; what Mary, Zachariah and Elizabeth learned about their sons from Old Testament research during the three months Mary stayed with her cousin; many of the Old Testament prophecies that God revealed about the Messiah; and how Jesus is the answer to the mystery of God’s plan. All are invited to join in prayer for “Building a New Culture of Life” on December 19 beginning at 1 p.m. in St. Jude’s Chapel of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee. Prayers will consist of the four mysteries of the Rosary with a brief meditation on each. A Healing Mass will be celebrated on December 19 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1359 Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford. Mass will begin at 6:30 p.m. and includes Benediction and healing prayers. At 5:15 p.m. there will be a holy hour including the Rosary. For more information visit or call 508-993-1691. St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea will be celebrating the Posada on December 29 beginning at 2 p.m. in the parish center. Taken from the Spanish word for “inn,” it is based on the Hispanic-American tradition of reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter for Jesus to be born and ultimately finding “no room at the inn.” The event is open to the public and a free-will offering will be accepted, with all proceeds going to benefit area homeless to provide them with a hot meal in the winter. Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River is searching for missing alumni as the school plans for its 50th anniversary to take place during the 2015-2016 school year. If you or someone you know is an alumnus of Bishop Connolly High School and is not receiving communications from the school, please send your contact information via the school’s website at; by email to Anthony Ciampanelli in the Alumni Office at; by phone at 508-676-1071 extension 333; or postal mail to the school at 373 Elsbree Street, Fall River, Mass. 02720. Please provide the graduate’s name (including maiden name if appropriate), complete mailing address, telephone number, email address, and the year of graduation.

who compared the pope to President Obama, contending that both men “pander to enemies.” Shaw said Catholics “should be suspicious when bastions of anti-Catholicism in the left-wing media are in love with him.” He claimed that the pope “likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities.” Parker questioned whether Pope Francis’ actions show passivity. “The man is an activist, a street-worker, a foot-washer and an evangelizer. There’s nothing passive or pandering about him. And it would appear that Francis is quite willing to offend sensibilities.” She said that the pope’s criticism of “trickle-down” economics and its “absolute faith” that markets will be “humane and fair.” While conservatives are correct that capitalism helps reduce poverty and oppose wealth redistribution, she said, Pope Francis is “challenging our idolatry of money and obsession with things … a cultural fascination that distracts us from the needy.” Parker said Pope Francis’ opposition to “a throwaway culture” that easily ignores or discards the unborn or the elderly also warns the financial world about the “collateral human damage” of unregulated markets. “This is by-the-book Christianity, hardly the moorings of heresy. Yet these Christian sentiments have sent some conservatives reeling to the fainting couch.” Parker said that Francis is “the pope, not the president,” and is urging people to follow their conscience. “No one, Christian or otherwise, can escape the mirror he holds up, his eyes doubtless twinkling in anticipation of his next moonlight adventure, searching for souls in need.” She said that the pope “never proposes changing Church teachings, but merely suggests that the Church should be open to all.” Parker cited his words that the Church is “a place for everyone, with all their problems.”

Jesuit priest leads retreat for parish ministers continued from page one

Father Spencer offered a few suggested reading materials, including a book by Cardinal Avery Dulles, “Models of the Church,” a book that initially offered five models — a sixth model was added in later revisions — of the life of the Church. Asking people to write down their own five examples of what they each thought the Church was, answers ranged from “love, community, hope, comfort, worship and sanctuary.” Writing down the answers and sticking the lists to the wall behind him, Father Spencer turned to his audience after sticking the fourth sheet full of ideas; “Sometimes we know more than we allow ourselves credit for,” he said. “We do things more than we’re aware of, and serve in ways that we’re unaware of — it takes time to pull it together. We do it because we’re Church; we do Church well.” It helps to reflect on our actions within the Church to bring it into the future, said Father Spencer, listing off Cardinal Dulles’ models that closely mirrored the ideas given forth by those in attendance: “Institution; Mystical Communion; Sacrament; Herald; Servant,” and the most recent addition, “Community of Disciples.” “An institution can be loosely defined as this [retreat]; we came together for a day of prayer and reflection — that’s institutionalism in the Church,” he said. “Institution is a sign of organization and management, planning and prayer. The institution is the structure of the Church and it’s a good thing insofar it helps us to serve. It’s a bad thing if it becomes an end in itself.” We need rules and regulations, and the institution sets up the hierarchy, said Father Spencer. Under “Mystical Communion,” Cardinal Dulles said it’s the bond that the Sacrament of Baptism creates in each one of us. “We are in a mystical community with the Body of Christ,” said Father Spencer. “We derive strength from knowing we’re not doing it alone.” Father Spencer shared how the “Sacraments” were a continuing nourishing factor to those in the Church, and is the essence of the Church; “Herald” is the proclamation of the Word; “Servant” Church is the most popular of the five models because we all do it in different

ways. “We all care for others through our different ministries in different ways,” said Father Spencer. “That model is seen throughout the world, as is the institution model — the two go together. We are a servant Church through the institution through Catholic charities like the St. Vincent de Paul Society.” About 20 years after he wrote the book, Cardinal Dulles revised the book for an anniversary edition, and added “Community of Disciples.” After the revision of the book, Dulles was made cardinal. One word someone called out while creating the lists was “identity,” and Father Spencer seized on that word, elaborating on it by saying, “For years, the hierarchal model has told us who we are, but what has transpired over the years, we created our own identity. This is becoming much more important in the Church as we go forward.” A second book Father Spencer suggested reading was John Allen’s “The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church.” A third book he recommended was “Catholic Identity or Identities?” by Gerald Arbuckle. “There are some things you might like and other things you might not like. The books are thought-provoking and are good learning tools for discussion as we go into the future,” said Father Spencer. “Everything is a give and take — there is a fluidity in these models,” said Father Spencer, adding that the Church is experiencing a new beginning that can help encourage the next generation to take possession of the Church. “It has already started and we are a part of it.” Marian Medal Awards Ceremony Available on Video The Nov. 24, 2013 Marian Medal Awards Ceremony is available on DVD from the Diocesan Office of Communications. The DVD cost is $24.95. To obtain one, please forward a check in that amount payable to the Diocesan Office of Communications, Diocese of Fall River, PO Box 7, Fall River, Mass., 02722. Shipping is included in the video cost.


Youth Pages

Second-graders at St. James-St. John School in New Bedford celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Students from St. Mary’s School in Mansfield recently celebrated Mass in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday. Msgr. Stephen J. Avila encouraged students to develop and nurture an “attitude of gratitude.” Here Msgr. Avila accepts a donation of food to be given to the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Students at Holy Family-Holy Name School in New Bedford had a Thanksgiving celebration to culminate their study of the pilgrims. They had a hand in cooking their “feast,” complete with homemade butter, cranberry sauce and corn bread!

December 13, 2013

Holy Name School in Fall River recently held its Paul F. Chippendale Memorial Walk-a-thon. Due to heavy rain, the walk was held inside the school with the younger children walking in the auditorium and the older students walking in the corridors. In spite of the weather everyone had an enjoyable experience and an awareness of how blessed they were and how grateful they should be.

Students at St. Michael School in Fall River recently sorted donated food items for the parish St. Vincent de Paul Society to give to families in need.

The eighth-grade class fund-raising committee from St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro recently hosted a Trunk Sale. Parking spots were reserved in advance and the cost per car helped raise money to offset the funds needed for the annual eighth-grade field trip. Shown here are committee members, from left: John Ledoux, Colleen O’Brien, Kevin Baker, Ashley Dennett, and Jaime Brown.

December 13, 2013


uring this time of Advent, we use the four weeks to prepare ourselves not only for the birth of Jesus in the manger and in our hearts, but also for when He returns. The Church gives us a theme for each week to help to guide us: Hope, peace, joy and love. As we enter into the third week of the season, we are reminded with the color of pink (apologies to my priest friends, I mean the color rose) that we are entering into the week of joy. I should tell you that joy is by far the last thing for which I wanted to write. God continues to make me laugh at His timing with things. I prayed asking for Him to give me the words He wished me to share, hoping to find a way around joy. The more I prayed, the more I came to see it more clearly. I remember a few years back, I was teaching a lesson on joy. I asked my students, “Who do you personally know that you believe is joyful?” After they had listed a few names, I asked them if the people have anything in common. They stated that all the people had a strong faith. We spoke about what

Youth Pages Oh, joy!

makes them joyful and spoke about the fact that it is not that they are always happy and nothing bad has ever happened to them. True joy does not stem from the circumstances in our life. True joy does not mean that we always have a smile on our face. Joy means recognizing that we are loved by our Creator. Recently Pope Francis spoke about joy and its By Amanda necessity in the Tarantelli Church and its followers. He speaks about how we don’t often think about a smiling, happy Jesus but that in fact, Jesus was truly joyful. He says, “His inner joy comes precisely from this relationship with the Father in the Holy Spirit. And this is the joy He gives to us.” We are all given the ability to be joyful. It is a choice. Like many choices, joy is not always an easy choice. As I was thinking (procrastinating) about joy and the season of Advent, I

Be Not Afraid

thought about what was happening at this time of the first Christmas. Mary is a teen-ager, very pregnant with the Son of God, leaving home and riding on a donkey to Bethlehem to register for the census. They arrive in Bethlehem, and Mary goes into labor and has to give birth to the Son of God, in a stable and laid Him in a manger because there were no rooms in the local inn (Lk 2:1-7). I do not want speak for Mary, but I cannot imagine she was completely happy. She was uncomfortable, probably scared, and feeling a little alone. From what we know about Mary, however, we can assume that she was full of joy. She was joyful because she knew who she was, a creation of God. In her prayer to God, she says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Lk 1:46). She lived a life of great joy in the midst of great sorrow because she understood who she was called to be; the bearer of Christ in the world. We all have that same calling. By our Baptism we are initiated into the Body of Christ. By receiving the Eucharist, we become living, walking, talking tabernacles. We become bearers of Christ in this world. This is the root of our joy. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit, wrote, “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” We could never convince others of the love of God without joy. Could you imagine if all

17 those who evangelize sounded like the guy from the Clear Eye commercials (Ferris Bueller’s teacher played by actor Ben Stein)? Being a Christian already has its challenges. The joy of knowing that we are loved and saved outweighs all those challenges. Joy is necessary for us to share Christ. A few years ago I was volunteering for a Christian organization. I was talking to the director when I first began and spoke about being Catholic and she stated that she was raised Catholic but that she has not been Catholic for years. After a few months of volunteering there she told me I was the first joyful Catholic she had ever met. This was one of the saddest things that I have ever heard. We need to spread the truth of Who Christ is with a love and a joy that makes others want this relationship as well. This means recognizing that we may not always be happy but we do always have joy, because we always have Christ’s love. Pope Francis concluded his homily on joy saying, “Even in so many serious things, Jesus is joyful, the Church is joyful. She must be joyful. Even in her widowhood the Church is joyful in hope.” During this season of Advent, I pray that all of us, especially those who are grieving, find the joy that Christ offers us. It’s a joy that fills us with hope and brings us true peace. May you have a very merry Christmas and a truly blessed New Year! Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at

Forty-seven Bishop Connolly High School students were recently trained and certified in CPR/AED at a training and certification program given by The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association held at the Fall River school. In the upcoming months many more students will take part in this training and also become certified.

Coyle and Cassidy High School alums offer a helping hand at the recent food pantry. From left are, Sarah Matson, Bridget Correia, Emily Burdick, Sophia Bonenfant, Ben Williams, and Jake Bonenfant. For Providence College junior Williams, this was his 75th consecutive food pantry as a volunteer. While at the Taunton school, most, if not all, were food pantry student leaders/coordinators; excellent examples of the school’s motto “Enter To Learn — Leave To Serve.”

Students from Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth recently took part in Thanksgiving holiday meal preparations for local families.


December 13, 2013

Sister Celine Teresa Rainville, SUSC (Lucille Rainville)

FALL RIVER — Sister Celine Teresa Rainville, SUSC, (Lucille Rainville) of The Landmark in Fall River, died November 26 at the age of 91. She was born in Lawrence, in 1922, the daughter of the late Benjamin and Ida (Picard) Rainville. In addition to her Holy Union Sisters, her cousins, Sister Marilyn McGoldrick, CSJ, Thomas McGoldrick and dear friend, Father David Costa survive her. Her sister Rita (Rainville) Murphy predeceased her. Sister Celine Teresa, a graduate of the former Sacred Heart High School, Lawrence, entered the Holy Union Sisters in Fall River, in 1941 and pronounced her final vows on Aug. 22, 1949. She studied at Sacred Heart School of Education, Fall River and received a B.S. in education from Catholic Teacher’s College in Providence, R.I. She did additional studies at Fordham University, New York and St. Joseph Col-

lege, Connecticut. Her teaching career was in primary grades in parish schools in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York. She served as principal and superior at Sacred Heart School, Ta u n t o n , St. Francis de Sales, New York City and St. William of York School, Baltimore. When she left teaching, she served for several years as assistant to the treasurer of the former Fall River Province of the Holy Union Sisters. She was the administrator at Prospect Place, the Holy Union House Retirement Community in Fall River and was assistant coordinator of the Religious Education Program at St. Thomas More Parish, Somerset. For two years she

served as secretary for the Holy Union Sisters congregational administration in Rome. Her part-time ministries in her later years included administrative assistant in the development office of Bishop Connolly High School, Fall River and the Holy Union House of Hospitality in Tiverton, R.I. After her retirement she continued to volunteer at St. Mary Parish, North Attleboro. She joined the Holy Union Retirement Community at The Landmark in 2010. Her funeral Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, North Attleboro. Burial was at St. Mary Cemetery, North Attleboro. Funeral arrangements were by Sperry-McHoul Funeral Home, North Attleboro. Donations in Sister Celine Teresa’s memory may be made to: The Holy Union Sisters Mission Advancement Office P.O. Box 410, Milton, Mass., 02186-0006.

Agnes Salvador, mother of Father Stephen B. Salvador

DARTMOUTH — Agnes (Borges) Salvador, 91, of South Dartmouth, died November 26, at home, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in New Bedford the daughter of the late Armando and Mary (Tavares) Borges. She attended Holy Family High School in New Bedford. Agnes was the widow of Seraphim “Feeney” “Sal” Salvador, celebrating 66 years of Marriage. Together with her father she founded the former Rockdale Cash Market. She was a member of the former St. John the Baptist Church, where she served as a extraordinary minister of holy Communion and as a member of the Couple’s Club. Agnes was currently a member of St. Mary’s Parish, South Dartmouth. She was a member of the Legion of Mary at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in New Bedford, the New Bedford Catholic Women’s Club, and the Daughters of Isabella Hyacinth Circle. She was a former member of the Charismatic Prayer Groups of Our

Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and Our Lady’s Chapel. Her family includes three children: Father Stephen B. Salvador, pastor of the former SS. Peter and Paul Parish at Holy Cross Church in Fall River, also the National Catholic Chaplain of the Boy Scouts of America, National Catholic Committee on Scouting; Mary Anne Trahan and her husband, Paul of New Bedford and Carmen Marie Salvador of South Dartmouth; two grandchildren, Mark Trahan and his wife, Astrid and Elaine Campbell and her husband, Jeff; three sistersin-law: Ann Borges, Marion Rosenfeldt and Deolinda Salvador; several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was the sister of the late Humberto “Herb” Borges. A Mass of Christian burial

was celebrated December 3 at St. Mary’s Church, South Dartmouth. Interment was at St. John’s Cemetery, New Bedford. Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the Catholic Charities Appeal, P. O. Box 1470, Fall River, Mass., 02722 or to the Community Nurse and Hospice Care, P. O. Box 751, Fairhaven, Mass., 02719. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Aubertine-Lopes Funeral Home in New Bedford.

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 — Eucharistic Adoration takes place in the St. Joseph Adoration Chapel at Holy Ghost Church, 71 Linden Street, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. 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 and concluding with 3 p.m. Benediction in the Daily Mass Chapel. A bilingual holy hour takes place from 2 to 3 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. MANSFIELD — St. Mary’s Parish, 330 Pratt Street, has Eucharistic Adoration every First Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with Benediction at 5:45 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.

In Your Prayers

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.

Please pray for these priests during the coming weeks Dec. 14 Rev. Msgr. John J. Hayes, Pastor, Holy Name, New Bedford, 1970

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.

Dec. 15 Rev. Mortimer Downing, Pastor, St. Francis Xavier, Hyannis, 1942 1955 Rev. John F. O’Keefe, Assistant, St. Patrick, Fall River Dec. 19 Permanent Deacon Eugene L. Orosz, 1988 Permanent Deacon Maurice LaValle, 2007 Dec. 20 Rev. Manuel S. Travassos, Pastor, Espirito Santo, Fall River, 1953 Rev. John A. Janson, OFM, Missionary in Brazil, 1996

NORTH DIGHTON — Eucharistic Adoration takes place every Wednesday following 8:00 a.m. Mass and concludes with Benediction at 5 p.m. Eucharistic Adoration also 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 perpetual 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. Exposition 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 — Eucharistic Adoration at St. Patrick’s Church begins each Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. and ends on Friday night at midnight. Adoration is held in our Adoration Chapel in the lower Parish Hall. 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.


December 13, 2013

Bishop George W. Coleman celebrated Mass with 14 brother priests from the diocese and the members of the First Friday Club inside the chapel of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River last week. The evening included a hot meal served inside the school hall across the street and was part of the club’s special Celebration of Priesthood dinner. (Photo by Kenneth J. Souza)

Fall River First Friday club celebrates diocesan priests continued from page one

presence of the bishop,” said Daryl Gonyon, coordinator for the First Friday Club. “In the spirit of camaraderie, however, the bishop’s secretary (and First Friday Club chaplain, Father Karl Bissinger,) agreed that shoulder-to-shoulder in the chapel, then elbow-to-elbow in the school hall, would be the better promoter of camaraderie for a Celebration of Priesthood — and it was. The feedback I have gotten from members and guest priests was 100 percent positive.” In addition to Bishop Coleman and Father Bissinger, other diocesan priests in attendance included Father William Blottman, retired; Father Edward Correia, retired; Father Richard Furlong, retired; Father Thomas Lopes, retired; Father Andrew Johnson, pastor of St. Stanislaus and Good Shepherd parishes in Fall River; Father Thomas Kocik, parochial administrator of St. Anne’s Parish in Fall River; Father Herbert Nichols, in residence at St. Bernadette’s Parish in Fall River; Father Michael Racine, pastor of St. Bernard’s Parish in Assonet; Father John Ozug, rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River; Msgr. Barry Wall, retired; Father Jay Maddock, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Fall River; Father Bruce Neylon, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Fall River; and Msgr. Thomas J. Harrington, retired. According to Gonyon, the Celebration of Priesthood idea was first attempted in 2002 during a banquet commemorating the 60th anniversary of Father Pierre Lachance’s ordination. Father Lachance was a long-time Dominican priest serving at St. Anne’s Parish and Shrine in Fall River. “Then Bishop Séan P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap., was the center person, literally,” Gon-

yon told The Anchor. “I had no head table on a podium — we had a center table on the banquet floor as the head table, surrounded by 15 other tables. In addition to the head table with all priests, I had one priest or religious at each of the 15 tables, again symbolizing the centering on priesthood, and us on them.” As he did during this latest celebration, Gonyon served as emcee that night, providing all the introductions and actually doing an impromptu roast of the bishop with a few “wellreceived Irish jokes,” he added. “The bishop was not going to speak that day, but actually bounded up on the podium saying, ‘OK, Daryl, it’s my turn,’ and proceeded to speak briefly and warmly to us as only Cardinal O’Malley can do,” Gonyon recalled. Noting that Cardinal

O’Malley has since started an annual tradition of Celebrating the Priesthood in the Boston archdiocese, Gonyon believes that evening may have sparked the idea for him when he was Bishop of Fall River. As priests and club members filed into the hall for the hot meal after the Liturgy, a group of five men were on hand to greet and serve them — all dressed in formal tuxedo top hats and white gloves. In addition to Gonyon, these servers included club members Andy Bissinger, father of Father Bissinger; Jim Gibney, former Fall River Superintendent of Schools; Phil Dann and Kevin Fitzpatrick. “I first used this idea with a group of men including a few priests at La Salette Retreat House in Attleboro during a men’s retreat,” Gonyon said. “This informal ‘touch of class’

stands out as something unusual, unexpected and appreciated.” Among the club members at the celebration was 92-yearold Paul Dumais Sr., who attended with his son, Paul Dumais Jr. A past club president and the group’s oldest member, Dumais has had difficulty getting around of late but Gonyon noted he really wanted to be with his fellow club members in honoring the priests. “I salute him for that effort and example,” he said. After serving a hot meal catered by White’s of Westport to the gathered priests and club members, Gonyon couldn’t resist trading his top hat for that of emcee and roast master once again as he introduced each of the diocesan priests present. “These introductions were suggested by fellow priests and/ or parishioners,” Gonyon cautioned before beginning. “So please don’t shoot the messenger!” He first joked that Bishop Coleman is said to have been relieved that he wouldn’t have to attend any more high school graduations when he stepped down as former diocesan superintendent of schools … only to find himself attending them all again as “the seventh Bishop of Fall River in 109 years,” Gonyon said. “Did you say 109 gradua-

tions?” Bishop Coleman replied. Gonyon joked that Father Michael Racine has become known as “the pumpkin priest” after ordering some 5,000 pumpkins for his parish’s fall festival; suggested that Msgr. Barry Wall was a “man with a past” because he is the diocesan historian; and also noted that one of the best homilies he ever heard was courtesy of Father Jay Maddock, who compared Lent with baseball’s spring training: “Something important to repeat each year.” He also fondly recalled attending a morning Mass celebrated by Msgr. Thomas J. Harrington during a particularly bad storm with hurricane-force winds and rain. “With a broad smile, Msgr. Harrington said: ‘This is the day the Lord has made,’” Gonyon said. “‘And the Red Sox won last night!’” The Fall River Area Men’s First Friday Club meets nine times a year in honor of the Sacred Heart tradition on the first Friday of every month from October through June. Evenings begin with Mass celebrated at 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River, followed by a hot meal and speaker. For more information, contact club president Norm Valiquette at 508672-8174 or Daryl Gonyon at 508-672-4822 or email rosorg@


December 13, 2013

Dennisport chapel welcomes Guadalupe celebration By Father Richard D. Wilson Executive Editor

DENNISPORT — Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel hosted on December 7 the Diocese of Fall River’s celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Sponsored by the Hispanic Apostolate of the diocese, this year’s celebration was coordinated by the Hispanic Community of Cape Cod.

Most Rev. George W. Coleman, bishop of Fall River, was the main celebrant of the annual Mass, which is frequently celebrated on the Saturday before December 12, the actual feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which commemorates her final apparition in what is now Mexico City on that date in 1531. Prior to the Mass, the assembled hundreds spent an hour ser-

enading the Blessed Mother in the chapel’s hall which is separated by a wall from the church half of the chapel. The congregation then followed a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in procession as it passed through a twisting hallway, challenging the carriers of the image — fortunately the stand was not two inches taller than it was, then outside for one

Scenes from Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration

Father Carlos Patino Villa, regional director of the Hispanic Apostolate for Cape Cod and Nantucket, watches the festivities at the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration in Dennisport with a young child.

(Photos by Barbara Foley)

more serenade before entering the front doors of the chapel for the Mass. Father Carlos Patino Villa, the regional director of the Hispanic Apostolate for Cape Cod and Nantucket, was the preacher of the Mass. He thanked Bishop Coleman for his presence, paraphrasing St. Irenaeus, saying, “Where the bishop is, there the Church is. We celebrated as Church this feast with our bishop.” Father Craig A. Pregana, the diocesan director of the Hispanic Apostolate, made reference to Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” where the Holy Father calls upon bishops to be amongst their people, accompanying their people on their walk of faith. “The bishop does not have to pull us, we are always walking and he is always amongst us.” A central theme of Father Patino’s homily was the question, “Who is God for you?” He asked the congregation how they could have a negative, threatening image of God in their hearts and reconcile that with what Mary said to St. Juan Diego. She had asked that a temple in her honor be built on Tepeyac hill, so that her “love, compassion, help and protection” might be shown to all her children.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe was sent by God not so as to punish the people or out of revenge. God sent us His mother to offer us love, compassion, help and protection,” Father Patino said. “Instead of blaming God for our illnesses and sufferings, we have to realize that God Himself suffered our illnesses and sufferings. God well knows what it means to carry a cross. God is not seated on a throne in some far away place, looking to make our lives difficult. He wants to console us. He became Man. He became Bread,” Father Patino preached. Later in the homily, he spoke about the various crosses people in the congregation might have: alcoholism, drug addiction, “being a slave of one’s passions; suffering due to their legal situation, with a constant fear of the blue lights; domestic violence, lack of attention or communication” in the home. “So many people tell me that their Marriages went well until the day they came to this country and even though they have more money now, they have lost everything because their family has disintegrated,” Father Patino commented. He then offered the congregation hope, reminding them that God sent Mary to the American continent to show us the way to true happiness, through the Catholic Church, which “offers the secure route to God via the Sacraments. The Church is not perfect, because we all belong to it. If it were perfect, we would not be able to belong to it.” After the Mass, which filled the chapel, a dinner was served to the assembled hundreds by the Cape Cod Hispanic community, while a lay preacher from Latin America explained the symbolism behind the tilma of St. Juan Diego, upon which Our Lady of Guadalupe had left the image of herself.

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